“You let him go?”
“What else could I do?”
“We have to go get him,!” yelled the teary-eyes blond boy, as he leapt up from the couch.
Jasmine reached out, stopping him dead in his tracks.
“Then what? What are you going to do Timmy? If he doesn’t want to be here, he doesn’t have to stay.”
“Yeah but…I can explain it to him. Then he’d want to stay,” Timmy pleaded, on the edge of another emotional breakdown.
Jasmine wrapped her arms around her fragile little brother. Like so many times before, she’d surround him with love while he cried out his lonely, little heart. All they really had in this world was each other.
“I’m sorry it didn’t work out honey,” she whispered into his delicate ear.
“I really liked him so much Jazzy. I don’t want to be alone forever.”
“I know. I know. Be patient.”
“I really thought he was different. I thought he was the one. Why can’t I just be normal? This life sucks.”
Those words stung so deeply with Jasmine. She felt tears welling up in her own eye ducts. It was, after all, her ex boyfriend who brought Timmy into this world of darkness. As a way to get back at Jasmine for leaving him, Skyler kidnapped Timmy. Stripped him from life as he knew it and turned him into the creature of darkness that he will forever be. Timmy didn’t make this choice. He wasn’t given one.
Skyler has such a wicked side. One of pure, sadistic evil. If Jasmine tries to take revenge on him, or manages to kill him. He has like-minded vampire friends who would slowly kill her parents, and do much worse to her youngest sister. A girl of only nine, who’s life would be destroyed a hundred times over, until she was forced to relive her past life for all eternity, much like how her older brother has. As overwhelming as the urge was to end Skyler’s life, the trade-off was to high for Jasmine. She’s spent countless hours, plotting and planning. Looking for a way to exact her revenge. One day she will have her justice.
“Timmy. It’ll get better, ok? Don’t give up hope. You’re still very young and there is a lot to learn. Maybe we should get away from here. Leave Chicago. We can go anywhere in the world. Anywhere you want to go.”
Timmy didn’t put much thought into what his sister just offered. His mind was still occupied with other things. He couldn’t get the image of Tyler out of his mind. He was everything he ever wanted, but it seemed now, his dream will never be fulfilled. He kept telling himself, if you want it that bad, sometimes you have to fight for it. Somehow, he would give it one more chance. One more try before he calls it a total loss.
In a quiet, defeated voice, Timmy said, “I’m going to my room,” and with slouched shoulders, he shuffled his way down the hall.
Tyler had one of those dead to the world sleeps where you don’t wake up once during the night. Hell, he didn’t even move. It wasn’t until his mother rousted him for school, that he finally rejoined the awakened world.
“Come on sweetie. Time for school.”
“Do you think I could get just one more day? One day off of school and go back tomorrow?”
“Hmmm…well, I suppose. But that doesn’t mean you get to go traipsing around town. I want you here.”
“I know. I won’t go anywhere.”
“Well, your father has already left for work. Why don’t you come down and join me for some breakfast. I’ll make blueberry waffles. Maybe I can get you to help me with some laundry and cleaning too.”
“Ugh. Maybe I should just go to school.”
“Very funny. Up. Up. Get up,” she responded, while bouncing the foot of my bed playfully.
I stood up and reached for the ceiling in an exaggerated stretch.
“Where in the world did you get those,?” my mom said while gazing down at my boxers, more amused than angry. I had forgotten that I was wearing the pair I had borrowed from Timmy. They were way to small for me, and more than a bit revealing. Mix that with the remnants of my traditional wake up call that all boys can relate to, and umm yeah, embarrassing. I quickly made to cover myself, to hold onto any shred of dignity I might have left.
“Oh please,” my mom snickered, as she made for the door. “I don’t even want to know where you got those tiny little shorts.”
I was thankful that she spared me having to explain why I was wearing them. I was also reminded of where I had gotten them. Maybe I overreacted when I stormed out of there last night. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time, but it wasn’t without regret. I was already missing Timmy more than I would have imagined. I was really starting to enjoy my time with him. As weird as it probably sounds to other people, I was going to leave his underwear on. It was my last and only connection to him. It made me feel good.
I went to the bathroom to take a piss. I stopped in front of the mirror on my way out and caught a glimpse of what my mom had seen. I stopped and stared at myself, fighting to suppress my laughter. I looked ridiculous. I was pretty average, based on my secret exploration in the locker room, but these poor underwear were working overtime to try and contain me. They gave the illusion that I was very well equipped, the way they drew everything in together. The top was pulled so low that my modest dusting of hair was even visible. Without correct placement, I could easily spill out above or below. I wonder if that was what Timmy wanted? I wonder if I turned him on? I made my way back to my room. Threw on a shirt and sweats, and joined my mom in the kitchen for homemade waffles.
I spent the bulk of the day just hanging out with my mom. My instincts told me to run to my room and hang out there drawing and being lazy, but the magnetic medicine of my mom kept me near her. I did help her with chores, and we’d take breaks, watching TV and just talking. It’s funny how without even doing anything in particular, my mom helps me. She eases my mind and calms me down. I was sad when she eventually had to go to work. I really don’t get to see my mom enough. With her gone, I retired to my room. In less than an hour my dad would be home. If I was quiet enough, he wouldn’t even know I was there.
I spent the rest of the night confined to my room. There was something about the way my dad looked at me last night that told me to stay clear of him. Finally, at about nine o’clock, I couldn’t hold my bladder any longer. I had to risk him hearing me and knowing I was home, to avoid wetting myself. It was unlikely he’d come upstairs anyway. I was startled when I saw his irritated face standing in the other side of the door when I stepped out. He blocked me in the doorway, staring at me with his distant, glossy eyes.
He hissed, “when did you get here?”
“I…umm, I’ve been here all day. I didn’t…didn’t go to school.”
He smirked at me, enjoying my discomfort. “Is that right?”
“Let me see your hands.”
I held them out to him and he roughly grabbed them and twisted them, peering at my fingers. “You didn’t even hit back, did you?”
He turned and walked back toward the stairs to be with his true love. Beer. As he hit the first step, he looked over at me with a disgusted smile. His parting word, “figures,” spat out like a bitter poison.
I quietly shuffled back to the safety of my small room, grateful that he only chose to insult me verbally. He’s such an asshole. I just laid on my bed listening to very quiet music, waiting for my body and mind to shut down, so I could drift off to dreamland.
Also sitting in the solitude of his bedroom was Timmy. He hadn’t come out of his room since he shut himself in the night before. His sister had been up for hours, but he wasn’t in the mood for company. She knocked on his door, expressing concern for his isolation.
“Timmy? Are you ok? I have to go to work, but we really need to talk when I get home. I wish you’d just come out so I know you’re okay.”
Timmy unlocked his door and opened it a few inches, so Jasmine could see that he was fine. She pushed the door open a little bit further and kissed him on the forehead. “You know I love you, right?”
“Ok. I’ll see you when I get home.”
He shut his door again and waited until he heard Jasmine leave the apartment. He was tired of the confined space of his room, so he ventured out into the apartment. He heard some laughing and commotion from near the front door, so he quietly padded toward the door. One of the few sources of entertainment around here was looking through the peephole, to spy on his neighbors. When he got to the front door, he saw a backpack leaned up against the wall. He unzipped it and saw it was Tyler’s.
Suddenly, an idea popped into his head. He decided he needed to bring Tyler back his bag. Tonight.
Timmy waited until midnight, then started his journey to Tyler’s house. He was excited about the chance of seeing him again, but he didn’t know how Tyler would react if he happened to see him. It wouldn’t have been his first choice, but he decided to go stealth mode. Better to play it safe, than to risk making Tyler hate him even more.
When he pulled up to the old oak across the street from Tyler’s house, he saw the soft glow of his desk lamp illuminating his bedroom. He’s still up! This could take longer than expected. Timmy leaned into the tree and waited. If he was lucky, maybe he’d catch a glimpse of his dream boy walking past his window.
He stood there for about twenty minutes when a cold chill passed through him. He was being watched. He could feel it. But from where? Before he had time to figure it out, an all too familiar scent waifed across his nostrils. Then a familiar, dreadful voice spoke from the dark space over his right shoulder.
“Who are you watching Timbo?”
Things were happening too fast. He couldn’t process what was taking place. No time to react. The voice spoke again. Closer.
“That’s HIS house, isn’t it?” Imagine my luck. I’ll get both of you on the same night. Thank you Timmy.”
Skyler emerged from the darkness as he spoke. Hissing through his derelict smile. His eyes beyond focused. His intentions unjust. Filled with a barely contained rage. Timmy tried to step back, but immediately butted up against the rugged tree trunk.
Skyler moved to within inches of the vulnerable boy. “I can smell your fear, Timmy. I’ve been looking everywhere where for you. I own you!”
Timmy stood there on shaky knees. He knew this wouldn’t end well for him. He was smaller. Younger. Weaker. He tried to swallow down his fear and focus on finding a way out of this. He felt a little ball of hate welling up in the pit of his stomach. Not only did he despise the boy standing before him. He stoled his life from him. Intimidated him. Abused him. Imprisoned him. And now he was poised to do the same thing to someone he cared deeply for. This can’t happen. Not tonight. Not ever!
Skyler could see the changes taking over Timmy. His eyes narrowed. His breathing deepened. He could see his body become rigid. “Hahaha. What’s going on Timmy? Are you gonna take me down? Protect your little boyfriend?” He gave him a hard shove into the tree. “Not gonna happen you little fucker! I’m gonna rip you to shreds. Then I’m gonna kill this worthless kid up there, and then I’m gonna kill your bitch sister. Hell I might as well kill your whole family.”
He shoved him again. Harder. “And you can’t stop me, you little bitch coward!”
Somehow Timmy managed to slow time down in his mind. He could see Skyler rearing back for another strike. A more explosive attack. It was now or never. He needed to strike first, and cause enough damage to get away. Toe to toe he couldn’t beat Skylar, but he didn’t need to beat him. He just wanted to lure him away from Tyler’s house and worry about the rest later.
Suddenly, the circle was complete. The pit in his stomach exploded. Ancient instincts took over where the burgeoning hatred finished. His eyes glowed a crimson red. His razor sharp fangs dropped. His thin muscles pushed out against his taut skin. He let out a guttural roar, lunging forward into the unsuspecting Skyler. He sunk his teeth deep into the cheek of his assailant. Tearing away a large chunk of flesh. An immediate torrent of blood poured out of the wound. The otherwise silent night, came to life with the mingling of rage-filled screams and ear-splitting pain.
Skyler brought both of his hands to the gaping hole on the side of his face, as Timmy made his quick dash from against the tree. Skyler reached for him, as he shot past. Catching ahold of Timmy on his back. It didn’t slow him down one bit, as he simply dropped his arms, allowing the backpack to slide off his body. Within seconds, Timmy had disappeared into the darkness. Leaping cars and fences with great ease. Power and grace he didn’t even realize he possessed. Skyler took the bait, and gave chase. Matching Timmy’s elusive maneuvers through the quiet Chicago suburb.
Before too long, Timmy was able to put some distance between them. Skyler’s bleeding face was taking its toll. The inevitable loss of endurance, due to the rapid blood flow. He had no choice but to fall back and tend to his wound. If he gave in to his rage, he would surely die in the chase. He stopped, as Timmy faded away. The last thing Timmy heard was a blood curdling scream. This was not over. Not by a long shot.
There I laid on his back, with my arms behind my head, legs crossed at the ankles. Hopeful that sleep would come soon. Eyes closed. Absolute silence, save the occasional hum of the houses furnace. Music and drawing had lost its luster hours ago. This was the real boredom. The trick your mind into becoming tired, but failing miserably at it kind of boredom. The ‘I have no life and nothing to do’ kind of boredom.
Once midnight passed, I started to play the clock game. Counting down the precious minutes lost during the insomnia infused night. Knowing full well that tomorrow is going to suck and I’ll be worthless from exhaustion.
Suddenly, the silence was broken by a death scream from outside my window. I’d heard enough rabbit kills in my time to know that this was something different. It sounded animal, but there was something human about it, too. I leapt out of my bed and inched over to the window, to see if I could catch a view of what was going on. It was as much scary, as it was exciting. I didn’t want to be spotted. I arrived just in time to see two silhouettes disappear between a couple of houses on the other side of the street. They looked human, but they moved with a speed and kind of grace that normal humans do not possess. I’ve seen these movements before.
Something else caught the corner of my eye. Right near the base of the large tree across the street. It looks like a large pool of oil. There’s also a bag there. Wait! That looks like… I turned to look in the corner of my room, where I normally stash my backpack. Nothing there. The dots started connecting in my head. Where’s my bag? I left it at Jasmine’s. That looks like it could be my bag down…OH MY GOD!!!
I pulled on some jeans and a hoodie and bolted down the stairs. I ran by my father, passed out in his chair. The overflowing ashtray, dangling at the edge of the armrest. Fuck his ashtray. This is far more important. I struggled into my shoes again, and ran out the front door.
Against the white snow, the pool was a grotesque deep red. Blood and not oil. My backpack was half covered with the stuff. Discarded. Abandoned. The blood trailed off, between the two houses, into the darkness. There were two sets of running shoe prints. There was a chase. Timmy! It has to be Timmy. My god! What happened here? Timmy is in trouble. I have to help him. But how? I could only think of one way to help him. Jasmine. I had to find Jasmine.
I took off running, as fast as I could, toward the coffee shop. I don’t know if she’s working, but it’s closer than her apartment. I completely ignored the fact that I was thoroughly underdressed for the occasion, and pressed on, until I could see the coffee shop a few blocks ahead. When I got to the front door, I could see that it was closed. Shit! I pounded in the door anyway. Maybe somebody is still in there. Just as I was about to give up and run to Jasmine’s apartment, I saw some movement in the back of the shop. Seconds later, Jasmine was running toward the door to let me inside.
“Tyler?! What’s going on?”
“It’s Timmy! He’s in trouble. We have to help him!”
She reached out for my frozen hands and pulled me into the warmth of the shop. “Timmy’s in trouble? Tell me what happened.”