Tag Archive | quote of the week

Vampire Hunter – Part 1

This short story was inspired by a silly thread on Facebook, the gist of which was “What if Hemingway wrote a vampire story?” After a short discussion, I got the idea for this story. Thanks Tim Cahoon & Bruce Sutton for the inspiration!

The bar door crashed open. Late afternoon sun streamed around the figure silhouetted there. Noises in the bar ceased. Everyone looked up, worried. No one ever came in like that unless there was trouble.

Raven wing hair whipped around the stranger’s face. Dark sunglasses covered the eyes. Full, red lips slashed across the lower part of the face. The firm chin was softened slightly by a shallow cleft. A long leather duster billowed in the wind. Broad brimmed hat covered the forehead, concealing the features. What was most remarkable about the stranger was the amount of armament. Of secondary importance was that the hunter was female.

A soft wolf whistle broke the silence. She turned her face to the sound, raising her sunglasses. The men in the room took in more details as she scanned the room. Her eyes were a dark green, the lashes long and thick. She was a tall woman, close to six feet. Her shoulders were broad, her waist narrow. Her jeans fit like a glove, her denim shirt gaping slightly over full breasts. Dusty boots showed the wear of years.

She clumped into the room, the door swinging shut behind her. Approaching the bar, she leaned on it. “Barkeep, water on the rocks.”

“Yes, ma’am. Coming right up, little lady.”

Her eyes followed him as he filled the glass with ice and water. He set it in front of her with a flourish. She thanked him with a nod, paying him for the water. She pocketed the change without a sound.

“What brings you here, stranger?” The barkeep asked.

“I’m looking for a man,” she began.

A chuckle scurried around the room like rats.

“Got a whole room full, sweet cheeks,” the whistler said behind and to her left. “Take yer pick.”

She ignored him. Instead, she sipped her water, elbows on the bar, one foot on the stool next to her.

“A particular man,” she added quietly. “Maybe you know him. Taller than me, dark hair, blue eyes. His skin holds a pallor the sun won’t brown….”

The men in the room exchanged a furtive look. None of them spoke. One of them got up, walking quickly and purposefully toward the door. A knife thumped into the wood next to his hand. The fellow froze, fingers half an inch from the quivering steel. The woman reached around him one hand held the door shut as she leaned on it, the other took the knife out. She examined the knife, green eyes following the line of the blade from hilt to tip.

The man smelled of fear and urine. A puddle formed at his feet. She scooted her boot away, spreading her legs. No one else moved.

“Want to tell me about your buddy?” She said, her voice husky and low. Any other time, he’d have found her irresistible. Now, he prayed she’d go away before she killed him.

“Not my buddy,” he whispered. “Just said if anyone ever come lookin’ for him, I’s to tell him.”

The knife blade hissed through the air, cutting the bandana around the man’s neck. It fell to his feet and a thin line of blood trickled to the open collar of his shirt. The hunter squinted at his neck, full lips pouted, thinking.

“What bitcha?” She pointed to the half-healed scar.

“Snakebite.”

“Pretty big snake,” she commented, twisting the blade before his eyes.

The light slithered up and down the blade making the man shiver.

“Some of them rattlers get to be ten feet or so…. One of ’em bit me t’other day.”

“Lucky you lived. That’s right on the jugular.”

He swallowed, nodding rapidly. “Peers I’m immune…. To snake bite….”

“You’re a lucky man. Come one, lucky man. Lemme buy you a drink.” She clapped an unyielding hand on his shoulder, leading him to the bar. “And you’re gonna tell me where I can find your master, or I’m gonna cut your balls off and make ’em into a necklace with bailing wire.”

He gulped again, Adam’s apple bobbing in his scrawny neck.

“Any of you other boys feel the burning need to leave,” she said to the room in general. “Think how nice your balls would look decorating my necklace. So, you boys itching for a smoke or heading to the privy, you recalculate and have a seat. I don’t want trouble. Just need my man and I’ll be gone.”

The men, who’d been thinking about leaving, didn’t. Those working their way toward the exits, stopped.

“She can’t take all of us at once,” the whistler said, standing. “Ain’t nobody that fast.”

Six gun drawn, he stood with his legs wide apart, snarky grin on his face. The hunter eyed him, sizing him up. A smile crept slowly up her cheeks, her green eyes glittered.

“Anyone not wanting to die, lay low,” she said. “Anyone thinks they can take me, rock on.”

Shoving her informant to the floor, she shot the whistler in the forehead with her right hand. With her left, she winged another, the third caught it in the chest, knocking him through the front window. Number four rushed her from the left, roaring like a tornado. His brains splattered on the mirror over the bar.

Four pairs of hands flew into the air, weapons clattering to the floor. The hunter laid money on the bar, lifting her informant by his collar.

Quote of the Week – From “A Bride for Brodie”

I think the intial meeting of the male & female leads in a story is very important.  Sometimes my characters have known one another for a long time.  Sometimes they meet under good circumstances.  Other times, like in this story, their meeting is less than fortunate. 

Elevators are trouble. I’m not talking about their mechanics, like they’re going to fall down the shaft at some inopportune time – though that’s always a possibility. I’m mean waiting for them to get me where I’m going. I hate being surrounded by a lot of smelly people early in the morning on the way to work.

I really resent having to wait for an elevator. I can stand in the middle of the foyer with banks of elevators on either side, eight in all and still wait continuously for a ride up. I’ve gotten in the habit of mashing the buttons on all of them, standing poised in the middle of the foyer and sprinting for an open one the moment it arrives. This isn’t always the best approach, but it works better than standing in front of one and waiting, waiting, waiting…. Adds a bit of excitement, some spice, if you will, to the situation. A guy’s got to find some amusement somewhere in life, right?

Of course, with other people waiting in by the elevator, I usually have to dodge someone to get in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve collided with morons who don’t look where I’m going. Sheesh. You’d think a man my size would be noticeable, but no. I’m six foot five, broad shouldered, muscular, jacked – unless my mirror lies to me. Some would call me conceited, and maybe I am a little, but I work hard for this body. I think that gives me bragging rights.

Anyway, getting back to the elevators. Cell phone use in and around the elevators should be against the law. Not only do those people not pay attention when the doors open, they keep talking while they’re on the elevator. They block the panels, nine times out of ten, and you can’t get their attention to push a button. I sometimes reach around them and mash, I don’t care anymore. I have enough trouble getting to work on time, I don’t need some idiot with exhibitionist tendencies making me later than I already am.

Today was no different. It’s Monday, I’m slightly hungover and I’m pissed. All the elevators are on the top floor and nothing is coming down. It’s too crowded to play my waiting game, so I’m stuck standing by this Diva on a cell phone listening to her talk dirty to some guy on the other end. At least I’m assuming she’s talking dirty. It’s a language I don’t understand. It sounds sweet, sultry and nasty and makes me think how damn long it’s been since I got laid.

“Yo, Brodie!” My friend Stan waved to me from the third elevator which had just arrived. His dark head popped back from the opening as someone else walked in.

Going behind Phone Princess, I sprinted toward the elevator as he held it open for me. Seventeen other people were also trying to get onto the same elevator, but I beat them to it, shoving men and women aside like bowling pins.

Just as the door closed, Phone Princess, still talking dirty, slipped into the elevator right in front of the buttons. We all started telling her the floors we wanted and she didn’t respond. Meanwhile, the elevator was going exactly nowhere.

“Miss,” I tried being nice, really I did. “Excuse me, Miss, ten please.” I couldn’t politely reach around her because I was going to end up with a handful of tits instead of hitting the buttons. I squinched up, pulling my massive shoulders into as small a space as I could and waited.

Others around me were trying to get her attention, but she was so fixated on her phone call, she didn’t notice. Finally, it dawned on her that the elevator wasn’t moving. She pressed her button and went back to her call. Twelve? She’s going to twelve – great.

I admit, I did the wrong thing, but I’d had it. I snapped. No sex for three months, very little sleep, hungover and I’m simply not that wonderful, understanding guy my friends and family know and love. I’d reached my limit and I turn into an asshole. I had a choice of shoving her aside or taking her phone away. Since she was only five six or so, maybe a hundred and fifteen pounds, I wasn’t going to shove the woman. So I snaked her phone. Suddenly, my big beefy hand worked its way through the crowd, grabbed her phone, hung up and handed it back to her.

“Look, lady, we all have places to go. Could you possibly hit the buttons or move your cute little ass out of the way so one of us can?”

“Excuse me? That’s my phone! That was a very important call!”

“And I have a very important appointment with my desk in less than five minutes. I’d really like to get there.”

I got a few cheers for that as people started calling out their floors. I reached past her flabbergasted face and punched them in. The elevator slowed at four. We lost a few there. At six, a few more. By the time we got to my floor, ten, it was only the diva, my friend Stan and me.

She’d called back her buddy and was babbling along, shooting nasty glances in my direction. So she was telling her boyfriend about the jerk on the elevator, I didn’t care. I was going to be late and I really needed a cup of coffee before running to my desk.

The second the door opened, Stan sprinted to his office which is directly across from the elevators. No coffee yet, I figured, as I started out the door. The diva followed me from the elevator, which continued to the twelfth floor without her.

“Excuse me.” Her tone was not to be ignored.

Turning quickly, I looked a little sheepish. “Look, Miss,” I tried to explain. “I’m about to be late.”

“I don’t really care, Mister Whatever. That was a very important call. Overseas, I might add, to a client in Milan. You had no right to do that.”

“And you had no right to stand in front of the elevator buttons where no one could reach them. I tried being nice, but you gave me no choice. Love to chat, but I’m now officially late. Grazie.” I saluted and dashed to my desk as the hands of the clock clicked to nine oh one.

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