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Thursday, 5 May 2011

#FridayFlash: Northern Vampire Tales – The Female Of The Species...Part 1




This story is part 9 in the Northern Vampire series. I have a blog page here that lists all my vampire stories in chronological order.

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The following takes place about four months after Lucien's new club opens. Everything has been quiet since the events of Northern Vampire Part 8 until...

What's that? I'm a bit disorientated when I come to in the dark, sitting down and tied to a chair. The last thing I remember is stepping out of the private entrance behind the club after closing time and then...nothing. It does go to show that, whatever anyone may tell you, vampires can be rendered unconscious. While you're dwelling on that little nugget, let me get back to the story.

Under the circumstances, I reckon not showing any outward signs of being awake may be the way to go here, at least until I can work out where “here” is and what I'm up against. My senses are working overtime. There's a breeze in my face and it's cold in here. I haven't burst into flames yet so either it's still night time or I'm inside.

There's a pigeon in here. It's somewhere up and to my left, I can hear its claws skittering across metal, a girder perhaps? There are also chains rattling gently in the breeze that's blowing in my face. The breeze brings a low rumble of traffic in the distance and closer, the put-put-put of a diesel engine, marine I think, not a large one; a work boat, launch or something about that size. Without moving my head its hard to pinpoint, but I think it's ahead of me somewhere and moving diagonally to my left.

There's a smell of dust, brick dust I think, and decay about the place, I'm also getting dampness and a hint of mould. There's a whiff of oil and something else metallic that I can't quite place, then in the background the tang of salt and ozone, but no sound of waves on the shore so that rules out the coast. Rotting fish, diesel fumes and a hint of something unmentionable – a river. Tidal. The Tyne?

I feel the rough ground through the soles of my rather expensive shoes. It idly occurs to me that if my shoes are ruined there'll be hell to pay.

My ankles are tied to the legs of the chair, I presume its a chair, with something narrow. I can feel it biting into the skin even through my socks; not a rope then. My arms have been similarly treated, only they're pulled back and tied to the chair back. There's something heavy and cold against my neck that comes over both shoulders, draping in a diagonal cross over my chest then onto the floor. It feels like a chain against my skin.

Okay, enough is enough. I raise my head slightly and open my eyes. There's the scuff of a shoe on the broken ground to my right, quite close, and a sharp intake of breath. I think I just gave somebody a fright.

'Err...he's awake, like.'

I recognise that voice. Last time I heard it, it ended up in hospital with several fractured ribs.

'Glad you could join us, Mr Wheeler.' This voice is different, more of a whispered croak really, not a voice at all.

I focus on where the voice is coming from, taking in the two big lads in my peripheral vision, one standing each side of me about six feet distant. A few yards ahead is a wheelchair, the occupant of which looks familiar silhouetted in the moonlight streaming in through the old warehouse's open loading dock.

'As I live and breathe,' both lies but I force some levity into my tone, 'Geordie bloody Benson! Fancy seeing you here. I thought you were dead?'

'As you can see, Mr Wheeler,' Geordie whispers, 'Reports of my demise have been--'

'Greatly exaggerated?'

'Aye.'

'Shame.'

That earns me a crack on the skull from “Ribs” to my left.

'Leave him,' Geordie tries to shout as you would at a recalcitrant dog, instead he dissolves into a fit of coughing and needs help with the oxygen mask from the person who up until now I haven't noticed standing behind the wheelchair.

'It's alright, pet,' she croons softly, 'Take a few belts of this and you'll be champion, like.'

That's a turn-up for the books. I didn't think Geordie had a girlfriend.

'Hey, Geordie,' I call over, 'One of those slappers from the club providing personal services for you now?' Geordie had a nice little sideline in prostitution the last time I saw him.

More coughing and spluttering.

'I'm nee slapper, you cheeky bastard,' she barks, stepping forward. 'He's me kid brother, like.'

I'm still reeling from this revelation when “Ribs” smacks me in the side of the head so hard the chair tips over.

'Divent dee that, man,' she bellows while the two heavies turn me back the right way up. 'He's mine.' Geordie gurgles in the background.

I focus on her again. Where did that gun come from? The pistol looks huge in her small hand but I'll worry about that later, right now I'm more concerned with the fact that she's pointing it at me. I may have to do something about that. You see, Geordie I knew...I know. Evil he may be, but he likes a good speech before the tire irons start flying. This one I don't know, but I can see she's wound tighter than a watch spring, her knuckles white against the pistol's grip, and that's what makes her dangerous, not the gun.

She's shaking as she walks slowly towards me, and I don't think it's because of the cold. Nor do I think she's scared. She nearly turns an ankle on the rubble underfoot and I start praying the gun isn't going to go off.

'My name, Mr Wheeler, is Charlene Benson. Geordie works for me.'

With her accent, it comes out as “Mista.” So, this is the power behind the throne.



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21 comments:

FARfetched said...

Oh my… somehow I don't think they realize he's a vampire just yet. He didn't exactly say the clubbing he took from "Ribs" actually hurt… and can't vampires turn into a cloud of mist when they have a mind?

Time's not on his side, though. Morning will come around sooner or later.

Jason Coggins said...

Our hero certainly has taken to the Underbelly and the Underbelly to him!In this episode he's not as wisecracking as usual so maybe his confidence isn't what it once was ..or maybe all that hob-bobbing with Lucien 'as turned him a bit posh.

John Wiswell said...

I just assumed our narrator was one of the biters. Part of the suit of the world, right? And a slow riser. If he wants to go less disturbed, coffins are done wholesale nowadays.

Julie Lewthwaite said...

Ha ha - what a great description of the Tyne!

Very intriguing episode, this. It's going to end badly for somebody - if not several somebodies - it's just a matter of who and how badly. Can't wait to find out!

Julie (O-kami) said...

argh! you left us hanging, I want to know what's going to happen.

Sam said...

FAR: ANd they're in for one heck of a shock when they do realise, hehe. I'm sure he felt it, but as to whether it hurt, I couldn't say; I'll ask him. Ah, the old "drifting mist" routine...Hollywood has a lot to answer for, either that or he's saving it for maximum effect.

Jason: Turned a bit posh?! Wash your mouth out! LOL! ;) I'm sure his sense of humour will return once he gets himself out of that chair.

John: Ah yes, John, but I think he playing softly-softly catchy-Geordie at the moment.

Julie: Aye, the Tyne's not a river you'd want to go for a dip in! All being well I'll post the second part of this one next week.

Sam said...

Julie (O-kami): Hehe, yes I did rather, didn't I? Sorry about that. Only a week to wait to find out what happens next...

flyingscribbler said...

I can't tell you how much i'm enjoying all this. I just re-read the lot to re-focus (been away) and now like it even more. I liked your description of the Tyne too: it slowly came into focus for me just as it does for him. Good stuff.

Icy Sedgwick said...

*sobs quietly at the thought of home*

You proper nailed the dialogue, pet. I divvn't naa why ye didn't record this 'un too.

Should have figured Geordie was too crap to be pulling the strings himself.

Laura Eno said...

What awesome descriptions you have here, Sam. Yes, yes, yes...you should be writing a novel!

Sam said...

flyingscribbler: Thank you kindly *doffs cap* I really appreciate it, and I'm pleased you're enjoying my little vampy tales.

Icy: *passes you a tissue*

Cheers, kidda. I would've recording this story too, sadly life got in the way a bit this week and I couldn't get time in a quiet house to do it; next week maybe...

Ah yes, Geordie...if you think he's a nasty piece of work, just wait till his sister gets going.

Laura: Thanks! So...a novel, you reckon? I might just have to see about that. :)

Deanna Schrayer said...

Sam, when I got to the last line I realized I was pushing myself towards the edge of my seat! Outstanding work!

Sam said...

Deanna: Wow! Thanks so much! I can't wait to see what you make of next week's episode. :)

laradunning said...

Are wooden bullets in that gun? Surely they know he's a vampire. I have a feeling this is going to end badly for the "power behind the trone" Great line.

Sonia said...

Nice! I have to read the second one now.

Sam said...

Lara: Ah, I'm not sure they've worked that out yet; they will do though, very shortly I suspect...

Sonia: Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

Helen said...

I expected the Vampire to break loose of this bindings, they are super strong aren't they. I kept wondering why he was just sitting there and taking it.

Were there wooden bullets in the gun? Otherwise she may be wasting her time. I got the feeling that our main character was playing with them in some way.

I think that Lady who thinks she's in charge has a bit of a surprise coming yes?

Sam said...

Helen: Thanks for reading and for your great comment!

You're quite right, vampires are super strong and he could leave anytime he wanted to, but he's also got a definite feel for theatrics and Charlene doesn't understand what she's got on her hands. Yet.

I suspect the boot will be on the other foot in next week's episode. ;)

Adam B said...

Loved the sensory overload in the opening paragraphs. Superb. And I'm loving the accent and dialogue.
Adam B @revhappiness

Mari said...

Uh, oh. They have no idea what they're up against.

I'm with Laura. This asks for a novel.

Sam said...

Adam: Thanks for those kind words. I'd had the sensory deprivation descriptions swirling round my head for a few days without any place to go till vampy piped up. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Mari: They're in for a shock next week right enough. A novel, eh? I shall have to see what I can do...

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