Tuesday, January 31, 2017

(91) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

"On the run yourself?" His lips quirk in amusement. Perhaps they have something in common.

Lenny shrugs. "Not the way you mean it. No. As I said I'm a loner. Too many people in my life and I get claustrophobic. I like space around me that's my own. Hence my living out here in the middle of nowhere. I own all of this, several acres actually, and I'm not poor. I don't have to work so I don't."

"Inheritance or good investments?"

"A small inheritance that I managed to increase by putting it to work for me instead of spending it all on frivolities like a fancy residence or lots of toys I don't really need. I'm a simple man with simple wants—a place that's mine alone, my books, perhaps a friend or two to spend time with on occasion."

"And now an unexpected house guest, though not by choice."

"Ah, definitely by choice. I could have left you there for someone else to find. Or taken you to the nearest hospital, despite the fact that I thought that you're carrying such a strange weapon might have brought you questions you'd rather not have answered. Of course at the time I didn't know you couldn't have anyway."

"Which brings up another question. You tossed my clothes, you said. Did you keep the sword?"

Lenny nods. Gets up to go to his bedroom. Returns shortly with it and a long leather coat. "I suspect if you hadn't been wearing this, you'd have been much worse off than you were." Lays it on the sofa. Hands him the sword. "Does this ring any bells?"

"No, not really." He stares at it. Runs his hands over it pensively.

"You're handling it as if it's an old and trusted friend, which I think it is from the age and condition. It's well used and well taken care of."

"But why? Why do I have it? What was I, am I, that I carried this, instead of say a gun or a knife, if I needed protection?"

"That we'll have to find out. I can tell you the blade is silver so it's not cheap, not by a long shot." Lenny's eyes are hooded as he gauges his guest's reaction.

"Silver? You're certain? What am I? Some nut who thinks werewolves exist? Isn't that what silver's for—to kill them?" He pauses thoughtfully, "Though that's silver bullets, usually."

"So you do remember your folklore." Lenny chuckles. "Silver bullets, full moon. I can see you now—stalking them down."

"Right. As if. Well, I hope not, anyways, I hope I'm not that crazy. I'd bet, once I get my memory back, I'll find out I was part of some Ren Faire Group, or hell maybe an actor. Not that that explains the silver blade unless I'm rich and was showing off." He stands. Twirls the sword. Lunges and slashes experimentally.

"You've got the moves. You know what you're doing. Does that strike any chords?"

"No." He sighs. Sits again. Lays the sword down between them.

"Look, don't give up hope. Something you say or do will bring everything back eventually."

"Perhaps. Unless whatever I don't want to remember is too bad or too painful. If that's the case, I suppose I'll just invent a new me and hope I don't run into someone who wants me in custody for some horrible crime. Or worse, dead."

Lenny looks at him. Pity in his eyes. Then grins. "Or a fiancé that you're running away from because you found out she was just after your fortune. It broke your heart and you've buried the pain by forgetting who you were."

"Oh, now that I like. Someone who wants me only for my money, not for this fabulous, if somewhat battered, body. People are like that. They're...they're only after... Shit. That sounds too familiar. Too damned familiar."

"Like something you'd have said?"

He nods slowly. "Yeah, I think so. But why?" 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

(90) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

“You need a name. I can’t keep calling you ‘boy’.” Lenny looks at him with a raised eyebrow.

“I suppose.” He thinks about it. A name flashes in his mind. He tests it out. “George.”

Lenny laughs. “So you’re the smart one and I have the intelligence of a child.”

He frowns. Puzzled.

Of Mice and Men. A great book by John Steinbeck. I take it you haven't read it, if you don't get the reference."

"Not that I remember." Said with a tight smile. "But that's a given. Hell, I don't even know if I've had any schooling."

"I'd say you have. You're too erudite sounding not to at least some education beyond the basics." Lenny goes to a shelf. Finds a book. Hands it to him. "Here. See if this rings any bells. It might be that you chose that name because of mine or it could just be coincidence."

He chuckles. "You're hoping this,"—he takes the book—"might push some button and make me remember something."

"You never know. Stranger things have happened. It's been a week and nothing else has triggered anything."

Nodding he asks, "Do you want me out of your hair, now that I'm back to normal? Well mostly normal. I guess the accident wasn't as bad as we thought, as fast as I've healed."

Lenny frowns in thought for a second. Smiles then. Shakes his head. "Not unless you want to. I sorta enjoy having company. It's been a while."

"Loner by choice or necessity? You've never said."

"A bit of both I guess. What with my bad reaction to the sun, and a general tendency not to like people all that much anyway, I prefer to be by myself most of the time."

"Speaking of which, I take it you have some sort of job to support yourself. But if you really meant it when you said I could stay, I should look for one too."

Lenny eyes him carefully. "Doing what?"

"Hell, I don't know. I don't even know what kind of area this is. But there has to be something. Maybe at a fast food..." His voice fades. He frowns sharply.

"Did that trigger something?" Lenny sits down. Watches him.

"For a second it did, but it's gone. Damn I hate this. I know things but not...specifics. I know about fast food joints and motorcycles and I realized immediately that it was strange that you didn't have a TV, but there's nothing in here," he taps his forehead, "that connects me to them. Even about bikes. I obviously rode one, since I crashed it, but I don't remember that, or where I was headed, or what happened that I ended up in the ditch where you found me. There's a whole world out there that I know about as if I'd read about it but never experienced it for myself. Why? Why?"

"If I had to guess," Lenny said, "I'd say you're running away from something and the crash is giving you the perfect reason to forget what that is. You did bang your head badly and your mind is using that as a defense against remembering, like it or not."

"That makes me feel just wonderful. If it's that, and not just crash-related amnesia, then it must have been something pretty damned bad." He rests his head in his hands. "Any reports of especially gruesome murders or some other criminal activity on the...oh, you wouldn't know without a TV or radio."

"No, but I do get into town. And since you showed up, I've actually been checking the papers for that—just in case. Harboring a serial killer isn't on the top of my list of things I particularly want to do."

He nods. Glances up as something hits him. "You've lost that Southern sort of backwoods way of speaking that you had when I first got here."

"Yes. Well that's because I don't need to pretend with you any more, the way I have to around the people I generally deal with. I don't want to stand out as different, and in this neck of the woods, unless I'm in Alexandria proper, speaking the King's English, and with a Northern accent, might draw unwanted attention to me. Does actually, as I found out when I first came to this area."

Friday, January 27, 2017

(89) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir


The steaks were sizzling, and Mychael and I had made salad, by the time Pete returned. From the look on his face I knew he'd found something. I just hoped it was enough.

Despite my impatience to know, Pete made us wait until we'd all gotten food and had found seats before telling us what he'd found.

"Trev's actually quite organized," he said, sounding a bit surprised. "He's got files for all his bills including the credit card ones. Once he gets back, Del, tell him to get a shredder though. There's info on them he probably wouldn't want getting out to some identity thief. But in this case, it's a good thing he doesn't have one. He's go two cards, both in his name so we now have the numbers. All we need is for Mychael to work his magic and see if he's used them since he left."

I had to smile when Mychael almost bounced in anticipation as he held out his hand for the copies of the statements Pete had brought back.

"Not till you eaten all your supper," Pete told him with a straight face.

With a roll of his eyes, Mychael went back to eating, muttering "Yes Daddy" under his breath, evoking laughs from the rest of us. He practically inhaled the his meal and then snagged the statements and headed inside.

I was beginning to worry that maybe Trev hadn't used his cards, which would still leave us at a dead end. Then Mychael returned with a puzzled look on his face.

"What's wrong," Vik asked.

"He's used them, or someone has. Honest opinion, I don't think it's him from the purchases that were made—all in the last day and a half. And not in one place or rather one town either." He rubbed his forehead between his fingers and thumb as he looked at what he'd printed out. "The first ones were made in a small town called Lecompte, about half a day's drive north-west of here, for food and gas. Then he, or someone, headed further north to Alexandria then Shreveport and beyond."

"What did they buy, besides what you said," Pete wanted to know.

"Umm, a couple of guns and ammo. There was a stop at a video store. It doesn't say what DVD's he bought, but there were ten of them, and then,"—he checked the list again—"a stop at the Alexandria Wal-Mart for an expensive camera and a few other electronics. In Shreveport it was more electronics." He listed them off.

"Then I know without a doubt it's not him using the cards," I told them. "He hates that kind of junk, or what he calls junk. I know most people don't think like that. Besides, why would he be heading north and not back here?"

"Good question Del. So we can presume that while he was in or around Lecompte, he either lost his wallet or it got stolen, or at least the cards got taken from it, since he's smart enough to report it if he knew they were missing. Or..."

Vik looked at me and I knew he didn't want to say what else was on his mind.

"Or," I said quietly, "he wasn't able to handle the Vampyre he was after and he's dead."

Vik nodded. "I'm sorry Del but that is a possibility."

"Well I won't know until I go there."

The men looked at me and shook their heads. "You're going to stay here. One of us will go instead," Pete said firmly.

"I'm not going to sit here and wait and wonder. If he is alive, and I can't believe he's not, in spite of the evidence, I need to find out what happened. Why he hasn't called."

I could see them trying to decide how to argue with me. I stared at each of them and restated adamantly that I was going to Lecompte.

"Alright Del. I can understand why you need to. Pete," Vik looked at him, "will you go with her? I would but I have something I need to do, and breaking Mychael free from his job right now would be difficult, with all he's dealing with there."

"Not a problem." Pete turned to me. "We'll leave first thing in the morning, and I mean early, like six. Pack up enough for a couple of days just in case, in a backpack. We'll take my bike."

I was almost tempted to salute him as he tossed out his orders, but nodded instead, glancing at Vik.

He smiled and shrugged, muttering, "That's our Pete."

Pete started to say something and then chuckled. "OK, so I'm in planning mode, shoot me. I get bossy when I am. Anyway, please,"—he stressed the word—"do as I asked, Del."

"Not a problem but you keep on giving orders I'm liable to slap you up side the head," I replied, grinning slightly.

"Now that I'd like to see," Mychael said, earning him a laugh from all of us.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

(88) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir


Mychael leaned back, looking at me. "Does he have and use credit cards?"

I had to think about that. Most times when we went out, Trev paid in cash but... "Yes, I know he does because he bought a couple of my paintings with one."

"I don't suppose you know if it's in his name, or even better does he keep receipts?"

"Gods, Mychael, I don't have a clue. If he does, they're at his place."

"Do you have a key, Del," Pete asked.

"Sure. Why? Oh, you're going to look?"

"No, I just wanted to add it to my collection." He grinned, holding out his hand. "Any particular place I should be searching? A desk, a lockbox?"

"The desk probably. Oh." A thought occurred to me. "Or in his closet. I've seen him get stuff from there, like his gun, so maybe there's a safe or something."

"Good deal. I'll be back soon. Meanwhile you all...do something." Pete laughed as he left.

"Is he usually that cheerful," I asked.

Both men grinned. "Only when he gets to do something at least vaguely illegal that won't get him dead in the process," Vik replied. "Or when, umm, well never mind on that. Back to Trev. Does he have any friends you know of that he might have told where he was going?"

I arched an eyebrow in amusement at the 'never mind' then shook my head at his question. "As far as I know only the four of us are his friends here in town. Well and Dagger but I don't think he counts."

"Dagger? Trev has a pet I take it, unless he's naming his weapons."

"Dagger's a ferret that a friend gave him. Cute as a button but Trev wouldn't let me name him that. So, anyways, that's it on the friends list, I'm afraid." I frowned. "That's rather sad when you think about it."

"Yeah, it is but given what he does, it's not too surprising. How about out of town? Anyone you can think of? Because it's possible that was the one who called him."

"There's another Dhampir named Daniel, I think, but honestly Vik I doubt it was him, because Trev would have said so. He knows I know the name. Besides, even if it was I don't know where he lives." I was getting closer to tears with each question he asked, realizing how little I knew about Trev and that none of it was any help.

Vik must have known how I felt because he gave me a hug, saying, "We were just about to grill some steaks when you called. Why don't you come help? It'll help take your mind off things for bit, until Pete gets back."

Monday, January 23, 2017

(87) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir


"So I'm worried, Vik." I'd called him because he was the only person I knew who knew Trev.

"When was the last time you saw him, Del?"

"Three, no four days ago. He was going off to help a friend with...well you know." I hated saying it because Vik was a Vampyre too, even though he was the only one Trev had any trust for.

Vik chuckled softly. "I know he hunts Vampyres, Del. But why are you worried? That's not such a long time if he went out of town."

"Because I can't raise him on his cell. He always answers, or texts back if he's too busy or...or can't talk. Except of course when he was in Chicago and in trouble there."

"That's what you're afraid of isn't it, that he's run into another one like Dalca."

"That or..." I bit my lip. "Vik, he's afraid now. What if that made him loose his edge and whoever he was after got the best of him?"

Vik sighed. "Del, why don't you come over? It'll be easier to talk about this face to face."

"Then you think..." I could feel my heart drop to my shoes.

"I don't know what to think, which is why I want you here." He gave me his address and we hung up.

Twenty minutes later Pete was letting me into their house. He gave my shoulder a squeeze, telling me things were going to be okay. Vik greeted me, nodding to the space on the sofa beside him.

Once I was seated he asked me to tell him everything I knew—so I did, as little as it was.

"He didn't even give you a hint where he was headed?" Vik asked when I'd finished.

"No. He said it would take him less than a day to get there though. So, since he was on his bike, how far away could it be?"

Pete laughed. "Knowing him, he probably rides all out, Del, so it could be quite far."

"Let's see if we can at least get a range," Mychael said, getting up from where he'd been sitting across from us to go to their computer. "Did he leave in the morning, Del?"

"Umm hmm. Early, a bit after seven."

"Alright. Presuming he wanted to get where he was going by mid afternoon, which I think is logical, that would be at the most an eight hour ride. So..." he studied the map he'd pulled up, "Austin, Dallas, Little Rock, Memphis, Atlanta, Tallahassee, or any points in-between. That's a lot of area to cover to look for him unless we can narrow it down some."

Saturday, January 21, 2017

(86) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

"Bad news boy," Lenny tells him, "Nothing there. Guess scavengers got there before me. Hope you weren't carrying much in the way of cash or cards."

He shrugs slightly. "No clue."

"You hungry boy?"

He thinks on that. Nods.

"OK. I gotta a bit of time still to fix you something. Eggs and ham do you?"

"Yeah. Sounds good. Got any more of those aspirin to go with it?"

Lenny chuckles. "Sure do." Steps out of view. Comes back soon with them and a fresh bottle of water. "Need help sitting up?"

"Yeah. Please."

Lenny gets him more or less upright. He was right. There is a kitchen of sorts. He takes the pills. Watches as Lenny cooks. It smells good. He realizes he's starving.

Lenny brings in a plate heaped with scrambled eggs, thick slices of ham, and toast. "Think you can feed yourself?" Placing the plate on his guest's lap.

"Hope so." He cracks a small smile. "At least the eggs, with a spoon."

"Ahh, hell. Hang on." Lenny takes back the plate. Cuts up the ham in small pieces. "Better?"

"Yeah, thanks." He eats slowly. His jaw aches like he's been punched. He guesses in a way he has been. By the bike or the ground. "You're not eating?"

"Naw. Not hungry right now. Maybe later." 

When he's finished eating, Lenny takes the plate and silverware. Washes them up. Puts them away. Then comes back.

"Time for you to sleep again," he says. "Your eyes are at half-mast." He helps his guest lie down again. Says, "I'd offer you my bed but I don't really want to move you yet. The sofa's comfortable. Many a time I've fallen asleep on it while reading."

He nods. "This is fine. I don't want to be any more trouble than I have been."

"You ain't no trouble boy. It's nice to have someone to talk to. I'm pretty much of a loner truth be told." Lenny goes to the door. Locks and bars it. When his guest looks surprised at that he smiles tightly. "Out here in the boonies it pays to be careful. Never know who might want to see what's in here worth taking. Now you sleep. Oh, wait, you need to use the facilities?"

"Yeah. But not sure..."

Lenny laughs. "I'll get you there but then you're on your own." Helps him up carefully. Trying not to joggle him too much.

He realizes then what he's wearing can't be his own clothes. Sweat pants too long in the legs. The shirt too large. "My clothes..." he asks.

"Other than the coat, which ain't it that great a shape itself, the rest are in the trash. Blood is not a fashion statement."

Lenny gets him to the bathroom. "Holler when you're done."

There's a small mirror. He looks at himself. Winces. What he can see looks like he'd crashed yeah. But... Pulling down the sweats to use the john he sees huge bruises turning yellowish now on his legs and thighs. He frowns. Lenny had said the accident had happened less than twelve hours before. Probably. He should look worse. Maybe it wasn't as bad as Lenny thinks.  

When he's finished Lenny helps him back to the sofa. He realizes he's moving not too badly, considering. Not ready to do it on his own but it doesn't hurt as bad as he expected.

"Those must be some hellish strong aspirin," he says.

Lenny shrugs. "Could be. Now you sleep. I'll wake you come evening."

"Evening?" He looks surprised.

"Yep. You slept most of the night through. But you needed to, to heal." He turns out the light. Goes to the second door. "I sleep heavy, and armed, just in case. So don't come barging in if you wake up early. Help yourself to food, not that there's that much. I don't get many visitors."

"You don't..."

Lenny holds up his hand to stop him. "We'll talk tonight if you're up to it. Right now, I'm bushed and need my sleep."

He nods. Watches the man go into his bedroom and close the door. Tries to get comfortable. Slowly drifts off to sleep again.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

(85) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

He hears a voice. Raspy but gentle. "Do you know your name boy?"

Slits his eyes open. Then closes them tight again against the bright light. He hurts all over. Tries to move. A hand presses on his shoulder.

"Stay still. Nothing's broke but you'll have some colossal scrapes and bruises. And your bike's a total loss boy."

The hand lifts away. He hears movement. Then something cold against his lips. He opens them a bit. Water squirts into his mouth. Then something bitter joins it.

"Just aspirin, it's all I have."

When he swallows the man gives him more water. Swallows again. Thirstily.

"Where am I?"

"My place." The man laughs then. "Sorry, that tells you nothing. My house, a few miles outside of Lecompte."

"Where?" Puzzled.

"Lecompte, it's a town in Louisiana. Bit over 200 miles from New Orleans and close to Alexandria. That ring any bells?"

He starts to shake his head. Winces. Mutters, "No."

"OK, far as I can tell you were heading down the highway and spun out. You landed in a deep ditch. Guess no one saw it happen. Maybe cause it was dark. Anyway, I found you. Well, spotted the wreck that's your bike first in my headlights, then you. Shit boy, you done made a mess of it and you, but like I said nothing busted on you that I can tell. Now, like I asked earlier, do you know who you are?"

He thinks. Trying to remember. Nothing. "No clue," he tells him.

"Damn. Cause you have no ID on you. No license, no wallet, nothing. Guess it musta fell out. Now that I know you're not gonna die on me, I'll go see if I can find it." He chuckles. "You ain't gonna die on me are you?"

He opens his eyes again, slowly. Lets them adjust. The man's half in shadow but he can tell he's tall. Well built. Maybe young, maybe not. Wearing overalls. Plaid shirt. What he sees of the room looks rustic.

"I think I'll live." Tries a smile. It feels like his lips will crack. "How long?"

The man gives him another drink. He understands his question. "You been here for bout ten hours. No clue when you crashed. Like I said, probably after dark since no one saw it."

"Why here? Why not a hospital?" he asks. Frowning.

The man shrugs. "Figured maybe with that sword and all you might not want to go where someone would ask the wrong questions."


"Yeah. It was in your coat. Lucky it was sheathed or you'd a bled out if it had cut you. Sharp booger that." The man looks at him. "My names Lenny by the way. Short for Leonard. Never did introduce myself."

"Hi, Lenny. I'm..." Groans when he goes to shake his head. "That didn't work. I thought maybe..." His voice peters out in frustration.

"If you answered without thinking, it would be there? Mighta been, but guess not. Now you hang in there. I'll be back soon and maybe with your ID, if it's with your bike." With that Lenny puts the bottle of water in his hand. Then leaves.

He struggles to sit up. Pain flares everywhere in him like fire trying to consume him. A second's flash of memory of other searing pain. Gone in an instant.

Managing to move enough to rest his head on the sofa's arm. Gasping for breath. Parched throat aches. Hand scrabbling to find the water then taking a long drink.

He looks around. A cabin he thinks. One large room. Two doors plus the one to the outside. Heavily curtained windows. Probably a cooking area though he can't turn enough to see. The sofa, a comfortable looking chair, small table and two chairs on one side. A stone framed fireplace. Books, lots of books. Something missing. It takes him time to figure what. No TV.

He closes his eyes for a minute.

A sound. He wakes, startled. Groans as every bruise, scrape and, he now realizes, bandaged gash lets him know he's still alive. 'Unfortunately'. The word flashes through his mind. He wonders why.

Lenny comes into view.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

(84) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

"Did you do it, did you kill the bastard?" The man looks at me. Hope and something else in his eyes. Gloating I think.

I nod once. Walk past him. Go to get my things. He follows.

"Tell me about it. I want to know how the son of a bitch died."

I turn. Look at him. "He died easily, peacefully. I killed a good man to satisfy your hatred. Someone who deserved to live, to love. Not to die because you despised what he was." I glare at him. "He was a Vampyre but you didn't really know that did you? All you knew was that he loved your son. And because you can't accept that, a decent man is dead. And I killed him."

I push past him and walk to the door. Leave. Closing it sharply behind me. I know my words won't change him.

I ride slowly out of town. Try not to think of what I did. But the woman's words come back. That Alan always knew the ones he killed deserved it.

"Deserved it." The words echo in my mind.

Hitting the highway. I open up the bike. Try to let the wind and the speed wipe away my thoughts.

All my life I've believed in one thing. Vampyres are evil. The bastards deserve to die. Until recently nothing has proven me wrong.

Now I question.

I think of Alan. Of Vik. Of what I did and what I almost did. I believe the woman. Her words rang with truth. Known truth. Not just faith. Vik? I have come to see he's a good man too. A Vampyre with a soul. Like Alan.

Have I destroyed ones like them before? Have I become what I hate most? A creature that kills without remorse. That kills all, deserved or not. The thought stuns me. Tears at me.

That Vik is...human in his morality. Humane. I've accepted that. Thinking him unique among his kind. Now Alan. Like Vik in so many ways. How many more have fallen to my sword? Fallen because I hate. Hate the way the man did. Both of us blinded by our beliefs.

I should go back. Beg forgiveness from the woman. From the boy. Forgiveness I don't deserve.

But I don't.

The wind rips at me. Blinds me with its fury as I race down the highway. Unseeing. Lost in my guilt.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

(83) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

I return to the kitchen ten minutes later.

The woman is standing. She stares at me. Her face is ashen. Misery in her eyes.

"He's dead," she whispers.

I nod. "You are free of him now."

Now she shows anger. Pain. "Free? I was never his prisoner. I loved him."

She attacks. Hands beating on my chest. I catch them. Holding her is easy. Feeling her agony is not.

"How could you have done that? He was a good man." Her voice trembles with emotion.

"He was a Vampyre, you little fool."

"I know." She almost shouts. "I know." Her words barely discernible now. Her eyes brimming with tears. "That did not make him evil."

Shaking her. Needing her to listen. To understand. "I watched him kill. Viciously. Like a rabid animal."

"It was a rabid animal he was killing. That's what he did. He took out people—rapists, murderers—that the law couldn't touch." She collapses against me. Sobbing.

I hold her. Stunned. Not wanting to believe. Wait until she stops. Help her to the chair then.

"This was just his lie to you to excuse his actions."

"No." She takes a deep breath. Another. "No. You see, once, he was a policeman. He lived for his job he told me. No," she frowned, "policeman isn't the right word. It was so many years ago. Not here. Not in this country even. A constable, yes that was it. He believed in justice and hated seeing the evil-doers escape without being punished." Her mouth tightens. She stares at me. "He was like you I suppose, dedicated to ridding the world of evil. But he was different than you in one way." Now her look is reproachful. "He always knew the person he was after deserved to die. He didn't assume it, he made certain. I helped him."

The woman's expression softens. Remembering. "For years that's what we've done...what...what we did, together, after he rescued me from an attacker. He killed the bastard just the way you saw him kill, I suspect. Tore out his throat in anger at what he had tried to do. He was going to wipe my memory of what happened of course but..." She almost smiles. "I was young, headstrong, and after what had just happened, it didn't scare me that my savior was a Vampyre. I talked him out of making me forget, and into letting me help him. That was a night to remember."

"That's a very good story, and I'm sure you believe that he only went after the bad guys, but I have a witness who saw him feeding from a young man here in town a week ago."

She shakes her head. "Impossible. Who told you that?"

"A friend. He saw your...man in an alley with a kid from a fast-food restaurant, feeding and then wiping his memory he said."

"Oh my god."

I think I've made my point. That the Vampyre was not the good person she thought. I'm wrong.

"That 'kid' was his lover." She sighs. "I don't care what your friend thought he saw, he was wrong. Alan, that's his name by the way. Something I'm sure you never bothered to find out." She says that reprovingly. Continues then. Softly. Sorrowfully. "Alan was my friend, my companion, my rescuer, but that was all. And the kid is well over the age of consent. They met two years ago and fell in love. He doesn't know what Alan is…was. Alan was afraid to tell him, though he hoped in time that he'd be able to. He's the son of a man who lives down the block from us, though he doesn't live at home any more. He got an apartment soon after he and Alan met."

"Whoa up, are you sure of that?" I feel like I've been sucker punched.

She nods. "Oh yes, very sure. He moved out rather than tell his father. The man's older and has heart problems. He was afraid that admitting he was gay and in love with another man would kill him."

"So he knew," I whisper. More to myself than aloud.

She looks at me questioningly. I shake my head. She's right. I didn't check. I took my...I took the man's word. He played me. Played on my hatred.

I am a fool. Worse than a fool. A murderer.

Friday, January 13, 2017

(82) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

I dump the trash. Scan the alley both ways. Seeing no one, I turn left. Stroll casually down towards the Vampyre's house. A curtain flicks back on a window as I walk. A young child peers out. Vanishes quickly. Scary man in the alley. Chuckling.

Check one more time. Then slip into the yard of my prey. Surprised at the flowers. A garden. His ghoul must be the epitome of a little suburban housewife. Good cover I'm thinking.

Unbelievable how quiet it is. Pondering. Break in? Knock on the door? Problem solved sort of. The backdoor opens. A rather plain middle-aged woman stands there.

"This is private property." She looks down. Not quite at me. Not enough for me to catch her eyes. Shy perhaps. Or well trained by the Vampyre.

"I know. Sorry. Have you seen a small gray cat? She managed to slip out when I was taking out the trash."

I move into her personal space. She takes a step back. Most people do when you do that. She shakes her head. Still keeps her eyes down.

I tell her, "She likes to crawl in open basement windows. Could you maybe check? I'll wait right here."

"We never open them so your cat really can't have done that."

"That one's open a crack," I tell her. Backing away a bit. Pointing.

"It can't be." But despite her denial she steps into the yard. Looks. Then instinctively glances at me. Angry at my small fib. Now she's mine.

"Why don't you invite me in." An order. Not a question.

She obeys. I follow. Turn the deadbolt.

"Sit, there." Nodding at a chair. "Do not move."

She does. Mentally I reinforce the command.

"Where is your Master?"

"Asleep in his bedroom." Her speaks without inflection. But her eyes flash with fear. She knows. Understands. Just can't do anything to stop me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

(81) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

He's Vampyre all right.

I follow him into the city. Ready to take him out as soon as I have final proof. Not just on my friend's word.

Watch him find a victim. Tears his throat out viciously as he feeds.

I hesitate. Then take myself in hand. I will not let this happen again. My palms are sweaty, and my forehead. I wipe the sweat away. Gripping my sword. Mastering my fear—at least for now.

I attack.

And the bastard vanishes. Poof. Gone. Not invisible. I'd still see him then. Just...gone.

I feel relief and anger. Angry at being relieved. But I tell myself that next time...

I return to my friend's place. Friend, acquaintance, which ever. Plan on dealing with the Vampyre come morning.

The sun rises and so do I.

I need to get into the Vampyre's lair. Get past his ghoul.

I'm pacing. Waiting until this bedroom community empties.

My friend commiserates. Tells me, "Soon enough the men folk will be gone, kids in school, and the wives watching their soaps. Don't know what they see in that garbage."

Garbage. I head to the kitchen. Pull the trash bag from the container. Go around the house. Filling it. Grab my coat.

He chuckles. "I knew you were good for something other than killing them."

"Camouflage," I tell him.

"Not if you go out with that coat on, cause you'll stick out like a sore thumb."

Good point. This is not the city. Drop it after removing my sword.

"Umm, Trevor, not too cool either."  He leaves. Comes back with a sweater like he wears.

I sheathe my sword across my back. Cover it with the sweater.

"Lumpy but you'll pass." He snickers.

I smile. Seeing the humor in it. Fearless Vampyre hunter in an old man sweater.

Grabbing the trash I head outside.

Monday, January 9, 2017

(80) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

"You've never seen the man before dark?" I ask.

"Well, yeah. I see him in the evenings. I'm not big on taking my walks when it's really nighttime. Not since the last time we met, Trevor. That scared me into being real careful."

It better have. I saved him from one of the bastards a few years ago. Now he knows. Has my number of course. And used it yesterday.

"Before dark?"

He nods. Says, "Does that mean he's ancient?"

"Well old at least. But never during the day?"

"Naw. But around here that's not unusual. Most of the men around here work in town or commute to the city. This is pretty much a bedroom community except for us old-timers. So now what? You gonna take him out? Can I help?" His eyes gleam in anticipation.

"No." Said firmly. "You can not help."

His face falls but he nods. Understands—I hope.

"First off, I have to check him out. As long as I'm here I want to find out if he has any friends, though probably not. Vampyres tend to be very territorial but you never know. Have you seen anyone else around his place other than him?"

He thinks. Starts to shake his head. Stops. "Yeah, once. I was putting out the trash and there's this kinda pretty lady doing the same behind his place. She saw me and hurried back inside. I forgot about her. You think maybe she's his slave or something."

"They're called ghouls, and it's possible."

"See. Now you really have to off him so she can be free." There's a gleeful look on his face. Like this is some kind of game. Save the beauty. Kill the Vampyre. She lives happily ever after. I suppose to him it is. That and revenge for what almost happened to him.

He glances out the window. Jumps up. "Come on. It's late enough. Let's go for a walk and if he's outside I'll introduce you to him. You can be my nephew come to visit."

Tell him no. Don't want the Vampyre to know I'm here. Stealth, not openness.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

It's release day for 'Ghostly Investigations'!

Ghostly Investigations
Jon Watts heard stories about ghosts but never believed in them ... until he becomes one. Now, if he wants to move on, he has to solve his own murder.

At least he'll have help from three new friends: Brody, an undercover cop who was killed five years earlier by an unknown assailant; Sage, a medium who can see and speak with ghosts; and Mike, the detective investigating Jon's murder, who doesn’t know ghosts exist until Sage convinces him otherwise.

Will the four men solve both Brody’s and Jon’s murders? The possible attraction between Mike and Sage only complicates things. Or are Jon and Brody doomed to remain ghosts forever?

    "What floor do you live on?" Brody asked.

    "The fourth." Jon started down the hallway leading to the lobby.

    "Let's ... No, let's not. Not yet."


    "I was going to say we could go straight up." Brody pointed to the ceiling. "But you better get used to lateral travel first before trying vertical. We'll work on that when we get to your place."

    Jon nodded as they entered the lobby.

    "Well aren't we the lucky ones," Brody said a moment later. He and Jon arrived at the elevator at the same time as the detective and one of the police officers Jon had seen by his body at the crime scene. The officer pushed the UP button.

    As soon as the door opened, everyone stepped into the elevator. Obviously the detective and his companion weren't aware they had company on the ride up.

    When they got off, the detective said, "Number four-o-four should be this way," as he started down the hallway toward Jon's apartment. He was holding a set of keys that Jon recognized as his. The detective unlocked the door then switched on the lights in the living room. "Not bad, for a waiter," he told the officer.

    The officer nodded. "Even waiters can have good taste, Detective Harris."

    "I told you, call me Mike. Okay?"

    Jon frowned as the detective began going through the drawers of the desk in one corner of the living room. "He's prying."

    Brody shook his head. "He's looking for anything that might tell him why someone wanted you dead."

    "He won't find anything, since I don't know why I was killed."

    Brody studied Jon. "What happened before the guy bashed your head in?"


    "Okay. Rephrase. Where were you before you got to the parking lot?"

    Jon was thrown off by the question. "At work? I mean, yeah, I must have been."

    "You don't remember?"

    Jon squeeze his eyes shut, trying to picture it. "I drove into the lot, parked, got out, then walked toward the building. Something hit me --" He touched the back of his head. "-- and that's it."

    "Nothing before then?"

    Taking a deep breath, Jon slowly shook his head. "Nothing. Well, I know I was a waiter, and how old I am. Stuff like that. But no details. Can ghosts get amnesia?"

    "Got me. But if a blow to the head can cause it while you're alive, maybe it carries over?"

    "Do you remember your life, before you died?" Jon asked.

    "In living color," Brody said tightly. "I was twenty nine and they finally let me go undercover to bring down a drug dealer we were after. A feather in my cap, as far as I was concerned, since I'd been trying to get them to let me do undercover work. Anyway, I was walking down the street, about a week after I made it into the dealer's gang. It was around two in the morning and I was heading to a meet. Some bastard shot me -- once in the back, once in the shoulder. I'd bled out by the time someone found me."

    "Damn," Jon whispered. "You were a cop?"

    "Yeah." Brody almost smiled. "A good one, until that happened. It made all the papers. They never found out who did it, even though it almost had to be someone in the gang who figured out I was a cop and decided to eliminate me. I guess I wasn't as good at undercover work as I thought I was," he added dryly.

    "That sucks."

    "It did."

    Jon turned his attention to Detective Harris and the officer, who were now in the bedroom off the living room. "What do they think they'll find in there, other than my clothes?" he asked Brody. Then something occurred to him. "They can't hear us, can they?"

    "Nope. We're on a different plane of existence. At least that's how I figure it. Here, but not here. Make sense?"

    "I guess."

    Brody chuckled. "Go with it. Some people can see or hear us, but they're few and far between."

    "I wish the detective would find something, even if it meant I was a crook. At least it would explain who wanted me dead."

    "There's one thing you should consider, other than that," Brody replied. "It could have been a mugging, pure and simple."

    "And they left a wad of cash in my wallet?"

    "How much?"

    "Five hundred bucks. I'm ... I was a waiter, damn it. That much I do remember. Waiters don't make that kind of tips."

    "Depends where they work," Brody replied.

    "Do I look like a guy who had a job at a high-class place?" Since he was wearing jeans and a T-shirt under a plain blue work shirt, Jon knew he didn't.

    Brody shook his head. "Not at the moment. But you could have changed clothes before you left."

    "I guess."


(79) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

"OK, details." I stare at the man who asked for my help. I haven't seen him in ages. He's older now. Tired looking. And afraid—if looks don't lie.

"I figured it out about a week ago. I'm not nosy, well not usually." He chuckles softly. "Well okay, sometimes, when I see something off kilter. This man moved in down the street about a month ago. About your height, thin, sort of the businessman type if you know what I mean—well-cut suits, expensive haircut, manicured nails."

"Have you talked to him?"

"Yep. A couple of days after he got settled in. I was taking my nightly walk and he was out in his front yard. So I said hello and he said hello and I welcomed him to the neighborhood and we chatted a bit about nothing much. You know, the usual stuff two people just meeting talk about—weather and such."

"All right. What tipped you off he was a Vampyre?"

"Nothing at first. He seemed nice enough. We ran into each other a couple of times after that and he was friendly and all. Then, last week, I had to make a trip into town. Ran out of my meds, and like a fool I didn't do anything about it until it was time to take them again." He shakes his head. "Short term memory loss, I swear. Anyway, there I am parking by the pharmacy. It's like almost nine and I'm rushing to get in before it closes, and I see him. I figure I'll catch him when I get out to see if he needs a ride home. He told me he doesn't own a car, just uses cabs."

I nod. I can see it coming.

"So I finish up and come out and look for him. He's nowhere in sight so I'm figuring he's already gotten a cab and go back to my car. Then I see something out of the corner of my eye. Just a flash of movement in the alley behind the stores. So I'm nosy now. Not sure why. Some second sense maybe because of knowing about them I suppose. I creep over to the corner of the pharmacy and peek around, and there he is with one of the kids who work at the fast-food joint at the other end of the block. It's pretty obvious to me what he's doing."

"He didn't kill him I take it."

"Naw. Just does that thing I think where they make them forget. Then he walks away. Luckily going in the other direction from where I am. I was going to go see if the kid was all right but he took off too, going back to his job. He was a bit pale, or looked it under the alley lights, but seemed fine."

Thursday, January 5, 2017

(78) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

If I'm honest with myself and I usually am, I'm afraid. Using Del as an excuse. I came out of the thing in Chicago with a whole skin. But I lost something there. Something essential. Nerve, I guess you'd call it.  

I didn't have to promise him. It took everything I had to go after the two I did.

I cup his face in my hands. Look into his eyes. Say quietly. "Del, I need to do this."

"Why?" He studies me. Nods. Understanding suddenly. "Oh." His hands cover mine. "I...all right. Yes." His lips brush mine softly. He slides off my lap, holding on to one of my hands. Squeezes it. "You should have told me. I thought. I thought things were going bad for us. You've been so distant this last couple of weeks."

"I'm sorry." I rest my forehead against his. "It isn't your fault Del. It's mine. I'm scared and I was..."

"Pulling away? Trevor there's not a thing wrong with being afraid. But you can't let it rule your life. You can't bury it inside you. It's eating at you, and slowly killing what we've started to build together." He moves away. Still looking at me. "I'm scared too. Afraid that something will happen to you, to us. And it will if you let your fear rule you, because, baby, you have to do what you think is right. I know you. I know how important what you do is to you. If you stop you loose an essential part of yourself." He stops. Shakes his head. A tiny smile quirks his lips. "Listen to me, telling you to go off and be the big, bad Vampyre hunter. But that's what you are. It defines you."

"And it will be the death of me if I don't get my nerve back."

He nods slowly. "Where are you going? Who called you? You're not going back to Chicago?" Del growls. I almost laugh. On him it's cute.

"No, Del. Not there. I got a call from an acquaintance, a man I saved."

"He remembers you?" He looks puzzled. "I thought..."

"That I'd have wiped his memory? I tried but couldn't. I think maybe because he was on medications, or has a hell of a strong mind, or both. Anyway, he needs my help."

"Ahh." He smiles a bit. "That's good. Someone you trust enough not to, well you know?"

"Yeah, from what I know of him. And it's good if I don't freak out."

"Baby you won't. After all,"—he chuckles even though his eyes are still somber—"he knew who the biggest, baddest dude was to call for help and he's right. Right?"

"Right." I hope.

"When do you leave?"

"Soon, but not that soon." I know my smile must be a bit wicked. He leans in. Kisses me hard.

"Good." Whispered against my lips. "Very good."