How do you teach a student who tried to kill you? There’s a question I never thought I’d ask myself! We never did come up with an answer for that in our group chat! We couldn’t tell the police because we didn’t have a story that sounded sane to a rational person. We couldn’t say his fangs grew longer, no one would believe that! Even if they bought our claim about him trying to bite our necks, it just sounds like a misdemeanor assault. Also, technically, we were trespassing when we entered onto the blood bank’s property beyond the visitor’s area, so Damon could have argued that he was just defending himself against intruders. He didn’t try that in his efforts to keep his job, he probably should have gone with that rather than trying to convince his bosses that we were on friendly terms with him! Anyway, Phoebe found a list of donors at the receptionist’s desk, and all of the missing kids had donated there right before they disappeared! We couldn’t show that to any detectives though since we obtained the information illegally, and even we did present it to them, it still wouldn’t prove Damon had any direct involvement with them going missing. They might interrogate him as a witness, but it seemed unlikely they would list him as a suspect yet. We think he used that database to find the victims’ addresses and stalked them there; he caught Corvina walking to her house, but we didn’t know if he did the same for the other children who vanished. The only thing we knew for sure was that we were on our own and that work would be awkward on Monday!
You’ll never guess what Ms. Bronagh had slated for her class’ next project… Dracula! Talk about awkward! I’m sure she did it since they would finish it on Halloween, but still! I could only hope that the novel might provide me with some tips on how to deal with vampires without so many gory scenes with blood and impalement! The beginning had a dude getting some real estate and a bunch of villagers warning him not to go there, so I started to worry this book might be prophetic! I felt almost tempted to skip ahead to Wuthering Heights; even though a tangled up romance would have made me think of my own messy love life, I would have much rather have had that constant reminder than getting haunted by f’ing vampires all the time!
Third period made me nervous! I had no idea how Damon would treat me after our encounter over the weekend! Would he be hostile and bitter, or would he feel shamed and try to avoid eye contact with me? I also pondered how he would react to our next reading material- it would either make him ecstatic or critical over how his kind were portrayed in this piece of literature. To my surprise, Damon didn’t change his behavior at all! He still acted like his usual lazy and disinterested self, and as I spoke, he stared at me with his typical bored eyes! You’d think that I’d find this relieving, but I actually found it more disturbing! Him not showing any emotion over the incident made me wonder how often he has events like that! I briefly considered that perhaps he had no memory of that occurrence, but I wouldn’t allow my guard to get let down! If he had been hatching up a new scheme as he claimed he would, then it was vital that I continued to watch out for him!
When the lunch bell rang, he turned in his reading questions without glancing up at me, and while I found this noteworthy at first, I couldn’t remember if he had ever done that before or not. I watched him with a leery outlook wishing that I could follow that prick and put a stop to his plans right then and there, but I restrained myself. I was pretty sure Principal Palillo would have fired me on the spot if I attacked one of his students no matter who creepy and sinister they were! I thought that maybe if his assignment contained any kind of threatening message that I would at lest have had an excuse to confront him, but astonishingly enough, his responses were perfectly normal! In fact, I think he got an A! I didn’t think he cared enough to produce quality work, so I found that incredibly perplexing…
Just as I was musing about his knowledge on the subject’s origination stemming from his age (I swore he was old enough to have met the author in person!), a voice of a young girl startled me, “Mister Fenmore?”
I hoped that I hadn’t jumped too much in front of her! It would have been mortifying to expose myself as a chicken to one of my students! I looked up at her with as much calm as I could surmise, and I saw a teen who donned herself in every single trend that topped the current style list at that moment! She didn’t strike me as one of my brightest pupils, but she made it into an honors class, so I entertained the notion that I had judged her too harshly. “How can I help you, Miss…?” Drats! She wasn’t at her seat, so my seating chart couldn’t’ help me with her name!
“My name is Roxy,” she informed me. I grinned as I recalled her paper maché sculpture in Aleck’s classroom, but I decided not to bring it up. I did want to assist her as thoroughly as possible, but I also wanted to finish my lunch before the fourth period bell rang… “Can you help me with something?”
“Of course! That’s why I’m here!” Aside from feeling hungry, I felt so honored that one of the children of my class had turned to me for assistance with something! I didn’t think I had been there long enough to really build up trust with them, so it kind of caught me off guard in a way, but it also touched me to know that I had made enough of an impact that a kid would seek out my advice! I gave her my utmost attention and prayed that she would be satisfied with my guidance!
She hesitated slightly before asking me, “Um… Do you know Damon?”
My interest now peaked, and my heart began to race in anticipation of this conversation! I assumed that she must have noticed something strange about his behavior, and I was eager to hear whatever she had to say regarding that subject! I didn’t have any clue on how he interacted with his classmates, so it would have been helpful to gain that insight from her! I dared to imagine that she would divulge his next move, which would have made my vampire hunting job so much easier! But how would I honestly reply to her inquiry? It’s not like I could blurt out how he was a vampire who tried to murder me to her! Unless she had found out the truth about him as well… “Well, I haven’t been here very long, but I do recognize him as one of my students. I mean, how could you forget a cat like that?”
“Right! Like, for real! He’s so hot!” she gushed. My jaw dropped! Even if a person didn’t know that he was a blood-sucking fiend, I figured that most people would find him too odd to consider him handsome! It worried me that she found such a dangerous man as attractive, a fear that only heightened when she added, “Do you know if he’s single? ‘Cause I was hoping he would go with me to Homecoming…”
“Uh…” I didn’t know what to tell her! I know at one point, Corvina at least pretended to have a relationship with Damon, but I didn’t know if they really did have anything going on! A part of me wanted to lie and say that he had a serious girlfriend just so that she would stay away from him, but I reasoned that one of her peers might reveal my deception. I refused to encourage her attempts to pair up with him though, so I just vaguely expressed, “I don’t know. I don’t meddle in my students’ private lives!” Her spirits deflated, and a part of me was curious as to why she had thought I would help her with that! “Sorry! Don’t let this ruin your lunchtime though! Go on, enjoy your meal!” She never mentioned anything about having any food, but it was on my mind again, so… She dejectedly left, and I frowned as I fretted about this development!
I raced to the teachers lounge with a frazzled expression on my face from not only the drama we faced with Damon but also the fact that I had missed a large portion of my lunch again! I would have just wolfed down what I brought, but I knew that we had a lot to discuss, so I crossed my fingers that I could just give them the info I just learned rapidly and then spend the rest of my time trying to eat. I grabbed my storage container out of the fridge and headed to the table that my vampire league sat at with dread coursing throughout my body, but as soon as I approached them, Phoebe turned around and gave me a huge smile, which made me forget about everything else in the world for a second! And I do mean a second! I would have probably stood there and gawked at her like an idiot for longer if I didn’t see Ellie out of the corner of my eye staring at me quizzically! I took a seat right away and kept my head low in case I blushing. I had just started beating myself up for forgetting about Lilith again when Aleck interrupted my train of thought, “You’re gonna eat that pasta cold?”
Shaking myself out of my reverie, I responded to him, “Huh?” I glanced down at the skillet in front of me, and I privately acknowledged that this dish probably would taste gross if eaten unheated, but I didn’t really care about that in this instance! “That’s not important! I got some bad news for you guys…”
“Oh great! That’s all we need right now!” Fletcher grumbled.
“Roxy wants to ask Damon out to Homecoming!” I revealed to them before anyone spoke up again. “Apparently she’s got a huge crush on him!” They all stared at me in shock. No one said anything for quite a while, so I decided to begin munching on my noodles. They were pretty disgusting in their unwarmed state, but I overlooked that in the interest of hastiness. Since none of them had talked yet though, I had to get the ball rolling, so I decided to converse mid bite, “Someone say something!”
Ginger’s nose crinkled up as she uttered, “Ew! I mean, I’m no expert on which men are considered good looking, but he seems so… blah! Am I right?”
Fletcher opined, “My daughters tend to go for the bad boys, but I cant’ see them pursuing anyone criminal! I don’t think… I should check their rooms again…”
“Guys, we can’t interfere with out students’ social lives…” Phoebe covertly indicated to the other teachers in the room who were apparently listening in to our conversation curiously. “If we intervened with every bad decision they made in their dating lives, we’d never have enough space in our schedule for anything else!”
“Phoebe is right. Let’s not worry about that right now! We need to focus more on our ‘bat’ problem!” Ellie asserted. “Those ‘bats’ could be anywhere! How do we find them?”
Aleck suggested, “Bats tend to gravitate towards areas where they can feed themselves. Maybe we can lure them to us with what they eat!” We all gazed at him in aghast, and after giving his words some consideration, he changed his mind. “Oh, right! We can’t do that!”
Ginger proposed, “Well, the… bats… seem to flock around the house across the street from Connor, so they can’t go too far from that area, right? What if we just went around the neighborhood and search indications of where they go?”
“That could take ages though!” Ellie complained. “I got papers to grade and a husband to feed! Last time I let him cook his own dinner, I came back to a house full of smoke! I can’t keep giving up my evenings for this!”
“It shouldn’t take that long to find the bats,” Phoebe differed. “The first attempt to destroy them didn’t work, but now that we know what we’re up against, we can totally kick their ass when we seem them again! We just need to know where to find them! Once we get the bats home, we can all go back to our normal lives again!” She paused and threw in, “Couldn’t Victor just order take out for the night?”
I dearly wanted to keep shoveling down my food, but I also could see a lot of quibbling happening if I didn’t step in, so I begrudgingly paused my eating and inquired, “How about we check out that house and see if any of the bats are hidden in there?”
Fletcher, totally appalled, brusquely commented, “Are you crazy? It’ll be dark by the time we get there, and I’m not about to fight any va… bats… in that house with no light outside!”
“Okay, so let’s just meet at my house and see if we can find the bats close to their headquarters!” I recommended. “If we don’t see any sign of them after a couple of days, we can try something else. But, for now, that’s all we got, so it’s worth a shot! Sitting around doing nothing is not an option! This is too critical to delay any longer! We have to find those bats before it’s too late!”
“Wait, I’m confused… Are you trying to save those bats or exterminate them?” a teacher at an adjacent table probed.
None of us had a statement handy for that! We eyeballed each other to see if anyone could come up with a solution, but everybody’s brains seemed to have gone blank! Fortunately for us, the fourth period bell rang, so we all scrambled to get to our classrooms. Phoebe declared, “We’ll see you tonight!” Ellie, Fletcher, Ginger, and Aleck didn’t seem thrilled by that concept, but they didn’t voice any objections, so I took that as their unwilling consent to go along with that plan. As I rushed back to my room, I contemplated Ellie’s anxiety about the duration of this task and worried she may get proven correct. We had no inkling of what to watch out for, so how would we know that we spotted something significant? This alarmed me, but I couldn’t’ think about our vampire problem right then, not when I had a fictional vampire problem to review during the rest of my day!