The Terra-Belle Vampire, Chapter 12

I felt way too antsy to relax! Not when I had guests coming over! Granted, I didn’t expect any of them to come inside my home, I still felt like I needed to mentally prepare for their arrival. Fletcher had football practice and Aleck had to run chess club (which I didn’t know was more than some cliché used to make fun of nerds in movies), so no one would get to my house for a few hours, but nonetheless, I had a lot of angst about their visit! I mean, naturally, I was nervous about we may discover on our quest to find Damon and any vampire he may have created along the way, I don’t think any reasonable person would enjoy the prospect of fighting superhuman monsters, but I was more worried about what we may not find from this endeavor! If we didn’t make some progress in diminishing this threat and rescuing the missing students soon, I knew that more and more of my colleagues would give up. I couldn’t handle this mission on my own as proven by my behavior on Saturday. I had the chance to drive a stake through Damon’s heart and finish this misadventure right then and there, but I froze! Given the same opportunity, I didn’t know if I could do it right the next time, so I really needed allies in my corner for this! I tried not to overthink about all of the things that could go wrong, but I just couldn’t get myself to relax and hope for the best! I knew that if I didn’t get my mind off of my rising level of dread that it would consume me and eat into my performance when I reached the point where I needed to get to work, so I stopped trying for tranquility and shifted my focus in trying to be productive.

            The appearance of the inside of my property was pretty immaculate, so I turned to the many repairs that needed to get done around the house. I went to my room to change into more casual clothes to do this, but I realized that I didn’t really have any! Most of my garments were intended for professional wear, and it really shed a light to me on how I divided my time! I began to feel guilty over Lilith’s accusation of not nurturing my home life, but I shook off that thought temporarily. I already had a lot to fret about without adding that to the list! I finally came across a pair of khakis and a tee shirt from a baseball game I went to as part of a work event, and I donned those as I readied myself to occupy my brain with enough activity to forget about my woes!

            I’m not much of a handyman, I typically just called maintenance if anything needed to get fixed prior to living here, but I reasoned that I could figure out how to do most things with sheer logic. I picked cleaning the exterior of my house first to give off a better impression to my colleagues. Yes, I knew that they had already seen my house in its current condition, but I reckoned that if I never made any kind of improvement on its appearance that I would get judged for it! I especially wanted to impress Phoebe in hopes that she would get compelled to come inside… Or if Lilith returned, I would have wanted her to have no kind of repulsion about entering into the building… Both scenarios assumed that I survived any sort of vampiric encounter… My mixed emotions started to addle my mind again, so I set those ideas aside and retrieved the hose from the side of my yard that the previous owners left behind. Man, I didn’t realize that those things were so heavy! I turned on the faucet and…

            Nothing! All I did was make my house slightly more wet! I put the water on full blast, and I saw bits of loose moss fall down, but most of it continued to cling on! I kept spraying for a while, hoping the only aspect of this I was missing had been a little patience, and as I sprayed near my garage, I didn’t realize that somebody had been walking up my driveway! I quickly shut the spigot off and apologized, “I’m so sorry! I didn’t see you there!”

            “You didn’t? Wow, I’ve never had a hose turned on me by accident!” the man remarked. He dried off his papers on the clipboard he was carrying, and before I could read his badge, he introduced himself, “Oh, I’m Drake from Orlock Security. Did you install any kind of safety system in your home yet?”

            “No!” It felt so strange to have gotten placed in this role reversal- usually, I was the one doing the sales! It irked me that I had this bit of nostalgia added to my already tumultuous confusion, but he had inadvertently brought up a good point to me. Up until then, I had been relying solely on Jett to alert me to any potential intruders, but an alarm would probably prove to be more reliable! I needed as much protection as I could to thwart off Damon’s possible intrusion, so I thought maybe a cat wasn’t the best way to secure my house! So far, he hadn’t actually gone after me or ventured close to my home, but who knew how long that would last! “I don’t need to hear your spiel, I’ll do it!”

            Drake seemed totally thrown off by my abrupt acceptance! “Really? I… Well, okay! When would you like it installed?”

            I nearly told him to do it immediately, but then I remembered my obligation to the vampire league. I had no clue how long we would have to devote our evenings for this project, and I certainly didn’t want to create anymore delays than absolutely necessary, so I frowned not knowing when I could give Drake an answer. “Hmm… I’m not sure. Can I have your card and get back to you?” He grew hesitant about doing that, so I assured him, “I’m not trying to brush you off! You’ll get the sale, I just can’t say when exactly.”

            “Oh, okay then!” Drake obliged.

            “Thanks!” As I accepted his business card, it occurred to me that he was a door-to-door salesman, so he had already been around the area that we planned on patrolling! So, I hoped that he had noticed something that would save us some work! “Listen, Drake, did you happen to see anything weird in this neighborhood? Like any bats hanging around a certain spot…?”

            After mulling it over a bit, Drake replied, “Well, a lot of people have bats as Halloween decorations… But you mean real bats? I haven’t seen that. Seems like a pretty normal community! Well, except for that house across the street…” He glanced back at the abandoned house, shuddered a little, and then had a very serious expression as he faced me again. “You need this system! Call me soon!”

            I promised him, “I will!” I had no inkling of how soon that would be when I said it, but Drake appeared reasonably confident that I was a warm lead, so he left more pleasant than he was before our meeting, even with his damp outfit!

            Before Drake could completely disappear out of my sight though, he circled back to my house and informed me, “If you’re trying to get the moss off of your house, you’re gonna need to spray it with a special cleanser first!”

            I genially responded, “Thanks for the tip!” He gave me a friendly wave as he walked off, and I stood there feeling awfully dumb with my hose in my hand right then! Was that common knowledge? So, in addition to learning more about British Literature and educating myself about vampire lore, now I had to research the basics of home improvement too? I threw down my hose and exasperatedly rubbed my temples trying not to get overwhelmed by my frustration over the pressure mounting on my shoulders!

            Seconds later, the mailman came, and I actually felt somewhat relieved by this development! I knew that the deliveries usually just contained bills and ads, but it gave me something to do at precisely the right moment, so I got excited to receive the post for the first time since the nineties! I crossed my fingers that I might get something that would keep me busy for a while, and later on, I would regret that wish! After sifting through the junk, an unusual letter caught my eye…

            Yes, an actual letter came to me, and you’ll never guess who sent it to me! Well, maybe it’s kind obvious to you, but it certainly caught me off guard! It was from Lilith! My heart soared to finally hear from her after over a month with no communication! The envelope was rather thick, so I could only assume that she had a lot to update me on since her departure! I didn’t even wait until I went back inside to open it up, I had to know what she had to tell me! I assumed it included a heartfelt apology and a roster of all the ways that she missed me, and I even speculated that she was stuck in Canada and needed my assistance to get her out, which I would have definitely done given the chance! It didn’t even occur to me that she might have sent me something bad until I saw the contents of that envelope…

            Divorce papers! No note, no explanation, she simply sent a small stack of forms with all of the legalese that summarized her desire to no longer be my wife! I felt a lump rise up in my throat, and I could hardly breathe! A cold chill overtook my chest, and I checked my surroundings to see if Damon’s presence had caused it. It hadn’t. I couldn’t read the paperwork, but I didn’t really need to- it had instantly burned itself into my memory! She didn’t want anything from me, just my signature! I couldn’t’ comprehend how she could have just forgotten all of her love she once had for me, and my brain went numb just trying to understand why she would do something to hurt me like that…

            Phoebe pulled up to my address, and I panicked! She was the last person I wanted to see me in such a fragile condition! As she got out of her car and gave me a warm greeting, I saw two more of my coworkers parking in my periphery! I just couldn’t let them view me on the brink of collapse like that, so I ran inside of my house. Well, first I tripped over Jett, who had unceremoniously darted in front of my path, and then I dashed inside of my home. I barely made it out of the mud room when the tears began to flow! I couldn’t stop them from coming- after such a taxing day, I could not take this heartbreak anymore, so I couldn’t help myself!

            “Connor?” Phoebe knocked on the door and called after me in a concerned tone. It lifted my spirits slightly to have her truly care about what I was going through, but I hated the timing of it! I didn’t have much of an opportunity to process anything yet, so I definitely wasn’t ready to share anything with her! Or anyone else for that matter! I knew I wouldn’t be able to nurse my wounds at that minute since we had important job to do, but I didn’t know how I would pull myself together to properly do that!

            “I’m fine!” I fibbed. “I just… threw up!” I had no recollection of that line crossing my mind, but I patted myself on the back for coming up with something so clever! Now, any blotches on my visage and my watery eyes had a plausible justification! I threw my mail out of my sight and chose to pretend that none of it was real, not even the advertisements, so that I could move on with my day. I took a deep inhale and inwardly prepped myself to join everyone else. As soon as I opened the door, Phoebe gazed at me with her beautiful eyes full of alleviation, and for a split second, I forgot about my inner turmoil! I smoothly told her, “Let’s roll!”

            We split the territory we wanted to cover, and we drove around the neighborhood to search for signs of Damon or teenagers in distress. We had to go at a slow speed to really study the environment, which got us some suspicious stares from the residents of the area! We planned to do that for an hour and meet back at my house to go over our findings, but after about twenty minutes, rain clouds set in, and soon, a torrential downpour made our quest totally impossible. We reconvened and reported back the evidence we found, which was pretty much nothing. Ginger gushed about someone’s lawn decorations, and Aleck got a thrill to see a “zonotrichia ablicollis,” which he had to clarify was a sparrow, but we didn’t unearth anything significant, not to thwarting Damon anyways! So, we all agreed to meet again tomorrow after school, and we all prayed that this time would prove to be more productive!

            I hadn’t even looked at my post that I tossed onto the floor since I had placed it there, and I found that I could only function by lying to myself about Lilith’s intentions with that gesture. I believed that she acted out of spite because I hurt her with my neglect at my old sales position, and I refused to sign it immediately as requested! I wanted to give her more time to calm down, and I rationalized that if she gave the situation some serious thought, she would change her mind about what she wanted to do. I debated about putting all of this into a letter to send back to her, but I didn’t have time to put pen to paper. I had a class to teach, and as the kids wrote their essays, I couldn’t’ help but watch Damon and wonder where that a’hole was going when class was over! I knew I couldn’t do it once my shift was over either since we had a new tactic to use in our mission against that infuriating vampire…

3 thoughts on “The Terra-Belle Vampire, Chapter 12

  1. ShiraDest says:

    Now that is a catchy image!

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