The Terra-Belle Vampire, Chapter 14

Bang! An explosion sounded in the distance! Phoebe immediately turned her car back on and headed in that direction, and while that ruckus should have put me into distress, I was more terrified by the thing I almost did! What was I thinking? I could not believe I almost kissed her! Sure, I felt attracted to her, and she had been acting really nice to me, but was that what she wanted? Her face contorted in worry over the possible disaster we were running into, so I had no idea if she had any kind of adverse reaction to what nearly went on! I sincerely hoped that she couldn’t tell I meant to do that romantic gesture on her! I fretted that I may have created an uncomfortable situation by my actions, which would enact some horrendous consequences for our mission! If we couldn’t act as a cohesive group, then Damon could easily divide and conquer! As we approached the blast site, I writhed with self-reproach! If my lack of sound judgment caused another kid to go missing, I knew I would never get over that!

            I didn’t care much about whatever detonated until I realized that we were close to my house! I regretted criticizing it for all of the stress its repairs caused me because it was better than being homeless! Or going back to that motel! It may not have been perfect, but it was my home! I had more affection for it than I thought I did for that thing! Thankfully, it seemed untouched, and I breathed a sigh of relief! I briefly mused about whether or not my homeowner’s insurance would have even covered that sort of incident, but when I saw a smoldering piece of metal laying in the street, I couldn’t’ think about anything else…

            Phoebe and I got out of her vehicle to inspect that mysterious object as did a few of my curious neighbors. Fletcher and Aleck arrived next, and Aleck was actually the first one to identify the contraption. “My drone!” he exclaimed. He tried to move closer to it, but it emitted a little pop followed by streaming out more smoke, so he backed away. “How was this even possible? It wasn’t made with any combustible materials!”

            “You don’t know why this happened? I’ll tell you why! You put this in there!” an elderly man hobbled out of one of the houses across the road from me and indicated to the abandoned building adjacent to his place. “You upset the ghosts!”

            “What? There’s no such thing as-!” I don’t know why I was going to correct him- a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t think vampires existed, and look how that turned out! So, I figured who knows! Maybe ghosts are real too!

            The old man insisted, “Oh yes, they’re real! And they’ve been haunting that spot for years! The Armand family was the last family to live there, and one day, they went from totally normal to acting real funny. Then one day, they vanished without a trace! They did something that displeased the ghouls within, and things were never the same ever since!”

            This account was fascinating, and we hung on his every word… For, like, a minute! The weird guy who resided next to me countered that claim, “No, Richard! The house didn’t make them act funny! Mister Armand robbed a bank, and the rest of the family kept it secret, so they all ended up in jail. The haunting started after they got arrested.”

            “I tell you they were a regular family ‘til they moved here!” Richard firmly maintained his stance on the issue. “The portal to Hell got buried on that property, and Mister Armand accidently uncovered it! It made him possessed with evil, and now the demonic spirits are in there plotting their revenge!”

            “Revenge? Wouldn’t they want more people to come in there so they could spread more evil?” Fletcher puzzled.

            Richard wagged a knobby little finger at him and remarked, “You don’t believe, but everyone here knows it’s true! You anger the wicked souls within the property, and strange things start to occur…”

            My next-door neighbor must have thought we were skeptical because he backed up Richard’s point, “No, it’s true! One time, a piece of debris from there flew into my yard, so I threw it back on there. The next day, I found a block of cheese on my lawn!” We stared at him blankly, so he clarified, “I’m vegan! That was a huge problem for me!”

            I recalled not buying my realtor’s story that entailed this event taking place as a result of that abandoned house’s hidden characterics, and now I felt as though I owed him an apology! I was curious to learn more about the background of this building, but I didn’t know how to ask questions specific to learning about our adversary without giving away the secrets we now held. I didn’t need to hear so much about the odd experiences that everyone experienced outside of the property, I only wanted to see what they knew about the inside of the structure! And who may or may not have traveled in and out of those remains! I felt sure that they saw more creatures than just Jett coming and going from the area! But before I had a chance to inquire about anything pertaining to that house, a couple of squad cars turned up at the scene, so instead, I queried to my neighbor, “So, are you gonna be cool if I have a barbecue or…?”

            I’m not sure why that concept appeared into my head, I hadn’t even thought about doing something like that! I don’t even own a grill! I don’t know why I mentioned that, and I got a little nervous when I could see that he had strong opinions on the matter! I cringed at the idea of kindling a feud with my neighbors for no real reason! But before he could address that, Arnold commanded to the small crowd, “Nobody touch a thing ‘til we’ve had a chance to investigate!”

            Ginger and Ellie pulled up right as they were putting up some crime scene tape to block off the cul-du-sac, and Ellie hollered, “Ugh! My car’s in there!”

            “Sorry, ma’am,” Bill apologized. “We’re gonna be here for a while…”

            “Hey! There’s a new hole in the roof!” Phoebe observed as she stared at the abandoned house.    

            Bill amended his statement, “I mean, don’t worry, we won’t be here long!”

            Phoebe probed, “Seriously? A crime went on in there, and you’re not gonna look into it at all?”

            Arnold retorted, “What are we supposed to do? Arrest the ghosts?”

            As a couple of other officers joined Arnold and Bill in their examination of Aleck’s drone, we met up with Ellie and Ginger on the other side of the crime scene tape. Ginger studied the abandoned house and noted, “You can’t see that hole from the car! Maybe we would see more clues about Damon or the missing children if we walked instead of drove!” Everybody groaned at the notion of all the work that make us do, but Ginger didn’t see the big deal. “What? You’ll be fine! Just wear comfortable shoes!”

            “What if we don’t own any comfortable shoes?” Fletcher cheekily challenged.

            “Aren’t you the PE teacher?” I shot back. His face soured, but oh well! I didn’t relish the premise of exercising that much after a full day of work, but I knew there was too much at stake to argue further. No one else spouted out anymore objections to her suggestion either, so we all agreed to hoof it tomorrow afternoon.

            Once the police declared the source of the explosion as “inconclusive,” they cleared out, and my colleagues were finally to go home for the night. Phoebe gave me her usual warm smile as she left, so I guessed that she wasn’t upset about my attempt to kiss her. Or I was subtle enough that she didn’t know what I tried to do. Either way, I felt relieved that I didn’t create some unnecessary drama in our group! With the weight of that worry off of my shoulders, most of my body was able to relax again. My stomach reminded me that I missed dinner, so naturally, I fed Jett first. Before I could make myself anything, I saw the millionth text from my mother, so I speedily whipped up one of my frozen meals (which were meant for work, but I decided to resolve that later) and called my parents up as I sat down to eat my meal. “Hey Mom! Hey Dad! What’s new?” I crossed my fingers that they had a lot to update me on so I didn’t have to answer for my wrongdoings.

            My dad started to relay to me, “Well, I started golfing more, and I’m getting better each time I go! My handicap went from-.”

            “William!” my mom scolded him, “Do you think I’ve been waiting by the phone all day to listen to your boring stories about retirement?”

            “Sorry Katherine!” my dad responded sheepishly. A part of me wanted to invite him to elaborate more on the mundane details of his golf games and such, but I knew my mother would flip her lid if I dared to do such a stunt! My father posed to me, “Okay, so what? You finally left Lilith, huh?”

            I redressed the error in his recollection, “No, she left me ‘cause… Wait, what do you mean finally?”

            Dad hesitantly revealed, “Well… You two just always seemed like you wanted different things out of life, so we thought that maybe, one day, you might pursue someone who was more… Katherine, help me out here!”

            I never liked her!” Mom bluntly asserted. “She seemed like a gold-digger to me! I always thought she would end up dumping you for someone richer!”

            “She did leave me, but I’m not sure how much money he makes… And that’s not important! What do you mean you never liked her?” It truly shocked me to have heard such an audacious pronouncement from them! My folks loved me dearly, so I just assumed that they held someone that I deeply cared for in the same esteem! To have this belief proven false was as equally upsetting as the moment I caught Lilith cheating on me! Okay, maybe it wasn’t that drastic, but in both cases, I got overwhelmed with astonishment! “Dad, you spoke at our reception! You said nice things about her back then!”

            My father differed with me, “Actually, I just gave out advice on how to keep your marriage lasting as long as mine. I don’t think it worked though…”

            As I absorbed these flabbergasting revelations, Jett circled around my legs and bugged me for something. I ignored her as I ranted, “I don’t… I don’t get how you could think so horribly of her! Lilith was understanding, smart, and we had so much fun together…” Correction, I tried to ignore Jett, but she pushed against me forcefully and meowed loudly enough that I couldn’t’ forget her existence right then, but I chose not to react to her until I had finished this alarming conversation. “Well, we did ‘til I started making work my number one priority instead of her!” Jett’s mews grew loud enough that I had the raise the volume of my voice. “I drove her into the arms of another man, so I took this job that would fit around her schedule to prove I can… FINE! You’ll get your way! Happy?” As I headed to the door, I told my parents, “Oh, I didn’t mean that for you. My cat wanted out.”

            “Listen, son, we’re sorry about hurting your feelings, but we just didn’t trust her! I knew one day she’d break your heart!” my mother consoled me. “You’re such a loyal and loving guy, I hated to see someone take advantage of your big heart…”

            “I…” I intended to interrupt her, but she prattled on and on about how I placed my trust in the wrong person and that I deserved someone who would make me happier in life. I couldn’t’ get a word in edgewise, and it was incredibly painful to soak this all in, so I braced myself against the wall by the front window. As I watched Jett chase after the insects that had ventured out for the night, I pondered on how many other family members secretly resented my decision to marry Lilith. As I honestly reflected back, I recalled how many of them seemed stunned that I proposed to her, but none of them expressed any dislike for her! At least not out loud… I knew I owed so many relatives a call, but I dreaded the thought of having to endure more lectures like this!

            Just as I contemplated that perhaps my parents developed a spite for Lilith out of jealousy since she got to see me more often than they did, I saw movement come out of the abandoned house! A herd of bats burst out and flew into the starry sky! Wait, is a group of bats called a herd? Maybe it’s a swarm… Anyways, my jaw dropped, and I gasped, “Bats!”

            My father chided me, “What did you just call your mother?”

            “Oh no! That was meant for her!  I just… saw something across the street!  Some bats… I was totally listening to what Mom was saying, I swear!” I lied. As my parents berated me for my behavior, I put the phone on speaker so I could text the vampire league about this development. It dawned on me why we didn’t see any signs of them during our usual patrols- vampires are nocturnal! Except Damon, he seemed to be active day and night. I didn’t know why he was the exception, but I knew that the rest of his colony… Wait, what do you call a group of vampires? Well, whatever they are, we didn’t see any sign of them after school because we did our search in the wrong time!

            “Does that make sense to you, Connor?” my mom inquired.

            I had forgotten for a moment that my folks were still on the phone with me! I had no clue what they were asking about, but definitely did not want them to repeat their long-winded speech! I simply replied, “Oh yeah, totally!” as I continued to message the other teachers. We decided to do our walking excursion after sunset, which got some understandable opposition, of course. I didn’t care though because, in the end, they all concurred that this was the best way to end our misadventure, and I had a feeling we would finally get to see what scheme Damon had concocted…

2 thoughts on “The Terra-Belle Vampire, Chapter 14

  1. Amit Kumar says:

    Nice Pic haha…. and story part….

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