This story is by Kayla Bouy and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
“Dad, you didn’t have to do all this.” Jeanette Tanner said, gesturing to the party in full swing.
“Nonsense,” Bill Tanner countered. “You and all the other new officers deserve it. It’s not every day my daughter joins the NYPD. I’m proud of you, my Nanette.” Bill wrapped his cool arms around his daughter. Janette hugged him close, blinking back the tears that threatened to overflow. Pulling back, he kept a firm arm around her waist. “Let me introduce you to your new colleagues.”
Jeanette beamed as her dad proudly ushered her around the room.
“When will you join us on the graveyard shift, Jeanette?” Dale questioned, a sneer plastered on his pale face. Jeanette wondered how long he’d been working nights to get so ghostly.
“She’s not,” Bill said abruptly, pulling Jeanette to another side of the room.
“I don’t know, Dad. Nights would be fun. I’m up all night anyways. It would be nice to work together. I was hoping to transfer to nights,” Jeanette said as they reached the drink table. Bill reached over and snagged Jeanette a coke, and a brown bottle for himself.
“What ya’ drinking?” Jeanette questioned, taking a sip of the icy coke and squinting at the bottle in her father’s hands. “And I can do it, Dad. I know nights is harder and there’s only one other female, but I can do it.”
“Oh, just some cola mixed with this new medicine Dr. Vason put me on.” Bill answered pulling the bottle out of her reach. “You are too young for nights, Nanette. It’s not about strength or woman’s inability to do what a man can. You need to get your family started first.”
“What family? I’m not even dating right now.” Jeanette laughed with a glance around the room. She watched as a few of the night shift officers slipped into the back room leading Ted, a new recruit, with them.
“… doesn’t matter. Eventually you’ll find someone, and I want grandchildren. They will need their mother home at night.” Bill finished studying his daughter. Sighing, he realized she wasn’t paying attention and he stepped away. Jeanette saw Dale beckon her father to the back room. He grinned at Jeanette, the light glinting off his teeth. His eyes almost black in the shadow of his hat. Jeanette suppressed a shiver, an icy trail of fear walked up along her spine.
“I’ll be back in a little while,” Bill said grabbing four bottles of his brown soda. “We have to … uh… complete Ted’s initiation to the night shift.”
Jeanette wandered around the celebration; congratulating the other new recruits, stopping for small talk with the seasoned officers, and chasing after the children running through the crowd.
“Welcome to the force.” A cold deep voice commanded her attention. Jeanette jumped when she realized the Chief was next to her.
“Thank you, sir.” Jeanette responded. “I’m ecstatic to serve under you and with my father.”
“Ah, Bill. Good man. I heard you discussing your desire for the night shift earlier. Has he talked you out of it yet?” The Chief asked. Jeanette turned and tried to make eye contact, but the Chief’s eyes were fixed on her exposed neck. Self conscious, she scratched the area and adjusted the neckline of her shirt. She shifted uncomfortably before answering.
“Oh.. umm… I’m not sure. I’d love to be able to work with my dad. I know it will be harder on a future relationship, but people make it work all the time.”
“It takes a certain … uh… breed of people to work this department’s graveyard shift,” the Chief chuckled darkly.
“I think I have what it takes sir,” Jeanette responded the laughter making her uneasy.
“Are you sure?” he asked moving closer. Jeanette stood firm without backing down. “People don’t come back from the graveyard shift. It’s not for everyone. You’d need a determined mind and strong body to cut it,” the Chief said, sizing her up. Jeanette held herself still. Her body fought to move back. She struggled against the wave of disgust coursing through her as his eyes appraised her body.
“I can do it,” Jeanette answered. Bolts of pain shot down her spine from the rigid pose.
“Ha, you do take after your father. He’s a stubborn one too.” The Chief laughed pulling a piece of paper and pen out of his jacket. Jeanette watched as he filled out the transfer, and handed her the paper to sign.
“There you go,” he grinned, his teeth gleaming. “Take this through there, the crew can do your initiation as well. I can’t wait to see your transformation into the group, the process is to die for. “
A shiver of unease shook Jeanette as she pushed into the back room into which her dad had disappeared.
The rooms light was dimmed. The new recruit, Ted, was chained to a chair in the center of the room. Jeanette stopped short and stared uncomprehendingly. A man was kneeling next to the chair, his mouth at the recruits neck. Jeanette realized it was Dale with his mouth pressed to Ted’s neck, while a dark stain formed on his shirt. A female officer was sitting next to Ted, her wrist pressed to his mouth.
“Nanette? Why….No!” Bill moaned, noticing the papers clutched in her hand.
“He’s done, Bill. Bring her here,” Dale said motioning Jeanette forward.
“Dad?” Jeanette choked out, her voice thin and weak.
“Oh honey, I didn’t want this for you. I tried to talk you out of it. It’s too late once you’ve signed the papers.” Bill’s voice broke as he forced her into the chair, tightening the chains.
“I didn’t want the Vampire life for you.”
“The What?!” Jeanette shouted struggling against the restraints. “You’re not… You can’t be a….” Bill flashed his fangs before pushing Dale and the female officer away.
“She’s mine. Nobody touch my daughter.” He growled, and sunk his teeth into his daughters neck.