This story is by Lily Jess Hunter and was part of our 2018 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
I leave bloody footprints on the expensive Persian carpet covering the hall. Frank would kill me for this if I weren’t already dead. I’m sure he will find another way to punish me. He always does. I walk up to the double door leading to his study and raise my hand to knock but hesitate. I’m 112 years old, time to solve my own problems and stop running to daddy.
Kat, act like an adult. His booming voice is scolding me inside my head and I listen. I turn on my heel, but the door opens behind me.
“What the hell?” Frank’s judgmental stare is piercing my back. I fucked up. Again.
“Don’t worry, I’ll sort it out,” I say trying not to sound too defensive. And failing.
“Sort out what exactly?”
“The… body?” My voice hits the high pitch of a terrified teenager. Not good.
I take a deep breath I don’t need and walk back across the hall, doubling up on my footsteps, making sure that my body moves with a fluidity that distracts Frank from splashing me against the wall. I am secretly grateful that he killed me at seventeen. Having the perfect body of a young girl and the innocent face that comes with bright blue eyes and sun-bleached blond waves helped me get away with so much more than the adult, boring looking vamps ever could.
I slam the door behind me with an elegant wave of my hand and grab one leg of the guy who was my entertainment earlier tonight. He leaves a wide bloody streak behind when I drag him down the stairs. I let out an exasperated groan as my fangs extend involuntarily. I really messed up. I can’t even drain a fucking body properly.
Hunger washes over me and I drop the guy, his leg hitting the ground with a soft thud. My vision is blurred but the blood on the stairs is clear, bright red, even in the dark as the motion detector lights switch off. Damn. I have been staring at the bloody stairs and thinking about licking them off for over two minutes. Disgusting. I hate when that happens. The light comes on when I move, stabbing at my night vision and I almost cry out in pain. Almost. Good.
I finally drag the body behind the house and deposit him into the large dumpster. Mission accomplished. Now I need to do something about the carpet. I’m not cleaning it, obviously. Could buy a new one, but according to Frank, I cannot pick a tasteful item for our home to save my life. When he is mad, it would be a bad idea to experiment with my undeveloped taste in art. He’s picky, better to just let him pick.
I run upstairs to change out of my bloodstained clothes into something presentable on a summer night in Los Angeles. I pull a top over my head and jump into ragged tight-fitting jeans with crazy-high sandals. I love shaming the girls on the boulevard. With over a hundred years’ practice, I walk in those heels with more elegance than any top model but still enjoy their jealous stares.
I drop my handbag on the passenger seat, jump over the door into the convertible and turn towards the highway. It’s a beautiful evening. A bit warm and humid, which makes humans sweat and stink, but I still have a good chance of finding the right “forgive me, love” gift for Frank. I park in front of a bar full of tourists. It’s almost midnight, so I don’t have much time before the less adventurous people start heading home, significantly reducing my hunting ground.
I walk in pushing my brand-new fake ID into the face of the security guard at the entrance and he lets me pass. Perfect timing. A girl is sitting at the bar barely old enough to buy a drink, trying to get rid of a man, drunk, old and too dumb to realise that she is way out of his league. I walk up to them with confident strides.
“Oh, Audrey, I am so sorry I am late.” I lean in to kiss her and she is smart enough to accept it with a smile. The man stares for a moment, trying to figure out his next move. We ignore him and chitchat with faked excitement until he finally walks away.
Audrey introduces herself as Becca and would probably sell her soul just to thank me for saving her from that disgusting smelly asshole. She is awesome. Smart, kind, chatty, young, beautiful, but not too pretty to make me uncomfortable. I almost feel sorry for her. She came to LA to become an actress. Okay, so maybe she isn’t that smart. I mean I’ve heard that story like a hundred times. Country girl has talent and takes off to Hollywood. Come on. That happens in the movies. People really believe that shit? Whatever. They end up in a dumpster behind the house half the time.
I tell Becca today is her lucky day. My producer is looking for an actress for an upcoming movie. It isn’t a big role, but if she proves herself, then who knows what she will become? I must introduce her right now. A fake call and we are on our way home.
The hall has no carpet, I note as we enter, and the floorboards are scratched. That wasn’t me, I swear. I take Becca straight to the study after I make sure Frank isn’t there. She is eager to meet the producer and sits nervously when I point her to the sofa. How could you be so lucky on your first night in Los Angeles? She thinks the angels are holding her hand, leading her on this path. Yeah, well. Aren’t we just beautiful dark angels?
I head upstairs to my bedroom and find Frank waiting.
“What’s your plan for the carpet?” His voice is quiet, almost gentle, lacking real anger.
I flash my most innocent smile at him.
“You are going to have to make it up to me, you know.” He is sitting on my bed in simple black trousers and a white shirt, the top button undone, giving me a small inviting peak at his bare chest. He looks twenty-five but is over five hundred. Who cares about age, though, when his short black hair is all messed up, in perfect contrast with his pale skin and piercing blue eyes. This is so confusing. I should hate him. Or fear him. Or any of those logical things humans feel towards the one who murdered them. Yet I am staring at him with unrelenting love and desire. He turned me into this beautiful immortal being, freed me from the pain of living and shared his power. Most vampires see this as a father-daughter relationship. Hell, I act like he was my dad half the time. I mean, he turned me and that makes me his responsibility after all. But we are so much more.
I stand in front of him and bury my hands into his thick dark hair. He groans and grabs me to pull in closer, but I resist, and he lets me. He’s stronger, faster than I would ever be, but he likes to let me lead, likes to play my games.
I pull him towards the door, giggling like the teenage girl I was when we first met. In the study, the little actress is sitting on the sofa, cracking her knuckles anxiously. Frank locks the door behind us. He looks at me, a smile on his lips and I sigh with relief. He forgives me. He always does. His kiss is like an explosion, it cannot be contained anymore, fingers digging into my side, pressing me against the wall. The girl gasps and stands up confused. I tear myself from the kiss, my fangs scratching Frank’s lips and a drop of blood trickles down his chin. That is my undoing. There is nothing human on my face, only pure hunger for blood and his approval, his love, the only redemption of my lost soul.
The girl’s scream shoots through the room. She is trapped, fists banging on the door, but no one can hear it. Frank shushes her until the screams quiet into soundless tears. Pride flashes in Frank’s eyes. I chose perfectly. This time, I won’t have to clean up the blood.