Written for Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge:
Pick An Opening Sentence And Go
Thanks to Paige S. for my opening sentence
I woke up with scabs on my hands and blood in my mouth.
“Shit! Not again!” I yelled at no one in particular.
Carefully, I got to my feet, wincing when the abrasions on my hands met the dirt on my knees. I scowled down at them as if they were to blame for my current predicament.
I wiped at the blood on my mouth with a handkerchief from my pocket. (Ew, the blood tastes like old man) Looking at my surroundings trying I try to figure out where I ended up this time. Judging from the damp bricks and rotten fish, I was near the docks at the Eastern end of the city. The exact opposite end from where I had started the night.
“I’m gonna to kill Ingrid next time I see her,” I muttered, fishing my phone out of a grimy pocket. I was covered in the slime and dirt of the alley, I glanced down at my dark t-shirt, some substance marred the once white letters. “Some like it cold” it once read, another shirt ruined. I turned on my phone, the bright light blinding to my sensitive eyes in the pre-dawn darkness.
Three missed calls from Ingrid. Good! Let her be the one worrying for once. There were several messages from Jake too. My lips thinned, those would be ignored until later. I dialed Ingrid’s number, she picked up on the third ring.
“Eeeey Amaya! You’re still alive right?” she slurred. Great, she was still drunk.
“Yeah I’m still alive, no thanks to you. Mind telling me why I blacked out and ended up at the docks?” My voice was harsh.
“Ha ha you made it all the way over there?? That’s hilarious!” she cackled into the phone. I gritted my teeth.
“Ingrid, what happened? Sun’s coming up soon and I don’t know where my car is.”
“No worries Am’s, I’ve got your car. I’m driving towards you now,” she giggled. “It was a wild night!”
“Meet me in front of the bakery by the fish market, and once you here there you’re going to tell me everything!” I was practically shouting by the end but I wasn’t worried about anyone overhearing, I couldn’t hear any awake heartbeats at this block.
“Ha ha, K, see ya Am’s!”
“Bye Ingrid,” The phone clicked as she hung up. I had to hold myself back from screaming at the dark screen. Ingrid’s laid back attitude was going to get one or both of us killed one day.
I shoved my phone back into my pocket and headed out of the alley. I glanced around and was relieved to see no bodies lying around. I hadn’t killed in years, I really didn’t need to start now. Ingrid would know where the old man’s blood came from, probably.
The cool night air felt good on my face as I walked the streets towards the bakery. I tried to get my mass of black hair into some semblance of order but gave up when the knots kept catching on the cuts on my hands.
The walk was thankfully a short one. I was right about where I thought I was, just a couple blocks from the docks. The first ships already starting to pull in. The gulls were screeching as they smelled the catch of the day.
The back light was on in the bakery as I took a seat in one do the chairs chained to the ground, the bakers started earlier than the fisherman.
I didn’t have to wait long. Soon enough I could ear the roar of my Toyota truck careening down the cities empty streets. I winced as she came around a corner, trucks weren’t supposed to make turns that tight.
The truck screeched to a half direct in front of me, coming up on the curb. A very tall blond woman sitting in the drivers seat.
“Yo Amaya!” called Ingrid cheerfully from my truck. I grumbled a greeting back as I yanked open one faded yellow door and pulled myself inside. “Someone’s in a grouchy mood.” She said. The engine revved as she turned the truck in a u turn in the middle of the empty street.
“Someone woke up covered in slime and in an alley all the way across the city. Mind telling me how I got there?” I harrumphed out rummaging in the back seat. I always carried a bag of supplies in my car. It came in way more handy that it should. After a bit I found some wipes and a bottle of water. Success!
“Wellll…” she trailed off and became very focused on the road.
“What did you do Ingrid?” I sighed as I got as much of the dried blood off as I could. Even sober Ingrid never paid much attention to the road. It was the reason I always drove.
She made a face at me but continued, “So while we were at the bar I found this guy.”
“Old guy?” I asked, remembering the flavor of the blood.
“Yeah, he was in like his 50s? Anyway, Morrin had just sold him some Angel Dust, really pure stuff ya know? Where he gets it so pure I have no idea.”
“Focus Ingrid,” I growled. I had finished washing up and was downing the bottle of water with some aspirin I had found. A throbbing headache was starting behind my eyes. A guy high on Angel Dust, no wonder I couldn’t remember anything.
Angel Dust was the most popular drug on the streets right now. No idea what it was but it was supposed to make you feel light a Light Knight, like you could do anything.
“I know you normally don’t like drinking drugged blood but you were having SUCH a bad day since Jake did, you know” The truck turned down a more populated road, “So I thought I’d do something you cheer you up. And what better way than getting high on a high guys blood!” She flashed me a large blinding smile, street light glinting off her long, sharp fangs.
“That’s your idea of a good time Ingrid, not mine” I rubbed my temples, my headache was only getting worse. After effects of the Angel Dust most likely.
“Well you were pretty happy for a while after I convinced you to drink… Until you shouted that you were Batman and ran off, running along the rooftops..” she trailed off again gigging, her pale blue eyes bright and not looking at the road. She swerved suddenly to just barely make the turn onto our street.
I groaned and clutched at my forehead. “I did what?” I asked after the car stopped spinning. I guess that explained the cuts on my hands. “You mean to tell me I jumped the rooftops from the bar to the docks?”
have, I’m gonna have to tell Morrin, he’ll think it’s hilarious!” she pulled into the parking lot in front of our apartment and turned off the engine.
“You’ll do no such thing, now gimme my keys, I need a shower.” I growled and held a hand out. Ingrid sighed in mock defeat and handed me my keys. I didn’t doubt for a second that in a couple minutes she would be texting Morrin. Looking down at my keys my face burned a bright red, my batman key chain had landed on top. I really hoped everyone at the bar was too drunk to remember anything.
Ingrid stumbled after me as we entered the stairway leading to our apartment. The place was littered with trash and graffiti on the patched walls. It smelled like someone had peed in it recently too. I covered my nose and headed up the stairs. Sometimes having a supernatural sense of smell wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Ingrid followed behind me, humming some song that sounded vaguely familiar. I thought it might have been The Crazy 9’s.
I hurried past a couple passed out drunks on unlocked the door to the apartment. Once inside I practically flew out of my clothes and into the shower, letting the scalding hot water wash away the slime of the alley.
“Hey Am’s?” came Ingrid’s confused voice from the other side of the bathroom door.
“Yea?” I called over the sound of the water. I had finished washing already and was letting the warm water soak into my bones. There was nothing better than a hot shower.
say she was coming over today?”
I shut off the water and poked my head out. Tara was a friend of ours, human but generally pretty cool. “No, I haven’t heard from her in awhile, why?” Dripping water I grabbed my fluffy towel and quickly began drying myself off.
“Because she’s passed out on our couch,” Ingrid went quiet, “she smells like blood Amaya.”
I started towel hovering over a leg, blood? Was Tara hurt? I wrapped my towel around myself and opened the door to the rest of the apartment, steam escaping in large clouds. The fan in the bathroom hadn’t worked since we moved in two years ago.
Ingrid was standing at the end of the hallway, a worried look on her face and chewing on her thumbnail. She glanced at me and pointed at the sagging, paisley patterned couch.
I tugged my towel tighter, hair dripping on the worn carpet. I looked over the edge of the couch and there was Tara, asleep on out couch, face hidden under one flung out arm, her red curls falling out of a half hearted braid. Her jeans were dirty and she was barefoot, she looked like she had a worse night than I had.
And Ingrid was right, she smelled like blood, lots of it. I could just make out a dark red stain on what I could see of her blue t-shirt.
“Well she’s breathing normally so she’s not hurt.” I reached out a hand. As soon as I touched her she shrieked and leapt off the couch.
“Tara!” I shouted. “Tara! It’s me! It’s Amaya!” I moved around the couch.
“I’m here too,” called Ingrid as she crossed the room. Tara was huddled against the back waller, her eyes bloodshot and wild, her chest heaving, and, were those fangs!?”
I looked to Ingrid to see if she had noticed too. She gave me a sickly look. Someone biting Tara was so many kinds of bad. Like major, uber bad.
Ingrid and I slowly stepped closer to Tara, hands out and attempting to make soothing noises.
Tara’s eyes kept darting between us, not really seeing. Ingrid reached out a hand towards Tara who let out a loud hiss, showing off where clearly a set of vampire fangs.
Someone had turned The Paladin’s sister.