Please enjoy the final part of Chapter 1 of Bloody Little Secrets! Look for it at your favorite ebookstore next week and in paperback later in May! Happy Reading!
“Harold?” A voice yelled from the back door of the house. “Are you all right out there?”
I jumped, hiding myself behind the closed garage door. I looked down again. Harold appeared to be sleeping on the floor, but I knew better. He didn’t smell like pizza anymore. On his throat were two bloody puncture wounds.
“Harold!” The woman shouted again and the back door slammed shut.
I held my breath as her footsteps padded across the driveway.
“Harold, I swear, you never listen when I call you. Harold?” She gasped, finally seeing him on the floor of the garage. “Oh my Lord, Harold, what happened? Can you hear me, Harold?”
She knelt down on the ground and slapped his face. Her eyes caught on the puncture marks. “What is this? Harold!”
I stepped out of the shadows, and she jumped, pressing one hand to her heart.
“What did you do to my husband?” She shrieked, still holding his hands. She smelled like freshly-baked muffins. Banana nut.
“I don’t know what’s happening to me.”
The silver streaks in her dark hair glinted in the garage light. Her red and blue plaid flannel pajamas were faded and worn. I took a step closer.
“You…you stay right where you are.” Her voice shook. “I’m calling the police.” She rose to her feet, trembling, and walked to a phone above the workbench.
In a flash, I was by her side. I grabbed her arm and whipped her around. She screamed and tried to hit me but I stopped her hand with one quick motion.
Her eyes landed on mine and she stopped struggling.
“Your eyes, they’re so beautiful,” she said.
“Please don’t call.” I begged with my eyes.
“I won’t call,” she mumbled.
The smell of muffins washed over me again, causing my mouth to water. No, no, no! Not again. My mouth hurt much less this time when my new, sharp teeth slid down. I found myself drawn to her throat, just as I had been to Harold’s. My teeth sank into her neck, the taste of muffins splashing into my mouth. I drank from her until she too collapsed in my arms. The fog in my brain cleared again, and I looked down in horror at the limp woman. I choked back a sob and tears pooled in my eyes, overflowing and spilling down my cheeks.
Had I really killed three people in one night?
Until I figured that out, I needed to get as far away from here as possible. And I needed to avoid people. I didn’t want this to happen again. I dragged the woman across the garage and laid her next to Harold. I linked their arms together. I didn’t know them, but I thought they might want to be together wherever they were headed. I stepped out of the garage and pulled the door closed, blocking out the macabre scene. I prayed there was no one left in the house.
I remembered I was still wearing the bloodied and torn Homecoming dress. My fingers found clumps of dirt and leaves in my hair from my graveyard and forest exploits. I needed some clothes and a shower, or I’d never make it to wherever I was going. I headed towards the back door. I opened it and sniffed. No people, just a cat.
I padded through the house, feeling like I didn’t belong there. There was a teakettle whistling on the stove, which I turned off as I walked by. No need for the house to burn down. I found a staircase and climbed upstairs, stopping by the first bedroom. It must have been their bedroom. I flipped the light switch on and walked around the bed.
A neatly-made bed with one side turned down waited patiently for an owner who wouldn’t be coming back. A paperback romance novel with dog-eared pages lay on the nightstand. I ran my fingers over the bedspread as I walked towards the open closet. I rummaged through the old lady clothes until I found something suitable. Sweatpants and a tee-shirt with a college logo on it. A pair of clog-style slippers would have to complete the outfit since my feet were too big to fit in the woman’s shoes.
I stepped into a spotless bathroom and stopped to glance at myself in the mirror. My long, dark hair hung in dirty clumps around my face, which, like the rest of my body, was streaked with mud and blood. My eyes glittered in the light. There were so many more facets, like gemstones.
I inspected my arms again, finding no evidence that they had been torn to shreds by splintered wood less than an hour earlier. My eyes fell on a razor lying on the edge of the bathtub. I picked it up and gently touched it to my skin but pulled it away before it could cut me. I didn’t really want to do it, but I had to see it for myself.
I buried my head in my hands, eyes wet with tears I hadn’t noticed. There was only one way to do this. It was like ripping off a Band-Aid, only the exact opposite. With a quick move, I sliced the skin on my arm. I bit my lip, trying not to cry out. The blood trickled out slowly, a few drops plopping onto the white tiles below before the cut started to heal. The skin fused back together, changing from red, to a light purple, the color of an old bruise, and then shifting back to a light brown. It disappeared. No trace, no scar.
My mouth was smeared with dried blood. My hands shook as I gingerly touched my lips, still not fully believing what I had done earlier. I thought about my teeth and how they’d extended at the smell of all that glorious food. I could feel them slide out again and opened my mouth, wanting to see for myself.
Razor sharp fangs replaced my canine teeth. I touched one with my tongue, and it drew blood. My own blood didn’t smell like cupcakes; it smelled wrong, off, not unlike the guy in the woods.
This couldn’t be possible. I stared again, eyes sparkling, fangs out.
This creature that stood before me was just a myth. A bedtime story or the lead character in a teen romance novel. Not me, not here in the middle of Illinois. I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping that when I opened them I would awaken from this awful dream.
I opened them again. I stood before the mirror—horrible and magnificent.
I was a vampire.