October Frights – Day Two – Before Midnight

“I told you, don’t be stupid, John.” Sabine shook her head, dark eyes disapproving. “You don’t just waltz into a Rhapsody and start shoving stakes in hearts. Well, you do, but carefully.”

She handed her flask to him, his hand folding over hers as he took it. “This holy water?”

Sabine scoffed. “Vodka. Holy water is a bunch of bullshit. Crosses, Stars of David, any holy symbol? Chuck it out the window. It’s worth about that much. Vampires aren’t the Children of Cain, and they didn’t come from Vlad the Impaler forsaking God. Forget all that. Vampires are parasites that evolved over time, plain and simple.”

“God … so none of that works?” He took a sip off the flask and handed it back to her.

“Did I fucking stutter? Fuck’s sake, John. There are three ways to kill a vampire. Stake through the heart, decapitation, and setting it on fire. Fire kills everything.” Sabine put her flask away.

John sighed. “Yeah, fine. Got it.” He looked down at her, a smirk rising to his face. “Sabine?”

“What?”

“Why do you have to be a bitch all the time?”

“Fuck you. That a good enough explanation?”

John laughed. “Okay. So why’s it called a Rhapsody? Why not a coven or something?”

“You ask way too many questions for a man your age,” Sabine said. “Come on, I’ll buy you a coffee. You went through all the trouble to find me over a month. It’s the least I could do.”

They walked against a stinging wind, pulling their jackets tighter to their bodies. Grace City offered little protection from the gusts despite its towering buildings.

The dinging of bells signaled their entrance to Ted’s Diner, and the two sat down on red pleather, the squishing of butts to booths audible in the quiet stretch of bar stools. Clattering from the kitchen seemed to respond.

Sabine ran a hand through her hair as she removed her beanie and set it aside, placing her phone on top of it. John did the same, reminding Sabine a bit of a toddler copying his parent.

“Two coffees and two of your Big Ass Burger plates,” she said when the server approached.

John waited till the old woman went away to speak again. “Thanks, by the way. I’m starved.”

“Yeah, I can tell,” Sabine said. “Heard your stomach ask you for food. Anyway, you can’t go into a Rhapsody hungry. You’re hungry means your blood sugar’s low. Adrenaline rush will make you weak instead of strong. You can’t fight in a Rhapsody while you’re fighting hunger or fatigue. You tired?”

“Nope. I’m used to working nights. Was in the Army. Used to four hours sleep, too.”

Sabine shrugged. “Good. I was a Marine. Used to three hours, myself.” She grinned at him, then laughed. “Kidding. Why the hell are you interested in this, anyway?”

to be continued…


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