PULSATE: Episode 7
The world moves in its own way – there’s no plan and most of the time no purpose. All life has done is learn to adapt. A second exists between life and death with each tick of every clock. Eventually all those living seconds pile like a child playing with blocks and then they all come tumbling down. Lucky for some, when their seconds cash in, they just go – like a quiet breath – here and gone. Others… suffer. Those final seconds could last hours, days, or years.
For Asa, she couldn’t stop thinking about it. About death. About Abby. About the woman. About everything. How all her seconds felt forced and without say. A voice came through her body and she listened. Most of the time. She knew Mr. Rogers wasn’t happy about the last kill – the double kill of the night seekers. But Asa didn’t care, in that moment it felt great. And even after Mr. Rogers scolded her and told her “there’s no room for risk takers and wanna be T.V. heroes.” She didn’t care.
But, now, three days later, not hearing from Mr. Rogers had her going mad. She felt caged. Imprisoned by her own guilt and questions. Her runs wore her out physically but that proved nothing. Sitting alone – sun up to sun down – giving her time to think… and with a full conscience like Asa’s, it was punishment.
Reflecting was suffering and suffering was remembering…
Asa put her face in her hands.
She wanted to weep but couldn’t. There were no tears. She had one option – cope.
This was her life.
She decided to walk. Evening came with a dark show of colors. The night was cool, cool enough for a jacket, but Asa opted to go without. She wanted to be cold, she wanted to shiver, she wanted to feel alive.
She left her music at home and chose the busy world to soothe her soul. Every corner she stopped and looked. She watched cars, people, even airplanes. What she really wanted to see was a sign. Something to tell her it was okay, that time would recycle itself and take the memory of the woman to the back of her mind.
Her sign didn’t show up on a street corner but rather a parking lot.
And it came in the face of a vampire about to feast on a woman…
The vampire looked big and mean and if Asa was in a better state of mind she would have realized what he was. But all she focused on was the woman – on her knees, crying and begging for her life. Asa saw the face of the other woman killed innocently because of her.
She had to help.
The vampire put a long fingernail under the woman’s chin and lifted her head.
“The taste of fear with blood… exquisite.”
The woman cried and pointed to her purse.
“There are riches I desire,” the vampire said, “but not of the monetary kind.”
Asa stepped from the shadows. She stood, fists balled, ready. She had no old world wood meaning she had no way to kill the vampire. This is yet another thought that never occurred to Asa.
Anger pulsed through her veins again like vile adrenaline. She stared at the glowing outline of the vampire. So thick, so scary.
There was no need for Asa to be there, but neither her mind or heart cared.
“Help!” the woman shouted.
Asa stepped forward again. The vampire looked at her and sniffed the air. “I smell that you’re different. Here… but not. And I smell my blood on your soul.”
“That’s right,” Asa said, “and you’re next. I plan on stepping in your ashes. Spitting on them.”
In the back of her mind, Asa felt something. Kind of heard it too. Much like someone pick up another phone to listen in on your conversation.
Was someone listening to her? Mr. Rogers?
“Shall we finish this later?” the vampire asked interrupting Asa’s thoughts. “I’m quite hungry and this woman’s fear is going to taste so good.”
Asa growled – more of a purr – and ran at the vampire. He stood up straight and Asa hit him in the stomach. The two went tumbling to the ground. Asa rolled on top of the vampire and starting swinging.
The creatures skin was soft, human. And he bled when she connected with a right to the nose. The vampire got mad then and threw Asa like a rag doll. As she sailed in the air the vampire stood up and dove at her. Its arms spanned and legs bent, it moved with precision. It somehow shrank up and struck Asa bringing her to the ground with a hard smack. Then it curled its lip and showed fangs like Asa had never seen.
“I’m still hungry,” the vampire said and moved towards her neck.
Asa opted for cheap moves. She stuck her fingers into the vampires eyes and dug. He jumped off her. Asa moved and began to throw punches at its throat. The vampire appeared confused at Asa’s strength. Asa took the small opportunity to attack again. She was desperate as she had just begun to realize attacking a vampire without old world wood was not just stupid but almost suicide. So desperate Asa opened her mouth and mimicked a vampire and went for the neck. The vampire stepped back and its eyes glowed red.
“The beginning of your end,” it said.
Then it jumped and vanished into the night.
Asa turned to face the woman.
“Thank you!” the woman screamed. “You saved me!”
Asa smiled and then everything hit her. The size. Aura. Feeling. Look. She understood her error in judgment but not error in action. As the woman began to clean up her purse, black shadows emerged. Dozens of them. Asa stood in horror as the shadows grabbed the woman and she too disappeared.
Asa fell to her knees. She couldn’t believe it – she just wanted to help.
But things were dictated by time and purpose. And the woman was a witness. And witnesses…
Asa stared into the nothing of the night. The pieces came together. She killed another innocent person… and angered the worst kind of vampire – an old man.
In other words, Asa’s time alive was now counting down to the end.
©2011 Jim Bronyaur