PULSATE: Episode 12
Prepare. Then fight.
Mr. Rogers had spoken the orders proud and repeated them every time Asa spoke with him.
Asa had never prepared for anything in her life. Everything always happened – from the beginning until now. Asa couldn’t remember much before the beginning other than her best friend dying.
For a couple of days and nights Asa walked the streets of her town hoping to find some creatures but there were none. She didn’t need to communicate with Mr. Rogers to know this was on purpose. The Old Man had sent the freakish sun walkers to torment Asa and that was her last taste of battle – almost defeat. And the “almost” was only because the vampires left.
The teeth marks were still on her neck – red dot scars that remind her of how quick life could change. Asa would rather kill herself than be bitten by the beasts she was meant to kill.
And when Asa tried to ask about the giant sun walkers, Mr. Rogers refused, only talking about the Old Man.
Paranoia had planted its roots deep into Asa and no matter where she went or what she did, she felt watched, felt that she was going be attacked.
At night she slept holding a piece of old world wood. The wood gave her horrific nightmares of creatures killing, perhaps something was greater in the wood itself too. She also went as far as to push her dresser in front of her door at night. She hoped it would give her time in case of an attack… she also hoped she’d be able to move within the seconds of time like the creatures did.
By the morning of the fifth day since the sun walkers attacked Asa knew she needed strength. Strength in herself and strength in the notion that she could fight and destroy an Old Man vampire.
She went back to her old routine. She stretched, ate, and went for a run. She grabbed her iPod and hit shuffle. When Knockin’ on Heavens Door came up she pressed the button to shuffle again.
Right Next Door to Hell (by Guns n’ Roses).
So she ran.
Away, but not, Mr. Rogers stared into a cup of black coffee. His own paranoia had shown up after the attack on Asa. He hadn’t seen the attack happen but only caught the end, right when he spoke to Asa. On his screen he saw Asa happy and then he blinked and it went from a peaceful Asa to two creatures on her, ready to kill her.
The screen had shown those massive vampires. They were more of monsters, things that Mr. Rogers dreamed of. Supersized creatures.
Nobody had spoken to Mr. Rogers in days, there was no plan in place. He figured with something this big coming there would be help. Asa was the best… or so he hoped. No, he knew Asa was the best. He’d seen her travel to places and in time that nobody could understand.
It angered Mr. Rogers that anyone may cast a doubt, even himself.
Even still, the quietness of everything seemed too much. He felt the place should have been busy with work. Planning, helping, preparing.
Unless of course they weren’t allowed to help. The background of talking was sometimes just as bad as the blood shed.
Shuffle had given Asa a playlist creepy enough to be real, once Superbest (by Rob Zombie) ended she took her headphones out.
She stopped running and walked slow.
Before her mind could think a thought a hand shot out and grabbed her arm.
Asa turned and instinctively grabbed her waistband for old world wood. There was none. The piece she had tucked in her waistband must have fallen out.
The memory of the attack from days ago was fresh so Asa prepared to fight. Only when she brought back her hand to swing she realized she was looking at a homeless man.
“You’re the one…”
“He told me. He’s looking for you. He said He will save you.”
Asa stared at the man’s wandering eyes and then noticed a worn out Bible laying on top of his bag. A man with nothing but faith…
“He comes for you.”
Asa twisted herself free.
“Don’t be afraid. He’ll tell you! He told me he’d tell you!”
Asa started to jog away, trying to ignore the man. He kept yelling and everything he said made sense. It could have been coincidence. It could have been paranoia. It could have been something else.
Asa didn’t stop jogging until she got home where she told herself she’d wait for the Old Man.
There, but not, Mr. Rogers stared in awe. Asa had kept control when the stranger touched her. This made him happy – Asa was regaining her focus.
That all changed as Asa walked away.
The image for Mr. Rogers didn’t follow Asa. Instead it stayed on the homeless man. The man looked up at Mr. Rogers and winked. Then he opened his mouth revealing a set of fangs.
Before Mr. Rogers would finish, his image went snowy.
It was time…
©2011 Jim Bronyaur
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In the Corner, Jim Bronyaur’s novel, is available here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/s/ref=is_box_/177-9177525-5616338?k=Jim+Bronyaur+