Thursday, November 7, 2013

Family

I looked like Carrie. Okay, maybe not as bad as Carrie, but it was still pretty gross. My clothing, my arms, all covered in blood. Especially my hair. I was starting to wonder if cutting it off wouldn't be such a bad idea because not only did it look gross, curls made crunchy and black by the mess, but it smelled terrible. The ebony warrior was in the same state, patches of maroon stained his dark skin, a single, thick, drop of blood ready to drop from the end of his twists. We stood, staring at one another with what I guessed were similar expressions. He definitely looked like how I felt, chocolate brown eyes wide, mouth parted in shock, his breath coming in quickened pants.

We stumbled for the reception desk, quickly ducking behind it and sitting against the wall. We wiped our bloody hands on the carpet below us. He leaned his arm on the baseball bat at his side, and I rested my gun by the wall with a hefty sigh.

"You're one hell of a shot," he said to break the deafening silence and I found myself giggling at this to relieve my own tension, but mostly because I was glad to be alive.

"Wish I had enough strength to swing a bat like you though," I breathed as I moved a hand over my pounding heart, "You were so amazing I wish I filmed it."

He chuckled at my compliment and he turned his head to look at me, "I don't know," he said with humor in his voice, "you don't see too many girls wielding guns."

I glanced over, then looked upward to smile at the ceiling, "I'm the next Lara Croft."

"Amy Croft, then?" He asked.

"Yeah," I couldn't help the smile that came over my face when he said this, "So you know my name, what's yours?"

"Riley," he said as he held out his hand to shake mine.

I took his and said, "Looks like we're going to be friends whether we like it or not, huh?"

"We'll learn to like it," he said with a playful smirk.

I rolled my eyes and pushed myself up, "Alright, come on, let's get you out of here. I'm with my--" I always paused thinking of what to call Lex. He wasn't family. He was just my mother's friend from way back in the day. For all intents and purposes, I guess he was my uncle. Or like an uncle. Families are weird like that.

"Your...?"

Then it dawned on me that Lex had been out there by himself the entire time. He had the vantage point when I left, but still. Even someone like him couldn't take a horde on by himself if they blind sided him.

I could feel my heart leap as I grabbed my gun from the ground, "Just come on."

My run quickened when I could hear Riley's heavy footsteps behind me.

"Lex!" I started yelling, "Lex, I'm okay! Start the truck!"

I didn't hear the engine, but then again, I was still fairly far away from it. I wouldn't blame him for not hearing me.

"Lex!" I ran as fast as my feet could carry me, and I couldn't help but smile as I did, "You should have seen it! I took them all on with Riley's help. I told you coming here would be a good idea!" I could see the truck a few feet away, and Lex sat inside, looking to something on the console or steering wheel, I couldn't tell which.

"Start up the truck! I'll tell you all about it!" Relief flooded my chest and I could feel myself smiling so big in a cocky sort of pride that it almost hurt.

When Lex looked up to me, he was pale, and sweat beaded his forehead.

My look immediately dropped when I got close and peered in.

Lex had wrapped his arm in a rag that he must have gotten from God knows where within the interior. Not only was it dirty, but now it was soaked with blood. Not like the zombie blood, theirs is a deep, rusted color, like blood dried on the skin. No, this was rich and red. This was fresh. This was Lex's blood and my heart sank.

"I wish you could, Amy," he said in a soft, strained voice.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Horror Movie

Splattered in blood, with the zombies scattered around the car like some kind of macabre art piece, all I could do was stand there and breathe, heart pounding erratically in my chest. My eyes darted from corpse to corpse, looking for any signs of movement. I had to be sure. I mean, I didn't want to be like those stupid girls in horror movies that make you scream 'Don't go in there'.

With the immediate proximity silent, I slid off of the car and carefully landed on the concrete below me with an audible tap. I waited when I heard it and looked around again. Nothing was running for me, and that was good. I cautiously made my way toward the station, ever vigilant of the sounds around me.

The plan was for Lex to watch the supplies while I would get whoever was left in the station. I was smaller than him, and faster. If this guy weighed me down or tried anything stupid, I would leave him.

But I was really hoping he wouldn't.

What felt like a heart-pounding forever (probably just a minute in reality), I found myself at the front of the station, the glass doors shattered and the pieces covered the reception area.

"Hello?" I called cautiously, only to be met with nothing.

Now I really did feel like I was in a horror movie, waiting for something to jump out of the shadows at me. Any of the zombies I had run into so far had been pretty loud, but in not ending up like random dead chick #3, I stayed on my guard, gun pointed forward.

To calm my nerves, I spoke, "My name is Amy. I'm going to get you out of here, okay? I heard your message on the radio and you wanted someone to meet you down here, so here I am."

Again, nothing.

I spoke a little louder than before, "Listen, if you're here then I really suggest we get the fuck out, like, right now because there's no telling how long we have. We could totally become zombie food, and I'm totally okay NOT going out that way, I don't know about you."

I was finally met with a horrible, non-human screech, similar to the one I heard back home when the glass doors shattered. I looked around quickly, trying to figure out where it came from, but before I could react, I could hear them approaching on all sides, quickly.

Shit. I really was going out this way, like a bad actress doomed to sequels and mini series. Ew. The remaining glass around me began to shatter as they made their way forward, rotting eyes focused on me.

I swallowed thickly and fired, taking one out immediately, but there were at least five more of them.

Firing from atop a truck at least gave me a vantage point because these things aren't very good at climbing, but now that there was no barrier between us, they could easily get to me and I didn't have enough time to take all of them down myself without getting overwhelmed.

That is, until a metallic thunk took one of them down. My eyes darted to the source to find a tall, athletic-bodied man with gorgeous ebony skin, his dark hair in twists that extended a couple inches around his head. He looked like a warrior. I mean, compared to me, you know? His clothes and the side of his face were splattered in blood, and he held a metallic baseball bat stained red with blood. I couldn't help watch him for a moment. His muscles rippled as he raised the bat and brought it down solidly, taking another zombie swiftly to the ground. He didn't stop swinging but he yelled, "I don't want to go out that way neither!"

A slow smile came to my face as I pointed my gun toward a screeching zombie in a business suit and fired.

Monday, October 14, 2013

No One Left Behind

The details of what happened after that are fuzzy. We took all of the essential things that we had and loaded them into the back of Lex's truck, but once I let my bag go, I plopped into the passenger seat and sat in shock. I remember him asking if I was going to be okay, and I nodded numbly, hearing the engine roar as we took off.

The town looked like it was generally in one piece towards the beginning. There were no zombies around from what I could tell. The houses in my neighborhood looked as they always did. As we drove outward, there were only a couple of things out of place: A freshly broken window here, a fallen mailbox there, but it wasn't bad. It looked like a group of punks gathered in one place and decided to get into trouble, but nothing that couldn't be fixed or replaced in a couple day's time.

As we kept on driving, however, it got progressively worse. Broken windows in houses, storefronts, and a few cars, the glass glistening in the streets under the setting sun lighting the pavement up like diamonds underneath us. I watched them sparkle and I was immediately reminded of a pair of earrings that my mom used to wear. She had two piercings in each ear and kept the tiniest diamond in the hole that was further up. It was so subtle I often forgot it was there until the light caught it just right. When I thought of it, I could feel my eyes become hot and wet, and I didn't know if I should look in my lap, or keep staring forward.

Lex must have noticed because he said in the gentlest way possible, "Don't cry, Amy. We can't let this keep us down. We have to get out first."

I pressed my lips together and just nodded as the tears streamed down my cheeks. The further we drove out, the more foreign everything looked from the damage. There were cars that looked abandoned and I could see a bright, white police cruiser that had bloody hand prints that smeared away to the side as if someone had been dragged from it.

I swallowed thickly and said, "Looks like someone wanted their pork extra rare."

Lex glanced over at me and laughed. A slow smile came to my face and I couldn't help but laugh with him, even though my face was still moist and flushed from my own grief. I felt a little fucked up for laughing, but at the same time I really needed it, you know? That kind of laughter that causes you to hold your sides and cry a little. I needed it because it made me feel sane, despite what was going on around us. More than likely, I would never see this town again, and even if I came back, what would become of it? What home would I have to go back to? I may not have had anything tangible anymore, but I had my wit and I definitely had my humors, and if I was going to get through this thing, I would need every ounce of it I could manage.

When our laughter died down, Lex attempted to click on the radio, but most of the stations were out - big surprise - and every station crackled eerily or was unsettlingly silent. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat and Lex spoke, "You can pick out a CD if you want. They're in my console."

Yeah, I definitely needed a distraction, even if I didn't agree with Lex's tastes in music. I grabbed the folder he kept wedged there, packed to the brim with CDs and flipped through it aimlessly, taking in the colors and looking at the art, tilting the folder this way and that so the rainbow reflected in the mirror-like surface would shine.

As I flipped, our silent station began to crackle and then a voice came through, "Hello?" A deep male voice by the sound of it. My eyes went wide and I immediately turned it up.

"I don't know if anyone will get this," It went on, "But the outbreak happened so fast that this was the only place I thought to go. Please, if anyone can hear this, I'm down at the station on Main Street."

I looked from the radio to Lex and urgently grabbed his arm, "We have to go get him."

Lex gave me a sideways glance and I could see a stubborn glint in his eye, "We don't know him. This guy could only hold us back."

"But we could find our strength in numbers! Please," I begged, "We can't just let him die if we could have done something about it? Are you that cold?" I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes as I argued which, by the way, I completely hate about myself. Every time I argue something I believe in, I cry. Way to totally prove a point, right?

To my surprise though, Lex huffed out a deep sigh and turned his truck in the direction of Main Street. Thankfully, the road was ahead and we weren't moving backwards by our detour.

After driving for a mile, I knew the station was coming up. I'd seen it a few times, even though I wasn't on this side of town very much. It was a modestly sized building, a boring, default beige in color, with random graffiti tags that had to be painted over once or twice a month. Really, you think they would just break down and paint the thing.

Not that it really matters now.

What I hadn't anticipated, however, was the boring, beige building was now flanked by zombies surrounding the perimeter. It was like all of them decided to conglomerate there. Maybe they smelled fresh meat, or maybe they were upset because their favorite song wasn't played during rush hour traffic. That's a joke, of course. Though, I think the zombies would love 'Thriller' for obvious reasons.

Anyway, I pressed my lips together and glared forward at the horde.

"This isn't a good idea," Lex insisted.

I was too busy reaching in the back to grab a gun, "It's the best idea. On my watch, we're not leaving anyone behind."

"You're being foolish!"

"I already left someone behind and I swear to God, I won't let it happen again!" I practically yelled as I pushed open the door, aimed, and fired.

The zombie, who looked to be thinner in frame immediately fell, which caused the others to turn around and stare in our direction.

"Shit," I whispered as I clamored to the hood of the truck as the zombies began to move towards us. Lex was quick on my heels with a gun of his own.

As I stood on that hood, firing away at the hissing, gurgling, screeching horde below me, I briefly thought of a picture I saw on Facebook that circulated for a while. It was a picture of a guy standing on top of a truck, surrounded by an endless horde. It pointed an arrow to him and said something along the lines of 'how you think you'll be', followed by the same picture pointing to the horde saying 'where you'll actually be'.

Who would have thought a girl in a tank top and yoga pants would be standing on the hood, effectively laying the horde to waste at her feet?

Definitely not me.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Note

'Don't be too late' usually meant that dinner was going to be somewhat earlier than usual, so I was sure to make it back home by 4:30. I trained harder than I usually would considering I was out as late as 6:00 or sometimes 7:00, but I couldn't complain about cutting my training day short. I wanted to see what mom had put together for the possible oncoming zombies. That and I felt bad about my sudden outburst, even if I had every right in the world to yell and be concerned. I mean, if that's the kick in the ass mom needed to take this seriously then I don't feel bad at all for what I said.

But I did feel bad for yelling.

I unlocked the front door and pushed it open calling out, "Mom?"

The house was relatively dark considering the sun was sinking low on the horizon. But it also meant that mom was still out.

I clicked on a light and looked around. Everything was in its place, so nothing unusual there except the absence of my mother.

"Mom? Are you taking a nap?" I called out again, but still, I didn't hear her.

I could feel my brows crease in concern as I walked to the kitchen. There was a note on the fridge that wasn't there when I left. I flipped on the kitchen light and took it down to read:

"Amy,

Buying supplies. I may be late. Leftovers in the fridge.


I'm proud of you and I love you.

-Mom"

I rubbed the pad of my thumb along her cursive handwriting, feeling the indentations it made on the paper. I smiled at the note and folded it, placing it in my pocket. I don't know why. I wasn't usually the kind to keep quick notes from my mother. Maybe it's because she actually said she was proud of my efforts, or maybe because I was still a little disoriented from working out so hard all day. Who's to say.

I managed to drag myself upstairs for a shower, scrubbing off the dirt and sweat. I washed my hair, savoring the feel of my curls and the way the conditioner made them feel especially soft. Nothing felt quite as good as the shower right after a hard day's work.

Once I turned off the water and dried off, I changed into a pink tank top and black yoga pants. Before I started training, I usually wore a t-shirt to bed, but lately, I took to wearing that because it accentuated the muscles and showed off my arms. When I woke up in the morning, despite my messy hair and lack of make-up, I looked good and it made me feel proud. I smiled to myself every day and ignored the soreness, ready for more.

I picked my sweats off from the bathroom floor to take them to the laundry basket in my room. Carefully, I took the note out of my pocket and placed it on my desk, near my laptop. I flopped on my bed and closed my eyes. I thought about calling mom to see if she was okay, but I shrugged it off and decided to take a small nap before she came back. She would probably need help lugging the supplies inside anyway.

I must have fallen asleep for maybe ten minutes when I heard something downstairs, like a large amount of glass had shattered. Somehow, I immediately knew it was our sliding glass door.

By the way, let's talk about how nothing wakes up the body quite like adrenaline does. I was on my feet instantly and grabbed a gun that I shoved under my bed, per Lex's suggestion, a .22 pistol. I'm so glad he made me. I totally customized it by wrapping the handle of it with pink, glitter tape since by default it was a boring, black color.

Anyway, I felt alert, but I also felt very fearful as I made my way out of the room and pointed my weapon toward the direction of the crash. I stood over the bannister and pointed my gun.

My eyes nearly popped out of my head at what I saw.

There in the living room, surrounded by broken glass was a woman with stringy brown hair, covered in dirt and blood. I thought this was unusual since she was of rather small stature, and it would hurt like hell to throw yourself through glass. Still, I held my gun on her and yelled the obvious, "I don't want to hurt you!"

Really, I didn't. It looked like she already did a number on herself. I was hoping it was just some random, crazy woman, but then she looked at me.

Her eyes were red, and definitely not like she had been crying. No, I mean the whites of her eyes and the irises were completely blood red, so all that was left was the pupil, which was eerily glazed over to a glossy, rotting green like a fish that had flopped out of the water and died. Cuts from the glass had slashed all over her entire body, but she wasn't dripping with blood like I expected she would. In fact, the blood on her was dry, and dulled to a dark, rusty color, so it must have been from before she shattered the door. The cuts she had attained from the glass didn't bleed and she didn't seem to be in pain, but she looked pissed. When she looked at me, she let out a sound I had never heard come from a human before. It was kind of a snarl, kind of a scream, and I jumped at it so hard I nearly dropped the gun.

"I'll shoot you, I swear to God!" I screamed to dissuade her from going any further, but come on. We all know that clearly didn't do anything. She ran towards me. I mean, ran. She was closing the gap between us quickly, despite the fact that I was standing at the top of a staircase. Thank God I pulled the trigger. She probably stopped by the third bullet, but I unloaded an entire clip to be extra sure.

When she collapsed on the stairs and comically slid to the bottom step, I stood in shock for a moment, trembling. How could the Z-disease have made it our way already? Was there just this one by some fluke or would there be more?

I ran to my room to grab my emergency bag. I packed it a week into my training. Lex told me to be ready to run. It contained everything I needed: food, survival gear, clothing, and ammo. As soon as I ran to my room, I grabbed a clip and put it in my gun before I went into my pocket for my phone.

Immediately, I dialed my mother's number, bouncing anxiously as I waited for her to pick up. Voicemail. I did this three more times before I finally resigned, leaving a message after the computerized beep.

Voice shaking I spoke, "Hey mom, um... I... I really hope you're okay. There was a um... Someone with Z-Disease kind of took out the sliding glass door. There's this huge mess b-but don't worry I'm okay I just..." I swallowed and I could feel tears slide down my cheeks, "I really hope you get this. Go to Lex's. We probably shouldn't stay home. I love you so much," my voice choked, "Please mom, please be okay..."

As soon as I hung up the phone, I heard a noise from downstairs. Another crash. I took a deep breath. It wasn't supposed to happen like this. We were supposed to be ready. I was supposed to be ready, not this crying, trembling mess I had become.

I threw the sack on my back, before going under my bed for a knife, deploying the blade with a sharp click. I opened my door and aimed the gun again.

"Who's there?!" I cried out, my voice near hysteria.

"Amy! It's me!" At the base of the stairs stood Lex, breathing heavily and covered in dirt.

"Lex..." I breathed.

"We have to go now," he said sternly.

"Mom isn't back yet, she said she'd be back. We can't go without her," I tearfully said.

"Amy," he started firmly, "There's no time," he said pointedly, "We have to go."

We stared at each other for what felt like an eternity. His look went from stern to pleading the longer he looked. So much so that I felt bad for stalling. I pressed my lips together in an attempt to stop them from quivering. I looked toward my room, then back at Lex when I remembered something.

"Wait..." I told him as I turned around and ran toward it.

I went to my computer desk and grabbed the note my mom wrote. I looked over it one more time, my thumb running over the cursive before I stuffed it in my bag, quickly kicked on a pair of shoes and went downstairs as quickly as I could without looking back.

That was the last time I saw my room.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Prepare

Nearly a month had passed and the Z-disease was contained around the northeastern area, allowing everyone to breathe a sigh of relief, including myself. It seems like such a petty reason, but I was really relieved to not have to shave my head or trim my nails. I'm a girl. Seriously. Only boys and lesbians shave their heads and since I'm neither, you can understand why the idea was less than appealing. I took great pride in my appearance and doing something like that would utterly destroy what I had worked so hard to achieve. I mean, let's not forget all the accessories for my hair I racked up over my shitty summer job and the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars I've spent over the years in hair product and nail maintenance.

I sat down to breakfast one day with my mother who served up a plate of bacon and eggs with toast. I had nearly two and a half servings. Today was a day of intensive weight training and a five mile to shake off any soreness that would set into my muscles. If I had told myself nearly a month ago that I would be running five miles and lifting weights, never would have believed myself. Well, that is until I saw the toned, defined legs and arms. And can we talk about if I saw myself, I would totally flash myself my six pack? It wasn't a super six pack, but I had a beach body for sure!

"You look good," my mother commented, "Have you been having fun with Lex?"

Considering my mouth was filled with toast, I chose to nod and swallow it down with my glass of orange juice. When I cleared my mouth I said, "You should come with us. I mean, the Z-disease could still come our way."

"Oh honey, you really need to stop putting so much merit into what Lex says."

I couldn't believe what mom was saying, but at the same time, I would have said the same thing about everything else Lex had said up to this point, "It never hurts to be careful," I said slowly and stuffed my mouth with scrambled eggs, hoping I wouldn't have to talk anymore. But, you know, my mom's attitude toward the Z-disease was really annoying! How could she act so non-nonchalant when New York City was gone? Like, there were literally no people there except maybe the army in hazmat suits, but seriously. The north east was getting torn apart by the Z-disease, and I didn't believe we could be ruled out from this until they stopped talking about it on the news.

"And what exactly would you do against someone with Z-disease?"

I pressed my lips together in a thin white line, trying to suppress my anger. "More than you," is what I wanted to say, but I instead seriously considered the question. What were my options at this point? Melee combat? Gun? If all else failed, I could run. Then again, there was still no reporting about what kind of zombie I was up against. I mean, anyone who's ever watched any kind of zombie movie ever knows there are different types of zombies.

You have the slow, shuffling, classic movie zombies, video game zombies that apparently can evolve into super mutant zombies, and then 28 Days Later zombies that were diseased, crazed humans that became super fast and violent. There was also that one romantic movie about that zombie boy who became human again, but that was seriously wishful thinking considering a city had been leveled.

Either way, I was definitely more equipped to handle the apocalypse at this point than my mother.

So yeah, after careful consideration, I did say, "More than you."

My mother looked a little pissed at me for the comment, but I quickly said, "Mom, it's like a hurricane is coming towards us and the news is saying over and over and over again that it's going to be the worst one we've ever faced and you're doing nothing! Hell, you could at least reinforce the house just in case, and best case scenario, we'll actually have shit for next hurricane season."

I watched as she stiffly stood up with a huff and grabbed her plate, hastily going toward the sink. She replied, "The government clearly has a hold on this situation. It's been contained in the north east."

I stood and followed her, "Yeah, for now! But what's going to happen when it spreads again? Are you going to stay in this all sunny and optimistic when there are crazed people breaking into our house or something? You have to plan!"

When mom turned around and opened her mouth to argue, I put my hands on her shoulders and said, "I love you, but if a disaster comes around, I can't guarantee that we can protect each other or that we'll even be together, okay? I don't want anything to happen to you, but mom, at this point I can protect myself, and I'll feel so much better if you would do something," I sighed and added, "Please."

My mom gave a resigned sigh and said, "Alright, I'll plan something while you're away today."

I sighed in relief and hugged her before I grabbed my backpack, stuffed full of protein bars, a shake and plenty of water. I hoisted it onto my back and smiled brightly at her, "We're going to kick this thing's ass."

Mom just laughed and shook her head at me, "Don't be back too late."

"I won't," I called out as I ran out the door.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Target Practice

One time I decided to get a job over the summer at a popular, trendy boutique with hopes of getting discounts on their super cute, cheap clothing. You know the one. As I made my way in for an interview, I was greeted by a girl with square-framed glasses, skinny jeans, and a plaid top, tied above her navel, but layered with another tank top. The grungy hipster look is SO UGLY, but whatever.

Anyway, she gave me a sugary smile and went through the usual song and dance banter one can expect at an interview. Did you get here okay? Tell me about yourself. What do you consider your greatest strengths and/or weaknesses? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Think of a time when you had to work with someone you didn't like, how did you handle that?

Of course I smiled the entire time and said exactly what any retail manager wants to hear: complete and utter bullshit, but hey - it got me a job and some cute clothes and accessories for a summer of work.

But I fucking hated that bitch.

For someone that was supposed to be the main manager of a retail store, her clothes were always hideous, always with a hipster edge to it, which sorry, not sorry, doesn't look good on anyone. I guess that should have been my first red flag in what to look for in my job. Maybe if she was nicer, I would have been able to get past her fashion faux pas. And you think a bitch named Chanel would have a better sense of fashion.

Anyway, Chanel was always the most passive-aggressive person I had ever met with her stupid, square glasses (totally non-prescription, by the way), her awful plaid, and her knack of always having me work Friday nights and Saturday mornings consecutively. When school was getting ready to start, I put in my two weeks notice out of fairness. Another week scheduled with Friday night and Saturday morning made me not regret this decision at all.

Then this happened:

At the end of my Saturday morning shift, I decided to shop, but unfortunately, this cute dress I wanted wasn't in my size. I asked Chanel if there were any more in the back, possibly in a medium and she looked me over and said, "That's a one size fits all. You should probably cut back on the mall food. Or maybe buy our Slimmers." Slimmers were our trademark body stocking that contained and molded fat to look like curves.

"Fuck you and your ugly ass hipster shit!" Is what I wanted to say in reply. Instead, I laughed lamely and said, "But it's so delicious." Ew. Whatever. I regret not saying that to her.

However, the anger still burns from that situation years later and it helped my target practice with Lex as I destroyed my target repeatedly. In my mind, the hipster shirt became torn shreds with each shot, the square black frame glasses shattering into a million pieces and those stupid jean-looking leggings that covered her stick legs... all blown apart.

That's what I pretended anyway. During our session, my aim went from the outer edges of the target to very close to the middle. A few even hit the bulls-eye repeatedly.

At least Chanel's hideous fashion was good for something, even if it was all in my head. Every time I pictured another ugly shirt or skirt that she would wear, I came very close to hitting dead center. It made our week of target practice very lucrative.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hang-Ups

Going against the oncoming Z-disease was like a race against the clock, and every little minute was precious. It was like watching a hurricane inching closer and closer each time we turned on the news. The casualties, the aftermath, the utter wastelands it left behind. There was nothing you could do about it but prepare.

Once the virus left the cities and hit the rural areas, it slowed down considerably, and for a moment, we were able to breathe a sigh of relief, but only for a moment.

Lex made me run every day for both distance and speed. Running was usually something I took up if I wanted to shed a couple pounds to fit into a dress, but it wasn't something I regularly did or enjoyed. I have that sort of self-consciousness about running that everyone has. I think I look like an idiot. Legs flailing weirdly, my hands doing I don't know what, and the sweating... I read somewhere that sweating is supposed to be good for your complexion.

But still, ew.

I guess I couldn't look at it that way anymore. The people that drove by in their cars pointing at my ridiculously big, frizzy hair tied into a bun, the assholes catcalling as I tried to contain my misery, they would probably be gone soon, and so would I if I didn't get over my own stupid hang-ups.

Another mile to go, and then weight training. My body was screaming from the strict regime, but when I came home after a week of this, and stripped down for a shower, I could see everything in my body was starting to tighten and harden. I couldn't help but stare at myself in the mirror. I could see the outline of my muscles on my thighs, my calves and my stomach. My eyebrows raised in surprise at this. If nothing else, if there was any possibility of Z-Disease or death, I would be the hottest zombie around... or the most ripped corpse.

I tried to shrug off both possibilities as I got into the shower to scrub off the sweat from my skin.

That night, Lex came by with a stack of books for me. All of them were as thick as dictionaries, but they varied on survival and foraging tips.

I huffed, buckling slightly under the weight, "Ugh, isn't this a little much?"

"You said you would--"

"I know, listen to you, and I am, but the Z-Disease is slowing down in the north east."

"Which means the time we have to prepare you is crucial," he said curtly, "I've marked everything I want you to read."

I pursed my lips because I knew better than to complain or argue.

He turned to leave, but stopped, "And by the way, you may want to get used to getting rid of your hair and those long nails of yours."

My hand went up to the towel, protectively holding my curls while my eyes went to the nails I spend so much time primping and manicuring.

"W-What?" I nearly choked on the words, "What do you mean 'get rid of'?!"

"Hair and nails get filthy, and in this situation can hold disease. When you're on the run, you're better off without them."

I felt my heart pounding in my throat that he would even suggest such a thing, "I'll go through your training, but I refuse to do that!"

Lex shrugged, "Suit yourself, but when a zombie's yanking you back by those precious locks of yours, it'll be too late to say I told you so."

I glared at him before I went to my room with the books and slammed the door.

I pressed my back against the cool wood and closed my eyes, silently praying to whatever God was listening that the whole 'zombie thing' would go away, leaving me with my hair, nails, and hot new body.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dominoes

His name was Alexander, or Lex for short. He was a family friend, close to my mother. He may as well have been my uncle. He was a very relaxed kind of guy that enjoyed fishing on the weekends and the beach. He always had a permanent tan that seemed to contrast with his white hair and a smile that could light up a room.

Lex knew it was going to happen before everyone else. He was a huge conspiracy theorist. He always had a way of tying world events together. He told me it was just a matter of time before the world fought back against us. Of course I would laugh it off and steer the conversation in another direction. He, always sensing when things became a little too dark, would follow me into my world of cosmetics from around the world and that cute dress that I wanted so badly.

Contrary to popular belief, an apocalypse doesn't happen overnight. It happens quickly, but you don't wake up to the world on fire. It happens like a series of dominoes toppling one after another until you realize there's no stopping the momentum.

In this case, biological warfare; a disease that the news started calling 'The Z-Disease'.

I thought it was an awful name. Like, be more original. Honestly.

Anyway, not only was this a hot button issue on the news, but it started in the city. New York City to be exact. Funny how the movies got that right too. Nearly 8 million people were dead, missing or struck with the Z-Disease in the course of two weeks. That city literally tore itself apart and was turned into a desolate wasteland of bodies, broken glass, smoke and ashes. Seeing it on the news felt surreal.

The mourning came afterwards from all corners of the country, but the nightmare didn't stop there, it was only beginning.

My parents brushed it off like most everyone did: tragic, but there was nothing that we personally could have done to aid or stop it. No one could have, really. Who could ever predict it was coming?

Lex said he knew. He told my mother and I that it would only get worse and that we would do well to arm ourselves and stock up.

Mom laughed it off as another one of his 'crazy theories' but for some reason I thought it would be best to listen to him. I don't know why I chose that very moment.

When I told him I believed him, he squeezed my shoulder and said, "If you're going to listen to what I have to say, you have a long road ahead of you."

He wasn't kidding.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Apocalypse

My name is Amy. I'm twenty years old and I just finished my second year of college. I love the hell out of shopping and make-up. I have way too much of it to count but I still find myself going back for more. I could literally live in a make-up store. It's my addiction. Or rather, it was. Nowadays there's more important things for me to worry about. You know, like the apocalypse.

Before an apocalypse happens, everyone talks about it with a fevered excitement.

Seriously. Stop me if you've had this conversation before. You know the one.

The one where people talk about what they would do, how they would do it, where they would go and so on. If you lived in a food store, then you would never go hungry. You could always hunker down in a weapon shop. If someone came after you, you could always fill them with bullets and be done with it. Hole up in your house, live off of what you have. The solutions are always cut and dry, and the goal is to be a complete and total bad ass, and most importantly: survive.

Then, one day you're actually there. You realize that it's like a survivor movie where even the most sane among us turn absolutely and completely rabid. What the disease doesn't kill, stupidity, greed and sheer panic will. Truly, only the strongest claw their way to the top. Or that's what everyone is lead to believe.

Yet, somehow I'm here.

I'm not exactly the kind of person that even I would consider apocalypse ready. I'm on the short side and I'm not exactly trained in any way to defend myself. I carried mace in my trendy little purse (that totally matched my nails, by the way) as a precaution, but nothing ever came of it.

But yesterday, I killed a man.

I put a bullet in his head because he was bitten. Once that happens there's no turning back. The movies are accurate about that part. You get bitten by a zombie, it's like rabies, but more vicious. Anything that made your loved one human, gone. Save for their face. That's what makes it difficult.

I didn't want to kill him. He was like a father to me, but I had to and I did. I watched him die, heard his last words, his last breath...

And no amount of retail therapy will ever get the image out of my mind.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Rumors

"Hey, can I ask you a question?"

The pale boy again. She was just as tall as he was, but he had a very lithe frame that seemed to twitch with excess energy while her curvy frame planted itself, immovable as a boulder. She crossed her arms and glared at him. Really, she was surprised he even approached her again considering that he saw the black wings unfold from her back. However, he seemed to be genuinely curious, his eyes dancing as he looked at her.

Lia rolled her eyes as she closed her locker door, "What do you want?"

"So," his voice dropped in tone, "What are you exactly?"

She grinned, leaning forward, "I'm a succubus, aren't you scared?"

He shook his head, "No way, and I'm not afraid of you."

She laughed, "You're a little afraid."

"Okay, maybe just a little, but you know. I have questions. Succubus questions."

Lia gave a resigned sigh as she began walking with her books in hand, "Fine. What do you want to know?"

"Do you really have to kill people when you have sex with them so you can live?"

"No, those are just rumors."

"So do you happen to be behind the murders going down around town?"

Lia stopped and stared at him flatly.

"Please don't slam me into a locker again," He said taking a step back.

"Then don't ask me stupid questions like that," Lia looked really annoyed, "And even if I were behind them, why would I out myself to you?"

His mouth opened and closed a few times, hands flailing as he tried to think, "Because you might know!"

"Well, hate to disappoint, but I don't."

Lia continued walking along, but the boy was hot on her heels.

"So can you fly or are the wings just for show?"

"Why would I have wings if I couldn't fly?"

"Pads have wings and they can't fly."

Lia actually stopped and quirked a brow. It took her a moment to realize what he really said before she burst out laughing, and soon he was laughing too. She laughed so hard that she had to lean against a locker and wipe tiny tears from her eyes, "Did you really?"

"Does this make up or the bad foot we started on?"

"Only a little bit."

He held out his hand, "Stiles."

She shook his hand with a genuine smile, "I'm Lia."

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Emissary's Kiss

"Because you've done nothing wrong."

The words resonated inside of her. The very matter-of-fact way that Marin said them made her feel absolved of the situation, but she knew better. She still couldn't help but feel suspicious of this woman even if she had saved her life.

"How can you say that? I drained someone within an inch of their life," Lia narrowed her eyebrows to look as intimidating as she could, but somehow it fell flat because Marin was smiling again. It was both surprising and a little unnerving at how it made her scowl soften.

"You beat someone with malicious intent within an inch of their life," Marin corrected her, tilting her head to flip her chestnut hair out of her eyes.

"How could you possibly know that?"

"My job as an emissary is to keep balance, and you're doing nothing to throw it off," Marin's eyes darkened as she tilted her chin downward, "But, if you had been killed back there..."

She had heard of emissaries as a child, but never within a good context. They were kind of like the boogiemen of the succubi world. "Be careful or the emissaries will get you..." Her mother's words echoed in her head. But how could she be afraid of this woman with her doe eyes? Every touch on her skin was soft as silk and made her forget about the burns, even if only for a moment. If emissaries were so dangerous, why was her smile so reassuring?

Lia actually laughed at this, even if it was bitter and sarcastic, "So what? Are you saying I'm important somehow?"

"Your death would have thrown off the balance," Marin said calmly, "So I suppose you can say, yes. You're important."

That was something Lia had never heard from anyone. Her eyes went to the ground and she scoffed at the words.

"Won't you heal now?"

"I told you, I have no power left to heal," Lia said in defeat.

"Then take mine."

Lia looked surprised. This woman put herself in danger's way to save her life, "I couldn't..."

"There's no way you can make it back home inconspicuously unless you're in disguise."

Lia nodded hesitantly as Marin held out her arm for her to touch. Lia reached out, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. Her fingertips were mere inches away from Marin's forearm when her hand started trembling. Her eyes couldn't stop looking between her own fingers and those damnable eyes.

There was no way she could leave their haven without a disguise, and there was no way she could achieve that without touching Marin. It was so simple; just reach out and touch her. She didn't even have to take a lot. Just enough.

But Lia pulled back her trembling hand before her eyes dropped to her lap, embarrassed, "I can't, I just can't do it."

Marin nodded with an understanding expression before she put her hand on Lia's shoulder, "Then let me," she whispered before she leaned forward and pressed her lips to Lia's.

Lia froze. It was a kiss that didn't intend to take, it was given, a gift, and it asked for nothing in return. The kiss was pure, unlike anything else she had experienced. As they kissed, she could feel the burning pain on her skin disappear and she could feel the horns and wings disappearing.

In that moment, she swore Marin was all that she could see. Marin was the sun and Marin was the moon. Marin was the air around her, Marin was flowing through her veins. Marin's skin smelled fresh like strawberries in the summertime. If heaven had a flavor, it would be Marin's lips. Her energy was the most fulfilling thing Lia ever had the pleasure of becoming one with.

Lia slowly, reluctantly pulled back and looked at her. The awe of her beauty and the taste on her tongue still fresh on her senses left her speechless. Marin smiled and stood, offering a hand to help her up.

"Don't worry about the Holidays bothering you anymore. I'll make sure they stay far away from you," Marin assured Lia as she pulled her up.

Lia stood, holding onto Marin's hand a little bit longer, enjoying her touch, before she let her hand slip away. She spoke in a voice barely above a whisper, "Thank you."

"Can you make it on your own?" Marin asked, squeezing her shoulder in assurance.

"I'll be okay," Lia managed a smile of her own.

As soon as they turned to part ways, Marin turned back one more time, "Lia?"

Lia felt herself turn around so quickly it nearly made her head spin.

"I work in the holistic shop downtown if you ever need me," she smiled, that brilliant, gorgeous smile.

Lia could feel her face glowing with heat as she began walking away quickly. Soon, she broke into a run, elated at the energy coursing through her body. Running felt like drifting. The air around her felt pleasantly warm and the sunset looked like a gold drop against lavender skies. This energy made her feel whole and new somehow, but she couldn't put her finger on why.

When she got home and went to her room, she allowed her disguise to slip. No need to waste this precious energy if she didn't have to.

She sat down at her computer desk, deciding that she would catch up on her studying and her homework. Lia needed something painfully mundane after the last week. She reached for a pencil and happened to catch her reflection in a mirror she situated nearby. Her brows creased in concern at what she saw, wondering for a moment if the face staring back was really her own. She grasped the mirror and held it closer to her face.

Her blood red eyes had softened to a brilliant pink.

Her mother told her a long time ago that a succubus with pink eyes was the mark of a weak succubus because it meant they had fallen in love.

"It's against our nature to be in love. Humans are food for us. Why would anyone want to be manipulated by their food?" Her mother said in disgust.

But if that was true, then why did it feel so sweet?

With trembling hands, Lia set the mirror on her desk and pushed herself up. She walked to her window and stared at the first star in the sky, wondering what everything - the Holidays, Marin, and her new found pink eyes - meant for her future. Anxiety stirred in her belly until she thought about the kiss that literally changed her. It didn't just touch her lips, it touched her very core, and something about that made her feel hopeful for what was to come.

(AN: I'll definitely write more about Lia in the future, but I think this is a good stopping point for now. :3)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Full Circle

Lia had to get away from the school. Someone knew her secret, and she couldn't expose herself to her classmates or else her life there would literally be over. She couldn't let that happen. With all the energy she drained from John Holiday, she easily dashed to the woods with heightened speed and grace.

Unfortunately, the man was easily on her trail.

When Lia was absolutely certain they were out of view, she let her guise slip; red eyes glowing, wings unfurled to give her a more intimidating appearance, horns curled toward the sky. She stretched her claws toward the offender and demanded, "What do you want with me?"

"I'm going to make you pay for what you did to my son, you Hellbeast!" The man was too enraged to be afraid of her.

Lia gave a sardonic smile and spat, "You bore a shit bag and no one will miss him."

Definitely not the right choice of words to say to someone that exposed her in the first place, but she did not regret them.

The man's face screwed up in anger and he threw another powder at her. Unlike the first powder, which was translucent and scentless, this one was as black as a moonless night and had a sour, almond-like smell.When the granules grazed against her arm, it seared her flesh and took some of her energy with it.

What was alarming is that he had a whole bag of the stuff, and before she had time to think about it, he was throwing more. Lia managed to avoid the next black cloud, but she knew she had to get the powder away from him without actually touching it. If that little bit singed her arm, she didn't want to think about what the full impact of it would do.

The man kept throwing gigantic handfuls of powder as Lia quickly avoided it until there was nothing left. Lia struck quickly as soon as he dropped the bag, apprehending his arms with a tight grip.

"Stupid man," she growled, "Did you really think you would best me?"

The man grunted in pain at her strength, but he was smiling, "I think I already have."

As soon as he said this, Lia could feel her grip around the man's forearms begin to weaken considerably.

"How?!" She cried out in frustration. When she looked around, she could see the man wasn't just haphazardly throwing black powder at her; he was strategically making a circle that encompassed both of them. Lia immediately let go and tried to run again, but smacked into an invisible barrier that knocked her down flat.

The man sneered down at her, "If it had been anyone else, you might have gotten away with it."

"Hunters," Lia said in realization.

"And now, I'll banish you back to the hell you crawled out of," And he began to chant.

Lia could feel her flesh singeing and burning with every word. She wanted to yell at the man that John Holiday deserved exactly what he got, but she was so overpowered by the pain that all she could do was try to hold it in and be strong. She would definitely not give this man the benefit of seeing her cry out in pain. That is, until she saw her flesh bubbling and bursting.

That's when she screamed.

But in the middle of the woods, who would ever hear her? Even if someone came upon them by chance, who would want to save her? The man looked like he was excising a demon, and no one had sympathy for the devil. They would sooner cheer him on than reach out to her.

Lia begrudgingly accepted that the story always goes the same for creatures like her, and she waited for her inevitable death until the burning suddenly stopped.

She looked up to see a woman clad in a denim skirt and black, knee-high boots. She must have broken the circle, because she stepped through where a barrier stood before and clocked the man in the face with a tightly closed fist, her long brown hair swishing with the force. He must not have been paying attention because he immediately fell over.

The woman's boots met the man's groin, and her heel met his head sharply as he was stunned.

Wide-eyed, Lia stared between the unconscious man, and her savior who carefully helped her up with a reassuring smile, "C'mon, let's get you out of here."

Caught

The news of a mutilated but alive John Holiday spread like wildfire across the school. The girls were shocked at his unfortunate circumstance. Some of them even cried.

The police involved were unable to trace any sort of weapon or foul play. She was pulled into the school's office in front of not only the principal and guidance counselor, but the cops. When she was questioned, she should have won an Oscar for her performance.

"You were the last one seen leaving with him."

Tears in her eyes, she shyly admitted, "We went to make out, and then I left. I could have saved him! I should have stayed just a little longer and..." She pretended to be so broken up about the whole situation that she couldn't finish the sentence, dissolving into a crying fit. The cops felt pity for the young girl and let her go. The guidance counselor gave her a hug and offered her sessions 'in case she wanted to talk'.

She heard a cop say on her way out, "She couldn't have hurt him even if she wanted to."

If only they knew.

The whole incident was ruled out as a wild animal attack.

And while hundreds of girls talked about John in sad, hushed tones, it was always shallow.

"He was SO cute," seemed to be the general consensus, and Lia always smirked when she heard this.

"Not anymore he isn't," she thought.

Other than the absence of John Holiday, who apparently fell into a coma, the girls moved on.

One day, while papers were passed up in math class, Lia noticed Chelsea began drawing again, and this made her smile.

But there was still one person who didn't forget.

He saw John Holiday slashed up beyond recognition. He nodded when the cops told him it was a wild animal, but he knew better. He visited his comatose son everyday in the hospital, waiting for him to wake up. Situations like this didn't 'just happen' to someone. Especially when the man was no stranger to the supernatural world the majority of his life. He agreed this thing was an animal of sorts, but unlike anything a human had ever seen before. John wasn't in a coma from the attack. This was something that thrived off of human energy and put him there. This was probably something that was close to the school like a teacher or a student that managed to lull the boy into a false sense of security.

The man devised a plan as class was letting out that day. He stayed hidden as he released a bag of powder in the wind and waited as it blew over the outgoing students. A few of them sneezed, some coughed as they waved a hand in front of their faces, but one girl with fluffy dark curls and caramel skin was forced out of her human disguise for only a moment, but it was all he needed. By the panicked look in her wide eyes she must have known she was caught and took off toward the woods as fast as her legs could carry her.

Unfortunately for Lia, he was hot on her heels.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Rebirth

(AN: Again, I apologize for straying from the Lia story but I ABSOLUTELY promise to have it up tomorrow. My day was absorbed by this and I thought I would write about it. I hope you enjoy :3)

"No going back now," I could hear the buzzing of the shears drawing ever closer to my scalp. My heart pounded, nausea welling up in my stomach. This is exactly what I wanted, wasn't it? I turned the thought over in my mind for months, but started to seriously consider it for two weeks before following through. And now, I forced myself not to look because I thought if I saw the shave, I would cry, run out, throw up or a combination of all three. With the fluffy, brown curls littering the salon floor, could anyone blame me?

"Enough to make a wig for a small child," my boyfriend joked and I laughed nervously in agreement.

Oh yes. I remember why I thought about it. I have a lot of hair, and I've never been the type of girl to give a damn about sitting it front of a mirror for hours at a time, twisting, plaiting, straight-ironing, hot-combing. It all just felt like modern day torture. Some women revel in it and tie their hair into their very being and femininity. I wanted to cut my hair as a test of my own womanhood.

The shear guards were swapped repeatedly until my hair was shaved closer and closer to my scalp, the shortest my hair has ever been in my entire life. However, when I finally mustered the courage to look at the chopped strands, the panic was gone and replaced by a calm awe.

I think that the panic came as a part of pre buyer's remorse. What if I hate it?  What if this wasn't a good idea? What if I'm wasting time AND money? And then the more shallow reasons: What if it's ugly? What if I feel ugly because of it?

Too long has our collective femininity and identity wrapped up in the strands on our head. We do atrocious things to ourselves in the name of beauty and acceptance. Making the transition to an afro eight years ago was not easy for the same reasons. What if it's ugly? What if I feel ugly? But regardless, I have learned that I am not my hair and my femininity is not defined by it or the lack thereof.

As a minority, I will never be the blonde girl in the hair ad, swishing her locks around bragging about a product that promises shine or length or thickness, but then again, neither will other blonde girls. We will never be these people.

So it's time for us to just be ourselves.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Imposing

(Author's note: So, every time I've thought about this scene in my head, I play the song "Call Me Baby (Londonbeat Remix)" - David Tavare feat. Ruth. The 'dance' happens around the drop, like 2:28 minutes in. I hope you can picture this as perfectly as I can :D)

Normally, Lia would have flashed her rose colored eyes as a warning. Worst case scenario, she would have fought him. If she were filled with as much energy as she could carry, she could easily defend herself against an alpha, a beta would be nothing.

However, now was definitely not one of those times. Tapas could only take the body so far in battle.

Lia gave him a cool smile before she turned on her heels and disappeared into the crowd to find Stiles.

Maybe Derek was keeping tabs on Stiles to make sure she didn't eat him, not that she would dream of eating her only friend anyway. However, it became harder to defend her innocent status when people started turning up dead. So needless to say, Derek was very suspicious and convinced she was using Stiles to her benefit.

Lia frantically searched the crowd until she found Stiles at the bar.

She grabbed him urgently and said in his ear, well above the music, "Derek's here!"

Stiles pulled back, brows raised with surprised, "What? Seriously?"

"I know he's after me. You have to distract him."

Stiles mouth dropped as he looked around, "Me? What do you want me to do against him?"

Desperate times called for desperate measures; she could see the distance between them and Derek closing as he made his way through the crowd.

"Please forgive me later."

"For what?"

She gripped his forearm and stared into his eyes, her own warm and bright rose in color as she met his, "I want you to go out there and dance like the sexual butterfly I know you are. Can you do that for me?"

Stiles's eyes went vacant as he stared at her, but he slowly nodded.

Imposing her will on humans was an easy ability, but doing it not only drained her own resources, but seeing the hypnotized, blank stares she received was unnerving.

She watched Stiles walk to the dance floor, his body relaxed and calm as he did, unlike his usual flailing, twitching motions, and Lia frowned at this.

"He'll be fine," she repeated to herself as she looked around for the exit.

She was ready to bolt when she felt another hand on her shoulder, but this one had a strong grip that jerked her around, forcing her to face the opposition.

"What are you doing here?" Derek demanded.

Lia gave him a flirtatious smile, "Relaxing, partying. You should try it," she cooed before she firmly cupped his face, forcing him to stare in her eyes.

A non-human like Derek could resist her will much better, but she fought harder until he had an entranced look in his eyes, "I think there's someone out there waiting to dance with you."

When she let him go, she took a huge step away from him. He suddenly looked disinterested in her as he gazed to the dance floor. Lia followed his line of sight, watching as the crowd dispersed in cinematic fashion to reveal Stiles rolling his body smoothly to the music. His eyes were positively smoldering as he looked over.

What happened next surprised her most of all. Derek began walking toward Stiles as if drawn by some magnetic force. Stiles bit his bottom lip seductively as he danced. Derek quickly pulled the smaller framed boy closer to his body. Their eyes never strayed.

Lia's mouth dropped, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth as she watched. She watched Stiles's hands wrap around Derek's neck. She watched Derek's hand run up the back of Stiles's shirt. She watched their faces almost, but not quite, touch.

She couldn't stop smiling, heartbeat drumming in excitement for her friend's sake. Reaching out and touching them both would bring in much more energy than she used trying to get them away from her in the first place. But for as dazed as Stiles's eyes appeared to be, she saw something she had never seen on someone she influenced before: a smile.

It was a very small smile, but he looked happy. Derek wasn't really the smiling type, but the way he pulled Stiles closer, the protective manner of his movements made her realize there was definitely something between them, and she couldn't bring herself to take that away from them. They treated each other so indifferently to the public eye, but now, inhibitions cast aside, she could see the spark of something that she too recognized from a long time ago.

Silently lamenting the loss of the potential of a meal, she walked away from the dance floor and headed toward the door until she felt one more hand on her shoulder.

"Hey baby, what's a girl like you doing in a place like this?"

"Actually, I was just heading out," Lia said curtly as she continued to walk.

The man grabbed her wrist, "C'mon, what's your rush?"

Ed Hardy shirt, straight jeans, overly gelled hair, shiny black shoes. She found him; the one straight guy at a gay club.

A slow, smile spread on her lips at her dumb luck as she stared at the hand wrapped around her wrist.

"Why don't we just blow this joint?"

By the time she flicked her eyes up, Lia was smiling sinisterly as she took his forearm, "Let's."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tapas

Thumping bass. Colorful strobe lights. Hundreds of handsome boys as far as the eyes could see; all of them dancing.

Lia looked over to Stiles, "A gay club?"

"You said you needed energy!" He insisted.

"A gay club?!"

"Can't you steal energy from the air?"

Lia's clenched her jaw while her brows narrowed, "Are you really confusing me for a plant?"

As they walked in together, Stiles was immediately pulled away from her side by a muscled drag queen that hugged him and cried out in delight, "Look who's here!" Which summoned a few more queens seemingly out of nowhere. They all began talking excitedly at once, mooning over the pale boy.

Lia gave a short laugh at Stiles's slightly embarrassed though happy expression before walking away. He would probably be busy for a little while so she took it upon herself to go to the dance floor.

She could smell the energy in the air. She lamented that she only worked on touch to "eat". Why in the world would Stiles think bringing her here was a good idea?

Before Lia had time to pout about this, she felt a hand on her shoulder which caused her to turn around. She was faced with a boy she had never seen before. Blonde, blue eyes, pretty white teeth shining from an appealing smile, "I absolutely love your hair," he gushed.

Curly and dark, but thick and voluminous; she never thought her hair was something special except that, for whatever reason, society hated curls and did everything it could to flatten and straighten them away. Despite the ability to shape shift, she never rid herself of her curls.

The compliment made her smile unexpectedly big. It even disarmed her momentarily until her whole body ached with weakness from her hunger.

"Thank you," she said, as she reached out and touched his bicep, holding her arm there as long as she possibly could while adding, "You're buff! Do you work out?" His energy tasted unusual in the best way possible, akin to a salted caramel.

"I do! Thanks for noticing! Gosh, you're just so pretty," the blonde turned his head and called out to his friends, "Come here, you have to see this girl's style!"

Soon, Lia was surrounded by a crowd of beautiful men, complimenting her hair, telling her she was pretty. It was good for her ego, but she knew the whole conversation was a little shallow. However, this was strictly for purposes of gaining her energy back. They definitely wouldn't call her pretty if the horns and claws came out.

So she played along, a huge smile on her lips as she touched them all in a friendly manner, thanking them and returning the compliments. All the while, her touch was enough to take what she needed. All of the energy tasted unusual and different. It was almost like Stiles brought her to a trendy tapas place, which was fantastic, but her body ached for the main course which is something this place didn't exactly specialize in.

Lia gazed around, hoping her eyes would land on the one straight guy that was coerced into coming by his female friends.

After her green eyes surveyed the room for at least the fifth time, someone finally caught her eye. Unfortunately for her, that someone was Derek Hale who was looking her dead in the eyes.

And that's when Lia panicked.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hunger

(Author's note: I'm taking a small break from the main story for something a little more fun, but it DOES involve the same character, so bear with me please and thanks!)

"I'm so hungry," Lia lamented to Stiles as she stretched out on the floor of her apartment in a very cat-like manner.

"Me too, we could go get tacos," he offered, but she quickly cut him off.

"That's not what I mean."

His eyes flicked over to meet hers, his brows etching themselves in concern as well as understanding.

Lia explained her hunger to him one time when he asked her in curiosity.

"Think of me like an RPG character in a video game. You have your red bar for HP and your blue bar for MP. You can easily recover HP by eating food. For MP you usually have to find drink or elixir or some kind of potion. For me, my HP is restored by food and my MP is restored only by sexual energy. If I don't have that energy, my disguise will slip and I'll probably attack anyone out of desperation. Thankfully, that's never happened to me, but I've heard stories."

Stiles nodded the entire time she spoke to show that he followed exactly what she was saying, but then a look of realization crossed his features, "Wait, what video games have you played?"

"Sometimes, I play WoW. I wanted to see how they portrayed succubi."

"What did you think?"

Lia gave a noncommittal shrug in reply.

Stiles pushed himself up off the ground, his hands clenched and unclenched, fingers wiggling erratically as he thought, "Okay, you won't kill anyone, right?"

Lia rolled her eyes in the most exaggerated manner possible, "I thought we were past that by now."

"Well, it's still kind of alarming that you have to drain energy to live."

"You eat meat, don't you?"

"Well yeah..."

"Then shut up. It's not like I'm killing anyone."

Stiles's jaw clenched and his nostrils flared a little.

"I'm not!"

"Okay, fine. What about at school?"

"Don't you think I would have done that already? I'm trying to remain inconspicuous."

Lia watched as his eyes fell downward and slightly to the side. He uncomfortably twitched and bounced in one spot, trying not to look at her.

"Wait, you have an idea! What are you thinking?" Lia stood and slowly walked towards him, her eyes lighting up, "Please?"

"I..." his voice trailed off and he sighed heavily, "I may know of a place..."

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monster

John Holiday was found later in the evening when the football team went to practice. Five puncture wounds ran through either wrists, torn open wider from what appeared to be a struggle. His face, the infamous visage that made hundreds of girls swoon, shredded and torn from what they guessed to be the claws of a wild animal. The only way they were able to identify him was the school ID dangling out of his pocket by a lanyard.

Despite the massive injuries sustained, it shocked everyone when the parametics announced that they found a pulse.

Lia debated killing John Holiday, but she also realized that there were things that were far worse than death. She drained enough of his energy to make sure he was too weak to struggle against her, and only then did she drop him on the ground. She brandished her claws in front of her blood red eyes as she darkly vowed, "I'll make you into the monster you are."

With those words, she relentlessly plunged her claws into the flesh of his face and dragged them repeatedly until she couldn't see the cleft in his chin. She raked until his already dark curls turned black with blood. She clawed until her arms trembled with exhaustion. He made no sound and he did not move except for an occasional convulsion of pain.

When Lia stepped back, rubbing a fleck of blood off of her cheek with the back of her wrist, she saw John Holiday as still as the grave, but she could hear his heart beat.

"Well, it's certainly an honest look on you, isn't it?" Lia mused as she reclasped her bra and straightened her shirt before spreading her leathery wings and taking off to the twilight skies.

The moment Lia stepped in the door, she took off her bloodied clothing to bleach and burn.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Deal

Lia leaned on one of the structural metal poles under the stadium, one foot resting on it, the other planted firmly on the ground. She stretched her hands behind it until her fingers interlaced and she leaned forward without fear of falling. The sounds of the birds chirping and the sight of the sun slowly setting allowed her to breathe a sigh if only for a moment. Unfortunately, the moment was short lived when she could hear footsteps approaching her and that could only mean one thing.

"So, you're here after all," John Holiday said sounding both amazed and cocky.

Lia smiled seductively, "Of course I am. We had a deal."

"Did we?"

"I said I would be here, and I said I would take you home, so here I am."

He descended on her, cornering her against the pole with his body, "Well, you're not my usual, but I guess I'll make an exception for you."

Lia kept the smile plastered on her face, as her eyes met his, "I think I can make it worth your while."

"We'll see," he said as he hastily began to nibble at her neck, his hand working on the buttons of her shirt.

Lia closed her eyes and pretended to enjoy his ministrations which were both hasty and sloppy, at best. He nearly ripped a few buttons off her blouse in his urgency and his nibbles left a little too much saliva for her liking. His hands lacked the tenderness of a lover.

Not that she knew what that was like, but this definitely wasn't it.

Lia gladly distanced herself from the sensations, which left a lot to be desired, and instead focused on the beating of his heart and his breathing. She knew there was a certain point when he would reach an excited, near-climactic state, and that is what she patiently listened for, waited for, all while remaining still.

"John, I don't know about this..." Lia said, feigning fear, just to see if John Holiday had any redeemable qualities.

"We had a deal," he said into her neck, his thumb hooking under the clasp at her bra which sat at her sternum. She made sure to wear it that day just for such an occasion. Soon, she could feel the warm spring air wash over her breasts and his hands sneaking up her thigh.

"Please..." she whimpered as she struggled against her own self-restraint.

"No backing out now," he said as his fingers reached ever higher.

She could hear his heartbeat and his breathing reach a fever-pitch when he thought she was scared and struggling.

That sick fuck.

Lia reached out from behind the pole and grabbed both of John's wrists, her fingers growing into long, razor sharp digits. When she curled her hands about him, they sank deep into his flesh. She felt a rush of satisfaction when she heard the tear and felt the blood. Even more so when John Holiday yelled in both shock and pain.

"Same for you then," Lia said as her human guise slipped away to reveal the red eyes, the horns and the wings since he already became well acquainted with her claws.

John Holiday tried to struggle against her, but she pulled tighter, a sinister smile crossing her lips, "And John?"

His eyes were wide and filled with fear, but they met hers.

"I'm everyone's usual."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Shortness of Her Skirt

Lia enacted her plan gradually over the course of a week.

On Monday, Lia approached John Holiday as he read one of his classics. Thankfully, it was one she read herself and she dropped an existential line before saying, "It's a good one," before she passed him. She also made sure to wear a skirt that day, one that fell an inch above her knee.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Lia sat where John Holiday planted his gum. She wiggled around as if she couldn't find comfort in the desk chair when really she was trying to ensure her skirt caught the gum just right. When she felt the garment tug slightly to the left, she gently scooted forward to expose more of her thigh. The day after, she wiggled around until he would be able to see one of her buttocks.

On Thursday, Lia wore the shortest skirt she had in her closet. It was also short enough that some of the teachers stopped her because of dress code. Lia only smiled and gently touched their forearms, "I'm sorry, I won't do it again," she said in her sweetest voice while at the same time using her birthright to press her influence over them.

It worked like a charm.

Lia went to the cafeteria and grabbed an apple, walking where John Holiday's eyes followed behind passing girls. She stopped directly in his line of sight with a devilishly grin before she nibbled into her already half-eaten apple, "Hey John," she called in a velvety voice.

John Holiday's brows raised in surprise as he was address. His eyes flicked up from where they had been before, "Yeah?"

She stood by his table, leaning towards him, purposely letting her bosom heave over the lower cut top she decided to wear. She spoke in a voice filled with playful mischief, "I heard you went to third base with Chelsea, is that true?"

A cocky smile spread on his lips, "I guess you could say that."

Lia leaned even closer to his ear and said quietly, "Why would you only go to third base when I could take you home?"

When she pulled her head back to gauge his reaction, his brows were raised as his eyes met hers. He searched her eyes, trying to find truth in what she was saying.

"I'll meet you under the bleachers after school today. Don't be late."

Lia winked and left the core of her apple in front of John Holiday's lunch tray before walking away.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Vacation / Labels

Hello everyone! I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has been supportive of my personal project so far. Your visit to this page as well as your feedback means so much to me. Really, I have some rocking, kick ass supporters out there.
My goal is to post 300 words (minimum) every single day.
Not having access to a computer for a few days kinda put a minor set back to that goal, but getting away from the screen every once in a while is a good thing. I went to Sarasota to meet some of my boyfriend's family. I had an awesome time! I saw some really interesting things, but I am SO glad to be home.

Not to mention I'm glad to continue with my goal.

I have another reason for writing this, and that's to tell you, my dear reader: please check the labels of my work.

With the story I am working on so far, I have been dealing with themes of a sexual nature, including that of implied sexual violence and whatever fits the frame of this story later. I know that this may be a trigger for some people, so this is why I am informing you. I don't want my writing to be the cause of your trigger.

So please, if you think there may be anything you are / may become uncomfortable with, check the labels of my story first. They're located at the bottom of these entries and I will do my best to outline them with "tw: ____" which means "trigger warning: ____". I promise, I won't take these triggers lightly and put anything stupid like people are wont to do (i.e.; tw: pancakes). I take them and your well-being seriously.

tldr; read the labels at the bottom of my entries.

Thank you for your continued support!

Friday, August 9, 2013

John Holiday

Girls whispered his name in the hallway. They talked about his dark, silken ringlets and the slight cleft in his chin. Lia couldn't escape from the mania. Every time she turned a corner, she heard his name on their lips like its utterance might charm those baby blues their way.

John Holiday.

John Holiday always ate the fruit cups in the cafeteria on Thursdays. John Holiday would expound on the importance of knowing the past as to not repeat the mistakes of our fore fathers when asked about the classic literature he caried around. John Holiday had an oral fixation because he always had something in his mouth from the end of a pencil to a piece of gum.

Lia barely said two words to John Holiday, but she became familiar with his habits because of the surrounding narrative. In fact, she decided to study him since he seemed to be the source of admiration for so many.

John Holiday ate a fruit cup in the cafeteria on Thursdays, his gaze trailing behind any skirt that past him. John Holiday read his classic literature, girls sighing amorously as they passed by. His eyes flicked up from the pages with a cocky smirk on his lips. John Holiday chewed his gum, certain to leave it precisely on the seat of a desk chair so the groupies' skirts would stick and expose a little more than what it should. Then he would chew his pencil, staring, with a pleased smile.

Lia felt her skin crawl at the smile, but the more sexual energy he stirred up, the better for her to harvest in the future; very beneficial to a young, budding succubus. So until then, she had no problem with a hormone-addled skirt chaser, especially if it benefitted her.

Until one day she heard John Holiday say, "I totally went to third base with Chelsea," to a group of boys.

"Whoa, really? She wanted it?"

"Well, she didn't say no."

Lia shared math with Chelsea, a girl that did not stand out in any way, but Chelsea always doodled in the margins of her notebook. Her assignment papers were covered with flowers some days, spirals the next, and Lia always noticed. That day she didn't draw. That day, she stared at her desk blankly, avoiding any eyes on her. Lia reached out a hand to get her attention for a pencil. Chelsea flinched.

Lia felt the slow beginnings of anger boiling in her belly.

Between hearing the boys laugh and Chelsea's shame, Lia silently swore one thing: she wouldn't just feed from John Holiday, she would suck him dry.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Succubus

"Are you okay?" The woman knealing in front of her asked. Her well-manicured brows were etched in concern, head barely cocked to the right like a curious bird.
Burn marks scattered across the surface of Lia's cinnamon skin, some pink, some an angry red. The worst of them lined her legs making it difficult to walk without the burning, tingling sensation shooting up the lower half of her body. This myserious woman with brown doe eyes had to practically carry her to safety. Questions with obvious answers made Lia's jaw clench and nostrils flare.
Of course she wasn't fucking okay.
The woman gingerly took Lia's wrist between her thumb and middle finger. With a gentle twisting motion, Lia's wrist rotated to and fro as her injuries were scrutinized, "Aren't you a succubus?" What was the first indication? The spiraling ram-like horns crowning Lia's head? The red eyes? The black bat wings that burst from her shoulder blades? Another obvious question.
"No, my mother just fucked a goat-bat hybrid," Lia spat out.
"At least these haven't hurt your sense of humor," came her calm voice with a wry smile, "I thought succubi could heal."
"Except when my power's been sucked away by mountain ash. Who are you anyway?"
"My name's Marin, and you?"
"Lia," she replied shortly with a resigned sigh. Her shoulders began to relax at Marin's doting as her hands gently moving away bits of torn clothing and gingerly smoothed straggled hair. Marin's calm disposition was a cool splash of water against Lia's anger, threatening to boil over.
"If you know what I am then why did you save me?"
Marin's eyes flicked up, unmoving and intense, "Because you've done nothing wrong."
Lia swallowed a lump that formed in her throat. She became quite familiar with the eyes of humans. She could see sizzling passion and smoldering lust, searing rage and heated jealousy, but pure honesty reflected in big, brown eyes was new. Pure honesty did not intend to hurt or take, and humans always wanted something.
That was part of the reason Lia stumbled into this predicament in the first place.

Goals and Procrastination

I started this blog a little over a month ago to write every single day and improve myself. Problem is, I'm a terrible procrastinator unless I really have a fire under my ass to complete something. School is excellent for that. Having friends that appreciate your craft is helpful too. It lights the fire, but I feel more that I bask in its glow rather than feeling the heat to complete something. I told my friend, Lauren, that I would write her a story, but I hit a writing wall and haven't looked back to my work in a month, much like this blog.

However, I read an interesting Tumblr post about what can make one a better writer, and this is immensely helpful considering that I feel like I've had the same writing style for about 6 years or so. I have probably changed, but since I don't have any actively critical eyes going over my work, I find myself in this constant loop of self-loathing, self-judgement, and stagnation. So, I'm going to try what Mr. Palahniuk has suggested. I will obstain from 'thinking' and I will unpack more. I will write at least 300 words a day up until Valetnine's Day since that put me at the six month point.

I really hope will strive write so much that I will absolutely BURY this post. So please look forward to it. Also, it would help me out a lot if you tell your friends so I can get some unbiased feedback. Oh, and hold me accountable, damn it!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

First, let me introduce myself!

Time for the obligatory introduction. For those of you who skipped the top, I'm Kira, I'm 26 and a Taurus. I have this pretty sweet afro that people tend to notice right away. I'm a bit of a nerd and I don't think I'll ever outgrow that. I like to think it adds to my charm.

I originally fired up this blog thinking I was going to go to Japan as a teacher, but I have impeccable timing, as this was around the time of the earthquake. Seriously. A week before I had to leave, boom. I have a lot of feelings about that event, but needless to say, I stayed in the states. It's not a decision I regret. I may write more about it later, but it's very personal.

Which leads me to why I'm back on this blog site! I have decided to use it for my writings. Maybe personal, maybe funny, maybe completely fictional. Maybe I'll use them for writing exercises. Hell, maybe I can even get some feedback!

All in all, I love to write and thankfully with the consistent job that I have, it saves for a lot of free time, meaning I can blog on the clock as an idea hits. Even if I don't write every day, I want to write enough that I can compile it and show it to people. Maybe it will land more writing gigs, maybe it'll lead to a book deal!

Someday, I would love my writing to be so big that people hardcore fangirl over what I do. I mean like, waiting in huge lines, dressing up in my characters, analyzing what I meant by "The bright blue ball rolled into the shadows" and arguing semantics, plot points, ships...

Wouldn't that be something?