Vampire Tracker Part 2
It was dusk when Jer and I set out. Dusk has always been my favorite part of the day. Its light enough to see, but dark enough to trick the fire flies into flashing. There is something romantic about it, that gets me every time. I roll down the window to let the night air flow around me. It smells of earth and planted fields. I lean out the window and take a deep breath, the smell consumes me.
“Best smell on earth Jer.”
Jeremy shakes his head, his eyes look dreamy. “I disagree. Cindy Wright is the best smell on earth.”
“Cindy!” My first lands on his upper arm. Jeremy fakes that it hurts him, but a smile traces across his lips.
“Cindy was the best smelling girl at school. When she walked in every morning the guys would line up in the hallway just to get a whiff of her perfume.”
“Tell me something I don’t know?”
Just about everyone had a crush on Cindy. She was one of those perfect girls, with just the right amount of curl in her hair, flawless tanned skin, shiny lips and sparkly blue eyes. On top of that she was smart and funny. I never heard anyone say anything bad about Cindy, ever. It wouldn’t surprise me if a few girls lined up to catch a whiff of her perfume just hoping some of her glamour might rub off on them.
Fireflies flicked in the field as we pulled onto the gravel road in front of the Nat Turner sign. During the day the field didn’t look like much, but now it held a promise of something mysterious.
Every time I see fireflies I think of my grandfather. The summer before he died we’d sit out on the porch. As soon as the fireflies came out he’d hand me a jar with holes punched in the lid and tell me to run out and collect as many fireflies as I could. Then we’d sit for hours and watch their magical flickering lights. One night towards the end of summer he put his arm around my gawky shoulders.
“Vella, I’m going to tell you somethin’ I’ve never told anyone.” He looked at me very serious. “If you are ever in danger fireflies will help you.”
“Help me? How?” I was sure he was yanking my chain.
“Well that in itself is a sticky situation. First, you collect just a few, rub off their bottoms and then squish it around your right ring finger. The magic they hold in their lights will still shine and protect you.”
“Gross! How is that suppose to protect me?”
He looked at me and winked. “Sometimes you’ve got to believe in the unknown Vella. Who knows it might just save your life someday and then you’ll have your good ol’ granddad to thank for it.”
This caused endless amounts of giggles. I didn’t realize then how precious time was, when falls first leave struck the ground he was gone. After all these years that has stuck with me and I often wonder if there was any truth to it. If tonight proves to be more than a clump of bones scattered on the ground and a cross with a name scratched out of it, the unknown will have a very real place in my vocabulary.
“Quit night dreaming Vella. We need to set up before it gets too dark.”
Jeremy handed me the tripod and our bag o’ goodies we called Last Resort. This bag was filled with all the typical vampire hunting necessities; squirt guns filled with holy water, silver crosses, strands of garlic, flashlights, deer urine spray to cover our scent and a couple of wooden stakes Jeremy made in wood shop on the sly. I’m sure Mr. Hadley would have given him hell if he had known. But, please, making gumball machines and locker shelves was beyond boring. I mean really, who comes up with those ideas anyway?
Jeremy scanned the night sky and I picked up my pace. I didn’t want the wrath that was Jeremy if he had to set up in the dark. As we entered the woods the light faded, but Jeremy seemed to know right where to go. Earlier we had decided to set up our shot near the cross. The backdrop to a very dramatic scene with me going over the gory details of the vampire rebellion. I was several paces behind Jeremy when he stopped.
“What’d you stop for?”
Jeremy waved his hand back at me. “Shush.”
I stopped. When Jeremy didn’t move I walked forward. The harder I tried to be quite, the more branches and twigs snapped under my feet. Damn, if I only had brought my moccasins, then maybe I could be stealth like an Indian. I bet Nat Turner wore moccasins.
Jeremy still hadn’t moved when I came up behind him, but I could tell his eyes were transfixed on something. A breeze blew past me, electrifying the air and caused the hair on my arms to stand up. I moved to the side. About ten paces in front of us was the cross we had found earlier. The only difference was there was no longer a mound of grass and dirt, but a wooden door propped open.
Jeremy’s face was pale. “Did you see something?”
He looked at me, eyes wide, lips trembling. “I swear I saw something.”
I tugged on his shirt. “What did it look like?”
“It moved so fast it was hard to see. It was this dark, hunched over thing.”
I looked back at the door. Clumps of grass stuck to the top. “Did it go in or out?”
Jeremy threw his hands in the air. “I don’t know Vella, I don’ know. But, I think we should leave.”
“Leave! Are you crazy! This is the closest we’ve ever come to something.”
“Vella, I like vampires, but not like you do. I came along on this trip because I thought it would be fun. I thought it’d be cool to see some of the country, but now, that I’m here and that thing could be one, I’m scared shitless.”
“Me too, Jer, but we can’t leave. Not when we are so close to actually seeing one! What if that was a vampire! Then all of the myths and legends would be real. We would be the first to know.”
“Or the last.” Jeremy was silent, weighing it out in his mind. “Ok Vel, but we are not getting any closer to that door. I’ll set up the camera here and if anything gets any freakier then I’m outta here and you’re coming with me.”
“Fair enough. Let’s set up, whatever it is surely can’t come out until dark. Most likely it’s just some animal anyway. If not, we have Last Resort to protect us.”
Jeremy rolled his eyes, mocking me. “Yeah, Last Resort.”
This flash fiction is part of a vampire series for #FridayFlash. Follow the links below to read more.
Vella and Jeremy Vampire Tracker Part 1
Ammon The Moon Flute Player The Cliff Dwelling Part 2
Lis, Andrew and the Flute Player The Cliff Dwelling Part 1
Lis Desert Vampires.
AndrewVampires in the Jungle
Veronique Vampires at the Moulin Rouge
Veronique and Natalia Snow in Paris
Vampires ~ Flash Fiction ~ Friday Flash