Amend

Amend

A Story by Derek Cummings
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After a life changing and horrifying tragedy, Olivia struggles to nourish her relationships with the people she cares about.

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Amend  

 

 

 

The sliding glass door creaked as Olivia crept into her dark home. She jumped when she saw her mother and dad loafing on the couch, staring at her.

 

“What’s going on?” Her father frowned. “You mope inside all day then leave at night, without telling us anything and don’t come home until 4 in the morning!”

 

 Olivia stood there speechless. Explaining her circumstance would be impossible.  

 

“Olivia, I know you’ve been through a lot the past two weeks, but you have to talk to us,” her dad demanded. You can’t just walk off in the middle of the night. Those men are still out there"”

 

“So, I still need permission to leave the house,” Olivia sneered. She loved both of her parents, but she was entitled to her privacy. Plus, explaining to them what was really going on would complicate things for all of them. They wouldn’t understand. She didn’t understand what was happening to her, and neither did her psychologist.

 

“Honey.” Her mother gently clasped Olivia’s arms, her brown eyes begging for her to listen. “You don’t talk to us, don’t eat, and you avoid calls from your friends.”

 

“Can either of you find the monsters that made me this way,” Olivia raised her voice as she stomped to her room, her shoes hammering on the chestnut floor. She entered her room and closed the door, but could still her parents gossiping.

 

“I’ll kill those sons of b*****s for what they did"” her dad yelled.

 

“Hal, calm down,” her mother begged.

 

 Olivia swept her decorative pillows out the way and sprawled on her soft twin bed.  Staring at the bright-yellow ceiling, she tried to think of a possible way to hide her secrete from her parents, and from her boyfriend, Dakota. Hide what happen in the woods that night, besides being raped and stabbed and left for dead. So, then she wouldn’t have to write them off. And ironically, the most devastating part of it was the change that occurred with her as a result of the horrific event. Now she was living a lie, a lie to protect her loved ones. How did my life come to this point! So screwed up!  

 

  She got up and looked out her window. The moon was a long finger nail among an austere night sky. A breeze rattled the bushes and the limbs in the pine trees. Her reflection was so pale and the circles around her almond eyes, darker than normal. Running her hands through her auburn hair, she shuffled over to her dresser and looked at the piece of paper that included her vague excuse for leaving. She couldn’t be around her parents anymore, not because she thought they were too controlling, but because she didn’t want to make their lives as complicated as hers. Vincent, the strange guy she knew from childhood, and an accused teenage junky, gave her specific instructions to meet him. Why should she? She barely knew him. Maybe because he saved Dakota's and her life that night from those thugs in the woods.

  

There was a knock on her door. “Olivia,” her mother called softly. “Can I come in?”

 

 Olivia glanced at the blue digital numbers on her clock set on her nightstand. She just had a little more than an hour to leave if she was going to meet Vincent. This would be her chance to say goodbye if she stayed loyal to the plan. “Yes, mom.”

 

Her mother, Ella, ambled in and sat on the edge of her bed. “Why don’t you try to eat something"?”

 

“I’m not hungry, mom. I ate earlier with some friends.”

 

She looked at her mother’s down turned brows. That was concern, and that was how much she loved her. How could Olivia keep the truth from her? Not telling her and leaving may hurt her…but telling her the truth may get her killed.

 

“You know your dad is just concerned,” her mom said.

 

“I know.”

 

“I think it’s good that you’re going out after what happened to you. You’re a brave girl.”

 

“I can’t believe some of those a*s holes are still running free,” Olivia fussed.

 

“Your dad is afraid they’d come after you.”

 

She met her mom’s gaze as she sat next to her. “Don’t worry about me mom, I’m safe. I’m with friends.” But was that the true reason she felt safe? And she couldn’t have friends anymore.

 

“I remember the day you fell from that tree and broke your leg.” Her mother stared at a photo of her with a cast on her left leg. “You thought you’d never walk again.”

 

 Olivia looked at her then held her head down and smiled. “What was I like 12 then, mom?”

 

“Eleven and you thought you were a monkey, climbing any tree you thought you could. And what did you do when your leg healed?” her mom’s eyes brightened as she smiled “You climbed the damn tree again.”

 

 “I remember dad being so mad with me.” Olivia chuckled. “He said he’d lock me up in a cage if I didn’t stop.”

 

“Kind of like now.” Her mother’s tan cheeks glowed. “Except it isn’t anger that you’re dad is showing honey, its love.”

 

“But I can’t be afraid to go out forever.”

 

“Maybe you should try to talk to the psychologist again.”

 

“Mom, she can’t help me. Dad’s wasted a lot of money.”

 

“We’re not trying to imprison you honey.” As her mom put her arm around her, Olivia leaned into her. “We’re just trying to protect you. When you went missing that night"”.

 

“I don’t want to talk about it mom!” Pulling away and releasing a deep sigh, Olivia stamped across the room. She didn’t know how to talk about it. Not her parents, Dakota nor her psychologist would understand.

 

“When the hospital called two days later.” Her mom’s eyes went dull. “I thought I’d lost my only daughter. Now I’m wondering if I really have.”

 

“But I’m here, mom.” Kneeling before her mom, Olivia clasped her hands. “Well and alive. I’m going to be fine.” It’s odd how a person will lie to make the people they care about happy. I’m climbing the trees again, right?”

 

Her mom chuckled as she touched Olivia’s cheek. Olivia swiped tears from her mom’s cheeks with her thumb as she felt tears clinging to her own eyelids.

 

“How is it?” Her mom gesticulated to her stomach as she wiped her pert nose with the tissue.  Olivia lifted her shirt and revealed the scar on her abdomen where the man had stabbed her two weeks ago. Her mother put her hand to her mouth as she stared at it wide-eyed. “It’s almost cleared up!”

 

 Olivia ran her fingers over the rough and pinkish pockmark. It was like it never happened. Suddenly, Olivia’s mouth felt dryer than it did that night she was mangled, and she developed a gnawing in her belly like she hadn’t felt before. Then there was the annoying strong smell. Not moms or her perfume, or the jazzman aroma on the bottle on her oak-wood dresser. It was more of a coppery scent, growing stronger and stronger. She felt like a starved person sitting in front of a plate of hot pizza, ready to sink her teeth into it. But she didn’t crave pizza or her mom’s homemade cooking, not ever since Vincent gave her the first fix a couple of weeks ago. She needed to get away from her parents and meet him. She needed to go now before she went into some weird seizure, or did something worse. “I’m going to try to get some sleep mom.” Another lie.

 

Her mom held Olivia’s cheeks and kissed her on her forehead. “I love you honey,” she said, with a weary smile then ambled toward the door.

 

“Mom.” Her mom turned and looked at her. “Tell dad I love him.”

 

 “He already knows. Now try to get some sleep. It’s almost daylight.”

 

“Sleep,” Olivia muttered with a twisted grin. She didn’t think that was possible. She’d include everything in her note, accept where she would be.

 

 The coppery scent faded, but her lips became drier and she longed for a fix. She needed to get out of the house. Olivia felt her heart ache as she lay the note on the end of her bed. Being raped and stabbed ironically wasn’t the worse thing that happened to her two weeks ago in the woods. It was the change in her that resulted. And now she had to protect her loved ones from that, her parents…Dakota.

 

 Less than an hour before dawn, Olivia unlatched her double, glass window and crept out for the very last time. She was deserting her parents who loved her dearly. She’d already put them through a lot when she was raped and stabbed and left to die. And now she was going missing again.

 

   Olivia quietly closed her windows and hurried through her backyard, past pine trees and her mother’s garden. Feeling an adrenalin rush three times that she ever felt, she hurdled over a bronze, picket fence and headed for the woods. In the past she would’ve twisted her ankle. At the edge of the woods, she felt her chest ache and tears seep down her cheeks as she turned and gazed one last time at the home she grew up in, and where the people she cared most about lived.

 

 Stepping into the woods, pine needles and sticks cracking beneath her feet, her fangs protruded, mouth grew drier and her throat felt like leather. The shadows of limbs overhung the black trails snaking through the underbrush. The stream gurgled in the near distance. She started picking up all kind of odd scents: maybe a deer, raccoon, black bear, night lovers…She jolted when Vincent appeared out of the black chasm of the forest.

 

  His sandy hair slicked back on his head, and his pale face almost glowed against the stark night. “You came,” he said softly as he sauntered over to her and held out a flask filled crimson. “It was the right choice. Your parents will be safer because of it.” She snatched it and gulped it down, as the sharp cramps inside her stomach faded and her parched throat moistened. She looked back at him. Dark circles under his hazel eyes, cheekbones high and lips were a ruby-colored. He’d looked almost oddly flawless in khakis and his ivory, button down shirt.

 

“Have you lost control?” Vincent asked.

 

“Have I lost control? Olivia frowned. “I just left my parents for good with no goodbye, no explanation!”

 

“I mean did you"”

 

“No, I didn’t bite anyone,” Olivia rolled her eyes. "Although it was disturbingly tempting.”

 

“Controlling your instincts is the most important and most difficult.”

 

“No deserting the only people who give a damn about me is the most difficult,” she shouted. “I don’t have to do this to my mom and dad. Isn’t there another way?”

 

“It’s not only you that brings them danger, Olivia.” Vincent hardened his gray eyes at her. “The clan will hurt anyone close to you. The only way to protect the people you care about is to get as far away from them as you can. And if you truly care about them, you will.”

 

“You don’t know anything about how I feel about my family and friends!”

 

“But I do. Ever since I saved you that night by the river, I gained a heightened sense of your emotions. That’s the way it works. And you’ve felt my sensations. Have you dreamed about me, heard my heart beating and my breaths?”

 

Olivia knew he was right. She’d dreamed about him, and felt the feelings from the man she didn’t even know. “You should’ve just let me die.”

 

Vincent stepped in front of her. “I’m sorry this happened to you, but I’m not sorry I saved your life that night. I’m only doing this help you and the people you care about, not to hurt you.”

 

“The clan? Who are they?”

 

“You don’t need to know. Just know they’re dangerous and will do anything to protect their society’s secrecy. And I cannot protect you or your family from them. They’re much older and more powerful than me.”

 

“I didn’t get to tell Dakota bye.” Olivia felt her body become more frigid than it already was. “I’ve barely talked to him since we were attacked in the woods"”

 

“He would understand, Olivia. Now we need to go; the sun will rise soon.”

 

 She wanted to slap herself awake from this nightmare, but it was real. And all of the clichés of being killed by sunlight and annoyed by garlic were true. She had a disease that made her dangerous to people and caused her to isolate herself from the people she loved and that loved her. She’d transformed into what fiction writers call a vampire, like Vince. “My parents and boyfriend won’t give up.”  She looked at Vince staring at her with soft eyes. “They’ll try to find me,” she said.

 

“You’ll stay in contact, and tell them you’re living with a friend”

 

“We need to go.” Vince held out his hand.

 

 Olivia paused. How could she trust him, if he came from the mob of murderous vampires he told her about? He could’ve saved her life just so she could be one of their victims. “Go where?”

 

“To meet some of my people.” There was something about his gaze and demeanor that enticed her and won her trust. “Don’t worry, it’s…mostly safe where we’re going. I need you to trust me.”

 

 Olivia grasped his hand and they hurried off into the black woods, memories of the night she’d almost died flooding through her as the sound of the stream gushed at her ears.  

 

 


© 2013 Derek Cummings



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Reviews

Great story telling. This did justice in the realm of getting the message across. Great message. There's lot of times where a story can have a great message to aim for, and have a lot of under lining things but then no one gets it, and if no one gets it, then the point has failed. But in my opinion this did well to get the message across. You made it clear, which is why I think it's good. Keep up the good work. What was also great was that I could imagine the story as I read it, and that is also a strong point of stories. The ability to have the reader imagine it because after all we're reading not watching it, but it was as if I was there as I read this, and that is great. Good job once again.

Posted 1 Year Ago



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2137 Views
1 Review
Added on January 18, 2013
Last Updated on February 15, 2013
Tags: horror, drama, young adult., vampire

Author

Derek Cummings
Derek Cummings

Valdosta, GA



About
I've had a passion for writing for years, both fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Writing novels allows me to unravel my imagination and put my creativity to use. I enjoyed my writing instructor in colle.. more..

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