Problems

Problems

A Chapter by Zephyair
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Chapter 2 EDITED~!

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    They sat around a long oval table. The subject of their meeting was crucial to the well being of the citizens of Shore City and the neighbouring communities. Supplies going even as far north as North Bay were scarce. Without the “Little Bear” train going anywhere near the area anymore, supplies were cut down even more. If things continued as they were, the some of the populace would die over the long, cold winter.
     One coughed, a sure sign of a cold or just the uneasy silence getting to them. The person tapping their fingers on the table stopped and slammed their fist against the wooden table. “This is ridiculous,” he said. “Why aren’t we doing anything?!”
     “There are too many zombies right now and their numbers are increasing. The same applies to the ghouls. I think their learning that we need the transports and such,” replied a much calmer voice. “Patience, things will be resolved.”
     “No! I will not have the people of Shore City starve and freeze! This winter is to be harsher than the last and I’d prefer every citizen to get through it,” he practically growled. The mayor of Shore City was a proud man, almost too much so, but when it came to the city and its people, he could not just sit idly by and watch.
     The other rolled his eyes. He was growing quickly tired of that man. “I’ve got....a plan. It will go into affect soon. When it does, you’ll no longer have to worry.”
     This raised suspicion with the mayor, but he pushed it aside. “Can we know what this plan of yours is?”
     A smirk spread across his face. It sent a shiver through those around him. “Let’s put it this way. Everyone will be dying for a solution and I have that solution.” No one had any idea what that meant and that was the reason it sent chills through their bodies, they wouldn’t know what his plan was, until it was much too late.

     Zephyair stretched her arms above her head as she sat on the couch in the living room. “Christmas break is way too long,” she yawned. Willow, who sat on the chair beside her merely shrugged. She had fallen into an almost stoic and depressed state. Zephyair thought of it as a delayed shock and temporary depression, she’d snap out of it soon enough. Her grandfather was even worse. He had fallen into a routine life and it didn’t seem like he was breaking the habit anytime soon. She was sure he had also begun to develop Alzheimer’s; he kept buying more and more milk. 
     But the real problem with Christmas break that year was that it was spent without their grandmother. The house was a little less cheery and a lot less decorated. Only the tree was set up with a few ornaments, a wreath, some lights outside and a few nutcrackers and Santas had been placed around the main rooms. She sighed and got up from her place on the couch. Stretching on last time, she left the living room and headed down to her basement bedroom.
    She walked over to her stereo and hooked her mp3 player up to it. She pulled out her sketch book and doodled for what seemed like forever to her. When she looked at the clock, she figured it was time for bed. Quickly changing into her usual tank top and pyjama bottoms covered in either pac man or a skull pattern. Without bother to turn off the music, but turning it down it a bit, she climbed into her small bed and waited for her music to lull her to sleep. 
    She was dreaming and she knew it, which was odd because vampires don’t dream. And yet, all around her she saw familiar building from Shore City and some people she thought she knew, but no one saw her. They passed without a second glance, on even went right through her. Dazed and confused, she stumbled along attempting to figure out what was going on. A growl echoed throughout her dream world. Turning, she came face to face with a beast that would put any ghoul to shame.  It stepped toward her as she backed away from it.  She tripped over her own feet and fell backwards. The beast lunged.

   Zephyair awoke with a start. She bolted up, gasping for air and grabbing the blankets. A cold sweat had broken out over her forehead and she shook violently.  She rubbed her face, wondering what had caused the suddenness of the dream and why it had occurred in the first place. Throwing the covers off her, Zephyair walked over to the bathroom that was attached to her room, reaching over and shutting off the stereo as she did so.
    She ran the cold water and splashed her face with it, then glancing in the mirror she checked for any signs of her humanity returning. Her eyes were still red, her hair was still long and black and she still had her fangs. Sighing, she realized how much she loved her vampirism. She had always wanted to be one and now that she was one, she wasn’t giving it up, especially since she hated her human self or rather who she had been before August.  She would hate to be human again. She had never been the prettiest or the most athletic. In the real world, unless you had beauty, were really amazing at sports or had money, you weren’t going anywhere. 
    She slapped her face lightly to stop her mental ranting. Society had nothing to do with why she hated her former self. She left the washroom, slightly angry for letting society’s standards get the best of her. ‘Since when did I care?’ she asked herself, looking at the alarm clock. It was still early in the morning, but she didn’t want to sleep in fear of the dream again, but it would be hours before anyone else was awake. Defeated by common sense, she went back to bed.

    Christmas break ended four days later. She was walking with Aven to school as usual. “If I see another bowl of mashed potatoes, or turkey and gravy or dressing, I’m gonna dig in and enjoy every last bite!” Zephyair complained.
   Aven laughed, “You’ll only enjoy it until you begin to puke your guts out. It must suck to be a vampire when your favourite foods are just outta reach.”  She raised an eyebrow, his laugh sounded forced and hollow and he looked uncomfortable. She ignored, making a mental reminder to ask Aya if she noticed anything throughout the day.
    “One of the very few downsides,” she replied with a wave of her hand. She couldn’t eat anything beyond blood or tomato juice, her body could no longer digest it and she missed eating her sugary favourites. But luckily for her, some scientists were coming up with some brilliantly flavoured blood for the vampires.
    They entered the front foyer of Shore Secondary School, where Aya tackled hugged Zephyair and gave Aven a giggle filled normal hug, which he looked annoyed by. From there they split up to go to their lockers and head to class. The next semester didn’t start for another four weeks and just before they started there were exams. Zephyair didn’t care much for them though.  She had a ninety in science putting her up for an exemption in that exam and she was sure she might have one for English. She could only hope. Writing essays and reports were not her forte.
  
    Lunch arrived two hours later; she met up with Leif and a disgruntled Aya. Aven was nowhere in sight. They went to their usual spot. Where Zephyair asked Aya why she was so upset. “Its Aven. Something’s wrong with him. He ignored me all class! He wouldn’t even say hi!” she cried. Zephyair thought to mention his odd behaviour earlier that morning.
    ‘Maybe her just really mad right now and needs a break from everyone,’ she thought. But even as she thought it, she knew it was a lie.

    That night, Zephyair walked home alone, Aven hadn’t shown up to accompany her. The next day, she walked to school alone and at lunch he never showed up at their usual spot. It was beginning to get on their nerves, especially Aya’s.
    
    They waited for three days to see if he’d come around eventually, finally Aya gave in. She quickly stood up from her spot on the floor. “That’s it!” she said, “I’m going to go find him! He better have a good answer to why he’s been ignoring us.” She stormed away, but not before Zephyair reached out and grabbed her wrist.
    “I’m going with you,” she said, pulling herself off the floor.
    Aya shook her head. “No, I want to talk to him alone.”
    Then she left in search of Aven. He was sitting in the cafeteria with a few people sitting around him. He looked sickly, but he managed to keep a fake smile on his face. Aya could always tell when he faked a smile. Stepping toward him, she asked, “Aven, wheat have you been up to lately?”  She tried to be casual so as not to hint on how angry she was.
    He glanced at her and then turned his head away. She placed her hands on her hips and frowned. “Oh, come one. Stop ignoring me. Its not nice to give your best friends the cold shoulder.”
    He looked around the table at the people he sat with. Some hid snickers and giggles behind hands or coughed to ignore the building tension. Aven stood and grabbed her wrist. Practically dragging her from the cafeteria, he pushed her into a hallway, wincing slightly as he did so.  He sighed, dragging a hand through his short hair.
     “Aven, what’s wrong with you? You’ve had Zephyair, Leif and I worried about you!” she cried.
     “I just don’t want to be around you guys is all,” he replied, his guilt obvious in his voice.
     “What do you mean by that?” she asked, shaking her head.
     “I’ll explain it to Zeph, I’ll walk with her to school tomorrow and explain it then. I don’t want to say anything here,” he said, making Aya give him a quizzical look. “Just trust me.” Then he left. She was about to go after him, but decided against it. If he was going to talk to Zephyair he would or at least she hoped he would.
     Returning to the others, she sat down and told them what had transpired. Zephyair was surprised to hear that he was actually going to talk so willingly. She figured that it’d take several days of constant annoyances to get him to talk. She lay down on the floor, unable to wait for the next morning to arrive.

     She was waiting for him, on the corner that separated the two blocks that their houses were on.  When she spotted him, she bounded toward him. Stopping just short of hitting him, she smiled. Aven gave her a sour, unimpressed look.  She knew then that this would be an extremely serious conversation and her smile faded.
     She examined him closely. He was sickly, pale with a greenish tinge and his eyes were surrounded by dark circles. His breath came in wheezes and he coughs sounded painful. “Aven....,” she said, extremely worried.
     “There is a very good reason why I haven’t been around you guys,” he said. “Over the Christmas holidays I went ice fishing alone, while I was staying with my grandparents. I didn’t realize that not all sections of the lake were protected from zombies and I figured that they’d freeze in that ice storm a few days earlier.
     “They came out of nowhere. Though I managed to get away, I didn’t escape without a struggle.”
     “You were bitten....,” she whispered.
     “Yeah.” He pulled off his jacket and tugged the collar down. Near the nape of his neck was the distinct mark of a zombie bite. It was black with dead skin and looked swollen and sore. A slight putrid smell emanated from it. She could see the green tell tale signs of infection spider webbing away from the horrid looking wound.
     “Aven, that’s....that...How can you just walk around school knowing you’re gonna become one of those things?!” she exclaimed, tugging at her hair. She had thought up a million different situations and reason on why he could be with them, but this was not one she was prepared to deal with.
     “That’s why I’m not hanging around you guys. I don’t want you guys to be around when I go all zombie.”
     “But...Aven, if you did, I could just-,”
     He waved his hand in front of her face. “You’d do what? Kill me? You wouldn’t be able to.” He pulled her into a close hug. “Just take care of Aya and Leif for me.”
     She forced a laugh. “Do I look like a babysitter to you?” she felt the familiar sting a tears. She knew her friend was dying and there was nothing she could about it. He laughed too, as he pulled his jacket back on and left in the direction of the school. She watched him go, knowing that she should stop him, but her mind could make a reason why nor a how to even do it.
     Her legs gave out and she sat on the cold, snow covered ground. As if feeling her misery, the sky let out its stock piled snow.
     The snow continued to fall throughout the day, worsening all the while. By the end of the day, it was hard for even Zephyair to see more than ten feet away. She trudged through it to get home, where she collapsed on her bed when she arrived.  According to the weather reports, the blizzard would stay the entire weekend and there was the ever present risk of a black out.

      It was nine in the evening when someone began knocking on their door. Zephyair was the nearest one to the door so she answered it, wondering who would be there to visit at that time or in that weather. Aven stood shivering on the door step, covered in a fine layer of rather large snowflakes. Zephyair immediately let him in, asking, “Why are you out this weather?”
     As he brushed off the snow from his head and pants, he replied, “I found out some information that you may find interesting....And...I really need your help for something.” There was a hint of desperation in his voice, which was more than evident in his yellow eyes as she looked him over.
    Grabbing his wrist, she led him to her basement bedroom, having a vague sense of déjà vu. She sat him down on her bed and placed herself beside him. “Okay, what’s this information of which I may find interesting?” she asked first.
    “I was reading about vampire legends on the internet and found a site you might find interesting,” he replied, pulling a piece of paper from his pants’ pocket. He handed it to her. “Check it out when you get the chance.”    
    She nodded, “Okay. Now, what it is that you need my help for?”
    “It kinda deals with what I found on that site.” He pointed to the paper. “I think it might help with my zombie bite, infection thing.”
    She raised an eyebrow, feeling quite sceptical. She gestured for him to continue his explanation.       “According to that website, vampires can heal people,” said, with an expression that told her what he would say next would most defiantly make her feel awkward. “It involves licking the wound.”
    She stared at him blankly for several minutes, unable to form a proper reply. He stood form the bed and ran his fingers through his hair. “I knew it was a bad idea to say anything.”
    Zephyair yanked him back down on the bed. “No!” she cried. “I want to help you, but...To do something like that would be extremely odd, considering you and I know each other well enough to be brother and sister. But, I don’t want you to become a zombie. Aya would stake me if she found out I could help you but didn’t.”
    “So you will do it?” he asked, hope making his yellow eyes glow.
    She nodded, nervously.
    “So, uh, how do we go about this?” He tried tugging the neck of his shirt down to reveal the bite mark, which had gotten worse since that morning, but it would not go down far enough. Blushing slightly, he pulled the shirt over his head and placed it on the floor.
    She blushed brightly; she now knew why Aya liked him. She shook her head and tried to focus on the task at hand. She saw the wound completely now, it was festering and spreading. It went moving across his chest, down his back and over his shoulder. The green webbing of infection was stretched over the entire wound.
    ‘All I have to do is lick it a couple times...,’ she thought causing a shiver to run down her spine. Inching closer and balancing her weight so she didn’t lean too much into him, moved her head closer to the bite. He tensed as she stroked the bite mark with her tongue. To her luck, she couldn’t taste anything but blood, so licking the festering and infected zombie bite wouldn’t bother her, nor would she become infected considering she was practically a walking corpse and couldn’t contract diseases or the zombie infection. After several long moments, it became apparent that it wasn’t working. She stopped and moved away to see if there had been any changes at all.
    Nothing. Not one thing had changed at all. The wound still looked horrible and she knew no amount of her licking was going to help. She heard him groan in frustration. She looked up to see him flop backward onto the bed.
    “I was so hoping that it’d work,” he complained. “But it didn’t and now my fate to become a zombie is sealed.”
    “Aven...,” she said, reaching over to him. “Surely, there’s got to be something I can do...Are you sure you read that website right? Maybe it was something else...”
    He lay there, on her bed, deep in thought. She sat next to him in silence waiting for a response of any kind. Suddenly he sat up and said, “Bit me.”
    “What?” she asked slightly confused.
    “Bite me,” he restated, “I think maybe I either misread the information or maybe it was a typo.”
    “You think me biting you will help?”
    “Yes...and I always wondered what it felt like...” He blushed as he confessed.
    She hid a giggle behind her hand. “Well, I guess its worth a try.” Then she remembered how she felt went she drank the bagged blood. She wondered if drinking his blood would be the same or would the experience be exalted because it was fresh blood? She’d certainly find out.
    Zephyair moved over to him again, but his time moved as close as she could, it felt more natural than the neck craning she had done when she licked the bite mark. Aven flushed a deep crimson and her body was pressed up against his.
    Instincts took over. She began to press her lips lightly over the wound searching for a vein or artery close to the surface. Once found, she opened her mouth, curled her lips back and extended her fangs farther than she normally would have them. She dug them straight into the epicentre of the bite. He shivered beneath her as she began to draw the blood and infection to her surface.
    She could hear his heartbeat begin to quicken, sounding like a drum to her. She bit down harder, drawing a whimper or a moan from Aven. The usual ecstasy that filled her when she drank blood filled her again, this time with a much stronger surge of energy and the fire that usually ran through her felt like mini explosions in the back of her mind. She pulled away from him, before she was swallowed whole by the swirling pleasures that so expertly tempted her.
   Aven swayed slightly, but managed to steady himself. A bit of his blood ran down from the corner of her mouth and she wiped it away as she looked up to see if the bite had helped.  There was nothing left of it. Only two tiny puncture marks remained and they were most obviously caused by her. Zephyair smiled, licking her lips of any residual blood. Aven gave her a questioning look. She pointed at his shoulder. “Its gone,” she explained.
    She glanced around her room, surprised to find that her sight had been affected to deeply by his blood. Everything seemed so sharp and clear. She could ‘zoom’ in on an object across the room and hear was so much more sensitive. Upstairs, she could hear every word the anchor person on the news was saying just as if she was in the same room as the T.V. Aven’s heart beat was the most prominent thing at that moment though. Her sense of smell was also sharpened. Unfortunately, the smell of mould and mildew was the strongest of scents.
    Two arms wound themselves around her from behind. “Thank you so much, Zeph!” Aven cried, “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay you for this.”
    She turned around to face him. “You’re my friend Aven, you don’t have to repay for this and besides, I got a nice payment for it anyways.” She winked, making a reference to the fact she had taken his blood, which fed her hunger and it had enhanced her sense, something the bagged blood didn’t. 
    “I should go before my parents realize I’m gone again,” he said, grabbing his discarded shirt from the floor. As he pulled it back over his head he said, “I really can’t tell you how much this means to me.” He hugged her again and left.
   She hoped he’d get home safely, from she could hear from the television upstairs, there was a severe snowstorm warning in affect and residents of the city were being warned to stay indoors. The walls weren’t being maintained during the storm. It took much man power and they probably wouldn’t get all the spots where zombies had broken through anyways. Zephyair began to wonder how zombies could even move around. ‘Wouldn’t their limbs and such freeze?’ she asked herself. Then she realized that if she used that logic, than she too would probably freeze solid if she stayed outside for a long period of time.
    She yawned and amazed herself that she could be tired after drinking Aven’s blood. She could still feel the energy surging throughout her body, but she also wanted to sleep. Perhaps it was a side effect. She went over to her bed and laid down on it, hoping that a nap would shake off this tired spell of hers.

    She was dreaming again. It was the exact same as before. Zephyair was left to wander the streets of Shore City, unable to communicate with anyone. This time, she went out in search of the beast that ended the dream when he first had it.  She spotted it before it saw her. It was walking down an alley, she followed it.
     While she followed it, she had time to study it. The beast was much larger than wolf, almost the size of a bear. It was covered in a thick coat of pitch black fur and it’s eyes, when she could catch a glimpse of them, were a gold that shone with obvious intelligence.  The beast made little sound when it walked, but when it turned toward her suddenly; the growl it made was terrifying.
    Zephyair had no clue when it had spotted her, but she knew she had to get out of there. She backed up several steps, then turned and ran. She looked over her shoulder as she rounded a corner, not surprised to see it chasing her. When she turned back, she hit something solid. She wondered how she could’ve run into a wall, when a hand gripped her wrist and pulled her away. There was a moment of blinding light then her feet were racing to keep up with her rescuer.
    Turning sharply into a back alley, she was shoved through a pool of shadows on the wall. She braced herself for an impact, which occurred when she hit the floor. A low chuckle caused her to look up. A hand was stretched out, an offer to help her off the ground. She obliged and took the hand, which she realized now, was cool to the touch. She glanced up, into the face of the person who saved her. The red eyes caught her first; they were white streaks throughout the iris. He smiled, lifting her hand to his lips and brushing them softly against her knuckles.
    “Hope you weren’t hurt too badly?” he said, his deep voice sending a small shiver down her spine.
    “No...Not at all,” she replied, feeling giddy.
    He let go of her hand and smiled. “Good.”
    Zephyair glanced around the room, trying to look anywhere but at him. “Umm...Who... Are you?” she asked, nervously.
    “Amarith and you, you are Zephyair.”
    She stared wide eyed at him. “How did you know that?!”
    “My cousin Aven told me about you.”
    “But, his parents are-“
    “Anti-vampire, yeah I know. But they can’t deny family, however much they wished they could. I was at the cottage with him when he was bitten.”
    “You knew?”
   He nodded solemnly. “I could bring myself to tell him our grandparents.”
    “He’s okay now! I help him out.”
    Amarith gave her a quizzical look. “How? There isn’t a cure?”
    She scratched the back of her head and giggled nervously. “Its a long story....”
    “You didn’t turn him into a vampire like they do in the movies and books right?”
    “No! Nothing like that-...Okay maybe something similar, but he’s not a vampire. “
    Now she was certainly confusing him.
    “He came to me earlier, saying he might’ve found a way to stop the infection or something.” She didn’t want to tell Amarith, a complete stranger, what she had done to Aven. She didn’t want to tell him that she licked his neck where he had been bitten, or tell him that she had bitten him. “He’ll probably tell you about it if you call him tomorrow.”
   A thump on the door of the tiny room had them both searching for a way out. But when the door burst inward, pieces of wood and debris flying every which way, they had run out of time. The beast was there, walking in with its lips curled back in a snarl. She inched closer to Amarith, who wrapped an arm around her protectively.
   The beast circled them, growling all the while. It snapped at them several times and then, tired of the game, lunged once more toward her.
   Amarith pushed her away and dodged before he was hit by the beast. But, the beast had its target and it wasn’t going to give it up that easily. It charged her before she could get off the ground. The last thing she heard was Amarith shouting her name.

    She sat up straight, gasping for air that she didn’t need. Zephyair gathered her wits about her tried recalling the dream again. It wasn’t hard because the dream felt like an actual memory, etched onto her mind, never to be completely forgotten. Most prominent of them, was Amarith, she’d never forget his voice or his hypnotizing eyes. She fell back onto her bed.
    “I’ll ask Aven about Amarith at school on Monday,” she said to herself. She rolled over onto her side and looked across the room at the alarm clock. Its red numbers stated that it was ten in the morning. She pulled on her usual weekend ‘I’m-not-going-anywhere-anyways’ clothes which included baggy pants and tank top and went upstairs.
   The house was quiet and empty. Then she remembered a councillor had asked to Willow and her grandfather had to work. That meant she had the whole house to herself. She remembered the website Aven had told her about and ran back downstairs to find the paper with the name written on it. It took her a moment to remember that she had placed it on the desk on the other side of the room. Once she had it, she went upstairs to the computer, wishing all the while she had a laptop or a computer all for herself.
    She waited several minutes for it to start then typed in her password for her account. Once loaded and ready, she opened the internet and typed in the address written on the paper. It brought to a stereotypically gothic decorated site that was probably known to a very few select people. It made her think of Amarith somehow. ‘Perhaps he told Aven about the site,’ she thought as she scrolled down the very long list.
    It started with the simple things, such as the speed and strength. As well as her amazing eye site and how she could use infrared vision. Then it went on to say how they were sensitive to sunlight. She had forgotten about that part of being a vampire, since the sun didn’t bother her at all, but it certainly wasn’t giving anyone a tan anymore either. Continuing down the list, she spotted several possible transformations which included mist, bats and wolfs. Below that there was the portion that talked about healing, obviously the one where Aven had gotten his idea from. Under that was one that really caught her eye. Walking on walls like a spider.
   Zephyair raised an eyebrow as she read that one and because she was home alone, she decided to try it out. She pushed herself away from the computer, causing the computer chair to spin and roll away and stood up. Walking to the wall, she paused to wonder how she’d go about trying it. She chose the straightforward way and just placed her hands against the wall and than a foot.
    ‘The moment of truth,’ she thought. Bringing her other foot off the ground, she expected to slip off the wall and onto the ground, instead, the other foot connected with the wall and she stayed in place. Feeling elated, she climbed the entire wall, which didn’t take long, then tried to crawl across the ceiling. Part way, she decided to be daring. Shakily, she stood, upside down on the ceiling. She laughed and as her concentration slipped, she fell with a crash to the floor below.
   She rubbed her head, wincing. “Perhaps that wasn’t such a good idea,” she muttered, standing back up and moving to the computer chair. She rolled her way back to the computer and combed through the list again, to see if anything else of interest came up. Every time something did come up, she tried it.
   
   Her grandfather walked into the room as Zephyair sat on the ceiling, trying to get a better hold on her ‘spider crawling’ as she called it. He shouted in surprise, causing her to lose her concentration and she fell from the ceiling. This time, however, she turned in mid-air and landed on her feet. With a wide grin she stood up. “Ta Da!” she said, holding her arms above her head in a triumphant pose. He wasn’t impressed and neither was Willow. She frowned and left them to their miserable lives. She called Aya, to tell her about the amazing abilities she had found, but as she dialled, the power was cut.
    A yelp altered her to the fact neither her sister nor grandfather could see, mostly due to the early sunset in winter and the dark overcast sky and still powering blizzard. Zephyair moved quickly to light candles and gather up several flashlights for them. A quiet thanks and a nod were all she got for helping. She stuck out her tongue as she banished herself to her bedroom for the rest of the night.



© 2010 Zephyair


Author's Note

Zephyair
This chapter was changed the most I believe.

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Well, this certainly has my attention. I'm tempted to stay up and finish what you have up, but I'm tired. That will teach me. I'll finish it tomorrow.

There are a few spelling and grammar mistakes, but other than that, this is really good. North Bay caught me off guard. I'm just not used to reading thing things that take place in my own country.

Posted 11 Years Ago



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Added on December 21, 2008
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Zephyair
Zephyair

Temiskaming Shores, Canada



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