Tag Archive: shadow rock


The flat of her palm met the side of the screen with a resounding smack.

“Work! Damn you.”

The little wheel on the screen stopped moving and froze up entirely. Ashley let a frustrated scream out from clenched teeth, and gave the tower a short kick with her foot. At that, the screen went black with a blip.

Clenching her hands and teeth, she stomped away from the computer before the she gave into the urge to give it another kick. Bloody technology, and Kevin wasn’t around this time to save the day. An entire morning of work, down the drain.

She hated computers. Or they hated her. Quite possibly, it was entirely mutual.

Her stomping took her into the kitchen, where a bowl was filled up with cereal with a lot more noise than was necessary. A spoon was given a wipe and she shovelled the first mouthful in.

The empty spoon tapped against the counter, the metallic ting ringing out the rhythm she had been working on.

There was post on the counter, she’d been ignoring it and there was quite a pile. A large envelope was peaking out from the middle of the pile. Ashley pulled it out, and rooted around near the radio, pulling out a worn down pencil. She wrote down the beat, flicked a few lines across the page and wrote out the notes for the key melody that she remembered.

She looked at the hasty notes, taking another mouthful of cereal. Now that, that was more relaxing. Good old pen and paper. She picked up the envelope, bowl and pencil, and went in search of an actual pad of paper.

 

“You are not taking this seriously.” Luca was standing over Dante, hands folded across his chest, eyes glowering slightly.

“Now why would you say a thing like that brother?”

“Father chose you to marry the girl, for reasons I am not entirely aware of, and for the first time since she escaped we know where she might be. As soon as we heard that, you should have gone out and retrieved her.”

Dante looked up at Luca. The words were carefully chosen and measured, but he could see the roiling emotion behind his brother’s eyes. He folded over the newspaper, tucking it under his arm as he stood up. “Follow me.”

They went upstairs, into his study, where Dante tossed the newspaper onto the desk before going over to a wall cabinet. “By the way, don’t tell father about this. I hope that you’ll understand, but I don’t think he will.” He told his brother before he opened up the doors.

The other side of the doors were filled with photo’s, newspaper articles, surrounding a map with pins and stick notes. One person in particular, an attractive black haired women, was very prominent in all of the documents.

Luca stepped forward, his eyes wondering over the massive display, glossing over the photos and concentrating on the map. “But this is…everything you could need is right here.”

“I appropriated some resources. Well, I suppose pinched is probably a better word.”

“Coffee shops, personal trainer times, with this information you could pick her up anytime, anywhere that you chose.” Luca turned around. “So why haven’t you?”

“Because I don’t need to. We know that we have an advantage – she’s got the wrong date. We tried to catch her and hold her once, and that clearly didn’t work, so, I went for the other option. I’ve had her watched almost every day since she escaped. I know her habits, places she likes to frequent, addresses of her and her friends, I’ve got her routine down, even with the variations and tricks she tries, just in case she is being followed. I let her become my obsession, and as well as having all this information on her, I understand her a lot better now. When the time comes, I’ll be able to find her, no problem. And in the meantime, she gets to think she’s out of our grasp.”

Luca paused for a second. “Sometime I forget how diabolically clever you can occasionally be.”

“Thank you brother.”

“Go away.”

The knocking at the door came again.

“I said, go away!”

“Ashley, open this door.”

“Fuck off.”

“Open this door, right now!”

“What part of the do not disturb sign, go away and fuck off is hard to get through your thick bleached skull?”

The door splintered and bounced off the wall, and Dante stormed into the room.

Ashley grabbed the nearest item, a lamp, off the bedside table and threw it at him. Easily ducking, it smashed against the wall, and he looked over to her as she fell back onto the bed.

“You’re still in bed.”

“If you haven’t brought me an offering of breakfast or painkillers, then we’re really going to have a problem.”

“I thought…painkillers?”

She curled up around a pillow and suppressed a grimace. “If I was trying to escape I wouldn’t put a bloody sign on the door. You must really think I’m stupid.”

“Why do you need painkillers?”

“A problem of a the human female variety. Being undead and male, you really can’t hope to understand. If you don’t have any, please stop disturbing me and fuck off.” Ashley pulled the duvet up over her head and turned over, indicating that she was quite done with this now.

She heard him pick up the remnants of the door, and tell someone to get it fixed. Lovely, more disturbances. Why was it so hard to read and obey a simple sign?

 

Ashley was idly flicking through all of the books, and posters, and other sheets of so called inspiration as she looked around the tattoo parlour.

“Anything?”

“Nothing.” She huffed, flicking a tendril of black hair out of her face as she did so.

The women behind the counter, a many coloured work of art displaying on her skin shrugged. “Don’t rush into it hun. Find the right design, then we can talk.”

Chloe has picked up a new selection of books and was looking through them as well. “How about a skull?” She held the book open at one particular page for Ashley to look at.

Ashley snorted. “Skull are overdone, and I am not a goth, no matter what people say.”

Chloe smiled, an impish sort of grin and shut the book on the table. “Okay then, how about a nice flower? That’s about as un-goth as you can get.” She held up a book, letting it fall open on a random page.

“Hang on, go back.”

“What?”

Ashley came over and grabbed the book off Chloe, flicking back through the pages that she had caught a glimpse at as the pages had fallen open.

“There, that one.” She stopped at a page which contained a selection of varicoloured roses, a rainbow of colours on the page.

“A rainbow, really?”

blue-roses-tattoo“No. That shape. I like that shape, but…” She flicked back a few pages to another flower, “this colour. This blue right here.”

Chloe looked over, and flicked between the two pages, and frown hovering over her face. “Just the one? I thought you were going to go big?”

Ashley picked up another book, one of more full body art, and found the page she half rememebred from earlier, and pointed to a picture of someone’s chest which was covered in a bush. “That flower, with the blue colour, working up one side of the torso. What do you think?”

Chloe hummed, looking through all the pictures and building the design in her mind. Ashley bit her lip as her best friend continued to hum.

“I think it’ll work, but you might want to draw it up first.”

Ashley grinned, and then took the three books up to the tattoo artist, so that they could really get working on her design.

Ashley’s feet dangled above the floor, brushing against carpet of the floor. The counter top was obscured, colourful pictures, smiling people, gorgeous beaches, all looking up at her.

Idly she leafed through glossy pages, screaming at her that this was the place that she should go, spending her cash and having the time of her life.

She sighed, and tossed it to one side.

She didn’t need a vacation, she needed an escape.

She slumped in her chair, blowing a strand of black hair out of her face, and thought about the recent development.

Vampires existed. Her parents were insane. She had to get out of here.

Maybe her parents would regain their composure if she ran away from home for a bit. But then again, sanity had never been her parents strong point. Or rationality. Maybe they wouldn’t change their minds.

Her head met her desk with a resounding thud, as she tried to think of a way out of the situation.

There was something pointed under her eye. Drawing her head up, she looked at it more closely, and drew the magazine out of the pile. The Empire state building at night sparkled at her, and triggered a flash thought.

Chloe, the reason that she had been down in the first place, was moving. To America. That was far away. Maybe far enough away from her parents that she could be comfortable.

It might be complicated, but there was a chance, just a chance that it would work.

And if not, at least it would be nice to have a vacation.

The air was thick and heavy all around, the shadows had dropped down from the thaumauergic crux hanging above.

And silence reigned.

There were people in the shadows, but you could only see them if they were right in front of you, otherwise there was only darkness.

In in your ears, there was only silence.

Ashley stood in the epicentre, her senses extending out through the shadow, extending at a thought, ghosting over all those she had enveloped in the cloud.

She existed in silence.

One person, among this crowd, was the one that she was after. One by one, she slid over the people in the crowd, searching for her, seeking her. Her end was drawing near.

But all she knows is silence.

There. In the darkness, there she stands, darting this way and that. But she can’t get out, this cloud is woven to tightly for her to do that. Silly little vampire. You only live in the shadows. Ashley was the shadows.

Ashley was the silence.

She descended upon her, and there was a short, sharp scream, that was swallowed up by the shadows as they choked her, covering her, consuming her. Until there was nothing left.

Silence rushed in, once again.

Dante looked down at the human man as they were ushered into the house. He knew why they were here of course, but he really doubted that humans could really offer them anything other then a good meal.

“May I take your coats?” The human was already being perfectly sycophantic towards his father. Because that kind of behaviour was something that they had never seen before. No, wait, the other thing.

They were being lead down the corridor, although why they called it a corridor when it was so short was puzzling. Nothing like his castle back home. Why couldn’t they have had this meeting there? Where there was space and cooks to do the meals for them. It was entirely stupid to be here.

The door they were heading towards flew open, slamming into the wall, cracking the plaster, and an inky darkness rolled out of the room, filling every space, extinguishing all lights.

It was heavy, heavy against his skin, his eyes, his mouth. He stopped breathing and looked around, but even with his vampire eyes, he could distinguish nothing. This wasn’t a natural darkness, as if there had been any doubts in the first place.

Something stalked through. The darkness roiled, no. It wasn’t darkness, it was shadow. Thick black shadows. The shadows roiled, and curled around, and something stomped out of the dining room.

There were eyes, slit of white that shone with shadow. Shone with shadow? That made no sense, he shook his head and looked again. The eyes were smoky, certainly, and narrowed to slits that clearly indicated anything in the way was going to get murdered.

Dante felt his brother move next to him and the eyes snapped around. They stopped, looked at the two of them, and grew narrower. The shadows roiled around a central point, but there was no body to go with the eyes, and they left the pair of brothers and the shadow stomped off again, making it’s way up the stairs.

A door slammed from up there, and the shadows slid away, retreating up the stairs.

Another human emerged from the dining room, looking angry and frazzled. “I’m very sorry for my daughter, she’s being entirely impossible. We’ll get her back down here. Would you like a drink in the meantime?”

So that was Ashley. Well, maybe all human weren’t just for food then. Maybe the marriage his father proposed wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all.

93. Hug

Ashley stretched out her arms and yawned. It wasn’t even particularly late in the day, she just felt sleepy. She let her flump back onto the sofa only to hit her back against something harder than she expected.

Looking up she saw that Dante was sitting on the sofa as well. He raised his hands defensively.

“Don’t beat me up, you fell onto me. I wasn’t expecting you to do that.”

Ashley looked at him with one eyebrow raised. “You really think I would ‘beat you up’ for something that wasn’t your fault?”

Dante looked down at her. “I choose to not answer on the basis that I think that question is a trap.”

“Good call.” Ashley yawned again, and then snuggled into his side.

“Huh?”

“Well if you’re sitting there anyway, you might as well make yourself useful as a pillow.” Ashley said, closing her eyes.

She felt Dante freeze for a minute, before slowly bringing his arms round her and shifting into a more comfortable position, every move taken as if he were about to set a bomb off.

After a few minutes of silence, Dante broke it. “How is this time any different from last time I tried to give you a hug? You almost took my arm off that time.”

“Not anything which would be an appreciable difference.”

“What?”

“Last time I didn’t feel like being hugged. This time I want a hug.”

“You make absolutely no sense.”

“Thank you.”

76. Sadness

Selena took a deep breath and opened the door.

“Father? Are you awake yet?”

She stepped into the room and pushed the door shut behind her. As always when she entered the room, she held her breath. A heavy weight settled on her shoulder, and the silence of the room echoed in her ears. It was as if time has forgotten this room, and it’s occupant. All that was left in here was sadness.

“Father?” Selena looked around the room, and spotted the occupied chair. “Are you coming downstairs? Breakfast is ready…”

She trailed off as she approached the chair. It was hard to be cheerful in here.

Her father looked up at her, but Selena wished he hadn’t. Once again, his eyes were looking at her, but they weren’t really seeing her. They were seeing something else, someplace else, sometime else. They were the saddest eyes that she had ever known.

He reached over and patted her hand. Selena sighed. He never came out of her room. Not even since she was little, he had never left this room.

He had a little table by the chair, on it was a book that Selena had seen many times before, but a picture that she had not. The book was a scrapbook, well-worn and faded with age. The photo was of her father, arms around a women who was frowning at him, but still smiling. Someone artistic had gotten a pen and calligraphied ‘Dante and Ashley’ over one corner of the photograph.

Selena knew that the women in the picture was her mother, and felt a touch of sadness herself as she looked at the women who had died giving birth to her.

Ashley, Chole, Martin and Kevin were sitting around the table, pizza boxes and Styrofoam boxes were evidence of the dinner that they had just consumed.

Ashley popped the cap off a beer with a hiss and took the first swing. “Anyone else want one?”

“Nah, I want my wits about me in case we have to move on short notice.”

She shrugged. “Suit yourself.”

Chloe put a hand on Ashley’s knee. “It’s okay, you drink if you want to. It’s not that much longer now.”

Ashley sighed. “Twenty-four tomorrow. Happy fucking birthday to me.”

Kevin smiled. “Well, to be fair, if we get through it, then you’ll have the best birthday present from it.”

“Ha!” Ahsley threw her head back over the edge of the sofa. “No more potential for marriage. Gods, won’t that just be lovely.”

“No more thinking about locations, dresses, evil vampires trying to subvert you to the unseen forces…”

“Good things all round.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, a toast.” Ashley raised her bottle up. “To the day after tomorrow, may it come very soon and very fast and bring me freedom!.”

The other three grabbed bottles and raised them up to Ashley’s.

“To the day after tomorrow!”

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