Christopher Lee Cousino
BSIC Publishing on Shakespir
Copyright © 2015 by Christopher Lee Cousino
Copyright © 2015 by BSIC Publishing Company
Shakespir License Notes
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author’s work.
This is a work of fiction. All characters, organizations, locations, and events portrayed in this story are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to any real person, living or deceased, is completely coincidental.
“What we have done for ourselves alone, dies with us. What we have done for others and the world, remains and is immortal.”
Albert Pike (1809-1891) American Attorney, Soldier, Writer, and Freemason
Colby Jack took a deep breath, trying to control the rapid breaths bursting from his lungs. Hugging the rough brick of the alley wall, he shut his eyes tightly as he attempted to muster enough courage to peek around the corner in the direction from which he’d come. What the heck was that thing, he anxiously pondered.
Colby hadn’t been doing this long enough to categorize and identify the freaking monsters he fought. Admittedly, his memory wasn’t the best, but he was pretty sure he’d have remembered Mr. Victor mentioning anything about the nightmare that had just handed him his arse a few minutes ago. Touching the deep dent in the chest plate of his M.U.R.S.E armor, Colby thought back to the battle, or lack thereof on his part.
He’d met up with Mr. Victor at the training warehouse as planned, five o’clock on the dot. Colby wasn’t one to be on time, but he was really trying to be as perfect as he could for his mentor in all things M.U.R.S.E, Alan Victor. The guilt from his lies regarding Regina was eating away at him. Anything he could do to lighten the burden of that guilt was helpful.
After a quick review and demonstration of Colby using his M.U.R.S.E magic and weaponry, Mr. Victor had sent the young, reluctant warrior on his way. The former M.U.R.S.E promised Colby he would be with him every step of the way, via communications technology in the M.U.R.S.E battlesuit and for times when the armor wasn’t activated, a Bluetooth earpiece in Colby’s ear. Mr. Victor would be monitoring Colby’s GPS signal, knowing where he was at all times. The older M.U.R.S.E would be able to see what Colby saw through a camera inside the armor as well, once activated. It all made Colby feel a bit better, but he was still extremely nervous.
This was his first hunt. Colby didn’t know what to think. Yikes was about the only thing that had come to mind. Then he hadn’t thought much of anything because he was too busy vomiting. Mr. Victor waited patiently, suggested Colby see a Gastro-Intestinal specialist about his vomiting issues, then directed him downtown with information on his possible targets synched into the armor’s technology.
Colby had felt strange walking around downtown without the battlesuit activated. Although he would’ve probably felt much more strange strolling around in magical armor, he still had to admit that searching for monsters in hiding seemed much weirder when in street clothes. Colby felt very exposed. He’d touched the watch on his wrist numerous times to calm his nerves. Safety was just the press of a button away. Colby was so nervous that he almost jumped out of his skin when he’d heard Mr. Victor’s voice.
Colby gulped before answering.
“Is this my conscience or something?” He asked.
A loud sigh filled his ear before Mr. Victor responded.
“No, Mr. Jack. This is Alan Victor, speaking to you through the communication device in your ear, remember?” Mr. Victor asked.
“Oh yeah, Mr. V. What up?” Colby asked.
Mr. V sighed once again.
“What up? Must you talk with such slang and broken language. And I’ve told you a million times, call me Alan,” Mr. Victor said.
Colby smirked before responding. The old guy was just too fun to mess with.
“Sorry, Mr. V. Ain’t gonna remember that anytime soon,” he said.
Mr. V sighed a final time and gave up.
“Anyways, back to the task at hand. You are looking for anyone suspicious,” he said.
Colby looked around. He was in an area just outside of “downtown” Detroit, away from the clean safety of Comerica Park and Ford Field. In other words, he was in the real downtown Detroit. He would probably have a harder time finding someone who didn’t look suspicious. As if reading his mind, Mr. Victor’s voice filled his ears again.
“That may be a bit broad of an adjective, considering the area you are in. But you will learn as time goes on how to spot a monster in disguise. They like to hide in human skin, hoping to blend in and go unnoticed so they can enjoy the perks of the human world during the day and then feed and slaughter at night. There have been some strange murders of homeless men and women in that area as of late. From studying the condition of the victims, I would wager we are dealing with a-” Before Mr. Victor could tell him what breed of nightmare he believed was the cause of the murders, Colby cut him off.
“Hang on, Mr. Victor, I think I see something,” Colby said.
Across the street, a business man in a suit and long overcoat was looking around suspiciously, as if making sure no one was watching him. Maybe not too strange in itself, but he was doing it while guiding a man into an alley. The man being guided looked to be homeless. Bingo, Colby thought as he started that way.
Waiting for the men to disappear into the alley, Colby crossed the street and slowly approached. Stopping at the flat wall outside the alley, he took a deep breath. Colby’s hand hovered over his watch, ready to activate the M.U.R.S.E armor the second he needed to. Peering into the alley, he quietly addressed Mr. Victor.
“Mr. V., I think I found our monster. He just took a homeless guy down an alley. I’m about to go in,” he said.
“Be careful, son,” Mr. Victor said with genuine concern.
Colby nodded, which he found odd since Mr. Victor couldn’t see him. People tended to do that a lot, he thought. Talking on the phone, listening to the radio, watching television. No one could see them, but those partaking in such activities still chose to nod and make hand gestures regardless. Colby wondered why this was. Shaking his head clear, he slapped himself on the cheek and focused on the task at hand. Like Mr. Victor said, Colby’s knack for going on internal tangents was going to get him killed. Placing his thumb directly over the button on his M.U.R.S.E watch, Colby took one last deep breath and rounded the corner into the alley.
Although the sun hadn’t completely set in the sky above the city, the alley was removed from that fading sunlight. Colby cautiously made his way deeper into the shadows. He resisted the urge to call out a “hello”, knowing that could end badly. Right now he had the element of surprise on his side, and he needed to keep it that way. Step by step, he got closer to the end of this part of the alley. Ahead was a wall, but the alley continued on to the right. Reaching that corner, Colby stopped when he heard voices.
“Hey, man, when you gonna give me my money?” Someone asked.
The speech was slurred and weathered, must be the homeless man, Colby thought. A deep, smooth voice responded.
“In due time,” they said.
Evil radiated from the voice, and Colby was positive he’d found his monster.
“Man, you said if’n I come down this alley with you and joined you for dinner, you’d give me some money. Where is it, man!? And what the heck are we eatin’ anyways? I don’t see no food,” said the homeless man.
Colby had a bad feeling about what was next.
“Oh, my poor fellow. I believe you misunderstood me. I am having dinner. And I don’t believe you will have much need for money after I’m done eating,” the most-likely-a-monster said.
“What you talkin’ a bout, man? I always have use for money. You ain’t gonna feed me, fine. Eat by yourself. Get to it! What are you eatin?” The homeless man asked, angry but still curious due to his obvious hunger.
“You,” the monster said, proving Colby’s intuition had been right.
Suddenly there was a strange tearing sound, followed by hissing, which was then followed by the homeless man screaming. Funky motherfunky, Colby gulped as he hit the button on his watch and charged around the corner.
The battlesuit quickly encompassed Colby’s entire body. As The Firesword leapt to life in his right hand, Colby began to prepare magic in his left fist. But the sight of what he saw stopped him in his tracks.
The business man’s clothes were torn and scattered on the alley ground…as was human skin. Standing over the terrified homeless man was a monster Colby had never seen or heard of from Mr. Victor.
The creature was extremely gaunt, to the point that its bones were jutting and pressing out the thin layer of pale, sore ridden skin stretched over its body. The thing’s eyes were sunk deep into its skeleton like head, with patches of greasy looking hair clumped here and there. Long, bony fingers reached for the homeless man as the beast hungrily hissed.
As scary as the thing looked, Colby felt good about his chances. With his battlesuit on, this string bean of a monster was going to be easy peasy to take out. One hit and this thing would surely wither and break. Mr. Victor’s voice came in through the technology in the armor.
“Mr. Jack, listen to me. Don’t be deceived by this creature’s appearance. It is much more-” Colby cut him off again.
“Don’t worry, Mr. V., I got this punk,” he said.
Then he focused on the beast ahead of him.
“Hey! You there! Tall, pale, and ugly!” Colby yelled.
The monster snapped its face and attention towards Colby at the sound of his voice. Cocking its head to the side, it smiled a yellow, nightmarish smile.
“Murse. Yummy. You will make a nice meal after this appetizer,” the beast said in the same deep, smooth voice. Then the monster turned its attention back to the homeless man.
Oh no, he did not just dismiss me, Colby thought. No more messing around with this jerk. Time to show him who he’s dealing with.
Yelling out a battle cry, Colby lifted The Firesword and charged. When he got within a few steps, the monster turned towards him and roared as loud as a lion but with a demonic undertone. Colby slowed down as the roar turned his blood cold. The momentary distraction cost him as the creature jabbed its fist into the murse’s chest.
For a split second, Colby smiled. This armor was hard as a rock. The only thing that had damaged it had been the nails of that vampire. And this was no vampire. That smile vanished quickly as the force of the beast’s punch radiated through Colby’s body and sent him soaring back through the air and into the alley wall a dozen feet behind him.
Dazed, but still conscious, Colby looked down at the armor’s chest plate and was stunned to see a large dent. How strong was that thing? He started to attempt to get up off the ground, but his opponent’s voice caught his attention.
“Stay there, Murse. I will deal with you in a bit. But right now, I’m starving,” the beast said as it licked its lips with a long tongue.
Then the thing turned to the homeless man, who had tried to scoot away but hadn’t gotten far. Before Colby could blink, the monster plunged its fingers into the homeless man’s chest.
The man screamed in torturous agony, which only got worse as the monster then proceeded to pry and tear him open. The poor guy’s screams soon turned to a gurgling gasp as his attacker buried its face in the man’s insides. Colby watched in horror as the monster fed ferociously, gorging itself on the homeless man’s corpse. As it ate, the beast grew larger. Within a couple minutes, the abomination had consumed the entire body. Standing up from its eating crouch, the monster turned towards Colby, speaking through a blood stained mouth.
“Mmm, delicious. But I’m still hungry!” The monster screamed and then it charged at Colby.
Fight or flight kicked in and Colby jumped to his feet and ran. He was in way over his head. This thing was going to tear him apart and eat him. Unless he got the heck out of there. Hearing the sound of his pursuer’s bony feet clicking on the ground getting closer and closer, Colby knew he needed to buy himself some time. Gathering some magic into his gloved left fist, he waited for the purple light to brighten and spark like crazy. Then he turned and fired a quick burst at the monster, almost letting out a yelp at the sight of how close it was.
The ball of magical energy slammed into the monster, staggering it but not knocking it down. The monster crouched, momentarily dazed. Colby didn’t wait for his pursuer to compose itself.
Gathering up magic in the glove once again, he focused it on the monster and let loose. The ball of magical energy hit home, knocking the monster back onto its back. Colby prepared to charge and finish the beast off with The Flamesword, but before he could take a step, the monster sat up and looked right into Colby’s soul with a look of serious murderous intent. Colby threw up a little, luckily just into his mouth. Swallowing it back down, he turned and ran before the beast could get back to its feet.
Colby rounded the corner and hugged the wall, breathing heavily. What was he going to do!? The monster screeched and then Colby heard the sound of its nails scraping and clicking the ground in a frenzy. It was getting up to its feet. Colby needed a plan. Now!
Colby tried to activate his communications device in his Battlesuit, but it wasn’t working.
“Mr. V.! Mr. V., can you hear me!?” He asked frantically.
Nothing but static in response. It must have been damaged when the monster bashed in the Battlesuit’s chest plate. Mr. Victor couldn’t hear him. Colby was on his own.
Okay, okay, Colby told himself. You can do this. Colby was a Magical Underground Resistance Sorcerer and Enforcer, or M.U.R.S.E for short. He could handle one monster. Colby had killed a powerful vampire, for pete’s sake. However, this monster was very strong, very mean, and very hungry. And as big as it was when he first saw it, it was even bigger now. To make matters worse, Colby had no clue what it was or how to beat it. And the only person who did was unavailable.
There were no lifelines, no phone-a-friends. Heck, Colby thought, he’d take a 50/50 right now. He hadn’t watched Who Wants to be a Millionaire for years. Colby was pretty sure it came on day time television now. He wondered who the host was? Colby would have to dvr it. He always thought he’d have kicked butt on that show. An approaching low growl snapped Colby from his thoughts. Those darned internal tangents of his were at it again. Time to focus.
Gathering a ball of energy in his gloved hand, Colby glanced down the alley at the safety of the sunlit street. He could just book it for the exit, deactivate his Battlesuit and blend into John Q. Public. Then he could regroup and come back again. His head was screaming for him to do just that. To save his own tushie. To live to fight another day. But the problem was that if he did that, the monster would then live to eat another day. Someone else would die, another victim to the demonic turdwad coming around the corner. Colby couldn’t shrug that guilt off. And he didn’t want to. He had to stop this monster here, right now. Or die trying.
The ball of energy was fully charged in his gloved hand. Concentrating, he kept the energy harnessed as he focused on the weapon in his other hand. The Flamesword leapt to life, and after a few deep breaths and psyching himself up, Colby yelled and charged around the corner. His yell trailed off when he saw nothing at all. Looking around, he frowned. Had the monster tucked tail and left?
Just as Colby was going to let out a sigh of relief, a deep roar came from above. He caught a glimpse of the monster jumping down off the brick wall just in enough time to dodge to the left, avoiding the beast as it crashed to the ground. Great, Colby thought. The son of a gun can spiderman-scale walls? Colby quickly focused the energy in his left hand at the monster and fired. The magic smashed into the beast, pushing it back towards the wall. Before the monster could recover, Colby charged and leapt into the air, Flamesword raised above his head in both hands. The beast recovered enough to see the M.U.R.S.E coming and put up a large forearm to shield itself. The Flamesword cut through the monster’s arm like butter.
The beast shrieked in pain as Colby landed on his feet with a metallic thud. He raised The Flamesword again for a deathblow, but the monster backhanded Colby with its remaining hand, sending the M.U.R.S.E flying across the alley once again. Landing on the ground, Colby’s momentum caused him to roll a few feet, finally crashing to a stop against the brick wall of the alley. Dazed and dizzy, Colby tried to push himself up off his stomach. Before he could, the monster landed on Colby’s back. It felt like a tree fell onto him.
Colby couldn’t see what the monster was doing, but he pictured its remaining hand raised high, ready to punch or claw its way through the back of the Battlesuit and rip Colby out like he was lobster meat in a lobster shell. Gathering a ball of energy, he slammed his gloved fist into the ground and released all the energy he could muster. The force threw both Colby and the monster up into the air, freeing Colby from the beast’s clutches. Colby turned his body on the way back down and landed on his back. Before he could catch his breath, the beast had landed and pounced back onto Colby, pinning him with its sheer strength and size advantage.
Quickly, Colby began to build up energy in his gloved fist. The monster angrily growled and grabbed Colby’s fist. Squeezing mightily, the beast glared at the M.U.R.S.E. Colby felt the strong metal of the Battlesuit’s glove buckle and give as it crushed inward onto his real hand. The ball of magical energy faded as Colby howled in pain. Crap, Colby thought anxiously. This dude just ruined my mojo…literally. The monster smiled a hellish smile and spoke in its deep, smooth voice.
“You have proved a worthy adversary, M.U.R.S.E. But I have grown tired of fighting. I want to eat your flesh, drink your blood, and be merry. Goodnight, mortal,” it said.
Hissing into Colby’s face, the monster raised its hand with claws at ready. Before it could attack, a voice came from behind the beast.
“Hey, ugly! Get off of him!” Yelled a voice familiar to Colby. The monster’s head snapped around to look at the owner of the voice as they continued talking, “Take off the bastard’s head, kid!” Mr. Victor? Colby didn’t wait to find out.
Focusing on his right hand, The Flamesword roared to life and Colby swiped it at the monster’s neck. The beast tried to stop the weapon’s progress with its only hand, but it wasn’t quick enough. The Flamesword sliced cleanly through the monster’s neck, decapitating it. The beast’s head fell to the left, landing and rolling across the ground as the monster’s headless body fell to the right. Colby scrambled backwards and to his feet. Feeling exciting and thrilled to be alive, Colby let out a scream and did the first thing that came to his mind. Running forward, he kicked the monster’s head like it was a soccer ball. The head flew the air and smacked off Mr. Victor’s chest, falling back to the ground. Mr. Victor was not impressed.
“Hello, Mr. Jack. Glad to see you are still alive,” he said dryly. Colby smiled as he deactivated his Battlesuit.
“Thanks for the save, Mr. V. You are one awesome mentor. I knew you loved me deep down,” Colby said with a wink.
“You are welcome. But I shouldn’t have had to come here. You ignored my attempts to describe to you what you were dealing with. You engaged without proper understanding of your enemy. And you failed to retreat when you were obviously in over your head,” Mr. Victor said.
“I hear a lot of words coming out, Mr. V. But all I want to hear is three words. You know which ones. Admit it, you love you some Colby Jack,” Colby said with a grin and outstretched arms.
Mr. Victor sighed.
“I will admit, you were brave. And you fought with tenacity and toughness. I am proud of the heart you showed, Mr. Jack,” he said.
“I’ll take it,” Colby said. Then he bowed.
Mr.Victor nodded as he responded.
“You are a strange young man, Mr. Jack. Now come along. I will buy you some dinner and we can talk about what just happened,” he said.
“Sounds good, Mr. V. I am starving! Decapitating baddies really works up an appetite. Don’t you need to call Gregor and the clean up crew?” Colby asked as he started after Mr. Victor.
“They have already been contacted,” Mr. Victor answered.
“Wait, you contacted them before you got here? How did you know there would be a monster corpse to clean up?” Colby asked, his smile fading as he pondered.
Now it was Mr. Victor’s turn to grin.
“I didn’t. I just knew there would be a corpse.”
“You have a really freaky sense of humor, Mr. Victor. Seriously, I mean…jeez. I know you were kidding and all about not being sure if I’d be dead or the monster but come on. Does the thought of my death really bring you so much joy that a jokeresque grin spreads across your face? I’m feeling anxious now. Oh boy, I need a barf bag,” Colby said as he started looking around the diner.
“Calm down, Mr. Jack. I was only joking. I knew you had the fight in hand. I was simply there to offer any assistance and I ended up doing just that. You won, son. Well done,” Mr. Victor said. Then he picked up a menu and started browsing his options.
They were in a diner not far from the site of Colby’s most recent monster battle. Colby had already decided what he wanted to eat. If Mr. Victor was buying, Colby was getting steak. A T-bone. Mashed potatoes on the side. His mouth was already watering.
“Thanks, Mr. V. I appreciate that. So, what was that thing?” He asked.
“Well, it was a windigo. Nasty cannibalistic creatures. They look gaunt, sickly, and weak but as you found out for yourself, they pack quite a punch. I will put together some research for you on windigos and then we will do some more training on different attacks to injure and finish off a monster of that size and stature. But, again, you did well, Mr. Jack,” Mr. Victor said.
“Windigo, huh? Wow. Crazy stuff. Well, I turned that windigo into a where-di-go. Aw snap!” Colby said as he covered his mouth.
“Right. Do you know what you are going to be ordering, Mr, Jack?” Mr. Victor asked, ignoring Colby’s attempt at a joke about the windigo.
“Yessir. I shall be ordering a delicioius T-bone steak with mashed potatoes on the side. I will be washing it down with coca cola classic, a fine beverage of dark, fizzy, syrupy goodness. You, good sir?” Colby asked.
“Heck with it. I think I will have the same,” Mr. Victor said with a wink.
“Yes! Well done, sir,” Colby said with a fist pump.
After Mr. Victor saved his life, Colby had started feeling even more guilty about the Regina lie. And now that they were joking and having a good time, Colby was really starting to feel bad. The secret was starting to eat away at him. He was really struggling, going back and forth between telling Mr. Victor and not telling him. Mr. Victor would more than likely be mad, probably feel used and cheated, and Colby would have to work hard to re-earn his mentor’s trust. But that wasn’t the problem.
The problem was Colby knew that if Mr. Victor found out he hadn’t erased Regina’s memory, the first order for Colby would be to erase Regina’s memory. But it would be even worse if Mr. Victor found out on his own, with Colby trying to hide it. The man had put himself in harm’s way to save Colby. He owed Mr. Victor the truth. Colby didn’t want to lose Regina or what they had shared so far. Maybe Mr. Victor would understand and they could figure something out. Maybe not. But he owed his mentor the choice.
Colby sighed and opened his mouth to tell his mentor how badly he’d screwed the pooch. Before he could, a hand rested on his shoulder and a sweet, beautiful voice addressed him.
“Hey, Colby. Hi, Mr. Victor. I’m so glad you guys are here. I was doing some sketching and eating dinner over in the corner there and caught sight of you two,” the owner of the voice said.
It was Regina. Seriously, Colby thought. Of all the restaurants, she had to be here. Now. Well, maybe she wouldn’t bring up anything that pointed out the whole not having her memory wiped thing to Mr. Victor. Regina went on.
“Anyways, like I said…I’m glad you are both here. Something has been really bothering me. I know you told me not to say anything Colby, but I can’t help it. Mr. Victor, what were you talking about at that meeting the other day? Everyone was just agreeing with you and you were saying things that weren’t true. I know what I saw. It was a monster, and that armored hero saved the day. Please, tell me why no one else remembers it!?” She said, desperate to understand why she was the only one making a big deal out of what had happened.
Colby kept his gaze on Regina, terrified to see the look on Mr. Victor’s face. Crud, Colby thought. Check please.
Colby clutched his stomach, doing everything he could to keep himself from vomiting. His anxiety induced nausea was rising due to his mentor in all things M.U.R.S.E, Alan Victor, silently and sternly staring at Colby from across the diner table. Colby’s girlfriend, if that’s what she was…Colby hoped she was. They’d kissed and had enjoyed spending time together, but they didn’t have an official title. Colby had loved Regina for a long time, but from afar. Now that he could do so up close, he hoped things were as serious for her as for him. Regardless of what she was to Colby, she had crashed Mr. Victor and Colby’s dinner just as Colby was about to admit he’d avoided erasing Regina’s memory of the vampire fight at the hospital when they’d erased the memory from the rest of the witnesses.
Now she was sitting next to Colby, snuggled up close in the diner booth. That was another reason for his upset stomach. Butterflies were going nuts in his stomach from the feel of Regina’s body against his. Her warmth and the sweet smells of her lotion, perfume and shampoo were driving him crazy. Colby stopped himself from sniffing Regina’s hair once again. He needed to play it cool. Focusing on the awkward situation at hand, Colby gulped.
Mr. Victor was staring at Colby waiting for an explanation. Regina was staring at Mr. Victor waiting for an explanation. Colby was staring at a spot on the wall beyond Mr. Victor, waiting for an exit or change of subject. Mr. Victor finally spoke.
“Regina, I’m not sure what you are talking about. Do you know what she’s referring to, Mr. Jack?”. He asked, the emphasis on Colby’s name not lost on the younger M.U.R.S.E.
“Of course he knows what I’m talking about. He was there! Tell him Colby,” she said, turning her beautiful gaze towards Colby.
Mr. Victor sat back and folded his arms.
“Yes, Mr. Jack. Tell me,” he said.
What Colby wouldn’t give for a monster to crash through the wall and into the diner about right now. Shifting uncomfortably in his seat, Colby blew out a breath. A long breath. It lasted so long that Regina began to tap her fingers. Mr. Victor even looked uncomfortable. The former M.U.R.S.E slapped the table abruptly.
“Mr. Jack!” He growled.
“Yeah. You know. Mr. V. Like she said, I was there. And, you know, you did kind of bounce all over. It was…you know, kind of strange,” Colby said and then trailed off when Mr. Victor narrowed his eyes.
Regina followed up quickly.
“Yes, you did, Mr. Victor. One second you were talking about what actually happened, and then you just slowly began talking about random, boring hospital protocol and procedures. I was sitting there thinking, what the heck? What was even weirder was that everyone around me was just nodding and soaking up what you were saying. And ever since, people look at me crazy if I bring up the monster in the cafeteria. So, please…tell me what’s going on,” Regina said pleadingly.
Colby knew now he’d made a mistake. Regina was suffering, doubting herself and her memory. She was trying to process something she’d seen that made no sense. And to make matters worse, no one else had “seen it” now that their memories of it were erased. She was going through it alone, and Colby couldn’t go through it with her because he couldn’t share his secret or the truth he knew with her. It wasn’t fair to her, and if he really loved her, he needed to make it fair. Sighing inwardly, Colby reached into his pocket and pulled out the pen he had used to block his memory erasing magic. Glancing at Mr. Victor, he saw his mentor nod in understanding and do the same.
“I’m so sorry you have been going through this, Regina. It isn’t fair that you feel so alone and confused,” Colby said gently.
Regina smiled and tenderly touched Colby’s face.
“Colby, why do you sound so sad? This isn’t your fault at all. You’ve done nothing wrong,” she said.
Colby put his hand over Regina’s as he answered.
“But I did, Regina. And it is my fault. But I’m going to make it right,” he said.
Regina looked at him with confusion, but before she could speak, Colby kept talking. “You didn’t see any monster in the cafeteria that day. You didn’t see an armored hero fight and kill any monsters. Lunch that day was normal, nothing special. Then Mr. Victor had a hospital policy meeting for staff. It was very boring. This is what happened that day,” Colby said sadly.
“Boring policy meeting. Nothing strange in the cafeteria that day. Lunch that day was normal…nothing special,” Regina repeated, nodding her head.
This was killing Colby. There was something special about lunch that day, and it had nothing to do with vampires or M.U.R.S.E Battlesuits or anything supernatural. It had to do with two people connecting and falling for each other. Suddenly Colby got an idea.
“There was something special about lunch that day, Regina. You and I had lunch together. We talked, held hands, and really connected. It was probably the most special lunch I’ve ever had,” Colby said, feeling himself getting a bit misty eyed.
Colby was really hoping that even though he knew he had to erase Regina’s memory of the vampire fight that he didn’t have to erase the entire memory. He knew that Mr. Victor had said the spell would erase a 4 hour block of Regina’s day. But maybe not. Colby figured it was worth a shot to try. Maybe he could make sure she remembered the truth that mattered most to Colby. Staring into Regina’s eyes, Colby waited for what seemed like an eternity. He fully expected and was prepared for Regina to come through and pull her hand away quickly, wondering why she was touching the face of the awkward, weird nurse who was always late. Finally, Regina spoke.
“Yes, it was very special Colby. As was our first kiss,” she said with a huge smile on her face as she kept her hand on his face. Colby’s jaw dropped.
“First kiss, hmm?” Mr. Victor said, curious.
Regina looked at Mr. Victor and covered her mouth, giggling.
“Sorry, Mr. Victor, I forgot you were there. Yes, after your boring procedural meeting, me and Colby made plans for a date and I kissed this sweet murse,” she said lovingly.
Holy smokes, Colby thought. It had actually worked. Regina had forgotten the vampire, the Battlesuit, the fight, and the real itinerary of the staff meeting. But she remembered everything that Colby and her had shared. This was perfect. It was better than perfect, it was pure bliss.
“Well, ma’ lady, you sure did. And I can’t wait for that date,” Colby said.
“Me neither, Colby,” Regina said.
They stared into each other’s eyes for a while before Regina’s phone ringing broke their gaze. Fumbling her smartphone from her pocket, she answered it.
“Hi mom. Yes, I am at the diner. Yeah, be there in a bit. Love you too,” she said as she hung up.
“Heading out?” Mr. Victor asked.
“Yeah, my mom needs me to stop by and help her with something. I better get going,” she said.
“Okay, well I will call you later. Drive safe,” Colby said.
Regina leaned forward and kissed Colby softly on the lips.
“I will, thanks, cutie,” she said.
Popping up to her feet, she waved to Mr. Victor, rushed over to her original seat, grabbed her coat and purse and was out the door. Colby watched her through his window until she was in her car. He was on cloud nine right now. Mr. Victor’s voice shook him free of his love daze.
“Wow. Mr. Jack, we have quite a bit to talk about.”
Colby dug into his T-bone steak, coating the tender grilled red meat with tangy A-1 sauce before gobbling it down. The steak tasted amazing, and he felt on top of the world. He had great food, he still had his great girl, and he still had his mentor. Colby was basing that last part on the fact that Mr. Victor had not only refrained from killing him but was also still treating him to dinner. Grabbing his coca cola, Colby sucked it down before saturating another piece of steak in A-1.
Mr. Victor sat across from Colby, his hands clasped in front of his face. He had been quiet ever since he’d said “Wow. Mr. Jack, we have quite a bit to talk about.” Then the waitress had come, they’d ordered, and then they’d sat in silence until their food came. Colby hadn’t noticed the silence much, all he was thinking about was Regina and how wonderful it was she still remembered all their “moments”. Especially the kiss. He couldn’t get over how lucky he was to still have a real chance with her. Even better, he didn’t have to lie to her anymore.
Well, technically he would have to lie to her by keeping his M.U.R.S.E stuff a secret from her. But that was to protect her. And of course he’d have to lie about erasing her memories of anything monster and M.U.R.S.E related. Darn, he thought. He was still going to have to be dishonest with her. Should he tell her the truth? No, that’s crazy talk, he thought. Everything was fine. Colby just needed to take it one day at a time and enjoy falling in love with the girl of his dreams. Life was good. Now he just needed to make sure things were good with Mr. Victor.
Looking up at his mentor, he nodded at Mr. Victor’s steak and potatoes.
“Are you going to eat, Mr. V.?” Colby asked.
Mr. Victor unclasped his hands and arched his eyebrows.
“Unbelievable. That was unbelievable,” he said.
“What’s that, sir? What was unbelievable?” Colby asked, confused.
“How you chose what memories to erase. How specific you were. Almost surgical. I’ve never seen a M.U.R.S.E be able to do that. Ever,” he said.
Colby thought about that for a minute. Mr. Victor had been in the M.U.R.S.E biz for a long time, both in practice and mentoring. If Colby had just done something no one else had ever been able to do…that was huge.
“Really, Mr. V.? What usually happens?” He asked.
“Well, usually if a M.U.R.S.E wants to erase a memory, anything remotely connected is erased too. Like I told you when we erased everyone’s memory of the vampire fight, it usually has to be an entire block of time. No one has ever been able to pick and choose what memories remained and which didn’t, especially when they are so close together. For example, you should have had to erase and reshape Regina’s memory of her entire morning, most of her day actually. The fact that you were able to pick and choose between memories literally minutes apart, and that it actually worked is…wow. You have surprised me once again, Mr. Jack,” Mr. Victor said with a smile.
Colby smiled too.
“Thank you, Mr. V. So, I guess that gets me off the hook for not erasing Regina’s memory in the first place? And for keeping it from you?” Colby asked with a wink.
“Oh no, Mr. Jack. I’m furious with you for that and very disappointed. And you better believe I am going to make M.U.R.S.E training a living hell for you for the foreseeable future. You see, you have much potential. Maybe the most of any M.U.R.S.E I’ve ever mentored. But you are sloppy, lazy, and reckless. For as much potential as you have, you have just as much to learn and grow. But I will help you get there. You are going to do great things, son. I’m sure of it,” Mr. Victor said.
Colby could accept that. He’d screwed up, and betrayed Mr. Victor’s trust. If his mentor was still willing to give him a shot and believe in him, Colby considered himself lucky. And he was going to do everything he could to make Mr. Victor proud as he earned back this great man’s trust.
“Thanks Mr. Victor, that means a lot. I know I screwed the pooch and betrayed your trust. But I am going to make it up to you. I am going to bust my butt and grow up. You have my word, I am ready to give 110 percent and do everything you say,” Colby said.
“Great, Mr. Jack. Glad to hear that,” Mr. Victor said.
Colby dug back in to his steak as he responded.
“Alright, cool. What’s next, Mr. V?” He asked.
“What’s next, Mr. Jack, is you paying for dinner,” Mr. Victor said with a smile. Surprised, Colby nearly choked on his food.
Before Colby could respond, Mr. Victor put his napkin in his lap and rubbed his hands together, looking down at his dinner.
“This looks delightful. Been a long time since I had a free dinner. Thank you, Mr. Jack,” he said before digging in.
Colby couldn’t help but smile. Well played, Mr. V. Well played, he thought before shaking his head and resuming his own meal.
Colby shut the door to his apartment behind him and let out a sigh. It felt good to be home. With everything going on with Regina, Mr. Victor, and work, he hadn’t been home for much besides sleep. Dropping his keys onto the counter, Colby dug into his cargo pocket and fished out his wallet. It was a lot lighter than when he’d left.
Mr. Victor had ordered a homemade apple pie at the diner after he’d finished his dinner. Not just a slice, but a whole pie. At least he’d let Colby have a slice. It had been delicious. Probably not as delicious as it would’ve tasted if Mr. V. would’ve been the one buying. But that was Colby’s own fault. Shrugging, he dropped his wallet next to his keys and headed towards his couch. Colby was looking forward to a relaxing night catching up on all the shows that had been building up on his DVR. Grabbing the remote, he plopped down onto the couch. Nice, Colby thought. He’d earned this R&R. Flipping on the TV, he sunk back into his couch.
Before he could hit the DVR button, a news report caught his eye. There was a fire downtown at an apartment building. One of the old buildings that weren’t up to code, but somehow skirted the systems put in place to keep tenants safe. And then charged the higher end of dirt cheap to fill their buildings with people desperate enough for a home to not complain about all the cut corners and safety risks, but who paid enough all together to help the owners live a decent life. It was disgusting to Colby, one of the many things in the city that he wished could change. Turning up the volume, he scooched forward to the edge of the couch as the reporter on scene explained what was happening.
“This is Liz Arrington, live at the Brickenridge apartment complex downtown. A massive fire broke out earlier this evening. Firefighters are on the scene and have evacuated the building and are currently fighting the fire, but to no avail. As it spreads, we are talking with those who have been forced from their home by this terrible accident,” a pretty blonde reporter said.
The camera panned to the right where a group of people were crowded, staring up at the flames in sadness. Suddenly, a scream rose from off screen. The camera panned back and forth until it froze on a woman who was frantically screaming and holding two grocery bags. Liz Arrington rushed over to her.
“Ma’am. Liz Arrington from Channel 2 news. Are you okay?” she asked. Obviously not, Liz, Colby thought to himself.
“No! No, I’m not okay! My baby is in there!” She cried in anguish.
“What do you mean your baby?” Liz asked.
“I was getting some groceries and came home to find the place in flames. My son is in there! He is only 10 years old! He isn’t out here! Someone help him, please! The firemen said the fire is too strong for them to go inside! Oh no! Oh, lord! My baby!” The woman screamed, breaking down and crying.
Liz began questioning her and Colby tuned it out. Biting his lip, he looked down at his M.U.R.S.E watch. His Battlesuit was fire-proof, at least if he just got in and out quickly. Brickenridge was less than ten minutes away. He could be there shortly. Colby could actually save the boy. But he wasn’t sure if he should.
Mr. Victor wouldn’t want Colby to do it. He would say that it wasn’t worth the risk of Colby being seen, or worse, being caught on camera. But there was a kid in danger…and Colby was his only chance. Mr. Victor had said it himself. Colby was going to do great things. Saving a 10-year-old boy who had no other chance at survival seemed like a pretty great thing to do. He looked again at the screen and saw the distraught mother being consoled by Liz. Colby sighed. So much for a relaxing evening, Colby thought as he got up and hurried for his keys and the door.
Colby slammed on his brakes and screeched to a stop down the street from the fire. Getting out of his trusty old ford pickup, Colby quickly flipped his magical hoodie’s hood up over his head. Immediately, he became invisible to the world. Breaking into a full sprint, he hurried to where the onlookers where standing.
On the drive over, Colby had realized a few things that he probably should have considered before leaving. Colby had no clue what the boy’s name was, where his apartment was located within the building, or where the boy was in the apartment. He could figure out the last part when he got to the correct apartment, and if he didn’t know the kid’s name it probably wasn’t a huge deal, although it would be helpful. But Colby really needed to know where the heck the general area was to search for the boy.
He realized he probably should have stayed and listened to the anchor Liz talk to the kid’s mom a bit longer. But there wasn’t much time. And there was even less now. Frantically searching through the crowd for the boy’s mother, Colby grew frustrated when he didn’t see her. Looking in the other direction, over by the firefighters, he pumped his fist when he saw her. She was hanging on the arm of a fireman, apparently pleading with him. Probably to help her son. Hurrying that way, Colby got close enough to hear what was being said.
“Please, sir! Please! Help my boy!” She cried.
“Sorry, ma’am. I truly am. I wish we could just charge in there, but between the flashing and backdrafts, it would be suicide for any human being to go in there. We are working on containing the fire, and as soon as it’s safe for my men, we will be in there. I wish I could do what you are asking, I really, really wish I could. But we just can’t,” the fireman said sadly.
Colby rocked back and forth anxiously. He needed to know where to look for the kid. And he needed to know now. Darn it all, he thought. The boy’s mother began pleading again.
“You have to! My Leroy is in there! All by himself. Please! Apartment 307, that’s where he is! Go now before it’s too late!” She yelled, growing more and more distraught. Colby had heard all he needed to hear.
As the poor fireman began to explain once again why his men could not enter the building, Colby took off towards the apartment building entrance. He was going to have to time this just right.
Blowing out a deep sigh, Colby ran full speed towards the open front door. Hitting the steps leading up to it, he stepped on the top step and then leapt forward, soaring through the air. As he passed through the doorway, he flicked off his hood and simultaneously pressed the button on his watch. He lightly felt the heat of the flames before the Battlesuit encompassed his body, protecting him from the insanely high temperatures. Looking around, Colby couldn’t help but feel in awe.
He had never seen a large fire like this in person. Only in a campfire pit or in a trash can. The flames were spread everywhere, licking and engulfing everything in sight. As the fire danced across the ceiling, Colby couldn’t help but notice the beauty of it. It was so powerful and deadly, but at the same time mesmerizing. A soft cry for help caught his attention and snapped him back. His M.U.R.S.E super hearing was coming in handy. He could hear Leroy, all the way up on the 3rd floor. Room 307 was where Colby needed to be.
He charged towards the staircase, knowing the elevator would not be working. The first staircase buckled and creaked under the weight of the heavy Battlesuit but held. One more staircase to go and Colby would be seconds from hopefully finding Leroy. At least he knew the poor little guy was alive. Rounding his away around towards the next flight of stairs, Colby rushed up them. When he was nearly to the top, the stair case gave out. Colby let out a scream as he fell with the stairs.
Looking down, he saw nothing but fire. He didn’t know how hot the temperature of the fire could get before the Battlesuit gave out, and he wasn’t sure that if he got stuck or buried that he would be able to get free in time to ensure his own survival. All he knew was that if he didn’t get to Leroy very shortly, the boy would die. That much was certain.
Colby remembered Ruby, the sweet old lady from the hospital he had caused to levitate. He remembered how Mr. Victor had said Colby had done that with his mind and that maybe he could focus enough to make himself float…or even fly. Shutting his eyes, Colby focused.
He pictured himself flying upwards, safely away from the flames to the 3rd floor hallway above him. Colby then pictured a small boy, needing his help. He put all his heart and desire and willpower into those thoughts and suddenly noticed he had stopped falling. Opening his eyes, Colby saw that it had worked. He was hovering in mid-air. Sweet, he grinned. Then he let out a gleeful howl and soared upwards like some kind of flying comic book hero.
Colby flew up and onto the 3rd floor, zipping through the air and down the hallway. He saw apartment 307 and stuck out his fist, shooting forward. Splinters exploded in every direction as he eviscerated the apartment door. Landing with a thud, he looked around. Where are you, Leroy!?
“Help me! Please, someone help! Mommy!” A child’s voice called out.
It was Leroy, and he was sounding weaker and weaker. Colby took off in the direction the voice was coming from. He found Leroy in the bathroom, curled up under a heavy blanket in the bathtub. Smart kiddo, Colby thought. He hurried forward and put a hand on the top of the blanket, leaving Leroy covered completely.
“Leroy, I am here to help you. Don’t be scared. Your mom told me where you were. Let’s get you out of here,” Colby said.
“Ok,” Leroy said softly.
Colby smiled. Leroy was one brave kid. Scooping him up and keeping him wrapped in the blanket, Colby looked at the nearest window. Focusing his magic on flying again, he hugged Leroy close and covered him the best he could with his arms and body as Colby exploded forward and through the window. The glass shattered and the fire exploded outwards after Colby and Leroy as they flew into the suddenly very cool night air.
Looking down, Colby felt proud as onlookers began to point and call out. Just wait until they saw what he had in his arms, he thought. Mr. Victor wasn’t going to like this, but there was only one way for Colby to get Leroy down to safety. He was going to have to fly him down there right into his mother’s arms. Colby didn’t care if he was exposing himself. The Evilness already knew about him, so screw it. Continuing to focus on flight, Colby shot down out of the sky towards the onlookers on the ground below.
The oohs and ahhs reached Colby’s ears as he slowed and landed gently on the ground. Unwrapping the blanket from around Leroy’s head, Colby’s heart leapt when he saw two big eyes open and a sweet, soft voice udder one word.
“Mom?” Said the innocent, amazing little boy in his arms.
“Leroy!” Called out Leroy’s mother.
Then she pushed her way through the crowd and ran up to Colby. Leroy smiled and reached for his mom. Getting close enough to grab her son, Leroy’s mother did just that. Both of them began to sob with joy and Colby couldn’t help but shed a few tears himself. This was what it was all about. This was being a hero. This is what Colby needed to protect. What he was going to fight for. Leroy’s mother looked up at Colby.
“Thank you! Thank you so much! How can I ever repay you!?” She asked, beaming from ear to ear.
“No need to thank me, ma’am, I’m just glad your son is okay. Make sure the firefighters check him out and get him some medical care,” Colby said.
Then he prepared to fly off, but Leroy’s voice stopped him.
“Wait, sir,” Leroy said.
Colby stopped and waited as the small, brave boy he’d saved stood up and walked over to him. Then he smiled a huge smile up at Colby and stretched out his hand.
“Thank you, mister. You are my new favorite superhero,” he said.
Colby smiled and took Leroy’s small hand gently in his giant Battlesuit gloved hand. Then he shook the boy’s hand.
“You are welcome. Thank you for the kind words. But you were so brave and so smart to cover yourself up in the tub. Way to listen in school, little dude. Now you and your mom take care of each other, okay?” Colby said.
“Yes sir,” Leroy said.
Colby nodded and they released hands. Then Colby shot off into the air, twirling around and yelling triumphantly. He could get used to the hero business. A loud beep startled him. Then he heard Mr. Victor’s voice and he realized it was the communication tech in the Battlesuit.
“Mr. Jack, please meet me at the warehouse immediately. We need to discuss your extra-curricular activities tonight,” he said.
“Sure thing, Mr. V. See you in a bit,” Colby said.
Mr. V. didn’t sound happy, but Colby didn’t care. He was proud of himself. He’d saved a child! He, Colby Jack, had saved a child from a fire and reunited him with his mother. Colby had been a hero tonight, had done something great…and no one could take that from him.
Elaine Opple clicked her pen on her clipboard. She hated doing inventory. It was so boring. But it was part of her charge nurse duties. She had to make sure all the meds were accounted for, and all the blood. It wasn’t glamorous, but it needed to be done. Checking off the last of her pill checklists, she flipped the page to the blood checklist. The blood supply room was down the hall a bit, that was where she was headed next. As she shut off the light and headed for the door, she saw a familiar face pass by the window. Chad Powers?
Chad Powers was an intern who worked at Henry Ford Hospital. But he shouldn’t be here. One, he was still technically suspended for fighting and acting like a total douchebag the other day. He was not cleared to return and shouldn’t be on campus, period. But even further than that, Elaine should never see him on her floor again. Regina Florentine had a restraining order against Chad, her ex-boyfriend.
Regina was such a sweet girl and the last thing she needed was that abusive jerk showing up. Elaine had been so happy to hear that Regina had had lunch with Colby Jack. The young male nurse was such a sweet guy. The complete opposite of Chad Powers. She still couldn’t believe that Colby had beaten Chad up so badly. Colby didn’t seem the type to do something like that. But from what she heard, Chad deserved it and Colby was only standing up for Regina. Regardless of the circumstances, Chad Powers had no business here. Pulling out her work phone, Elaine punched in security’s number.
“Hello, Ricky, this is Elaine on 4 North. I just saw intern Chad Powers walk past the medication supply room,” she said.
“Hey, Elaine. Great, just great. That jerk shouldn’t be there. I will be right up. Don’t approach him until I get there, okay?” Ricky said.
“Got it, Ricky. Wouldn’t dream of it,” she answered.
Hanging up the phone, Elaine exited the supply room and then shut and locked the door behind her. The hospital, especially her floor, was always so oddly quiet this time of night. There were only a few staff working and they were all busy in rooms right now. The quietness of the floor didn’t usually bother her, but with Chad Powers lurking somewhere, she couldn’t help but feel uneasy.
Ricky would be up on her floor anytime now, and then he would take care of Chad and she could go back to feeling safe. Trying to relax, she looked down at her blood supply checklist. Elaine figure she might as well start checking the blood while she waited for Ricky. Heading down the hall, she looked towards the blood supply room door and stopped in her tracks. It was open.
Not just cracked open, but wide open. What the heck, she wondered. She was sure one of her nurses had just left it open. Or were grabbing something quick and would walk through the door any moment. Elaine was soon at the door and cautiously entered the room. The lights were off, but a bright sliver of light stretched across the floor from one of the refrigerator units that stored the bags of blood. The door of one was open, and hunched over, doing something inside was none other than Chad Smith. Elaine stopped herself from gasping in shock…and fear.
She had no idea why Chad was here, or what in the world he could be doing with blood, but it wasn’t going to happen on her watch. Ricky would be here any moment, but it didn’t mean Elaine should just let Chad do whatever it was he was doing. She was in charge of the floor, damn it. Elaine cleared her throat and then addressed Chad.
“Excuse me, Chad Powers? You aren’t supposed to be here. I called security, they are on their way up. I suggest you leave,” she said, hoping she sounded tougher than she felt.
Chad stood up, then turned slowly and glared at Elaine. She screamed and dropped her clipboard.
Chad’s face was covered in blood, a torn open bag of it in his hand. As blood dripped onto the floor from his face and hands, Chad cocked his head to the side. Elaine couldn’t help but notice how pale Chad looked now that she was up close, and sickly. His hair was greasy looking, plastered to his head. His eyes appeared sunken in and his usual blue eyes looked a dull gray. She was about to ask Chad if he was okay when suddenly his tired-looking eyes turned completely black…pupils, irises and all. Then he smiled and Elaine noticed his teeth were long, jagged, and protruding out of his mouth in different directions.
Startled and terrified, Elaine tried to back out the door but she bumped into the wall. Finding the doorframe with her hand, she turned to flee just as Chad let out a shrill shriek. Elaine only took one step out of the room before she felt powerful hands grab both her biceps and pull her back into the blood supply room. She was lifted into the air and then thrown back into the room, landing roughly on her back.
Trying to recover, she looked up and saw Chad jump through the air and pounce on her. She began to scream for help just as Chad buried his face in her neck. Elaine felt her jugular artery rip open and then her scream became a gurgle. A tear slid down her cheek as she heard Chad begin to guzzle the blood flowing out of her torn artery, his tongue hungrily lapping her wound like a dog laps water from its bowl. Then the world faded to darkness.
Her blood tasted sooo good. It tasted better than anything Chad had ever tasted. As her warm, delicious blood filled his mouth, he shuddered with delight. His whole body shook with power and satisfaction. The way he felt was amazing, almost orgasmic. No, check that, this was better than sex. That crazy freakshow that had broken into his home earlier in the night was right. This was amazing.
After Chad had told the weirdo he’d do anything to get even with that loser Colby Jack, the gangly, hippie-haired intruder had smiled a creepy smile. Then, before Chad had even blinked, the guy had tackled him to the ground. Straddling Chad, the intruder had pulled up one of his own sleeves, exposing one of the freak’s wrists and then slit it open with one of his long nails. Then he’d forced Chad to drink the weirdo’s disgusting, black blood that was oozing out of the wound. It had been the nastiest thing ever, and Chad had barely made it through without vomiting. Chad had tried to stop and pull away, but the intruder held Chad by the back of the head and was crazy strong. Afterwards, the intruder had filled Chad in.
He’d told Chad he was a vampire and that very soon, Chad would be too. That Chad was going to be stronger, faster, smarter, and more powerful than he could ever imagine. And that he was going to live forever and have all the riches and women he desired. And all the vampire/intruder wanted in return was for Chad to kill Colby Jack. Seemed like a fair enough trade to Chad.
He’d told Chad that soon he was going to grow very, very hungry and that the only thing that would satisfy that hunger was blood. And that once Chad drank human blood, there was no going back. Then the bastard just left. No more explanation, no answering Chad’s million questions he had, and no training of how exactly Chad was more powerful. It had all happened so fast, that Chad thought maybe he’d imagined it. He’d had a bit to drink, so he just shook his head and went to sleep.
It didn’t take long before he woke up, feeling like his insides were burning. Chad was drenched in sweat, his head was pounding, and he was starving. He’d dragged himself to the kitchen and tried to scarf down a yogurt, but it had no flavor. The label had said it was blueberry, his favorite, but it had had no taste at all. And even worse, it hadn’t touched his hunger. The other thing he’d noticed was that he had eaten the yogurt without any pain or trouble at all, his broken jaw felt fine. Chad was healed. That was when he started wondering if his encounter with the vampire had been real after all.
He decided to test it out. Looking at the refrigerator in front of him, Chad had reached down and grabbed onto the extremely heavy fridge with both hands and lifted. Expecting resistance, Chad was astonished when the fridge lifted without much effort. He was definitely stronger.
Next, Chad stood with his back to his living room wall, looking straight ahead at the hallway to his bedroom. It was a distance of about 25 feet to the end of the hall. Chad took off in a dead sprint and bounced off the wall at the end of the hall in just a couple of seconds. He was in awe at how fast he had just run. Chad couldn’t believe it. He was a real damn vampire. And he was also starving. He needed blood.
Chad was digging the new powers, but he wasn’t really sure he wanted to kill anyone. Other than Colby Jack, and maybe Regina. He knew where he could get some blood so that he could satisfy his hunger and then think straight and make a plan. Chad decided to go to the hospital and get some blood from the blood supply room on 4 North. It was Regina and Colby’s floor. Maybe one of them would be there and he could have some fun. If not, he could at least get some blood.
He knew he was suspended and could get into trouble, but that didn’t concern him anymore. Chad knew he could take out anyone who messed with him. Neither Colby or Regina had unfortunately been at the hospital when he got there, but he’d found his way into the blood supply room pretty easily. Chad had been guzzling some bagged blood when the woman had found him. And as good as the bagged blood had tasted…her blood tasted much, much better.
He thought her name was Ellen or Elizabeth. It had been something with an E. She was the night nurse. Now she was just Chad’s dinner. Sitting up, Chad let out a satisfied sigh and licked his lips. Much better, he thought. He was never going to drink bagged blood again. What had the vampire said? Once he drank human blood there was no going back. Who cared!? He loved everything being a vampire brought and never wanted to go back to the way he was before.
“Oh my lord! What have you done!?” Exclaimed a voice from behind Chad.
He realized it must be the security that his dinner, whoever she was with an “E”, had called. Chad figured he had time for dessert. He wondered if different human’s blood tasted differently. Grinning evilly, Chad stood up. Only one way to find out, he thought.
About the Author
Christopher Lee Cousino is the author of two novels, Homeless and Zombie Hero: The Beginning Part One. In addition to his novels, Christopher has authored numerous short stories. Christopher is a LPN by day, servicing the special needs population in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. By night, he morphs into Super Writer, with the abilities to lose sleep and create fiction for your enjoyment. He is hard at work on many novels and stories, so stay tuned. Christopher lives in Hudsonville, Michigan with his beautiful wife, three wonderful children, two free-loading cats, and his brave, loyal chocolate lab.
Check out his website, where he offers a FREE short story every week!
Note from the Author
Thank you so much for reading my story. Whether you purchased it or got it for free, I truly appreciate you taking the time to share in this story with me. If you have the time, I would love to hear your thoughts on the story you just read. You can leave a review at the site you got the story from, or feel free to comment to me on my website. Thanks again, have a wonderful day, and as I always say…happy reading!
Christopher Lee Cousino
Colby Jack finds himself in a slugfest with a monster he has no idea how to defeat, but that's only the beginning of his problems. As he trains and discovers more about his powers, he will have some tough choices to make. One of which, should he tell his mentor that he didn't erase his girlfriend's memory? Also, a familiar foe is about to become much less familiar, but much more dangerous. Can Colby save the day and his sanity? Find out in the third installment in the M.U.R.S.E. short story series by Christopher Lee Cousino, the author of the superhero novel series HOMELESS.