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Friday, September 6, 2013

Flash Fiction: Don't Stay Out After Dark

This fic was inspired by this Tumblr post containing the writing prompt "Use some or all of these in a story or poem: A vampire, a stolen debit card, and a coconut."

Everyone knows the streets aren’t safe after dark. Sometimes, if I can’t sleep, I’ll tug back the curtains and peek out the windows.

Outside, the world is dark and silent. It seems that even the stars are afraid to come out. The trees rustle. Garbage tumbles through the streets. An occasional stray cat or dog will dash down the alleyway.

If I look closely, I can catch a flash of movement in the darkest shadows, the predators of the night hunting for anyone foolish enough to get caught outside after dark.

Anyone like me.

I pull my coat up closer around my body, trying to block out the cold winter wind that is cutting through my layers. I wouldn’t be out here if it wasn’t for my stupid debit card. I’m sure it was in my pocket when I left the grocery store, but when I got home and checked, it was gone.

Really it’s Lisa’s fault for sending me out so late in the evening to buy a coconut of all things. Pregnant women want the strangest things.

Three blocks from home. I stay alert, keeping to the parts of the road lit by the streetlamps above as much as possible. My heart pounds in my chest, probably alerting anyone within a five-mile radius that there’s a piece of prey moving about in their territory.

I haven’t even managed to find my stupid debit card. Someone probably picked my pocket on the way home. Maybe it was that little girl that bumped into me as I walked out the door. Or the old man with the hollowed eyes that I gave my pocket change.

I’ll have to call the bank in the morning. Unless, of course, I die and then I won’t have to worry about it.

Two blocks from home. I move a little faster, the wooden stake tucked in my jacket knocking against my ribs.

One block from home. I can make it. Relief blooms in my stomach. I can see my house, a light still on over the porch.

There’s a flash of darkness behind the tree in my front yard. Ice rushes through my veins. I reach for the stake, not about to get murdered right in my front yard. At least not without a fight.

The vampire steps out, his white fangs gleaming in the darkness. It’s probably the porch light that drew him in, the universal sign of someone being out after dark. He’s lithe with red eyes and a thick black cloak.

I don’t know why they have to wear those things, considering vampires don’t actually get cold. Must be a provision in the Vampire Code.

I wait for him to make some sort of sarcastic remark, ask me why I’m out so late, but he just attacks. Simple, straightforward. I like that.

I ground myself, watching him come. Vampires move faster than anything I’ve ever seen. I can feel the panic building in my veins but I don’t let it overwhelm me.

Three, two, one…I bring the stake out of my jacket and slam it straight into the vampire’s heart. I’m allowed a few seconds of enjoyment over the look of utter shock in his eyes before he disintegrates into a pile of dust.

“Gross,” I whisper, brushing what I can off my jacket. I run the rest of the distance to the door, pushing my way inside and slamming it behind me. I flick on the hall light and something glints at me from the floor. I growl as I lean over to pick it up.

It’s my debit card.

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