Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
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I think you mean "What if Kenzie and Francis are there?"

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Michael Schwob Michael Schwob
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Wonder and Wander


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She had a friend.

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Three moons left. That’s all the time I get until I die like the rest of them.


I never found myself counting days, weeks, or any interval of time. It seems irrelevant considering I’m an ageless supernatural. Now, all of us vampires are counting the cycles of the moon until we fall like the rest of the world.


There is one necessity a vampire needs in order to survive- blood. There is no source of the rich, thick… I stopped myself. I keep thinking about it, and now it’s all that is important. No longer is my faction, human family, or job my priority. I’m not naive; I will never get those back. I lost it all, and now I’m about to pay the biggest price.


I look to the ground and punch it furiously, leaving a crack in the frozen layer of ice. I have endured enough pain as is. It’s been weeks since I’ve talked to anyone or thing. All that I see now is ice, ice, ice. It’s such a colorless world. Sure, I live in Las Vegas, but I miss the exotic palm trees and the native cacti. After all, “you never know what you got until it’s gone.”


I’ve wandered for miles in search of another carcass. It’s been a few days since I’ve stumbled upon a dead corpse. Since the catastrophe, all I have seen are my own kind, dead or alive. I think our resistance to the freezing temperature explains how we outlasted every other species. Since we are the last source of blood, every vampire is forced to cannibalism as means to survive. I hate to feed on my brothers and sisters, but if that’s what it takes to get through this dreadful storm, I’ll do it. I’m a survivalist, and I will find a way to live.


But first, I must rest. I’ve been up for days straight, and even vampires need sleep. We aren’t too different from humans.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I woke up panicked. What a cruel joke it was of my mind to play this trick on me. Pictures of my wife and son flashed through my head. Surely, they were dead. I witnessed their entrapment between two glaciers. I can still hear their cries for help, their dying calls.


“Help me, baby. Get me and Francis out of here.” It played through my head over and over. I never thought that a vampire could be haunted.


I don’t think any of us saw the coming of the sixth ice age. I may have been the prophet of my faction, but not even I would’ve envisioned this hell to be brought upon us. Looking back in hindsight, I can see that I was given all of the clues.


“Help me, baby. Get me and Francis out of here.” It played again. That was my first clue. I saw their deaths, but I couldn’t prevent it. They were dead already. If they were to survive the first attack of ice, the second would’ve taken them. In the rare chance that they were to still live, the vampires would’ve killed them at once.


Since the Safeguard Laws of 2076, humans and supernaturals are forbidden to see each other. I lived a double life, visiting my family during the day and leading my vampire faction at night. I was never questioned because the typical vampire could not walk during the hours of sunlight. However, I had the rare gift of human skin. Although I bled easier than my supernatural friends, I could bare the bright rays of sunlight.


If other vampires were to see me aid humans, I’d be dead alongside my family. It was a difficult choice to make, leaving them to die, but it’s what had to be done to live.


At that thought, I remembered abandoning my faction. I feel like I made the right move, faking my death. I had to escape my faction, for I feared the betrayal of my own friends. At some point or another, I would have to engage in conflict once there was no longer blood in sight.


Memories of my faction, my friends, played through my head. I regret leaving them. We would all die eventually. I’d rather live the rest of my days being with my friends. I’m going crazy out on this endless sheet of white frost. I need someone to talk to. Anyone. Anything.


I need to focus on the present considering I can’t change the past. I have two moons left. I know I will die soon, whether I discover a further extent to my life or not. I need to change my lifestyle to survive. I laughed at that thought.


"Lifestyle," I said aloud.


It felt good to speak. I haven't in weeks. Maybe, I just long for compassion and friendship. Who am I kidding? I need to kill. It's my only chance to survive this dreadful new world another week or so. Murder is against my morals, but then again, I'm a vampire... so is death.


I need to expand my area of search. I must move to the mountains. The height of the mountain peaks have the lowest temperature, which is sought after by my people.


"People." The word resonated in my head. People. People. What if a community of humans survived this age of ice? They would seek heat. Heat can only be found below the Earth's surface.


What if Kenzie and Francis are they? Don’t be so stupid. They are gone. Everyone’s gone. It’s just me out here. The Underground Compound is the only chance I could find anyone. 1 comment


“The Underground Compound.” I found myself mouthing the words, easing the tension in my current situation.


The Underground Compound was a nuke shelter located at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was designed when Russia threatened a nuclear attack against the United States in 2056. It contained an agricultural block, a social block, and a housing block. I know how to get inside and out without the detection of any soul considering I designed the institute before I transformed into the cursed being I currently am. It is hidden well enough so that no vampire would know of its existence, even if they were to stand directly upon it.


This is where I must journey. It would usually take days. However, with the help of the smooth ice and the hollowed-out canyons, I can get there within a matter of hours.


I embarked on the hopeful trip. I don’t think I’ve felt this excited in a long time. I get to see a face, a living, breathing face. I get to see another person before I die. It is a shame that I have to end their lives, as well. I always liked humans more. It must be natural, considering that’s who I grew up with and spent most of my life with. Humans are just a far more generous race. Vampires are loyal to their own faction, but outside of their clique, it’s brutal. I can only imagine the faction wars once the ice age hit. It’s the perfect excuse to wreck havoc.


I must move quicker than I realized. I’m here. The thoughts of factions and the hopes of seeing more humans filled my mind. This is my only hope. I saw no signs of any vampires. That is a good sign. I envisioned that they all travelled north into the Canadian territory seeking out other factions. The back entrance should be right here.


"Here goes nothing." I found myself speaking to find comfort. Although I'd prefer a response, I found it to be quite soothing.


Click. It worked. There was a flight of narrow, steel stairs running down a tight corridor. The sunlight from above illuminated the stairs, casting my own shadow upon the cold, metal steps. I began my descent down the staircase.


I may have lived a long life, but it felt like an eternity until I hit the solid, warm ground of the compound. The time I put into the steps was worth it, considering the Earth beneath my feet reminded me of the time prior to the icy, cold winds that brought death to my family and all else.


To my great relief, the lights were on. Lights would only be activated if it sensed a thermal reading comparable to the human cardiovascular system. I have to give myself credit for the design. Rather genius, I thought. There is a human presence.


I looked down the lit up hall; it was the main hall. The housing block would be to the left, the agricultural to the right, and the social straight ahead. I was eager to find the first lucky victim. I have to play it safe. I cannot let the other humans know I am here because they would panic and run. This is the holy grail for a dying vampire. I need to plan this out.


Since the humans have no concept of day and night now that they can't see the sun, I would assume they make sleeping shifts. I shall sneak into the housing block and kidnap one person. The repetition of this may cause suspicion in their community, but it is the most efficient means in obtaining blood without causing instant chaos.


Just as I had formulated my plan, a girl appearing to be in her forties walked out from the housing block. She saw me. I must act quick so she does not make a noise.


"Oh, hello. I don't believe I've seen you around. We must be on different shifts," she quietly started walking towards me, obviously just having been awoken from her slumber.


Does she not fear me? Does she not know what I am? Although insulted, I loved the sound of another voice. My dying wish has been granted.


"I assure you, miss, that I am on no shift. I just came down from the surface looking for food," I grinned. Yes, it was a threat, but now my words have purpose. Now, I have someone to share my words with.


She looked at me like I was a savior. I don't think I've ever experienced such an appreciative glance before. I watched her face go from awe to fear. She knew.


"Before you attack me or any of the others, I can make you a deal you can't refuse. My name is Tiffany, and I'm the leader of this community. I can make you a proposition that you can't refuse," she said rather quickly, as if she only had seconds to live.


"I am not seeking a proposition- just blood." I cannot have her know that I yearn for a community to belong to.


"Yes, but you will run out if you kill us. You will die shortly. Sure, you may add months to your life, maybe a year. We can give you an eternity another way."


I had time to kill, and she was right. If I were to suck them until the last drop of blood has exited the last living body, I will have at most another year. I'll probably outlive the other vampires while I'm at it.


"Continue," I prompted.


"Down in this facility, we have discovered a blood draw. It can extract large amounts of blood from any of us without physically harming our people. You can virtually live forever, and we would like your company down here," she explained.


Ah, yes. I forgot about the medical block within the social. She spoke the truth. The machinery only works if the subjects were alive.


"What do you expect in return?" I asked confused. I just realized she said she wants my company. That alone is all I need.


"You said you came from the surface. We need someone, something, that has contact above. I did not consider that vampires could survive up there. We need you. Our survival is your choice, and even if we were to survive, we could never blossom."


She bore a look of great necessity. Someone needs me. I haven't felt this way since my human years. Once a vampire, there is no dependency. They all need me, and I could be their hero. I could be with others, and it’s even better that they are humans.


The voice of Kenzie ran through my head. “Help me, baby. Get me and Francis out of here.” I can do them justice. Their death is the only reason I’m alive. It’s fueled me for days, weeks. Without the memory of them, I would have given up. I would have fallen with the others. I owe it to my family, and myself, to help them.


"My name is Brutus," I said.


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Michael Schwob's website: http://www.mikazon.com/

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