Short story: Nightfall

He was in Becky’s chemistry class. No one knew that much about him. He was a new kid and kept to himself; hoodie up, sullen, detached. But he was intriguing. Becky could see a kind of natural athleticism rippling under his slouch, and he got effortless A’s like he’d taken grade 12 a hundred times. A week ago, she caught him looking at her: face pale, eyes dark. He looked away quickly, almost ashamed, guilty. She was creeped out at first. Then she caught him doing it again and was flattered. Two days ago, he bumped into her in the hall. He mumbled “Sorry” and their eyes met. She saw pain and loneliness in those dark eyes, and something else: yearning, hunger. Yesterday, Becky was on her bed, restless, unable to sleep. She could still feel those dark eyes on her. She felt vulnerable, pinned by them; yet excited, thrilled. His scent filled her senses. It was soft, like talc; but also old, musty—like fallen leaves on a cracked tomb. “Wait,” thought Becky, “...tomb?” But it was true. That’s what it was like; she’d smelled that scent before. It was on the warm October wind the Halloween night Rachel Vickers dared her to walk through the Meadow Glenn cemetery alone. It was that smell exactly. And in that moment, despite all rational and sane reason, somehow Becky knew…he was a vampire. The next day she saw him at his locker and went straight up to him. He looked at her, surprised, but in a good way. Then, blurting out the words, Becky said: “I know what you are.” He probed her eyes, and knew that she knew. “…And I’m not afraid,” she added. But that wasn’t true. She trembled. And he smiled. She got his text during dinner. There was no ID, but she knew it was from him. “Meet me @ Meadow Glenn” it said. The cemetery. Her mother asked what was wrong because she looked flushed. Was she coming down with something? Becky said “Yes,” and asked to be excused. In her room, she waited for nightfall, her heart pounding, asking over and over: “Should I?” But she knew the answer. She’d waited her whole life for something like this; something so beyond the suffocating, tedious prison of home and school. She yearned to feel the intensity of life, and love. So the moment the light from her parent’s bedroom went dark, she snuck out of the house. The air was damp and chill. Becky shivered...but not from the cold. She saw him by a crypt, beautiful and pale under the moonlight. This was his natural environment—not the cluttered, chattering halls of school—but here amongst the cold stone and shadows. Becky came up to him. He touched her shoulder. “Did you tell anyone you were coming?” “No,” she replied. He smiled. She smiled as well. But his smile kept widening and widening, splitting into something evil. “Sucker,” he said. And with that, two obscene fangs shot out, gouging savagely into her neck, draining her blood, and ending her life. He finished drinking, wiped his mouth, and smiled. A few more kills and he’d have to move on. That part was always a hassle. But still, it was well worth it—they made it so easy for him. Despite having been in grade 12 for over 50 years, there was no place he’d rather be than high school.

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