Breed. Part 1

 

Daria stepped away from her PC with a smile on her face from chatting online with Jane who still resided back in Lawndale. She missed her friend but the knowledge that soon enough Jane would be joining her in Boston kept her from falling into despair. :I can’t believe that I would ever need someone as much as I need her. It’s like she is a part of me.:

 

She sighed as the ringing of her phone snapped her away from memories of her dark haired friend.

 

“Daria Morgendorffer, Please enter you social security number on the keypad of your phone.”

 

“Daria.” Her sister’s voice spoke softly.

 

Daria sighed. “Quinn I know we’re getting along better now but if you’re calling to complain about Mom and Dad too bad. I had to deal for 18 years so do you to.”

 

“Daria.” Quinn said gently and Daria heard the subtle tremor in her voice.

 

Suddenly Daria turned serious; her sister hadn’t called for another session of elder Morgendorffer complain-athon. “What’s wrong?”

 

“I screwed up.” Quinn said and the following sigh was audible over the line, sending alarm bells into overdrive in Daria’s brain.

 

“How bad?”

 

“Real bad. I … made a mess.”

 

“You mean … ?” Daria pressed but years of not mentioning it froze her tongue.

 

“Yes and it gets worse.”

 

“How worse?”

 

“She’s still alive.”

 

Daria fought off the groan from escaping her lips. It was bad and possibly something that could bring their entire lives crashing down around them.

 

“Daria are you there?” Quinn said as her voice filled with panic.

 

“I’m here but I’ll be there in a few hours. I’ll take care of everything.”

 

“No one knows yet. I don’t want to .”

 

“We’ll talk when I get there. The sun should be setting in an hour.”

 

“Ok.”

 

“It’s not your fault Quinn.” :It hasn’t been since the beginning.:

 

Daria hung up the phone and moved to the window of her dorm room and looked toward the waning sun and waited.

 

 

 

 

Quinn placed the phone back on the charger and hurried upstairs to her room. She knelt next to her bed and checked on Sandi Griffin who seemed to be sleeping peacefully on it.

 

:I really messed up this time. It’s been so long and I just didn’t expect it.: Quinn thought as she wiped the sweat from her friend’s brow. Sandi’s breathing was getting more and more shallow and her skin seemed to fade paler and paler as each moment passed.

 

“Daria’s coming and she’s not going to be happy but at least she understands.” Quinn said, more to break the troubling silence than anything else.

 

“I’m so sorry Sandi.” Quinn whispered down at the girl before resting her head on the edge of the bed and closing her eyes. :I’ll just rest for a while.:

 

Quinn drifted to sleep next to the ever weakening Sandi.

 

 

 

 

Jane Lane jogged through the cool darkening park as she finished her daily run loop. Her feet ached from the cheap running shoes that were held together with more shoe glue than leather but it didn’t matter. She loved to run and if pain was the price she would gladly pay it. As she passed the last sets of benches a familiar face waited for her. The surprise sent her tumbling to the ground.

 

“Easy there tiger.” Her best friend in the world said while offering her a hand to get up.

 

“You scared the hell out of me. When did you get back to town?” Jane demanded as she limped toward the nearest bench and plopped down.

 

“Something came up. Sorry I didn’t tell you earlier but I didn’t know if I would get a chance to see you while I’m here.”

 

“Oh, damn it I’m bleeding all over the place.” Jane said as she noticed the skinned knee.

 

“Here you big baby.” Daria said as she kneeled in front of Jane, pulling out a handkerchief and holding it to the wound.

 

“Hey it hurts. And why wouldn’t you have the time to stop and have a few slices with your best friend?”

 

“Family stuff. Quinn’s going through some stuff.” Daria shrugged innocently.

 

“I can dig it. If you need any help getting rid of the evidence I’ll be there.”

 

Daria choked down her friend’s words and forced a smile on her face. “Well another set of arms will speed things up.”

 

“I got to go. Trent’s bringing home his latest babe and I promised to be there for dinner.”

 

“Well head off then. I need to get back home and start damage control. Take care of that leg.” Daria said rising to her feet.

 

“See you later Amiga.” Jane said with a laugh as she started a much slower process of limping home.

 

“See you Jane.” Daria said with a tight smile as she pocketed the soiled hankie.

 

Daria turned and hurried toward her parent’s house.

 

 

 

 

 

Quinn awoke and knew Daria was home. She checked on Sandi and found her still getting weaker but breath still caused the weak but steady rise and fall of her chest.

 

Quinn moved to her door and unlocked it to give her sister easy access. The sleeping sounds of her parents filled her with comfort. Daria wouldn’t have any problems sneaking inside.

 

:We can fix this. Daria will want to do the same thing we always do but I’ll talk to her and she’ll understand and we’ll fix this. It doesn’t have to be like before.: Quinn thought as the whisper of boots made their way up the stairs.

 

Her sister ghosted into the room almost soundlessly. Quinn smiled at her, it was weak but even now she found strength in Daria’s presence. “Hi.”

 

“I’ll take care of it. You should say goodbye.” Daria said wearing the steel cold face that almost no one ever got to see.

 

:At least not for long.: Quinn thought as her sister moved to the bed and looked down at Sandi.

 

“No.”

 

Daria looked up in surprise. “What?”

 

“She doesn’t deserve this, she’s a bitch but she doesn’t deserve this. She didn’t deserve to get stuck with a friend like me.”

 

“Quinn.” Daria took the three steps till she stood next to her sister. “I know it’s hard but it’s for the best.”

 

Tears ran down Quinn’s cheek and they fell to the floor as the younger girl shook her head.

 

“Don’t you remember how hard it was in the beginning? Do you want her to have to go through that?”

 

Quinn fell to the floor clinging to Daria’s legs. “Better than the ground. Please.”

 

“She’ll blame you. If we can’t control her she’ll cause attention.”

 

“I know. Daria I need this please. Just give her a chance.”

 

Daria saw the guilty threatening to burn through Quinn’s very soul. She had seen it only once before. Daria weighed the options and knew that she couldn’t.

 

“I hope you know what you’re doing?”

 

Quinn tightened her hold on Daria’s legs. “Do I ever.”

 

Daria couldn’t stop the smile that formed on her lips. The sudden urge overtook her and she knew Quinn was feeling it as well. Her hand reached into her pocket and pulled out the blood soaked cloth.

Quinn’s eyes opened wide. “Is that … Jane?”

 

“She skinned her knee after running into me in the park.” Daria explained, she didn’t want Quinn to get the wrong idea.

 

“Does she know?”

 

“About us? Not something that’s very easy to explain. I needed someone to cling to, someone like I used to be.”

 

“I’m sorry.” Quinn repeated far too softly for anyone but Daria to hear.

 

“I know and any anger I ever had about it was used up a long time ago. It was an accident and you didn’t understand what was happening.”

 

Quinn rose to her feet still clinging to her older sister tightly. She turned and looked at Sandi laying on the bed. At that moment a long breath released itself and the chest lowered for the last time.

 

“It’ll be a few hours now.” Daria said as she pulled free from Quinn to retrieve a chair. She moved it next to the bed and sat down.

 

“Are you hungry?” Quinn asked.

 

“I could eat.” Daria said with a sigh.

 

Quinn pulled a small cooler from under her bed. Carefully opening it she then handed one of its contents over to her sister before taking one herself.

 

“It’s going to be a long night.” Quinn shook her head in frustration.

 

“It always is.” Daria smiled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breed Part 2.

 

 

Daria watched Sandi Griffin for hours until she heard the first breath pull into the girl’s lungs. That singular heart beat. :It won’t be long now. Please let me be able to give this to Quinn.: She thought as Sandi stirred awake.

 

Sandi slowly became aware she was awake. A flush took over her body as she her memories of the night before returned. She sat up in the bed and raised a hand to her neck then rubbed the aching spot. :I can’t believe she left a hicky on me.: Sandi thought pleasantly. A soft cough caught her attention and she turned and saw Quinn sitting on the floor, leaning against the far wall. Quinn’s sister was watching her intently from a chair next to the bed.

 

“Um.” Was all Sandi could manage to say.

 

“Sorry to wake you from your beauty sleep.” Daria said with a smirk.

 

“What are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be in another state or something?”

 

“I am and I was but Quinn called me and let me know what happened.”

 

Sandi jerked at this comment and looked over at Quinn before blushing intensely.

 

“There are some things we need to discuss.”

 

Sandi snorted before starting to talk. Her own voice sounded so strange to her. “I don’t see how it’s any of your business. We were experimenting, it’s perfectly natural and it doesn’t mean anything.”

 

Daria laughed out loud but this oh so normal action from her sent chills down Sandi’s spine.

 

“What’s so funny?” Sandi said letting her embarrassment fed her anger.

 

“I don’t care that you and Quinn got … friendly. That’s not a problem, what is a problem is that she bit you.”

 

“I’m sorry Sandi. It’s why I don’t let people touch me a lot. I thought I could control it since we were just fooling around.” Quinn said from where she still sat.

 

“I don’t see why that’s a problem. So I’ll wear high collared shirts for a while.”

 

“It’s not going to be that easy. Here I know you’re hungry.” Daria said taking a pouch and tearing it open before pouring its contents into a large coffee mug. She held out the glass to Sandi whose stomach growled at the mention of food. Sandi took the offered glass and started to lift it to her mouth before the sharp coppery smell hit her nose.

 

“Ewww what’s in this?”

 

“Just drink it ok. You’ll feel a lot better and we can talk.” Daria said patently.

 

“I’m not drinking this.” Sandi said holding out the glass but Daria refused to take it back.

 

“Look things have changed. I’m not sure where to start.” Daria said with a sigh as Sandi held the glass on her lap.

 

“What are you talking about?” Sandi said with a groan. :I can’t believe Quinn is letting her weird sister freak me out like this.:

 

“We’re vampires Sandi.” Quinn said quickly before looking down at her feet.

 

“Oh I get it, this is some kind of joke right. I’m almost flattered that you would try some kind of brainy prank on me.” Sandi said trying to cover up how nervous she was beginning to feel.

 

“I really don’t like that term but it’s a good starting point. Fast and dirty. We’re vampires and Quinn bit you so I’m guessing I don’t need to explain what that means.”

 

“So I’m a vampire and I guess that it’s blood in this glass.”

 

“Yes it is and you are.” Daria smirked.

 

Sandi turned and looked over at Quinn again. “I thought we were friends. I’m not talking about last night but I really thought we were getting close. Why are you trying to scare me?”

 

“We’re not. Look I know that this is all weird and it’s going to take some time but I need you to pay attention.  We’re vampires and so are you.” Daria caught Sandi’s hand that wasn’t holding the glass and held in to her chest. “Do you feel a heart beat?”

 

Sandi jerked her hand away from the too still chest. “Now feel your own chest, try to get a pulse.”

 

“You’re crazy.” Sandi said scooting away from Daria.  Quinn rose and walked to the bed then sat down on the edge. “Please Sandi just listen to her.”

 

“We went shopping yesterday in the day. How are you vampires if you can run around in sunlight?” Sandi said looking rather pleased at her remembering this point of fact.

 

“That’s why I don’t like the term vampire. To many movies.” Daria said with a sigh.

 

“Just try it.” Quinn said reaching over and taking the glass from Sandi and sipping it. “It taste terrible but it will help. I promise.”

 

She held the glass out and Sandi took it. Her stomach was doing flips inside of her. :It isn’t blood or Quinn wouldn’t have drank it.: Sandi raised the glass to her lips and took a drink. The taste was as bad as Quinn said but as soon as the liquid hit her stomach she felt it calm and a warmth start spreading out through her body. She hungrily drank down the entire glass.

 

“Feel better.” Quinn said almost sweetly before reaching out and brushing an errant hair from Sandi’s face.  Sandi just nodded.

 

“I know this is hard to understand but it’s happening. A lot of the whole vampire myth is fake or doesn’t apply to us.”

 

“I don’t know what’s happening but I know you aren’t a vampire even if you don’t know how to work a mirror.” Sandi said with a snort, the drink had her feeling much better.

 

“Ok I guess I’ll have to show you.” Daria said.

 

:This ought to be good.: Sandi thought amused. She waited for whatever parlor trick Quinn’s sister was going to try but she didn’t expect her to leap up and hold onto the ceiling.

 

“Now I can’t really explain how we can do this but I think it has something to do with microfibers that start growing on our hands and feet after the change. It allows us to hold on. We’re also pretty strong at night.”

 

“Vampires are afraid of sunlight, everybody knows that.” Sandi tried to point out again.

 

“Well that’s true in a sense.” Daria said dropping down to the floor with a gently thud. She landed on her feet then returned to her chair.

 

“We’re normal in daylight.” Quinn said and something in her voice rang true.

 

“Look this isn’t funny anymore.” Sandi said and she felt tears running down her cheeks.

 

“I’m sorry Sandi, I really am. I didn’t mean for this to happen.” Quinn voice was sorrowful.

 

“Normally we don’t let this happen. We’re very careful but sometimes accidents happen.”

 

“I don’t understand.” Sandi said worried at the hidden meanings behind the older girl’s words.

 

“What I would have done is cut off your head and burn your body and head then spread the ashes somewhere. Quinn felt guilty about infecting you so she wants to give you a chance.”

 

“YOU WERE GOING TO KILL ME!”

 

“No.” Quinn said reaching out and grasping one of her friend’s hands. “Never.”

 

“I was.” Daria said coldly. “I still might.”

 

Sandi felt a tremor move through her body, a painful shaking in her muscles. “Shh it’s ok. It’s going to hurt for a few days and then it won’t anymore. It’s just your body changing.” Quinn said pulling her close. The pain passed after a few seconds but it’s memory stayed.

 

“What’s happening to me?” Sandi cried out in pain.

 

“Like she said. Your body is changing. The benefits are you won’t get sick very often and then only if you get a bad batch of blood or nerves. Nothing to major. At night you will be stronger than you were before but don’t try to be superman. We aren’t that strong. We can see in the dark and there are a few other abilities that take a while to come on but we don’t need to worry about them for a while. The negatives are having to pretend to breath and have a pulse. We aren’t dead. Our hearts still beat but only about once every five minutes, same with breathing. You’ll be able to hold your breath for a long time now.”

 

“And we have to drink blood.” Quinn added.

 

“I’ve seen you eat. And she eats pizza like it was chocolate.” Sandi said thumbing at Daria.

 

“We still have to eat.”

 

“Also we can die to. Actually I guess we can be killed but we don’t die. We meet a guy in Texas who claimed to be 200 years old.” Daria said.

 

“Two hundred!”

 

“And still looked pretty young two but he dressed like a total freak.” Quinn said with a laugh.

 

“So you’re saying that I’m a vampire, sort of. I’m not dead but I have to drink blood and I might live to be 2 hundred years old.” Sandi looked at each of the sisters.

 

“Sounds right.” Daria said with a smirk.

 

“What happens if I don’t drink blood?”

 

“Pain. Lots of pain.” Daria shuddered as she spoke. “ We tried it and it takes a toll on you pretty quickly. It drives you insane. If we hadn’t had a stockpile we might have attacked our parents.”

 

“Daria thinks that’s where the whole myth kicks in. Those that tried to not drink go insane and start attacking everyone. It also makes you look really ugly.”

 

“So where do you get blood from because I don’t want to start going around biting people.”

 

:Perfect approach Quinn. You hit her where she lives. At least she hasn’t tried to leave yet. I think we’re getting through.: Daria thought with an amused shake of her head.

 

“Blood banks. Our abilities make it pretty easy to break into hospitals and blood banks and steal enough to keep us going.”

 

“We don’t hunt.” Quinn said gently. “That’s rule one.”

 

“Rule one?”

 

“There are some rules that you’re going to have to follow.” Daria said strongly.

 

“Or?”

 

“I’ll kill you and hope that Quinn forgives me in time.”

 

Sandi looked at Quinn and saw how serious the red head looked. “What are the rules?”

 

“Good choice.” Daria said nicely then she started to explain. “Rule one is simple, no hunting. We don’t  kill other people. Rule two, we don’t tell people what we are. Unless you want to spend some time in a mental ward going insane from hunger it’s not a good idea. Rule three we don’t show off. See rule two. Rule four if something happens we don’t try to hide it from the other. Accidents like this are going to happen. Sometimes it’s not so bad and the person just feels tired for a few days, other times it involves dealing with remains. Rule five we don’t let others like us know about us. They don’t believe in the whole family, normal life thing. We’ve had trouble with them before.”

 

“We don’t want them coming after our family. That’s why we don’t hide stuff from each other.”

 

“So if you hadn’t told Daria about biting me then what would have happened?”

 

“You would have woke up and maybe not been convinced by Quinn alone. Sometime in the next few days the pain and hunger would have burned out your mind. The hunters and the other vampires would have shown up and tracked you down.”

 

“Wait hunters?”

 

“Just some redneck crazies who go around killing vampires. We don’t hunt so we don’t ever make it on their radar.” Daria said dismissively.

 

“Why?”

 

“Most of them lost someone to an attack. They went out and hunted down the vampire that killed their friend or wife or whatever. Once they knew we were real it’s like an obsession that takes over.” Quinn said gently.

 

“They’re pretty bad. It doesn’t matter to them that we don’t kill … or we try not to. Like I said accidents do happen. I hope you didn’t plan on dating much.”

 

“What?”

 

“We can still date but we have to be careful. If we get to … other things happen sometimes.”

 

“Like what happened last night.” Sandi said understanding, she looked down at the empty glass as another bout of pain moved through her body.

 

“Here.” Daria said taking the glass and refilling before handing it back. “It helps with the pain. I wish we knew about that in the beginning.”

 

“I still can’t believe you turned your sister into a vampire.” Sandi said with a reproachful tone at Daria.

 

“Sandi.” Quinn whispered.

 

“I understand if it was an accident but still.”

 

“Sandi, Daria didn’t turn me. I … .” Quinn voice locked up.

 

“Oh.”

 

Daria moved to the bed and patted Quinn gently on the shoulder before turning to look at Sandi. “It was the year before we moved here. She was attacked on her way home from a party by one of us. She managed to get away after he bit her. She went through the change herself. When the pain was really bad and I was trying to convince her to let me tell mom and dad so they could take her to the doctor, she smelled blood on me. I had cut myself on a broken glass earlier while doing dishes. She bit me and then I started to turn.”

 

“I didn’t mean too.” Quinn said crying. Daria wrapped a supportive arm around her sister surprising Sandi at the closeness between the two sisters who always seemed so distant.

 

“It takes over if you don’t drink. Biting me took away her pain and helped her through the change so we figured out it would help me too.”

 

“I broke into one of those blood donating trucks and got as much as I could carry. After Daria was better we started trying to find out what was happening to us.”

 

“That’s when you found out about the others and the hunters and all that.” Sandi nodded understanding.

 

“Yes.”

 

“Ok so I’m a vampire but not really a vampire.” Sandi said as she drained the glass again.

 

“That about sums it up.”

 

“But I still have to finish high school.” Sandi sighed. “Somehow that doesn’t seem fair.”

 

 

 

 

 

Breed Pt 3.

 

 

 

Sandi stretched out on Quinn’s bed lazily as warm sun light came in from the windows. Quinn entered the room carrying a tray. “Breakfast is served.” Quinn said cheerfully.

 

“I’m not feeling that hungry.” Sandi said looking at the food and finding it unappealing. :That’s not right it just doesn’t seem like food anymore.:

 

“I know but you do have to eat and there are some tricks to help it go down.” Quinn said sounding like she was talking to a child.

 

“Let me guess, dip it in warm blood.”

 

Quinn looked up in surprise before laughing. “Ok I think you’re going to do fine.”

 

“Where did Daria go?”

 

“Back to Boston. We can travel pretty fast at night. It’ll take a while before that kicks in. It’s icky but it sure saves time.”

 

“So are we evil?”

 

Quinn just looked amused at the question.

 

“I mean are we like rejected by God or whatever. Like in the movies.”

 

Quinn pulled the small cross from under her shirt and kissed it gently. “I don’t know. I believe in God and I hope he’s looking out for us. I’ve already asked for forgiveness for biting you.”

 

“So no pact with the devil or cursed demons or attempts to take over the world.”

 

“I hate Buffy.” Quinn said with a groan as she plopped down on the bed next to Sandi.

 

“Besides the easy reason, I’d love to hear this one.”

 

“I can understand vampires who kill are bad guys and they need to be put down but why did they have to take our souls.  Movies and TV like that are what makes it so easy for the hunters to kill us, because we’re not really people anymore. At least it was filled with as much garbage as all the other movies and shows.”

 

“Like what?” Sandi said eagerly.

 

“Ok lets start with crosses. They don’t hurt us, same with holy water. Sunlight, Daria explained last night. We’re normal in the day but it doesn’t hurt us.”

 

“What about stakes?”

 

“Well drive a stake through anything’s chest and it dies so that’s a no brainer. I’m sure there have been a few hunters sent to jail after the body didn’t turn to dust afterwards. At night though if you can get the stake out, you have a chance.”

 

“Really?” Sandi said looking doubtful.

 

“We heal really quickly. Anything short of removing a limb, we can recover from. But the movies got that part right. Stake us then cut off the head and burn it all. There isn’t any coming back from that.”

 

“Anything else?”

 

“Don’t get a piercing if the jewelry is silver. We’re allergic to it. It won’t kill you but it is very unfashionable when whatever body part swells up.”

 

“That could have its advantages.” Sandi said pointing down at her chest.

 

“Did I mention the puss?”

 

“Ewwwwwww.”

 

It got silent for several minutes before Quinn found her voice. “I am sorry. I didn’t want this to happen.”

 

“You tried to talk me out of experimenting … um Quinn I have to ask something.” Sandi said looking over at the red head who was now stretched out next to her as both girl’s laid on their sides.

 

“Sure.”

 

“It was just experimenting right … I’m not like your thrall now am I?”

 

Quinn giggled before answering. “No thralls and yes it was just experimenting. Its just been a while since I had any real physical contact with anyone. I miss it.”

 

“So we can’t touch people, that’s going to suck.” Sandi said before hearing her own words and smiling.

 

“No we can but when things get … excitable the urge comes out. If I had fed before we started maybe this wouldn’t have happened.”

 

“You didn’t know I was going to suggest it.” Sandi said dismissively.

 

“Hopefully by the time your parents get back in town you’ll be accustomed to your new lifestyle and won’t eat your parents.”

 

“I’m going to eat at least one of my brothers.”

 

“Sannnndi!”

 

“What I won’t let them turn into us. I’ll just toss them into the oven afterwards. I’m kidding Quinn.” Sandi said poking Quinn on the shoulder. “I hate the little rats but I still love them or something.”

 

“It happens a lot. People killing their family or enemies once they become a Breed.”

 

“Breed?”

 

“Oh … it’s what Daria calls us. It stands for half-breed or dark- breed or something. She thinks there used to be real vampires out there and we’re just sort of an accident. A human got away from a vampire and became infected.”

 

“So there aren’t anymore of these real vampires out there?”

 

“We don’t know. A lot of OUR culture we don’t know anything about. There could be this whole history that’s available but that would mean interacting with the community.”

 

“And they don’t like us?”

 

“Separate at all times. Food and nothing else.” Quinn said sadly. “It’s one of the laws of the community. Having human friends or staying in contact with your family is against their rules. That’s the one we broke and they came after us before.”

 

“What did they do?” Sandi asked looking interested.

 

“They tried to kill us and Mom and Dad.”

 

“Obviously they didn’t succeed.”

 

“Daria.” Quinn said hesitating. “I can tell she doesn’t want to hurt you, Sandi but don’t ever make her have to go after you. She’ll give you every chance in the world as long as you’re honestly trying but once you stop. She’ll kill you and nothing can stop her.”

 

“Have I thanked you for talking her into giving me a chance?” Sandi said as her eyes showed the realization of how close she had been to the end.

 

“Yes you did but I can’t say it wasn’t for selfish reasons. It gets lonely not having someone who understands. I didn’t want you to die either.” Quinn ended with a small blush before turning and pulling the tray over in between them. “Now the fruit will go down the easiest and it tastes really good. Processed meat is the hardest thing to handle and you’ll need blood to wash it down. Expect to get sick after eating for a little while.”

 

“So I’ll just stick to fruit and salad. It’s not like anyone will notice the difference.” Sandi said with a shrug.

 

A sudden knocking on the door jerked both their heads toward it. “I’m going into the office but I’ll be back early. Your father should be home after a round of golf so you two try not to get into too much trouble.”

 

“Yes Mom.” Quinn said trying not to laugh. “Yes Mrs. Morgendorffer.” Sandi parroted Quinn’s tone.

 

“I’ll see you later. We can order takeout tonight.” Helen said through the door.

 

“Ugh.” Quinn groaned. “At least it’s better than frozen lasagna. That stuff will eat a hole in your stomach.”

 

Sandi just shook her head amused and laid back down. Quinn looked over worried. “Are you ok?”

 

“It’s my body dying isn’t it? The pain, old cells are being killed and new ones are taking their place.”

 

Quinn nodded. “Yes.”

 

“It’s going to get worse isn’t it?”

 

“Tomorrow is going to be really bad but since you aren’t fighting it, it should be easier than it was for Daria and me.”

 

“Good but if this turns out to be some kind of prank I’m going to take pictures of you nude and sell them to every guy at school.”

 

“As long as they’re artistic.” Quinn said with a smile. “It’ll be ok. In a few days you will feel better than you ever have before.”

 

“I’m trusting you. Like when I gained the weight.”

 

“Tonight I think we’ll sneak out. You need to feel the night air on your skin.”

 

Sandi suddenly looked embarrassed. “What?” Quinn asked.

 

“I shouldn’t have made that joke about my brother.”

 

“It’s ok. I know you wouldn’t hurt anyone.”

 

“Can I have some more?” Sandi asked looking over toward the cooler.

 

“Sure and feel free to help yourself. It helps the process along. … Mom’s gone.” Quinn said as she tilted her head as if listening.

 

Sandi sat up and tried to hear what Quinn was listening too. After several moments she heard a pounding that seemed to be coming from beneath her. The sound seemed to be moving toward the front door. “And now my Dad is gone.” Quinn said as the pounding faded away.

 

“What was that?”

 

“His heart. That’s the first thing either of us heard too. After awhile you’ll start picking up on other things. It makes sneaking in and out a lot easier.”

 

Sandi accepted a pouch of blood and clean cup from Quinn. “Once you’re used to it, I’ll show you how to fix the taste a little bit. A little vanilla or cinnamon can do wonders.”

 

“So what is the plan for today?”

 

“I thought we could call Stacy and Tiffany to come over then watch fashion vision and plan our activities for next week. Since you’re staying here for the rest of the week.”

 

“I’m really glad this happened while my parents are out of town with the hell monsters.”

 

“See you’re almost cheerful again.” Quinn said clearly teasing.

 

“I’m not cheerful.”

 

“Ok now you sound like Daria.”

 

Sandi raised the glass and quickly drained it. She scoped a pillow off the bed and glared at Quinn. “That is just wrong.” Quinn quickly danced out of range of Sandi’s pillow swings. “Ok, ok you aren’t Daria.”

 

“That’s better.” Sandi looked surprised for second. “I forgot to ask. Do we still use the bathroom?”

 

“Of course.”

 

“Then you’ll need to excuse me.” Sandi said climbing off the bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He stood in a phone booth at a typical truck stop, a busy highway behind him. “I’m telling you I saw it. Just like what you described. Like a big kite that flies fast as a bird. Well I’m in Oakwood and it seemed to be heading north. No I won’t tell you where it came from. You said you would pay good money for any clues and I think I just gave you one. No I won’t tell you where unless you’re willing to pay upfront.”

 

He listened to the person on the other end for several seconds. “Yes I did just what you said and I found some interesting stuff but that costs remember.”

 

“All of that but no murders or mysterious illness. If they’re here they are keeping a low profile. No not in Oakwood. I wouldn’t have told you I was there if it was the place. Look show up with my money or not but I’ll be leaving town in two days with or without your cash.”

 

He listened again and a smile came onto his face. “See that wasn’t so hard. I’ll see you tomorrow and I’ll give you what I have.”

 

He hung up the  phone and walked away whistling. :Nice gig, track down weird sightings. I was sort of surprised to have one myself.:  He climbed into his car and started the engine. :If this crackpot wants to hunt vampires more power to him. As long as his money is good.: