“I don’t want you to face this alone.”
Anna May Perry
Friday night, 8 April 2016, AM
GM: Victoria smells Anna’s sweat. Adrenaline. Fear, even.
But she doesn’t smell blood.
She’s confident she’d smell that a million miles away.
“N-no,” Anna answers her earlier question. “I mean. I’m n-not hurt. I…”
She just keeps pointing at Victoria’s mouth.
“W-what the fuck?!”
Victoria: “I don’t KNOW, Anna!”
She doesn’t try to hide her mouth. What’s the point?
Victoria drives around, and around, and around, hoping they’ll go away. They’ll find a room, eventually—but not her looking like a Halloween costume in April.
She punches the steering wheel.
“I don’t know what’s going on, and I don’t know why they attacked me.”
GM: “Th… those are fangs,” Anna says dumbly.
“The… the nurse hit you with a sedative… t-twice!”
She reaches out and presses her hand against Victoria’s chest.
“And y… you… your heart’s not even beating!”
Victoria can hear Anna’s. Pounding like a drum from stress and exertion.
Victoria: She closes her eyes, trying to center herself.
“Anna,” she says, only halfway calm.
“I need you to relax.”
“Please. Your heart.”
GM: “My… my heart?” Anna says confusedly.
Victoria: “It’s oppressive.”
“I can barely hear you speak over it.”
GM: “You… hear my heart?”
Victoria: “Like you’re 15 again and playing metal in my ears.”
GM: Anna blinks at that.
“I’m… I’m sorry.”
Her heart rate does not slow.
Victoria: She makes a left.
“Do you love me?”
GM: “Yes,” Anna answers, without hesitation.
Victoria: “Even if this is as real as it seems?”
GM: “You’re still you,” says Anna.
“There was blood on my lips.”
Victoria: “Not mine.”
“I’m terrified of the thought of hurting you.”
GM: Anna opens her mouth as if to say she knows Sylvia would never do that.
But after the last few days, she looks less than completely sure.
“I don’t know what we do now, Sylvia,” she says, slumping against her seat.
“But I don’t want you to face this alone.”
Victoria: She pulls over into an empty spot on the side of the road, and lays her head against the steering wheel.
“This is a dream.”
GM: Anna rubs her shoulder sadly.
Victoria: Thump. Thump. Thump.
Her head hits the top of the steering wheel over and over.
At least she hasn’t killed Anna.
“I can’t do that again.”
GM: “Do what again?” Anna asks concernedly.
Victoria: She gestures around.
“This. Losing your trust. Hurting people.”
GM: Anna stares for a moment.
“Your… your fangs are gone.”
Victoria: She fumbles a finger around her mouth.
“What the fuck?”
GM: Her teeth feel flat.
“Sylvia…” says Anna.
“How did this… happen?”
Victoria: She looks at her girlfriend.
“I told you already.”
GM: “It’s been a rollercoaster. I’m having a hard time keeping everything straight.”
“And… I didn’t think you were…”
She trails off, then just says, “the first time.”
Sylvia can hear the unsaid word, dancing on the edge of her girlfriend’s tongue.
Victoria: “Didn’t think I was… serious?”
GM: “No, a… uh….”
GM: Anna points at her mouth.
Victoria: She lofts a brow, waiting.
GM: “Never mind,” Anna mumbles.
Victoria: “I think we’re past never mind.”
GM: “Look, just… how did this happen?” says Anna.
Victoria: “I meant what I said when I said I told you. It wasn’t all a hallucination. But…”
She touches her teeth again.
“This? This, I don’t know. I woke up, and that woman…”
GM: Her teeth are just as flat as before.
“So you just… woke up like this?” says Anna.
Victoria: She nods.
“That’s it. I woke up, covered in shit, naked in a room I didn’t pay for feeling like I had the flu.”
GM: “How do you think you wound up there?”
How did she?
“The last thing I remember is talking to your torturer—offering myself to her, if she let you go. Then, the hotel.”
“You don’t think…? It can’t be. The note said she’d kill me if she found us.”
GM: “No one tortured me, Sylvia,” says Anna.
Victoria: “I know! I know. Obviously. It was in my head. She put it in my head.”
“That’s why I asked you what happened after I came home. My reality wasn’t yours—but this? This is real. Something happened to cause this.”
GM: Anna frowns.
“What do you mean she… put it in your head?”
Victoria: “We agree that I was hallucinating, yes? Somehow, I believe she put that hallucination in my head.”
GM: “…how, exactly?” asks Anna.
Victoria: She throws her hands up.
“How, exactly, is any of this happening?”
GM: “I have absolutely no idea,” says Anna.
“I thought doctors maybe would.”
Victoria: “The doctor seemed more interested in restraining me and abducting me than listening to me.”
GM: “I noticed.” Anna’s shoulders slump. “I don’t know what we’re supposed to do now.”
Victoria: “I would suggest we start with praying that whatever took over me doesn’t take over me again while I’m locked in a car with you.”
GM: “Took over…?”
Victoria: She swallows, and tells her what happened to the cleaning lady.
GM: Anna looks horrified.
“Sylvia, is she… is she dead?!”
Victoria: She stares.
GM: “You… you have to do something…” Anna says numbly.
Victoria: She throws her hands up again.
“Do what? I have no idea what I am doing.”
She tries to will her fangs forward.
GM: Just like that, she feels her canines lengthen in her mouth and taper into wickedly sharp points.
Anna makes a startled sound and pulls back.
Victoria: Victoria yelps.
“I’m not hallucinating, right?! That happened?!”
She pokes them.
“I just… thought about it!”
GM: They feel solid against her finger.
“You can do things,” says Anna. Almost imploringly.
Her stare rests on Victoria’s teeth.
Victoria: “Like, grow teeth? Yeah, obviously. It’s not fucking normal.”
“Thinking things shouldn’t make them happen!”
But is it really so different than a thought making your arm move, or a snake making their fangs slide forward?
GM: “Well, however you did it, you did it,” says Anna.
Her eyes still don’t leave those fangs.
“You can do things,” she repeats. “Don’t you think you should do something for that woman?”
“What if she had a family?”
Victoria: A flare of incredulity sparks, and quickly pivots to something softer.
She reaches out, stroking Anna’s cheek.
“I love you.”
GM: It’s a tired, faint, and fragile smile that Anna returns.
But it’s a smile all the same.
“I love you, too.”
Victoria: “I don’t want that to happen to someone else; someone who doesn’t deserve it.”
She doesn’t need to mention the others.
“Okay? We have to solve this—then we can worry about reparations.”
GM: “What is solving?” says Anna. “Finding a way to… undo this?”
Victoria: “Undo this? Control this? I’ll take either.”
She looks away.
“…it does feel good. Amazing, actually. I’ve never felt this strong.”
GM: “So how do we find out?” says Anna. “How to undo it. Or control it. Whatever stops you from hurting more people.”
Victoria: “You know as much as I do, Anna,” she laments.
GM: “It looks like it,” she nods. “So… what do we do next? How do we find out more?”
Victoria: Victoria closes her eyes, laying back to think. Think, think, think.
“The note says that if we go home, we’re dead. That’s why I was trying to get you to leave the city. I don’t want what ha—what I saw to happen to you, for real.”
She reaches over absently, squeezing Anna’s fingers with the gentle grasp of a mother to their child.
“There are a number of stupid things I could do, but that would only earn the attention of people who probably don’t want me alive.”
Think, think, think.
“I should warn Christina. Is my phone at home? Is any of my—right, we can’t go there.”
“How does one find answers to a phenomenon that’s been kept a secret from the world?”
And then it hits her.
“A book store! New Orleans is famous for its witchy history, right? One of them has to have some information otherwise taken as faux.”
GM: Anna’s fingers are warm in her cold hands.
“You want to go to a bookstore,” she says.
If the words sound dubious, they’re belied by her next ones.
“Okay. What the hell. It’s as good a place to look as any. The Quarter’s full of kooky bookstores.”
She rolls her shoulders.
“It’s… past 3 AM, though. I’m exhausted. We need to go ho… go somewhere, and sleep.”
Victoria: “Hotel?” she offers, as if she hadn’t for half the night.
GM: “Yeah, okay. Hotel.”
“Will you… you know, during the day?”
Victoria: “Explode? I don’t fucking know. I don’t want to try.”
GM: “O-okay. Keep the windows shut.”
“I mean, the shades drawn.”
GM: “Yes. Both.”
They’re just figuring this out as they go, aren’t they?
Friday night, 8 April 2016, AM
Victoria: As they talk, she takes Anna’s phone, looking up a nearby hotel; one far enough away that they won’t run into any errant problems, but close enough that they won’t be driving too long.
Victoria pulls back out into traffic, weaving into the French Quarter. It’s far enough that they shouldn’t be caught.
But were they followed?
She gets Anna’s door, helping her out, and walks the pair into the Inn on St Ann.
GM: If they were, Victoria sees no one.
The tired-looking graveyard shift receptionist checks them in with perfunctory questions of whether they have reservations, and if not, how long they’re staying and how they’re paying.
Victoria: She answers them in a straightforward manner: no, just the night, and she gestures to Anna to pay.
GM: Anna gets out a credit card. Soon the two have a room to themselves. Anna flops down on the bed.
“Oh. Damn. We forgot about clothes.”
Victoria: Victoria flops down beside her, closing her eyes.
“We can worry about clothes tomorrow.”
GM: Victoria doesn’t feel in the least bit tired.
Anna pulls off her shoes and drops them on the floor.
“How do you want to, uh, sleep?”
Victoria: Sylvia kicks her shoes off, too.
“How do… we usually sleep?”
GM: Anna pulls off her clothes next.
“I don’t really think about it. I’m just wondering if it’s different.”
Victoria: She blinks at her girlfriend.
“I… are you asking if I can?”
GM: Anna blinks.
“Oh. No, sorry. I’m exhausted. And… everything. I just don’t want to sleep in my clothes.”
Victoria: She blinks back.
“Well, I’ve never seen you naked before. I… I’m not sure if I should…”
GM: “Don’t worry, I won’t rape you.”
Victoria: She wills her fangs out.
GM: The humor on Anna’s face instantly dies.
Victoria: She pokes her tongue out.
GM: Anna pulls up the blankets around herself.
“Please don… that’s scary.”
Victoria: They sheathe, and Sylvia snuggles her, blankets and all.
“What a night…”
GM: Anna is tense when Sylvia pulls her close. A shiver runs through her body.
“Oh my god, you’re cold…”
Victoria: She frowns.
“I’m not sure what to do about that.”
GM: Anna’s body is still tense against hers.
“I… I don’t know either.”
Victoria: She pulls a blanket from the end of the bed, wrapping Anna again before pulling her close.
GM: Anna nods.
Victoria: A brief warmth washes over her heart.
A pinch of normalcy.
“It’ll be okay.”
GM: “I hope so…” Anna murmurs with a sleepy sigh. “I hope so…”
She leans her head against Sylvia, pauses, pulls the blanket around her head, and then leans back again.
She’s out like a light in no time.
Sylvia can hear the steady exhalation of Anna’s breaths as her chest rises and falls. Her rate slows.
She’s there in her lover’s arms.
So, so warm.
What would she taste like…?
Victoria: Sylvia swallows.
She tries not to think of Anna that way. Anything but that.
The fat cleaning lady, her blood on the floor.
The husband and wife, their blood laced with love.
The thug, left to die. Is he still there? She could look.
What does hunger feel like to a vampire? Is that what she is? If she ignores it long enough, can she forget hunger until Anna is out?
Anyone but Anna.
GM: Sylvia doesn’t swallow.
Not on her own. She has to make herself.
It’s not the same, anyway. Her tongue is dry. She tastes no saliva in her mouth. She feels none swallowed down her throat. It’s just a contracting of muscles.
She swallowed when she drank their blood, though. The cleaning lady. The husband and wife. The thug. Three for three. She remembers the sensation lingering on her tongue, but not what consuming it actually felt like. All of the aftertaste of eating, without the actual act.
She could try it here.
Anna sleeps obliviously, blanket-covered head lying against Sylvia. Wrapped up like a present.
A lamb laying down with a wolf.
It would be so easy to just have a taste.
She can already feel her fangs, long and sharp in her mouth.
Victoria: She wills them away. She thinks of nothing but wishing her teeth would shy away so deep that they push out the other side of her skull.
She holds the woman close, inhaling her familiar scent.
That was a mistake. Familiar, and mouthwatering; her own forbidden fruit and art all in one.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
GM: Her fangs continue to protrude in her mouth.
Anna smells so good.
Feels so good.
She’s not really really tasted blood before. She doesn’t remember it. What the actual act of drinking was like.
How would Anna taste?
Victoria: She runs her tongue over her teeth.
Her mouth is so dry; like a desert on a frigid night.
It could be so much hotter and wetter.
In a flash, she tears across the room, pressing herself to the wall as if Anna shoved a knife to her belly.
GM: Anna sleepily stirs and turns over.
Thump-thump, goes her sleeping heart.
Even stressed and exhausted and un-showered, she smells so good.
Victoria: She steals a room key, tosses on her shoes, and tears out into the hallway in a panic unencouraged by a still heart.
Anyone but Anna.
Friday night, 8 April 2016, AM
GM: Anna said it was past 3 AM.
The hotel’s hallways are still and deserted.
There isn’t a soul in sight.
Sound is another matter.
Victoria can hear the steady thump of sleeping heartbeats past room doors.
There are sacks of warm, hot blood past those doors.
Just lying there in their beds.
Victoria: It’s never quiet for her. Not anymore. There’s always thumping, all around her. The world is her pantry.
She just needs to pick what to eat.
She pauses, leaning her head against the cool glass of a vending machine.
Don’t give in. Don’t give in. Don’t give in.
But she knows, deep down, that there is no ‘not giving in’. Can any human choose not to eat? Can any wolf choose not to hunt?
She swallows, dry as paper and stiff as cardboard.
It’ll happen eventually.
GM: Thump-thump-thump-thump go those faint and distant sleepy beats.
So much blood.
Sitting there in those rooms.
How long can she go without?
What happens to starving creatures like her?
Victoria: She’ll never find out. She knows that, too. Her body won’t let her.
She crumples the paper in her throat again.
Not here. Not so close.
She wanders the halls, listening to the music of life. One musician won’t make it to the morning.
Eventually, she comes out to the front desk.
GM: She finds it empty, but for the desk bell.
Victoria: She rings it.
GM: The graveyard shift employee emerges. He’s a clean-shaven 20something black man with short hair.
“Can I help you?”
Victoria: “Sorry,” she answers. “I was wondering if anyone was here this late.”
An awkward pause hangs, before she continues.
“What’s your name?”
GM: “Devon,” he answers. He looks tired. “And yeah, usually. Graveyard shift.”
Victoria: “How did you come into this job, Devon?”
GM: He shrugs.
“Was looking around. Saw they were hiring, filled out an application. Did retail before this.”
Victoria: She sucks on her lip, suddenly aware that her fangs went home. He wouldn’t be so calm otherwise.
“Plan on going to college? Or a trade?”
GM: “Nope,” answers Devon.
Victoria: “No dreams?”
GM: “College and trades ain’t dreams.”
Victoria: “No, dreams are dreams. I asked if you had any.”
GM: “Look, lady, it’s 4 AM. Why you askin’ this?”
Victoria: “Can’t sleep. Too hungry.”
GM: Devon grunts.
“Lotta 24-hour places.”
Victoria: He’s beginning to annoy her. Maybe he won’t be too much to miss, despite her attempts to trigger her own guilt.
“No one good is up at 4AM.”
GM: “Krystal’s pretty good.”
Devon rubs his eyes.
“Look, lady, I’m still gettin’ used to night shift, and my girl hates it. I’m gonna go back to sleep if there’s nothin’ else.”
Victoria: “Who is Krystal?” she asks.
He has a girl. There’s that guilt.
It doesn’t overpower the thirst.
“Would you… show me where a 24 hour place is? I’m not from around here. It’s late.”
GM: “Krystal’s a 24 hour place,” says Devon. “Fast food, look it up on your phone. I can’t leave work.”
Victoria: She sighs.
She wonders how Krystal tastes.
“Where is it?”
GM: “Bourbon Street.”
Devon doesn’t sound as if he particularly wants to leave work to show her around anyway.
Victoria: Not far. Maybe dangerous.
Not for her.
“Okay. Thank you.”
She turns to leave.
GM: Devon grunts and heads back off.
Victoria: If he hadn’t mentioned his girl, she might have gave in.
She might still.
Friday night, 8 April 2016, AM
Victoria: The muggy air of an early morning hits her like a steam room compared to the air conditioned hotel. Gross.
She stalks off toward Bourbon Street, glancing left and right for anyone at all. Any poor soul.
Nothing good is out at 4 AM.
She breathes in a deep drag of morning air. She can hear heartbeats. Can she smell prey?
GM: It’s still more night than morning. And Thursday night, or technically Friday night, along Bourbon Street. Every night is a party along the Big Easy’s most famous street from dusk to dawn. Crowds of drunken tourists and college students sway along with open containers of alcohol. No cars drive through the fenced-off street. Music still blares from clubs. It’s a playground.
Victoria: No doors block the staccato of heartbeats here. The chorus is blaring, oppressive in her ears.
They’re all faceless. Nameless. None of the people around her are a poor man at a desk, or a family safe behind a door.
She steps out onto the street, turning right, and stops behind a man. Until he has a face, he isn’t a person.
He doesn’t matter.
She slides past him, scurrying along the street and into the crowd.
Now she’s justifying murder.
She swallows, the paper turned to cardboard.
Someone dies every night in the Big Easy. What’s one more?
But even wolves need to eat eventually.
She recalls the granola bar; that sticky mass of glue and refuse.
She recalls the sweet scent of the cleaning lady.
She recalls Anna.
Mouth closed, she runs her tongue over her teeth.
Would they think she’s just in costume?
GM: 4 AM might see fewer souls on the streets than earlier, but Bourbon Street’s party continues uninterrupted.
The man doesn’t look at her.
No one looks at her.
Anna doesn’t know she’s here.
Devon seemed like he could give a rat’s ass.
Victoria might as well be a ghost.
Fangs or no fangs, she’s just another face in the crowd.
Victoria: Victoria is a recovering food addict in the most enticing, exquisite buffet in the world. She sniffs a sample of everything, of every single delicacy that Bourbon Street has to offer, but resists tasting any of it. She can’t. She knows that she’ll only be able to resist for so long, as if the world itself is edging her.
“Fuck,” she says cupping her hands over her eyes.
GM: Foot traffic continues to flow around her.
She smacks her forehead.
Stop being such a fucking pussy. This is going to happen, one way or another. The longer you act like a little bitch, the more likely it is that you’ll tear someone’s fucking head off in the middle of the street, and then who will watch Anna?"
She unveils her eyes, looking ahead and around, then drunkenly stumbles down the block.
GM: It’s not overlong before she finds a ‘date’.
A man staggers up to her. He’s slightly shorter than Victoria, Caucasian, in maybe his 40s, with a short graying beard and slightly receding hair. Out-of-season Mardi Gras beads hang from his neck over a t-shirt and jeans.
He looks and smells drunk.
“Yoo hoo,” laughs the man, slinging an arm around her.
Victoria: Her ‘date’ is the furthest creature from who she’d choose, and exactly what she wants.
She tries to shy away from him, only a feather of her strength exercised, and slurs her words.
GM: “S’okay, I go’ a wife,” the laughing man hiccups, dragging Victoria after him through the crowd.
Victoria: She faux-struggles against him.
“B—bu’… I don’t wanna…”
GM: “Gimme a smoochie!” grins the man, wetly plastering his mouth over Victoria’s.
Victoria: She kisses him, biting back an urge to vomit an empty stomach.
“O—kay! D—do y’ have a place? Or—or!”
She points to a side street.
GM: “Uhh. Go’ a hotel,” says the man.
“Where is it?”
GM: “Wayba’,” the man mumbles. “Nee’ a cab.”
Victoria: She tugs his shirt, wrapping her nails into the fabric.
“Can w’ ge’ a closer oooone?”
GM: “No,” he mumbles, waving his arm. “Canal Stree’.”
Victoria: She whines up to him.
“Bu’ I waaaan’ i’!”
She cups his balls.
GM: The man gives her another sloppy kiss and gropes her breasts.
Victoria: “‘kayyyyyy! But y’—”
“Y’ better be nice t’ me!”
GM: The man grins and sticks a hand down her pants, then a finger up her pussy.
He might as well be groping her stomach for all the sensation she feels.
Victoria: She yelps, but forces a smile as genuine as a lawyer at a car accident.
She presses her hands to his chest, stepping up on her toes to whisper, “Where is it?”
GM: “Call a cab,” he mumbles, “I don’ wanna walk.”
Victoria: She harumphs indignantly.
“Wha’ a gentleman.”
GM: “Come ooonnnnnn!”
Victoria: “Mmmnn… Nope! I’m findin’ someone else.”
She doesn’t immediately turn away.
GM: “The fuck you wan’!” the man complains.
Victoria: She sends her knee into his balls, new strength unabated.
GM: The man gives a strangled shriek, clutches his scrotum, and sinks to the street.
Victoria: Revenge for the nonconsenual finger.
She half expects to smell blood.
Victoria snorts, pointing and laughing at the man’s misfortune.
“Oopsie! You grabbed me! I grabbed you!”
She feels bad—a little—but it’s better this way. She isn’t going to get into a cab with him, and she just needs him off the main road. A few blocks will do.
She stumbles backward, catching herself on the brick facade behind her, her eyes locked on her victim.
GM: “Fuck—you!” the man yells, staggering to his feet and running after her.
Victoria: She springs the remaining quarter block to Orleans St, skidding into a turn as she sprints—fast enough to keep her distance, slow enough that she doesn’t lose him—down the street.
Three buildings in, she turns down a narrow space between buildings, waiting.
GM: The overweight, out of shape man does not look thrilled to be literally chasing after her. Sloth seems to war with lust on his face.
In the end, lust wins out. He’s wheezing by the time he catches up.
Victoria: Lust, and anger. They share that anger—that heat. Victoria imbued him with it by an unwanted knee, just as he imbued her with an unwanted hand.
She prepares for him, nestled 20 feet down the pathway, ready to take him.
It’s a necessity. It’ll be a choice out of her hands if she doesn’t—an innocent. This way, at least she knows he’s not the kindest person in the world.
GM: “Youh—owe me!” wheezes the man with a distinctly half-aroused, half-pissed expression as he staggers up to her.
Victoria: She snickers, her laughter bells against the distant life of Bourbon Street.
She flicks her eyes downward, surprised she hasn’t cracked his pelvis.
GM: He grabs her tits and fumbles at her pants.
He sure doesn’t seem like he has anything broken down there.
Victoria: She bites back the sick that wells up in her throat, taking his wrist in her hands. Her touch is gentle as an angel, her intent just as set, as she brings it to her lips. She wills her fangs forward, but only kisses it to start.
The unwelcome touching is a gift, isn’t it? It’s okay—because she’s taking something from him, too.
GM: The man doesn’t seem at all into the wrist kissing. He pushes back against the wall, squeezing her breasts like he’s trying to pop them, and slips a fat finger up her pussy.
“Aw, you like that, dontcha?”
Victoria: She yelps, and clamps her jaw around his wrist. Hard.
GM: Victoria feels her fangs pierce skin. Bliss rolls over her tongue. Hot and sweet with lust, salty with irritation, and… something else, too. The man gives a yell, and after that she doesn’t hear him. She doesn’t hear anything.
It’s a rack of lamb. It’s champagne. It’s heroin. It’s eating and fucking and getting high all rolled into one. She is empty and it fills her. She is cold and it warms her. It feels like the most right, natural thing in all the world.
She feels strong. She feels giddy. She feels alive.
Victoria: Every woe. Every ache. Every bit of pain and suffering she’s ever been victim to. None of it matters anymore, because against this tide of infinite bliss, they’re all as trivial as the woes of an astronaut looking down on the Earth.
They’re all trifling.
Her eyes fall closed of their own volition, and the world falls to a backdrop as his life ebbs into her mouth, a pulsing waterfall of warmth running down her throat.
She isn’t sure how long she’s there, or how much she’s taken.
She doesn’t really care anymore, either.
She did, moments ago.
Or was it minutes?
Does it matter?
The guilt is gone.
That’s trifling, too.
GM: It fills her up. It makes her giddy. It makes her feel buzzed and energized and calm. Everything feels so much funnier and more interesting than it was mere moments ago, and the world full of new best friends waiting to be made.
It ends, though.
There’s no warning. No transition. She’s drinking from a full keg, and suddenly, it’s an empty keg.
The man’s pale, white-faced corpse silently slumps to the ground.
Two red fang-shaped incisions stare up from his neck.
Victoria: Is there even a reason for her to be worried? Why should anything at all matter when she can have this again tomorrow night?
The man’s body falls to the pavement, knocking over a cluster of empty bottles.
The vampire looks down at him, appraising not him, but herself. She expects the tide of guilt to come creeping back in, now that her source of euphoria is empty.
Think, think, think.
But it doesn’t come. Not naturally. If she has to think about it, is it guilt at all? If she expects to feel guilty, is that enough?
Though she thought to leave the main road, and though it’s the middle of the night, someone is sure to wander by soon. Victoria covers the man with a series of damp, cardboard boxes, and turns back toward Orleans, this time making a right away from Bourbon.
GM: The man’s corpse mutely lies there.
It looks very large.
It looks very noticeable underneath the cardboard.
There are so many people passing by the main streets.
It was dark. He didn’t scream. That has to be enough.
Victoria: She wipes her mouth, checking for blood.
That can’t have been clean.
But make up fits right into Bourbon Street, doesn’t it?
Victoria makes a 3/4 loop of a few blocks, re-entering Bourbon several blocks down from where she left, and walking back toward Anna.
GM: It’s completely clean. She didn’t let a drop go to waste.
She feels full. She feels like she’s basking in an orgasm’s afterglow after pigging out. That feral instinct in the back of her mind, growling ceaselessly to feed, is silent.
Victoria: She looks as wonderful as she feels! She passes the empty desk with a smile that could light up the night; a smile that would have been turned on the night worker, if he deigned to be at his post.
Clearly, she found her 24-hour meal.
Friday night, 8 April 2016, AM
GM: It’s a short enough walk back to the hotel. Victoria arrives without apparent incident.
Victoria: She wanders through the halls, swipes her card at the door, and re-enters her room.
GM: Anna lies sleeping in bed, her slowed heart steadily beating. She looks the picture of innocence, next to the vampire approaching her. A lamb lying down in the wolf’s den.
The dead man’s blood sits warmly in Victoria’s veins.
Victoria: The entire city feels like the wolf’s den tonight.
But there are other wolves out there.
She curls up beside her girlfriend, and tries to sleep.
GM: Sleep does not come. Even full and satiated, Victoria feels just as wide awake as she did after killing the man.
Victoria: She checks the time.
GM: A few shy of 4:30.
Victoria: She tries.
It feels like hours.
Several, amazing, post-orgasmic hours.
GM: She still feels just as awake.
Anna remains fast asleep.
Victoria: She kisses Anna on the mouth, tugging her closer.
GM: “Mmmff…” Anna murmurs, groggily stirring awake at the contact. Her eyes are crusted with sleep and miss Victoria’s in the dark room.
Victoria: “I can’t sleep.”
GM: Anna’s response comes after a moment of squinting.
“Me… neither… now,” she mumbles wryly.
She blindly gropes for the beside lamp that Victoria can see as plain as day.
Victoria: She takes the hand that reaches for the lamp, gently moves it to her mouth, and kisses it.
She doesn’t sound apologetic.
GM: Anna smiles tiredly in the dark, rubbing her eyes with her other hand.
Victoria: “A bit before 5.”
GM: “Ha’ you… been up all night…?”
Victoria: “I’m starting to wonder if the downsides of…”
She gestures to herself.
“…this are coming to light. I can’t sleep.”
For the six minutes she’s tried.
GM: “Oh,” says Anna.
“Di’… Dracula sleep? Long time since I read the book…”
Victoria: “I don’t know. I’ve never read Dracula.”
Is she like Dracula? Maybe she should read it.
Did she really just kill a man?
Does her logic justify the murder?
GM: Anna, at least, does not answer.
She yawns into her hand, then pauses.
“Oh. D’you have clients…?”
Victoria: She shakes her head.
“No… not this early in the morning.”
GM: Anna laughs faintly and rubs her eyes.
“I meant. Earlier.”
She fumbles around for the light and finally switches it on.
She elects not to explain further.
“I don’t like not being able to sleep.”
GM: “It’s probably just stress, over… everything. You’ll konk out.”
Anna plants a soft kiss on her lips.
“Oh. You’re warm.”
Victoria: “I am?”
She rests the back of her hand against her own forehead.
“I guess I am.”
GM: She feels almost as warm as Anna does.
“You were so cold earlier. That’s weird.”
Victoria: There’s so much they both have to learn, and not a soul in the world from whom to learn.
For an hour, Victoria forgot the dire situation they’re in.
“I wonder how long it’ll last.”
GM: Anna pauses.
“You want to bang?”
Victoria: Sylvia stares.
“Take advantage of the warmth? Sure.”
GM: “I mean, 4 AM and you can’t sleep…”
Victoria: “And you’re horny 24 hours a day…”
GM: “I think you’re usually the hornier one, Dark Mistress Dominatrix.”
Victoria: “It’s a shame we don’t have your costumes here…”
GM: “It is,” Anna agrees. “Or yours.”
Victoria: “Or a yard stick…”
GM: Anna laughs and plants a rather steamier kiss on her girlfriend’s lips.
Victoria: Sylvia grins into that kiss, pulling her closer.
GM: Anna’s always loved foreplay and kissing as the lead-up to sex. She pulls Sylvia down onto the bed with her. The kisses steadily come, hot and heavy as they hug one another close, pressing their breasts together. Anna’s still naked. Sylvia isn’t. “Clothed dominant, naked submissive” is a request that Victoria’s gotten more than once, and Anna makes no effort to remove her partner’s clothes, instead rubbing and squeezing Sylvia’s nipples through them. Anna’s breath is hot and her heart beats quickly in Sylvia’s ears. Her nipples are stiff under her girlfriend’s touch.
However, a problem soon becomes evident.
Sylvia isn’t wet.
What she does feel is… not hungry. More like the memory of hunger. She feels glutted and full, like someone is pressing another dish at her when she’s already had enough. But she still notices the way her partner’s jugular throbs in the light.
What would Anna taste like?
Victoria: It’s a request she all too happily complies with. There’s little more joy in the world for her than teasing—and denying—the love of her life.
How would Anna taste?
She would orgasm from that alone.
And then she’d die.
Sylvia pulls back in the lamplight, looking down at her love.
GM: Anna looks tired. Most of the sleep is gone from her eyes, but the stress of the past few days definitely shows. Her eyes look darker and have bags.
But for all that, those brown eyes still warmly sparkle up at Sylvia. Her black hair spills out over the pillow she leans against. Her cheeks are rosy with color. Her chest steadily rises and falls with each of her breaths.
“Like what you see?” she smiles.
Victoria: “A little too much. I need a moment.”
She closes her eyes, and inhales.
Don’t kill her.
Don’t kill her.
Don’t kill her.
GM: “Too much?” says Anna with a slight frown.
Thump-thump, goes her lover’s heart.
Sylvia can imagine how it would slow, as she drank.
How she could take from Anna.
Hold her life in her hands.
Hold her life in her mouth.
Swirl it around.
It was all just play acting before, wasn’t it, the D/s stuff?
This is real.
Sylvia could drink her and kill her.
How would it taste?
Victoria: She could edge her.
She could slow her heart, little by little, bringing her ever closer to the edge, but stopping just short of that fall into the void.
She could sa—
Sylvia flies across the room, pressing herself to the wall.
“Just… a moment!”
GM: “Sylvie?” Anna says, worriedly. “Are you okay?”
Victoria: “Just… stay there, okay? Just a moment.”
She covers her ears.
It does little to stifle Anna’s heartbeat.
GM: “Okay…” Anna says, slowly.
It does nothing.
Nothing is how so much of her feels.
Not sore. Not tired. Not sleepy.
It feels like she could just… exist forever.
Victoria: It doesn’t get any softer, but her control becomes stronger.
It’s not okay, but it’s easier to deal with.
“I don’t like thinking of you how I was.”
GM: “How were you thinking of me?” asks Anna.
Victoria: She stares at her.
GM: “Am I missing something…?”
Victoria: “Your heart. I can hear it. It’s… enticing.”
That’s the understatement of the year.
GM: “En… ticing?” asks Anna.
She pulls up the blankets a little higher.
Victoria: She shakes her head.
“Don’t worry! Don’t panic! I just needed to… break the spell, as it were.”
GM: “Was this because we were going to have sex…?”
Victoria: “N-no! Just, being so close. It’s not bad b—”
Better not to tell her what she did right before.
“It’s not bad. It’s just new. I need to get used to this.”
How normal it becomes so quickly.
“Okay, it’s new,” repeats Anna.
“I hope we can find some answers at a bookstore.”
“And get a better idea of how to navigate all… this.”
Victoria: She forces a faint smile.
She doubts that; but, if it quells Anna’s concerns, it’s a fair path forward.
GM: “Well. Actually. What do we want to do today? Besides look around bookstores.”
Victoria: She nods.
“Little by little.”
GM: “We need to go home at some point.”
Victoria: “I… don’t know. We can’t go home. I’m not sure.”
GM: “But how are you going to see clients? All the information’s on our laptops.”
Victoria: She furrows her brow.
They can’t avoid going home forever, and she’s not about to send Anna to do it.
GM: “Also, our clothes are there.”
Victoria: “You don’t need those.”
GM: Anna sticks out her tongue.
Victoria: “I’d bite that if I wouldn’t take it off.”
GM: Anna’s tongue disappears.
Victoria: She blows a kiss to her.
“…we’ll need to go back eventually. Not you.”
GM: Anna manages a smile at the kiss.
“Okay, so both of us. When?”
Victoria: “Not. You. Probably sooner than later.”
“I don’t like not knowing who did this—and who did what they did to me last night. We don’t have allies; or, if we do, we don’t know who they are.”
GM: “I don’t want you going somewhere alone, if you’re scared,” says Anna.
Victoria: She shakes her head.
“I’m a little more durable than you are, Anna.”
GM: “But the note said we’re dead, didn’t it? Two is safer.”
Victoria: “If you get shot, I have to care for you. If I get shot, it’s like you flicking my arm. I don’t have to protect you if you’re safe somewhere.”
GM: Anna pauses.
“…did you get shot?”
Victoria: “Didn’t I… tell you? I could swear I told you.”
GM: “I hope I’d remember, but everything’s just been…”
Anna makes a little motion.
“Also, are you gonna sit down?”
Victoria: She sits, as commanded.
“I think there are a few bullets left inside me.”
GM: Anna blinks.
“Are you… sure?”
“And what do you mean, getting shot is like flicking your arm?”
Victoria: She shrugs.
“It pinched. I thought they punched me, but I found holes in my shirt, and… the wound closed quickly.”
GM: “Uh, who shot you?”
Victoria: “A few thugs in Central City.”
GM: “Oh my god!” exclaims Anna. “Why didn’t you say anything?!” She looks Victoria over as if inspecting her for wounds, then pulls off her shirt.
Victoria: She allows her shirt to be unceremoniously removed, waiting.
GM: “Oh my god,” repeats Anna. “There are holes in your back!”
“There’s no blood, though.”
“How are you… how are you feeling?”
“Is it… bad?”
GM: “Uh. You haven’t seemed impaired.”
“And there’s absolutely no blood.”
Victoria: She shrugs, flexing the muscles of her back.
“I… don’t know what to do. Do you think it’ll heal on its own? Should we try to take the bullets out?”
GM: “Sylvia, I have absolutely no idea if this is going to heal on its own or what the rules are.”
“But I do know that always needing to take the bullet out is Hollywood. My dad has a co-worker who’s had a bullet in his arm for 28 years. Doctors said it wasn’t dangerous where it was, and removing it was likely to be.”
“Bullets only need to come out if they’re lodged somewhere they’ll cause more problems.”
“But I’m not a doctor. I don’t know if that’s the case here. Or what’s normal here.”
She’s never been shot before.
“I don’t think they’re causing any problems.”
Whether they’ll heal or not is a greater concern.
“Can I… put my shirt back on?”
GM: “Look at the domme asking permission.”
The teasing in Anna’s tone is light, though. Her gaze feels like it’s lingering on Sylvia’s back.
“I… I guess. I don’t know what else to do here. We already tried a hospital.”
Victoria: She shudders.
“There’s no way whoever did this doesn’t know…”
GM: Anna’s silent for a moment.
“Why would someone do this?” she asks, helplessly.
Victoria: “I… I think they did it to help me. Why else would they?”
She doesn’t sound convinced.
GM: “I don’t know,” says Anna. “But I know this hasn’t helped us.”
Victoria: She shakes her head.
“The situation hasn’t.”
But this? Her strength? Her invulnerability?
GM: “All right. So what do we do?”
Victoria: “You find another hotel. I go back to the house.”
GM: “Is something wrong with this one?”
Victoria: “I don’t like the thought of remaining in one place for too long. Not with the people who… did this. I find it hard to believe they aren’t trying to find me, especially after we caused such a commotion at the hospital.”
GM: “Oh. Yeah.” Worry crosses Anna’s face. “Better safe than sorry.”
Victoria: She won’t be able to carry everything they need in just her arms.
She can’t just go get her car, either. They’ll track that.
She picks up the note and reads it again.
“What do you need most from the house?”
GM: “More clothes,” says Anna. “Laptop. Toothbrush, paste, deodorant.”
“Anything else you can think of.”
Victoria: She closes her eyes.
Toothbrush. Clothes. Laptop. Etcetera. Her laptop, too. Phones? If the phones are in their house. Keys. She may as well take the car back, too.
Is it safe to leave Anna alone?
“I’m going to take you to the next hotel first.”
GM: “Okay. I’ll look one up.”
Anna rummages around her clothes and purse before pulling out her phone to scroll through.
Victoria: Sylvia misses her phone.
Victoria needs her phone.
She moves to sit beside her girlfriend, watching.
GM: They search for a few minutes before Victoria points out Maison Tremé.
“What do you like about this one?” asks Anna.
Victoria: “It’s simple.”
“It’s off Bourbon, but close. We’ll choose a more upscale one next, and vary from there. Maybe go across the city.”
She pauses, appraising her girlfriend.
“I’m sorry, Anna. I don’t want to leave you vulnerable until we figure this out.”
GM: “I’m more worried about you than me, honestly, if I’m staying in a hotel,” says Anna.
“I’m worried about you for so many reasons anyway.”
Victoria: “Me? Why are you worried about me? You’re the breakable one.”
GM: “Because you’re the one all of this has happened to, with bullets in her back!”
Victoria: “With bullets in her back, who feels fine.”
GM: “There are lots of sick or hurt people who’ve felt fine, then gotten worse.”
Victoria: “You don’t generally feel fine with bullets in your back. Not this long after.”
GM: Anna gives a helpless-sounding sigh.
Victoria: “Point taken, Anna. I’ll be careful.”
GM: “Thanks. We’re still booked for a day here. Do we want to stay until then?”
GM: Anna blinks dully as if realizing how little sleep she got.
“We’ve only been here a few hours.”
Victoria: Victoria nods.
“Only a few hours; so… I don’t think they’d let us stay another day, unless we want to pay for it.”
Which they can.
Unless they’ve emptied her bank, too.
And then, it occurs to her.
“Hey, Anna? You don’t think I…”
She waves her hands, miming an explosion.
“…in sunlight, do you?”
GM: “Uh.” Anna pauses. “I don’t know.”
“That’s how it is in the movies.”
“But in Dracula he isn’t hurt by the sun.”
“He just can’t turn into a wolf or use his other powers.”
Victoria: “I was going to suggest a few hours more sleep, but…”
GM: “What do you want to do?”
Victoria: She hesitates.
“We should get to the next hotel before sunrise. Just in case. We can… test that another time.”
GM: “I paid through the day for this one. Not for just a few hours.” Anna blinks dully. “I thought I’d be sleeping longer than that.”
Victoria: She bites her lip.
“But not the next night?”
GM: “No, just the normal check-out time. But I guess we should reserve through the next night, if we want you to stay here all day.”
Victoria: “I just… I don’t want to risk it. I don’t want to explode next to you. If it’s like most stories.”
She mentally tries to turn into a bat.
GM: Nothing happens.
“So what do we do?”
“Just keep the shades drawn?”
Or not curses?
“Stay here. You need your rest. Can you call the front desk and extend in the morning?”
GM: “Sure,” says Anna. “And you’re going back to the house.”
Victoria: “The sun will be up soon. I’d have to be up soon.”
GM: Anna scrolls through her phone.
“It says sunrise is at 6:34. So that’s about two hours.”
Victoria: Doable. For bare essentials.
“Okay. I’ll be fast.”
GM: Anna taps into her phone again.
“The drive’s about 40 minutes, both ways. So that’s still a fair bit of time.”
Victoria: “40 minutes to throw shit in a car.”
Or die. Maybe.
“Wait here. Don’t answer the door unless it’s me.”
GM: “80 minutes,” Anna corrects.
“Okay. Please be careful.”
She plants a tender kiss on Sylvia’s lips.
Victoria: “Right. Both ways.”
She returns the kiss and departs.
Friday night, 8 April 2016, AM
GM: It’s about a 20-minute drive back to the two’s apartment. Next to the always-partying French Quarter, East Riverside is silent neighborhood residentia. Victoria’s car feels like the only one on the road between the rows of raised shotgun houses.
She arrives at 4018 Constance St. without incident.
Victoria: She’s surprised that she makes it without being stopped or accosted, but she settles into park in the street a few houses down from her place, and around a corner.
The vampire steps outside, taking in her surroundings. It feels like she’s being watched—even alone for most of the drive. The hackles on her back rise.
GM: No bumps erupt on her skin that she can see. It remains as dead as the rest of her.
The rows of shotgun house appear quiet and still.
Can it be that easy?
Victoria: She sets her jaw, and walks around her house, peering in the windows.
GM: The lights are off. Victoria isn’t bothered. The interior might as well be lit up like noon.
She sees nothing out of place.
Victoria: It can’t be this easy.
She circles back around to the front, slips her keys in and opens the door, and as quietly—and quickly—as she can, she grabs a suitcase from their closet, and moves to collect their things in order of importance.
The laptops are on the living room table, last she remembers.
GM: She’s collecting the suitcase from their bedroom when she hears it.
From the living room.
A door creaking open.
And she didn’t bring their gun.
Victoria becomes still as a statue, waiting and listening.
GM: Footsteps sound.
Drawing closer to the bedroom.
Victoria: Fuck this.
But if she runs, they’ll just go after Anna eventually.
She’s more durable now, right?
And no more smart.
She wields the suitcase, ready to strike.
GM: The lights spill on.
Heartbeats accompany the footsteps.
The bedroom door swings open.
Victoria: She’s pressed near the wall, behind where the door swings with enough room to swing. The moment the figure passes halfway in—unless she recognizes them—she slams the door on them to stun, then yanks them into the room, ready to disable more permanently.
GM: There’s a strangled yell as the door smashes into the face of a large man. His gun drops from slackened fingers. Victoria grabs it smashes it over his head, knocking him out cold. She has it drawn and pointed at the second man as his hand hovers over his belt holster.
Both of men are ugly. They’re dressed in jeans and wifebeaters. They’re bald, muscled, with metal piercings and hard faces that look accustomed to violence. The knocked-out man has tattoos that depict winged skull and a screeching eagle perched on a swastika. The other one has SS lightning bolts along his neck and pentagrams along his arms. Swords crossed behind a shield with a swastika decorate his chest.
Victoria: She keeps the weapon leveled at him.
“Talk. Don’t move.”
“Don’t you normally save this kind of thing for niggers?”
She nods, referencing his tattoo.
GM: The man stares at her, his jugular throbbing.
“You’re just making things worse, cunt.”
Victoria: “Who sent you?”
GM: He glares.
Victoria: She shoots him in the shoulder.
GM: The man’s mouth opens. Victoria can’t hear his scream over the gunshot’s explosively loud roar. It’s like a bomb going off in the close quarters.
Victoria smells the blood, though, rich and hot as he collapses to the floor, clutching his arm. Red oozes from between his fingers.
Victoria: She feels that familiar pull, dragging her toward his gaping wound, but resists. Not now. Not yet.
GM: “Cedric… B…. McGinn!” he gasps out.
Victoria: “Next one is the knee. Why are you after me?”
GM: The man grits his teeth.
Red continues to ooze down his arm.
“Said to watch… your house.”
GM: “Case you… came back.”
Victoria: “To do what with me? If you make me ask another obvious question, you’re going to live life as a pirate.”
GM: “I don’t know!” the man grits out. The veins in his neck throb.
“He’s the… boss. He wants… you. That’s all I know.”
Victoria: “Dial him. Put it on speaker.”
“Toss your gun away.”
GM: The man clenches his teeth, then tosses it. The firearm hits the wall with a clatter.
Victoria: Weapon and eyes trained on him, she sidesteps to collect the weapon.
GM: The man gingerly pulls out a phone and dials it. He’s slower with one hand.
Victoria: She waits with all the patience of the NOPD.
GM: “Ya caught me a wolf, son?” greets a man’s lazy Southern drawl.
It’s a confident-sounding voice.
The kind from a man used to getting what he wants.
It’s a dangerous-sounding voice.
The kind from a man used to taking what he wants.
Victoria: “You know what they say about hunting a wolf on their own territory, don’t they, Cedric?” she purrs.
GM: Laughter rings from the phone.
It’s cold laughter, the kind that could ring at someone’s death.
It’s rich and belly-deep, and feels almost like a parody of how laughter is supposed to sound.
“I’da said someone fucked up.”
“But it done seems more like three someones.”
Victoria: Three. There’s another.
She glances around.
“Good thing I have a big freezer, and an industrial blender,” she answers in frosty reply.
“What have I done to you, dear Cedric?”
GM: She sees no one.
“Oh, darlin’, darlin’,” chuckles Cedric’s voice.
“More than yer pretty lil’ head’s done e’er imagined.”
“We should talk. Come swing ba ma place. I’ll open yer eyes ta a few things.”
“4717 St. Charles Avenue.”
Victoria: “Three sheep break into my house, weapons drawn? And you expect me to meet you? You could have sent a card.”
GM: There’s another peal of simultaneously cold and belly-deep laughter.
“I said there was three someones who fucked up.”
“I didn’t say nothin’ ’bout three sheep.”
“But I assure you, Miss Wolf, ya’ll find stoppin’ by a sight more pleasant than the alternative.”
“Might e’en be there’s a few things I can right open yer eyes to.”
Victoria: She grunts.
“In what way have I fucked up?”
GM: The man’s tongue clucks.
“That’s not the sort o’ thing ta chit-chat about o’er phones, darlin’.”
“That there’s one way.”
Victoria: “It wouldn’t be overly smart to meet you in your den. Why don’t we meet somewhere neutral?”
GM: The man’s tongue clucks again.
“Miss Wolf, there is a way things are done.”
Victoria: “Cordiality does wonders for trust. I have negative trust right now.”
GM: There’s another peal of that same, parody-like laughter.
“Tell me somethin’, darlin’. How thirsty are ya, rightaboutnow?”
Victoria: "Moreso than before I put a bullet in the pretty one; but, alcoholics tend to cave around alcoho—”
And then it clicks.
GM: Victoria can hear the man’s grin.
“Do I e’er.”
Victoria: “That doesn’t mean you’re an ally.”
GM: “Miss Wolf, right now, I am yer only hope in a dark and unforgivin’ world.”
“You got no idea what manner o’ shit storm ya set off.”
Victoria: “What the fuck did I do?”
GM: “Ya’ve made a lot o’ folks like us mad, darlin’. Real mad. Madder’n a box o’ frogs.”
“Yer days are numbered ’fore they find ya.”
“The longer that takes, the madder they will be.”
Victoria: “And if they find me? What? They kill me?”
GM: “Let’s just say, Miss Wolf, you will dearly regret not havin’ me as yer friend.”
Victoria: “Why do you want to help me?”
GM: “Self-interest, o’ course. Ya’ll owe me.”
“I could give two shits ’bout ya otherwise.”
It’s her only link to the world she’s only otherwise guessing about.
A bookstore isn’t quite so good.
“I’ll owe you one. I suppose I could have your remaining employee take me there?”
GM: The man’s tongue clucks.
“I certainly hope so, Miss Wolf. I do certainly hope so.”
Victoria: “Very well then. I’ll see you soon.”
GM: “Oh, ya certainly will, darlin’.”
“Ya certainly will.”
The line clicks.
Victoria: One way or another, she’s getting answers.
“Can you drive?” she asks the goon.
GM: “With one fucking arm?” growls the man, still clutching his bleeding shoulder.
Victoria: “I suppose I’ll be carrying your inept compatriot to the car, too?”
GM: “I got one fuckin’ arm,” the man snarls.
Victoria: She breathes a sigh.
“Use your one fuckin’ arm and help keep the doors open.”
She turns on heel, a stowing both weapons in her waistband, and moves to drag the other man out the front door.
GM: Limp bodies are extremely heavy. The man is a big man. Victoria finds her progress glacially slow.
She doesn’t get at all fatigued, though.
That’s when she hears the wail of approaching police sirens.
“You dumb fucking cunt,” mutters the man.
Victoria: “You help me get him in right now or he’s going to jail.”
GM: “Fuck that!”
The man runs for the door.
Victoria: Burglary charge it is.
She drops the disabled one and charges after him.
GM: The man runs towards Victoria’s car.
The wailing sirens grow louder.
Victoria: She rips open the driver’s door, sliding into the seat and unlocking the other side.
GM: She sees a note lying on the passenger seat.
Victoria: She pockets the note. What the fuck is going on?
GM: “Drive, cunt!” yells the man.
Victoria: She pulls out, speeding away before the police make line of sight. Without any flowing traffic, they’ll be a beacon to the police if they’re seen, and in Anna’s old car, they’d be lucky to make it to the end of the block before they’re cut off.
Vic turns the next corner, navigates two more blocks down, then turns back around to run parallel to her block.
With the police now elsewhere, she redirects toward her new ‘friend’.
80 spare minutes. Simple in, simple out. Grab the laptops. Grab the clothes. Grab the toothbrush and paste.
It’s never simple. Anna will see it on the news: Shots fired. Man found unconscious. No Vic.
She pulls out her phone and shoots her girlfriend a text.