Wednesday, June 10, 12083
Leila had been walking for one week, stopping only for breakfast, dinner, restroom breaks, and sleep for the night. It was currently about noon, and she was hot and sweaty. She stopped at a small store in the town of Tularosa to get something to drink. She walked inside, went over to the beverages area, opened a door, and took out of cold bottle of water. She got in line to pay. "Well, hey, there, babe." Leila turned and looked behind her at the source of the comment: an orange-haired guy that looked to be around her age. "Who are you?" Leila asked. "Kyle Markus." the guy said. "What's your name, sexy?" "Leila de Lavga." "Well, Leila, how's about you and me get to know one another better?" Kyle put his left arm around her. "Okay. I'm 17 years old. I'm from the town of Las Cruces." Leila drew a gun and pointed it at him. "I hate men like you, and, if you don't get your arm off of me right now, I'll shoot it off and make sausages out of it." Kyle quickly pulled his arm away and took a few steps back. "Whoa. Whoa. Gee, uh,...that's a really nice gun you got there." Leila smiled. "You like it? I just got it, and I'm very eager to try it out." "Uh, uh, - " "Kyle, what's goin' on?" Leila and Kyle both looked and saw a man with short brown hair. He looked to be in his twenties and was smoking a cigar. "Put that out." Leila immediately told him. "Why?" the man asked. "Well, for one thing, I'm in great health, and I don't allow people to smoke around me." Leila said. "Plus you'll talk clearer." He took the cigar out of his mouth and put it out in an ashtray. "Happy to oblige, lil lady." Leila rolled her eyes. "What's your name?" "Name's Borgoff. Borgoff Markus." "Well, Borgoff, are you related to this asshole?" Leila jerked her left thumb at Kyle. "Hey! My name's Kyle." "Same thing." Leila said. "Yeah, I know 'im." Borgoff said. "He's my brother." "Great. Can you please tell him to stop harassing me?" Leila asked. "Sure thing." Borgoff said. "Uh, what's yer name?" "Leila de Lavga." "Kyle, you leave Leila alone." Borgoff told him. "Aw, c'mon, Borgoff." Kyle said. "I was just trying to get to know the girl." Kyle placed his right hand on Leila's ass and gave it a squeeze. Leila elbowed him in the chest, turned, and broke his wrist. Borgoff observed the scene calmly. "Now y'see, Kyle, that there's sexual haironyourassment. Serves ya right." Just then, two more guys walked into the store. One had white hair, and the other had a tattoo of a cross on his face. "Ah, Leila, these are my other brothers, Grove and Nolt." Borgoff introduced. "Boys, this here's Leila de Lavga." "Hi." Leila said. "Kyle, what's taking so long?" Nolt asked. "We've gotta get going." Grove said. "The bitch broke my wrist!" Kyle yelled, clutching it with his other hand. Leila glared at him. "C'mon, let's go." Borgoff said. Leila paid for her water, then Kyle paid for his six-pack of beer. "So, what do you guys do?" Leila asked. "We're bounty hunters." Borgoff said. "We hunt and kill vampires for money." Leila thought for a moment. "Can I join you?" They laughed at her. "You?" Borgoff asked. "My parents were killed by vampires. I want to avenge their deaths." Leila said. "Please. I want to be a vampire hunter."
Monday, June 15, 12083
Leila was sitting in the back of the truck that they were traveling in. The truck came to a stop. "Leila!" Borgoff called. "Think ya ready?!" Leila thought about it for a moment, hesitating. "I guess!" "Then c'mon out!" Leila picked up her laser rifle and a wooden stake, stood up, opened the door, and got out of the truck. Nolt and Grove got out of the truck after her. Borgoff and Kyle walked over to them. "Okay." Borgoff said. "We've been hired to kill a local vamp in this area. Y'ready?" Leila raised her laser rifle and nodded. Soon, a vampire came out from behind a tree. Leila aimed her laser rifle and fired a few blasts. The vampire fell backwards. Leila ran over to him, raised her right hand, fell to her knees, and drove the stake into the vampire's chest, piercing his heart. Then Leila drew a knife from her belt and brought it down over the vampire's neck, chopping his head off. "Yup." Borgoff said. "Looks like she's ready." Leila was panting, exhilarated over her first kill. She heard footsteps behind her but didn't turn around. She just grinned, staring down at the corpse. "You're the little sister we never had, Leila." Kyle told her. Leila was delighted to hear that. She had finally found a place where she belonged.
"The Markus Brothers?" Doris asked. "Yeah." Leila said. "You know 'em?" "I know the Markus Sisters." Doris told her. "Kei, Christy, and Kimber Lee own a club in Ransylva. Before we left, Christy mentioned that their brothers are bounty hunters." Leila started. "It...must be some other Markus family." "More likely, they lied to you to make you feel better." Doris told her. Leila was silent for a moment as she thought about this. "What did you do while you were with them?" Rory asked. "We just went from town to town, hunting local vampires." Leila said. "It sounds exciting." Ingrid said. "Why did you leave?" Leila told them about what had happened to her recently, ending with them showing up at her house. Doris, Lamika, and Dan stared at her in surprise. "You were with him?" Doris asked. "Yeah." Leila said. "He left. You missed him." "Damn." Doris said. By now, everyone had finished their dinners, so Leila stood up and collected the dishes. Doris helped her.
Leila walked into the living room, carrying her robe over her left arm. Doris and Lamika were standing there, holding their robes in their hands. "You're gonna shower together?" Leila asked them in surprise. Doris smiled. "Yep." "Do you have a back brush?" Lamika asked. "Yeah." Leila replied. "Why do you ask? You can just wash each other's backs." Lamika smiled. "Just curious." Doris and Lamika walked into the bathroom. Lamika closed the door behind her.
The bathroom door opened, and Doris and Lamika walked out, wearing their robes. Leila, sitting on a couch, looked up at them. "What took you so long?" Doris and Lamika smiled. Leila stood up. "Sheesh. Well, it's my turn." Just then, Phoebe and Ingrid walked into the room. "Good! The shower's free!" Phoebe exclaimed. "Hey, you guys have gotta try the back brush." Doris to whispered Phoebe. "Use the back brush to pleasure each other." Lamika whispered to Ingrid. Phoebe grinned. "Nice idea." "Yes. We will try it." Ingrid agreed. Phoebe and Ingrid walked into the bathroom. Ingrid closed the door behind her. Leila sighed and sat back down on the couch. "I don't wanna know."
The bathroom door opened, and Phoebe and Ingrid walked out, wearing their robes. Leila stood up and picked up her robe. "I hope you left me some hot water." Then Leila walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind her. She put her robe on the toilet tank, opened the sliding door to the bathtub, took off her clothes, put them in the hamper, got into the bathtub, closed the sliding door, opened the cold and hot water, felt it with her hand until it wasn't cold, and opened the shower. Leila picked up the bar of soap and her washcloth, and she washed herself. Then she picked up her back brush, soaped it up, and washed her back.
Friday, July 22, 12090
Leila woke up at 8:03 AM. She got dressed; went to the bathroom; ate cereal for breakfast; flossed, rinsed, and brushed her teeth; and combed her hair. When Leila stepped out of the bathroom again, Doris met her. "Hey." Doris said. "Hey." Leila said. "Are you goin' out somewhere?" Doris asked. "I have to go find a job." Leila told her. "A job?" Doris asked. "I assumed you have a lot of money from bounty-hunting." "I have enough." Leila said. "That's not the point. I've gotta do something. I can't just sit around the house. I'd be bored." The two of them walked into the living room. "What do you have in mind?" Doris asked. "I dunno." Leila said. "I'll look around." "Can I come with you?" Doris asked. "Sure." Leila said. "We'll come, too." Rory said. Doris and Leila looked. Rory, Phoebe, Ingrid, Lamika, and Dan stood there. Leila smiled. "Sure."
The seven of them came to a building. There was a sign that read "The Scene" in a window. "I don't recognize this place." Leila said. They entered the building. "This looks like a club." Doris said in surprise. They walked over to the stage, where a man was working with some sound equipment. Leila walked up on the stage. "Excuse me. Are you the manager?" "Yeah." the guy said, obviously not wanting to be bothered. "I'm looking for a job." Leila said. "Do you have any openings?" "We could use some new entertainment." The manager stood up straight and offered a microphone to Leila. "Here. Tell a joke. We need to do a sound check." Leila took the microphone in her right hand. "Uh,...okay,...there's this guy, this explorer,...and he's in the jungle, and suddenly he's surrounded by cannibals." She raised her head and looked up. "He looks up and says, 'Oh, God,...I'm doomed.'" She fiercely gripped the microphone with both hands. "Suddenly, this voice booms from overhead, and it says, 'No, you're not. Pick up that rock and bash in the head of the cannibal leader.'" She held the microphone in her right hand again and started making fast hitting movements with her left hand. "So, the guy grabs the rock and bashes the leader's head in. So, the leader's lying dead, and the voice says,..." She pointed her left index finger at her audience. "'Okay,...now you're doomed.'" Leila looked at the manager and smiled in anticipation. The manager just stared at her for a moment. "What else can you do?" Leila frowned. "Um,...I can sing." "Is your voice as bad as your jokes?" "I don't think so." Leila told him. "I've got a band." "Okay. You'll play tonight, starting at 7:00." "Thank you." Leila said, smiling. She handed the mic back to him and jumped off the stage. Leila and her friends walked out of the club. "You've got a band?" Phoebe asked her. "Well, I figured it would help." Leila explained. "You...will perform with me at the club tonight, won't you? Please?" "Forget it." Ingrid said. Rory came and stood in front of Leila, placing his hands on her arms. "For you, my darling Leila, anything." Leila stared at him in surprise. So did everyone else.
Shortly before noon, Leila made boneless hog jowl sandwiches topped with horseradish for lunch. They all sat in the backyard, eating them. "Anyone wanna tell me more?" Leila asked. "I hardly know you." The others all looked at each other. "You go." Lamika said, looking at Doris. Doris looked at Leila. "Dan and I grew up in Ransylva. Our father was a werewolf hunter. Our mother stayed home and took care of us. The local Noble was named Count Magnus Lee. He had ruled there since before the village was built, but he left on January 22nd, 12073, shortly after he had killed Lamika's mother after she had given birth. He returned two years ago with his daughter. Then my life changed forever."
Thursday, January 21, 12088
Doris was finishing up washing the dishes. She turned off the water and dried her hands. "Done?" Marion Lang asked. Doris turned to face her. "Yes, mother." "Good. Now go to bed." They walked into the living room together. Doris frowned at her. "Dan was supposed to do the dishes tonight." "Doris, I told you. Dan had to go to bed early tonight. He's got a big day tomorrow with your father." "Yeah, real big. Father's taking him to a festival." Doris said, upset. "So, Dan gets out of his chores, and I have to bring in the animals and wash the dishes." Marion placed her hands on Doris' shoulders. "I know you're upset, sweetheart, but Dan's young, and he needs a lot of attention." Doris didn't say anything. "I'm running low on ammunition. I'm gonna go out and buy some." Marion said. "At night...and during a storm?" Doris asked. "I won't be gone long." her mother said. "Now, give me a hug and a kiss." Doris pulled away from her. "No! I hate you! You dumped chores on me, you won't help me do them, and Dan is getting rewarded tomorrow! I hate you! If you wanna go out, fine, but don't ever come back!" Marion sighed. "We'll talk when I get home." She turned and walked to the front door. She opened it, then she looked back at her daughter. Doris stared back at her mother with a scowl on her face. Lightning flashed outside and across Doris' face. Suddenly frightened of her daughter, Marion turned and walked out the door. "Good night."
Friday, January 22, 12088
Doris, Dan, and their father got out of the carriage. They had ridden into town after a messenger had been sent to them with news of a vampire attack. Now, they got out of the carriage and ran into the village square. There lay Marion Lang, dead. Her body was pale. Two puncture wounds were on the side of her neck. "No!" Doris cried. "Mom!" Doris placed her face against her father's chest. Garrett Lang hugged his daughter in shock.
Doris was sobbing. "I still can't believe how horrible I was to her. I wish I could've hugged her and told her how much I...loved...her." Lamika put her left arm around Doris and hugged her. "I'm sorry." Leila said. Doris wiped away her tears. "Thank you." Leila hesitated for a moment. "How did you meet the dunpeal?" "Why do you keep calling him that?" Doris asked. "What?" Leila asked. "Dunpeal." Doris said. "Because...that's what he is?" "I guess it's a regional thing." Doris guessed. "In Ransylva, we called him a dampeal." Leila laughed. "How stupid." "And dunpeal isn't?" Doris retorted. "I checked the dictionary. The correct term is dhampir." "Whatever." Leila said. "What happened next?" Doris sighed. "Three days later, my father was called to Mayor Rohman's office."
Monday, January 25, 12088
Doris and Dan waited outside for their father to come out of the building. Finally, he walked outside. "Well?" Doris asked. "What did the mayor want to talk to you about?" "He and Sheriff Dawsy want me to...hunt vampires." he said. "But you're a werewolf hunter." Doris told him. "You don't know anything about vampires." "I know," he said, "but it pays good, and,...after your mother's funeral,...we need the money." Dan hugged him. "Be careful, father." Garrett hugged his son. "I will, Dano."
Wednesday, January 27, 12088
Doris finished tucking Dan into bed. She walked downstairs, into the living room. Her father was standing by the window. Doris approached him. He was sharpening a wooden stake. "Are you going out again tonight?" Doris asked. "Yes." "Could you...tell me about vampires?" she asked. "Why?" "I...want to become a vampire hunter, too." Her father turned to face her. "Doris, I raised you to be a werewolf hunter." "You still haven't told me anything." Garrett turned back to his stake. "Like you said, I don't know anything about them. So, wanna know about vampires? Ask the vampire hunter." "We don't have one." "We do now." Garrett kissed his daughter on the forehead and walked to the front door. "I'll be back in a few hours. Don't wait up." He opened the door, walked outside, and closed the door behind him. Doris walked over to the front door, locked it, and walked back over to the window. She stood there for an hour before finally going to bed.
Thursday, January 28, 12088
Doris waited for what seemed like forever, but her father never returned. Eventually, there was a knock at the front door. Doris and Dan stood up and ran over to it. Doris opened the door. "Dr. Fering." Doris said in surprise. "What...are you doing here?" "Doris," the gray-haired doctor said softly, "there's no easy way for me to tell you this, but...your father is dead." Doris shuddered. "What?!" "He was found about a half-hour ago just outside the village." he said. "His body was drained of blood. Doris, I'm so sorry." "No! Oh, God, no!" Doris cried. Dr. Fering hugged her.
Friday, January 29, 12088
Doris shoveled some dirt onto the coffin, then she handed the shovel to Dr. Fering, turned, and walked away. Mayor Rohman and Sheriff Dawsy walked over to her. "Miss Lang, we're sorry for your loss." Mayor Rohman told her. Doris could tell by the tone of his voice that the words were purely perfunctory. "Thank you." "We were wondering if you could do the village a favor." Sheriff Dawsy said. "What?" Doris deadpanned. "We want you to become our new vampire hunter." the sheriff told her. "What?!" Doris exclaimed in surprise. "We need someone to protect the village." the mayor explained. "Since you're a good werewolf hunter, we - " "Where did you hear that?!" Doris demanded. "From your father." the mayor told her. "I can't hit a garden mutant!" Doris corrected them. "I suck at hunting!" "Is that a 'No'?" the mayor asked her. "I'm an orphan now!" Doris yelled at them. "I have a farm to run and a little brother to take care of! He was so traumatized by our father's death, he couldn't even come to the funeral! How dare you ask this of me!" Doris ran past them without another word.
Doris was crying again. Suddenly, she felt an arm around her. Doris looked to her left and saw Leila hugging her. They smiled at each other. A simple touch healed so much hurt and bridged their worlds. "Let's get ready for the concert." Doris said.
That evening, at 7:00 PM, Leila was on stage with Dazzle at The Scene. Chaos had his synthaxe. Vixen was on her synthesizer. Ecstasy was on her bass guitar. Leila stood in the center of the stage. Doris, Lamika, and Dan sat at a table near the stage. "The manager didn't even introduce them." Doris said in anger. "Kei, Christy, and Kimber Lee are much better." "Thank you, all, for coming to our concert." Leila said. "I hope you like the songs." Chaos, Vixen, and Ecstasy started playing their instruments. Vixen and Ecstasy sang the back-up vocals, and Leila danced and sang the lead vocals:
"Here in the night, there's a perfume in the air. You can almost smell the danger.