Chapter 1.27 – Hot Poison

Caleb and Melinda made their way back to Marjorie’s house. Melinda climbed the stairs and pushed the door only to find it locked.

She learned that the sensation of her heart skipping a beat was not purely a mortal one. Had something happened? Had a relative of Marjorie’s returned? What should she do – should she run away? Should she knock?

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s locked,” Melinda whispered.

“Well, unlock it then.” He looked bemused.

“I can’t. We don’t have the keys. We just sort of broke in.”

“So who’s locked it?”

“I don’t know!” she hissed.

Caleb knocked on the door.

“What are you doing?!” Melinda screeched as a light came on in the hallway and the door opened.

“Oh, it’s you.” Faith wasn’t smiling.

Melinda glared back at her, “You locked me out?”

“Found some keys in the kitchen. Thought we couldn’t be too careful, now.”

“Didn’t think to tell me? Some friend you are,” Melinda huffed.

“I didn’t think you were coming back. Why are you back?” Faith asked.

Melinda pulled Caleb into the hallway.

“Who are you?” Faith purred at him. “Mel, did you catch him for me?” She ran her finger down the front of Caleb’s jacket. “Hi. I’m Faith and I bite.”

“Uh… I’m Caleb. I’m here to see April.”

Faith pulled her hand back like she’d been burned. “You’re Caleb?” She looked him up and down. “Oh boy. That thing we had going on there for a moment? It didn’t happen. OK?”

Faith ran into the house, Caleb and Melinda just behind her. She sang up the stairs, “April, visitor!”

April’s voice travelled back down. “A visitor? For me? Is it Lilith? Because I’m not drinking that gunk.”

Caleb was trying very hard not to smile. “It’s not Lilith,” he called in his ice and fire tone.

It felt like barely a second before April had practically fallen down the stairs and was standing before him.

“Caleb.”

“April.”

Something unseen, unspoken lingered between the two of them and Melinda suddenly felt like she was intruding, yet it was Faith who broke the silence. “Well, this is intense.”

April didn’t take her eyes off Caleb, “Just… just go do something, yeah?” she waved her hand dismissively at her friends.

“You mean like eavesdrop from the kitchen?”

April shot Faith a look that could have withered a cactus and flicked her eyes towards the ceiling.
“Fine,” Faith took Melinda’s hand, “come on Mel, let’s leave these two alone.”

April waited until she heard the bedroom door close before she spoke. “What are you doing here?”

“Oh. Right. Do you… do you want me to leave?”

“I didn’t think I’d ever see you again. I thought you’d changed your mind.”

“I haven’t.”

“Have you thought of me?”

“Seriously, April? I’ve not thought of anything else.”

April felt the weakness coming over her again as she looked at him. “Me neither.”

They gazed at each other for a long moment. It was just as April had imagined. Now he would take her in his arms and kiss her. She closed her eyes.

When nothing happened, April blinked them open. He was looking at her so intensely. She wondered what he was thinking. Perhaps he just needed another little push… “Aren’t you going to kiss me?”

“No.”

April’s face fell. “Why ever not?”

Caleb shrugged. “Why rush? We have eternity.”

Somewhere from upstairs came the sound of someone pretending to retch. April ignored it.

“Eternity,” she repeated.


“Oh, that was such a line!” Faith laughed, her ear pressed against the bedroom floor. She looked over at Melinda.

“Mel—“

“I don’t understand what happened. They’ve known each other all of five minutes!”

“This is April we’re talking about here. She’d probably fall in love with me, if I looked at her the right way. Maybe Caleb’s the same. Sounds like he’s also pretty lonely.”

Melinda nodded, unconvinced.

Faith settled on the bed beside her, wondering where the hell to start. “You know, we had no chance, right? Especially you; she’s gorgeous and you’re kinda weird-looking,” she teased.

“At least I didn’t offer to bite him.”

Faith groaned, “Thanks so much for reminding me.”

It had felt like so long since the two of them had been alone, but the joviality couldn’t paper over cracks quite this big.

“I’m sorry, Melinda. I have been completely out of order.”

“You should be; you really have been.”

“I don’t like the person I’m becoming.”

“Me either,” Melinda sighed.

“Why did you come back? I saw that you’d packed all your things. I thought you’d actually manage to leave this time, now you had somewhere to go, if I just got April out of the way for the night. Then, when we were out, all I could think was; ‘Oh my god, what if she’s not running away? What if she’s going to do something stupid and I didn’t try and stop her?’ I mean, I know we’re already technically dead, but…”

Melinda looked at Faith but she felt this wasn’t the time for her talk.

To fill the silence, Faith started rambling, “We were out for hours tonight and we managed to stop just one driver. By the time we’d both taken what we needed, he was too drained to carry on driving so we just left him in his car at the roadside. I feel fucking awful about it. At least when we were seducing guys they weren’t dying of fright. Then we bump into Will outside the bar, and even though I know he’s married and even though he’s a massive tool, if April hadn’t have been there I would’ve just got in his bloody truck.”

Melinda nodded.

“Who’d have thought it, hey? I’d be the one struggling while you happily slaughter strangers. I’m not judging, I mean, we need to survive, right? I would much rather not care about anything and happily go on some sort of killing spree. How are you doing it? Being so cold, I mean.”

“Cold?”

“Yeah, I mean ripping Paul’s throat out? And that guy the other night that you found? Just acting like it’s nothing?”

“Because it is nothing,” Melinda said. “You actually believed those things?”

“Paul is definitely dead, Mel.”

“I told you, I didn’t do that! I swear! I couldn’t even bite him. I threw him out.”

“And the guy the other night?”

“I made that up! I didn’t even watch a horror movie. I went stargazing.”

“Oh, thank fuck for that!” Faith laughed. “Here I am, trying to be as ice cold as you and you’re not cold at all.”

“Why do you want to be cold?”

“I don’t… but April has her mind-bending superpowers and I thought you were casually snuffing blokes and hunting down vampires. I didn’t want to be the weak link.”

“You genuinely thought I’d be capable of killing someone? Me? I mean, look how mighty and fearsome I am.”

“You’re stronger than you look. Plus, I thought this might have been the thing that finally broke you; the need to feed. Wait, so how are you surviving, if you’re not mutilating men?”

Melinda reached into her backpack and handed Faith a plasma pack.

“Right.” Faith tipped the pouch upside-down and the contents made an unappetising squelchy noise as they descended. “Yummy. Congealed gloop. I never thought it was poison, you know. I don’t think Lilith would hurt you…”

“Why did you give me so much grief about her, then? You really, really upset me.”

“I guess I’m just jealous.”

“You’re not, though. Try again.”

“I guess… I just… Ugh! Because… because… hurting you is the only way I can really hurt me, right now, OK?! Maybe I just need you to hate me as much as I do.”

“Faith—“

“I’m stuck, Mel. I needed this thing to work and it’s all gone completely to shit. I gave up everything! I’ve thrown Joy under a fucking bus. Now Caleb’s come back for April and you’ve got Lilith and the world is on fire. Where does that leave me? I sold my soul to the devil for a second chance with you guys and I have nothing to show for it!”

“Right, OK. Stop.” Melinda said in her calmest voice. “First, I don’t hate you—“

“You don’t?”

“No. I don’t like your choices much. But at least now you’re listening to me again we can figure it out. Second, people don’t have to have a finite amount of friends, Faith. I can be friends with both of you and Lilith, you know.”

Faith nodded, her rage subsiding. “Why the hell would you still want to be friends with me, after all of this?”

“Well, no-one else has sold their soul to the devil for me.”

“You’re strange, Mellybean,” Faith sniffed.

“Please don’t cry. Your makeup is already a mess,” Melinda grinned.

Faith cry-laughed. “It’s hard doing makeup when you can’t see your face.”

“Then why don’t you and April do each other’s?”

Faith was still playing with the plasma pack. “Are these any good?”

“I don’t know how they compare to actually feeding on someone, but compared to some things my mum has cooked over the years, they’re great. Satisfying.”

“Your mum always made the craziest things. Do you remember the blue lasagne?”

Melinda laughed, “Oh yeah! I remember you pretending to be pleased that she’d made enough for you to take for school lunch for a whole week—“

“— blueberries and beef mince are not a great combination. And my lips and tongue were stained blue the whole time—“

“— and then you puked purple all over yourself in assembly. The teachers thought you had llama disease and isolated you in the chemistry lab.”

The pair collapsed into fits of giggles on the bed.

“Ah, I miss your folks, Mel. They’re both completely bonkers.”

“I know, I do too.” Melinda smiled, sadly.

“We’ll see them again one day, I promise. I’m going to give this hot poison a go, too. And I want to come visit Lilith with you. She seems like she could teach us a lot. I need to get myself under control if I want to see Joy growing up. Someone needs to ensure that she develops only the finest taste in motion pictures and heavy metal music. Plus, I can’t do this hitchhiking thing again. That driver we pulled over tonight tasted disgusting and the look in his eyes…” she shuddered, “I will be having nightmares about necking him for years to come and not just because he had tufts of ear hair.”

Melinda rolled her eyes, but she smiled.

Faith was still there.

21 thoughts on “Chapter 1.27 – Hot Poison

  1. Lol Faith you cute idiot. I’m glad they’re talking again. So Faith’s decision to become a vamp was loyalty too? 😂 Talk about peer pressure.

    “We have eternity.”

    Bahahaha Caleb is the ultimate troll!

    I didn’t read comments for awhile so im not sure if anyone started “hypothesising” Paul’s murder yet. Lilith? Caleb? New vampy? I like the mystery! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know how it is, that age-old situation. All your friends are becoming undead demons of the night in pursuit of eternity with their new love interest and you’re there cleaning up puke at the cinema. Might as well give in to the peer pressure.

      I see that you are not convinced by Mr. Vatore.

      I’m sure this will be revealed. It might just be the wolves in the forest…

      Like

  2. I’m so glad Faith and Melinda finally heart a heart-to-heart! And that the whole Melinda-didn’t-kill-anyone thing came out. Those two are genuinely good for each other. Also, that Faith is still actively thinking about wanting to see Joy grow up is a very good sign, too.
    April and Caleb… well… every time I see a picture of those two together, I’m reminded that he is hundreds of years old, and she is effectively still a teenager. >.<

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, so not two potential vampy ladies for Caleb, 3 potential vampy ladies for Caleb. Lucky dude. I guess Faith has been confirmed to have a thing for men with weird hair, I guess.

    Finally, the reunion of April and Caleb where they… stare at each other 😆 Aww, well, it was kind of cute, I guess, they’re clearly both into it.

    The most romantic thing in the chapter by far was the talk Melinda and Faith finally had. That was so lovely. Huge strides, actually being honest with each other and themselves, actually listening to each other, actually trying… This is big. HUGE. *throws confetti*

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahhhhh OK I am glad Faith just is shitty around April. Yeah, April would be the kind of girl to agree a problematic friend should be offed by a vampire, if it wasn’t for her jealousy to lose said friend to someone else 😂

    “Then why don’t you and April do each other’s?”
    Exactly my thoughtsssss but apparently Mel, again, is the only one with common sense 😏

    April & Caleb.. Duh, I kinda barged too, for multiple reasons 😂
    But if they keep each other busy maybe they’ll bother others less

    Like

  5. Okay. Just so I don´t confuse you, I think there´s two kinds of cute. One is a compliment, and one is actually an insult. With Caleb, it´s most definitely an insult. -.- That´s about all I have to say about the first half of this one.

    Other than that… so Faith had only been trying to keep up the whole time, ech? Interesting how much she can change her behavior to fit her current company. And I see Lilith, or the thought of her and her ways, is already sneaking through to the heart of the group again. *tiny pout* Well, well, well… it /is/ only natural if she´s the only vampire they´d met so far who seems to know what they´re doing. *sigh* Too bad about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh. Am I not sweeping you away with the romance? Hm. Must try harder. 😂

      “Interesting how much she can change her behavior to fit her current company” truer words have never been spoken. Typed? Truer words have never been typed. Hell bent on them becoming monsters, ain’t you?

      Like

      1. *grin* Monsters, such an ugly word. But why not, let´s be brutally honest here. Me? I´m not cheering for them to become monsters. I think they already /are/ monsters. The only question is whether or not they will become capable of coming to terms with that fact fast enough to run that “damage limitation” Faith mentioned… or if they are going to cling to the remnants of humanity they have left until it all goes up in smoke at the most inconvenient time possible. Both for them /and/ the rest of their kind.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah, so is it the vampirism that makes them monsters? Can you not maintain any humanity as a vampire? Once you’re bitten, that’s it? You are what you are, might as well give up everything and crawl into hell? I’m not saying if you’re right or wrong, you’re just the first person to explicitly state this and you’ve got me all excited about where your brain’s at. Yes, I’m weird, you can ignore me if you want. 😆

          Like

          1. *laughs* Why would I ignore you? I have no problem /sharing my thoughts/ about the subject. 😉

            Okay, so to explain properly. Yes and no. Yes, I do believe the vampiric condition changes a lot. Look, by becoming a vampire, you basically become your former species´ natural predator. And dang, isn´t that a lot to take in? I don´t blame all those vamps who can´t make heads or tails of it… I´m just saying what they do is kinda contra-productive.

            But no, I do not believe you should just give up. But to avoid trying /in vain/ you should first stop, drop and THINK. Also feel. Feeling is important. I think that as a vampire, you should first figure out how you work and what your limits are. You probably, unless you´re extra unlucky, don´t really have to /kill/ people. But if you´re squeamish like Mel, try not to drink at all, and don´t have her luck, chances are you /are/ gonna snap and off someone. And guess what? It´s probably gonna be a worse death than by someone who was actually trying to do it.

            So overall? My stance is, know yourself. Accept what you are and work with it, not against it. Be a bit of a monster so you don´t end up a complete monster. Make sense?

            And knowing your own limits includes not thinking you can tough something out just because someone else can. And conversely, not expecting someone to be able to handle something, just because you can. That´s a lot like us humans with exercise and whatever else. We´re all different. If it doesn´t work, it just doesn´t.

            Finally… yeah. I noticed most, if not all, your other commenters still think about the characters as if they were human, too. Honestly, I don´t get that. We´re reading fantasy for a reason. And I do know that being able to relate to the characters is cool and all… but I think that sort of viewpoint creates unrealistic expectations. It´s easy to say “they shouldn´t drink blood.” But if you stop and think about their actual reality… would you try to teach a wolf to eat broccoli? Yeah, didn´t think so. PX

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Ps: Of course, it´s hard to do those things if your master is lousy and doesn´t even teach you basic survival, much less that. *points above* Sometimes, life just really stinks.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. *grin* Absolutely. And that goes for the Vatore siblings as well as the three girls. They´re very different.

                Either way, just wanted to say. Do feel free to express your opinions about my opinions if you have them and if you want to. I won´t mind. 😀 Also, if my logic has holes, do poke at them. (And finally, I won´t pretend there isn´t a bit of me just wanting to watch the dumpster fire motivating that rhetoric, too. Playing a bit of devil´s advocate. But not completely, that idea /can/ stand on its own in my brain. XD)

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Of course, I do have opinions but as the writer I try not to bias anything one way or the other. And who am I to poke holes in logic about creatures who don’t actually exist. 😆

                  Although I will disclose one opinion. I LOVE ME A DUMPSTER FIRE! 🔥🔥🔥

                  Like

                  1. XD Then we are at least partly in agreement. Dumpster fires /are/ fun.

                    Plus I think I could translate all that very simply into writer´s logic as well. Why write about vampires if one isn´t going to use their whole potential, right? I mean, if they´re just teens with a weird craving, there´s no need for the supernatural element. (And I totally don´t think that´s what you´re doing. I know you have tons of very good supernatural lore, which is exactly why I dare to be so bold about my statements here. :D)

                    Liked by 1 person

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