Whilst I was out SF has apparently become the nicheist of niche genres. (When did that happen? Why wasn’t I told?) Apparently it has been completely and totally outsold by the supernatural romance genre, wherein small town girls end up in a dangerous relationship with some flavour of vampire or another.
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So in a reckless and some would say cynical attempt at commercialism I have decided to try my hand at supernatural romance (I have a mortgage to pay after all.) Now my first major hurdle was that I hate vampires. Okay I don’t exactly hate them I just don’t think there have been any interesting fictional ones since Lance Henriksen got sunburn in Near Dark. Don’t believe me? Watch Near Dark and try and imagine what would happen if Henriksen’s character met the characters from Twilight. Admittedly Willem Dafoe as Max Shreck in Shadow of the Vampire was pretty amusing and Spike in Buffy had promise until he souled out (see what I did there?)
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(I’m also pretty annoyed about my local comic shop being transformed into a Twilight/True Blood merchandise franchise. Its like a vampire McDonalds now.)
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However there was help at hand. News of the next big thing, and I want to be part of the next big thing because this is about commercialism, was supplied by the Onion:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/minotaurs-the-new-vampires-says-publishing-executi,17601/ and you should probably check the article out otherwise none of the below is going to make any sense.
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Anyway I hope this doesn’t offend anyone but if it does I would like to say that ARutter at Floor to Ceiling Books (http://floor-to-ceiling-books.blogspot.com/) and the Adamantine Lady practically bullied me into this. Or at least that’s my defence and I’m sticking to it.
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(On a serious note this was done for a laugh and in a bit of a hurry so I haven’t had time to get it proof read so you may have to be a little forgiving (possibly a lot forgiving) of my eccentric approach to the English language.)
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This story will stay up until I get threatened with legal action, possibly by my own publishers.
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Whilst I don’t strictly speaking hate vampires I do utterly hate hobbits with a disproportionate amount of loathing for a fictional race. I actually like Kender more than I like hobbits.
* * *
So hate filled preamble aside, may I present, with the requisite degree of self-loathing:
Experiments in paranormal romance part 1:
Sandra couldn’t help but glance at the new boy. Everything about him said edgy, everything about him said attitude. From the new rock boots, to the black drainpipe jeans, to the black eyeliner and nail polish and the haircut that looked like a collision between a flock of dyed black seagulls.
She could feel his inner turmoil and angst radiate across the classroom like a pulsing beacon of angst and inner turmoil. There was something about him, something different, something that, like Celion Dion’s face, suggested that he’d be happier grazing rather than stuck in a classroom.
Sandra knew she should try harder to be like the other girls. She dressed in black, wore too much eyeliner but she was just too damn tall and slender. She would never be short and plump enough, no matter how many second breakfasts she had. It didn’t matter that she risked her own mobility by going barefoot and wore the latest foot wig; she just knew that the three coolest boys in school would never notice her.
The Phylia brothers: Capra, Zenon and Emet. She almost moaned as she thought about them. They were sex on a very small stick. The three vampire hobbit brothers had transferred to Cretin High as part of the educational diversity programme in the wake of the secret races, or meta-humanity, revealing themselves to the world at large.
Sandra, like all the girls in the school, had almost immediately come under their spell. They were just so cool with their pointy canines, black velvet clothes, podgy faces, potbellies and hairy feet. The three bothers ruled the school. It was every girl’s slightly moist dream to be chosen as a vessel. Those that had been drank from said it was even more pleasurable than the funny feeling you got reading certain passages in Charlaine Harris books.
Still there was something about the new boy, Morris, his eyes were deep soulful pools hiding some inner pain or a fervent wish not to be turned into the ingredients of a happy meal.
The bell signalling the end of the class awoke her from her boy shaped reverie. She looked up and Morris was gone, or rather he was struggling to fit his head through the door of the classroom and leave.
* * *
“Hello!” Clarissa trilled as she skipped up to Sandra in the bustling school corridor. Sandra resisted the urge to punch her.
Clarissa was Sandra’s best friend and Sandra pretty much loathed her. Clarissa was short and fat and had been bitten three times. Once by Capra and most recently by Capra and Emet at the same time! She was like a slutty blood drive! Sandra was irritated to see that Clarissa still wore the scarf that covered all the scabs on her neck. Yes, short, fat and scabby, oh how Sandra envied Clarissa.
“I caught Zenon staring at my neck in Physics today. He’s the only one who hasn’t bit me yet you know?”
Yes I know you wizened, scabby skank, Sandra thought, you only tell me every time I see you. Why don’t you offer to show me the scabs again?
“Would you like to see my love wounds?” Clarissa asked. Bitch, Sandra thought. “They are a mark of honour and devotion in vampire hobbit society.”
Love wounds? Love wounds! You vapid bite-whore, Sandra thought venomously. Sandra once again was trying hard to resist the urge to commit violence against her so-called best friend. She would have liked to be happy for Clarissa and her success with the cool guys except that Clarissa had to rub her face in it all the time. Next to Clarissa she just felt so tall and slender and not dumpy at all. That and she was incredibly jealous of Clarissa being bitten.
“They’re just after your blood you know?” Sandra said pettishly. She had hoped to upset Clarissa but instead a look of mock sympathy came over the other girl’s face.
“Oh, don’t be like that Sandra. I want to share this with you.” Yes, like a venereal disease, Sandra thought. “I’m sure your turn will come. Maybe if you put on a few pounds and walked with a stoop?”
Sandra felt like crying, all she did was eat and eat and eat. Burgers, pizzas, cream cakes, sugar filled fizzy drinks but she could never put on any damn weight! At this rate if the Phylia brothers ever did get round to biting her they would be biting into furred up solid veins of fat. Never had she felt so unattractive.
“Why don’t we go to the bathroom and I can give you some tips on how to make yourself more attractive?” Clarissa said.
Oh go and die you fat cow, Sandra thought but she allowed herself to be pulled towards the bathroom.
Sandra was idly wondering what it would be like to stick her black painted fingernails into another human being’s eyes when suddenly they were there. All three of them resplendent in black velvet, dyed black hair, guy liner and foot nudity. They were like short, dumpy absences of light, not one of them more than three and a half feet tall. They parted the students in the corridor like three tiny, goth Moseses parting a hormonally charged, adolescent red sea. Each of them carrying a designer step ladder, this semester’s must have accessory. They seemed to be walking in sexy slow motion as well.
Girls and some guys stared at them, desperately trying to be cool. The rest of the guys tried not glare at them. You didn’t want to get on the wrong side of the Phylia brothers, after all they stood up for all the outsiders, individuals and edgy loaners who dressed just like them and hung around with them.
Emet saw someone he liked in the crowd. He split away from the other two, still moving in slow motion so as not to spoil the effect and to give people more time to marvel at the unruly mess of his hair that he’d spent hours and a tonne of product on this morning.
Sandra recognised the girl but didn’t know her name. She felt a degree of satisfaction in the way that Clarissa tensed as Emet sidled up to the girl. The girl was leaning against the wall and somehow managing to twirl hair that looked like it had been gelled into a solid. Emet unfolded the stepladder and clambered up it to lean against the wall next to her. There was a collective gasp from all of the girls and some of the guys in the corridor. It looked like he was going to feed from her there and then! But instead Emet just leaned in close to her and started whispering into the girl’s ear.
“That bitch!” Clarissa hissed. “Look at her, she’s five foot eight if she’s an inch! And I’ve seen more fat in a low fat yoghurt!”
Sandra would have loved to take pleasure in the other girl’s jealousy except that she was jealous as well. They were just so cool, and edgy and short, like the dangerous hairy-footed teddy bear you never had when you were young or some kind of sexy shorn ewok.
Then Zenon and Capra were level with Clarissa and Sandra. It had taken so long to reach them because they were still walking in slow motion. Both the vampire hobbits turned to look at Clarissa. Clarissa smiled in what she thought was a sultry and coquettish manner though Sandra thought it made her look like a sexually frustrated hamster. Both of the diminutive vampires were too cool to smile back. They managed to communicate “Hey, how you doin’?” with just their smouldering blood junkie eyes alone. Next to her short, rotund friend Sandra wished she was dead. Actually she wished she was shorter and more rotund but nevertheless she felt uncomfortable and jealous.
Then it happened. It was just for a second but it happened. Sandra was sure it happened. It must have happened because her knees went weak and er… there were other physiological effects. Just for a moment Zenon wasn’t looking at Clarissa, he was looking at her, at Sandra. It was like his yellow, blood shot eyes saw straight through into her soul. Like he really knew her, y’know? Sandra tried desperately not to collapse. Then it was over. Even that one look was better than reading a Charlaine Harris novel on your own, late at night, with one hand.
“Did you see! Did you see!” Zenon looked at me. Clarissa trilled resulting in looks that promised imminent murder from nearby girls.
Clarissa began to drag Sandra excitedly towards the bathroom so they could deconstruct and analyse the phenomena that was now known simply as “the look”. Even Clarissa’s inane babble didn’t bother Sandra now because she knew the truth. Zenon, widely regarded to be the hottest of the three mini-hotties, hadn’t looked at Clarissa. He had looked at her.
As she let Clarissa drag her towards the bathroom Sandra couldn’t help but notice the new boy. The one with the odd shaped head and the horns. The one that there was just something about him that she couldn’t quite put her finger on. He was watching her, practically staring at her with the deep, sad pools of his eyes. She could have sworn she heard a sort of mournful mooing, like that of an angst ridden, anguished cow.
* * *
“Hey did you see the new boy? I think his name’s Morris. What a freak. Capra thinks he may even be one of the lesser races,” Clarissa said as the walked into the girl’s bathroom. Sandra wasn’t sure why but when Clarissa was being nasty about the new boy it annoyed her more than listening to Clarissa normally did.
Suddenly Clarissa let out a frightened squeak. The shorter girl then cleared her throat and let out a scream much more in keeping with slasher fiction. Sandra jumped at the scream and then turned to look at the cause. Lying on the floor, looking not unlike the desiccated corpse of a bug caught in a spider web, was Troy McSpiegel, quarter back of the football team and, until the introduction of the metahuman diversity programme, considered the hottest piece of boyflesh on campus. Sandra and he had dated back when he was captain of the football team and she was head cheerleader and people had cared about such things. He was obviously very, very dead.
“Oh my god!” Sandra said.
He’d been a jerk but then he was a boy, not like the ageless charm of Zenon, stop it! Must focus! What to do? Find a teacher. Why was he dead in the girl’s bathroom? Whilst these thoughts were running through Sandra’s head Clarissa turned to look at her taller bestest friend ever.
“It must be the new boy!” Clarissa said with conviction and malice in her voice. “He’s one of the lower races after all.”
Clarissa’s tone cut through Sandra’s panicked train of thought.
“What are you talking about?” Sandra demanded.
“Well don’t you think its funny that he turns up in school and Troy gets killed. I used to think he was so cool as well but that was BP.”
“BP?” Sandra asked despite herself.
“Before Phylia. I suppose it could be BPB, Before Phylia Brothers.”
Sandra couldn’t shake the feeling that Clarissa actually thought she was being clever. Sandra tried to resist the urge to scream.
“Corpse! Focus!” Sandra said in a tight sounding voice.
“Oh right. Should we tell the teachers, maybe we should just get the Phylias to deal with the freak?”
“What?! Stop calling him that!” Sandra said. Clarissa stared at her friend like she’d gone nuts.
“What why? He looks weird, it was obviously him.”
“Clarissa the corpse is completely drained of blood!” Sandra cried, exasperated.
“Who do we know who likes drinking blood?”
Clarissa looked at Sandra mystified. Sandra, exploring dizzying new heights of exasperation, tore Clarissa’s scarf from her neck and pointed at the wounds on her “friend’s” neck. Realisation dawned on Clarissa’s features like the sun rising over a particularly dozy landscape.
“You must be joking…they wouldn’t…”
“What? Drink blood? Are you serious?”
“But what makes you think this was done by vampire hobbits?”
“Other than the blood drinking?” Sandra asked. Clarissa nodded. “How about the bite marks on the ankles?”
“They are quite short,” Clarissa conceded. “But the new boy…”
“Has a huge mouth with lots of flat teeth and the strange horn like protrusions on his head would prevent him from getting close enough to the ground to bite ankles.” Sandra said. Besides she thought, he was so buff he could have torn Troy apart with his hands if he wanted. Clarissa looked at her suspiciously. Sandra was a little taken back by her own detailed observations of the new boy. “He couldn’t have possibly made those marks.”
“But they’re only little and they’re so cool and they have such nice hair,” Clarissa whined
“That doesn’t give them the right to exsanguinate people!”
“Are you sure?”
“But under the new metahumanity laws…”
“Maybe we should hide the body?”
“But then they’ll really like us. One of them might bite you and they might even turn me,” Clarissa said lost in her own fantasy of eternal, plump darkness. Sandra just stared at her.
“We need to call the police,” Sandra said.
Clarissa fixed her with a venomous glare.
“You’re just jealous!” Clarissa spat. “You want to ruin everything because they’ve never noticed you!”
Something hit home.
“Look Sandra I’m as upset as you, I would never do anything to hurt them but this is wrong. Look Troy was a jerk but he didn’t deserve to end up a dried up husk on the floor of the girl’s bathroom.”
Sandra could see Clarissa welling up. She could feel herself welling up. Oh why did it have to be her who found the body just after Zenon had noticed her? Just after he’d bought a new a taller Prada stepladder. She would be the most hated girl in school. She’d be lucky if she made it through the semester with out at least one serious assassination attempt from an ex-blood donor.
“I want them just as much,” Sandra said and it was true but suddenly Morris’ strangely bovine features swam into her mind.
“No!” Clarissa said and pushed Sandra hard into the wall. “It’s not real for you! They don’t care about you!” The other girl pointed at her neck. “You don’t have any love wounds!”
Sandra stared at the other girl. She felt Clarissa’s words like daggers, made of words. She felt tears stream down her cheeks. The truth of her friend’s words drove home like a stake through a sexy, hobbit vampire’s heart. No! Don’t think about stakes!
Sexy vampire hobbits aside, Sandra could not believe that Clarissa could be so mean. They had been friends from childhood. Sandra had even talked to her when, as head cheerleader, she was the most popular girl in the school and this was despite the threat of social damage that being seen with a nerd like Clarissa could have caused. She’d told Clarissa all about her boyfriends. She’d held Clarissa when she cried because even the ugly guys wouldn’t look at her because she was so short. She’d been a good friend!
A look of low animal cunning spread across Clarissa’s face like a stupid sun rising over a particularly malicious planet.
“I’m telling them what you said!” Clarissa hissed triumphantly. “Then they’ll want me more. Then maybe they’ll turn me into a vampire as well!” And with that Clarissa ran out of the bathroom.
Sandra’s heart was beating like Ginger Baker playing Toad (look it up). She couldn’t believe that Clarissa would turn on her like that, all for the favour of three black clad, eyeliner wearing half pints. Oh who was she kidding, she’d feed the nasty little cow to a troll if she thought they’d notice her. But again she couldn’t help thinking about Morris’ odd shaped head.
She glanced down at Troy’s corpse. It seemed to be staring at her in corpse-like exasperation. She should do something, she thought. Oh yes the cops. She reached into her bag but then remembered that she had (conveniently) left her phone in her locker. (NB: I am aware that for many people under the age of thirty a mobile phone is pretty much a cybernetic implant so I apologise for this contrived plot device.)
* * *
Sandra fled from the bathroom and the exsanguinated corpse of her jerk ex-boyfriend. As she half ran and half staggered towards her locker, tears of pure, dreadful angst and pain ran down her cheeks in rivulets of black eyeliner.
As she made for her locker she saw him again. The new boy. Morris, if that was his name. He was stood further down the corridor and was staring at her with his dark, dark eyes. She felt herself go “funny” for the second time today but it was weird as well, the way he was always seemed to be looking at her. Well twice anyway.
Sandra reached her locker and opened it.
“Hey babe,” Zenon said. He was hanging upside down in her locker. Hey babe? Suddenly vampire hobbits didn’t seem so suave. That said she still got that weak kneed, Charlaine Harris feeling.
“Er hi,” she said and was peering at him coquettishly and twirling her hair before she realised she was even doing it. Then the fear hit her. Had Clarissa already told them? Had Zenon turned to mist and drifted into her locker with the view of murdering her and making it look like some tragic locker mishap?
Still he looked so cute hanging upside down in her locker. Like he belonged there somehow. She felt herself blush as she looked into his dreamy, bloodshot, yellow eyes.
“So, d’you like want to go to the gym and make out?” he asked her in his sexy, squeaky, high-pitched voice.
It was her turn, she cried out internally!
“Uhh sure,” she said.
Zenon smiled. They were right this was better than alone time with a vampire novel. No! The murder! Poor Troy’s body in the bathroom!
“Um I mean no,” she managed.
His smile disappearing was one of the most heartbreaking things that she’d ever seen. It was worst than Bambi’s mother dying. It was the emotional equivalent of having her heart savaged by an angry honey badger on performance enhancing drugs.
“I mean yes…I’m sorry it’s just…” you’re murderous little ankle biter and I’m in love with the boy with the soulful eyes and the odd shaped head, she finished in her head. Then she felt like slapping herself but she knew that made boys think that she was a little odd. What was she thinking? This was the sort of opportunity that had made at least one other girl the same height as her saw off the bottom part of both her legs so she could be shorter.
“So what is it?” Zenon squeaked staring at Sandra’s particularly long neck.
Sandra knew she had to go. She had to feel his little hands on her face, feel his sharp little teeth break her skin and drink of her crimson nectar. She had to feel the ecstasy of his small dark embrace.
“Er…yes lets go the gym and make out,” Sandra said in a small, frightened voice. Surely the fear was all part of the thrill of making out with a vampire. Even one with hairy feet who stood only three and a half feet tall.
Zenon gave her the sort of smouldering look that could have ignited crepe paper.
“I’ll get my step ladder,” he squeaked.
* * *
She was the queen of the school again. Except this time she was the dark queen of the school! Zenon held her hand in one of his tiny hands, on the other arm he carried his stepladder, or the blood ladder as she had heard some of the in-crowd describe it.
All heads turned towards her as she walked down the gauntlet that was the school corridor. She could see the girls glaring at her. Hear them mutter that she was too tall, too thin, too blonde, her hair was too straight, she wasn’t buxom enough but she didn’t care. The sexiest of the sexy vampire hobbits had chosen her.
An odd shaped shadow fell across them both. Sandra looked up to see the new boy, Morris towering, over her with his odd shaped head and his powerful, ripped body…stop it! She told herself.
“Sandra don’t,” he said. His voice was soft and deep, like an edgy, dark and very thick duvet. Though Sandra thought she’d detected a strange noise at the end of his sentence.
“Did you just moo at me?” she asked the new boy.
“Actually we prefer the term lowing.”
Zenon was staring at the new boy in what he hoped was a deeply sinister manner. Morris, in return, was demonstrating that he was dangerous, yet vulnerable.
“They just want your blood they don’t care about you. They can and will take it from anyone,” Morris told her quietly, the end of each sentence punctuated by a gentle mooing, sorry, lowing.
Sandra found that she couldn’t pull her eyes away from the deep, dark, pools of Morris’ eyes. She knew he was right. She knew that she meant nothing to the Phylia brothers but still the coolest boy in the school was holding her hand for all to see.
“Blood is life and magic and other naughtier things Sandra. There is nothing more important,” Zenon squeaked sinisterly.
“To a tick,” Morris added but then he was predisposed to be troubled by such parasites.
“And you care about me?” Sandra asked Morris breathlessly. As one all the heads in the school corridor turned to look at Morris.
“I…” he began and then mooed…lowed some more. Morris like all teenage boys and indeed boys of most ages was an emotional cripple and as such almost physiologically unable to express his feelings particularly in front of a corridor full of his peers. He at least had the common courtesy to hang his head in shame. Sandra felt her heart harden.
“Look, teen dramas aside, stalking someone and staring at them moodily is not the best way to get a girlfriend,” she told Morris, though Zenon also looked a little unsure about her statement.
“C’mon lets go and give you your first love wound,” Zenon said and then took some time to sneer at Morris. Morris didn’t look up. Sandra and Zenon squeezed past the massive bulk of the new boy.
* * *
Sandra and Zenon walked into the gym. Sandra tried hard to hide the excitement, best not to look to eager, best to try and practice an air of cool disinterest, haughty almost. Except she was here with the coolest boy in school and he wanted her!
“It’s you Sandra, it’s always been you. I think I may want to turn you. You’re so special…” Zenon said in his high-pitched voice. Sandra was too excited by the words to notice the bored disinterest of the tone they were delivered in. It was almost as if Zenon had said them many, many times before.
Still if only she could get the image of Morris alone, lost and vulnerable in the sea, or possibly small stream, of students in the corridor where she’d left him.
The music was a nice touch Zenon thought. Chicks always dig the music. The song started playing over the gym’s loudspeakers. It was the kind of song that sounded like the ghost of heavy metal played by a nicely turned out boy band. It spoke of the pain and outsiderism that everyone could identify with. It spoke of the agony of being young, beautiful, of having no responsibilities and being horribly misunderstood. It spoke of the oppression of the older generation and really, really, really not wanting to tidy up your room.
Zenon unfolded his designer stepladder and clambered up it so he was level with the pulsing vein on her neck. He could almost hear the dark nectar of life, her scarlet ambrosia pulsing through her. Sandra felt his forbidden hunger (figuratively, calm down, it’s not that much of a euphemism), it hung in the air like the musk of a tundra dwelling herd animal. Her heart hammered in her chest like John Bonham playing Moby Dick (look it up).
Zenon’s canines extended as he leant in to give her his toothy kiss of bloody ecstasy. Sandra thrilled as she felt his teeth against her skin. She felt goose flesh appear as her body eagerly anticipated the pleasure that would flood her body with his dental penetration of her neck.
“Ow,” she said. It really hurt. It was kind of like being chewed on. She wasn’t sure she liked it at all.
“What?” Zenon demanded impatiently, his is mouth wet and red with her blood.
“Well it kind of hurts,” she said.
“Pain is pleasure baby,” Zenon said.
“Uh huh,” she said unconvinced but let him go back to chewing her neck. Any time now, she thought, pleasure will just flood through my body and I will be in the dark clutches of ecstasy. Any time now. Or now. Nope. In fact it felt more like an angry but inept gerbil was savaging her neck
“Okay stop!” she said. Zenon moved away from her neck, more of her blood covering his face.
“What now!?” he demanded pettishly. “Don’t you know every girl in the school would die for this opportunity?”
“To be nibbled on by a little guy?” It was out of her mouth before she could stop it.
Zenon fixed her with his sexiest look of malice from atop the blood ladder.
“You’d better watch yourself babe, we are in touch with a primal force of darkness. We are not the hobbits with which to trifle,” he said trying to force his squeaky voice to be as low and menacing as possible.
“Look I’m sorry I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. Why don’t you go and get one of those girls who’d die for the pleasure and I’ll go and get a band aid from the school nurse?” and wear a polo-neck for the next month she silently added.
Zenon’s tiny face became incandescent with anger. What’s his problem, Sandra wondered?
“You don’t reject me longshanks! Who do you think you are!? We reject you!” he screamed, losing it utterly.
Sandra backed away, shocked at the high-pitched fury of his outburst. She was starting to feel a little frightened. Short or not the Phylias were strong, fast and not afraid to go for the ankles.
“There she is! That’s her!” Clarissa screamed.
Sandra whipped her head around to see Clarissa standing in the doorway to the gym. Casually leaning against the wall on either side of the door looking cool, dangerous and short were Emet and Capra.
“She was going to tell on you to the police and the head!” Sandra’s ex-best friend was still screaming and pointing at her. It was starting to look bad.
“Tell on us for what?” Zenon squeaked dangerously.
“She said that you killed Troy but I knew it wasn’t you, you’re all too…”
Sandra almost slapped herself in the head, she’d completely forgotten about Troy.
“It was us,” Capra said.
“We’re vampires, it’s what we do,” Emet said.
“We kill foolish mortals and feed on them,” Zenon said.
“But you do it in a cool and sexy way,” Clarissa said hopefully.
“Not really,” Sandra said clutching her savaged neck.
“You are too base to appreciate our dark gift,” he said, glaring at her.
“I appreciate your dark gift,” Clarissa said and actually put her hand up.
“Yeah, she appreciates your dark gift, can I go now?” Sandra asked hopefully.
Zenon’s head whipped around to look at her, his canines extended giving his features a bestial tint, like that of a small terrier with anger management issues. Sandra stepped back, more surprised than frightened when he hissed at her, spraying her with her own neck blood.
“That’s disgusting,” Sandra complained.
“No one gets out of here alive,” Zenon hissed. Sandra didn’t think that sounded good.
“Uh boss…?” Emet said.
Zenon closed his eyes in consternation.
“Except us Emet, though strictly speaking we are the undead,” Zenon muttered.
“Are you going to turn me?” Clarissa trilled excitedly.
“No we’re going to kill you,” Zenon told her.
“Why?” an appalled Clarissa asked.
“So we don’t leave any witnesses to Troy’s death.”
Sandra lost it.
“Witnesses! He had all his blood drained through bite marks in his ankle! It’s hardly going to take the grunge stylings of Columbo to work out who did it you half pint half wit!”
Zenon turned to her, now even more incandescent with rage. He was incandescent plus. He was making the previous incandescence look like some kind of diet incandescence of rage. He’d gone up to eleven in the incandescence of rage stakes. He was furious in the way that only really short people can get. He was a one angry hobbit.
“Kill them both,” he whispered sinisterly, only just able to speak through the previously mentioned incandescence of rage.
“Sorry I didn’t catch that,” Capra said straining to hear.
“Me neither and I’m standing right here,” Sandra did herself no favours by saying.
“KILL THEM BOTH! IN FACT NO, KILL EVERYONE!” Zenon screamed. The veins on his face were standing out to such an extent that he’d practically turned blue.
“Sandra I love you!” Morris screamed as the doors to the gym swung open and crashed into the wall hitting both Emet and Capra, disturbing their cool posing.
To prove his love for Sandra he tore open his black shirt revealing his rippling, disturbingly pale, boy flesh of muscles and a six pack of the like no goth has ever had before.
“I’m sorry I was too frightened to tell you in a corridor of my peers and risk ridicule and rejection in the face of your apparent smitteness with the coolest hobbit in school,” he said in a rush and then proved that despite his size and awesome physical power he wasn’t afraid to cry for the right girl in the correct, and by correct I mean angst ridden and dramatic, circumstances.
Mist started to flow under the doors to the gym, which had pretty much been imbedded into the wall by Morris’ entry.
Through the tears Morris saw Sandra’s bleeding neck. He saw red, literally. He turned to glare at Zenon. Where Sandra’s blood had soaked into Zenon’s black velvet shirt it had turned the material purple. Now he saw purple!
“I defy your dark midgetry,” he told Zenon and then mooed his low and dangerous battle moo.
Zenon climbed up to the top of his blood ladder and brought himself up to his full height, all three and a half feet of it.
“Prepare to die vegetarian,” Zenon hissed. Sandra backed away from the vampire hobbit.
Morris lowered his odd shaped head and charged.
Stood on top of the ladder, Zenon extended his canines and his claws and started to make horrible high-pitched screaming noise.
Zenon stood and screamed.
Morris charged some more.
Morris stood and screamed some more.
Morris felt the impact as he trampled the blood ladder. He looked up but Zenon was gone. Morris cursed. Vampires, even hobbit vampires, were fast strong and masters of stealth.
“Em…” Sandra said and pointed at Morris’ head. Morris reached up and started feeling around his head. Zenon was limp, impaled by one of Morris’ horns. Sandra decided that she liked Morris and wanted him to be her boyfriend but she didn’t think he was terribly bright.
It was over. Morris turned to look at Sandra. She saw his love in those deep dark eyes. Then oddly Morris began to dance.
“Ow! Ow! Ow! Gerrof of me!” Morris screamed.
Capra and Emet had solidified back into their sexy, goth, vampire hobbit form and had attacked Morris’ ankles. Each of them was clamped onto an ankle gnawing at it like a beaver doing home improvement.
“Ow! Ah! That really hurts!” Morris shouted still doing the vampire hobbit ballet. Finally he managed to kick Emet off. The hobbit flew across the gym and thumped into the backboard of the basketball net before plummeting to the ground.
With Emet off his ankle Morris was able to engage in some stylish, slow motion, fight choreography with Capra. He repeatedly stamped on the little guy’s head. Eventually Capra turned to mist, as did Emet as they escaped like two henchhobbits seeking better parts in the inevitable sequel.
Sandra and Morris turned to look at Clarissa. Clarissa was in tears, shaking with rage. Her world had just fallen down around her ears. The one sexy boy in the school who hadn’t yet inflicted a love wound on her was now being worn as a hat.
“You’ve ruined everything!” she spat.
“Clarissa I’m sorry but they weren’t very nice,” Sandra told her, still holding her throbbing neck.
“I’ll get you back if it’s the last thing I do, you, you…cattle lover!” Clarissa screamed dramatically in her bid to be in the sequel. Then she fled the gym. Sandra was confused, she didn’t understand the cattle lover remark but decided to pay it no heed.
Sandra turned to Morris and looked into his eyes. Morris, who wasn’t terribly experienced with girls, wasn’t quite sure what to do.
“You can kiss me if you want,” she told him.
As Morris leant forward to kiss Sandra Zenon struck. Just as they were to consummate their burgeoning edgy, interspecies relationship through the medium of tongues and saliva Zenon had his revenge. One of Zenon’s limp legs slipped off Morris’ massive head and his foot caught Sandra in the face.
* * *
By and by when Sandra returned to consciousness she found herself looking up at Morris’s odd shaped head. Zenon’s legs could be seen hanging over his forehead messing up the hair that Morris had worked so long and hard to get to look messed up.
They didn’t say anything, their love ran deeper than that. Instead she reached up and touched his face, running her hands all over it.
“You have soft downy fur all over your face,” Sandra said, apparently their love didn’t run that deep. “And horns and a head shaped like a cow”
Morris looked at her angstely and swallowed hard.
“Say it,” he said.
“You…you’re…a Minotaur…” she gasped.
“Are you afraid?” he asked, frightened by what her answer might be.
“Not really, it just means that my boyfriend will have the head of a cow.”
“Bull actually, it’s an important distinction.” Then he let what she’d said sink into his bovine skull. “Did you say boyfriend?”
Sandra nodded gazing up at him like a cute Disney songbird that had wondered into a Carpenters’ song.
“You don’t care if I’m tall, slender and beautiful,” she said and he nodded in agreement. “You don’t care that my neck isn’t covered in scabs.”
“No Sandra, I don’t,” he told her earnestly.
“You don’t care if I start dressing in bright colours and listening to relentless cheerful music…”
“You don’t care if I stop gorging myself to put on weight to be like the hobbits and instead starve myself to try and get some unobtainable figure.”
Sandra, careful of Zenon’s legs, pulled him down towards her and kissed him. He tasted like grass.
* * *
As they started to get to know each other on the blood stained floor of the school gym, to really look inside each others’ souls like no two other carbon based life forms in the history of anything had ever, ever before, Sandra realised that through her edgy and dangerous cross species love with a boy with the head of a farmyard animal she had learnt a valuable lesson: That sometimes to find a good heart you need to look beyond the deep, edgy, sexy loners and all their friends to see the deep, edgy, sexy loner who likes grazing.
Besides compared to a hobbit a Minotaur had to be much more well…