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Kiss of Death

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I awoke suddenly and to my realization, I was lying in the community cemetery in damp clothes and knotted hair. I sat up groggily and searched around for any clues of why I might be here.

“Hello,” I called into the fog. “Is anyone there?”

Only the answers of whistling wind. I blinked once and stared into the distance and saw a figure approaching. I blinked again. Closer. Blink. Closer. Blink. The figure lingered only a few inches away. Suddenly I broke out into a blood curdling scream and softness cradled my body. I opened my eyes and looked around the darkened area. I saw posters staring at me and blood red numbers reading 2:36. I breathed a sigh of relief and knew I was in my room. I took a few deep breaths to calm my nerves. I knew I couldn’t sleep now. I thrashed the blankets off of me and got up and opened my windows to let in the autumn breeze. I squinted to see through the darkened sky. I had to strain my eyes from the lamppost lights to see. When I looked on the sidewalk, I saw a boy.

This boy had snow white colored hair, which was shoulder length and his bangs swooshed to the sides, were dyed pitch dark. His skin was a very pale white. His dark eyes caught my gaze and he dashed behind a tree. He didn’t make any noise which was strange, because you could see no grass, only leaves. I turned around and breathed, thinking I was going crazy. I looked back out my window and he was by neither the tree nor the sidewalk, but directly under my window. He kinda smiles as he tilts his head upward, and as he smiles, I see two glistening oversized teeth. When I look into his eyes, they turn blood red and a low but loud hiss gurgles from his throat. I gasp, and quickly turn around.

“I must be going crazy.” I said to myself spinning in circles.

When I looked back he was by the curb staring into the night sky. I hurry to put on my robe and run outside without shoes. I burst through the door quietly and search the front yard where he was standing by the curb. No sign of the boy.

“Hello?” I whispered. “Are you there?” Nothing but the crunching of leaves on the cold ground beneath my painted toes and sore feet.

I gaze around slowly, when I look back towards my window; I feel a slight drop in temperature and a presence like no other.

I turn around carefully and there he is.

“My name is Salem, Salem Emerson.” He said in a stone cold voice; eyes as bright as night.

“Hi, my name is Marla Roberts, but most people call me-“

“Most people call you Sunny.”

“Um…Yeah, how did you know that?”

“I’ve been here for awhile.” He replies.

“Well, I think I'm gonna go try and get some sleep.” I reply stepping backwards, as I step back, I start to fall.

Before I hit the ground, Salem had me on my feet again and his arms hugged snugly around my waist. He was cold to the touch which sent chills rushing up my spine.

He lets go.

“Go. Get some rest.” Salem says, pointing towards the door.

I turn on my heel and start walking, the ground as hard as rock.

Before reaching the front door, I turned around and asked, “If you’ve been here for awhile, why haven’t I seen you until now?”

“You should sleep, yes?” He asks darkly.

“Yes.” I turn on my heel and walk to my front door. As I open the door to my ancient house I turn around to say goodnight to Salem, but he is already out of sight.

I make my way through the creaky hallways and up to my safe bedroom thinking of my encounter with Salem. I lay down on my black blankets, I look at the numbers, and they are blinking 2:43. I close my eyes and an image of Salem comes into my mind.

I shudder as the image disappears. I enter a dark and dreamless sleep.

I am awakened by the smell of hotcakes being prepared downstairs; the now light red numbers were blinking 9:12.

As I turn to lay on my side, I noticed a neatly folded piece of paper with my name written on the front in unrecognizable hand-writing. By my name lay a black rose. I open the letter delicately, hoping not to make noise or wrinkle it. It read:

Dearest Marla,


Meet me if you please, by the big church on Elm Street. Only if you wish, you shall come. I am hoping to see you there. Anytime is swell.. Just think of a time, and then say, Marla. But only in your head. If you do this, you need to be there at exactly that time. Choose wisely, now.

Simply,

Salem Vincent Emerson

I fold this paper up, as gently as I unfolded it. I savored it as if it was a treasure. I rush over to my window and search for Salem. I peer out the window, ready to think of a time. “Seven-thirty tonight. Marla.” I think loudly. It echoes loudly inside my head.

I fall to the ground with a sudden thud; my head hits the ground first. At least that’s what I thought, but I didn’t hit the ground, I was floating in mid-air.

I hear the sudden sound of a gasp and fall to the ground.

“What was that?” My dad, Brett asks.

“Um… I was practicing… um… balance?” I say questioningly.

“Okay. Well. We have fresh off the stove-top hotcakes. Hurry up before they turn cold.”

“Fine. I’ll be right down, dad.”

My dad nods and heads downstairs carrying his coffee and newspaper; muttering to himself shoving the newspaper between his arm and his side.

I stand up, grasping for my bed.

“What was that about?” I think aloud looking at the spot where I ‘hit’ my head.

As I look around, everything seems brighter. There is a sudden surging pain on my neck; I clutched my neck carefully, trying to search for the throbbing pain.

I feel two open, raised bumps. I run hurriedly to my bathroom and move my hair behind my shoulder. I was aghast from what I saw. It looked like a bite-mark. Indeed it was, when I looked closer, I saw that it was quite deep.

I looked under the cabinet for bandages and found one with stars on it. I put it over the mark. I was careful not to put too much pressure on it, so it wouldn’t be sore. I rushed to my room and threw on some clothes I found on the floor. Nothing too impressive, but nothing under improvised.

I swiftly made it down the stairs, careful not to show my pain. Once I reached the last step, I took a deep breath in and shouted a beautiful, “Good morning, lovely family.”

My dad replied with a wave. The only happy reply I received was from Aleu, my blue-eyed Siberian husky. She yipped happily and jumped around.

I plopped down on the hard, cold chair.

“Serve me some hotcakes, please, Daddy-o.”

“Coming right up, Marls.” My dad said getting up to go to the kitchen to grab me some hotcakes.

I guzzled down the hotcakes with hot sticky syrup all soaked up inside. My throat was burning with a sweet goodness. When they reached my stomach, something did not agree with it very well.

I rushed to the bathroom. I barely made it before chunky bits of not so fresh hotcakes came gushing out.

“What’s wrong, Marla?” Dad called from the kitchen.

“I guess I ate the hotcakes too fast or something.”

“Probably; get up into bed and I’ll bring you some carbonated water or something.”

“Thanks but no thanks. I have to go out for my walk, but maybe this time, I’ll go around near the church, if that’s all right with you?”

“That’s fine. Be home by noon. You hear?”

“Yes sir.”

I rinsed my mouth and sloshed it around in my mouth.

“Bye dad. Love you.” I said loudly before thrashing the door shut.

I heard a muffled farewell, but continued down the walk-way.

The only thing on my mind was the fact of being bitten by something; suddenly, a true but hard to believe fact pops into my mind.

Salem had two oversized teeth; there could be an obvious answer. He had to be a vampire. But, vampires are a myth; or so I thought.

“OHMYGOD!” I screamed into the open world. “I’m meeting a possible vampire tonight at seven-thirty, for god knows what reason.” I whispered through gritted teeth and stopped in my tracks.

I trudged forward thinking of my soon to be second, but real, encounter with Salem Emerson, a mysteriously gorgeous guy.

I slowly paced, only moving forwards; but my head turning in all directions.

Every little noise I hear makes me shudder, I flinch at every shadow; my mind and heart in a race of which is going faster. I couldn’t even walk in a straight line, I was sure I was putting one foot in front of the other, but my eyesight was fuzzy; I couldn’t see my hand right in front of my face.

I stopped in my tracks and position myself to sit on the cold hard cement sidewalk. Instead of landing on the sidewalk, I land softly and delicately on the grass. Soft and comfortable is better than rough and hard.

“Holy-“I say.

“Holy what?” A familiar voice whispers behind me; this voice always makes me shudder.

“Don’t… do… that… ever again!” I say between breaths, but I shout the last part.

“Sorry, Sunny, I didn’t mean to startle you.” Cobalt says gripping my shoulders.

“Cobalt, what are you doing here?” I ask shrugging his hands off.

“Hey, you take this route every morning. Don’t you ever think people could be watching you? Or even stalking you?” Cobalt asks in a creepy voice.

“I tend not to think about the more negative things that could happen in life, such as those you mentioned.” I reply standing up, this time more balanced.

“Let me help you.” Cobalt says taking my hand.

“So, I'm guessing you saw what happened?” I ask pulling my hands free.

“That and I am just a nice guy in general.”

“HA!” I shout and leave him standing there speechless. “Never!”

“You’ll regret that decision!” Cobalt shouted after me. I didn’t have the heart to turn around.

By the time I was finished with Cobalt it was ten-thirty, so I was left with about an hour and a half to get connected with Elm Street’s Church.

The church is a mile away from my house, so I'm halfway there.

To let the time fly by, I did some exercises, such as, shuffling, karaoke, skipping, sprinting, jogging, speed walking, galloping, and one legged hops.

I reached the steps, finishing my journey with a slow paced walk.

“Phew, glad that’s over.” I said catching my breath sitting on the church steps.

I glanced up and saw my reflection.

‘When did the ceiling become a mirror?’ I asked myself.

I slowly got up and grabbed the golden door knob. The heavy door opened slowly with a loud creak.

“Hello?”I called into the emptiness. The emptiness made my voice echo. The stained glass windows shown like rainbows on the marble floor and the pews looked so unused.

I walked my way down the aisle and sat in the front of the church, looking back into the lonely church, it makes me feel like I do in real life; boring ad ugly on the outside and truly beautiful on the inside. It surprises me how so many people could possibly fit in here.

I look up at the mirrored ceiling and I see myself staring back at me. I smile at my reflection and I am suddenly aware that it is nearly noon. I look around the church and soak it all in. When I stand up, a note flutters delicately on onto the ground. It says Marla on the front of it. I open in it and it reads.

Marla,

Look up, and you’ll see the girl I am falling in love with. Look down and you’ll see a hinge and a handle. That is where you’ll be coming at precisely 7:30 tonight. Fear not, my friend, I am not to hurt you. I must say, you look quite beautiful in your ‘not very put together outfit’.

Waiting Impatiently,

Salem V. Emerson

I fold the note as Salem had mysteriously given me and slipped it into my pocket. I stand up straight, pat my pocket and walk down the aisle, in the opposite direction; like a runaway bride, but in this case, I'm walking.

As I open the door to the church, a bone chilling burst of air rushes and collides with my body; the air takes my breath away and I lose my footing, but regain my balance as I step onto the porch of the church.

I carefully step down the stairs, one-by-one, I make it to the sidewalk and breathed a sigh of making it without falling. Instead of taking the long way home, I take the shortcut which goes through the old park in the woods. When I reach the trail entrance, I kick off my shoes and run ahead to the swings.


The smell of the old trees was rejuvenating and the creaks of the swings were soothing to my soul. Everywhere I looked I saw a picture of Salem in my mind, even though he wasn’t there with me, but perhaps he was there by spirit.

I could imagine him just sliding down the slide or swinging across the monkey bars, but I might never find out.

I pumped higher and higher, my blood racing through my veins, my breathing coming harder and harder getting lighter from the slight gravity loss. The trees naked branches were swaying in the wind, enjoying life. No leaves in the trees only as a blanket on the ground. I stop pumping my legs and ready myself to jump.

“One, two, and three.” I say loudly; as I get to three I leap from my seat and land hard on my feet, my ankles in a quick shock.

The leaves crinkled beneath my feet, it was two minutes away from noon. I run up the slide and sit in the middle of the jungle gym, inhaling the cooling air.

I get up and walk towards the monkey bars, and grasp for the first bar. I make my way switching arms for every bar. When I reach the end I hop off and run back to get my shoes. I slip the on and start running through the woods, some of these woods are backyards for people.

I see my house already through the thinning trees, I slow my pace down. I don’t want to make so much noise. I depart from the woods and walk along the sidewalk, avoiding Cobalt’s house and him in general.

I reach my house and there is a note taped the door, not from Salem.

Marla,

I had to leave for an important call. I left you some money on the counter if you wanted to go out, but call me first. I made you lunch, it’s in the refrigerator. Be home by 9:00.

Dad
I push open the door and hurry up the stairs to change my now sweaty clothes and into something comfortable.

As I open my pajama drawer, a note is laying on the top of the pants I was going to wear, in the handwriting I was getting used to.


Sunny,

It took you long enough to get back, did I mention you were six minutes past noon. I hope you aren’t late tonight. I’m already anxious enough. These are very comfortable pajama pants by the way. Enjoy them.

Salem V. Emerson


“Aren’t ‘vampires’ supposed to be allergic or something to the sun?” I thought aloud. I took the note and placed it under my bed as I took out the other from my pocket.

I put on my pajamas and trudged down the stairs. The floor was unusually cold when my feet touched it. I ignored the sudden cold, and walked over to get my food out of the refrigerator; a sandwich with turkey and mayonnaise. I grabbed some chips from the pantry along with a Dr. Pepper.

I took my time eating, thinking of Salem and how he got these notes here and more importantly, how he said my pajamas were ‘comfortable’.

I ate half of my sandwich and gave the rest to Aleu, who was sitting calmly by my side; she swallowed the sandwich whole, without hesitation.

I led her over to her water bowl knowing that if I were her, I would need water. As I predicted she guzzled down a whole half of her dish.

I looked at the clock, it read twelve-fifty two, and time was wasting away slowly.
Growing impatient, I forced myself not to look in the direction of the blinking numbers.

I decided to go to my room and put together an outfit for tonight.

“What do so call vampire’s like in a mortal girl?” I thought aloud.

A note fluttered from the ceiling.



Marla,

Us people prefer our ‘dates’ to be properly dressed for an encounter with a person like me. I suggest something to cover your pulses anywhere on your body; a scarf, a jacket, the normal clothing on a cold night. Hope I'm not freaking you out or anything.
Truly Sorry,
Salem Emerson


I was stunned with this letter, how did he know what I was doing or even saying.

I took Salem’s advice and hunted through my closet for a black scarf, black slacks, and a white turtle necked long-sleeved shirt with a black vest a top; all covering my pulses. I slipped on my black heels and walked to my mirror holding my kohl black eye-liner and caked it on to match my outfit. I looked stunning when I stepped back.

A single sheet of paper was found by my foot;
Indeed, you do look stunning.
~Salem Vincent Emerson

I blushed, and redness overtook my face. No one, besides my father, ever thought I looked stunning. I couldn’t believe that was me, standing in my room, wearing my clothes, in my mirror. I was amazed.

I casually took off my clothes, hoping they would not wrinkle or get dirty before seven-thirty tonight; for now, I needed something comfortable to be in.

I abandon my bedroom for the bathroom. I didn’t get in the shower to wash my hair, I simply did it the lazy way; tossing my head over the tub and under the faucet and washed my hair.

I dry my hair off with my towel, twisting it and flipping it up. I stand, alone, looking at my reflection in the mirror, I close my eyes. I am dozing off into my own world.

I turn around as someone whispers my name, “Marla.” I look directly at the source of the person calling my name; Salem Emerson. He is more beautiful looking more now than ever. He caresses my dark hair twisting it around his long fingers. He tilts my head back, revealing my pale throat. Salem lifts his head without messing a single strand of his perfect hair. He shows his fangs, as they sparkle in the moonlight. He comes down slowly. I’m clenching onto nothing as he seals the space from his lips to my throat.

The phone starts ringing. I dash off to the family room downstairs; running down the stairs I lose my towel and my dark hair falls loose. I stomp my way across the floor reaching the phone before its final ring.

“Hello?” I pant into the receiver.

“Marla?” The voice asks coldly.

“Yes, this is she. May I ask who is calling?” I reply sitting down in the rocking chair.

“This is Connor Grace, I am informing you not to go to that church tonight. Salem is a dangerous creature. He will glamour you, by sweet-talk and then kill you and throw your lifeless body into the lake.” Connor Grace whispered in the receiver before hanging up.

Dial Tone…

“That was odd.” I say out loud, putting the receiver down without a sound.

I run my fingers through my damp hair to make it look presentable and not desolate.

I skip down the steps and let Aleu outside for her to pee. I walk outside with her and let my hair flow in the wind. The leaves were falling from the stubborn trees onto the cold undeserving ground to rest there for the rest of the season. Aleu prances up the stairs and yips happily for a reward. I pat her on the head and head towards the door.

The door creaks open slowly, and I whistle for Aleu. She is sitting as still as stone, the blackness of her pupils starts to fill her blue jeweled eyes, peering into the trees. Breathing heavily, she starts to sway her head as if her mind is being controlled.

This spot where Aleu was staring at was the darkest area of all the trees. I rush inside grabbing the binoculars and hurry outside. I sit right next to Aleu. I placed the binoculars against my face and turned them towards the spot. There was a sudden movement in the trees; I couldn’t keep up with the thing moving in the trees.

I turn around forgetting about the mysterious object; there is a sudden change in the wind direction and decrease in temperature. I flip my head, looking in all directions, finding nothing. Deciding to go inside, Aleu marches robotically to the door and sits, staring through the window. I walk to the door slowly and twist the knob and Aleu gushes inside returning to her normal self. I cannot even think about what had just happened.

Aleu is prancing around, waiting for a treat. I reach the bowl and pull out a red one and toss it to her without looking. I hear a crunch as she munches the treat into a million pieces, until she finally swallows.

Silence…

I run up the stairs and lay upon my bed, thinking, and holding back hot tears.

“What is wrong with me?” I scream into my pillow. “Why is all this weirdness surrounding me?” I let the tears soak up into the feathery pillow.

It is now one o’clock.

I sit up on my bed and breathe heavily, sighing. I wipe my eyes with my blanket, and start to gather the whole blanket while standing up and fixing my comforter. Making sure it has no wrinkles or any kind of distress; I walk away, clapping my hands together.

I walk into the bathroom and start to mess around with my hair. I decide to make it slightly curly with more of a wavy look. I straighten my bangs and stick a white bow in my hair on the side.

I stroll across the hallway and into my room; I slip on my coat, grab my sketchbook, a pencil, and put my hat on. I plop down the stairs and run outside, quickly searching for an object to sketch. I settle for a tree, as naked as can be, but colorfully painted background from the sun.

I start tracing the outline of the trunk of the elderly tree and start to shade the bark and shadows. It barely looks like a tree.

“It looks kind of like that tree.” That irritating voice from Cobalt speaks, his head appearing above my sketch book.

“F*** Cobalt, I told you never to sneak up on me, ever!” I pleaded.

“Sorry,” Cobalt says tearing a piece of paper out of my book while grabbing a pencil he starts to draw those silly cartoon things boys always draw. “May I borrow these?”

“Whatever.” I say, continuing to sketch.

“Wow,” Cobalt says pretending to admire my naked tree. “If only that tree was you, naked and beautiful.”

“Shut the hell up and get off my property, now!” I say gently tossing my stuff aside and getting up to kick Cobalt away.

Cobalt dashes off far too quickly for a normal boy, amazingly he was already at the sidewalk.

“As you wish, but again, you shall regret this decision.” Cobalt says walking away.

I walked inside, not happy or successful with my drawing. I look at the time, which is now, two o’clock.

“Five more life-less hours, and I'm meeting Salem.” I thought aloud. I began wondering if meeting him was such a good idea.

A note fluttered softly to my feet.



Marla,

It is a fine idea to meet new people; especially when you get to meet a guy who is falling quite fast for you. You make my life worth living. I have been waiting centuries to meet someone as magnificent as you.

~S. Emerson


I started to feel red hot and I knew color was rushing to my cheeks coloring them a rose color.




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