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Black Blood City
It all came flooding back the day my dad died. I had been living with him since my parents divorced and my mum left us. I was now alone in this world of horror with people who have no innocence left in their souls. I was the only one left in my family. My mum wanted nothing to do with me and my dad was dead. I was an only child and no-one cared for me in this world. My family were people who misused drugs and were the major criminals in our society. I was defiantly not one of those people. My name is April Goldberg and this is the story of the 16th year of my surreal life.
The day before my dad died we were planning to go to San Francisco. A two week journey with just the man that raised me and the teenage disaster I had become. It was not going to be a slice of heaven, that’s for sure. Now that he was gone, I fear the real world is just a waste of time. Nothing to come home to and no pets to keep me company. The days were now numbered for me. It was a deadly world for my family and anything could happen. Because we were criminals, our family had a record and anyone I told anything too, would just turn against me eventually.
On the day my father died I was not home. I was out with 3 of my best friends. Being a 16 year old daughter of a criminal was not easy. I always needed time to flee from the madness that had taken over my life. I got home at quarter past four and found my dad lying on the lounge room floor. He wasn’t moving but I knew in my heart he was still alive. I dialled triple zero immediately and within minutes, the ambulance had arrived. They took both me and dad to the hospital and as I was pacing outside his room, the social services had turned up. I knew these men quite well and when they came up to me I ran into my father’s room. They had no right to take me away from the only family I had left.
The social services looked at me, with wide eyes that were the colour of apricot and beige. They had weird eyes and I had never noticed before. They had been to my house plenty of times before but their eyes were always the colour of blue and green. It didn’t look like they were here to talk to me, it looked like they were going to try and snatch me up and then flee the state and take me somewhere I would never see daylight again.
My dad did not awake from his peaceful sleep. I was alone and I had no one to look after me. The social services came to take me and I did not agree. “My life was now like a total mess of stranded balloons only coming together for me and now the only thing keeping me on the ground was my father’s lifeless body”. That day everything was just numb. I dint talk to anyone and no one talked to me. I just kept thinking about what life meant to me now and before. I thought about how it all started and what it did to my dad. I don’t think I had ever gone so blank. Everything was spinning around me as if I was the only one standing still.
The autopsy report ruled my dad’s death as a murder but I knew differently. They found two bite sized holes on his neck and thought it was just bullets. The thought occurred to me that bullets would not put two holes exactly three fingers apart. I don’t think any gun or professional shooter would be able to be so precise. NO! It couldn’t be. I made the thought disappear from my head immediately. I had read about them in old scary novel books. The thought just kept appearing and I kept disbelieving. Everyone around me thought I was mad .VAMPIRES!!!!!!!!!!
The next day I still had that funny feeling in my gut telling me to venture far from this but I knew that I needed to get revenge for my father’s innocent death. No-one could say to me that my dad’s death was his own fault because it would be like telling a suicidal man to not kill himself even past the point of no return. Useless and disappointing.
The next day the cops showed up at my house. I was alone and they knew it! They asked me where I was going to stay while they looked for a foster family. I said that I was to stay in my very familiar home and they could not do anything about it. Being 16 with no relatives left meant that I could legally be alone and I could get government funding for it to stay that way. They knew what I wanted but even with the realisation that my body would not budge, they still kept at it. Telling me that people like me can be very dangerous in Seattle’s streets. They told me that one day I could be strolling through the mall and the next I could be dropping to the floor asking where my dad was. They said sometimes the psychological aspects of a relative’s death can be very hard to cope with.
I don’t know what to do. These vampires that are attacking my city streets are on a rampage. They've been on a rampage for months. I had to have my seventeenth birthday without family or friends. It was the loneliest birthday of my life. I know there is more than three because there are more than three different styles that they have killed with. On two of the bodies found there are lacerations to the neck. And on three of the others including my father, there are only two bite size bullet holes on the left side of the neck. On the remaining three, there are two bite size holes on the neck, a gold amulet around their necks and multiple lines of stitches along the chest of their pale bodies. It was as though the vampire hated seeing the blood and guts of its victims.
My guess is that there are not many people that would believe me if I told them that I was searching for vampires, just so I could avenge my father’s death. They would think I’m mad and the police would place me in a loony bin. Then I would not be able to search for the killers that tore apart my already heartbreaking life. I had to move on but I knew deep down that if I did not find them then I would have an eternity of sleepless nights until the time came.
That afternoon I went to the police to see if their case was any different. As I opened the front office door, two gurneys came through with a man and a women lying on top. I noticed then that the women had two holes the left side of her neck. If it was the same shocking mark that the stupid vampires left on my father’s neck, then I already knew my answer. The case was still going on and the death tally was now up to 10 bodies. These are adults with families just like my case. I followed the gurneys until they went into the elevator to go down to the morgue, where the adults’ poor helpless kids had to identify them. I felt extreme sympathy towards those kids and I wished that I could do something that would help. I knew in that moment that there was something I could do. I saw that the elevator went down to level four and I immediately ran down the fire escape. I needed to talk to those kids.
As I jumped the staircase, I knew that my behaviour would have to be kind and caring. This would be as hard for them as it was for me when my father passed. I was lucky I didn’t have to face this scene in a morgue. I could not imagine the thoughts that must be going through their heads. I straightened up and walked out of the fire escape into the morgue. The smell was revolting and I knew I was now surrounded by more than 100 dead bodies and it made me mortified. I searched the room until I found who I was looking for. Over near the wall, stood three children. They were standing next to a police officer. As I walked over to them, they pulled their heads up from each other and looked at me. There were two girls and a young boy. The eldest girl was tall and skinny. She had hazel eyes that made her look like she was from a different planet. She looked like she hadn’t been fed in days. The young boy was small and curvy. He didn’t have the same look as the girl but you could tell the were related. Then I looked at the young child. She was just a toddler with blond curly hair and the bluest eyes that didn’t stop sparkling until you looked away. Her eyes were like sapphire stars in a small bubble. It was almost as if the child had some kind of aura surrounding her that no one could understand. All I knew was that whilst looking in this Childs eyes, I was under her spell.
These kids were now orphans. The police officer saw me and mouthed the words “go away”. I didn’t stare at him for long. I went to the oldest daughter who was 14. “Hello” I said. “My name is April and I know what you’re going through. This must be really hard for you, but I need to know. How did your parents die?” She stared up at me with blank eyes and I could have sworn I could see right to her brain. She then replied after a minute and said “Two bullets in their neck, random shootings.” Her voice was so light for a person who had been crying. “My dad was at the pub and mum was only a corner away at her restaurant.” She took a breath. “Apparently they took my dad to my mum and shot them both there.”
I didn’t realise until later that our lives were now not that different. The only difference was that I was an orphan who lost only one parent but they lost both in one night. I then had a thought and wondered for a few moments.
“What are your names?” I said. The girl told me her name was Alex and her siblings were Ben and Hailey. I didn’t know then but what I said next was going to change our lives forever.
“Where are you staying?”
“I don’t know” she replied. Then something triggered in her brain and she said “Oh my god, we have nowhere to stay.” With shocked looks on their faces, I knew that they were thinking about living on the streets. I couldn’t let this happen. These kids were alone and in the big city of Seattle, anything could happen.
You know when you see someone worse off than you, well I suddenly saw it. I knew that I didn’t have the best track record for responsibilities but that was not a good reason to say no for a 17 year old girl to look after children younger than herself.
I looked at the police officer and took him aside. I asked him about the children being placed in foster care when they didn’t want to be. The look on his face right after that was of relief. He didn’t want the kids placed in foster care as well and that would most likely be because of his own childhood in foster care. No one can explain the devastation of your life when you are placed in foster care.
Living alone for these last three months has changed alot about me. I have been wondering about my mum and why she left me and my dad. Then to top that off I have been depressed. I’m saying been, because I’m getting counselling to get me get over my depression. That won’t be the best thing to tell the people who will hand the kids over to a 17 year old depressed ex-student. That’s what I am. A 17 year old who has been depressed and quit school. No one will give me a job because I didn’t finish school and my counsellor says I should see a psychiatrist. Obviously I got a cheapskate counsellor if she doesn’t even know that a counsellor is a psychiatrist. Half of my brain was telling me to stop where I am and leave but the other half was saying, “These kids are just like me but worse off. I couldn’t just leave them, they had nowhere to go”. Decisions needed to be made and i was the one to make them. After my moment of thinking, i noticed that the three children were still scared and confused. they were looking around, looking for something. Then i realised they wernt just looking for something, they were looking towards the shadows. The lonely dark shadows where they could curl up and hide. But something was stopping them from moving. The shadows now reminded them about where there parents were killed. The shadows. The best place for killers. They hide there for the right moment to strike and pierce two holes in your neck or slice your body open. I was standing three feet from the kids and in one second, ran to them and held them close. At first they were unaware of the body contact but then i felt a hand on my back and i knew they were holding close their newest family member. A guardian who could look after them.
"April you cant"
"Well what else can i do, I cant just leave them alone"
"Your far too young to look after kids"
"I AM NOT TO YOUNG FOR ANYTHING!"
"Ok Ok just calm down april."
This is the way the conversation went when i told Senior Constable Stacey i was going to look after those kids. She was the Senior Constable on the case when my dad passed and also a friend of my family. She always treated me like a kid. I Hated that! No one treats me like a child, not even her.
"April, your 16!"
"So? And im actually 17 now"
"These kids need someone older and more stable and lets face it, the way your yelling at me now, it doesnt seem like you have it all together."
"Look Stacey, Alex, Ben and Hailey trust me, I cant just abandon them now."
"April, April, April. Dont you see, you were the first adult that comforted them and spoke with them. Of course the trust you. They may be just kids but they are as insecure as you."
"Stacey, you have been a friend of my family for a long time and you have watched me grow up but im SEVENTEEN now and you cant tell me no. And im not depressed anymore stacey, I CAN look after them." I calmed down before i said the next thing on my mind. "Stacey if you could please just trust me, and you can be there the whole time, looking over my shoulder and you can see how well these kids trust me."
"Fine but only because these kids need more than you. They need support April and the federal police will be there for the kids who lose their parents during this investigation, including you April. I will always be there for you."
"Any time kiddo"
"Now can we please fill out the gaurdian forms, I dont want them to wait any longer."
"April, you really love these kids, dont you?"
"Yes. It may sound stupid but the kids need me as much as i need them."
"Then can i ask you something April?"
"Where were you going to live"
"No your not. You and the kids are going to live with me."
"Yeh its great. You can still be co-gaurdian but that means you can live under my roof with my supervision. It will be like your the stay at home mum."
"That sounds awsome Stace."
Did it? I thought about it for a second. The thought of having an 8 bedroom house during the daytime and a guardian that could look after me. I would be the guardian of the kids but she could be there for me when i needed her.
"Ok Stace, i agree!"
"Great, now lets fill out these papers."
"So your now our guardians?" Alex asked me with a hopefull look in her eyes.
"Most definatly." I almost sounded like i enjoyed the fact that i was now the soul of these kids. They could come to me for help and the could ask me for anything. Alex jumped off her chair and in to my arms. Then ben brang hailey over to me and Alex and we shared a group hug. This was first family hug that i had since dad died. It made me rejoyce for just a moment.
Now the most important thing is to find who killed our parents. The killers i knew to be the most dangerous fairytale creatures, but its unexplainable to hear that they were now lose in my city. My city. No-one ruins the lives of families in my city. The goldberg family was one of Seattles worst gangs and that meant that if everone was gone i ruled the back streets of MY city! Someone was going to have to stop them and we all knew who that would be.
I only turn to the connections when im in desperate need of help especially because i trust no-one and only allow the heart from my soul to be killed when the faith that i love has dissapeared. There was no more faith but there was a glimmer of hope. And i would live off that glimmer untill it ran out. The 'connections' have a bad rep because they are known criminals, just like my family. There was a kid named Declan in amongst the 'connections'. He was a good kid that hated being a criminal. He was just like me! His parents wernt like my dad though. My dad did drugs but declan's family were murders. They were sickos. They murdered their victims and toasted them on a fire then put the ashes in an ern. I felt sorry for Dec. He did not deserve to be treated like that. He was just a kid. Declan was 15 but he had the heart of a 20 year old. NO-one respected him, so he kept to himself. The life that we live isnt meant to be seen by kids our age. I was on the mend but he had no choice. If Dec left the Connections, They would hunt him down, kill him and then chuck him down a drain where crocodiles and sewer rats would then eat his flesh.
On the 5th of march 2007, i walked down to the peir, holding a peanut butter sandwich and a brand new set of clothes. He could smell me. He walked out from under the peir and came up to sit next to me. I handed him the sandwich and i put the coat on his back and placed the rest of the clothes next to him. He looked at me and smiled the smile that would light anyones dark life. The smile that belongs to someone who has nowhere to go. I had too ask him.
"What do you want!"
"I wanted to ask you if you could help me"
This was it. I had to tell him who was behind the mysterious killings.
"Dec, there are vampires in the back streets, hiding in the dark of our city."
He didnt say anything. He didnt even turn. Then he said something that astounded me.
"They killed my dad and my uncle as well."
"Dont feel sympathetic to me Aril. Your going through the same thing."
"Yeh but ive had a while to settle with the fact that i will get revenge. I have also had help from a very good friend of mine."
Ive been trying to understand what will happen now. The connections leaders said that I was now the ruler of the city,but i dont know. I dont think i want it April"
What did he mean? How can someone not want to be the ruler of seattle. Although then again, dec has lived in worse conditions than me and he hated killing.
"Dec, we are the citys' new rulers. We are king and queen of our city. We control its destiny."
"April how can you say that. You dont want this, you shouldnt want any of this!"
"But i do and i want your help. I cant speak with the elders if you arnt with me. They will never listen. Your like the prince of persia and im only like princess marian. We cant be king and queen of the streets until we have the permission of the elders!"