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Blood Lust at Midnight
Frank envisioned the couple sneaking away in the middle of the night. He imagined her giggling in excitement and shivering with cold. Frank knew they were going to do it. He imagined John as being triumphant, but not menacing. Even now Frank still could not imagine John towering above his girl with exploitation in his glowing eyes.
John had already found Mary at their rendezvous point in the woods. John had sneaked out of his house just twenty minutes ago. Twenty minutes ago, Mary had been drawn from hers because of the two crimson beads of blood on her neck. Now, John was guiding Mary to the house. John figured on starting right away. They'd do it. John would do it.
The government had set a trap for the couple. They had quarantined Frank and assumed he'd been shut up for good. They were wrong. No one else knew of the quaint little wooden bird house of an home buried deep in the woods of New Jersey, except for the government, the couple, and Frank.
An officer of the law stepped back into the foliage as planned and opened a twenty foot gap in the dragnet that surrounded the house; letting John and Mary into the trap. Then with a dull thud, the officer collapsed. As he crumpled, His assailant caught his body with a grunt, and laid it down quietly and quickly. Quickly and aggressively, Frank wrenched the officer's sidearm from its holster. Then Frank slipped through the dragnet, and raced for the house.
Frank threw open the door and winced as it slammed against both the outside wall and the door frame. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught the glint of an eye and the shine of a belt buckle.
“It's so easy. So easy. She wants it. No one will every know,” dreamed John Smith, as if contemplating nirvana.
Did she want it? Probably. Frank knew the feeling. The joyous exhilaration of doing something wrong. They'll do it, but not if Frank could help it.
“I know now,” stated Frank Jones in the direction of the eyes.
“You wouldn’t tell,” laughed John. The eyes came forward into the light, and a pale and sickeningly moist face sneered out of the shadows.
“I would. I already have,” declared Frank, a slight tremble, but the foundation was solid.
“I can’t die,” retorted John.
“She can,” pleaded Frank.
“She would become like me,” lilted John.
“You wouldn’t wait for her.” Spite. Spite on the lips of Frank Jones. John Smith was taken aback.
“You don’t hate me,” laughed John nervously. John realized Frank had brought company. He had become alert. Not with guilt, of what was he guilty? Just alerted by his experience. The tricks of the trade. Who had Frank brought? What were they capable of?
“I hate anyone who hates her.” Frank stared John down. His eyes glistened with a fire, the only light in the house. The house, can I call it a house. If it were a house, with a working father, a loving mother, and lively youth, Frank and John and Mary wouldn’t be there. If it were a house, with lights, and windows, and a law, they wouldn’t be there. Why weren’t they in John’s bedroom? Hers? Simply the shut the door and lock it. Because he wasn’t planning on stopping. You can’t hide a corpse in a closet.
John’s eyes lit. “Take that back,” trembled John. “Take that back!”
“Give her back what you took from her!” seethed Frank. “You can’t!” He yelled with a bitter passion.
“I didn’t take anything from her that would lower her into the abyss of obscurity and social hopelessness where you grovel. She’d never be yours, and she’ll never be your concern. Ever.” John said it to hurt Frank. Frank wasn’t easily hurt.
“I don’t chew them up and spit them out like you do. I ask first,” retorted Frank.
“Why?” whipped out John.
Silence. Why? Why? My God, how could he ask that?
“Do know how it feels...the pleasure, the joy. Do you know how it makes me feel. Warmth, heat beyond the flames of hell. Her warmth. I’d burn in hell just to get a inkling of that heat. Passion. You don’t know the definition of love. I felt her, caressed her, stroked her hair as I...”
“You love her, good god...you don't love her! If I didn't show up she would be dead,” spilled Frank. Then upon sober recollection, “and damned.”
“She ain’t going to hell.”
“She touched you and where are you going? Saint Peter won’t send you there, God will smite you personally,” claimed Frank with harsh conviction.
“How dare you. Your father died a slave to hallucinations and the black market. Your mother's fat lips haven’t left the bottle since. I see where you live. You haven’t attended church since the day you were born. You can’t keep from failing your classes let alone pass them. You swear like a sailor, and the only redeemable quality about you is that your clothes match,” ranted John.
“I’ve never killed anybody.”
“I didn’t kill her,” spit John indignantly.
“Why the hell are you here. You’ve been moping around me ever since I saved your hide from those two bit losers in High school. Those punks would have eaten you if it weren't for me. ,” retaliated John.
“I did get my grades up, I’ve got a B in History, an A in Biology., and I’m passing everything else. You were my hero. You inspired me to do better.”
“You obviously didn’t drop the drugs,” sneered John.
“I never took them,” answered Frank indignantly.
“But I can smell the cigar smoke, took one before you came in here, and alcohol no doubt. But you’re holding a gun, not a bottle. Why are you here?”
“No, thanks to you, I don't have the luxury to ease my pain with beer or alcohol anymore. I’m here because I know I got a eternity at stake.”
“You religious fanatic,” drawled John.
“No. I simply want to do something right. I want to save her life,” answered Frank , clutching his fist.
John anger rekindled. “I won’t kill her. I simply want her body.”
“Her veins,” corrected Frank.
“You want to do something right. Then why did you betray me?”
Tears. John hadn’t noticed them before. They must have begun to drop, slowly, and bitterly, when Frank’s father had been mentioned. The reference to cigars and the alcohol had chipped at the dam of his eyes and his soul. The cruel irony of wearing the title of a religious fanatic had almost cleaved a hole in Frank’s revolve. They came steadily, but resistance was still hanging on in his mind. Then there was no more resistance. He could hear Frank’s weeping in his voice, his pathetic, coughing, sniveling voice.
“They’re going to blow the house, the whole thing, you, me...her,” wept Frank.
“You villain!” cried John.
“They say...” Frank breathed hard, wheezed almost. “They said, if you give yourself in...if you go...now...you don’t have to die. They’re going to kill you anyway...and the girl...oh god the girl why John why...” He passed gritting his teeth against the emotion.
Scared of what John would do to Mary, he had run to the police. They had phoned the FBI, and the next thing he knew he was confessing everything he knew to a bulky, formidable man in a suit behind a desk with the label “Mr. Jones.” Mr. Jones had listened, made one phone call, and told him standard procedures dictated they'd have to rig the house with explosives. The timer Mr. Jones claimed would be loud enough for John to run, and if John turned himself in, they'd lock him up, but not harm him. Then they quarantined Frank in a cell, and fed him to his conscience.
“Oh no, Frank. If I die, it’s your fault. They would never have known. You told.”
Frank swore swiftly and severely under his breathe. “I wanted to do the right thing, I did it...oh god help me I did it,” he swore again, “Now I’m doing it again,” he smiled at the irony. “I’m doing it again. Turn yourself in.”
“What’s with the gun?” demanded John.
“The girl’s getting out.” Resolve. Ironclad resolve.
“No. I can’t live without the sensation. I can’t live without the heat, the warmth, the sweet-sour taste of...No. I won’t go out. You’ve caught me, and I am going to die because of it. So why don't I finish her off? But you first.”
Six months ago, school started. Frank entered the wrong door. He got sacked. First day in and he found a pack of hyenas more vile even than him, and more importantly bigger. Much bigger. He would’ve gotten beaten.
Fourteen years of state education. Fourteen years of learning torture. Fourteen years of him breaking under temptation and marring his grades worse than a bankruptcy. Fourteen years of sour teachers and indifferent subs. Friendships, broken by his reputation and his heritage. Summers spent alone or under the drunken eye of his mother. A new start. High school was a new start. A new place. Maybe he could keep his past a secret. A little effort and he might now forge the same brand again. A new start. A pummeling would’ve broken him. He knew it. He how John Smith had saved his life. And he knew what he was about to do to John Smith. He had a gun. Seven shots.
“Don’t make me kill you.”
“Don’t worry I’ll kill you first.”
No chance in hell.
His feet were ripped apart in seconds, and the body of John Smith lay prostrate before the cleaver, but still kicking. Five bullets, one after another with sharp resounding clacks. Five bullets...or Six...or Seven...oh god would it stop! The light burned Franks eyes. The lead pounded into John’s chest, arms, legs. At bullet four a scream ripped out, a bloodcurdling beg for mercy. By bullet six, shock had set in. Even for John, the loss of that much blood... My God. I’m shedding his blood. Or is it his blood?
Shock. “I’m bleeding,” blabbed John idiotically, his eyes wide eyed in terror. They asked a question. Why? The agony must have been intense. John quivered.
“Marry get out now. Wherever you are get out now!” He heard footsteps behind him.
“No, no, no, no,” blubbered the girl. A door opened and slammed. Weeping. A shadow flew through the night away from the house; a beautiful shadow. He had six minutes left. Maybe five. He grabbed John's arms and pulled. My God, heavy. He pulled again harder, with all his might he pulled. The body gave. He made ground.
Frank had waylaid John as he entered the door. He had fired merely at the doorstep. He didn’t have far. It took forever. He pulled and tugged and hauled. The body dragged. He wouldn’t make it. He knew that. If he did though, what would that do. If John had already killed somebody. Nothing. Murder had its consequences. Maybe death would be better. No. He had to take that chance. There was always mercy. If he ever found God, maybe he could tell John where to find him. He still pulled. The bombs timing still ticked. He could hear it. The timer had the same rhythm as his heart. Racing. He reached the door; kicked it open. The building was going to blow. He jumped the body, and rolled it out the door. Then he threw himself on the rolling flesh. He had seen it in the movies shield the maiden from the gun shot. Only this wasn’t a maiden this was a...The building exploded. If John wanted heat he got it. Beautiful. Frank saw the flames ounce before he shut his eyes and kept between John and the fire. He shielded his hero. He shielded her lover. He shielded their criminal. He shielded a vampire.