“The Cannibal Killer” – Part II: Nathan’s Private E-Journal June 17th, 2016

*Note to self: I’m not the only one living in this big old house!* 

      I really need to pay attention to what’s going on around me when I’m on my computer, because I never know who’s going to come by and start reading over my shoulder.  Today, it was practically EVERYBODY!  Sigh…

     Now let me set the scene for you all.  Ever since I started writing I got into the habit of using two monitors at once, so I can have something I’m researching on one screen, while I’m writing on the other.  Tonight, I was reading an e-mail from my “nephew” Michael Rhodes about a case he’s involved with on one screen, while looking over the newspaper accounts on the other.

    I was so absorbed in what I was reading that I never heard Penny, Lisa, or Marisa come into the room.  In fact I only realized they were there after I suddenly leaned back  and felt my head bump into Marisa’s chest (not that she minded).

    After realizing I had an audience I quickly looked around the room to make sure one person in particular had not seen what I had been reading.

     As if reading my thoughts Penny said, “Isabella’s downstairs with Richard.”

    Immediately I breathed a sigh of relief and then scowled at the intruders.  “And what brings all three of you into my study?  For all you know, I could’ve been working on a new bestseller… or surfing the internet for porn.”

     “Which was why we came in,” Marisa answered simply. pointed out.

   “If you were searching for porn we felt it was important to know what turns you on and what doesn’t,”  Lisa added helpfully.

  “I just came in to see if you wanted something to drink,” was Penny’s contribution to the proceedings.  But she looked troubled.

    Standing up I started to ask Marisa and Lisa to leave us, but Penny cut in sharply saying, “NO!  They need to hear this!”

    I don’t know who was more surprised by her tone, our companions or me.  In either case, both girls sat down while I drew closer to Penny who I noticed was shaking slightly.  As she looked at me I gave her a reassuring smile and said quietly, “Start whenever you’re ready.”

   She gave me a little smile but instead of talking she wandered over to one of the windows in my study and stared out into the night.

     After several moments she said, “All the victims of that psycho you were reading up on were women.”

       It was more a statement than a question, still I replied, “Yes, they were.”

    She nodded, then asked, “Did you girls know prostitutes are the most likely to be victims of violence or even murdered?”

      Lisa looked uncomfortable, but Marisa actually answered.  “Yes, I did a report on violence against women for a class.  Got a good grade on it, plus a lecture from the teacher for touching on a ‘sensitive’ subject.”

     “Was the instructor male?” Penny asked.

     “Yeah, he was.”

     Penny turned.  “And what did you say?”

    “I reminded him that he’d asked us to pick a social issue that needed addressing and that I’d felt that violence against women was one I felt strongly about.  Then he asked why I’d focused on prostitutes and I told him that many of them had wound up in that situation because they’d been victimized already and needed more protection not less.  After that things got a little heated, and he wound up lowering my grade to a C.”

    I made a mental note to myself to ask Marisa the name of her instructor, but only later.  But right now I wanted to keep my focus on what Penny had to say.

    She gave Marisa a fleeting smile of gratitude, but then her expression turned serious again.  “You’re right, we… they do.  And sometimes we found it with guys who wanted to ‘protect’ us and help us out.  Only they could be just as bad, or worse than some of our clients.”

     “Like Tony?” Lisa murmured, breaking her silence.

     Penny shot her a look, but it quickly softened.  “Yeah, like my old employer.  But he only got mean when one of us tried to leave.  As long as we were under his roof, we WERE protected.  Which was why I felt safer being in a brothel than I did out on the street.  Anyone got too rough with us they’d be sorry…  But the only way any of us left his employ was when he felt they weren’t worth keeping around anymore.  Or he’d grown tired of them.”

    “Richard must’ve been very special for you to risk all that you did to get away,” I remarked, thinking aloud.

     That earned me a smile.  “He was… and not just because he got me a knocked up.  I could’ve easily gotten an abortion, but I wanted my baby and him.  And I would’ve lost both if it hadn’t been for you and Lisa.”

     “It was mostly Nathan,” my favorite goddaughter pointed out.

    “You were there for us too,” Penny replied softly, and then turned back to me.  “But the point I’m trying to make is that girls in my trade, we lived our lives knowing something bad could and would happen to us.  But the girls in those articles… they were just like these two,” here she gestured at Lisa and Marisa who were looking a little pale right about then.  “They weren’t hooking, they were just women who had families and friends who loved them.  One or two of them had children… they weren’t looking for trouble but it found them and it cost them.  But not before they suffered.”

     Glancing back at the article that was still on my screen, my eyes went straight to the part where it described some of what had been done to the girl before she died and murmured, “I know…”

     Penny caught the tone in my voice and said, “I know this Michael guy has already asked you to help stop this guy, but now I’m asking you as well.  Use your abilities to stop this guy, don’t let another girl suffer at his hands.”

     “Oh I intend to,” I assured her and began to use my shape-shifting skills.

     Normally, I don’t let anyone see one of my transformations, unless I’m turning into mist.  But most of the time I’m usually changing into something more “bestial”.  However this wasn’t one of those occasions.  First my waist pulled in while my hips expanded slightly.  At the same time the hair on my arms vanished while the skin took on a smoother look.  As my hair lengthened, my chest expanded, while my jawline softened and my nose took on a more aquiline shape.

   Once I was done, I gazed expectantly at my audience and said, “Well?  Do I make a tempting target?”

      Lisa, who I noticed was looking a little flushed, was the first to answer, “A little too tempting.”

     “Too male fantasy?” I asked.

     “Too Hollywood,” answered Marisa. who was also eyeing me curiously.

    “But it’s a good start,” Penny smiled and turned to the girls.  “Why don’t you two get some clothes and make-up for our girl here.  Then we’ll give her some tips to get the proper effect.”

     As soon as the girls left, Penny looked at me and said, “You know, if you hadn’t changed form, one of them would’ve offered to act as bait.”

     I nodded, “I was also afraid you might as well.”

     “I was,” she admitted and then threw her arms around me saying, “Thank you.”

    As I returned the gesture, I silently prayed for all our sakes (including Michael and Terri’s) that I would be enough to be the maniac’s next target.

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A Halloween Tale From Our Upcoming Anthology…

*Helen and I agreed that this particular snippet from “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At A Time” was just perfect for this time of year.  While it does not cover the entire story, this particular section seemed just right for the holiday season.  And as with many of the tales you’ll find in this collection, we start laying down the foundation for other stories down the road.  We do things like this because we want the Para-Earth Series to be open-ended.  There is no specific ending in mind, however there will eventually be closure for some of the characters, but not for a long time to come.  We’re generating new ideas all the time for existing characters as well as ones you’ve yet to meet.  So rest assured no one is going anyplace just yet.  However, there are also untold stories form earlier years like this one.  So sit back and enjoy an adventure from Lisa and Marisa’s childhood…  

HALLOWEEN FRIGHT (2007)

by Helen Krummenacker

     Two giggling girls, nine years old, were getting to trick or treat on their own for the first time after solemnly swearing to their parents that they would stick together with the buddy system, not go into any houses, and stick to familiar streets. And Marissa and Lisa really meant  it, too, when they gave their word.

     But once they’d gotten their sacks more than a quarter full, they were starting to feel like the main part of town was a little bit boring, even with decorations. Marissa’s mummy bandages were meeting with confused remarks by neighbors who were more familiar with hospital dramas than ancient Egypt, nor did Lisa’s top hat and cape read as Mr. Hyde as much as “Abe Lincoln, maybe?”, killing some of the fun of dressing up. Toddlers and their parents,  surrounding them on the streets,not only slowed them down with small talk, but stifled any real delightful shiver of uncertainty.

     “I know a place,” said Lisa, “where there’s probably no one home, but it would be fun to explore.”

     “What do you mean?” asked her best friend.

   “Well, I know the owner, but he doesn’t live there. The place has been empty for years,” she told Marissa, savoring the word ‘years’, drawing it out for emphasis. “I don’t mean go in, but there’s woods and a little cemetery–”

     “I am NOT going to a cemetery on Halloween night! The place sounds creepy.”

     “That’s what makes it fun!”

    Marissa grinned quickly, thinking of all the spooky old films she loved. “Yeah.” She thought about it. “How about we get our bikes and go there, but we stay in sight of the road when we’re there and don’t stay too long.”

    Lisa nodded. “Sounds smart. But it’s really not going to be too scary. I mean, sometimes things that seem scary at first turn out not to be.” She couldn’t really explain her Uncle Nathan, but it didn’t seem like anything associated with him could turn out bad. After all, he was a vampire… and the sweetest grown-up she knew.

    Marissa was enjoying the chill of the air on her face. “It’s beautiful out here.” The moon was overhead, the trees rustled mysteriously, and the scent of pine, cedar, and birch tinged the breeze. “I thought there were a bunch of old mines on this side of town, though. It’s pretty hilly out here.”

    “Yeah, I think there were some old ones.” Lisa tried to remember what Nathan had told her. “They used to have a small one on the estate we’re going to, that just took out coal to sell in town in the old days. People used it in their stoves. It closed for a while, but then it was opened during World War II by government order, for industry.”

     “How do you know this stuff?”

    “I told you, I know the owner. He’s a family friend, basically. And he’s the last of his family, so sometimes he gets, what’s the word… nostalgic.”

    They saved their breath to pedal their way up a long uphill stretch. At the top, Lisa stopped to let Marissa catch up. She pointed, “See, you can see the house past the field. I guess they kept this area cleared.”

     “Someone’s got sheep grazing there,” noted Marissa. “Sheep aren’t very scary.”

     “Does that mean you want to see the cemetery?”

     “No! … Maybe.” They nudged each other, shoulder to shoulder, before taking off down the hill towards the big old house that stood under the moonlight, darker patches where the pale paint had flaked off, vines growing onto the expansive porch, trees beyond with branches scant of leaves, many already lost to the aging fall.

     It began to feel quite spooky again as they drew closer to see more detail. Faded velvet curtains could be seen through dirty windows. The wind in the trees made suggestive rustling sounds. The creak of their own pedaling could be footsteps on an old, loose floorboard from the rooms above. The girls got off their bikes as they reached a grass-overgrown gravel path leading around the house and began to walk the path, pushing the bicycles by the handlebars, trying not to let the gravel crunch too much under their feet.

     It’s not that I’m scared, Lisa told herself. It’s just that it doesn’t seem right to be noisy here. Like being in a library or a museum. It was a matter of respect.

     Something cold and clammy touched the back of her neck and she squealed before she could think.

     “What is it?!” Marissa whispered, worried.

     “A drop of cold water. It fell off of the eaves.”

    Indeed, the cool night air was producing condensation and the trees and overhangs slowly, almost silently, loosed accumulated moisture without sparing any thought for the nerves of passers by. “We’re being ridiculous,” Marissa said a little louder. “Thinking drops are a clammy finger or that the gravel is tiny bones crunching under our feet. It’s just an old farm no one lives in anymore.  We drive past places like this all the time.

    “Not just like this,” Lisa said defensively. “There was a terrible tragedy here.” She wondered briefly about Marissa’s mention of the gravel sounding like crunching bones.  Someone was getting carried away by their imagination, and that someone was not her. “During the Civil War, you know West Virginia and Virginia were on different sides. And the Virginians were very angry about it. There was this point during the war when a mob crossed the border and they killed a lot of people here.”

    “I did not want to know that.”

    Lisa realized the fun was starting to go out of this for Marissa. “It’s okay. It happened so long ago. And… it’s not like ghosts are real.” There, she’d said it. It might not be a very Halloween thing to say, but she didn’t want her friend to be seriously frightened.

    They stood there beside the empty old house in silence for a moment, looking at each other, wondering what they really believed about any of these things. They were not that far from home, really. There wouldn’t be anything wrong with being here for a picnic on a bright, sunny day. Maybe they were only really afraid because they were breaking the rules. Maybe they only got goosebumps because the night was a little damp and the breeze was making them cold.

    Or maybe they weren’t quite sure that things didn’t go bump in the night. The breeze, which had joined them in stillness, rose up again, and a small, thin voice was carried with it. “Where is everyone?” It was a girl’s voice, sounding a little younger than they were, or perhaps she just sounded even younger because it was high with a plaintive note.

    “Where is everyone?” The voice said again, with a slightly different inflection. Lisa and Marissa opened their mouths and screamed in unison. They climbed back onto their bicycles and got back onto the road. They had pedaled at least a tenth of a mile before they realized they had headed the wrong direction, still travelling away from the town. Now, beyond the house, the trees were the scraggly remains of old orchards, interspersed with volunteer trees grown wild from seeds left by birds or squirrels. Lisa signaled for Marissa to stop.

    “Are you okay?” they asked each other at the same time, then laughed a little, still nervous but feeling reassured by friendship.

    *And while the girls are catching their breath, we will leave them.  To find out what happened next I’m afraid we’ll have to keep you waiting a couple of more months.  We know the holidays are coming and everyone will be busy with family, parties, etc. and so will we.  But rest assured we have more complete stories to share with you here, so please keep checking in and from both of us may you all have a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN.*  

skeleton jack

Nathan’s Private E-Journal October 6th, 2014 “I May Have Made a Mistake…”

*Today’s tale takes place during “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.  You may consider it an untold tale that happened shortly before the big showdown between Nathan and the Funus-Sorbere  (referred to as the Ghoul Slime in the story).  Yes we intend to start giving these life forms real names in “The Vampyre Blogs – Family Ties” novel.  For the record, the life form that transformed Nathan is referred to as Sangui-Sapio.  This story also serves as a little prelude to one of the tales in our upcoming anthology “TVB – One Day At A Time”.  So please sit back and enjoy.*

         As I sit here in my study, staring into a nice blaze in the fireplace, I think I may have made a huge mistake.

     All that encouragement I gave Marisa last night with the writing… what was I thinking?  But it’s probably too late now.  She seemed really fired up about the idea, especially with Lisa cheering her on.  Any sudden change in attitude on my part would only raise a bunch of questions and self doubts, which is the last thing she needs right now.  I gave her the idea about taking up writing to help keep her mind busy while we wait to hear back on her dad’s test results.  But now I can’t help thinking that there may be unforeseen consequences.

        Not that I don’t think she should try her hand at writing, I think she could probably become a very successful writer.  She has a very keen mind and I’ve looked over some of her papers when she and Lisa have done their homework at my place.  Her command of grammar and sentence structure would make any college professor weep for joy.  Believe me I would know, Otto used to give me no end of grief about my writing.  Mind you, I learned to write back in the 1850’s and 60’s and what was considered acceptable back then was quite another matter.  Furthermore, I went to war instead of college back then.  It wasn’t until 194- that I actually stepped into my first classroom and that was at a university.  And that was only after Otto spent a number several years bringing my skills and knowledge up to an acceptable level, while Para-Earth hopping.

       Otto… I wish he were here, he’d know how to advise me and not just because he’s at least a couple centuries older than me. Oh wait, that’s precisely why he’d know what to say right now.  Sigh.  My mind is all over the place tonight.  Between coming back home, finding out Isabella has been around all this time apparently waiting for me, helping Richard with his drug addiction, and having to keep my secret from Penny and Marisa… it’s a miracle I’ve still got my head on straight at all.

        I so want to see Isabella and talk to her, but as near as I can tell I shook her up pretty badly the night I attacked Richard.   I don’t want to make the same mistake with the others, especially Marisa.  She seems to have a deep dislike for anything vampire-like, which is strange because John told me in confidence they used to watch vampire films together all the time.  I wonder what changed?  Maybe Lisa can tell me, I’ll check with her.

      “Not that any of this helps me with my main problem,” I tell myself and get up.  Pacing around the room I find myself stopping to stare out the window.

     Evening has fully settled in, perhaps a walk might help me work through my little dilemma.  Yes, that sounds like a nice idea.  I always think better when I’m out and about on my own.  And then maybe I’ll come up with a good excuse to keep her away from the old locomotive on the edge of town…

TO BE CONTINUED…

ANNOUNCEMENT – COMING THIS NOVEMBER THE FIRST “VAMPYRE BLOGS ANTHOLOGY” AND OTHER NEWS…

With the completion of Nathan and Otto’s rather lengthy adventure with the Unicorns and Terror Raptors, I thought now might be a good time to let you all know that Helen and I have been hard at work on a brand new Vampyre Blogs book. This volume is set to be released just after this coming Thanksgiving, so you only have to wait another four months to get your hands on this latest installment of the Para-Earth Series.

However… unlike the first book, this one will be an anthology instead of a novel. We will be taking select entries from this nearly four year old blog site to be included in the anthology. Now you may be asking yourself, why put a bunch of stories that are available online into a collection? Well, I’d been getting some e-mails and messages on Facebook, that newcomers to the site telling us that they loved Nathan and company, but found scrolling through so many pages to get to the earlier stories was a bit tedious to say the least.

Upon repeatedly hearing this, Helen and I went over the site and found that had created almost fifty different stories. And while some of them were short, others were so long that they could have anywhere from two to six separate entries to tell entire tale.

While going over some of the earlier and more recent entries, I also began to notice some glaring problems that had been overlooked when they were originally published. This was the direct result of the fact that all of the stories in this blog were basically 1st drafts. Meaning of course they were not fully edited so the ‘occasional’ (massive understatement) misspelling or less-then-perfect punctuations appear in a number of them.

However I can tell you now that all the stories going into the anthology will be getting edited and have a few tweeks made to them for better clarity of reading. Also, the stories will be put in a chronological order. This means they will appear in the anthology by according to when the character telling the tale originally wrote/experienced the adventure. Furthermore, some adjustments being made to some of the stories to create a more smooth timeline for who met who when.

The purpose of doing these ‘adjustments’ is so that the readers can have a better idea of how each of these life events shaped the characters’ personalities before they appear in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.

And as they say on television…

 

Both Helen and I agreed right off the bat that any anthology we created needed to have new never-before seen tales in it. In this case, out of the 23-24 stories we currently have lined up for the anthology, six to seven (about a third) of the stories are completely NEW and will not be appearing on this site. Several of these new tales involve Nathan’s ‘long-time’ Otto, aka “The Professor”, who made his debut in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”. Both his introduction in the novel and his comment, “Apparently, I am am made of NOPE…” have caught the imagination of our readers who have been clamoring for more details on this strange man who Nathan looks up to as a mentor, as well as friend.

Also, since Helen and I are both artists, we are going to try and add some original pen and ink artwork to a number of the stories. We will also be placing either an Intro or an Afterthought to each tale explaining either how the story came to be.

We are also planning more anthologies for the future, not only for the Vampyre Blogs, but also the rest of the characters appearing in Para-Earth Series such as: Alex Hill, Veronica Ross (who along with her boss Roy Petersen – appear in two of the tales in this anthology) and their friends…

Our goal is to release “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day at a Time” on Black Friday or Cyber Monday at the latest, so add it to your holiday wish list, or think about someone you know who’d love a good read on those cold winter nights.

Finally, we are also exploring another avenue with the Para-Earths namely… AUDIOBOOKS!  We’ve had a number of people asking us if and when we’d make the books available in that form.  So currently we are looking into that area and will be providing updates soon.  With we might even have a couple of short stories in audio form for free, to be released just in time for the holidays so we can get some feedback from all of you.

With all that said you can see we have a lot of plans for both The Vampyre Blogs and the rest of the Para-Earth Series in the works.  But have no fears, new stories will still be appearing here as well.  So stay with us and please help spread the word about Nathan, his friends, and the rest of the Para-Earth Series.  The fun has just begun…

Amazon US:

https://www.amazon.com/Allan-Krummenacker/e/B00B1W8TEU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1501360496&sr=8-1

Amazon.UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Allan-Krummenacker/e/B00B1W8TEU/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Barnes and Noble:

 https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/allan+krummenacker?_requestid=724422

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/1383

Lisa’s Private Thoughts October 12th, 2011: “Vintage Clothing, Nathan, and Burlesque”

Uncle Nathan is the coolest guy ever!

Back when we’d been in Europe he’d promised to take me to some places that had vintage clothing and today he did just that.  It was a raining today so we didn’t have to worry about the sun bothering him as we drove around.  At the first place we stopped I found this really nice-looking old bustle skirt in black that fit just perfect.  Unfortunately, it was a little out of my price range, but not Nathan’s.  He bought if for me.

“It looked perfect on you,” he explained.  “And I would know, I spent a lot of time looking at women from the front, from behind, all around in fact.”

I gently slugged him on the arm for that one and called him a pervert to which he replied, “Excuse me, I did work in theater for a coupled of decades doing a lot of different jobs, including helping with people’s outfits.  I had to make sure they looked right before they went on stage.”

“Sure, you did,” I teased back.

“Right, that does it,” he announced and took me to a theater that was running a burlesque show.

Now before anyone freaks out, the show wasn’t going to be on until later.  So the only people there were a couple of the girls who were rehearsing and the troupe’s leader, a woman named Olivia.  Much to my surprise when she spotted Nathan her face lit up and she came running over to give him a big hug crying, “Uncle Nate!  Oh, how I’ve missed you.  Hey, everyone Nate’s here!”

I swear one of these days I’m going to find out exactly how many people are part of his ‘extended family’ besides mine.  Back in Europe there were quite a few, but now I’m beginning to think that the the actual numbers are much larger.

In this case it made sense.  Apparently a number of friends and cousins were in charge of this burlesque troupe.  I don’t think all of them know his real secret as a couple of the people mentioned how unusual it was to see him in the day.  “You usually only come around at night when we have a show going,” one mentioned.  To which he replied with a waggle of his eyebrows, “Well, the sites around here are much more interesting at that time.”

After everyone burst out laughing, I was given the grand tour backstage while Nathan was giving people a hand here and there with the backstage equipment and event he costumes.  Apparently he was telling the truth as several of the girls asked for his opinion and help with some of their outfits.  I think a few were trying to flirt, but mostly they did want his advice and help.

It was interesting to see all the inner workings of a theater backstage.  I’d never been behind the scenes before, so this was a real treat for me.

Plus I got to see inside one of the dressing rooms where they kept all the clothing and make-up.   One of the things they all stressed to me was although I wanted to go for an authentic look I should also keep in mind, be able to move and breathe.

“We don’t just get out there and start stripping, we’re dancing,” one girl told me.  “We do splits and a lot of other acrobatics.  And some of us are wearing corsets and those can be constricting so if you’re not careful you could make your life really miserable.  So choose items that allow movement and fabrics that breathe and you’ll be okay.”

I thought this was great advice, because the theater teacher at my high school has been complimenting me on my outfits lately.  She says I have an eye for style and authentic looks and has been hinting I should maybe join her class.  I told her I’d think about it and now I really am.  This could be a great experience for me and open up some doors down the road.  I may do it since I have more time to myself these days.  Marisa is still being distant, but at least now I know what’s going on.  Her dad is fighting cancer and she’s spending as much time with him as possible in case things go bad.

I’d love to be there for her, but my parents say I should respect her wishes to be with her family more, so I’m giving her her space.  I’m still going to try and be there for her as much as possible, especially at school.  But I’m going to do as my parents say and giver her her space.  I just hope things go well so we can start hanging together again.  I really miss her.

An Early Halloween Treat From Me To You!

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*HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!  I decided to give you all an early treat by sharing a snippet from “The Vampyre Blogs” novel itself.  Unlike the other entries you’ve seen here on this blog, this entry actually shows up in the book.  I was careful to choose this particular entry since all three characters are well known to you by now.  Plus it doesn’t give too much away, while hopefully leaving you with some questions to think about until the novel’s release at Christmas.  So without further ado, here are Marisa, Lisa and Nathaniel.  I hope you enjoy*

MARISA’S MUSINGS – October 7th, 2012

It’s been such a strange day, especially this evening.  I still don’t know what think at the moment.

Waking up and finding Dad was still at home sitting in front of the TV just like in my dreams, gave me a start.  Especially when I saw he looked a little greyish, but then Mom opened the curtains and I saw he was just tired.  I literally blew a sigh of relief, but it still set me on edge for the rest of the day.

Unfortunately, most of my classes were on the quiet and boring side today, which meant I kept worrying about my dad.

Thank God Lisa was in all of them with me.  I don’t know what I would’ve done without her around trying to distract me.  But I still couldn’t get that damn dream out of my head.  It had felt so real.  Then, just as we arrived at The Crypt, I started wondering if it had actually been some kind of warning. The idea it might be really put me on edge.

Unfortunately, that’s when Dianne showed up and started in with me, as usual.  Normally I can ignore her comments, but tonight, I just couldn’t.  God I feel so bad about what happened.  Poor Lisa got caught up in things and could’ve wound up getting hurt if Nathaniel hadn’t stepped in when he did.

I still feel bad about blowing up at him the way I did at the time.  But that’s not the only thing that’s bothering me about him.  After tonight, I can’t look at him the same way I used to.

Finding out he was once married and that his wife pass away in his arms, really hit me hard.  I guess that’s why I kissed him the way I did.  I just wanted to wipe away the pain I knew he was experiencing at that moment, along with my own.  I didn’t tongue him or anything, but for a second I nearly did.  Something about him that made me feel so alive that I didn’t want it to stop.  But I remembered Lisa was with us and I know she has a crush on him.  So I backed off.  But a part of me wanted to go right back to kissing him.   I don’t think I’ve ever wanted someone so bad in all my life.

And truth be told, I still want him.  But I’m also a little leery of him, because of because of what happened next.

I excused myself and started to fix my make-up.  After all that crying I’d done earlier, I knew I must look like hell.

Nathaniel was kind enough to walk away and give me my space, while Lisa checked on me quick before she went over to join him at the window.  As I heard the two of them talking quietly, I stole a glance over my shoulder.  Lisa was hanging onto him in a playful way, and I started to get jealous for a moment.

Quickly, I shook my head and pulled out my compact so I could use the mirror as I fixed my make-up.  Surprisingly, I didn’t look too bad and was able to make myself presentable rather quickly.

Then I decided to use the mirror to take another at Lisa and Nathaniel to see what they were up to.  And that’s when it happened.  I could see Lisa still acting if she were draped all over Nathaniel, only he wasn’t there.

I blinked and stared at the mirror again, but the image had not changed.  From the way Lisa was positioned, I knew she had to be hanging onto someone, because there was no way she could keep her balance in that pose.  But there was no one there.

Carefully I took another look over my shoulder and saw the two of them just as I had before.  Then I looked back at my mirror and saw only Lisa holding on to empty air.  I let out a little gasp and dropped everything, including the compact which shattered on impact.

Immediately, Lisa came rushing over to see what was wrong and quickly helped me gather everything.  Nathaniel on the other had stayed by the window.  He seemed to be in deep thought.

Naturally, I didn’t tell either of them what I saw, or rather what I didn’t see.  Instead, after Lisa helped me get all my make-up back in the purse, I told them I felt like going back down to the dance floor.   I’d remembered there were huge mirrors on the walls down there and wanted to see what would happen when we got down there.

To my amazement and relief, I saw all three of our reflections in every one of them.  At that point I was fully ready to believe my eyes had simply played a trick on me.

But now my mind has gone back to the day in my Aunt Betsy’s office when I first met Nathaniel.  She had brought in those beautiful fresh cut flowers.  But after he went near them to get his coat and hat,  we’d found them black and withered.

Is he what I think he is?  I’ve seen enough movies to know all the signs.   Yet, I saw his reflection in the mirrors of the club.  Plus he has a bunch of mirrors in his home which I’ve seen him use.

No, I think I’ve just been stressing out too much lately.  There’s no such thing as vampires.  Right?

Happy-Halloween-Gif-2

Marisa’s Musings September 2011 “Alone At School”

*NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Marisa’s back today and she’s feeling a bit isolated.  Today, she’s talking about her dad’s fight with cancer.  And I can speak from experience that when someone in your family is fighting a condition as serious as that or some other life-threatening condition, it feels like your whole family is fighting with them.  You can feel alone at times, like there’s no way anyone else could understand what you’re going  through.  Sometimes you withdraw from even your close friends.  It’s not necessarily the best thing to do, but sometimes you just can’t help it.  Especially if you’re afraid of losing someone very dear to you.  To anyone else out there who’s had to deal with this kind of situation, my sincerest condolences and I pray the outcome was a good one.  If not, I’m deeply sorry.  So if you think this entry might trigger off some bad memories, please spare yourself.  I’ll understand.  The next one will be lighter.–Thank you.*

School ended about an hour and a half ago and yet here I am, wandering the empty hallways feeling more lost and alone than ever.

Normally I’d be home by now, but I knew no one would be home.  Dad’s getting another chemo treatment and Mom’s with him. I could’ve gone home with Lisa, but I…I just couldn’t.  She’s changed and I can’t stand it.

She got back from touring Europe with her family a few days after school started, so I didn’t even get a chance to see her, until she showed up in homeroom.  As soon as I saw her walk in I was so happy to see her until I realized what she was wearing.  Black clothing which looked like it was from another era entirely.  Oh there were a few splashes of color, but mostly it was black.

Immediately, several of our classmates started laughing and asking her who died. Of course that hit me pretty hard.  Ever since he was diagnosed with cancer, I’ve been terrified of losing my dad.  It’s gotten so bad that I can hardly even watch some of those old vampire movies, my dad loves so much.  I do of course, but mostly so I can be with him.  But I can’t stand the idea of vampires anymore.  Every time I see the heroes trying to fight to save one of Dracula’s victims I keep noticing how pale and grey they look, and then I glance at my dad and see a similar pallor in his face.

Then I begin to envy the characters in the movie.  They have a foe who they can face and put and end to with a sharp wooden stake.  But I can’t do that.  I have to sit on the sidelines and watch some unseen enemy trying to drain my father of his health and vitality.  Some days he looks better than others and even seems more like his old self.  Then a day or two later he’s weak and looking pale again.

I’ve had to deal with this all on my own the entire summer.  I didn’t have my Lisa at my side to help me cope.  And now when she’s finally back she looks like someone in mourning, only she hasn’t lost anyone.  She’s just getting a whole lot of attention while being a constant reminder to me that I may lose my dad.

It upsets me so much I can barely stand to be anywhere near her.  She tried to sit with me at lunch her first day back but I Just couldn’t do it.  Instead I simply got up and moved away without saying a word.  I didn’t mean to do it, but I couldn’t say anything without bursting into tears and running away in the middle of the cafeteria.  I eventually went outside and found a place to be alone for a while.

Then today a new problem arose. Everyone expected me to continue being head cheerleader, but with Dad fighting for his life, I just can’t do it this year.  So I talked to the coach and told her what was going on.  She fully understood and let me have a good cry on her shoulder for a few minutes.  Once I got myself under control again we talked about who should replace me.

I decided on Sherrie Wallace, who joined the squad just last year.  Sherrie transferred from another school where she had done gymnastics.  But after coming here, she wanted to try out for the cheerleading squad.  Truth be told, I think she’s more talented than me.  But I’d been head cheerleader for two years already and had gotten the team into the state quarterfinals both times.  So naturally everyone wanted to keep me in charge.  Sherrie didn’t seem to mind and she’s really sweet.  And unlike some of the girls on the team, she doesn’t cop an attitude.  So I felt she was the perfect replacement for me.

Unfortunately, one of the other girls, Diane Gilliams, did not agree.  She’s tried being my ‘buddy’ ever since she joined the squad two years ago.  And because she was always sucking up to me, she thought she could boss the other girls around and was always trying to take the spotlight in our routines.  I told her off many times and she was always ‘sorry’ and behaved herself again.  Until the next time when she thought she’d gotten on my good side.

Well, that won’t be happening anymore.  After the coach announced I wasn’t coming back and that we’d decided on Sherrie to lead the team everyone cheered, except Dianne.  She was pissed and let me know it as soon as we got back into the locker room.  She and a couple of her cronies tried cornering me when she thought no one was looking.

I don’t know what would’ve happened had Lisa not suddenly appeared and started talking in a very loud voice.  She was so loud in fact, that the coach came in to see what was going on.  Naturally, Dianne took off but not before giving us both the dirtiest look.

As soon as she was gone, Lisa turned to me and smiled.  “Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.  I’ll always have your back.”

I so wanted to hug her right then, but she was in full  black today.  “Thanks,” I managed to mutter and quickly left the locker room.  As I did, I glanced back at her one last time and saw the sad and confused look on her face.

God how I wanted to go back and tell her what was going on, but I needed to get home.  But Mom and Dad should be home by now, with results of the latest tests that will tell us if the treatments are helping or not.  If they aren’t…. I can’t think that.  They’ve got to be helping him.  They’ve just got to…

LATER

The results were very promising.  The treatments are helping.  But he’s not out of the woods yet.  I have to be strong.

Good night.