Almost missed remembering that I had to do the post today. Yard work has returned in full swing, the trade show promo pack for An'ji arrived yesterday, and today is the first day off from school for my oldest in her five-day long weekend! Everything is upside-down at the moment with feeling summer-time busy. It's kinda awesome.
(The awesome is likely due in part to the amount of coffee I've had already today :D )
4. Not Dead
My hand shot out as the zipper passed my shoulder. Both men yelped and leapt away as I slid out of the bag and landed on the floor in a crouch, putting the autopsy table between them and me. The bullet plopped out of my stomach and dropped to the floor as I finally let the wound heal.
Contrary to popular belief, vampires still have souls. We get to keep our souls when we cross over into being the undead. We lose the conscience, but when you’re made to eat other people you don't really need the guilt hanging over you. For all people, your soul stays with you until it gets released either by fire, ritual, or basic decomposition. When a body dies, the soul passes naturally and comfortably into the true afterlife by whatever means it is given. Tdrue, the Soul Stealer, skips the natural and comfortable part and quite horrifically rips the soul from the body. No matter if you are living, dead, or undead, it is the most awesomely terrible pain you will ever feel. He then follows that up by taking your soul into his own self so that he can sustain his pathetically manufactured immortality by devouring your life force. You spend eternity in pain, in him, wishing you were in whatever Hell you used to believe in. He has minions who worship him as a demigod and bring him sacrifices, both dead and alive. Many of us vampires don't mind sucking a Tdruist dry.
And these two bastards had chosen to work in the easy pickings of a low-end, city center hospital morgue. I could feel my retractable fangs drop as my muscles bunched for a pounce. Their hearts were beating wild and loud, so I lined up to attack the nearest one first.
Then I heard a lock click and the main door slammed open.
"Freeze!" the command was unmistakable. Cops. I could smell six new bodies as they flooded into the room.
One of the men who had been ready to feed my eternal soul to Tdrue stumbled and fell as he turned to face the ambush. He spun around on the floor and stared at me through the legs of the table. He wasn't the one who had opened the body bag. I snarled at him. He pissed himself and started screaming as he scurried backward towards the cops. One of them billy-clubbed him in the back of the head, knocking him out.
The other man stood in the middle of the floor, babbling. "She was dead, I swear it. Dead people don't move. She was shot. I swear she was dead!" he babbled as another of the cops tossed him to the ground and cuffed him. "I swear she was dead..." his eyes had gone wild and he stared in every direction, blinking randomly.
Four of the six cops dragged the Tdruists outside. The other two stayed standing just inside the door as it swung closed behind them.
"You feel like checking out the dead body? See if she really is dead?" one asked the other once the sounds of voices and footsteps faded down the hall.
"We could just ask. Didn't the crazy man just say that the corpse was moving? She might also be able to speak."
Nice. Comedians. My undead life had been about to end painfully and horribly, and these two were cracking jokes. I reached up and pulled the body bag off the table.
"Assholes," I muttered.
"What was that, oh living corpse?" the two of them snickered, one finishing the other’s sentence, both voices dripping with mock solemnness.
That's when it hit me. I tucked the body bag around me and stood up, still snarling, really angry, and fang-faced.
"You assholes! You knew there were Tdruists working here and you used me as bait! You jerks!"
"Hey," the cop on the left held up his hands. "You're still in possession of your soul."
"And it was you who asked to be shot because you needed to be dead again," the one on the right chimed in, holding up a folded piece of paper that he seemed to pull out of thin air. "Authentic confirmation of Accidental Death, right here," he pointed at it and it disappeared again. "Or around here somewhere, anyway," he patted at his pockets as if looking for the piece of paper. Like he didn't know where it was.
"We needed to prove that there were, um, body-snatching perverts working here. The whole room was bugged for sound. You were totally safe," said the first one. I was stalking my way across the room toward them.
The cop on the right suddenly pulled his sidearm and leveled it at me.
“Two for two?” He was still grinning. The bastard would do it, too.
I paused and retracted my fangs with visible effort – getting shot did hurt something fierce – and crossed the distance still separating us. One day, I promised myself, I was going to kill these two.
"Now, my lovely Undercover Agent, it is time for you to allow us to make you vanish into the night," the one on the left said with a flourish, handing me a handkerchief that he appeared to pluck out of a fold in the body bag to cover my face. You think just vampires are bad? Try dealing with vampire magicians.
He threw his coat over my head and wrapped an arm around my shoulders so that he could lead me out of the morgue. The other cop did a quick check around the autopsy table. He found the bullet from his gun that had been in my stomach and dropped it into his pocket.
"I’m going to kill you two one day."
"You're so beautiful when you're angry."
So now I'm here in a Safe House, wrapped in a body bag, waiting for them to come back. Hopefully with clothes. At least they left me a few prote tarts.
I need a holiday.
Why are Authors crazy? I can't answer that, but I can provide bits of my own thoughts so that you can piece together why I may be.