Saturday, January 22, 2005

Revival - Chapter 12: Teresa's assignment

It wasn't a fair fight. The guy was bigger, stronger, and had the element of surprise. I ducked out of the way just in time to avoid being bitten, then sort of spun out of his grip. Whatever I did, it worked. I managed to get away for a moment. I ran towards the house. I wasn't sure what I'd do when I got there, but I figured I'd decide that later. Unfortunately, it didn't come to that. I got maybe five feet before he grabbed me again. He didn't chase me, he just sort of glided over to me. I wrestled with him as best I could, moved my neck around as he tried to bite it, but there was no way I could last very long like that. I thought I was done for.
Interestingly enough, it was about then that it occured to me that the guy was probably a vampire. This might seem really slow of me, but you have to remember, back then we still thought they were extinct - the last vampire was supposed to have perished sixty years ago in the war. I remember realizing that if a vampire bites you, it starts a chemical reaction in your blood that turns you into a vampire within a week - I'd done a report on it for my biology class last year. The knowledge that a fate worse than death awaited me was enough to inspire me to one final attack. I used one of my legs to kick his leg out from under him, trying to knock him off balance. He didn't seem to notice.
I was out of tricks. I could feel his cold hands on my shoulder and arm, as he pulled me in towards his mouth. Then suddenly I heard roar coming from behind him. Two golden, scaly claws grabbed him and pulled him rather forcefully off of me. As soon as I was free, I ran the opposite direction as fast as I could. I turned to look and saw the battle.
My rescuer was about the size and shape of a human, but the resemblance ended there. It was covered in bright, golden scales on it's arms, legs, and head. It's body probably was too, but it was covered up. Oddly enough, it was wearing a blue halter top and jean shorts. It had a lizard-like head with a mane like a lion, except made of very thick strands of hair - almost like tentacles. Two large, leathery wings were folded on its back. It was breathing a stream of fire onto my assailant. The flaming vampire took off and drifted away towards the moon.
The creature walked towards me. It moved very gracefully, in a feline sort of way. As it moved, it transformed. The wings sunk into the back, the leather scales flattened themselves into the skin, and the head seemed to morph itself inward. Standing before me, by the time she arrived, was a perfectly normal looking human woman, probably in her mid-twenties.
Well, not perfectly normal. Exceptionally beautiful. Her ethnicity was hard to pinpoint - there was definately some Asian, but also hints of Hispanic. She had shoulder-length brown hair, round, full cheeks and a very well-formed body. She was not smiling- in fact, she looked rather upset - but I was so happy to be dealing with an attractive young woman instead of a scaly monster that it didn't seem to matter.
"Umm... thanks?" I offered.
"I warned you not to do any exploring, Skyler," she said contemptuosly. "The enemy doesn't waste time. Now that he knows you're under protection, he'll be sending a more powerful force soon. And I might not be there to help,"
Suddenly it dawned on me to whom I was speaking. "So you're Dragon girl," I said, "It fits,"
"The name's Teresa Willard," she said, holding out her hand, "No 'H'"
"Skyler Woods Brimmer the sixth," I said, then added after a moment, "Although I suspect you already know that,"
"Yes," said Teresa, "I've had my share of dealings with the Brimmer family. Believe me, this was not my first choice of assignment,"
"Who assigned you here?" I asked.
"All in good time," said the woman, "You'll find out soon enough. Right now I have to figure out what to do about you,"
She started walking through the woods. I followed.
"What do you mean?" I asked, when I caught up with her.
"The enemy now knows your location, and probably suspects you're trying to develop your powers," she answered. "Furthermore, he knows you have a fully trained draconic protecting you. Next time it's not gonna be single vampire. It's probably going to be a dragon humter to deal ith me and four or five tougher vampires or just general thugs, to make sure you get taken out of the picture. You may have to get away for a while. Is that managable?"
I thought about it. Leaving right now would be darn inconvenient; it was the beginning of a new semester, I'd probably have to make up a bunch of school, and if I didn't take the test soon, my driver's ed credit would expire. In retrospect all that seems pretty insignificant, but at the time, It mattered a lot more.
"I'd rather not," I answered.
"Well, It may prove unavoidable," said Teresa, "But I'll see if I can get you increased protection. Stay on your guard, and try not to be out after dark. And I'd start carrying a wooden stake. A cross necklace wouldn't be a bad idea, either. YOu go to church?"
"Usually," I said, "But my dad owns a funeral parlor. There's religious stuff all over the place,"
We came out of the woods by a road. A small blue Mazda was parked on the shoulder.
"Need a ride home?" she asked.
I told her it would be nice, and I climbed in. Teresa reached over, picked up a large trash bag, and threw it in the back. The cars interior smelled heavily of garlic.
"There's some extra stakes in the back," she told me, "I'll get you one before I go. Not that I'm going far,"
"How long have you been following me?" I asked her.
"Since you typed 'Lisa Brimmer' into a search engine and set off our alarms," she answered.
"Why am I important enough to assign someone to watch me?" I asked. "For that matter, why am I important enough to send someone to kill me?"
"You're name makes you important enough," she answered, "There has never been a 'Skyler Woods Brimmer' who didn't cause they enemy major problems. I suspect the thought of getting the next one before he could defend himself would be quite tempting,"
"So my grandfather -" I began, but she cut me off.
"No more questions," she said, "I've already told you more than I'm authorized to. I'll answer your questions once I've cleared them through my superiors,"
"Okay," I said. There was a long silence.
"So what are you allowed to tell me?" I asked.
"Strictly speaking," she answered, "I've already told you too much. You like Journey?"
"What?" I asked
"The band," she answered, "Journey. Most of what I have in here is either either techno-punk or Broadway, but you seem like more of an eighties music type to me,"
So there was no more talk of draconics or vampires. The rest of the trip was spent listening to "Don't Stop Believing," and singing along. I got out of the car holding a wooden tent stake and a small bag of garlic, along with a small piece of paper containing her cell phone number. I had had enough excitement for one night, so I crawled into my bed, and went to sleep.


violinvoice said...

Awesome! I like the new developments . . . but when is Skyler going to learn to turn dragon?

Pirate_King said...

The concept and the actual events are still awesome, but the actual writing is leaving something to be desired. he seems too calm about the way things go on, and you clearly don't have experience in writing action sequences

wings said...

I love that song! Yes, and more reactions would be good.

Nathaniel Cornstalk said...

Thank you for not beating around the bush, Marten. Action sequences are probably my weakest point - especially in first person. I'd appreciate advice on that from any of you, if you have it.

Erin said...

I really like the direction of the story, but I'd also like to see some more of the thought processes and motivations of the characters.
Also: Its! Not it's, its!

paul said...

sounds good. I think the action sequences are fine.