Tales from the Island #1: Micah

Katelina finally gets her beach vacation, but it’s not everything she dreamed. How could it be with the companions she’s got? Strap in for a collection of six short stories about surf, sun, and… um… I mean surf, moonlight and vampires.

micah

Day 1:

 

Micah got off the boat and paused to light a cigarette. He inhaled the deep, familiar flavor and let his eyes roam the scene before him. A dark sky spread overheard, dotted with a million pinpoints of light and punctuated with a large yellow moon. He stood on a wooden dock that stretched up to land lush with greenery; palm trees and lots of tropical flowers he didn’t know the names of.  To the left a sandy beach bent around the curve of the island, and in the center of the whole damn rock stood two giant jungle huts on steroids. Made of gray driftwood and roofed in grass, it looked like the kind of place that native girls in grass skirts and no tops would hang out.

“Oh yeah. I’m gonna like it here.”

He hefted his bag up his shoulder and followed the parade down the dock. He wasn’t excited about some of the company on this trip but he could put up with it for a free tropical island. Even if half of them were Executioners. The damn vampire police were no better than the human pigs; always overstepping bounds and waving authority around like some kind of flag. Some day the sons of bitches would all get what was coming to them.

He spat at the thought and caught up to Loren. The curly haired teen stood on the edge of a wooden sidewalk, staring around with excited brown eyes. Just like him to get over excited, like he was six instead of sixteen. Though, since the kid was a vampire, he was even older than that.

He clapped the boy on the back with enough force to jolt him. “You gonna stand there all night or what?”

“Man, can you believe it?” Loren whispered. “That’s a real palm tree!”

Micah snickered. “You gonna kiss it or can we get on with this?”

“Yeah, sorry.” The teen gave the tree one last look and then trudged towards the houses. “I can’t believe Wolfe arranged all this.”

“Don’t think he had much choice.” Micah blew a cloud of smoke and then clamped the cigarette firmly between his teeth. “It’s the only way Jorick would agree to go back to Germany with him. He’s a fucking asshole, but you gotta admit Jorick could take Wolfe in a heartbeat, and the Schar-friggin-what’s-it knows that.”

Loren nodded enthusiastically. “Oh yeah, Jorick could kick his ass easy, even if he is one of Munich’s Executioners.” He frowned. “What’s with the funny name, anyway?”

“What? The Scar-friggy-what’s-it? It’s German you muppet. They’re from fucking Germany. Of course they don’t use English.” He cuffed the kid’s ear affectionately. “Damn. You shoulda stayed in school longer.”

“It wasn’t my fault. It’s kinda hard to go to school when you burn up in the sun.”

“Yeah, yeah, excuses, excuses.”

The first house had large sliding doors that were open and about a million windows. A pair of short, tawny skinned humans stood in front of it, hands clasped before them, and welcoming smiles on their faces. The woman was a little plump, but hell, there wasn’t nothin’ wrong with some meat.

He gave her a lascivious fanged grin; the grin of a vampire on the make. She didn’t recoil, but she didn’t look receptive either, only polite.

“Welcome to the island,” she said when everyone was gathered. “My name is Maria. This is the first house and that is the second,” she motioned to the other island mansion, as if it needed explanation. “There are six bedrooms in each, and you may choose your own. There are many windows, but you need not worry. Before the sun rises they are all covered.” She motioned to a large shed, as if that held some kind of answer. “The kitchen is stocked for both vampires and humans.” Her eyes lingered on the pair of mortals they’d dragged with them. “Should you need anything please ask myself or Henry.” She motioned to her male companion, who gave a half bow. The way the sounds rolled off her tongue seemed to say that those weren’t their real names, but what did it matter?

“There are others on the island who can also assist you,” she added. “Now, you’d like to get settled in?”

“Yes, thank you,” Wolfe said. He took his girlfriend’s arm; a short, plump blonde who was also one of the damned German police, and led her towards the first house.

That was enough for Micah. “Come on, pipsqueak. I ain’t sleepin’ with no Guild dogs if I don’t have to.” He strode towards the creatively named second house, Loren on his heels.

The inside was as themed as the out. Large airy rooms were decorated with seashells, drift wood and lots of white curtains and throw pillows. He picked the room at the end of the hall, complete with a double bed draped with mosquito netting and a balcony that looked out towards a rocky cove.

He threw his bag on the bench and rubbed his hands together. What had that chick said about a kitchen?

 

The kitchen and dining room were in the first house, which seemed more than a little inconvenient . Worse, he wasn’t the only one who’d thought of food. Verchiel, an Executioner with bright red, crayon colored hair, leaned against the counter, chatting up the tiny kitchen assistant. The woman giggled and her tanned cheeks flushed pink at something the vampire had said.

“Ah fuck, what are you doin’ in here?” Micah asked.

Verchiel held up a glass of crimson liquid: blood. “Just having a drink.”

“Yeah, well take your drink somewhere else, huh?”

Verchiel seemed to suddenly disappear and reappear next to Micah. He wasn’t sure if the Executioner’s speed was supposed to be an intimidation tactic, but he wasn’t intimidated. With one good punch he could send the wiry twerp through the wall.

“Look here,” Verchiel said cheerfully. “You don’t like me and I… well, what do you say we call a truce, hmmm? We’re on vacation and what’s the point in spending it fighting? There’ll be plenty of that after we leave.”

“You’re damn right I don’t like you or any of your fuckin’ friends.” Micah stopped to consider the Executioner’s offer. As much as he’d like to ram his head in the garbage disposal and watch the brains fly, he wouldn’t mind a real vacation. Ever since he’d gotten mixed up in Oren’s war he’d had to keep one eye forward and one behind. It would be nice to enjoy the sand and the surf and all the other tropical crap without having to watch his back. “Fine. A truce it is. But you break it and I break you.”

Verchiel held up his hand. “Oh, I have no intention of it. I have more entertaining activities planned.”

“Yeah, I bet.”

As if on cue, Jorick and his human Katelina walked through the door. Jorick was tall, dark and brooding, the kind of vampire you could put in a movie and sell as a smoldering romantic lead; hero complex and all. His human, on the other hand, was pretty much average. She had long blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail and wore a pair of shorts and a tank top. Her figure wasn’t bad, but she was no super model. Under different circumstances Micah’d do her, but she wasn’t worth fighting Jorick over, not when there was plenty of other p-

“Hello, Kately!” Verchiel trilled. “Looking for a snack?”

“That’s not my name,” she said and turned towards the refrigerator. The tiny island server hurried to intercept her.

“She says that a lot,” Micah thought. Personally he preferred to call her Lunch, mainly because it pissed off her vampire on a leash.

Verchiel downed the last of his glass. “You know, you might as well give it up. That’s what I’m always going to call you. It’s so much better than Katelina. Don’t you think so, Jorick?”

Jorick growled low in his throat and gave the redhead a dark, dangerous look. Micah could read the warning in his eyes and it was a bloody one. Maybe they’d get some entertainment before the trip was through.

Loren chatted amiably with the dark vampire, and Micah got them each a glass of blood. Then he led the teen through the glass doors and out onto a patio overlooking the ocean. He dropped into a rattan chair and lit a cigarette. The smoke spiraled upwards to disappear in the star strewn night, like a thread of silver. It made him think of another night before he’d turned into this. He could almost smell the bike shop; tires, oil, sawdust. Lo  Dog, his so-called friend, stood in the doorway, using every inch of his six foot seven bulk to be intimidating. “You take that money, Micah?”

“Fuck no. I wouldn’t steal shit off you. I’m not the one who fuckin’ needs cash.”

Dog took a menacing step closer. “What the fuck’s that ‘sposed to mean?”

“Why don’t you ask Trick about that?”

Lo Dog’s face twisted into something almost inhuman and he was suddenly in Micah’s face. “What the fuck you sayin’?”

Micah stared right back, his chin lifted to meet a pair of angry flashing eyes. “You know what the fuck I mean. Kid’s got a serious habit and that shit ain’t cheap.”

Dog growled low in his throat and pushed his face into Micah’s. “Watch what the fuck you say about my son, boy.”

“Sorry, but I ain’t scared a’ you, Dog.” As if to prove it he pulled out a cigarette and lit it inches from the furious man’s nose. “You can go throw your weight around somewhere else.”

He didn’t see the punch until it sent him flying into the wall. He’d lost the scuffle and his job, but most of all, his friend. As he stormed off on his bike he told himself that Dog was an asshole and not worth it, but later, when he’d sat on the roadside, watching the cigarette smoke curl up into the sky-

Loren’s voice jerked Micah back from his reverie. “Jorick sure hates Verchiel.”

“Huh?” It took him a moment to focus on the present. “Oh. Yeah, you can’t blame him.”

“Why?”

Micah choked on the smoke. “Boy, you seriously need an education. How about the way he’s always smoozing all over Lunch?”

“Nah, he’s not. He’s just being friendly, like an older brother or something.”

Micah snorted. “Maybe if this was Flowers in the Attic.”

“No. I think everyone takes him too seriously. I think he’s just teasing her and Jorick.”

“If that’s true he ought to know better. That jack ass can’t take a joke.” Micah had his own opinion of what the redhead was up to, and it gelled with Jorick’s. The thought that he agreed with him was enough to make him spit. “I wouldn’t put it past that clown to try and turn her.”

“Verchiel?” Loren looked shocked. “Why would he do that?”

“Just to be a pain. But I’ll give him, someone ought to do it soon. It’s not like she’s goin’ anywhere, and leavin’ her human is a pain in the ass.”

“Jorick will get around to it,” Loren said disinterestedly.

“Maybe. But he’ll just let her stay a pussy princess. Truth is she’s got some potential. She’s a blood thirsty little bitch under all those layers of nicey-nice fluff crap. She just needs a real master to train her right.”

Loren grinned. “Like who? You?”

He hadn’t considered it before, but it seemed as good an idea as any. “Yeah, why not? When I got done with her she’d be a real vampire, none of this damsel in distress bullshit Jorick likes.”

Loren broke into laughter. “Jorick would kill you!”

“Fuck, I ain’t scared of him. I’m just not sure I could put up with her whining while I whipped her into shape.”

Loren rolled his eyes and then looked hopefully to the palm trees. “Are we going to the beach?”

“Yeah, let me finish my snack, huh? Not like there’s much worth rushin’ down there for.”

“Torina bought a bikini!”

Micah sat up straight. “When?”

“When we were waiting for the boat and everyone went shopping . She bought the tiniest bikini they had.” His eyes glowed as he doubtless imagined the curvaceous, busty vampiress wearing what amounted to a handkerchief.

“Kid, you had me at bikini.” Micah downed the last of his glass and threw his cigarette over the patio railing. “What are we waiting for?”

 

Micah tugged at his baggy swim trunks and frowned. “These look fuckin’ gay.”

“They look fine,” Loren said, though he was focused on the surf.

“Bullshit. And there’s nowhere to put my fuckin’ smokes.”

Loren grabbed the pack from his hand and tossed it on a nearby beach chair. “They’ll be fine there.”

“Whoa! What are you doin’? You don’t mess with the smokes. We’re on an island. Not like there’s a 7-11 around here to get more if I run out.”

“You’ve got two cartons. That’s enough.” Loren skipped to the nearest palm tree and looked up it. “Think this would be hard to climb?”

“How the hell should I know? You’re the monkey.”

Loren grinned and took a running start. In a few quick grabs he disappeared among the palm fronds.

“There any coconuts up there?”

“Nah. Just bugs.” The teen made a sound like spitting something out and Micah snickered. The boy dropped back to the sand and landed in a crouch. “I bet there’s coconuts somewhere.”

“You knock yourself out looking for them. I’m gonna have a cigarette.”

Loren climbed to his feet and grabbed Micah’s arm. “You can smoke later, you chimney. Let’s go for a swim!”

Micah dug his heels into the sand. “Hey, hey. I thought we were here to check out Torina’s tits. No one said anything about swimming.”

“She’s not here yet, so might as well do something while we wait. The ocean’s not that much different than a swimming pool. That’s where I learned to swim at. Ashton took me out when I was a kid and dropped me off a rock. Mom was pissed.”

“Yeah, yeah, I bet.” Micah batted the teen’s hand away. “You go ahead, but I ain’t up for no swimming.”

Loren gave an exasperated sigh and turned his full attention on his friend. “Why not?” And then comprehension dawned in his dark eyes. “You don’t know how to swim!”

“I never fucking said that.”

“But it’s true!” The kid gave a whoop of delight. “You don’t know how to swim! Ha!” Micah growled low and Loren sobered. “I could teach you. It’s easy.”

“No thanks. I heard how you and your brother learned. Think I’ll stick to the beach.” He retreated towards the beach chair.

“It’s not like you can drown!”

“All the same, I’m stayin’ right here.” He sat down on the chair and planted his feet firmly in the sand. “You go for it.”

Loren argued a little bit and then surrendered. “Whatever, grandpa!” Then he skittered to the water, laughing.

“Grandpa, huh?” Micah muttered. “I ought to show that pipsqueak…” He trailed off and leaned back. His eyes strayed to the stars again and he thought of another night and the cold, sucking water. It wasn’t like him to give up, but he’d just had enough. How much shit should one man put up with? Better to go out in a blaze of glory – or a splash as the case was. He revved the bike and tore down the pier. The railing at the end broke against him like matchsticks that shattered his ribs and he splashed into the swirling night water. There was a moment of struggling panic, and then the drugs and booze pumping through his veins overwhelmed even that. He stared up at those stars, choking on salt water, and then he’d gone under and there was only the black and the cold.

Until he woke up on the beach, choking and screaming, that son of a bitch bent over him. The fangs were like something from a cartoon and the blood was the wrong color in the moonlight. Micah swung and his fist connected with the guy’s face, but he didn’t fight back, just threw back his head and laughed like a costumed lunatic.

“You were strong, but now you’re stronger. If you still want to die wait for the sunrise.”

Then he stood and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Micah pulled himself up on his elbows and coughed out a mouthful of sea water. He had a string of obscenities ready, but they were strangled off in a groan of anguish. Fire burned through his veins and he rolled into a ball of agony. When the pain receded the guy was gone and he was alone, lying on the beach, soaked to the skin with a mouth full of blood.

“The fangs comin’ in,” he thought to himself and pushed the memories away.  He’d never seen that vampire again. He still didn’t know who he was, or why he’d done it; why had he pulled him out of the water? Why had he changed him? What was the fuckin’ point?

“Maybe he was just bored – or maybe he had a fucking screw loose.” That seemed more likely.

Loren crashed out of the water carrying something. He waved to Micah, then spied Jorick and his human farther down the beach and hurried towards them with his prize.

There was more of that six year old behavior. Ah well, let him believe there was still magic in the world. Better than knowing the truth. The world was nothing but sucking darkness and friends who were only friends when it was convenient, and one day it all got to be too much and you just let the blackness suck you down.

“And then you come up kicking’ and screamin’ and bust some guy in the face.”

With a chortle, Micah lit another cigarette.

 

Look for #2 next week, and don’t forget that book 6: Children of Shadows will be available March 15, 2014.

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4 Comments

  1. finally got some intel on Micha. Looking forward to reading more! thanks 🙂

    Reply
  2. Yes! Finally a little on how Micah got changed. Nice additional excerpts to the book too.

    Reply
  3. Good stuff. I’m going to enjoy this.

    Reply
  4. Vampires on the Beach. Too much fun

    Reply

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