Chapter 4.1 – Seeing Red

Igneous’s Point of View

The five days of ISS passed rather quickly, but there was no keeping it from Mom and Dad. I was grounded for a few weeks in addition to my school punishment. No computers, no television, no hot tub, no leaving the house besides school, I couldn’t even have dessert. It seemed a lot harsher than ISS. I was lying on my bed late one night. Everyone had gone to bed, as I had, but I couldn’t sleep.

Suddenly I heart a knock on the door and, expecting Jiro, called for him to come in. It wasn’t him, but instead Cecelia entered. She was wearing a tank top with a little dinosaur on it and some short sleep shorts. She had one hand on her hip and one holding up a plate of leftover birthday cake from a few days ago.

“Hey.” She said simply.

I nodded, “Hi.”

She walked over and set the plate heavily on my nightstand. “Thought you might want some. It’s the last piece. I was going to eat it but I figured my thighs could go for a little less eating.”

I picked up the plate and scooped a piece of the cake into my mouth, “Thanks.”

“Welcome.” She turned to leave, “Oh, one more thing, I heard about your fight.” She winked, “Nice job for kicking that guy’s ass, Cousin.”

I swallowed my bite and smiled, “Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it. Maybe we have more in common than I thought. Anyway, have fun in ISS.”  She waved as she walked out. It was the first real conversation I’d had with Cecelia in a long time. For a while I wondered if she’d even noticed she had cousins. I still wonder if she knows I have a twin.

The few weeks of punishment passed by quickly and soon I was back in regular school and able to eat dessert again. School continued to be overly boring after my fight with the guy whose name I still don’t know. My sanity was begging for something interesting to happen, that something preferably not being another history presentation. That something came one afternoon when my dad burst into my room where Jiro and I were doing homework together.

“Boys, I have a surprise for you!”

I looked up from the math problems I was doing in my notebook, “Yeah?”

“Us three are all going on vacation this weekend!”

“Really? What about Mom?”

“Well, to tell you the truth, it’s actually a business trip, but I thought it’d be fun if you two came along and we had a sort of guys weekend together while the girls stay here and do their own thing.”

Cecelia probably won’t be too fond of this idea. “That sounds awesome Dad! We can’t wait!”

“Yes, it’s a wonderful idea.” Jiro smiled and Dad beamed at us.

“Be sure to be packed before this weekend!”

“Will do!”

*   *   *

Jiro’s Point of View

“Bye Mom! Bye Aunt Fae! Bye Cecelia!”

“Goodbye everyone!”

Igneous and I called to the females of our family as father loaded our luggage into the car. He went to kiss mother goodbye then to kiss his prized Kenspa goodbye as well. I hid a smile watching father and his dedication for his vehicle. I knew it carried many memories of him and mother. I vaguely wondered if I would ever have that sort of connection with a person as well. I brushed the thought away as my brother and I slid into opposite sides of the car. We waved out the window as our father started the car and drove off.

It was a long drive with minimal conversation. Father turned on the radio, so Iggy and I put our headphones in and listened to our own music. A few hours into the drive, Iggy started to lean on me then fell asleep with his head on my shoulder as I watched out the window. I didn’t mind. I stared at my brother’s sleeping face. I could tell by his changing expressions that he was dreaming. I wondered what he was dreaming about.

When we arrived at our destination, it was already dark as Iggy’s eyes began to flutter open. “H-Huh? Did I fall asleep?”

“Yes,” half of my mouth stretched into a small half-grin, “You fell asleep 2 hours ago. We’ve just arrived.”

Iggy and I got out of the car, he yawned and rubbed his eyes sleepily, accidentally nudging and running into me multiple times as we unloaded. Father’s business had provided us with a small condo to stay in for the weekend. It had two bedrooms, one for father, and one that Iggy and I were able to share. The room was small, but hospitable with two single beds and a dresser for us to share if we wanted to.

Father yawned as he dropped the last suitcase on the floor inside. “Okay, boys. I suppose it’s time we got to bed. I’m going to be leaving early tomorrow morning so you might not see me when you wake up. You can go explore and do whatever you want to do, just be sure to stay together and keep your phones with you. Call if you have any emergencies, okay?”

I nodded my response while Iggy let out another yawn. “Alright, Dad. G’night.” He said. We shut the door behind us as we dragged our suitcases and tired bodies into our room.

Iggy stripped off his shirt yanked off his jeans before falling face first onto the small bed which he claimed his own.

“Goodnight, Iggy.” I called to my brother as I prepared for bed myself.

“Uhhnggh…” I heard his muffled moan from his face pressed in the pillow. He would be asleep in a few minutes so I might as well sleep as well. I changed into more comfortable clothing then turned out the lights in our room and slipped under the covers of my borrowed bed. I woke up what felt like only minutes later to a shout and a thud. My eyes snapped open but I couldn’t see anything in the dark.

“Iggy? Was that you?”

“Uhhh…. Yeah, I fell off this tiny bed.”

I covered my mouth with my hand to muffle my laughter.

“Are you laughing at me?”

“No, no, dear brother. You must be hearing things.”

As my eyes adjusted, I could see Iggy rising to his feet to get back on the bed. “I can’t get any sleep on such a tiny bed,” he grumbled loudly. I stood up out of bed and walked over to his and shoved him off. He fell to the floor with another shout and thud.

“What the heck was that for!” he exclaimed.

I ignored him and dragged his bed to the center of the room and dragged mine so it was directly next to it. “There, you have a double bed now.” I laid down on the floor to allow my brother to take the makeshift double bed.

 

“You know, brother, you truly are an idiot.” I felt his hand clasp around my wrist as he yanked me up to my knees. He looked directly into my eyes and spoke again, “Do you really think I’m going to let you sleep there on the floor?” He smiled, “No brother of mine will sleep on the floor.”

The next thing I knew we were in our makeshift double bed together, just like at home. We were together and everything was normal, but I didn’t remain the same for long.

*   *   *

Igneous’s Point of View

The next day, as expected, Dad had already left and we were alone to our own devices. I put on some clothing and left our room to make some breakfast. I was surprised I had woken up before Jiro as he was much more of a morning person than I was. I fried some eggs and set them out on plates as Jiro walked in, rubbing sleep from his eyes.

“Sleeping in late, I see?”

“Shut up.” He grumbled.

“Hmm, and grumpy too. I suppose you don’t care that I got up early and made us breakfast?”

“Mmmm…” He mumbled and plopped down heavily in his chair.

“So what’s got you waking up late and coming in all grumpy this morning?”

“You should know.”

“How should I know?”

“…blanket stealer.”

His comment hung in the air a moment before I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I busted out laughing, holding my stomach.

“Don’t you friggin laugh! I couldn’t sleep because you took all the blankets and left me freezing on the edge of the bed!”

I tried to catch my breath as I turned to switch off the stove. I reached over for the switch without watching where I was reaching. The stove worked differently from the one we had at home so instead of grabbing the twist knob to turn it off, I hit the underside of my wrist on the hard and burning hot cook top.

“Shit!” I cursed, whipping my burned arm away from the heat. I gripped my right wrist with my left hand and winced in pain as I lowered into a crouch. Instantly, Jiro was at my side.

“Iggy! Are you okay?!”

“Y-Yeah, I’m fine. Just a little burn that surprised me that’s all.”

He grabbed my arm gently and pulled it toward him to see. I didn’t lift my hand from the burn.

“C’mon, Ig, let me see.”

I shook my head back and forth like a stubborn little boy.

“It’ll be okay. You’ll be fine, just let me see.”

Slowly he lifted my left hand from the burn. It stung when I pulled my sticky hand away from the burnt skin. It wasn’t a very bad burn, it just stung a lot.

“Good, that’s good,” Jiro soothed and stood to get a cool damp hand towel. He placed the towel atop my wrist and held it there for a few moments before wrapping it in a bit of gauze. I smiled at my brother, “Thank you,” I spoke quietly, feeling embarrassed. I was glad it was Jiro there instead of someone else. I looked down and noticed he was gently rubbing the underside of his wrist in the same place as my burn.

I gestured to his movements, “What are you doing? You didn’t get burned, I did.”

He stood up and petted my hair back like a father would to his child, “Empathy, dear brother. Empathy.”

*   *   *

Several minutes later, after we had cleaned our dishes, we decided to set out on the town and explore. It wasn’t a very large town and there honestly wasn’t that much to see.

We spent the majority of the day just wandering. We entered stores but didn’t buy anything or went to parks and didn’t do anything. I started to wonder if the entire weekend was going to be this boring. There was nothing to do there that couldn’t be done just the same at home.

Late that afternoon, we were walking down the street when a girl spotted us. I had never seen her before, but the moment she saw us, her eyes seemed to light up. My first thought was that she thought we were someone she knew as she began to sprint down the street toward us. We stopped walking and watched her curiously as she ran. Her long red hair blew as she ran. I expected her to stop as she got closer and notice we weren’t who she thought we were, but she continued to run. I found myself instinctively backing up.

Suddenly she shrieked, “OH MY GOD!! Igneous!! Jiro!! Is it really you?!”

“What the he-!” I began when she dove at me, giving me a tight hug around the stomach.

“Hey! Hey, wait a second!” I exclaimed, trying to pry the strange girl off me. “Who are you? Why do you know our names?”

“Oh! Of course you wouldn’t know who I am, but, ooohh, I can’t tell you. She’d get really mad at me…”

“She who? Who are you talking about? How do you know us?”

“You ask a lot of questions! But I guess that’s understandable. Uh-oh, I really shouldn’t be talking to you. I’m gonna get in biiig trouble now!” She hugged me tightly one last time then walked over to Jiro and hugged him too. “I hafta go now! Bye Igneous! Bye Jiro!” she called as she rushed off as fast as she had come.

I stared after her, my eyes wide with confusion and shock. “Who was that?”

Jiro shrugged slowly, “I don’t have the slightest idea. I’ve never seen her before, but she seemed to know us.”

“Yeah, she definitely seemed to know us, there’s no doubt about that. She knew our names and recognized our faces, but who was it she was referring to? That ‘She’ would get really mad…”

Jiro placed his hand on my shoulder, “I don’t know, brother, but I have a bad feeling about it. Maybe it’s best we keep away from her.”

“She didn’t seem dangerous.”

“Not her, just the whole situation. I don’t think she can be trusted.”

I thought for a moment the nodded, “I agree.”

The sun was falling fast as we walked down the quiet streets. I turned and looked up at the dimming sky. “You know, I don’t really want to go back to that little condo and do nothing. Do you want to go out tonight and see a movie or something?”

He nodded in agreement and we began to walk towards the movie theater. After maybe 10 minutes of walking, Jiro stopped suddenly.

I turned to face him, “What’s wrong?”

He looked at the ground, “I accidentally forgot our money at home…”

I sighed, “Okay, we’ll we’re gonna need money for a movie…”

“I’m really sorry, I’ll go back and get it.” Without another word, he began to jog in the direction of our condo. I would have gone with him, but it was too late. I knew he wanted to get it himself for his own pride’s sake. I paced back and forth for a few minutes before crossing the street to lean on a large building. I watched the sunset and the moon and starts slowly reveal themselves. The darkness was soon upon me while I waited for Jiro to return. I knew it would take a while since our condo was pretty far away from where we were.

I was thinking about calling him when my ears suddenly tuned into a sound coming from an alley a few feet away. I stepped closer and noticed it was the sound of crying; quiet sobs disturbing the night. I peeked my head slowly around the corner of the building and into the alley and saw a little ways in, a girl was sitting on the ground and leaning against a wall, the sounds of her tears echoing between the buildings. I looked closer and recognized her as the girl who had hugged me just a few short hours ago.

“Are you okay?” I asked, taking a step toward her.

She whipped her head around and looked at me with wide eyes then began to scoot away. I spoke soothingly, “No, it’s alright. I’m here to help.”

“No, no!” She spoke in a frightened voice, “Not you! Anyone but you!”

“What? What’s wrong with me?”

“No, where’s your brother?”

“He left to go get-“

“Good! Go! Go with him, please!”

“What’s going on? I’m just trying to help you!”

Suddenly she clamped her hands over her ears and shrieked, “NO! NO! I don’t want to! Anyone but him, please!!”

I looked around to see if there was someone else she was shouting at, but the streets were empty. The girl continued to sob, holding her head in her hands and muttering, “No… no… I don’t want… I won’t…”

I kneeled next to her and reached out my hand to try to comfort her, but she jerked her head up and slapped my hand away with such force that it hurt. She looked directly into my eyes, her’s were red and puffy from crying. She spoke softly, “I’m sorry… I’m so sorry…”

“What? You haven’t done anything so what are you sorry for?”

“For what I’m about to do.”

I stared as her gentle greenish-blue colored eyes slowly faded into a deep red.

She stepped closer to me and placed her hands gently on my shoulders. “I’m so sorry…” she whispered once more before I felt a shudder run through her body. I watched silently as her jaw lowered slowly to reveal long pointed fangs. She moved so quickly I could hardly see the movement as she shot her head forward and sank her fangs into my neck.

At first, shock numbed the pain as she sank the sharp teeth into my skin but only seconds later, I felt burning. It started from the point where she was biting me and spread as if someone had hit me with a lit torch and the fire was spreading. I grit my teeth and cried out in agony. It felt as though the longer she kept her fangs in my neck, the harder she was biting.

“W-w-why…” I choked out.

She slowly removed her fangs from my flesh and licked the wound gently before lowering me slowly to the ground as I felt my strength disappear.

“D-did you drink my blood?” Every word burned with pain.

“Yes, and I’m so sorry! I had no other choice!”

“You’re a vamp… ire?” I coughed causing the forest fire of my insides to flare dangerously. I brought my hand to my neck where she had bit me. I could feel the holes in my skin, but there was no blood. Her saliva had already begun to seal the bite marks.

“Yes, I am.”

“W-will I die soon?”

She shook her head, “No, no! You’ll be fine, you’ll just-” suddenly she cut herself off and took a deep breath before repeating, “You’ll be fine. Trust me.”

“Why should I trust…. you….” I breathed, but dizziness was overcoming my brain and my consciousness. I was spinning into darkness, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. The last thing I saw were the girl’s red eyes reverting back to greenish-blue before I fell into the inescapable darkness of unconsciousness.

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12 thoughts on “Chapter 4.1 – Seeing Red

  1. Call me crazy, but that SERIOUSLY looks like Evia…
    *crosses fingers and hopes it won’t be Evia*
    *crosses fingers and hopes it will be Evia*
    OMG SO GOOD! This legacy is honestly my favorite way to procrastinate 😉

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