The bell chimed as I walked out of the door to Lefort's Seafood, my home away from home. I'd worked at this tiny restaurant in the deep southern bayou of Louisiana near New Orleans every day after school; I helped out my dad the best I could. It was warm, too warm for February. I grimaced, wishing for the fresh snowfall that would never come. I sighed, door still open, shouted back into the kitchen. "Bye Joe, I'll see you in the mornin'" I drawled, my accent adjusting to its new norm. I didn't always live here, but I had always been from the south. Southern Louisianan's accents were much thicker, much more than I had been used to.
"In the mornin' darlin'" Joe agreed back, finishing up the kitchen. I smiled as I saw his dark hand wave to me from behind the fridge.
I stepped out of the door, letting it swing behind me. It hadn't been too warm today, thankfully; but definitely muggy. Always muggy.
I walked to my '05 Mercery, unlocking it and climbed in. I settled into the seat and pulled out my phone, pressing my fathers' number. He answered on the second ring, probably waiting for my call. "Hey Darlin', on your way?"
I smiled, "Yes dad, you know my shift is over at 8." I glanced at the clock to 8:01 and shook my head. He was so overprotective, especially in NOLA. It was a pretty dangerous area, especially at night. "I know, but you do have school tomorrow. Don't forget!"
"I know dad, I still have a history report to finish." I moaned. He grumbled about me finishing my homework and I told him I would be home soon. I sighed and stuck my phone in the cup holder.
I hadn't realized it had started to rain as I started my car. "Great." I grumbled. Always the rain, the overcast, the shade from the willows. Always gloomy.
I pulled out of the parking lot and headed towards home. I didn't live far at all, just north of the Bayou Segnette State Park. Maybe a few miles drive?
As I neared the familiar road I stopped in my tracks, road block. A downed tree? Of course, my luck. I scowled at the orange road block signs. Was that there earlier? I groaned and turned the car around, going down the road I hated. Bumpy, torn up, very woodsy.
As I turned the corner something white flashed in front of the car. I gasped and slammed on my breaks, my dark long hair covering the steering wheel. I sat like that for a moment and collected myself. What was that…? I cleared my throat and straitened my hair. I looked around. I couldn't see anything but trees. No headlights, no people, no animals. Quiet.
I shook my head to free my thoughts and proceeded. As soon as I put my foot on the pedal, the car was suddenly hit by something hard and almost tipped to the side. What had run into me? I was barely going 10 miles per hour. I shrieked and looked around, my car rolling forward. My thoughts raced, there wasn't really any large animals in Louisiana. Nothing more than a few dear and coyotes. Nothing that could make my car almost tip over, or run that fast. I started hyperventilating, and slammed my foot on the gas. I had to get out of here.
I hadn't realized tears flooded my vision from my fear, was it that or the rain? Both. My windshield wipers were on high as the rain fell, the only sound I heard, on top of my whimpering. I must have made it less than 300 feet before something crashed into my car again, tipping it over, driver side on the ground. I screamed; the sound scared me even more. The sound of glass shattered around me and I used my arms to cover my head. The rain poured onto me from the broken windows. I could feel the pavement on my shoulder and head. I could also smell the blood, my head ached and so did my throat from screaming. Had no one heard me? I was afraid to open my eyes.
It was quiet for a few seconds and I started to look around, panicked. I was definitely on the road. The rain poured now and there was nothing, no one. I looked at my hands. Both still there, I moved my feet and legs. They're fine. Thank god.
"Hello there," a man's voiced almost purred seductively. I gasped and peeked up toward the sky where the passenger window was. I shielded my eyes with my hand, trying my best to see. A man was looking down at me from the window, he had dark hair dripping from the rain, beautiful strong features and snow-white skin; but that's not what struck me the most, it was his ruby red eyes. I gasped, and shook my head.
"Please, call for help, I need help!" I croaked, not realizing my voice was so soft, broken.
He smirked, "Oh sweety, helps not coming." He shook his head disapprovingly, almost as if he knew. My heart thumped in my chest, faster and faster. In one swift movement, he grabbed my seatbelt, almost shredding it, grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the car. I gasped at his touch, freezing cold. In this heat? I thought I was fine until I was thrown across the road, with force and strength I had never witnessed before in my entire life.
I screamed and landed with a thud, my head hitting the asphalt again. I could feel the blood ooze out of the head wound that was already there. I groaned and struggled to turn to get up. The water from the sky pounded on my back with force. I managed to turn my head to glance up through my soaking wet hair. The man was staring at me, a smirk on his face, his eyes piercing.
He took a step toward me and I started crawling. "Please," I blubbered; the wet asphalt still warm from the day. All I heard was the rain hitting the road, and my whimpering. Was anything broken? I didn't care, I had to get out of here. Suddenly I was flipped over, the man's cold grip on my jacket, he lifted me into the air so I was face to face with him. He was beautiful, frighteningly so. I trembled, and begged one last time, "Please, don't." He smiled at my plea.
"Sorry sweetheart, you just smell amazing."
His other hand reached up to bend my neck, and his lips were at my throat. I gasped at the cold touch of his lips and he sank his teeth into my skin.
The pain was unbearable. I didn't know what to do, all I could do is scream, louder than I ever have. Fire, it felt like fire; coursing through me. I was sure I was dying, and then suddenly I felt tired. Exhausted, like I hadn't slept in years. I started to dose off, not strong enough to fight the fire when I hit the ground with a thud. I hit my head again, my wet hair on my face. I screamed again, I felt the strength to, and the burning again. My hands flew to my neck; I felt wetness, thicker than water. It had to be blood; I could smell it. I brought my hands to my face, my vision blurring. Red liquid oozed down my hands, it looked like I had committed a murder. My stomach turned.
There was more noise now, snapping, yelling; awful noises. I tried to concentrate on the rain, the peaceful sound. It almost drowned out the rest of the awful noises. Was I still screaming? I don't think so. My body was overcome by the fire, I couldn't feel anything else. I don't think I could make a sound if I tried.
I managed to open my eyes; my vision was blurry; the rain again? My car. Was that fire? Was that real, or the feeling in my body?
Two figures walked toward me as I stared at the fire. I squeezed my eyes shut.
Please don't, I begged internally, I couldn't form words.
"He bit her," A warm gentle voice said, and somehow through the fire, I felt cool hands on my neck. I was trembling, shaking uncontrollably. I opened my eyes again, the man was crouched next to me, I could only partially see his face, he also, was beautiful. His golden hair perfectly slicked back, even in the heavy rain, not out of place. His eyes staring into mine, golden, almost like honey. "We can't leave her." A women's voice now. Soft, loving.
The man sighed and suddenly I was in the air. Did he pick me up? "She's lost a lot of blood. Let's go." The rain hit my face hard, and suddenly I felt like I was moving fast. Was I dying? Had the angel of death finally come to claim me from this retched evening? I hoped so.
I faded. Darkness, and numbness. Finally.