Place of No Name: Bill
The store did not have a sign above, advertising a name. The woman in charge no longer believed in names for inanimate objects. It did not matter that much, whether it had one or not. Anyone passing could see through parts of the window what was offered. The objects were simple enough and only those who understood would know what they were walking into. If they wanted it, they would enter then. That is what she believed.
Magic was subconscious. She didn't want someone there who was not serious.
Clothed head to toe, her eyes, the only things visible, darted across the screen beneath the counter, not even bothering to look up when someone entered. Things tended to happen there, as it usually always seemed to happen around her.
Just none of it happened to her.
He could not believe it. He got away. That bastard got away! The anger ran through his mind despite his current situation. He knew what it would have looked like to outsiders. And his current record wouldn't help him at all. He was going to be condemned for an accident that no one would believe him of! But the real culprit and mastermind of the situation was going to get away unscathed. It is said that guilty people run.
And yet he ran.
Bill was not an idiot like many people believed he was. Despite his strange quirks and difficult nature, he was much like everyone else in the world—well, at least to a certain extent. He just had his eyes opened a long time ago, and so could see everything. Not to say that he never missed anything, although he hated admitting it out loud he knew every once in a while he flawed just like the rest of Human life, but in the larger scheme of things he found that his sight was pretty accurate. Much more accurate then anyone else. No one else saw the Fang as who he was. Which was what got him into this situation.
It all started earlier that day, just during the afternoon.
Bill did not expect any activity that early in the day, but it never hurt to be cautious. It had been many a time in which something that was not expected was taken care of just as easily as the things he had predetermined just because he was ready beforehand. It was his specialty, to be ready before the unexpected occurred. Bill usually planned out all of the unexpected and expected outcomes in order to make sure he knew what to do no matter what. Just for some reason, this outcome eluded him.
He had not limited the Fang's actions to just the night, for he had never had any concrete proof to label him just as susceptible to light as most vampires. The fact was he had just never come across anything but one of the Fang's minions in the daytime, and so did not expect Count CocoFang to appear in the light himself. But Bill thrived on the unexpected and hurtled himself after his long awaited target. Armed to the teeth to match his enemy he chased him.
The Fang's cloak fluttered in tatters behind him. Bill had long since wondered whether or not it was in that condition by purpose of the strange vampire he chased. He usually never had the chance to pursue the thought, as his mind entered the hunters'. The lean, fully-clothed figure never paused for breath, hands only raising to lower the hood over his face or push the sunglasses up the bridge of his nose. Bill did not stop for anything—for it was all he had just to keep up with the other as it was. It was when the Fang crashed through the empty office building that Bill knew he had got him. The Fang had cut off the ability of escape. And the element of surprise always could go two ways.
Bill quietly stalked his target, despite having no idea where he was. It was his moment. No one could call him crazy again. Not once he had gathered the Fang's remains.
It was the muffled scream that turned his head. A shadow passed the corner. Bill ran after, up the stairs. It was then he saw Fang step back in to the light, holding his hostage on the balcony.
"Let him go!" Bill shouted across the room. "Just you and me!"
"And cost my free lunch?" the vampire retorted with mock disappointment. "You do know I really never took your attempts seriously." He proceeded to unsheathe his fangs, contorting his face as he lowered his mouth to the man.
Bill sprang into action. He threw the closest object, a stapler, and then ran in. CocoFang only stepped aside, but it gave Bill the chance to strike with his stake. The unconscious janitor was tossed at him as the tattered cloak swooshed down the fire exit. Bill dropped the guy and followed right after, skipping most of the steps in order to catch up. He nearly was able to grab the cloak, when Bill found himself in a crowd.
People were laughing and talking, going about their day, with it unknown to them about the vampire in their presence. Bill knew better then to cause alarm, at least, not until he had gotten the Count. Then people could be alarmed all they wanted to and he would have his prize. That was when he saw him, standing on the street corner. Not running.
Bill wasted no time in burying the wood through his back and into his heart. The body fell forward and people started screaming. Bill did not care, he had won! He had-
But from his experience, vampire blood was not warm like this. And their hearts did not beat. Flipping the body over, Bill did not recognize the face. This was not the person he was tracking. Just someone dressed up as him.
And damn again.
The entire scene replayed in his mind again as he hid in the rafters, the police sirens all too close. His mother may have been right that he was too rash, that he did not think things through enough. But what did she know? She thought he was just as insane as the rest of them. And she brushed her teeth before eating. Crazy.
It was the growl of dogs that caused Bill to jump out of his mind. Well, he had just killed someone, so he supposed that they were not going overboard. He thought about that as he slid to the other side of the building.
I killed an innocent. Funny, never thought I would be doing that. Interesting the things you end up doing in your life.
He had thought he had gotten away a few hours later. Any sirens to be heard were a far distance away and there was no barks that came to his ears. The Sun had gone down, and he figured that if he got out of town now, he might manage to survive this latest mistake in his judgment. At least, that was before he bumped into a teenage girl going around a street corner.
"My apologies," he said by force of habit, right before he remembered that he had killed someone and the police most likely had a warrant for his arrest posted on television everywhere. He only remembered that when her blue eyes went wide.
Despite all of that, her scream still caught him off guard and when he tried to reach forward to calm her down she knocked him over with her tote bag. Bill found himself knocked over into the sidewalk with the sheer weight of it. The teen did not wait to see the fruits of her efforts though, she just darted out across the street and around a different corner, pink and purple hair straining out of its ponytail as she went. Bill picked himself up quickly and started after her, only to catch himself after he crossed the street. She would call the police! Why the hell would he want to be seen anywhere near her or here? With that in mind, he ran in the completely opposite direction.
He stopped, panting, many blocks away in front of one of the plain cookie-cutter type houses that made up most of the neighborhoods. An old woman strolled by, causing him to stiffen, as if not moving would make her miss him completely.
"Nice day, isn't it?" she said at a passing attempt at conversation.
"It sure is ma'am," he responded simply, thinking if he told her that it was night, or even if he told her how much of a horrible day it had been she would notice who he was. She just continued onwards, as he kept his eyes glued on her until she passed from view. Although he still did not hear any sirens, he ran off again. Though he did not run for long before he tripped over a wire placed on the sidewalk. Thankfully, he knew how to at least deal with that and rolled onto his back, standing up again instantly.
"Oh! I'm sorry!"
A teen with a black scythe as his hair came running over, but instead of moving the power cable off of the sidewalk, he checked it over to make sure the extension was still plugged in. Bill was trying to remember where he recognized this kid when he realized that the lanky kid was talking.
"-and I just can't shut it down for that, you know? Zim will take advantage if I even go to sleep," the boy gave Bill a tired smile. The name Zim clicked something in for Bill.
"Dib, right?" he asked, pretty sure he had gotten it right. Dib blinked and then nodded. "So, how's that paranormal going?"
"I kept Zim from turning all of the artifacts in the Museum into weapons of mass destruction," Dib said proudly before stopping and looking over Bill's face. "Do I know you? You seem familiar."
"Ah-" Bill wanted to hit himself, but he mentally slapped himself in compensation instead. As likely as it was that the dark kept Dib from recognizing him and the fact that he was probably so busy wasting his time pretending with his own paranormal (not that Bill felt as if he could judge him anymore. Dib had not killed someone accidentally while doing his paranormal) that he did not know anything about the current news. Or at least, not yet. But Bill did not want to take the chance. "Maybe. You meet a lot of people, but never actually know them."
Dib nodded. "I guess so," he stood up, brushing off particles from his pants, then took off his glasses and wiped them off on his shirt. "But usually I'm pretty good at remembering where I've..." he trailed off as he put his glasses on.
Bill swallowed as Dib stared at him.
"Bill." Dib started to slowly back away from him.
"Wait," Bill put his hands up, showing he did not have anything that Dib need worry about, but it did not seem to make that much of an effect on Dib's current behavior, "Hear me out..."
"Hell no," Dib snorted, reaching his front gate. "You're insane. You killed someone because you think there is a such thing as that cereal vampire."
"He set me up!" Bill spat, irritated of being reminded how he had one pulled over on himself by the Fang.
"Sure," Dib managed to get the fence between the two of them with a few more steps. "Just stay back. I have a laser gun I stole from Zim nearby. You come at me I'll have to use it on you."
"I'm not even moving towards you!" Bill exclaimed, waving his hands in front of him again for emphasis. Dib was not buying a word of it. Bill figured it was no wonder that the world was blind when even those who aspired to see the truth closed their eyes to explanations that were not their own.
"Like I'm gonna buy that," Dib was moving very deliberately, as if he had dealt with murderers before. "I'm calling the police."
"No!" Bill stepped forward, but stopped himself with a short reminder that would not help his situation in the slightest. Dib's body tensed.
"I can set it to stun," he warned. Bill dropped his arms, wondering what else he could do. Dib then turned and ran into his house. Since Bill was not an idiot, he did not stick around for the police to come by and find him. He continued to run.
His running was to no avail. He had to stop to catch his breath again, in front of a small store that did not appear to have a name above it. They were close. He did not think he could outrun them for much longer.
Then came the noise of dogs from in front of him. Bill backed up a few steps.
That's it then. They have me surrounded. I bet you're proud of yourself now Fang.
It was just then that he backed into something, turning, a woman clothed head to toe in a deep violet was standing there, holding the shop door open.
"Don't just stand there idiot," the woman grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him into the store. Bill blinked a few times, trying to see his surroundings, but the inside of the store seemed darker then the night outside. He took his sunglasses off to see.
Shelves covered every available space and all of the available space on the shelves were filled. Bill could tell when there was some good merchandise, but this time he was not sure if there was any. It all seemed either too real or too fake to him. He did not like being confused like this, but he figured that this day could be a first for a lot of things.
"Stupid," the girl (Bill figured she could not have been more then eighteen) snorted as she pushed him over to the register and shoved him under the desk, as she sat down at her seat.
"Hey-!" he started, but a gloved hand hit his face and a bell signaled that the door had opened. Slight growls meant that it was the police. Bill swallowed, for there was no where to run now.
"Excuse me miss-" one of the police started, but the girl interrupted him.
"Miss what? You have no business in here. You don't happen to realize this is when I should be getting most of my business, right? Well, there is nothing for you in here!"
"We're on a man-hunt! There is a murderer around-" she interrupted the other police man with as much irritation as she had the first time.
"And you think I've seen anything? Or, even more stupidly, you think he's in here? Leave the thinking to those mutts of yours!"
Almost on cue, the dogs started to whine and from where Bill was under the desk, he could tell that they all sat down at the same time. He felt more cold sweat then before. She was good.
"We have the right-"
"To search someone's shop? Let's see your license? Didn't think so. Now stop driving away my business!"
Bill did not even realize he was holding his breath until the door shut. She was no longer holding him under the table, in fact, she had moved away, so he pulled himself out and stood up against the table.
"Thank you," he looked over to the girl, whose arms were folded as she seemed to be scrutinizing him. "I don't know what-"
"You'll have to do," she gave a slight nod. Bill stared at her. "You are going to help me with a spell."
"What spell?" Bill questioned, wondering what exactly he had gotten himself into. Well, it can't be worse then being caught by the police.
"You'll find out," her deep brown eyes showed her sarcastic smile and she walked in through a door. Bill followed, not sure whether or not the police had left from the front door. There had to be a back door back here somewhere, he could get out through there. He did not know why this girl was helping him, but he did not trust her.
They entered a somewhat dusty storage room, filled with boxes and random materials that Bill could guess as some sort of charms and as such. It was not empty though, for sitting on the outside of a drawn line encircling a candle was a girl. The same teenager that he had bumped into earlier in fact.
She gave out a closed mouth shriek as she pushed herself away from him and cornered herself into the wall with the wide-eyed look that he only knew her as. He could not help but look at the other girl as if she had planned it. She did not even seem to notice the other's reaction to him, as she stood over into the circle and wiped the hot wax dripping down each side of the candle off so that the candle was smooth again.
"What is he doing here?" the stress that the high skooler put on the 'he' emphasized it just as much as if she had pointed at him. Bill found himself wondering why a high skooler would be here in the middle of the night anyways. He was pretty sure most of them had curfew that required them at home right about then. Of course, the same could be said about the other girl, who seemed to be running this shop. He could not help but blink at her. She only stared back with fear-filled eyes, so he decided to keep away so she would not go off and try calling the police or anything. Not that she had not already. In fact, all of that was confusing him so he turned his sights back on the other girl.
"What am I doing here?"
The first girl did not answer, as she waved the flame and smoke in his direction. It was only a small candle however and the smoke did not reach him. Or so Bill thought as he covered a quick cough.
"He will be the one to help balance the spell," she said to the other teen before turning her head up towards him. "Sit." She gestured at the third pinnacle of the circle, or what would be one if he was to sit there.
"But- but he's a murderer!" the other squeaked. The first rolled her eyes.
"Gretchen, you know Bill... Bill, this is Gretchen. Does that make things easier for you? Or do you need him to slice your skin off first?"
"How can you say that?" she nearly shrieked, but had finally attempted to keep her voice down. "He is a killer!"
"Hey," Bill decided he had let this conversation go far enough without intervening. "That was an accident." The nameless one snorted while the named one continued with disbelief.
"Accident! How is killing someone an accident?"
"Who kills someone on purpose?" Bill blinked a few times at the high skooler. "Or at least, on purpose in front of a crowd in broad daylight?"
"An insane murderer?" the one named Gretchen suggested, still backing away from him.
"An idiot," the girl with no name filled in before he could respond to that.
"I disagree with both of your answers," Bill folded his arms across his chest. "Well, not that those people wouldn't do that, because they would, just their usage in relation to me. Because I don't believe they agree with me."
Bill could tell that Gretchen did not believe a word he was saying, but he figured that as long as she did not go and call the cops on him, he could deal with the fact she thought he had killed someone... well, on purpose. Of course, the other girl did not seem to care much for their banter and waved a hand towards the ground where she now was sitting. Bill and Gretchen did so almost immediately. It took a few moments for Bill to realize that he did not even question the authority the girl had here, and neither did it seem did Gretchen. He rested his hands down on the floor in front of him, feeling the chalk under his fingers. Chalk, well. That was an interesting way of going about it, for a witch.
"Should I bleed you dry?" the girl asked him, eyes narrowed in great annoyance. Bill pulled his hands up instantly, suddenly wanting to wipe the chalk off of his fingertips but felt like just breathing was going a bit over the line of what she wanted. Maybe getting caught by the police would have been better...?
"How, uh... long will this take?" he could not help but ask. Either girl could answer, but he just wanted to know before he found out that he was going to be spending hours in there. Gretchen's eyes darted over towards the other girl, but she said nothing, not seeming to know herself. The girl groaned.
"Longer the more you keep interrupting me," she snarled at him. He averted his gaze to go on the candle, watching some of the wax spilling over the sides where the wick had been eaten. He did not bother feeling ashamed about being freaked out by a fifteen year old girl, he was more concerned about getting out of there with his skin intact. Witches were not his area of expertise, though he decided he would have to change that soon. Just in case something like this came up again.
Right then, the light was blown out, and everything fell into darkness. Bill blinked a few times, wondering whether or not this was a joke. He saw the girl lean forward and blow out the candle and then felt her stir next to him. Despite that, he found that he was still surprised when the above light was turned on. Other then her standing up, there was nothing. No footsteps leading her towards the wall.
Regardless of that, there the woman was, standing there with her painted fingernails scraping in a downward motion on the wall. The cloth that had been covering her mouth had been moved up to her eyes, which confused Bill more then anything. Really, what was the point of that?
"Don't you move," the nameless one said to him and she left before Bill could respond or ask why. Gretchen stood up as well to follow her, but before she could leave he stopped her with a question.
"What?" he asked her, hoping she would know more then she seemed to and would tell him what was going on... despite the fact she seemed deathly afraid of him. Still, she was here first and should know more about what was going on then he did. Probably to spite him, the teen only shrugged before leaving the room, and Bill, to wonder whether he should just try to leave anyways. Just for the fact all teenagers seemed to have cell phones these days, he decided to stay still unless the girl decided that she would rather call the police then deal with him anymore.
He shifted where he was sitting, something catching the corner of his eye. Sitting gently on one of the boxes was a white flower, roots still attached, but lying on it's side as if forgotten. Haltingly, he reached over and stroked on of it's petals. It was fresh, as if it had just been placed there. With that in mind he gingerly picked it up and stared at it for a while. Bill heard a noise and thought it was one of the teenagers returning. He pocketed the flower in his jacket, not wanting to be caught in the action of setting it back where he had taken it. As he turned his head, there was no one there.
Maybe being afraid of staying in a dimly lit room in some magic store was a child-like action, but Bill could not help it. He felt as if he were being watched.
It must have been ten minutes later when the girl came back. Bill was on edge, eyes darting every which way, hands now on the ground so that he could push himself up and run if necessary. He nearly jumped when she opened the door. The smirk on her face said how highly amused she was at noticing that, which did not make Bill feel happy at all. He narrowed his eyes on her and stood up.
"What is going on?" he exploded, waving his arms around them to encompass the entire situation in his question. Though he was careful not to hit anything with his hands, the idea of touching something here was a very unpleasant one.
"You need to get out of town, right?" she said as if it were something she would say any day. Bill stopped his movements, looking her over suspiciously.
"Why do you ask?" It was a stupid question, but he only realized that shortly after he had said it. Of course he needed to get out of town! He had killed a man for Hell's sake!
"Because I'm going to get you out of here," she sounded very annoyed at that, "And you're follow every instruction I give to you, got it?"
"Why?" he blinked a few times, staring down at her. Not turning him in was one thing, but helping him get away? He did not even know who she was!
"Because I told you too," she growled, pulling at his collar so his head was down to her level. He swallowed, suddenly wishing that his sunglasses were protecting his eyes from this girl. "Got it?"
He gulped, giving a short nod. That seemed to satisfy her as she let go, allowing his to step back and straighten up.
It was an hour later that he found himself in a graveyard.
All right. That might not've been what I meant by a back door, but I suppose an underground tunnel is good enough for my purpose.
He pushed aside the false gravestone above the passage, taking a deep breath in—thankful for the fresh air as well as the moonlight—and tossing out the remains of white wax from the candle he had been given to light his way underground. As soon as he had nodded, she had given him a slip of paper and left the back room, which she then locked. He would have freaked out, if he had not read the paper first.
This had not been his day. Though he was hoping that it at least might turn out to be his night.
He again glanced at the paper, the other side which he had only skimmed over in the first place, not understanding it in comparison with the back room of the shop. One gave him the directions to find the tunnel. He had no idea what this side was going to lead him to.
The feeling of being watched had not left him either. Probably had followed him from the nameless store. And despite being as cautious and perceptive as he always had been, he could find nothing. Which needless to say bothered him.
Bill pulled himself up from the hole, sliding the stone back over the entrance with his foot when he was all the way out. A shadow ran by, but even from this distance Bill could tell it was a child. Though what a uniformed child could be doing out in a graveyard at one thirty in the morning was beyond him. Using a finger, he traced the lines that were drawn out, finally folding it back up and palming it, going in that direction. He ignored the graves surrounding him, as they were nothing to pay any attention to.
Here I Lie
It's No Wonder I'm Dead,
For The Wheel Of A Semi
Rolled Over My Head
Get Me Out Of Here!
Pardon Me For Not Rising
Bill sighed, scanning his surroundings. From what the paper told him, he was near, but he could see nothing around but gravestones.
I Told You
I Was SICK!
I Was Somebody
Who, Is No Business
Here Lies the Body Of Emend
At Least He Will Be When He Is Dead
But Now At This Time He Is Still Alive
September 6th '95
It was next to this empty grave that the map told him to stop at. There was nothing there, at least, nothing unexpected, something he had expected to show up. No, it was another grave. It irritated him a bit, to think that he was told to go here when there was nothing for him to see. Flowers were mounded over it, the stone freshly engraved. Few words were there, but Bill knew who it was.
Life Is Short But Sweet
Let Death Not Have Hurt You As Much As It Did I
He stopped, staring at the grave for a while.
All of this time he had been angry for killing the wrong person, but it had not sunk in that he had just ruined more then one life with his mistake. He had run away, because he had been set up, but not once had he thought about the other people affected by this. He had been angry, blaming the Fang. It was not entirely the vampire's fault though... could it? It was his, for his inability to know what the right thing was to do. For that he was a murderer. Then again, more important then that, for that someone had died.
How selfish he had been.
"Damn it," he muttered, letting the flower drop from his fingers.
It landed gently upon the pile, standing out as if it were a white raven in a flock.
He turned and headed out of his city, paper, life, and flower left behind. Who exactly he was apologizing to should have been obvious, but it was not to himself.
The woman stared over the Lovecraft Celtic layout on top of the counter. She sighed, eyes turning down away from the tarot's meaning and toward her game beneath the counter. The room was silent as it had been before the night's start. Her actions went on as if never interrupted.
What a night...
And here is the other one shot! Dark enchanter, I hope this was worth the wait for you!
Both Zim and Dib were in this story. If you can figure out where Zim was, I will... congratulate you, I guess. I do not have anything else to give away right now. I should be doing my homework...
Okay, on this one I have to say the ending does not seem to fit in well, but hear me out. I had the beginning of the story involve Bill and his struggles to... well, survive with the mistake he had made. But he was really being selfish the entire time, which makes sense, as anyone in such a situation is probably in shock and unable to react with a full conscious. By this time he has had time to act everything out and there he was left with the fruits of his earlier efforts. A dead person. He does try to do good for people, so the sinking in that he had killed someone that he had been trying to protect from the Fang finally dug in.
And I do not thing I have to explain anymore about that.
On a lighter note, those epitaphs were found on the internet, altered in some ways for my usage, but they are on real dead people's graves nonetheless, so I do not claim anything for those. R&R!