Have you ever caught yourself wishing that you could fly? Or, perhaps, that you had a tail like a cat? Could see in the dark? Move at impossible speeds? To be beautiful, all the time? Maybe, if you’re the crazy type, the ability to kill someone in the blink of an eye, without a second glance? Well, I doubt you’ve wished the last one, either way, stop now.
Trust me, after all these years, it gets pretty annoying. I go down the street one day, just as a test, and all around me kids are wishing for this. All of them, wishing to be me. Well, it’s not as fun as it seems.
An annoying stream of sunlight casts through my window and somehow hits me directly in the eye. With a sigh, I roll over and close my eyes again, wishing it wasn’t already time to get to work.
“Wake up, I need to meet you at Bill Bobs Diner.” My pager on the coffee table beside my bed buzzed annoyingly, shouting out this message. Sometimes, technology can get in the way of your beauty sleep, as if I needed it.
“Fine, give me a few minutes.” I murmured, silencing the devices buzzing fury. Sitting up, I let out a resigned sigh and heave myself off of the bed, every hair and feather out of place. Wait, did I say feather? Yes, I have feathers. But only on my eighteen foot wings. And molting? You won’t have to worry about that when I’m coming at you with a gun.
“Time?” I ask the room, yawning and stretching my arms above my head.
A smooth, female voice answers my question, “Ten, thirty four, Ma’am.”
“Crap,” I mutter, knowing I’m late. My shower, which usually lasts an hour, scrapes by at a mere fifteen minutes. A record, I know.
After quickly toweling my hair dry and running a brush though it, I string it up into an out-of-the-way ponytail. Girly, yes, but what else can I do with it that is quick and manageable? I never had a mommy to teach me how to braid hair.
“You’re late,” was my wonderful greeting upon falling into the seat opposite Jason.
“Good morning to you too,” I replied, waving down a waiter. I glanced at Jason to see if he was mad, which was useless as usual, for his face concealed every little thought or feeling.
“Ma’am?” asked the waiter politely, looking down at me with obvious lust in his brown eyes. He was a handsome boy, don’t get me wrong, yet it’s not a habit of mine to seduce young men. I grabbed the menu and picked the first thing I found, starving from last night’s work. He seemed discouraged and walked away after asking Jason if he wanted something, which he didn’t. He never did.
“So, Jason, why did you drag me out here at the crack of dawn?” I asked him, shifting my wings underneath the bulky jacket, hoping their shape was hidden. Well, if they weren’t, humans are so easy to dispose of.
“There’s been another infection, not too massive yet, but just as lethal as always,” he said gravely, his voice was low and his green eyes never left mine, “Luckily, it’s out in the boonies. There’s a small town called Valley Springs somewhere in central California. Only has a population of, like, five hundred people. I need you to find the infected people and secure them so we can cure them safely. Got it?”
I nodded, thinking hard, “Valley Springs, eh? How soon do I leave?” I asked, I wanted to make sure I could stock up on enough carbs to last me the journey. After all, Arizona is pretty far from California.
“Today, at three-ish. But you have to be careful on this one. There’s been a new addition to this system, the infector no longer just infects then leaves town for the next three cities over. This one has been lingering, and his production has been popping up all over the place. We need you to get him to cut the crap, or else.” Jason ordered me, pulling out a small phone-shaped object that only the big-boys were allowed to have.
“Anything else?” I asked, trying to make my tone bored and pleasant as the waiter returned with a plate piled high with pancakes, sausage, and eggs. He set it before my hungry eyes and turned away, not without a couple second glances.
“Yes,” he replied while I dug into the food, shoving three sausages at once into my ravenous mouth, “You need to be careful. We ran a few tests on your last victim and found that you’ve been pretty reckless. They can infect you as well, you know. As you’re the only one of your kind, though, we can’t figure out if it’ll just be the same as with everyone else or if it’ll be lethal.” He shrugged as if it didn’t matter and typed something into the phone-object.
He looked back up and ran a hand through his already-perfect hair, “I have to go now, duty calls. Call Tyler before you leave so he can give you the exact coordinates of this little town.”
I nodded as he stood up, revealing rugged work pants and a button-up plaid shirt. He walks past me and through the door. Thanks to my super-hearing, just before the door closes, I can hear him give a slight sigh.
Now that all I have to do is concentrate on my food, I’ll explain what this ‘infection’ is. Well, it’s pretty hard to explain but it all sums down to vampires. We fancy folk call them the Infection, or Infectors. Now, now, now, don’t get all freaked out thinking there is a vampire walking around in your school because he doesn’t like sunlight or something because that is totally not true. Neither is Stephenie Meyer’s version of vampires, though I admit that was creative.
Vampires do indeed drink blood, but they don’t sit around parlors sipping it from cups. They do it the old-fashioned tick way, sort of. If you can imagine a tick infecting a larger animal so that it’s dazed and loopy and latches onto the tick for emotional support so that the tick can feed off of it as it pleases, then you can imagine a vampire.
One Hollywood version of Vampires is true, though. They don’t like sunlight much. It’s not going to burn them to bits or cause them to melt. It just annoys them. See, with all the infection running through their veins, their immune systems are like on red-alert, all the time. So, their eyes are always really dilated, so they are sensitive to sunlight. That’s all.
Just a minute, don’t go looking for your friends that have dilated eyes and bite marks on their neck because you are going to come up with nothing. Zero. Vampires don’t bite their victims to infect them; they have a much less disgusting way of going about it. I don’t want to chase you away with disgusting graphics, so I’ll just say that the Infection is like an STD. Get the picture? The little ‘spores’ of infection hide in the vampires waste (poop), blood, spit, tears, everything that can exit the body; including their ‘down there’ juices.
That’s one of the reasons why police are scrambling so hard to collect all of the street corner ‘exotic dancers’ off of the streets. The system I work for has drilled it into police-officers minds that being a hooker is a terrible thing-which don’t get me wrong, it really is- and they have to go shooting down doors because a young girl is getting raped. It’s not because of their virtue or whatever, but mostly because there is a very high chance that one of their potential ‘customers’ could be an Infector. See now?
That’s where I come in. When an Infector gets spotted by my people because he’s been having fun infecting people, they call me. I go hunt down this Infector-scum and kick his butt and send him to the Infection cops. Then, I have to go on a not-so-wild goose chase to hunt down his vampire creations. It’s an exhausting job but hey, it’s life.
Of course, I’m not always perfect. Once in a blue moon a vampire gets away and goes on to make more vampire spawn. But, I still have the upper hand because it takes a couple weeks for someone to become a full-blown vampire. Before they actually go into full Infector mode, they walk around in a dazed kind of mode and get a sudden, weird attraction to the vampire that infected them. That way, the vampire gets little people to feed off of all the time. Perfect, huh.
After shoving the last juicy sausage in my mouth, I call the waiter over again and pay for the food, “Are you sure there isn’t anything else I can get you?” he asks one last time as I stand up to leave. His words heavily suggest a double meaning and a roll my eyes before turning to him.
Oh yeah, did I mention this yet? My eyes turn red when either I’m pissed off or if I just want them to.
“Look, dude,” I start, feeling my eyes shift color while I take another step closer to him, “You really don’t want to get involved with me, okay honey?” I step back and can smell his fear in the air. Yes, smell it. He nods and bites his lip, trying to stay cool while my eyes fade back to their attractive blue. Without another word, I turn around and step out of the diner and into the cold, December air.
I pull out my oh-so-boring non-techy cell phone and dial Tyler’s number. As always, it didn’t even have time to ring before he answered it.
“Hey, Taylor, you’re a fast eater today, eh?” he said matter-of-factly with a faint chuckle.
I begin to walk down the street and hiss under my breath so only Tyler can hear, he knows how much I hate my real name and he only uses it to annoy me, “You know I hate that name. Call me by my nickname.” I demand of him, glancing around for a dark alley way or an empty park that I can use to take off into the sky, camouflaged by the rare clouds.
“Fine, Vi. Anyways, here are the coordinates.” He began launching into a tech-filled list of numbers and words that will confuse the heck out of the inexperienced ear.
“Thanks, see you around.” I reply, hanging up the phone and shoving it back into my pocket. I spot a large, abandoned building and made towards it, glancing around for anyone watching me. I slip through the door, which was propped up against the wall, and climb the crumbling stairs. One advantage of being me is that I have no fears, what so ever. You could set up my living room in a Dragons mouth and I’d be fine.
It takes a few minutes, but I finally pull myself onto the roof of the building and look over the edge at the people below. I judged myself to be roughly thirteen stories high, an unlucky number. Maybe this building is cursed, it would fit, anyways.
The minute I pull off my hoodie to zip down my wing-slots, a cold blast of wind raises the hair on my arms. This is going to be a long trip. I hurriedly slip back into my jacket and extend my wings, feeling uncomfortable with the wind whistling between the feathers.
With one last glance over the edge of the building, I take a few steps back and then hurtle myself off the edge. The strong wind immediately fills my wings and lifts me higher, taking advantage of my hollow bones. With that, I beat into the clouds and was off for my next mission.