Deadly Games

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
She was just playing a game, one that turned all too real. Vampires never do play fair after all.

Submitted: June 27, 2017

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Submitted: June 27, 2017

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The hotel stood before us like and imposing sculpture. It was then that I knew this wasn't going to be like any other school trip.  

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I had only just started my new school when I was given a leaflet. "There will be a trip next week as part of the curricular, you are to use this trip as research for your next project." My eyes flew idly to the leaflet on my desk, the words 'mandatory' and 'paid for' stood out to me. My head took in a quick glance of my classmate, none of which I had ever met before. One more year. I only had to survive school for one more year.

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As I admired the building, I could tell straight away that the hotel was completely out of my price range. Even if I had saved all my money for the rest of my life, I still wouldn't have had enough for even one night. I half expected someone to drag me out of the building telling me I was too poor to stay there for the night. Before we entered the hotel the teacher divided us into small groups. He handed us a map that had certain rooms highlighted, the first room had the words 'meeting hall for group 1' written on it in bold. I found myself hurriedly trying to catch up with my group as they headed for that room.

"We should play a game," one girl spoke up, she seemed to have appointed herself head of the group. "Vampires vs Humans?" The others around her were nodding eagerly at her suggestion. It appeared to be a popular game in this school. I found myself to be the only one out of the loop. For a moment, I thought she was talking about real vampires. But when she took out a bag of fake vampire teeth and foam stakes I felt myself relaxing ever so slightly. She seemed to hand over the teeth to people who outshone the rest of us. Their uniform seemed more pristine and they had the looks to match. I was handed a fake foam stake. I found myself eying the fake stake in my hands, this was all too cheesy for me. 

"Ok so I'm pretty sure everyone knows how to play this game, but I'll go through the rules," she seemed to glance in my direction as she said those words. "So the rules are as always, once a vampire bites you, you're sent to the dead zone," she pointed at an area the others had already cornered off. "Same as always, last one standing wins. Oh also if a human strikes a vampire in the heart before getting bitten, then the vampire must stand in the dead zone. I think that's everything." She seemed to give a signal at the end of her speech. One that made everyone in the room filter out. 

I had planned on not moving and getting caught first but the longer I waited the more people began to gather in the 'dead zone'. Mostly they were the humans in this game but some were vampires too. My eyes drifted around the room I was sat in. I could make out another person sat on a sofa at the far end of the hall. He seemed just as uninterested in the game as I did. We both sat and waited for the game to end, it seemed like hours had passed since it began. Eventually, I was approached by a platinum blonde girl. I had never seen her before but in my defence, I hadn't really taken all that much notice of my classmates. She was standing next to a guy who was just shorter than her. His eyes were focused on my other classmates whereas hers were solely focused on mine. Her face twisted into a half smile as she drew it closer to me. Something about her demeanour made my heart lurch.  

"Do you know why I left you till the end?" Her voice seemed icily amused. She sounded way too serious for a school ground game. I could feel my shoulders hunch up in a lazy shrug, it was the only thing I could seem to do in that moment. "It's because you accepted your fate" her voice sent warning spikes down my neck but I was too terrified to move. I sat still waiting for the moment I could feel her plastic teeth against my neck. Something felt wrong, the game no longer felt fake. Her teeth sank into my neck. I could feel the sharp points burying deep into my skin. I found myself letting out a childish scream as the pain hit my nerves. I could hear cheers from my classmate, who seemed to think I was just acting. That was until they saw blood dripping from her mouth onto the cold white marble floor.

She turned away from me, addressing my classmates. "As for the rest of you cowards that hid, well I guess it's quite appropriate that you call it the dead zone." My hand flew up to my neck, grasping to stop the bleeding. I felt useless as I watched blurry shapes descend upon my classmates. The guy who had been casually sat at the other end of the hall made a slow leisurely stroll over to me. 

"Seems like you had a rather exciting first school trip" he brushed away loose strands of hair away from my face. "Don't worry about them, they had it coming" I could hear screams in the air around me, but he had placed himself in just a way that blocked all view of what was happening. When the screaming stopped he gave me a soft smile. "Students go miss all the time, right?" His words felt like some private joke I was yet to be acquainted with.

"Jericho, it's time to go. Stop playing with that little girl." He gave an offhanded look behind him, he let out a sigh that seemed unnatural in nature.

"Sorry hun, you're on your own. For now" he placed a soft gentle kiss on my forehead before leaving the room. I was left staring blankly around the room. My head had heard the scream but there was nothing there. The room was empty, apart from me clutching my neck. The room was then filled with a new sound, the heavy doors swung open. An oldish looking man with greying hair rushed in. 

"Shit, what happened?" His voice seemed to echo in the space between us. My movements were slow compared to his, he was standing by my side before I could even respond. I could feel pressure being applied to my neck. "You need to hold this, I'm going to get you to the hospital." He guided my hand up to some form of cloth that was placed on my neck. I felt my hand weakly hold it in place whilst he lifted me off the floor.

When my eyes opened, the first thing I noticed was my mum sitting by the bed. All pain had ceased as if it were merely a distant memory. On instinct, my hand flew up to my neck. Quicker than a viper, my mum caught it before it reached the surface. 

"It's only just stopped bleeding. You don't want to disturb the wound" she looked ragged as if she'd been awake all night. I tried to sit up straighter but my mum was still holding my hand in place making it difficult to do so. "What happened?" Her tone had turned deathly serious, it was a tone of voice she only ever used to let me know I was in trouble. I found myself shaking my head. It felt like a fog cloud had set up camp in my brain. 

"I don't know, I can't remember anything" it wasn't quite true. I remember feeling pain in my neck but beyond that, nothing. Seeming satisfied she let go of my hand. 

"The others are missing. You would have thought that a place like that would have better security." She was talking to herself, it was a habit she had picked up after we started to move around a lot. 

"What others?" I felt stupid for asking but I had no idea what was happening. 

"The other students in your group" I found myself sitting up as straight as my body would allow. A vague memory crossed my thoughts; I could vaguely make out arriving at the hotel. 

"There are students missing?" 

"Yes, the police want to question you about it. They think you had something to do with it." Her serious tone was back. My eyes darted quickly past her. Standing just by the door were 2 officers dressed to impress. I found myself floundering about, feel guiltier than I really was. One of the officers caught my eye line. Without thinking I looked away. This was the first time I had ever been in this position so I didn't know what to expect.  

"Saffron, may we have a word with you?" There were only two officers, one female and the other was male. The female seemed to be talking in a soft tone. My heart was racing, I didn't do anything. I tried, unconvincingly, to reassure myself. When I didn't answer she continued. "I know this is difficult but, in your own words, can you tell us what happened?" I found myself letting out an elongated breath. 

"I don't know what happened." My words sounded frustrated as if I was angry at myself for not knowing. "All I remember is vaguely turning up to an imposing building, but I'm not even sure if that's a real memory." The harder I tried to remember the worse my headache got. "After that, all I felt was the pain..." My hand flung up to the wound I knew would be there. That was all too real. The woman took a step back as if what I had told her was enough evidence. The man had been furiously jotting away on a notepad, I couldn't imagine what there was to write about. 

"If you remember anything else, please contact me" she handed me what looked like a business card, but there was only one number on it. I kept staring at the number, wondering why she had given it to me. I must have been lost in thought because the next thing I remember hearing was the hospital door closing.  

That night I had a dream, one I didn't enjoy. A woman was looking at me, her straw blonde hair flowed just below her shoulders, she had a wicked smile on her face. Just as she was about to bite down on my neck... I woke up in a cold sweat.

It was disorientating waking up in an unfamiliar bed. It wasn't the first time it had happened. For a moment, I half believed we had moved again. But when I heard the strange beeping of the machine next to me, I knew that wasn't the case. My mind snapped back to the dream I woke from. Something about it felt far too real to be a mere dream. My hand idly traced the edges of the plaster that covered my wound. I wanted more than anything to confirm at least one thing.

The room was darker than I liked, making it near impossible to sneak out undetected. Luckily my mum (who had been sleeping in the chair next to me) was a heavy sleeper. I found myself struggling to find the door that had looked so close up in the daytime. The hallway was an off white colour and too brightly lit. I found myself blinking the brights out of my eyes. I had trouble trying to work out the direction of the bathroom. After walking for a while down one corridor, I managed to find a sign pointing the right direction. But that sign led me to another sign, taking me further into the hospital than I had intended to venture. It was growing apparent that the hospital was much larger than the small town hospitals I was used to. Just as I was about to abandon hope the illuminated sign shone in front of me.

"There's an easier way to confirm your worst nightmare" that voice sounded oddly familiar. I found myself spinning to search for its owner. Standing in front of me was a guy I had never met before, if it wasn't for the fact that my body seemed terrified, I would have thought him quite handsome. "Seems like you've forgotten all about me. Shame really." I felt his hand pushing a stray strand of hair out of my eyes. His touch was somewhat familiar. Who is he? "No matter, I'll just have to help you remember" his hand brushed the surface of my hand, it sent a sharp spark through my body. Suddenly the images from that night played through my mind like a watching a movie I had only seen the trailer for. When the vision ended I found myself backing away from him.

"You" I could only manage one word, I knew he had something to do with the screams I heard that night. It turned my stomach to think about what happened to the other students. I didn't want to hang about, for all I knew he was here to finish the job. My legs guided me as quickly as they would carry me down an unmarked hallway.

"Oh come on, why do I always get the hard job." His voice had changed, he no longer sounded icy. If anything his voice was soothing almost throwing me off balance. I made a mistake by looking backwards, I found myself bumping into a solid object. My eyes came face to face with her. Her platinum blonde hair was flowing freely as if it had a life all its own. She had an almost disappointed look on her face.

"Maybe I was wrong about you." Her words were edged in concern as if it was her mistake. "I think you lost something" she was shouting over my shoulder. "I thought you said you could handle this little girl" I found myself trapped between the two of them. 

"She's faster than she looks" he was almost smiling at his own words. "Plus I never told you to turn her, that was your decision." Their interaction almost seemed normal, I couldn't assess who would be the bigger threat to me. I flinched when he drew closer to me. "Hey don't mind my sister, she's all talk and a lot of biting." They both now seemed to be smiling. I felt his arm drape over my shoulder in a lazy fashion. I found myself relaxing into his embrace, something that sent off warning bells. "So, who's up for a party?" My eyes fixated on the platinum blonde. Her whole demeanour lightened up. 

"I'm dying for a party!" She exaggerated her words almost as if to mock me.

"Where to this time sis?" I tried to pull out of his embrace as they spoke. They didn't seem to take notice of my unease. There was no way I was going to a party with these two. All my struggling was in vain. 

"Oh what about that new vamp bar, I heard it's supposed to be a scream." She was eying my expression closely. "Plus the little girl has to start somewhere, she looks hungry" her words dripped with concern for my wellbeing. It was more frightening than her mocking me.

"You're probably right on that one. New vamp bar it is"

The bouncer stood almost 7ft tall at the door. His frame was build like a tank. I found myself shrinking further away from him. "What's up with the gown, escape from the morgue or something?" There was faint amusement in his eyes.

"Na we liberated her from the hospital, no body bag required." They were laughing together, I was out of the loop once again.

"Well any newly is alright in my book. Do you think she can handle it in there? Heard it's hard for newly's to accept." He was eying me suspiciously as if sizing me up.

"I have my doubts too, but you know my sis. She's been going on about this place for a century now." They exchanged nods as he moved aside to allow us in. 

His sister was gone as soon as the door open. The inside looked nothing like I had imagined. Hearing the word 'vamp bar' made me almost think about coffins lining the walls or everything painted in blood red and black. But what I found was almost like any bar I had ever seen on tv. I had never been to one in person. The place was packed with people, something that felt unfamiliar. I had never seen so many people convening in one place at any time in my life. Though I had never been part of a social group. It felt like I had been given private access to the underground society. Every one of them was holding a see-through cup containing a red liquid that I could speculate about. There was a cage in the far corner that looked out of place, it was empty but the blood stains indicated that something had been in there. I dreaded to think what, or who. There was a strong metallic scent in the air, so strong that it invaded my taste buds. It was mingled with the smell of stale sweat. The mixture was getting the better of me making my stomach turn over.

"Maybe this was too much for a newly" he began to search around the room. "Typical" I followed his eye line to find his sister sitting at the bar talking amiably to a pack of what looked like older men. She was sloshing a tall glass of red liquid in one hand. "She'll catch up to us later" The guy who had dragged me here was now dragging me back out. Once the fresh air hit my face I found my stomach give way on the pavement. "Newly's, oh I'm Jericho by the way. Haven't really had a chance to introduce myself."

"And you chose this moment to do so!" My eyes were staring at the pavement. 

"Bad timing as always. Shit, you look really hungry. I should get you something to eat." Something about his words was making me feel angry, I never usually got this angry at anyone. It was like my whole body was on fire, every nerve seemed to twitch. "I'll be right back, try not to kill anyone while I'm gone" he gave me a coy smile which only made me feel more furious. Before I could vent my rage, he was gone.

Off in the distance, I could hear the sound of a rowdy crowd. But to my ears, it sounded like they were right next to me.

"Come on, the nights still young lads!" One of the men spoke up, his words sounded odd. A strong smell of alcohol wafted my way. Without realising it I had left the safety of the darkness and began to draw closer to them "whoa, was with the gown love? I didn't know it was fancy dress night!"

Before I could respond to him I was being dragged back to the shadows.

"Well, that was a close call. What did I say about not killing anyone?" Jericho was half giggling to himself. "New rule, you're on a strict juice diet, at least until you can get a grip of your hunger." He handed me a metal container that felt slightly warm to the touch. I knew its content before even taking a sip. My stomach began to rumble. I hated the fact that the smell was making me feel hungry.

"When in Rome" the first sip was the foulest thing I had ever tasted, but as my pallet adjusted it became almost sweet. My mind snapped back to the reality that I was drinking blood, my human instinct stopped me from drinking more. Jericho was staring at me.

"Lost your appetite? Maybe I should have let you try to take down drunky over there. Would have made for amusing entertainment." He had a soft smile on his lips, it made him almost, but not quite, seem human. He tapped the container in my hands. The metal rang in my palms. "Drink up, I am not picking up fast food on the way home." The way he exaggerated the words fast food, made me realise he wasn't talking about picking up a midnight burger. I suddenly wanted nothing more than a burger. I forced down the last of the drink, not wanting to know what would happen if I didn't finish it. I felt much better, maybe I was just hungry.

It was beginning to dawn on me. I was a vampire now.  


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