Day Walker

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 2 (v.1) - Midnight

Submitted: October 03, 2008

Reads: 129

Comments: 2

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 03, 2008

A A A

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Midnight


1

A soft wind blew tattered fragments of paper, empty styrofoam cups, and sun-bleached soda cans across the nearly deserted parking lot behind the Henry Kress Building. A cold mist fell across the area, so slight it could almost be mistaken for fog. Moonlight skipped off the moist asphalt, creating an eerie glow. Dozens of floodlights were scattered symmetrically throughout, though many of them were burned out or broken by the idle hands of teenagers. Sporadic altocumulus clouds moved slowly over the buildings, nearly invisible in the dark sky.

The building, its two expansive parking lots, and more than twenty-five acres of planted trees surrounding the building, were owned by the Kress Industries Corporation. A ten-foot, chain-link fence surrounded the perimeter of the massive L-shaped building, enclosing not only the facility itself, but the two conjoined parking lots as well. Dense forest, both planted and natural, surrounded the compound to the east and south, with a deep gorge running laterally along one side. Undeveloped grassland encompassed the remainder of the surrounding area. With such seclusion, the labs of Kress Industries were free to conduct operations with relative privacy in its seven levels--two above ground and five more below.

Parking lots were located at the front and rear of the building, with public parking in the front and reserved, employee-only parking in the back. A service road led from the highway across the "top" of the L into the rear lot. This parking lot, unlike the public lot, was spotted with two vehicles: a blue 1987 BMW E32 and a black 1982 Volvo 760.

The structure itself was situated with the long section of the building facing the highway, acting as its public facade. The employee parking lot was located "inside" the L, cutting it off from the public eye. It was, however, under twenty-four hour surveillance by the dozens of security cameras located along most of the roof's perimeter. Nearly every square inch of the facility was under constant digital scrutiny. On this night a man crouched behind one of these security cameras, ripping its wires apart with haste. When he was finished he stood up, his black double-breasted duster fluttering behind him. He faced the direction the camera pointed, though it no longer recorded--the blue BMW.

2

The illustrious office was situated in a corner of the Kress Building. It was identical in design to eight other corner offices, each belonging to one of nine members of the board of directors. The office, despite its prominence, was decorated rather simply. The room was devoid of any wall hangings. One wall was covered by two bookshelves that were mere inches from reaching the ceiling above. It was filled with literature of all sorts for both business and personal pursuits. Between the two columns of various titles was a six-foot ming aralia tree. Almost perfectly centered in the room were two beige-colored executive chairs used for guests. Facing the chairs, and away from the corner of the building, was a curved desk made of ash. Sitting on a matching chair, typing quickly on an Apple IIc plus, was Director of Marketing for Kress Industries' Experimental Research Division, Linda Martin.

At thirty-two, Linda was one of the youngest members of the board and the youngest woman. While most of the other directors had spent at least ten years with the company before being elected, she had spent less than that as a member of the company. Her hard work and long hours had quickly garnered her the attention of founder and CEO, Henry Kress. It was his approval and attention which allowed such quick promotions to follow, eventually leading to her near-unanimous election in 1981. She was thereafter appointed to public relations director before moving laterally to the marketing director position.

Linda momentarily paused from her keyboard, leaning back in her chair. She stretched her aching wrist muscles, rotating them slowly first clockwise, then counterclockwise. Her rather superficial pain adequately taken care of, she laid her head back on her chair, facing the ceiling. With index and thumb she massaged the bridge of her nose, breathing in and out deeply.

"Linda, you need a break," she said to herself. As she pushed back from her desk, slowly rising from her seat, she noticed the liquid crystal display clock to the right of her computer. It was nearly midnight.

"No, you need to go home."

She reluctantly sat back down, sliding her legs underneath the desk once more. She slipped a 3.5 floppy into the right side of the computer and quickly made copies of her current project onto the portable storage unit. After relatively few clicks the copying was done and all programs and the operating system were shut down soon after. She slipped the floppy disc into her brown leather satchel, slipped the shoulder strap over her arm and stood up. Her knee smacked into the bottom of her desk as she stood, causing her desk to lurch. She rushed forward, arms extended, as the brief quake sent a vase of yellow roses spilling towards the floor.
"Shit."

Her attempt only pushed the flora farther away and crashing to the floor. She grimaced as she heard the vase burst on the marble floor. She walked around the desk to where the flowers were lying.

She groaned upon witnessing the aftermath of her momentary clumsiness. The vase was shattered and the half-dozen roses lay in a puddle of water and shards of glass. Remnants of half of the vase lay mostly intact on top of the roses, though these were tangled and strewn about as well.

"Figures."

She dropped her bag by her desk and returned to the spill. She bent over and picked up the largest of the pieces of glass and the roses before walking out into the hallway from her office. As she did she pricked a finger on one of the rose thorns. She swore, sucking on her finger. She pulled it out and glanced at it. Deciding the injury wasn't serious, she stood up and walked towards her office door. It stood out among more common doors in that it was set at an angle in one corner of the room. She opened it, walked through, then looked around briefly before calling out.

"Charlie. Charlie! You there, Charlie?"

A moment later a short, middle-aged man appeared from a room with a broom and dustpan in hand. He had a bristly gray mustache and hair to match. He wore black slacks and a white tee-shirt. A small white name tag was pinned to his chest which had but seven letters printed on the front of it, and nothing more.

"Yes, ma'am?"

"I managed to knock over a vase. Would you mind bringing a mop?"

"Not at all, ma'am," he said, smiling. She smiled in return and walked back into her office, leaving the door open.

A few minutes later Charlie came shuffling into the room to find Linda on her hands and knees, picking up more glass and attempting to clean up the mess with a wad tissues. He tapped the floor lightly with the handle of his wet mop, indicating he'd arrived.

"Now, Ms. Martin, how you 'spect me to do my job and you're crouched down there, hovering over the mess?" She pushed herself up so she was resting on her knees and laughed lightly.

"Sorry, Charlie."

"I think you're a bit too fond of that joke, ma'am."

"Yeah, maybe so," she said, getting up to her feet. "I'll let you get to your job. Myself, I'm getting to the house."

"All right, Ms. Martin. You have a good night."

"I will, Charlie. You too."

She returned to her desk and retrieved her satchel and once more said good-bye to Charlie before walking briskly out of the office. She was eager to get home and read a book while soaking in a nice, hot bath. But first, she first wanted to find her friend, Nathaniel Green.

3

Nathaniel Green, Nate to most, sat with his arms crossed on his desk in front of him, his head resting heavily on his forearms. His short, spiky hair, pale complexion, and two-day stubble were in almost direct contrast to Linda's dark shoulder-length curls and chestnut skin.

She stood at the doorway to his office, momentarily watching over him while he slept soundly, snoring. She glanced around his office. It was much smaller than hers, barely more than a walk-in closet with a desk. The desk was against the wall, next to the door with papers and folders scattered, unorganized. And empty styrofoam cup lay on it's side on a stack of manila folders. No liquid had escaped the polystyrene prison, but she could see the coffee stains in the cup as she moved over behind him and tossed the cup in the nearby wastebasket.

"Nate, wake up," she said, gently squeezing his shoulder.

Nathaniel woke up instantly. He sat up abruptly, an expression of disorientation on his weathered face. His eyes finally came to rest on Linda, standing to his right and slightly behind him. He made a feeble attempt at a smile, but it faded almost immediately. Looking at him now, she felt he looked older than he had even a week before. She thought she saw gray peeking out on his head.

"What uh..what time is it?"

"Going on midnight. You should go home. Hell, we both need to go home."

"Yeah..yeah. You um, you go ahead. I'll leave directly."

"You sure, Nate?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine."

She started for the door, but stopped at the threshhold. She turned back and walked over, kneeling beside him. She placed a hand on his shoulder reassuringly.

"Hey, Nate, you sure you're okay?"

"It's.." he paused, trying to gain composure. "It's Marla. She uh, she's been..we've just been having some problems."

"Want to talk about it?"

"Thanks, but I'll be okay."

"If you want, I have a guest room. You can crash there as long as you like."

He smiled at her again. A bit of the energetic man Nate had once been, her friend, seemed to return briefly.

"Means a lot to me, Linda. It really does. But uh.. I'm gonna go stay with my brother, Joe, up in West Greenfield."

"All right." She stood up and pulled a white one by three card from her pocket. She leaned forward over his desk and quickly wrote a ten-digit number underneath her business information. She slid it across the desk, directly in front of Nathaniel. "If you need anything, call me. My cell is printed on the card, and I wrote my home number. Call me when you get to your brother's."

"Thanks, Linda. I will. Thanks."

"It's alright. Are you going to be okay?"

"Yeah, I'm gonna just clean up a bit." He gestured at his desk. "I'll head out in a little bit."

Linda squeezed his shoulder, turned away from him and walked out of his office for the last time. She walked down the hall, made two turns, and arrived at a set of elevators. Moments later she stepped into the rear lobby of the Kress Building and quickly made her way towards the single steel door leading to the employee parking lot. As she walked out of the door and towards her car, a dark shape dropped silently to the ground behind her. The man in black, teeth bared and eyes blazing, stood up.

4

He allowed his eyes to close, enjoying the feeling of the fleeting rain on his palid skin. He ran his palm down across his face, pulling the water along with it. He flicked it off to the side and into pool collecting on the surface of the roof. He was perched on a large metal air duct, his legs bent so the they formed two apices, his left hand resting lightly on the pipe below, providing him balance. He opened his eyes and stared upward into the sky, his piercing eyes seemingly penetrating the void outside the Earth's atmosphere. Had anyone been nearby they would have been surely frightened, as his eyes reflected the moon's warm glow like a cat's. They almost appeared to glow.

Despite Sol's nightly slumber, the man in black could as easily gauge the time from the night sky as well as those that read the sun's position. He closed his eyes once more, patiently waiting for his quarry to vacate the building below him. She was later than usual, but even this didn't worry him. A man of his long life learned to value patience, as the passage of time became more trivial with each passing year. And as one may surmise from the man's unwavering patience, this was not his first visit to the Kress Building. His nightly visitations had began weeks earlier, on a blue moon.

The man in black was, by nature, a vagabond. He rarely remained in a single location for more than a fortnight. Cities and towns held sway for him no more than a score of nights before he became restless . He would then travel once more in search of new safe haven, a new town, each time staying out of sight and out of mind. To the best of his knowledge, not a living creature on the planet knew of his existence. He had no credit card, no driver's license, not even a social security card. He had no friends to miss him, no family awaiting his return home. He, in fact, had not had a home since the age of ten, nearly eight decades prior.

It was by happenstance that he found himself in his home state late one fall. In his long years of wandering and hiding from nothing but his fears, he rarely knew the name of the city he was in, or even that of the state. He arrived in Boulder Falls, a small industrial town in the southern Appalachian Mountains just as the town and many of its denizens began to prepare for the forthcoming school term.

He initially explored the innermost areas of the city, but the bright lights and crowded streets soon moved his curiosity to the outskirts. It wasn't long before the distant lights of the secluded Kress Building drew his attention and he found himself stalking his most recent prey.

He quickly learned the routines for the light security assigned to the building. A local patrolman coasted through the parking lots around three in the morning and a single security guard was posted at the gate leading out of the employee parking lot, but was far enough away to allow his intrusion without notice. It was but a short time later that he gained enough confidence to scale the building. It was there he discovered the presence of the attractive Linda Martin, a perfect target.

He spent but a few nights before he knew her schedule by heart. Despite this knowledge, he refrained from taking her right then and there. He found her unnaturally appealing and found himself unable to fulfill his aching needs. A part of him had even decided to find prey elsewhere, but then the dream. That damned nightmare.

The nightmare had taken him infrequently throughout a majority of his life. It was always the same horrible memories of the past that always left him angry and exhausted. Without fail it also always triggered an uncontrollable urge to satisfy himself. It was this night, immediately upon waking from the devilish night terror, he threw away all misconceptions he had for his dark-skinned game and within an hour was atop the Kress Building, ripping out camera wires.

He glanced once more at the sky. It was nearing midnight. He knelt there, ever patient, looking off into the night sky, soaking up the dark ether surrounding him, living completely in the moment. It was then that he heard the steel door opening twenty feet below. He closed his eye, inhaled deeply, and growled deep in his throat, baring his teeth at the gods in defiance at their great Plan, if they waited above. He dropped down into the water from his roost and made his way to the edge of the building just in time to see her walking away from the door. It was this moment he'd been waiting for, preparing for, craving. He stood on the edge of the building, watching her one last time. He leaned forward.

He leapt.

5

The rapid clicking of Linda's heels reverberated off the surrounding concrete, while dozens of cloned silhouettes trailed behind and beneath her, mimicking her every step. The rumbling of automobile engines was just audible in the far distance. Leaves skittered across the pavement, dancing madly to their own macabre tune, while the dripping from the trees echoed the recent rainfall.

Finding it warmer than she'd expected after the brief rain, Linda awkwardly tried pulling her gray coat away from her body while attempting to balance both her purse and satchel. Failing this, she paused briefly from her short trek, placing her bags on the wet pavement at her side. She quickly shed the garment, folding it over her forearm and continued on her way whilst sliding her pocketbook and satchel over her arm once more.

She made it to her car without further delay, angling herself towards the trunk. She briefly fumbled in her purse before finding what she was looking for. Keychain in hand, she placed her bags, once more, on the ground. She chose a key, slid it into the trunk and attempted to turn the latch. She vainly wriggled and twisted the key, grunting in frustration, but it was to no avail.

"Damn it!"

She jerked the key back and forth, but it refused to give in to her abuse. She finally pulled out the instrument, groaning angrily.

"Can I help you, ma'am?"

She jumped as she spun around, backing sharply into the back of the car. She winced as her posterior smacked sharply against the rear of the car. Her pain was quickly forgotten, however, as she stared at the towering creature before her.
Linda herself stood at five feet, eleven inches. The man before her very nearly dwarfed her. His skin was a pallid shade of alabaster, his eyes were a dim green, almost yellow. His cropped black hair was naturally spiked. His entire costume consisted of black clothing, from his loose-fitting, charcoal slacks to his double-breasted, leather duster.


"Um.. no thank you. I've got it. It just sticks a lot."


"Are you sure? It looks like you might be using the ignition key."


She quickly diverted her eyes towards the keys dangling in front of her chest. He was right. She swore at herself in her mind while dropping her hand quickly to her side. She moved her eyes back up to his and started backing around her car towards the driver's seat.

"Oh, well, that's all right. I'll just throw it all in the front seat."

The man stared at her, a light smile decorating his lips, as she backed up. He didn't follow, but he still made her nervous. The fact that they were inside a supposedly secure area began to creep into her mind, as well. She turned her head once more towards her car and unlocked her door. When the door was slightly ajar, she looked back to find him standing several feet closer. She hadn't heard him move.

"How'd you get in here? Frank doesn't usually let in visitors."


He stared at her without moving. His eyes didn't blink, nor did his smile waver. His wax-like stillness unnerved her, but she managed to stay calm. She deliberately turned back to her car and threw her bags into the front passengers seat. Intelligent and not prone to panic, she forced herself not to move too quickly, lest she provoke the crazed dog that stood behind her smiling.

Blood splattered the roof of her car as Linda's face was shoved down into the cold, wet frame. Her head bounced up and more crimson liquid sprayed into the air. She screamed and dropped painfully to her knees. She grasped at her bludgeoned nose, futilely trying to impede the blood flow as broken glass was forced through her knees. The man in black reached down and grabbed her by the top of her blouse, heaving her up so her back was against the back door, fabric tearing as he did. He pressed his free hand against her abdomen, pinning her to the car and securing her in place. He thrust his face forward, baring his teeth at her, hissing angrily.

His eyes moved downward, noticing the damage done to her top. His eyes moved down her body, then up again, finally locking onto her eyes. She screamed without sound as his fingers ran down her midriff and over her skirt. She struggled against him as his hand moved under the fabric, sinisterly caressing her thigh. He smiled at her, baring his teeth again.

He suddenly lunged forward, his deathly-sharp incisors tearing into her skin to one side of her throat. He held her head back, chin pointing towards the sky, silently drinking. A dizzying warmth seemed to flow into her veins, spreading slowly from her neck, to her shoulders and chest. He finally pulled away, licking his lips. Her tiny lacerations continued seeping steadily, a trail of blood flowing downward, eventually disappearing into underneath her bodice.

He pushed her against the car again, his left hand still pressing firmly against her stomach. With his right he reached forward, looping his index finger around the center of her bra. With a quick snapping of his wrist it was rent in two. She attempted to cry out, only causing her to cough weakly. He moved his face forward again, touching his lips to the wound. He began lapping up the fluid hungrily.

He moved down, tracing the trail of blood down to her chest with his tongue. He tugged at one side of her blouse, ripping aside the fabric and partially exposing a breast. His tongue ran over her bare chest, ravenously indulging from her the sweet vitality. He lunged forward again, his teeth ripping into the flesh of her breast, just above the areola. He positioned his mouth around the tiny tears, his tongue flicking more greedily than before, blood being drawn up the shallow groove along the center of his tongue. Once again the numbing tingling spread, this time from her breast, into her chest, and outward, seeping into her entire frame.

As her body began to relax, he finally made one last intrusion into her body. Holding her back with his arm, he lowered her to the ground and then immediately sliced open one of her wrists with his teeth. She barely noticed as her hand and forearm began to go numb. Her only thoughts were of sleep and the endless dreams that were sure to follow. She briefly closed her eyes, darkness beginning to blanket her consciousness in shadow, her will fading.

She managed to tilt her head up one last time. She looked down at her body and at the man in black . She gasped as sudden intense pain began in her neck and throat and rippled through her body. Even as she felt the pain, she felt herself slipping away, darkness washing over her vision.

He bit down harder on her wrist, pulling her arm eagerly towards him, tearing open the arteries. She groaned and her head fell back against the pavement. She felt her consciousness slipping away, falling into an endless void. She closed her eyes one last time, giving in. The void quickly triumphed and she fell forever into the empty vacuum of death.

6

He stood up, having taken all he needed from the woman. All that he wanted. As he walked towards the western fence, he glanced back. Her body was broken, bloody, and defiled. He smiled. His needs--physical and sadistic--sated, Bishop slipped once more into the shadows.


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