We see a warehouse filled with all sorts of technical machines. Zadam seems to be investigating some of the items. Then suddenly a large machine starts to fall on him but he is unaware. Then suddenly a woman swoops in and manages to deflect the object, while pushing Zadam to the ground. There is a long moment where the two just gaze at each other. Then she helps him to his feet. Zadam now realizes what has just happened. He goes and studies the large object and looks back at her.
Zadam asked, "How did you do that?"
Valdana questioned, "You don’t remember me do you?"
Zadam wanted to know, "Do I know you?"
Valdana answered, "I was once dead but now I’m here. I’ve kept a watchful eye on you for quite some time. When I heard that you were moving to Mars. I managed to get a job that took me to here."
Zadam asked, "Who are you?"
Valdana answered, "I’m called Valdana now. But you once knew me by a different name. We were friends long time ago. You mourned because I took my own life. . ."
Zadam said, "You? This can’t be possible. I was at your funeral. You’ve been dead for. . ."
Valdana said, "A long time. Yes, I know. Or so it would seem."
Zadam uttered, "You. . . Your body is so cold. I don’t understand."
Valdana extolled, "Put it together, Zadam. You are a detective. What does the evidence tell you?"
Zadam said, "I know for a fact that you died."
Valdana uttered, "Yes. Go on. . ."
Zadam said, "You’ve changed a lot. I didn’t recognize you at first. Fact of the matter. How did you just deflect that machine out of the way? It must weight close to a ton."
Valdana uttered, "Think it through. . ."
Zadam spoke, "Your skin is so cold. . ."
Valdana said, "Think it through. . ."
Zadam said, "It can’t be. You can’t be. . ."
Valdana went on, "Think it through. . ."
Zadam asked, "You are a vampire?"
Valdana admitted, "I wasn’t at first. I was just a woman in love with a man. But I was so unhappy. There was so much going on at once. I don’t know why I really did it. But I managed to do it, or almost kill myself. I must have been within moments of fading away. Then this woman found me. She was a nurse. Told me to hang on, to try and cling to life. I couldn’t. I had done such a good job of trying to kill myself. Then that is when she did it. . ."
Zadam asked, "Did what?"
Valdana said, "She turned me. Kept me form dying, and yet. . ."
Zadam asked, "So now you are?"
Valdana whispered, "One of the living dead! I am vampire!"
Zadam said, "I don’t believe any of this but none of that explains why you are hear at this moment."
Valdana spoke, "I told you. I’ve been keeping a watchful eye on you for some time. Other
things have happened in the past and I was there for you. You just didn’t know it."
Zadam said, "Yes. Yes I can see it now. So all those times. . . It was you?"
Valdana uttered, "I’m sorry, my darling, I know it has been hard on you. But I didn’t know how to tell you. In fact, I thought you might reject me all together, because of what I have become. I thought you might find me repulsive."
Zadam said, "No. No. You should have told me a long time ago. You are beautiful. Even now. I always loved you."
Valdana voiced, "As I have always loved you." They kissed. "Come. We have so much to talk about and so much time to make up for."
Zadam said, "But this accident. . ."
Valdana uttered, "It wasn’t an accident. Someone rigged this to happen. You are getting close. Perhaps too close to the truth and they want you dead."
Zadam asked, "You are talking about the case I’m working on?"
Valdana answered, "You don’t know the loneliness I suffered just to remain in the shadows."
Zadam said, "You didn’t have too."
Valdana voiced, "Yes. I realize this now. But my fear that you would reject me was so great. Don’t forget, I was once so troubled that I took my own life."
Zadam uttered, "I’m sorry that I wasn’t there for you."
Valdana said, "No. You were. But I was so far gone that no one could have managed to bring me back."
Zadam asked, "You said a nurse turned you?"
Valdana stated, "She was a vampire. Somehow she was moved by my suffering and wanted to help me. But I was too far removed from myself. About time she was ready to intervene, I’d already started to take my own life. There was really nothing she could have done for me medically. So she gave me the bite of life and death. Fortunately there was just enough life in me to be turned."
Zadam said, "My family has been on Mars for a long time. I left to go to college back on Earth but returned. So did my sisters. My father and mother managed to make contributions to the Martian culture. We consider ourselves Martians now."
Valdana uttered, "There are six million people living on Mars now. I hear the news and it says that the politicians are considering receding from Earth and declaring Mars and independent planet."
Zadam stated, "It makes for political tension. But what do you know of the case I’m working on?"
Valdana uttered, "Only what anyone else knows but with the exception that I’ve been keeping an eye on you and what you do. I know that the senator is a very powerful woman. She has lots of powerful friends and equally powerful enemies."
Zadam said, "Oh wow, I forgot my partner. . ."
Valdana voiced, "Yes. Her. I know that the two of you slept together."
Zadam spoke, "You really have been keeping a close eye on me."
Valdana uttered, "I hope that it doesn’t offend you. I tried not to place my concern into the realm of stocking. It is like I said, mine is a complicated life or death. Whichever you are
inclined to believe."
Zadam went on, "This is a lot to process."
Valdana stated, "I’m sure it is. But I’m glad that everything is finally out in the open."
Suddenly Sgt. Smith comes around the corner, gun drawn and with some other police and security. "Zadam, are you alright? We saw the accident on the security monitors and I got here as quickly as possible."
Zadam uttered, "I’m fine. Nothing to worry about. Actually a friend of mine managed to save me. . ." He goes to introduce Valdana but she has vanished.
Tina asked, "Who? What friend?"
Zadam said, "What? She was here a moment ago. . ."
Tina ordered, "You medics help the detective. I must have been injured in the accident. Don’t worry, Zadam, you probably hit your head. Actually I don’t see how you managed to survive the accident as well as you did."
Zadam uttered. "Yeah. About that. . ."
Tina said, "I should have been here for you instead of staying back in the control room. Funny thing, the engineers told me that all these machines are well bolted down. It shouldn’t have happened."
Zadam spoke, "It wasn’t an accident. Someone tried to kill me."
Tina asked, "What? Are you sure?"
Zadam answered, "You said yourself, these machines are well bolted."
Tina yelled, "Shit! I shouldn’t let you go in here alone!"
Zadam uttered, "Don’t worry about it. I’ll be fine."
Tina said, "This woman that you thought you saw. Could she have been responsible for it?"
Zadam voiced, "No. It’s like you said, I must have hit my head. Hallucinated the whole thing."
Tina uttered, "Just the same I’m going to go over the security footage. Try and see what I can see."
Zadam spoke, "That is a good idea. Might shed some light on the whole incident."
Tina asked, "From now on, partner, we both go into the dark room together, no more hero stuff. Got it?"
Zadam uttered, "You don’t have to worry about me."
Tina said, "That is for me to decide. We have to have each other’s back."
We see Zadam in his bedroom sleeping. Suddenly a ghostly figure appears at the foot of his bed. It is Valdana. Zadam wakes and reacts.
Zadam asked, "How did you get in here?"
Valdana explained, "I’ve been in here before. Not when you were with anyone but when you were alone."
Zadam spoke, "The others looked at the security footage. No one could find any evidence of you ever being there. I couldn’t find any and I know what happened."
Valdana said, "You won’t. . ."
Zadam asked, "I see. This is all in my head isn’t it?"
Valdana said, "No. I’m real enough. I was also aware that there were security cameras so I managed to avoid them."
Zadam asked, "You managed to avoid all of them?"
Valdana said, "I can do some pretty unusual things, Zadam."
Zadam asked, "Like live when you should be dead?"
Valdana said, "This bothers you. I know it would. That is why I stayed out of your life for all these years. It was like I said, you see me as some monster."
Zadam uttered, "I don’t know how I see you. I mean, according to what objective others see. They can’t see you. I was going to introduce you to my partner and when I look around, you had vanished. You are not real are you?"
Valdana climbed into bed with him. "Do I seem real to you now?"
Zadam uttered, "God! I must be losing my mind. Someone I know who’s been dead for years. Suddenly I find out that she isn’t dead, but wait, she is dead but just not in the way that most of us can believe."
Valdana began to kiss him. "I’m not going to hide myself from you anymore. The other day taught me a serious lesson."
Zadam asked, "And what is that?"
Valdana answered, "I’m doing it again."
Zadam asked, "Doing what again?"
Valdana stated, "Letting you slip away from me. It was all I could ever do to just stay in the shadows. Watching over you but never letting you know that I was there. I can’t do that anymore."
Zadam questioned, "If that is the case, why did you runaway, when I was going to introduce you to my partner?"
Valdana went on, "What were you going to say? Hi, this is my long dead ex-lover. Oh, by the way, she just saved my life by pushing a ton of machine from off me. Oh, by the way, she’s a vampire. But don’t fear, she’s a good vampire, she won’t rip you to shreds and suck all your blood from your nice warm body."
Zadam said, "No. I was going to tell everyone that you were a friend of mine."
Valdana asked, "Who just happened to be at the right place at the right time to save your life?"
Zadam said, "Yeah, the truth. . ."
Valdana spoke, "Zadam, they are a bunch of corrupt cops who are also equally paranoid. They’d place suspicion on me immediately. I’ve heard you say it yourself, the police don’t solve cases, they assign blame to the first convenient person they can manage to blame the crime on."
Zadam said, "I’m not like that."
Valdana stated, "And that is why I’m in your bed at this moment. Because I know that."
Zadam uttered, "I started to have an affair with my partner. This isn’t a good thing to do, Valdana."
Valdana said, "I’ve been in love with you all my life. Specially after my death. She doesn’t love you like I do. It’s more like being in lust."
Zadam uttered, "Look. I don’t know if you are real or just part of some sick effort of my mind to cope with things that are too painful for me to deal with. The fact of the matter is that I looked up all the flights that have come from Earth to Mars and none of the have a Valdana on them. You are not real."
Valdana began to make love to him and he reacts. "Does this feel like I’m not real?"
Zadam uttered, "I’m not sure what is real and what is not anymore."
Suddenly there a rustling sound and Tina enters Zadam’s bedroom. She begins to undress and readies to enter his bed.
Tina uttered, "Sorry I am so late. It all took longer than I expected." She climbs into bed with him.
Zadam uttered, "Tina?"
Tina answered, "Yes, darling. . ."
Zadam turns the light on and reacts. "Were you here a moment ago?"
Tina shook her pretty little head, "What? No I just came in. Why what is wrong?"
Zadam answered, "What? I er. I must have been dreaming."
Tina said, "When I came in here you were sleeping. I started not to bother you but you turned around."
Zadam uttered, "Yes. I was sleeping, that must have been it."
Tina said, "You seem tense. Are you sure that everything is alright? I mean, if you don’t want ot make love we can just cuddle, it’s okay with me."
Zadam said, "No. It’s not that." He gets up and goes into the kitchen. Tina follows him. Zadam turns on the lights. On the table is a pink rose.
Tina uttered, "Oh, Zadam, what a wonderful thing to do. I love it." She smells the rose and in joy kisses him. "Let me go take a quick bath and then we can really enjoy the evening." And she ran off.
Zadam: uttered, "Yeah, you go do that."
Valdana suddenly appears. "It’s not for her it is for you. I put that there. . ."
Zadam uttered, "What the hell! What are you doing here?"
Valdana said, "You wanted to know if I was real. Well. . ."
Zadam asked, "Well?"
Valdana answered, "Well this is my way of showing you that I am real. I’m not in your head. I’m in your heart, Zadam. You have to accept that, because I’m not going to hide anymore. I lost you once to my insecurities and I’m not going to do that again. In life a lost you but in death I’ll have you."
Zadam said, "But you are dead!"
Valdana went on, "I’m here. I’m not dead. . ."
Zadam said, "Your lips are cold. Your hands are cold. Your body is cold. This isn’t right."
Valdana uttered, "What is right, Zadam. You carrying around a torch for a dead woman for all this time. Or you finding out that the woman you secretly loved in your heard, secretly loved you too and is still alive."
Zadam spoke, "But you said yourself, you died. . ."
Valdana uttered, "I also said that a nurse brought me back from the dead."
Zadam said, "You are undead."
Valdana voiced, "I am the woman that your heart used to long for but the pain was too great. You once said that I was beautiful, am I so ugly now?"
Zadam responded, "No. You are still just a beautiful. Maybe even more."
Valdana said, "You once said that if you had a chance to do it over that you’d do things differently. That you’d do everything in your power to save me. . ."
Zadam said, "I did."
Valdana uttered, "Then save me now. Now is your chance to love forever."
Zadam spoke, "But you are not real. I must be having so kind of nervous breakdown. Some kind of psychotic episode."
Valdana said, "I know this is hard for you to comprehend. But what does it matter? What if I am only in your head? Is that any reason to love me less?"
Zadam uttered, "So then you are just a hallucination."
Valdana voiced, "No, my love, I am as real as you are."
Zadam said, "Another explanation is that I didn’t escape that accident and that I’m in a coma and that none of this is real."
Valdana spoke, "If that is the case, then why is the other woman in your bathroom taking a bath? If this was just in your head, would it be more convenient to have just one of us here? Why would I just pop up out of nowhere? And complicate you life if all of this is just some stupid hallucination?"
Zadam uttered, "I don’t know. I don’t have an answer for that. Maybe I crazy."
Valdana said, "Look, I know it wouldn’t be easy to reintroduce myself back into your life. That is why I stayed away for so long. But I can’t stand to see you with someone else. Not now. . ."
Tina came out of the bathroom.
Tina asked, "Were you talking on the phone? I thought I heard you having a conversation."
Zadam uttered while Valdana vanished again. " I, er. I was just talking to myself, I guess.
Tina said, "Oh. Well okay, I do that a lot too. So we can both be crazy together."
Zadam asked, "Why did you call me that?"
Tina questioned, "Call you what?"
Zadam stated, "You called me crazy!"
Tina said, "Oh, Zadam, I was just playing with you. Don’t take it so seriously. Are you sure that you are alright? You seem a little strange."
Zadam asked, "Do you believe in vampires?"
Tina asked, "Okay. Strange conversation, where is this going?"
Zadam said, "I don’t know, this case. I think it is starting to get to me."
Tina voiced, "Oh, I understand now. Yeah, it is starting to get to me too. Specially when you factor in that someone tried to kill you."
Zadam said, "No."
Tina asked, "What?"
Zadam said, "No. That is not what I mean. I mean, do vampires really exist?"
Tina spoke, "Well. We are all living on Mars. I guess once upon a time, no one believed that there were Martians. Now children are born on Mars and people colonized Mars. So Martians really do exist. So, why not vampires, right?"
Zadam said, "Okay, so it really does seem a bit crazy."
Tina voiced, "Only if you let it be crazy, Zadam. Come on, let’s go to bed. I’ll make love to you until there is no crazy left in you."
Zadam said, "Okay. You go on in there, I’ll be there in a moment."
Tina spoke, "Okay, but don’t be too long." Blows him a kiss.
Zadam locked up and got ready to turn out the lights. The lights go off and standing in the
shadows is Valdana.
Valdana whispered, "I’ll leave the two of you alone."
Zadam said, "What the. . ."
Valdana uttered, "Hey, I understand. You’ve go a life and I’ve been obsessing on what might have been had I had the courage to stand up to my fears and live. You don’t need me anymore, you have her."
Zadam voiced, "I need to get checked out."
Valdana said, "No you don’t. Your only problem is that you moved on and I remained locked in that same place for all these years. I kept fooling myself, telling myself, that my secrecy was for the good of both of us. But it allowed us to drift apart, and rightly so, you thought I was dead."
Zadam spoke, "I need time to figure this all out."
Valdana voiced, "If that was the truth I’d wait for you. But I can see from the way that you are with her that I’m no longer important to you."
Zadam uttered, "I can’t just drop everything and come running to you the way that you’d like me too."
Valdana said, "I never expected you to do that. But what I had imagined was that when we finally actually met again, that you’d be so glad to see me, to know that I am alive that you’d love me the way that I love you."
Zadam shook his head, "But you are dead, Valdana. You are not real."
Valdana countered, "You can’t touch love or smell love or see love, but it is real. You know it when you feel it in your heart."
Zadam uttered, "It never goes away sometimes. . ."
Valdana moves to him and kisses him. "No. It should never go away, not real love."
Tina suddenly comes in. "Did I hear you talking to someone again? Hmm. Is that perfume I smell? What’s going on?"
Zadam said, "Don’t worry about it. Come on let’s go to bed."
Tina takes one last look. "I could swear for a moment that I could smell a woman’s perfume. Strange. . ."
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Book / Action and Adventure
Short Story / Romance
Short Story / Romance
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