Sanctuary #Writephoto

I’m there still, in that one single memory.

Our laughter sounding across the garden, mixing with the sound of the sweet summer rain. Our racing footsteps to the old family mausoleum, the closest shelter around. Us standing in the doorway, watching the rainfall as the drops dripped off us like it did on the tree leaves.

We cuddled together upon one of the cold marble beaches that formed a broken circle around the staircase that led down to the tomb. You kissed me with the softness of first love. I said we shouldn’t, but we both wanted it and it felt so right.

Laying naked on the stone floor, staring at the mosaic on the ceiling, not thinking anything. Listening to your gentle breathing and heartbeat, realising my own was right alongside. We kept warm by shared body heat, dozing on and off. How I wished that moment could last forever.

Time and life don’t wait for anyone. At least we had all those years together and now we can finally be together once more.

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/02/08/thursday-photo-prompt-sanctuary-writephoto/ with thanks).

 

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Trust (Part 12)

She felt him wrap his arms around her and Fern pressed her face to his shoulder. The ends of his hair ticked her forehead, but she ignored it and breathed in his smell of sweat and tobacco. Brook rubbed back and mused into her hair.

‘I’ll take you to my place. You’re still changing and we need to get sorted out,’ Brook whispered into her hair.

Fern thought about questioning him, but didn’t have the energy to voice her words.

Brook let her go, slipped on his t-shirt and came back for her. They went through the hole into the main chamber and to the loose bricks beside the door. Brook removed the bricks and helped Fern out of the mausoleum.

Night covered them with a soft blanket likeness. Fern breathed in deeply, smelling night time flowers, light rain and wet grass. In the distance, she was also aware of the ocean. She stood there taking it all in whilst Brook rebuilt the sinking wall and tried to hide it from inquisitive eyes. He held out his hand to her when he was done and led her out of the cemetery.

‘What about you things?’ Fern asked as they walked down an empty road.

‘It’ll be fine. It’s important to have a few places you can go to ground in. It’s just a habit you pick up,’ Brook stated.

‘And this place of your’s? Is it a house?’

‘It’s a top floor apartment. You’ll see when we get there,’ Brook responded.

They walked in silence the rest of the way and Fern enjoyed the warm breeze on her face and the tickle of tiny rain spots on her skin. She didn’t pay much attention to where they were going only that Brook seemed in a hurry. They past old terrace house lined streets, a rough park, closed shops and a hotel.

Finally, Fern recognized the dual carriageway. Brook led her up a flight of steps and they stood on a bridge overlooking the area. Fern quickly realised that this wasn’t the bridge they had walked across last night. That one was ahead of them and the seaside town it was connected to was sprawled out further up to the right of them. A few lonely cars drove on the carriageway, their headlights blinding and engines loud.

‘Are we going back to the beach?’ Fern asked, hoping Brook didn’t notice the small wobble in her words.

‘Not that beach,’ came a guarded reply.

‘Then where?’ she called to him as he moved off the bridge.

‘Further up. Away from the tourists and to a little village,’ Brook answered back.

Letting out a soft sigh, Fern trailed after him. They walked through a patch of scrub land and a farm, before entering the village. The place was more set back from the sea and looked like it hardly saw any tourists, beside from the lost ones.

Walking down a single road, Fern noticed a small church and graveyard to her left on a raised hill. Cottages, surrounded by large flowering gardens seemed to bear down on them. They passed a pub- The Fisherman’s Purse, a post office and a little shop. Large plant pots lingered on the street then they were at brown-red bricked circle with a small fountain tinkling away.

Brook came to a stop and Fern did too. She looked around the little circle of houses. Rising above the roof tops but still some distance away was a dark green sixed floor stack of apartments. It looked completely out of place and as if a crane had removed it from the seaside town and just dumped it in the middle of the countryside.

‘That’s where you live?’ Fern said a low voice.

‘Yeah. I’ll tell you about as we walk,’ he added shooting a look over his shoulder.

Fern looked too, but couldn’t see anything. The village seemed abandoned, there was no sign of any people and it was quiet. Fern hurried to catch up to Brook who had all ready started walking.

‘Originally, the plan was to have a number of these places and rent them out to holiday makers. Like they do aboard. The people could have the sea view and not be far from anywhere whilst at the same time feeling like they lived here,’ Brook explained.

‘But it didn’t work,’ Fern guessed.

‘Yep. The locals weren’t happy, but they needed the income. So they built this first one as a test. It didn’t work out. People couldn’t really offered it and they actually wanted to be on the beach’s doorstep. So, they had to sell the place off to some rich people and they rent the six apartments out to their family and friends as get away spaces.’

‘And how did you end up with the top one?’ Fern broke in.

They had arrived before a patch of woodland which led to a lush grass lawn and the entrance gate to the apartments. Brook once more took the lead and held back a few of the lower tree branches as they struggled through. They popped out on to the lawn and walked up to the gate. The green building didn’t seemed welcoming and Fern got an odd sense that it wanted to be left alone. Shaking her head she turned back to Brook and waited for an answer.

He had pulled out a key from his pocket and was slotting it into a hidden key hole in the gate.

‘So?’ Fern pressed.

‘It was accidently,’ Brook replied and he pushed open the gate.

Fern followed him and he locked it behind them before going up to the silent building.

‘Looks like we’ve got the place to ourselves. Little unexpected at this time of year,’ Brook pointed out. He seemed to put the same key in the door and opened the door.

Fern sniffed loudly before walking through, the hallway smelt too clean. Almost, she decided, hospital sterilized. She heard the door closing behind her and stepped towards the elevator and staircase as there was nowhere else to go in the hallway.

‘So how did you end up here?’ Fern repeated.

Brook called the elevator and lopped his fingers into the belt hooks of his jeans. He shook his hair out of his face and Fern realised that he wasn’t going to tell her. She breathed out deeply and rubbed her head, deciding that right now it didn’t matter and she just wanted a shower.

The elevator door binged open and they got on. Brook hit the number six button, the doors shut and they went up. Fern glanced at the super clean green painted walls and felt the shuddering under her feet. The elevator juddered to a stop and the door opened. Fern peered out and saw a balcony like space before her.

Fake tropical plants ran along the walls and up to a glass door with an exist sign above it. Fern walked down the dark green tiled and painted hallway, passing a dark brown door on her right and stopping at the glass door. Outside was an actual balcony with a cluster of fallen over fake potted flowers. She could see it ran down to her right and there was a wooden table and four chairs further along.

Brook hummed behind her and she heard the door clicking open.

‘The view’s better this way,’ he said.

Fern turned, walked back to him and followed him side the dark apartment.

Trust (Part 11)

Having gotten dressed and feeling like she could have done with a shower and some clean clothes, Fern helped Brook create a space on the mausoleum floor. Brook, just wearing jeans, moved the candle on top of wide ledge amongst some unlit white ones. They put the airbed, the bedding and the camp bed to the far corner, where Fern saw a large metal trunk.

‘What’s in there?’ she asked.

‘Some more supplies,’ Brook answered.

‘I was thinking…now that everything is kind of over…Couldn’t we find a house to stay in?’

‘Can’t live without your girly necessities?’ Brook shot back.

Fern humped, ‘we both could do with a wash and some clean clothes.’

Brook shrugged, ‘We’ll go by mine tomorrow then. But right now, we need to stay here.’

‘Why?’ Fern asked as she finished piling the bedding up.

‘That man from the arcade is still creeping me out,’ Brook stated.

‘He didn’t do anything. I guess he could’ve gone to the police though,’ Fern pondered.

‘I don’t think he really saw anything…It was just…’

‘What?’

‘There something off about him.’

Fern frowned as they walked into the middle of the stone room. She fully remembered the brief conversation she had with Dacian and didn’t feel anything odd about him. The idea she should admit this to Brook gnawed at her, but she put it aside.

‘You can’t read minds can you?’ she cut in.

‘Sort of,’ Brook replied slowly, ‘you can pick things up from humans’ minds. But we can’t read each others. It’s not like telepathy though, it’s more like you guess what the human is going to do. Sometimes when you fed you can hear them, but that’s all down to connections.’

‘Oh, so I can’t learn how to do that?’ she asked making her disappointment seem real.

‘No. I’m going to teach you have to fight. You need to know how to attack and defend yourself,’ Brook stated.

‘But I’m more powerful then…I was before.’

‘It’s still useful to know about and I can show you how to ward off other vampires.’

Fern shuffled her feet on the floor, feeling hard dust and small stones underneath her. She glanced down then up at Brook, who for the moment seemed districted as he too was looking at the floor. The gap between them was only arm’s length and now the bedding wasn’t scattered around, Fern really felt like she was in tomb.

‘Can’t we go outside for this?’ she asked.

‘No. We can’t risk anyone seeing us,’ Brook cut in, ‘I’ll you show the basics.’

Fern nodded and they spent the next half an hour practising a mix of simple leg and arm movements. It felt more like a warm up before a gym session then actual fighting or as Fern thought about it later, the first steps of boxing. She learned to strike out with one fist then the other, to slide her feet forward and back, also to move quickly to the right and left to avoid on coming attacks.

‘I feel silly,’ she pointed out during their break.

Brook was smoking before the black candle with his back to her. She was sat opposite him, her back to damp stone wall.

‘Who taught you how to fight? I thought we were going to do karate or something,’ Fern continued.

‘I did boxing when I was a kid,’ Brook muttered.

‘That explains it. Maybe we should have a practise fight and see what happens?’

‘Sure, I’ll win though.’

Fern stared at his back and watched him flicking ash away. The room smelt heavily of liquorice. She brought her knees to her chest and fought the urge to go outside down. The idea of being trapped plagued her mind and she didn’t understand how anyone could live like this.

‘You ready?’ Brook called over.

She looked up. He had put the cig and the candle out. Dark grey smoke was curling up to the ceiling. Darkness settled back in, but only for a moment as a number of tiny flames broke out over the other candles. Fern got to her feet staring at them and convinced they hadn’t been light before.

‘I’ll teach you that too,’ Brook spoke with a grin.

‘How did you do that?’ she gasped.

‘Sleight of hand, fast movement and practise, just like a good magician.’

‘It’s useful for other stuff too, though?’

Brook nodded, ‘everything is when you learn it. Anyway…’

Swiftly, he crossed the space between them and locked his arms around Fern’s shoulders. Fern wiggled against him, hands on his chest and tried to escape. Brook though, got her into a headlock and bent her to the floor. She saw him bringing his knee up to her face and a panicked squeal escaped her throat. Instead, Brook neatly tumbled her to the floor and grabbed her hands to soft the blow.

‘That wasn’t fair!’ Fern snapped.

Brook yanked her up and she slammed into him.

‘Why? Because you weren’t ready?’ he asked cheekily as he held her tightly.

‘Yes,’ she cried out feeling slightly winded.

‘That’s going to happen. You’ve got to keen your senses into every little thing. You’ve got to know seconds before a thing happens and act on it then.’

Fern pushed against his chest and Brook let her go. Growling, she paced the floor before coming back to stand before him. Brook flexed his arms and shoulders, remaining casual.

‘Let’s try again,’ Fern demanded.

Brook smiled and stayed still.

Fern approached, her footsteps echoing softly. She got chest to chest with Brook then tried to put him in a headlock. However, he was far faster and had twisted her arm behind her back before she could fasten her arms around him. She cried out at a spike of pain then brought her other hand up and punched Brook in the face.

He let go of her arm, wheeling slightly. Fern both hands fists, rained a few blows on to his chest and stomach. Brook wiggled away from her, darting to the side then around the back of her. Fern twisted, snatching a deep breath before she tried to land another blow on him. Brook caught her hand and brought her arm up into the air alongside his. Fern went for a low punch, gritting her teeth as she did so. Brook twisted his hips away then collided their bodies together.

Fern grunted with pain and effort. She dropped her head and shut her eyes. Her lungs ached and she felt so unfit. Brook let go of her hand and her arm dropped uselessly to her side. Suddenly, she wanted to tell him all about Dacian. She wanted them both to get angry and knock each other senseless. Though as she caught her breath, she realised it would be foolish. Brook had already proven himself right.

Trust (Part 10)

Just outside the seaside town, Brook came to a stop. He let Fern catch her breath then they walked back home in silence. Fern’s mind bubbled with questions, but she found she had neither voice nor the wanting to break the space that had grown between them. The wanting to keep recent events at a distance added to this. By the time they reached the mausoleum, Fern was far too tried to talk anyway.

She took all her clothes off and curled up in the sleeping bag. Vaguely, she was aware of Brook nuzzling into the back of her neck and asking for blood. Sleep claimed her and she dreamt colourful dreams, which involved a lot of running away. A few times she felt on the edge of awaking only to plummet back down into a new dream.

When she actually woke up it was sudden. Flinging the top of the unzipped sleeping bag away, she sat up and looked through the darkness of the room. Her new night vison adjusted and was able to pick things out of the darkness as if a light was on overhead.  She saw Brook curled up on the camping bed. Getting up and draping the sleeping bag around her, she walked over to him.

The stone slabs were cold under her feet, but the blood of Kyle still warmed her.

She touched Brook’s sticking out fringe. Her fingers dropped to his forehead, his cheek. Brook still with his eyes shut, turned his head slightly and brushed her wrist with his lips. He kissed her skin then nipped at it. Fern shut her eyes and rocked on her feet as Brook pierced her skin. She felt a tingle of pain which was quickly covered by Brook’s warm mouth.

Empty thoughts swirled in Fern’s mind. All she could think about was the blood flowing between them. Brook stopped drinking too soon and let go of her. She looked down, wanting to sit beside him then snuggle against him, but the camp bed was too small.

Brook got up and hugged her. Fern felt his naked body rubbing against her’s. He took her back to the air bed as if he had read her mind and they lay down together and snuggled. Fern rubbed her head to his chest, listening to the sound of his breathing and heartbeat.

‘What happened at the arcade?’ she asked gently.

‘Which part?’ Brook asked, ‘you almost killing that boy or-’

‘I killed him?’ Fern cut in, pushing herself upwards.

‘Almost, but I stopped you. Just about…’

Fern rested her head back, ‘I couldn’t stop,’ she spoke into his chest, ‘it was like his blood was the sweetest and most intoxicant drink.’

‘An innocent’s blood will do that. We should’ve been more careful. We shouldn’t have-’

‘What do you mean?’ she questioned as her fingertips made circles across his stomach.

‘Most children’s blood is pure. It’s untainted from alcohol, drugs and stuff. It gets into us faster and we get high of it. That’s what happened to you,’ Brook explained, ‘I need a smoke.’

He eased out from her and walked back to the camp bed. Fern rolled over and watched him searching the floor for his clothes. He came back a few moments later with lighter, cig box and a large black candle. He sat down and the air bed bounced. He lit up whilst Fern played with the end of a pillow where the stitching was coming undone. She wrinkled her nose at the acid ting of smoke and lay back down. She heard the lighter flicking again then Brook lay down next her and she curled up into his side.

‘He really was all right, wasn’t he?’ Fern pressed.

‘He was breathing steadily when we left,’ Brook stated and balancing the cig between his lips smoothed her hair.

‘Why did you let me…do it?’

Brook took the cig out of his mouth and breathed a cloud of smoke to the ceiling. He thought for a few moments before saying, ‘we have to take every chance that is given to us. No matter who it is or where they are. If you see even a second’s chance to take some blood you do it.’

Fern pulled a face and rubbed the top of her head under his chin, ‘Why?’

Brook growled softly, ‘because that’s how a vampire survives in the twenty-first century. You can’t just go and ravage anyone! We can be seen on cameras and everyone has one now. The internet has been trying to prove our existence for years, but we’ve got to stay hidden.’

Fern open her mouth to question that but the warm smell of liquorice underlined with anise and cloves hit her. She glanced at the candle that Brook had brought with him and saw it alight and close to the air bed. The yellow-orange flame flickered, pooling the black wax around it.

‘What’s with the candle?’ she asked instead.

‘I like it,’ he replied.

Fern sniffed, ‘liquorice?’

Brook turned his head towards the candle as he answered with a ‘yeah.’

Silence dropped in. Fern rubbed his chest and half raised to show she was interested in him explaining further. Brook had shut his eyes, the cig burning to ash against his lips. Fern gently removed it and put it out on the floor. She kissed his lips and waited.

‘We got to be careful,’ Brook whispered.

‘Huh?’ Fern chipped in at his unexpected statement.

‘Did you see that guy following us?’ Brook asked.

Fern thought back and saw electric blue eyes, ‘maybe,’ she mumbled, ‘was he really following us though? I don’t remember.’

‘Actually, I don’t think he did. He came out of the arcade and just stood there.’

‘I think he ran the place or something,’ Fern gushed in, ‘I saw him at the ticket desk when I went to the bathroom.’

Brook looked up at her then sit up. He put his hands to her shoulders and held her in place.

‘Did he say anything to you?’

Fern shook her head.

‘You’re sure?’

‘Why? Do you know him?’

‘I think maybe….no. It doesn’t matter. Look, let’s forget it. Okay? We’ll stay here and I’ll teach you some stuff.’

Fern nodded her head, still not trusting herself to say anything and looked around for her clothes.