Chapter 1: The Turn
Death could not be avoided. At some point, everything died, the plants, the animals, the very earth itself. That’s how the world worked, everything mortal died, it was life.
Unless you were immortal. His boss, an Eldritch abomination, was immortal. He would never die, and when this world finally passed on, he would find a new world to inhabit. But he would never die.
Flug did not seek immortality. He had accepted long ago that he was going to die, and he was fine with that idea. What would happen to him after death was another story, but he didn’t need that answered. He lived in present day, and didn’t like to remorse on the past or fear the future.
He was working on a new serum at the moment. He has gotten a crate of, what the client called, immortality in a bottle. When he asked the client to elaborate, he had gotten no response. So, per the request of his boss, he began to examine what it was.
Flug took a small sample and put it under a microscope. As he examined the specimen, he drew out on paper what it looked like. It almost appeared as a mutated virus or...or perhaps a bacteria. Whatever it was, it looked like a disease.
As he tried to get a closer look, he was interrupted by a sweet curious sound behind him.
He smiled and turned. “Hey 5.0.5,” he said sweetly. He took 5.0.5’s face in his hands and rubbed it gently. “Have you been a good boy?”
5.0.5 made a sound of agreement. “That’s daddy’s good boy,” Flug said. “I’m busy, but-“ he heard a loud growl. A growl of hunger.
“Oh, you’re hungry,” Flug said. He stood and stretched. “Well, I could use a quick break anyway. Come on, let’s go get you something to eat.”
He left his lab with 5.0.5 behind him and his empty mug in his hand. He made sure to lock the door on his way out to avoid any pesky lizard girls who were way too curious. He went to the kitchen and refilled his coffee.
“What do you want?” Flug asked. 5.0.5 pointed in one cabinet that held all the breads. “You want bread?” Flug asked. He went to the cabinet and pulled out the plastic bag that had half a loaf in it.
5.0.5 was in the fridge, grabbing at something else. Flug looked to see what it was. Jelly.
“Do you want a sandwich?” Flug asked.
5.0.5 shook his head. He reached for the butter. “Oh...do you want toast?” Flug asked. The bear nodded. Flug smiled and went back to the bread. He took two pieces and out them into the toaster.
He finished 5.0.5’s snack and left him to eat, returning to his lab and slowly fumbling with the keys to unlock the door.
But then he heard a giggle within the lab. He quickly jammed the key into the lock and swung the door open.
Demencia was playing with the flask of ‘immortality’ elixir. Flug dropped his mug and keys.
“Demencia! Stop!” Flug snapped. Right as he ran at her, she giggled and put the elixir in her mouth, running and climbing up the wall.
“Demencia!” Flug yelled, looking up at her. She teasingly swirled the elixir as she sat on the ceiling. “What’s wrong Flug? Can’t climb the wall? Or are you just a weakling?”
Flug growled and grabbed the nearest object, a book on astronomy, and threw it at her. She squealed and dropped the elixir.
Flug ran to catch it, praying it would be safe. He almost had it, it was right in his grasp, but-
He missed. It smashed on the ground in front of him. It splashed him, his entire front was drenched in black liquid. He rubbed his goggles on his sleeve and angrily looked up. “DEMENCIA!”
“Uh, gotta run!” She immediately scuffled away into the air vent. She must have come in that way. Flug growled angrily. He took off his lab coat, his gloves, and then his bag and goggles. He slid his shirt off from over his head and went to his washing station.
He ran a hand over his neck, which was wet with the liquid. He examined it on his hand and rubbed his fingers on his palm.
He turned on the water but when he moved to clean his hand...the elixir was gone. He touched his neck. It was completely dry.
Had he hallucinated it? No, he was a scientist, but he wasn’t mad (at least not yet). But...what happened to it?! Had his body absorbed it? But that didn’t make logical sense...how could his skin absorb something that fast?!
As he turned around, he jumped when he saw Black Hat standing directly behind him, looking rather unamused. “What are you doing doctor?” Black Hat asked.
“S-sorry!” Flug quickly said, curling his arms over his chest. He felt his face turn red with slight embarrassment. Why couldn’t Black Hat wait till he had at least a shirt on?
“Why are you shirtless? And why is there black on your pants?” Black Hat questioned, his lip curled into a slight snarl.
“I-I dropped some elixir sir! It splashed on me and...I was just...cleaning myself up,” Flug muttered.
Black Hat gave a huff of disgust. “Get some clothes on and get back to work. I don’t need you working half-naked.”
“Yes sir,” Flug said quickly. Black Hat gave one last growl of annoyance before disappearing.
He felt like absolute shit when he woke up the next morning. He was sick, and it was the worse kind of sick. Every one of his bones hurt, his body was jammed with that disgusting feeling of being incredibly hot and cold at the same time, he could feel himself running a fever, and most horrible, he felt like he was going to vomit.
Flug got out of bed and shuffled to the bathroom, going into the cabinets and fumbling for a digital thermometer. He shoved it under his tongue. He clicked the button at the end and waited. When it beeped, he took the thermometer out.
38.4 Celsius/101.1 Fahrenheit
He gave a harsh sigh. He was sick, and had a horrible fever. He slid the thermometer into the pocket of his sleeping pants. He went back to his room and slipped on his cleaned lab coat, using it more as a blanket by draping it over his shoulders. He had put on a fresh bag and cleaned his goggles after the accident yesterday, which was fine. He needed a new bag anyway.
As he shuffled towards the kitchen, he decided to skip coffee and opt for tea. But not his boss’s fancy tea, which he had gotten from the Underworld, as well as mixes from England. He took his own teabag and waited for the water to brew.
As he did, he rubbed his fingers to his palm again. The elixir was a fake. Immortality? Right, more like cause sickness. It probably was a poison. Flug snorted. Good, maybe it would kill him, he joked with himself.
When his water boiled, he poured it into his mug and mixed it around in the water.
He heard loud paw-steps enter the kitchen. Flug turned and smiled at 5.0.5, stirring his tea. “Morning Fives.”
5.0.5 could smell the stench of sickness the moment he entered the room. His daddy was sick.
He went over and made an apologetic sound. Flug smiled under his bag.
“It’s alright. I’d hug you, but, I don’t wanna get you sick,” Flug said. “Can you make yourself something?” 5.0.5 nodded. He went to the sink and took the hand towel, running it under the cold water of the sink and then handing it to Flug. Flug put it around his neck.
“Thanks bud,” he said. He took his tea bag out and replaced it with a straw. “I’m gonna get to work...”
5.0.5 was about to object, but stopped when Demencia walked into the kitchen, stretching and yawning loudly. She stopped and smacked her tongue to the top of her mouth.
“Ugh! What smells like sickness?” She looked at Flug. “Aw, Flug, are you down with the sickness?”
“Did you have to reference-never mind,” Flug muttered. “Yeah...I’m sick.”
“Aw, I’m sorry Fluggy Buggy,” Demencia said. “If you need me to get you anything, let me know!”
“Thanks Dem,” Flug said. He went to his lab and collapsed into his chair. He felt...horrible. He felt worse than when he had woken up. It’s almost like the disease got worse. He shakily reached forward.
Okay...okay...he was just a little sick, but he wasn’t allowed a sick day unless he was dying. He wasn’t dying, he was fine. He grabbed a screwdriver and...and nothing. His arms wouldn’t stop shaking, and they felt so weak...his whole body felt weak. His body was burning alive but he was shivering with cold. His stomach turned sour.
He grabbed the trashcan below his desk and quickly cradled it in his lap, pushing his bag up his face. He began to breathe heavily, and then...
He vomited, and it was dark, almost black, bile that smelled like blood. Oh god, he was sweating, he was so hot...but why was it so COLD?!
He fumbled for the thermometer in his pocket. But before he could take his temperature, he vomited again.
Black bile dribbled out of the corner of his mouth. He pushed the thermometer into his mouth and pressed the button. When it beeped, he took it out. His temperature had gone up by two degrees.
“Oh god-“ he vomited again. He tried to stand, but his knees gave way. He fell forward, the trashcan falling and splattering his bile on the ground. His hands sank into it, and he vomited again.
He was breathing heavily and his arms gave way. He was so tired, his stomach was knotted, and his bones felt so fragile...
He shoved the thermometer into his mouth again.
His temperature went up a degree.
“Hey Flug, Fives and I-oh what the fuck?! Flug!” Demencia screeched. She ran to his shivering body. “Are you dying?!”
“D-D-Dem...Dem...” Flug flailed his arm at her. It flopped back down at his side. “H-h-h....” he choked a bit on his bile. “H-help...”
“Uh...uh...5.0.5! What do we do?!” Demencia screamed. She got down to her knees and grabbed one of his arms. She hoisted it around her shoulders. “Come on Fives...we gotta get him to Black Hat...”
5.0.5 quickly ran to Flug and helped him up.
“Flug...can you walk?” Demencia asked. Flug shook his head. “N-n...” he threw-up, the bile splashing on the ground. Demencia wrinkled her nose in disgust. It smelled horrible. “N-no...hurt...”
“Okay...okay...it’s okay...” Demencia began to walk him towards the exit. But she stopped when 5.0.5 scooped him up. He made a panicked sound at the trashcan.
“Good thinking Fives,” Demencia said. She grabbed the trashcan and held it as they walked slowly to Black Hat’s office.
Flug threw-up three more times on the way to Black Hat’s office. It began to turn from the deathly black to a blood red.
Black Hat met them half-way.
“What in the devil’s name is that STENCH?! It’s-“ he stopped when he saw Flug. “By my name...” he walked towards him. “You look like death.”
Flug’s response was bile spilling out of his mouth.
“Smell like it too, are you what’s been causing the reek of death?” Black Hat asked. “Give him to me.” But Black Hat had already grabbed Flug and was carrying him to his office, 5.0.5 and Demencia close behind him.
“He’s...he’s uh...he’s gonna live, right?” Demencia asked. Black Hat did not answer. When he reached his office, he brought Flug to a couch that was within his office. It, along with some other furnishings, were made more so for his own leisure, but most of the time they went unused.
“You shouldn’t be working!” Black Hat snapped, taking the doctor’s temperature. He growled at the results and the thermometer melted in his hand. “You should have focused on your own health!”
“C-can’t....n-no sick..sick days...” Flug wheezed out.
“Well, sick days when you’re dying, which you obviously are with a fever like that.” Black Hat said. Flug shot up. “W-what? I’m dyi-” he vomited over himself.
“Lay down idiot, I’m trying to heal you!” Black Hat snapped. “5.0.5, hold him down.”
5.0.5 nodded reluctantly, and pushed Flug down by his shoulders.
Black Hat went to his bookshelf. He pulled a certain book, and the shelf pulled down to become a small alchemy lab. Demencia watched from afar as Black Hat literally pulled things out of the air and began to quickly brew something, muttering words of anger under his breath.
He returned to Flug’s side and waved his hand for 5.0.5 to let go. The bear moved away, making sad whimpers as he did so.
“Drink this,” Black Hat commanded. “It should lower the fever.”
Flug sipped at it, and when he realized it wasn’t bitter, he drank it. He fell back, his eyes threatening to close.
“Leave him, he needs to sleep. Hopefully his organs don’t fail,” Black Hat said. “You two, go dispose of the sickness. This house has the smell of death on it, it’s bad for business. Go, clean it up,” Black Hat said.
“Why do WE have to clean up his mess?!” Demencia whined. “That’s unfair!”
“It’s unfair Flug is near death, yet here we are. Now, go clean up,” Black Hat growled. Demencia gave a loud ‘humph’ before stomping out the door. 5.0.5 followed after her, pausing to look back at Flug.
“Don’t worry 5.0.5, I’ll watch over him,” Black Hat promised. 5.0.5 wasn’t sure how he felt about that. He trusted his papa, he really did, but he knew his papa didn’t really care much about daddy. But, he’d take his word.
He nodded, and followed after Demencia.
Black Hat turned and went to his desk. He couldn’t focus, the stench of plague was heavy in the room. He sighed heavily and look at Flug’s sleeping form. He picked up a paper from the desk.
‘Dear Lord Black Hat,
I require the immediate assistance-‘
He stopped reading when he heard Flug convulse and purge again. He put the letter down. Flug was sitting up, arms wrapped around himself.
“C-cold...so cold..” Flug cried.
“Cold?” Black Hat asked. He went to the curtains and pulled them back, allowing natural light in. But Flug immediately flinched away from it. He covered his face at the sight of the sunlight, cradling and covering himself underneath his arms.
“N-no! It hurts...it hurts...headache...”
Black Hat closed the curtains. Flug had a sensitivity to light with this disease...fascinating.
Black Hat went towards Flug again. With a quick snap of his fingers, Flug’s dirty clothing was swapped for suitable sick clothes, his sleep wear and Black Hat’s own personal bathrobe. He found that his own bathrobe was much more comfortable than human attire, and for when he himself was sick or simply wanted leisure time, he would wear it around in favor of his normal coat and tie.
Flug’s shuddering stopped. He went still.
Black Hat sighed. He was no stranger to sickness, but at the same time, he hardly ever was sick. Whatever sickness he did catch, he simply would tough it out, and he demanded his employees do this same. But this was no...ordinary sickness. And it certainly didn’t seem like any sickness he had encountered. The Black Death maybe...yellow fever perhaps....but he didn’t think of this disease that plagued the doctor to be of these diseases. He knew their smells, they didn’t smell like this.
He sat back at his desk, watching Flug carefully. The doctor had gone stiff, his side was barely moving. Was he...was he breathing? Black Hat’s eyebrow furrowed with concern. “Flug,” he said sternly from his desk. The doctor did not stir.
“Flug!” He said again, standing abruptly. The doctor did not wake.
The door to his office slammed open. “We finished Blacky-“ Demencia stopped. She pinched her nose and glanced at Flug before screaming.
5.0.5 quickly stepped around her, rushing to his daddy. He pushed his muzzle into Flug’s neck, making desperate sounds for Flug to wake up. He had to wake up, he just had to. 5.0.5 could feel the jaws of fear clench his heart, turning his stomach sour. Flug had to wake up.
“I-is he...is he....?” Demencia didn’t even finish the sentence. She felt her knees become weak. This was surreal. She was looking at Flug’s dead body...this couldn’t be real.
Black Hat slowly walked towards Flug. He took the doctor’s hand and delicately pushed up the glove. His thumb and index finger pushed into the doctor’s wrist. There was no pulse.
“Damn it...” Black hat muttered. He had lost ANOTHER scientist. Now he was going to have to find ANOTHER one...oh the headaches that would ensue.
He stood, setting Flug’s arm down.
“Flug is dead,” he declared. 5.0.5 let out a howl of grief, throwing back his head and wailing. Though it was rather annoying, Black Hat allowed him this moment of grief. The bear had lost his parent, of course he was-
He stopped his thought when he thought he saw...no. Flug had no pulse, he was dead.
5.0.5 stopped and looked at Flug. He nudged him.
There was an intense silence, before Flug gasped and spewed blood from his mouth. He fell off the couch and onto his hands, his back arched as he began to vomit violently, thick red blood pooling around his hands.
“H-hurting...” it was the only word he said before he was racked with a violent storm of coughing.
“Hurting? What’s hurting?” Black Hat asked, kneeling down in front of Flug. “Flug! What is-“ Flug reached up under his bag. He said one word.
Then came a violent twisting of flesh. 5.0.5 covered his ears. Flug let out a hoarse moan as he slowly pulled his own tooth out of his head. It ripped and he dropped it. It was one of his canine teeth. Slowly, he pulled out each of his canines, but not a single drop of blood bled from his gums. He was hit with another violent storm of vomiting before his eyes closed and he fell into his own blood.
“W-what just happened?!” Demencia asked, shaken from the sight. She had seen a lot of gore and violence, and she knew Flug liked torture but...Flug was dead. He was dead, wasn’t he?
“Demencia, get 5.0.5 and leave immediately,” Black Hat demanded. “Now.”
“What?! Why?!” Demencia asked. “Is Flug going to be okay?!”
“This is an order Demencia. Leave.”
Demencia gave Flug one last worried glance before leaving the room with 5.0.5. Black Hat locked the door when they left. He turned to Flug, who was once again, lifeless on the ground. He could have fooled anyone, but his fingers were what gave it away. They were lengthening, ripping open his gloves to reveal pallid skin with thick black claws.
Black Hat waited patiently for the transformation to be complete. It had all clicked the moment he saw Flug pull teeth from his own head. Now he was changing, shifting from alive to undead.
Black Hat heard Flug’s gums crackle. Fresh long teeth, almost like fangs, wiggled out from his gums in place of the canines that had been pulled out. He rose to his feet as if he wear levitating, and he stood there for a moment before shaking his head and looking around confused. He turned.
“S-sir? Why am I standing up? Why am I in....why am I in your robe?” Flug asked. He ran his tongue over the top of his mouth. He was parched...and hungry, but they were for the same thing. But he couldn’t place what that thing was. This thirst was dangerous to him, he did not like it.
Black Hat went to his desk, taking out a key from his pocket. He went into the small safe under his desk and unlocked it, pulling out a large glass bottle. He conjured two cups, one with a straw and one without. Delicately, he poured the red liquid within the bottle into each cup. He picked the straw-less one up and took a sip. “Thirsty Flug? It’s fresh, I got it last night, it’s delicious,” Black Hat said.
“I shouldn’t drink while sick-“ Flug stopped, touching his palm to the back of his neck. “I-I don’t feel sick anymore. In fact I just feel...fine.”
Black Hat ran his finger around the rim of his glass. “It isn’t alcoholic Flug, come, share a drink with me.”
He grinned when he saw Flug catch a whiff of what Black Hat had poured. He could almost see the doctor salivating over it as he slowly walked towards the desk. He picked up the glass with a straw in it.
“This won’t...kill me or anything...will it?” Flug asked.
“No no, quite the opposite,” Black Hat promised. “Drink.”
Flug took a sip, and then when he tasted the contents, his hunger worsened. He drained the cup quickly, his thirst subsided. He wanted more.
“Can...” he was timid. “Can I please have some more?”
Black Hat poured more into the doctor’s glass. He quickly drank it.
“What is this...?” Flug asked. He was almost to fearful to ask. Probably poison or some dangerous chemical.
“This, is human blood,” Black Hat said, and he finished his glass.
Flug dropped his glass, unaware of the loud shatter it made when it impacted the ground.
“Wha...what...what?!” Flug asked. His legs became weak, like twigs holding up a rock. He condensed, falling to his knees and hunching over. He held his arms, curled up with his back arched.
“Yes, human blood, though I believe vampires need...warmer blood. Fresher,” Black Hat said as he sat his glass down on his desk.
“Vampire...” Flug muttered. Slowly he bit into his bottom lip, harshly. He felt his canines touch his skin first, and slowly push into his flesh. But the further he pressed, no blood flowed. In fact, his mouth had no salvia. His body was dry, almost like...
He rubbed his stomach.
When he vomited, his body was ridding itself of all of its liquids. He kept biting, for there was no pain to stop him. Finally, in a molasses-like manner, blood dripped from the puncture wounds. He reached up and touched it, pulling away to examine it.
Black, unnaturally black, almost like ink.
He gripped his head as he stood on wobbly legs. He wasn’t sick but...but it still felt like it. Nothing was making sense. Nothing was clicking.
He began to spin, in a circle, trying to get a grip on his surroundings. His head was pounding, he wasn’t sure where he was anymore. His breathing was getting stuck in his chest, and he could feel his chest tighten.
Flug stopped, wide-eyed staring at Black Hat. The Eldritch moved slowly, approaching him as if he were a frightened wild-animal.
“You must calm yourself...this is...much to take in, but you must keep a level-head. Panicking will only worsen this situation!” Black Hat said.
“B-but...but...vampirism is impossible...” Flug grip held on his head. “I can’t do this...I can’t do this...”
“Well, I’m here, aren’t I?” Black Hat said as he snapped his fingers. “I’m possible.” The shattered glass on the ground returned to its previous state. Flug had gone quiet, he just stared at the ground and tightened his grip, his bag crunching in his hands.
“Flug, relax yourself,” Black Hat commanded. Flug refused, he only tightened his muscles, and began to tense himself further. His breathing became a more irregular pattern, and as he began to arch his back again, Black Hat could almost hear him growling.
“Now look what you’ve done, you’ve gotten yourself all excited,” Black Hat said. Flug suddenly jerked up, and through his goggles, Black Hat couldn’t help but grin when he saw those starving red eyes. His mind had gone feral, he was in a hunting mode. He held himself as an animal would, hunched over, eyes darting wildly back and forth, his claws flexed by his sides.
He tilted his head at Black Hat.
“Oh you don’t want my blood,” Black Hat said. “It’s far too...sour. You wouldn’t like it, and it hasn’t been pumped properly in a long time...you’ll want search out there,” Black Hat said, and he pointed through his window towards the town. “Sadly...it’s far too bright for you...isn’t it?”
Flug looked to the town, and Black Hat could smell the fear radiate from him when he saw the sunlight. He looked to Black Hat, and began to stalk near him.
“I suppose just this once...I could find you prey. I guess you don’t know how to hunt yet either,” Black Hat said. He sighed. “First, come with me, you must roam your lab until I find you something to nip at,” Black Hat said. He curled his index finger to motion for the doctor to follow, and then began to walk towards his door.
He was quick as he walked, pleased that the vampire was able to keep up. When he reached the lab, he quickly took out his ring of keys and pulled the one to the lab, unlocking the door. He motioned for Flug to go in.
But he didn’t, he recoiled at the harsh light.
“So picky,” Black Hat said. He turned the lights off. “In you go until I find your little snack.”
Flug gave a small growl before entering the lab. Black Hat shut the door behind him and locked the door. As he turned and began to walk, he passed by the living room, and looked in.
“Black-y! How is he? Is he okay?! Give us the details!” Demencia said, standing quickly and running towards him. 5.0.5 followed after her, fearful of the news.
“He’s fine. Don’t go into the lab, either of you,” Black Hat said. “He’s...recovering, I don’t want him disturbed. I’m going to be going into town for a bit, don’t make a mess, and don’t disturb Flug,” Black Hat said.
“Wait, what?! That’s it?! Please, there’s gotta be more to it, what-“
Demencia was cut off when Black Hat quickly turned. “Remember, no going in the lab, I don’t want any...accidents...”
With that ominous message, Black Hat continued on his way out.
Demencia looked to 5.0.5. “You thinking what I’m thinking?” She asked. 5.0.5’s pupils widened, and he began to make sounds of plea, begging her not to go, tugging at her arm.
“Don’t worry, I won’t be going INTO the lab,” Demencia said. She smiled, glancing at the air vent high up on the wall. “I’m going through the vents.”
Though in this...horrid human form he walked among them as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. But his powers were still within his grasp, he still felt weakness in him. This human body was dying, he HATED it.
He walked with his cane, the more presentable one. It had a silver skull on the end, and the stick itself was carved from dark ebony wood.
As he walked amongst the flock, eyes narrowed ahead, he passed a female. She whistled as he walked by, and when he turned to glare at her, she gave him a wink and blew him a kiss.
He was disgusted by humans. So greedy, so willing to do anything for five seconds of pleasure. He never understood how Flug turned out the way he did.
He kept walking, wrinkling his nose at the smell of the city. He went into his coat pocket and hit a box of cigarettes on his hand that held his cane. He took one that came out in his mouth and put the box away. He looked around once or twice, before grabbing the end and pressing for a second. When he removed his fingers, the end had been lit.
The smoke clogged his senses, blocking out the horrible smell. Now if there was only something for the sounds.
He just had to find someone with healthy blood and bring it back.
As he walked, he looked from human to human. He would know the prey when he saw it, the perfect kill. He had done it many times before, and would do it many times over. He was stopped when a hand touched his shoulder.
“Where are you going in such a hurry?” A soft voice asked. He turned, eyeing the creature that was touching him.
She was caked in makeup, the ends of her hair were fake, he could smell the glue that connected the small pieces. But despite everything that was on the inside, he could almost taste her plasma. It was perfectly healthy.
“Fancy clothes,” she said. She gave a half smile, grabbing her lip. Oh yes, he was familiar with this. Demencia had done this multiple times over.
“Tell you what, you come with me, and I’ll show you where these fancy clothes come from,” Black Hat said, taking her chin and lovingly flicking it.
Demencia hoisted herself up into the vent. “Okay Fives, I’m just going to take a quick look. I’ll be back soon, okay?” She said down to the bear. He nodded, though he was still worried.
Demencia slithered down the vents, making sharp turns until she came to the lab. However, when she reached it, there was no light coming up from the vent. She squinted, looking in. Was Flug...sleeping? But what....why would he sleep in his lab, and not his own bed?
“Flug?” She asked quietly.
The creature sniffed, searching the darkness for prey. It was so starved, so hungry. Yet it was as smart as an idiot child, it did not know how to hunt. So it listened, it waited, waited for the Eldritch to bring it food.
But then, then came the heartbeat. Heartbeat...it ticked like an undying clock. It sniffed again, and listened again. Follow the heartbeat, it thought, follow the heartbeat. Heartbeats, fresh plasma.
It followed it, clambering up the many shelves and cabinets, taking to the walls. It climbed like a lizard, claws sinking into the wall as it quietly went to the air-vent, where it could smell the pulsing plasma.
It heard something. Something from the prey.
It gave a loud hiss, banging on the vent and reaching through, clawing at whatever was there. The prey screamed, and quickly darted away. It clawed after it, trying to break the metal. But it was weak, it was starving...it needed blood, it needed warm fresh blood. It let out a wail, weakly gripping the metal of the vent.
Demencia never moved so fast in her life. She practically leapt out of the vent, colliding into 5.0.5. She gripped onto him, her hands shaking. “5.0.5...5.0.5...it wasn’t human...it doesn’t look human...I-I...I don’t know what that was!” Demencia screeched. “It was...I’ve never seen a monster like that around here before!”
5.0.5 made comforting noises, hugging her and petting her ponytail as she cried.
There came a loud bang as the front door opened. Demencia immediately stood, quickly wiping her tears from her face.
There was a loud screaming, and Black Hat stumbled by holding a girl, who was kicking and thrashing as she struggled under his hands and tentacles.
“LET ME GO YOU MONSTER!” She screeched at the top of her lungs. She was cut off by a gloved hand to her mouth.
“Shh darling, my scientist is thirsty,” Black Hat purred. He looked to Demencia and 5.0.5. Demencia could feel him reading her, feeling her fear. “You went into the lab, didn’t you?”
“No...well...yes...I peaked through the vents.” Demencia confessed. She looked up. “What was in there?! Was that monster Flug?!”
Black Hat shook his head. “Come...I’ll explain once that....monster is fed,” he said as he struggled with the thrashing girl. He continued to walk towards the lab, and immediately took his keys from his coat. He unlocked the lab door and went in.
“Flug, I brought you a treat,” Black Hat called into the darkness. He threw the girl down and waited. She tried to run, but he simply shoved her back into the dark. From the soft light that illuminated into the lab, Black Hat smiled as he saw a clawed hand grab her. The doctor’s bag was pushed up from his lips, and he bit hungrily into the girl’s neck. She screamed.
It tour her neck and began to vigorously drink, blood pooling on the ground as the vampire fed. Yes, fresh blood, warm fresh blood.
Black Hat watched, intrigued. It was quite the show, rather messy too. He was no serial killer, but he was familiar with the art, the satisfaction not of causing mass destruction, but rather being a god, and taking someone’s life into their own hands. Perhaps that’s what Flug felt at the moment.
“S-so...that’s...Flug?” Demencia asked, coming up beside him. “Why is he...what’s wrong with him?”
“The immortality elixir worked, the doctor now has immortality and many new abilities far beyond his comprehension. However it wasn’t immorality in that bottle, it was vampire blood,” Black Hat said.
“Vampire blood...so is...Flug’s a vampire?” Demencia asked.
“Yes, he is a vampire,” Black Hat said, watching as the doctor bit a different spot and began to drink.
“So, why is he acting like this?” Demencia asked.
“He was overwhelmed at his turn, and he needed fresh blood, so his vampirism took control, he should come back soon,” Black Hat said. He paused. “You’re awfully quiet back there 5.0.5, can’t stomach watching your father act like a monster?”
5.0.5 shook his head. Who did this? Who sent his daddy vampire blood? How could this happen...?
He went towards Black Hat, wanting comfort from one of his papa. Black Hat placed a hand on the bear’s head, his eyes unmoving from Flug’s bloody mess.
“So, we got a vampire running around now,” Demencia muttered.
“Precisely, things should get a little more, interesting around here,” Black Hat said.
Flug fell back, blood still trickling from his mouth and drenching his shirt. He was breathing heavily, his head falling back as he regained himself.
He then went back to the body and took one final drink.
“...I didn’t hurt anybody...did I?” Flug asked.
“Only her,” Black Hat said, pointing at the carcass. “Made quite the mess too.”
“You scared me,” Demencia said, crossing her arms.
Flug closed his eyes as he continued to catch his breath. “I don’t remember anything after...after what you told me,” Flug said, looking to Black Hat.
“Your nerves caused your vampirism to take control of your mind. You MUST keep a level head, or else things will go wrong,” Black Hat said. “Luckily, I found prey for you.”
Flug went back to the body and began to drink again. When he let go, his fangs shrunk so they were short enough to fit within his mouth.
5.0.5 moved from Black Hat’s hand, lumbering over to Flug and pushing his head into Flug’s face. He made soft sounds of worry, his flower drooping. Flug wiped his hand on his lab coat and began to pet 5.0.5. “It’s okay buddy,” Flug whispered to him. “I’m okay, I’m okay.”
5.0.5 pushed closed, his wet nose touching Flug’s exposed neck.
Then he heard it, the soft pounding of a drum. He blinked once or twice. Where was it coming from? He looked to 5.0.5, still softly petting him.
It, it was his heartbeat.
He tried to focus on anything else but that. The hum of the many engines in the lab, the small little snorts of happiness 5.0.5 made, anything but the heartbeat.
Flug ran a hand over his chest. “I’m still wearing your robe sir,” he said.
“When you change, toss it into your wash and then give it back. I don’t want any of your filth on my clothes that I so generously offered in your hour of sickness,” Black Hat said.
Flug’s mind travelled back to that morning. Black Hat had been trying to save him, and not only that, he had gotten him food after his turn.
“I guess...I guess I’m in debt to you,” Flug said.
“The rest of your immortal life should prove to be excellent payment, don’t mistake this for kindness,” Black Hat said. “Clean up this mess, it’s filthy in here.”
“Wait...what if I have to feed again? I don’t know how to hunt, I don’t know anything about...what I’ve become,” Flug said. “What if I lose myself again?”
Black Hat made an annoyed growling sound as he rolled his eyes.
“I don’t care, if you are simply dying of hunger bother me then,” he said. He turned away. “I’ve done enough for you.”
He turned and left the scientist. Flug looked down at the carcass, and at the blood that had pooled around her body.
5.0.5 stood and lumbered to the light switch, flicking it on. Flug flinched at the sudden light, a hiss escaping his lips.
“Turn them off...” he begged. “Please.” His head was starting to pound, and he kept his eyes tightly shut.
5.0.5 switched them back off. Flug gave a sigh of relief. “Thank you.”
“So you’re a vampire,” Demencia said, walking into the lab. “Lucky for you, I read all of the Twilight books and know vampires from the inside out.”
“Are...are you sure that is an accurate thing to go off of?” Flug asked, scratching the top of his bag.
“Uh, of course! Why else would it be such a good novel?” Demencia asked, popping her hip.
“I can think of a few reasons...” Flug muttered.
“So, according to my book, light shouldn’t bother you anyway. All you do is sparkle,” Demencia said. She flicked the lights back on. Flug hissed, recoiling at the light. “It hurts,” he whined.
“Maybe you just have light sensitivity,” she said. She hoisted him up by his hands and stood him on his feet. “C’mon, I’ll teach you ALLLL that I know,” she said.
“So, according to my book, you can go vegetarian and just drink animal blood. No need for humans! Thought I’m sure with your hobbies, killing humans isn’t a problem. Just don’t drink my blood, I like it in my body,” Demencia said.
“I wouldn’t even want to. Do you know what I made you out of?” Flug asked. “You’re like...the equivalent of GMOs.”
“Good for me!” Demencia said. She skipped over to a closed curtain. “So, we should test out our sunlight theory. Ready?” She asked, grabbing onto the curtain’s rope.
“I...I guess...” Flug muttered.
“Okay, three, two-” she gave a hard tug in the rope. The curtains yanked open, sunlight flooding the room. The moment it touched his skin, Flug began to hiss loudly. He clenched his fists towards his chest and fell to his knees. “S-stop! Stop! Please stop it BURNS!”
Black Hat, who had returned to his office to complete work, looked up at the sound of inhuman screeching. He immediately stood and stormed towards it, practically breaking his door from it’s hinges. He found Demencia struggling to close the curtain while Flug was almost dust on the floor. He ripped his jacket from his shoulders and tossed it over Flug.
“Demencia, qué diablos?!” Black Hat snapped at her. Demencia giggled nervously, biting her nail and slowly toying with her foot on the ground. “Sorry~ Testing a Twilight theory.”
“A Twilight th...” Black Hat’s voice trailed off into a growl. 5.0.5 stumbled into the room, and he lumbered towards Flug quickly, sniffing wildly. He had been cleaning up the mess Flug had made in the lab, he was worried when he heard the screaming.
“Okay...you are incompetent when it comes to teaching Flug, 5.0.5 is too idiotic to even know what a vampire is...why must these things always fall on MY shoulders?!” Black Hat hissed. He rubbed is forehead.
Demencia finally pulled the curtains shut. “Aw...I wanted to teach him! I know EVERYTHING about vampires! Look!” she shoved a hand into her ponytail and furrowed around, pulling out a book with a broken red ribbon on it. “See?”
“A romance novel is NOT accurate when it comes to these things!” Black Hat ripped the book from her hand and burned it into his clutch. “Do you know how OLD the vampire disease even is!? It goes back farther then your stupid book!”
“Well it was better than what you were doing!” Demencia said. “Just letting him starve...some help you are!” she said. She gave him a flirtatious look. “We could ALWAYS work together in training him.”
“After the display here today I have half a mind to keep you from even looking at him,” Black Hat said. His attention turned to his jacket. Flug had not yet emerged, he was still in hiding.
“Come out Flug,” Black Hat said. “The sun is gone.”
Flug slowly pulled the coat to just reveal his face. When he saw the coast was clear, he stood.
“Well Flug, it turns out apparently my knowledge on vampires is ‘incompetent,’” she said, mimicking Black Hat’s voice when she said ‘incompetent.’ “So, I guess I’m no help to you. But that doesn’t matter! You get the handsome boss man to help you!” she put an arm around his shoulder. “Your own little private time with the cutie.”
“Enough. Demencia, go...” Black Hat paused. “Go look for my list of contacts. Not the subordinates, the other list. The one of my...acquaintances,” he shooed her with his hand. “Go too 5.0.5, perhaps the two of you can put your heads together to almost make up the smarts of a functioning brain.”
Demencia saluted and grabbed 5.0.5, pulling him away from Flug. “C’mon Fives! Boss man wants his list!”
Flug looked to Black Hat, and with a shaky hand, held out his boss’s coat. “Th-thank you for not letting me burn sir...”
Black Hat snatched it from Flug. He put it back on and straightened it out before connecting his hands behind his back and slowly walking towards Flug. He circled him, almost like a lion circling its prey. Flug could feel Black Hat looking him over, his eyes scanning him.
“Take off your bag doctor,” Black Hat said.
“My...bag sir?” Flug asked quietly.
“Yes. Do it now,” Black Hat demanded. Slowly, Flug reached up and grabbed the rim of his bag with shaky hands. “I...I don’t know about this sir...does it HAVE to come off?”
“That was an order Flug.”
Flug gave a sigh and slowly pulled his bag off of his head. A small smile pricked at the edges of Black Hat’s mouth. He leaned in further to get a better look at Flug’s face.
“Funny, I can’t see myself in your eyes,” Black Hat said. “Your face is different than the last time I saw it.”
Flug reached up and touched his face. His long sharp nails poked and prodded at stone-cold flesh. But this was wrong, his face...it was supposed to have burns on it, it was supposed to be horribly scarred and ruined.
“This...this isn’t my face,” Flug muttered.
“Oh it’s still the same face doctor,” Black Hat said. “Vampirism is known as the ‘cure all’ disease. It can repair the most stubborn scars and mend even blindness. Tell me doctor, is-“ Black Hat tapped on the side of his monocle. “-is your eye working better?”
“Yeah...it is...” Flug muttered. “What do my eyes look like? Are they different?”
“The once partially blind one is bloodshot and red, but the other...is a strange blue color,” Black Hat said. Unnatural eye color was not an uncommon trait from vampirism, it tended to change the pigment in one’s eyes. He knew a peasant once with most bland brown eyes, and once he fell victim to vampirism, his eyes had changed to a moon yellow. It wasn’t just the pigment in the eyes that changed, the hair pigment seemed to change too.
“Your hair is different. Darker, almost black,” Black Hat said. “It’s better suiting anyway. You’re a villain, blonde hair is not a mark of evil.”
Flug touched his hair.
“But enough, I’ve seen your physical appearance, but now, I must see your strength,” Black Hat said, his tongue darting out from between his teeth. He was walking away from Flug slowly. He turned, his hands still clasped behind his back. “To which, I command you, attack me.”
“What...? Right here?! Sir you know I can’t...I’m...I don’t know anything...” Flug muttered. He looked down at his hands, with the ripped gloves and the sharp nails.
“How many people do you know I tell to attack me Flug? You should take up the offer. Come on then, attack, strike me. It will not hurt me,” Black Hat said. “I am easy prey.” He finally unlocked his arms and held his hands out at his sides.
“I can’t do it...” Flug said, looking away. “I’m sorry sir...I respect you too much...”
“This is another order Flug,” Black Hat snapped. “Attack me, or else I will attack you first.”
“I...I don’t even know what to do...I don’t know how to begin or what to do,” Flug muttered, looking up from his hands at Black Hat.
“Find the primal-ness of a vampire within you. Your mortal mind still weakens your immortal mind. You think you can not do something, only because you’ve never done it in your mortal body. This is not your mortal body-“
Flug looked back down at his hands.
“-this is your immortal body, and it holds more power than you could ever think.”
He took a deep breath in. “Just...how do I begin?” Flug asked.
“Simple, raise your claws, and strike me. I can take it,” Black Hat promised. He held out his hands again.
Flug took a breath in and looked away. “I-I’m sorry...”
He never moved so fast in his life. His feet barely even touched the ground when he moved, it was as if he were levitating. His claws raised, he slashed across Black Hat’s chest.
Black Hat only stumbled back. Yes, there was that vampire strength he had always heard of. He looked down at the marks upon his chest, and then back at Flug. The young vampire’s eyes were glowing their own colors, but Flug shook his head and rubbed his face.
“I don’t know what I did...it just...it kind of just happened. I thought about attacking you and...my body just sort of...did it,” Flug muttered.
“See how easy it is to command yourself to do these things?” Black Hat said. “But not everything will come this easy. Some things, such as your magic or-“
“Wait...magic?! I can do magic?!” Flug asked.
“A wide variety if I recall. Most falls under necromancy or dark magic, I can help you with most of it, though some spells are ...‘vampire only.’ As I was saying,” Black Hat said. “Your magic, and things such as your wings, will take time for you to learn and to conjure. But if you have patience, and practice, they will become as easy to you as physical attack should be.”
“Wings...you mean...” Flug took a long breath of air in. His hand slowly trailed over his mouth. A small bit of...joy, sparkled in his chest. Wings...
“You mean...I’ll be able to fly?” he asked, the corners of his mouth twitching up with a toothy smile, his fangs protruding from his upper lip.
“Of course, multiple ways too. Take the form of a bat, use your own wings, levitation if you count that,” Black Hat said. He gave a harsh sigh. “In the hours of the day, you’re weaker. And s you just witnessed, sunlight hurts you. There isn’t much we can do during the hours of day, merely just talk of what you can do. It’s not as effective as you actually learning. I propose...a training schedule if you will.”
“Uh, sure, sounds good,” Flug muttered. He actually enjoyed the idea of a schedule. He liked to be organized, and finding a way for this to be in his schedule sounded better than randomly learning at Black Hat’s own leisure.
“Every night, from the hours of 10 in the evening to 5 in the morning, those shall be the teaching hours. During the day you will do your normally assigned work, and business will go on as normal. Are we in agreement?” Black Hat asked.
“Yeah...sure,” Flug said. “But...what if...what if I need blood during the day today? What should I do?”
“I know fresh blood is not the same as stored blood, but if can tie you over until I teach you how to hunt, I’d drink that.”
“Okay...” Flug muttered. He gave a half smile. “Thank you...for teaching me.”
Black Hat said nothing, he only snorted and walked away.
The night was finally settled in, Flug could sense it. Something within him changed, he felt energized, like he did after his first cup of coffee in the morning. It was youthful, and a welcomed feeling.
With this new energy, he was able to get a considerable amount of work done, and not a drop of coffee was needed to keep him going. When he actually finished his to-do list on time, he had no idea what to do with the free time.
He left his lab and quietly roamed the halls. He imagined himself as Black Hat, patrolling the halls late at night. He puffed out his chest and straightened his posture, and locked his hands behind his back. With a small grin, he held his chin up high and kept walking, trying to imitate his boss to the exact detail.
He came across a small statue of Black Hat, sitting upon a small pedestal.
“Dr. Flug! Get back to work!” He snapped to it in his most Black Hat-y voice. He laughed quietly to himself.
He checked the watch on his wrist. 9:34 PM.
He ran his tongue over his fangs. He had eaten at all that day, only once, really it was more like a test. 5.0.5 had brought him food, and though the smell of it was surprisingly disgusting, he took a bite anyway. He later vomited it back up, completely undigested with no bile.
So human food and drink was out.
He had replaced his gloves with a bigger size and changed into his normal wear, tossing Black Hat’s robe and his sleepwear into the wash. It felt nice to be wearing fresh clothes.
He looked at the time again. 9:40.
Perhaps Black Hat would be willing to start early with him. After all, the boss said often, “To be early is to be on time.”
Mustering up his courage, Flug walked to his boss’s office, and stopped just outside the door. He took a breath in, straightened his lab coat, and timidly opened the door.
Black Hat was at his desk, flipping through the contact list Demencia and 5.0.5 has brought him. He was writing vigorously on a piece of parchment, his lip curled under itself to reveal his pale green teeth.
“What is it doctor?” He asked, looking up. His lip untucked.
“I was...I was wondering if you wanted to start my, my uh, my training?” Flug asked quietly. Black Hat’s face remained unreadable.
“Your training? Is it of the hour already?” Black Hat asked. He leaned back from his desk and pulled out his pocket watch. “You’re early doctor.”
“Only by a few minutes sir,” Flug said. “I, I just...I want to know how to hunt as soon as possible, so I don’t...lose myself again.”
Black Hat sighed and stood, stretching his arms out and then his back. “Very well...come with me.”
Despite being dead, his senses were surprisingly sharper than they ever had been when he had been alive. He could sense heartbeats, he could smell disease, he could hear the small movements of insects within walls, and if he focused, he could see from miles away.
Black Hat walked beside him. He was in his human form, which, Flug would not lie, looked rather handsome. He was smoking a cigarette, wearing only his red dress shirt and tie on his top, and his dress pants and shoes on his below. He did not wear his normal top hat, for he felt it would give himself away.
Flug did not wear his bag. He wore street clothes, not his normal lab attire. Black Hat had said he had to ‘blend in.’
“The Herd is smart, it knows when to be suspicious. To walk amongst them, you must act like them.”
He often referred to the citizens as ‘The Herd’ or ‘the prey.’
“Why do you smoke?” Flug asked Black Hat as they walked down the street. “You never smoke in the house.”
“Smoking blocks out the smells and tastes of the city,” Black Hat said.
“You can smell the city?” Flug asked. He knew his own sense of smell was heightened, but he didn’t think any scent within the city was so bad he had to light a cigarette.
“If you’ve been alive as long as I have, you’ll know cities are the worst smelling things on the planet,” Black Hat said. “All the gasoline and unnatural chemicals...all shoved into one filthy place.”
“I never knew you felt that way about it,” Flug said.
“Well now you do,” Black Hat said. “Keep your eyes down, they’ll give you away.”
Flug looked at his shoes as they walked. “How do I do this?” He asked.
“Well, you use your senses as you pass people. If one person in particular catches your attention, then pursue that one. You’ll smell if they have disease or not,” Black Hat said. “Then, if I recall correctly, simple flirtations and a quick look from your eyes should seduce them into a trance. Then, it’s only a matter of secluding them from any eyes that might be watching. Then, well...you know what comes next.”
“I feed,” Flug muttered.
“Exactly. Do as you will. I’ll follow your lead, and watch your back if anything goes sour,” Black Hat said. He slowly began to slow, tracking behind Flug. “Good luck.”
“You’re not gonna help me?” Flug asked.
“The best way to learn, in my opinion, is to simply try it for yourself,” Black Hat said. “All hunting styles are different after all.”
Flug turned back towards the sidewalk. He kept walking, aware of Black Hat casually walking behind him. He closed his eyes, trusting his senses to guide him from running into anything and avoiding danger. He remembered what Black Hat had told him earlier.
“You think you can not do something, only because you’ve never done it in your mortal body.”
This was his new body, and this body was his to command.
He felt a sudden tug in his chest as someone passed. He looked behind him as the person passed. He could almost see a vein pulse in their neck.
Was this what Black Hat was talking about? He glanced towards Black Hat. He was leaned against the brick wall of a building, his eyes tilted to look at the ground. He looked at Flug, and gave a small nod, almost as if giving his approval.
Flug slowly turned and followed the ‘prey,’ looking up as he walked. He eyed the wall, where he saw a small alleyway. He gave a small grin to himself, and then moved swiftly, almost like he did upon attacking Black Hat that morning.
He shoved the prey into the alleyway with a forceful shove. They stumbled, and he followed after them.
“What the hell?!”
The prey turned harshly, but when it met the glow of Flug’s eyes, the anger within its own vanished, replaced by a harsh passion.
“Who...who are you?” It asked.
But Flug did not answer. His eyes, they had a new power to them. They could command a mortal’s mind, they held an influence over thoughts.
His focus turned to the prey’s neck. A large vein pulsed out from the skin, and he could no longer ignore the temptation to attack. He again shoved the prey, throwing them against the wall. He then gave the prey a kiss, which they eagerly accepted. He trailed his kisses over its jawline and towards its neck.
He pulled back. When he opened his mouth, there was a sharp glint of his fangs, and he bit into the pulsing vein. The puncture bled, and he drank deeply. The prey spasmed, blood gurgling into the back of its throat. Flug let go only to breath, but when he looked into his prey’s eyes again, the lust had not gone away.
“I love you...” it muttered.
He bit again, draining the prey of plasma.
Black Hat watched from the entrance, his arms cross as his cigarette still hanging from his mouth. He was grinning, dropping the cigarette from his mouth and putting it out with his foot.
When Flug let go, he stepped back and rolled his head, enjoying the pleasurable high he had from the hunt. Black Hat’s teeth had shifted to their pearly green color, sharpened to a point like a pencil. He picked up the prey by the throat and bit into its throat, tearing out the gullet with a chunk of flesh. He ate like a crocodile, biting and swallowing, but never really chewing.
Now the prey was dead. They could enjoy a full meal without the struggles of a fight.
“I hope you don’t mind me sharing with you doctor, your kill was good,” Black Hat said, blood still dripping from his maw. He was slowly shifting to his preferred demonic form.
“It would be an honor to dine with you sir,” Flug said. Black Hat grinned, and picked up the carcass again.
“Then let’s dig in.”
I hope you guys like it! I’m trying to make the chapters I write longer than what I normally do, hopefully I can keep to it xD
All the comments and kudos are very appreciated!
He sat in his own torture chair, a rubber band just below his shoulder to find a vein. He held a large syringe in his other hand, with a thick needle. He looked down at his arm, seeing a vein bulging in his forearm. He was unsure whether he should clean the spot or not, as he wasn’t really susceptible to disease or infection anymore.
But he did so anyway, and once it was cleaned, he took a quick breath and quickly injected the needle. There was no pain surprisingly, and he took his own blood. When he took a good amount, he took the needle from within his vein. The wound healed immediately, but he felt faint and thirsty.
He stood and went to his microscope, slowly injecting a sample of his blood onto a slide and staining it. He put a cover over it. He placed it on the glass stage and began his examination.
Despite his...death, his cells were active. But his blood was a deathly black color, and it didn’t look like healthy blood. It was almost like an oxymoron, dead blood with lively cells.
He heard a familiar giggle, and immediately he pulled away from the microscope. Demencia was toying with his blood, pushing the end and watching it leak out.
“Demencia! Stop touching my blood!” Flug hissed.
“This is YOUR blood?! Nasty!” Demencia continued to toy with it, squirting it at Flug. He hissed and charged her. She lunged at the wall, quickly climbing up the wall. “You can’t catch me!” She squirting blood down on him. It splashed his head, soaking his bag.
Enraged and not thinking, Flug dug his claws into the walls and began to scale them after her. Demencia’s eyes widened. “Wait...wha-“
Flug grabbed her leg and yanked. “Flug!” She squeaked. Flug shook his head and looked down, gasping when he looked down. “What the...”
Demencia kicked her leg free and turned around. “You can climb walls!” She squealed with joy. Forgetting about her current plan, she dropped the syringe. It hit the floor. It was plastic, so it did not shatter. However, it leaked blood from the needle.
“We should race! I’ve always wanted to race someone on the walls! Come on! Last one to the kitchen is a piece of road kill!” She sprinted across the ceiling and out of the room. Flug looked at his work, and then at the door. He sighed, but did so, climbing the ceiling like a lizard after her.
He caught up to her quickly, gaining some distance in the lead.He could hear her trying to pick up speed, her iconic scratching noise she made while climbing growing louder behind him. He made a leap forward and kept going. It felt weird, viewing the world from the upside down.
He got to the kitchen and hopped down from the ceiling, landing on his feet as a cat would. Demencia came in five seconds after, climbing down the wall and huffing when she stood. “That was so cool! You don’t know how long I’ve wanted to do that! We HAVE to go on an adventure in the vents sometime! I can show you all the paths around the mansion, and my favorite one, the one that looks in on Black Hat’s office,” Demencia squealed happily.
Flug laughed a bit. “Sure, maybe sometime later,” He said. Black Hat...his mind travelled a path, and suddenly he jumped, grabbing his bag. “Oh god, what time is it?!”
Demencia shrugged. Flug looked to the small clock on the microwave. 9:58.
“Shit! I’m going to be late!” He ran from the kitchen. His feet weren’t even touching the ground anymore, he was practically gliding. But he paid no attention, his fear of being late overthrew his curiosity of his powers.
Black Hat was waiting in the center of his office when Flug got there. Black Hat checked the small gold pocket-watch he kept in his coat. “9:59, cutting it short doctor. We’ve been doing this for weeks, I’d think it would be in your schedule now.”
“S-sorry sir...I was doing something with Demencia,” Flug said. Black Hat rolled his eyes. “Come, I will teach you another spell tonight.”
“You know I’m not good at magic sir...” Flug muttered.
“You will learn in time,” Black Hat said. “It’s a simple concept of you not being used to magic. Once you begin to use it more casually, it will be-“ Black Hat snapped his fingers. A slice of devil’s food cake with chocolate icing appeared on a plate with a fork in his hands. He sank the fork in and took a bite, before setting the fork down and snapping his fingers again. The cake vanished. “-a piece of cake.” He wiped the icing from the corner of his mouth. “You should eat your cake too.”
“Okay...okay...so...what spell am I learning?” Flug asked.
“A necromancy spell. A more complex one, but I understand this type of spell is highly used one amongst vampires.”
“What does it do?” Flug asked. Black Hat grinned. “I’ll show you.” He stood at the far corner of his circular office. He clasped his hands together and closed his eyes, and moving them in a swift motion, he swept his hands out in front of him. The furniture in his office flung to the walls, and then went to the ceiling like metal to a magnet.
“You’re teaching me that...?” Flug asked.
“Oh no, that’s to clear space,” Black Hat said. He held out his hand, his arm straight and his arm extended high. He flexed his fingers in, conjuring a blue light. He then straightened his fingers, and the light shot to the wall. It exploded, and a portal opened. A skeleton walked out from within.
“Woah...” Flug said. Black Hat’s arms locked behind his back. He walked towards his conjuration, walking around it. “It will protect it’s conjurer to the death, or well, in this case, to the return to death.”
“Huh?” Flug cocked his head to the side.
“It was a jest Flug,” Black Hat said. “You’re supposed to laugh.”
“Oh...uh...haha,” Flug forced the laugh, trying to force a smile.
“Forget it, it’s simply a wasted joke,” Black Hat said, and he crushed his hand into a fist. The skeleton fell to the ground as a pile of bones.
“Sorry sir, I never you could...” Flug stopped himself, for the fear of being rude.
“Joke casually?” Black Hat laughed. “I do indeed, but it’s uncommon enough to go over heads.” He gave a huff. “Enough chit-chat, come here.”
Flug obeyed, walking to him.
“Turn to your side,” Black Hat ordered. Flug did so, looking to the wall.
“Hold out your arm.” He held it out like a wet noodle.
“Oh my unholy hell,” Black Hat sighed. He stood beside Flug and forced his elbow up, straightening the scientist’s arm.
“Confidence Flug, you need confidence. Pretend I’m not even in the room.” Black Hat said.
“Huh?” Flug looked at him over his shoulder.
“I know how cocky you can be when I’m not around, I’m not blind to what goes on in my own home,” Black Hat said. He gave an amused smile.
“Don’t look so surprised,” He said. He looked down Flug’s hand, his head. close to Flug’s. “The key to magic, is no doubt. You simply must do, command the world to your grasp, and expecting it do so. Want something harshly, and allowing yourself to have it.” Black Hat said. “Why do you think magic comes so easily to me?”
“Was that a joke too?” Flug asked.
“If you take it as one,” Black Hat said. His smile grew more amused. “Now then, back to this.” He tilted Flug’s hand up gently, “Your aim was off, never conjure something on the floor, or else the portal will be on the floor, and whatever you’re conjuring won’t be able to get through.”
Flug flexed his fingers in. “I don’t think I can do this.”
“I don’t think you can do it either,” Black Hat said into his ear. “I know you can.”
Flug felt his head get light at the words. The energy it created, the sensation, it all travelled into his hand. He forced himself to not smile, and his smile went straight to his hand. A light shot from his hand and hit the wall. A skeleton stepped out.
Black Hat stepped away, grinning. “If all it takes is a little praise, then I suppose I should do it more often.”
Flug couldn’t contain himself anymore, he smiled. “I did what you said, I...I wanted it to happen and it did.”
“See how easy it can be? Build your confidence Flug, it will build your magic,” Black Hat said. He stretched his back, and then clasped his hands together. “Come, I think you should be rewarded.” He motioned for Flug to follow. “Come, come, I have a special treat for you.”
Flug followed him eagerly. Black Hat opened the lab door, revealing...revealing prey. Flug’s eyes closed, his tongue running over his teeth. He was thirsty, very thirsty. He had neglected to pay attention to his needs, as he commonly did, but now, his needs were ten times what they used to be. He could smell his prey’s blood, he could practically hear the rapid pulse in their body. Fear was coursing through them. He shifted into his predator mindset, exhaling and opening his eyes.
Black Hat grinned. “You don’t have to hunt tonight, I had free time and went on a walk today and...figured I’d pick you up something sweet,” Black Hat said, grabbing the struggling person. They were bound and gagged, struggling against their restraints. “It’s fearful, it’s full of warm blood, and most importantly, it’s all yours. It won’t put up a fight...you can go as slowly as you want. Inflict pain, make it suffer. I’m just here to watch~” Black Hat stepped back.
Flug slowly approached. He took off his gloves, and his claws and canines grew, his pointed teeth protruding from his lips. “I’m so thirsty...”
“Good, now, drink.”
Flug lunged at the prey, sinking his teeth into their neck and ripping their gullet out. He drank deeply, as if he had an oasis in the desert.
Black Hat watched, he watched and he himself got a good drink through his eyes. The visual was breathtaking, why there was no art or music or vision its beauty. A vampire feeding was truly a beautiful sight.
Flug returned the following night, but when he went into his boss’s office, his boss was...he was in his human form.
“What...what are you doing?” Flug asked. He was curious, and a bit fearful. Were they going out hunting together? It was something common they did nowadays, hunting together not only fed them both, but...but they bonded. They wouldn’t talk about work, it was more like...friendly conversation. And...and it could safe to say but...he slowly felt as though Black Hat was more than a boss but, more like a friend he could go to with questions on his supernatural abilities,
“It seems Flug, my well of knowledge has run dry. There is no more I can teach you,” Black Hat said. He conjured his shadow cane, which shifted to his normal cane made of ebony wood. “But, though there is no more I can teach you, there still is more for you to learn.”
“I’m...I’m sorry sir, I don’t understand,” Flug said.
“I have...an acquaintance. He isn’t a subordinate, but, he’s close to the organization. His name is the Count, I’ve exchanged many letters with him and, tonight, and until you’ve fully mastered your vampire powers, he will be training you,” Black Hat said. “You will go to him at night, and return to me in the morning.”
“But...but sir...I don’t want anyone else to train me. I want you to teach me,” Flug said as Black Hat passed him.
“I’m touched by your words, but I simply can’t. I don’t know what else to teach you. Besides, he is...an old vampire to say the least. He knows practically everything. The Black Hat of vampires. Come, we will go to him.” Black Hat said.
“What about...what about our hunts together? Will we still do that?” Flug asked.
“If you ask me, perhaps I’ll go with you. But, I believe you’ll find it better suited for you to hunt with someone of your own kind at night. Vampires behave like bats, they need a colony,” Black Hat said. “Now come, you must meet your new mentor.”
From a window, 5.0.5 watched his two dads leave. He swallowed and stood, walking to get a glass of ginger ale from the kitchen. There was a bad feeling in his stomach, a sour rotten feeling. Perhaps he had eaten something bad. .
Black Hat went into a cruddy hotel, and Flug was confused. Did...did this high power vampire live in a hotel? This hotel?
Flug followed him inside. The ground was alive with roaches and rats, and the walls were stained in mold and disease.
Black Hat leaned close to Flug. “Stay close.” He went towards the front desk. The person behind it, she seemed dead, emotionless. Her skin was pale, and her eyes were gray.
“I’d like to to rent the attic room,” Black Hat said.
“The attic room...?” Flug asked. Black Hat didn’t answer. The person turned like a zombie, grabbing a key off the rack behind her. Black Hat turned. There was a portal in the wall.
“Come, to the castle of the Count,” Black Hat said. He walked inside, Flug followed like a pet.
They stepped into a dinning hall, with bloody corpses on the tables. Blood splashed the floor like paint on a canvas.
Black Hat walked swiftly, Flug keeping up beside him. He saw a short girl with a red bow, feeding off of one of the corpses. She watched him smiled. A tall woman stood in the corner. She wore a headdress, silk wrapped around her like she was a queen. By the hearth was a girl with dark purple hair. She held a cat that had a single button eye and a normal eye. She whispered something into its ear, watching him.
They walked up the many steps, into what looked to almost be a throne room, but the throne was facing the window. A hand was leaned out over the side.
“Black Hat, I didn’t hear you come in,” a voice said with great English, but strange intonation. They stood, they were tall, their face was strong, and their skin was pale. Their hair was stringy and black, and they were draped in black. His ears were pointed, much like his teeth.
“My old friend! How are you? How are things?” He turned to look at them, he startled at the sight of Black Hat. “Christ, switch back. Your human form is horrid.”
Black Hat growled but shifted, returning to his normal state. “You know I’m here with my scientist, he recently turned and I’m afraid there is little more I can teach him.”
The moment the Count laid his eyes on him, Flug could feel himself shudder. He approached slowly, smiling to show his gray teeth. “Why, he is recently turned. His blood smells freshly dead.” He bowed to Flug graciously, taking his hand and laying a kiss on it. “Welcome to my palace, I am the Count, the lord here.”
“I’m...” Flug looked to Black Hat. He slowly gave a dip of his head. “I’m Flug Slys...the scientist. It’s nice to meet you...Count...” He pulled his hand from the Count’s.
“Oh the pleasure is all mine. Tell me...Flug the scientist...have you fed yet?” The Count asked. He seemed to ignore Black Hat now, turning his attention fully on Flug. “You must feed, you must feed with us, dine with us. Stay for dinner, you can not train without a good meal, and the prey here is much more suitable than the prey at your home,” The Count said.
“He is not here for dinner. He’s here to train,” Black Hat said, yanking the Count away from Flug.
“I’m merely being polite, I want to welcome him to my castle. If he is to stay, he is to eat the food of my castle,” the Count said.
“He isn’t staying, he’ll come at night and go by morning,” Black Hat said.
“Morning? He should sleep in the morning,” the Count said. “You don’t know of his needs.”
“Mr...Mr. Count sir, if you please, I’d like to just stay during the night and return home by morning. But, to be polite-“ Flug said, looking to Black Hat. “I’ll...stay for dinner.”
“Excellent! It sounds like a bargain! Run along now Black Hat,” the Count said. “I must train him.”
Black Hat opened his jaws to object, but he shut them. He sighed, but did not say another word. He gave Flug a last look of...Flug wasn’t sure. He then left, shifting to his humanoid form.
“Now then, come. My girls, my lovers, they and I, we fly out every night and we feed on fresh bodies. My girls will love you! You are with your kind now, we will look after you and teach you our ways,” the Count said. “Do you know how to fly?” He asked gently.
“No...but, I’d love to know how. I love flying planes,” Flug said.
“A worthy pass time,” the Count said. He motioned Flug to follow as he travelled to his dining hall. “Right beneath your very skin are a pair of wings, glorious wings. You can call to them at your will. Unlike...some....such as your boss, who must use their wings or else they cripple and cause pain.”
“Black Hat...has wings?” Flug asked.
“He’s an eldritch, of course he does,” the Count said. He cleared his throat. “Girls! My darlings, gather around! We have company!”
They came quickly at his call, eagerly crowding him. The smallest leaned in and sniffed. “He smells newly turned.”
“Don’t be rude,” The dark purple haired one said, pulling the smaller one away.
“Yes, yes he is newly turned! His name is Flug, and he will joining us for the next couple of nights,” said the Count. “He is to come and feed with us!”
“Does he even know how to fly?” the smallest asked.
“I will teach him,” the Count said. “You will respect him and show him friendship under my roof. He is one of us, he is the completion of us,” the Count said.
Flug was...unsettled at those words. These were full-fledged vampires, they knew all of their abilities and their weaknesses, he felt humbled being near them.
“Flug, this is Snow White,” the Count motioned to the smallest. “Nightingale,” he motioned to the dark purple haired one. “And Enchantress,” he motioned to the tallest. “Girls, go on ahead. I must teach him how to reach his wings.”
Snow White giggled, bat wings erupting from her back. She took flight, and behind her, Enchantress followed. Nightingale after them.
“Now then, to reach your wings, you must feel their power inside of you,” the Count said. “They are yours to command, and they will lift you into the air and carry you into the winds. Close your eyes, feel your wings.”
Flug shut his eyes, trying to search himself for them. He tried to feel them just below his shoulder blades, he tried to picture them, feel them.
“Can you feel them Flug, feel their power?” The Count asked.
Flug felt a small smile tug at his lips. “Yes...I feel them...and they’re powerful, and they’re strong.”
“You’re correct, they are,” the Count said. Flug opened his eyes, still feeling them. He snapped from his haze, and felt the heavy weight on his back. “I...I have wings...” Flug said. His smile grew wider. “I have wings!”
He looked at the Count, who was smiling joyfully at him. “Th...thank you...for the gift of flight...” he said.
“No thanks are needed, I merely helped you, you found them within yourself,” the Count said. He sprouted his own wings, and offered his hand. “Come, feed with us.” Flug took it and smiled. “Sounds good.”
The Count took off, and Flug stumbled.
“Command them Flug, they are yours to command!” The Count said from the air. Flug shut his eyes, imagining flying, thinking of the joy of flight. And he was in the air, he was...flying.
“I’m flying...” he whispered. “I’m flying!” he said to the Count.
“Yes Flug! You are flying!” The Count took his hands. “Come on! Come, come feed!”
Flug flew after him, his flying as clumsy as a baby foal learning to walk.
“I thank you for your time here with us doctor, I will be seeing you tomorrow night I assume?” The Count asked, his eyebrow raised. A small smile was over his lips.
“Yeah, you will. Thanks for dinner,” Flug said. “I guess...I guess I should be going.”
“Yes, we’re sad to see you depart,” the Count said. “Travel well.”
The Count watched Flug go, his eyes unblinking as he watched him. Enchantress and Snow White came to his side. “Is he the one?” Snow White asked.
“Yes, yes my darlings, he is the one. The fourth, and he will join us here, in our sanctuary,” the. Count said. Enchantress smiled.
“Then, I can give you all that family we’ve always talked about. We just need him, he is the final puzzle piece,” the Count held both girls close, and they pressed against him lovingly.
“Nightingale,” the Count said, looking up at her. She was petting her cat, sitting by a chair near the window. “Darling, come away from the window, join us.”
Nighitngale turned to look at the Count.
“You seem miserable dear, what’s wrong?” the Count asked, going to her and taking her chin gently.
“Nothing,” she said. She smiled up at him. “Just thinking.”
“Come now, we must sleep, dawn is approaching.”
“And then we were flying! I can fly Black Hat! I can fly!” Flug was sitting in Black Hat’s office, in the chair his clients usually sat in. He was recalling his time with the Count and his lovers, how...joyous it was. To be with those like himself, to have his questions answered fully, it felt..great.
“Wow, flying,” Black Hat said. Flug studied him. “Am...am I...annoying you?”
“No. Tell me more about your little...adventure,” Black Hat said. In truth, he didn’t really care, but, at the same time he wanted to know what the Count did. He could add it to his knowledge of vampires.
“We flew like a colony, I flew next to the Count, and we fed on so many people and no one saw us, but..it wasn’t the same like our hunts together.”
“Oh?” Black Hat asked, looking up from his paperwork.
“Yeah, I love our hunts together jefecito. It’s nice to...do stuff with you outside of work. I wish we could more stuff like that,” Flug said.
“You do?” Black Hat asked. “I only trained you.”
“But, it meant more to me than that. I know I’m sounding like Demencia but...I just like spending time with you, I like making you happy, and when I casted spells and learned and you praised me...I felt...” he didn’t finish. “The sun isn’t up yet.”
“It is not,” Black Hat said. This was grossing him out so badly and yet he let Flug talk.
“The Count said...he said you had wings,” Flug said. “You can fly too.”
“Why did he tell you that?” Black Hat asked, slamming his pen down on his desk. “That little-“
“I don’t think any less of you sir,” Flug said quickly. “I just...we both can fly.”
“No, no I don’t...no...” Black Hat quickly stood, his hands on his neck. “No...no...I hate them. I hate them, but they won’t go away...”
“They hurt you,” Flug said slowly, watching him pace.
“No-yes....YES! They hurt, they hurt when I don’t use them...they’re the only thing that hurts me...they’re a curse.”
Flug stood and slowly walked towards his boss, placing his hand on his boss’s back. “Why are you ashamed of them?”
“Wings are a sign of angels, wings are not...” Black Hat gave a growl of a sigh. “They look like angel wings...I’m NOT an angel...”
Flug’s wings erupted from his back, and he flapped them once. “Show me them.”
“Sir, you said to be confident. Show me your wings,” Flug said. Black Hat’s brow furrowed, he seemed angry. Fear of angering his boss made Flug take a step back. But then...his wings erupted from his back.
They weren’t angel wings, Flug wasn’t sure what Black Hat was talking about, they were...beautiful. They had bat frames to them with dark feathers, with mouthes at the tops.
“They don’t look like angel wings sir,” Flug said slowly. Black Hat looked away from him, at the ground. Flug slowly reached out and touched one, stroking it.
“Don’t try to flatter me,” Black Hat said.
“I’m not sir, I’m not,” Flug said gently. He slowly removed his bag, and placed it on Black Hat’s desk. “Come on...let’s go flying.”
“I...I haven’t flown in awhile...I’m a little...rusty...” Black Hat confessed. Flug smiled and took his hands. “Doesn’t matter, I’m not good either.”
“Great, so we’ll both end up falling out of the sky,” Black Hat said as Flug took him to the window. Flug opened the window up behind them. “Come on, if you’re afraid of falling then don’t look down,” Flug said. Black Hat rolled his eyes.
Flug leapt out of the window, and Black Hat reluctantly followed. He remembered how to fly, it was like riding a bicycle. But that didn’t meant he was still good at it. He stumbled in the air before finding his flow. Flug himself also had a few difficulties, before finding his steadying.
He flicked his ear and made a wide swing, heading towards the city. Black Hat followed after him. The feel of flying, it had left him a long time ago. He used to be a frequent flyer, as something unidentified flying in the sky often struck fear into people’s hearts. But then came the...complains from other villains. They had said his wings didn’t seem menacing or particularly evil.
He had been young at the time, naive and stupid, caring what others thought of him. So, he shoved them away, and wore a high coat to better hide them incase his own skin failed him. They pained him from time to time, during these times he would simply unleash them for an hour or two.
But, now he was older, much older. He was successful, and he wasn’t stupid anymore. He remembered the joy of flying, it gave him a sense of being young again, of being a carefree villain.
Flug circled towards him and Black Hat stopped mid flight, hovering in air as Flug flew over him. He grinned down at him, giving a small wave before diving down and weaving in between the buildings. He treated his own body like a plane, doing barrel rolls and aileron rolls. He was showing off his pilot skills.
Black Hat rolled his eyes. If they were showing off...
He flew after him, picking up speed. Oh yes, it was all coming back to him. He remembered how, powerful, his wings had been.
He zoomed over Flug, skidding to a halt in the air and turning. His speed had set Flug off guard, and the doctor had been blown off course. He straightened. “So, you’re trying to be speedy!” he said.
“Please, I’d out fly you any day,” Black Hat said. Flug’s slitted pupils narrowed even further with competition. “Alright...” he looked a bit beyond Black Hat’s shoulder. “See that tower over there? I’ll race you to it.”
“What’s my prize for winning?” Black Hat asked, pressing his fingers together inquisitively.
“You can cut my paycheck by five percent,” Flug said. Black Hat’s face lit up and he sprouted an inhuman grin over his face. “Deal!”
He went to Flug’s side. “You’re gonna lose,” Flug hissed.
“Careful doctor, don’t get too cocky,” Black Hat said. He looked down and deadpanned. “Your shoe’s untied.”
Black Hat took off like a bullet fired from a gun. He zoomed towards the tower at such a high speed, Flug could only see black. Shocked, he had to quickly gather his thoughts and speed off after him. His wings were flapping so fast to pick up speed, it was starting to hurt.
Black Hat reached the tower, looking around for the doctor. “Where are yo-“
“I can’t STOP!”
The scientist collided with him, sending them both out of the sky and into the ground. The impact winded Black Hat, for it was his back that hit the ground first. They slid, before coming to a stop.
Flug fell back, looking dazed. Dirt and grass stained his face. They must have landed in the town park.
Black Hat straightened his hat, glaring at him. Flug opened is mouth to apologize, but a mouthful of dirt escaped his lips.
Black Hat’s serious look fell, and a small snicker escaped his lips, and then another, and then another, until eventually he was laughing up a storm. Flug was in awe. His boss was laughing...laughing at him sure...but he was laughing.
And Flug laughed too. By the end, he was leaning against Black Hat for support, the vile taste of dirt and grass bland compared to the sweetness of the moment.
wooo new chapter! :D
so, meet the count and his lovers. each has their own backstory and character that you’ll meet later :D
thank you guys so much for all the comments and kudos, they mean the world!
oh ye, due to a comment i saw last chapter, if you guys ever draw fanart, link it so i can link it in the next chapter and give y’all some credit, since you guys make wonderful art <3
“With your new powers, you walk as a lion amongst sheep.”
The Count circled him, his eyes unblinking as he stared at him like a snake watching prey. “Vampire blood is, in it’s essence, the key to immortality. But once the door is opened, more powers are yours to command.”
Flug felt uneasy with the Count circling him. He had an energy to him. It was powerful and menacing, and it scared Flug.
“I take it you know the basics, but you do not know the true meaning of being a vampire. I will teach you not only magic, but the true meaning of being of our kind, of being the god of mortal man,” the Count said. “Are you willing to do as I say?”
“Yes,” Flug said. He looked at the Count. He seemed to be waiting. “I mean...I am,” Flug said. The Count grinned, baring his two pointed fangs.
“Excellent,” he said. He took the red cape he wore off his shoulders and tossed it against the wall. “Then we shall begin.”
“There are certain, rules to us as a kind. You, I assume, know the sunlight rule?” Flug nodded. “Good. Direct sunlight will kill you. Garlic will not kill you, but it will drive you away. Think of it as an allergy. Holy items burn you as sunlight would, though I trust you were never a worshipper to begin with,” the Count said. “Finally, keep your thirst sated. If you don’t feed, your own mind will turn against you.” He paused. “Avoid counting if you can.”
“Counting?” Flug asked.
“Trust me,” the Count said. “Counting can be the death of many vampires.”
“Okay...no counting,” Flug said. The Count gave a sigh and then clasped his hands together. “I take it this...basic magic bores you. You are a man of science, yes? Perhaps an intelligent mind like yours would like to see something more...unique. Of course with a boss such as yours, you see unique things everyday.”
“What are you going to show me?” Flug asked. He was intrigued, watching the Count wrap his arms over his chest.
“Raw power, my power.”
The Count leaned forward, and in a second, he had changed. He wasn’t humanoid, he was a gargoyle, with stone skin and rounded eyes.
“V...vampires can do that?” Flug asked. He slowly approached.
“It is a stronger form to take on,” the Count said, moving on all fours along the floor. “But, you should hardly use it. It’s draining on magic. It is only needed in dire emergencies.” He stood up on two, and in a heartbeat he was a man again.
“Are you going to teach me that?” Flug asked.
“In time, not now,” the Count said. “You’re aren’t ready for such a power.”
“When will I be?” Flug asked as the Count held out his hand. His cloak came to his clutch, and he swung it over his shoulders. “When you are ready,” he said. He motioned for Flug to follow.
“As a man of science, you do research yes?” The Count asked. Flug nodded. “Good, knowledge is good,” the Count said. He went into his pocket and took out a ring of rusted keys. He took the longest and slowly walked to a door. “In here, is where my knowledge is kept.”
He unlocked the door, and turned to Flug. “After you.”
Flug opened the door. It was a study, but the walls were bookshelves. There were old books, and scrolls, some of which he saw the Count was in the middle of writing. There were multiple books of maps opened on his desk, and he had a telescope angled out his window.
“I never knew you...studied things,” Flug said, walking into his study and examining his work. Most of it was on England, English history and geography. He picked up one of the map books. It opened naturally to a map of the United Kingdom. “You like...Europe?”
“England, I admire their way of speech, though I can not speak it fluently myself,” the Count said. He picked up one of his scrolls.
“But, you speak English fluently,” Flug said, placing the book back down and going instead to examine the Count’s notes. They were on European history, specifically Vlad the Impaler.
“I thank you kindly dear friend,” the Count said. “But alas, no, I do not know English fluently. I can not...read the slang used within it. Quicker ways of writing I hear, and I can not read cursive. I study it though, in hopes of learning the art one day.”
“So you have trouble reading?” Flug asked. The Count nodded. He took a book from the top shelf and opened it. The pages were old and weathered, it had been abused after much use. “You will find these notes much useful to you.”
“What are they?” Flug asked. He took the book and examined it. The Count had written it, the writing on the page was in print.
“Book written by me, untitled, unpublished. The many notes and facts I acquired as I lived my life as a vampire,” the Count said. “But it also contains our kinds history, which you should familiarize yourself with.”
Flug read over one of the pages. A recipe for plasma, but on it was written: Use only if thirst is dire.
“How old is this?” Flug asked.
“Old, but not as old as I am,” the Count said. “Feel free to add to it, I love to extend knowledge.”
“How old are you?” Flug asked.
“Well...old enough that it was surprise an unsuspecting mortal,” the Count said. “But young enough to still be considered spry. I was turned in my late twenties, and spent most of my life searching the vampire down who turned me. When I killed him, I remade my court into a home for vampires. But...tragedy struck and...I’m afraid it was just my lovers and I who were left.”
“What happened?” Flug asked.
“Vampire hunters,” the Count said. “Villagers with pitchforks and torches. They managed to learn how to kill us without the need of a cross or sunlight.” The Count sighed.
“What did they use?” Flug asked.
“Questions only lead to more questions,” the Count said. He laughed a bit. “But enough. I suspect you will want to look at more books, feel free to nose around in here. You may go in the castle wherever you wish, but you may find some of the doors are locked, in which you will not want to go in there.”
“Okay,” Flug muttered. He looked around the study.
“Oh, and dear doctor, one more item of discussion,” the Count said, turning around. “Should you find yourself...in hostile arms of your normal work, my home is always a sanctuary for you.”
“...thank you,” Flug said. The Count gave a graceful bow and left Flug to the study room. Flug looked around, examining his surroundings. It wasn’t a traditional lab, but he could still find something to research.
He looked at the one book the Count had given him. He opened it to study the contents, to which he found quite useful. He practiced one of the spells written on the page, blood magic. Something about drawing life force from another living mortal.
There was a page on telekinesis, flying, climbing, thought reading, future telling, hypnosis...there was so much more to being a vampire than Flug ever realized. There were traditions that they had, such as the passing of a chalice that Flug read to be somewhere in this castle. There were behavioral studies too.
In his notes, the Count observed his constant lust, which he said all vampires experienced, according to his elders. Much like the thirst, the lust was part of the curse, and it was constant, and also like the thirst, overtime one could learn to overpower it.
Then there were notes on a goddess, to which the Count called Lady Darkness. She was the mother of vampires, said to have given the gift of vampirism to mortals millions of years ago.
He studied to the early hours of the morning, to which he was interrupted by the Count once again.
“Forgive me friend, for I myself did not teach you anything tonight,” he apologized. “Though I take it you learned much from the book?”
“Oh, yeah! Thanks for letting me borrow it, it’s really interesting!” Flug said, smiling under his bag at the Count.
“Of course, all knowledge is good for young minds. Ah, but I have a promise to Black Hat to keep. I will be brief in my next lesson,” the Count said as he clasped his hands together. “I do not know if you read this segment, but, vampires have many enemies, not just mobs with pitchforks but...magical enemies. And these enemies can place curses, but-” the Count paused to stray closer to Flug, his hand gliding over his many books as he walked. “-you can not place a curse on someone who you don’t know the name of, which is why many of us go by a fake name.”
“So what is your real name then?” Flug asked. The Count smiled. “I would tell you, but first you would have to tell me your real name.”
Flug’s heart froze. How did the Count know...?
“Flug is my real name,” Flug said, standing. He clutched the book close to his chest. The Count leaned down on a chair, grinning to show his pointed gray teeth. “I have evidence to state otherwise,”
Flug looked away. He felt unsafe here, his subconscious was telling him to flee.
“It’s been great, uh...thanks for the book! And the quick mini lesson!” Flug forced a smile.
“Of course my friend. Indeed, the sun is fast approaching, dawn will be upon us soon. I trust you can make it home safely? While I would see to that you are escorted home safely, I have my own matters to attend to,” the Count said in an apologetic tone.
“Yeah, totally, it’s fine...see you,” he quickly left, not looking back as he left the castle.
His return home brought welcoming smells he was familiar with. He looked around.
“Demencia? 5.0.5?” He called. Demencia slid down the steps at his return, falling face first against the floor. She was holding her mace as well as a slingshot. She looked up and grinned. “Ay Flug! How’s your night out with the vampire overlord guy?”
“Uh, fun, and it wasn’t really a night out, more like-”
“Yeah yeah, whatever. We all know you got the hots for him,” she said as she began to go through her hair and pull out ammunition for her slingshot. Rocks, needles, forks, anything that was sharp really.
“What?! I do not! And besides, shouldn’t you be sleeping?” He asked, crossing his arms.
“Nah, I got up early today! I’m going to terrorize the mailman once he comes here,” she said, grinning as she pulled her slingshot back and fired a test shot. “Fives is asleep, don’t worry.”
“Thank you...is Black Hat around?”
“Yeah, but I wouldn’t disturb him if I were you. He made it clear he wanted alone time, he even covered and locked his vent!” Demencia pouted. “He closed his blinds and everything! I can’t look in!”
“Aw boo hoo,” he snorted. He turned and slowly began to walk the dark halls. He hated the manor at night, Black Hat’s many portraits and statues felt like they were watching him (which they probably were).
He stopped by his lab to drop off the book before slowly making his way to Black Hat’s office. He listened against the door, questioning whether he should knock or not. He wished he were smaller! He shut his eyes to brainstorm. Maybe he could slip in unnoticed or-
He opened them again, things were...different. Bigger, the world had grown to triple it’s size. He glanced down at himself and squeaked.
He had turned into a rat. Huh, well, add that to the growing list of powers he had no idea he had. He looked back up at the door.
He wiggled between the doors and scurried across the floor.
Black Hat was...well, his coat was discarded and his wings were out. He had moved a sliver of the blind away from the window to stare out. He seemed to be pondering something, thinking. His brow was furrowed and he was resting a finger against his chin.
“I know you’re there doctor, you can come out of hiding,” he said, not breaking his trance with the window. Flug sighed. How was he to change back? He squeaked, wishing he could be himself again.
That seemed to work, he felt like himself again. He felt over his face, yes, he had skin, but he didn’t have his bag. Quickly he ran his fingers down his face as a red mist traveled from his fingers. A paper bag and his goggles materialized. It had been a spell The Count had taught him, a summoning spell.
He stood. Black Hat didn’t break his trance.
“How was your training?” He finally asked, turning away from the window. His wings tucked back into his shirt.
“Good sir, uh...do you know about the whole thing with the names?” Flug asked.
“Oh yes, vampires are very superstitious. That’s why none of them go by their real names, hell it’s almost like a game to them,” Black Hat said, walking towards his desk. He snapped is fingers, and his coat flew to him. He stretched his arms out as he put it on. “Come, sit, tell me about your night,” Black Hat said.
Flug took a breath in and nodded. He found that he didn’t really need to breathe anymore. It was more of a habit than it was a necessity. He was dead after all, his heart had stopped.
He sat down in front of him. Black Hat was pouring blood into two wine glasses, one with a straw. He gave the one with a straw to the doctor, before leaning back in his chair, sipping at his.
“Well, I...we didn’t do much. He gave me a book, a book with all sorts of things in it about vampirism. History, spells, the works...I guess in case I need to practice on my own,” Flug said. “Then, he told me about the name thing. You know the fake names.”
“Hm, and did you tell them your fake name?” Black Hat asked, leaning forward.
“I...yeah, Flug Slys. But, he somehow knew it was fake. I don’t know how, but, he did and-”
Black Hat’s eyes darkened. “It’s probably because he did try to put a hex on you, but it failed.” He sat his glass down.
“I wouldn’t say that, I mean...I think he likes me,” Flug said. He drained his glass quickly.
“Don’t say that. Flug...he’s...he’s a vampire. He hoards lovers like they’re items. You can’t trust him.”
“I know but...it’s nice to have friends that are like me,” Flug said. He sat the glass on the table. “Besides, I thought you didn’t care.”
“I...” Black Hat adjusted his tie. “Of course I do. You’re my employee and...I don’t want you to think you can just run off with him. You signed a contract to me.”
Flug gave a small laugh. Something was telling him Black Hat wasn’t really being truthful. ‘He sees my as a friend,’ Flug thought. Reading Black Hat had become easier the more he got used to his vampire abilities. It was all in his eyes, they always gave him away. Whenever Black Hat lied, he tended to look away. When he was happy, his pupil would dilate. When he was sad, it would contract. There were more, but they were too numerous to describe them all.
“Of course sir,” Flug laughed a bit. Black Hat smiled a bit, his lips parting to show a small glint of his pearly green teeth.
Black Hat stood and stretched. “Perhaps we should go out for a bit. To fly, to hunt, doesn’t matter. But I’ve been cooped up inside all day and night, I could use a stretch.”
Flug stood with him and nodded. “I could go for a small flight. One lap around the city?”
“If you insist,” Black Hat purred. He tossed his coat off his arms, his wings spreading out wide.
Flug arched his back, his own wings freeing themselves from under his skin. Black Hat pulled the blind back and opened the window. He motioned towards the window. “After you,” he said.
“Thank you jefecito,” Flug got up on the window frame and fell back, his wings opening just before he hit the ground. He turned and flew back upwards. Black Hat went after him.
They returned just as the sun was coming up. Black Hat was missing his tie. It had fallen off somewhere around Main Street. But both had found the incident hysterical. When they got inside, Black Hat simply conjured himself a new tie.
Flug stretched out his back as his wings folded back under his skin. “I guess I better go get started on my work. Thanks for the fly, I really enjoyed it!” He said with a smile.
“Of course, I enjoy it as well,” Black Hat said with a half-smile. “Same time tonight?”
“Love to sir,” Flug said. Black Hat gave a nod and went back to his desk. “Best go get started on your work.”
“Yeah, uh, see you,” Flug quickly left. He hadn’t stopped smiling. When he got to his office, he sat in his chair and pulled himself close to his desk. He had a prototype he was working on. As he began to work, he heard his lab door open.
He turned. 5.0.5 was holding a small envelope with a wax sealing. He held it out to Flug.
“Mail? For me? Uh, thanks bud,” Flug said, taking it gently it. Strange, parchment, no body really used parchment except Black Hat. He opened it gently.
Dearest Dr. Flug Slys,
The Winter Solstice is here, and to the history of vampires, I humbly invite you to my castle not as a trainee, but as a guest, for a masquerade ball I am hosting. Vampire traditions state that we celebrate the longest night of the year, And as you are apart of us now, we welcome you. Please arrive no later than 9 PM.
Flug looked over the letter multiple times. The Winter Solstice...but that was tonight. 5.0.5, who had been reading the letter, looked to his dad. He felt queasy, grossly queasy. He nudged Flug.
“I guess...I’m going to a masquerade tonight...” Flug muttered. He looked to 5.0.5.
“You alright buddy?” He asked, petting 5.0.5 gently. 5.0.5 whined.
“Well, I guess before I go, I have to ask Black Hat,” Flug sighed. He stood, but 5.0.5 tugged him again. He whined as he rubbed his belly.
“You aren’t feeling well? Aw, come on bud, I’ll fix you up first.”
SORRY THIS TOOK SO LONG AH,
The next update (fingers crossed) will be sometime next week. Your guys’ comments and kudos mean the world<3