Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Seventh Horn - Excerpt 3

He waited until he had heard the old man crinkle and crackle himself to the floor in order to retire for the evening while Charlie followed shortly thereafter. Their breathing slowed after just a few minutes and Ark took that to mean that this was the best time to sneak out and run like hell. He turned his head to look over his shoulder and saw that Micah and Charlie had indeed retired for the evening. He rolled to his stomach and quietly pushed himself up onto his feet. He tip-toed one foot at a time in the direction of the door like some ridiculous sleuth. Charlie stirred and rolled onto her back. She rubbed her eyes and let out an exaggerated yawn. He quickly came to a standstill.

What the hell am I doing? I swear I’m the worst vampire ever. Who else besides me forgets that I have these damnable powers? He stood up straight like a civilized individual and simply told them both to keep sleeping with his thoughts. That’s much easier, you idiot.

He walked around the remnants of the lobby chair that the priest had been sitting in and noticed a black object resting on the torn cushion. Ark strolled over and picked it up and saw that it was Micah’s precious Bible. He lifted his eyes toward the sleeping humans and they were still quite unconscious. The holy book found its way to Ark’s cargo pants-style pocket and he quickly hurried around the chair and out the door.

He stepped out into the black night of the ruined city. The nights were always quite miserable to try to traverse. Once the light of the hidden sun went beyond the skyline, the entire landscape became as if covered in the thickest of ink. The moon and stars did little from their secret vantage points to light the overcast skies. He meant what he had said before. Where the hell would he go, anyway? He had left everything behind. Nothing had any meaning anymore. The only two people who didn’t want him dead explicitly were in the building that he had just departed. So they claimed, anyway.

That’s what it came down to. Leave now and be hated by all or stay and keep someone, anyone, close for once. By their closeness to him however, they meant to use him. If he didn’t serve a purpose they’d probably shoot him without a second thought.

Deep thinking and making decisions were not Ark’s forte and he’d never claimed otherwise. When he did think, he usually did so to the strum of a cigar-box guitar. He hated himself for so quickly abandoning it after just recovering it. Maybe one day he’d be able to go back to retrieve it, but for now it was left in the hole-sweet-hole in the wall back on Grays Ferry Avenue. The place was probably staked out by vampire hunters at this point. It’s not like he just left it behind for no good reason, though. If he hadn’t, they would have shot…

Charlie. Charlie was the reason he left his home again and thus left his favorite thing in the world behind. Charlie was why he hadn’t taken more steps into the nothingness of the dark on Filbert Street. Charlie made him want to die – but in a good way. He felt that he should, but didn’t know why he should want to potentially sacrifice himself for the sake of this girl. He felt his left hand’s fingers twitch in a pseudo-air guitar as he tried to find his answer in absence of his music maker. He strummed with his right on his pant leg and felt an unfamiliar weight rest against his right knee. He had already forgotten that he pilfered the old man’s book. Reading was as good as any method to get him to try to think without the guitar, but there wouldn’t be any sunlight for a while still. Traditionally, lighting a fire in the middle of the darkness is frowned upon. Nocturnal predators flock to a light like a moth would to a flame. The rule applies to humans however, and a human Ark was not. He found a nearby barrel that had recently been used for this very purpose and struck up a light.

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