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Vampire Training Academy

A very short story By Forest J. Handford

 

            It was winter in New England. All the leaves were gone from the trees, and the ground was covered by a thin layer of pristine snow.  It had been worn down near the shuttle, but as the snow fanned across the ground most of it was still a perfect untouched white.

            It was time to head back to the academy.  My friend and I were ready, especially with the hot cocoa my father had us drink before we left.  While I would have preferred to get there sooner, I only stayed to placate my father.  It was worth the wait though, because my friend enjoyed the drink.

            My father was a good man that could make a darn good cup of cocoa.  Raising me alone must have been hell for him.  Single parents raise kids all the time, but I truly was a terror, especially after we lost my mother.

            My friend and I got into the shuttle to the training academy.  The shuttle was elliptical.  On the outside, it looked like a rounded light translucent purple pill.  The inside allowed about five people to fit comfortably. Of course, more would often be inside than comfort allowed.  The radius of the shuttle was about seven feet.  From the outside, the bottom of the shuttle was a solid dark purple.  On the inside, the bottom was a solid black. The door was split to form a top half and bottom half.  When closed, the door was barely noticeable.  When opened, the top raised up and the bottom came down to form a ramp allowing people to enter or exit.  As my friend and I started to close the door, another pupil arrived.  We waited for him to get in, and then quickly shut the door to avoid having to be polite for more stragglers.

            Once the door was closed, I reached to the bottom of the dome that was the roof.  I brought my hand quickly across the surface of the dome.  As I went, a map of Earth appeared over the dome following my hand. It looked like a paper map; even the texture looked like paper.  Nevertheless, after getting use to the shuttle you knew it was just the smooth surface of the dome and it actually felt like glass. When the map was fully displayed, I touched the location for the academy.  All possible destinations were small yellow circles.  As I pressed the circle for the academy, the ride began.

Even though the academy had a ton of students, the students usually had to travel a distance to use the shuttle.  Of course, I was an exception.  My family had been the stewards of the Academy’s New England shuttle station for generations, too long really.  Certainly, that would have been my sentiment even before this fateful day.  Caring for the station was a thankless chore, with few benefits, besides a free home. However having a short walk from my home to the shuttle was a benefit I was starting to like.

As our travel commenced, I turned to look at the latecomer.  He had the oddest eyes.  Hypnotic in a way, they were round hollow jade colored disks.  He was dressed exclusively in black.  He wore a tight black cotton shirt, black leather boots, black jeans, and a black hooded cloak.  Despite the warmth inside the shuttle, his hood remained over his head.

He smiled at me, a giant toothy smile.  His teeth were perfect, but there were two points in his upper teeth that gleamed.  They were his canine teeth.  They were far longer and more pronounced then any I had seen before.

He opened his mouth and suddenly lunged forward at me.  Startled, I pushed him back with a kick in the gut that knocked him to the edge of the shuttle.

At this point, my friend noticed the situation.  We both kept a distance from the stranger as he recovered.  The shuttle came to a stop and the door opened behind my friend and me.  He, or it, made a lunge at both of us.  We parted and he went between us passing into the academy’s station.  We quickly shut the doors.  A moment after they were closed the door banged.  The bang repeated and became a steady banging.  Then it stopped and we suddenly heard a thud on the roof. Through the roof, we could see darkened spots that could only be left by feet.  Feet that disappeared then reappeared with a thud.  He was jumping on the roof!  As the jumping continued, we started to hear more banging on the doors and then on the walls.  Our attacker was not alone.

I pulled out the giant map and selected the New England station as our destination.  As soon as it was selected, the map receded and the shuttle was back in motion.  The feet above us were gone so we could only assume we lost him.

When we arrived back at the station, we took the quick walk to my house where we hoped my father could think of a plan.  I quickly explained to my father what had happened.  When I was done, I noticed a twinkle in his eye.  He smiled the same toothy smile of our attacker.

My friend and I saw the smile at the same time and ran, ran out toward the shuttle.  As we ran, I spotted from the side a person running parallel to us towards the shuttle. I turned to find he was the same person who we had just met, or escaped, in the shuttle.  We reached the shuttle moments before him and closed the doors. This time, with no delay, I took out the map and choose the first station I could think of, the Arctic Circle station.  Right before the shuttle started its voyage, a bang came at the door.

When we arrived in the arctic we quickly got out and made sure our pursuer had not rode on the exterior with us.  Once that was done, we headed into the arctic cold.

 

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Copyright 2003 © Forest J. Handford