"I know, but I came so close..."
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Meanwhile, Nadine stared into her now empty cup, apparently without realizing it. Something was still weighing on her mind. Glancing down I saw my cup was empty as well. "I could use a refill, how about you?" I asked.
Nadine blinked. "Huh... oh, more hot chocolate? That sounds good."
I started to get up, but she got to her feet first saying, "I'll get it. You take it easy. I'm keeping you up, I can at least play hostess."
For a moment I was going to remind her that my little guy was really the one who'd kept me up already, but I held my tongue. I was starting to feel a bit tired, but I wanted to know what she hadn't told me yet. Whatever it was, it had troubled her up something fierce, and that bothered me.
I guess it must've shown in my face because I saw the look of worry in my friend's eyes as she served up the hot chocolate.
"Are you getting tired?" she asked gently. "I know I've been keeping you up even later than your son."
"I'm all right," I smiled, "But I am worried about you. When you came in tonight, you looked 'troubled' more so than if you'd simply had to put up with wolf-whistles and catcalls."
She nodded and sat down again. "I guess I'm still trying to wrap my head around what I saw... and what I almost did."
The tone in her voice as she spoke those last few words, sent a chill down my spine.
"The evening started out as usual. I went out to dinner by myself and got the usual questions about why someone so beautiful was on her own. Was I waiting for someone? Would I like some company? Mind you I almost said yes once, but thought better of it."
That piqued my curiosity. "Oh? Was he that good looking?"
"Oh, yeah," she nodded with a wistful look, "She was."
"Ooo... attracting girls now are we? You should have taken her up on it, you might've had a good time," I smiled.
"I kind of wish I had," Nadine sighed and fell silent.
At that point I knew I was getting to the heart of whatever happened that upset her so much. A part of me didn't want to push things any farther, but something told me she needed to get it out of her system. So I reached across and took one of her hands saying, "Hey, I'm here for you, tell me what happened. Please? I can't stand sitting here watching as it eats at you."
That earned me a small but uneasy smile. "Are you sure you want to hear about it? It wasn't one of my better moments."
"How so?" I asked.
"I think... I know, I came pretty close to breaking every bone in some asshole's fucking body."
I almost asked if she was serious, but I already knew she meant every word of it. Finally, I said, "Tell me what happened."
She nodded. "After dinner I decided to go catch the new all-female Ghostbusters movie, which was great, by the way. I loved it. Totally hilarious, and Chris Hemsworth was a riot. The man is great at comedy, let me tell you. Anyway, I was just coming out of the theater when I spotted Lisa and Marisa standing in line to get tickets and quickly did a U-turn. Unfortunately, they'd already spotted me and started calling out to me."
"Busted!" I teased, fearing she was going off on a tangent. As it turned out, she wasn't.
Meanwhile she sighed, "Yeah, I was and I knew it. Turning around, I smiled and started coming towards them when I spotted a girl I knew Marisa wasn't too thrilled about standing just a few people behind them. She was rolling her eyes in their direction, not that they could see, and I quickened my pace in the hopes of preventing any trouble. But as I did so, some guy a couple of years older than her stopped and said something to her, which she totally ignored. Next thing I know..." here she paused and shook her head.
"He what? Did he grab her or something?"
"He punched her in the face," Nadine snapped, while balling her own hands into fists. "No warning, no raised voice, he just went ahead and belted her in front of everyone."
Even I had not been prepared for that. I was expecting an argument or the guy grabbing her by the arm. But not this.
Nadine was starting to shake with anger as she continued, "And that wasn't the worst part. I heard him saying she deserved it. You see he'd complimented her looks and she didn't even so much as smile or say thank you."
I barely kept myself from yelling "Say what?" out loud and waking up my little guy. But I managed it somehow, and just hissed the words instead.
"Yeah," Nadine nodded taking a deep breath before continuing. "He'd punched her for 'disrespecting' him. At that point I didn't care if anyone saw or not, I used my speed and got between them. My first instinct was to grab his hand as he started to try and take another swing at her. But I knew if I did, not only would I catch it, but I would start squeezing."
"Squeezing?" I repeated. That didn't sound all that bad.
"As in I wasn't going to stop until every bone in that hand was broken, along with the rest of his arm," she replied quietly.
"What stopped you?" I asked, feeling a little sick at what I was hearing.
Nadine looked at me and said, "The expression on your face, it's the same one I saw on both Marisa and Lisa's. If they hadn't been there..." she shook herself. "Anyway, I caught his next punch and went all Bruce Lee on his ass instead. But even as I did, a part of me still wanted to hurt him a whole lot worse than I did. The resentment I felt from all the crude catcalling, ass slaps, and gropings was screaming for me to not only beat his ass, but rip his throat out. Literally."
"But you didn't," I pointed out. "I know you. You didn't let it get that far."
"Barely," she sighed.
"Then what happened?" I asked.
"I looked up and saw Marisa and Lisa were helping the girl who'd been hit. It turned out to be Diane, the one who was pissed at Marisa for not choosing her to be the new head cheerleader. She was looking awfully grateful for their help as well as mine. As for the asshat, a couple of his buddies had apparently started to try and pull me off him. Only the rest of the crowd, most of them women had blocked them. And then the police showed up. Of course, the jerk's friends started giving them a bullshit story."
"Naturally," I nodded.
"So I released some mist and got them singing like canaries about how their friend started all the trouble by assaulting Diane. Of course, I got the creep to confess as well and that was all the police needed to take his ass away."
"He's not going to forget," I told her.
Nadine smiled, "I made sure of that. You see I gave him and his buddies a special suggestion. One that will keep all of them from disrespecting any woman ever again."
"Good for you," I smiled, but her face was still troubled. "What?"
"I really wanted to hurt that guy," she murmured.
"But you didn't," I assured her. "You're better than that and them."
"I know, but I came so close..."
"I know, but I came so close..."
"Welcome to the human race," I cut in. "With all the powers you have, you're still a person. A good one at that. Don't ever change."
That made her smile. "Thanks. But, I have to know. Everything I've experienced lately as a woman, is it always like that?"
"Not always, but more often than it should be," I told her honestly. Then I eyed her curiously and asked, "Are you thinking about going back to just being a guy?"
She shook her head. "No. Isabella's growing. She'll need someone to help her navigate this world. It's very different than the one she remembers."
"She'll have me, Lisa and Penny," I pointed out.
"Thanks," she smiled, "But I think 'Nadine' will be hanging out with you all from time to time as well. Someone needs to watch all your backs as well sometimes. Girls have to stick together."
"Indeed we do," I smiled. As if on cue, I heard my little guy begin fussing again. "And there goes the rest of my night," I said standing up.
But once again my friend beat me to the door saying, "No, you and Richard get some sleep. I'll take care of him. He'll need to get used to seeing Aunt Nadine hanging around every so often. And I'm more of a night owl than the rest of you."
I was too tired to argue and headed back to bed. It's morning now and sure enough both my guys got a good night sleep after all. Nathan was back and thanked me for the hot chocolate and the talk. I thanked him for being willing to walk a mile (and them some) in high heeled shoes.
Friday, March 29, 2019
I escorted Nadine to the kitchen and got her settled into a chair at the table. Surprisingly, she barely uttered a word the whole time I made hot chocolate. Only after I put it down in front of her, did she finally look up.
"Thanks," she smiled and inhaled the aroma deeply. Immediately, her shoulders relaxed along with the rest of her. After a few moments of silent bliss, she caught me grinning. "What?"
"Never underestimate the power of chocolate, Sweetie," I told her and took a sip from my own cup. Damn I make good hot chocolate, even if I do say so myself.
That made her smile.
"So," I began, "You said you were doing research. Come to any conclusions yet?"
A serious expression crossed my companions face as she gave it some serious thought. Then she took a deep breath, declared that men are misogynistic ass-hats and that she was never letting Isabella out of the manor ever again. Then she went back to drinking her hot chocolate.
I just stared at her for a few seconds before saying, "Number one: congratulations on coming to that conclusion. Number two: as far as never letting your sister out of his manor again, do yourself a favor and don't even try. Because knowing that little girl the way I do, I can tell you right now it ain't happening. And controlling, over-protective behavior can be the very thing that makes girls rebel and put themselves in danger."
I expected Nadine to sigh, but instead she groaned and began gently head-desking the table.
"You must have had one hell of an evening tonight."
"Not just tonight," she corrected. "Ever since I dealt with the Cannibal Killer, I've been going out like this at least once or twice a week."
My curiosity was piqued. "Why?"
"Because of some of the reactions I got when I went after that psycho," she replied, tucking some of her long blonde locks behind one ear.
Leaning forward I gestured for her to continue.
"I never told you or the girls at the time, but I spent a whole day in that town looking like this. The idea at the time was to observe what kind of reactions I got from other people, hoping our killer might give himself away. Of course, he was already hiding in the park and never laid eyes on me till I pulled him off the girl he attacked. But that's not to say I didn't get a few reactions during my walk."
"With looks like yours, I'm not surprised," I remarked.
"Thanks," she smiled, but I could see it only partly reached her eyes.
"How did it feel," I asked after a moment."Kind of flattering at first, but also kind of uncomfortable on a sort of subconscious level," she answered, shifting in her seat as she spoke. "I was so focused on my mission I never really gave the feelings any thought at the time. But when I got to the bar where I was to meet Michael, I started thinking about it."
I didn't say it aloud, but I already had a pretty good idea of what was coming. Sure enough, her next words proved me right.
"I barely sat down at the end of the bar when some guy suddenly appeared at my elbow leaning in and asking me what I was drinking," she said with more than a touch of annoyance in her voice. "And before you say anything, no it was NOT the bartender. But the thing that bothered me the most was the fact that he was supposedly talking to me, but I could actually feel the vibration from his voice hitting me down here," she added, pointing at her chest.
As tempted as I was to say "no surprise", I kept quiet and listened as she continued.
"And let me tell you, he was like practically six feet tall," Nadine continued. "And here I am like 5' 4" and he's talking to my cleavage. I mean my God, if he was bent over any further, he could have passed for The Hunchback of Notre Dame's better looking cousin."
I leaned back in my chair nodding. I could tell already that this was just the beginning...
TO BE CONTINUED...
Saturday, March 9, 2019
If anyone had told me two years ago I would one day be married, have a child, and be living in a big old mansion, I'd have told them to quit snorting the white powder. Of course, there's no way they would've have known a man who'd fought in the Civil War, and was for all intent and purposes a vampire, would be partly responsible for all of this. It still seems like some weird dream, or like I stepped into the Twilight Zone, but it's all real. And I'm truly happy about it.
Not that things don't get kind of bizarre on a semi-regular basis. Take tonight for example, my baby boy had been fussing and feeling poorly lately. So I took him to Dr. Jack a couple of days ago, who said it was an ear infection and gave me instructions and a prescription for it. Of course, this means I've been keeping odd hours at night to administer the medicines. Needless to say my he wasn't happy when I woke him up to administer more medicine and it took me a good hour to get him back to sleep. Richard offered to take over for me, but I insisted. He even offered to keep me company while I walked our boy back to sleep. He's really turning into a great dad. And as much as I appreciated his offer, I sent him back to bed. He'd had a really long day already, plus sometimes a girl wants to deal with things on her own. My home life had been pretty messed up and I didn't want to make the same mistakes as my so-called parents. The moment I knew I was pregnant I swore to do a lot better than them, and I like to think I've been succeeding.
Anyway, I'd just put my little boy down again and realized I was a bit hungry. Looking over at the clock on the night table I saw it was only 1:30 in the morning. Not too late for a snack, I thought and headed downstairs.
I'd gotten halfway down the staircase when I saw the front doors open and a young woman entered. In the dim lighting I couldn't make out the features and thought it must be either Marisa or Lisa my two, much younger, best friends. Both of them are barely twenty but in spite of a decade difference between us we're tight. They love hanging out with me and both of them are great with the baby. The two of them also have the hots for Nathan, the Civil War veteran/vampyre I mentioned earlier, who owns this big old mansion. He's also one of the best friends/guardian angel any of us could ever ask for.
I know Nathan gave both girls their own key, so naturally I thought it must be one of them. Upon seeing that our late night visitor had blonde hair, I figured it must be Marisa (Lisa's a brunette). Then realizing what time it was I immediately started hurrying down the rest of the stairs thinking something bad must have happened.
"Marisa?" I called out only to have our guest look up. It wasn't Marisa, instead it was someone I hadn't expected to see again anytime soon. "Nathan... I mean Nadine?" I stammered for a second.
Okay, now I'm going to take a step back for a moment and explain a few things. Like everyone else who knows about Nathan being a vampyre and keeps an e-journal, blog, or an e-diary, these entries I make are set to private. Only someone knows, or will one day know, about Nathan gets to read them. We do this because we want to keep our memories and experiences with him alive even when (God forbid) we can't remember, or are no longer part of this world. Although in the former case I don't think we'll ever fall to dementia or Alzheimer's because Nathan wouldn't let that happen. He's got abilities like you've never seen and although he can't hold off death (except for maybe himself), he's learned to use them in so many ways to help people. And want these memories to be available for my son and his children so they know what a difference this man has made, not only my life but other peoples' as well.
One of Nathan's more fascinating abilities is of course shape-shifting. But unlike what you see in the movies where a vampire simply turns into mist, or a bat, or some other animal, he's taken this ability to a whole other level. He'll alter parts of his body, like turning just his legs into individual puppy dogs to play with Lisa's little brother, or alter his facial features to look like another person. However, even more impressive is his skill at changing his entire body into that of a very attractive woman. Mind you, Lisa, Marisa and I had a hand in his learning how to do it convincingly. The three of us gave him some serious coaching just two months ago when he was helping hunt down a cannibalistic serial killer.
The result was the creation of 'Nadine' the female persona he was wearing tonight. Upon seeing 'she' was back my first thought was, 'Oh dear God, don't tell me was there another maniac on the loose?' It must've shown on my face, because he/she... dammit, I'm going to call Nadine a she for this entry, mainly because she didn't change back to normal all the time I was with her.
Anyway, Nadine smiled as if she'd read my thoughts and said, "It's okay, Penny. I'm not on a case or anything like that. I've just been doing some... research of my own."
"Thank God," I sighed and looked at her again. I have to admit, the girls and I had done a damn good job on teaching Nadine how not only how to look but act like a woman. Even as we were talking, the mannerisms and way she held herself was just right. Which puzzled me even more.
Had 'Nathan' taken a liking to being a woman sometimes or was there something more going on here? She had just mentioned something about research, so I asked, "Trying to find out how the other half lives?"
"In more ways than one," Nadine sighed raising a tired hand to her head.
I knew that tone and the gesture. I'd seen and done it myself more times than I'd like to count. Putting an arm around her shoulders I said, "Let's go to the kitchen and I'll make us something and you can tell me all about it."
TO BE CONTINUED...
Sunday, June 17, 2018
*Authors' Note: Sorry for the delay between posts. We work for the county and are currently winding down the fiscal year which runs from July 2017-June 2018, so we've been run off our feet. But things will be calming down in another few weeks so please bear with us. In the meantime, here is a lengthy entry to help make up for the lack of posts. We hope to get back on our more regular posting schedule before July is out. Thank you for you patience - Allan and Helen Krummenacker
“Nadine!” I screamed and rushed to her side, while my boss and our back up started moving slowly towards our suspect. The Cannibal Killer was still on the ground having spasms, and seemed to be completely unaware of our presence.
I carefully rolled Nadine on her side and studied the knife handle which was all I could see. The bastard and really rammed it in deep. Luckily, I knew from past experiences that it would take more than a knife in the back to stop Nadine. Even if the guy had struck where her heart should be it would've failed, because her body would've moved the vital organ or created another to keep her going. For all the similarities between her and the vampires of legend, she was something more.
Still something wasn't right. Even though her eyes were open and staring right at me, she didn't speak. And the look on her face... what was happening?
That's when I noticed her bare shoulder and nearly threw up. It took me a moment to get myself under control. I've seen a lot of injuries in my line of work, including what our perp had done to his other victims... but none of them had still been alive at the time. The bastard had literally taken a bite out of her.
But the thing that was getting me was the fact that the wound was... doing things. The ragged edges of the wound kept moving, as if they knew they should be reaching across to their counterparts to seal the injury but couldn't. Instead, they simply kept waving about likes streamers attached to a fan... only bloodier.
I was almost grateful when I heard the sounds of a struggle breaking out behind me... almost. Before I could turn, one of my fellow deputies landed hard beside me and Nadine and rolled.
Whirling I saw I saw our perp was back on his feet tossing both my boss and another deputy aside as if they were a couple of five year olds. Then instead of fleeing the scene, the guy just stood there... laughing.
“Oh... Joanie,” he called and turned in my direction, only his eyes were fixed on the prone form of Nadine in my arms. “I'm not finished with you, not by a long shot!”
Before he could take a single step I raised my gun and fired.
I saw the pocket covering his heart explode as the bullet hit. The impact knocked him back yet he managed to keep standing. For a moment he stared at the hole in his jacket dumbly, as the cloth slowly turned dark then stopped. Then to his shock, and mine, the stain slowly began to shrink.
Immediately the true horror of our situation hit. The guy had eaten and swallowed of not only a piece of Nadine but the Sangui-Sapio life form from that Para-Earth she'd landed up in back in 1862. And just as it had changed Nadine from a simple human into a pseudo-vampire in order to save her life, it was now doing the same to the maniac standing a few yards away from me. But the change was only beginning.
Our psycho staggered and fell to his knees. His eyes were glassy-looking and he seemed confused.
This was our chance! I started to get to my feet when Sheriff Parkes waived me off as he and three more officers, who had materialized out of the darkness, descended on the Cannibal. They were able to grab his arms and cuff them behind his back without the slightest bit of effort. In fact, they well into the process of removing other weapons he had secreted about his person before he seemed to realize what was happening.
Then he laughed.
Something about that sound made all of us back up and draw our weapons. “On the ground! Or you will be shot!” my boss warned.
For a second no one spoke or moved.
Then the killer began to murmur and giggle, “Now I get it... you were right, Joanie. I wasn't man enough for you before. How could I be... you had a secret but wouldn't share it with me. But now I know it...”
“I said don't move!” my boss repeated cocking his weapon.
But the Cannibal didn't listen, instead he turned towards where Nadine lay and whispered almost sweetly, “...Because I taken from you. But it's not enough, I want it ALL!”
In flash he was on his feet, snapping the handcuffs behind his back in the process.But we were faster and opened fire.
At point blank range, every one of our shots struck home and I watched as the Cannibal jerked with each impact. But he never went down. Instead, he lashed out with superhuman strength and speed. His first blow sent Sheriff Parkes sailing over Nadine and into the pond beyond her, while another sent our backup rolling a good twenty yards in opposite directions.
Instinctively, I started to turn towards the pond, but my superior was already getting back to his feet, bellowing, “Stay where you are, protect Collins!”
He was right. At this point I was the only one left to keep the super-powered Cannibal from reaching his target.
Weapon raised, I wracked my brain for ideas as our perp started towards me. Bullets weren't going to stop this guy, but maybe one in each of his eyes would at least buy us time to regroup...
Suddenly, Nadine appeared between us. Arms outstretched she stood protectively in front of me.
I could see her shoulder was finally healing, but it was doing so slowly, as was the spot in her back where the knife had been. Her entire frame trembled for a moment and I feared she might collapse, but she held her ground and spoke.
“You're scared... confused. This isn't what you expected,” she said gently.
The Cannibal Killer chuckled, “No I'm not, Joanie. I'm seeing things clearer than ever before. This is how come you never stayed dead. You kept coming back over and over again, taunting me, laughing at me. But now I know how you did it. And now you can't stop me. No one can! I'm like you... only better.”
Now he started moving towards us, yet Nadine didn't move. Instead she gently reached out a hand and said gently, “We both know what you really want.”
That made him stop as he stared at her stupidly at her for a moment.
Behind him, the two deputies he'd thrown were getting to their feet and regrouping so silently, if I hadn't seen them I'd have never known. Still I kept a poker face, so as not to give anything away.
Yet, without looking away from us the Cannibal Killer pointed at them saying, “And don't expect them to stop me Joanie... because they're going to be the warm up act. Once I'm done with them and the one behind you, I'm going to start on you and not stop...”
“You're in pain,” Nadine cut in, “Don't let it hold you back, let go.”
“YOU'RE GOING TO BE THE ONE IN PAIN JOA... UNGH!” Suddenly, the killer froze and began to jerk uncontrollably like a marionette whose strings had gotten tangled.
“I wasn't talking to you,” Nadine smiled and took a step toward him.
The look in the Cannibal's eyes changed from hungry rage to horror as she drew closer.
Just then the other two deputies rushed forward and tried to tackle him from behind. At the last second the killer spun, grabbed each of them and threw the pair directly at us.
Unfortunately, Nadine was not fully recovered. In spite of her attempt to catch my fellow deputies, their combined mass and speed knocked her back into me and the four of us went down in a sprawl. By the time any of us were able to get up, the Cannibal was already gone.
TO BE CONCLUDED....