Here’s a short story I wrote that is an anomoly…it’s not about vampires! It got a little boring for me for writing since there were no vampires and I’m a vampire girl so it’s only a short story. Hope you like it!
I never planned on becoming a leader. I was more than content being on my own, crashing parties in the plush Hollywood scene unnoticed, doing all the cocaine I could and sneaking back out. One day I turned around and I had three people following me, asking me questions like, “So what are we doing tonight Fangs?” and “Where ya wanna go tonight to party?”. They had ruined my punk rocking, cocaine snorting, party crashing, squatting nights and didn’t even know it. However, what I didn’t know was I was going to enjoy their company.
Eric. Drew. Casey. Those were their names and at first thats all they were were names to me. However, eventually they became more. Drew was the dopehead skater boy, always riding, standing or squatting on his precious skateboard. He even slept with the thing, afraid someone would take it from him and in our world of squatting, anything was possible. He was a follower and never said much. His sandy blonde hair hung over his blue eyes which you almost couldn’t see and he wore clothes he no doubt got from a shelter somewhere that were way to big for him but that added to the skater look.
Eric was our bankroll and drug dealer and all he had to do was visit his father a minimum of once a week for the cash and as often as needed for the drugs. His father was a drug dealer too and supported his sons’ habits (weed for Drew and cocaine for us all). When he showed up his father always gave him 2 grand in cash so we had a few bucks to buy food for the week and didn’t have to stay in shelters or eat the awful soup kitchen food. Eric tried to blend in with his jeans and a t-shirt but you could always tell they were name brand. However, by the end of the week, he finally looked like one of us (all dirty) from sleeping on the ground. It was his early twenties rebellion but he just wasn’t cut out to do it on his own but it benefited us so we never said anything.
Casey was the other girl in the group to even things out. Two boys and two girls was nice. Not that anything went on between any of us in the group except the time I got Casey really drunk and made out with her on a dare from the boys but that was a one time thing. Casey was a punk with lots of piercings, leather pants, a short black leather halter top and Doc Martens that would kick some serious butt. She was tuff and could hold her own in any fight. She was good to have on your side but a kind person once she was there. She was also a follower but once in awhile she spoke up if she ‘felt’ the situation was wrong. She had been on the streets since she was a kid and knew them better than any of us so we listened to her gut ‘feelings’.
Me? They call me Fangs due to my obsession with vampires. I already explained my craving for cocaine and fun. I hit the streets at eighteen and never looked back or slowed down even now that I’m in my thirties I still look like I’m in my twenties. I still get carded for alcohol and cigarettes for crying out loud. Good thing I keep up with my State Id with a fake address on it. I’ve never been in trouble with the law. Let me rephrase that, I’ve never been caught by the law and I keep a low profile in the squatting houses.
“So what are we doing tonight Fangs?” asked Eric. (I told you so).
“The usual. Thought we all could do some lines, let Drew smoke his weed then head over to that new skate park and let him try it out. What do you think guys?” I asked. Drew nodded excitedly and the others looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.
“Sounds good to me” Casey said.
“Sure” Eric agreed.
By the time we all got to the skate park we were all completely wasted so it was lucky that the park was almost completely empty. Drew got on his board and started skating and surprisingly was amazing despite his altered state. Eric, Casey and I took a seat at the top of one of the tubes to watch him and laugh at the other skaters as they fell off their boards. Soon the other skaters got tired of being laughed at and left the park so Drew was the only one left skating. I had never seen such a smile on his face as I did that night. Drew had been in his glory and had the entire place to himself. Eventually we got tired and went back to the house we were squatting in. When we woke up the next afternoon, Drew was laying next to us holding his skateboard and still smiling. We woke up Drew and went and got something to eat. Casey, always up for something asked:
“Fangs, what are we gonna do tonight?” (again with the same question. Agh!)
“Well, I thought we’d go down by the bridge and see who’s there and then check out the water” I announced.
“Oh…I know how much you like to look at the water Fangs” Casey said.
“Sounds like a good plan” Eric replied.
Under the bridge proved to be a bust. There was no one there we knew and the bums there were more disgusting than I could handle. I had to swallow the vomit that came up in my mouth twice at the smell of them when we got too close. So on to the river we went and that always made me happy. The rushing black water always soothed me. I knew that it was filthy sewer water from the factories nearby but during the night you couldn’t see how bad it was. I thought about the river in Ohio that once caught on fire and decided that my water here could probably do the same by day but at night it was beautiful. The four of us stood there just admiring the blackness and the peace it provided. Suddenly that peace was broken by a scream. We turned to look and a man had Casey and was backing away with her. Eric and Drew started towards him and he tightened his grip on her making her scream again. I had darted sideways as the man was distracted by Eric and Drew and I went around a pillar and was able to come up behind the man. He was a little taller than me but I had pulled out my knife and I pushed it to the side of his neck.
“Let her go or I’ll push this into your jugular and you’ll be dead in five seconds” I hissed. The man thought about it for a few minutes and then pushed Casey to the ground in front of him. I then pushed him to the ground over her and he hit with a thud. Eric and Drew were immediately on him and had him pinned to the ground waiting for instructions from me. I helped Casey up, checked her out and she was fine.
“Turn him over on his back guys. Casey, I think you should get the first hit” I said. Casey took her size nine Doc Martin and shoved it with all her strength into the mans’ balls. He crumpled up into the fetus position holding his manhood crying.
“Now it’s free hits for everyone” I announced. Eric and Drew were behind the man and they started kicking him unmercilessly. Casey and I were in front of him and started kicking him as well. He tried to fend us off at first but he gave up quickly and just put his arms up over his face. Casey slammed her foot on top of his body and I swear I heard a few ribs break. Finally, when he stopped moving I told the other three to stop. I bent down and checked his pulse and he was dead.
“He’s dead” I informed the others.
“Good. I’ll get some newspapers to cover him up with” Casey said. That was the end of it. Just like that.
When we woke up later that afternoon all was forgotten. We did our usual routine (drugs and dinner). Later that night Eric asked:
“So Fangs, what are we going to do tonight?”(do you see a fucking pattern here?).
“Well, there’s this party up in North Hollywood I thought we could crash but someone has to promise to keep an eye on Drew this time. I don’t want him wandering off into the house on his skateboard again, crashing into things, breaking them and drawing attention to us. So who’s it going to be?” I asked as Drew hung his head in shame.
“I’ll do it this time” Casey volunteered with a smile. Drew smiled back at Casey happy that it was her that had his back. He was always nervous at parties with all those people he didn’t know.
We rode the bus up to North Hollywood and when we arrived at the party there were probably over a hundred people at the party. The four of us snuck in between the hedges and immediately started to attempt to blend in. Eric had snuck in his house and brought us all back nice clothes from his house and we washed up at the YMCA that evening before we got on the bus. There were drugs everywhere, free for the taking. There were naked girls being thrown into the pool, giggling the entire time until they sunk under the blue chlorine filled water. There were guys boasting to girls about the bit parts they played in some movie no one has ever heard of and probably never will or their part is sitting on some cutting room floor somewhere. Most people wouldn’t know where to start in this menagerie of events but not the four. We headed straight for the drugs. Afterall, Eric didn’t make his weekly visit to his father until tomorrow and we needed some tonight and that was why we were here. We moved through the crowd like one giant lion stalking a herd of antelope. We reached the drugs and tried not to take it in greedily but we all were almost facing boarderline withdrawl symptoms so we snorted and smoked all we could without being suspicious. Casey carried Drews’ skateboard under her arm which he reluctlantly gave up but he knew Casey would just have kicked his butt and taken it from him anyway if he hadn’t given it over. We all rode home on the bus, happy and stoned as could be and unable to sit still. We darted from seat to seat throughout the entire bus. Drew rode his skateboard up and down the center isle the whole time we were on the bus. Good thing we were the only ones on the bus at the time. This ended our week and we waited for the following evening for Eric to return from his fathers house with the drugs and the cash to start our new week and our new adventures for we lived week by week on the streets.
Usually the night after Eric came back with his cash and drugs, we divided things up, did some of our drugs and went our seperate ways for that night. Later that night when everyone returned, no one thought about it when Drew didn’t return by the time we all went to bed. Drew was a night owl and often stayed out later than the rest of the group. However, when he wasn’t there in the afternoon when we all woke up we were concerned. We split up and hit all the skate parks we could think of to see if maybe he just passed out at one or even got hurt at one and was laying there helpless. We returned to the house and no one had a good report. No one had seen him or found anyone who had seen him recently. Now we all were really concerned and were considering the neighboring hospitals when Drew stumbled in.
“Where’ve you been man?” Eric asked. Drew shrugged his shoulders, fell to the floor and started throwing up.
“What’s wrong with him Fang?” Casey asked.
“I dunno” I replied thinking ‘what am I? A friggin doctor?’ Drew continued throwing up.
“You think his stuff got laced with something bad last night?” Eric asked.
“Could be. He’s the only one that smokes that stuff” I said.
“Maybe we should get him to a hospital” Casey suggested.
“He doesn’t have insurance. They won’t treat him” Eric informed her.
“And the clinic is closed. We are going to have to wait until morning” I said.
“I don’t see any other choice” Eric said.
“If you guys say so” Casey said doubtfully.
The next afternoon when we tried to wake up Drew he wouldn’t wake up. I knelt down at his side to feel for his pulse and couldn’t find one.
“He’s dead” I said backing away from his body.
“Dead? How can that be?” Casey shrieked.
“Look. I’m no doctor and the hospital system isn’t fair. It’s not my fault. What can I say?” I asked.
“She’s right. It’s not her fault” Eric chimed in. “We need to find a new place to squat. This place just isn’t the same without Drew.
“We’re just going to leave the body? He was our friend” Casey again shrieked.
“Happens all the time. You should know that. Someone will find him and turn him in. It will be fine. Let’s go” Eric said and started picking up our few possessions and we left. Just like that.
The following day we three were all sitting at the skate park like we were waiting for something or someone. We all felt if we waited long enough we’d see Drew come skating by and it would be like the horrible tragedy of last night never happened. But he never came. We waited until after dark and our need for cocaine kicked in before we left and went to our new place we found to squat in. It just wasn’t the same without Drew. Us three were very solomn and hardly said a word to each other the entire day and night after Drew’s death. That was our way of mourning him was in silence since he was usually so quiet.
“So Fangs, now what?” Casey asked (relentless).
“I dunno” I said.
“Come on. You gotta pull us out of this funk” Eric said. (relentless, the two of them).
“Well…we could just get trashed out of our mind” I lamely suggested.
“Come on. Where’s your sense of adventure?” Eric asked. “Where’s the Fangs we know and love?”.
“Ok” I said excitedly. “We…could…break into the Psychiatric Ward at Fairlawn Meadows tomorrow night and see my old friend Melissa after getting blitzed. I’ll visit during the day to let her know to expect us and check out the place again. What’d ya think? Haven’t done that in awhile and it’s always fun” I said now on the edge of my seat with enthusiasm.
“Cool” said Casey.
“Atta girl. I knew you’d come up with something fun” said Eric proudly.
That next day I went and visited Melissa and told her about our little plan. She was as excited as we were and even more excited about the pack of cigarettes that I brought her. Later that night we snorted our allotment for the day and headed to Fairlawn Meadows giddy and stoned out of our minds. We found the back delivery door Melissa had left open for us and snuck into the building. The entire building smelled of medicine, bleach and camphor so I stuck my nose in shirt to filter the stench before it stung my nostrils. We hid in the shadows and ran from room to room and window to window looking for Melissa. We crawled under the nurses’ station window to get to the other end of the hallway. The whole time we had to keep from laughing though it was hard and were paranoid due to the drugs. Some of the shadows looked like giant arms reaching out to grab us and lock us up in this place. Finally we found room 115, Melissas’ room and her door was unlocked which was against policy but she left it that way for us. When we entered she was in her bed pretending to be asleep.
“Wakey wakey flakey flakey” I whispered into her ear. She giggled so I knew she was faking sleep.
“So you guys got in ok I see” she said. “Now where’s my coke?” she laughed. I had promised to bring her some cocaine when we came so I brought it out and she took it greedily and shoved it all up her nose as fast as she could and just sat back in her bed with her eyes closed waiting for the high to quickly wash over her once the aftertaste was gone. We all sat in a hushed silence, trying not to laugh at her. Once her high came her eyes popped open and her head jolted up and she started to giggle. We all jumped on her to quiet her but by then we were all giggling. We saw a flashlight coming down the hallway and the three of us jumped under the bed and Melissa pretended to be asleep again, all of us holding in our own giggles. The door opened and a stern looking nurse shined the light on the bed and saw the back of Melissa and her stillness and decided after a few minutes she was asleep and closed the door. We could hear her footsteps fade away down the hallway so we came out from underneath the bed and jumped back on it with Melissa. It wasn’t long before we were in a giggling state again but this time we tried to keep it quiet.
“So what’s going on outside in the world Fangs?” Melissa asked.
“Nothing. You got it easy in here. Three meals a day, a warm bed, a shower and people to talk to. It’s better than the streets sometimes” I said.
“You wouldn’t last a day in here with everyone telling you what to do all day and when you can do it” Melissa said.
“Sometimes I wonder” I said dreamily.
“Stop it! You don’t want to end up like me. Yes you need medication for your different personalities but you don’t belong in here” she advised.
“So you’ve received you’re Medical Degree in here now?” I asked “And I have multiple personality disorder” I said.
“I just meant…” Melissa started.
“No. That’s fine. It’s time to go anyway. My buzz is wearing off” I replied and headed for the door. “See you again sometime. C’mon guys” I said and disappeared into the hallway shadows. We slunk again back between room to room, crawled under the nurses’ station and weaved around the stairs. Casey was the last one in the line and as we headed out the door we were met by a nurse and the warden. We three all ran in different directions to shouts behind us.
“Catch them! They are escaping!” came the male voice.
“Got one!” came the female voice. I couldn’t force myself to stop to turn around and look. What if there were more of them and they got me? I just kept running and running until I reached the place we were squatting in. I flopped down exhausted on the old matress I was sleeping on and waited. The next one through the door was Eric who was huffing and puffing like he’d just run a marathon and was a four-hundred pound man but he was slim and only ran as far as I did.
“Where’s Casey?” I asked the dumb question, already knowing the answer before it came out of my mouth.
“The nurse and the warden caught her and took her back into the hospital. I had to hide for a few minutes to make sure there were only the two of them before I ran here and then I ran a diversion pattern so I wouldn’t lead them directly to our place. I’m exhausted” he said and slumped down onto his matress.
“I can’t believe they got Casey. How’d they know to wait for us there? You don’t know what that place is going to do to her. They are going to break her spirit. They’re going to kill the Casey we know and love. We’re going to have to go and visit more to keep her alive” I said at the brink of hysterics.
“Fangs, calm down. You’re starting to freak me out. You’re always the calm one. Don’t loose it on me now. Pull it together girl” he shouted and started to shake me. I pushed him off me and back onto his own matress.
“I’m fine now. It’s just a little hard to swallow after loosing Drew not that long ago” I said just now realizing how attached I’d become to our group of four. How much I’d come to depend on the others to be there and now that two were gone I felt like half of me was missing with them. Still not completely composed I said:
“Got any coke left? I could really use some right now”.
“No” Eric said. “I visit my father tomorrow and I’m all tapped out” he explained.
“Guess we should try to get some sleep then” I said knowing I wouldn’t be able to sleep with my mind racing but maybe Eric could.
“Guess we should at least try” he replied. I laid there all night watching the shadows around me thinking about Drew and Casey and how it was going to be without them. I silently kicked myself over and over for getting attached to people on the street. I knew better and all these years I never made friends or let anybody in and the three times I do I loose two of them. I silently cursed myself for my stupidity and the rage I felt inside.
I decided to go with Eric the next day to his fathers’ house to get our money and drugs. While there, a rival druglord came by and shot up the place. Eric jumped on top of me to protect me and we rolled behind this huge bulletproof coffeetable. As he flipped it in front of us the drugs and money on it went flying into the air. The house was being shot up and the people running were falling in place dead. Erics’ father just sat in his chair, unmoving, like he knew it was coming and his time was up and took the bullets that riddled his body. When the shooting stopped and Eric rolled off me I looked around and was surrounded by dead people, broken glass, drugs and money all over the floor. I turned to Eric and he was bleeding from the chest.
“Don’t worry about me Fangs” he said.
“Eric, you’re bleeding” I said in a frenzy, my adrenaline pumping. I looked him over and found the bullethole that was a direct hit to his chest. I was amazed he was still alive and talking.
“At least I didn’t die on the street. My Dad would have been proud” Eric said.
“We were all proud of you” I said and took his hand in mine. He smiled, his head fell to the side and blood ran out of the side of his mouth. I closed his eyes, took all the drugs and money I could find (hey, why not, huh?) and left for the streets alone. I vowed to myself to never again get close to anyone and to never forget how it was when it was just the four of us.