Thursday, 6 May 2010


A Writer's Extreme Creativity Challenge: Write a story a day, in May. That's it:

#6 : Restructuring

“Look” said Jack “Vampires are boring”

Alan nodded, and stared glumly into the remains of his pint.

“That’s the bottom line and you know it. You’ve been coasting. Pint?” said Jack.

“Ay” said Alan. Alan looked around the pub. Everyone in here was ‘Staff’ or friends of at this time of the evening. It was both repetitive and comforting. Jack had been right though.

The Vampires were boring these days, gone were the good old days, the truly ancient super suave international vampires were gone, either hunted back to their ancestral castles or they’d accepted a deal. The really nasty hellfire and brimstone vampires, usually a few hundred years old, who’d never really grasped style and lurked in the inner cities murdering prostitutes and kids... Well, the blond kid had kicked hell out of most of those before she’d moved on to better things. He wished her well.

His team had done good work, but Alan was still here, hunting what was left. Pathetic petulant, quivering lip, toothless lifestyle vampires, who did nothing but moan on about it, like being a vampire was some kind of addiction. The hardest thing to deal with about these vampires was explaining the pile of dust to the teenage girls they inevitably attracted.

Pathetic, really. Job Done. Time to move on. Possibly Jack was right, and Jack had brought another pint of Beer.

“Thanks” said Alan “I’ve been thinking about the restructuring”.

“And?” said Jack.

“And I dunno, merging the Folklaw Suppression team with the Superhero Control lot... it’s bound to get messy”.

“Daylight working hours most of the time Alan, and you should see the costumes some of the women wear. There’s a super speed girl with ice cream themed powers, for fecks sake”

“I know, I know”

“And lets face it, you could do with learning some new skills, you aren’t going anywhere in vampires. When was the last really difficult one that really made a difference?”

“1997 - the Old People’s Home off the Luxlan” said Alan “He was a nasty bugger. Maybe you’re right”.

“I know I’m right Alan, I know you think Superhero division are all black and white in their thinking, and you’re right, they are. But these days, we’ve got some very morally complex wierdo’s out there these days. Super Speed, Laser Vision, some of these guys have got powers you would never think of in a million years. Girls who can see sideways in time. Guys who can swap people’s brains just by looking at them. The team aren’t used to handling weird. They could use a guy who thinks like you”

“Yeah. Yeah, can we talk about something else? I’ll think about it”.

And Alan and Jack finished their drinks and stumbled off their separate ways.

In a basement deep beneath the City Swimming Pool, a long curved corridor slopes downwards, spiraling tighter towards a centre. The pale light flickers on in the circular room at the centre, a robotic voice announces ‘Authorisation Accepted Alan Arnold, Division V’

Alan staggered into the circular room at the lowest point, steps over the moat of constantly flowing holy water, and kicks at the circle of salt on the floor, creating a gap.

“I knew you’d come” - the voice is old, powerful.

Alan looks up at the Vampire. An ancient, impossibly thin human shape, nailed to a silver crucifix. Alan nods.

“You are in no state to make a deal with me Alan. Come back when you have thought about this properly” said the Vampire.

“I switched off all the defenses that matter to you thirteen minutes ago. Why are you still here?” asked Alan “Why am I still alive?”.

“Professional courtesy, Alan. Oh that and ‘I want never gets’”. The Vampire mocked him.

“You’re playing games with me” said Alan.

But there was no mouth to answer - a swarm of dust and flies, flooded into the ducts and was gone. Alan looked around and checked himself. His blood had been cleared of alcohol, and the Vampire had left a post it note on his subconscious. Enough to convince his superiors that it hadn’t been deliberate.

Yes, that is what he’d wanted. It will be just like the old days. Playing games.

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