To Fear the Dawn: Chapter 10
“Well, well, well,” Loki murmured, looking out the window of his house. “It doesn’t appear I’ll need to go out for dinner tonight.” He laughed at his own wit, watching three of his least favorite people in all of Strangetown warily making their way up the front walk.
He had a very good idea as to why they were here. News had a way of traveling very fast in the vampiric community, and Loki was well aware who his parent vampire had taken for a possible mate and her connections to the Curious brothers. He was, however, very shocked the brothers had figured it all out so quickly, but be that as it may. His vampire family was growing by leaps and bounds; they couldn’t expect to remain undetected much longer.
Nervous Subject came up behind him, whining as usual. “Loki, are we going to go out soon?” he sniveled. “I’m really getting hungry...”
“Quiet, Nervous.” Loki said shortly. For the life of him, he couldn’t figure out why Reginald had seen fit to bring Nervous into the clan. Silly, whining, complaining moron, he was...but, Loki reminded himself, it hadn’t been his decision to make.
Nervous sighed and looked over Loki’s shoulder out the window. “What are you looking at, anyway? Hey, it’s Pascal!” Nervous excitedly turned to race down the stairs.
“Stop it, Nervous!” Loki hissed, pulling him back by his shirt. “What the hell are you doing?”
“It’s Pascal...he’s come to visit...” Nervous said feebly. “He’s my friend...”
“No one is your friend any longer!” Loki reminded him. “All you have is the Family, do you understand?”
“No.” Nervous said stubbornly. “I still like Pascal, and I think we could still be friends...”
Loki folded his arms and glared at his vampiric sibling. “We’ll see how much you like him as you watch his corpse shrivel up from lack of blood!” he said cruelly. “I may even let you do the honors. In fact, I think you need to.”
“What?” Nervous said in horror. “No, Loki..I don’t want to kill Pascal. He’s always been nice to me.” He started to cry.
“Stop it!” Loki shook him. “I said stop it right now, do you hear me? He is not your friend. He is your prey. He is nothing to you but quarry!” He let Nervous go and watched as the younger vampire slumped to the floor, continuing to sob quietly.
“Waste.” Loki said, looking at him with disgust. He knew when Reginald had Turned Nervous that it had been a mistake! Now it was left up to him to nip this in the bud!
“Listen to me, Nervous.” Loki said firmly. “You will go out there to meet them, and you will do what you need to do, because if you don’t, I will personally chain you to the wall outside and let the sun rise on your sorry existence, do you understand?”
Nervous stood up, sniffling.
“I’ll be watching.” Loki said. “Don’t disappoint me.”
The Curious brothers were just beginning to approach the first staircase to the Beaker mansion when Pascal looked up and saw someone coming toward them. With relief he recognized the silhouette of his friend Nervous, but then he noticed the ghostly appearance of his friend’s skin, shining silver in the moonlight. Pascal stared in horror. That wasn’t Nervous, was it?
Lazlo had noticed him, too. “Looks like Loki wasn’t the only one turned into a vampire around here,” he muttered. “Vid, give me one of those stakes...”
“No!” Pascal cried. “That’s Nervous! He wouldn’t hurt any of us!”
“Pas... he’s not the same any more,” Lazlo said tightly as Nervous came closer. “I doubt if he even remembers who you --”
“P... p...Pascal?” Nervous stammered as he approached, wringing his hands. “I’ve missed you, but you really need to go home now.”
“Nervous, what happened to you?” Pascal cried, horrified at the altered appearance of his friend. Oh, Goddess... was this what Charity had been turned into as well? He couldn’t bear the thought...
Nervous couldn’t tear his eyes away from Pascal’s neck. “Pascal...I mean it. You really need to go... You all do.” his voice became ragged with hunger.
“We’re not leaving until we find out what we came here for!” Vidcund said. “Nervous, who did this to you?”
“Please...” Nervous whispered. “Just go...” He licked his fangs and swallowed.
“First tell us who did this, and where we can find him.” Lazlo said gently. It was obvious that Nervous still carried some of himself, even though Lazlo had no doubt the vampire’s instinct and hunger would soon win out over whatever remained of Nervous’s own personality.
“It... it was... ” Nervous began, but he was interrupted by Loki storming out of the house.
"Damn you, Nervous, I told you to take care of them!” he yelled. “God, you’re worthless! Get back in the house!”
Nervous slowly turned and walked back up the steps, while Vidcund shared a quick look with Lazlo and quietly passed him one of the broken pool cue halves.
Loki saw the action out of the corner of his eye and laughed wickedly.
“Do you really think I’m afraid of that?” he sneered. “Please.”
“I thought you said this would work,” Vidcund whispered worriedly to Lazlo.
“It will. He’s just bluffing,” Lazlo whispered back.
“Bluffing, am I?” Loki said, baring his teeth. “Would you like to find out? I haven’t fed yet tonight, you know...”
“Loki, we didn’t come here to kill you.” Pascal said in a placating way. “We just came here to find out some information.”
“Ah...you’re worried about your lovely au pair, are you?” Loki smirked, folding his arms arrogantly. “Well, you needn’t be. She’s in fine hands.”
“What are you talking about?” Vidcund demanded. “You know about Charity? Where is she?”
“She’s with my father, of course,” Loki said carelessly, enjoying the terrified looks on their faces. “The entire Family was very pleased to hear our creator had found a suitable mate. We expect to receive an invitation to a wedding very soon.”
“What?” Pascal cried out in horror. “A wedding... ?”
“Charity wouldn’t.” Vidcund said fervently. “She just couldn’t...”
Lazlo tightened his grip on the wooden stake. “Tell us the truth, Beaker!”
“Oh, but I am,” Loki said wickedly, trying not to laugh.
“Where are they?” Lazlo demanded, advancing on Loki. “You’d better talk, Loki. There’s three of us, and only one of you... ”
“Do you think that worries me?” Loki hissed. “I can drain all three of you dry before you could even lift your arm to strike... ”
“No.” came a timid voice from the steps.
“Damn it, Nervous!” Loki yelled. “Get in the house! I’ll deal with you later!”
“You won’t!” Nervous yelled back. “You can’t do this! Pascal, listen! I know where your nanny is! She’s living at... ” but at that moment he was thrown to the ground by Loki.
Pascal, Vidcund and Lazlo hesitated only a moment before jumping into the fray. They managed to pull Loki off of Nervous but were surprised at Loki’s strength. It took the combined efforts of all three of them and they weren’t going to be able to hold him very long.
“Nervous!” Pascal gasped. “The stake-- !”
Nervous floundered on the ground and finally found one of the broken pool cues. He gripped it in his hand and looked at it for a moment, undecided.
“NOW!” Pascal commanded.
Nervous shut his eyes tight and drove the pointed end of the cue into what remained of Loki’s heart.
Loki turned his red eyes full on Nervous unbelievingly. “Can’t...believe you’d turn on your. . own kind. . .” he managed before he crumpled to the ground and perished.
“I’m sorry...” Nervous whispered miserably, “but you’re not my kind.”
Lazlo stood up straight, panting, and clapped Nervous on the back. “Way to go, Nerv!” he enthused. “Now, tell us about Charity.”
Nervous took a deep breath and tried not to think about the blood he could smell pulsing through all of their carotid arteries. So close, so close to the surface...
He’d have to tell them fast before he lost control and ripped out all their throats.
The Curious brothers gathered close around Nervous and he told them, as quickly as he could, all he knew.
He told them about Reginald, and where the Grand Vampire resided. He told them about the news all the vampire’s offspring had received the previous evening when Reginald had brought home his future mate, whom he knew to be Charity from the description of her.
“So,” he concluded. “She’s there. Living with Reginald in his house.”
“But you don’t... you don’t think she’s a... ” Vidcund began.
“Vampire?” Nervous shook his head. “Not yet. Only after their wedding will Reginald be able to Turn her. If he did it beforehand she’d only be like one of us. A child to him, not a mate.”
He found himself staring at Vidcund’s throat hungrily, gulped, and stared hard down at the ground.
“Listen, you guys...you really better leave.” he said in a strained voice.
“Nervous,” Pascal said quietly. “You’ve helped us so much. Is there anything we can do for you? Something we can get for you?”
“No.” Nervous said, looking tiredly at his old friend. “Not unless you want to rob the blood bank.”
Pascal took a step backwards with a mixed expression of both disgust and pity.
“Will you be okay?” he asked.
“Sure.” Nervous answered, trying to smile.. “Sure. You know, it’s just another night on the town... ”
To Be Continued...