Missing… Lois: Excerpt from Skipped Beat


“Lois…” he said. Is that Troy? “Lois, forgive me.”

I wish I could wake up a little more. Was the guard asking for forgiveness? I felt a hand on my back and fingers moving my hair off of my neck. What are they doing? There was a sharp pain in my neck. Something bit me! Troy you son of a gun! You are NOT copping a snack to save yourself.
“Forgive me.” he said again.
I felt hands underneath my torso scooping me up. I was being carried. I hope Paul kicks your butt. Unconsciousness found me, cold unconsciousness. I feel my blood flowing faster. Is it falling out of me somewhere in a gaping hole? I feel broken bones rubbing together.
What the heck did he do to me?

I can hear waves. Why do I hear waves? I tried to open my eyes. Only one opened halfway. I see the ocean and the last rivets of sunlight setting beneath it.

“Lois?” came Troy’s voice. He seems so close.

“Ugh,” I moaned. I still can’t speak. I have a thousand questions and I can’t speak.

“Lois, its Troy.” he said as he knelt over me and stroked my forehead.

No kidding. I would’ve said if I could have. Where are we, am I dead, why aren’t I dead, why can’t I feel anything, where are we? Would have been my next words.

“I got you some good stuff. I gave you practically an overdose of morphine, but you really needed it.” he said, almost proud of what he had done.

Not to sound ungrateful, but did I imagine you biting me earlier?

“I, um, did something that you might not like…” he looked sheepish, like a little boy busted with his hand in the cookie jar.

I just held my one eye open. I’m afraid that if I close it I won’t get it open again. At least I’m numb. The pain I was in from being crushed was insanely bad. I’d have to thank him later, for the morphine anyway.

“I bit you.” he said and my one eye narrowed into a scowl.

I moaned a little more.

“I know. I know what you’re thinking. But, just listen. It wasn’t for me. It was for you.” he said hurriedly.

Right, because I always wanted to get bitten by a vampire. Even when I was a little girl watching horror movies I thought, ‘Yep, that’s what I want for Christmas daddy.’ Yeah, right.

“Look, you’re hurt pretty badly…” he said as he looked into my one open eye.

And biting me makes it all better. Are you stupid? I lifted my other eyelid. Very nice. I didn’t think I’d get that one to open. Oh, I’m lying in the sand. At least it’s soft.

“Your sister is an immortal and it stands to reason that since you’re twins that you are too. Biting her gave her amped up strength to bring down Primus and heal fast. Now, it stands to reason that vampire venom would work that way for you too. But, we have to hide.” he said as I looked at him in shock.

She’s a what? You mean I might live long enough to go looking for her? If she can take Primus down then maybe she’s not in as much trouble as I think she is. At least my heart is at ease for that much. Hey, I don’t feel my heart beating. Must be the… numbness? I don’t feel my possibly missing leg aching either. So, maybe this numb thing is a good deal.

“The thing is Lois, I don’t know how the whole immortal thing works. And we have to hide. They can’t smell or sense us if we’re in water, but we have to be under water. I don’t know if immortals can do that like we can. I mean, when we don’t have any humanness going for us our lungs don’t work so it doesn’t make a difference.” he sighed.

What was he talking about?

“I bit you so I’m back at ground zero. Nothing’s working. I’m totally vampire right now. But, you…” he sighed again and stroked my face with his fingers the way mom does when she’s trying to calm me down. “Your systems keep stopping and starting. I mean, I know that you’re numb and overmedicated, but I’ve never seen this kind of thing in my life. I don’t know if the not breathing part is okay for you, but you stop for almost an hour at a time anyway and start up again.” He was shaking his head trying to decide what to do.

I looked at him confused. I stopped breathing for an hour and then started up again?

“But, you’re covered in Pilath’s blood, like me, and your injuries were oozing…” he said as he looked me over.

Were oozing?

“I think it’ll be okay. But, it’s our only option. I’m sorry. It’s gonna be cold. But, I’ll be there holding you making sure you’re alright.” Troy said as he picked me up.

I was like a limp noodle. Everything was numb. Nothing he said made any sense except for that we were about to get into that freaking frigid water. It’s still technically winter and the Pacific Ocean is usually pretty cold anyway.

He kissed me on the forehead. “I’ll take care of you. I promise.” he said and started walking onto the shore.

He looked deeply into my now closing eyes and continued to walk until I could faintly feel the water on my feet. It wasn’t cold to me. Hmph, that must be an added bonus to being numb. Thank you God. Because this was otherwise going to suck more than it needed to. Hey, I feel water on both feet. Yay! I didn’t lose a limb.

Why is he so protective of me? He always looked at me like he wanted to say something, but never would when he would come to visit with Lorena. Now he’s playing knight in shining armor. Maybe he was taking care of me to make up for killing his wife in some twisted way. I feel the water on my stomach now. At least he’s going in slowly. He’s probably trying not to shock my system any more than it already is.

Wasn’t I bleeding though? I know we have his wife’s blood on our clothes. Does vampire blood attract sharks? Will the blood drain out of me from diffusion and sharks come for what’s left of me? If my blood didn’t isn’t he injured too? I saw the guard tear open his shoulder. How well thought out was this plan Troy?

He stopped and let me float for a few seconds to further immerse me so I could get used to the temperature of the water. That’s sweet, but I’m more concerned about the not breathing part… and the sharks.

Troy started paddling behind me, keeping me in front. So, I’m the shark bait? Bastard. I closed my eyes, I don’t want to see it coming. Then I heard a dull echo, like we were under something.

“We’re underneath a dock. The tide should be in for a few hours and that should buy us some time away from the guards.” he told me as he steadied me under the planks. “We can’t stay this close to the surface though. They can still smell and sense us. We’re going to have to sit on the bottom of the ocean floor right here. It’s shallow enough and only about twenty feet down so we won‘t really have to worry about the effects of pressure.” he said as he wrapped himself around me to offset my buoyancy.

Would taking a deep breath help me at all? He’s talking about staying down there for hours people.

“I’m sorry if this doesn’t work. This is the best I can do for you. I’m sorry.” he said and he kissed my cheek.

Troy pushed us downward off of the planks above us with his feet and swam down until we were on the ocean floor. It’s calmer down here. Not so much wave action. The fish scattered and even the lobsters and shrimp are crawling away. Maybe the sharks will leave us alone too.

I want to breathe. I need to breathe. I can’t move, or scream, or give him any sign that this isn’t going to work. I can’t feel my heartbeat or anything else. I’m scared. Help me Lord. All I can see is the last rivet of sunlight vanishing away and murky darkness through the strands of my long black curls swaying in the water. My eyes are wide open in fear. I still can’t move anything else. Troy is behind me and can’t see my face.

I feel myself giving up and slumping further into Troy’s arms. Well, at least he apologized. I feel so cold now. Is the numbness wearing off and I can struggle a little so he’ll know that I need air? No, just cold, and sleep. Blackness, cold blackness.

Troy, what have you done? So, this is what death is like.

Is this a dream? I see daylight. It’s dim, but it’s there. I’m still under water. Troy’s arms are around me. I moved my head and tried to look around a little more. He nestled his head closer to mine and I think I felt him kiss my cheek again.

Did I stop breathing for hours and live like he had said? I looked around again. There is the dock above us, and off to either side of us are rows of pillars that hold the dock up. Hmm, no sharks in the distance, but I do see… Wait, is that a goldfish? Why is it way out there? No, no…wait. How can I see something that small that far away?

“Greetings daughter of the Most High.” Came a gentle voice.

Was that Troy? I turned and looked to my left again.

“Ahhh.” I let out a scream. It’s a… he’s a…angel?

“Yes. I am an angel.” He said.

Did I say that out loud and under water? I looked at Troy. He looked devastated and afraid. Afraid of what? An angel just came to help us Troy.

“No, not quite. I came to talk with you Lois.” said the burly bearded and curly haired shiny man.

Why? Am I dead?

“Yes and no.” the angel said.

And you’re reading my thoughts?

“That’s right. I am.” Came his reply.

What’s your name?

“You may call me Messenger.” he said.

Okay, so now what? Messenger.

“You have been bitten by the immortal undead. You are now one of them.” Messenger replied.

I looked over my shoulder and scowled at Troy. On the one hand I wasn’t like, dead dead. But, on the other hand… Are you freaking kidding me?

You mean I’m a… I turned into a… The venom didn’t work the same way for me as it did for my sister?


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