Episode 4 – Part 2: Phantoms


Lois stayed asleep during the entire flight. I wondered if she had ever been afraid of flying, or if perhaps she thought that since she’s a vampire she’s more likely to survive a plane crash and might as well sleep. I watched her intently and blocked out the pockets of turbulence by concentrating on the soft features of her face.

Perhaps I had given her one useful bit of advice while we were on the road headed to my hideout in Vegas. Sleep away the hunger pangs that make you want to drink people. I’d rather her stay awake to keep me company, but leaving me alone in consciousness may be the only choice she has to avoid feeding on everyone on this plane.

I wish things were different and that I had been assigned to Lois instead. Granted I was ready to marry her sister. But, I think Lorena would have been a ‘let’s try this out’ type of marriage instead of an ‘I can’t live without you’ marriage. I realize now how unfair I have been to Lorena.

I hope she will be happy with Paul. I have known him for over 2 centuries and I have no doubt that he is keeping her safe. He would shield her at the expense of his own life. He would treat her warmly and make her feel safe and comfortable in ways that I just can’t seem to manage when it comes to women. They have all been just another dame, another person to deal with, another round of let’s play house until I can’t stand it anymore.

I wish I could remember what it felt like to be genuinely in love.

I tried to concentrate on anything else besides her. Looking at Lois is calming, but if she wakes up and I’m gawking at her that would be awkward. Besides, I left Lorena standing in the rain bawling her eyes out over me and her twin sister, although they are not identical, reminds me enough of Lorena to feel the guilt and shame that I know I should have felt when I said those awful things to her.

I wonder if she is capable of letting Paul in enough to love her. Lorena internalizes everything. When we find them, Paul will more than likely kick my teeth in for hurting her like that. Not just because I would have made it harder for her to fall in love with him, but for the suffering she has endured.

Suffering and struggling that I got to see up front and personal with Belle before Grenhelda took over her body. I had never seen the effects of my so called love before. I knew it would be hard for Belle when I went back for her. After all… I did tell her that I only married her because I didn’t have anything better to do at the time and proceeded to make her feel like she wanted to die of shame for loving me.

How could I do that to someone I claim has my affections at all? As easy as killing my wife yesterday. That’s how easy. I think the manhunt has already begun.

I got up to survey the plane.

We were in first class and it was about half full, but I felt the pull of another vampire somewhere on board. At first I thought it was just me being paranoid. There are always vampires near airports. But, no, this is a little more specific.

I made my way to coach. There were sleepy and groggy people trying to catch the sleep they were missing by being on such a late flight. But, I felt it. I was getting closer. This person was in coach… feels like the middle section somewhere… maybe just a few feet further… the last two rows were empty. Where did they go?

I went to the restroom to look like I had a mission other than being nosy so the stewardess wouldn’t give me a hard time. I grabbed a mini bottle or three from the fridge they don’t keep locked in the back and tried to console myself with the idea that maybe I was just paranoid.

I had killed my wife, who was one of Primus’ adopted daughters, for cheating on me with her first husband and favorite concubine. He gave her to me to take care of her should he die trying to capture Paul and Lorena. If Caleb is still alive he will kill me when he finds out that I slaughtered her out of jealousy.

I mean, I have had the worst crush on Pilath for the longest time and she was finally mine. I had lost everyone else and he couldn’t just get out of the way and leave us alone. Then again, if Pilath was Lois and I was Caleb, I wouldn’t just disappear on her either. Marriage is such a fluid and changing thing in our world. A license to get who you want for a while and then switch off once someone else looks more appealing.

Can I blame my tendency to avoid real commitment and truly settle down on years of vampire culture?

I made my way back to first class and sat down next to Lois, shakily drinking the little bottles of alcohol I had helped myself to. I felt the pull of someone moving closer as the buzz of inebriation kicked in. Was it the turbulence that my senses were just not reading right?

Looking around one more time I saw no one. I’m sure I look crazy. I looked at Lois, still fast asleep and seemingly having sweet dreams, I ran one finger down the side of her face like I used to do with Lorena.

How did I mess up my life so badly that I killed my wife, destroyed all of the women who ever truly loved me, and now an sitting next to the only person in the world that I want and can never have? She will never love me. And when Primus finds me, he will have me killed.

I’m such a wimp. I cried and fell asleep.

But, I could hear the whispers of my kind around me. I thought I was chasing phantoms, when really….

“Is that the girl?” I heard a man say.

I wanted to wake up and defend her. But, I would only be giving us away. They were talking in so low of a whisper that only another vampire would be able to hear them.

“That doesn’t look like the picture we got sent.” Another man answered.

“But, that looks like Troy… sort of.” The first one said.

Did I mention I had access to Botox? I looked like a very stiff and older version of my father. Not the youthful 20 something years old I was frozen at. All I had to do was mix it with collagen and poof, instant aging in dead skin. I’ll look like I’m 15 in about 3 days, and I’ll be totally normal by the weekend. But, looking 57ish is working for me right now.

“No, I don’t think so. He’s too vain to get caught looking old. He was always the one who wanted to be right even if he was wrong and rub it in everyone’s face. He’d want to look normal for that.” The second one continued.

Did everyone hate me?

“They found Pilath dead. Caleb is dead. Paul and the girl are missing. And somehow her sister slipped through Jones’ fingers. We should take them in for questioning.” The first one insisted.

What should I do?

“Would you two shut up already? I’m trying to sleep.” Lois said as she stirred in her seat and rubbed the sand out of her eyes.

“You can hear us?” the first one asked surprised.

“You can’t whisper to save your life. Now go away.” she said waving her hand at them, repositioned herself, and fell back asleep.

I waited.

“Neither of the girls are vampires. This person is though. Must not be her.”I heard the second voice say.

Then there was nothing. Until I heard a stewardess ordered to check the galley while security had a look around. Apparently someone was messing with the landing gear.

I have every confidence that they strapped on a parachute and jumped. That nagging draw to another of my kind went away. And I was suddenly glad that Lois was undead. That very fact would save us both.

For now.


(Photo courtesy of: hawaiidermatology.com)

Music for this episode – It’s Time by Imagine Dragons