[UNEDITED FIRST DRAFT] Untitled Spark & Vainstrel Story 2

PLEASE NOTE: This is a ROUGH DRAFT. It is the VERY FIRST DRAFT OF THE STORY. YOU are the very first person to read it – I haven’t even read it in its entirety yet!

You WILL come across numerous issues including:

  • spelling mistakes;
  • grammar issues;
  • weak sentence structure;
  • repeated words;
  • unnecessary words;
  • missing words;
  • lack of details/descriptions;
  • confusing details/descriptions;

Critiques/criticisms, while appreciated, most likely will be discarded at this stage! Thank you.

Additional Note: Doodles, Sketches, and Artwork may be added over time. These are not the story illustrations! They do feature characters and places within the story, however.

About a quarter of Vainstrel’s body hung over the side of his bed. His fingers fiddled with his phone while looking at it upside down. His lips were exaggeratedly puffed out and his brows wrinkled his head so deeply. He let out a large, noisy sigh that seemed to echo off the walls of his bed chamber. 

He let his hands and arms hang loosely, his freehand resting upon his forehead. “Oh is the woe of the vampire who has desire for his one and only mistress!” 

He then grasped his shirt with his freehand, still allowing the one with his mobile phone to hang loosely and touch the ground. He leaned his head back into the matress. He raised his voice even more than he had before. “How cruel is she to be, not answer my request for her call or letter! Not a single sound from that single day.” 

He clenched both of his fist, tightly grasping both his shirt and the phone at the same time. “Was that moment just a mistake?” He dramatically looked to his left and closed his eyes. “Is fate truly the cruel mistress she seems to be?” 

“Vainstrel!” 

Vainstrel didn’t move. 

“What is your problem?!” 

SLAM. 

Vainstrel didn’t even need to look up, knowing his bedroom door had been slammed into his bed chamber walls once more. The raging storm has appeared once more, threatening to put another hole in the walls of my sanctuary. 

“If you’re going to practice your lines, keep your door close, you cheap background standee!” 

Vainstrel suddenly found the crown of his head on the floor.  With it, his whole body fell. 

“Ria, dear…we really should be ––” 

“Vladmir, SHUT IT.” 

Vainstrel stood up, dusting himself off. He slipped his phone into his pants pocket, just before adjusting the cape to his back. “My dear sister and my dear brother-in-law, what a pleasure.” 

Ria held up a fist, shaking it at him. “You aren’t fooling anyone with your bad acting or your poorly written script.” 

“Script?” echoed Vainstrel. “I am aware I have a show coming up that I have a significant role with soon, but today is a rest day.” 

“Vainstrel,” said Vladmir. “We have noticed you have been down lately. Whatever could be wrong?” 

Vainstrel whipped out his phone once more, holding it up in the air as if looking into a compact mirror. “My dear, sweet brother-in-law!” He pouted, scrolling on his phone. “A mistress whose blood is so electrifying has captured my cold heart. One could swear it was fate…” He brought his phone-holding hand to his forehead and tossed his head backwards. He put out his right leg as he did so, slightly turning his heel. His free arm extended over and out to the side as a single tear came raining down from his eye that wasn’t hidden by his long bangs. “And yet no words have been spoken since!” He then squatted down and hugged his legs. “…why does the mistress of lighting have to be so cruel…no words…spoken or written…since then…” 

Ria’s face scrunched. “How gross! Why do you sound like you are in love?” 

Vainstrel suddenly popped up and over to his older sister, leaning into her face, wide-eyed, his barring his fang teeth. “Because, my dear older sister, I have done just that.” 

Ria’s face scrunched up even more and she stuck out her tongue. “BLEGH! YAK! YUCK!” 

As Ria was making noises of disgust, Vladmir gentle folded his hands and smiled at Vainstrel. “How awe-inspiring! Who is this ‘mistress’ that has caught your eye?” His smile stretched even further. “A fellow actress, perhaps?” 

Vainstrel touched his cheeks, blushing like an innocent maiden. “Not an actress, but a lightning queen.” 

“A queen?!” 

Vainstrel held up his index finger, pouting for a moment. “Not an actual queen.” He then placed his hand over his heart. “Just the one in my heart.” 

“Oh.” 

Vainstrel looked up at the small stained glass dome in his room where bits of light helped to color his room with distinctly colored spots. “My lightning queen is no other than a witch who sent electricty through me like no other.” 

Ria gagged. She leaned over, placing one hand on her knee and the other in the air, waving it side to side. “I do not need to hear about my little brother’s new-found sexual expression! I’m out, I’m out.” 

Vainstrel scoffed. “ME? Sexual expression? I have not yet hit that point with my mistress – I simply want to taste her blood once more on my tongue and feel the electricity pulse through my body once more.” 

Ria’s face turned a greenish-yellow. 

Vladmir rubbed Ria’s back, but kept his smile directed towards Vainstrel. “What does ‘electricty’ refer to?” 

Vainstrel drew back his head and blinked a few times. “It refers to true electricty, like lightning on a stormy day. The mistress I desire is none other than an elemental witch, specializing in lightning magic, if I am no mistaken. It coarses through her body to the point it truly gave me the greatest jolt of my life when I sunk my teeth into her soft flesh and got the first taste of her blood pulsing with frantic electricity that was so strong, it knocked me out cold.”

Vladmir’s eyes popped. “Oh my.” 

Vainstrel held his clenched phone up into the air. “And now I am robbed of such an opportunity to speak with her once more!” 

“What are they ways you have tried to contact her?” 

“Through my own voice on my phone and through the letters sent through the air.” 

Vladmir looked at Vainstrel questionably. Ria waved her hand up and down. “The cheap background standee is just saying he called and texted her.” 

Vladmir chuckled. “I see.” 

Vainstrel covered his eyes with his arms, crying. “But nothing! Nothing at all!” 

Vladmir placed a hand on his chin. “Perhaps you could try writing her a physical letter?” 

Vainstrel stared at Vladmir, utterly horrified at the meer suggestion of such an old fashion way of sending letters! This wasn’t a holiday, you know! 

Vladmir laughed. “I suppose not. What about her physical address?” 

Vainstrel hung his head. “I was far too enthralled with my lightning queen to ask for something more than a phone number.” He then threw it back. “So deep is my sorrow for such an unfortunate oversight! HOW CRUEL FATE IS, PLACING PERFECTION IN FRONT OF I, YET TAKING IT AWAY ALL THE SAME!” 

Vladmir and Ria stared at Vainstrel, beads of sweatdropping down their faces. Vainstrel didn’t pay any attention to them – instead, he stood in a freeze-frame dramatic pose with his arms out stretched towards the sky, his head back, and his legs spread front and back, looking as if he was about to kneel. You could almost see lightning dancing behind him. 

“So, this is what you were doing?” asked Ria. 

“Yes,” replied Vainstrel, super flatly. He stood straight, looking at them both.  

She glared at Vainstrel and pointed at him. “Shut the damn door next time!” 

Ria grabbed onto Vladmir’s wrist, yanking him out of the room, slaming the door behind her. 

Vainstrel watched as the door knob from his end fell off and rolled on the floor in a circle. 

Vainstrel fell to the floor, groaned, and looked at his phone once more. With his thumb, he slid his finger over the keyboard and wrote “I want to see you once more” and hit “send”. 

Then he sighed. 

***

Vainstrel dragged his feet. If it had been a rainy day, his normally prestine shoes would be covered in mud. Luckily for him though, it hadn’t rained. Instead, he flatted and kicked up the grass under his feet. He, at some point, gotten off the cobblestone path while continuing to pout at his phone. 

“If only my lightning mistress would allow me to see her once more…” He brought his phone to his chest. “But alas, it shall not be. My only hope is that the freshly brewed coffee from beans so fresh will soothe my aching, cold heart.” 

He lifted his hands up in the air as if praying to the Gods, making his way back onto the pathway. He continued to keep his hands raised as he turned a corner and down a street lined with numerous buildings of various shapes in sizes, but all uniform in color scheme. 

bzzzzzt bZZZZZZZT 

Vainstrel ignored the sound of buzzing electricty coming from near him, just past a park bench and a lamp that clearly had just been illuminated based on the sheer brightness of it. He continued to walk past the park and managed to get to the building next to it, just before stopping in his tracks.

Hands still up in the air, he pivoted on one foot and turned his head at the hay-colored, curly/wavy side ponytail accented with a small witches hat clipped to the other side. He stared for a moment, his eyes lowering to the phone in her hands being zapped repeatedly with electricity. 

Vainstrel gasped, tears forming in his eyes. He leaped into the park over its fences and slid right in front of her. 

Just as she finished zapping her phone once more, Vainstrel grasped her hand. “My dear lightning queen, Spark!” 

He watched Spark visibly jump. Immeditately, his hand was zapped. Vainstrel winced. Spark gasped. “Vainstrel! I’m so sorry.” 

Vainstrel smiled, flashing her his fang teeth. “It is alright, my dear Spark. Seeing your light and feeling your zap is truly the highlight of my long life.” 

Spark giggled. Vainstrel watched her cheeks slightly flush. 

“I have been attempting to contact you by voice and electronic letter, yet I heard no word,” said Vainstrel. “I was worried you were not willing to see me once more.” 

“Oh!” Spark lifted up her phone, pointing to it. “I thought someone was trying to contact me!” She tapped her phone to her cheek, prompting the screen to turn out. Vainstrel could see that about half the screen was out and about a third of it had insane amounts of discoloration. If Vainstrel could go any paler with his skin, he would…instead, he just kind of turned blue, seeing the sight. 

Vainstrel grabbed her hand holding the phone, drawing it closer to him, staring at all the cracks and scratches upon its surface. “My! What happened to your phone?” 

Spark, as if she was teasing, poked the side of her own cheek with her free hand, giving him a warm smile. “I dropped it into water the day we met.” 

Vainstrel hung his head, his forehead tapping the phone.

“Oh! It’s not all that bad. A lot of features still work. Not all the time, but like…sometimes in the middle of sleep or something!” Spark waved her hand in front of herself, as if attempting to shoo away the bad. “Sometimes it wakes me up, but it’s not all that bad.” 

“How cruel it is to see you with a device that no longer does its job well enough,” replied Vainstrel. 

Spark jumped up. Vainstrel, who had still been resting his forehead on her phone, backed up, giving just enough room for Spark to lean in his face. She lifted up her phone, showing it being surrounded with electricty once more. “Well, that’s where I got the most brilliant idea! I could just use my electricty to fix it!” 

Spark then took a step back and looked down at her phone. As a result from her electricty, the discoloration on the screen changed…but nothing else. She frowned. “But it still doesn’t look like it’s going to work properly…

Vainstrel took a look at her phone once more. He raised an eyebrow and asked: “why not treat yourself to a new phone that will work for you?”

Spark gapped at Vainstrel. 

Vainstrel stared back at Spark, a bit surprised by her reaction.

“Whoa! I hadn’t thought of that!” 

Vainstrel turned around and wiped a single tear away from his eye while smiling. My lightning queen, mistress of my heart…who would not think of that. 

“Where would I even purchase a new one? I received this one from my mom…oh my goodness. I still haven’t told her that I broke it.” 

Vainstrel’s face lit up. He whipped back around and grasped her hands. “Spark, my love, I know a place most well suited for such a venture.” He raised a hand to the air, as if politely showing Spark something in the sky. He looked up in the dirction of his hand. “COME! Let me show you the way to the castle of celluar phones – with the best prices and selections as varied as gemstone.” 

He heard Spark giggle. Then he felt the warmth of her body draw closer. His arm that had been holding Spark’s hand was now fully covered in the warmth of Spark. Vainstrel’s cheeks flushed, looking over to see Spark smiling up at him. 

“Any place you call a ‘castle’ must be amazing” 

Vainstrel rested his hand that had been up in the air over Spark’s, leading her out from the small park. “I would only recommend the best for you.” 

Spark’s smile seem to twist a slight bit more and her eyes half lowered. “What other ‘castles’ do you know of?” 

Vainstrel returned the seemingly flirty smile back. “I will be more than happy to guide you there too, my dear.” 

***

The streets widened just a bit and the cobblestones changed to a notably darker color and slightly harsher shapes that helped to compliment the off-white buildings with pointed structures that raised up into the clouds. Vainstrel glanced over at Spark, whose face was lit up. A warmth he didn’t normally feel overtook his heart. He could see the pointed structures around them reflected in Spark’s eyes. For some reason, seeing them in her brown eyes made them just that more beautiful.

“My dear Lady Spark, have you ever entered into this haven before today?” 

Spark continued to look around. “No, I don’t believe I have!” 

Vainstrel stopped walking for a moment. He took Spark’s hands into his, gently bringing his lips to her right hand. “It is my uptmost desire to have you accompany me for coffee after we make our way to the castle of cellular devices.” 

Spark giggled. Her smile shifted from the scenery to Vainstrel’s face. “I’d love to!”

Vainstrel gave her a gentle kiss on her hand. Just as his lips rested for a brief moment upon her skin, he felt slight zaps of electricity. He lifted his head back up and stood back, seeing Spark slightly flushed. 

“Uuuuh, um…” Spark started to poke her cheek as she had done earlier. “I don’t drink coffee though. Do they have hot chocolate with chili peppers?” 

Vainstrel brought Spark’s hand to his chest. “Dazzling Spark, you are in luck – they have the finest, widest selection of hot chocolates within their coffee haven.” 

BA-THUMP BA-THUMP 

Vainstrel and Spark gazed into each other’s eyes. 

Spark’s smile widened and her shoulders lifted as she slightly shifted her body. Her hair bobbed a bit as she tilted her head. “Okay! Sounds yummy.” 

Vainstrel immeditately turned away from her and crotched, holding his head. Oh my dear goddess, this woman of lightning mastery is adorable. How forutune smiles upon me today! He clenched his fist. A river of tears dripped down his face.

“Are…you okay?” 

Vainstrel immediately stood back up, grabbing Spark’s hand once more. HIs tears instantly dried up and a smile grew within milliseconds upon his face. He lifted his free hand up into the air. “COME! It is just up ahead!” 

“What is?” 

“The castle housing cellular devices.” 

***

It was a meer two minutes when they arrived in front of the “castle of cellular devices” in which Vainstrel was talking about. 

The building itself wasn’t much different from the others around it: cream-colored white with accents in a dark grayish-blue color that perfectly complemented the rest of the walls. The “castle” only had two features that made it stand-out: extra ornate designs over windows that stood as tall as the building itself in the same cream-color as the rest of the structure and a sign that read “Count Cellular’s Electronic Castle” in a cursive font that was barely legible. The extra accents were illuminated by a back lighting, reminding one greatly of a lit screen in the dark. 

Vainstrel looked over to Spark. Reflected in her eyes was not only the light from the ornamentation, but also the inner walls of the store that could be soon through the windows. There seemed to be a twinkle in her eye that made everything so much brighter. Vainstrel couldn’t help but blush at her unabashed joy.

Spark gasped. “How beautiful!” Her smile seemed to freeze. Vainstrel lifted an eyebrow. 

“what is wrong, my dear?”

Spark looked at him. “I thought you were using ‘castle’ to mean a building. I didn’t expect it to have ‘castle’ in the name!”

Vainstrel couldn’t help but smile. “Spark, you are correct. I had been using it to mean building.”

Spark suddenly sighed, grasping her chest. Vainstrel reflexively put a hand on her back. “What’s wrong?”

“okay, PHEW! I thought you’d get mad if I said this place doesn’t look much like a castle!”

Vainstrel stared at her blankly for a brief moment, then laughed. “Oh my dear! How could I be mad by such a statement that is true!”

Vainstrel leaned into her face with a larger smile. “Although for this particular castle, the looks outside deceive the mind.”

Spark cocked her head. 

“Would you like me to show you?” 

Spark wrapped her arm around Vainstrel. Her smile seemed seductive. “Tee hee, sure!”

Vainstrel opened the door to the cellular castle and lead Spark inside. He couldn’t help but smile at everything.

The walls towered with electronic devices, each one neatly placed like the bricks of a castle. There was a low amount of light, but the amount there was was cozy-like, contrasting with the rather foreboding towers all around. Deep inside at the other end was a lit fireplace, numerous couches, and a large tea table – something that resembled a king’s den. 

“Vainstrel! What a pleasure and rarity it is to see you!”

Vainstrel and Spark both turned into the direction of the voice. Appearing out from the shadows was a tall, elegantly thin man with gorgeous long locks of hair framing his face. His ponytail of hair seemed to curl around his body. His pointed-teeth smile would have been full of otherworldly charm had Vainstrel and Spark hadn’t been otherworldly themselves. 

“Dermot!” Vainstrel extended a hand to the man. “A pleasant surprise to see you once more!”

Dermot approached closer. “And who might this be?”

Before Vainstrel had a chance say who was holding onto his arm, she introduced herself. Spark kicked up her leg behind her and lifted her hand, greeting Dermot with both her electrifying smile and a flash of electricity in her hand greeting him. 

“Hey! I’m Spark Alamental!”

“Ooooh,” said Dermot. “An Alamental? I’m an acquaintance of one of your brothers. It is a pleasure to meet you.”

Dermot reached out his hand to Spark, shaking it. 

“Welcome to Count Cellular’s Electronic Castle. We specialize in cellular electronic devices, but we have much more than that available. I am Dermot and I am more than happy to be at your service today.”

Dermot leaned in to give Spark a kiss on her hand, prompting Vainstrel to glare. Dermot wrinkled his brow and paused, switching to a simple bow of the head. His hair briefly brushed against Spark’s hand. Vainstrel, whose body had tensed up, relaxed.

Dermot returned a glance, standing back up straight. He clasped his hands and gave them a salesman’s smile. “What has brought you in today?”

Spark reached into her skirt pocket and pulled out her broken phone. “To get a new phone.”

While Dermot maintained his smile, beads of sweat started to roll down his face at the site of the badly damaged device. “I would be more than happy to help you find a phone today. Was there anything in particular that you were looking at?”

Spark tapped her bottom lip. She soon smiled. “Something waterproof and can be easily charged with my electricity.”

“Is your element electricity?”

“Yes! How’d you know?”

“Everything about you reveals your true nature, Lady Spark.”

Vainstrel leered at Dermot. Dermot, noticing his friend’s glare, backed up a bit from Spark. He shot Vainstrel a rather puzzled look before turning back to Spark with his usual salesman smile. “Come right this way – I believe I have the best selection of phones for you.” 

Spark squealed. She let go of Vainstrel’s arm and began jumping up and down, clapping her hands with pure delight. Vainstrel felt his cold heart thump more than usual, watching the young woman live up to her name in more than one way. 

Vainstrel and Spark followed Dermot into a room that was just as lavishly decorated as the others, continuing to give the feeling of a castle built with electronics. Dermot extended his hand towards a section on the wall in which everything displayed was back-lit by an almost white blue colored light, resembling the light of the stars dotting the sky. 

“These phones were made and designed for witches by witches. Every one of them works with magic of any kind. They are also water and fire proof.  I am sure there will be one that will suit your fancy.” 

“Ooooooo!!” Spark jumped up to the wall, looking over everything. “There’s SOOOO many!” 

Dermot laughed. “Indeed. Do you have any other specific requirements for your phone?” 

Spark stopped for a moment. Vainstrel couldn’t help but think the little scrunch of her lips to the side was adorable. 

“Nah, I don’t think so! I think I just need to decide what one.” 

“Very well. I shall leave you too it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I shall be standing just outside the entrance.” 

“Thank you!” 

Vainstrel watched Dermot lightly tug his sleeve as he walked passed him. Vainstrel nodded, fully understanding the gesture. He walked over to Spark, grabbing her chin.

“Whoa! Vainstrel – you startled me!” 

“Sorry, my lady Spark. I need to speak with Dermot for but a single moment. Will you execuse me?” 

Spark’s brown eyes twinkled. She lightly brushed his hand and smiled. “Okay, that’s fine. I’ll be here waiting – but please come back.” Spark pouted. “I’ll get lonely without you.” 

Vainstrel’s lips quivered. My, what is this magnetizing feeling in the depths of my body by a single look of her lowered eyes and lips so pursued. 

Vainstrel nodded serveral times. “Yes, yes, my dear Spark, I shall be right back.” 

Vainstrel slipped out and away, turning to Dermot. 

Dermot folded his arms, looking down on Vainstrel. His face was dark and his gaze sharp.  “Tell me – what were you doing, glaring at me?” 

“You attempted to kiss the hand of the lightning queen!” 

“…I do that to every customer.” 

“But you didn’t do that to me!” 

Dermot thrusted his hand in Vainstrel’s direction. “I know you!” 

Vainstrel pointed at Dermot. “Do not dare touch the queen of lightning!” He grabbed his cape and dramatically pulled it partially over his face. “For she is mine.” 

Dermot sighed, covering his face with one of his hands. “What did you do?” 

“Nothing yet.” 

Dermot was surprised. He stumbled backwards. “Nothing yet? You made it seem like there was something going on.” 

“Well, of course there is.” 

“…did you hang out with Tarhean vampires again?” 

“What? No!” 

“They’re the only ones who ever get jealous over any relationship their significant other or people they like have.” 

Vainstrel put down his cape and sighed. He placed his hand over his heart. “As I walked home, so weary, I happened upon her that day. So innocent and open. I bit in her smooth neck, sinking my teeth deep inside. Within that single moment, I was struck by lightning! I woke up to her beautiful smile, mocking me for my lack of consideration that, perhaps, she would have some defense. For the first time in my life, I felt alive.” 

Vainstrel then folded his hands together, as if in a prayer. He looked up towards the sky, tears in his eyes. “I feel for the lightning queen in an instant! I want nothing more than to form a blood contract with her, so that she will be mine and I be her’s.” 

Dermot frowned. His eyes closed in annoyance. “So, you just want her for food?” 

“NO!” said Vainstrel, pointing back at Dermot. “I see her as more than a food source. She truly gives me life.” 

Dermot waved his hand in the air. “I’m sorry I have to say this, Vainstrel, since you and your family have been so kind for me, but that’s just not going to happen.” 

Vainstrel’s eyes narrowed. 

“I mentioned I’m friends with her brother, right?” 

“…?” 

“The Alamentals are notorious for hating other species that are not witches nor elementals. If you aren’t either – which you aren’t – you have no chance.” 

“Then how are you friends with one of them?” 

“Because I’m not trying to get with them in any way other than a friendship. You aren’t going to have a chance.” 

Vainstrel leered intensely at Dermot. 

“Hey! I know what phone I want!” 

Spark’s cheery voice cut through the tension that had built up.

Dermot’s salesman smile returned back, glittering as it had been before. “Coming! Please, show me what you would like so that I may fetch it for you!” 

Vainstrel followed closed behind Dermot, sneering. 

***

Dermot had disappeared into a backroom, Spark’s old phone and her new phone in hand for a free transfer. Vainstrel and Spark looked at each other. The humid air in the cellular castle seemed to clear as they smiled pleasantly at each other. 

Spark tapped her cheek, leaning forward at each other. “You and that salesman seem to know each other!” 

Vainstrel nodded. “Yes, I do know Dermot. I see him periodically, when the moon is high and thirsts need to be quenched.” 

Spark giggled. “What does that mean?” 

“My family runs a blood bank, the largest one in all of Ghopre. We have volunteers from all over who help us, the vampires, with our plight.”

“Tee hee. And what ‘plight’ might that be?” 

Vainstrel leaned into Spark’s face, smirking, and holding up a finger. “To respect the free will of all those who are living, so they may not need to fall to our dasterdly jaws. Most vampires do not drink the most fresh blood, preferring to take it from ones that are voluntairly given.” 

Spark cocked her head. “They don’t create blood with alchemy?” 

Vainstrel laughed. “Of course not, my dear. But I am surprised you have heard of such a legend!” 

Spark narrowed her eyes, completely confuzzled. Vainstrel almost-smug smile kind of fell, seeing just how deeply she seemed to be going through her brain for a response. He extended out his hand to her. “Where might you have heard such a thing from?” 

Spark’s head snapped back up straight. “I sometimes provide extra electricty to Dr. Gladier.”

“I don’t know who that is.” 

“Do you know Dr. Hadley or the secretary, Victorina?” 

“No?”

“Well, they’re vampires like you and they drink blood made from alchemy?” 

…there is no way that is possible. Vainstrel turned his head away from Spark, unable to see the curious look on her face. Blood through alchemy? What a legendary feat! Is it worth seeking out this “had-lee” and “victor-reena”? My curiousity is almost aroused. 

“If you own a blood bank and none of you vampires want to attack the living, why did you attack me?”

“Ah, yes. What a wonderful thing to question!” replied Vainstrel. He lifted up his index finger. “You see, my family and I are of a unique vampire species creatively titled ‘witch-hunting vampires’. We get the most from witches – the magic that is embued within it truly brings up back to life, for as long as we consume it. While we have reserves for such things, fresh blood offers the briefest boost in life force, restoring us to a life we never knew.”

“Oh.”

“…” Vainstrel blushed and hung his head. “I may have also forgotten to take my extra blood along with me that day and was about to collapse.” 

Spark gasped. She leaned forward, tilting her head. “Oh my! What were you doing that would make you forget to take blood with you?!”

Vainstrel sat back up, placing one hand on his heart and the other in the air. “I am a stage actor! I was rehearasing for opening night so intensely and for so long, my mind had wandered deeply into my role and forgot to come back out.” 

“What happens when you don’t get blood?” 

“Well, we are simply inanimate. I would collapse, unmoving. We vampires are mostly certainly a type of living dead, after all – so we must sustain ourself with the life force of the living to continue on! Otherwise, we would be inanimate for all eternity!” He dramatically covered his face with his cape, while leaning into his arm. 

“Woooow,” said Spark. “That sounds awful.” 

“Yes.” 

Vainstrel grabbed Spark’s hand with both of his. “I do apologize, Lady Spark, for my absolute rudeness during that time.” He gave her a kiss on the back of her hand.

“Don’t worry about!” replied Spark. She flashed him in a toothy grin. Her cheeks seemed slightly flush. “We met because of it, didn’t we? And now we are out here, with you helping me get a new phone!” 

Vainstrel blushed back at her.

“Phone’s done!” chimed Dermot. “Now, that will be 310.31 GP.” 

Vainstrel, seemingly clamoring,  immeditately pulled out his own phone and payed for it with his electronic wallet. 

He could hear Spark audibly gasp happily from beside him. 

***

“Oh my goodness, thank you!” Spark exclaimed, holding her brand new phone in her hand. She was feeding electricity in through the socket at the bottom. Vainstrel could see just how fast her phone was recharging from the charge she was sending in. 

“Lady of Lightning, is your gift something you use on the world at large or just something that you keep close to your heart?” 

“Tee hee, you can just call me Spark, Vainstrel!” 

Vainstrel paused for a moment and nodded his head. “Yes, my dear lady Spark.” 

Spark flipped her side ponytail behind her shoulder. “And to answer, I use my electricty for pretty much everyone! It’s my job, after all, to provide electricty to the surrounding towns.” 

Vainstrel’s eyebrows raised. “What a way to use the gift that has been bestowed up you! May I ask how you do it at all?” 

“Hmm…it’s pretty easy. I just make a ball of lightning and feed it into a special device that will sustain it for about a week, although some places have machine that can sustain it for three months!” 

“How magnificent!”

Spark’s eyes glittered. “It really is! You should see how beautiful these giant balls of lightning are!!!” She turned to Vainstrel, as he was guiding her down the cobblestone pathways towards the café. She balled both her fist pumping them up in the air. “And the best part is that I get to help lots of people by cutting costs! I make good money and I have a special, rare skill, so it’s so much fun. And I get to be out all day!” 

“What a wonderful time that sounds. Do you see many sights and sounds as you go about?” 

“At first, yeah, but it’s kind of boring now. It’s all the same sights. But sometimes I have interesting things happen to me…like you biting me!” 

Vainstrel put a hand over his face and blushed. “I-I do a-apologize.” 

Spark waved her hand up and down. “I already told you it’s fine, right?” 

Vainstrel nodded in response. I cannot help but be embarassed by my own lack of foresight. 

Spark tapped her cheek. “Did you say you were an actor?” 

“Yes, I did!” 

Spark tapped on her phone. From what Vainstrel could see, she was pulling up the web browser. “What show are you in? I’d love to buy some tickets?”

Vainstrel gently place a hand over her hand, lowering the phone. “Spark, you do not need to do such a thing. When my next show is ready to perform, I will personally deliver VIP tickets to you.” He glanced up into Spark’s golden-brown eyes. He could see the witch meeting his, her cheeks read. 

“Me? VIP?” 

“Yes.” 

Spark placed a hand on her cheek. “Wow, first you buy me a phone and now I’m being given VIP tickets to a show…” She tightly shut your eyes. “I almost feel inspired to do something for you!” 

“But you are, Lady Spark!” replied Vainstrel. “You are accompany to the coffee shop.” 

***

Vainstrel opened the intricately detailed door to the coffee shop he had lead them to. The inside, in contrast to the door, was actually very simple – all black and silver with lots of tables and spacing. The only thing detailed inside seemed to be the handwritten menus and signs that plastered the walls. Even the bits of color from the plants were simple. 

Vainstrel and Spark walked up to the counter. 

“Oooo!!” squealed Spark. Vainstrel looked over, seeing the spunky witch jumping up and down. Spark pointed to a menu category on the wall entitled “Hot Chocolate”. Vainstrel glanced over it and saw exactly what she was so excited about.

“They have it!” 

“Did I not inform you of such a thing, Lady Spark?” 

“You did, you did!” Spark raised her hand up in the air, prompting one of the baristas – a partially transformed werewolf with quite a few piercings and a rock star-edge – to go to the register. 

“How may I help you today?” 

“Can I get a medium spicy hot chocolate with coconut milk?” 

“Right away…and for you?” 

Vainstrel lifted up his finger. “Ah yes, my usual.” 

“Plain earl gray tea, medium?” 

“Yes.” 

The werewolf quickly moved their fingers over the cash register’s touchscreen. “Will that be all?” 

Vainstrel drew out his phone and opened up an app. From this app, he pulled up a barcode and scanned it on the scanner right in front of the register. 

The werewolf nodded. 

“That will be all,” replied Vainstrel. 

With three taps on the screen, the register dinged and Vainstrel lead Spark over to the tables. 

“Wow, you must come here a lot!” said Spark.

Vainstrel smiled as he took a seat. “And what, my dear, has prompted such a comment?” 

Spark sat down. She folded her hands and rested her chin on them. She grinned. “Because they knew your order.” 

“You are indeed right. I do come here quiet often. I do not get to drink very often in the castle that is my home, as I am not active during the times in which my parents make it.” 

“I don’t get to drink spicy hot chocolate too much either.” Spark sighed. “My siblings think I’m weird for it, so usually there’s just plain hot chocolate.” 

Vainstrel dramatically covered half of his face “How I know the feeling of such a dilemma! For my very dear older sister, Ria, hates tea. As I try to ask for her to brew, she rejects me hard and acts so cruel.” 

“Oh? You have a sister? How many other siblings do you have?” 

“Just my older sister, Ria, and her kind-hearted husband, my brother-in-law Vladimir. I am unsure on how they work together, but I suppose he is just far too kind to my wretched sister.” 

Spark giggled. “I think I know what you mean. Most of my family doesn’t really like me much.” 

Vainstrel eyes popped. Spark’s normal sparkle in her eyes seemed to die. Her gaze was downcast at the table. He immeditately grabbed Spark’s hands. “Well, I like you!” 

Spark was clearly startled. 

“Ah, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you like that.” 

Spark blushed, scratching her cheek. “It’s okay. I didn’t expect you to say something like that. Thank you.” 

“ORDER 62!” 

Vainstrel lifted up his finger. “I shall be right back.” He slipped out of his seat and went to the counter. 

Vainstrel placed a hand over his heart. My, she had such a look unbefitting for someone who is full of the spark of life. Who could possible hate her? Although I suppose one could ask why my wretched sister hates me so much too..

Vainstrel grabbed the drinks and returned to his seat. 

“Why…does your sister hate you?” asked Spark, grasping a hold of her cup on both sides. 

Vainstrel paused for a moment. …I am aware she is a witch, but is she a mind-reader too? He folded his arms and sat back. “I am not too sure myself. She has wailed for days on end that I ‘stole’ from her, but I have no idea what of.” He clenched his fist. “Worse of all, she repeatedly calls me a ‘cheap. background. STANDEE’.” 

Vainstrel huffed as Spark giggled in response. “I’m a pretty well-known stage actor around here and have roles that suited me quite well. Not one since over a decade ago would qualify as such a terrible thing as a cheaply-made background prop!” 

“Where would she even get that from?” 

“I am not quite sure myself. She has never attended a single one of my stage plays. There is no way that she would have such insight into my abilities or my position!” 

Vainstrel brought the pipping hot tea to his lips and took a big gulp to calm his nerves. Just thinking about that wretched sister of mine fires me in such a destructive way. 

“And what about you, my dear Spark? You said your family does not like you very much – may I ask for the reason why? If I am not overstepping boundaries.” 

Spark slowly sipped her hot chocolate. Vainstrel watch her gaze down cast once more. Her lips were smiling, but he knew they were just full of sadness. “I don’t mind you asking,” replied Spark. Her normally cheery voice fell fairly flat. 

Vainstrel flinched. Although the thought wasn’t full formed, he couldn’t help but feel like he had made a mistake asking. 

“Hmmm…where do I start??” wondered Spark. “I guess it’s got something to do with the Grand Uncle?” 

“‘Granduncle?'” 

“Yeah. Um…hmm…” Spark took a sip of her hot chocolate. “Our family is descendend from a woman who was the child of a witch and King of the Elementals. Uuuumm…I guess…how do I explain this.” 

Vainstrel removed the cup from his lips, carefully listening to Spark. He watched her nervous taps on the side of her cup and sparks of electricty dance over her head. Despite the sadness, she looked beautiful. 

“So, the witch – who we call the Grand Mother – had a child with someone else, I think before hand?? And my ancestor cursed her half-brother so no one can talk to them?? Something like that. Well, anyway, supposedly Grand Uncle is that child…but like, I don’t know. My family doesn’t usually refer to him as ‘Grand Uncle’ either, but I think that’s weird because the Grand Mother is his mother??” 

The sparks floating around Spark’s head were getting larger and more winding. Vainstrel reached out a hand. “Spark, my dear, you are sparking.” 

Spark took a few deep breaths, placing a hand on her heart. “Phew, thanks for telling me!” She rubbed her forehead. “Who would have known what would happen if they had gotten any more intense?” 

“Would you like to continue to talk about your Grand Uncle?” 

Spark smushed her cheeks together. “I think my mind might get fried if I talk anymore.”

Vainstrel took her hand and kissed it. “Perhaps another day, when you are ready.” 

Spark shrugged and giggled awkwardly. 

Vainstrel sat back and sipped his tea. I have not a single clue in what she is speaking about. But it may perhaps be an important piece as to why Dermot has stated that her family do not like outsiders, hmmm? 

“Do you need blood in your tea?” 

Vainstrel put down his cup, cocking his head at Spark. “Could you repeat that once for me, my lady Spark?” 

“You said you need blood to live, right? Do you need blood in your tea?” 

“What a wonderful question! Yes, normally I put some in, but I did not bring any vials out with me today.” 

The next thing Vainstrel knew, Spark’s hand was hovering over his cup of tea, close to his face. “Would you like some of mine?” inquired Spark. Vainstrel couldn’t help but blush. 

Vainstrel slid back a bit in his chair, looking up at Spark. “A-are you sure?” 

“Yeah! Sure! Let me just turn down my currents.”

Again, there was her beaming, radiant smile that set Vainstrel vampire heart ablaze. 

Vainstrel gently, but firmly, grasped her wrist and her hand. “Let me know when.” 

“Hmmm. Okay! They’re turned down. You can add some to your drink now!” 

Vainstrel opened his tea with his free hand, moving the lid over enough to allow Spark’s blood to drop inside. He barred his fangs – which had grown considerably in length as he went in for her hand – and nicked her just enough to draw a bit of blood. He watched his tea stain crimson and little sparks of light dance upon its surface.

When he finished, he withdrew his fangs for the most part and licked her nicked finger with his tongue. The coppery, irony taste of her blood and the clear remnants of her electric current lit up his body, even though it was such a small, brief moment of contact and mere drops. 

He released Spark’s hand, seeing her flushed. She gently wiped her hand with a napkin. Vainstrel covered back up his tea and swirled it around. 

“Thank you, Spark.” 

“Y-you’re welcome.” 

Vainstrel watched Spark as he took a sip of his earl gray tea mixed with the blood of his lightning mistress. He wasn’t sure if she was frightened from her stuttering, but he could see her body language and facial expression told a totally different story. If Vainstrel had to guess, she was probably fidgetting her feet underneath the table from how much she seemed to be moving around. 

He could feel the dancing sparks of electricty on his tongue and down his throat. The rush of the blood mixed with tea gassed his body up like an automobile and a quick glance down at his own skin indicated the effects of drinking the blood was working: he was becoming alive. His normally his deathly white skin flushed a beautiful shade of that was closer to peach. The extra jolts from the electricty made his heart pump. 

“Whoa.” 

“Hm?” 

Spark pointed at Vainstrel’s hand. “You totally changed color!” 

Vainstrel nodded. “Yes. As I said once before – we are witch-hunting vampires. One of the gifts is a temporary restoration of life when we drink the blood of witches…such as yourself. My skin is doing nothing more than turning to its form had I ever been alive.” 

“What does that mean?” 

Vainstrel continued to sip his tea. “We are unique amongst the vampires for we can leave our very own offspring – there is no need to convert, as we can birth. Of course, that still takes a considerable amount of resources. It is not recommended except for those with such resources, like my family.” 

Spark nodded her head. “Ooooooh, so like the fact you guys run a blood bank allows you to have extra access to witches’ blood so you can actually be alive long enough to have children…right?” 

Vainstrel lit up and snapped his fingers. “That is quite right! How marverlous!” 

Spark giggled. 

“It’s quite amazing the amazing feat that my own mother managed to have both my older sister and yours truly. For most witch-hunting vampires like us are not so fortunate enough for such a feat.” 

“Wow, that seems really hard.” 

“Indeed.” 

“We don’t have anything like that – but we are born with these birthmarks.” Spark outstretched her arms. 

Vainstrel looked down, observing the markings on Spark’s arms. The black markings cuffed around her wrists and ran up her arms, creating a lightning bolt shape as it run up her arms, disappearing underneath her sleeves. Vainstrel’s eyes followed the markings through where they disappeared and soon realized something. They run over her body

Spark pointed to her eyes. “They’re all over our bodies, even my eye ‘make-up’ is a marking too.” 

Vainstrel grabbed Spark’s right arm, gently stroking the birthmarks. They were clearly no different from her skin – they were on her skin. “Do you all have the same marks of beauty?” 

Vainstrel’s eyes stayed on Spark’s markings, but could see from his perphrials, Spark was shaking her head. “No. They’re all similar, but they shape differently depending on what element we are. Kind of like how you’re a witch-hunting vampire, we’re elemental witches. We’re born with the ability of an element of some sort…well, sometimes a sub-element like me…and we all have markings that represent them on us.” 

Vainstrel, his hands still grasping Spark’s hand and his thumbs gently pressed on her wrists, looked up at Spark. His lightning queen’s face continued to look flushed and she still seemed someone fidgety. 

Most of all, she looked beautiful. 

Vainstrel slid his hands into Spark’s, grasping it lightly. Their eyes met. 

“U-um, I suppose we should finish drinking our drinks…they’re probably cold by now.” 

“Ah yes, we should.” Vainstrel let go of her hand and watched Spark sheepishly drink from her cup. 

Vainstrel continued to sip his tea. He couldn’t but watch Spark and he could see her watching him back. 

Everything about Spark was beautiful. He couldn’t even pinpoint one thing – her looks, her personality, her facial expressions. Just everything was so beautiful. And there was something more he wanted than to form a blood contract with her.

He couldn’t help but feel that way – deep from within him, rising up, was the desire to only draw blood from her. Her blood was perfectly balanced and pontent, plus the electricty…goodness, what a charge! 

But it wasn’t even just her blood.

The way she smiles true to her name and the way we get along like flow of water. He closed his eyes and slightly blushed. And how could I not forget the generaosity she offered through kindly giving me her blood today. With no hesitation. 

I MUST, thought Vainstrel. I must absolutely get a blood contract with her. There is no one else who is as perfect as Lady Spark. 

He was pretty sure it was the lighting, but Spark seemed to be glowing a bit more in his eyes. Or perhaps it was the blood in the tea restoring him to life. Either way, she seemed to be absolutely glittering. 

DING DING DING BRRRRRING 

“Ah!” exclaimed Spark. She jumped up from her seat. 

Vainstrel put down his cup, looking up at Spark. She was staring down at her brand new phone. She then glugged down her spicy hot chocolate, wiped her mouth with a napkin and put her phone back into her skirt pocket. 

She clasped her hands together. “I gotta head out to do work now! Thank you SO much for today, Vainstrel. I appreciate everything you done, from the phone to the drinks!” 

What? She is leaving! Vainstrel himself stood up and grabbed her hand. 

They both gazed into each other’s eyes long enough that time seemed to stop. 

Vainstrel could feel himself trembling inside. He was hoping she wouldn’t notice. 

“Will you be able to grace me with your prescence once more through the short electronic letters from your cellular device?” 

Spark smiled at Vainstrel in such a way he couldn’t help but start to melt. Indeed, she was glowing. “Sure.” Spark took back out her phone and after a few swipes and taps of the screen, Vainstrel heard his own phone ding. 

He let go of Spark’s hand to grasp the sides of his own phone to reply back.

He looked up, seeing Spark wave to him. “I’ll be waiting for your reply – I will see you later!” 

And then she left. 

Vainstrel felt his face completely heat up, watching her, as if in slow-mo walk out the door and disappear down the streets with only the briefest glance back at him. He looked down at the simple text message she had sent to him: “Hi Vainstrel! Thank you for everything for today!” 

He plopped down in his chair and covered his face. 

She…she replied back to my letters. I got to spend the day with her. She was not ignoring me. She was not reject me. She willing gave her blood over to me and listened to me. She understands the dramatic way in which I speak. I…I…

He lifted up his tea and chugged it down, finishing off every last drop that made its way out of the cup. He slammed the empty cup down back on the table. His face was still deeply flushed. 

…WILL get a blood contract from her. 

**END**

[UNEDITED FIRST DRAFT] Clyde’s Typical Day (Temp. Title)

PLEASE NOTE: This is a ROUGH DRAFT. It is the VERY FIRST DRAFT OF THE STORY. YOU are the very first person to read it – I haven’t even read it in its entirety yet!

You WILL come across numerous issues including:

  • spelling mistakes;
  • grammar issues;
  • weak sentence structure;
  • repeated words;
  • unnecessary words;
  • missing words;
  • lack of details/descriptions;
  • confusing details/descriptions;

Critiques/criticisms, while appreciated, most likely will be discarded at this stage! Thank you.

Additional Note: Doodles, Sketches, and Artwork may be added over time. These are not the story illustrations! They do feature characters and places within the story, however.

From the floor “MMMMMWWWWWWWRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR,” groaned the zombie…

…cat. 

Clyde groaned back and flipped over onto his stomach, burying his face in the pillow. He pressed the sides up towards his ears in a fatal attempt to block out the sound of the zombie cat’s cries.

MMMMMMRRRRRRRRRRRWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWRRRRRRRR,” the zombie cat on the ground once more. 

Clyde let go of the pillow and punched it, using the force to lift himself up and send a death glare at the already dead zombie cat staring up at him with a single eye. 

“You’re lucky it’s not tea time!” 

“Mmmmmrrrrrwwwwwwwrrrrrr.” 

Clyde pushed himself up to sit, his usual morning scowl firmly planted on his face as he did so. He stared at the cold cave walls for a brief moment, before reaching out to his left and grabbing the bathrobe that hung off from the headboard next to his pillow. He stood up, feeling the cool ground beneath him. He wiggled his toes as he covered his naked body with his blue robe. His body felt more grounded each each tap of his toes on the ground. 

Clyde pulled his long pink hair – almost bubble-gum pink with a tinge of silver – out from underneath the robe, allong it to drape in its full length, past his behind. He glanced at the zombie cat, who was still “mrwring” behind him. “You are one annoying cat…” he grumbled. He put his face to his palm, shaking his head. “Why did I ever take you in?” 

“Mrrwrrr?” 

“Come along now. You’re just hungry, are you not?” 

The zombie cat stared at Clyde, cocking its head. The eye that was hanging loose from its socket bounced with the slight tilt of the head. 

Clyde and the zombie cat had a stare down for a good, long moment. 

Clyde flicked his arm out towards the staircase. “You went up yourself yesterday. Why do you just stare at me like that?” 

After another good long stare, Clyde had ENOUGH. He couldn’t help but scoop the cat into his arms – tightly to his chest to prevent the wraps he had so kindly placed around it much earlier in their days of meeting – and stomped up the stairs. “There better not be a call before we’re done.” 

“Mrrrwwwrrrrr.” 

Clyde shut the basement door behind, turning the corner into the kitchen. The dull color kitchen – shades of blue-black – was accented by blue-silver appliances and furniture. The refridgerator was no exception. Clyde placed the zombie cat on the ground and opened the refridgerator door. He knelt down and peered inside, onto the second to last shelf, just above the drawers. He pulled out a slightly condensation-filled jar of rat brains. 

His eyes scanned the remaining two jars. Goodness, I have to go shopping too? Perhaps Sadia…no, I can’t deal with someone that annoying today. Perhaps Celestyn or Gork– 

SPLAT 

SQUISH

Clyde whipped his head, looking behind the his dining room table that was in the center of his kitchen. 

Attached to the head of the nail sticking out the side of the table was the wrap that had been keeping the zombie cat’s insides inside. Following it was a trail of those insides. 

“CALICOOOOOOOOOOO!” yelled Clyde. 

“Mrwrrrrrrrrrrrrr.” 

Clyde slammed the glass jar of rat brains onto the table and stomped on over to Calico. He unlatched the wraps from the nail head and grabbed Calico’s insides. 

Before Calico could run away – it had begun turning around as soon as Clyde was walking towards it – he had grabbed it and shoved it’s insides back into its partially open cavity. “You really need to stop doing that!” 

“Mrwrrrr.” 

Clyde tightly wound the cloth back onto Calico, holding the cat with one hand and wrapping with the other. Calico cried out, attempted to run away. Clyde quickly lifted him up and held the squirming zombie cat close to his chest. “Hold on a moment – I need new safety pins!” 

Clyde went over to the drawers beside the refridgerator, pulling the top drawer open. He rummaged through papers, rubber bands, scissors, and other sorts of office trinkets, but there was not a single safety pin to be found. He opened each drawer after that. Finally, the second drawer from the top, farthest from the fridge, revealed to have some safety pins. 

Clyde bent over just a bit to have a good reach inside, while still holding Calico firmly against his chest. The cat had since stopped squirming, instead staring up confused at Clyde. 

BUMP

CRACK 

Clyde pulled out the box of safety pins stashed in the back of the drawer all the while turning to the floor covered with broken glass and rat brains. 

As you can probably imagine, his frown – the one that was already on his face, intensified. He turned to the innocent stare of Calico, who continued to peer up at Clyde’s face. He rolled his eyes and placed the box of safety pins onto the table, quickly opened them and stitching Calico’s wrappings closed with them. 

He released Calico from his grasps onto the table, returning back to the drawers behind him. He shoved the safety pins back into the drawer they had been hiding in and went back to the top middle set of drawers to pull out a pair of rubber gloves. He slid them over his fingers and flexed his hand, letting the gloves settle into place. He turned to the mess on the floor and began carefully picking up the rat brains, examining each one for glass just before placing them on the table. 

“Mrwr!!!” Calico gleefully dug into the slowly forming feast of brains before it on the table. 

After each one was picked, Clyde grabbed a broom and dustpan hanging by the pantry closet and began to sweep up the glass. 

He sighed, followed by a groan, sweeping up the pieces of glass and the no-good rat brains that shards protruded from. 

***

Clyde returned back to his basement bedroom, shutting the door behind him. Not that it really was going to keep Calico out anyway – he had a pet door built right in, so it was of no use for that. It didn’t even have a way to lock it. 

Clyde returned back to his mirror taking a look at himself. He glanced at his hands both physically and in the mirror. Although they had nothing on them, the vague feeling of the zombie brains through the thick rubber gloves was enough to make him feel as if he was covered in dirt. He combined his hair with his fingers, as if trying to wipe them clean. 

“I suppose bathing is in order.” 

He stripped himself of his bathrobe and proceeded to an off-shoot room of his basement room – a full-fledged bathroom, completed with a toilet, sink, bath, and shower. It was decked out in marble and crystal, alongside many other materials. It was significantly brighter than the rest of his home, with pearl whites and faint grays. 

He turned on the shower and walked away, going to the closet that offshoot from the bathroom. The closet was divided by clothing and linens. He took a set of clothing off from the hangers and grabbed a towel, returning back to the bathroom. He draped the clothing over the counter next to the sink and hung his towel on a silver knob right beside the shower just above his head. 

Clyde entered into the shower, allowing the warmth cover his entire body. He let out a sigh and the scowl that had once covered his face no longer was there. Instead, he was clearly relaxed. What tea shall I drink today? 

SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH

Clyde jumped, his hand landing on the handle of the shower. He glared out the door at the deafening screech that he knew was coming from a particular lanturn situated on his bureau. 

“I didn’t even get to have my TEA!” 

He quickly scrubbed his body and washed his hair within minutes. “Could have the decency to wait once? If it’s not before the tea, it’s just as I am about to taste it’s leafy, herby splendor!” He yanked over the shower door while turning off the water. He reached over towards the silver knob, removing his towel in one fellow swoop. He quickly patted himself dry, then proceeded to wrap it around his waist. 

Clyde rushed over to the screeching lanturn, seeing it glowing rotating colors of green and purple. “Yes, yes, I hear you! Interrupting my time once more, I hear you.” He grabbed the lantern with both hands. His eyes bore into the middle of the lantern into the ball of light of green and purple.

The light brightened, turning pure white, and appearing within it was an image. Dark and dreary trees were illuminated by the light of the full moon overhead. Ghastly beings of all kinds ran in terror as a single ghost – one with almost no form – flailed around. It bounced off the trees, hit people passing by, and honestly, to Clyde, was clearly just another headache for him to clean up. Deep from within his mind, the location emerged – Death Forest. 

Clyde rolled his eyes. “I’m supposed to meet up with Celestyn and the others at early afternoon.” He glared into the lantern’s fading light. “This had better be quick.” 

The lantern screeched, as if responding back to him. 

Except it wasn’t ’cause the lantern simply helped Clyde direct his own energy and was imbued with magic strictly to help Clyde with his job of clearing away mindless Ghopreans who had clearly lose their mind and were so far gone, there was no way to lead them back. 

Clyde lifted up the lantern, holding the base from the bottom with both his hands. He peered into it and the light that had faded began to glow once more – first white, then to that of orange fire. He held the lantern up in the air in front of him. A vortex spilled out from the top, spreading out and raining down like a fountain of pale fire over Clyde. The energy spilled onto the floor and ran deep down into the earth

After a mere few seconds and the fiery energy fading, Clyde was completed dry. He lowered the lantern and grasped the handle with one hand, returning back to the bathroom. 

He placed the lantern beside his clothes. He quickly put on each layer – his unitard and socks, followed by his white undershirt and pants, then his cropped long-sleeve top (only a smidge shorter than his undershirt) and his capri pants. 

Clyde then turned to the mirror, staring at himself. He reached to a large trinket tray beside the sink and pulled one of many clear octopus clips from it. He grabbed his hair, pulling it all to one side of his head. He wound the base just a bit to create a tight cylinder. Holding it tightly in place, he put the octopus clip on the base. He then let go of his hair, allowing it to unwind and drape down the side of his head. 

He flipped his long side ponytail behind him and gave himself a nod, just as the lantern begun to screech once more. Clyde slammed the top of it, quickly causing it to shush up. 

“I’m going, I’m going!” 

Clyde grasped its handle and waltzed right out the bathroom door. He burst out of the basement, causing Calico to give him a confused stare from its bed in the corner of the living room that occupied the other side of the staircase. 

“I’ll be back,” said Clyde. He stopped at the mat by the door to slip on his buckle shoes and then he was out the door, trudging towards Death Forest with an eye on the sky. 

*** 

Sure enough, there it was. The ghost with almost no form. It looked like a melting green orb with a face. It bounced around, hitting each gray tree, hacking away at the trunks. It’s shrieks were almost ear-drum piercing and the few people who hadn’t fleed the area was desperately trying to stop it with ineffective nets and other weapons, which it easily cut right through. 

Clyde rolled his eyes, watching the chaos in front of him. He began to walk forward into the center of the action. 

“Move it,” said Clyde, snapping his fingers. 

Immeditately, out from the the top of the lantern spurred dozens of long arms and hands, grabbing each person attempting to capture the mindless ghost. Each one was tossed aside, further back into the woods, without a single care whether or not someone would get hurt. Clyde paid no mind to the yelps and cries from the fellow ghoulish citizens. 

As the hands finished clearing everyone out of the area, a light blue, translucent force field came down from the sky, creating a dome around the are of the forest the mindless ghost bounced around. 

The hands all returned back into the lantern. The orb of light in the middle of it quickly flashed a bright indigo, before fading and changing to green. 

Clyde let go of the lantern from his hands, allowing it to float in mid-air. He used his hands to guide it to align in the center at the same height as his chest. He continued to walk forward, approaching the center of the dome. 

The mindless ghost bounced around from wall to wall, nearly hitting Clyde numerous times. Clyde, however, simply took a step aside each time. The most it ever seemed to do was ruffle his side ponytail. 

Clyde cupped his hands underneath the lantern. The green light began to whirl around like an ominous cloud of gas. It seeped out from the top and all the little nooks and crannies. The haze rose up and out from the top. It curled up like a drill and went straight ahead to the mindless ghost that wasn’t even aware of it. 

The mindless ghost rammed into the haze. Like a mouth, the haze swallowed the mindless ghost whole. The green haze retreated back quicker than it had left back into the lantern. The haze formed back into a ball, flashed white a few times, before shrinking down to a single dark indigo flame. 

The lantern fell from the air and plopped right into Clyde’s hands. The forcefield around him disappeared and surrounding him now were the people he had tossed away. 

Clyde let out a loud sigh as he grasped the handle of his lantern with his left hand. He wiped under his one eye and yawned. “No matter how many times I do this, I just cannot get used to not having my morning tea…” 

He turned around on the ball of his foot and left the Death Forest. The peopel whom he had tossed simply just stared at him and exhcanged awkward looks, not even saying a word. Although, they were definitely thinking something – something along the lines of “should we thank him or yell at him”.

*** 

Clyde turned to the sky as he approached his home. The position of the moon overhead hinted it was just mid-noon for him alright! His steps became faster as he turned his head back forward. 

“Hey, Clyde!” 

Clyde promptly ignored the zombie leaning over the stone fence that clearly had seen better days. The zombie waved to him as Clyde sped right past him and down the dusty pathway back to his home.

“Clyde! Hey! Clyyyyde!” 

Do not even say it. They must have already arrived. 

After a few more minutes of kicking up dust with his feet, his home came back into view. 

Sure enough, standing there were three fellow Ghopreans – Celestyn the ghoul/banshee, Gorkkobin the goblin, and Tarny the giant baby tarnantula. 

“CLYDE!” cheered Tarny, jumping up and down. If it hadn’t been for its tone of voice, you would not have been able to tell the giant baby tarnatula was so happy to see its friend. 

Celestyn simply raised her hand brief and smiled, while Gorkkobin snickered. 

“Nyehehehehehe, that thing got you workin’ before your tea time?” asked Gorkkobin. He slapped his knee as he cackled, prompting Clyde to leer at him. 

“They just don’t know how to respect a good old tea time, you know?” replied Clyde. He proceeded to his front door, slipping the key into its lock. He ignored Gorkkobin’s michevious cackling and pushed open the door. 

“Mrrrwwwwwrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr,” greeted Calico, staring up from right in front of the door. Clyde’s eyes followed the mouse dead in between its jaws to the trail of blood drizzled around the entrance way. The blue of Clyde’s face dropped a few shades icier. 

“CAL. I. COOOOOOO,” he growled. 

Gorkkobin gawfawed, hitting the side of Clyde’s home with his hand. 

“Oh my,” gasped Celestyn, peering into the room, right down to the trail of blood. 

Clyde whipped around to Gorkkobin, grabbing the goblin by the collar of his white tank top. If it hadn’t been for Gorkkobin’s long, french baguette-esque nose, Clyde would have drew his face close to his friend’s. However, Gorkkobin DID have a baguette-esque nose, so long and bulky, there was no way Clyde could get in close to him. Instead, he simply glared. “You knew all about this, did you not?” 

“Nyehehehehehehe.” 

Clyde scoffed and dropped Gorkkobin. “Now the tea is going to be delayed!” He placed his hand on his forehead, stepping over the mouse blood and into the household.

Gorkkobin and Celestyn followed right behind him. 

“I’ll make the tea then, nyeheh!” 

Clyde glared at him with darts. “I wouldn’t trust you within 10 feet of tea making!” 

Clyde turned on the ball of his foot and placed his free hand on his hip, looking to Gorkkobin, eying his pocket. “You most likely have some sort of practical joke just waiting to be used on us, yes?” 

Gorkkobin just gave him a toothy grin. Clyde frowned deeper. 

“Celestyn,” said Clyde, turning his head to the light-purple haired half ghoul looking around awkwardly. “Could you please start the tea for me while I clean up Calico’s unforunate mess?” 

Celestyn nodded. “Yes, right away. Was there anything in particular you were looking for today?” 

“Hmm…no. Just grab what you feel from my tea cabinet.” 

Celestyn stepped past the snickering Gorkkobin and into the kitchen. 

Just before Clyde turned, around, he called to Celestyn once more. “Make sure Gorkkobin gets no where near the tea!” 

“I got this! I got this!” exclaimed Tarny, immedtiately standing tall. Out from its front legs spat out silk that quickly covered Gorkkobin’s large feet. 

“Wah, nyeeeeeh?” 

Clyde turned around and flipped his hair, smirking at the scene unfolding behind him of an adult goblin being restrained by a young giant tarantula’s silk. 

*** 

With his lantern placed back on his bureau and cleanin supplies in hand, Clyde returned back to the entrance way to clean. 

Calico was no where to be found, but the blood of the dead mouse still remained. He filled the small bucket in his hand with warm water from the kitchen sink, getting a whiff of the tea Celestyn was brewing and the cookies that were baking in the oven. 

It’s been quite a while since we’ve had something with our tea, has it not? thought Clyde. His tense shoulders relaxed each time his inhales took in the scents of the air. 

He went back to the entrance way and scrubbed the floor clean with a large sponge as quickly and thoroughly as he could. His eyes scanned for each spot, following the trail to a small hole in the wall. He looked tapped it with his glove covered hand. Inside, he knew that this was exactly where the mouse had come in and how it became an extra meal for Calico for that day. 

Clyde took a look at his hand free hand that had just tapped the wall. Although he wasn’t thinking anything in particular, he was definitely feeling it – the inability to control his own magic without an object to direct his energy through. A slight sense of melancholy over took him. Somewhere deep within his body, he could feel that this strange inability plagued him even in his previous life, but he wasn’t quite sure what he did back then. He still didn’t and couldn’t remember the details. 

Quite the shame though – he would have loved to use magic to instantly seal the hole. But he wasn’t about to go back down to his room to grab his lantern and he didn’t trust any of the other objects in the area to direct his magic through.

A familiar screech rang through the area. Clyde stood up from the floor and turned to the kitchen. 

“Clyde, the tea is done!” called Celestyn. 

“Thank you, I’m coming!” 

Clyde walked to the kitchen and placed down the bucket and sponge into the sink. He removed his gloves and threw them into the box labeled “to compose” on it right underneath it. He washed his hands and dried them with a towel hanging beside the sink on a hook. He then turned to the kitchen table and sat down. 

Celestyn poured him a cup of tea and placed a small plate of shortbread cookies right in front of him. Clyde leaned back and sipped his tea – certainly green tea this time with a few extra herbs – feeling the warmth spread down through his esophegaos and across his chest. Soon, his whole body was warmed and relaxed. 

Clyde looked up, seeing Tarny nawing away at the silk bonds it had made around Gorkkobin, who didn’t seem to thrilled for once in his life. Clyde couldn’t help but smirk. 

After a few minutes of watching the struggle, Gorkkobin was set free and sat down in between Tarny and Celestyn. 

“Are you okay?” asked Tarny. 

Clyde tilted his head. “Are you speaking to me?” 

“Yes! You look tired.” 

“Well,” said Clyde. “I was woken up by a certain zombie cat who caused or lead to multiple messes today. I also had to deal with another mindless ghost before tea time once more.” Clyde took a sip of his tea. “I suppose you could say I am okay. And I suppose you could say I am tired.” 

“Ooo!!! Another mindless ghost?!” Tarny’s front legs pushed against the table top and Tarny’s multiple eyes gleefully stared at Clyde with anticipation. “What kind of fight did you have today?” 

Clyde found himself leaning on the table. “None.” He sipped his tea. 

“Huh? Noooone? Awww.” 

“‘Aw’ indeed…” Clyde put his tea cup down and swapped it for a cookie. He let the buttery shortbread melt in his mouth, lending sweetness that his tea lacked – the absolute perfect compliment. 

“Hmm…it sounds like they have not been fighting back much lately,” replied Celestyn. 

Clyde slammed his tea cup on the table., causing the crack in it to crack even further. He then slammed his other hand down, followed by standing up, gawking at Celestyn. “They used to put up so much of a fight when I first started, I nearly thought I’d be killed!” He sat back down once more and crossed his legs and his arms, turning his nose up towards the ceiling. “But now they are all terrible dull.” 

His friends looked at him in silence. Clyde turned back to them, rolling his eyes. He picked his tea cup up once more bringing it to his mouth. “And it’s certainly not because of anything I did. Unlike those who came before them, all the seem to do now is bounce around.” 

“Are they playing?” asked Tarny.

“Most certainly not – they’re mindless. They couldn’t have a shread of thought to play.” 

“Nyehehehe, sounds like my kind of people!” 

“They’re not people,” snapped Clyde. He lowered the tea cup from his lips, leering at the grinning Gorrkobin. “They’re merely a fraction of their former selves, left behind with no recollection of who they were.” 

“Like you?” asked Gorkkobin. Clyde did not like the smirk that was stretching across the goblin’s face.

“I at least remembered my name and that I like tea.” Clyde went back to sipping. 

Celestyn grabbed another cookie from the tray she had placed in the middle, filled with additional ones that didn’t fit on the plate distributions from earlier. Her eyes down casted. “That sounds sad. I couldn’t imagine it.” 

“You don’t want to,” replied Clyde. “They’re simply nusances.” 

“Wow, Clyde, you sound like you really hate it!” remarked Tarny. Everyone looked at Tarny – Gorkkobin snickered, Celestyn’s eyes popped and her lips flickered between a smile and a frown, while Clyde simply eyed the young tarntula. “Why do you go?” 

“It truly is an annoyance of mine. I don’t particular like it. At least before they were hostile and made it feel like a job well done, but now, their damage is so minor, I’m not even sure if it’s worth me using my magic on them.” 

Celestyn sat up and grabbed the tea. “You said that put up a fight before, but now they just bounce around. What kind of damage are they doing instead?” 

Clyde held out his cup towards Celestyn. “They used to kill people and damage properity like a hurricane. Now they chop down trees, break windows, and knock down little old men walking back from the food market.” 

“Nyehehehe, you sure it isn’t just the types dyin’ and turnin’ into the mindless beings?” 

Clyde shrugs. “I do not know. All I know is —” 

SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH

Clyde slammed down his tea cup again, the cup finally shattering. Celestyn gasped, pulling the teapot close to her body. Gorkkobin and Tarny simply just stared. 

“I HATE when my tea time gets interrupted!” 

Clyde got up from his seat and rushed down to the basement, grabbing his lantern. 

“Where? WHERE?! Show me, now!” he commanded. He peered into the white light and clearly saw the image of the area. And just like before the information was downloaded into him.

Clyde quickly rushed back up the stairs. He turned to his group of friends and pointed to his lantern. “The damned mindless are at it again. Please excuse my rudeness, for I must get this solved. It should only take 20 minutes.” 

Celestyn waved. “We are fine Clyde, go do your job.” 

Clyde bowed his head and headed on out, ignoring the zombies and ghosts that were attempted to chat with him in the graveyard on his way to the place. 

***

Clyde hadn’t needed to go very far. It was only on the other side of the graveyard. 

Sure, it still took him 15 minutes (speed walking) , but it was still more or less in the area. 

Trodding around was a zombie. Well, it was mostly a zombie. 

Clyde could clearly see the zombie was only partially solid. Parts of it was fragmented – it’s normal blue magical glow was spotted with orange. Anything that had been solid within those orange spots had completely disintergrated into oblivion. It was clear it was in the midst of transforming. 

The zombie wasn’t really doing anything. Other than few fallen headstones Clyde couldn’t remember if they had been standing before or not (after all, the graveyard was in grave need of repair, yet none of the zombies or other residents even wanted to do anything. BAH.), it seemed pointless. 

Clyde stood a good few yards away, staring right at the mindless zombie. The zombie didn’t even look towards him. 

Clyde lifted up his lantern, still staring down the zombie and…nothing. 

The zozmbie just kept waddling with an occassional lunge forward. 

Anger surgered up Clyde’s back – so much so, the flicking indigo flame within his lantern turned a vibrant red. Clyde’s eyes locked onto the zombie like a video game’s targeting system. He narrowed, honing in on the zombie’s head. 

He reached out his opposite hand, aligning it with the hand that held the lantern, and snapped his fingers. “GO!” he roared. 

The red light twisted and turned, shooting out from the top. As it sped to the zombie, the red light shed itself to reveal an eerie green underlayer. The underlayer formed a hand at the very end and with one single grab, the hand yanked the zombie into it’s vortext. 

The zombie’s body folded in the middle like a book and the hand seemed to vacuum the rest of it up. 

The green light retreated back to the lantern and returned to its former shade of blue-purple.

Clyde huffed. 

Just as the numerous residents of the area of this part of the graveyard popped out from hiding – from underground, from behind and under the headstones – Clyde turned on his heel. 

He was so fast, the collective yell of a handful of the residents fell deaf to his ears. 

The last thing I want right now is bad tea! 

*** 

Clyde slammed the lantern on the bottom of drawer in the clearing he had just made. He proceeded to cover it up in numerous blankets that had once occupied the drawer. Other than the few that didn’t fit, he stuffed the drawer and slammed it shut. He made his way back up the stairs and into the kitchen, where he promptly sat back down and folded his arms. 

Celestyn walked over with a piping hot pot of tea and a new cup, placing it down and serving it to Clyde. Clyde unfolded his arms and partially refolded them as he brought the cup to his mouth. He took a sip. His tongue sung with delight at the perfectly balance between water and herbs. 

“You remade the tea?” 

“Yes,” replied Celestyn. 

Clyde couldn’t but laugh. “It’s a good thing I put you in charge.” 

“Nyehehe, you came back in quite a hurry.” 

Clyde narrowed his eyes at Gorkkobin, glancing over at Celestyn. “Please tell me you did not let him touch the tea.” 

“Of course I did not,” replied Celestyn. Her own lips curled, perfectly ghoulish. “I am certain you would have heard my banshee shriek if he had.” 

Gorkkobin flinched, sweat crossing his brow. He leaned over to Tarny, mumbling, “remind me never to cross paths with her, nyeheh!” 

Tarny’s front legs clapped the table. “What kind of ghost was it this time? What kind of ghost?!” 

Clyde frowned. 

Tarny cocked its head. 

“It wasn’t a ghost. It was a zombie in the stage of being a mindless ghost,” replied Clyde. He took a sip of his tea once more. 

“Ooo!” squealed Tarny. “And what kind of fight did it put up?!”

The cookie Clyde had picked up off the tray near him became crushed in his hands. “One of the worsts yet!” he grumbled through his teeth clenched. “The damned thing did nothing. I couldn’t even tell if the headstones that were knocked over was its doing or not!” Clyde tossed the cookie crumbs onto the tray. He then proceeded to grasp his head, shaking it. “And I thought the other ghosts were terribly inactive…” 

Tarny’s let out a disappointed sigh. “I’m sorry, Clyde.” 

“Not your fault – I just do not understand why this even happens in the first place. Surely my abilities could be part of something far more useful, like getting rid of nusances in the council.” 

“Nye..heh…getting rid of council members…” snickered Gorkkobin, with a tinge of discomfort revealing itself in his voice. 

Clyde leered at Gorrkobin, who flinched under Clyde’s single eye. “What? Do you not agree that some are nusance?” 

“Nye heh heh.” Gorkkobin nothing but grin. Clyde’s eye narrowed at his friend – clearly, Gorrkkobin was uncomfortable with such a suggestion. 

Does he know something I don’t? wondered Clyde, carefully sipping his tea. 

“Why do you two seem awkward?” asked Tarny. Clyde and Gorkkobbin’s eyes widened in surprise at the young trantula’s words. 

Celestyn immeditately jumped in and placed a hand over Tarny’s mouth from underneath his body. “Tarny, there is no need to be rude! Clyde and Gorkkobbin are just communicating the way that they do.”

“Right,” agreed Clyde and Gorkkobbin. Clyde took a sip of his tea, while Gorkkobbin bit into a cookie as if checking for the authenticity of a gold coin. The two glanced at each other as the air seemed to become more dense. 

Celestyn released Tarny, who let out an “oooooooooooooh”. The tarantula then giggled. “Wow, humanoids sure are weird!” 

Celestyn patted Tarny’s back. 

Clyde leaned back, enjoying his tea to its fullest depths. 

A faint screeching sound could be heard coming from the basement, but it was so light that Clyde could easily ignore it. For once. 

He took a big gulp of tea to drown out the sound of his lantern warning him about another mindless ghost that was probably being a minor problem somewhere out there. 

*** 

Clyde released his hair from his side pony, letting it rain down on his body once more. He then walked over to his closet and stripped off his clothes in every single layer – from the top most to his unitard, he removed them all to release his body from the hold it had on him. He place each one into its own hamper and returned back to his bathroom once more. 

He walked over to the bath and turned on the water, allowing it to run for a good minute before adjusting the water temperature that felt more friendly to his body. As the water in the bathtub ran, he stepped into his shower and brought a small stool from the corner to underneath the shower head. He turned on the shower and after a good few seconds, sat down on the stool and began to rinse himself.

He reached over to his right-hand side, grabbing a large jar filled with a sugar scrub. He removed the cap and out poured the smell of florals with a hint of citrus. He scooped his hands inside of the jar, removing a large amount of sugar. He placed the scrub jar beside him and began to exfloate his body. He made extra sure to scrub the bottoms of his feet – every part that ached the most – just before washing everything off. He replaced the cap and the jar back into their rightful positions, stood up, and shut off the shower. He patted himself down with the towel that hung beside the shower just before getting out and going back to the bath. 

Halfway full, Clyde popped open a jar full of salt, herbs, and oils and scooped out two cups full using the large wooden scoop inside of it. He sprinkled it above the surface of the water. He placed the wooden scoop back into the jar and sealed it once more. He then took his finger and dipped it inside. In the water he traced a sigil, reciting: “Water heal me, Earth ground me, Fire warm me, Air relax me, Spirit Fill Me. So mote it be!” 

The water flashed numerous colors. Clyde trembled as the magic flowed from his own being and into the water. 

His magical ability was simply far too strong without some sort of surge protector, like his lantern. In this case, the water itself acted as the perfect middleman and the tub held it all together. 

He took a handful of lavendar out from an open container beside his tub and sprinkled it inside of it. In his mind, he pictured himself relaxing. He didn’t dare do anything more than that though – if he had even remotely tried, the lavendar itself would’ve been fried…the last thing he wanted in his nice, relaxing bath! 

As the tub finished filling, Clyde made his way upstairs and into the kitchen where he had a kettle full of water sitting. He turned out the heat and waited a few moments, just to hear the kettle’s screech. He removed it from the heat and removed the top off of it, just before dipping a ball of a tea mixture into it and let it seep for a bit. 

Once the tea had seeped for long enough, Clyde transferred all of it into a large ceremic cup with a lid and a hole for drinking. He tossed the kettle into his sink – causing the sleeping Calico to wake up, shriek, and scurry – and returnd back to the basement where the bath was perfectly filled. 

Clyde stepped in, left foot first, into the water. He lowered himself in slowly and leaned back onto the specially designed pillow for his bath. He couldn’t help but feel his whole being relax. 

After a few moments of just simply being, he lifted the ceremaic cup to his lips and sipped his tea, enjoying each and every relaxing moment. 

***

Clyde was finally all dry, minus the very tips of his hair. He placed his book down on the small end table beside his couch and stood up. He walked over to his bed and placed his bathrobe back onto the rack nearby. 

He clapped his hands twice and all the lights in his home, minus the few floorlights he kept on for walking’s sake, and slipped into bed. 

He drifted off into the deep abyss that is sleep and dreamtime. 

* END *