A Shade of Halloween

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Chapter Twenty-One

A gentle breeze blew in through the satin drapes, making them dance happily. I could tell from the shadows cast by the dim fire lanterns hanging across the room, that dusk was upon us. The wash of gray and yellow produced from a combination of the light and the shadows provided a relaxing ambiance around me, providing the warmth my body needed to resist the freezing cold outside. How did I know it was cold outside? I had no idea. I just knew it was.

Strong arms were wrapped around me, warm and assured. Tender wisps of warm air tickled the back of my neck, like steady breaths from sleeping nostrils. I turned around and saw the sleek mesh of thick black hair on his sleeping head. All I wanted to do was run my fingers through it and feel its softness. I hadn’t seen the face buried within my arms, but I knew who he was – the love of my life. I placed a soft kiss on his beautiful hair, not wanting to wake him up. I didn’t succeed because he stirred and looked up at me with the biggest grin.

“You know vampires don’t sleep.” He said.

I laughed at his words and kissed him on the lips this time.

“…and they shouldn’t spy on my thoughts.” I replied.

“But I love your thoughts.” He grinned.

I wanted to respond but I stopped as his lips met mine. I drew in a torrent of air as the butterflies began their swarm in the pit of my stomach. The tip of his fingers traveled through the exposed skin of my legs, causing me to shiver slightly. His kiss was intoxicating. He was intoxicating. He held me firmly as he continued to explore my body. It felt like I had a new found appreciation for my skin. Everywhere his hands made contact with exploded with pleasure – and I didn’t want him to stop. He planted soft kisses up my neck, all the way to my cheeks. Then he stopped and looked into my eyes.

“I love you.” I said, almost automatically.

“I’ll give anything to be with you forever.” I heard him say – inside my head.

In reality, he simply smiled. He pulled me into his arms again but then my body stiffened. I recognized him – from now.

“Mr. Ross?”

His face remained the same but his expression changed faster than I could blink. He pulled me forcefully to himself and I could do absolutely nothing to stop him. He was fast - way too fast to be considered human.

A sharp pain rang through my ears as his even sharper teeth sank into my neck, piercing through skin and muscle, reaching in and drawing blood. I let out a blood-curdling scream as my body jolted back to reality.

My eyes darted this way and that as I took in my surroundings. I was in the hospital and my scream had awoken the entire hospital ward. My mom rushed to my side and pulled me into a hug.

“Mom, please. I need to get away from here.” I cried.

“I’m sorry, honey but you need to stay here where you’ll get the help you need. The university’s hospital has one of the most experienced doctors in the state.” She replied, running her hand through my hair.

“Mom, you don’t understand. The vampires are here. Mr. Ross is one of them!”

“Mr. Ross?” My mom asked, looking as confused as ever.

“Yes. Mr. Ross. My History instructor.” I replied, slowing my sobs down to pass my message across.

“Honey, your History instructor is Mr. Shulman.”

“What?” I asked in disbelief.

I didn’t know if my mom was deliberately saying those things to keep me in the hospital or they were actually true. But how could they be true? I’d been attending History classes since the beginning of the semester and my instructor was always Mr. Ross. I had never met a Mr. Schulman.

“Just go to sleep, honey.” My mom said, laying me back down on my back. “The doctor will be here in the morning.”

I laid in bed, staring at the ceiling. There was no way I was going to close my eyes when I knew the nightmares were right under my eyelids, waiting for me.

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