Chapter 1 (REWRITE)
The bell that hung above the door of the Pet Shop rang as it opened, shaking back and forth before finally settling. A tall man wearing a suit entered. His nose scrunched up as the unpleasant smell of the shop entered his nose.
The Shopkeeper lifted his head from his paperwork, as he lowered the pen to the desk and turned to look at who had entered. His mouth stretched into a thin smile as his fingers ran through his thinning brown hair.
“Ah, Lord Henry. What a pleasant surprise,” he said with a formal, rehearsed voice. The Shopkeeper went over to shake the man’s hand. A few of the pets rolled their eyes in disgust. The vampire was a Lord because he, or one of his relatives, was one of the vampires that started the uprising, taking millions of dollars and enslaving billions of humans in the process.
“I’m looking for a new pet,” Henry said as he looked around the room, not particularly paying attention to what the Shopkeeper was saying. Dim lights caused the hue of the room to be an ugly, disgusting, faded yellow, and unfortunately, the lack of windows allowed the color to remain. In the middle, where the vampires would walk, was a concrete walkway, while the floor of the cages was dirt. The pets knew better than to throw filth on the concrete.
Many eyes peered through the cage bars, staring at Henry. Some averted their eyes quickly. Others stared right at him, almost challenging him.
“Of course. Do you want a boy or a girl?” the Shopkeeper asked as he started to walk.
“Girl,” Henry said as he scanned a few cages. One had a girl sitting against the wall, staring in the opposite direction. Another had a girl that was drawing in the dirt, trying to pass the time.
The cages were so small that a child’s head would barely touch the top of it. Each had three cement brick walls and had a metal bar door.
“Do you have anything in mind?” the Shopkeeper asked as he continued to walk, not bothering to look in the cages.
“No,” Henry said as he looked in a few more cages. The ages that he saw varied; some as young as six, others as old as fifty. Each age had their own advantages and disadvantages. Henry stopped suddenly as something caught his eye. “What about this one?” he asked as he peered through the bars.
The Shopkeeper stopped and knew which human was in there. “Oh, her name is Rose,” he said in disgust.
“Rose,” Henry said to himself, almost in a whisper. He stared at the back of the sleeping girl on the dirty floor. Her body was slowly falling and rising with each breath. She was curled up in a small ball, as if it would protect her. Her shirt, though big, showed off her ribs as it pressed against her.
“If you wish my Lord, I could wake her?” the Shopkeeper asked as he peered into the cage.
“Yes, please,” Henry said as he moved to the left a little, giving the Shopkeeper more room. Despite the movement, his eyes never left the sleeping girl.
“As you wish,” he said as he laid his hands on a chain that was connected to the door and attached to the metal collar around Rose’s neck. The chain was there to remind the pets that they were nothing but pets.
The Shopkeeper yanked on the chain, harder than needed. Rose was dragged across the dirt floor, waking her with a jolt of fear and pain. She rolled over on her side coughing and gasping for air as her hands tried to relieve any tension that the collar was creating. Her rasping, strained breaths echoed throughout the air before it turned to whimpers.
“This-” the Shopkeeper pulled the chain again, this time even harder. Before Rose could stop or try to lessen the impact, her body collided with the solid metal, earning another pain filled whimper. A cloud of dirt rose around her before it settled on her skin and clothes. “-is Rose,” the Shopkeeper finished as he moved to the side so Henry could get a better look. He started to kick some of the dirt that had come onto the concrete back into her cage.
Rose looked down to avoid eye contact with him, but Henry put his finger under her chin and tilted her head up. Her lip began to quiver as he touched her. His hand, however, didn’t strike her or harshly grab her, rather it gently touched her skin. Strands of her matted brown hair fell in front of her green eyes. Though they seemed to be the only light in the Pet Shop, they looked broken, in pain, completely devoid of any and all life that should have been gifted to her. Her clothes were ripped, old, and covered in dirt, and the stench emanating off of them told Henry that this was the only pair of clothes that she had. His nose twitched again at the stench. Slowly, her dull green eyes raised to meet his red ones.
Henry’s dark brown hair was neatly styled on top of his head, with the sides cut shorter. Like every other vampire, his eyes were red, but a different kind. They weren’t a dark, violent maroon color like her old master, but a soft, kind red that she had never seen before on a vampire. His eyes were the only ones that seemed to sparkle in the dull light. The black suit he was wearing seemed to comfortably hug his figure, unlike Rose’s tattered loose clothes.
“There are bruises on her. What from?” Henry asked as he tilted her head to the side. His eyes scanned over her arms and neck. A variety of blues and purples rested on top of her once tan skin.
“Those are from her old Master,” the Shopkeeper said with a hint of satisfaction in his voice that was only noticeable to him and Rose.
“You mean she was owned before?” Henry asked as he raised an eyebrow, glancing back at the Shopkeeper.
“Yes sir, she actually got back about two weeks ago,” the Shopkeeper said, dropping the hint of satisfaction, scared that Henry could sense it.
“Why?” Henry asked as he turned his head back to Rose. She had dropped her head downwards, avoiding eye contact again.
“Her Master didn’t say. He just didn’t want her anymore,” the Shopkeeper said, going back to his professional voice.
“How old is she?” Henry asked. The Pet Shop lighting, dirt, and bruises made Rose’s age hard to determine.
“Eighteen,” the Shopkeeper responded.
Henry’s eyebrows rose. “Has she been drunk from yet?” His eyes looked at her neck, trying to find any bite marks.
“No sir,” he said, still a little surprised that she hadn’t been drunk from, especially because of her blood type.
“What’s her blood type?” Henry asked. Not that he cared. It was just the questions everyone asked. It almost came like second nature.
“AB Negative,” Henry’s eyebrows rose again. AB Negative blood was a very rare blood type.
Henry sat there for a few seconds thinking as he stared at Rose. Rose stared at the ground, her bottom lip started to quiver again, but she didn’t dare move. Please don’t pick me. I can’t handle another Master. Please don’t pick me, Rose pleaded to herself. Tears formed in the corners of her eyes.
“Does she have any family?” Henry asked.
“No sir,” the Shopkeeper replied, his lips forming a straight line.
“I think I’ll take her,” Henry said as he stood up and fixed his suit and tie.
“Are you sure? She is very shy.”
“Yes, I am sure,” Henry said in an irritated tone. He firmly stared at the Shopkeeper, almost daring him to question him again.
The Shopkeeper swallowed. “Ok,” he said as he opened the squeaking rusty door to the cage. He unchained Rose and attached a leash to her collar, which he always kept with him.
Rose got out of her cage and stood up too fast. Blackness crowded her vision and her legs began to give out, nearly sending her stumbling into Henry.
The Shopkeeper yanked her toward him before she hit Henry. “Behave,” he said through gritted teeth. He pushed her away from him, earning a whimper. “Will you please follow me, sir,” the Shopkeeper said as he started to walk toward the back room with Rose behind him and Henry at her side.
As they were walking, a torturous scream echoed behind them. They all turned around. Henry’s and the Shopkeeper’s faces showed no emotion as the scene unfolded. A girl was being dragged by a fairly big man across the floor by her hair. Her hands were wrapped around the man’s arm, using all her strength to release the pressure.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it!” she begged as she struggled. The man had no trouble dragging her across the smooth concrete.
“You need to learn not to talk back!” the man yelled as he harshly stomped his foot down on the girl’s stomach. She started to gasp for air as every ounce of fight left her body. He took the opportunity to drag her with more ease into a room that was strictly used for discipling pets. A lock sounded after he shut the door. The blood curdling screams echoed again from within the room.
Henry’s and the Shopkeeper’s face remained the same. Henry glanced down at Rose.
Rose’s eyes were tightly shut and her face was contorted in pain, as if she were experiencing what the girl was going through. Her skin somehow became paler and her breath began to grow heavier.
“Can we please continue,” Henry said in an annoyed voice, making it more of a command than a question.
The Shopkeeper snapped away from Rose and warmly smiled. He turned around and tugged the leash on Rose’s collar. She was too caught up thinking about the disciplining room to notice that he had begun to walk. He pulled harder and she stumbled after him.
They entered the back room. “Would you like any other accessories?” The Shopkeeper motioned his hands at a wall that had leashes, collars, muzzles, and other nicknacks.
Henry put his finger under her chin, tilting her head up. “These won’t be necessary, correct?” She quickly shook her head. He nodded and went to the wall, picking out a blue colored collar and leash. “Just these,” Henry said as he handed them to the Shopkeeper.
“Ok, I will need you to sign these papers, and I’ll exchange the collars and leashes,” the Shopkeeper said while Henry nodded his head. Henry walked to a table to sign the papers as the Shopkeeper made his way to Rose.
He unlocked the collar to reveal raw, tender skin on her neck. The cold air bit and nipped at her skin, but she knew better than to move.
“If you come back here, I will kill you; just like I did with your family,” he whispered into her ear, as he fastened the collar as tight as it would go before he clipped on the leash. “Here you are, my Lord.” Henry signed the last paper before he took the leash. “That will be sixty-thousand and fifty dollars, my Lord,” The price of Rose and the collar didn’t even seem to faze Henry. He pulled out a check from his checkbook, signed, and gave it to the Shopkeeper.
“Thank you,” Henry said as he nodded his head a little. He grabbed the leash and started to walk out of the building with Rose behind him.
Rose drudgingly walked behind her new master knowing that she was going to have to start a new life.
Thank you all for reading it.
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