Afterlife

 Afterlife

A Braeden Wolf Short Story

 The simple truth of the matter was that Becky was bored.

As in life, so in death.

True, back in the day when she had been technically alive, there had been the fame of being a celebrity and all that came along with it.  There had been the parties and the paparazzi, the stars of screen and TV that had chased her, and often been allowed to catch her, the bright lights and entertainment.

And yet for all that, for all those people around her, Becky had to admit she had been bored even then.

It had not been as if what she had done had been particularly difficult.  Mostly it involved simpering around in skimpy outfits, often on beaches, pouting and batting her eyelids of various co-stars.  That she could have done asleep.

And then there had come the Kiss, the night she died in a manner of speaking, returning as one of the Children of the Night.  At first she had been thrilled, as it held the promise of romance that entertainment had built around vampires.  The truth was far different she had soon discovered.  True, there were gifts to be had, but, if anything, even more boredom than when she had been alive.

Her old life had evaporated quickly around her and she discovered she had not been ready for her new one.  She couldn’t cope on her own, and worse, there were those out there who hunted down and killed what she had become.  Then there had been the hunger, and little else, about the only sensation or emotion left to her.  All that remained behind was a dulling emptiness, all emotions, feelings, being distant, as if smothered in a blanket.  It was true that she hadn’t had much use for them even in her old life, but once gone they were missed.

She sighed and sipped at the glass of chilled blood, porcine in origin, lounging out on the bed in the darkened den that she now called home, a far cry compared to that to what she had once had, but it was a safe place, after a fashion.  And, she had to admit, it was better than the alternative.  Better a semi-active afterlife than suffering the true death.

The door to the building opened.  One of the benefits of being a vamp had been much improved hearing, and even downstairs she could detect the door opening.  And likewise her sense of smell could pick up on things that once went undetected, at least in regards to some subjects.  Such as blood.  Fresh blood.

The blood she smelled didn’t come from him.  But it also wasn’t the normal fare that he often had about him; demon, zombie, vampire, the kind of thing he killed.  This was human.  That always made him a bit uneasy, the shedding of blood of the living.  Even she, often accused of being oblivious to the needs and feelings of others, could pick up on that.

He soon came down the stairs into the den of the building.  One look at the brooding expression on his scruffy, unshaven face told her he was troubled.  Despite the fact he had not too un-agreeable looks, she wouldn’t have spared him a glance when she had been famous.  There had always been more handsome and far richer men chasing her then.

Braeden was a bit different though.  The fact that he had saved her life had much to do with it.  Not long after being Made, she had been captured by a group that had planned to kill her.  Braeden had rescued her, despite the fact that he did kill the likes of her, which had been an oddity she had never puzzled out, and really wasn’t concerned too much about.  What happened happened, and you got on with life.

After that she had stayed with him, living, for the most, in his den.  Had it been gratitude?  Becky really couldn’t tell.  Emotions and feelings were a thing of the past, subsumed beneath the dullness and hunger.  It took really intense emotions to make an impact on a vampire.

Maybe part of it had been gratitude, but the biggest thing behind it was the safety.  Here she could exist without fear of being hunted down and slain, and it wasn’t all bad.  Braeden could be fun at time.

One of those times didn’t look like being right then though.  He pulled out the large handgun he carried from the shoulder holster underneath his jacket, popped the clip, and set it down on a workbench.  He picked up a half full bottle of rotgut and a notepad and made his way over to the couch without saying a word.  He collapsed down upon it, took a swig from the bottle, and opened up the notebook.

“I’m bored,” Becky announced.

Braeden closed the notebook and sat up.  “You are always bored,” he pointed out.  “What are you going to do when I am gone?”

“Gone?
“I’ll not live forever, or perhaps for much longer.  You’ll be on your own then and have to fend for yourself.”

The thought of that sent an actual chill through her, penetrating the lethargy that lay heavy across dormant emotions.  She had never had to look after herself once, not even when alive.  Always she had people for that.

“You could always live forever,” she offered tentatively.

Braeden scowled.  “Don’t even think about it, Becky.  I’m borderline enough as it is.  As a soulless creature I’d just turn out to be a monster worse than anything I’ve slain.  No, Becky, you will have to make your own way when the time arrives.  I can’t do that with you.  You will have to decide on the type of life you want when it happens.”

Becky.  He never called her that.  He had a strange character quirk in which he never called anyone but by the nickname he had appointed to them.  By doing so it helped drive home the seriousness of his words.

Becky unfolded slowly from the bed and stood up.  He was right though.  She had never had to think of it before, but she had to decide what to do with her own afterlife, to find some reason to continue on, to find a purpose, to make her own way.  And she would.  It could wait for the night though.

“We both had a lot to think over,” she said, “But not now, not until the morning.  Tonight, well, w can forget about our troubles and enjoy what time we have.”

The End


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