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Vampires Bribe the Lunch Ladies
Chapter 2

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful, I’m glad to say. That’s how I preferred my life to be. I walked towards the cafeteria while fingering the five dollar bill I had been allotted by the parental units, the object safe in the front pocket of my hoodie. Just before I turned the corner into the main hall that ended at the doors into the eating hall, I pause at the sound of an ever so familiar voice just feet away.

“Damn, you have got to be kidding me! We can’t take this s**t right now… Yeah, I know, the idiots will be quick to blame us, duh… I highly doubt he does, but his mother might have heard by now……… Hell no! I can’t stand the guy, much less try to get in good through him! Besides, they disowned her, right? … Tch, fine… I know, I know. I’ll try, alright? … Fine. Hey, I got to go… Talk to you later,” he said before my ears picked up the faint click of his phone shutting. Cain let out a sigh before the sound of his shoes on the floor and the opening of the doors made it clear he had entered the cafeteria.

I will take this moment to properly introduce this fellow magical teen. Cain Girard appeared at my school Freshman year, consequently just the one before this, with two other vampires. Before their entering my life I had never met one of my fated enemies, and now I wish I never had. Due to their becoming rather famous in this day and age via cliché teen romance novels they have become surprisingly confident in this way. They don’t seem to give a second thought at allowing their fangs to show when in my presence. Also, much like a sharks as I have learned, their pupils grow to almost completely overtake their eye in a black abyss when threatened or coming in contact with blood. It was admittedly quite frightening to meet Cain the first time, his eyes flashing coal at me from behind his perfectly styled dark strands. We’re polar opposites in this aspect. He’s pale and dark, I’m tanned and with fairly light hair, considering. Why he hated me, I didn’t know other than possibly only to follow the preset lines of our races, but he never missed a chance to cause trouble for me. This in turn left me suspicious of the overhead phone call. Could he possibly be talking about-?

“Your bulk is blocking the way, O’Neal.”

Mustering a successful attempt at hiding the impending jump in shock from view, I turn round to discern he identity of this distinctly feminine voice that came from behind me. Celeste Baglione stood in the hallway, looking up to me with her head tilted to the side and an eyebrow raised. Bleached blonde hair fell just barely over her left eye, though was unable to hide its jade green color. Apparently the two black bobby-pins on the side swept bangs and the one on the other dyed bunch of hair at the opposite side of her face wasn’t able to keep the strands in order. The rest of her hair was its natural color, somewhere between dark blonde and pale brown, and fell just below her shoulders. The white T-Shirt she wore with a black star at the center complemented her olive colored skin, beneath it a black and dark gray horizontally striped shirt with the sleeves coming just past her knuckles. As for her lower body, atop baggy black pants she wore a plaid mini skirt you’d expect to see in a school uniform. I think she’s in… Two of my classes, but I’d never really paid attention to her. She’d moved here during the summer from New York with her large, Italian family. Or at least, that is what I had heard. I was hardly a socialite, much less a gossip, but with my ears the way they are I pick up on a few things here and there.

When I gave no reply beyond my puzzled stare an exasperated sigh left her lips before she brushed past me to enter the cafeteria. Kindred spirits, we were. I’d long past noticed she, too, had next to no friends in school. Coming in behind her, neither of us were greeted or beckoned to a table by friendly faces. How depressing.

I take back my former statement. A moment after I had passed through the doors a bouncy vampire of dark hair materialized before me with a toothy grin etched into his face. “Hey there, buddy!” He greeted.

My brows furrowed and teeth grinded together. What did he have planned for me? I could hardly imagine. “What do you want? I’d like to get in line before everything is taken, if you don’t mind.” In our large and overcrowded school those stupid masses that waited until the last few moments of lunch to buy their food were left with nothing or the dregs of an already toxic menu.

“Aw, be nice. I just want to get to know ya, mate. We started off pretty bad, and I’d like to make up for it right now by eating lunch with you!” He announced, grinning. Oddly enough, his fangs weren’t showing, so he wasn’t trying to challenge me or anything. At least it appeared that way… So then what was all this about?

I paused, “sorry, I’ll have to pass.” But it seemed hopeless, for as I spoke he put an arm around my shoulder and walked me towards an empty table. He sat me in front of a tray covered in food… Good food too. I felt my fangs sharpen slightly at the sight of the perfectly cooked burger. No doubt about it, he slipped some extra cash to a few of the lunch ladies so they would actually make an attempt at proper culinary ventures.

“Go on, eat up,” Cain prompted, sitting across from me with his elbows on the table and a large, forced grin on his face.

“… How do I know it isn’t poisoned?” I questioned, looking away slowly to resist the temptation to tear into the food before me. My breakfast had been nothing more than a piece of toast and my stomach was now feeling the consequences. But at his laughter I looked back to see him holding his middle as he snickered… Was this guy high on something?

It appeared as if he had more to say but quickly forgot to do so and fell silent when we were approached by two other male students. This was Constantine and Dante, his toadies and the other two vampires attending my school. To my chagrin Constantine was taller than Cain and I by a good two inches, not to mention wider and more muscled, said fit body prominent beneath his form fitting black T-Shirt. While his hair was a pale brown and shortly cropped Dante held a sickeningly platinum blond color that all together was styled in a dorky bowl cut to only add to the impression he gave from his short stature.

“We need to talk,” the two lackeys said in unison.

“How dare you speak to me that way?!” The words reverberated in the cafeteria, everyone pausing to look in our direction as the speaker held Dante by the collar, his eyes flashing black. Growling, Cain gave a grin with a faint view of his fangs. “Do not forget your place, Dante. I am one of the higher among us, and you are to respect me. We may pretend to be on the same level among them, but you must never be so naïve as to think our ranks are even remotely close. You got that?” At Dante’s wide eyes Cain quickly set him back on his feet, having been holding him inches from the ground. Without another word said head vamp left.

Along with everyone else, I sat blinking in confusion at what had just transpired. Cain was an a**, yes, but he never spoke that way to anyone, especially the only two here that were of his kind. Could something be happening within the world of the vampires to make Cain act so unusual? I might actually care, and even look into this question, if I was James Bond. But I’m not, so I shrugged it off and ate the food before me. I couldn’t let it go to waste, now could I?

At the end of the day I dutifully, and a bit reluctantly, reported to detention on time. After school punishment in Troy High meant sitting in a classroom with the rest of the local delinquents and unlucky bastards with what would normally be a coach looking on. No drinks, no snacks, no technological devices. The only option you were left with in terms of a way to pass the time was homework. I hardly chose this. Besides, it was a Friday. I had all weekend to not do the work sheets assigned to me. The plan was made and being perfect whilst I lazily made my way down the hall after release from my torture so I could drop by my locket, pick up my things, and depart. But as you may have guessed I was, again, not allowed to not have a normal day in the life of Shawn Collin O’Neal. Nothing was going my way, it seemed. Not that it ever did.

I spied a hunched over figure leaning against a wall not far from the doors. More out of social responsibility and nothing else to do than true worry and moral obligation I approach them. “What’s wrong?” I ask before I am able to understand just who this person was. At my voice they turned to stare at me with widened and almost pained deep green eyes.

“O-O’Neal?” Celeste stuttered, as if I was the last person she would have expected to see.

“Celeste? You okay?” Coming closer, I looked down to her with my best expression of concern. It was someone I knew, after all.

“It’s… Nothing,” she replied quietly, looking to the floor.

“Are you sure? You didn’t look like you felt well… I bet the nurse is still here, would you like me to-”

“I said it’s nothing!” She shouted, then ran down the hallway.

“Am I in the Twilight Zone today or something?” I muttered to myself. Giving a shrug, I finished my walk out of the building to head home.

After I’d reached home I went to my room to play a videogame for a while, then surfed the net until about six when my mom called me down for dinner. I logged out with a sigh. I entered the dining room with my hands in my pockets, half heartedly looking up to see what food was before me. I was so surprised at the pizza boxes that lay on the table I felt the breath catch in the back of my throat. See, my mom hates, no, loathes, having take-out when she could cook the food herself. She said if she ordered food she wasn’t playing her role as wife and mother properly. So if she called in pizza, something must be wrong. My guess was confirmed at the sight of both my parents eating quietly, simply nibbling their food, while Kali just ate her food happily without a care in the word.

“Did something… Happen?” I inquired, slowly sitting down. Both looking up at the same time, my parents gazed at me for a few moments before they slowly went back to eating.

“There ‘as been a murder… Within the ‘igher ups of our people,” my mother finally replied after a delay.

To my own surprise I felt my eyes widen as the information sunk in. A Werewolf murder… Not a death, but a murder. Maybe one out of every thousand Weres died from something besides old age, and even in that case it was usually by accident or a disease. Our race was not the type to be killed easily. Even the elderly and decrepit could beat a human and likely a vampire. Nor was there ever any fighting among our own ranks. That said, I hardly have the right to do so.

Our family was kept in the dark on matters of our race and most anything in the world of seemingly mythical beings. For reasons unknown to both Kali and I neither of our parents keep in contact with their relatives. Beyond my mother’s elusive elder brother Keith, a man I had met once as a child and now only knew by a booming laugh and eyes like my mothers, nobody was known. No grandparents, no cousins. This of course is basically unheard of among us. Werewolves are a close knit species, usually found in large family groups that are always informed when it comes to matters concerning any other grouping, especially the one that held the current king or leader.

“How did you find out?”

Was it me that asked that question? I wasn’t sure myself, timidly taking a nibble at the end of my cheesy treat. Since when had I been interested? Fortunately, everyone was too deep in their own thoughts to take note of my sudden change in personality.

“Keith called.” Mom replied, keeping every detail just beyond my reach.

“Did he-”

“Just eat your dinner, Shawn.” Dad held no quarrel with interrupting my mid inquiry, sending the entire table into an awkward silence that continued on to my helping with the dishes and ascending the stairs to do as I was told and get to bed. Or rather, sit along my bed and listen to some music to thus allow my imagination run wild. God, why did I care so much? Never before had I been so interested in any news about the world I knew nothing of… Never before had I heard much news, anyway.

My clock read eleven when I stood to silently leave my room in hopes of retrieving a quick cup of water… And maybe a now cold slice of left over pizza from the fridge. When all was said and done I made my way up the stairs and to my room, which had me go right past my parents room. Hearing hushed voices, I paused to press my ear against the door. I had already eavesdropped once that day, why not continue being a rebel? Oh, what a bad boy I am.

“Who could ‘ave done this? You know it must have been one of the Others, you know it!” My mother said angrily. The Others was my mother’s word for vampires, for she often didn’t believe they deserved the right of a true name.

“Calm down dear, we can’t jump to conclusions. It could have been anyone for all we know, hell, it could have been an accident,” Dad said, trying to quiet her.

“No Werewolf dies on accident! He was killed, brutally killed!”

Their words became soft murmurs in the background of my thoughts, mental images suddenly increased tenfold with what I guessed to be my mother’s meticulous explanations. The image of a man appeared in my mind’s eye. His stature was undeniably tall, though he crouched from old age, this given away not only by his posture but also the maze of wrinkles that lined his face and the thin wisps of white hair clinging to his head. Despite it all he held a very otherworldly air to him, speaking of one that held themselves in high esteem because of due deserving such pride. The King. The big cheese, the head honcho. He was the one that had been killed? Him?

Now on autopilot, I was only faintly aware of my moving limbs whilst they carried me to bed and laid my down to ponder what I had heard and envisioned. To clear my thoughts as well as answer them I shook my head quickly. What did I care? I wasn’t part of the known Werewolf species, much less a noble. What did all of this have to do with me? I’m Shawn Collin O’Neal, invisible unknown Werewolf teen that doesn’t give a flying whoop about his lineage and odd bloodline. That in mind, I drifted off to sleep.

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