Concept art by Marisa Livingston
A nightmare shook Ramses as he slept; a recurring nightmare that was no less disturbing because of its frequency.He opened his eyes to complete blackness and panicked. A scream reverberated around his prison as he thrust his hands forward and made contact with a hard, wooden surface.
“What the hell is going on?”
He had fallen asleep and someone had locked him in a small, enclosed compartment. Didn’t anybody have any respect anymore? Kidnapping a man while he was sleeping.
As far as he could tell, he lay in a wooden box, like a coffin.
Then he remembered he was a vampire and that he slept in a wooden coffin under the bed.
“Tut! Every night.”
His coffin was essentially a large wooden drawer lying on steel rollers. With a simple shift of weight, he opened the drawer, rolled out and a fake bedside popped up to disguise the entrance. Essentially he was the monster under his own bed. He appreciated the irony, because he sure as hell didn’t like ironing.
Ramses rubbed his dried eyes and staggered over to the fridge, nestled in the corner of his apartment. He opened the door and grunted in annoyance at the piercing fridge light. He reached in with screwed up eyes and snatched a bottle of milk. With a fang, he pierced the foil lid, then turned and closed the fridge with his foot.
Walking over to the television in the lounge area, which existed under a canopy of crumbling pizza boxes and beer cans, he suddenly recalled smashing it to pieces the night before. The empty shell of the machine sat on its back with three structurally sound legs poking out amid a blanket of broken glass, metal and wires. Modern art: a monument to his short temper.
“Damn that Mr. Meowikins.”
He leaned on the counter, trying to think of what else he could do until the groggy aura of sleep evaporated. Just then, his eyes came to rest on the portable television, in one working piece, on his counter.
“Of course. How stupid can I be? You can never have too many TVs in one house.”
He grabbed the remote and jabbed the ‘On’ button, but his enthusiasm was as short-lived as a lemming. As he scanned through the channels, he found nothing of interest: some boring film, archaeology, drama and the news.
“So what am I supposed to do? Think?” He threw the remote with a “Hah! Not until after breakfast. Them’s the rules.”
With a gulp of milk, he wondered if news presenters ever wore trousers. Then an item on the news broadcast actually caught his attention. A male presenter sat in a smart suit looking as surprised as a lemming that had just been told about the Samaritans. Panicked instructions crackled from out of shot, to which the reporter replied with mutterings that Ramses failed to catch, and then he turned to the camera and spluttered.
“After many reports flooding in last night regarding the ‘large, reptilian creature’ – ” Ramses noted some sarcasm at this point. “ – and how it possibly caused the destruction of at least one home, we now have footage of another extraordinary event that took place earlier today. The pictures you are about to see were taken by an amateur camera operator on the scene,” the presenter said. He looked off camera. “Are we going to it now?”
The picture cut to an elephant charging down a busy Londinium street. Pedestrians watched aghast as cars swerved in an attempt not to be crushed. The elephant trumpeted its rage above the din of the traffic and screaming pedestrians, determined to catch its prey: a wolf struggling to keep its distance.
“This was the scene at lunchtime today in Ox-Fjord Street. Somehow, two animals escaped from local enclosures and are believed to be running wild still. Police and Animal Control officers are working together…”
“They aren’t escaped animals, you dingus. That is obviously a werewolf, and that is an elephant… Kenempti?”
He remembered that she had the ability to mimic other lifeforms and no normal elephant would chase a full grown werewolf. They were afraid of mice, for Maiden’s sake, and the lycanthropes naturally intimidated other animals. It was hard to conquer.
He scrutinised the clock above his portable. It read 17:04, the start of another gloomy night. That meant Kenempti had been stomping around town for the past 5 hours at least. He had to find out what had happened to her; she could have discovered something in that house last night, and if she had, he would love her forever, because he would be a step closer to the prince’s cat, and well, he wanted to love her forever. She was gorgeous.
Ramses didn’t waste another second. Well, just a few more thinking about her boobs. Then he ran out of the room as the newscaster started a new segment:
“Astrologers are believed to have spotted a new star moving across our sky…”
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