The Vampire Box

We have a vampire living in our basement.

It’s my job to feed him while Dad is in Palo Alto at a convention. At six a.m. I pad into the kitchen in my bare feet and jersey nightgown with my robe hanging off my shoulders. I yawn, wishing I could crawl back in bed after the chore. It’s the last week before finals, and I’m already in at Northwest State, so I don’t really have to focus much. The motivation to show up at school is as low as it gets.

Half the freezer is piled with Tupperware blood-packs, and I dig out one from the bottom, grumbling to myself that Mom still isn’t packing them with the oldest on top for easy access. I should just take over the butcher store runs. Then she could just forget about it – which was all she wanted.

While the blood heats in the microwave, I heave myself onto the counter and stare at the basement door. It’s painted soft yellow, but most of the color peeled away a while ago. I went through a phase when I was in Junior High where I stripped a thin line of the paint off the door every time I passed it. The lines were like prison bars holding me back.

The microwave beeps and I hop down. I grab the lancet from its hook over the sink and pull the Tupperware out onto the counter. I yawn again just as I’m pulling off the plastic top, and get a lungful of coppery pig’s blood smell. I gag like a cat and dance back, making a show of myself because there’s no one around to see. When I calm down, I put my hand on the counter, palm up. I take the lancet, which is a thin triangle of steel about as long as my thumb, and put the tip to my pinky. This is my least favorite part. I grit my teeth and ready myself with a massive grimace, then jab the lancet into my finger.

Blood wells instantly, and I let a couple of drops fall into the Tupperware.

I’m supposed to be using Dad’s blood. He drained a quarter-pint of it before leaving and it’s hanging in the pantry with whatever his favorite anti-coagulant is keeping it sort-of fresh. But it’s bad enough our vampire is trapped in a cage in the basement. To not even give him the two drops of fresh blood he’s promised seems un-Constitutional.

With the Tupperware balanced carefully in my hands, I face the basement.

***

I was only five the first time I met Saxon.

For a week our water pipes had clanged in a staccato pattern that echoed throughout the house. Dad promised it was bad plumbing, but I woke up in the middle of the night and recognized the pattern of clangs matched the rhythm of my favorite clapping song. I’d been playing it by myself against the kitchen floor just that afternoon. And now the house pipes wanted to play with me.

I crawled out of bed, snuck past Mom and Dad’s room, and all the way down into the kitchen. We kept the door locked in those days, but I knew how to climb up onto a chair and from there onto the kitchen counter to reach the key Dad kept hanging inside the spice cabinet. I managed it quietly, and unlocked the basement door. It was where the pipes lived, because it was where Dad went every time he tried to get them to be quiet.

I couldn’t reach the light switch, so it was very, very dark. Here is all I remember:

The floor being rough concrete.

The tiny red light bulb dangling in the center of the room, not making it any less scary.

Calling out, “Pipes?”

And he said my name. Nicole.

I clapped and ran forward. I tripped on something and fell against the bars of his cage. He caught me in both hands, and his eyes were right there in front of mine. Glinting red in the light. With his arms through the cage, he set me back on my feet and smiled.

He played a clapping game with me, longer than any grown up had ever played before. We didn’t stop until I was the one too tired to go on.

I curled up on the floor with my backbone pushed up against the bars, and falling back to sleep. He tapped the rhythm of the song gently into the metal.

***

The wooden stairs are spongy under my bare feet from all the dank basement air. We need a new set, but Dad can’t exactly hire a builder to come down here. Not unless he plans to feed the unlucky worker to Saxon.

I can reach the light switch, of course, but I don’t flip it. I prefer the gentle red light. We have a carpet now, a long runner leading from the stairs to his cage. It’s thin and the chill of the concrete foundation still seeps up.

Dad uses a long pole to scoot the blood to the cage without getting near enough that Saxon could grab him. But I walk straight to the black bars.

Saxon is standing with his back to me. He’s watching the square of that fades in through the single window high up against the ceiling. The glass is shuttered over, but pink morning slips through the slats. It makes an aura around him, and I say, “Hey, angel. Breakfast.”

He moves slowly, lethargically. But not because he has to. There’s only about ten square feet inside the cage, and half of it is covered with stacks of books and magazines. “Morning, sunshine,” he says back.

We smile.

I put my hands between the bars, offering him the blood. He could grab my wrists instead and tear fresh blood straight out of me, but he won’t. Dad tried to make me fear Saxon, after finding me asleep against the cage, but I knew at any time Saxon could have pulled me through and eaten me. I’d been small enough then to have fit between the bars. He’d have sucked the marrow from my bones before Dad woke up.

Saxon dips a finger into the blood and paints it across his bottom lip. He told me when I was eight that the blood tingles against his skin. I’d put a dot on my cheek and been disappointed when it only felt wet and sticky. That had been the first time he’d laughed at me, the first time I’d seen his rows of sharp teeth. When I scrambled away, he’d painted dots of blood onto his own cheeks, and a long line down his nose, in solidarity.

I sit down cross-legged, with my knees against the bars. He sits, too, cradling the blood in his lap. As I tell him about the TV show I watched last night where they had a mock battle between a Samurai warrior and a Roman Gladiator, he keeps dipping his finger into the blood and letting drops fall onto his tongue. He’ll spend hours consuming every last bit.

When I move on to complaining about my trig teacher’s bad habit of putting questions on the quizzes we never went over in class, Saxon holds up his hand. The musty gray sleeve of his shirt falls back. Dad brings him new clothes once a year, saying nothing more is necessary because Saxon doesn’t sweat or pee or do anything but read all day. None of the normal stuff that makes a person dirty. But I wonder what he’d look like in a tailored suit, or a really sexy pair of jeans.

“I’ve been thinking,” he says when he has my attention, and dips his finger back into the blood. “When you leave for college, I won’t have any reason not to rip your father to pieces.”

I laugh.

But Saxon doesn’t. He sets the Tupperware onto the concrete floor of his cage and stands up. He wraps his hands around two of the bars.

My laughter turns into rocks that plummet down toward my feet. “You wouldn’t.”

“I might.” He snaps the end of the word sharply.

I stand up and curls my hands over his. His skin is warmer than mine. “Saxon.” To this day neither Dad nor Saxon will tell me how he came to be trapped here. All I know is that Dad feeds him and somehow having a vampire locked in a box in your basement is massive good luck. Dad shot from junior partner to CEO in six months, and now basically does whatever he wants. The only reason we haven’t moved into a huge house in some gated community is because of Saxon. “It can’t be that easy,” I say, “Or you’d have done it before now.”

His fingers move under mine and I swear I hear the metal creak. “The fool’s been feeding me his blood for years.”

I think of the drops of my blood in the Tupperware. And how often I’ve used the lancet. “What does that give you?”

“A taste for it.” Saxon leans closer and it’s exactly the way it was when I was five years old. His eyes gleam in the red light. But this time, he doesn’t seem old or strange to me. He’s young. He’s my friend.

***

I used to sneak down when Dad left and help Saxon pick up the million pieces of rice Dad dropped on the cage floor to keep him occupied all day. We’d count them, and drop them one by one into a tin mixing bowl. Sometimes I got bored, but Saxon didn’t seem capable of stopping before every grain was collected. He’d start making up little rhyming songs to keep me down there, and tell me stories about people he’d known and lives he’d lived. My favorites were the ones where he had human companions who guarded him during the day, and who he guarded at night. Probably because I could pretend he’d chosen to be here with my family, instead of imprisoned.

When I was in Junior High I had a fantasy of breaking him free, bringing him to my school, and letting him go to town on all the teachers who made me talk in class, and possibly break the windows. Then we’d run off for New York or something, and I’d be a famous actress while he leaned back in the darkest balcony box and watched me. We’d spend the long hours of the night at private parties, the toast of the town. And all day we’d sleep in a quiet, dark room, waiting for the sun to go down again.

It was the only way I made it through Spanish class.

***

“What do you want?” I ask him.

He doesn’t reply except to sigh very softly. I can smell the blood on his breath, and see a small streak of it at the edge of his bottom lip. It’s not as overwhelming as it was upstairs when I first took the Tupperware out of the microwave, but I still don’t like it.

I rephrase. “What do you want from me?”

“To go with you.”

My very first instinct is to go to the workbench and get the key. To free him. I don’t, of course, but I try not to ignore my instincts. Sophomore year, somebody told me to always go with my first guess on multiple choice tests, and after that my grades improved noticeably.

I tighten my hands around his. “And then what?”

“Carefree nights and peaceful days?” he says with a smile.

I back away step by step. I’m off the carpet and the concrete is rough under my toes. Like I’m five again.

“Let me tell you a secret, sunshine,” he whispers, leaning against the bars. His cheek presses into one, and he wraps his arms casually around it and folds his hands together. “An imprisoned vampire is good luck.”

“I know.”

“But.” He holds up one finger, the one he uses to feed himself. “A willing vampire – ah, sunshine, a willing vampire is what Washington had. What Charlemagne had. Elizabeth. Cleopatra – she got one from Caesar.”

I don’t know if I believe him. I want to. I imagine him again in new, clean clothes. Clothes he chose for himself. “I don’t want to be those people.”

“You wouldn’t have to be. Hundreds of people you’ve never heard of made friends of us, too.”

He could have killed me so easily, anytime over the last twelve years. He hadn’t. Did that mean I could trust him? Or was he only biding his time for this very moment? Waiting because to him, twelve years was nothing.

My brain – my dad’s voice – is screaming at me to go back upstairs. But the rest of me wants to know. Wants to know if he was my friend. Wants to know if I was his friend. Because if I am, wouldn’t I free him?

If I run upstairs, I’m using him. Just like Dad.

If I let him out, he might kill me. Kill my family. Everyone on the block, everyone in the city, for all I knew.

If I run I am afraid.

If I stay, I risk everything just to prove to myself what I am.

“Nicole.”

I blink. I’d been staring at him so long the light shoving through the slats of the window is strong and bright. Saxon stands unmoved, caught between the light from the window and the red light of the basement.

I walk into the sunlight and pick the key up off the worktable.

photo by ilmungo, via Flickr Creative Commons

127 thoughts on “The Vampire Box

  1. Thanks. I’m a little addicted to thought-experiments re: vampires and human girls.

  2. Waiting for the sparkle to die might be a disservice to vampire fiction. Your use of traditional precautions (the compulsive counting) mingled with the more unusual concept of captive vampires bringing luck is refreshing.

  3. Heehee – ok, true. I won’t let the sparkle hold me back if I get the passion to make a whole novel. (side note: I’ve always been fascinated by the compulsive counting thing…)

  4. OOOOH INTRIIIIIIIGUED. For all the reasons mentioned above, and because I think it would be amazingly interesting to learn more about the dynamic between Nicole and Saxon. Protector/innocent? Or something more equal? And will they end up having a Twoooo Wuuuv?
    I am also glad to know I’m not the only girl who watches Deadliest Warrior.

  5. And then what happens?!?! Arrgh, you three are so evil about leaving cliffhangers!

  6. All I can think is ‘Nooo!! There’s got to be more!!!’

    Great piece. You kept me guessing And wanting to know more.

  7. I’m not sure this is a true love story. Maybe a True Friendship story. But I want to know more about their dynamic too. Assuming he doesn’t eat her.

    Deadliest Warrior FTW. πŸ˜€

  8. Hahaha – but see, the point of the story is that she makes the choice. So, it DID end. She chose. It wasn’t about consequences this time. Just the stepping off the cliff part. (Maybe I’m strongly identifying with this because it’s sort of like getting a book published. Hehe.)

  9. Thank you! I’m glad you’re invested. You can pretend whatever happens next that you want to! πŸ˜‰

  10. Oh, there is more, I’m sure. But like I said above, I was most interested in the choice.

    Thanks. I love keeping you interested/entertained. πŸ˜€

  11. Perfect.

    And I kind of hope he eats her.

    I’m in a bitchy mood like that, I guess.

  12. Oh, I totally agree that it was the right place to end, short-story-wise, but that doesn’t mean the reader doesn’t still want to know what happens!! (TEASE. :P)

  13. Wow, this is the first time I’d read something with the counting myth in a vampire story. Nicely done. You did accidently miss typing in a word on this sentence:

    He’s watching the square of that fades in through the single window high up against the ceiling.

  14. LOL – he might. Whatever you decide. I’m rather apathetic, honestly, because for me the really interesting part was the moment of choice and all the reasons for it. πŸ˜€

  15. Spectacular!!! I’ve never actually sat and read one of these before, I’d rather be writing my own stories sometimes. Now that I actually sat and read one, it’s really really good!!

    Why’d you choose the name Saxon?

  16. YES! It’s not what happens after the choice is made! It’s about how the choice was made. What came before. YES! YES!

    Also:

    Oh yeah.

  17. LOL – I totally get having trouble reading because you want to be writing instead. In general I think it’s a fine problem to have. so thanks! I’m glad you liked it.

    I was flipping through one of my baby-name books looking for something and it just stuck in my head. It seemed to fit a vampire, I like how it sounds, and it reminds me of the Anglo-Saxons, of course. Which is a culture I love.

  18. OMG ANNE MARIE!!! I AM SHOCKED AND HORRIFIED!!!!!! And laughing. AND HORRIFIED!

    Very very very bad. But embarrassingly appropriate.

    But uh, yeah. Choice. And stuff.

    O_O

  19. Ugh, worst feeling in the world, caught between and book to read and a story to write.

    Saxon totally fits a vampire.

    babynames.com is a lifesaver when I need a specific name really quick. My mother didn’t exactly keep a baby name book around considering she knew what she wanted to name my brother and I.

  20. I like that website, too. I bought myself a babynames book for writing when I was 15, and still have the same one. I highly recommend the social security site for looking up what names were popular when. And I also have a babynames app on my iPhone. Heh. Which is vaguely embarrassing. πŸ˜€

  21. my mom gave me a strange look when she noticed it on my history. I shrugged, “it was for a story” didn’t ask much after that.

    I’ve tried that a few times, its just I have such an odd name that I’m not used to generic of the times names.

    Eh, you’re a writer. If people can’t live with it, its their problem.

  22. ohhh my gooodnesss i want to know more!!!!! i love this story and i really hope she made the right choice
    -polkadotiful

  23. I LOVE this. Let me just tell you this: you write blood. Well. It seems to me that if you start to tell anyone who is familiar with your stuff (at least your stuff here) that you just might write a book about vampires, they will interrupt you in the middle with a very enthusiastic YES. You write blood with the same intensity that vampires lust for it. Period. No arguing. END OF STORY. (But I’m cool with there being more of this. Just saying.) Don’t stop with the blood.

  24. As always, GREAT!! I was so nervous about which choice Nicole would make…I’m glad she’s setting him free. I would totally read more of this. I like to imagine that she somehow smuggled him off to college with her where he feeds on drunken frat boys and tells her stories at night.

  25. Gosh Tessa – You’re killing me! How can you not let us know what happened?!!

    I know, I know… because that’s what makes it good. And it was super good. I was so involved I forgot it was going to end so shortly.

    I want more 😦

  26. Wow that was fantastic. I loved i!, I could see and smell it! And like everyone else I am desperate to know what happens next.

  27. Squee! It’s nothing like, but it still reminds me of SUNSHINE–taking the traditional vampire lore and shifting it so slightly and so well. Bravo!

  28. My favorite part of this is definitely the idea of captured vampires being lucky… The whole story is chilling and fascinating, but that really caught my attention. The idea of vampires chained in basements across the world, the idea of vampire partners in crime throughout history. I think what really gets me is what it does to the power dynamic that vampires innately have… They usually represent the only sort of viable remaining human predator, and putting that reward on capturing them/befriending them, it’s both very much a natural extension and very much not… Honestly, I have to agree with all the other comments about wanting to see this explored more, but not because the outcome of the choice interests me so much as the worldbuilding, haha.
    Don’t mind me, rambly comment is long and rambling and I’ve got a bit of a fever.

  29. He won’t kill her. They both have a laconic sense of humour, and that’s hard to find. I smiled all the way through this. He doesn’t want to kill her. Even when she’s nervous, she amuses him. Dad’s cactus, and if mum screams she’s gone too. He could’ve escaped anytime he wanted, but he’s been waiting for her to be brave. I liked this. Cool. This is a Quentin Tarantino movie.

  30. I really enjoyed this and was all, “NO!” when I reached the end – I wanted it to go on.

    The relationship between Saxon and Nicole is both touching and potentially dangerous. I wish you’d write them a book πŸ™‚

  31. Loved it.

    My first reaction was WHAT HAPPENED?! But then I realized I didn’t want to know. She decided to free him (I assume) or at least taunt him with the key. What happens in the next 15 seconds, 15 minutes, or 15 years isn’t as important as whatever she did right then- getting the key. Imo, anyway.

    Anyway, so great!

  32. What happens next? I want to know…

    Loved it loved it loved it…
    And you’re awesome at describing blood…

    This book, I’d definitely read… It’s AWESOME

  33. I read the first lines and I should have stopped–I knew I was going to be late for work, but I couldn’t stop it was too devilishly good ❀

  34. Ah, Lestat, he will always be the vampire of my heart ;P This was amazing. I loved every bit of it and Saxon is nearly as delicious as Lestat. Nearly, I say, because hey, he IS THE vampire πŸ™‚ Wonderful job, Tessa! BRAVA!

  35. Thanks. That’s… awesome. And ya know, my first book might not have vampires, but it does have blood. A lot. When my editor and I first talked on the phone she said the tagline should be “All the blood, none of the vampires!”

    BLOOD MAGIC, coming to a store near you, April 2011.

    /blatant self-promo

  36. I’m glad she’s setting him free, too.

    Also, loff at the drunken frat boy blood. πŸ˜€

  37. Thank you! Maybe someday I’ll do a follow-up. If it ever matters to the story, ya know?

  38. Ah, man, you could say “this reminds me of *intert anything Robin McKinley ever breathed on*” and I’ll be your BFF. πŸ˜‰

    I love that book, and wasn’t even paying attention to the whole “sunshine” thing. It was just an ironic nickname for Nicole. Because she nicknamed him “angel” first.

  39. I love worldbuilding. It’s my favorite. So I’m glad this worked for you on different levels. Yay! (Now I’m thinking of lucky vampire fangs, heehee.)

    Hope you feel better soon!

  40. Thanks! I do, too. I honestly haven’t thought about it, past the very first few moments. Long term, I have no idea. πŸ˜‰

  41. What do you think happens? That’s what matters. πŸ˜‰

    Glad you loved it, thanks! I practice describing blood. A lot.

  42. I’d never expect to write a vampire more delicious than Lestat. I’m not sure it’s possible. Hee hee.

    Thank you! Glad you enjoyed Saxon.

  43. Oh wow, I loved this story. I’d love to know how her father got him there in the first place πŸ™‚

    It sparked off an idea for something I would love to write, which is kind of bad because I’m working on something else. If only there were more hours in the day….

  44. That might be a great prequel to write! hehehhe.

    I totally understand that feeling. I recommend a short story blog, where you are forced to write stories constantly and it tends to clean out all the little random ideas cluttering your imagination. πŸ˜‰

  45. I sooooooo can’t wait to read this. *becomes catatonic waiting for books to come out*

  46. Tease! This was so easy to love.

    I could ignore the vampire bit because of the angst.

  47. The rice! THE RICE!!! (In case you didn’t notice, the counting bit is one of my favorite parts of the vampire mythos.)

    Anyway, love-love-love this. Nicole and Saxon, refreshingly, had a relationship more fully developed than those in many vampire novels, and the cliffhanger ending was pure genius! I think this might be my favorite of your stories so far.

  48. Wow, I loved this. The details and imagery were so sharp. The part about peeling the paint on the door stuck with me most, as I can imagine myself doing the same thing. And the sensuality of the blood, the limited contact, and the emotional intimacy, oh my!

    Also, I thought the ending was spot on, because nothing more needs to be said other than that she made the decision. πŸ™‚

  49. Hahaha, yes, the rice. πŸ˜€

    Thanks a bunch. This story has been waiting in my brain for a while. I’m glad it finally decided to present itself.

  50. Btw, the pipe tapping….holy crow that was great. Freaked the hell out of me. πŸ™‚

  51. I love it. Will she get the key or won’t she? Will he drink her blood or won’t he? Maybe I need a vampire in my basement to bring me good luck.

  52. To not even give him the two drops of fresh blood he’s promised seems un-Constitutional.

    That made me laugh.

    I like how calm he is. If you were entirely sure of your power, that’s how calm you’d be. I don’t see him as being sinister, but that’s only because I see him through Nicole’s eyes. She doesn’t discount how dangerous he is, but recognizes the choices he made regarding her. And I get the feeling he listens better than anyone else. Whether it all ended (one way or another) ten seconds later, I’m glad she decided to set him free.

  53. Oh good, because I wanted it to be funny.

    You totally summed up my feelings about the story perfectly. πŸ˜€ All about choices – his and hers, and choosing how to react based on other people’s choices and why you think they made them…

  54. This was bloody brilliant. I am a little sad honestly that I can’t just go to the bookstore and buy this book. I want more πŸ™‚

    ~Georgia

  55. Saxon reminds me a lot of the vampire in Sunshine by Robin Mckinley. I love you short story as much as I loved her longer story. Kudos to you.

  56. Saxon reminds me a lot of the vampire in Sunshine by Robin Mckinley. I love you short story as much as I loved her longer story. Kudos to you.
    Sorry did not mean to be anonymous.

  57. No worries about the anon.

    I love that book, too. And Con, though I wasn’t thinking about either of them when I wrote this… I should have been. So thanks!

  58. Thanks! Maybe someday there will be more. I can’t help writing sequels sometimes…

  59. I was putting off reading this story because i knew it was going to be a good one… I was right! Possible novel? Please????

  60. Hahaha, that’s great.

    You know I dreamed about vampires all night last night, which makes me want to do a novel. Tee hee.

  61. Oh yay! I ❀ this story, still, too. And that's always nice, ya know? Two months later. Thanks.

  62. OMg i love this its sooo KOOL i love it so much
    i think u shud turn this into a book like SERIOUSLY πŸ˜€
    it would b my favorite n i woudlnt be able to put it down πŸ˜€

  63. Hee hee! Thanks. I love this story too… and you never know. Anything could turn into a novel! πŸ˜€

  64. asdf. amazing. I want more of this, though I agree with simonhay_healer’s conclusion.
    I could read this over. And over again. Dark yet not and very satisfying.

  65. Thank you! This is one of my favorites, and I’m glad you liked it. I’d like more of it too, but in that magical way where it just happens and is perfect. Because when I think about writing more, I can’t because it’s just right how it is. Heheh.

    πŸ˜€

  66. i feel toooo attached to this story for it to be good for me. i need for there to be more of it so i can finish it and seperate myself…lol
    you have alot of talent…i wish i could find half that much talent in myself!

  67. Pls dont wait that long your too talented to wait that long! If that were a book I’d buy it read it then tell all of my friends to read it!!!

  68. LOL I’m glad you love it. I am fond of this one, though I have to admit I like it as it is… ending and all.

    And talent is only a little part of what it takes. Everything else is determination.

  69. Like i said on my profile i love vampires….i always dream of being one free and dangerous *evil grin lol* But here’s how i think it ends (if it were my story……(nichole’s talking)

    I grab the key and head for his cage. “What are you doing”,he asks. I unlock his cage.He leaps out and hugs me tight. I look into his eyes…their wild,feral even.He lets me go….it was then i decided to skip school.
    We stay down there for hours playing and talking. Not once did he try to leave. We heard a noise off in the distance, it sounded like it was coming from the front of the house.My dad comes lumbering down the stairs,obviously furious,and starts ranting about my missing school. Then he notices Saxon and starts freaking out.He screams,horrified. Saxon’s muscles are tense and rippling ready to attack.Saxon makes a low growling sound and lunges for him. I screams “No!!”, really shrill but its too late. Saxon snaps my dad’s neck and he slumps to the floor,eyes open,lifeless. Saxon turns to me. I’m trembling furiously. He starts toward he,expression soft,hands raised reapprovingly. I bolt for the door. He lets me go. I run out the house, hot tears streaming down my face,and just keep running…never once looking back. (the end *grin*)

  70. This story is gorgeous! I can imagine Saxon in my head. yUm! πŸ˜‰ haha I’m a sucker for vampires (even though twilight kinda wrecked it for me) And the open ending is beautiful.

  71. Thank you! Vampires remain my favorite, but I’m really only a fan that are, you know, dangerous. I’m glad you enjoyed the ending in particular – my favorite part!

  72. Thank you! And no, not at all – recommend away. That’s why the stories are here, to be shared and read. πŸ˜€

  73. Wow. I’m floored. I absolutely love this. . . and can think of nothing else to say *laughs*. My brain is in shock from the awesomeness that is this story. I guess I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it :).

  74. I’ve been following the wonderful stories of Merry Sisters for only a few months now. It’s been a delight to ready through your favorites that you listed on March 22. This story inparticular Tessa, has totally grabbed my attention and sucked(he he) me into it’s world. I know the point is for the story to be short, engaging and then end but…. This one really really peaked my interest. Nicole’s statements at the end sound so like the ones I chant to myself when I’m trying to make a decision. Any plans for expansion on this awesome start of a story?

  75. Why thank you!

    I occasionally think about this story again, and what might happen beyond it, so anything’s possible! Sometimes I do follow-ups. It’ll just have to be the right story at the right time!

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