Chapter 3 is from Remi’s perspective. We’re finally. meeting our other main character. Keep in mind these are all drafts and constructive feedback is welcome. Don’t be an asshole. 😉
The guard opened the gate in front of me and I heard the buzzer. That sound had become music to my ears. I was on a first name basis with some of the guards: the ones that had the balls to stick around anyway. I’d been to prison more times than I cared to count, from juvi to county, to state, and I saw the inside of the drunk tank more than I saw my own bedroom.
“See you in a week,” one of the guards said to me with certainty in his voice.
“Your Mom will see me tonight!” I turned around and signaled bye with my middle fingers.
November was waiting for me, leaning against an old truck. One thing you could count on from November was the plethora of new and interesting cars. She wasn’t your average girl. She was a grease monkey, didn’t believe in commitment, and had the mouth of a sailor. She essentially lived in the shop, working long hours to make ends meet, or at least thats how it appeared to outsiders. The shop didn’t feel like work to her. Nothing in the world made sense to her, except cars. So that’s what November focused on.
The truck was an oldy chevy painted slate blue. It was dinged up, but that only added to its character, just like November.
“Get in the fucking truck, asshole. I don’t have all day.” She snapped when she talked as if that would make me move any faster.
“Grand theft auto on a Saturday morning huh Novie?”
“You’re just jealous we both break the law and I get away with it.” She grinned at me.
“You’re a bitch.” I grinned back at her. “C’mere” and I hugged her.
Novie was my sister. She wasn’t my actual sister. We grew up together and didn’t really talk about families. When I was younger I thought it was because she just didn’t want to talk about hers, but I found out later she was in the same position as me and simply didn’t know. We were 10 when Ivy saved us.
“Who’s car did you steal this time?”
“Get off my ass. It’s not due to be picked up for two more days. Lots of body work. Besides, I wasn’t gonna have you walking home from prison! What kind of sister would I be? Now come on. .” She opened the drivers side door and it squeaked to show it’s age.
I hopped on the hood of the truck and slid across, stuck my legs through the open window and slid into the passenger seat.
“Hey watch it!”
“You’re doing body work and most new cars couldn’t even dent this baby, let alone me.”
She shrugged. I had a point and she knew it.
She turned the key in the ignition and the truck roared to life. We were out of the prison lot rather quickly and well on our way, though I had no idea where we were going. The light peeked through the surrounding forrest in a beautiful way.
“How long do you have to find a job?” She cared, but her questions always came off as abrasive.
“What’s it to you?”
“I’m trying to help, you stupid son of a bitch. How long?”
“God, I fucking hate you sometimes.” I rolled my eyes. She took her eyes off the road to stare me down, demanding an answer.
“Fuck. Alright. Alright,” I found myself getting defensive around Novie a lot. She was intimidating and she knew it. She used it to her advantage whenever necessary.
“Well?” I had about two seconds before she started yelling.
“I have two weeks before my probation officer places me. That will be in some dangerous as fuck high danger level gig that no one else wants like that asshole who climbs into the fuckin sky to change a light bulb twice a year. No. Thank. You.”
“I’m hiring you.” She smiled and watched for my reaction out of the corner of her eye.
“Cars? Really Novie?”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were so excited to apply at the liquor store.” Her sarcasm bled through.
“Fine.” She was right. At least I’d be around people I liked at the shop. I knew she wouldn’t assign me a task unless she thought I could handle it. One thing Novie had going for her was her teaching ability. As rude and crass as she can be, you’d think she would blow up on people, but the opposite happened. She put her heart into the things she loved, but what she loved even more was sharing her knowledge with others.
“Don’t look so defeated, Remi. It could be wore. Are you really so afraid of a little grease?” This was one of those instances where November sounded judgy and belittling, but having known her as much I do for as long as I have, I knew she meant well. At the end of the day she wanted me happy. She was a pretty selfish girl; hard not to be all things considered. But, she’d proven time and time again that she cared for me just as much, if not more than she did herself.
“No, it’s not that. It’s just, November I’m tired.”
“Not enough sleep in the slammer huh? Were you the bitch or the daddy?” She asked me sarcastically.
“Don’t fuck with me, I’m serious. It’s not exhaustion in the phsycial sense. That’s practically a part of my personality at this point.”
She looked at me without speaking. This was rare for her, but her eyes told me she understood.
“My soul is tired. These jobs are a waste of time and you know it.”
“We’ve got to do something to make ourselves appear normal, Remi. We’re lucky we have the shop.”
“Yeah, I know but that’s different for me than it is for you.”
“How do you mean?” She asked, curious.
“Cars are your passion, outside of what we really do.”
“What’s your point here, Remi?”
“I mean working in a shop and fixing cars is something you’d do if we weren’t hunters anymore.”
“You act like moving away from hunting is an option. Ivy will never let us go, even if we wanted to leave. Is that what this is about? You meet some sweetheart in prison and want to live an apple pie life?”
“Oh come on, Novie. You can’t be serious. There’s too much evil in the world to walk away from it. If anything, I wish we didn’t have to put on this facade and pretend we’re something else.”
“Well, you know that’s not a possibility. We have to maintain the image and do what we know needs to be done.” She was right. But that doesn’t mean I felt any better about it.
“What do you want to be? What do you want to do outside of hunting to make yourself look like an indecent member of society.”
“You’ll laugh. Just forget it. What are you gonna have me do at the shop?”
“I was gonna teach you some of the less complex shit, but maybe not. It’s your writing isn’t it?”
“What? How did you even know -”
“Remi, please. You’re insulting my intelligence here. You’ve carried those damn comp books around with you since we were kids.”
I looked at her, waiting for her to give me shit.
“If you’re waiting for me to give you shit, it’s not gonna happen Remi.”
“What do you mean it’s not gonna happen? You literally give everyone shit for fucking existing. So why the fuck are you keeping quiet now? I’m actually kind of offended.” I smirked at her.
“You’re perhaps the most indecisive person I know. There are two things that have remained consistent the last decade I’ve known you. Our relationship is the first. The second is your love of those damn books. You’re always reading or writing something if we’re not taking care of things for Ivy.” She wasn’t teasing me. She was absolutely serious, and apparently she was one observant bitch.
I sighed in defeat. She wasn’t one to give up when she wanted answers.
“Before we met I went through a couple foster parents, but most of my time was spent at a boys home. Before I met you and Ivy, it was the best family I’d ever stayed with. There were ten of us. Rick was a hard worker and made sure there was food on the table and a roof over our heads. Millie was our soccer Mom. Not a single one of us played sports but she loved cooking and making sure we had prepared snacks. We used to joke that she was the witch from Hansel and Gretel, trying to fatten us all up.”
Novie was grinning from ear to ear. She even had tears in her eyes, though they’d never fall. “Why would you ever leave, Remi? That sounds like the perfect life.”
“It was. Millie took special interest in me. When my social worker told her I’d been found with all the cigarette burns she figured I needed therapy.” The thought of Millie, Rick, and my brothers made me happy, but also had my stomach in knots. Novie saw the stress on my face.
“Finish this story, Remi. This obviously doesn’t end well.” I couldn’t speak. The lump in my throat prevented it.
“She put me through therapy and then Ivy found me. The end.”
“Yeah, no. Nice fucking try, Remi. I’m your sister and I veto your wrong decision to hold this in. Have you told anyone what happened? I’m assuming not since you tell me what color your shit is when you drink too much and even I don’t know this story.”
“No, I haven’t. But, it’s the reason I’m a hunter. I wasn’t simply found by Ivy. I sought her out and led her into discovering me. I knew exactly what I was doing.”
“Are you saying something happened to your perfect family? Like something supernatural?”
“Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. But wait, let me back up. Millie started taking me to therapy twice a week. She sought out the best children’s therapist she could find.”
“And this is connected to your journals?”
“Yes, please let me finish before I change my mind and bottle it all up for another ten years.”
She nodded. Novie knew how I operated. I didn’t open up a lot to people. But that was only because I poured my soul into my journals. But even this I didn’t talk much about to myself. I tried to suppress it.
“Laura was my therapists name. She specialized in childhood trauma and helping children express their feelings through different art forms, including writing. Enter composition books. It didn’t start with the comp books. Most kids love paining, but I had issues far more extensive than the other kids she was treating. My anger and rage were off the charts. She let me paint one time, and that ended when I splatter painted the walls, her pantsuit, and myself. Next she tried the “draw your family” method and I drew a house on fire, 13 stick figures, and lots of blood. That was pretty dark for a 10 year old, so it became abundantly clear I had a lot I needed to deal with. That was when Laura turned to compostion books and journaling. She painted the notebooks black with acrylic paint, which I was allowed nowhere near. She gave me paint pens and told me to write an inspiring quote on the front and back, which I still do to this day.”
“Holy fuck dude. That all came from Laura! And you were, what…10 years old?”
I was more like five when I started, but at this particular time I was 10, yes. Ivy found me when I was eleven years old and I’d been on my own for about a year before that.
“So what happened to your family?”
“One day after school I went to therapy. I took the bus that day. I had taken a liking to writing stories. Laura suggested that I try people watching for some fresh story ideas or character descriptions. She said the best place for people watching was a big public place like the park, or a bus. So even though Millie had told me she’d pick me up after school to take me to my therapy appointment, I told her I wanted to take the bus. School was out at 3:30 and my appointment was at 5. I was Laura’s last appointment of the day usually. It was only a 10-15 minute bus ride to her office, but I wanted to get as many ideas as possible, so I rode the bus to her office, then got on the bus across the street to go back to the school, crossed the street again and went back to the office, then back to the school, and the third time I got to the office I actually stayed there. I had filled several pages with made up names, character descriptions, and even written character biographies based on what I thought the lives of the strangers on the bus were like. Some people tried to talk to me and I took the opportunity to interview them. I wrote down their answers. Laura was pleased with my work. I could see it in her eyes.”
“All of this from you at age 10?” She was a bit flabbergasted and I took it as a compliment.
“Novie, I am certainly not as stupid as I allow people to think I am. It gives me the upper hand in almost everything.”
She shrugged her shoulders in agreement.
“When I left my therapy appointment that night, Laura gave me homework. She wanted me to take two of my character biographies and make them more detailed, and then write a short story that involved them. I had no idea that was the last night I’d ever see her. “
“Well, come to think of it, I have no idea if Laura is alive or not. But that morning was the last time I saw my family.”
I put my hand up signaling her to stop. I wasn’t ready to get emotional over this shit.
“That night when I got back to the school I could see there was a house ablaze. The night sky was filled with smoke, somehow darker. From where I stood, I couldn’t see which house it was, but my gut knew. My heart knew it was my house. My heart knew it was my family. I ran as fast as I could. When I got there, parts of the house were already burnt to the ground. The frame still stood firm, but from the looks of it, it wouldn’t hold for much longer. But that’s not what caught my attention. In the front lawn laid my Mom, Dad, and ten brothers. Their throats were ripped out, their clothes stained with blood. They were all dead and laid out so intricately. This was intentional. This was a display and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the message was, so I ran. Before I left I dragged every one of them into what was left of the house. I wanted the evidence gone. I wanted to be dead too. Once their bodies were stacked inside, I watched them burn. And, as if I were able to control the fire, once they were burnt to an unrecognizable state, I ran. I never looked back. That night, as I was walking, I found Archie. A year later Ivy adopted us and the rest is history. How is Archie by the way?”
“Fluffy as ever. I made sure he got his warm milk as instructed, and he stayed fed. Though he didnt need my help with the latter. He’s been on a steady diet of bird and rodent.”
I laughed. “That is so Archie.”
“Yeah, so are we gonna talk about how your family had their throats ripped out, probably by vampires, or were you trying to save that conversation for another time? “
“That’s all I know, Novie. That’s all I’ve ever found out. Trust me. I’ve been searching for a fucking decade. A sign, one piece of tangible DNA, and nothing. Someday I’ll find the bastards that killed my family, and they’ll beg for mercy.”
“You’re god damn right they will. Fucking blood whores. I bet you Alistair had something to do with it.” She was as sure as I was.
“Without a doubt. If he didn’t do it himself, he pulled a Manson and had embers of his cult do it.”