When Jeremy woke with his head on fire, he was in a dark room that looked like a jail in an old spaghetti western. He lay on a hard cot with one leg dangling off the edge. The leg was numb from the position, and at first he thought it was not there at all. Maybe it finally fell off.
Sitting up on the edge of the bunk he looked around. He was in a concrete building of some sort. He expected to see some guy in a poncho and huge sombrero on the other side of the bars with the stub of a cigar in the corner of his mouth. Instead, his head swam as he watched quick movement from the other side of the room. Nadia was on the opposite side of the chamber in a jail of her own.
“About time you woke up.” She growled and wiped her mouth with the back of one hand.
“Where are we? And how did you get here?”
“You got the good seat. I was in the trunk.”
“How what? They grabbed me and threw me in the trunk before you came along. I’m surprised you didn’t hear me screaming.”
“How could anyone catch you? You move like a lightening bug.”
“They just did.” She paused and looked at the floor. “There was some garlic involved.”
“Garlic, huh? I always heard that old wives’ tale about garlic and vam . . .” Jeremy immediately clamped his mouth shut. He had never mentioned the word vampire in front of her.
“Well, don’t believe everything you hear from an old wife.”
“Who are they and what do they want?”
“I can answer that.” A large man in a turtleneck walked in the door. His accent was thickly Russian and he was followed by two henchmen. They stood behind him with arms folded over their chests.
Jeremy was suddenly hungrier than he remembered feeling for days – weeks for that matter. What time was it and when was his last meal?
“I need Dirk Cummings back out on the street. He owes me a lot of money.”
Jeremy glanced at Nadia. She paced the floor head down. Guttural noises came from deep inside her and she suddenly sprang for the bars, fangs bared and eyes glazed.
“She’s hungry. How about you, counselor? You hungry?”
“Feed ‘em boys and I’ll be back. You, lawyer, start thinking of a way to get Cummings back in my pocket. Do svidaniya.” The man spun on his heel and left the room.
One of the henchmen tossed the black can into Jeremy’s cage. It spun and rolled away bouncing off the other side of the bars, twirling and coming to rest at his feet. It had a logo on the side that depicted a pair of fangs. In Nadia’s cell he heard a bottle of pills hit the floor and bust open. Pills flew all directions, most spewing out and between the cells on the concrete floor. Jeremy’s pills from Dr. Smith. He recognized them at once, but none within his grasp as he dove for the bars and reached as far as his arm would extend.
“Throw it to me!” Nada hissed staring at the can in Jeremy’s cell. Laughter could be heard as the men left the room and slammed the door.
“Well scoop some of those back into the bottle and throw them to me!” Jeremy pointed at the pills that lay on the floor in Nadia’s cage. Nadia stared back at him not moving. He huffed. “Vampires suck.” He turned his back on her.
“Yeah, well zombies rot.” Nadia scooped the pills off the floor of her cell back into the bottle. She moved with speed belying her hunger. Jeremy was still reaching out through the bars for the one pill that was almost close enough to touch. Most of them still lay in between the cells.
“Toss it over here, Littleton. If you want the pills, throw the can to me.” Nadia’s eyes had a hunger he had never seen before and he wondered if he looked the same.
Jeremy picked up the dark can and walked to the bars. If he tossed the juice, it might not travel all the way to its intended destination. Maybe he should roll it.
“Throw it!” she screamed. “Or you’ll never get these.” Nadia held the bottle out of the cage tempting him.
“Okay, on three. We both toss them to each other,” Jeremy said. Since when did they not trust each other? The hunger was getting to both of them. “One, two, three.” Jeremy threw the can between the bars and it struck the metal on the way out veering off the wrong direction and spinning. It landed on its top and popped open spewing the red liquid, bounced off Nadia’s cell and came to a stop in the middle of the room between the two cages. She screamed obscenities at him as she watched the liquid run out and across the floor.
It was at that moment Jeremy noticed his pill bottle in the middle of the puddle of fake tomato juice. They ran together. As the red juice hit the blue pills they turned a dark and sinister purple. Almost black. The combined liquid ran in the direction of the vampire to the other side of the room.
She was licking the bar where the juice first bounced. Her tongue curled around the metal like a cat grooming itself. The liquid trickled closer to the jail cell on the uneven floor. When it oozed under the bars she lapped it up with gusto and pulled the bars apart so her head could reach out further. Soon her slender shoulders were out into the middle of the room followed by the rest of her body and she continued to clean the floor with sucking noises. Jeremy watched in amazement – and then it struck him she was out of her cell.
“Nadia.” She looked up at him. Her eyes had lost their blaze. “Hand me the pill in front of you. And, um, can you do that to my bars?” She licked the floor again and handed him the pill that was still on the floor in front of him. He quickly dry swallowed it.
The bars were barely pried open enough for him to get through when she yanked on his arm.
“Don’t. It might come off.” He slipped through the rest of the way just as the door was opening and the two thugs rushed in.
Nadia moved like greased lightning throwing one man aside. The other rushed Jeremy. He was never much of a fighter, except in a courtroom, but a quick uppercut to the chin sent the man crashing to the floor. Jeremy’s fist was left dangling at an odd angle after the punch. But it didn’t hurt.
Together they ran from the building and into the night air toward the lights of the inner city.
“Are you normally that strong? I mean you bent the bars! Do you think it was the zombie pills?”
“I don’t know. Shut up and run. Oh, and here you almost lost this.” Nadia handed him his ear. “Maybe the doctor has some better glue. And he’s is going to be pissed that you broke your hand.”
He took the ear and dropped it in his pocket. “Thanks. Yeah, he probably will be. Hey you still want that beer?”
They trotted down the street as she pulled him faster and faster away from danger. Who knew when the Russians might wake up?
Will Nadia and Jeremy become a couple? What will they have for dinner and will their vampire kids rot? Zompires – another new breed of humanity! Thanks for reading Zombies are People Too and happy Halloween!