“I never wanted it to end up like this,” said Fang Fen, as she sat back on the hood of her car. It was still hot, providing a warm place to sit for a few minutes before the bitter cold of the night filled it, like it was filling everything else. “The two of us on opposite sides, fighting over whether someone will live or die. You saved my ass once.” I was silent. “And we both know that I can’t repay you for it here. There are a lot of things I’d do for you, Atina, but I will not betray justice for you.”
I sat with Jenny on the curb outside the club. Polly was nervously kicking her soccer ball from side to side, bouncing it off of the top of her shoes with shocking precision. Every ten or twenty bounces, she’d miss, and it would heavily strike the pavement of the sidewalk, leaving large cracks. Alfred’s jaw was tensed, his forehead vein throbbing, his legs crossed. “Must you do that right now, darling?” he asked, through gritted teeth. He sat in a meditative pose, eyes closed, five candles surrounding him, the vials sitting between his crossed legs. I knew for a fact that he didn’t need any of these little accoutrements, but he’d made it clear that putting on a show made the magic easier.
The day before a major trial, the judge calls both lawyers into his chambers, with a very stern expression. “So, I have been presented, by both of you, with a bribe. You, Mister Abrams, gave me ten thousand dollars. And you, Mister Chandler, gave me fifteen thousand dollars.” The two lawyers bow their heads in shamed embarrassment. The Judge takes out a check for five thousand dollars, and hands it to Mister Chandler. “Now then, let’s decide this case on the merits!”
The Redcap is a traditional fairy, from the border between Scotland and England. Specifically, they’d inhabit the many castles and forts left there by the days when the Scottish were threatening to pour over the land and into the fertile belly of England. (HFM: In other words, as recently as September 2014.) Traditionally, they would haunt these walls. They were notorious for being fast runners, and wearing heavy iron boots- A notable choice among the iron-fearing fairies.
As we made our way down the hill, into the cemetery proper, I noticed groups of the undead stopping and kneeling by graves. A number of them carried flowers, mementos, or bottles of alcohol. Jenny frowned, looking among them. “What are they doing?” she asked, curious.
“Jesus Christ, Atina,” Alfred muttered, a frown on his face.
I am well aware that I am not a small woman. I’m not obese, though I weigh more than I’d like to. I’m freakishly tall, especially for a woman. That height brings with it a certain level of mass- And again, this is not an invitation for a joke about my weight, because I genuinely am sensitive about that. When I punch someone, they might not get knocked on their ass, but they should damn well have the decency to stagger. It’s not a matter of strength or toughness, it’s a question of relative mass.
Being a Vampire is, broadly, like being ‘white’ or ‘black’. That is, it’s a huge umbrella term for a very large and diverse group of individuals, and almost uselessly vague. The only thing that identifies one of the undead as a vampire is feeding on blood. Kumiho, Vampyrs, Draugr, Strix, Were-Mosquitos, Leech-Men, Camazotz, there are a shocking variety of myths about creatures that feed on blood, usually risen corpses. So, where the hell does the generic vampire with its daylight allergy, superhuman strength and speed, and hypnotic mien come from? How did those start getting made?