Chapter 58 - M.

I wake up on a couch, and stretch against the leather. It’s cold, Elias really has the AC kicking today. No, this isn’t our apartment. This place isn’t as expensive, or maybe it is. Pieces of art on red brick walls, hard wood floors. A view to downtown Chicago below us. A single bedroom, modern appliances in the kitchen. Great decorating taste, but this isn’t my apartment. I don’t know where I am.

I’ll add my missing jacket, shirt and shoes to the list of things I don’t know. My stomach growls, I’m hungry, whoever brought me here didn’t have the decency to feed me after they stripped me of most of my clothes. The fridge is empty except for takeout containers that look like they’re ready to start growing mold at any moment and bottles of some red juice. I skip past the takeout and go for the juice; the cap comes off and the smell hits me. Some strange metallic smell, is the only thing coming from the bottle, no fruits, no vegetables. I pour a few drops into the sink and it moves slowly down the drain and quickly mixes with the water. I replace the cap and sit it back in the fridge.

I spot my cell phone and wallet sitting on a small table and rush for them. Barely any power left and about twenty missed calls, another ten texts. All from Elias. If I get out and figure out where I am, I can call him for help. The door is locked, I remove the chain and unlock the deadbolt, even the switch on the knob. I still can’t get the door open. It’s too high up for me to jump out the window and I don’t see a fire escape. What kind of 1800s H.H. Holmes deathtrap am I stuck in? I grab a knife and rush to the bathroom so I can hide. Whoever trapped me here is going to have a fight on their hands with me.

Inside the bathroom I find my missing clothing. My jacket hung to dry across the shower rod, my sneakers drying on the sink and my shirt in a basket of clothes fresh out the dryer. With me clothes on I feel a lot less vulnerable and head back out to see what else I can find.

A bunch of strange books on occult stuff. Demons, magic, werewolves and mostly vampires fill most of the books. A few, erotic, novels scattered here and there, a very diverse reader. No TV or computer, I can’t get a read on this person. Bedroom door is locked as well. I feel like a trapped animal in here. Even if I tried to jump out the window to my death, I’m willing to bet it wouldn’t break either, just my luck.

The door opens and I leap back in shock. I get a good look at the woman, and I remember it all. Everything from last night at the club. I saw her, followed her trying to talk with her. Worst decision of my life. We went through a sex dungeon and came up outside. She got into a fight with two guys. One ran into me, if I was a car, I would have been totaled. She cut the other guy's head off and dragged me out the alley.

“Stay away from me,” I point the knife at her.

“All I got is some food. You saw me last night. That knife wouldn’t do you any good,” she walks closer to me unbothered.

“What are you?”

“I am an Adze,” she shifts her tone. “Long ago, Adze were said to be fireflies that would drink the blood of humans and make them ill. Some would even claim the Adze to possess the bodies of those in the tribe. Here we are now, no need for possessing bodies and being fireflies in the night,” she smiles as if keeping the best joke for herself.

“So what are you?”

“You aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of various races,” she drops the serious tone and asks in a confused manner.

“I’m a Black man in America. I know plenty about race.”

“I’m a Black woman in America, but I’m also a vampire in America, and you know nothing of the vampiric races,” the serious tone is back.

“I’m sorry, did you say ‘vampiric’ as in vampire?”


“Oh God,” I take a seat at the table leaving the knife.

“What did you think happened last night?”

“I thought I was dreaming. I forgot it all until I saw you,” why am I chatting instead of running.

“Likely a concussion, healing magic can only do so much.”

“Did you heal me?”

“And washed your clothes. I’m a regular Martha Stewart. Wouldn’t want such nice shoes being ruined by blood and vomit.”

“This isn’t some elaborate prank? You’re a vampire, you shouldn’t be able to walk around in the middle of the day,” I point out the takeout in her hand and the fact that the sun is up.

“Like I said, different races of vampires. Adze can walk around outside unbothered.”

“This is crazy.”

“I know, which is why I have to give you a choice. You can eat the pancakes I brought, find your way home and everything goes back to normal. Option two, keep asking questions, or start running your mouth and you get to be a snack.”

“I’ll eat the pancakes.”

We chat about shoes as we eat. I always thought vampires couldn’t eat food. Apparently, that’s only some kinds of vampires. She’s trying to act like I’m not a hostage right now. Is she just going to eat me later? I don’t think I’ll be free to go when I’m done with all this, but to my surprise she opens the door for me, using magic of course.

“What’s your name,” I ask before she closes the door.

“Destiny,” she waves her hand to shut the door.

“Maybe we can go shoe shopping sometimes,” the door closes in my face.

I get outside and take a picture of the apartment building and place a call to Elias as soon as I get outside. It isn’t long before he pulls up in his old Toyota. I hop in the backseat because the passenger side door doesn’t open up front. I’m not sure if he’s happy to see me or upset, because he’s not his talkative self.

“Where were you last night,” he asks, definitely upset.

“I got knocked out, a vampire saved me. She took me home,” the honest truth.

“Look, it’s usually charming when you’re being all weird but right now, just tell the truth. Say you met a girl, you went home and hooked up with her. I think that’s great. But you shouldn’t just disappear in the middle of the night and not tell anyone. I spent hours wandering around looking for you. There’s no need to make up a story,” I don’t think I’ve ever seen Elias this pissed off. He never gets mad.

“I’m sorry. I just...I’m sorry,” it’s all I can get out.

“Thank you. If you ever decide to pull a disappearing act again, let me know. If not, I’m going to punch you in the face as soon as I find you.”

“You know you can’t throw a punch any better than I can. A nerd and an artist fighting, we’d look ridiculous,” I joke.

“I’m for real.”

“I know, it won’t happen again. Big, little brother,” I smile so he can see me in the rear view mirror.

“I can throw a punch,” he smiles back and that lets me know we’re good.

Chapter 57 - M.

Outside the strange metallic smell is replaced with a combination of garbage and laundry. We come outside in a fenced off area filled with vents and garbage bins. I can’t say for sure where we’re at but if I had to guess we’re about a block away from the club. There’s a laundromat and strip mall there, this is probably behind it.

“I told you, stop fucking following me,” She yells out at the rooftops.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you. I would have stopped if I had. I just wanted to talk, I thought you had cool sneakers,” I push the words through my exhausted lungs to no response.

The cold night air rushes past me before I spot two black human-like streaks speeding into my vision and out in front of the woman. They come to a stop and it takes a moment before I realized they’re actually people. Two really pale men, identical haircuts, identical suits, the only difference being their faces and hair colors. One blonde, one silver, almost like they stepped out of some kind of anime. She doesn’t seem at all concerned about the speed they moved at. The weed and alcohol can’t have hit me that hard. It should have worn off by now.

I actually feel sick to my stomach as they stare each other down, almost like I want to pass out. I’m actually getting dizzy and feel the vomit making its way up my throat. They don’t look bothered by any of this and I’m on the verge of dropping to my knees or picking my favorite dumpster to throw up in.

“I don’t have anything for you,” she tells the men.

“We didn’t ask you for anything,” Blue responds to her.

“She’s got a guilty conscience. Maybe we should rip it out of her,” Silver responds.

“Are we doing this before the sun comes up? I know you guys have a curfew,” she asks.

“Your move bed wench,” Blue smiles.

“Fuck you,” she moves so fast she vanishes for a second.

The three are moving so fast I can’t seem to keep up with them. The nausea only seems to have gotten worse since they’ve started fighting. I’m not even sure if punches and kicks are landing when they’re thrown or being dodged entirely. A few times it looks like a person is thrown but they’re back into the mix so quick I might be mistaken. She seems to be fighting both without any problem. Am I dreaming? People don’t move like this. This is a scene right out an anime. Soon they’re back in their starting positions. Plenty of scratches and torn clothing.

“We’ll finish this later,” Silver says, obviously looking worst of all.

“Tell your boss to kiss my black ass,” she laughs.

“Destiny is a fitting name, because you can’t avoid it,” Blue says with a smile.

The two rush off behind her, the same way they came, she doesn’t even watch. They pass by me in a blur again, slightly slower. Maybe they’re tired. Being a Super Saiyan must take a toll on you. I wouldn’t know. I turn to watch where they’re heading and they actually seem to run up the walls. What am I looking at. One turns around and seems to rush back at Destiny, I feel the same feeling as before. I know he’s about to do hurt her, and she won’t even see it coming. She can take it, I’ve seen her fight these guys two on one, but I feel like I have to do something. I know I can’t move faster than he is, and I probably can’t knock him over either.

I do the next best thing; I step in his line. He’s following the same path as before; he’s moving too fast to turn on a dime. I don’t care what he is. The air is knocked out of my body so quickly I don’t have a chance to scream. The vomit finally comes out mixed with blood in a puddle next to me on the concrete. The pain in chest tells me this is far from a dream as I start to vomit more. I can’t tell if my ribs are broken, but the back of my head is bleeding through my hair. I have a concussion for sure.

“The fuck is wrong with you juice box,” Blue asks me looking down at me.

Am I juice box? Why am I juice box? Even if I could get the words out, I wouldn’t get the chance to ask him. Destiny, if that is her name, uses her hand to run right through his neck. I close my eyes as droplets of blood fly towards me. The warm drops land on my face like sticky rain. I hear the commotion of more fighting and open my eyes. Blue is staring at me eyes wide gripping at his neck trying to stop the bleeding but the puddle of blood has already covered me. Up above Silver is fighting with Destiny and doesn’t look to be doing so well when he doesn’t have backup. It isn’t long before she’s taken him out as well.

“Well, you’re all fucked up juice box. But I owe you one,” she pulls me up to my feet and wraps an arm around her neck. “I don’t know why you thought it was a good idea to jump in front of him.”

“You’ve got nice shoes,” is all I can get out.

“Yours are pretty nice too, the blood adds to the value,” is she making a joke.

“Can you take me back to the club?”

“In this shape? No, we need to get you fixed up otherwise people are going to start asking questions.”

“You left bodies in the alley. There’s going to be questions.”

“If they don’t bleed out, the sun will finish them off. No bodies.”


“Wow, you smell like a nerd, but you’re so dumb.”

Chapter 56 - M.

“See anybody you like,” Elias leans over to ask me.

“I kind of like her over there,” I point to the pale but copper woman wearing sneakers in the club.

“Of course, she’s pale and has sneakers. You’re basically looking at yourself. Go talk to her,” Elias suggests.

“What do I say?”

“Compliment her shoes. You’ve got cool shoes; she’s got cool shoes. Guys who wear cool shoes marry women who wear cool shoes and have kids who wear cool shoes,” that might be the drugs or liquor talking but he’s giving solid advice.

“But what do I say after that?”

“Tell her your name, then ask for her name. Ask her about her favorite shoes. You tell her yours, but let her speak more. Then give her your phone number. If she likes you, she’ll call you later, or text you while we’re still her. Simple,” Elias makes it sound so easy.

“But what if she doesn’t want to talk to me? Then what?”

“That’s just life. Can’t make people love you.”

“Don’t chase pussy, make pussy chase you,” Doug hops into the conversation.

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” I rebuke him.

“How would you know? You’ve never even had pussy. Have you ever seen one?”

“I know enough to know when you’re saying something stupid,” I really hate Doug.

“Chill out Doug, he’s just trying to get his cherry popped, but he’s got a better chance with the bar tender if you ask me,” Grant jumps in.

“You guys should chill out. Sure, he is a virgin but that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Just hasn’t happened for him yet. And being gay isn’t really something to be ashamed about either so I’m not sure why you two keep making the gay jokes.” Elias tries to bring reason into. He’s really good when it comes to stuff like this.

“You can’t protect your big little brother forever,” Grant responds immediately.

“Hey bro, did I ever tell you the story about how Grant and Doug paid a prostitute. After they were finished the three fell asleep in bed. She left in the middle of the night with their wallets. They didn’t realize she was gone and spent all night naked and cuddling. Repressed sexuality or something like that, might be the reason they go so hard with the gay jokes,” Elias tells the story with a straight face and suddenly Doug and Grant are silent for the first time tonight.

“That’s, well that’s a story I’ll never forget,” and one I didn’t need to hear.

“Go talk to your sneaker woman,” Elias gently nudges me off the couch.

“You’re an asshole just like your brother,” I hear Doug say to Elias as I walk away.

She’s even more gorgeous up close than she was from across the room. But she doesn’t seem to notice me, or anyone really. Her eyes seem to glow slightly and dart around the room quickly as if she’s looking for something. Her hands look soft, but they’re balled into fist. Maybe she’s looking for someone. This might be a bad time to talk to her.

“What you want,” A woman’s accent asks someone around here. It sounds like New Orleans but older.

Oh shit, she’s talking to me. Was I staring? I didn’t realize I had gotten this close to her. What if she is mad? What if she’s here looking for her cheating boyfriend and that’s why she’s mad and wearing sneakers. She’s getting ready for a fight. What have I gotten myself into? I take too long to get my words out and she’s already walking away before I can say anything.

“Please wait,” I start to follow her.

She picks up speed, but I don’t lose track of her. She isn’t running from me, it’s almost as if she’s running towards something else. Still I feel like a total creep right now. I’m chasing this woman through the club and nobody know why. I follow her through a back door into a strange area I didn’t know existed, almost like a dungeon. Black stones, and dirt floors, the opposite of the rest of the club. Just a corridor, she doesn’t even realize I’m following her but I catch a glimpse of whatever or whoever she’s following as we round the corner into a bigger set of rooms. It smells like coins for some reason, almost like the place is used as a piggy bank. I glance into each of the rooms and can only assume this is some kind of sex dungeon.

Some kind of red liquid seems to stain all of the floors and walls. Some of it is dried in bits and pieces while other spots are still wet. I do my best to dodge the wet ones, not really sure if I can clean off whatever this stuff is. I’m really putting my favorite pair of shoes for this woman. We don’t stay long before we’re heading through another corridor and up some stairs. She’s focused and not even acknowledging my calls. 

Chapter 55 - M.

“Why did you bring him,” I hear Grant try to whisper over the club music.

“Shouldn’t he be fucking a computer or something,” Doug responds.

“Because he’s my brother, and I like to spend time with him. Stop being assholes,” Elias defends me loud enough for me to hear.

Elias’ friends aren’t fond of me. I’m not fond of them either. Just art school dropouts. More concerned with looking like artists and living the artists life than actually making art. Just sit around all day pretending to be depressed and tweeting about not wanting to live. All for attention. Fake woke assholes who care about mental health on the internet but not in real life unless it’s some celebrity they care about. Just dickwads craving attention. Fake ass Basquiat impersonators.

“You good? Here, have a shot,” Elias hands me a small glass.

“What is that,” I cough as it stings my throat going down.

“Vodka,” he laughs. “Don’t worry, we’ll find you something else to drink.”

I never got why we all come to a nightclub then split up. Elias leaves me to go find love on the dance floor. I don’t really care where Doug and Grant went off to. I take a seat at the bar and see what everyone else is drinking. Straight shots and vodka and brown liquor, probably whisky or bourbon. Not my forte.

“What can I get you,” the bartender asks.

“Oh, I just had a drink.”

“Usually people don’t stop at two,” he jokes.

“Well I don’t usually drink.”

“A smoker then?”


“Sure, you are. This doesn’t seem like your kind of place,” he called my bluff.

“You’re right. My brother brought me here for my birthday. Wants me to meet a nice girl.”

“At this place,” he bursts into laughter. “Your brother has a lot to learn about nice girls.”

“He’s better than I am with the ladies.”

“Maybe you should be looking for something other than the ladies,” he smiles at me.

“Maybe, I don’t know.”

He laughs again “about that drink. What kind of flavors do you like?”

“Umm, I like sour things and fruits”

“I like fruits too,” he laughs again, he laughs a lot, “I’ll be right back.”

“This is good,” I sip the drink he made, “what is it.”

“Midori Sour, that’s your drink now. This one is on the house. I have to go help some other customers, try to relax and mingle. You’re a likeable person. I’m here if you don’t find that special lady,” the bartender heads off.

I try to do what everyone has been telling me to do. I need to relax. I make my way to the dance floor and move around a little. I’m sure I look stupid and uncoordinated but nobody says anything. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. Should people be talking or are they talking about me and I just can’t recognize it? I’m the only person who isn’t dancing with someone else. Maybe that’s the problem. I spot a woman standing along the wall by herself. I can tell she doesn’t really want to be here either.

“Hey, do you want to dance,” I make my way over to her.


“Do you want to dance?”

“I don’t know you,” she has a point.

“Okay. I’ll be around if you want to dance.”

Maybe it’s the pot from earlier, maybe it’s the drinks I had or maybe I’m just having a panic attack and I’m suddenly thinking of all the ways that this is the wrong place for me. But, I’m hot and I can’t breathe right now. Am I inebriated or am I having a panic attack? I don’t know, I might just be a hypochondriac. I haven’t had a panic attack since maybe junior year of college. I just start moving through the crowd of people until I can find a bathroom.

Inside smells like it hasn’t been cleaned in forever, sweat mixed with must but mostly urine. I can hear the sounds of a sex from the other side of the wall. At least someone is having a good time I guess. I look at myself in the dirty mirror and try to calm down for a moment. I splash some water on my face and wipe it off. Some quick breathing and I’m feeling a little better. I love Elias, but this is his world not mine. Just a little while longer means I can get out of here. I just need to go out there, pretend I’m having a good time and I can go home and never come back.

Outside the bathroom and my senses are instantly overloaded again. It seems like the music is even louder and there’s more people inside. All the false confidence I had built up in the bathroom is gone in an instant.

“Yo, where have you been,” Elias approaches me with his friends.

“Oh, I was just mingling with people.”

“In the men’s room? That’s some strange mingling,” Doug half jokes.

“If that’s your kind of mingling I hear the bartender is into that,” Grant adds.

“Fuck off,” I’m really not in the right mind state to deal with their crap.

“Don’t let them get to you. They’re just upset nobody is giving them the time of day,” Elias tries to keep the peace. “Let’s go grab a table to chill out for moment.”

“Do you have table money,” Grant starts with the jokes again.

“I do,” I pipe up. I don’t like to brag about income, but fuck him.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got table money tonight. That’s what happens when you actually sell art and don’t just post on Myspace all day,” Elias with the dunk off the assist.

Chapter 54 - M.

“What are you doing? We’re supposed to go out tonight,” my brother Elias starts.

“Nah, I’m just going to hang out here tonight.”

“And do what? There’s only so much porn and video games you can play. What game is so good that you can miss out on some Grade A+ pussy.

“Elder Scrolls Oblivion it’s pretty fun. It’ll only take a few minutes to set you up with a character.”

“I don’t get you. You graduated college, you got a good job. A nice apartment, and you even brought me along. But, you still prefer games over women. Do you like guys? Is that it?”

“What? Who told you that? I just want to play my game.”

Elias keeps digging through my closet for some reason. He might be borrowing shoes or something for his night out. I’ve got better shoes than him, he’s got me beat in just about other category. He’s more artistic than I am. He’s got better luck in relationships, better dressed, better hair. All of that. Somehow, he made green hair cool. I tried blue in high school, it was terrible. He picks out a pair of blue and black Jordan 1s. Admittedly my favorite then goes back to the closet.

“Dude, we need to get you better clothes. It’s like you grew up, but you still dress the same as you did in high school. You’re never going to find anyone if you keep dressing in jeans and t-shirts all the time. No adult woman is going for that,” he starts again.

“Can you just stop,” I try to protest as he drags me to his room across the hall.

“Blue is your color for sure, always remember that,” he pulls a blue leather jacket with black fur or something covering the inside from his closet.

“This is for you, was going to give it to you for your birthday. I know you like black so the blue jacket and the blue on your shoes makes it pop. Dressing nice as much about color theory as it is style.”

“Thanks, it’s a really nice jacket, but I don’t know what that means bro,” he loses me with the art stuff.

Elias’s room is full of completed and partially complete art. Some of it is just general stuff he does for commissions. Family portraits, wedding memories and that kind of stuff. The stuff he does for himself is more interesting. Abstract portraits, monsters and the like. You can tell he’s more passionate about those.

“Stay right here, don’t go back to your room. You’re going out tonight,” he runs into his closet. I let him have the bigger room. He’s got more clothes and he need space for painting.

He comes back and starts rubbing cocoa butter on my face and hands before picking out my hair. Something about dry skin and knotted hair. I just put up with it. I know I’m losing this battle tonight. We’re going out and he insists on me trying to attract someone. I’m not so sure why he’s insistent on me finding someone to get married to.

“Do we have to do all this,” I start to complain.

“Yes, I love you bro. You’re my best friend but you have no sense of style and you’re awkward as fuck, like all the time,” he laughs and I have to laugh because he’s honest.

“I’ll try to be less awkward, I really am working on it.”

“Yeah, don’t try. That just makes it worse. Get dressed, meet me in the living room.”

I head over to my room and get dressed. I catch a glance of myself in the mirror and I have to admit, he knows what he’s talking about. Other than the jacket, I owned all these clothes already. Some quick hair care and moisturization then I’m all set. I head to the living room and catch Elias in the middle of his favorite pass time.

“C’mon, we’re going to get you to relax today,” he pats the couch cushion next to himself.

“No thank you, I’ll go get the car,” I grab my keys.

“Nope, I already called a cab. C’mon, I want to see if it helps you relax a little.”

“I just, I’ve never done this before.”

“Relax, it’s easy. Like riding a bicycle,” Elias jokes.

He continues to break apart the sticky green buds, what looks like sticks to the side and the fluffy parts together. He sprinkles them into a little white paper and slowly rolls it together. He licks the end and closes up the joint. He quickly runs a lighter along the edges to make sure the adhesive sticks. He places it in his mouth and lights the end while taking a big puff and exhaling slowly.

“Your turn,” he hands it to me.

“What do I do,” I ask taking it from him. I’ve never done this before, but I am a little curious why he likes it so much.

“Just like sucking through a straw, but don’t close your throat,” he gives me instructions.

I take a big puff like he did, and nothing happens. He continues to encourage me to take hit after hit. Soon there’s a burning sensation in the back of my throat and I’m forced to cough. For some reason this is the funniest thing he’s ever seen. It isn’t long before we’ve finished the joint and our cab arrives. I’m not really feeling anything until I stand up, but I’m still not sure if I’m actually feeling anything. In the back of the cab I get the hiccups which makes Elias laugh even harder.

“What’s so funny,” I ask between hiccups.

“It means you were swallowing the smoke.”

“Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?”

“No, you inhale it into your lungs. You swallowed it like food,” he chuckles again.

“You said like a straw,” I remind him of his own words.

“I’m glad you’re coming with me tonight bro,” he completely ignores the topic at hand.

Chapter 53 - M.

[Present Day]

It’s so hot in here, I can’t see anything. Why can’t I breathe? Slowly my eyes start to adjust to my location. Smoke, I can’t breathe because there’s smoke everywhere. There’s a burning scorch mark on my chest that’s raw to the touch. Why is it so hot, and what’s that ringing? I’m starting to realize the building is on fire. What building am I in? Doesn’t matter for now, I’m sure it’ll be on the news. I need to find my way out. I start to lift myself off the floor but my arms and legs give out beneath me, not strong enough to carry my own weight. I drag myself over to some kind of table and try to pull myself to my feet. It takes a moment but I’m standing up. My legs are wobbly, like I’m some helpless baby deer. I drag my legs through the burning building trying to recognize any of the burning surroundings as I look for a door. Nothing comes to mind, nothing at all.

Don’t touch doorknobs if there’s a fire. I remember teachers always telling us that when we were younger. Right now, this door is my only way out. I grab the doorknob and quickly turn it. As I let go the flesh peels from the palm of my hand. I want to scream out in pain, but I can’t. I don’t have the energy. Staying on two feet is taking everything I have.

Walking outside and I instantly start to choke. Almost as if my lungs hadn't had fresh air in a long time. The sunlight instantly blinds me removing the little bit of sight that I had a few seconds ago. I feel hands touch me and people start to ask if I’m fine. Their warmth is more comforting than the fire, but I can't’ stay here. This feels wrong. I start to feel my way around and move away from the crowd before my sight fully returns to me. I don’t even recognize the burning building I just walked out of. I don’t even recognize this city, at least not through my blurry vision.

As sirens come closer in the background, I guess it’s time to get familiar with the city. I start to limp away, legs feeling a little stronger but not strong enough. As I move more, they seem to strengthen and remember. Almost as if they had forgotten how to walk. A few people behind me start to point me out to the firefighters. I can I hear them, I’m hearing everything. Wobbly legs and sensory overload, not exactly the best way position to be in. I should be running right now, but I can’t do it. Instead I just walk faster and hope they get distracted by the fire.

“Hey, buddy you need help,” one guy grabs at me.

I smack his arm away from me and keep walking. Unless he could tell me why I woke up in a burning building, there’s no reason for me to talk to him. He doesn’t look like the kind of guy that can help me anyway. It seems like more people are starting to head towards the fire, so I just push through the crowd and try not to lose my balance as I go along. I’m not sure how far I’ll have to go until I’m away from the commotion but my legs won’t go much further. I duck into an alley as another fire truck screams past me. My eyes haven’t adjusted yet so it’s too fast for me to make out the city name on the side.

I make my way over to a dumpster and lean against it to catch my breath. I don’t care that it smells terrible, I lean my back against it and slowly slide to the ground to rest my legs. I suck in a few more heavy breaths full of oxygen trying to let my body recuperate. The scorch mark on my chest isn’t so tender to the touch, but it still burns when I take a deep breath.

Too many deep breaths cause me to cough and spit up a mixture of black flemn and blood. Shit, blood? That’s new, I don’t remember that at all. I don’t remember anything to be honest with myself. I reach into the back pocket of my burnt jeans to fish out my wallet. It seems like the flames might have gotten to it, the back pocket is partially burnt and my wallet seems to burnt pretty bad, melted in some parts. No cash, my cards seem to all have melted together into one super card. Part of my driver’s license sticks through mess. I can’t read anything of value, just a warped picture of, who I’m guessing is me, and the letter M. I guess my name starts with an M. Was it that hot in there? Why was it so hard to move?

I just need to think. I need to remember how I got to this point. I close my eyes and rub my fist against the side of my head as if it’ll help me remember what happened. Just think.

A New Saga Begins

Almost a year ago I started writing Exsanguinate on a whim. I just enjoyed the idea of a serial novel. I honestly didn't think it would last this long. With 52 chapters, around 60 thousand words and a chapter each week it's been almost a year. I say almost because I released the first five all at once.

I've actually had more fun writing Exsanguinate than anything else I've written. This one isn't as heavily scripted as the others. I come up with a saga, a few arcs and just roll with it. I'll see what happens next week. It's turned out rather well so far, with the exception of one chapter. That chapter being the flashback, if I ever decide to release it as an actual novel, I'll probably make changes to that one. I'm not really in a rush to put it out in novel form so don't worry.

The next saga is called Retrograde. Retrograde is one of the many types of amnesia, and this saga deals with an amnesiac. Most of these will take place in the past but I'll be sure to notate which chapters take place in the present day. I've always wanted multiple characters, because it's fun. This guy is a lot of fun to write so I hope you have fun reading. I'll keep the chapter numbering the same so Chapter 53 will be the start.

Thank you for reading, have fun.