Chapter 3.6 – Pancake Breakfast

Chapter 3.6 – Pancake Breakfast

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 and the place is cozy. This isn’t my apartment, I’m sure of that. I don’t know where I am and I don’t have a clue to start with.

I’ll add my missing jacket, shirt, pants and shoes to the list of things I don’t know. I’m going to end up on an episode of Law and Order: SVU at this point. Whoever brought me here stripped me down to just my boxers and socks and left me passed out on a couch. 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. Whatever that is, it isn’t for me, and has probably gone bad. Why am I wandering around this place? I need to find my clothes and get out of here. I’ll just end up in jail running through the streets in nothing but boxers. 

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, my shirt and jeans in a basket of clothes fresh out the dryer. With me clothes on I feel a lot less vulnerable, less afraid, but still trapped. I head back out of the bathroom 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 book shelves. 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 possessed 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, specifically Adze, 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 kitchen table and release my hold on 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. Option one, 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. I tried to file a police report this morning, but they said you hadn’t been missing long enough. You’re not a runaway, you’re a grown man. There’s no need to make up a story about vampires and nonsense. I never judged you before, I wouldn’t judge you now. Just, tell the truth,” I don’t think I’ve ever seen Elias this upset. He never gets mad.

“I’m sorry. I just...I’m sorry. I went home with the woman from the club, her name is Destiny” it’s not the complete truth, but it’s what he wants to hear.

“Thank you. If you ever decide to pull a disappearing act again, let me know, and I’ll come with you. 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 rearview mirror.

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


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