Blood Oranges Are Deadly (ON HOLD)

Ever since he was ten, Sam has lived his life in Trodger Hills, one of the biggest Dome Cities in the world. While dealing with a hard-partying sister, a demanding school and figuring out what his dreams of a mysterious girl mean, Sam also trains to be a soldier, so he can avenge the vampire who killed his father. One day he is ordered to leave the safety net of Trodger Hills, into the wild, where he is to travel to an abandoned town, and make sure that there is no vampire activity in the area surrounding Trodger Hills. He does not expect to find the girl he has been dreaming about for two months. And he does not expect her to be a vampire.

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4. The Body on the Road

I have just finished vacuuming the whole upper floor. It turns out that cutting up pillows isn’t really such a good idea. The feathers were everywhere! As I walk by the window something catches my eye.

There is something on the road outside my house. It’s dark outside, but there definitely is something there.

I immediately sprint down the stairs and out the door, not caring that we’re in the beginning of December, there is a layer of snow on the ground, and I’m not wearing a jacket or shoes. I have to admit though, that it’s pretty freaking cold.

Running down the white-stoned pathway to the gate I almost slip on the icy layer of frost, though I quickly recover. As I get closer I realize that it’s a body.

A body.

Of an actual person.

I throw myself down on the ground next to the body. It’s a human boy. He’s beaten up pretty badly. It must have been that stupid ass ghost who’s always lurking around my house. I press my fingers to his wrist anxious for a pulse. It’s very faint, though it’s there. I exhale in relief. He’s not dead, thank God.

Wait a minute.

He looks oddly familiar. I try to ignore the bruises, as I look at him.

“Holy shit!” I say out loud. It’s him! It’s the boy from my dreams.

I almost smile a little, but then I remember that he’s lying on the ground, unconscious and soon to be dead.

It’s a hassle getting him up. He looks slender but weighs more than I expected. I finally manage to get his arm around my neck. I half drag him to the house, and into a random guest bedroom. The stairs were the biggest challenge. As soon as I have laid him in the bed, I go down to fetch his backpack. Once I get it inside again, I take off his jacket and boots.

His ankle is bruised and twisted at an odd angle. A sprain probably. He also has a big red blood stain spreading on his thigh, and the fabric of his pants leg is torn. I tear the fabric off completely, just over a knife wound. It looks quite brutal. Blood everywhere and stuff like that. Is he even still unconscious?

I slap him on the side of his cheek. No response. Okay... He’ll probably just wake up later.

At least he’s not dead.

 

Cleaning the wound took the longest time. There was way too much blood.

After that I go into my basement or “The Dungeon” as I used to call it as a kid. There is a good reason for it though; the place really looks like a dungeon you would see in a movie. There are big, gray, bricked walls, torches on the walls, and a lot of cobwebs.

The entrance to The Dungeon is in my kitchen, under a kitchen counter. You basically just pull the cabinet doors open, and voila! There is a stairway, though it’s extremely narrow down here.  It’s like this place was built for garden gnomes. But luckily I’m small.

You could easily get lost in in the passages if you don’t know exactly where you’re going. My great-grandparents must have been extremely paranoid when they built this house. There are a ton of secret passages leading from different rooms. I bet you, that I still haven’t found all of them.

When I get to the laboratory I can smell the sugary chemical scent of magic. The healing section of the laboratory is probably the hugest of all the sections. It had to be, when my brothers were always doing all sorts of crazy stuff that 90 percent of the time resulted in a broken limb or two. Or three. Or four or five.

It doesn’t take long to find what I’m looking for, because I re-organized the place two weeks ago. Some sayserroot, argot leaves, and petatriume pollen should do it. Soon I get the ingredients under boil and now all I have to do is wait. While I do that I read. Books lie in heaps on the floor, and the furniture, basically everywhere in the house.

When the herbs are fully boiled, I filter out the remaining plants, so there’s only water left. I nearly drop the water when a voice booms in my head.

Hey, you there? My twin brother Max says.

Geez, you scared me half to death! I respond.

Well, there’s not really any other way we can talk. I clean up whatever is lying around the laboratory and then I take the healing water to the guestroom where I placed the boy.

As if I don’t know. So what do you want to talk about?

Recently you’ve been talking about trying to come, and I was just wondering if there was a chance it’d be relatively soon?

Actually, you’ve probably chosen the most perfect moment to talk, because just this evening I found an alive boy out on the road. I sit down on the bed where the boy is sprawled.

Say what?

I know, it’s crazy! Like how the hell did he get past my force field?

You don’t think there’s a chance he might be witch? I lightly open his eyelids to check his eye color.

Absolutely not, his eyes are just a normal dark green. No witch has green eyes.

What if he’s a special case like you?

If he was a witch would he be going to Trodger Hills Army Academy?

Good point. Wait; did you say Trodger Hills Army Academy?

Yeah.

Just yesterday I overheard couple of soldiers talking about a Trodger Hills Army Academy student who had been sent outside the dome.

You think it’s him?

Pretty positive, like unless you know anybody else in that situation?

Ha, ha, ha. No, but seriously, he could be my ticket into Trodger Hills! Well if I can get him healed.

Why, what happened?

He was probably beat up by the ghost that’s always lurking around. It wasn’t a vampire, that’s for sure. Well I need to heal him now, so talk to you later?

Yeah. And with that I can no longer feel my brother’s presence in my head.

I take the healing water, and with my fingers I drip it into the boy’s knife wound. Immediately, it begins to pull together, as if stitching itself together again. I also drip the healing water on the boy’s twisted ankle, where the healing water slowly sinks into his skin, and his ankle straightens out. When I drip the healing water onto his face, the blue and yellow bruises immediately vanish. Argot leaves acts as a kind of morphine, so there’s no pain at all. Quite effective frankly.

Suddenly the boy gasps, and then he goes still again. I immediately check his pulse at the side of his neck. It’s still there. And then I hear it.

Snoring. The boy is snoring. Well, now he’s just sleeping at least.

The sun is slowly rising outside, though you can’t almost tell because of all the snow. Eh, time to go to bed.

 

The next morning, around the time when the sun is setting, I stand in my kitchen cooking waffles, as they are my favorite type of breakfast. I scoop the last waffle off the pan and onto the plate with all the other waffles, and turn off the stove.

Then I hear a sound from the first floor, and I hurry up the stairs to find out what it is.

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