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The Immortal Rules

By @choppedmint

Story 21

Two years and a figure pushes itself through a crowded street, squeezing through the crowded area. Hands in pockets, hood up, evening crawling onward. It was a beautifully glowing night, the figure had to think. Wouldn’t have traded it for the world.

There were no other travelers with this single entity. Everyone that squeezed around them – him – in this crowd were all headed in different directions. He finally pulled himself out of the crowd, down into an alley. He shook out his hands as soon as he entered the far less busy off-shoot, pale skin peeking out from around the edges of the black gloves. It was a bit cold, so it wasn’t exactly eyebrow raising for him to be wearing them. “Tight fit,” he murmured, meaning the jam of the crowd he had just left. He ran a hand through his oily hair, continuing to move along the alley and dancing around trashcans and other obstructions. It wasn’t the type of city he was used to. He’d only been in a few large ones. It wasn’t Morganville, that was for sure. He didn’t see that town growing much at all, or as long as Amelie was still living at least. You didn’t want more strain on the balance between vampires and humans. Either way, this wasn’t Morganville, but what did that matter?

He pulled his hood down again, just to make sure the fading light wouldn’t affect him, though that was why he’d stayed in the crowd (everyone was taller than him and cast such longer shadows) or within the alley. When he exited again, it was a few streets down from a park. He could smell the trees, hear the rustle of leaves even from here. He grinned a bit, because he had to. Now, that was something a bit unusual. Green. This wasn’t a desert, after all.

He jogged across the street, only using the crosswalk for the driver’s benefit and not his own. A lot more people seemed to jaywalk here than they did back in Morganville. It wasn’t like there were more crazy drivers there than there were here. They didn’t let Myrnin or Oliver drive for that very reason. Morganville was just more … fearful. Tense.

The moon rose above the peak of a tall glass building as Sam loped into the park. Much larger than anything in Morganville of course.

Grass was actually watered here too. He couldn’t remember what grass looked like when it was watered. To his eyes it looked almost radioactive green, compared to what he was used to. Stepping off the concrete he spun around a bit to look at the scattered trees and well-trod turf. This was nice. Walking backwards seemed to be the way to go and this was what he ended up doing, twisting around to look at any interesting night sound or any speck of light or flashing headlight. It was all very entertaining when your senses weren’t expecting this many distractions.

Vampires didn’t smell. No, no, not like they didn’t have the ability to use the sense, but he’d already realized he’d structured that sentence incorrectly. What he’d meant was that he could smell humans. And birds, and rabbits, and even most bugs. It was that in detail and freshly woven within his mind. Vampires had almost a lack of smell. An emptiness within the world that wasn’t expected or usual. Even to other vampires maybe it was just that simple to tell that they were unnatural, even to themselves. Unnatural, yes, but he supposed that he still … well, important, if he must be that self-centered. He had the right to live, he knew that. Fear of death wasn’t unnatural, it was very human. It was just the fact that for a time he and others had managed to cheat it.

He’d be three in another couple days. Three years of being a vampire and a little under fifteen years of li – existence. A very interesting experance undeath.

But back to the smell.

There were other vampires in this park. There was no denying that. And though there was that emptiness of smell, the lack of it, there was still a way to sense who the two vampires (oh yes, there were two) were. Maybe it had something to do with vampires having a bit of mental abilities. Maybe he could just sense the shape of the brain.

“Yeah, yeah,” he said, slouching in a mock imitation of a stereotypical teenager. “I’m here.”

Both of the figures turned. They’d been sitting in front of a duck pond, which he found a bit worrying in one case, since the man with a ponytail might just do something silly. The grey eyed woman probably wouldn’t let him, but that didn’t mean that was reason to relax.

“Wait, were you ever gone?” asked the ponytailed man. Yeah, he was joking and all three of them knew it. Yet there still seemed a reason for the ************** to shrug. “Because you didn’t tell me to meet you back here. Look, if you left me I’d be walking cross country. Again. They don’t really like letting the minor on the plane. Hitchhiking isn’t safe. Safe for the train, probably, I think I’d be fine.” Not for him, he really wasn’t worried about himself. And that had been one of the things that Michaele had listed with the whole cure thing. You got comfortable with this life. With being protected from a lot of damage and the only think to protect against being pain and certain forms of things that could kill. “Yeah, yeah,” said the man with the ponytail, waving a hand around, nearly hitting it into a tree. “And I can’t exactly find a way back to get you. I know, I know. We’ve got to catch the flight out of here early tomorrow morning anyway. Don’t want to play that game.”

The grey eyed woman snorted but gripped the man’s hand (Sam saw him act a bit surprised at this, but it was hard to tell if it was just shock or if he was actually pleased) and made him walk out from behind the metal framed chair that sat facing the pond. “Of course,” and here she twisted her hand in a way that it was practically a signal for Myrnin to do a spin, like he was dancing. He had sort of started to do one or two dance steps around the chair and the woman obliged him for about two before she turned to the boy and shrugged just a tiny bit. “There’s still several hours before we need to go, so if there’s anything else you wanted to do, then I see no reason why you shouldn’t.”

And it wasn’t like he was going to say no. This wasn’t like he got out of Morganville very often, so he jumped at the chance to run around a bit more. They’d probably have to clear out of the park soon enough. This wasn’t Morganville. But for now, the teenager moved around like the night would never end. And there would be other nights. This wasn’t a once in a life-time trip, like for others it might be. He might just be able to visit everywhere, at least once. And that’s what interested him. The night would never end.

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