Blogophilia 24.11 – Philip Part 1
It’ time again for Blogophilia. This week’s prompts are:
Ecrits Blogophilia Week 24.11 Topic – “Yellow Rays”
**BONUSES: Hard Bonus (2 pts): Incorporate a line from a Bette Midler song (I know the truth)
Easy Bonus (1 pt): Include the phrase “straight to the heart”
I was hoping for a full story, but time is not my friend. Oh well.
Philip walked through the door of the café and scanned the crowd. He was a little early for the lunch crowd, but late for the breakfast feeders. It looked like he was going to have to feed alone.
It wasn’t that he had a problem being on his own, he was quite happy that way most of the time, but he’d always felt meal time was a social event. It stretched back to his human days, on to his childhood. He’d had a large family, and meal time was a noisy, rambunctious affair where his mother bustled to and fro, while children fought over the choicest morsels, and the dogs ran around, grabbing dropped crumbs.
That was a long time ago.
He shrugged it off and glided towards a table. The waiter, familiar with his daily custom, rushed to take his order, ignoring other customers. As he should, Philip thought. He deserved special treatment, given he was an Executioner.
He waited for his blood to arrive, drumming his fingers on the tabletop as he surveyed the patrons. All nobodies; not that nobodies weren’t important. Just as a peasant class had been important for the lords to exist, so these no-ones were important for the vampire elite to continue. Someone needed to tend shops, clean things, make things, serve the blood, and commit the crimes, otherwise those at the top would have to do everything themselves.
And who the hell wants that?
Though not a dream stealer, Philip felt the shift in the atmosphere. He glanced to the door, delighted to see Beldren walk in. Tall with a blonde ponytail, Beldren was popular with the ladies. Though he and Philip weren’t exactly friends, they’d spent time together.
A perfect feeding time companion.
Philip waved and Beldren headed for him, taking the empty chair.
“Hello! How are you?”
“Not nearly as bored as you,” Beldren replied, glancing at the menu board. “I hear you’re grounded.”
Philip ground his teeth and tried to force down his objections. “Something like that.”
“What I haven’t heard, is what you did to get into trouble.” Beldren fixed him with an intense stare, as if trying to pull the secret from his memories.
Except he can’t. He’s not a dream stealer, either.
“I wouldn’t say trouble. Just got Malick’s attention is all.”
“Got his attention?” Beldren chuckled. “More like earned his ire is he’s suspended you. I’m not sure that anyone’s ever been suspended before. If so, it was probably Verchiel.”
The waiter dropped off Philip’s glass and Beldren ordered. Alone again, the blond placed his hands on the table, fingers steepled. “Maybe you’d feel more like talking if I told you something interesting?”
Though Philip had no intention of enlightening Beldren, he was smart enough not to say that. “Really? And what do you know that’s so interesting?”
Beldren leaned back, a gloating smile on his face. “I found the Hand of Death.”
Philip stopped, glass halfway to his mouth. “Was he missing?”
“Was he…?” Beldren repeated indignantly. “Yes! In so much as no one knew where he was living. His last known address was vacated sometime in the fifties and since then he’s been on the wind. But I found him. In Maine.”
Philip sipped his blood, an eyebrow crooked. “And how did you do that?”
“We were sent to handle a nest of rogues. Of course, you look for nearby vampires, and we found him and his fledgling.” Beldren dropped the last word as if it was something shocking. Still irritated, Philip refused to play along.
“I assume the rogue killing went well?”
Beldren gave an impatient huff. “It went well enough, yes. As I was saying, there was Jorick and a fledgling; a teenage boy. The rogues had been staying down the beach from them. They’d killed a few humans already, luckily there aren’t a lot of vampires in the area, so it hadn’t progressed to war, yet.”
Beach. A beach sounded lovely. “Who called it in?”
“What?” Beldren blinked.
“The rogues. You said there weren’t very many vampires, so who called it in?”
Beldren waved it away. “I don’t know.”
Philip took a long drink, savoring the hint of mint. “I only meant that if The Hand of Death was the only vampire in the area, he must be the one who called.”
“Perhaps. I don’t see that it matters.”
“Because then you didn’t so much find him, as he told you where he was.”
Beldren sputtered for a moment, and finally snapped, “I imagine he’d have killed them himself if he felt they were a problem, not called it in.”
“Perhaps.” It was Philip’s turn to feel smug. Tell me I’m grounded again, hmmmm? “I assume the interesting news is still coming?”
Beldren’s mouth opened and closed a few times before he finally snapped, “I assume you’re suspended for insubordination? Or was it a write up for cowardice? I heard you abandoned your guards on your last assignment.”
Philip forced a controlled breath through his tightening lips. Cowardice? Between the two of them, Beldren knew the meaning of the word better than he did. As for abandoning them…It hadn’t been abandonment, but self-preservation. They’d gotten caught out too late. As they ran through the trees, heading back for the safety of a local coven’s den, the lead guard had tripped, and fallen on part of a downed tree, taking a branch straight to the heart. He and the remaining guards had fled, leaving the body behind to be destroyed by the yellow rays of the sun.
It was perfectly acceptable behavior – expected even – but one of the guards had gotten whiny. In his report, he claimed that the guard wasn’t dead, that when Philip sent him to check on the remains the next night, he’d found what was left of him several feet away from the branch, as if he’d fought himself free and crawled, leaving a trail of burned grass behind as the sun took him. To be honest, Philip hadn’t gone to check himself, but he doubted very much that such a story was true.
And even if it was, he’s dead now, so does it matter?
“I can’t help if someone fell behind,” Philip replied, forcing his tone calm. “It’s not my job to babysit.”
“No, of course not.” Beldren leaned forward. “I know the truth, of course, as do we all. But no matter.”
- stained glass 2. colorful 3. dragonfly 4. autumn is coming 5. autumn colors 6. nature 7. look close 8. delicate 9 wings