10 - Vampire the Masquerade

Story written by kt6550 on Tuesday 15, December 2015

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Jeanette or Therese

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Jeanette or Therese
"YOU!" Therese shouted at me again. "That was my art showing! You ruined my art showing!" "Well, umm ; " I said by way of explanation. I was a young vampire, a Childe in vampire terms. And Therese was a powerful vampire who controlled Santa Monica. I had better get my act together, and get it together quickly. "You ruined my paintings!" she shouted, and her voice hurt my ears. "I knew that you would succumb to Jeanette"s corrupt influence!" "Okay," I said, getting a grip, "Jeanette told me that you both wanted the paintings destroyed. I only did what I was told." Here I paused, removed my backpack, and took out the old locket. "Now, here is an article of the ghost you wanted from the hotel. And there are two ghosts, one male, and one female. The male is a poltergeist. Now, you going to hook me up with Bertram Tung?" This seemed to calm her down a bit. She touched her cheek with her index finger, and then rubbed her lips with it. "Okay, but I feel you owe me for the paintings. One more little favor, and then I will tell you where Tung is. Fair enough?" "Another goddamned delay," I grumbled. "Okay, what the hell do I have to do? And this is the last task, Therese." "Fair enough," she stated. "The Surfside Diner is directly across the street from the club. Jeanette is hiding there. You see, I said some nasty things to her, and hinted that I just might tie her to a bonfire on the beach. She"ll be in a booth in the rear, looking to feed. Convince her to come home." I didn"t say a word. I just left the Asylum and headed to the diner. It looked like a typical American diner; probably serving fried chicken, meat loaf, and lousy sandwiches. I entered, looked to the rear, and saw no sign of Jeanette. The damned thing was a set-up. There were four biker types in the front of the diner, and some guy was scraping grease from a grill. I checked auras. They were the only five there, and no vampire auras were present. I knew that I was in trouble. Therese wanted these four to give me the Final Death. The guy scraping the grease ducked low behind the counter. The four biker types were armed. Three had 38 Specials, and one had a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun. They opened fire. The bullets from the revolvers didn"t hurt, but the shotgun ammo hurt like hell. And I knew that weapon would be the one that would kill me. I grabbed my knife and went to work. The power came to me automatically. I touched the brains of all four of the bad guys. They just stood there talking, wondering where I had gone. I had gone nowhere. I was in a low crouch, looking at them. I moved. I cut the throat of the guy closest to me. I hit the remaining three with my power again. They paused before they could get a shot off. I cut the throat of the second guy. I was covered in blood, but it was two down. The remaining two opened fire. I directed my energy at the guy with the shotgun, because he had hit me with another round. I put him into a trance, but now I was scared. My blood was low from using my powers, and the shotgun blasts had really hurt me. I knew that I was going to have to feed, and feed soon. I took out the third guy, and then I moved on the fellow with the shotgun. I did not cut his throat. I fed. And I took almost all of his blood. I remembered what Jack had said. It was okay to kill when you were threatened, and this was definitely a threat. He would probably die before a doctor could help him. I grabbed his shotgun and its ammo. I didn"t need the 38"s; I already had one of them. Then I charged through the door, across the street, and back into the Asylum. I could hear a siren in the distance. I figured the cook, or whatever, who was hiding, had found a phone and called the police. I went up to the office and just gasped at what I saw. I sat cross-legged on the floor and decided to watch. Jeanette, or maybe it was Therese, was standing in front of a full-length mirror in the office. The right hand held the butt of a nasty-looking .45 automatic. The left held the barrel. But here is the kicker. Jeanette/Therese was wearing Therese"s business skirt. But she had on the tight half blouse with the black bra sticking out. One side of her face, the right, was made up like Therese. The other was made up like Jeanette"s. The woman turned and looked at me. "You! Stay out of this! I"ll deal with you later!" I decided that that was Therese speaking. The woman was arguing with herself. Not talking. This was a full-blown female argument. It appears as though Therese used to sleep with her father, who was a heavy drinker, on a regular basis. Jeanette used to sleep with anything, male or female. One day, the dad came home drunk, was confused, and mistook Jeanette for Therese. Therese entered the bedroom and caught the pair in post-coital repose. She grabbed a hunting rifle and killed their dad. How in the hell one woman did that was beyond me. But as the argument progressed, Jeanette/Therese was not yet a vampire. That would come a few years later. Now something started to make sense. When I had first entered the office, I had noticed a lovely portrait of a good-looking man with a cute blonde girl. Just one girl. Not two. I suspect that Jeanette/Therese had been psycho from the very beginning. And something told me that I was dealing with a Malkavian here. I had better be careful. The woman continued the argument, shouting into the mirror. Therese accused Jeanette of being a slut, even in the vampire life, and sabotaging her best efforts at gaining power. Jeanette accused Therese of being a control freak, wanting to run anything and everything and pretending to be a virgin queen. Then she said something that made me perk up. "I used you, yes," Jeanette said, "to slash the paintings. But Therese wanted you killed. She wanted you out of the way. She feared your power, and she wants Tung dead as well." "Grab the gun, Jeanette! Finish it!" I don"t know why I said it. It just seemed to be the proper thing. The woman pointed the .45 at her belly and squeezed off two rounds. Then she doubled over, dropping the gun and kneeling on the floor. After a few minutes, she stood, the wound healed. "I didn"t want to kill her," the woman said, sobbing. "But she was losing her mind. I am going to miss her. I really will." I knew that Jeanette had won. I was looking into her eyes. I stood but remained silent. "Tung will help you," she said, "because I will tell him to. He cannot refuse me anything. Do you know where he is hiding?" "No, I do not." "Go past the diner," Jeanette said. "About two blocks down, there is a junkyard, and next to it is an abandoned tank farm. Bertram is hiding in the first tank. He will be expecting you." "Thank you Jeanette." "I am going to be so lonely with Therese gone," Jeanette said. "Promise you will come back and visit me once in a while. It would be nice to have a quiet talk. And maybe we could even dance in the club." "I promise, Jeanette," I answered. I wasn"t sure if I was ever going to come back to this club, even to feed. Jeanette scared me, and it is not easy to scare a vampire. This was an old-fashioned, fear-to-the-bones and heart fright. I left the club. Tomorrow night I would find Bertram and, hopefully, finish this business for the prince once and for all.
   

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    The Jeanette/Therese struggle was interesting, bizarre, and cool at the same time.