Chapter 5:

Death

After 400 years I finally met you


Death comes in the most peculiar of ways, usually it takes you by surprise. You are one moment there enjoying life and the next it’s all dark. There are steps to follow in this situation and typically is as David Gerrold says “Life is hard. Then you die. Then they throw dirt in your face. Then the worms eat you. Be grateful it happens in that order”. But the real problem is not what happens when you die, you are not there any more, it’s not your business. The hard part is for those who are left behind and have to deal with it.Bookmark here

Hana screams again and covers her mouth with both hands. Breathes deep, she can’t hear the music’s sound even if it is loud, the only thing that her ears perceive is the echo of the moments she exhales. Her eyes are fixed looking at the bended neck of the man she just met a couple hours ago.Bookmark here

BANGBookmark here

The door behind her opens loudly with a kick, and Valentine appears with a frown on her eyebrows. Bookmark here

“I should have known better” Valentine yells “He tried to make a move, didn’t he? Did you take care? Need help?”Bookmark here

Hana just points at the end of the stairs, Valentine takes a look and sees the corpse.Bookmark here

“Oh sh…” She covers her mouth, then releases and continues “Wow, that was a little overkill don’t you think? I don’t know what he did but oof look at that neck” Valentines starts walking downstairs and squats at one side of Pierre “Hmm too bad, seemed like a good guy. Hey, do you mind if I suck his blood while it is still fresh?”Bookmark here

“VALENTINE!” Hana scolds, making a confused expression.Bookmark here

“Just asking!” she shrugs and makes a move with her eyes like it wasn’t a big deal “What a shame to let it spoil like this”Bookmark here

“Mistress Valentine!” The hypnotized young man that was at the table with them crosses the door.Bookmark here

“Ugh, not now Masato” She quickly goes up the stairs and moves her arm in a circular motion in front of him “You will go back to the bar and make sure no one else crosses that door” She stops, smiles, and turns around. Then before going down remembers something, so she turns around again and moves her arm to continue the hypnosis “You will not remember anything about meeting us tonight as soon as you leave the bar when the sun comes up”Bookmark here

“Yes Mistress” He leaves and the door closes.Bookmark here

“Well, that takes care of that” Valentine rubs her hands like taking dirt off them “Now the body, I know it looks bad, but believe me when I say that I have my ways of getting rid of it. Do you prefer to make it look like an accident, blame it on someone, I have a certain grudge going on so I have the perfect candidate for that one, or you wanna erase all evidence with an old fashioned but effective acid bath?”Bookmark here

“Valentine, what the heck? I’m still processing what’s going on. He just fell and broke his neck” Hana sits on the stairs rubbing her forehead.Bookmark here

“So it was an accident, don’t worry about it. We’ll go with that, but…” She sits near Hana and touches her own chin, then makes a noise with the tongue “Maybe we should move the corpse to another bar and leave it there. I mean, I don’t want this place closed because of a random death in the stairs. Where would I have fun in the future?”Bookmark here

“He called someone to pick him up”Bookmark here

“Perfect! I could hypnotize that person, make them believe that he is alive and leave a certain traffic accident in the hypnosis. Then they will believe that he died in the accident and everything will go smoothly. See? There is always a way in the darkest of circumstances”Bookmark here

“Ugh, why is this happening to me? I’m the world’s most unlucky pretty woman!”Bookmark here

They get up and go downstairs, then pull the corpse and move side by side putting the arm over their shoulders. The head just wobbles from side to side.Bookmark here

“This is so unsettling” Hana says.Bookmark here

“I know, it’s cold now, I can’t eat him even if I want to. What a waste of food” Valentine says.Bookmark here

“Can you please help me to lift up my head?” Pierre says.Bookmark here

Both girls scream and throw the body forward, not noticing the other half of the stairs where Pierre’s body just fell. The sound of meat and bones crashing is disturbing but they keep watching until it reaches the last step. There’s silence for a moment.Bookmark here

“Uh excuse me, Miss?” The man’s body is the first to say something “You are some kind of undead right? A ghoul maybe?”Bookmark here

“No” “Yes” They answer at the same time.Bookmark here

“Oh Sorry, yes I am an undead, but not a ghoul. I’m a vampire. My friend here isn’t one, she’s just a witch”Bookmark here

“JUST? I’m a powerful magic being. I feel that you are not giving me enough credit” Hana shakes her head “Oh! but that’s not the point! WHAT ARE YOU!?”Bookmark here

“Sorry if I startled you” Pierre’s body keeps talking without moving from the uncomfortable looking position that he is in “Earlier, the hit broke my neck, well, this body’s neck, and my spirit was sent flying. When I came back it was when you two were picking me up, so I didn’t really understood the situation”Bookmark here

“So you are conscious that your neck has broken?” Hana asks, really confused.Bookmark here

“Oh yes, you see, I’m a ghost. Well is the easiest way to explain it, even so, some find that word quite offensive. But you can use it to address me, I really don’t mind a bit. What does worry me, is that this body is in no condition to move, I’ll be scolded for ruining another good body”Bookmark here

“Does this happen often? Did you possess and end up killing that body’s owner?” Hana starts going downstairs. She’s cautious just in case she gets possessed. This is all new information and she has already made some assumptions.Bookmark here

“I can respect that, honestly” Valentine makes a grim smile and starts moving behind Hana. Her friend just turns around with a frown on her face. If looks could kill, that expression would have been the equivalent of a shotgun. Valentine just moves her fingers over her lips in an expression that imitates a zipper being pulled.Bookmark here

“Nah this body was already dead, the boy commited suicide. Oh, the poor thing, anyways, he was really handsome and with a bit of makeup I can exploit his full potential” Pierre continues.Bookmark here

“A likely story, how can I prove it? And how can I trust that you won’t jump from that body and try to possess ours” Hana and Valentine finally reach the last step. Bookmark here

They are located in the middle of a dark alley, one side leads to the stairs and the other one, in a straight line, leads to a street where the lights of the cars can be seen every now and then.Bookmark here

“Not all ghosts are that way! Besides, taking over a body that already has a soul inside feels so gross, it is like a spiritual battle to see who is in control. But let’s say I deserve it for scaring you. Look at my wrists, there are marks of what the previous, uh, let’s say owner. Marks that the previous owner did to himself. If you check the abdomen there is a big scar, and before you freak out, I’ll explain that I must remove some organs from the bodies I possess or those will start rotting and will be very uncomfortable for some”Bookmark here

The two women look at each other, Hana nods to Valentine. The vampire squats and checks if the given information is true or false. On the wrists there are marks, lines that go horizontally from one side to another, there are also some that go vertically. None of those lines look successfully healed, on closer inspection they look just dry. Cautious, Valentine pulls the shirt and checks Pierre’s abdomen, there is a big vertical line that starts from the end of the thorax, it’s stitched back but just like the scars on the wrists this one isn’t healed either.Bookmark here

“Heh, gross. I like it” Valentine gets up “Looks like he is telling the truth or at least part of it. In that shape a human couldn’t be alive. I’m so grateful that Hana stopped me when I tried to drink you”Bookmark here

“Thanks for not destroying this body”Bookmark here

“ Ok, let’s say I believe you are not one of those evil ghosts or a devil”Bookmark here

“I’m not, I assure you”Bookmark here

“Still, I want to keep my distance. But something intrigues me”Bookmark here

“Tell me”Bookmark here

“Aren’t you able to move that body? After all you are a ghost, shouldn’t that be easy enough for you?”Bookmark here

“Actually, I can’t. You see, when I use a body, I move it by remembering how it was to have a body.There is some kind of ghost memory, so when I receive a hit that could kill someone, I’m expelled from the body. I can come back obviously,but if I feel that something is not right… Well, unconsciously I’ll act accordingly, what I’m trying to say is that I can’t move from my neck down. Maybe if you help me set it in a more natural way, I could let it flow and move the rest”Bookmark here

Hana is grossed out by the idea of moving the head of a corpse around it’s own neck. Valentine is not, so she just grabs Pierre’s head and starts moving it in circular motions.Bookmark here

“This is kinda fun actually” Valentine smiles at Hana “It feels squishy, I don’t usually play with the corpses after I finish drinking them, but I’m honestly thinking I should have”Bookmark here

“THERE! STOP!” Pierre yells “That’s the spot, it feels right. Now keep it that way please” his limbs twitch a little before moving, he puts his body into a more comfortable looking position, then uses his left hand to reach inside his pocket and takes out a flip phone.Bookmark here

“Oh! I have the same model!” Valentine gets excited “Wait, yours is pink with golden lines? Weren’t like only 10 of them?”Bookmark here

“That’s right, a collab with beautyholic, that makeup brand sure has good taste” He checks the phone “Can I bother you just a little more? My ride will arrive soon. Can you be with me until he arrives?” Bookmark here

Hana smiles and gets closer, she sits on the last step of the stairs and then says: “Sure, sorry for… well, for everything”Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, I had a good time, really. Despite falling down the stairs and breaking my neck, it was a really fun night” He pauses for a moment and then asks nervously “Can… Can we hang out again another time? If it’s fine with you, I don’t want to bother you”Bookmark here

Valentine turns around and smiles at Hana, her eyes are seeking her approval.Bookmark here

“Yeah sure, no problem” Hana smiles.Bookmark here

“Nice! Can I have your LIME so we can stay in touch?” He moves his left arm near Hana, he is holding the phone and on it’s screen there is a big green logo.Bookmark here

“LIME?”Bookmark here

“Oh, she is still new to all this. Here, have mine” Valentine searches in her pockets but doing so she releases Pierre’s head. As soon as that happens, his arm loses all mobility and falls to the ground “Oops, sorry. Hana can you please help me hold the head in place while we exchange numbers?”Bookmark here

“S… sure”Bookmark here

Hana moves her arms and grabs the head, she can feel when some bones click, and when that happens, Pierre’s arms can move again. It's a little less gross now for her, but she gets distracted by the bright screens of the phones. So many colors and numbers appear on them, they seem like having fun and that makes her feel left out for a moment.Bookmark here

<I thought it would be easy to adapt, but everything seems so different. I don't know if I’ll ever get used to it> She thinks.Bookmark here

“Selfie! Smile!” Valentine yells.Bookmark here

It takes Hana by surprise but she just imitates the other two and looks at the phone that her friend is holding up in the air, a flash comes out suddenly and then disappears.Bookmark here

“What?” Hana is confused and then notices her image on the screen “WHAT!? Can that thing take photos? But isn't it a phone?”Bookmark here

“I sure love the new you. Now I’m the master” Valentine grins.Bookmark here

“Pierre?” A young voice sounds as a man in his 20s approaches.Bookmark here

“Hiroshi! You are here! Good news! I made friends with them. They know I’m a ghost so everything is ok… Bad new I broke my neck and kinda ruined this body”Bookmark here

“YOU WHA…” Hiroshi takes a deep breath and then exhales “I won’t discuss anything here, please get in the car” He points at a black car parked where the alley finishes “Sorry for all the trouble that Pierre caused”Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, we should be the ones apologizing” Hana says while she and Valentine carry Pierre’s body, each one with one of the arms going around their shoulders “After all, we did break his neck”Bookmark here

“Hey, leave me out of that, you broke his neck alone. I arrived later” Valentine pouts.Bookmark here

They arrive at the car’s door and just throw Pierre inside, Hiroshi waves his hand and then enters. The engine starts and in just a couple of seconds, they disappear. The entrance guard of the bar notices the last part and looks concerned at Valentine.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry Yamato! He just got really drunk and couldn't walk. We were just helping” Valentine quickly lies and Yamato just gives them a thumbs up.Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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