Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fire and Ice: Ice

Part 2: Ice

"Anybody here?" I called out. Someone banged on a door at the end of the corridor, muffled screaming mingled with coughs... There was thick, black smoke coming out of at least four doors. I ran towards the door and was about to yank it open when a hand shot out from behind me and opened the door. Smoke billowed out and hit my face. Even before I could sidestep the smoke -- and I am very fast -- someone pulled me aside roughly.
I spun around trying to see and free my wrist at the same time. The grip was iron-strong. There was a fireman standing next to me, I could barely make out his orange overalls. I had not seen any fireman enter the building before me, where did he come from? Before I could say anything, he pushed me aside, lunged into the room and in a matter of mere minutes came out with an unconscious woman in his arms.

"Come with me," he said and without another glance began running towards the stairwell. I ran with him and realised I was matching his pace. Or he was matching mine. We were both running faster than most humans. We jumped down the stairs together and were soon outside the building. Even as people clapped and cheered, I realised the rescue had hardly taken seven minutes.
People were coming around to pat us... It was not safe. He was a fireman and I had just come out of the building unscathed. There would be questions. I quickly turned into the swarming crowd and as fast as possible -- and as inconspicuously -- began walking away. I had almost made my getaway when an iron hand clasped my wrist for the second time that day. I jerked my hand away, without success and swivelled to face my captor.
The first thing I noticed was that the fireman was very tall. I am 5 feet 6 inches and he was at least a foot taller than me. He was very dark… and very handsome. If you find a cruel face handsome that is. There was no softness in his face. All lines, a straight sharp nose… He was not frowning, but he looked angry. Perhaps it was the way he was clenching his jaw; a strong chin and perhaps a cleft but I couldn’t be sure. I was drawn to his eyes. They were grey, like an overcast sky and bloodshot.
He was looking at me or through me, I couldn’t be sure. What I was sure of was that he did not like what he saw. It angered me. Men have always reacted to me positively. I pulled my hand again, he wouldn’t let go. Before I could say anything, he spoke. It was as if he was grating the words out through teeth; his voice was a blues singer’s voice. Deep, slightly throaty and each word pronounced with careful deliberation.
“Are you all right?” he asked, no, spat at me. Despite the question, his tone and his face suggested he really did not care. It angered me further.
“Don’t touch me, keep your fucking hand off. I can manage alone,” I hissed back, again trying to pull my hand away. Again, failing. How could he match my strength? No human man had ever managed…
He laughed, still holding my wrist, clasping it tighter now, making me wince. I hated him.
“I doubt anyone would want to touch you. You are so cold,” he said, making each word sound like an insult and digging his fingers into my wrist again. He suddenly let it go. I noticed it then. He was as cold as I was.
I looked at him in shock. He smiled then. A feral, predatory smile and I saw his teeth. His canines were slightly pointed. Fangs. Like mine. I stood and stared. A fireman who was a… vampire? Before I could react or say anything further, he turned and started walking away. Loping rather, his long legs made longer strides. I stood and watched and even before my brain could get over the initial shock, he turned to look at me once more.
"I would suggest you don’t try and save anymore humans. It’s against your basic nature and you are clumsy. If you are discovered, you put everyone in danger. The others will not appreciate that and neither will your beautiful self. And remember beautiful, no one is ever alone.”

He left and I felt fear for the first time in a long, long while…