This is the entry I sent in for the 1000 Likes contest . The judges at Young Writers gave me some GREAT critique and feedback, but I’m going to post the story here raw and un-(re)-edited lol.
(also follow them here on Twitter and Facebook. They share writing tips and prompts, and hold monthly competitions)
I already know it has a rushed feeling to it. I’m new to short stories so I haven’t fine tuned the skill of “Less is More” quite yet but, I’m getting there. I’m confidant the rewrite will be much better and I won’t be under a word count contraint either. Okay, no more stalling LOL ….
1000 LIKES ENTRY – NO TITLE :
I smiled before I even opened my eyes and remembered taking pictures of Blake Miller at the party the night before. I could still hear his voice, “I hope to see you around, Dominique.”
I immediately wanted to get to my computer to edit and print the pictures. I ran a hand through my hair and frowned. You would think with such straight hair I wouldn’t wake up with a bird nest on my head.
I started the task of going through the 348 pictures. I had hoped to get a good one of Blake but instead there was an odd smudge around the back of his blond head and shoulders. I sighed and scrolled through more, the smudge was in every picture of him.
“What the hell,” I whispered aloud.
It took a moment to realize the smudge was a shadow and actually had a shape. Wings! I thought. It looks like he has wings. I remembered the sensation I felt when he touched me, I could almost feel the burning thirst again. The energy I took from another young man was a mediocre substitution. Without even thinking I printed the pictures out and headed to his house.
Unsure how to explain my visit; I walked around the house peeking in the windows to buy more time. All of a sudden the front door opened. A pretty woman with long brown hair answered the door. She was slightly on the chubby side but proportionate enough to be curvaceous.
“Can I help you?” she said hastily.
“Yes, I’m … is Blake home?”
She muttered, “Another girl …”
“No, no. We went to school together. I wanted –“
“He isn’t here. Try calling next time.”
She was about to close the door on me when we heard loud noises coming from inside. She sighed and walked away leaving the door open. I wasn’t sure what to do so I walked in and found her gently whispering to an upset yet beautiful raven. Its wings were black as oil.
“I think I’ve upset it,” I said backing away.
“It’s fine,” She looked into its eyes and spoke to me without turning. “Why don’t you come back for dinner? I’m sure Blake won’t mind. I’m his cousin, Lyric, by the way.”
“I’ll do that,” I said as I left thinking how odd that encounter was.
“Hey, shutterbug!” Blake joked as he opened the door.
I could see Lyric coming down the stairs pulling her thick curls into a ponytail.
“Sorry, I didn’t even ask your name earlier,” she said.
“It’s Dominique.” She nodded, smiled and kept walking. We followed her to the kitchen.
“So, Lyric said you were snooping around earlier”
“Well, not exactly snooping. More like …”
“Snooping?” he laughed.
I sighed loudly and decided to just pull the pictures out. The sooner they thought I was crazy, the sooner I could just leave and hide in my bedroom until college.
“These pictures I took of you … at the party. Well, they came out … odd.”
“Its … well, look,” I fanned the pictures out on the table and turned quickly when Lyric gasped.
“You see it too? The wings?” I said looking back and forth between them.
Blake shook his head and whispered, “I’ve been photographed before, though.”
“Maybe she’s special,” Lyric said as if I wasn’t there
“… Or it’s something worse …”
“No, Blake. I think it’s her. Maybe she can help.”
“Hello, maybe she’s sitting right here and would like to know what’s going on?” I interrupted.
Blake closed his eyes. “Do you believe in the unbelievable, Dominique?’
“Like werewolves, zombies or….curses?”
Did they know about me? I thought.
“I’ve had experiences that couldn’t rationally be explained, so I guess so.”
“When I was a kid I was cursed. It’s a long story but, since then at sunrise every day I become a raven. Until I take my last breath.”
The air was thick as they waited to see what I would say.
I looked directly at Blake. “Have you ever heard of a succubus?”
“Those sexy chicks that seduce and kill dudes?”
I laughed for the first time. “I don’t know about sexy but, close. They feed on energy. Not completely draining the men though, although it is possible. No on has to die, they just wake up feeling hung over.”
“When I was 14 I had my first kiss. He ended up in the hospital from it.”
“You’re not saying…”
I nodded slowly.
“Wow,” I heard Lyric whisper.
“Blake, there is a way I can help you. It’s … dangerous though.”
“I can drain you, in a sense you will be dead,” in the corner of my eye I saw Lyric slowly shaking her head.
“No, listen. The curse said until your last breath right? Essentially, you would be dead, but after that I would be able to put your energy back.”
“You can do that?” Blake asked
“I’ve been practicing to control the power. Mostly on tourists. They never remember. I’ll leave you dead for a minute or so then revive you. “
“Lyric, it’s been 10 years. I can’t do it anymore. Trying something no matter what the risk is better than trying nothing.”
Lyric nodded to me, “I trust you. When can we do this?”
I got up and gestured to the living room.
Lyric and I started clearing a spot on the living room floor for him and told him to lie down. I knelt over him and smiled.
“Don’t worry,” I whispered. I put my lips to his and started to siphon the life from him. There was a moment his hand moved to my hair and I felt him returning my kiss before the energy began flowing and his body went rigid as he grabbed onto my shoulder. He had more power in him than I had ever felt before in my experiences; it was intoxicating. I felt his hand drop from my body and through a haze I heard Lyric.
“Dominique! Stop, He’s not moving!”
I released the death kiss and looked down at his unmoving body. The two minutes seemed to tick by at a turtle pace. Then I kissed him once again; expelling the energy back into him was literally painful, I started to feel weak and dizzy. Blake’s eye flew open right before I passed out and I saw they were glowing bright blue.
Pain. All I felt was pain.
“So, this is how those guys feel in the morning,” I murmured.
“She’s awake,” Lyric whispered.
The room was bright and I was still on the floor. I looked towards the front door and saw Blake standing in the doorway with his eyes closed and a smile on his face.
“The wind is blowing. The sun is so warm. Dominique… thank you,” he opened his eyes to look at me and his tears fell freely.
I nodded tiredly at him and tried to get up. Lyric helped me to the couch and I closed my eyes.
“I need a bit more rest,” I mumbled as Blake walked over to me.
He whispered in my ear, “I’ll give you a real kiss when you wake up…”
I fell asleep smiling.