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Death Before Dawn Novella - Ashley's Presumably Short After Life
“Tonight, on breaking news across the nation, the investigation into the disappearance of Kale Ryan finally comes to a close. The body of Kale Ryan (15) has been discovered in a shallow grave, police are unsure to who the murderer is,” the English woman on the television mutters, smiling over to her partner.
“Yes, the parents of Kale are relieved that their son has been found, but all the while saddened by their loss. Police are unaware of any markings upon his body so far, but investigation is underway as to the cause of death.
There is one thing that everyone should be aware of: the murderer is out there, right now, and may even be watching right at this moment!” Her partner finishes speaking.
The television switches off and the viewer’s long hand slides across the remote. Her finger nails are painted a light shade of red and her left hand is sporting a brand new diamond ring. She smiles, a malevolent smile and throws the remote at the television set. It shatters, spraying glass across the furniture surrounding it.
At that instance a young boy, roughly 16, walks into the room, and heads for the girl. She turns on her heels and welcomes the boy into her arms. He rests his head there on her shoulder for a short while, but then raises it and kisses her square on the lips, slowly but passionately. She returns the kiss, and smiles as she pulls away from the boy.
“Ashley,” he mutters, lounging on the couch. “Did the television break?”
“I got…er, aggressive with the news,” Ashley admits, sitting back down on the couch, which is now covered in shards of glass.
“The news; heard it from a house down the street as I was walking up. Kale Ryan, finally found huh?”
“Mmmm,” she mumbles, her eyes trailing across the room, thoughtful.
“Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to kill him, Ash; he was beginning to be an importance to the team! And besides, I liked him!”
“Past tense, Riley; liked him, he’s in the same position as both Demetri and Hayley now!”
“Crude,” he mutters, frowning and stands up on his feet. “Drink?”
“Depends on what,”
“The usual: rich in iron and full of vitamins,” he smiles, heading for the drink cupboard, opens it and pulls out two large bottles of red liquid. “O or A-?”
“Either,” Ashley replies, slightly bored by the daily routine. He hands her a glass, pours the red liquid up to the brim and retreats back to his seat, grasping his own glass of blood.
“To the after-life, pun intended!” He chortles, swigs the whole glass and repours himself the same amount of blood.
“After-life,” they both bang glasses as a figure enters the large sitting room.
“Having a little party I see,” mutters the new arrival. She steps over the broken glass in her black high heels and settles herself on the hand-rest on Ashley’s right side. “What, can’t you invite your own sister?”
“It seemed morally disrespectful in present circumstances to invite a sister who was believed dead by her friends,” Ashley murmurs, obviously still bored. “How was the funeral?”
“Lame, and totally no fun at all,” she takes off her veil and black hat, gloves, and black tinted glasses. “Just the same as mother’s funeral; funnily enough the parents of the deceased mistook me for you, t’was a funny sight!”
“Really, Monica?” Ashley mutters, eyebrows raised and lips pursed as if to kiss. “They thought you were me? Didn’t you…”
“It slipped my mind, sister. Have you honestly been holed up in this poor excuse for a sitting room? And all day?”
“Take a hike,” Riley groans, pouring himself Port instead of blood this time.
“Been there, done that, sweetie! Why don’t you, or are you afraid that the sunlight will shatter your fragile skin?”
Riley’s mouth widens, presenting a wonderful set of white fangs, three inches long and razor sharp. He hisses at Monica and crouches. She returns the gesture, crouching even lower than Riley.
“Calm,” Ashley mutters, clearly the most mature vampire in the group. “Remember what happened last time,”
“Yeah, I kicked her butt,” Riley grimaces, points to Monica and retreats to the corner of the poorly lit room. “Did I mention, with style?”
Ashley ignores him and continues, “So, any news on Sha’kah?”
“Dead, by the looks of him, and poorly disposed of to name a fault! I have to admit that it was done carefully, though. Sibyl’s group must have caught up with him!”
“The b****,” Ashley growls, thumping the table; it broke into pieces. “All this time she was keeping him under her watchful eye, ugh if only I could repay the favour!”
“What watchful eye?” Riley asks, standing to attention all of a sudden. “You aren’t seriously saying she tortured him? This is Sybil we’re talking about; she is too nice to torture a 200 year old vampire!”
“Then it clearly wasn’t her,” Ashley growls, leaning back in her chair and closing her eyes. “She has a large entourage and it could have been anyone of the dozens she is familiar with…!”
“Mmmmm,” Monica mumbles, deep in thought, eyes also closed. “Sha’kah was such a part of our coven; it’s a dear loss for him to be dead. What was he doing anyway, Ashley?”
“Out looking for Kale, I guess. Kale was determined to go and find his mother and tell her what he was, guess the thought died with him!”
“And Sha’kah also, but what I don’t get is why he would go looking for Kale? Kale made it clear that he wanted nothing to do with us; and by us he meant vampires!”
“So what? That was his problem not ours, and besides, it’s not as if we wanted him to be a vampire. The truth is, he came looking for us, remember?”
Ashley shot a glance at Monica, who was speaking the truth with her wisest words. Kale came looking for them when he heard about the tragic death of Demetri and Hayley, knowing full well that we had killed them in the cemetery.
“But…” Ashley begins.
“But if he hated us, then why did the idiot ask to be a vampire? I don’t get it!” Riley snorts, interjecting.
“Guess he wanted to see how dangerous we were, mind you, we were extremely dangerous at the time.” Monica explains. “And the Police are actually investigating his death, so be prepared for some blood and guts. We will take them down if there is even a hint of us as the murder suspects!”
“Hear, hear,” Ashley mumbles.
The door opens, admitting a young blonde girl; piercing blue eyes taking in the scene. She gives Monica, Riley and Ashley a quick once-over and begins speaking.
“Cosy, isn’t it?”
“Not as cosy as it could be,” Riley jokes, his eyebrows dancing. The blonde blows him off and smiles politely at Ashley.
“Ashley, we need to talk…now!” She mutters, through clenched teeth.
Ashley nods, passing a piece of paper into Monica’s hand as she leaves the room. On it, briefly, it says:
Don’t let Riley out of your sight! I’ll explain later…