All Tied Up and Nowhere to Go

Submitted into Contest #163 in response to: Write a story about someone facing death for the first time in their life.... view prompt


Adventure Drama Fantasy

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

TW: Swearing and Ninja Sex Party references.

Chords around Esmerelda’s wrists cut into her flesh. Her captor paced the basement, glancing at her intermittently. A single candle lit the space. The flame danced, threatening to quit at a moment’s notice.

            “What are you waiting for, fang face?” She asked. “Are you going to kiss me or not? Don’t leave me in suspense.”

            “I never kiss… girls,” said the vampire. It gnawed sharp nails, black silk cuffs flapping.

            “Look a little closer and you’ll see I’m all woman,” said Esmerelda.

            “I wouldn’t lower myself to kiss anyone who wears Grogu green jackets out in public.” The devout goth sneered, black lipstick curling up to reveal his sharp teeth.

            “Says you,” Esme said. “You look like you escaped from a Ninja Sex Party concert.”

            “What the fuck is that?” Asked the vampire. He pulled up a stool to sit in front of her. His leather trousers made uncomfortable sounds, provoking pain in Esme’s teeth.

            “They’re a glam rock parody YouTube thing. Look them up. Anyway, what’s wrong with Grogu green? Grogu is adorable.”

            “Agreed,” said the vampire. He was watching a video on his phone.

            “Is that First Date? That’s the only one I like, My son’s a big fan of them.”

Not one to complain that her blood sucking captor wasn’t draining her dry, Esme hung casually from the rafters. The vampire devoured video after video, bobbing his head to the beat.

            “They’re pretty good,” said the immortal, waking the hunter from her nap.

            “Did you say something about Grogu?” He asked, putting his phone away.

            “Just that he’s adorable and awesome.” Her wrists were mercifully numb. Her shoulders were front of the line for whining muscles.

            “I like when he flipped that rhino thing. That was badass. He does move like a real baby as well.” He looked at her as if they’d met in a bar. He’d kidnapped her in the carpark of one and shoved her in his boot.

            “If Darth Vader was a glam rock star, he’d probably wear that shirt as well. Nice boots as well.” She nodded to the flames on his customised black Doc Martins.

            There was no wiggle room with the chords around her wrists. She was going to die. “What’s your favourite of the Star Wars movies? Mine is Rogue One.” She hoped it would buy her time. He was in no rush to kill her. She was in no rush to die.

            “Empire Strikes Back. No doubt.”

            “Can I have some water?” She was thirsty, and bursting for a piss. Holding it in was a herculean task. Leaves on the floor were grey with dust. A desiccated mouse lay on its back in a beam of moonlight.

            “Sure. I don’t have any holy water though.”

            “That’s okay. That stuff burns on the way down for a sinner like me. I want something smooth.”

            “I’ll have a look.” He stood, trousers squeaking as he walked away.

            She pulled on the chords. Dust snowed down from the rafters. Esmerelda coughed. If only she could reach the knife in her sock. If only she could lift her own bodyweight while holding the blade between her toes. There seemed as much point in wishing she was married to Patrick Swayze.

            She could scream for help. She knew they were in the middle of nowhere from the bumpy ride in the boot. Yelling couldn’t get her any more killed.


            “Hey. Shut up.” He returned with a bottle of water which was almost as old as Esmerelda’s son. “Do you want this or not?”

            “Yes. Please.”

            “Then quit yelling. No one will hear you.”

            “I don’t want to die,” she said. Her voice quivered as she thought of her son.

            He held water up to her lips. It tasted acidic, but it was better than nothing. She gulped greedily, spilling it down her chin. Coughing as she inhaled some, she watched him.

            Pale hands clenched and relaxed. Sitting on the stool, he chewed his nail. “Do you like being a hunter?” Eyes the colour of an arctic sea peered into her soul.

            “That’s quite a loaded question. I don’t even know your name.”

            “Alex,” he said, leaning forwards and burying his face in his hands. Black locks fell over his face, making him the vision of Sadako from The Ring on prom night.

            “Alex the vampire. Maybe you should go with Alexander. That sounds more like a vampire. It is short for Alexander?”

            “It is. Named after my grandfather. You never answered my question.” He stood, looming over her.

            “At times I enjoy my job. I got to kill a Bandersnatch a few months ago.” She smiled, remembering. “My friend was going to turn into one if I didn’t kill it. He can go outside now.”

            “That sounds like sex slang,” he said with his face twisted in disgust.

            “I said the same.” She laughed. The beam above creaked as she shifted her feet. 

            “Have you killed a lot of vampires?” Alex mumbled the words the way teenage boys ask their crushes on dates. He couldn’t look her in the eyes.

            “More than you, I’d bet. Why?” Is that going to be how he justifies killing me? She thought. She’d lost count of vampires. Not because it was many, but because she had a terrible memory.

            “Do we have to kill?” He asked. “Can’t I steal from blood banks, or drink from cows?”

            The questions stunned her more than Sam Heughan from Outlander in his kilt. “Eh. Interesting questions. “From what I know, the blood must come from a vein. It has to be a human vein as well. I’ve heard tales about vampires who can do it without gorging themselves, but I’ve seen first-hand the frenzy that overcomes rational thinking when they feed. Why? Thinking of turning vegan?”

            He stood and paced. The flame decal boots kicked away the dried-up husk of a mouse. Thick soles crunched on old leaves. Dust was sand on a beach to the prints of his heavy Doc Martins. The air stank of stale history, neglect. If the dictionary needed an illustration of loneliness, it should have used a photo of the long dead rodent.

            “This isn’t what I thought. Immortality.” He said the last word bitterly. “I’ve only been a vampire for three weeks. I already despise it. I drank my girlfriend dry when I turned.” He hammered a fist into the wall. The wall declared victory as Alex groaned.

            “That sounds tough,” Esmerelda said. She was hoping for rapid onset Stockholm syndrome to save her. “Who made you?”

            “Some guy who showed up at the vampire cosplay society I was part of.” He waved the lacey sleeves of his top.

            “Ah. That explains a lot. So, some super spook showed up and promised to make all your wildest dreams come true?” She’d never heard of anything like that before.

            He nodded. “I want to see the sun again. I want to be human. I want to look at people without feeling the blood flowing through their veins. I hate how cold my skin is. I’m dead. It’s hard to imagine how that feels without dying. My heart slows down the longer I go without blood. It can stop beating completely but that doesn’t even kill me.”

            “It just makes you a primal rage monster. I know. I’ve seen that before.” She thought of her first monster experience. Before she knew anything about hunting.

            “Would you do me a favour?” He stood before her, looking down into her eyes.

            “What? I’m a bit tied up right now.”

            “Will you watch the sunrise with me? I’ll let you go. It’s in about two hours.” His blue eyes seemed sincere. He was the vampire Lestat at the feet of Queen Akasha. Despite fearing, hating, and killing real vampires, Esme liked to read about them.

            “You want to die?”

            “I’m already dead. I just want to feel alive, one last time.”

            “Sounds like something Angel would say, I’m more of a Spike fan.”

            “You’ve seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer?” He perked up, smiling a fanboy grin.

            “Of course. And the Angel spinoff series.”

            He ruffled his hair. “I’ve watched every episode about ten times. Have you read the comics?”

            “No. I didn’t know there were comics for it.”

            “They pick up where the show left off. I wish I had a Gem of Amara. It would be nice to experience the sun again in a non-fatal way.” Dusty black hair danced as he shook his head.

            “If you let me go, I promise to read all of the comics.”

            “You swear?” Light of hope filled his dead eyes.

            “On my true loves, Sam and Dean.” To her, there were no higher powers to swear by.

            “I want to believe,” he said. She knew it was probably a Mulder quote.

            “But you trust no one?” She asked.

Time passed quickly with them quoting their favourite science fiction shows.

            Alex cut the chords holding her up with his claws. “Come on. I have a date with a sunbeam.” He sighed. Sighing is an odd sight for someone whose lungs have stopped moving. She half expected him to quote Alan Seeger’s I have a Rendezvous with Death.

            “Can I have my things back?” She asked. “I have trust issues.”

            He handed her the guns and knives that had been strapped to her body when he’d thrown her in the boot.

            With her pistol aimed at his head, she held out her hand. He took it. Cold flesh drained the warmth from her as fast as an ice pack. Long abandoned spiderwebs caught her hair as she walked with him up the creaking wooden stairs.

            Stolen warmth reflected from his hand made it feel human to her. Pink light rose from the black horizon.

            “It’s beautiful,” he said, breathlessly.

            “You’re sure about this?” She asked. The orange tip of the sun’s disk broke over black treetops miles away.

            “I’m sure. Would it be out of the question to ask for one last kiss?”

            “Absolutely it would.”

            “Worth a try.” Dead lips curled into a bitter smile. He squinted as the curve of the nearest star revealed itself. “Here it comes.” Vibrant blue eyes caught gold light, looking at her. If he could have cried, she knew he would.

            Reaching for him, a beam struck without mercy. Supernatural strength crushed Esmerelda’s right hand for a moment. Then he faded into sparks of magical light with the grace of people dusted by a snap of Thanos’ fingers.

            “Easiest slay ever.” Esmerelda looked at the ashes in her hand. “Rest in peace Alex.” Blowing the remains of the young immortal into the knee-high grass, she hoped they would be swept up into the wind. She wished that they would witness great things as they floated away.

            Esmerelda tossed his leather trousers back through the doorway of the abandoned house. They deserved to be lost forever. She brushed the dust from her jeans and her jacket. Only a shower would rid her brown hair of dust.

            As a last tribute to him, she purchased the first collection of Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics. She’d made a solum vow. Esme meant to keep it.

September 14, 2022 13:38

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Philip Ebuluofor
16:38 Sep 14, 2022

I never liked movies the actors are mostly in leather attire. If this your story is to be made into a movie, most actors would be in black leather attire. But many in my circle lines it. Vampire walking deads. Strong dialogue for sure. A contender. It is straightforward and easier to comprehend.


Graham Kinross
22:17 Sep 14, 2022

It is a common trope in all media ‘the cool leather jacket’. Neo in the Matrix, Van Helsing, Underworld, Harry Dresden in the Dresden Files, all from biker culture. It’s become a bit of a cliché but it’s still everywhere.


Philip Ebuluofor
12:32 Sep 15, 2022

I have no doubt. I see them everywhere these days.


Graham Kinross
13:07 Sep 15, 2022

And now there is the 'pleather' plastic versions of leather jackets which is a bit mad.


Philip Ebuluofor
14:16 Sep 18, 2022

Always send everything my way.


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Graham Kinross
14:31 Oct 07, 2022

Thanks for reading. If you want to read the next instalment, use the link below.


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John K Adams
00:13 Sep 30, 2022

I enjoyed your very clever story. Though not familiar with some of the references, it was easy to follow. You gave it all context. Alex's death seemed kind of perfunctory to me. Maybe you could jazz it up with a bit more suspense as to whether he would go through with it.


Graham Kinross
01:08 Sep 30, 2022

He always seemed reluctant I guess. That’s something to think about. Thank you.


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L.M. Lydon
23:47 Sep 18, 2022

Fun pop culture references :) I enjoyed the reluctant vampire.


Graham Kinross
02:56 Sep 19, 2022

It was a Buffy the Vampire inspired move.


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Kate Winchester
18:04 Sep 18, 2022

Interesting twist at the end. I liked how the vampire had some humanity despite not being human anymore. Love the the sci-fi references. It’s not a coincidence that my pen name is Winchester. Lol


Graham Kinross
23:11 Sep 18, 2022

I like it in supernatural when they meet the exceptions to the rule. It’s good for shows that are mostly good versus evil to show the grey areas. Buffy the vampire slayer had a lot of that as well. Han Solo in Star Wars had a lot of character progression from a dark grey to lighter grey in the conflict. Who is your favourite character in Supernatural?


Kate Winchester
23:30 Sep 18, 2022

Agreed, I like the gray areas. While I love them all, I’d have to say Dean lol.


Graham Kinross
02:57 Sep 19, 2022

I think everyone picks Dean. I liked the addition of Rowena as well, she’s always fun. I want a spin off with Jodie and her gang as well.


Kate Winchester
03:04 Sep 19, 2022

Lol yeah he’s a favorite. I’m not sure how I feel about Rowena, although I haven’t quite finished watching the whole series yet. I like Jodie. There was supposed to be a spin off with her and gang but it was nixed.


Graham Kinross
04:26 Sep 19, 2022

The only explanation I can think of for Jodie not getting a show is sexism, the actress is awesome. It only had to be her doing what the boys do and it would have been awesome. I always like when she shows up.


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