Chap. 12 - What About Yesterday
Published May 24, 2013

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Page 1 / 66

You know what to do . . .

. . . Hope yah Enjoy!

You know what to do . . .

. . . Hope yah Enjoy!
Nausea. It pulled and curled within him—painful, twisting waves beating upon the shore of his consciousness:
He knew that the Vampire Hunter had captured him—even faintly regretted not taking more heed in lieu of Rosa’s words. Wherever he was it was uncomfortably warm; he rolled onto his back and looked up—

The place was yellow: lit by some strange yellow source—
His world crashed and twisted; as he dry heaved he looked up, and what he saw ran his blood lukewarm. “A Sunstone.” He hissed the word like it was a curse. Its light was like the rays of the sun itself, except more concentrated and more dangerous because of it. Immediately, his hand went to his own throat—his pendant was gone. The only thing that could’ve protected him from this scourge—gone.

This Vampyre Hunter is no novice—no joke.
In light of this deduction, he took a moment to take in his surroundings more carefully:

Another cage.

And the place was bare except for a toilet, sink, and a cot; he could feel the heat of sunstone on his skin and, for the first time since he could remember, he doubted himself. Doubted whether or not he would be able to continue.
He was in a purification chamber—he was in the process of being purified. His heart sped up in his chest: most vampyres don’t survive the painful process. For a second, all Oren could feel was fear—of a premature ending. Then he remembered something that steadied his heartbeat, and he meandered over to the cot and dropped onto the dusty mattress with the shrieking of springs loud in the air for a ringing moment. Oren wasn’t most vampyres—matter-of-fact, he wasn’t even completely a vampyre: sunlight should be as innocuous to him as a glass of water. Right? The nausea was because he lacked food, not because of the sunstone. Right? So, he closed his eyes and waited. “The Purification Process, a Dream Deterred, and the Last Resort” “…He needs us, Risa. He needs you. Don’t let him down—because if you do, you won’t just be sentencing him to death, you’ll leave the Queen son-less, and the North American Vampyres prince-less. And you’ll find them a lot less forgiving than me—and I’m not a big supporter of clemency, anyways. "So… goddamnit if you don’t help me save my friend, I’ll— “You’ll what?” Marisa roared back. “Try something, vampire. I dare you to.” Theo placed a hand on her arm, “Cool it, there, hot stuff.” Then to Brock and Rosa: "I’m sure there is a more cordial way to go about this. Uh… “Let me translate for Marisa. She has a very important, very personal task to complete—that’s why she’s here. She’s not playing around or wasting time. But I also realize that saving the life of a vampire prince is important, too. So, I propose: give us a month to finish what we’ve—me and Marisa—have started and then we’ll be all yours. Is that agreeable?”

There was something still ferocious in Marisa’s eyes, but she didn’t shutdown Theo’s proposal.
“A week—that’s all.” “I not sure if—” Theo started. “I fear he won’t last much longer than that.” Brock spoke his first words in the conversation. “I don’t know how this Vampire Hunter works, but I’m willing to bet that he’s not out tending his garden or reading a book—he’s not waiting for a ransom…I—” Brock looked down “—no vampyre has returned from Champs Les Sims, France.” And Oren remained in a comatose, dream-ridden state—for how long? He didn’t even know. With desperation, Oren jerked himself awake and glared at the pile of scraps with a desperation-borne sense of possibility. He was hoping for means for a way of egress, however what he found did give him a kind of escape.

When he was young, the Queen would sing all kinds of songs to him while she strummed on her guitar—and though her voice was not elegant or beautiful, there was something so sincere in the tone: Oren was transfixed.

—He was starving…
She’d sing nursery rhymes and break-up songs, something country, or something snappy, or something with swing, but perhaps the most memorable song the Queen ever sang was one that begged her to pretend.

And the way she sang it—so lonely; so sad—made Oren want to pretend too.
Half-remembered chords came to his mind, and as he settled against the wall his guitar emitted an echoing sound. Oren tried his voice: “Pretend you’re”—it cracked, but he tried again.

“Pretend you’re happy when you’re blue.”
He glanced around himself and wondered, as the next words came without thought—“It isn’t very hard to do.” —What would happen to him was in the Vampyre Hunter’s hands, but he didn’t know how much longer he could afford to wait for that fairy—by now he was starved and weak: “And you’ll find happiness without an end…” He didn’t know if she was even going to ransom him, or if he was to be left down here until assumed dead—“Whenever you pretend.” Oren started walking across the stone floor of his prison—he was hungry; he was tired, but he’d survived worse situations—he wasn’t going to die here.

He wouldn’t allow himself to. “Remember…”
He slid onto the bed, and sang with no help of the guitar: “Remember anyone can dream…and nothing’s as bad as it may seem.”

He tightened his fingers around the throat of the instrument and picked carefully: “The little things you haven’t got could be a lot, if you pretend.”
A sigh fled from his throat; he repeated: “The little things you haven’t got could be a lot, if you pretend.” He could imagine the Queen’s voice. Evelyn’s. “You’ll find a love you can share: one you can call all your own.” His mother’s voice was in his ear—whispering the lyric: “Just close your eyes, I’ll be there; you’ll never be alone.” The fantasy wasn’t hard to conjure up—“It isn’t very hard to do.” “And if you sing this melody, you’ll be pretending just like me.

“The world was mine, it can be yours, my son…”

“So, why don’t you pretend…” She whispered to her garden—voice carried away on a swift, chill wind that foretold of winter. But her garden was still green. And her words were as promising as spring when she murmured: “Let’s go check on our vampyre-boy. Let’s go see if he survived.” She had a feeling he would—being a quarter-blood prince, in all. They danced to an endless soundtrack of garbled noise, listless in their abundance. And if he focused he could detect brief modicums of conversations he’d had with her, fleeting callous words or transient stipulations— "…Oren, are you okay?” Her words echoed all around him. His arm tightened around her, “I think I’m dead.” “Don’t lie to me.” She said instead. Oren shook his head, impatient, “I need you to promise me something.” “Wait.” Said as though not meant for him—her voice cut through the static as though it came from a very long way off. And the sound thrummed and echoed in his ears—“Wait.” “I need you to promise that you’ll find Carter for me; he’ll find the Philosopher’s Stone. It’s her cure—it’ll be my mother’s cure. Marisa? Please. Can you do that for me?” They danced and spun and he waited for her response in that blank room filled to the brim with voices—his own and Marisa’s voices.

And her familiar response:
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” He persisted: “I’m afraid, Risa—that the cure won’t be found. That it’ll be… Consigned to oblivion. Just promise me that you will try to find Demetrius Carter—he’s the only one who could even understand the Philosopher’s Stone… if you find him, then I don’t have to die and fail my mother as well.” “The hell you don’t.” A fire burned in her eyes.

“Don’t worry about me. The Queen—she’s really at that matters, in the end; they’ll be turmoil without her. Don’t you understand?”
“I hear ya, bobo, I hear ya…”

“Is that your way of saying you will?”
She gave a short laugh, and glared at him, “Not. Funny.” “Risa, I’m not joking…” He stared at her—this figment of his imagination—and he begged her to comprehend: “I fear this may be it for me—the end.” The mirth left her eyes as quickly as it had come: “You owe me a better ending than that, Oren. . . ” And with that his world faded to darkness, shadows, echoes.
So, there you have it: Chapter 12 of What About Yesterday, but before I digress:

Hope You Enjoyed!

P.S. - here's a link to the song Oren was singing; the song's called "Pretend" by Nat King Cole:

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