The Undead Life of Harlow Kaine · Writing

The Undead Life of Harlow Kaine (17)

Late October was a tricky time to be a Supernatural entity. The veils between worlds were weakest this time of year and ever since October 31st had cemented itself into the consciousness at large as “THE SUPERNATURAL DAY” collective expectation and energy had significantly weakened spiritual barriers. This meant that glamour was functionally useless from October 31st to after the third or fourth day of November.

“Oh hey nice fangs, how’d you get those to stay on?” the bank teller asked Harlow after greeting her at the counter.

“Denture glue!” Harlow lied before conducting her business. She didn’t mind the questions anymore, though originally she’d been caught off guard by this phenomenon until August and Rosemary had explained everything to her. Now, almost seventy years in she could lie with ease and shrug off the curious stares or barely disguised fear from those who were more sensitive to “the other side”.

After completing her business at the bank Harlow looked at her to-do list and realized that she’d been tasked with buying the Halloween Candy this year. Even though Harper was grown and lived outside the mansion, Olivier had developed a deep love of the holiday that let him be ridiculous on a forgivable level. In fact, as Harlow was leaving for her errands she’d caught Olivier stringing fake spiderwebs all over the front hedges, much to their gardeners horror and dismay.

The vampire headed to the grocery store, refusing to take off her sunglasses as the bright florescent lights hurt her eyes almost as much as the now setting sun. She frowned as she surveyed what was left of the candy in this particular store, still…it was discounted as half the shelves were scrunched over to make room for candy-canes and hot chocolate. She grabbed a nearby hand basket and piled as many bags of candy inside it as it would carry.

“Mommy, mommy look it’s a vampire!” a little girl squealed next to her. Since Harlow hadn’t been smiling and thus, revealing her fangs this surprised her, but when she turned she saw that the little girl was not pointing at her but at a tall, well-built man she didn’t recognize. The mother laughed off the little girls assumption that a vampire (two in fact) was standing nearby and ushered her daughter away after a quick, lighthearted apology (kids ya know?). Harlow looked at him puzzled, he was definitely not a vampire but he wasn’t human either.

“Human children are perceptive…but incorrect,” he sighed cryptically as he left the aisle looking at Harlow. Deciding that she didn’t need to spend more time thinking about this than necessary, Harlow purchased the candy and headed back to the parking garage so she could get home. She’d just finished putting her purchases into the car when she became aware of being watched. Harlow turned and spotted the same man from the grocery store only a few feet away. He was distorted somehow, as if he were trying to use his glamour on her.

This worried her, as a supernatural creature she herself was immune to glamour unless it was being projected by something very dangerous or very powerful. “You’re very perceptive…I wonder why?” he wondered out loud.

“Because I’m something your mother should have warned you about.” came the chilly response.

“I very much doubt that…your phone…it’s quite nice, I was wondering how attached you might be to it?”

“This phone is not for sale, though I think I might demand to know your interest in it.”

“Oh, nothing nefarious…I’m…just a collector…” he purred. Harlow’s mouth opened and closed several times. The man smiled in a lazy sort of way, quite like the infamous Cheshire Cat. “I see I have your attention.”

Of all the monsters to meet on a Halloween night, the last thing a puny vampire was expecting was a formally thought to be no-longer-of-this-world dragon. She thought about handing her phone over, dragon legends were old but infamous and they hated being crossed or when someone was in the way of what they wanted. She could go to the police, claim she was mugged and use the police report to get a new phone through the coven’s insurance. “I can see all the thoughts on your pretty little face, you’re smarter than you look,” he commented, holding out his hand for her phone.

A single heartbeat separated his words from hers.

“What did you say to me?” He recoiled as if he’d been struck by ice. She took a step towards him and grinned as he took a step back. “I’ve never tasted dragon before, I wonder if you’ll be spicy…”

He drew himself up in outrage. “I could kill you in a blink vermin -,”

“And expose yourself to the world? I know enough about dragons to know your magic only works in your true form and you’d jeopardize your race’s entire existence on me? Should I be flattered? Because right now I think you’re stupid,” she interrupted.

He lunged for her anyway, perhaps assuming that his size advantage in his human form would be beneficial. He had no way of knowing that she had entire move sets dedicated to foiling that advantage. She wasn’t quite sure how a dragon fit themselves into a small mortal frame but she did know that she broke something if his less than human scream of pain and anger was anything to go by. She threw the stupid dragon-in-human-form to the ground several feet away from her and got into her car, speeding through the garage and into the night.

When she got back to the mansion it was just in time to rip open a bag of candy for the first group of little costumed children that were coming up the driveway behind her.

“Harlow, you’re late! What kept you?” Olivier demanded as she sailed through the door and dumped several bags of candy by the front table and the open bag into the waiting bowl.

“Sorry sir, had a bit of a run in with some trouble!” she answered a bit too happily.

“Anything I should know about?” he asked with a healthy dose of suspicion. “Wandering Abominations? Monsters? Knighthood?”

“No sir, the only monster out tonight was me,” she grinned. Olivier knew enough about  her by now not to question her further. Perhaps it was for the best she had no interest in exposing dragons to anyone…but it did suddenly make her life a little more interesting.

Prompt generated from this list of 120 One Word Writing Prompts and the use of Google’s Random Number Generator. Number & Coordinated Theme Generated: 118 – Monster. Yes I saved this one specifically for Halloween so perhaps not so random after all. 

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