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Authors: Kim Culpepper

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BOOK: The Blood Talisman
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His hunger turned to anger again. He
became angry at not understanding what was happening to him. All of
the new senses were overwhelming. He didn’t know what was going to
happen, but he needed the cell phone, and he needed to call Amalia.
He tried to stop himself as he lunged forward and ran to the girl.
He stood in front of her with rain dripping off of his body and the
mud from the forest dropping off of his green scrub pants. Her long
black hair rustled as he stopped before her. She had a look of
horror on her face.

Alex jolted his hand out at her and
she dropped her phone to run inside to the convenience store. A
short Asian man ran up behind her and locked the glass door. They
both stood there, staring at him in amazement. Alex felt confused
as to why they were being so evasive. He gazed at them for a moment
and inched closer to the door. The girl started to cry hysterically
and the man was screaming something in a language Alex couldn’t
understand. He finally came close enough to look at his reflection
in the glass of the convenience store door.

He was the wolf that he had killed in
the desert. Or had it been Gene? Or Gene as the wolf? This wolf was
different though. Larger and more muscular than Gene’s wolf. He
stared at the reflection as the Asian man continued to yell and the
girl continued to cry.

He looked down at the cell phone and
attempted to pick it up, noticing the mud underneath his nails,
which seemed to have grown within the last couple of hours. But all
he could think of was Amalia. He was obsessed with getting back to
her.

He knew her cell phone number by
heart. You don’t forget a number that you’ve called so many times
that you could dial it blindfolded. The fingernails began to recede
back into his hands, and the reflection looking back at him from
the glass began to change back into what he was used to. His normal
face stared back at him, judging his current situation with much
regret and worry.

He dialed the number as he walked away
from the convenience store. The phone began to ring as Alex smiled
in anticipation that she would answer.


Hello?” a female voice
answered.


Amalia, baby it’s me. It’s
Alex.”


Alex!”


Amalia, I need your
help.”


Sweetie, I thought you
were still in Afghanistan. How are you…”

Alex interrupted, “Amalia, I need
you.”


What do you need me to
do?”

Alex looked up and saw a black mustang
running in front of the gas pumps. It must have been the crying
girl’s car. There was a skull disco ball hanging from the rearview
window. Alex smiled.


I need you to pray and
watch for me ‘cause I’m comin’ home.”


Okay, baby. But where are
you?”

The cell phone began to beep. The
battery was running low so he knew he didn’t have much longer to
talk to her.


I’m somewhere outside of a
place called Blearney, Texas. I was hurt and they brought me here,
but I ran away from the hospital. I can’t explain it to you now,
but something weird has happened to me, and I need you to help me
figure this out. I have to go. I’ll be there soon. I love
you.”


I love you too, baby.
Please be careful.”

Alex ended the call and walked over to
the black mustang, opened the door, and got into the driver’s side.
He turned the loud, obnoxious rock music down and put the car into
drive. He looked back at the crying girl and yelling Asian man. The
man was on the phone, probably calling the cops judging by the way
he was waving his arms around and shouting into the phone. The girl
banged on the door and was shouting too, telling him not to take
her car. He jiggled his ears with his fingertips in an attempt to
listen better, but he couldn’t focus on the girl enough to
care.

Alex did feel bad, having never stolen
anything in his life before. But he needed to get home and explain
things to Amalia. She could help him make sense of the situation.
He put the car in drive and realized it had a Hemi under the hood.
He went from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds. He didn’t know
how to get to Mississippi from Blearney, but for now he would have
to follow the highway signs and his sense of direction to get to
her.

He turned to look in the back of the
car and noticed a black and grey shirt lying on the seat. Alex was
freezing and, although it was probably a girl’s shirt, he put it on
anyway. It was really tight on his arms and chest, but it served
its purpose. He passed trees and few to no cars while traveling
into the desolate and warm Texas night. He saw only the normal
partygoers and habitual alcoholics weaving in and out of the yellow
lines of the two-lane highway. He figured the cops would be after
him soon for stealing what turned out to be a very powerful
Mustang.

He needed to get rid of the car but
didn’t feel like walking barefooted. He wondered, with a touch of
desperation, if the crying girl had any shoes in her trunk that
might fit. “Every girl has tons of shoes,” he thought.

He pulled over to an abandoned gas
station, popped the trunk open, and got out of the car to walk
around to see what there was. He heard a twig snap in the nearby
woods and saw a female deer peeking out of the forest. He looked
back down towards the road and noticed car lights coming in the
distance. The deer stopped and sniffed the air. It turned and
looked at Alex as he shielded his sensitive eyes from the
headlights coming up around a distant curve. He looked back at the
deer, which was now approaching the road. He could already see
where this would end and felt an obligation to stop it.

Alex began to walk out to motion the
oncoming vehicle to stop before it hit the deer, but as he stepped
out, the deer ran out into the road. The car swerved to miss it,
but clipped its legs and the newer model BMW tail-spun into the
gravel parking lot of the abandoned gas station. Alex hunkered down
and the BMW only missed his stolen Mustang by inches.

He ran over to the BMW, which was now
filled with deployed air bags, to make sure the driver was okay. He
seemed to be unconscious and lying on the huge pillow that had
busted out of his steering wheel. The glasses on his face were
twisted to the side. His white business shirt was sprinkled with
glass and red wine. The smell of alcohol emanated from the
car.

There was a silence in the air as the
deer lay injured and the driver unconscious. Alex walked around to
the front of the BMW and saw blood all over the front headlights.
The sight of the blood made the memories of the creature come
rushing back. His hunger returned with a vengeance. He could smell
the blood from the deer so powerfully that it seemed like it was
right under his nose. He began to crave the taste of the blood that
displayed on the headlights and licked his lips in anticipation. He
attempted to ignore his feelings and the new senses that consumed
him, but he couldn’t resist the smell. It almost overwhelmed him.
However, he forced the urges away and turned back to the driver of
the car. He felt for a pulse at his neck. The man seemed to be
fine, other than being unconscious.

Suddenly he bent over in pain beside
the BMW. He grabbed hold of the driver’s side rearview mirror and
fell to his knees. His body trembled, his stomach rumbled, and his
head ached.

Alex couldn’t make sense of what was
happening to him. He tried to force himself to get back into the
Mustang, but the blood in his veins felt like fire and the urge to
eat the struck deer overcame him. Whatever was pulling him to feed
wasn’t stopping until it had its fill. He couldn’t resist the urge
to consume the mangled creature. It swamped him like the madness of
a criminally insane prisoner. His animalistic instincts took over
and he was screaming inside of his head for his body to stop the
devouring. He ripped into the animal with immense force and gorged
himself upon its flesh.

 

 

Chapter
4

 

“You have one new
voicemail.”

Amalia considered deleting it but
decided to listen anyway.

“Amalia, I know you’re avoiding me but
you need to get out of that house. I’m tired of being bored. Its
work and home and work and home. No fun for Selene makes me all
unhappy. C’mon girl, let’s go out and have some fun. I will keep it
virginal, I promise. Call me back,” Selene’s voice begged of
her.

Amalia deleted the message and tossed
the phone over onto a table by the front door. She was growing
tired of Selene’s constant nagging at her to get out and have a
life. Her life was with Alex, even though right now he wasn’t
there. She couldn’t figure out if it was jealousy or true
friendship that drove Selene to constantly urge her to go
out.

She ran her fingers through her long
brown hair and her phone rang. She rolled her eyes, expecting
Selene to be calling. She didn’t recognize the phone number and
thought twice about answering. Selene had been relentless and she
wouldn’t put it past her to call from some unknown number just to
get her to answer.

Shrugging off the thought, she answered
to a surprising recognizable voice. Alex’s deep tones reverberated
in her ear. The slight panic in his voice worried her, yet the
longing to return that he spoke of comforted her. He was closer to
her than he had been in months, and it brought a smile to her
face.

After she ended his call, she decided
to call Selene and tell her the exciting news of his homecoming.
Her fingers fumbled to dial the numbers but she stopped short of
completing the call. Her mind ran wild. What if he called back?
What if he wanted them to be left alone here at home?

She carried her cell phone into the
living room, clutching it tightly. She waited patiently for another
call, another sign that he would be with her again.

Chapter 5

 

Commander Fortner slammed his passport
down on the nurses’ station countertop, making Nurse Katrina jump a
good few inches into the air. She turned a quick one hundred eighty
degrees around to face the person who’d startled her and, as a
consequence, made her extremely angry. Her anger quickly turned to
fear when she saw who had made the loud noise.


Call Dr. Jackson for me.
We need to talk,” Commander Fortner ordered.


Yes, sir. Right away,
sir,” Katrina said, as she nervously picked up the phone. After
pressing a few different buttons she said, “Dr. Jackson, the
Commander is here to see you and he don’t seem too far happy about
it neither…Yes sir… yes… uh-huh… okay, sweetie.”

She hung the phone up and looked at
the steaming, red-faced man in front of her. “He says he will be
right with you, sir.”

Commander Fortner nodded. He picked up
his passport and began tapping it hard on the counter. He watched
Katrina as she gathered files up and began to walk off. He knew
that he made her nervous, but he didn’t know if it was from fear or
because she thought he was attractive. He watched her walk away,
and when she didn’t look back over her shoulder, he knew it was
fear.


Good,” he thought. “That’s
the way it needs to be.”


You needed me, sir?” a
scared voice said from behind him.

The Commander turned and grabbed Dr.
Jackson by the throat and growled, “Yes, you little shit. You let
my new pet leave. Administration is not going to be happy with you,
or me. I told them they could trust you, and now look what’s
happened.”

Dr. Jackson began to struggle for air.
The Commander released his grip, throwing him across the dingy
white floors of the hospital. He slid a good five feet.


I’m sorry, sir, please let
me explain.”


I don’t need your excuses,
but Administration might.”

The Commander picked up Dr. Jackson by
his hospital coat and dragged him towards the elevator. Dr. Jackson
grabbed the Commander’s hand trying to free himself.


I couldn’t stop him. I
explained that he needed therapy, like I was told to, but he didn’t
buy into it. He said he needed to get home to his wife and I don’t
think that any words would have stopped him.”


You don’t get paid to
think, Jackson. You get paid to do what you are told and you were
told to restrain him if he didn’t buy into it, but you didn’t, so
it’s your ass this time. It won’t be mine.”


But, sir, if you could
just let me explain….”

The Commander slammed him against the
wall, stopping him from finishing his sentence.


I don’t give a shit about
you, Jackson. Nor do I care about your excuses. They don’t matter.
You don’t matter. Got it?”

They were so close in the elevator,
Dr. Jackson could feel the Commander’s breath on his face. The
doors opened at the basement level to reveal grey tiled floors and
grey and maroon wallpapered walls. The basement was dim and the few
fluorescent lights that glittered along the ceiling were flickering
helplessly to keep going. Commander Fortner pushed Dr. Jackson out
of the elevator and followed him. Dr. Jackson’s footsteps were
timid compared to the Commander’s confident steps.

BOOK: The Blood Talisman
2.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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