Part 18 – Jane

The overhead light irritated his eyes. Ambrose swore in fluent French and shut the light off. He paced in his darkened room.

Elsie hadn’t returned. Not that night and not the following morning.

He had tried to tear the doorknob off the door.

Didn’t work.

He had tried to kick the door down.

Didn’t work.

He had tried to slash the door into toothpicks.

Didn’t work at all.

And he was hungry.

He had shredded his feather pillow, which had satisfied his need to destroy something.

But he was hungry.

And Elsie was not there.

His stomach grumbled its empty discontent.

Ambrose ran full speed at the door and kicked the doorknob. He knew it wouldn’t work.

He didn’t expect it to work.

The doorknob fell off.

The door popped open.

He stood still, stunned.

Footsteps.

Someone was coming down the stairs. Someone who smelled like sunflowers and daylily leaves.

It wasn’t Elsie.

He opened the door all the way and widened his eyes.

Ambrose saw her – a girl in a nightgown.

She wasn’t alone.

A gargoyle walked beside her. His wings were folded against his back.

“It’s so dark.” she whispered.

“Are you afraid, Lady Jane?”

“No. I just wish I had a flashlight. Hey. Did you bring one?”

He sighed. It sounded like dirt falling into a ravine. “I didn’t think of it.”

Ambrose covered his mouth with his hands. It’s Elsie’s niece.

“So, Ephrem. What do you think she’s hiding down here?”

“I am uncertain.”

Ambrose trembled. I shouldn’t…I should leave her alone. I promised. I promised. But I’m so hungry. But I can’t. I can’t. I..

His stomach hurt with hunger.

He moaned. It started as a soft whimper and soared into a gut wrenching yell.

Jane startled and ran.

“Lady Jane! Wait!”

She ran blind.

Her gargoyle fumbled in the dark, trying to find her, trying to grab her.

She ran right towards Ambrose. “Ephrem! Where are you?”

“Lady Jane!”

He uncovered his mouth. I promised Elsie that I would leave her be. If Jane stayed out of my space. He smiled. Guess what, Elsie? She’s in my space.

She ran into his room.

He slammed the door shut.

Jane turned and ran into the door. She felt around for the doorknob.

He grabbed her arm.

She gasped. “You aren’t Ephrem.”

“And you aren’t Elsie.” He laughed softly in the darkness. “But I think that you will do.”

“Let me go.” She tried to pull her arm away from him, but he held tight.

“Don’t worry, Elsie’s niece. I’ll only bite your arm. Not your neck. I could, though. It’s so tempting.”

“Don’t…” Her voice came out as a thin whisper. “Please.”

“It’s all right, Jane. I’ll show you mercy this time.” He bared his fangs and bit her arm.

Her blood poured into his mouth.

He almost screamed with relief.

The last sound he heard was Jane crying.

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7 thoughts on “Part 18 – Jane”

  1. This is going to sound weird, but I’m glad that you feel sorry for him. He has so much attitude and such a strong survival instinct, I worry about him coming off as a horrible character. 😀

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  2. Love the introduction of the gargoyle. That’s an element you don’t see much in horror stories. And I feel sorry for ambrose too. He’s a character with a dual side. On the one hand you are going, “no dont do it” and on the other you feel sympathy for him and understand his actions.

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  3. Thank you so much!

    Yep. Gargoyles just don’t get any love in horror stories. 😦

    It makes me happy to see that you consider Ambrose sympathetic. I worry about him seeming kind of stuck in one-note-always-an-aggressive-assertive-horrible-person mode. It’s nice to know that you are able to see his dual side. Or that I’m doing a good job showing his dual side. 🙂

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  4. Oh yes. I love that gargoyle. I can see Ambrose’s desperation. I’m not sure why Elsie is his only food source. I would think it would be better for their situation if he were to go out and hunt.
    I like that so many of your readers commented on how they side with Ambrose. I’m still frustrated with him though. The parallels between Ambrose’s hunger and the actions of an addict are strong; although, he has to be given some consideration since he goes such long periods without feeding. I think as a reader, whether you sympathize with Ambrose or not, there’s still a strong draw to his character and what he’ll do next.
    I hope these don’t sound like criticisms of the story, because they’re not intended to be. They’re more my thoughts and impressions as I read that really are meant to illustrate that I’m engaged and contemplating what is happening in the story as I go along.

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    1. Thank you!

      I guess the reason why Elsie won’t just let him go out and hunt is because she is a vampire hunter. To tell him to go out and hunt would go against her deeply ingrained beliefs. And she might be a little bit of a control freak.

      It makes me happy to see my readers side with him too. When I started writing this story, I worried that he was too bad attitude to be even remotely likable. So, yes. It makes me very happy.

      And, just so you know, I really appreciate your comments. I don’t see them as criticisms at all. I like that you’re that engaged by my story that it gets you thinking and wondering about details. So, thank you very much. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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