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    C. Henderson
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Sacrum - 5. Chapter 5

That night I had another dream. I dreamt that Baritone High School was engulfed in flames, as I stood by watching helplessly. The school was under attack and I couldn’t protect it. I was frozen in my spot, watching it all unfold from outside by the woods, unable to help out in any way. I looked on as Angelo, Laura and Kyle were slowly licked by auburn flames. On the other end of the yard observing everything take place was Vincent. He stood by; the same entranced look on his face as when he watched Maratoni bite into his human blood donor. Then he turned to look at me, raised both of his arms as if to say, ‘oh well’, and smiled. I screamed in my sleep.

“Dani, wake up,” Vincent shook me awake. “Wake up, you’re having a bad dream.” I shifted my body to the other side of the bed, as far away from him as possible, studying his face for any sign of the man I just saw in my dreams.

“What?” He asked, defensive.

“Nothing. Bad dream.” I laid back down again and he swooped me into his arms.

“Don’t move away from me like that,” he said, sounding like a hurt little boy all of a sudden. I thought of baby Vincent. His family annihilated. His mother sacrificing herself to spare his life. Vinicius would have advised me to show compassion, instead of fear. To approach him with love, instead of hate.

“I’m sorry,” I replied, caressing his cheek softly. Whatever ancestry he came from, and whatever strange behaviors he might have exhibited, Vincent wasn’t irredeemable. Nobody was.

“I have an appointment with the nurse today,” I told him as a way to change subjects.

“For what?” He asked. With all the secret information Vincent seemed to have, I was almost hoping he would be able to shed some light on why Boeriella Trusting was intent on having me see the school nurse.

“No idea, some secret Special testing is all I was told.” Vincent furrowed his brow, he obviously found it just as strange as I did.

“Interesting,” was all he said.

“Not nearly as interesting as you,” I replied, and he chuckled.

“Oh, I’m interesting now?”

“Very. All your secrets and mysterious knowledge…it’s all very intriguing,” I replied.

“One day I hope there won’t be a need for any secrets between us,” he said, looking at me more seriously now. I tried to read more in the depths of his warm eyes, but he was still very much a closed book for the most part.

During our lunch break I caught up with Laura, Angelo, and Kyle, who all agreed that going to see the nurse seemed like a very bizarre requirement, even for a Special.

“Vinicius never mentioned anything about this?” Laura asked, her expression puzzled. I shook my head no.

“I think you should speak to Maratoni about it. If anyone has more information, it’s him,” she said, then sighed when she saw mine and Angelo’s expression.

“I think he would rather not know than have to ask Maratoni,” Angelo replied, and Laura rolled her eyes.

“Look, none of us like him. But he is your Mentor. He’s here to help you through this transition, it’s his job after all,” she went on, stubbornly. I exchanged a look with Angelo, but decided not to argue about it any further.

After classes were done, I made my way to my first appointment with Nurse Mildred. She was the same woman that I saw taking care of the human female Maratoni fed on. And creepily enough, she had me wait on that same hospital bed. I thought about how strange it must have been for humans to be so vulnerable. Who would volunteer to be fed on? I shuddered at the thought.

“Hello Dani,” nurse Mildred said in an overly sweet tone, as she briskly walked into the room.

“Hello,” I replied, wanting to ask her what I was doing there, but waiting to see if she would explain it first.

“Ready for your exam?”

“What exactly am I here for?” I asked, seeing as she wasn’t going to tell me anything. She forced a smile.

“That is not for you to know, my dear. That is the government’s concern, nothing for you to worry about. All I’m going to do is ask you a couple of very simple questions twice a week, that’s all. Now, isn’t that just so easy?” She said and giggled. I was starting to get a very strange feeling.

She suddenly put her hand on my forehead for a split second, then moved it away saying, “Very good.” She then took out her pen and paper and began asking questions.

“Have you been feeling any strange symptoms lately, anything out of the norm?”

“No,” I replied confused.


“Vampires don’t get headaches,” I laughed, was she joking?

“Have you been feeling bodily temperature changes?” Now I was really questioning her skills as a nurse.

“Vampires don’t experience bodily temperature changes,” I replied, and she looked at me with irritation.

“Just answer all questions yes or no from now on, dear. So…any pains?”


“Have you been experiencing any sweats?”

“No!” I replied incredulously. Her eyes pierced into me.

“Have you been experiencing any strange thoughts?” She asked, and I wanted to tell her that yes, I was thinking of choking her out at that exact moment.

“No,” I replied, trying to hide my frustration.

“Have you experienced any body changes whatsoever?”

“No,” I replied yet again.

She went through a couple more questions then finally let me go. I went to look for Vincent, but he was nowhere to be found, so I made my way to Maratoni’s class. He was in an unusually perky mood as he grabbed my paper from me.

“Well, well, well…someone decided to finally use their brain. And here I didn’t think it would be possible,” he mused, scanning the pages for information. I worried that he would get suspicious, but I didn’t detect any cause for concern in his facial expressions. “So, the power to transform energy,” he said, then smirked. Clearly, he thought as little of my useless gift as I did. “And you still don’t know how to properly control it?” He inquired.

“No, sir,” I replied. He smirked even wider.

“Starting to resent your beloved Vinicius yet?” I wanted to jump out of my seat and murder him, but since he was already dead I chose to remain calm. Vinicius would have wanted me to act with dignity, and I decided I was going to make him proud.

“No, he told me I would get there eventually, and I trust his word,” I replied much more confidently than I actually felt inside. Maratoni’s smile had now reached a grotesque level.

“Yes, yes eventually. How could I doubt the ever wise Vinicius,” he mused. I couldn’t help but wonder when he had acquired so much hate for my original mentor.

“Did you know him well, sir?” Maratoni took a while to answer, as if debating whether I was deserving of the information.

“Of course. Once upon a time, he was my teacher,” he revealed to my surprise. “Unfortunately, the way we view the world has never really aligned,” he continued. “Vinicius could have been the greatest vampire to ever walk this earth…but instead he died a weak and feeble…” suddenly he stopped himself, as if he had revealed too much information. “But never mind that.” I decided not to push any further. Maratoni gave me a couple of useless handouts to read and then sent me on my way.

“But sir, not that I want to question your methods…but, shouldn’t we be doing more? Time is passing by so quickly, I’m almost 18. I just feel…ill prepared,” I confessed, hoping he’d take pity on me. It was a fool’s hope. Maratoni just smirked.

“Like Vinicius said, you will get there eventually,” he replied, his voice dripping with sarcasm. I hated him. I turned around and made my way towards the door, then stopped in my tracks and decided to listen to Laura.

“Sorry, one last thing sir. Do you know why I have these appointments with the nurse now? She asked me some really strange questions,” I said.

“Not for you to know. Now get lost,” he replied putting his glasses on and beginning to massacre another student paper with his unforgiving red pen.

I was screwed.

Copyright © 2021 C. Henderson; All Rights Reserved.

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

If you enjoyed what you have read, please leave a reaction and/or comment for the author!

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Chapter Comments

The nurse asking all those seemingly pointless questions is odd, unless they are expecting those symptoms to appear.

If Maratoni truly believes Dani's mentor was such a poor teacher, why is he continuing the same approach? It contradicts his claim.

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