I'm trying to decide what project I want to work on for NaNoWriMo. Here's the opening idea I have for Blood Sight.
We'd all like to believe that when the worst happens – when there was a vampire at our door – we'd act quickly, decisively, and in our own best interests. When it happened to me, I uttered a startled explicative and slammed the door in his face. His voice cut off with the suddenness of a television when the power failed; the sanctity of a threshold is absolute and not so much as the vampire's voice could cross it.
All sapient creatures are given flaws, to go with their strengths. For all that the vampires were faster, stronger, longer-lived than humans, they were also weaker, more vulnerable. I don't refer to the stake-in-the-heart. Any creature will likely die if you drive a two-by-two of ash into their chest, but it's not as simple as all that. Next time you're feeling all Van Helsing, try driving a stake through your sofa and see how well you fare. Then imagine your sofa is really damn pissed at you, with claws and teeth and magic.
No, I mean the threshold barrier. A vampire cannot cross a threshold where he's not welcome. My vampiric visitor could stand on the porch all night, screaming and beating on the door and I wouldn't even hear him.
I imagined him doing so. I wondered what my neighbors would think. None of them particularly liked me. They wouldn't bother to call the Paracops. Who might or might not actually respond. I had that sort of reputation.
The longer I pictured my vampire beating on my door, the more my own, human weakness taunted me. Yes, I'm slower. No, I don't have wicked claws, accelerated healing, or even the ability to shoot lightning from my fingertips. I have one tiny magical ability, not even enough to really call Paranormal. And despite that, I had a weakness too huge to overcome.
I was curious.
“God damn it, Marcus!” I opened the door. “How the hell did you find me this time?”
Marcus's fist accelerated towards my face at insane speeds. Fortunately for my nose, I hadn't actually invited him in and his hand collided with the threshold barrier, scant millimeters away from my skin.
To give him credit, Marcus didn't even blink. Or look smug. He didn't look embarrassed, either. “I've known. But I left you alone, to honor your wishes.”
“And yet?” I glared at him. It had taken me months to set up this fake identity. “Here you are. Again. I've told you, I don't want you in my life anymore, Marcus. I don't fuck with vampires anymore. I got over the phase of my life right about the time I turned 30.”
Marcus gave me that Look. Capital L. The one that said he appreciated neither my sarcasm nor my use of obscenities. “I did not come here to fuck with you. Or to fuck you. As interesting and pleasurable as both of those would be.”
Well, I'll be damned. I don't think I've ever heard Marcus swear before. He was around long before most obscenities were invented, so I don't think they impressed him much. I waited for him to finish. And kept waiting.
Were we really going to play this game? He was silent and just looked at me with those black, undead eyes. He hadn't changed. I hadn't expected him to. Black eyes, black hair, black soul. And old. Old beyond my power to comprehend. He had patience and resolve. And he knew me.
“So why did you come, Marcus?” Really, it wasn't worth fighting about any longer. The sooner he told me, the sooner I could tell him to fuck off and slam the door in his face again.
“May I come inside?”
Damn it all to hell. I had a speech planned. For months I'd polished sentences, honed the most sarcastic tone I could manage, practiced my indignant fury. All for the moment when I'd be able to tell Marcus to go fuck off. I opened my mouth.
In the great game of Marcus versus me, I lose. Again.