Book: The First - Part: Two - Chapter: 18 - Installment: ii

        The child had escaped again.  Vala had been livid.
        If it wasn’t for that foolish father of hers putting up a fight. 
        It had not been a particularly effective fight, but it had been enough.  His meagre weapon had been ineffective offensively, but it provided him the slightest deterrent defence.  Being less than a day out of seventy-year torpor, Vala was not eager to return with an ad hoc stake lodged in her heart.
        She had been forced to wait for her moment, to wait for the father to commit, and then she struck with absolutely lethal intent.  It had taken, in total, less than a minute for her to dispatch the man, but her still weakened state seduced her to drink more deeply than she could afford to at the moment.  The combined delay gave the girl a big head start.  The fresh blood was saturating Vala’s senses, she couldn’t pick up on a scent among far too many other nearby human traces.  That curse of cities had not changed. 
        Vala ran down the smoothly paved street like a panther on the hunt, reaching an intersection and seeking any sign, visual, audible or olfactory, of the frail creature who had twice slipped away.  Nothing, and the trail was getting colder on the wind by the second.  It was futile.  She was gone.
        The father was still in their home.  His heart was no longer beating, but she was no purist.  The blood would still be warm, and she needed still to build her strength.  Vala drained him as thoroughly as possible, and then began inspecting the house.  It would provide, for the moment, a safe place to stay.
        Her own clothes were unwearable if she were to go out in public.  They were falling apart, and were decades out of style.  The girl’s clothes were too small.  There was apparently no mother, though there were coloured photographs of a woman, presumably the man’s wife, once healthy, then gradually wan and thin.  Tuberculosis perhaps.  The man’s clothes were oversized, but not troublesomely so.  Certainly wearing gentleman’s clothing would draw attention until she could find more feminine attire, but she would only be about in the dark.  Surely it would be less conspicuous than the foul half-rotten, half-charred garments she had – both to look at and to smell.
        Smell…. she had to bathe.  The bathing room and water closet were awkwardly combined in one room.  How can one be expected to cleanse in the presence of such a filthy construct?  And clearly the size of the bathtub has been sacrificed in order to accommodate space for the flush toilet.
        Being a pragmatic creature at her core, she suffered through a luxurious hot bath – the first heat of significance she had felt in nearly three quarters of a century.  The funk of those years was more deeply set than she expected.  Clearly a second or even third bath would be required to get out the deepest odours.
        The bed in the master bedroom looked fantastic.  The draperies were thick.  To retire here would be exquisite.  But before she could consider that, she would need to find a more secure place to rest until she could be certain that no-one else was likely to enter the house in the middle of the day.  A cluttered storage space in the subterranean level of the home would suffice for now.
Installment iii

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Necropolis by Kennedy Goodkey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at necropolisnovels.blogspot.com.