Early Risers - Pt III: The Other Jessica


agzaiM werdnA.


Agnes was not what you'd expect from reading Anne Rice novels. Kind of short, dirty blond hair, a little overweight, and smelling of strange salts and ichors. I'd made some "friends" out of some leeches on this side. Back in the Shadowlands I was told it's generally a good idea, seeing as how if you really screw up and tear some one's arm off and beat them to death with it, they've got this whole system to cover it up.

Anyway, I came to Agnes because she seemed like the type of person to know things. Weird things. Like animate corpse type things. She was, after all, just a different form of animate corpse.

I was saying, "Agnes, I have a problem I need to talk to you about."

"Oh, what is it hon.'?"

"Well, it's a little strange. It has to do with things like corpses getting up and walking."

She smirked. "You do realize we're both corpses who get and walk every night?"

"Well, that's one of the things I needed to talk to you about You see, I'm not exactly..."

I was stopped short. Agnes didn't seem to notice, but she was pulling off some sort of weird reflex motion. Her arms were moving back and forth in front of her. Her hands were open, fingers together. It was almost like she was flagging someone safe to home base.

"I'm not really a vampire."

"Oh come on, shoog', I shook your hand. You're as cold as the clay. I know, we all have those moments were we wish weren't how we were, but you just have to face-"

"No," I interrupted: "you don't understand. I'm not a vampire."

"Oh really," she sneered sarcastically: " What are you then?"

The "are" was a an impolite imitation of my "not." It really irritated me.

"No, I'm not. You see, I'm a " I was stopped again by Agnes's actions. Now, she seemed to be shaking her head back and forth very subtly, almost as if saying "no."

"I'm a ghost. In my old body."

"That's a reasonable way of looking at it. Your soul is forever trapped inside the body you were embraced with."

"No, I mean, ghost. Rattling chains, slightly transparent, ectoplasm; ghost."

Agnes had a puzzled look on her face. "You mean like ghost-ghost?"

This was extremely irritating. Speaking of which, where was my... Oh shit.

When in the Shadowlands, Catharsis doesn't really feel like anything. One second you're you and in control, the next you're watching things unfold from a window in the back of your head. Here, in the real world, it always seems to start out as a tickling in the back of my throat.

That's when I lost control and was sucked into my yearbook.


So, I put shit face in the book. I continued where she'd left off.

"Yes Agnes. What other kind of ghost would there be?"

"You mean like Giovanni ghost?"

"Funny you should say that. That's why I came here. You see, I need one of those inbreeders. I have some problems, some things I need to get done on the other side."

There's nothing like hearing a psyche scream in twenty voices at once. She hadn't spent as much time in there as I had; she had trouble controlling it, being split into several hundred portraits. She was yelling, "What are you doing?! What are you doing?!"

Then, something unexpected happened. Agnes began to shake, almost like having a small seizure.

"J-j-j-j-j-j-essica! W-w-w-what the hell do you think y-y-y-y-you're doing?!"

Oh no. It's the dweeb. He must still have a crush on us. He's following us around like a little lost puppy. I turn on the charm.

"Steven? How did you do that? A vampire?"

"Yeah a vampire. They're a bitch to control."

False modesty doesn't suit Steven.

"But don't change the subject. I was trying to warn you earlier with all the little subtle gestures. Us in the guild warned you about doing stuff like this."

"Yeah, I remember. I was just *sob* thinking that if Tom's like me *sob* a Giovanni could help us find him."

"Ahhhh, don't cry. I'm sorry. You" Agnes's face contorted for a second and there was a brief look of horror, followed by a resumption of composure, "Sorry about that, like I said, a bitch to control."

I nodded.

"You see, you have to be careful, you" Agnes's face changed again, only this time to worry: "Did you say, 'we'?

Shit. Cover's blown. I playfully cocked my head to the side, "Yeah Steven, us. I was hoping, after we find Thomas, we can all get together and have a lesbian three-way."

Agnes, Steve, whoever, just closed her eyes and put her hand to her head: "Fuck, I should have known."

And with that Steve was gone, and Agnes returned, full of horror and rage.

"What are you?! What did you just do to me! You... you monster!"

God I hope Jessica was listening to that. I always like turning friends against her. But this was beginning to bore me, and Agnes looked like she was about to pull out some of that bad vampire mojo on us. So I decided to preempt her.

It's a little trick we learned from some other leech. It's called celery or something. Why they named it after a vegetable, I don't know, but it comes in handy when you've decided to shove your hand through someone's ribcage.

In case you never get the chance, putting your fist through another person's chest is extremely painful. I'm pretty sure when I did it I broke every bone in our hand and maybe even some in the arm.

Agnes didn't even see it coming. And the way she dropped to the floor with that betrayed look on her face after I popped her heart like a water balloon? Priceless. She wouldn't let this go easily. I'd wanted to screw Jessica over with some style, but Steve-the-wonder-geek got in the way.

Not that's there's anything wrong with this way. I certainly enjoyed it.

So let's see. I've just destroyed one, possibly two, of Jessica's friendships. We're here, covered in blood, holding a heart in a shattered left arm.

Time to head back for the book, and let Jessica pick up the pieces.

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