by Karen A. Romanko
My friends are here, Wolfe says, but I’ve yet to see them. Apparently I was the last gathered in the Bureau’s so-called “witch hunt.” (The latter passes for humor among the agency’s stamped-out models.)
I can only assume this is a clandestine operation. I’ve received no news of the outside world.
Oh, for a midnight feed, a beautiful painting, a misty 3 a.m. walk, some intelligent conversation. Can’t they even bring my dinner in a wine glass? I hate those plastic pouches.
I’m sure the Bureau is monitoring all “undead correspondence,” but no matter. (Their clandestine little hearts must have leapt at the prospect of “staking out” our private e-mail boxes.) I’m just delighted to share the thoughts of my own kind once more.
Can Lee be falling in love with me? Perhaps I’ve been casting a “spell” different from the one I’ve intended. After all, I’m not exactly the type Lee would meet at an interagency softball game. While I can’t fault his taste, this could complicate things.
I could try, I suppose, to “coax” Lee’s emotions in a different direction. But what if I fail? Nothing is certain where mortal love is concerned. And should I succeed in alienating the agent’s affections, his wellspring of “support” for me might dry up. No, I need Lee’s pliability, love induced or not, if I and the others are to escape this prison.
Today, for example, Lee let something slip. Knowledge of our “psy corps” does not extend beyond the FBI Director. Important! My plan begins to take final form.
Although ostensibly in charge, Lee stood by quietly, unable to conceal his sadness. Even through my shock and pain, I feel something . . . pity, I presume, for my poor, yearning Lee.
It seems that one of our company, Taylor, had “tried something.” The suddenly by-the-book Lee wouldn’t say what. I don’t know if any deaths, vampire or otherwise, ensued.
Leave it to that fool Taylor to muck up my plans. Always the rashest of our group, Taylor doesn’t possess the restraint necessary for “life” in the modern world.
I guess I shouldn’t fault that silly hothead; the weight of captivity does grow unbearable. If only he’d held out a little longer. I hadn’t dared share my strategy via e-mail, but Taylor and the rest of us might have been free soon. As it is, all is in ashes.
Of course it’s not Lee himself I miss. I mean he’s intelligent enough, especially for an agency type, and has a certain amount of wit and charm. But he lacks those years, even centuries of experience that make a being truly worthy.
So it’s not Case Director Lee Wolfe I miss. I just need someone to help pass the time while my friends and I are incommunicado. I’m lonely, that’s all. No, I don’t miss Lee.
All spit and polish, Case Director Wolfe made the following pronouncement: “The vampire Taylor’s escape attempt, which resulted in his termination, has been deemed an isolated incident after careful study. The Bureau is restoring your computer privileges because the rest of you have shown you pose no threat. We feel the ‘psy corps’ program is back on track.” Lee turned on his heel and exited without one kind word.
What’s with Lee? Was that an act for the benefit of his superiors or has he found someone else? Who is she? How dare that son of a . . . .
No, no, no! I must focus on the problem at hand. I have my computer privileges back, but I still need that schmuck’s help if my plan is to succeed. The question is how to secure that schmuck’s . . . Lee’s assistance. I must concentrate on nothing else.
I must act quickly! But can I trust Lee? Is he laying a trap? Why did Lee give me this information? Does he love me? Did he ever? My usually infallible instincts are silent, muted by this wretched place and that puzzling man.
Will this big gamble pay off? Neither I nor my colleagues have ever attempted anything like this. We’ve always hesitated to apply modern technology to our ancient art. It seemed somehow . . . sacrilegious. Who knows if it will work now?
At least the long wait is almost over. I’ll have the answers to my questions at six p.m. tomorrow.
According to Lee, all proceeded as planned at the Bureau. Every FBI agent, secretary, case director, and accountant, to a pencil pusher, shredded any document and deleted any file, my video e-mail included, related to the “psy corps” program. As far as Bureau employees are concerned, the program never existed. And everyone knows vampires do not exist, or so I “suggested.”
Now Lee has a decision to make.
But I never will understand Lee. How could he pass up eternal life? I made the offer. We could have been together for a while, “happy” in our way. Lee’s answer was, “It doesn’t seem like much of a life. I love you, but I won’t be with you that way.” How dare he condescend to me?
Why did Lee save me, if not to be with me? “I knew captivity was killing you,” he said. He couldn’t bear to see me die. That’s something, I guess.
So I gave Lee his choice, the last reverberation of my echo of love for him. “Be with me or forget me.” He wanted to forget. Now he’s like all the other creatures who get sick, grow old and die, all the while certain there’s no other way. The decision of a fool. Or of a strong human being.
I was never given the choice Lee had. And I have no choices now. There’s only one way for me to be.
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"Lee" ©1999 Karen A. Romanko
Raven Electrick ©2000-2001 Karen A. Romanko. Clipart by Corel®.