Posted in Character Stories

Mischief Managed

I don’t know how long it has been since I last set foot in Ireland. Gideon saved me from an angry mob and my blackouts have gotten under control, but I’m far from normal. There’s a long journey ahead if I have any hope of moving out of the hidden compound below this bustling city. 

I’m on assignment today. 

With no real chance of me ever leaving, Gideon has been kind enough to give me a larger role in his lifestyle and work. My job is to gather the newest recruits. My friends often go out to the port to collect people who come in from overseas, but this particular vampire has been causing a commotion in the downtown area a few miles from our compound. 

It wasn’t anything big, at first. Some electrical surges that caused food vendors to shut down until further notice as their fryers went on the fritz and touchscreens died. A few days later, there was a news story about a block of houses that played a synchronized song through their malfunctioning doorbells. Someone else reported glowing kitty litter. After the first odd circumstances occurred, a signature in dripping graffiti was then hidden at the next areas. 

A Krav Maga class had the looping letters scrawled over their training mats while they experienced flickering lights and flying objects. All of the sweatbands at a particular gym turned pink and stained the foreheads of their wearers. The signature was scrawled on the back of a trash can in the lobby. Whoever is doing this wants credit. Whether it’s a prank or magic gone awry, they’re not scared to take credit for their work. 

Gideon picked me because I’m nice and rational. Usually, I would have an aversion to the simple description, but he’s correct. Nice and rational are probably the most important skills I’m taking into this meeting. Seymour is too ready to get into a physical altercation and Connor would become the butt of an intense magical prank far too quickly. 

Nice and rational. Plus, I come with my own color of magic. 

I can’t make things move or short circuit electrical items, but I’m just as dangerous in close proximity. 

Hopefully, we can finish this quickly. It’s unlikely, but, maybe, for once in my short life as an asset obtainer, I can get in, make a friend, and go back home before dinner is over. My stomach growls its approval for that plan. This virus leaves me always hungry. 

The sharp scent of fish overtakes the street. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a good fried basket. Maybe I can convince Gideon to stock the fridges at the compound with fresh halibut or shrimp or both. 

Since this isn’t the pier, it’s odd the smell has carried so far. Time to keep my wits about me, I suppose. I don’t know what exactly he could be doing with fish, but I bet I’m about to find out. 

Glass shatters to the left. I bound across the sidewalk without waiting for the cars to slow. Nobody honks. They’re all too busy staring at the same ridiculous sight I am. 

A line of salmon float through the broken window of the five-star restaurant. They’re fins on the fish in front, my jaw falls open as they dance a perfect conga line out into the middle of the street. The cars that have been stopped begin to vibrate. Music blares through the air. An upbeat sound of opposing instruments. 

My knees crack against the sidewalk. Freaking asshole. One hand covering my right ear as it starts to bleed, I fish out the noise-canceling EarPods in my pocket and stuff them in. It’s not a perfect fix, but it calms the noise enough for me to pick myself up and start to walk towards the restaurant. 

This particular show has gone on far too long. 

Civilians form a circle around the broken glass and stare up at the procession of lettuce leaves that show up to wiggle around the still dancing fish. Several of them have their cell phones out. I have to be careful to not cause any reason for them to record me. Gideon is not going to be happy if I end up on the news again. 

Ducking past the crowd, I slink into the restaurant and then freeze. It’s so much worse here. The people that were seated at their tables are now clapping an intricate beat. Clap. Pick up a cup, slide it to the next person. Clap again. Clap above their head several times. Most have thrown pieces of their food up into the air to join the parade of dinner plates jiggling to the resounding claps. All of them share a strained smile as sweat beads on their brows and fear shines through their eyes. 

I’ve gotta stop this. 

“Who are you?”

The voice comes from behind me. I turn quickly to see the child holding his hands up like a choir conductor. No. This can’t be my mischievous vampire. 

I don’t answer quickly enough for his liking, so he stomps his foot. “Everyone in here should be under my spell, dude. Who are you?”

I raise my hands to either side of my head, trying to show him I’m peaceful as I think calm thoughts. I have to get this under control. These people need me. 

“I’m like you,” I decide to say, turning my face away from the recordings outside to let my fangs fall out of my upper jaw. “Special.”

His wide eyes threaten to roll out of his prepubescent skull. “That’s so cool! What else can you do?”

I hold my hand out towards him, beckoning him to me. “If we go somewhere more private, I can show you lots of stuff.”

He immediately shakes his head, his fuzzy hair bobbing along with the motion. Instead of giving me a verbal answer, he blows a raspberry in my direction. The next moment, a glass of water pours over my head. 

Real freakin’ smooth. 

Running towards the back of the restaurant, he’s out of sight before I can wipe the liquid off of my face. Fine. Two of us can play this silly game. 

I take a deep breath. Calm thoughts. Really calm thoughts. 

I cannot imagine strangling the brat that decided to give me a public shower. I won’t think about catching him and dunking him with my own cup of water. That’s immature. I’m a sophisticated vampire with special abilities. 

I can handle a kid. 

Calm. Right. Another deep breath.

I shut my eyes and immediately see the frantic auras of the people in the restaurant. They’re colored in purple shades of panic. Others are flashes of distressed red. In general, there’s a wave of unease crashing through the room as the kid’s magic wears out and the food falls to the floor. 

Calm and cool, Cedric. 

I’ve got this. 

I imagine the feeling as a ball in the center of my chest. Calm. It’s turquoise. It’s the exact shade the waves used to be on a really sunny day back home. 

Once I have it gathered, I let the color move out from my body and wash over the patrons of the restaurant. The change is immediate. People with fisted hands or their heads buried on the table cloths straighten up. The room seems to let out a collective exhale. 

That’s step one. 

I gather a grey orb in front of myself, something visible to only my eyes and then start to walk around the room. “The entertainment here is great. Magic isn’t real, but that magician was really good.”

I chant the words as I pass by each of the affected people. This is what makes me useful to Gideon. I adjust emotions and I can make it so there aren’t any questions to be asked later. Opposing vampires would demand death, but my method is a lot cleaner. 

Everyone gets an explanation they can understand before walking away from an otherwise deadly event. 

I leave the crowd outside to disperse on its own. There’s no time to wipe their cameras. I don’t need to anyway. Nobody in the twenty-first century believes magic exists if the evidence is caught on camera. Technology is too good and people think they’re too savvy to be tricked into falling for a video containing real magic. 

I direct the patrons to exit the restaurant before turning my attention to the back of the building. 

Just me and the kid, now. 

I don’t bother trying to see his emotional state with my extra abilities. Supernatural creatures are impossible to pin down until I’ve made physical contact with them. Most are still incredibly difficult to sway even after I’ve made a connection. 

“We can leave together. There’s a safe place for people like us.” 

My words echo around the metal interior of the restaurant’s kitchen. There’s a hundred places for him to hide here. Inside cupboards, under prep tables, behind the bubbling fryers. It’s going to take me all night to find him at this rate. 

Fortunately, he’s a chatty guy. “I’m not supposed to trust strangers.”

There. I tilt my head. I can just barely see his reflection in the stainless steel door to the fridge. He’s crouching by their paper stock. 

Scared. 

I don’t have to use magic to realize the threat I am to him. 

Okay. More deep breathing. Calm thoughts. I am still wet and inconvenienced by his prank, but I’m not some monster here to enact revenge. 

I’m a good guy. 

At least, that’s what Gideon keeps trying to imply. 

“Okay. How about I tell you a little about myself? Then, we won’t be strangers.” He doesn’t answer, so I go forward with my plan. “My name is Cedric Smith. I was born with a different last name, but it doesn’t matter anymore because my old life is over and I live here now.”

That catches his attention. “Is that why you say words all funny?”

“Yes, I have an accent,” I grin at his distorted reflection. “Where are you from?”

The boy shrugs. “My parents are gone. I took a bus as far as it would go and stopped here.”

Good. I’m getting a response. 

“I used to be a human. I lived with my mom. We had a really big garden together and she would spend the seasons canning all sorts of different stuff. After I was turned into what I am now, I had to move here to stay in a place that was safe for me and kept people safe from me.”

“So, you’re admitting to being dangerous?”

The kid is quite sharp. “I think anyone who can move items with his mind is probably more dangerous than me.”

There’s a scoff. “It’s just funny, dude. I’m not trying to hurt anyone.”

Uh huh. Children should never be given such power. They simply cannot handle the responsibility. 

“Those people out there were scared. Normal people can’t handle this kind of stuff.”

We share a long moment of silence as he chews on his left thumb nail before continuing the conversation. “How do I know you won’t take me somewhere to run tests?”

“Have you met people like that before?”

“It’s why I’m special now,” he pops off as if I should have known that already. 

I don’t dare take a step closer. This is the best response I could probably hope to get from him at this point. Let’s just hope I can get him to trust me enough to come out here on his own. 

“Well, I take tests all the time. It helps me figure out if my powers are getting better or not. They aren’t scary, though.”

The kid inches out away from the table enough to peer at me from around the corner. “You have to take tests, too?”

I nod. “And I’ll stay with you for everything you go through, too, if that’s something you want.”

Carefully, I extend my hand between us once again. Please. Please, let me take you home. Don’t make me chase you through the whole damn city. I will never hear the end of it if everyone back at the compound realizes that a kid made me look like a chump with his magical abilities. 

“I’m hungry,” he announces, standing in front of me without taking my hand, but close enough for me to know he’s leaning towards returning home with me. 

Letting my hand fall to my side, I let out a chuckle. “Me too. How do you feel about pizza?”

“I love it!” 

My smile takes over my face as I wave for him to follow. “I’ll buy you a whole large pizza if you don’t give me any more trouble walking home.”

The prankster falls into step with me as we take the back exit and disappear into the night.

Author’s Note

Happy Saturday! Thank you to everyone who made it to the bottom of this story. It makes my week every time I see views on these silly renditions.

It was a race to the finish this week. I hope you enjoyed the return of Cedric and my magical prankster. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Please read Bridgette’s story about the everyday magic found between friends:

See you all next week!

We’ll be discussing villains! 🙂

If you have extra reading time this week, please check out my Kindle Vella story: Lore Click here to see Lore now

Author:

Married. Writer. Dreamer. I have some obsessions with the supernatural, so look out for the upcoming vampires and syrens and more.

5 thoughts on “Mischief Managed

  1. Oh, this was such a fun read! I wondered if there were any children in your magical world and now I’ve got my answer. Of course the child would act out in a way that he found amusing and have no real understanding as to how it was effecting others. It was super fun to read and imagine—I particularly loved the dancing fish.

    Cedric’s abilities are so interesting and cool. I love how he can read auras and how he was able to give people an explanation as to what was happening. He’s an interesting character and I’m glad he returned this week.

    You constantly amaze me with your storytelling prowess. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!!
      I really felt like I had hit a wall this week, but Cedric and my magical prankster really reminded me that its okay to bend the rules and just write something for fun rather than meeting an ultimate ending. Im so glad the dancing fish went over well! I tweaked that scene a hundred times!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Isn’t it funny that sometimes the scenes we agonize the most over end up being some of our best work? I found this entire story a joy to read and couldn’t at all tell you’d hit a wall. I think you broke right throught that thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This was one of my favorites I’ve ever read of yours. The little boy and his mischievous was interesting and something the reader could truly picture happening with a gifted child

    Liked by 1 person

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