Bones & Blood

“Wait till you guys see this,” Thomas smiled at the other three. The sides of his mouth pulled upward. Plastic fangs protruded from his mouth and the poor lighting in the bathroom made Thomas’ white make-up look yellow. Every movement he made was accompanied by the silky swish of his black cape.

“Why couldn’t we see it downstairs?” Megan asked. Thomas smiled at his date, happy for the question. He closed the restroom door and turned out the light making it completely dark.

“Every other room has windows,” He flipped the light on again. “I didn’t want to risk anything going wrong.” Thomas lowered his voice and leaned closer to the group. “If anyone from work finds out I have it,” he shook his head grimly, “Serious trouble.”

“So? Where is this amazing sight that will change our lives?” Keith, his best friend, asked.

“Obviously.” Thomas stood up straight and extended an arm at the closed shower-curtain decorated by a black castle. Keith chuckled.

“I bought you that,” he said.

“We’ve all seen it already, can we go back to the party?” Tina, Keith’s date, asked. She idly pulled each bright-red ponytail of her wig causing it to tilt to one side on her head, then the other. Thomas sighed.

“C’mon guys, it’s Halloween! Trust me, this is awesome. Alright, who’s brave enough to open the curtain?” He grinned. “I promise you’ll scream.”

“Fine,” Tina stepped forward and pushed the curtain aside. She peeked inside as she started to open the curtain, then froze for a moment. Thomas nodded to himself with an eager grin and waited for her to register it.

As if all her emotions responded at once, Tina screamed at the top of her lungs and pushed the shower curtain open. She turned, still screaming, and Thomas saw a grin around her open mouth. Her scream transitioned to light chuckles, but the smile remained. She stepped into the tub and placed her arm around the tall, glass display case. A black skeleton, as tall as Tina, stood in the case, shackled in place by metal at his ankles, wrists, and neck.

“This is a beautiful decoration, but not scary at all.” Tina pushed her face against the glass and looked inside. “Looks super realistic though!” She leaned forward and left deep red lip prints against the glass. “Why don’t you have it downstairs with the actual party?”

“Don’t!” Thomas rushed forward and grabbed Tina’s hand to get her out of the tub. He immediately started trying to clear away the lipstick, but it turned into a giant pink smudge. he sighed.

“I’ll clean that later. I already told you, it’s not downstairs because windows. I can’t risk sunlight touching these,…” His smile grew broader as he looked at them. “…VAMPIRE BONES!” He threw his arms up into the air and waved them around to make the announcement extra exciting. It did not work. His three friends stared at him with a familiar look of, “that’s nice dear.”

“Vampires don’t have bones,” Megan said.

“Yes they do!” Thomas responded with a harsh tone and a heavy stomp in the tub, then realized who he was responding to. “Sorry. But yeah, of course they do.” Megan winked at him to let him off the hook.

“Of course they do,” she said. “I meant when they die they don’t leave bones. Don’t they always turn to dust?”

“Yes!” Thomas pointed at Megan. “Exactly, that’s why I can’t let the sunlight touch these. Oh yeah, it’s not dead.” Despite their levity, the three outside the tub took a step back.

“You’re dying to explain it to us,” Megan said. She nodded her head encouragingly. “Just tell us instead of waiting for the right questions.”

“Please!” Tina said. She moved closer to the door. Thomas leaned on the glass box and smiled.

“I’m breaking a lot of rules telling you this, but it’s not like having this in my bathtub is on the up and up.  Okay, you guys know my job, right?” All three nodded.

“Yeah, but I don’t see how monitoring alarms earned you vampire bones.” Keith chuckled.

“Oh right, sorry. That was something I couldn’t tell you. I got a new job last year working at Sharp Labs.” Thomas waved a hand dismissively. “Long story. They upgraded their security, I gave them some pointers, end result is I’m working for them now.” A sudden clicking noise came form the area by the door. Tina turned the knob to try and get out of the bathroom.

“You okay, hon?” Keith asked. She shook her head.

“If Tommy says those are vampire bones, and he got them from Sharp Labs…” she tried the door again. “Why can’t I get out?”

“You haven’t even seen the coolest part yet! I planned this out perfectly, it’s a great night for it.”

“What do you mean?” Keith ignored Thomas and asked Tina while he tried the door.

“I’ve visited Sharp Labs a few times,” Tina said. “I’ve had to sign crazy NDA’s, probably like Tommy. I’ve seen enough of what they do there to be scared of that.” Tina used her thumb to point at the black skeleton without turning around.

“What’s the best part?” Megan asked a sad-faced Thomas. He leaned against the glass case with a ghost of a pout on his lips. Upon hearing her question his dark eyes sparkled again and his grin grew.

“Feeding time!” He pulled a small glass vial from his pocket. As he tilted it back and forth, a sparkling gold liquid moved inside. “I did say he wasn’t dead, remember?”

“With glitter?” Tina scoffed. “You ass!” she smiled and playfully shoved Keith backward. “You set me up. I told YOU I was scared of that place. You just used Tommy’s love of vampires to build up this story!” Though she smiled, Tina felt a genuine sting of annoyance. She did not hold back too much of her strength while beating on Keith.

“GUYS WATCH!” Thomas yelled from the tub. He held a dropper filled with golden liquid over a small hole in the top of the glass. He squeezed the bulb to release a single drop of liquid. All at once a brilliant golden glow emanated from the trapped bones. The skeleton tried to move, but its shackles kept it in place. It kept trying to break free, but Thomas stood next to it unconcerned. “Don’t worry it can’t get out.” He held up the vial. “He eats once a month. A drop is enough to keep him alive without restoring his powers.” His grin remained glued on. “You don’t know how long I’ve been planning this to show you guys.”

“So it’s real? Really real?” Keith stayed close to Tina, but he looked at the skeleton with renewed interest.”

“It is,” Thomas nodded. “And it only gets better,” he lifted the vial again and pulled the dropper out. Then, he poured all the golden liquid into the tiny hole. Even before the vial emptied, the animated bones broke free of one restraint.

“What are you doing!?” Keith asked. He stepped in front of Tina and Megan. Thomas chuckled.

“I can’t become a vampire without you guys. I’ll be lonely.”

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