by Wes Leigh

Chapter 1

This is a work of fiction (or is it?) intended solely for the entertainment of my readers; any resemblance to any real people or places is purely coincidental. This story is the property of the author and is protected by copyright laws. The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent.

You ask that question as though you don't believe these creatures exist … that they are simply make-believe. I assure you—they are real. They are out there, but they don't make themselves known, not like Hollywood producers and horror novelists would have us believe. No. They're hidden away. In secret places. In small communities, mostly, in rural regions, waiting, biding their time.

-- Excerpt from Rob Ransom podcast: 'Vampires and Werewolves: Are They Living Among Us?'

Daniel Anderson huddled in the back seat of the car, staring at the dry prairies of North Dakota, hating his life and his parents for bringing him here. What a stupid, messed up, pile of crap his life had become. Just when he had begun to settle in and make new friends … just when he was actually looking forward to starting high school in Colorado Springs … just when he had begun to think he had friends he could trust enough to open up to, his dad had to get a new job working in the oil fields of Bumfuck, North Dakota. And of course, his mother, the ever-dutiful wife, supported moving the family 800 fucking miles to the middle of fucking nowhere. Daniel pulled his coat tighter. He hated his life.

Daniel's father Mike glanced in the rear-view mirror and noticed Daniel tugging his coat around him. "Are you warm enough back there?"

Daniel glared at his dad, refusing to answer.

Judy, Daniel's mother, turned in her seat and looked back at Daniel. "Your father asked you a question, son."

Daniel kept his thoughts to himself, knowing it would land him in a world of hurt to say what he was feeling at the moment. What he wanted to say was, 'Really? You mean my clueless dad decided to finally check on his only child's well-being? Great timing, as always. Would have been nice if someone had asked me how I was doing seven-hundred miles ago.' Instead of speaking out, Daniel stared daggers at his mom.

Judy blew out her breath, exasperated. She turned to Mike and shook her head. "Teenagers. Were we this moody when we were fourteen?"

Mike shrugged. "I think you were. Me, I was a sterling example of balanced emotions."

They chuckled, which only made Daniel more upset. 'Laugh it up, guys. Make fun of your son. Enjoy torturing him and making his life a living hell.'

Daniel pulled his backpack into his lap, unzipped the side pocket, and pulled out the stack of books he'd placed inside that morning. He didn't feel like reading, not even the novel he'd begun earlier in the week. It was a dark tale of vampires battling werewolves for control of a small village in Lithuania. It actually made him feel a little better to read all the lurid descriptions of mangled bodies and bloody battles, especially when he pictured his parents as the ones getting their arms torn off, but he just wasn't in the mood for stupid fantasy at the moment. He had bigger problems to deal with. And there was only one outlet for his current vexing circumstances: his journal.

He slid the thin gray book into his lap and turned the dials on the lock to 719, the reverse order of his birthday, September 17th. Even his snoopy mom wouldn't be able to figure that one out, he hoped. The lock unlatched and he opened the journal, taking out the pen he kept inside, and started a new entry.

August 18

I hate my life. So, what's new about that? I'm headed for Agony, North Dakota. Yes, you heard me right. An actual town named Agony located in the middle of fucking nowhere, the captive prisoner of my heartless parents, who seem to think they have the right to drag their son kicking and screaming away from all his friends (I didn't have that many to begin with) and force him to start all over again in a frozen damned town in the middle of North Cocksucking Dakota.

Okay. Maybe I'm cussing too much. I'll try to stop, but damn it, I'm really pissed.

Get this. The town really is called Agony, North Dakota. Population 12,400. That's right. It only takes five digits to tell you how many tortured souls reside in Agony. I wonder if they'll update it to 12,403, now that we're moving in.

Daniel stopped writing for a second and looked up at his parents. He mumbled, "I researched our new home, by the way. Did you know the temperature runs in the low-20s in January?"

Judy shivered involuntarily. "Yes, I think I read that somewhere."

Mike glanced at Daniel in the mirror. "It's going to be cold in the winter. Colder than Colorado. Hope you packed your thermal underwear."

Daniel rolled his eyes. Leave it to his dad to make an underwear joke. What a dweeb! Daniel continued, "The record low was 43 degrees below zero, recorded on January 3, 1948. It's gonna take more than thermal underwear to stay warm, dad."

Mike smiled. "We'll buy you a parka, too. That should do the trick."

Daniel shook his head. "But the funny thing is they don't get snow there. Not like we did in Colorado. It will probably only snow a few times a year."

Judy nodded. "It's very dry. Not a lot of chance for snow, so that will make the cold temperatures more bearable."

Daniel grunted and turned back to his journal.

My parents don't get it. They think this is some kind of adventure. Or a great business opportunity for my dad, the brilliant chemical engineer. They're reopening the oil fields in North Dakota, and he's already rubbing his hands with glee over the huge paychecks he's gonna bring home. Mom supports him in whatever he wants to do. She'll probably find a job at the hospital as a nurse. They're always looking for nurses.

Me. I'll be going along for the ride. Being a good little boy.

I wonder what my parents would say if they knew I'm not a good little boy. Would they freak out if they knew the truth about me? The dark secret I'm keeping to myself? Would they be so happy about all this if they knew their one and only son is a monster?

I doubt it would faze them. They don't even know I exist most days. I guess I'll keep my fiend status a secret another year, although it might be tough, now that I'm living in Agony, North Dakota. How do you keep a secret like mine in a small town? All the kids will keep a close eye on me until they finally uncover the truth, and then I'll be royally screwed.

Whatever. I'll write more later.

Daniel tucked the pen into the journal and closed it. Latched and locked it. Spun the combination dial to a random number. Stuffed it in his backpack and turned to look out the window at the dry prairie passing by.


The prairie grasses gradually gave way to stubby brush and evergreen trees. Junipers, his mom called them. The terrain began to change too. More hills. A few funny rock formations. Some shaped like enormous mushrooms or spindly stacks of rocks. Those were called hoodoos, Daniel remembered reading somewhere. And in the distance, there were enormous buttes. Daniel chuckled thinking about that word and how it could be mispronounced. A few of the buttes he saw did look like giant, jagged butts, but even that bit of humor didn't turn his mood around. He felt alone, like the golden eagle he saw hovering in the air over a stand of trees.

The road crested a hill and started down into a valley. Up ahead, Daniel saw a river. A good-sized river. "What's that?"

Judy looked where he was pointing and replied, "The Missouri River. The town is located on a bend in the river. That should be interesting, don't you think?"

Daniel snorted. "Utterly fascinating, mom."

She turned to look at him, but decided not to comment on his obvious sarcasm. It wasn't a battle she intended to fight. Instead, she said, "For a small town, I think you'll find plenty of new things to try. Outdoor things. Hiking. Camping. Fishing."

Daniel nodded. "Sure. Sounds fun." But to himself, he thought, 'Sounds miserable. I better get a new Xbox out of this.'

The first buildings they saw were houses, a bit run down. Small. Wooden, clapboard siding. Dirt yards. A few trees struggling to survive. A bit of junk in the side yards, here and there. 'I hope our house is nicer than this,' Daniel thought.

"The motel is on the other side of town," Mike said, peering through the windshield. "I guess we'll get the grand tour first," he added with a laugh.

"I can't wait," Daniel mumbled, staring out the side window. A new row of houses appeared, nothing fancy, but in slightly better condition. There were no yards, though. And no kids outside playing, not that he could see. It was a nice day in August. There should be kids playing somewhere, right?

They stopped at an intersection when the light turned red. Daniel noticed a grocery store on his right. There were a few cars parked in front, one with its trunk open. A woman was loading sacks inside. Helping her was a teenage girl. Both wore dark clothing, appearing as if they'd just come from a funeral, with dark sunglasses. It was overcast, so Daniel assumed they wore the sunglasses to hide their eyes, probably bloodshot from crying. The two paused and turned together to face Daniel. Both lowered their sunglasses to stare at him directly. Their eyes weren't bloodshot, but were dark and brooding. Both stared at Daniel with a peculiar mixture of cold curiosity and … desire or hunger? … as though they were trying to decide if he would be suitable for their bedroom, or their dinner table.

Daniel shook his head. He had no idea where he got such a stupid notion from, probably from the novel he'd been reading. He scooted over to the other side of the car and looked out the left side.

A farm and ranch supply sat on the opposite corner of the intersection. A pickup was backed up in front, where two muscular teenagers were loading heavy sacks of feed into the bed. One of them pointed at Daniel's car. The other dropped the sack on top of the stack in the back of the pickup, then they both watched as the light turned green and the car started moving again. They followed the car until it was a block away, never allowing it out of their sight. For some reason, Daniel imagined two wolves tracking a deer they were stalking.

Daniel shuddered. The people of this town were stranger than the town itself. And he was definitely going to stop reading that novel about vampires and werewolves. His imagination was starting to get the better of him.

"Look, sweetie," Judy exclaimed. "A movie theater!"

Daniel scooted back to the right side of the car to get a better look. It was an old-fashioned theater with a marquee above the door, bragging about the two—yes, two!—movies currently showing. He'd seen the slasher flick already, something his mom didn't know and would never find out. The comedy was new, but nothing he had any real interest in seeing. Hopefully, the motel would offer a streaming service. Otherwise, this town was going to be dismally boring.

They passed through the town square. Yellow brick courthouse. Red brick bank. Brown brick furniture store. A few glass front clothing stores. Yep. A bustling center of commerce. Obviously, a shopping paradise for the entire county.

Mike turned on the next street, taking them into another residential neighborhood. The houses were nicer. A few had struggling yellow lawns, though most had opted for gravel landscaping around twisted juniper pines. The houses themselves were nice enough. Mostly brick or cinder block construction. Mike stopped in front of a rambling ranch-style house with a real estate sign in the front yard. Pointing, he said, "That's ours."

Daniel sighed. It was a nice house. Bigger than the one they had owned in Colorado. He wanted to mumble something unpleasant about the new house, but he couldn't think of anything at the moment, so he asked, "When will the movers bring our stuff?"

"In two days," Mike replied. "They should be here first thing Friday morning."

"We'll be settled in by the weekend," Judy added, smiling encouragingly.

'Great,' Daniel thought. 'I get to slave away for my parents all weekend. As if there's anything else to do in this hick town.'

"You want to go in? I have the keys," Mike said.

Daniel shook his head. "Nah. I'm good, Dad. Can we just go to the motel? I really need a shower." There would be plenty of opportunities to check out the new place in the next couple of days, and at the moment he was hungry and tired and grumpy. Besides all that, he'd already seen the inside of the house using the on-line virtual tour the real estate company had provided. The master bedroom was on the opposite side of the house from his bedroom. His room was big with a connected bath, something he'd never had before. A bit of welcome privacy for a young teenager.

Mike put the car back in gear and drove on. Swinging through the drive-through of a fast-food place, they picked up burgers, fries, and sodas. A few blocks later, they pulled into the River View Motorlodge. It was perched on a hill above the Missouri River, so there actually was a pretty decent view of the river from their rooms, as the motel's name claimed. They had adjoining rooms. Daniel had his own room, for which he was especially grateful. At least his parents didn't expect him to share a room for the next two nights. That would have been the absolute worst possible scenario.

His room was neat and clean. Nothing fancy, but the bed was comfortable and there was a small (though old) LCD television on the dresser. He munched on his burger while flipping through the channels. There was a decent selection, with some porn available on a pay-per-view basis. He knew better than to order any of those. Not that it mattered. The hotel had free WIFI, and Daniel had his cell phone. He connected his phone to the WIFI while sipping his drink. Finally, he'd have access to civilization again.

Daniel sat on the toilet with the shower running. Just in case his parents checked on him.

His fingers danced across the face of his cell phone, entering one of his favorite search queries: boy loses virginity.

The options were varied. He slid through the list, trying to decide whether he wanted to see some old, saggy woman doing a teenager or two teenagers doing each other. Finally, he chose one he'd seen before. The boy looked just a few years older than him, though he knew the kid had to be at least eighteen. He was slender with bright blue eyes, like Daniel, but he had wavy black hair. Daniel wished he had black hair; he hated his pale blonde mop. The boy in the video had something else Daniel didn't. A long, thick cock. It was another indication that the porn guy wasn't a young teenager, even if his face did look remarkably youthful. Even though it was obvious the boy wasn't a teenager, he still made you think he was young and unsure of himself. He tried to resist the older woman as she tugged at his pants and underwear, and when he finally gave in, his cock was soft, hanging down a few inches. His balls were tight, pulled up against his crotch, like Daniel's, and he had only a small patch of pubic hair, also like Daniel, though Daniel's pubes were a light golden blond, so light in fact that you had to look closely to see that he did have hair there.

The boy quickly lost his shyness when the woman knelt in front of him and put his cock in her mouth. Daniel watched, entranced, as the boy's cock filled up and stretched out to an impressive seven inches in length. Daniel wished his dick was that long, but at just over five inches, he supposed he wasn't all that different from other boys his age. At the moment, his dick was hard and throbbing, reacting to the images on his cell phone.

The woman in the video stood up and pulled the teen's hands to her chest, encouraging him to rub her breasts over the negligee she wore. While he squeezed and rubbed, she slid the negligee off her shoulders and allowed it to fall to the ground. Her boobs were huge, with wide red nipples. The teen leaned in and started sucking on them, obviously enjoying himself.

Daniel fast forwarded the video. The woman's breasts did nothing for him. He stopped the video and restarted it when the woman turned to face away from the boy, bending over and pushing her ass in his face.

Her pussy was spread open and the boy was prodding and smearing her juices all over, spreading her open and sticking his fingers inside her. Daniel shrugged and fast forwarded again.

Now the young man was standing up, holding his cock pointed straight ahead. He moved forward and rubbed himself against the woman, causing the tip of his cock to glisten with all the juices coming out of her. Then he pushed his cock forward, causing it to disappear inside her.

Daniel felt his own cock throb as he watched the boy fucking the woman. The sound of the teen's hips slapping her ass cheeks made Daniel groan with excitement. He grabbed his cock and began stroking it, trying to match the speed of the teen in the video, trying to imagine he was the one fucking the woman. The tingles faded a bit, and then Daniel wondered what it would be like to have the teenager sticking his cock inside Daniel's ass. The tingles returned, making Daniel bite his lip and close his eyes as his cock lurched in his hand and launched strands of silvery cum onto the bathroom floor.

He stared down at his cock. It was bright red, glowing from its favorite pastime. He squeezed out a few more drops, collecting the slippery fluid on one finger. He lifted it to his nose, sniffed it, and wrinkled his nose. Why did something that felt so good have to smell so … weird? Not bad, but just weird.

He unrolled toilet paper and cleaned off his fingers and the end of his cock. Then he bent over and wiped up the splotches on the floor.

Closing out the porn video, he set his cell phone on the counter next to the sink. Then he opened the shower door and slid underneath the hot spray.


"Yes, Daniel."

Daniel stood in the doorway between their rooms. Because the rooms were adjacent, there was a connecting door they could open, allowing them access to each other's rooms. Daniel had made sure the door was closed the night before, but now, the next morning, it was convenient to have it open so he could ask his mom a question.

"Can I catch a movie this afternoon? They have a cheap matinee?"

"At the theater?" she asked.

"Yeah. I feel cooped up and wanna get out for a bit."

Judy frowned. "What movies are they showing?"

Daniel sighed. Of course, she'd ask that. " 'Age Has No Limits' and 'Shredder'."

" 'Shredder'? Isn't that the movie about the mass murderer?"

Daniel nodded. "Yeah."

She shook her head. "I don't want you watching that. You'll have nightmares."

Daniel shrugged. He'd already seen it, and it hadn't been all that good. He also hadn't had nightmares. He couldn't tell his mom that, because she'd have a cow knowing he and his friends had snuck in to see it two weeks ago. "That's fine, Mom. I'd rather see the comedy."

"What's it about? Maybe I'll go with you."

"Two old guys that decide to do all these stupid things before they die. I don't think you'd enjoy it. It's kind of dumb."

Judy glanced at Daniel. She missed the happy little boy who would have jumped at the chance to spend an afternoon at the movies with his mom. He was growing up and growing away from her, and that was an uncomfortable feeling. But she realized he no longer needed—or wanted—his mother hanging out with him. She opened her purse and took out a twenty-dollar bill. "Have fun, sweetie. Buy yourself some popcorn."

He took the money and thanked her. Thank God she got the hint that he wanted to go alone. The last thing he needed was to be seen with his mom at the movies.

He grabbed his jacket off the bed and put it on. The wind was starting to pick up, and the sky was dark with clouds. For a mid-August afternoon, it was chilly.

The walk from the motel to the theater took him half an hour. He was glad for the jacket when gusts swirled around him. Arriving at the theater, he saw a line forming. Apparently, the theater wasn't open yet. He snorted. Crap like that would never happen in Colorado Springs.

He walked to the back of the line, standing with his hands in his pockets behind a group of four other teenagers, two boys and two girls. They all wore sunglasses and were dressed in dark clothing, black and dark gray mostly, with odd bits of bright colors here and there. One girl had a bright green belt around a black leather one-piece outfit. The other girl wore a black halter top and a black mini-skirt with yellow, high-top sneakers. One boy wore dark gray jeans, black cowboy boots, and a checked shirt with a black and bright blue pattern. The other boy wore a short sleeved black t-shirt, black dress pants, and a blood-red vest. He was actually cute, in a dark and mysterious way.

Daniel checked them all out, trying not to be too obvious about what he was doing. The clothing was not just peculiar; it was also wrong for the weather. The wind swirled around them, causing Daniel to tug his jacket tighter around his body. But the four teens didn't seem to mind. They acted like they didn't notice the wind at all, like it was a pleasant summer day, perfect for hanging out in mini-skirts and tank tops.

They were chatting about the movie, not shivering, teeth not chattering. The boy in the blue-checked shirt said, "Should be a good movie. Not your typical blood-and-guts slasher-flick."

Leather-dress girl agreed. "No. It's more about suspense. Shocking plot twists."

"All the better," blue-checked shirt said.

"You should enjoy it then, X," said yellow-sneakers girl, sliding up to the boy in the red vest and slipping her arm around his waist.

Red-vest boy reached behind him and pulled the girl's arm away. "Whatever. And I've asked you before not to do that, Regina."

Yellow-sneakers girl—Regina?—pouted. "Come on, Xavier. You need someone to make you happy. Why not me?"

The boy in the red vest, the one she'd called X, which was apparently short for Xavier, glared at her. "You know why, Regina. Cut it out."

Regina snickered. "Buy me some popcorn?" she asked, smiling coyly at Xavier.

Blue-checked boy snorted. "Popcorn? Why do you want popcorn?"

"To snack on during the movie, of course," Regina replied.

"Yeah," leather-dress girl added. "And you're buying."

Blue-checked boy smirked. "I'm not buying either of you popcorn. You should get plenty to eat while the movie's playing—"

He was interrupted by mini-skirt girl slapping him on the arm. "Shhhh," she hissed, nodding her head slightly in Daniel's direction.

Blue-checked boy frowned. "What? Why'd you hit me?"

Xavier (red vest boy) shook his head. "You can be such a moron, Gregor."

Gregor (blue-checked boy) shook his head in confusion. "What difference does it make?"

Xavier glared at Gregor. "Discrete you've never been. At least try being silent for a change." The look Xavier gave Gregor was ice cold, making Daniel shiver. He didn't know who this Xavier guy was, but he was certain of one thing: he never wanted to get on Xavier's bad side. Xavier seemed to have hidden power, buried just under the surface, that he wasn't afraid to use if necessary.

But Gregor was just as hard and intimidating. Gregor glared at Xavier and snarled, "You're not Executor yet, Xavier. You're no better than the rest of us."

Regina rolled her eyes. "You just don't know when to shut up, do you, Gregor?"

The two boys stared at each other for a moment, then Gregor snorted and looked away. Xavier glanced back at Daniel, noticing that the short blonde had been listening to their conversation. Xavier sighed and gave Daniel a nod. He seemed to be silently apologizing. 'Okay,' thought Daniel, 'the scary and intimidating dude is also a pretty decent guy.'

The ticket window finally opened and the line started moving forward. When the four teens reached the ticket window, they bought tickets to 'Shredder'. Daniel didn't really want to see 'Age Has No Limits', but after listening to those four, for some reason, he didn't feel like seeing 'Shredder' either. He bought a ticket for the comedy and went inside the theater, joining the line for the snack counter.

Xavier was in line in front of him. The other three were nowhere to be seen. Daniel studied Xavier, trying not to be too obvious. The boy was taller by several inches and just as thin. His hair was jet black, his skin pale. His complexion was so white it was almost translucent, made all the more striking by the dark clothing he wore and his dark hair. But Xavier was truly handsome, not simply cute as Daniel had originally thought, but rather stunningly good looking, with regal features, a fashionable hair style, and eyes that seemed to draw you in. Now that they were inside the building, Xavier had removed his sunglasses and Daniel was able to see that Xavier's eyes were a deep and piercing black.

All this, Daniel was able to observe while standing off to the side of Xavier. Suddenly, Xavier glanced over, cutting his eyes back to see Daniel. Daniel glanced quickly away, pretending to study the price list above the counter. Xavier smiled knowingly and turned back forward. Daniel blushed, realizing he'd been caught staring.

When Xavier was called up to the counter, he ordered two boxes of buttered popcorn.

Daniel was called up at the same time, taking a spot next to Xavier. He ordered popcorn and a Mountain Dew. Glancing over at Xavier, he saw the taller youth looking at him, unashamed. Xavier smiled at him. Daniel smiled back.

The counter attendants quickly filled their orders, and they walked side by side down the hall to where a pimple-faced teenager took their tickets, tore them in half, and directed them in two different directions. As Daniel walked down the hall, he looked back briefly and saw Xavier looking over his shoulder too, watching Daniel. Daniel blushed again and hurried down the hall to the doorway for the comedy. Xavier smiled and continued to the slasher flick.

Halfway through the movie, Daniel began to feel the pressure of the drink. He wanted to wait until the movie was over, because it wasn't half bad, but he knew he'd never make it another hour. He got up and made his way through the dark room out into the hall.

Walking back towards the lobby, he heard muffled screams coming from the other end of the theater. He wondered what was going on down there. Was it simply a suspenseful place in the slasher flick, or was something more sinister going on? Maybe those kids were really vampires, and they were grabbing people from behind and sinking their fangs into their victims' necks.

He shook his head at his silly imagination and continued on into the theater lobby. Seeing the signs ahead for the restrooms, he turned in to the men's room and walked around the corner. Standing at the sinks was Gregor, the youth in the blue-checked shirt. Gregor glanced up as Daniel walked in, studying the smaller teen in the mirror. Daniel shyly kept his eyes on the floor and moved deeper into the restroom, heading for the urinals.

Once there, he unzipped and fished out his cock, then sighed with relief as his bladder unloaded.

A body moved up beside him at the next urinal over. He glanced sideways and saw the blue-checked shirt.

"New here?" Gregor asked.

Daniel looked up, meeting Gregor's eyes. They seemed to flicker with a strange inner light.

"Yeah," Daniel replied. "Just moved here." Then Daniel felt his head getting fuzzy and the room going dark. His last conscious thought was, 'I wonder if someone slipped something into my drink?'

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