The vampires, werewolves, witches and ghosts all came back on a Friday morning. The air was cold, frost had settled on the leaves over night and dew dripped from the dying grasses. The sun had risen and was shivering lonely in the sky; the winds blew the clouds around the earth and all of the people beneath them.
Jordan William Johnson had known that they were coming; he had seen them in a dream.
Just like every other night Jordan had taken an aspirin and poured himself a tall glass of iced water. He lay on his covers looking out over the hills that surrounded his countryside dwelling. He wasn’t suited to the countryside, but the city had become too hectic and was no good for his health.
Jordan leant over his bedside to turn off his lamp and he buried himself under his covers.
His headaches had gotten worse over the past week since his grandfather died. His grandfather had been his only friend in life. Neither of his parents cared much for him when he was a boy and his other family had kept well away.
Grandpa Lie is what Jordan would call the old man. He never expressed a reason for this, his grandfather wasn’t known for lying, but one could argue that he wasn’t known for telling the truth either. Grandpa Lie had fallen ill, and on his death bed had sworn to tell Jordan a secret, the reason for his parents’ disapproval, fear, and the reason why Jordan could never sleep at night without taking drugs in one form or another.
Unfortunately for Jordan, Grandpa Lie passed before he could reveal his final secret.
Jordan shook his grandfather from his mind and closed his eyes.
He saw Marcy Little, her perfect button nose and perky breasts, he saw the curve of her body as she leant over the desk where he worked to adjust his tie, and he saw her smile, the smile that only he received. Jordan had been sleeping with Marcy for over a year, and he was certain that he was in love with her. He was planning on telling her over dinner, but as a cold sweat covered his body and his hands shook beneath the table he was unable to find the words. Marcy had laughed as he rubbed his stomach and made a half hearted joke about irritable bowel syndrome, and she left without ever hearing that he loved her, that Jordan William Johnson loved her, Marcy Little. Truthfully she was the first woman he had ever even liked. He had never really liked any person, other than his grandfather, and sometimes he couldn’t even stand Lie’s company.
Marcy was special; she made him want to be human, to experience human things. That was the problem Jordan had always faced, never quite feeling human. He looked human enough, but in his heart he never felt it.
As he lay in bed he thought that maybe that was what Lie had wanted to tell him, that he wasn’t really human, that he was some higher life form sent from another planet and put into Lie’s care. He laughed and turned in his bed. With a sigh he sent a silent prayer up to Lie.
He felt the pull of Sleep and he gave into the force. Sleep took him by the hand and into the dimension of dreams. Jordan had never found reason to question why his dreams were so different to his peers’ dreams, as he had very little interaction with them.
Jordan wandered lazily through the darkness, no longer afraid of the shadows that lurked here and there. Over the years he had discovered that the reason why they lurked was for fear of being seen, to reveal themselves to him would be to hand over their power over him. No longer afraid he barely felt their presence. But that night something had changed.
As he approached a place he knew well in the darkness he saw something move, one of the lurkers. He turned and saw it stand and reveal itself under a dim light created by Sleep, the master of dreams. The lurker was a man, as the man drew closer Jordan could see shadows beneath his eyes and that his skin was as pale as the moon. The man was not a man at all, the man was dead. Jordan didn’t need to notice the blood that stained his shirt or the fangs that bulged under his top lip; Jordan knew instantly that this man was a creature of nightmares. The man was a vampire. The vampire bowed his head to Jordan and continued to walk beside him. Jordan knew that to feel fear would have been human. But when had Jordan ever been human?
Jordan walked with the vampire until another lurker rose from the shadows. This man was shaking wildly, his eyes flicked from their human blue to a ghastly yellow, like those of wolves hidden in the forest reflecting the ceaseless traffic’s headlights. He snarled at the vampire who turned his face from him, his eyes on Jordan, waiting for him to continue his walk through the darkness. Hair bust through the man’s pink skin spreading like fire around his body, he fell to his knees and as he crawled to Jordan his every bone broke and reformed into a hideous shape. The werewolf howled and followed Jordan and the vampire into the continuing darkness. Just as the vampire had done the werewolf presented a quiet respect for Jordan.
Sooner than he had anticipated a third lurker rose. She stood tall, not quite as tall as Jordan, but her presence made up for her height. She looked angry, furious, but the closer she came to Jordan he realised that it was sadness that haunted her eyes. Rejection stained her skin beneath her silk black dress, a dress of mourning for lost sisters unlawfully executed in the flames of scared men. She stood before the trio and held out her hand to Jordan. She curtseyed and he lifted her hand to his lips, kissing it gently, barely touching her cool flesh. She took her place next to the Vampire and smiled thoughtfully, hopefully.
The darkness would be gone in a matter of minutes. Jordan recognised the final turn in the labyrinth that was his dream, but it was no half man half creature that waited for him at the end, nor was it Theseus the great hero. Instead the final lurker raised from the ground her feet resting in the air above the dark floor. Jordan could see the shadows through her translucent body. She graced through the darkness and bowed her head to Jordan, a sly smile creasing her perfectly paper white face. She circled the strange group before resting upon the back of the werewolf. Together they walked through the darkness and into the light of the rising sun.
Jordan stopped before the light lit the path that his feet were to tread. He held onto the darkness as the others continued. The vampire, the werewolf, the witch and the ghost each turned back to thank Jordan, their eyes promising eternal companionship. This promise warmed something in Jordan’s heart that had always been cold, and he realised what Lie’s secret had been, but he had always known. Jordan was the bringer of them, the one whose name would never be forgotten in the eyes of their followers.
The darkness pushed Jordan into the light and lying in his bed his eyes shot open faster than a bullet leaves a bitter man’s gun. He sat up and looked out of his window. The sun was rising above the hills that surrounded his home. He closed his eyes and stretched up.
As he wandered through into his kitchen a sudden thumping on his door stole all of his attention. He ran to the door and fought his trembling hands to fix the key into the lock. As the door swung open Marcy stumbled forward and into his arms. Her pale, pale hand clung to her neck. He dropped to his knees holding her in his arms.
“Help me Jordan,” she whispered, a single tear graced her cheek as she drew her final breath, and her dark red blood painted Jordan’s shivering naked legs.
Jordan looked up and stood beneath the shade of Lie’s ancient oak, his pride and joy, was the vampire. He bowed his head and smiled to Jordan as he wiped the corner of his mouth with a pure white handerchief. Above the vampire in one of the highest branches of the tree was the ghost, swinging her paper white legs, her ghostly hair blowing in the cool Friday morning breeze. The werewolf in his human form emerged from the road adjoining to Jordan’s driveway and he saluted Jordan, shaking his head as he looked down to Marcy. Jordan looked around for the witch. As he began to frown he caught sight of her atop a hill just beyond the driveway. She turned her head to look down to Jordan, a sad smile painted her lips and she bowed her head before she walked over the brow of the hill, disappearing from sight.
As Marcy drew in a sharp breath Jordan caught sight of her eyes as they opened wide. Her lips faltered into a smile and her glimmering white immortal fangs parted as she whispered, “I love you too.”