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Rhymes With Bite Me | Part 1

Updated: Oct 20, 2023


Vlad the Moon Trooper dropped the fairy he’d been drinking from and gave a deep sigh.

The fairy, unperturbed, got to his feet and wandered back to the shiny, shiny light that warmed the centre of the underground cavern, its friendly glow dimmed only by the twenty of so other fairies clustered around it, all in various states of disrepair. This group wouldn’t last much longer. At least Vlad only took a little blood, and was gentle with them, not like the other Moon Troopers. He sighed again.


“You sound like a Pixie. Come on.” Dave the Moon Trooper’s voice, muffled by his silver mask, had not the least hint of camaraderie. He set off for the stairs at a crisp march.


“Hey Dave, do you ever wonder-”


“What?”


“Never mind.” Vlad didn’t really dare give voice to the thoughts forming in his head, not even to his twin.


Their heavy boots echoed in the dank gloom. Vlad didn’t particularly care for what awaited them at the top. This wasn’t what he’d signed up for when a fifteenth century nun named Maria Celestina told them she was on a recruitment drive, but there was no going back now.


“Hey Dave?”


“What?” The irritation bled through loud and clear, but Vlad didn’t care. He’d been irritating his twin from the moment he was born second.


“Do you remember the disco lights?”


“…Yeah.” Dave paused for a moment on the stairs. “They’d look radical down here.”


“Totally man! It’d give the whole place so much depth!”


“Think it’d distract the fairies from the trap?”


Vlad didn’t want to look over his shoulder at the fairies, but he did it anyway. They just stood there, staring at the light. “Nah man.”


They continued up the stairs.


“Do you ever think about getting the band back together?” Vlad burst out.


Dave stopped and turned back. “Are you kidding me? I even thought of a new name.” He leaned against the wall, silver mask staring out into the darkness in what Vlad already knew was dreamy rapture. “Lost in Shadow.”


“Wow man. Wow. That’s really deep.” Vlad had to give himself a moment to really feel the emotion the name evoked. “It’s so literal. But also so deeply symbolic. You’re amazing at stuff like that.”


“Thanks man. That means a lot.”


“Just one thing.” Vlad fidgeted with his mask. They’d given him a new one, and it didn’t fit all that well. Also it itched. And sometimes he had blackouts, which he felt like the mask caused, but didn’t want to say in case they hauled him in for evaluation. “Is it punk enough?”


“Punk is all about the attitude Vlad. You’ve just got to like, feel it to make it punk.”


Vlad sighed. “How do we even know though?”


“Know what?”


“It was 1986 when we came here. It’s been like 24 years. Is punk even still around? What if it’s different? What if something else is big now?”


“And what if we never got recruited, and we had’ve made it to that gig and been the most famous glam new wave synth punk rock band in the world?” Dave kicked the wall and started up the stairs again. “You ever think about that, Mr `Come on, how much trouble could a fifteenth century nun get us in?’”


“Look how many times have I said sorry about that? I couldn’t help it, she had a wimple!”


They started up the stairs again.


“Hey what if we called it Punk as Shadow?”


Dave glanced back. “What if we called it Fight Me?”


“Why would we call it Fight Me?”


“Rhymes with Bite Me.” Dave yanked open the door at the top of the stairs.


Vlad rolled his eyes. Dave got a little moodier every year. Honestly, he didn’t think being a vampire was a good scene for either of them, but Dave least of all. He missed the days when it was all about music and enormous hair. “Hey Dave, do you know what’s punk?”


That got a grin. He could tell from the way the mask moved as it swung back to him. Dave knew the words as well as he did: the spoken intro to the song that had so very nearly made them famous in Dream in 1986. “Yeah Vlad. I know what’s punk.”


“A rotten fish.”


“A granted wish.”


“A contaminated petri dish.”


“A vampire bite.”


“A London flight."


“Hey Dave, you think it's time to pick a fight?!”


The brothers took a simultaneous indrawn breath to launch into the chorus.


A svelte voice impaled that moment of silence. “I swear to the Blood Gods, if I find you two synth punks singing again I will eviscerate Vlad.”


“…Just Vlad?” asked Dave.


“With your third rib.” One slim hand tipped with blood red nails yanked Dave through the door.


Vlad sighed and followed. “You just don’t understand, Parthenia.”


Parthenia grabbed his by the throat and pinned him to the wall. “That’s Supreme Commander to you, son.” She towered over him by a good few inches. Bouncy golden hair added another two inches and a lot of volume around her mask.


Vlad sneezed. That hair got up your nose even through the mask. “Since when?”


“Since shut up and do as you’re told.”


“What about the king though?”


“What about him? I’m the boss now.” She dug her fingernails into his neck. “Who am I, Vladdy?”


Vlad could feel blood trickling down his skin. “Y-you’re the boss.”


“Good boy.” She let get and slapped him on the shoulder so hard he stumbled into the big iron table that dominated the room. “You two can go down to the theatre.”


Dave brightened. “Really?”


“Yes really. There’s a production of The King Must Never Die, Long Live the King on tonight, you two are on guard duty.”


Dave’s face fell. “Man, I already saw that one. It was totally bogus.”


“Get out.”


Vlad and Dave got out.

You can also check out more Vlad and Dave in Shadow Book 3: Shiny Things

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