Monday, July 14, 2014
"Breath of the Undead" [PG-13] - 1/15
"BREATH OF THE UNDEAD"
RATING: PG-13 - Violence and mild adult language.
SUMMARY: A Chinese vampire wrecks havoc upon San Francisco.
FEEDBACK: - Be my guest. But please, be kind.
DISCLAIMER: The Charmed Ones, Cole Turner, Chris Halliwell, Leo Wyatt, Darryl Morris and other characters related to Charmed belong to Spelling Productions, Brad Kern and Constance Burge. The McNeill family and a few other characters are my creations.
NOTE: Takes place about two weeks following "Torn Duty". Alternate Universe Season 6. The character, William Bourgh, was first mentioned in the previous story, "The Uninvited". The character, Cedric Lloyd, first appeared in "Auld Lang Syne" and last appeared in "The Uninvited".
"BREATH OF THE UNDEAD"
Video images flickered on the large screen inside the Turners' living room. Giggles and guffaws filled the semi-dark living room, as a familiar figure appeared before the occupants' eyes. "Oh my God!" Paige crowed. "Cole, is that you . . . with Goofy and Donald Duck?"
Something akin to a growl rose from Cole's throat. "What of it?"
The Charmed One continued in an annoying voice, "Dude! If any of your . . . 'colleagues' ever get a peek at this, your reputation will be shot to hell!" Cole overheard Piper snicker. "What on earth made you pose with Disney characters?"
"Maybe Olivia had threatened not to give it up for the night, if he didn't." Then the youngest McNeill sibling yelped in pain, as Olivia struck the back of his head with a rolled-up magazine. "Ow! Olivia!"
Cole's red-haired wife coolly replied, "There are children in the room, moron." She referred to Darryl and Sheila Morris' two sons, who had accompanied the couple.
"It don't bother me," Darryl Jr. piped up. "Mama and Daddy are always talking like . . ."
Darryl immediately cut in. "Not now, Darryl!"
Three days had passed since Cole and Olivia's return from their honeymoon. The newly married couple had invited family and friends to view the videos they had recorded during their trips to the West Indies and Disney World. Piper and Paige, the Morrises, Scott Yi and Olivia's two brothers and sister-in-law had accepted their invitation. Her parents and grandmother happened to be on vacation in Palm Beach.
The video presentation continued for another twenty minutes before it finally ended. Cole turned off the DVD machine, while Olivia turned on the lights. "Okay everyone, that's it," the redhead announced.
A sigh left Piper's mouth. "That was nice. I haven't been on a trip like that since . . ." She paused before quickly adding, "Never mind." Cole suspected that the Charmed One had been on the verge of mentioning her Hawaiian honeymoon with Leo, nearly three years ago.
"You mean since we were in Scotland, last summer?" Paige asked.
The older Charmed One sighed. "Well . . . yes. I suppose. Although I was really thinking of a cruise. I haven't been on one since 1997. And I've never been to Disney World."
"We went to Disneyland for the Christmas holidays," Sheila commented. Her eyes became slightly dreamy. "The boys had a nice time. So did I."
Darryl added caustically, "I supposed it was . . . if one ignored the high prices and the crowds." Sheila gave him a hard stared. He finished lamely, "But I still liked it."
"What about you, Cole?" Bruce asked. "How did you like Disney World? I remembered that you didn't want to go in the first place."
Reluctant to admit the truth, Cole merely replied, "It was . . . okay. Not exactly to my taste, but . . ."
A derisive snort from Olivia interrupted the half-daemon. "Oh please! Are you kidding? He loved Disney World! In fact, he even bought annual passes for us both, so that we can visit on weekends once in a while."
Cole sighed long and hard, while the others stared at him in shock. Piper exclaimed, "You've got to be kidding! A dem . . ." She glanced at Darryl's sons. "I mean . . . someone with Cole's tastes crazy about Disney World? God, I wish I had been there!" Cole glared at her.
"His mother loves the place," Olivia continued. "She was the one who had recommended that we stay at the Grand Floridian."
Barbara smiled and patted Cole's arm. "Well, I think that's great. Maybe I should talk Bruce into taking me."
"Good luck," Bruce murmured in a low voice. Cole overheard him, anyway.
Then the half-daemon glanced at the clock on the fireplace mantle. "It's getting late. And I have a meeting with Mark Giovanni, tomorrow."
"Ah! Poor man." Olivia planted a light, sympathetic kiss on Cole's temple. "I'll be with you in spirit during every moment of your meeting."
Cole added, "Actually, you'll probably be with me . . . in person. We've been invited for dinner at his place, tomorrow night."
Olivia regarded her husband with genuine horror. "You mean to say that I'll have to spend an entire evening with that family?"
"It's the price you pay for marrying me."
Judge William Bourgh of the Northern Federal District in California, leaned back into his chair and sighed. He imagined himself back on his Christmas vacation in the South Pacific, laying on one Fiji's spectacular sandy beaches. Instead of his wife laying beside him, he saw the sensuous body of his . . .
Someone knocked on the door, interrupting his fantasy. Seconds later, the Bourgh family's housekeeper strode into his private den. "Pardon me, your Honor, but you forgot this." She handed him a padded yellow envelope.
Bourgh stared at the package. "What is that?"
The housekeeper handed him the package. "Something from the Winslow Travel Company. Someone had delivered it just before dinner."
"The Winslow Travel Company?" Bourgh frowned. Then he shook his head. "Must be something from my recent vacation. Thank you, Rita."
"Yes sir." The housekeeper quickly nodded and left the den. Bourgh tossed the package on his desk. He would examine it later. Perhaps at work, tomorrow. Then he leaned back, closed his eyes and resumed with his little fantasy.
Kenny Jai glanced at his watch and sighed with relief. The time read ten thirty-nine in the evening. In another twenty-one minutes, he would finally be able to call it quits for the night. The large shipment of antiquities for the Green Dragon Import/Export Company had finally arrived from Taiwan, today. Kenny and his fellow co-workers spent nearly five hours unloading the shipment into the company's warehouse.
Using the forklift, Kenny unloaded one last crate from the truck and placed it on the warehouse floor. He then switched off the vehicle's engine and jumped down. "Hey Joe!" he cried to his supervisor. "Can I leave now? Everything's been unloaded!"
"Might as well," Joe replied. "I'm leaving right now. Turn off the light on your way out." He strode toward the warehouse's exit. In other words, Joe had left the responsibility of locking down to Kenny.
The younger man rolled his eyes and headed toward the warehouse's small office. He grabbed his heavy jacket and clocked out. After locking the office, he strode toward the exit. As he passed the last crate, Kenny heard something rattle. Another minute passed before he realized that it came from the crate next to him.
His curiosity aroused, Kenny pried open the crate and tossed the top on the ground. He peered inside and inhaled sharply at the sight of an antique coffin made from silver. Slowly, he reached out to touch it. Before he could, a violent force threw back the coffin's lid. Kenny gasped, as he took a step back. A figure dressed in a red-and-gold robe sat up. Long green hair framed a greenish-tinged face that possessed large red eyes. And hands with claw-like nails pushed open the lower lid. Kenny screamed in terror as the figure turned to face him. Kenny immediately turned on his heels and raced toward the exit. Before he could reach the half-opened double doors, a violent force with sharp nails tackled him to the ground.
END OF CHAPTER ONE