Characters: Edgar Frog, Alan Frog, Sam Emerson
Warnings: Not really.
Spoilers: For Reign of Frogs, I suppose.
Synopsis: Set after Reign of Frogs. Alan drank vampire blood, and Edgar is going to save him even if he has to to tear down the whole town to do it...
Prologue | Part 1
Alan looked over at his brother slouched in the passenger side of the car and grunted a response. They had driven for hours, and when Edgar was too tired to continue, Alan had taken over. The night seemed to give him some kind of energy. Under cover of darkness he felt as though he could keep going like this for days. It felt good, which in turn felt really, really bad.
“How're you doing? Not getting any urges to use me as a midnight snack, are you?”
He shook his head, “I'm fine for now. But I'm scared, Edgar. If we can't find the widow, if she's already left town, what's going to happen to me?”
Edgar didn't reply. Alan knew the answer to that question, and saying it out loud wasn't going to help anyone.
“Promise me you won't let it come to that. Don't let me turn. If I don't have the guts to do it myself, promise me you'll stake me before I kill anyone.”
“Done,” Edgar's eyes slid shut, “Now you promise me you won't eat me while I sleep.”
As dawn broke, Alan retreated to the back seat under the cover of a thick blanket and slept while Sam took his turn in the driver's seat. He was woken to the feeling of someone prodding him, “Alan? Wake up, it's time for revenge. We're here.”
“Ugh,” Clumsy with the need to sleep, he pushed the blanket back. As his face emerged, he was met by the brightest light he had ever seen. So bright it stung his eyes. He cried out in pain and threw an arm across his face. Exhaustion and nausea began to creep up on him again, and he suppressed the urge to panic. For a moment, he had given in to the wonderful fantasy that the previous night had been some kind of bad dream. But in the blindingly bright light of day, with the sun he usually loved so much sapping his energy and piercing his eyes right through to the back of his skull, it was impossible to cling to that hope.
He took a deep breath and reached for the sunglasses that Sam had wordlessly shoved into his backpack last night at they were heading out the door. Gratefully, he slipped them on and emerged once again. It wasn't much better. Where before the sun had been a white hot poker in his eyes, now it was reduced to the level of an impossibly bright day. His eyes still stung, but it wasn't quite so bad. “When this is over, remind me I owe your brother an apology, Sam,” he muttered.
“C'mon,” Edgar gripped him by the back of his shirt and yanked him out of the car, “We've got work to do.”
Alan noticed that while he had slept, the others had stocked up on gasoline and matches. They must have had a difficult job explaining that to the clerk at the gas station. He tried to summon the energy to follow them, while Edgar and Sam carried the heavy containers to the house.
Edgar picked the lock expertly and quickly, and let himself inside. Once out of the energy sucking oppression of daylight, Alan began to feel better. Still tired, but his eyes no longer hurt, and some of his strength returned. He grabbed a can of gasoline and followed Edgar and Sam's lead as they tiptoed around the house, dripping the contents on as many surfaces as they could manage.
As they entered the room where his grandfather had died, Sam hesitated. There were still bloodstains on the floor. For a moment, all three of them stopped to think about what had been lost here, Sam's grandfather, Alan's humanity, life as they knew it. Then, as though a telepathic decision had been made, they began to move again, sloshing the flammable liquid everywhere.
When they were done and safely outside, Edgar reached into his jacket pocket and brought out a small glass bottle and a book of matches. He poured the remaining gas into the bottle, untied his bandanna and soaked it, then stuffed most of it inside the bottle. Slowly and solemnly, he handed it to Alan “I think you should do the honors, bro.”
Alan nodded and with a shaking hand, lit a match, set the gas soaked bandanna alight, and threw the bottle into the house.
The fire started with the sound of breaking glass and the roar of the explosion. As they watched, flames began to spread and take hold, and thick, black smoke began to billow into the air.
“We should go before someone notices,” Alan said.
Edgar and Sam nodded and followed him back to the car. Edgar, self nominated getaway driver, jumped into the drivers seat, and they headed back to base.
“Do you feel any different?” Sam asked Alan from the back of the car. Silently, Edgar turned his head to see his brother's reaction.
“No,” Alan shook his head, sunglasses still in place, still squinting against the sunlight.
“Give it time,” Edgar told him. “The fire's still burning, it must not have got her yet.”
“Yeah, definitely,” added Sam.
Alan let his eyes slip closed and allowed himself the comforting thought that when they opened again, he would be human.
He could sense the encroaching darkness, like a comforting embrace, it enveloped him in its cool, dark arms. Alan opened his eyes and sat up. He was hungry. The thought was dropped like a stone, sending ripples of fear through the previously calm waters of his mind. Hungry, but not for food.
“Hold it right there,”
Edgar's voice had come from the door of his room, Alan looked over to see his brother leaning against the door frame, a crucifix in one hand, a water gun in the other.
“Are you yourself again?”
His face fell and Edgar turned and kicked the wall “Shit, shit, shit, shit, SHIT! We left it too late. We should have gone back there last night.” He slumped, “I'm sorry, Al, I'll find her. I'll fix this, I promise.”
Alan nodded, “I know,”
“In the meantime, stay here. Do not leave this room under any circumstances, understand? You might be my brother, but right now you could vamp out at any moment, and I want you away from potential victims. I'm locking you in, and if you come after me, know I'll be armed at all times.”
“Yeah, okay.” Alan lay back down on the bed, “Can you at least bring me some comic books?”
He paced the room, up and down, left to right. Sat down, stood up. He tried to read, but he couldn't concentrate. He paced the room again. The clock was ticking loudly, counting the seconds that he had been locked in there. How many had it been? He had no idea, but half of the night had passed already. He looked out of the window. It would be so tempting to climb out, Edgar may have locked the door, but he hadn't thought of the window.
He crept over and glanced out at the night. He wouldn't do anything, he'd be back before Edgar woke, what would be the harm?
No. He shook his head in refusal of the thought. He sat down. No point trying to sleep, he'd be doing that anyway once the sun came up. Still, he closed his eyes and tried to relax. He let his hands drop to his sides and listened to the silence. It was something their parents had used to try to make them do, Edgar had always scoffed and left the room, Alan had always followed him, but now, maybe it would help.
It didn't. He couldn't listen to the silence, because there was no silence. The clock continued to tick loudly, Outside, he could hear the sound of drunken kids making their way home. Inside, he could hear breathing, not his own.
Curious, he concentrated on that sound, trying to identify it. It wasn't just one person, there were three distinctive patterns, two slow and relaxed, coming from across the hall - his parents, sleeping the sleep of the very stoned – and Edgar next door, definitely not relaxed, more like wide awake.
He could hear movement from his brother's room. The floorboards creaked softly as he moved around, restlessly pacing. The opening and closing of books and comic books, a sigh, a yawn, the hiss of a can of soft drink opening, the smell of cheap generic cola. Alan grimaced. Edgar hated the stuff. He was drinking it for the caffeine content, trying to stay awake.
Alan walked silently to the other side of the room, the side that shared a wall with Edgar, and sat down. His hand tapped on the wall quickly, 'S-L-E-E-P . E-D.'
He could easily imagine the deadpan expression on his brother's face as the reply came through, 'A-F-T-E-R . Y-O-U'
It was no more than he expected, but it was less than he deserved. Or was it? Already, he could feel the need clawing at his insides. His over sensitive sense of smell could make out the scent of Edgar's blood, his ears could hear his brother's heartbeat as it pumped the life giving liquid around his body. Alan wasn't so far gone yet that he could contemplate doing anything about it, but already his half vampire body was crying out in pain, railing against the humanity of his mind. He could hold out for now, but for how much longer?
He got to his feet and moved away from the wall - away from Edgar - and pressed his body against the cool glass of the window. He ran a hand across his brow, it came away damp with sweat. He wiped the hand on his t-shirt and started to chew on his nails, praying for sunrise and the unconsciousness that it would bring.