Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

A place for Francis' G to PG-13 stories

Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby francis » Fri May 29, 2009 3:25 pm

This story was written with the ideas of Kylara for the reader/writer challenge. We had a lot of fun with this, bouncing storylines back and forth.
Thank you to Catmoon for her beta-work.

Disclaimer: We own nothing here, but we don't make money from it, so what?




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L.A. County Morgue. Not the nicest place to be at night. It was divided into the office building at the street and the morgue building in the back. I was heading to the offices first. Never would I have imagined I would ever have to do this.

My best pal Raul had been brought here this morning, after he was found dead in a nearby park. Ironically he had worked night shifts at the morgue to have money for medical school. I had taken in Raul after he came to L.A. almost broke and with nowhere to go. He wanted to become a doctor, just like me, and just like me he soon experienced how hard it was to be hispanic in a white world. After he moved in with me we became best friends. Now I would have to identify his dead body, as his family was too far away to do it.

I still held some hope that it was a mistake, that he wasn’t dead. But he didn’t come home this morning, and the police told me he had I.D. with him. His morgue credentials, for God’s sake! Talk about irony. I still had to go and identify him, as I was all the family he had in L.A.

Dr. Griffith, the Chief M.E., was sympathetic but didn’t waste any time. He led me downstairs into a cold room full of big drawers; a metal table in the middle of the room and a dead body under a white sheet. Dr. Griffith exposed the head, and I tried to look without looking, you know what I mean. But I couldn’t take my eyes away.

It was Raul, looking a lot paler than before, his face slack, eyes closed. I could see where a big Y had been closed with crude stitches. My own boss at the ER would have had my hide for making such stitches, but I was working with the living, not the dead. I had done an internship at the morgue for two weeks, and then returned to my job at the hospital. After all, I wanted to become a doctor, not a medical examiner.

My mind was wandering, but I had come here with a purpose, so I tried to focus. I looked at Dr. Griffith. „Do you mind if I spend a few minutes with him, to say good-bye?“
He nodded. „Okay. I’ll be in my office, please come by when you’re ready to sign the papers.“ He left, silently. I couldn’t even hear his footsteps.

As soon as he was out of sight I lifted the sheet further. Something was really off with this. A drug overdose – I didn’t believe that one. Raul didn’t take drugs, he was always sober and was determined to have a career. He was taking his job and his studies seriously. He was in pre-med school, while I was in pre-clinical already. He worked at the morgue for the anatomy studies and for the money. Night shifts were hard to come by, he told me, but he had managed. That way, he could study in the afternoon and sleep in the morning.

I examined his body carefully. I was no coroner, but I knew the signs of drug abuse. This was the 70s, within a year I had seen every possible way of drug usage in the ER.
There were needle marks in the crook of his left elbow, three or four of them, all of them fresh; no marks in his other elbow, and none anywhere else. That’s when I was sure that something weird was going on.

Raul had been left handed. If he had shot up drugs, he would have done so into his right elbow. And he would have done so repeatedly. Normally no-one overdoses at the first try; the addiction builds up until they take more and more, and an overdose usually happens when they try to quit. He wasn’t behaving like an addict, he wasn’t out of money, I could account for every step he took, there was just no room in his schedule for anything like that.
Then I found another strange thing: At the side of his neck he had two puncture wounds. They were too big to be from a needle, except for the big needles vets used, or maybe a catheter.

I couldn’t understand what this could mean, but of one thing I was sure. Raul had been murdered.

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Dr. Griffith was in his office, as promised, and asked me to sign the paper that stated Raul Hernandez was identified. It was like signing his death sentence, like I made it real. Of course, it made no difference what I did, but it felt like the corpse down there wasn’t really Raul until I confirmed it.
I wasn’t exactly sure why I didn’t let the police handle this, but I had to try and find out what happened. There was this gut-feeling that some weird cover-up was going on. After all, Dr. Griffith should have realized himself that Raul was no drug addict, even if he never directly worked with him. The signs were on the body.
But if the coroner was in on this I would need to tread carefully and collect proof.

„Can I do anything else for you, Mr. Gasol?“ the M.E. asked.
„Actually I wonder if you could let me have a look at the report.“
He looked up, clearly alarmed. „Why would you want to do that?“

„You know, I’m a medical student. I’m just curious. Never had the opportunity to see a coroner’s report before.“
He raised his eyebrows. „Isn’t that a bit cold? I mean, you two were best friends, right? You just identified him, and now you want to know the weight of his liver and if he had a mole on his shin?“

He was right, of course. I hadn’t played my cards right.
„Yeah, now that you say it, I see that. Thank you.“
I turned around and left.

Maybe searching Raul’s room would give me some clues about what had happened.

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Raul wasn’t the cleanest of people. His room looked as if a bomb had gone off. I waded through discarded clothing and old magazines and wondered where I should start.

His closet was almost empty anyway, so I started with his desk. That was the only place that had some resemblance of order, as he took his studies seriously. I leafed through his scripts and books, but found nothing. I worked through his bookshelves, without result. But when I sat down to go through his bedside table I realized there was something under his mattress. It was a leather pouch with a syringe and some needles, and a small plastic package with a white powder. I couldn’t believe it. It HAD to have been planted, there was no way this belonged to Raul. It convinced me even more not to involve the police, as I would have a hard time convincing them it wasn’t mine. It’s not as if Hispanics were taken seriously by the cops.

Someone had been in our apartment. I looked carefully for clues of someone opening the door or a window while I was out. I couldn’t find anything, but lock picking wasn’t part of my education, so what did I know? Except for the pouch I couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary, but as Raul was such a slob maybe I overlooked something. My own room and the living room seemed to be untouched, as was the bathroom. Then I had an idea. I got a flashlight, took the grate out of the ventilation in the kitchen and fumbled around in the hole. There was the spare money that Raul and I had agreed on hiding here. But the gun was missing. Maybe Raul had taken it. And there was something new in there, a stash of papers. I put the pouch with the drugs in the hole and closed it.

I sat down at the coffee table and began to read. Raul had started some kind of diary of his time in the morgue, written in Spanish. He had suspected something foul. I was sure that was what got him killed.

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„February 20 1974. Something’s odd here. It’s almost impossible to get the night shift. I understand that it’s popular, you get more money and can study in daytime. But I would have expected there to be some sort of rotation. Instead, Nathan Wilkinson and Calvin Croley get only nightshifts, everybody else share one more nightshift . It’s not that they have family they need to tend to in the day, so I don’t get why. When I asked, they just shrugged.“

„March 2 1974. One of the corpses I had to wash to prepare for burial has a curious wound on the neck, like someone entered a catheter or something. In the report I snatched there was no account of anything like that. Did the Coroner overlook something? I asked Nathan Wilkinson about it, he told me it was probably not important enough to note. The corpse came from the hospital, so they probably had an IV line there or something. I don’t buy it. Every mole is noted, so why not this?“

„March 24 1974. I realized that at night foreign people come to the morgue regularly, meet with Nathan or Calvin and then leave again with a bag. Maybe they are drug dealers. Do they use the corpses to smuggle the drugs in?“

„April 4 1974. I was able to get another nightshift by bribing Harold to swap. He wanted to have a decent sleep anyway. I want to know what’s going on. Haven’t found anything new yet, but still there are half a dozen people that come at night and fetch something. Didn’t dare to ask anybody about that yet.“

„April 5 1974. I was right. Calvin is doing something to the corpses. I couldn’t see exactly what, because he covered the body up as soon as I came around the corner. When he was gone I looked at the corpse and he had that incision in the neck that I had seen before.“

„April 8 1974. Tomorrow night I have another nightshift. I’ll take the gun, just to be safe. I’ll confront Calvin or Nathan, they are both in on this.“

A last note:
„G., if you read this I’m probably no longer here. If you find these notes, take them to the police or burn them. Don’t do anything on your own. Love you, man! R.“

After reading this, my emotions were in turmoil. I was deeply sad to have lost a good friend, I was enraged that he had obviously been killed, and I was incredibly curious to know what the notes were alluding to.
Whatever Raul had found, I wanted to solve the case. I had to get a job in the morgue.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I plotted up to the day of the funeral. Raul’s mom had come from Mexico to say goodbye to her only son, it broke my heart. I had spent my time packing up his things, getting his room sorted out, so they could take everything they wanted with them. His sister asked me to keep Raul’s books and study stuff, and I accepted. They gave his clothes to good will and left with a trunk full of personal items that would remind them of Raul. When I told them that the police had no inclination to follow up on his death, and that I didn’t believe he killed himself with drugs, his mum dissolved into sobs and his sister just shrugged. „He was always the odd one.“ she told me in Spanish. „And police won’t do anything. I just want to close this up and forget.“

The day after the funeral I picked myself up and decided to set my plan in motion. I asked my boss for two weeks of leave, pretending to have an exam coming up. Then I drove to the morgue.

Dr. Griffith was visibly surprised to see me again. I told him I had no steady job (a lie) and wasn’t able to pay the rent on my own (the truth) so would he consider giving me Raul’s job. I had experience in the medical field and was ready to take whatever shift he gave me, preferably the night shift as I needed to go to classes.

He cautioned me that as a newbie I would get the hard and disgusting jobs at first, like washing up and cleaning. I was no actor but I tried to look desperate enough for a job that I would take anything. I agreed.

Dr. Griffith gave me an indulgent smile and nodded. „You have the job. I don’t have many nightshifts for you, you will jump in wherever we need you. If you do good, you will be on a more steady schedule in three weeks.“
He talked about payment and confidentiality and hygiene rules. Then he gave me a badge and a set of scrubs and told me to be there next day at 2 pm. I had the late shift for now.

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The next few weeks I tried to find something, anything, out of the ordinary. I never had the same shift as Calvin and Nathan. After two weeks I had to go back to ER in the mornings if I didn’t want to lose that job, so I worked double shift and fell behind on my classes. I searched every incoming corpse for strange marks on the neck, but didn’t find anything. I raided the rooms, looked into every drawer, but except for an unexplainable stash of blood bags there was nothing out of the ordinary. When I asked Jim about the blood he told me the hospital had to throw them away after 6 weeks and they were stashed here to be incinerated with the biohazard stuff once in a while. I wondered about that, as the hospitals had their own incinerators, but there was no other explanation, so I let it go.

I was exhausted but determined to keep going until I at least got into the night shift. In my fourth week I finally got three nights of night shift. But as frustrating as it was, Calvin and Nathan were free at that time, and nothing happened.

I was at my wits end and decided to take a day off to get a bit of sleep. Maybe then my brain would come up with a solution.

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After a decent night of sleep and a leisurely breakfast reading the paper, I finally had an idea. I would stay after my shift and hide somewhere. When someone saw me I would pretend I had forgotten something in my locker.

The next afternoon I went to work and was relieved to find that Calvin and Nathan had the nightshift. I had tried to make friends with them on the rare occasions I had seen them, when changing shifts. Only once had I been in the same shift as Nathan. He was a decent guy, nothing out of the ordinary, except for his eerie stillness and the fact that his hands seemed very cold.

When my shift was over I said goodbye to my colleagues and pretended to take a bit longer to get into my regular clothes. When they were gone I changed back into my scrubs and made myself scarce. I hid in a closet, and when the time was right I slid inieto the main examination room where the freezer with the blood and the drawers with the corpses were. I found a niche between a shelf and a humming refrigerator in a dark corner and huddled there. When I managed to get my excited breathing under control I was totally invisible there, and the humming would help to disguise any involuntary sounds I could make.

For two hours nothing happened. It must have been nearly 10 pm. Then Nathan came in with someone else, a dark haired, tall man wearing a brown leather jacket. They bantered as if they knew each other well.

Nathan went to the freezer and asked: „How much today, Jack?“
The man looked inside the freezer like someone would assess the assortment of pizzas at the shop. „Do you have any B positive?“
„Yeah. But only two pints. I’ve been disturbed.“
„Give me that, and four pints of O positive.“
The man held a leather case open, and Nathan filled it with blood pouches. Then Jack gave him a bill.

I was really excited now. It seemed that Nathan and probably Calvin traded blood. Was it discarded blood from the hospital, or did the punctures in the neck have something to do with it? What did this Jack guy need it for? Was it some kind of blood cult? A kinky fetish? Some odd ritual? Whatever it was, it must have been illegal. I was excited.

Suddenly Nathan cocked his head and looked in my direction, clearly alarmed. I held my breath, but to me it seemed as if my heartbeat alone was loud enough to be heard. Silly fear. I made no noise, but Nathan stomped over to me, and with a strength I wouldn’t have thought possible for his lanky frame I was hoisted into the air.

„Guillermo! What are you doing here?“ he shouted

Jack gave a sly smile and told us: „I’m out of here, Nate. See you next week.“ He left as if nothing had happened.

Nathan had me by the collar; I could barely breathe. His face had an unnatural pallor and he growled at me. When he opened his mouth I could see that his upper canines were pointed and long. What the hell? I was more afraid than ever before; not even my 3 years in Vietnam had me ever shaking like this. This was unnatural.

„What… what are you?“ I stuttered.

He didn’t answer, but took me into a death grip and stared at me with silver eyes. I struggled, but to no avail. The demon that was Nathan bowed down and licked my neck. I knew I was screwed. Just when I thought he would strike, a voice came from the doorway.

„Nate! Stop it!“

It was Dr. Griffith. I was relieved for a moment, but Nathan didn’t let me go. He turned around slowly, straightening up. Dr. Griffith’s next words had me reeling.

„You can’t just kill everybody who discovers the secret. People will notice.“

Dr. Griffith closed the door and came closer. His face changed, his eyes silvered. He grinned, and he had fangs just like Nathan. I almost fainted.

„So you discovered our little trade, Mr. Gasol, just like your friend. Did you bring a gun, too? What is it with you two that you decide to bring yourself into so much trouble?“

I tried to straighten up. He wouldn’t intimidate me. „What the hell is going on here? You’re selling blood? What are you – vampires?“

„Yes, you got that one right. There’s always a few of us who don’t want or can’t afford to drink fresh. How did you find out?“

„Raul left notes. At first it was the nightshifts. Then he found marks on corpses that weren’t in the reports. He had the same marks on him. You killed him, didn’t you?“

Nathan scowled. „I did. He threatened me with a gun and wanted to expose us.“

Dr. Griffith pursed his lips. „Actually, you drained him in a fit of rage. That shouldn’t have happened. And we couldn’t let the Cleaner handle it as we didn’t want the police to search for him here. Anyway, what do you think we should do with this one?“

I trembled in my shoes, but I was also totally fascinated by the concept that vampires really existed and that they had a kind of grocery shop in the morgue.
„Listen. I promise not to tell anybody. I won’t go to the police, I will let Raul’s death go. What you do here is your business, it doesn’t hurt anybody. Just let me go.“

Nathan laughed. „Yeah, that’s what they always say. Not gonna happen.“

Then Nathan and Dr. Griffith went still. Nathan still held me so tight that I couldn’t get away, and they looked at each other and moved their lips, but I couldn’t hear anything. Nathan got agitated, it seemed as if he was pleading for something. Dr. Griffith was insisting. Finally, they both stilled, but Nathan seemed angry.

Finally, they dragged me into a storage room, bound my wrists to a metal storage rack and left me there.

It seemed like I had some time to think about a way to get out of here.

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There was no handbook on how to win against two super strong vampires, was there? I mean, I had seen horror films with Bela Lugosi and the like, but I didn’t think that they were real. I had seen Dr. Griffith in daytime, so the burst-into-flames-in-the-sun thing couldn’t be true. Would a wooden stake work on them? There was only metal around, and I was handcuffed anyway. Would a crucifix? I was wearing one as a pendant, but I couldn’t know. Maybe it would just amuse them to death if they weren’t religious. Garlic didn’t repel them obviously, as I had eaten half a pizza for lunch and Nathan didn’t seem to be impressed by my odor.

It could have been amusing if it wasn’t so dead serious. I wondered why they didn’t just kill me. Probably one death per month was enough, they couldn’t risk the police getting into their faces. What else would they do with me? Fake an accident someplace else, so my death had no ties to the morgue? Swear me to secrecy? Blackmail me with something? I doubted they would plan something this intricate.

I took a nap and woke up with a cramped neck. While I was still trying to get the kinks out in my handcuffed state the door opened and Calvin came in.

„You’ve brought yourself and us into quite a mess,“ he stated. „Get moving. The boss wants to see you.“ He uncuffed me and pulled me up.

„Dr. Griffith?“ I asked. Why, then, didn’t he just come down?

„No.“ he grinned. „The boss of the boss. The big bad vamp. The leader of our community. Let’s go.“

He didn’t cuff me again but kept a firm hold on my arm. A random visitor wouldn’t be able to spot anything odd, except for if I was dumb enough to shout out. I wasn’t.

It was still dark outside. Calvin shoved me into a black limousine parked on the lot, then got in after me and closed the door.

I took a swift look around. I saw Nathan in the driver’s seat, Griffith next to him. And I was sandwiched between Calvin and a young man with impeccable and expensive clothing and an expression that wavered between amused, concerned, and stern. He looked way too young to be Griffith’s boss, but he had an air of confidence that made him a natural leader.

„So you are the human who discovered our secret.“ His voice was smooth, with an edge of danger to it. „What do you think we should do with you?“

I knew that pleading for my life wouldn’t go well with this one. I decided to grab the bull by the horns.
„Well, now that I know about you I could work at the morgue and help you with your business. I guess there has to be someone around during daytime.“

He laughed. „You surprised me. That hasn’t happened in a long time. Convince me that we can trust you.“

I nervously watched him and Griffith. Nathan and Calvin were staff, but these two were the bosses, so I had to impress them.
„Nathan or Dr. Griffith must still have Raul’s weapon, it has my prints on it. Someone planted a pouch with drugs in Raul’s room. I hid it in the ventilation of the bathroom. If I talk about you, you can tell the police about it.“

„You give us a way to blackmail you? That’s impressive.“ The man and Griffith exchanged a look and a few words that I couldn’t hear. I wondered if they had a special frequency or if they just had very good hearing.

The silence stretched. At one point Nathan snorted and Griffith gave him a stern look. I was tired and freaked out, but also curious about this new world that had opened up to me. How old were they? How did they become vampires? How many were there? How could they live among us without being noticed?
These questions would have to wait.

The man in the suit cleared his throat and fixated on me.
„Mr. Gasol, you have a lot of qualities that I admire. First of all, courage. I will give you a chance. You will work at the morgue, you will give up any other jobs. Don’t mess this up, and you’re safe.“

He extended his hand, and I took it. „Thank you, Mr…“

„Kostan. Josef.“

„Mr. Kostan.“ We shook hands. His grip was firm, his hand ice-cold.

Dr. Griffith began to explain my new duties. „From the day after tomorrow, the early shift is all yours. There will be no „customers“ at that time, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart anyway. You’re in charge of collecting blood from the incoming bodies, and storing the bags. Calvin will show you the procedure. Don’t let anybody near that freezer. Don’t worry about labels, someone else can do them. You are not to talk to anybody about vampires or blood without checking in with me first. Every customer has to go through me. Understood?“

„Yes, sir.“

Josef took over. „Now, Mr. Gasol, you must be hungry and tired. You can drive with me, Nathan will let you out at your apartment.“

He was right, I was famished. Dr. Griffith and Calvin left the car, and we drove away. Nathan seemed very unsatisfied, and I hoped he stayed out of my shift. I didn’t like him, and I didn’t trust him. He had killed Raul and would have killed me, too.

„Sir.“

„Yes, Mr. Gasol.“

„I have so many questions. I mean, will there be a time to ask them?“

He smiled. „You have one question now. The rest will have to wait for Dr. Griffith to deal with.“

For a moment I thought about what to ask. „Why me? You know, there must be lots of people who know about you, and from what happened to Raul I guess they mostly don’t live to tell the tale. Why did you choose me to stay alive?“

The question seemed to please Josef and to aggravate Nathan. Josef flipped some invisible dust particles from his sleeve. „You’re a strong person, Guillermo. I see something in you. Don’t question it.“

„I’m hispanic. Most people here don’t take a second look at me.“

„Don’t you think I’ve seen enough discrimination in my life? In my time it was the redheads, then the Catholics, or the Jews, and then the Black and the Japanese. There’s always someone. I wonder if they will ever get over this nonsense and maybe one day will have a black president. Or a woman.“

Nathan snorted, and I grinned, saying under my breath: „Yeah, that would be awesome.“

He continued as if he hadn’t heard us. „Color doesn’t matter. Character is what matters in the long run. How old are you?“

„27. I lost some years as a medic in Vietnam.“

„See? Character.“

He looked out of the window and I knew story time was over. We reached my street and I left wordlessly, with a last look at his face. It seemed like he was miles away, maybe even centuries.

This was the oddest job interview I’d ever had.

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I wasn’t sure why the vampires were so paranoid about their secret, especially Nathan. If I had told my buddies at college that a bunch of vampires was dealing blood in the morgue they would have asked me what I had been smoking.

My days soon had a new routine: I got up early in the morning to go to the morgue, then had a short chat with Calvin about the night and what work I had to do. Then there would be just the usual work stuff, bodies coming in, being examined, then me closing them up and cleaning them for burial. If there was opportunity, I would extract blood from them and hide the bags in the special freezer, except for when they were too far gone, or I wasn’t alone long enough. Once in a while a contact at the hospital would bring expired blood bags for sale. I never met a customer, and I never met Nathan.

In the afternoon I would take classes at medical school, and then try to study in the evening. With only two free days a week it was exhausting, but when the morgue was quiet I got to catch up on medical stuff. I learned a lot about medical examining, though.

A few weeks later Dr. Griffith came down to introduce me to a customer who had a fluctuating schedule and sometimes needed to get his groceries in the morning. His name was Mick. He was a nice guy, I liked him from the start. I asked him what he did for a living. He laughed.

„Not much different from your job. I’m helping out at the Cleaner’s.“
„What’s the Cleaners?“
He grinned. „I’m not sure you’re supposed to know the details. Let’s say the Cleaner takes care of bodies that we wouldn’t want to enter the morgue. Dr. Griffith manages to keep things under wrap quite well, but when police are involved we can’t keep oddities from them for long. So when a body has visible bite marks we dispose of them quickly.“

„You don’t strike me as someone who would consider this his dream job.“ I wondered.

„Right. I’m on probation. Another 6 months.“

„You mean to say this is some kind of punishment? What did you do?“ I cringed. Maybe I shouldn’t have asked such a personal question.

He laughed it off. „I killed someone and didn’t tell the Cleaner until someone had already found the body.“

I was a bit appalled that he was so cold about killing. Did all vampires value human life so little? But even though he smiled while telling his story I saw in his eyes that he was far from unaffected.

He bought a six pack of A positive and asked me to see that there was always some on stock for him. Then he gave me a black card with white writing, no name, only a number.
„Listen, buddy, it could happen that a body comes in when neither Griffith nor Calvin are available, and it has vampire written all over it. A bite mark, a ripped throat. If that happens and you can manage to keep the body under wraps for a while, call this number. You better learn it by heart and destroy the card. The Cleaner will come and get the body and if possible swap it for an inconspicuous one.“

I marvelled at the organization they had built up behind the scenes, a system that no-one of the living was aware of. Well, the vampires had a long time to do that.

From that day on, I was looking forward to Mick’s visits. He often came in shortly after sunrise, before heading to his freezer. He was the only vampire who talked to me about other things besides business. It wasn’t as if I was a vamp, but it was as if he was still human. Maybe he was a very young vampire, I wouldn’t know. Calvin had told me that it was very rude to ask a vampire their age.

I tried not to discriminate against vampires. Mick was a good guy, whatever he was.

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About four months later I had just taken two weeks off from the morgue to get ready for my exams. If I made it I would need to work at a teaching hospital to get through clinical. I would have no time for a job, but I wasn’t worried so much about funds (I got a little extra cash for my extra job, so I had been able to put some money aside), but about how Dr. Griffith would take it if I wanted to go.

He was rather okay with it. He told me that a „friend of the family“ at UCLA medical or Good Samaritan hospital would be a huge benefit. He asked me which one I would prefer and promised to use some contacts to get me into the one I wanted.

It was only a few days before I would leave when my life took a detour. Mick had warned me about bodies that shouldn’t see the light of day, and this was one of these cases. An ambulance brought a body that looked like the neck had been ripped open. They told me a friend of the girl called them and that it was probably a wild animal. When I examined the wounds I knew that our human non-initiated M.E. wouldn’t buy that, and when he told the police we were screwed. There were too many bite marks all over this girl, distinctive vampire bites. Animal predators had four sharp canines. Also there were scars all over her neck and wrists, some barely healed, that showed that she had been bitten over a long period of time. I put a sheet over her and called the Cleaner.

A professional female voice answered. „Cleaner, how can I help you?“

„This is Guillermo at the morgue. We have a body here, a young girl, with bite marks all over her, some healed, some not. What should I do?“

She thought for just a fraction of a moment, then ordered: „Cover her up, keep the M.E. out. Mick should be on his way to the morgue anyway. He will take her. You’ll just have to think of an excuse why she vanished.“

„I can’t do that! What am I supposed to say?“

„Not my problem. We don’t have a suitable body at the moment to swap.“ She ended the call.

I sighed. A swirl of movement from the doorway caught me by surprise. I was shoved into a corner and taken by the throat.

„What the hell have you done, traitor? Whom did you call?“ he spat. It was Nathan, furious, with silver eyes and bared fangs.

I couldn’t speak the way he grabbed me. I tried to shake my head no. And suddenly my life ended. In one swift move Nathan held me tight with one hand, pushed my head to the side with the other and bit me. I struggled, I cried out, I moaned. It hurt like hell, and then it stopped hurting and I felt my life slip away as the world got increasingly fuzzy. Then there was nothing.

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I woke up in the dark. At first I didn’t remember what had happened. What woke me up was hunger. I was hungry. I tried to get up but couldn’t: the ceiling was just over my head, and when I tried to get my arms up the walls seemed to enclose me. I panicked, trying to get up, banging on the walls, shouting, crying. Suddenly there was light, too much light. I was drawn to the light, and a soothing voice said: „It’s okay, Guillermo. You’re safe. Stay calm for a moment, okay?“

It was Dr. Griffith. When I heard his voice and scented him, I calmed down. Scent. I realized that I could smell Griffith and that he smelled good. He smiled down at me. I smiled back.

„What happened?“ I asked.

„Nathan tried to kill you. Mick came in just in time to save you, and then I turned you. There was no other way, you were almost gone.“

„I’m a vampire?“

„Yes. Sorry about that. We normally don’t turn people without asking first, but this was an emergency. If I hadn’t done it you would be dead.“

I tried to understand what he said, but it was too confusing. My brain didn’t work. „I’m so hungry, Dr. Griffith“, I moaned.

He sat down on a stool and pulled me into his lap. I had never been in some other guy’s lap before, but it felt right, like being with my father as a boy. Griffith smiled and lifted his arm in front of my face.

Before I realized what I had done I had bitten his arm and was sucking on it. His blood flowed into my mouth, and it tasted heavenly. It just streamed out of him, and he seemed not to mind. I glanced up into his face and recognized his expression as content and proud. It calmed me down. I wanted him to be proud of me.

I had so many questions but my eyelids were drooping. He picked me up like I weighed nothing and placed me back on the stretcher I had been lying on before.
„Don’t worry, Guillermo. This is the best place for you to be now. I’ll take care of you.“

Maybe I was sick and this was the hospital. But it looked very much like the drawers in the morgue. I fell asleep, or maybe I just passed out. It didn’t really feel like sleep, there were no dreams. I was too tired to be confused. The last thing I sensed was that he pushed my drawer softly back in.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

35 years later

Police have brought in another vampire victim, and I text Mick to have him take a look. It will be another case of faked animal bite, this time the wounds are so messy it won’t be hard to make the coroner see it that way. Since Peter Griffith relocated in 1982 I have been the head of the vamp business in the morgue, and my new boss is a human – and uninitiated.
I never got around to becoming a doctor; a fledgling can’t trust himself around sick humans and all those scents of a hospital. Sometimes I miss it, I’m still a lowly M.E. assistant, but I am totally off the radar and that suits me just fine. My friendship with Mick and Terrence makes up for the lost career choice.

I employed Terrence in 1976 when Calvin left the business to join Dr. Anders, my business competitor. He left without bad feelings, but he was kind of a friend of Nathan’s and never really got over his death. Of course the Cleaner had to punish Nate for his attack. It was unwarranted and led to an emergency turning.

Mick had been back on tap for a while in the 80s, but since he killed his sire-wife he’s back to bottled. I had missed him. Now I see more of him since he has a flourishing P.I. business and often visits the morgue on a case. Whenever he comes in, I’m there. I hardly ever leave the morgue. I sleep in one of the drawers that I labeled „out of order“, and have Terrence wake me in case something comes up. Now I am the one who has the night shifts, Terrence needs to win a poker game to get one. In that case I spend my day at the Chinese Theatre.
Terrence and I have fun finding ways to keep our business from our human colleagues and the M.E. We are respected in the vamp community as a piece of the puzzle that keeps our secret safe. The number of customers has increased to an incredible 135.

I can smell Mick around the corner, and I can hear his trademark strut.

„Jeez, Guillermo, you’re like a 12-year old girl with the messages. Texting. Alright, I’m here. What’s the emergency?“

I smile and lead him to the table with the store clerk’s body. Another day to save. Times are good.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The End
Last edited by francis on Fri May 29, 2009 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby Lilly » Fri May 29, 2009 4:24 pm

Wow! francis - and Kylara - this is fantastic! This is more that a great challenge response -- it's a great story. Period.

This is so entirely believable to me, from the time frame involved and Guillermo's experience to the details of his turning. I especially like the idea that he and Josef go way back. It makes sense. When G called Josef in Fated to Pretend, I had the sense that it wasn't just a matter of a lowly morgue vamp calling one of the oldest and wealthiest vamps in LA, or even the case of one friend of Mick's reaching out to another. There just HAD to be some history there.

Wonderful job! :thumbs:
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Re: Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby coco » Fri May 29, 2009 5:34 pm

I second Lilly's WOW. That was fabulous francis & kylara. I love Guillermo fics and this one was so special with the detail of his past and his turning. I also really like the history between Josef & G here and to finish with one of my favourite Mick/Guillermo moments with the texting quote.

Very well done ladies. :clapping:
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Re: Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby librarian_7 » Fri May 29, 2009 6:21 pm

Very nicely done. We really don't know all that much about Guillermo...but this seems wholly plausible.

A fine story, well-told.

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Re: Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby francis » Fri May 29, 2009 6:37 pm

Thank you so much for your kind comments. It was a fun experience to write this with Kylara. She had the best ideas. :hug: :drinking:
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Re: Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby cassysj » Fri May 29, 2009 8:01 pm

I especially like the history between Josef and G. Again when Josef said he got a call from him it felt like they had a history.

Well done!
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Re: Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby NocturneInCMoll » Fri May 29, 2009 8:12 pm

Fantastic job, you guys! :clapping: I loved Guillermo's story. Definitely the way it could have happened. It's a shame we didn't get to find out everyone's back story on the show--but I guess if we had, you guys couldn't have done this! Loved his first meetings with "the big bad boss vamp" and Mick.
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Re: Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby AggieVamp » Fri May 29, 2009 8:43 pm

This was great! As everyone else has said so far, it's great to learn the 'backstories' of our beloved characters. And I really like the way Guillermo had a medical background before her was turned. But it does make me sad he didn't get to finish his studies.

Good collaboration!

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Re: Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby Catmoon » Fri May 29, 2009 9:33 pm

I'm not sure what the etiquette is for commenting on a story you beta'd, but I'm just going to go ahead. It's a great backstory for G, and also about how the whole blood business was set up. The mention of Dr. Anders was clever, too. We even got a little peek at a 70's Mick who had to work for the cleaners as punishment. I have to say I wouldn't mind hearing more of that story...

Of course I have to share this, I hope Francis doesn't mind. :snicker: In case anyone missed it, this story was visited by a Josef muse, who decided to write himself in when originally he wasn't supposed to be in it. Of course it turned out brilliantly and really tied the whole thing together.
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Re: Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby allegrita » Fri May 29, 2009 11:35 pm

Francis and Kylara, this is a fabulous story! I love learning more about Guillermo's history. It really works that he was a medic in Vietnam and then a med student, and I like the fact that he didn't start out as a vampire ME. Your original characters were wonderful, and I loved the peek into Mick's and Josef's lives as well. This is a first-rate story. I think you two should collaborate again! You make a good team. :hearts:
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Re: Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby Luxe de Luxe » Sat May 30, 2009 1:05 am

this is wonderful, francis and Kylara. Guillermo is a great guy, and this was a really fascinating look into his history and turning. YOu really got the light tone of guillermo down perfectly francis, and I was rivetted by the mystery and all the clues that came together. fantastic!
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Re: Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby bluedahlia3 » Sat May 30, 2009 1:11 am

Very nice ladies! Lengthy and you held the story line together very well. A good collaboration. This was an enjoyable read. :dracula:
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Re: Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby francis » Sat May 30, 2009 6:15 am

Thank you so much!

Catmoon is right. I had not planned to include Josef, but suddenly there he was. I wanted to let Guillermo be drained by Nathan immediately and then saved by Mick, but it didn't play well that way. So Josef muse wrote himself in and it was perfect.
And though Catmoon found some typos, awkward use of vocabulary and wrong prepositions, that part was perfect. Josef is such a perfectionist.
:snicker:

And I definitely think we should hear the story how Mick got that job at the Cleaner's. Kylara? Are you up for it?
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Re: Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby allegrita » Sat May 30, 2009 6:33 am

YES PLEASE!!!
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Re: Night Turn (PG-13) - Guillermo story (by francis and Kylara)

Postby mitzie » Sat May 30, 2009 6:48 am

Great story!! I love Guillermo's background story, being a medic in Vietnam and studying to become a doctor, it makes perfect sense!! Also meeting Josef before he was turned. Francis, you and Kylara should collaborate on some more stories!!!! :yahoo: :wave: I love it... :yahoo: :clapping: :clapping: :cheering: :gasp: :eyes: :eyes: :yahoo: :clapping: :clapping: :hyper2: :hyper2: :evillaugh: :groupwave: :woohoo: :yahoo: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :thud: :thud: :thud: :thud: :notworthy: :worship: :heart: :hyper2:


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