Title: Carmen the Vampire Slayer – What I Did On My Summer Vacation: Sam McPherson
Pairing: Carmen / Brooke
Rating: PG 13
Disclaimers: Everything good belongs to someone else. Popular characters belong to Ryan Murray etc and the Buffyverse belongs to Joss Whedon etc. I own nothing and I make no profit from playing with the characters and ideas.
Author’s notes: This story takes place in the summer between junior and senior years and is part of a series of short stories from the point of view of different characters.
I can hear them in Brooke’s room talking and laughing about something. I stab the remote in the general direction of the stereo and raise the volume enough so that I block the noises from the other room out. I try to concentrate on the book I am reading but the letters seem to spell out words that I know are definitely not part of the story – words like ‘demon’ and ‘cemetery’ and ‘vampire’. I momentarily resist the urge to throw the book at the bathroom door then think what the hell and feel a tiny surge of pleasure as it makes a satisfying thumping noise. I don’t want to think about those things because that leads to memories I am trying to suppress. I realise that my hand has drifted up to my neck and I’m tracing the new scar there which is already a month old. It doesn’t seem like a month, sometimes it seems more like a year and other times it is like yesterday. I clench my hand into a fist and squeeze until I see the knuckles turn white.
I wonder how long I can ignore the voice for.
It’s louder this time and accompanied by the rattling of the door handle. I unclench my fist and fumble on the bedspread for the remote. Finding it I raise the volume again.
“Samantha McPherson if you don’t unlock that door right now I am going to have Mike take the lock out!”
Reluctantly I roll off the bed and unlock the door. I hardly have time to step back when Mom is barging into the room using the laundry basket to force the door open. I stand there dumbly and watch the Mom-tornado dump the laundry on the bed, turn the music off, throw back the curtains and open the windows. Scattered phrases like “squaller” “know you’re still upset” and “can’t stay in here forever” buzz around the room. Bright light hits me and I squint but Mom is still on the move. Lamp off, drawers flung open and clothes put away, and dirty clothes swept off the floor where I had dropped them.
“…have a shower…” I catch Mum say “…presentable for dinner…”
“What?” I manage to ask surprised at how loud my voice sounds, realising that I haven’t spoken much in the past few weeks.
Mom finally pauses and looks at me directly for the first time since she has entered the room:
“Don’t you remember Sam? Robyn John is coming to dinner.”
“Because, Sam, at times like this you need your friends to support you.”
“Mom, I don’t think I can.”
“Sam, I know Harrison was one of your best friends but he was Robyn’s son. I think her needs are greater than yours in this situation.”
Mom is looking at me with one of her looks that means do-what-I-say. Her words eventually sink in.
“What do you mean ‘her needs are greater’?” I finally ask.
“She wants to see you, all of Harrison’s friends. Lily, Carmen, Michael and Brooke will be there too.”
“Don’t ask me” Mom cuts me off “She didn’t say.”
Giving the room a final once over Mom picks up the basket and heads for the door. As she goes through it she pauses and glances back at me:
“Everyone’s arriving at 6:30, you have plenty of time.”
I shut the door behind her and automatically reach for the key only to find it gone. Mom! I grab the chair from my desk and jam it under the doorknob. Finding the remote I turn the music back on and am about to flop on my bed when I notice something, or rather notice the absence of something. Going over to my dressing table I slowly open a drawer and reach under the clothes and my fingers close on a frame. I pull it out but don’t look at it as I sit down on the floor beside my bed. I don’t really need to look, it’s so familiar to me. The first day of high school my friends and I are both nervous and excited about starting this new adventure in our lives. They came over before school so we could plan our strategy because we all knew that how this first day went would dictate the rest of our high school lives. Mom, being Mom, couldn’t help herself and had to document the big day. I am in the middle of taking a step towards the camera mouth open because I am telling Mom not to take the photo. Carmen and Lily are standing beside me, Carmen looking terrified at the prospect of what lies ahead of us and Lily is laughing in the middle of explaining that her Mom took photos of her that morning as well. And Harrison is holding my arm, pulling me back, laughing at my outrage.
I hate the fact that my last memory of Harrison is implanted so deeply that it has managed to supplant all my other memories of him. His face is twisted into a parody of itself, his eyes glowing yellow, his fangs clearly visible as he laughs at me.
“You were always so trusting Sammy” he laughs, digging his fingers deeply into my shoulders.
My legs have turned to jello and I am sure that if he wasn’t holding me up I would collapse and slide down the bathroom wall that he is pressing me against. I can feel his breathe on my neck as his other hand gently strokes through my hair before he grabs a fist full of it and wrenches my head to one side violently. I don’t think I have ever been so scared in all my life. I want to say something, anything, but for once I have nothing to say.
“Lost for words?” he taunts, as if he can read my mind “Don’t worry, Sammy, a little taste now and after I’ve finished Brooke off, we’ll have all the time in the world.”
Then there is searing pain as he sinks his teeth into my neck and all too quickly the redness behind my eyelids fades to black.
I feel the photo slide out of my hand and fall onto the carpet. Everything has gone all blurry and I recognise that the dampness on my face is tears which are dripping down my cheeks. There is a noise of sobbing and I realise that it is me. Unable to stop I pull my knees up and wrap my arms around them before burying my face in them. I don’t know how long I sit like this but eventually I become aware of a noise at the door which I ignore.
“Sam, Sam! Please let us in!”
Rattle, rattle, knock, knock.
“We can’t just leave her crying in there, Brooke.”
“She’s locked herself in, maybe she wants to be alone. No, Carm, wait you can’t just… well I guess you can.”
The voices are louder and closer and reluctantly I look up to see two figures standing in my room, one shutting the door quickly and the other holding what looks like a doorknob.
“Sam, sweetheart, its ok” Brooke is coming towards me slowly like she is afraid to approach.
“Please Sam…” Carmen begins but I cut her off.
“How can you say that? It isn’t ok it will never be ok again. How can you be such a bitch, Brooke. You guys went to the prom! He hadn’t even been gone a week and you went to the prom!”
Somehow I am on my feet and everything I have wanted to say for the last month is pouring out of my mouth.
“I hear you two in there! Talking and laughing like nothing has even happened!” I’m yelling now but I don’t care “He’s gone and you act like nothing has happened!”
Brooke butts in but I ignore her and turn to Carmen.
“What, did you lose your humanity when you got your superpowers? He was one of your best friends and now it’s like he never even existed for you! And why didn’t you do something? You didn’t have to kill him!”
“Sam I didn’t…”
“Yes you did. It’s your fault he’s dead! I never want to speak to you again! Get out, get out!”
I shove Brooke, who is closest, towards the door. It opens and Mom and Mike are standing there.
“What…” Mike begins to ask.
“Get out!” I scream again “Get out!”
I push Carmen as hard as I can and she stumbles against the door.
“Sam!” Mom says shock in her voice.
“Leave me alone!” I am crying again, if I even stopped in the first place.
As I glare at them they all back out of the room. I slam the door and lean against it. Suddenly my anger drains away. I slide down the door and all that is left is the pain and the tears.