-Twilight Saga Fandom-
-By Sleep's Remedy-
Disclaimer: I don't own any of Stephenie Meyer's works, characters, anything. Sadly. I could go on a long rant about what I would do differently if I did. However, Ira Shrampton is definitely mine, so I will chew you too pieces if you steal him.
Warnings: Nothing unsavory in this chapter, but this will have some homosexual elements in it (because, I do mostly yaoi), but those will be mostly with my original characters that will be helping the story along, not the mains.
Summary: Downtown Chicago is not a safe place to be, late at night. Ira Shrampton, however, has lived their all his life and is confident about getting home alone fine. After all, nothing human can scare him. But, what about the inhuman monsters lurking in the night?
Chapter One: Assault
The night was dark, but ever since the weather started to get colder, the days had gotten shorter as well. High above the hard lights of the city, stars twinkled indifferently down on the heartless metropolis. The moon was only half full and the shadow that was the other half lay dusty on the sky. Down below, car alarms rang their distress for deaf ears while women screamed hatred at their men and men played loud music to drown out their wrongs. It was hard place, thick with human excretions.
A city like Chicago, so late at night, wasn't the kind of place that anyone should be wandering around, even the monsters and the shadows. But, it still happened. Tired, single mothers trudged the darkly lit alleyways to diners with no one inside. Young men just out of high school worked third shift tirelessly in dead-end factory jobs. Life went on, and it had no regard for the danger of the hour.
Below the roaring highway structure of route 94 that struck right near the harbor, Ira Strampton was slowly making his way along Monroe Street. He was only about seventeen, but he appeared to be only fifteen. He was small, a few inches shorter than most boys his age. He wore glasses and had freckles sprinkled generously across his nose. His hair was a unique hue of reddish gold and his eyes were a striking green. One would see such a boy and never expect him to venture out to downtown Chicago after midnight.
However, Ira held himself straight. His step was confident, his shoulders thrown back, his eyes facing forward. His feet obviously knew where they were going and his posture and expression held not a lick of fear.
Ira knew the area well. He had grown up on the edges of Greek town with his uncle John and had walked that very street ever since he was old enough to be trusted outside their block. At that hour, Ira was only just getting off of work. He worked at the Opera House, just off the southern branch of the Chicago river. Ira loved the old Opera house and the beautiful music that rang through it with every performance and always asked for work with the pit or orchestra. It usually meant some job like cleaning out spit valves or something equally distasteful, but Ira enjoyed it. The people were kind and music was enchanting, as previously stated.
The hours he worked that day were especially long. The Pittsburgh symphony was coming down to do a few performances and the office had asked for a rush job in getting everything ready. It meant that Ira had come straight from school to the Opera House and had to stay long after he normally would have left. He was tired, though not unhappy.
After he had been left out, he had headed south and grabbed a bite to eat at an all night diner, called his uncle, and headed home. As he walked, he took in the brisk autumn air. It was tinged with car exhaust and the smell of cooling Grecian food. It smelt like home.
In fact, Ira was picturing his bed and imagining how nice it would be to rest his back and feet after hours of vacuuming, mopping, and sweeping when he heard the noise that tipped him off. It was a faint clang just behind him that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Nervously, he looked behind him, attempting to peer into the shadows there. Faintly, he saw a man. The shadows were too thick and viscous for him to make out any details, but he was sure he saw the image of a man standing stock still beside the overflowing trashcan.
Ira stared at the man for a while, hoping to get across to him that he saw him and was not afraid. But, the man did not turn away or retreat back into the alley way behind him. It was unusual. But, Ira wasn't about to let it spook him. He just resolved to walk a little faster and with more purpose towards his home.
But, Ira had only turned his body back down the street when he felt the same chill run up his spine and turned around again.
The man was significantly closer, then. It could have only been a few seconds that Ira took to take that hesitant half step, but by the time he caught the man's figure in the center of his eye, he was at least 25 feet closer than before. The man stood framed perfectly beneath a street light. The old, yellowish light bulb cast a similar, yet harsh light on the man's down turned face. The hair atop his head was a dirty yellow color, as if dirt was slowly building up at the scalp and creeping up to cling at the follicles of hair. The only parts of his face that were illuminated were his thick, straight nose and high creased forehead. The tops of his cheeks were also lit up and gave Ira the impression that the man was smiling.
Scared, Ira took a step back. His shadow was thrown before him by a light that stood just a few feet behind him. Feverishly, he cast around to see if there was anyone else on the street or silhouetted in the window for him to alert. There were none.
“Your heart...” a voice sighed. Ira jumped. The voice was soft and lilting, like that of the Opera singers where he worked. For a moment, he could not figure where it came from. Then, it occurred to him that it was the man who spoke.
“What's wrong with it?” the voice continued, still holding no danger, only innocence and kindness.
But, the face remained turned away and harsh. His body language indicated hate and the hunt.
Ira's hand shook as he raised it to his chest and took a deep breath. He knew what the man was talking about and. The more he thought it about it, the more clear it became to him what the man must be. Who else would be interested in his still heart.
“It...” Ira whispered, aware that the man would hear him, no matter how quietly he spoke. “It's none of your business,” he said, attempting to sound forceful, but ruining the attempt by letting his voice break on the word business. “Please go away,” he added, a plea.
The man's smile seemed to grow wider, the angles and planes of his face growing even more terrifying in the vertical light.
Whatever happened next, happened quickly, too quickly for Ira to really know what was happening. All he could do was let out a blood curdling scream as he felt those rock hard hands lock him in their grip. Then, silence.