The Taylight Zone - Anthology Four

02 - When the Clock Strikes - Allyson

Yes, welcome.
You have come for a different story, no?
Yes. I knew you did.
The clock? Why do you examine it, look at it?
It's enchanting? Ah, yes.
You're not the only one who's looked at it with such suspense, you know.
Who else, you wish to know?
Take a seat, my friend, and listen to the story. . . . .
He watched the clock tick.
tick-tock tick-tock
Was it trying to drive him mad?
Clocks didn't have the ability to drive one mad. The clock needs to be alive to drive someone mad.
This clock wasn't alive.
No. Yes. Yes. This clock was alive, and knew just how to drive him mad.
It new when to tick, and it knew when to tock. It knew when to ding when it struck the quarter hour.
It knew.
Oh, but how?
It wasn't alive. It didn't have a brain. It couldn't know how to drive him mad.
He closed his eyes, and almost hit himself.
Get a grip!
He couldn't believe he thought the clock was alive.
He glanced up, and saw it was almost midnight.
The time was coming.
He wanted to cry. He didn't want the curse to take effect.
Why him? And, how did he learn about the curse?
Oh, yes. He remembered.
His father had told him.
His father - the one with fangs. The one who sucked other people's blood at night, when they slept.
"Only enough to feed," he had told him, "Never enough to kill."
He closed his eyes. Opened them.
He looked up at the clock.
The clock donged once, twice, three times.
Four. Five. Six
Seven. Eight. Nine.
Ten. Eleven.
Taylor Hanson felt his teeth grow in. It wasn't the most pleasant experience, but it wasn't the most painful, ether.
He panted, as he felt the blood lust surge through him.
He felt his smelling sense heighten.
He smelled it.
Coursing through a live human.
Slowly, and silently, Taylor made his way up the stairs. He walked into his own room. There, asleep, were his two brothers.
He walked up to one. It didn't matter which.
He slowly hoisted them into a sitting position, so lightly that they stayed asleep.
He knelt down, and carefully put his mouth to their neck. He bit, lightly, of course.
The blood was warm and salty, just right.
Taylor forgot his father's words as he fed. He couldn't seem to get enough of the warm, salty liquid.
Suddenly, the lust was gone. Just like that.
Taylor sat back, suddenly terrified. He looked at who he was holding. David.
"David." Taylor whispered, shaking David with fear. "Oh, God, David. Wake up!" He whispered as loud as he could. David didn't move.
Taylor cried. He cried tears of blood, not water. The warm blood slid down his cheeks, and landed on David's face. His angelic looking face. To quiet. So peaceful.
"Taylor?" A hand was placed on his shoulder. Taylor spun around. Jonathan.
"Oh, God....." Taylor burst into another fit of tears. Jonathan looked over the scene. He blinked.
"What's the prob?" He asked.
"Look at what I've done!" Taylor shouted, dropping David back on his bed. "I've killed my own brother."
Jonathan laughed. "Nah. He'll be fine."
"Fine?" Taylor looked confused. He raised his hands to the sides of his head, and shook it. "No, no, I killed him..."
A voice came from the hallway. "What's going on?" It asked. It was his father.
"Dad, Tay's too weak. He's crying." Jonathan told his dad.
Their father bit is lip. "I had a feeling."
"Shall I get rid of him now? We haven't the time to nurture a weakling." Jonathan said, with a tint of harshness.
"Yes, yes, send him. We must continue on." His father waved his hand, and left the room.
"Taylor." Jonathan sighed. "I wish there was a better way to do this, but their isn't. You know, I always thought you'd grow to be a fine vampire. I was wrong. You disappointed me. You failed me." Jonathan raised a stake, from absolutely nowhere, and moved to drive it into Taylor's flesh. "You must go."
"No!!" Taylor gasped, and ran from the room. He ran down the stairs, and out the door.

Zac sat up, and yawned. It was about midnight. Why did he wake up?
He went downstairs, and found Taylor sobbing on the couch, curled up, so he couldn't see his face.
"Hey, Tay. What's wrong?" Zac moved closer.
"No, Zac. Stay away." Taylor whispered, softly.
"Hey, I'm your brother, whether you like it or not. Now, what's wrong?"
Taylor lifted his head, and looked at Zac.
Zac screamed.
Taylor was crying tears of blood.
Zac gulped carefully. "Tay? Um, what's going on?"
"I said get away!" Taylor suddenly screamed, jumping from the couch. Zac's eyes widened. Taylor had fangs, and blood was dripping from them.
Zac stumbled away, running out the door.
Taylor sat down.
How long would it be?
How long would it take for them to realize he'd fed again?
How long would it take for the cult to find him, to try to turn him back?
And, how long would it take for them to realize he'd fed. . . . . on Isaac?
He shook his head. He didn't have time for this. He needed to move on.
He sighed. What a shame he would have to leave fame behind.
It was too dangerous, he told himself. He had to move on.
He would have to move, once more, from one family to another. Like he had done for 100 years. He'd moved from the Johnsons, the Lees, the Weiners, and, now the Hansons. And many others in between.
Taylor got up, and walked to the door.
He sighed, once again.
"God, please forgive me." He said aloud. "Please for give me for all the things I've done, and all the things I will do. Forgive me, or strike me down, and take me from the suffering."
He waited.
He felt it, a strange jolt inside him.
"Yes...." Taylor whispered softly. "And, take him...the one who chases me....take him....too....???"
Taylor dropped soundlessly to the ground.

Isaac sat up, smiling.
It worked, father.
What a thoughtful idea, to follow the weakling from one family to another, tormenting him.
As he sat there, Isaac's face and body molded back into his own, Jonathan Clarke.
He sighed.
What a pity the chase was to end.
But all things were to end.
But, his life will never end.
As he stood, to take Taylor's life downstairs, he felt a jolt inside of him. He gasped, and stumbled.
"No! You said, I could stay, and take him! You promised..."
Jonathan felt his heart stop.
Silently, his body dropped to the ground.
He died.
A different type of story, no?
Yes, it is.
Don't look to long at the clock. It has strange side affects to those who look to long.
You might become what Taylor did.
Hah! You laugh, but watch out.
You won't be laughing the day when this happens to someone you know.
Now, hurry, and leave, for the side effects come only . . . .
Only when the clock strikes.