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Social Distancing

Hello all!

How are all of you coping with the madness?

I'm still working my normal 9-5 job as the office hasn't opted to close, hours have been cut and I'm trying to use the extra time to focus on various projects around the house, my mom's house, also trying to get some writing done.

In an effort to curb everyone's cabin fever, I'm going to try and release a short story once a week. I won't promise it, as I don't want to give away all my material too quickly, but I'll certainly try.

If you're looking for other material from me, I have a youtube channel under the name "Kate Shark" where I play video games and occasionally tell stories from my childhood. I have a few videos of me reading the first two chapters of "The Calling". You can see them here:

I'd like to know if there is anything you guys would like to see. Maybe a Q&A video or if you'd like me to read more chapters aloud, even if you have a prompt for a short story, please let me know, I'd be happy to give anything a shot.

In the meantime, here is a short story. When Darcy met Melanie...


Fall 2013

Melanie Brookes had heard the rumors.

The rumors had started ever since it was announced that Darcy Collins would be teaching in the English department.

She’s been banished from England after that mess with the Royals…

Her parents cut her off…

Her father is making her do this or else he’s cutting her out of his will…

Melanie didn’t know much about the Collins family. She knew what most people did, which was limited. Alistair Collins was a handsome billionaire who came from money, Bernadette was a beautiful educator and philanthropist. They had twin daughters, Darcy and Ceridwen. Both girls were incredibly intelligent as they had attended Oxford and MIT, respectively.

Normally, the Collins family kept their personal lives very private. She’d seen their pictures in various magazines, mostly the oldest daughter, Darcy. Since there had been rumors that she stole Kate Middleton from Prince William.

Melanie had never really believed those rumors. After all, Darcy Collins was born with more money than most would ever see, but she wasn’t royalty. That, and she was pretty sure that Kate Middleton was straight.

When the students started that semester, a whole new string of rumors set in.

This is just some form of community service…

You know she only teaches night classes because she parties all night and sleeps all day...

I heard the new mythology prof is a vampire…

That one really piqued Melanie’s interest. She knew a little bit about supernaturals. She’d heard stories from her grandfather from his military days of wrangling rogue Fae in underground bases. She knew that vampires and werewolves also existed but she had never met any.

Darcy Collins certainly fit the vampire profile. All the pictures Melanie had seen she was wearing dark clothes and sunglasses. If she really thought about it, she couldn’t remember seeing a picture of the woman in daylight.

Melanie decided to introduce herself to the suspected vampire.

She had been surprised to learn that Darcy Collins’ office was in the same building as her own. They were actually just a floor apart as the new professor was a floor above her own.

It took a few days for the art professor to work up the nerve to introduce herself. She wasn’t sure why, but the thought of meeting a possible supernatural made her nervous. While she wasn’t entirely convinced that the new professor was a vampire, she wanted to see for herself.

She stood outside the office door and took a deep breath before lifting her hand to knock.

No answer.

She knocked again this time calling out, “Professor Collins?”

“Yes?” A voice came from behind her, making Melanie yelp.

She turned around and found herself face to face with a young woman who looked as though she could be one of her students. The only difference was she was wearing a smart-looking pantsuit as opposed to the normal jeans and t-shirts most students wore.

She was tall and lean, her dark hair was cut in a long pixie style that covered part of her face. She gave a smirk when she realized that she had startled the older woman. She must have only just arrived as she was still wearing dark sunglasses and carrying a black messenger bag on her shoulder.

“You’re Darcy Collins?” Melanie asked.

“That’s what my parents named me,” the dark-haired woman said, lifting her sunglasses to rest them on the top of her head. She pulled out a set of keys from her pocket as Melanie moved out of the way so she could open her office door. “Sorry for the mess, I haven’t really had the chance to properly move in.”

“Oh,” Melanie said as the younger woman placed the bag on her desk. The office was small and minimal. It only held a small desk, a bare bookshelf, and an old loveseat. There were a few boxes stacked in the far corner of the room. “I hope I’m not bothering you, I just wanted to introduce myself and welcome you to the building.”

Darcy gave her a small smile and held out her hand, “No bother at all, Professor…”

“Brookes,” Melanie said, taking the younger woman’s hand. She was surprised by the firm grip. “But, please call me Melanie.”

A crooked grin spread across the younger woman’s face. Melanie nearly gasped when she saw incredibly sharp fangs in the other woman’s mouth.

They weren’t sharp enough to be vampire teeth, but they certainly weren’t normal.

“Your name is Mel Brookes?”

Melanie felt her face drop. She had never made that connection and luckily, no one else ever had. Then again, nobody ever called her Mel, it was always Melanie.

Darcy started to laugh. Melanie noticed how wolf-like her smile was. She was now certain the younger woman wasn’t a vampire. Her skin was far too warm and the sun was still out. She wasn’t sure what exactly Darcy Collins was, but Melanie was fairly confident she wasn’t human.

“Yeah, yeah,” Melanie said, “Laugh it up, Wolfie.”

Darcy froze then, the color drained from her face. Melanie couldn’t believe her luck. She had just taken a stab in the dark calling the younger woman “Wolfie”. Mainly because her smile was rather lupine.

Melanie couldn’t help but giggle, “Really!? Did I guess right?”

Darcy put a finger to her lips and moved to close the office door. She quickly turned and faced the older woman again, her face serious. “You know about supes?”

“I know they exist but I’ve never met one before.”

“Not that you know of. What made you think I was?”

Melanie shrugged, “The students think you’re a vampire. I wanted to see for myself.”

Darcy scoffed, “A vampire?”

“It’s because you teach night classes,” Melanie explained. “That and the dark clothes and sunglasses.”

“Christ,” Darcy rolled her eyes. “Those damn Twilight books have all the kids thinking everyone’s a bloody vampire anymore.”

“Vampires don’t sparkle in the sunlight?”

“Vamps don’t even wake up for another,” Darcy checked her watch, “Half hour or so.”

“Are you really a shifter?” Melanie couldn’t believe her luck.

Darcy eyed her carefully. Trying to figure out what exactly to make of the older professor. Melanie half expected her to tell her to get the hell out. Her stare was intense and Melanie had a hard time keeping the young woman’s gaze. After a few tense moments, Darcy lifted an eyebrow and said, “Werewolf.”

“A werewolf?” Melanie asked, “Does your family know? Are they werewolves too? Do you only turn during the full moon or can you do it anytime you want?”

Darcy let out a small laugh, “Tell you what, I’ve only got one class tonight. How about when I’m done, we go out for a drink? I’ll answer any questions you have.”

“Are you asking me out?” Melanie asked. “Because if you are, I should tell you I’m straight.”

“According to the tabloids that won’t stop me,” Darcy gave her another wolfish smile.

Melanie couldn’t help but laugh. “I like you.”

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