The bell that hangs above the door of the Pet Shop rang as it is opened, shaking back and forth before it settled as the door closed. A tall man wearing a suit entered. He immediately smelled the grunginess of the shop. He cringed his nose at the unpleasant smell. The Shopkeeper lifted his head from his paperwork and turned to look at who had entered as he lowered the pen to the desk. his mouth stretched into a thin smile. He ran his fingers through his thinning, curly red hair.
“Ah, Lord Henry, what a pleasant surprise,” he said pleasantly, showing that he had done this several times. he went over to shake his hand.
“I’m looking fir a new pet,” Henry said as he looked around the room, not really paying attention to what the Shopkeeper was saying. The color of the shop was a faded yellow from the dim lights. A window wasn’t in sight. In the middle, where the vampires would walk, was a concrete walkway. While the floor of the cages were dirt. the pets knew better then to throw dirt on the concrete.
Many eyes peered through the cage bars, staring at Henry. Some averted their eyes quickly. others stared right at Henry, almost challenging him.
“Of course, do you want a boy or a girl?” The Shopkeeper asked as he started to walk.
“I was thinking a girl,” Henry said as he looked in a few cages. One had a girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. she was sitting against the wall looking at the wall across from her and she looked very young. another had a girl with light brown hair and hazel eyes. She was drawing in the dirt, trying to pass the time. It looked like a pyramid surrounded by other shapes. The cages were so small that a child’s head would barely touch the top of it. The cages had three walls that were cement brick walls, the doors were metal bars.
“Do you have anything in mind?” The Shopkeeper asked as he continued to walk, not bothering to look in the cages.
“No,” Henry said as he looked in a few more cages. the ages that he saw varied, some as young as six, others as old as fifty. He stopped suddenly as something caught his eye. “What about this one?” He asked as he looked in a cage.
The Shopkeeper stopped and knew which human was in there. “Oh, her name is Rose,” he said in disgust. His eyes burned into the cage, showing how much he despised her.
“Rose,” Henry said to himself, almost in a whisper. He looked in on the sleeping girl on the dirt floor, but he couldn’t see her face. She was sleeping away from the door of the cage. Her body was slowly falling and rising with each breath. She was curled up in a ball, as if it would protect her. Her shirt, though big, showed off her ribs as it pressed against her.
“If you wish my Lord, I could wake her?” The Shopkeeper asked as he peered into the cage.
“Yes, please,” Henry said as he moved to the left a little, giving the Shopkeeper more room. He kept his eyes on Rose.
“As you wish,” he said as he laid his hands on a chain that was connected to the door. It was also connected to the metal collar that Rose had around her neck. The chain was there to remind the pets that they were nothing but pets.
He pulled the chain hard and it pulled Rose along with the force that she had received to her throat. She rolled over on her side coughing and gasping for air. Her hands grasped the collar trying to relieve the pressure. She took deep, unsteady breaths.
“This-” the Shopkeeper began then pulled on the chain again, this time even harder. Rose slid across the ground and into the cage bars. She put up her arms to block her face from the hard metal which hurt as her body collided with the metal. She winced in pain. A cloud of dirt rose around her before it settled on her skin and clothes. “-is Rose,” The Shopkeeper finished as he moved to the side so Henry could get a better look. He started to kick some of the dirt that had come onto the concrete back into her cage.
She looked down, avoiding eye contact with him. Henry put his finger under her chin and tilted her head up. Her lip quivered as he touched her. His hand however, wasn’t hard and harsh but smooth and gentle. She had matted brown hair that hadn’t been brushed in years. She had emerald green eyes, that seemed to be the only color in the pet shop. Her clothes were ripped, old, and covered in dirt, showing that she hadn’t been given new clothes in a while. She was one of the smaller girl’s, height wise. They were about all the same skinniness. She slowly lifted her eyes to meet his.
He had brown hair as well that was cut shorter on the sides and longer in the middle, it was styled upwards. It didn’t look like it had taken hours, but more like it was natural. He had red eyes, but his eyes were different. They weren’t a dark, violent red like her old master, but a soft, kind red that she had never seen before on a vampire. They seemed to sparkle in the dull light. He was wearing a black suit with a red tie and a white belt. The suit showed that he was rich. He was an entire foot taller then Rose, making him all the more intimidating.
“There are bruises on her. What from?” Henry asked as he tilted her head to the side. He looked at her arms too, examining her. A variety of blues and purples rested on top of her once tan skin.
“Ah, those are from her old master,” he said with a hint of satisfaction in his voice that was only noticeable to him and Rose.
“You mean she was owned before?” Henry asked as he raised an eyebrow, glancing back at the Shopkeeper.
“Yes sir, she actually got back about two weeks ago,” the Shopkeeper said, dropping the hint of satisfaction, scared that Henry could sense it.
“Why?” Henry asked as he turned his head back to Rose. She had dropped her head downwards, avoiding eye contact again.
“Her master didn’t say. He just didn’t want her anymore,” the Shopkeeper said going back to his professional voice.
“How old is she?” Henry asked. The pet shop lighting, dirt, and bruises had made Rose’s age hard to tell.
“Eighteen,” the Shopkeeper responded. Henry’s eyebrows rose. She was young to be abused this much.
“Has she been drunk from yet?” Henry asked looking at her neck, trying to find any bite marks.
“No sir,” he said, still a little surprised that she hadn’t been drunken from, especially because of her blood type.
“What is her blood type?” Henry asked. Not that he cared. It was just the questions everyone asked. It almost came like second nature.
“AB Negative,” Henry’s eyebrows rose, AB Negative blood was a very rare blood type.
Henry sat there for a few seconds thinking. He blankly stared at Rose. Rose stared at the ground, her bottom lip started to quiver again. Please don’t pick me. I can’t handle another master. Please don’t pick me. Rose pleaded to herself. Tears formed in the corners of her eyes.
“Does she have any family?” Henry asked.
“Ah, no sir,” the Shopkeeper replied, his lips formed a straight line, smirking.
“I think I’ll take her,” Henry said as he stood up and fixed his suit and tie.
“Are you sure? She is very shy?” He said trying to change his mind.
“Yes, I am sure,” Henry said. His tone indicated that he was getting a little annoyed. He stared at the Shopkeeper, his eyes saying ‘don’t push it.’
The Shopkeeper sensed it. “Ok,” he said as he opened the door to the cage, the rusted metal squeaking. He unlocked the chain from her collar, then connected another leash to her collar. Rose got out of her cage and stood up too fast. She got dizzy and stumbled, nearly falling into Henry. The Shopkeeper yanked her towards him, harshly. “Behave,” he said through gritted teeth. He pushed her away from him. She nearly ran into Henry again. “Will you please follow me, sir,” the Shopkeeper said as he started to walk towards the back room with Rose behind him and Henry at her side.
As they were walking they heard a girl’s scream behind them. The scream sounded like she was being tortured. They all turned around. Henry’s and the Shopkeeper’s faces showed no emotion as the scene unfolded. A girl was being dragged across the floor by her hair. Her hands were around a fairly big man’s, but not muscular, arm that was grabbing her hair. She tried with all her strength to release the pressure. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it!” She begged as she struggled. He had no trouble dragging her across the smooth concrete.
“You need to learn not to talk back!” The man yelled as he brought his foot down on her stomach, hard. She started to gasp for air but did not fight. He took the opportunity to drag her with more ease. He dragged her into the disciplining room. A lock sounded after he shut the door. The bloodcurdling screams sounded again from within the door.
Henry’s and the Shopkeeper’s face remained the same, Henry glanced down at Rose.
Her face was filled with sorrow and pain her eyes tightly shut. The Shopkeeper leaned down into Rose’s ear. “It only happened to you once,” he said as he smiled, she turned her head away from him, not wanting to be around him.
“Can we please continue,” Henry said in more of a command than a question. He sounded annoyed. The Shopkeeper snapped out of his daze. He quickly nodded. He turned around, the leash tugged on Rose’s collar. She was too caught up thinking about the disciplining room and she nearly stumbled as he pulled harder on it. They all walked.
They entered the back room. “Would you like any other accessories?” The Shopkeeper motioned his hands at a wall that had leashes, collars, muzzles, and even whips. There were other nicknacks too.
Henry put his finger under her chin, tilting her head up. “These won’t be necessary, correct?” She quickly shook her head, no. He nodded and went to the wall, picking out a lapis lazuli colored collar that had gold swirls on it making the blue pop, the same design was on the leash. “Just these,” Henry said as he gave them to the Shopkeeper.
“Ok, I will need you to sign these papers and I’ll exchange the collars and leashes,” the Shopkeeper said, Henry nodded his head. Henry walked to a table to sign the papers as the Shopkeeper made his way to Rose.
He unlocked the collar, to reveal raw skin on her neck where the collar had been. Scratches were on top of the raw skin, the cool air stung her skin. “If you come back here I will kill you, just as I did your family,” he whispered into her ear, as he fastened the collar as tight as it would go. Then he put the leash on the collar. He wiggled the part of the leash that connected to the collar, making sure it was hooked on. “Here you go my Lord,” he handed Henry the leash after he had finished signing the paperwork. “That will be 60,050 dollars my Lord,” The price of Rose and the collar didn’t even seem to faze him. He pulled out a check from his checkbook. He signed the check and gave it to the Shopkeeper.
“Thank you,” Henry said as he nodded his head a little. He grabbed the leash and started to walk out of the building with Rose behind him.
Rose drudgingly walked behind her new master knowing that she was going to have to start a new life.