by ‘Teresa Devereux’
I finally caught up to Marie after she had stopped running. Looking back, I could see the burning vehicle in the distance, and Van Myers running towards us. Christos was nowhere to be seen.
As he stopped beside us, I said “where’s Christos?”. Van Myers looked down, and said “he got too close to the car before it dropped , and it fell on him when it exploded. He’s gone.” Christos had been concerned about the weapons that had fallen out of the car when it flipped, but who would have guessed he would put his life on the line for a few guns. I wasn’t sure about how vampires could die, but it seemed that fire was a certain killer. Marie seemed surprised, yet not deeply upset by the news. She said “come on, let’s get out of here.” I felt remorse for Christos, but I knew we didn’t have the time to stay around and grieve for him. We walked off around a corner and away from the bizarre encounter.
We hailed a cab a few blocks further down the road. Marie suggested we go to the home of one of her ‘herd’. The term seems to refer to human’s that welcome a vampire to feed off them on a regular basis. It was close to where we were, and sunrise would be upon us soon.
On the way we discussed who the mysterious man could have been. Van Myers and Marie were convinced it was a vampire called ‘Maurice Black’. As to his reason for trying to kill us, that wasn’t clear as yet. Did he have anything to do with the murders? Or was it for some other reason he wanted us dead? He was powerful enough to have killed us there and then, and yet chose not to?
We went to the apartment of Marie’s male friend. We were greeted coldly by the young man, who seemed upset Marie had not contacted him in some time. He had a female friend with him, who Marie regarded with disdain. The woman was upset by our appearance, and walked into the bedroom, closing the door behind her. Marie soothed the man with her affections, and fed off him. I was felling a gnawing inside, and knew I needed to feed. I asked Marie if I could feed off the woman in the bedroom, to which she nonchalantly agreed.
I entered the room quietly, and tried to grab the woman as she sat facing away from me on the bed. I lost my footing however, and slipped on the floor and fell. She began screaming at me, as my vampiric teeth were showing, and I had tried to attack her. I attempted to dominate her to be quiet, but couldn’t maintain eye contact with her when she was in that state. Thankfully Van Myers heard the commotion, and entered, calming her long enough for me to drink. I took a little more than I would have liked, and she fell unconscious. Marie then led the man into the room, and he fell onto the bed and passed out.
We went down to the dark wine cellar to sleep, safe in the knowledge the couple wouldn’t awaken before we did.
After our slumber, we headed upstairs to the main living area. The first thing we noticed was the smell of gas, possibly from the oven. Marie was set upon by a Nosferatu as she walked into the kitchen. As Van Myers and I walked into the room, another Nosferatu stepped out of the shadows behind us. He threw a bucket of petrol onto us. I felt overwhelming fear as I realised he held a lighter in his hand, and was about to ignite it. Van Myers managed to kick the Nosferatu’s hand, and the lighter clattered noisily down the cellar stairs. I stepped towards the far wall, as Van myers stumbled into the main living area. Out of thin air, the vampire we knew as Kyle appeared. He began grappling with Van Myers, who was vastly out skilled. Kyle was moving at supernatural speed, even for a vampire, then he turned to mist and sank into the floor! Van Myers tried to run across the room, only to be grabbed on the ankle by a hand emerging out of the floor boards! As he tripped, Kyle reappeared and stood above him. Kyle roughly picked up and threw Van Myers against the glass sliding door to the balcony, glass shattering around him. I turned to run in the opposite direction, only to be cut off by another Nosferatu.
I turned back to the balcony, realising it was the only way out. The front door was blocked by Marie fighting her opponent. I ran as fast as I could to the balcony, climbed over the railing, and jumped down to the street below. We were only two floors up, but I hurt my ankle slightly as I landed. As I stood, I was blinded by the headlights of an oncoming car. It was heading straight for me. It screeched to a halt a few feet from me, and I realised it was the Annubi’s hummer. They jumped out, and I yelled at them that the other’s needed help upstairs. Two of the Annubi scaled the wall and up onto the balcony. I could hear gunshots coming from the apartment, and several of the Annubi began to run into the main foyer of the building. Jan had looked up, I assumed to the balcony, and jumped straight up into the air. I was helped up by Felicity, who I began to tell about the ambush.
Suddenly there was a loud crash in front of us. Startled, I looked up to see a body falling onto the bonnet of the hummer. It fell with such force, the front wheels exploded, and the front of the vehicle crumpled in. Felicity and I both jumped up and saw it was in fact Jan laying there, bloodied and beaten. Felicity jumped onto the hood beside him, and cradled his head. She was sobbing uncontrollably, calling his name. Jan’s leg had almost been severed by a piece of metal from the impact with the car. I thought him dead at first, until I saw his hand twitch slightly. The other Annubi were standing around in a state of shock, none of them moving to assist.
I knew I had to take charge, as a crowd of onlookers had gathered from the noise of the gunfight upstairs. I said to Felicity, “help me move him.” She was so caught up in her grief, she didn’t even register I had said anything. I looked at her, called her name, and when she looked up at me, I said “HELP ME”. She got down and we began to move him off the car. I could feel his crumpled body give sickeningly.
An ear bursting explosion rang out above us. I glanced up, and saw Van Myers and Marie had jumped off the balcony just in time, a ball of fire licking at their backs. Something (or someone) had ignited the gas. Pieces of debris fell from the sky, and people were screaming all around us on the street. The Annubi that had been nearby all fled in terror, the fire having an almost phobic effect on them. I looked over to Marie and Van Myers, expecting they could help us carry Jan, but they too had fled down the road. Felicity had a look of terror on her face, but I managed to maintain her eye contact long enough that she didn’t run. At least with all the noise and fire, it distracted the onlookers long enough for us to carry Jan off into a nearby alleyway.
Felicity looked around like she knew the area, then said “it’s over here. Stop”. We put Jan down on the ground, and she moved a large industrial bin away from the wall. It revealed a small opening in the side of the building, and we dragged Jan into it.
It hardly seemed big enough for one person, yet we managed to squeeze inside. Felicity cradled his head again, and sobbed tears of blood. His broken body was pitiful to lay eyes upon, and it took a great deal of strength for me to look at him. Felicity said that he needed blood, so I offered to go and find something for him. I could see she was terribly distressed that it would be better for me to leave her with him for now.
I crawled back outside, and dragged the bin back across to conceal the entrance. I decided to go back down the alley towards the mayhem we had just left. I could see a large group of morbid onlookers had gathered near the apartment, watching the fire brigade battle the flames. It was relatively easy to distract a female from the back row, and dominate her to follow me. At a safe distance, I grappled with the decision of whether to take her to Jan, or feed off her myself. Jan wasn’t capable of drinking, but I recalled how Gordon had allowed me to feed from him. I decided to drink from a couple of humans until I could take no more, then let Jan feed from me. Given the size of the hideout, it was practical as well. I fed from the woman until she was giddy, then returned her to near the crowd. I found another female standing nearby, and did the same. Full of blood, I returned to Jan. Felicity wasn’t there when I arrived, so I sat beside Jan and lifted his head. I bit into my wrist for him to feed from me, and put it to his lips.
His eyes flickered open slightly, and he whispered to me. I bent my head down to hear him. He said gravely “don’t blame Gordon for what happened. He was my friend. It wasn’t Gordon’s fault.” I didn’t think I heard him properly, so I said “what did you say? Tell me again.” His voice gurgled as he said “it wasn’t Gor....” His eyes rolled back into his head, and he slumped in my arms. It was like he just died, but surely that couldn’t happen? He was undead, a vampire. Gordon told me that vampires were immortal, and I refused to believe Jan was gone.
As I lay his head down on the ground, Felicity crawled in, dragging a half groggy female with her. She looked at Jan and I, then to my bloody wrist. Felicity said “get away from him! You were trying to blood bond him! Get away from him,...NOW!” Her eyes were glowing red, and her teeth had lowered menacingly. I moved out of the way, and she pushed past me. Dragging the female over to Jan, she cut the woman’s throat, and directed the flow onto Jan’s face and mouth. Still he didn’t move, even though he was covered in the rich liquid. The woman slumped in death, and Felicity carelessly discarded the woman against the wall. She began to sob, and said “it’s no good. He’s dead”. I tried to argue with her, saying that surely he couldn’t die, and that we could get help. She wasn’t listening to me however, too caught up in her own grief. She took off her silver necklace, and Egyptian looking medallion, and placed it on Jan ‘s chest. She slowly backed away from him, then left without looking at me, or saying anything.
I was left with the bodies of the female victim and Jan in the dark hole. I sat for a moment, reflecting on the way Felicity had reacted to Jan’s demise. I still couldn’t believe he was gone, and yet I had no way of knowing how to help him now. I couldn’t sit there with corpses forever, so I decided to go home, where I might find one of the Annubi.
I left the alley, and caught a cab back to the mansion. The building and grounds seemed to have aged another 20 years, in the few days I had been away. Perhaps it was simply that I perceived everything so differently now? My old life belonged to someone vastly different, when compared to who I was now becoming. Exhausted, I walked down to my empty flat, and retired to the comfort of my bed.
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