by ‘Teresa Devereux’
We arose for the evening to the sound of Van Myers front door bell. He went downstairs, and returned a few minutes later with a large envelope. He opened it and perused the contents. He passed several police crime scene photographs to Christos and I, as he thumbed through a number of typed documents.
The photos showed the victims, strung up by barbed wire, and placed at their tables in macabre positions. Their faces were distorted with fishhooks and were into various expressions. The cook was tied up in front of the grill, with burgers burning in front of him, and a waitress was positioned with her notebook and pen in her hands, as if writing an order. A young couple had been undressed, and placed into mock sexual positions.
All of the victims had obvious puncture marks on their throats, yet not a drop of blood was evident anywhere. Despite the dozen murders, the entire building had been immaculately sterilised, leaving no evidence of the perpetrators. While disturbed by the callousness depicted, we gleaned very little new information as to who the murderers were. Frustrated, Van Myers dropped the paperwork onto a coffee table, and said “nothing here we don’t already know about.” This was going to be a difficult case, yet our very lives depended on solving it for the Prince.
Van Myers phone rang, breaking the silence. He hung up and said “that was Louis. There’s been another murder at a club I frequent. We’ll be met there by one of the Prince’s investigators. Let’s go.” Christos and I followed him out side, and we proceeded to the new crime scene.
Van myers pulled up outside an upper class ‘yuppie’ club. The sign over the door said “The Edge”, followed by a strange symbol I didn’t recognise. We walked behind Van Myers, who was striding purposefully inside. There were several police officers, crime scene photographers, and ambulance officers standing off to the side looking around nonchalantly. On the opposite wall was a male security guard crouched on the ground, with a female standing next to him. He seemed to be mentally disturbed, and was muttering to himself.
Van Myers introduced himself to the woman, saying “you must be Marie. The Prince told me you would be here. I’m Van Myers.” She nodded to him, but said nothing. I felt a little put off by not being introduced to her, so I extended my hand to her and said “Marie is it? My name is Teresa Devereux, and this is Christos. I’m pleased to meet you.” She made no effort to shake my hand, and simply nodded at us and turned to go back to what she had been doing. I felt a fool, as she obviously had no interest in meeting me.
Christos bent down on the floor beside the guard, and was looking at the wall. Marie then said “he was found sitting there, drawing a repetitive pattern on the wall in the blood from his bitten off finger. He hasn’t said anything other than gibberish.” The ambulance officers must have patched his finger up, as it now had a bloodied bandage wrapped around it. Christos looked up to us, and said “this sigil. I recognise it from my home land. It is some sort of witches protection symbol. I think it is meant to protect a place from evil magic, although I’m not completely certain.”
Van Myers began to look around the room at the murdered staff. They had been placed into obscure sexual positions with each other, all held in place with the same barbed wire as the café victims had been. He then headed towards a closed door, to what seemed to be a staff office area. Opening it, he walked in and called to us. On entering, we saw a man (presumably the manager) sitting at his desk. He had fishhooks drawing his face into a smile. His pants had been opened, and his hand had been barb wired around his genitals. In his other hand he had what appeared to be a remote control. We all looked around the room, and discovered a close circuit security monitor and video equipment on the far wall. We could see the camera was trained on the bar area. The picture was in black and white, and rather snowy, yet we could still make out the police officers standing around in the next room. Van Myers prized the remote from the dead man's fingers, and hit the 'stop, rewind, play' buttons in turn. Surely the culprits wouldn't have been so tardy as to leave a security tape in? But they had, and as we watched, we witnessed the horror unfold firsthand.
The staff entered early, while the sun was still shining through the front doors. A short time later, the front doors opened, showing the sun had set outside, and three figures entered the bar. The first looked dishevelled and rough, while the other two that followed were grotesque in appearance. Their faces and bodies distorted and as ugly as anything I had ever seen. They moved at lightening speed, so fast that they sometimes disappeared from view. They systematically began to drain each person in the room, drinking from their necks one by one, until they were all dead. Then they left, returning a moment later with rolls of barbed wire, and cleaning equipment. They undressed and wired the lifeless bodies into position, then cleaned and scrubbed the entire area clean. All of this happened in a matter of only 10 minutes. They had to be supernatural in nature, due to the speed they moved, and since they drained their victims, they had to be vampires.
Throughout the whole episode, the security guard had not been in the bar until just after the three vampires had left. Then he just seemed to appear, in the same place he was now. Christos said "I know those two ugly ones. I had a run in with them two nights ago. They set on me in an alley, and after I shot their friend, they went into the sewer. I don't recognise the other one." Van Myers ejected the tape from the machine, and said "I think we need to show this to the Prince."
As we were about to leave, Marie said to the officers "I'm finished here, it's all yours." At once the men were a hive of activity, as if snapping out of a trance. Van Myers asked Marie if she was going to go with us, to which she nodded. She added "the Prince told me to investigate the murders with you." Out at the car, Van Myers asked us where we should go. I suggested "perhaps the library would be a good place for Christos and I to try and find the meaning of the mysterious symbol written on the wall. And I suppose I should resign from my job, since I don't think I'll be able to work there now." He nodded in agreement, and we headed for my former workplace.
I directed Christos to the computer section, and showed him the occult section. He sat down at the desk, while Marie began thumbing through some of the texts. I then decided it was time to see my supervisor, Ms Crookshank. She was a ghastly woman, and she obviously despised me at the best of times. I entered her office, and asked if I could have a talk with her. She barely looked up from her book stamping, before motioning towards the empty chair. I sat, and apologised for my absence over the past week. I cited 'family concerns', and added "due to these personal reasons, I will have to tender my resignation." She seemed momentarily taken back, but regained her composure, and said haughtily "and when would that be from?" I answered "immediately. I apologise for the suddenness of this, however it is unavoidable." She pursed her lips even tighter, and said "so it seems.... very well. Good-bye" and with that I was dismissed. I hardly expected a warm reception from her, so I was not shocked by her cold response. I walked out to join the others. After searching every avenue I knew, and all of us looking over the selection of books relating to symbols, we drew a blank.
I had no idea where to look now, and as if on cue, the computer blinked off. Looking around the room, it seemed all of the computers had failed. I said "this is very unusual. Normally the back up generator keeps them all online." The words had hardly left my mouth, when the main lights flickered and blinked off. In an instant, my night vision had 'kicked in', and I could see clearly in the dark building. I said "I'll help you all outside. Hang on to me." I had Christos and Van Myers on either side of me, as I began to manoeuvre my way towards the door. I saw that Marie was finding her own way, as her eyes were glowing red like mine.
Suddenly there was an almighty crash, and the sound of men yelling, their boots stomping noisily as they barged their way into the library. I could see a swat team of military men had entered the library, the laser sights on their rifles sending red beams through the room. I could hear the other people in the library screaming and crying in fear. Suddenly, they must have let off some kind of grenade, which exploded in brightness. My eyes were on fire, the pain was unlike anything I had experienced. I was blinded by the intensity, made worse from my night vision. It was as if a hundred pins had been thrust into my eyeballs. I crumpled into a cowering heap on the floor, holding my hands to my face. The footsteps neared, and they were yelling at us. I felt myself being lifted to my feet, and my left arm was pulled behind me, as I was about to be handcuffed.
At once I was overcome by a beast from within, filled with intense rage. Of that time, my memory is blank, and I have no recollection of what happened.
I seemed to awaken from sleep, yet I was standing beside the road several blocks away from the library. I felt something held in my hand, and looking down. Two human fingers, severed off as if bitten, were sitting in my palm. I dropped them, and stood back in shock. How I came to be holding them, I don't know. I didn't have the awareness to take it all in at that moment. I looked around me, trying to figure out how I got so far away from the others. I heard my name being called, and turned to see Christos nearing from an alleyway. He was looking me up and down oddly, so I looked down at my body. I was covered in blood, my own or another's I don't know, but my clothes seemed to have small holes in them.
I looked at Christos, and said "what happened? I don't remember anything." He said "you went berserk at the library, and took off. They were shooting at you as you ran out the front doors. I managed to get out too, but I don’t know what happened to Marie. I do know they've got Van Myers." I felt concern for them, not knowing why we had been set upon, but my awareness shifted now to an intense hunger.
It seemed to fill my entire being. I buckled over, and Christos stopped me from falling. I said "I feel so very hungry. I need to sit down." He looked around and said "I don't feel so good either, but we can't stay here. I don't know if those guys are out looking for us too. Let's find somewhere to rest." He helped me over to the alley he had come from, and I leant up against the wall.
Christos was looking around, making sure the street was clear. I heard a noise nearby, and looked over at an alley cat rummaging through a rubbish can. I felt compelled to grab the cat, but as I reached out towards it, the cat hissed at me and ran off. I felt even weaker now, and slide down the wall to sit on the cold concrete.
After a moment, Christos helped me up again, but I could only take a few steps before my knees buckled beneath me. I said "I can't go on. Leave me here." He said "I'll go get help. Wait here for me." I sat down beside a large industrial bin, and faded in and out of consciousness while I waited for him to return.
I was woken by someone riffling through my pockets. Instinctively I reached out and grabbed at the persons arm, grasping around the wrist. I looked up to see a grubby homeless man staring down at me. The alcohol smell from his breath was overpowering, as he swore at me to let him go. I held his arm firmly in front of me, and that was when I could feel the blood coursing through his veins under my fingers. He yelled now, and as I looked up, I could see he was brandishing a glass wine bottle, raised over his head. He was about to bring it down on my head, when I pulled his wrist to my lips and bit at his dirty flesh. The bottle fell from his hand to the ground beside me, and a low moan escaped his mouth. I sucked on his wrist thirstily, as my heart beat in time with his. It was an odd sensation, since I had not felt my own heartbeat for over a week.
His blood had an odd strong taste, quite unlike what I had tasted at Gordon's home. As I continued to drain him, I could feel his heart beat slowing, as my own beat stronger with every moment I drank. I realised if I continued, I would kill him. Through the haze of my hunger, I somehow found the strength to stop myself, and pushed his arm away from me. He staggered a couple of steps, then fell to the ground. The pain of hunger had subsided, but was replaced by the sensation of my head swooning, and the entire alley began to spin around me. The alcohol he had imbibed had tainted his blood, and having drank of him, I experienced the effects as well. I had never been one to drink more than a small glass of sherry once in a while, and was not used to the intoxicating effect of a full nights worth of alcohol. I passed out where I sat.
I vaguely recall being helped to walk by Christos and Marie, and being taken to someone’s basement. Other than that, the rest of the night is a blur.
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