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The blog’s Halloween celebration is starting early with an exclusive short story from an amazing horror author
Charles E. Butler!!
Banging. Dull thuds and screams. Moaning.
Souls in pain and torment. Can’t sleep now. More shouting. Hell! Better
get up. Every other century or so, it always comes down to this. It
sounds like we’ll have to move on again. Damn!
Peeking through the lid. Chaos. Hunters with crosses and mallets.
Wielding stakes and logs of fire. Family members perishing under the
onslaught. Unadulterated carnage!
Ouch! There goes the Baroness!
The lid suddenly wrenched from his grasp as an old man stared down at him, gritting yellowed teeth through a gray beard.
“You’re next vampire scum!”
The stake raised high. He had to do
something and quick. Reaching out he grasped the old man’s throat and
felt the blood beneath the skin rush to a sudden halt. Now to think of a
worthy one-liner. Got to take control here and quick.
The Count DeVille moaned way back in the catacombs of the cellar and
flame illuminated his resting place. One hunter stepped back as the
flames from the coffin had licked out savagely at him. The bastards!
They’ve used kerosene!
The old man, eyes bulging under the
powerful grip, licked out his tongue involuntarily knocking his top set
of dentures out. They landed just shy of Reed’s left shoulder. Reed
stared at them in disgust for a second as the phlegm spilled through the
old man’s lips soaking his hand as it trickled down the chin.
It left sparkling droplets on the gray
beard. Disgusted, Reed bent the neck between his fingers and felt the
hunters bones pop. He flung the corpse to one side and stood up tall in
his coffin surveying the carnage around him. Smelling the burning bodies
of his family. Long dead by human standards already. Now they were
Three hunters ventured into the darkness
of the cellar. Their flaming torches illuminating their path as Reed
stepped out of his resting place and set off in pursuit. He didn’t feel
the heat of the flames, his body becoming immune to such trifles
centuries ago. But he knew that they could destroy his earthbound shell
if they took hold.
He glanced briefly into the burning
sarcophagi as he passed. Twelve family members cruelly dispatched
because of a human belief in old wives tales. VAMPIRE! That was the word
that had everyone reaching for the garlic and carrying out these
maddening attacks. One coffin held the corpse of Victoria. As he stared
through the flames with his one good eye, she reached out a charred arm
to him. The wooden stake had missed its mark and her flesh was melting
from her body. That beautiful vivacious creature stared at him. God in
heaven, she was aware! One eye, rimmed in its hollowed out skull by a
salty tear, exploded. Then the other making a kind of squishy pop as the
liquid dampened flames around it. Her bony arm collapsed and reduced to
ash before it came to rest back in her coffin. The dissolution had
barely taken a few seconds, but Cranwell Reed would carry the memory
with him forever. He gritted his teeth and ventured into the tunnels of
the cellar in search of the hunters.
He could hear them as they stealthily made
their way further into the darkness. But they could never hear his own
footfalls. He could make them out in the blackness, their shapes
illuminated by their dying torchlight. There were no more vampires in
this area. His family had been savagely pummelled by four
whiskey-breathed old men who carried mistrust and hatred for his kind in
their hearts. No. There were no vampires. Only rats. A few mice too.
And a few mutations.
Cranwell called on the vermin allies with
his mind and concentration sent a small wind to extinguish their
torches. His eye twinkled and the lid closed over it as he latched onto
the mind of his furry army. As the last torchlight dyed, chittering and
scrabbling noises could be heard.
Something woke in the darkness.
He opened his eyes and could see clearly
in the inky blackness as his three foes stumbled around frantically for
each other. Grasping at the air. When they let out panic warnings, he
realized that they were all English. As the rats circled their feet,
Cranwell turned and made his way out of the cellar, passing the burning
coffins again, but this time not glancing inside them. He heard shrieks
as the old men felt small teeth bite at their legs and furred bodies
attaching to their arms. Rope tails lashing around their faces. The men
screamed like girls in a playground as the might of the rats pulled them
down into the faeces and then began to eat.
Outside, the night was just beginning as
the sky had turned a deep navy blue. Stars dotted here and there, but
the moon wouldn’t be visible on this side of the world for another three
or four hours. But astronomy was the last thing on Reed’s mind. He
scoured the bleak landscape with an eye that an eagle would envy.
Searching. Peering through gloom and breaks in the bountiful hedging.
There. He spotted the car just a few metres up the road. Parked
incongruously at the side of the road, masked by a large tree. Cranwell
could only glimpse the front fender, but he knew that it held a getaway
driver. The humans were so predictable.
The chauffer was a heavy set man with a
large beard, but his throat tore easily enough. Reed placed the body in
the boot and drove the car to the very edge of the cliff that
over-looked the beginnings of the Danube. Water lashed at the rocks
below. Inky and fathomless in the early light, but that would bleach out
in three hours to become the brightest blue waters on earth. As he
pushed the car over the cliff his transformation had already begun. The
car crashed sixty feet below the cliff as a blood-coloured bat took to
the skies and headed North.