Andrew's SwarmMature

A little boy and his parents meet up with a group of Vampires on a roadtrip through the woods.

 

   I cannot remember a time that I felt more excited. My Dad had promised me and my Mom that we could accompany him on his next trip to the market in a nearby town. I have never been away from my small village and the thought of seeing another place intrigued me. I remember Dad’s face as he hitched the heavy work horses to our old wooden wagon. He adjusted the leather horse collars and harnesses with care. I wondered and worried if that rickety old wagon would be able to make this trip without incidence. He would periodically look my way during his preparation ritual and smile. Sensing my anticipation and impatience to be on our way, he glanced sideways, smiled and said, “be patient Gavril, it won’t be long now”. The horses had made this trip many times in the past and seemed to take all the prep work in stride. They both stood still and made no objections as the harnesses and reins were skillfully attached to the shaft of our wagon. My Mom had almost finished packing the food and water we would need for our adventurous excursion. She packed extra blackberries and smoked pork for me because she knew these were among my favorites.  

     It was early in the morning and the sun had not yet risen to outline the rugged edges of the mountain range. Our wagon was loaded with linens and rugs, which we will sell once we arrive at our destination. I did not much care about the business or bartering activities, this was beyond the interest of a nine year old boy. I wanted to start the journey and take in the sights. Mom and Dad took their positions at the front of the wagon sitting upon the perch bench. The trip through the countryside took us over dirt roadways with deep crevasses carved-out by centuries of horse and wagon use. I saw for the first time the native Hoopoes bird. A colorful bird noted for its yellow and black banded coloration and a unique tuft of feathers on its head much like a crown. Fascinated, I watch the bird’s aerial navigation, an undulating, erratic pattern, looking much like a butterfly in flight.                                                                 

     I was restless and found myself moving from the footboard of the wagon to the dickey bench behind my parents. Night would soon be here and my parents discussed staying at a nearby Inn. I did not want to stop at an Inn and wanted to continue until we got to the trading town of Navazut. I have never slept anywhere except my own bed but, I should be all-right as long as Mom and Dad are with me. I do feel a bit tired and the night has brought a drop in temperature. I remember crawling into the back of the wagon to keep warm and maybe take a nap under a pile of rugs.  

     It was dark when I first noticed a man standing in the middle of the road. The stranger did not step aside as we approached. My father pulled the reins on the horses, engaged the iron holdback, and the wagon came to a stop. We had lost the inertia that kept our wheels moving forward through the mud and tread. I could feel the wheels of our wagon slide down into a fissure, the wagon tilted slightly to the left. I wondered if we were stuck and worried whether the horses would be able to pull us out. I did not hear what my Father said but, I know the stranger in the street did not answer, he slowly approached the wagon and stared at my parents. From under my hiding spot, I saw the outline of another man advancing upon my parents from the left side of our wagon. 

     As if summoned from the black of night , several other men approached the wagon and encircled it from all sides. I sensed danger, fear permeated every cell in my body and I found myself unable to move. I could my heart beating and was certain that the group of men could most certainly hear it as well. I placed my hand tightly around my mouth to prevent any sounds from coming out and to ensure they could not hear my quickened, heavy breathing. 

     From under the rugs, I watched as the men jumped upon my Mom and Dad and held them by their necks. I saw sharp, yellowed fingernails enter into my father’s throat.  A man wearing a green coat had bitten into my fathers upper arm and was sucking on his flesh. I could see the facial muscles contract on his face as he latched on tightly to my Father’s arm.  The strangers eyes were a translucent blue-white color that seemed to reflect the moon’s light. How eerie and unearthly his eyes looked to me. Another of the creatures had sank his teeth into my fathers neck, close to his shoulder and fastened on to him, pushing his face deeper into my fathers body as he fed and bit deeper Other members of the group were also biting into my Mother and drinking of her blood. Mom’s fingernails dug fruitlessly into the mans left cheek. I could hear the sound of swallowing and my Mom gasping for breathe as a man held her neck tightly. The group of men took turns biting and ripping out chunks of flesh from my parents captive, dying bodies. 

      I lie motionless under the rugs hoping they did not see me. My father fell forward, head slumping over the horserail, he sat motionless at the front of the wagon. One of the men picked him up as if he weighed no more than a small brick and threw his body atop the items in the back of our wagon. I could not bring myself to look in his direction. My mothers lifeless body was also thrown onto the wagon a few moments later. I wanted to run but I did not risk being discovered. The man in the green coat took seat at the reins and the others gathered on the wagon. The horses were coaxed to move but, the wheel was indeed stuck in a rut. One of the monsters effortlessly lifted the wagon and freed the wheel from the crevasse that held it firm. I remained motionless as the wagon ventured off the roadway. Not a word was said the entire trip as the murderous men manipulated the horses and wagon deeper into the forest.   

      I could not move due to the weight of my parents bodies on top of me, their burden almost suffocating me. The strangers sat almost statuesque, looking forward the entire time. We came to a stop behind a log building and I could hear other people talking and moving around. It sounded not unlike a pub at the village I came from. I felt I still could not risk being detected and remained still and quiet under a pile of rugs. The group of men had gotten off the wagon and were looking at the goods my father had so painstakingly placed hours before. My heart was beating so fast that I thought it would stop. The men had gathered around the wagon and were removing the goods aboard. The pile of rugs which served as my safe place was lifted. I found myself staring at a woman’s face, a beautiful face with cool, blue eyes. She smiled at me. I did not have time to speak before her hand reached forward. Her dagger-like nails dug into my throat...

The End

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