James arrived into town on his bike at midday. The sky was beginning to cloud over, shadows crowding the streets. Bobby sent him a message saying he, Katie and Megan were in Dan’s Cafe. He locked his bike to a bike rack outside the cafe and pushed open the door.
Seated in the corner, at their usual table he found his friends. Katie rose to greet him, kissing him on the lips and hugging him. He then took a seat next to her.
“You hear the news?” Bobby asked him.
“No, didn’t see it this morning. What happened?”
“They found two more people murdered, two adult males this time” Megan said.
“Necks torn out, bodies drained of blood”.
“James, are you alright?” Katie asked; he had visibly paled at the mention of torn out necks.
“I’m fine. I had a bad dream last night is all. I dreamed they got me”.
Bobby burst into laughter.
“It was only a dream mate. You look like you’ve seen a ghost”.
“You don’t know how bad it was. You wouldn’t be laughing if you did”, said James fists clenched.
“Ok James, calm down. He’s only messing with you” Megan said.
“Sorry guys... I’m just a bit shook up”.
A crowd began to gather outside the window, heading towards the park. James and the others rose and went to see what was going on. They spotted Matty among the people rushing now. They pushed through the crowd until they reached him.
“Matty! What’s going on?” Bobby yelled at him.
Matty turned towards them, his bespectacled eyes picking them out.
“It’s the Vampires again! They got someone else!”
“Vampires don’t exist Matty!”
They turned away from him and began to move with the crowd.
“Should we check it out?” Bobby asked.
“Yeah lets” James said.
“Oh no, I don’t want too!” Megan whined.
“I’ll stay with you Megan” Katie said. “You two go”.
“Ok... we’ll be back soon”, James said.
They turned into the crowd and ran towards the park.
“They’re heading for The Circle” Bobby said. The Circle was a circle of trees near the centre of the park that surrounded the small lake. It was a spot where a lot of the town’s teens chose to spend their free time and relax with their friends.
James and Bobby picked up the pace, attempting to get there before the crowd so they could actually see what had happened. They found themselves running next to Matty again. He was muttering to himself about how Vampires had done it.
The three of them reached the location of the murder just as a crowd was beginning to form there. Police tape blocked off the scene, but they could still see everything. There was only one victim this time, his body strewn on the lakeshore.
“James, that’s Ethan, one of Ian’s crew”.
James saw that Bobby was right. And despite the hate he had for Ian and his friends, James was sorry. No one deserved this.
Ethan’s head lolled backwards, his neck torn out, exposing the bloody innards of his throat. His eyes had glossed over, his entire body crumpled in a heap. His left leg was bent at an impossible ankle, clearly broken as he tried to escape. James heard one of the paramedics muttering something about blood drained. It was the same as the others. Who was killing everyone?
Matty was at his side.
“You see James, I told you, it is Vampires. Who else would rip out people’s throats and drain them of blood? Who?”
“They don’t exist, Matty. And here’s a question for you” Bobby said angrily, “If it is Vampires, what makes you think they won’t come for you?”
“They won’t attack me because I believed, and once they reveal themselves I shall be their ambassador to the humans, you will all bow down at our feet”.
“So you support the sick fuck that is doing this?”
“I support the Vampires yeah!”
Bobby had had enough. He swung a hard right at Matty, knocking the boy’s glasses off and drawing blood from his nose. James caught Bobby’s hand before he struck again.
“Leave him Bobby, he’s just a freak”.
They both turned and began to make their way back to the cafe. They exited the park, shaken slightly by the murder scene and Matty’s outburst. As they strolled up the sidewalk, Bobby pointed across the road.
“It’s the guy from the school again”. James glanced across and saw the man again. His skin appeared even paler now and he wore sunglasses despite the cloudy skies. His dark hair lay flat on his head. The man began to walk parallel to them.
As they picked up pace, he started across the road. Cars were forced to stop to avoid hitting him as he came on, uncaring of the trouble he was causing. James looked at Bobby and they began to sprint.
Katie and Megan were sitting in the cafe again waiting for the guys to return.
“Hey Katie”, Megan said, “Do you think Bobby likes me?”
“I don’t know. Why? Do you like him?” Katie sat forward, eager for some gossip.
“I... I think I do yeah”
“Really? That’s great! I can get James to try find out for you?”
“No! No not ye- hey is that the guys?” She pointed out the window of the cafe. James and Bobby sprinted past, a man chasing them. The two girls rose and ran out after them.
James glanced back. The man was gaining on them now. Who the fuck was this guy? Putting on an extra burst of speed, they widened the distance between them and their pursuer.
“We’ll go to Steve’s. He’ll stop this guy!” Bobby pointed forward towards the local newsagent. Steve was the owner, a man in his mid-thirties who was friendly with most of the teens in the town, most likely due to the fact that he provided them with a constant supply of sweets and crisps.
They covered the distance quickly and burst in through the door. Steve looked up from the newspaper he had open.
“What’s the rush guys?”
“There’s some weird fucker chasing us”, Bobby said. Steve came out from the behind the counter and moved over to them at the window. They pointed out the man. He had stopped across the road and was now staring straight at them, lips curled in a sadistic smile. Steve went out the door of the shop and as he was about to yell, the man vanished down an alley.
Steve came back in.
“Looks like he’s gone. If he gives you any trouble again, come straight to me”.
They left the shop and were almost flattened by the girls who had run after them.
“Who was that chasing you?” Megan asked.
“Just some weird guy”, Bobby replied. The girls looked worried but they nodded. The four of them headed back to Dan’s Cafe.