Alexander twisted the nail in the vampire’s left wrist, keeping his other hand around its free one. It squealed in agony. Its eyes were hurricanes of spite, burning imaginary holes in him. Blood oozed and bubbled out of its clenched dagger-teeth, pushed out by its labored breaths.
“The last one,” he demanded, grasping the nail, ready to inflict more pain, “where is it?”
The vampire’s eye sockets sunk around its eyes, focusing its fiery glare on him. Restraining it with one hand was no contest. It was dying, he knew. He needed to finish this quickly.
“Tell me where they are and you’ll get it fast. Otherwise, I’ll leave you here to be picked apart by wild animals.”
It was either ignoring him or unaware of him now. Its head was tilted back, eyes wandering in the night sky. Fury swallowed him like an inferno. He snatched up another nail and hammered it into the vampire’s other wrist, connecting it to the wood. It howled again, weaker this time. He turned his back on the thing and walked away, dropping his torch. The shadow of a crucifix followed him.
“Rot in hell, vermin!”
* * *
Luther was tired and starved. His hands were milky white with blue stalks traveling through them. The unfriendly weather tightened his limp. He kept his mouth closed, but the veins of every person he passed cried out to him. His tongue begged for a taste, just a little taste. No, he told himself. A taste would become a meal, then a meal would become a massacre. He had to continue on rats and birds until he reached the woods.
He briefly considered livestock. A cow or a pig. Or a horse. Or even a dog. No, he decided. It would alarm them. Vampire bites were not subtle. He could make it look like an animal attack. It wasn’t uncommon for wolves to attack livestock. With his bottomless hunger, though, he would undoubtedly make a mess of things.
“Excuse me, sir!”
It took him a moment to realize he’d walked into someone, a man. His breath raked Luther’s nose with the stench of liquor. His hand was firmly planted on Luther’s shoulder to keep his balance. His head bobbed back and forth, then straightened.
“God, you’re white! Are you all right, mate?”
Luther curled his lips up in a horrible smile, which made the drunk more concerned.
“Can you speak? Are you one of those poor bastards got their tongues ripped out?” Spitting on him, “Bloody vampires!”
Luther shoved the man off of him, sending him to the mud. The commotion hooked the attention of a few passers-by. The drunk moaned loudly as Luther shuffled away.