Then there was the loud sound of a gunshot, and everyone began shouting at once. Carlotta dropped me and quickly stood, only to have a flying ax cut through her neck, killing her instantly. Her blood splattered across my chest, and I felt a moment of gladness that it hadn’t reached any open wounds. I didn’t want to become a vampire myself.
George dragged me to my feet, holding me like a human shield, and while I sagged in his grip I caught a glimpse of the people attacking the vampires.
There were four of them, an man who looked like he was in his fifties with graying hair and wrinkles around his eyes, a woman who looked about thirty, and two boys, one older and one younger than me. They were all carrying guns and machetes and axes, and had hard looks in their eyes, like they did this kind of thing all the time.
“Don’t come any closer!” George shouted, shaking me hard. I woozily looked around at the ground, momentarily stunned to see Samson and Nora’s dead bodies on the ground with Carlotta’s. I couldn’t see Duke Henri’s, and I couldn’t hear him or feel his emotions either, so he probably had run away. I could feel George’s roiling anger and sorrow, though, and it left me dizzy and unable to concentrate. I knew I had to do something to get out of the situation, but I couldn’t figure out what.
“Give it up, bloodsucker,” the man yelled at George in a deep, gravelly voice as he stepped forward. “The rest of your nest is dead or gone and there’s no where for you to go.”
George knew that he couldn’t escape, but I knew that he was going to die trying. He shifted his grip on my so that he held my head in his hands, prepared to wrench it until my neck snapped.
“I said don’t come any closer!” he screamed, the panic setting in. George hadn’t been a vampire for very long compared to Duke Henri, and I knew that he liked the idea of living forever. He probably could tell that his chances of living forever were slipping out of his grasp.
The older boy, who was probably a few years older than me, stepped closer, his eyes narrowing as he aimed his pistol. George didn’t reacted, so he must not have seen the boy. I watched him though, watched with dull witted fascination as he pulled the trigger, the gun recoiling in his hand.
George jerked as the bullet slammed into his shoulder next to my head, and for an instant he loosened his grip. I took the opportunity offered and pulled myself wearily out of his grip, stumbling away from him as quickly as my tired muscles would allow. I heard George shout behind me, felt his anger at having let me go like a stab in the eye, and collapsed into the tall prairie grass, everything but the grass and sky disappearing from my view.
I heard George shouting some more, then he screamed, then all was silent.
I stared up at the bright blue sky, my mind blank, until four faces looked down at me. The four who had killed the vampires knelt around me, concern written on each face. I couldn’t understand why they were concerned. They didn’t know me. I was just a vampire’s play thing, why should they care about me?
“Hey, girl, are you alright?” the man asked in his gruff voice. The woman smacked his shoulder.
“What kind of question is that,” she said, shaking her head. “Of course she’s not alright. We don’t know how long she’s been with those bloodsuckers.”
I opened my mouth to say that I’d been with them a year—maybe more, I’d lost count—but no words came out. I swallowed and tried again, but I couldn’t get my vocal cords to work. I began to panic. I had been so intent on not making a sound for so long, that now I couldn’t.
“Look, she can’t even speak,” the woman said, a sympathetic tone entering her voice. I sat up, even though my aching muscles protested. I had to show them that I was alright, that they didn’t have to worry for someone they didn’t know.
“Look at her back,” the younger boy said, horror evident in his pre-pubescent voice. The older boy growled.
“I’m going to kill whoever did this,” he said angrily, his voice deeper, though not as deep as the man’s. The younger boy turned to point at where the dead vampires lay.
“You already did, Jensen,” he said.
They were all talking like I wasn’t there, like I couldn’t hear them. I might not have been able to speak anymore, but I could hear them. I climbed to my feet as best I could with weak muscles, and turned to stare at the dead bodies strewn in pieces across the grass. After a moment, I spat in their direction. Good riddance. Then I turned and stumbled into the older boy’s arms and began to sob into his chest.
It was the only sound I could make, and I felt like I needed to cry. I hadn’t cried in a long time, not even when my parents had died. I had needed to be strong while in the clutches of the vampires, but now that they were dead and a pair of strong, warm arms were wrapped around my small, malnourished shoulders I felt like I could finally cry.
“Let’s get her to the car,” the man said, and I felt the woman’s hands touching my shoulder, trying to led me away from the boy and towards whatever vehicle they had brought. I held on tight to the boy’s shirt, sobbing harder. I didn’t want him to let go. I was afraid that if he let go, or if I left his arms, then I wouldn’t be safe anymore. I continued to cry, getting his tee shirt wet, and finally the woman stopped trying.
“Carry her, will you?” she asked the boy, and a second later he released my shoulders to scoop me up into the air.
“Did they ever feed her?” he asked, astonishment in his voice. He probably wondered at how little I weigh. I curled up against his chest and continued to cry, knowing that I probably wouldn’t stop crying for a long time.
It felt good to cry, though. It felt good to let out all my emotions, all my sorrow that my parents were dead, all the pain the vampires had inflicted on me, all the frustration that I couldn’t fight back. So I let myself cry while he cradled me against his chest getting into the car, and after a long time, I cried myself to sleep.
End Story One