Chapter II: Night Stalker, page 15Mature

BBC News was on the next evening at Rebecca's place:

“Going back on the story of Madonna Manilow, the girl who went missing last night, and who was found alive and well! Miss Manilow was brought to a hospital by an unidentified person and is still recovering. She declared she had been abducted and locked in a dungeon by four people with the intent of killing her with what she described as a huge meat grinder. An unknown source led Scotland Yard to the basement of the History Aisle of King's College London, where they found this grinder instrument as well as a dead body, which has just been identified as Father Hubert Louis de Sainte Croix, a French Catholic priest. Scotland Yard claim all their clues suggest a ritualistic murder, and are seeking Sir Nigel Moorcock, head of the History Department at King's College, for questioning. Sir Nigel is currently nowhere to be found. We can only hope now that the new Jack the Ripper will soon be arrested and brought to justice. As for Miss Manilow, she described her saviour as 'a man in a shiny suit of armour, like a knight'. While we can be puzzled by this odd description, we shall salute a humble hero who chose not to make himself known. Moving on to the economic situation in...”

But while the parents were watching with mild interest while setting the table, in Rebecca's room, the two girls were sitting in silence, watching the rain fall outside without exchanging a single glance, while they would usually laugh around reading Facebook topics and whatnot. They just didn't feel like doing girl stuff after what happened. They didn't tell their parents, or Raj, about it, and made up some excuse about why they were home so late. They suffered through a sleepless night, and in the morning they had begun to process the shock and accept the situation. Becca asked for Sally to come sleep over, and here they were, reminiscing.

“Dinner's ready!” Becca's mum called out.

“In a minute!” Becca answered.

“So,” Sally finally dared to say, as if the call for dinner meant now or never, “does that mean you're a... super hero or something?”

Becca chuckled: “I don't really know what I am right now. I just know I have... a power, I don't yet understand.” She punctuated her sentence by putting a hand on her bosom, feeling the hard edges of the Cross underneath her blouse. She had attached a chain to it and decided to wear it as a pendent, under her clothes. The sensation of the warm silver against her skin made her feel safer. Stronger.

“So what's going to happen now?”

“I don't know... protecting the Earth against the evil... such a big task, I don't even know where to begin! Where should I look for it?”

“So you really want to do this? After we got almost eaten alive last night? Aren't you afraid?”

“Terrified, actually, believe me. To think I was just a normal girl who didn't like sports, was into Stephen King, and whose greatest fear was talking to boys! I'm only fourteen years old, I was never prepared to become a... how should I call myself? A warrior of God? A Holy knight? A super hero? This sounds so ridiculous, I mean I never fought in my life and now I'm fencing with vampires and fighting a war against Lucifer himself! But... I try to overcome my fear. Because I made a promise to a dying man, and I have to honour it. And... to be honest... that feeling when the armour appears and takes over my body, that power... I just love it.”

“You know you're crazy,” Sally giggled. “So, have you thought of a nickname or something?”

“A few, but they all sound so cheesy... for the moment, let's just say I'm Rebecca Hart, schoolgirl the day, and soldier of God the night.”

In the dark of the night, a strange mist poured through the ventilation system into the Gothic structure of Queen Anne Public Library. Navigating through the unlit maze of shelves, the mist eventually gathered together and solidified to take the form of Sir Nigel Moorcock. The vampire was hungry. He had been hiding all day, waiting for his arm to regenerate, and he had not drunk a drop of blood since. His situation was most dismal: he was wanted by the police, had lost his refuge, his protégés, all because of a human child! He couldn't believe it, but he was dead set on taking his revenge. All he needed was drink. But before he did, he had a mission to accomplish. Creeping silently along the rows, he headed toward the only source of light in the library at this hour: the librarian's desk. Mr Starkweather was a night owl, staying awake at his desk reading at ungodly hours of the night, to a point that the other employees were wondering with amusement if he even had a home. He was so absorbed in his book that he didn't notice the vampire creeping in his direction.

Derek, the night guardian, was old but still alert as a tiger, and when he heard a commotion coming from the library, he didn't hesitate a second to grab his torch and his pepper spray and rush in. A few books had fallen, and he found the librarian standing nearby, alone.

“Mr Starkweather?” he asked. “What happened?”

“Oh, good evening, Derek. I'm sorry for the disturbance, I just hit this shelf by accident and caused the books to fall.”

The guard sighed. “Why you are still here at this time of the night is the biggest mystery there is, Mr Starkweather. Don't you have a family to return to?”

“These books, Derek. These books are my family. What about you?”

“My wife is used to it. It's my job, after all.”

“Do yourself a favour, Derek,” he said warmly. “Take the rest of the night off, and kiss your wife for me. I'll clean up this mess.”

“Are you sure, Mr Starkweather? Why, thank you.” But as he was about to turn around and leave, he couldn't help but notice the unusual amount of dust near the fallen books. “It's incredibly dusty around here!”

“Yes,” Mr Starkweather chuckled, “I guess someone forgot to use the vacuum cleaner around it.”

When the guard was gone, the librarian was about to return to his book when he noticed an object in the dust. Or rather, the ashes. He picked it up. A fang, still stained with blood. He beheld it for a moment, then smiled and put it in his pocket.

The End

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