Turning away from the club, she took one single step forwards in an effort to run, to try and make her way home before the vampire caught her again, but then he was there, standing so far up the main road that all she could make out was his cloak and a white face, featureless in the distance. It was playing with her, showing her it didn’t matter how far she ran or where she hid, it would find her. It could move faster than her, hide in plain sight, her only chance was to get somewhere it could not follow. Legend told that creatures like these could not enter a place of residence without the owner’s invitation, her flat was rented, but the shop, no matter how bankrupt, was still hers.
The club was halfway up the main street, a long way from her home, much closer to the salon. She took to her heels and began running flat out, losing one of her shoes as she ran, throwing the other away before she tripped. Looking back over her shoulder, the vampire was nowhere in sight, she looked ahead again, expecting it to come bursting out of the shadows at any moment, or perhaps standing in the centre of the arcades courtyard, just waiting for her, but it wasn’t, as far as she could see, the road was clear all the way back to her salon, which she could now see in the near distance.
Back at the edge of Leopard Street, the vampire stood above the world, perched on the lip of the last building, watching her run, it felt pity for her. It could still feel her will calling out to it,
“Make it stop, please god, please make it stop!” her mind was screaming into its own. Its long thick tongue ‘snaked’ its way out of its mouth, curling around its saliva soaked lips then back into its mouth, running the length of its fangs, then hunger was becoming too powerful for even a master of the hunt to continue ignoring, the game was fun, but to feed was the point, and it had waited too long for the moment.
She flew through the arcade, her hair bellowing in the wind, wrapping itself around her head and neck. She tried to force it out of her eyes, but the wind was to strong now, unnaturally strong,
“It’s trying to stop me getting back” her mind told her.
Finally reaching the salon door, she opened the locks and threw the shutter up, unlocking the front door she dove in, pulling the shutter down behind her, then slamming the front door and locking it again.
The salon was cold and dark, she wanted to turn the lights on, to call the police and get help. She walked slowly to the front door, looking out into the dark arcade, the courtyard and shop doorways seemed empty, yet she could not shake the feeling that the thing was still there, watching her, waiting for her,
“You can wait all you want!” her brain was screaming, half terrified, half triumphant at her own plan, which so far, seemed to be working,
“Wait all you want, I will never let you in” she smiled the courtyard and street seemed perfectly still, not a soul in sight. After several minutes of watching and waiting, she felt her heartbeat slowing down her hands were less sweaty,
“well, spose I should make some coffee, looks like I’m not going anywhere” she turned to go for the coffee machine, then stopped and in that instant, gave up, completely and utterly, the vampire was standing in the shop, watching her, a black silhouette with burning red eyes.
She clasped her face in her hands and wept,
“Why” she asked the vampire, tears streaming down her face, “why are you doing this to me!”
“Because you asked me to” the vampire moved towards her, making no sound or even a breeze in its movements. The vampire stopped right in front of her, it raised it long, icy cold hands and rested them on her shoulders,
“You still wish it” it laid a large hand on her chest, pressing down on her heart, “I feel it with every breath you take, sense your longing for the end with every beat of your heart” saliva dripped from its mouth and down its cloak.
She couldn’t fight it anymore she had nowhere left to go, the creature would never give up. She looked up into its red eyes and replied,
“Yes” the vampire smiled at her, pulling her even closer
“Will it hurt?”
But the vampire never answered, and the last thing she would ever know or feel, was cold breath, like freezing water down her neck and the pressure of two long, sharp teeth, piercing her neck.
It was the local newsagent that found her the next morning, she had been walking past the salon towards his shop when he noticed poked his nose through the shutter nosily and saw her laying on the shop floor, her legs out straight and hands folded over her chest, as if she were laying in a coffin. When the police had arrived, the only thing they could get from the newsagent was,
“She just looks so peaceful”
They had removed the body and forensics were looking over the shop, the pathologist who had pronounced her dead, had told the investigating Detective that,
“Apart from the small, healed up scar on her neck, there are no signs of an attack or any other cause of death” he was completely baffled.
The Detective asked about the scar on her neck, but had been told that it had healed a long time ago, and was probably years old. Before leaving the salon, the Detectives sergeant approached with hand full’s of bills and final demands, and one letter which appeared to have been sent by a law firm, inside the envelope, which contained two letters, one from the firm and one from a woman claiming to be the young salon owners grandmother, it read:
A year ago, I was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, from those cigarettes you’ve been begging me to give up for years. This has given me short time to rethink some of the choices I’ve made over the last few years and I am ashamed of the way I treated you, you have your life as I have had mine and should be allowed to make your own mistakes, as I have also done.
I know your little business is failing, despite my wished to never see you again I have kept up with things, from a distance. I have been told I only have a few months left, so, as my only living relative, I am giving you everything, the estate and all it’s worth, my solicitor has the full details and will be writing to you with me to invite you to my will reading, I have asked for this letter to be sent after my death as I’m too ashamed of myself to see you in person.
I hope this money gives you the life you so deserve,
All my love