Jayden sat on the edge of the steps of the church, the irony not lost on him. Standing on sacred ground gave him a rush. You could almost feel the push as if it was trying to repel him. He sat opposite the grave of his grandfather.
“If only you had stopped me,” he whispered to the grave. Jayden found it hard to look at the mound of earth a few feet from him. He wished he could shed a tear but it would not be for his grandfather but for his lost pride and for the downfall of the family name.
Irony washed over Jayden even more than sitting in a churchyard. He knew that the faith in this place was strong and fighting to get the words out before he could stand no more.
He knew he could never set one foot inside the church, he could only take the graveyard just but even here, he felt uncomfortable.
“So it was I, who brought the Van Helsing name into disrepute” he said to the headstone staring at him. Jayden now stood the push on his back too great it was as if the steps resisted his touch.
He turned and headed towards the gate. He pulled on his gloves and walked out past the headstones. Jayden pushed back his temper it would do no good, he had felt like he wanted to scream, cry and give it all up.
“Could not even do that right,” he thought. Jayden was the only member of the Van Helsing family not to be a vampire slayer but ironically had been the first vampire in the clan.
Always the black sheep of the family, Jayden had run down a road of self-destruction. Everything he did or said just seemed to dig him a deeper hole. The crowd he hung around with were far from angelic and innocent.
Jayden looked again at the churchyard it now sat like a barrier laughing at him. He did not feel he had the strength to push back through the barrier, it resisted the more you pushed against it.
Knowing what he had just done was probably religious sacrilege and he wondered why he did not burst in to flames upon entering the grounds but he had visited his grandfather more than once.
Every five years he summoned the strength to see his grandfather. Ironic he had visited him more now he was among the vampire classes more then he ever did when his grand father was alive. He saw the irony and it made him wonder was redemption possible for some one like him no matter what he was.
As soon as he had taken five steps away from the church the skies decided to open and pour down. The rain spattered down heavily and Jayden tried not to smile. “Washing my sins away,” he uttered.
He wished they could have been washed away when he was seventeen and off the rails, heading on a road to nowhere. Drinking, gambling and generally being big trouble was his forte.
Jayden knew he could not take that back, could not undo that damage. Even now fifteen years after the events he could still see it as clear as day.
Jayden had been out drinking and was not in the best of states. The reason for the drinking he had been arguing with his father again, about his drinking habits and all the money he was costing him.
“Screw him,” he thought as he reached the bottom of the third bottle of vodka. He turned the corner to see the guys and they were all on the usual corner. Benny offered Jayden a cigarette, which he took.
“Hey Jay” he said patting his friend on the back. “What’s going down” asked Jayden. Mickey and Tony were talking to a guy it looked serious but not trouble.
Jayden staggered over to Tony and punched him playfully in the arm. Tony smiled and brushed him off. “You up for a game of cards, Jay” asked Tony.
“Sure T-bird, What we playing?” he asked. “Poker” answered the guy next Mickey in a very middle class French accent. This was one pale looking guy but Jayden may have thought it was because it was dark.
The guys all headed off down to a small bar and the table was all set. Three other guys sat at the table. “The more, the merrier” thought Jayden, after all he considered himself a bit of a card shark so what is a few more mugs to fleece.
They sat at the table and drinks were organised. The stakes were set and the game was on. Jayden kept looking up as Mr Pale looked even whiter under the lights almost ethereal. Something about ‘Pascal’, he did not like.
Onward the game went and the drinks and cigars were in plentiful supply, as it seemed was Jayden’s luck. Five Card Stud definitely was his game this evening and he had already taken three players out.
Jayden looked across his hand. Pascal sat opposite him with a face of sheer alabaster giving no emotion at all. He knew Benny was bluffing as he kept twitching which he always did when he was lying. He called Benny and Benny crumbled and threw in his cards.
Pale Pascal looked up at him and even managed a faint smile, which made him look even more sinister and strange, and then he already was. “Your move” he informed Jayden. “No, its yours I called Benny” he corrected. Pascal nodded. “Well noticed,” he informed him.
Jayden signalled to a waitress for a drink it was a distraction, as he hated looking at Pascal something about him gave Jayden a feeling of foreboding. “Call” said Pascal. Jayden now smiled and placed his cards on the table “Three aces” he announced and leaned forward to claim his prize.
Pascal turned then said, “Never mind, Full House Jacks over deuces” and claimed the pot. Jayden had just lost a major sum of money. His winning streak had just taken a nosedive.
Jayden played the next couple of hands conservatively and finally after four and a half hours of playing cards it came down to Jayden and Pascal. Pascal had a slight lead in money but stakes were high making it still possible to win.
Jayden took his cards and looked at them. Both seemed quite happy with their cards and so the gambit begun. Jayden jumped straight in with a raise only to be re-raised almost immediately.
Jayden had a feeling he could not lose he was looking at a four of a kind of sixes, impressive. Pascal seemed equally happy with what he had. The bidding went up, and up. The ultimate showdown came.
Pascal was to show first and showed a Full house Kings over Aces. The crowd went silent. Pascal reached for the cash. Jayden leaned forward and put his hand on Pascal’s pasty fingers. “Not so fast, Four sixes” Jayden said gathering up the money.
“Good evening Gentlemen” he said picking up the money trying not to be too smug in beating the weirdo. Jayden and crew walked out and they walked away from the small bar.
Jayden smiled as he put the cash in his pocket. “Idiots” he thought to himself. It was the last thought he remembered when he was forced into the air and smashed into a wall.
“I believe you have something of mine” the pasty man spat at Jayden. He seemed angry but very strong considering how anaemic he looked. Jayden was about to push this guy away when the guy bit him. Then the world went dark.
He awoke several hours later in the club without a penny in his pocket. It was a rather dark place when there was no lighting due to very heavy curtains. He tried to get out and found the doors locked.
The windows were locked and when he pulled back the curtains the light hurt his eyes and he felt a strange ripple across his skin and the pain was incredible. That was the night he was forced to join the undead.
“Where were you then?” Jayden whispered to the rain. He fumbled around in his pocket for his keys. He found them and got his bike started. The graveyard sat in idle silence even the birds seemed to avoid him.
“Where were you then?” he thought with that, he rode away from the church back to his apartment. Dawn was fast approaching and rest was required. The fallen Van Helsing was not quite ready to face the sun just yet, no matter how bad he felt.