Short Story: A Vampire's Mistake Part 4 (Final)

Link to A Vampire's Mistake Parts 1, 2, & 3 ---

 

Equipped with the massive news that Desmond had had them go up against this…ultimate leader’s command, he left his master, left the cave, and ventured once more to the surface, resolute on finding the woman, burning with a stronger desire to capture her…to kill her before she could be turned….

The cold wind of the night whipped at his face and hair but he ignored it wholly, the image of the woman burned into his vision. With this image, he allowed himself to locate her through nothing, through everything—

He opened his eyes once more and found he stood on an empty street and stared up at a worn, apparently abandoned warehouse. There was utter silence along the street and within the warehouse, yet he knew she was within those dark walls…the smell of her blood was thick in the air.

Trying not to think of the possibility that he had wasted too much time in hesitating, he stepped past the torn gates and onto the dead grass that littered the large yard. Yes, her blood was thick through the air: the closer he ventured to the looming warehouse doors, the thicker her scent drifted through his nose.

When he arrived just before the doors and reached out a hand to slide one back, the shrill scream hit his ears and he froze. The words he’d read several minutes ago rang through his head beneath the scream:

If this woman is ever turned into a Vampire, she will not allow the Vampire that turned her to rule over her…but instead, she shall gain miraculous power and become a tyrant over the coven that took her in as their own…. And…she will kill them—

Along with every other coven in the vicinity,” the familiar words rang through his head next.

“No,” he whispered desperately pulling open the warehouse door. His strength was such that the large door dislodged from its frame and fell to the dirty warehouse floor and all the Vampires that were circled around the woman along the floor turned and glared at the sudden noise.

Vincent recognized Thomas immediately and it was him he started for. He could not recall running toward the Vampire, but he was suddenly aware he was just before him, hands at his throat, thumbs pressed into his veins—

And then many hands were upon him, clawing at his arms and back, his face, pulling him off the Vampire, and it was with a terrible scream that he realized the blade of a dagger had been placed in his back.

As it was removed, all Vampires that had encircled him stepped away and he wondered just why they did so until he realized, the piercing pain he had felt when the blade had entered him was not dispersing as the blade had been removed shortly afterward.

There he crawled on hands and knees, his eyes wide with the shock of pain, the confusion of the events spanning before his very eyes….

There she lay behind Thomas’s feet; blood spilled out around her, her neck bloodied, the two pinpricks showing themselves, and there was even blood upon her lips—

He gasped as the pain increased to new heights and a boot was pressed to his back causing him to fall flat on his stomach. As the cry left his lips, Thomas, who had been glaring down upon him as he writhed in pain, said, “Yes, Vampire, you are too late. Your mistake was letting me walk away with her…your mistake was never biting her and turning her yourself. And now you shall die…and she…she shall rise and—”

Yet his words were cut, for at that precise moment, the very woman he spoke of began to stir. All Vampires let out awed gasps and murmurs of excitement yet Vincent could not let out a sound more than a whimper. Blood left his lips in earnest…and the pain…the pain was far too great. It made no sense, he thought as he lay there, staring up at the woman as she slowly sat up, opening her now-red-eyes to stare around her in renewed wonder. It made no sense…no mere dagger should cause him to feel such pain…it had to be…something else…something else he did not understand as it seemed there were many….

He saw through blurry eyes as she rose to her feet, and vaguely felt all the Vampires around him step further away from him, from her….

Thomas’s voice loomed distantly above his head then, “You…are beautiful…my swe—”

“You,” she said in a soft voice, and even through his pain, Vincent felt he had to stare up at the creature who spoke so commandingly, “were the one who turned me.” It was not a question.

“I…I was,” he said slowly, and even through his blurred vision, Vincent could make out the now scared expression upon Thomas’s face.

She extended a hand to him and Thomas hesitated before walking toward her.

Vincent choked on his plea to Thomas to run from her as more blood left his lips and he watched in vague horror as the woman clasped a slender pale hand around Thomas’s neck and pressed, crushing his spine with the simple gesture.

Thomas hung limp from her hand and all Vampires now stepped away from her in earnest, seeing that she was apparently not the power possessor they had hoped she would be.

As she flung Thomas to the floor and advanced upon the others, Vincent could no longer keep his eyes open, he could no longer strain to look up and see what was happening….

His head dropped to the ground, his eyes closed just as she passed by him, the distant click of her heels along the warehouse floor resounding faintly in his head.

He was gone before the screams echoed through the night.

Short Story: A Vampire's Mistake Part 3

Link to A Vampire's Mistake Parts 1 & 2 ----

As he stepped further down the long tunnel, the light of the torches along the wall guiding him, he decided it best to allow his thoughts to still – nothing would be gained by constant questioning. He would, he knew, gather all he needed by asking Desmond just what was going on – after he was berated for failing in his mission.

He soon met the tall wooden double doors, and sighing deeply, he turned both silver handles and pushed, opening the doors to reveal the large dark stone hall where the very Vampire he sought stood in the center, in what appeared to be deep conversation with two other Vampires, one of whom had just been inducted into the coven.

As Vincent stepped further into the hall, the doors closing behind him, Desmond turned, his long black hair swaying along his black robes. His black eyes seemed to shine with delight upon seeing Vincent, but as he neared, Vincent saw that Desmond’s eyes darkened with question.

Once near enough, the two Vampires bowed low to Desmond’s back (for he paid them no attention now that he laid eyes upon Vincent), and made their way to a door in the back of the room.

Desmond opened his arms and pressed his hands to Vincent’s arms in welcome. “Welcome back my son – I see…that you were yet again unsuccessful in gathering the woman….”

“I was,” he said quietly, trying to ignore the sting of the words “yet again unsuccessful.”

“What…interrupted you?” he asked, seeing there was clearly something more his pupil was not telling him.

“Another,” he said simply. Strange, how when he actually faced his master all the questions that had been brimming in his mind refused to surface to his lips.

Desmond’s eyes widened and then narrowed almost all at once. He removed his pale hands from Vincent’s arms and interlaced them before himself, never taking his eyes off the Vampire before him. “Another…Vampire, Vincent?” he asked, seemingly forcing himself to say the words.

Vincent merely nodded, unable to say another word.

However, Desmond’s next words were not what Vincent had been expecting. It was why he looked up in utter surprise when Desmond said, “They decide to stake their claim at last.”

“What?” he asked, forgetting his manners for the moment. Surprise and shock were all he could express then.

Desmond then closed his eyes, sighed deeply, and let a slow smile form upon his lips. He then turned away from Vincent and walked toward a worn bookshelf that seemed to be crumbling with age and the dampness of the cave air. Once just before it, he reached out a white hand and clasped his long fingers around an equally ancient red book.

He pulled it down from the shelf and turned to eye a more than bemused Vincent who had not moved from his spot along the cold ground when Desmond had turned from him.

He moved toward Vincent and opened the book, the dog-eared pages yellowed and looking brittle to the touch. Vincent strongly felt that if Desmond dared turn one, it would poof into dust.

It didn’t. Desmond’s long fingers scanned the pages with rapid ease and then, without warning, he stopped, and turned the book toward Vincent so as to let the Vampire read for himself.

Vincent looked down at the book and read the worn page that glared back up at him through faded script:

The One: A human who shall possess the enfolding life-force that shall allow the Vampires’ existence to continue for ages….

He looked up at his master. “That is this Jessica Landry? She looks no more than a simple human,” he said skeptically.

Desmond’s knowing smile never left his face as he continuously stared upon his pupil. “Read more, Vincent,” he said quietly, inclining his head toward the book still held open in his hands.

He obliged, although reluctantly, and continued from where he last stopped:

….However, there is no human’s blood that shall allow Vampires to continue their existence…for if there were, the term Vampire would become nothing more than a forgotten title that this kind now wears with pride….

She must be killed, this human…she must not be allowed to be turned into a Vampire…for if she were…the Vampire that does the deed, the Vampire whose connection to their coven is most unbreakable, shall make, not only themselves most feared amongst all covens, but the most powerful—” He stopped suddenly staring up at his master with wide, awed eyes. “Is this true?!”

Desmond merely nodded and gestured his head toward the book once more, signaling that Vincent continue.

He did so, although rather eagerly now.

If this woman is ever turned into a Vampire, she will not allow the Vampire that turned her to rule over her as it custom with any Vampire and the human they have turned…but instead, she shall gain miraculous power and become a tyrant over the coven that took her in as their own.

And…she will kill them—

Desmond had closed the book at that moment and tucked it under an arm. “Along with any other coven in the vicinity,” he finished dryly. “She will not stop until all Vampires have been completely obliterated across the Earth.”

Vincent blinked. “But, master…the coven I met…they seemed quite certain her power was one that would make them live forever…not the exact opposite of that,” he said uncertainly, thinking back to the look of burning anger and certainty three Vampires shared that he had met earlier that night.

“The coven you met?” he asked sharply. “I thought you just met one.”

“There were three more. They cornered me when I tried to pursue the human—”

“They carried staffs, strange emblems on their clothes?” Desmond asked hurriedly.

“Yes, master,” Vincent said quickly, not sure what was going on at all.

Desmond disappeared from just before him and appeared in front of the bookshelf again. He replaced the book and then turned to face Vincent. “You met this coven’s longtime adversary, Vincent,” he said quietly, his deep voice echoing around the stone walls. “They are called the Favors.”

“‘The…Favors?’” he repeated, incredulous.

He nodded, his long black hair shaking just the slightest. He then re-interlaced his fingers in front of him and stepped, once more, slowly toward Vincent, however he appeared to be in deep thought as he walked.

“The Favors…a name that appears ridiculous upon first hearing it, I will admit…no, their name is much deeper than that…. They,” he said, stopping a few feet from Vincent, staring upon him with distant eyes, “are, unfortunately more celebrated than our own coven, here, Vincent. It is why…perhaps, he will not intervene in their capture of the woman. He probably believes the same that they believe – that she is a reason for celebration other than war….”

His brow furrowed. “But…who favors them more?” he asked, terribly confused now.

Desmond said, “The one in charge of us, Vincent. Yes, there is someone above us, above me, even. I should have told you ages ago, but I did not know when was the best time – you, my most celebrated son of them all….

“We do not speak of the one above us, indeed, none lower than the leader in the coven is meant to know he exists…I share this with you because I have…willingly, I admit, pulled you into something much larger than myself.

“I could not do this alone, Vincent.”

Vincent stared at him, almost scared to ask what it was his master could not do alone. “What could you not do alone, master?” he asked in a whisper of wonder.

Desmond stared at him and in the light of the many torches around the large hall, his eyes seemed to flash with seriousness.

“I could not save our kind alone.”

Short Story: A Vampire's Mistake Part 2

Link to A Vampire's Mistake Part 1 ---

Vincent Vanhorne watched them step farther away from him along the street, his bright blue eyes narrowed. He had first thought to leave and return to the coven, indeed, he had already prepared himself for the stream of violent titles he would be called by his master once he returned empty-handed….

But something about the man known as Tom settled strangely with him, this, he could not deny. Owing a huge sense of gratitude toward his uncanny ability to know, Vincent had decided at the last minute that that Tom…person…had to be something other than that:

Not human.

But if he were a Vampire…why could he, Vincent, not smell any cold blood, any trace of death? Was it the wind that blew so relentlessly this night that stilled any such scent from reaching his more than sharp nose? No, no, that was absolutely ridiculous – he, being what he was, could simply direct the scent of anyone or anything toward his nose, no matter the state of nature: He had once, he recalled briefly then, directed the scent of his target to his very nose, a small girl lost in the snow, some odd winters before. He had ventured at least six yards before he reached her, yet he could do nothing: Death had already claimed her as its own.

Shaking away the almost depressing thought, he returned his attention back to the two distant figures, bobbing merrily along the stone road toward a destination he was sure was their home.

Allowing himself a second to hesitate, he stepped forward as well, tracing their steps with his own soundless ones. The park was perfectly empty now: not a soul passed him along the road, and as he walked, just because he preferred the darkness, the street lamps’ light flickered off casting all behind him into completely gloom.

What is your plan with the human, Tom? Vincent thought to himself, keeping his eyes upon the other man’s back as they walked. Whatever it was, he added irritability, he would see to it that the plan was never followed through – he, Vincent, would be there to stop it before anything got out of his master’s looming control.***

The park’s gates reached high over their heads as they passed through it, and just as they did, Vincent was struck with an alarming wind. It caused him to freeze in his tracks, though he was not more than five yards from the couple that now turned onto a sidewalk and disappeared from view.

She was getting away but he could do nothing for it, for just then, before the gates leading out of the park, appeared three strangely dressed Vampires all carrying long black staffs: They all wore long black coats and a silver emblem appeared pressed into the coats’ side.

Even through the darkness, Vincent could see the red of all their irises as they glared upon him in contempt. Figuring he best chance a conversation, Vincent said, “I cannot imagine this is a friendly visit.”

The two strange Vampires on either side of the one in the center snarled, showing long fangs through the night, while the one in the middle, whose red hair blared loudly against his black coat, said, “It is best you stay away from the human, Vanhorne. She has been under our watch for years – we will not accept any interference.”

His blue eyes narrowed immediately. “Any interference?” he snarled angrily. “What the devil do you mean? That human is desired for my master—”

“We know that Desmond desires the human for his own selfish reasons, but she is the key to all Vampires’ prolonged power. She must be protected. We have our best brother on the job—”

“So that Tom is a Vampire, is he?” he asked angrily, his previous questions confirmed.

“Thomas is one of the best brothers in our coven, Vanhorne,” this same Vampire said darkly. “And we will do whatever it takes to protect him. You have been warned; leave Thomas and the human alone. We will not give you a warning if we are to ever meet again.”

“Is that some sort of threat?!”

His red eyes seemed to flash as another wind began to swirl around them all. “It is the truth.” And before Vincent could take a step toward them, they had disappeared leaving him terribly alone and farther away from the woman than he had ever been before.

Snarling in frustration, he allowed his eyes to close, allowed his anger to take him away from the cold of the park….

He soon opened his eyes and beheld the cave that was the entrance to his home. The mouth of it loomed ominously before him as though mocking him with the cold, fearful gloom that he knew he would face by his master’s words, or worse, his hand….

There was nothing for it, he reasoned after a while of supreme procrastination. He would have to press forward and accept his punishment…but surely, he thought then, as he stepped onto the stone of the cave, surely it wasn’t his fault that he let the woman get away. Another had interfered in his capture of her…and then those Vampires had appeared with ominous warnings….

He could make nothing of it. None of it made any perfect sense. Who was this Jessica Landry and why, just why was she so sought after? Though this question did not hold his thoughts more than the fact that another coven of Vampires existed in this very area. In all the years of his living here, Vincent, nor did any other in the coven, witness any speck of another Vampire – another coven anywhere nearby.

Why would these new Vampires come out of the woodwork for this woman?