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The Blighted [Urban fantasy series] 4
Things weren’t looking good for David Washington, or Dub as he was known back in New Jersey. He wasn’t in New Jersey anymore he was in Pennsylvania. Obviously a mistake, just one of many he’d made in his twenty-four years on the planet. Mistakes that had lead him into the drug game and then into Alabama state prison. Things had gone real bad in prison; there were a lot of mistakes there to. The biggest being snitching. It’d gotten five years knocked off his sentence an it was on a man who had been planning on killing him. The problem was the streets heard about it and his family had warned him people were waiting for him when he got out. So when he was released he ditched his parole and headed to Pennsylvania were he knew next to one.
He’d chosen Harrisburg because his celly introduced him to a girl through the mail. A month after he moved in with her, her babies father showed up at the door. A week later she broke up with him and moved the other guy.
He’d wanted to lose it and acted out, but since he was still on papers and wasn’t suppose to be there in the first place. He just walked the streets until he found this bus stop on a quiet block. All of the shops were either closed for the night or vacant and, the surrounding low rent neighborhood was much the same.
He felt like crying. Couldn’t belive how far he’d fallen. Five years ago you coulnt tell him he wasn’t a beast, a real goon, a tough guy. Now David didn’t feel tuff at all.
It wasn’t long past sundown. He sat alone on a bus stop bench, feeling nothing but tired and alone. He missed his family, he missed his home, he missed his life.
So he was a drug dealer, he regretted a lot of things but not that. But he had done wrong, he’d spent the last few years taking inventory of all the wrong he’d done. Maybe that’s why he ended up here. Who knows, maybe he did deserve to be punished for selling drugs to addicts who would have gotten them from somebody else anyway, but he didn’t deserve having his life ruined completely. He didn’t deserve being marked for death. He didn’t deserve the very unpleasant incident that he refused to think about, no man deserved that except maybe child molesters. He had been young stupid and hadn’t had anything. Selling seemed to make since, so it had been a mistake, when could he stop paying for it.
He pulled off his backpack and laid it on the bench for a pillow. He was tired on so many levels, but didn’t know how well he’d sleep out side. He’d done it before when his moms kicked him out, but he never thought it would be a regular thing. He never thought he’d be a bum. Holding back tears and fighting back painful memories he laid down.
As his eyes closed a scream came from one of the vacant shops way to near by. David tried to ignore it but it came again, a female scream of complete desperation. He looked up and down the street to see if anybody else noticed, but he was the only one out. It came again, longer and angrier this time, it sounded like she was fighting back.
Could he afford to get involved?
He looked around for a payphone. Didn’t see one. It came again.
How could he not?
There would be cops. He would go back to jail. He would be good as dead in general pop.
It came again filled with pain this time. David was up and moving before he’d made his mind up. He had no doubt that this was another mistake, but like all the others it was one he didn’t have the strength not to make.
Cowards to the core
The vampire was pinned to the wall with a stake through her shoulder. The tip mettle to ease penetration, crosses carved in the side so she could not grab it to free herself. This didn’t stop the blight from trying repeatedly and burning herself.
This didn’t worry the tall, gaunt, white man pacing a few feet in front of her. The screaming did. They were in a mostly empty part of town. Not much but homeless and drug addicts out at this out. It was still possible the police would show up eventually.
Lighting a stooge with a wooden match Donavan decided to speed things up.
"When I get loss I’m going to drain you dry and feast on your empty hart, you!...." The vampire screeched reaching for him.
"Save it." He brought the stake thrower up and fired a stake into her other shoulder nailing her completely to the wall. Then reloaded both barrels while she screamed and strained to free herself.
"Shut the f**k up. This is how this is going to work. I need information and you’re going to give it to me."
"All I’m giving you is a slow painful..."
"No...No...No...See that’s not it." He pulled a foot long, jewel incrusted gold crucifix out the trench. This time her scream was deafening in the small room. As she tried to back herself through the wall.
" Put it away..Put it away!" she screamed as he pushed it towards her face, her light gray flesh bubbling and smoking.
Not only was it a crucifix, it was a blessed artifact of great protective power to those with faith and the wilder had allot of that.
"Now" he began, letting the cross drop to his side but not putting it away. "I’m going to ask you some questions and you’re going to give me some answers. Then I’m going to take a stake and end your suffering nice and quick…Or… I’m going to stick this cross in your mouth and sit here and watch you sizzle and pop until the sun comes up, threw that window…” He pointed the crucifix across the room. “… and slowly cooks the blight life from your body."
The creatures feral eyes darted around the room looking for away out. Noting finding one they focused back on the still, quiet, gray eyes of its captor. Before screaming in rage and frustration.
He had her, and they both knew it.
Contrary to popular belief vampires can feel pain. Not from the same things as humans do, but they fear it nun the less. They fear second death in only the way an ageless creature can. Powerful yes, but in the end, faced with their own mortality, the pseudo immortal creatures were cowards to the core.
So the hunter advanced.
He started with a test question. "Where is Giovanni?"
She sneered at him baring her fangs. He began to raise the cross.
"I don’t know!" she yelled in his face then slumped down. Her features softened, fangs withdrew. Then she began to whimper. "I don’t know." She looked up crying. Her face round and soft. She had been cut when she was living. Young, maybe twenty-six. Innocent looking even in all the make up she wore. Her eyes were large ice water blue and very afraid.
Of course she didn’t know. She was a young vampire. Probably sired only a few years ago a baby. She had only the most basic powers and was yet to master all of those; she was probably just really getting use to the idea of living forever and now this.
He didn’t feel bad for it, but hurt for the girl she use to be. The soul trapped somewhere inside powering the blight. And she caught it.
"Please… I didn’t ask for this. This was done too me…"
His face hardened as he shook his head. "Why did he bring you here?"
"What...I don’t..I don’t.."
He began to raise the cross, she had some idea at least.
"Ok… Ok... He's looking for Bernardo."
The name didn’t ring any bells. "Who?"
"Bernardo, you humans really don’t know what goes on right under your nose do you?"
"No. But you’re going to tell me. Who is he?"
"A spell caster."
"Nother mind, why is he looking for him?"
She stared him in his eyes looking angry and hurt. "Why, if I tell you you’re going to kill me anyway."
He starred right back, face emotionless voice calm. "Yes, but if you don’t tell me the suns going to kill you."
She looked at the window across the room wide teary eyed. No doubt picturing the fatal rays pouring through, slowly creeping across the floor towards her as she struggled. It would be a slow painful second death.
"He’s bringing something back. Ok.. Please.. Please let me go.. I don’t want to die."
"You’re already dead."
"No...I mean yeah. but.."
He held a finger up to her mouth allowing her to see the softness in his eyes.
"It will be ok.. I promise. It’ll be quick, and you can rest."
She didn’t look too happy but relaxed a bit. "Now why is he looking for Bernardo?."
"He’s suppose to be trying to bring something back, something old."
Either she was mistaken or he’d understood her wrong, because if she meant what it sounded like somebody would have caught wind of it by now. But he asked anyway.
"An old one?"
"Yeah. An old or ancient one or something. We have to stop him. Something dangerous and he needs my help to stop it…”
She continued to babble for her life but Donavan wasn’t listing.
An old one.
How was this possible? The clairvoyance should have seen this. This is big this is bad.
"When’s he bringing it over!?"
"I don’t know, sometime this week, a couple days from now I think."
She could be lying, or just plain wrong, but it was too big to take a chance. This wasn’t his thing. He was a vampire. But if no one else could get there in time he would have to handle it.... if he could. Which was doubtful.
This Bernardo had to be powerful, it takes allot of magic energies to bring an old one back and that kind of power is hard to hide. It takes allot of magic to hide magic from magic. The organization has some of the strongest magic on the planet. Donavan wondered why no one had found out sooner and why the vampires already knew. This thought gave him pause.
If Bernardo was here why had Giovanni sent the Council members and two of his best guards to Akron. This was a threat to their entire realm, they wouldn’t risk letting an old one cross over to stop a petty clan uprising.
"So why send the others to Ohio?”
"You don’t know yet?' She actually managed to laugh.
He went to raise the cross.
"No. I’m going to tell you.” she shook her head smiling. “I thought that was what this was all about."
"I don’t have time for this." He turned a pretended to walk away. Something he had no intention of doing. He needed his stakes back. Not to mention if given enough time she’d realized all it would only take a couple elbows and kicks to destroy the rotting wall she was pinned to.
"No!" Looking at the window. "Don’t leave me here. I’m going to tell you but you have to promise to let me go."
"No deal" he kept walking.
"Ok, just…just don’t leave me for the sun." Real panic.
He stopped and looked back.
"You’re not going to like this."
He stormed toward her, she was afraid, so was he. Not of her but of what she was going to say.
"Talk or I swear on my kids souls you will suffer till…”
"Ok no need to get all graphic. Their not headed to Akron anymore. Their here."
"You’re a lie we tracked them.."
"I know.. Giovanni knew you guys where still on us after Philadelphia, even found one of your bugs. Then this Bernardo thing came up and he didn’t want you in the way...So"
He could guess the rest; he fought back the rage because he had to hear it. "So.."
"So…” She was afraid to look at him. He could see her trying to decide if dying now quick would be better then later in pain. She glanced at the cross. “We… he prepared… something for you..." She bowed her head grimacing waiting for the end.
How had he not seen it. Giovanni was the vampire’s head enforcer. Old, powerful, and slick as snot on grease. Lately his movements had been easier to follow, but not so easy as to raise any alarms.
Donavan forced himself to take a deep breath and relax. His team was good. He had trained most of them and the others where seasoned when they joined. They had his niece, they would pull through. He desperately needed to get to them, but would have to wait, something had to be done about the old one.
Surprised to still be alive. She spoke without looking up. "Werewolves. The council gave them some hunting land and permission to form a pack if they agreed to help."
Donavan’s head fell with his spirits. Werewolves, a whole pack. His team was good but they weren’t equipped for werewolves. His niece was their only hope; she could easily handle a standard pack alone. Giovanni knew that, so there would no doubt be more to it.
He wanted to go to them, to her but what could he do against a pack of werewolves. Hell what was he suppose to do against a wizard powerful enough to summon an old one.
Donavan always hated his life, but days like this he hated it all the whole world, ever being born. He wished he had of been there. Had died with them. They trusted him and he had sent them to thier deaths.
Once again he was the sole survivor. He thought staring off into space absentmindedly rubbing age-old scares on his chest. Three long slashes from that night... The night all this hell had started for him...
There was a stirring in the darkness near the door. He swung around bringing the air gun up and firing a stake in the general direction as he brought the cross up with the other hand.
Nothing moved, but something was there. It wasn’t a rat either he had heard some of them earlier. They skittered through the darkness but they didn’t creep.
He walked forward cross out in front of him HK ready. There was a band of shadows splitting the room in two. The streetlights poured in from windows in the front and the back. But there were nun in the middle of the room, and this was where his attention was focused so he didn’t see the figure ducked low in a small shadow by the door.
What else indeed
What the hell did I just walk into?
David wasn’t sure he really wanted to know.
I should have just minded my own d**n business, this is some freaky s**t.
There was a girl dressed like a hooker pined to a wall with some kind of wooden spikes she stared straight at him. Couldn’t possibly see him but she seemed to be looking directly at his face. She didn’t look happy, but she didn’t look like she was in enough pain to be pined to the wall like that either. Not to mention she was barely bleeding.
Then there was the skinny tall dude. He had to be six three, from the look of it mostly skin and bones. He was holding a crucifix in his hand. It was over the top gaudy, blinged out with all types of jewels and s**t but he was dressed in a dirty leather trench coat and his hair was a graying brown greasy mess on the top of his head. He had a submachine gun with a light on it searching the room, and some kind of weird shotgun hanging on a sling. He had to be some kind of serial killer.
David didn’t need this s**t at all. He would just sneak out and call the police. That’s when the serial killer turned his direction. David was all ready still but everything in him except his hart just seemed to stop as the mans gaze fell on him.
His face was tired and weathered he looked to be in his late forties but it was hard to tell. David’s muscles bunched as he saw the spark of recognizing in the man's eyes. The submachine gun swung his way blinding him with the light and she screamed.
David somehow even to his own surprise, tore his eyes from the serial killer to turn and see.
There was no longer a girl pined to the wall. The skin of her face was stretched back taunt and her eyes had no pupils. They were just blood red slits in her head. Her mouth was open reviling long sharp k9 teeth.
David had thought he was sane, but he couldn’t be because if he didn’t know any better he would swear he was looking at a vampire.
Maybe the man had shot him and he had gone directly to hell. He looked back at the man who was still staring at him. He stood up hands in the air
"I’m here!!!" The vampire screamed.
The man looked away from David.
"Look man I ain’t see nothin.."
The man glanced back at him "Go."
David was going to do just that, but there was something standing in the doorway. It was dressed like a punk rocker but had a face distorted like the girl pined to the wall.
David backed into the room beside the man. "What the hells going on?"
"What does it look like?" He spat out loading another what could only be a stake into his weird looking shotgun. This couldn’t be happing but every one of David’s senses was telling him it was.
The punk rocker thing walked into the room followed by one shaped like a women in designer apparel and then a goth, then another, this one in a designer suit. Its features considerably sharper its color much grayer then the rest and it spoke.
"Donavan. I knew you’d turn up."
David spared a glance to his side. The man that had to be Donavan just starred back his expression unreadable.
"Yeh my friends didn’t find your body with the re.."
Donavan let out a growl fired the submachine gun. David instinctively ducked and covered his ears.
The creatures didn’t move just stood there and chuckled. What looked to be a narrow film of bright yellow dust had appeared between them and Donavan and some how this was making the bullets bounce away.
What the f**k!?
Donavan fired just long enough to pull a glass ball the size of a Christmas ornament out his coat. Then threw it against the ground sending out a cloud of powdered monitor horn. Monitors being one of the most magic resistant blights, there horns able to dissipate most magic fields and barriers on contact. The dust is drawn to a clings to magic draining it, making it more difficult for spell casters to use their magic.
Giovanni was a combat mage. He only dabbled in magic, and didn’t start that untill after he was turned. After being turned vampires found it difficult to acquire new skill, or advance in their old ones. So after decades of study he was still only an upper low level spell caster.
The monitor horn would completely hamper his ability to use his magic.
The chuckling stopped as the field disappeared, and Donavan fired a stake at Giovanni. While going in his jacket to get another bulb like the first. This one filled with powdered garlic that would rob them of their natural vampiric abilities. He never pulled it out.
Donavan fired the weird shotgun at the one that had been talking, David didn’t even see the thing move, it just wasn’t there anymore. He saw the one shaped like a women all to well as she lunged for him.
He tried to get out the way, but was hit, in pain and on the ground bleeding before she should have had a chance to cock an arm back.
One of the punk rockers smashed into Donavan slamming him to the floor. Hissing in frustration as it was burned by the crosses on his shoulders.
He rolled, fired a burst of anti-v rounds into the things face and body. It screamed as the holy water melted away tissue, muscle and bone.
He’d dropped the garlic ball, no time to look for it. He brought the crucifix up to keep Giovanni from closing in. Reached in his coat and jabbed a stake into the screaming punk rockers smoking chest.
David had been knocked sliding across the floor up against the wall next to the pinned one, the other was standing over him. She hissed and bared her fangs, then a stake emerged from the front of her chest.
His hart skipped a beat as she imploded. Wind blowing past him, tugging at his clothes, being pulled into the pinprick vortex that had once been a woman.
It stopped as abruptly as it had begun only the stake, clothing and jewels falling to the floor.
Donavan had backed up a few feet in front of him and was holding the cross in-between them and the other two. The punk rocker hissed and paced side to side. The other just stood back with its taloned hands folded delicately in front of it.
Donavan dropped a magazine and swiftly unclipped the gun with his free hand letting it fall to the floor and kicked it back in the direction of the kid. He hopped he could figure out how to load it because there was no time to explain.
"Humans." The one in the designer suit begin. "Really Donavan it’s over. Why do you cattle have such a hard time excepting your fate."
Donavan just starred back. This was the creature that had started it all for him. This was the creature that had turned his wife, feed on his little girls with her and decapitated his son in front of him. He had started hunting because of this creature.
In all the years following that night he could count on his hands how many times he had gotten this close to him. Finally here he was and being caught by surprise Donavan was powerless to do anything.
David had eased forward to grab the weapon.
"You" Giovanni said Focusing his attention on the civi.
"Don’t look at him." Donavan half turned
It was too late, David looked up. There was a strange glow coming from its eyes and then everything was all right. Maybe he had problems a second ago, but everything was everything now. All he needed to do was listen and he would be fine.
"Get that cross." Giovanni hissed.
Donavan spun pulling a hunters blade with his free hand. He didn’t want to kill the kid but didn’t see any other way.
David, young, strong and much faster then Donavan had expected made the reservation a moot point. Plowing into the hunter far faster then he anticipated. They both hit the floor a tangle of limbs.
Donavan let the cross go, maybe there was another way.
David went after it. The punk rocker pounced on Donavan coming down on a stake. In a rush of air he was sucked into nothingness.
Donavan looked up at Giovanni, The creatures’ eyes glowed
He’d lost his best crucifix. The beast was trying to take over his mind, but Donavan had been doing this for a long time. He had five back up crucifixes of far less power that protected him from vampire control magic. And once the black kid got a hold of his main cross he would be free of Giovanni’s control.
Unfortunately the crucifix the kid had was the only in Donavan’s rig that could hold a Vampire of Giovanni’s power at bay.
I’m not goin to make it out of this.
It was a thought he had many times in the past. This time was different, this time he really didn’t care. He was tired of watching those he cared about die. His only regret would be not killing Giovanni.
David was on the ground holding the big jeweled cross. He didn’t know how he had gotten there. The last thing he remembered was reaching for the gun looking up and feeling good.
What the hell is going on?
"Still protected” the thing laughed “So what, your bobbles and trinkets cant save you this time. "
Donavan didn’t see him move. But rolled anyway knowing the blow was coming and it did.
Giovanni’s talons were buried in the cement beside him were his chest had been. He pulled a small vial of holy water out his pocket and smashed it in the creatures face. Burning the gray flesh, instantly melting it away like acid.
Donavan’s cleverness was rewarded with a remarkably stiff backhand that sent him sliding across the floor into the wall beside his captive. The wind was knocked out of his body and he didn’t expect to live long enough to get it back.
He was grabbed around the neck, lifted from the floor, and slammed into the wall again. But was dropped almost immediately.
The hunter opened his eyes with an effort as air pushed passed his battered throat forcing its way into begging lungs. He gasped helplessly inhaling the revolting but welcome smell of burning rotted flesh.
"Back" The black kid was standing over him with the cross. Donavan almost smiled at the sight of Giovanni hissing in frustration while backing into the shadows.
"No master don’t leave me." Donavan’s captive whimpered still staked to the wall.
The kid nudged the gun towards him with his foot. Donavan still trying to control his raged breathing began to reload. But he knew it was too late.
In the end bloodsuckers talked a good game, and played tuff with civies but they were cowards to the core. Giovanni’s powers gave him a huge advantage but he didn’t know how much, with his flunkies gone the playing field was far to close to being level.
The red glow of the vampire general’s eyes disappeared and a cloud of greenish fog blew itself from the darkness out the door riding its own current of air.
"Master!!!" The girl thing screamed from the wall.
Donavan struggled to his feet. David still staring at the doorway. "That didn’t just happen?"
"Fraid so. How bad are you hurt?"
David was taken back by the question, He looked down at the blood on his chest and only then did the pain reassert itself.
"Let me look at.."
Talond hands burst through the rotting wall behind them. David raised the cross but by that time the girl had all ready been yanked backwards. Leaving a gapping hole to the ally.
Donavan grabbed his arm and took a few cautions steps back while the dust settled.
Sirens could be herd in the distance. There was no way to be sure they were headed there but no way to be sure they weren’t.
For a brief second David felt relief, help was on the way. But how would he explain this? Who the hell would believe it?
"We have to go" Donavan looked over at the kid. He’d seen that expression way to many times. Horror, disbelief, wonder, but mostly horror.
Vampires are real, what else? What else indeed.
It was a mind f**k of unparalleled proportion. But the kid had done well.
David nodded opened his mouth as if to say something closed it swallowed and nodded again.
Donavan moved slowly air gun ready through the hole in the wall to retrieve his stakes.
Well, thanks for reading. Rate and leave a comment. If you enjoyed it tell a friend and come back to get the rest of the story.