A vampire short

Yes, I finally caved and wrote a vampire story.

I’d been successfully steering clear of the creatures since the Twilight series but I needed to write one more short story for my Intermediate Fiction Writing class. And I couldn’t seem to come up with anything else. Like with my mermaid short, I gave the vampires in this story my own unique twist. I’m sure I could’ve kept going and expanded this little world I created, but I’m satisfied with the way I ended the story. Hope you like it! I’m calling it: To Kill a Vampire.

 


 

Allen was not the kind of man who scared easily.

Having been a detective for the Los Angeles Police Department for almost fifteen years, he’d seen pretty much every grisly thing imaginable. Because of this, he’d developed an attitude of indifferent detachment, burying emotion down deep so that it wouldn’t get in the way of his investigations. Many on the force and the media had nicknamed him ‘Robocop’ because of this, but Allen didn’t care what they thought. Appearing to be cold or uncaring or insensitive was a small price to pay for justice.

The job got done swiftly and efficiently. The cases were always closed. Then Allen would go home to his wife, Elsa, and his ten-year-old daughter, Bethany, and become human again. In this manner, he lived in two separate worlds, was two separate people. The members of the LAPD had never seen Allen Hayes, loving husband and doting father. Likewise his wife and daughter had never experienced Detective Allen Hayes, Robocop.

The night a vampire broke into his house and snatched Bethany was the first time both of Allen’s worlds collided.

 

It was their anniversary. Allen had taken his wife out to the most expensive restaurant he’d been able to afford. Elsa’s pale blond hair was twisted into an intricate bun, exposing teardrop pearl earrings and a matching necklace. With blood red lips and a red satin dress, she was ravishing. Allen himself had bought a three piece suit for the occasion, had shaved his beard and sleeked his dark hair back. They were enjoying an evening of reminiscing, with good food and even greater wine, when Allen got the phone call.

He wiped his mouth with the cloth napkin and then reached into his suit jacket pocket.

Elsa’s smile wavered when she saw him pull out his phone. “Oh, honey. Ignore it. Please?”

“It’s Beth,” Allen said after checking the caller ID. He put the phone to his ear. “Hi, sweetheart.”

“Daddy,” Bethany sobbed. Her voice sent a jolt of terror through him. “I think there’s someone in the house.”

“Are you sure? Where’s Leilani?” Just a scream then. And the sound of the phone being jostled. “Beth? Can you hear me?”

“What is it?” Elsa asked, eyes dark with worry.  “Allen?”

He lifted a hand to silence her. His heart pumped hard.

“The babysitter is dead. But your daughter doesn’t have to meet the same fate.” That voice sounded like the hissing of water being poured into a hot pot. It woke up the Robocop in Allen.

“Who is this?” he deadpanned.

“Who I am is irrelevant. All that matters right now is that I have your daughter. And I won’t be giving her back until you give me any evidence you’ve collected against Fria McKellan.”

The name struck a chord. Allen had been assigned a new missing person’s case the other day, a fifteen-year-old girl who had seemingly vanished from her room one night three weeks ago. A note left behind said the girl had run away with a boyfriend – but her parents had immediately pointed the finger at Fria, their daughter’s new best friend and, according to them, a bad influence.

“We have no evidence against Ms. McKellan,” Allen told the stranger on the phone. “She was barely a person of interest. I didn’t even get the chance to interrogate her.” He paused. “Let my daughter go.”

Elsa clapped a hand over her mouth.

Allen reached across the table to squeeze her fingers.

“You will deliver any and all information you’ve gathered on Fria to the park on East 51st Street,” the slithering voice said. “I think it goes without saying that contacting your friends at the LAPD would be highly inadvisable. You have three hours. Every moment you delay, your daughter will make a very generous blood donation.”

Then the line went dead.

 

Once back home, Allen let the Robocop in him take the lead. His first order of business was getting Elsa to safety. It took some convincing, but he eventually managed to herd her into a taxi that would take her to a friend’s house.

“I’ll call you once this is through,” he promised through the partially rolled-down window.

“I should be with you,” his wife said with a sniffle. “I should be there when Bethany comes home.”

“I won’t be able to focus on getting her home unless I know you’re safe.” Allen touched her cheek with the tips of his fingers. “I’ll get her back, Elsa. I promise.”

They shared a quick kiss, then the taxi sped away.

Second on his list: Collect intel.

Allen walked the length of the house, shrewd eyes taking in every detail. This wasn’t his home now – it was a crime scene. The broken lock on the front door meant the kidnapper had forced his way in. The reality TV show still playing on the screen suggested the babysitter had left the couch in a hurry to see what was happening at the doorway. The picture frames hanging lopsidedly on the walls, the overturned table, the broken vase and scattered flowers in the foyer told Allen that Leilani had put up a fight. She lay on the tile before the downstairs bathroom.

It had been a quick death. Her neck had been snapped, her body tossed aside before the kidnapper had walked over her to the second story. Allen used two fingers to close Leilani’s eyes before he jogged up the stairs. He’d alert the girl’s parents after this was all over. He’d help pay for her funeral arrangements. Leilani had been a good kid.

There were no traces of dirt or shoe imprints on the carpeted stairs that Allen could see. The door to Bethany’s room was ajar. He nudged it aside and stepped in. Shoes and stuffed animals dotted the floor, kicked out of the way during the struggle. The empty circle in the room told Allen where the kidnapper had stood while he’d wrestled Bethany into submission.

The bright pink comforter had been yanked away; Bethany must have been hiding underneath when she’d made the call. Her cell phone lay abandoned by the pillow. Allen used one of his daughter’s discarded shirts to lift the phone, then hurried out of the room to his study further down the hall. He carefully placed the phone on his desk. Next, he took the decorative painting away from the wall and extracted the small camera hidden in the frame.

Once back in his study, he hooked up the camera to his laptop and got to work downloading the video file. Allen dusted the cell phone’s case for prints while the loading bar slowly filled on his computer screen. He frowned when the dark powder revealed only the small fingerprints of his daughter. Allen nudged the phone aside and pulled the laptop closer to him, hoping the camera would provide more answers.

The video box opened up on the screen, depicting a wide shot of the hallway with the stairs at the far end. Allen watched the numbers on the bottom right corner of the screen (date and time) as he hit the fast-forward button. He, Elsa, and Bethany moved at blurring speeds, walking up the stairs, down the stairs, across the hall, into each other’s bedrooms, into the bathroom over the last few days.

Finally he caught up with tonight’s feed. He hit play and leaned back in his chair to watch. Bethany came up the stairs and stretched her arms above her head, her blond hair swept away from one shoulder in a side braid. She yawned widely and let her arms fall back down to her sides.

Allen watched her go into her bedroom and come out a few minutes later, dressed in her purple monkey pajamas. She meandered into the bathroom, no doubt to brush her teeth, before going back into her room and shutting the door. The light under the door flickered off. The empty hallway was left in semi-darkness, and stayed that way for ten minutes. Leilani came up briefly to check on Beth before retreating back down the stairs.

Suddenly, the door to her room burst open from the outside, as if someone had kicked it down.

Allen rewound that segment. He leaned forward until his nose was almost touching the computer screen. The hallway was most definitely empty. A moment later, Bethany came floating out of the room, bound and gagged. She appeared to be unconscious. Down the stairs she went until she eventually drifted out of sight. Allen rewound the video and played it again and again. He stared at the footage until his eyes began to water.

But the images were always the same.

What in the world was going on?

A squeak on the stairs had Allen reaching for the Glock he kept taped under his desk. He spun around, handgun raised. A woman in dark clothes and heavy boots stood in the hallway with a crossbow.

They locked eyes. The woman froze.

“What are you doing in my house?” Allen asked calmly, pulse thundering away in his throat.

“My name is Clara,” the woman said, crossbow still aimed at his chest. “I’ve been tracking a group of freaks who call themselves the Brotherhood of the Bloodless. One of their members led me here.”

Allen took a step forward, gripping the Glock until his knuckles hurt. “Did you see him take my daughter?”

Clara’s intense blue eyes seemed to soften. She finally lowered her weapon. “No. I didn’t. I’m sorry.”

“What can you tell me about them?”

Clara tapped her fingers against the foregrip of her crossbow. “How much do you know about vampires?”

“They live forever. They drink blood. They can’t go out into the sunlight. They sleep in coffins,” Allen said. “What does this have anything to do with—?”

“They also don’t have reflections, can’t swear by God’s name, and are twice as fast and strong as the average human,” Clara interrupted. “They can only be killed by decapitation, fire, or a wooden stake through the heart.” She gestured with the crossbow and pointed to the wooden bolt it held.

Allen slowly lowered his Glock. “You’re joking.”

“The man that came for your daughter didn’t leave any prints behind, did he?” Clara asked as her eyes swept the hallway.

“No. He didn’t.”

“That’s because he’s practically a shade, an echo of the man he once was. A vampire lives forever, yes, but he does change as the years pass him by.” She peeked inside the bathroom. “He weighs less, his fingertips become smooth, he starts thinking more like a predator and less like a human with a soul.” Clara inched the door open to Bethany’s room with the toe of her boot and glanced inside. “The oldest vampires feel nothing at all, only thirst. They pass through this world like ghosts.”

Even though her words explained a lot, Allen couldn’t quite believe what he was hearing. “You realize how crazy you sound?”

Clara laughed, a mirthless sound in the otherwise quiet house. “I guess I do sound like a crazy person.”

Allen raised an eyebrow at her. He’d encountered crazy people before; the kind that ranted and foamed at the mouth, and the kind who seemed perfectly normal until something specific set them off.

He proceeded with caution. “Does the name Fria McKellan mean anything to you?”

“She’s the coven leader’s daughter,” Clara replied without missing a beat. “She may only look like a teenager but she’s over a hundred years old. She lures innocents into joining the coven with the promise of immortality.”

That was the final piece of the puzzle. Suddenly, it all made sense.

Allen sighed and holstered his weapon. “The parents of Fria’s most recent victim filed a missing person’s report and named her as a suspect. I was told to be at a park on 51st Street in three hours to trade my daughter for any evidence I might have against Fria.”

“You go there and they’ll kill you,” Clara said, taking a step forward. “You’re a cop who knows what Fria’s up to. They can’t afford to let you live.”

“I’m not handing over any evidence. But I am going to get my daughter.” He paused. “I’d appreciate your help.”

Clara nodded. “I’ll do what I can.”

“Thank you.” Allen shut off his laptop and was about to leave the study, but paused. “You said you’d been tracking them for years? How did you find out about them?”

“The coven’s leader, Damon, bit my sister and claimed her as one of his wives,” Clara said, anger lighting up her eyes. “She’s barely twenty-one.”

Allen’s stomach turned. “What will you do once you find her?”

She averted her gaze, jaw working. “What I must,” she said at last.

 

Allen walked the length of the park on 51st Street, eyes peeled for a pale face or a suspicious figure in the dark. He knew Clara was watching from a distance but he saw no indications of being followed. He gripped the file folder full of fake police reports in one hand and ran a hand through his hair with the other. The empty swings swayed in the cold breeze. The jungle gym’s colorful pipes, slides, and rock-climbing wall seemed terribly out of place in the dark.

He was too exposed here. The Robocop in him was on high alert. Despite the thin wooden stake Clara had given him, hidden in the inside pocket of his jacket, and the Glock holstered at his side, he felt vulnerable.

“That’s close enough, Detective Hayes.”

Allen glanced around. He was sure the hissing voice had come from the cluster of trees to his right.

A pale man emerged from the greenery a moment later, bright red hair pulled into a ponytail. He was dressed casually in jeans and a T-shirt. He walked with a swagger. A seemingly permanent smirk tugged at his mouth and his dark eyes danced.

Allen hated him immediately.

“I’m at a disadvantage,” Allen said coldly. “You know me but I don’t know you.”

“The name’s Clayton,” said the vampire. “That’s all you need to know.”

“Where’s my daughter – Clayton?”

Clayton nodded at the jungle gym behind Allen. Allen backed up slightly so that he could keep an eye on the vampire while checking the gym. Bethany now stood beneath the rock climbing wall, bound and gagged. Her hair was disheveled. Her big blue eyes were red-rimmed from crying. There was a tear in her shoulder, which decapitated one of the purple monkeys on her pajama top.

Rage made Allen’s scalp tingle. He wanted to hurt the second vampire who stood behind Beth, gripping her by the elbow. He wanted to unload a whole clip of bullets into that man’s chest. It wouldn’t do any good, but Allen would feel better.

Instead, Allen calmed himself. He turned back to the red-headed vampire and lifted the file. “I brought what you wanted. Now let her go.”

“Hand over the file first,” Clayton said.

Allen held the folder out and then dropped it onto the ground. “Come and get it.” Then he backed away, toward his daughter.

Clayton prowled forward.

They stayed the same space apart, both moving slowly, Allen closer toward Beth, Clayton closer to the police papers rustling on the ground. Allen was a few steps away from Bethany when a wooden crossbow bolt flew through her captor’s neck. His head was severed cleanly from his shoulders and flew to the side as his body dropped to the ground. Beth let out a scream and ducked. Clayton was on Allen in a second, grabbing a fistful of Allen’s shirt, spinning him around. The hand that gripped Allen’s throat was cold and immovable. Still Allen clawed at it with one hand while whipping his Glock out with the other. He fired three rounds into Clayton’s side – but the vampire barely flinched.

Clayton grinned widely, exposing enlarged fangs.

Two more wooden bolts flew out from the darkness. One bolt sunk into one of the vampire’s calves. Then the other. Clayton glanced over his shoulder and growled. Allen was losing oxygen fast. He dropped his gun and dug a hand into this inner jacket pocket. His fingers wrapped around the thin stake hidden there. Clayton turned back to Allen to get leverage. But then Allen thrust the stake through the vampire’s heart. An almost comical look of surprise took over the once confident face of the vampire. The hand gripping Allen’s neck finally fell away. Allen yanked the stake out and bent over. He took large gulps of air. The vampire lay motionless at his feet.

There wasn’t any blood on the ground or the stake.

Soft whimpering drew Allen’s eyes to his daughter. He tossed the thin wooden stylus aside and hurried over to crouch beside her. “Are you all right, Beth?” He took her by the shoulders and carefully angled her away from the bodies. He tugged the gag out of her mouth.

“Daddy,” she sobbed. “Those men…they…”

“They’re dead, sweetheart,” Allen murmured, untying the rope around her wrists. “They’re not going to hurt you ever again.”

The moment her hands were free, Bethany threw her arms around her father and cried into his shoulder. Allen held her close, stroked her back, murmured reassurances, blinked back tears of his own.

Beth was safe. She was whole.

When Clara came walking around the jungle gym and met his eyes, he nodded in thanks.

“You’re welcome,” she mouthed.

“Wait,” he said when it looked like Clara was going to walk away. “I’ll be right back,” he murmured to Beth as he stood. He left his daughter kneeling in the grass and approached this woman he hardly knew, this woman he owed so much.

“If you’re going after Damon, I’m coming with you.”

“I’d appreciate your help,” Clara asked with a grin.

Allen found himself matching smile. “I’ll do what I can.”

To love and to kill

Detective Victor Curnble leaned back in his swivel chair and rubbed his eyes. He’d been staring at his computer screen for hours, trying to wrap up the paperwork for this case. He was ready for this gruesome chapter to be over with, but the words wouldn’t come.

The detective sighed and lowered his hand. It was eerie, sitting among a sea of abandoned desks and chairs in the dark. His lamp and the ghostly glow of the computer screen were the only sources of light. Still more haunting were the contents of the evidence box sitting beside him. Detective Curnble peeked down at the three deceptively innocent teddy bears, each holding a giant red heart. The words, “I love you,” were written across the hearts in swirly white script. It all came back to him then, like a wave of dark images and grief-stricken voices.

 

“What have we got here, lieutenant?”

“Looks like a date gone horribly wrong. The victim was found tied to a chair before a dining room table set for two. There were flower petals, candles, and full wine glasses left behind, untouched. Along with this bear…”

“What seems to be the time and cause of death, Dr. Yang?”

“Liver temperatures suggest the TOD to be approximately six hours ago. The COD is definitely strangulation, although, these bruises along her forearms and hands are indicative of a struggle. Perhaps we’ll be able to find DNA under her fingernails.”

“Anything else to report?”

“The satin gown she’s wearing shows no signs of wear. The shoes also appear to be new and slightly larger than the victim’s feet.”

“So the killer dressed her in new clothes after he killed her?”

“It’s a likely theory I might be able to prove upon further testing.”

“All right. Let’s get her back to the lab. I want everything in this room bagged and tagged. Maybe our killer unintentionally left something behind for us to track him with. We’ll go door to door and see if anyone heard or saw anything peculiar last night.”

 

“Detective Curnble. We’ve found another date victim. Same MO as the young lady we found three weeks ago.”

“This guy was in the wind. We found no conclusive evidence to make an arrest. Why would he risk exposing himself by killing a second time?”

“I don’t know, but we can only hope he left us something at this crime scene.”

 

“Nothing. Just the same damn teddy bear and other useless props. How is he doing this? Why is he targeting these girls? What do they all have in common?”

“Vick!”

“Gina? What are you doing here?”

“It’s Chelsea. I-I think she might be in trouble. She said she was going to meet someone for a first date last night, but she promised to call me after to tell me how it went. I fell asleep while waiting up for her, but when I checked my phone this morning, I didn’t have any missed calls. It went straight to voicemail when I tried calling her. I went by her apartment and she wasn’t there.”

“Calm down, sis. Did she tell you where she was going to meet this guy?”

“Y-Yes. It was a bar. The Golden Mare.”

“I hate to ask, but is there any chance Chelsea went home with this guy?”

“After one date? She would never! Vick, I raised that girl to have more respect for herself than that.”

“I had to be sure. I’ll go check out the bar and see if anyone saw her.”

 

“Yes, I recognize her. She was sitting in that booth last night. She kept checking the door and the clock, like she was waiting for someone. She received a phone call around midnight and left. She looked relieved. I thought it might’ve been the person she was waiting for.”

“Did you see where she went?”

“She took a cab around the corner. That’s the last I saw of her.”

“Did you catch the cab number by any chance?”

 

“Yes, hello. My name is Detective Curnble. I’m with the Seattle Police Department. Last night around midnight, you picked up a twenty-year-old girl with dark hair and green eyes from a bar called The Golden Mare. Do you remember? Good. She’s gone missing. Can you tell me where you dropped her off?”

 

“Open up! SPD! Hello? The door’s unlocked. I’m letting myself in. Hello? Anybody home? …Oh, God. Chelsea.”

 

 “I’m sorry, Gina. I’m so sorry. I’m going to find who did this and make sure he never sees the light of day. I promise you.”

 

Victor gruffly wiped his eyes and turned back to his screen. He had fulfilled his promise. The serial killer, nick-named The Romantic, was serving a life sentence at a maximum security prison. No one else would die at his hand.

A door slamming shut caused the detective to leap to his feet and reach for his gun. A light had come on in a room across the way, probably while he’d been reminiscing. Abandoning his desk, Victor crept around the empty desks to the light. It was coming from the interrogation room. His eyes flickered from side to side as he reached for the doorknob. Just what in the world was going on? He pushed the door open. The gun shook in the detective’s hand.

The table was set for two. The wine glasses were full, the candles lit. There was a woman dressed in a satin gown tied to a chair. Her head lulled to the side, her foggy, unblinking eyes seemingly fixed on the floor. Sitting across from her was a little teddy bear holding a heart in his paws.

The door shut behind the detective. He spun around with a curse and twisted the doorknob. Of course, it was locked from the outside. He tugged with all his might, but the door wouldn’t budge.

“Oh, crap,” said a bored voice over the intercom. “You’re in a bit of a situation, aren’t you?”

Victor shuddered and looked over at the two-way mirror. For a moment, he could see himself reflected there; a middle-aged man with blonde hair, wearing jeans and a polo shirt, gun drawn, blue eyes wild with fear. Then the lights in the interrogation room shut off, and a light behind the mirror turned on. A young man in a flannel shirt and jeans stood there with his hands in his pockets, brown hair askew, amber eyes half-lidded.

Victor gripped the gun until his knuckles ached. Rage and terror churned within him. “How?”

The young man shrugged, the tiniest of smiles pulling at the corner of his mouth. “Doesn’t really matter, does it? What matters now is that Detective Curnble is trapped in a room with a dead body that appears to have been murdered by the same serial killer he put away.” His eyes widened in false surprise. “Could it be that you were The Romantic all this time, and you arrested an innocent man to avoid prison time?”

Victor let out a harsh laugh despite his trembling innards. “No one will ever believe that.”

The Romantic tilted his head to the side, his eyes traveling to the ceiling. Suddenly, Victor heard it; the sound of cars skidding to a stop just outside the building and doors being shut.

The young serial killer flashed a devilish grin. “Are you sure?” He gave Victor a lazy salute and began to saunter out of the room.

“Why don’t you stick around and find out who’s right?” Victor shouted.

The young man chuckled and kept walking. “Good luck, Vick.”