Despite working on his new hammer Will had shown up at his usual time. The white van slowly pulled up to the site, cautiously. It was still dark. He paused, looked at the cross necklace hanging from the rear view mirror and then looked down at his flashcard.
He tightened his brow and allowed his eyes to dilate to the darkness as he visually probed the black portal within the house. It seemed darker then ever before, he opened the door and his feet hit the dirt. It was extremely silent not even crickets were making sounds. He walked slowly towards the entrance. The enemy would see him coming no matter what angle he approached.
Hand on his hammer, he yanked it out of its holster and pulled out a flashlight out of his left leg pocket. The darkness wrapped around his back, swallowing him whole.
* * *
Chris woke up begrudgingly at five o’clock. His body rebelled against it, like it did years ago when he his in basic training. He dropped back into bed to sleep for half a minute, then got back up and landed his feet onto the ground. He slowly sat up and stretched. He looked around at his mom’s stuffed animals. Mickey, Minnie and fifty others peered back. His feet hit the floor and he went through his usual routine. He sluggishly brushed his teeth, combed his hair, got dressed in his khaki shorts and t-shirt and finally walked out the door
* * *
Will’s eyes saw nothing wrong with the site, but his instincts told him the opposite.
At the corner of the colonial he spotted a silhouette of what looked to be the big spiky mane of Pete’s. “Pete, where’s my daughter?”
The shadow moved in response. His slightly pudgy face seemed to form through the fading moonlight outside. He looked past Will with his is jaw was down and mouth slightly open.
“I’m sorry Will, but I couldn’t help myself,”
“What did you do?!” Will roared.
“I just couldn’t fucking help myself.”
“What I tell ya about swearing? Now, where the fuck is my daughter?” Will replied, breaking his own rule without realizing it.
Pete smiled, “Heh, y’know, it’s funny to hear you swear. Especially after all these months.” He sniffed into the air like smelling a sweet fragrance. “I smelled her, smelled her sweet blood. I couldn’t resist. It smelled like honeysuckle.”
“What did you do? Where is she?!”
“I had to take her down below, to the master.”
“Master? What are you talkin’ about? Look, you’re not getting a raise. In fact you’re fired brotha! You’re no brotha now, brotha.”
“I’m sorry Will, I couldn’t help myself. She’s down there.” Said Pete as he pointed his finger to the floor deck.
Will shot Pete a glance then shone his flashlight down the steps, he pulled his stake hammer out of his right hip holster.
“Step aside,” Will scolded. Pete obediently followed his bosses instructions with a grin. Will walked passed him keeping his eyes straight forward.
“You better wipe that smile off your face too.” Will slowly descended into the darkness.
* * *
Chris got into his Pontiac 6000 and backed it out of his drive. He rubbed his eyes, yawned and then pulled up and out of the lot.
* * *
As soon as Will got to the bottom of the dusty basement, Pete boarded the opening with a long wide flat board. After the last nail went through the it, he howled like a wolf at the full moon and his light blue eyes glowed.
Will looked above at the covered stairway and shook his head in disgust. “He was never paid his worth,” Said the detached voice from the right corner of the black basement.
“And no severance pay!” Pete’s muffled voice came through the boards.
A green glow came from the bottom corner as well. Faith was held in place with a firm hand around her neck with the left part of it exposed. Long taloned fingernails grasped around her milky neck next to the man’s drooling mouth. The man looked hairy around the sides of his face almost like he was part beast, part man. Slowly the hair fell from his face and he took on a more human look. Faith was barely struggling partly because she knew it was hopeless and partly because somehow it all felt exhilarating to her.
The man or thing that was holding her looked elegant in a black pinstriped suit. His Long straight hair gelled back. Will didn’t really care about the details at this point, all he knew was that somebody was harming his daughter and that person or thing would pay. His heart palpitated at the sight of this fiend but he’d been mentally prepared for the image of this moment. Much like some star athletes he had visualized it before his prayer in his garage.
His next move would be instinctive but he still approached it one with caution, and total concentration. The protective anger burned in his heart was his fuel for his next action.
* * *
Drago smiled with his two-inch huge fangs, protruding from his mouth.
“You never finished my home.”
He wasn’t prepared for this statement and his hand and muscles relaxed slightly.
* * *
Chris finally pulled into the dirt parking lot.
He double checked the passenger seat to make sure he had everything he needed, hammer, nails, chalk, etc…
He looked up and saw a very quiet worksite. There was silence as he approached the dark house. He saw Steve sitting in the dirt, leaning against the deck with his head tilted down. Blood ran down his face, arms and chest. His t-shirt was ripped open. Chris ran to him.
“Steve? You okay? I guess that’s a stupid question,” said Chris.
“He’s a sorry sight but he finally gave what he’s worth. Too bad it amounted to only three pints of blood without the alcohol.” Said Pete sucking his tongue.
Pete walked out of the shadows to reveal his pupiless white eyes. Blood was smeared all over his face. Huge fangs protruded from the top and bottom row of teeth with his bottom set being slightly shorter. He snarled and smiled hideously showcasing all the teeth in his mouth. At this point he looked more animal then man. His mouth and face were somewhat sticking out like a wolf but with his long spiky hair he looked more like a giant porcupine. “Which is more then I can say for you!”
He approached Chris with long claws in each hand.
Chris instinctively grabbed his hammer as a weapon. He wasn’t sure how much damage he could do, but he was willing to try. Somewhere in his subconscious he figured he could buy himself more time, the sun would be up very soon.
“I don’t know why Will hired you. You fucked everything up! Now, I fuck you up!” Pete leaped high into the air at Chris, he was way higher into the air then a man of his size and stature he had a right to be.
He fell onto Chris pinning him down by his shoulders. Pete’s fangs snapped at his face like a snarling dog. His putrid breath and disgusting saliva dropped onto Chris’s chest.
All those push-ups Chris did in the Army finally payed off as he hoisted Pete away from his face. Pete also snapped at Chris’s wrists and forearm like a mad dog.
Chris looked left to right trying to find anything he could as a weapon, but most of what around him was dirt. He hastily searched his tool belt. While holding off Pete with one arm he grasped his hammer from his belt. Once again, Pete leaned in closer towards Chris’s neck. Chris shot his arm from underneath Petes’, rose it above their heads to gather momentum on the downswing.
The hammer shot down onto his Pete’s head. The round metal bulge caved part of the top of his head.
Pete howled and flailed his arms waving near his head, somehow finding the strength to get to his feet.
Chris suspected a kick to his stomach would do no good do he immediately struck him with a powerful step-up sidekick to the ribs. He had practiced this move from his Karate class at Central Forest. Pete grasped his side but somehow found the strength to pluck the hammer out of his head. He instantly roared in pain as a fountain of black blood shot out of the wound. Two inch fangs shooting out all four corners of his mouth. The roar sounded like half pain and half insane bloodlust.
Chris stood ready let’s apart feet forward with his hands next to his face, holding nails between his fingers and ready to strike.
Suddenly, he heard a load thwack, like wood hitting and cracking against a giant slab of beef. That beef was Pete’s back. A massive 3x6 broke in half and knocked him to the ground.
Ted’s chest rose and fell. “Just cause you were a couple minutes late, don’t mean he should take it out on ya, geez.”
Chris smiled and exhaled, relieved he didn’t have to go toe to toe anymore with the monster of a man. “Thanks!”
Ted briefly walked past Pete’s face. Pete suddenly awoke from his brief slumber as his pupil-less eyes opened wide, along with his enormous, venomous fangs. He grabbed Ted’s ankle and Ted struggled to free himself from his grasp.
Chris knew he only had a few seconds before Ted was bit. He ran to the splintered piece of 3x6 and hoisted it above his head like a hammer strike. Just one concentrated strike, he thought, just like Will had taught him.
Pete briefly locked eyes with Chris as his arms flailed and saliva spat everywhere. “You’re still a worthless, dumb kid. How do you expect to kill me if you can’t even do the job?” It said.
“Y’know, the Army taught me a saying…” the first rays of sunlight peaked over the hill and beamed onto Pete’s face, frying it in patches. “What makes the grass grow?”
Pete looked at the horizons and spotted the first bit of sunlight. His eyes instantly smoked and seemed to catch on fire. his skin bubbled and smoked. He screamed in intense pain.
Ted winced at the surreal and terrible imagery he was witnessing. The bloody puss, smoking thing now looked at Chris in anger and hatred.
“Blood!” Chris yelled. It’s face burnt off and green, white and red ooze shot out of his mouth. He hissed and Chris could tell that even through all the pain he was still full of anger.
Chris brought the massive wooden stake plank down upon Pete’s heart, cleaving into the rib and loose flesh. “Blood makes the grass grow!”
Black blood and green ooze shot out in a grotesque spray all over Chris. Pete’s body erupted in flames.
Chris’s chest pumped back and forth. Ted’s eyes widened, then he smiled, motioned his fingers brushing across his forehead. “Ya got a bit of his fat on your face,” said Ted.
Still in shock, Chris instantly shook his head to try and shake the flesh off his head.
Ted chuckled a bit, laughed. “Just kiddin partner.”
“Gross!” Said Chris shaking his head. He wiped some of the dusty charred flesh off his body, but some of the blood didn’t come off.
* * *
Will stood slightly shocked at the newfound revelation that he was about to face off against the owner of the house. A second or two went by and he regained his composure. Owner or not, This guy had his daughter and was about to kill her. The fact that this was the owner only added to his anger.
“So you were the one who changed our blueprints eh? I wouldn’t have admitted that if I were you.” Said Will, waving his stake hammer towards Drago.
“This would’ve only been the beginning to my beautiful empire.”
“Any you choose Chestertown Michigan huh? Maybe you should’ve aimed a bit higher.”
“America was The New World to us no matter which part of it we lived in. During the war we were abolished by Van Helsing, moved to France but he tracked us there too, so we had to cross the pond and now here I stand. About to give birth to a new generation starting with your daughter.
“What a minute fella, Van Helsey was a real guy? Geez, guess every story has a nugget of truth to it.”
“And the truth can be stranger then fiction, it trumps it every time. Now, where was I?” Drago said his mouth widened as his teeth cam down upon Faith’s exposed neck.
In actuality, Will didn’t really have much of a plan at this moment and was relying on his instinct and faith that God would show the answer when the time came. He could see light from the window above Drago’s head. It would be a hundred to one shot but he had to do something.
He launched the hammer at Drago’s head. He ducked and it smashed against the small window portal. A slight crack in the window allowed a ray of sunlight to shoot into the back of the creature. This had worked more or less like he intended.
As the vampire felt the beam of sunlight blaze into his back he loosed his grip on Faith.
Will took the small opportunity and made it bigger as he ran at the monster, tackling him to the ground. That was where Will’s advantage distinctly ended.
While Faith continued to be in a semi-concious state, she backed away from the fight. She leaned against the wall in a daze.
Will dropped an elbow onto the creature just out of pure anger. He punched Drago across the face several times. Will smiled more and more after each strike. Drago caught Will’s clenched fist and squeezed it. Pain shot up through Will’s arm and Drago. He then grabbed Will’s belt and with its incredible strength and thew him up into into the ceiling.
Just above the wooden deck, Ted and Chris looked down at the wood. Floorboards jumped up after the pounded thud. Snapping after a couple of Chris’s small bridgework boards with his back, Will promptly fell to the ground on his belly almost knocking the wind out of him. The vampire grimaced. “I could’ve had my home here, assimilate, but you had to take forever!” Drago kicked him in the ribs.
“Dad!” Faith screamed, seemingly breaking out of trance for a brief moment.
The vampire smiled while it looked deep into her eyes. She tried to shake off his gaze but her hear eventually aligned in his direction. “Come, Faith, I want him to watch while his fleeting life leaves his body.
She was still hesitant. Drago smiled bent down and scrapped Will’s head with his nails. The blood collected on his nails like a small reservoirs.
He put the finger to his mouth, sucking the blood off with his snake tongue. Faith stared at him mouth half open, entranced.
“Come girl, let me give you eternal life on this earth.” Drago said as his head jiggled in and out, up and down like a lizard.
She fell back into trance with the words and hypnotic head movement. He mouth slightly open she walked towards him. She stopped and almost seemed to break out the trance again.
“…decide to walk with me, forever. I’ll show you my dark secret.” Drago smiled.
Faith walked towards him. “I promise you, I will treat you well, my sweet angel so help me Jesus,” the vampire said while fanning his long fingers towards himself. “Do ya, wanna die?”
Faith was now face to face with the black-haired Drago. She turned her neck to the left, exposing her neck to him.
“Ah, that’s it, be my angel.” His huge shiny teeth shone in some of the light filling the basement from above. Chris and Ted’s hammers were prying the boards opened with their hooked ends. Ted then used the rest of his weight and jumped down onto it with both feet, breaking through the boards. He fell and rolled down the steps like a rag doll.
Drago laughed hysterically. “Never since Chaplin have I seen such a comedic entrance.”
Ted knocked himself in the head a couple times, but the big man was able to shake it off and concentrate just enough to spot Will knocked out and lying on the dirt floor. His niece was about to make out with the slicked hair man in the three piece suit. He got to his feet and but stayed crouched. Looking at the fiend he had…no plan at all. He looked to his right and spotted a small wood sliver, barely the size of a small dagger. It looked more like toothpick then a stake.
Drago laughed briefly. “That was very elegant, you come to wrestle me? Drago said.
Ted, slowly scooped up the wood splinter and held it in front of his fist and held it tight. “Haah!” He yelled as a battle cry.
The vampire bent over laughing some more. He waved Ted in with his fingers. Ted yelled again and rushed the creature head on. He went for a tackle and an overhead swing with the small wooden weapon in the air. Unfortunately, he didn’t even come close to pulling it down for the death stroke.
Drago bent backwards and tucked his hand and arm under Ted’s armpit and threw him off balance, hoisting him off his feet and over the vampire’s back. He landed on the ground back of the head first. He shook off the pain and was gonna get up quickly Drago brought his brute strength down upon Ted’s face, nearly cracking his skull and definitely breaking his nose as it quirted blood at Drago’s face. Drago rapidly licked it off, then winced. “Um, hmm, eck, Budweiser. I find American ale repugnant.”
Drago stopped and sniffed his nose. Will slowly started to awaken.
Drago picked Will up again and tossed him into the wall like he had only weighed twenty pounds. He held out his arm and hand for Faith’s. She walked forward once more if being pulled by a lasso around her hips. Will was waking up but still a little sleepy coming in and out of consciousness. “Do you wanna die?” The vampire asked Faith.
“…yes…” she said in a slight whisper. Her neck was now completely bare and exposed.
He dug his fangs deep into her neck. She gasped with her eyes wide open. He immediately sucked her blood into its mouth. Swallowing like a starving animal.
Will could only see two blurry images in the darkness silhouetted against the slightly lit background. Pain continued to trickle all over his head.
“Hey!” Chris stood at the end of the basement, he held a metal T-square reflecting the light from the stairway into the vampires’s eyes. The top middle part of the T had been extended with a sharpened wooden stake nailed and duck taped to it. In a crude way, it now resembled a cross.
Drago immediately withdrew his fangs and yelled in pain as the sight of the cross reflected a beam of sunlight. He was in pain but he was also strengthened by the girls blood. It tasted innocent and sweet and it had been many years since he tasted blood like that. His eyes pierced through the dark with small but somewhat bright orange and red pupils. Small black spirals twisted and turned within them. Crimson blood was all over his mouth, nose and cheeks. His face was one of crazed bloodlust. He paused and smiled, “Finally, the dreamer makes his entrance! I’ve been waiting for you.” He gulped and swallowed the remaining part of Faith’s blood down his throat. It seemed to re-energize him with confidence and focus. Faith slightly moaned as if still physically connected to the creature, in a way she was. He stopped to take a step back from Chris’s t-square cross. “Whooh, you’re faith is strong, childlike but strong still..unless you become like children…”
“…you will never enter…the kingdom of heaven.” Will struggled to say. Drago turned his head at Will and smiled. “Exactly!”
“you must have the mind of a child, just to believe such nonsense! This is the real world son, do you really think Genesis happened…” Drago snapped his fingers, “like that?”
“Well, you’re standing here being a vampire, so yeah why not?” Chris replied.
Drago eyebrows lifted as to agree with him. He took another step and felt a needle-tingling effect of a invisible barricade. He smiled, “good thing your classmates woke from their brainwashing…you chose to stick with it! What a good little pilgr…”
Chris quickly stepped up and with his hand firmly around the hilt, he launched the stake at the creature like a spear thrust. Drago instantly dodged out of the way. Chris swung the t-square left to right and he dodged again. The beastly fiend quickly scratched Chris with his left nail but he didn’t feel it. His adrenaline was in overdrive. Chris picked up the metal cross and placed it in from of his face in defiance. Drago scowled and stepped back. If I could only get the creature pinned to the corner of the wall I could…Chris thought to himself. Suddenly a sharp pain invaded his mind. At first, it felt like pain but mostly it felt like an intrusion, like something had entered his head, looking through his eyes.