(I have utterly no idea for a name for this. So it shall be unnamed. I will likely be writing more short stories with these characters, they’re interesting and fun)
“Well, if you had woken up properly the first time I kicked you, I wouldn’t have had to do it four more times.” Alexander tells me as I dress with tender ribs and back.
I bind my hands, wrists, and chest in cloth while mumbling obscenities of Alexander. I can feel his gaze as I pull on my tights and tunic. I glance up and sure enough see his mismatched eyes glaring at me from his plush chair. I sneer back.
“Language, Charlie,” he says back sternly.
I only roll my eyes at the man; both of us knowing language was rarely the problem. I adjust my belt, gloves, and scarf then look back up to Alexander. He had moved silently from his seat to right in front of me. It no longer startled me; I had grown accustomed to his quiet and sudden movements long ago.
He and I exchange looks before moving forward. We leave the man’s living room, where I reside as his assistant, and trod down into the basement. This is where I spent a majority of my time training and learning.
I am apprentice to Alexander Ipswitch; an ancient man with a vast knowledge, and a vigilante within this world. At first glance he only appears to be an average man with his thick ebony hair and ever youthful appearance. The only thing to note his true age is the silvering of half of his black hair. He is tall and looming with an air of command that just makes you obey him instinctively. Ever clad in black, he appears and moves as a shadow, moving fast and unseen. And his skills. Is he ever skillful. He is a masterful fighter, a tactful strategizer, and a brilliant man in general.
After years in his service, I have grown unenamored by all of this. He is simply a mentor and boss to me. On more than a few occasions he is also a pain in the ass. But I still respect him.
His business is taking out rogue and dangerous Unnaturals in the humans’ world. We protect the defenseless humans. A thankless but important job.
I settle into my routine once in the basement. I begin my daily training with key stretches and mental mantras before I throw any punches. Something I have grown into over the years. The routine maintains a sort of continuity, something familiar.
I have completed my stretches and begun landing blows to the makeshift enemy when Alexander calls my name.
“Charlie, I have just received a lead on those rogue vampires,” he says.
I walk over to where he stood at his desk. I look at the notepad by the telephone. Written on it, in Alexander’s neat scribbles, is an address and other details. I recognize the location.
“Didn’t we already scout out this place? There was no soil or trace of vampire activity,” I remind the man.
He nods, “Yes. But that was months ago. Silas has witnessed shipments of, possible, coffin and soil kind. Possible vampire targets have also been spotted this last fortnight.” Alexander explains.
I nod. Silas would know, being our vampire colleague.
“What’s the next step?” I ask.
“We’re going down there before sunset to look things over again. We will be staying with Silas while carrying this out. We might just close this one soon.”
“I will get our bags.” I say with a nod.
Alexander and I set out in his old, hearse-like car. The car is so old and rundown but it miraculously always gets us to our destination. This time is no different.
We arrive at what can loosely be called Silas’ home. Silas lives in one of the abandoned houses on the outskirts of town. It is grayed, the walls are peeling, windows are broken and window panes are falling off. The wooden floors creak and whine as though they cannot hold our weight, which I don’t doubt. The place smells of rot and mildew, and you see the mentioned on the walls and floors. While not ideal for the living, it is perfect for scouting as it is in one of the centers of high rogue activity.
I have been here multitudes of times over the years and I have gradually become more welcoming and less anxiety inducing. The broken walls and rotting floors no longer worry me as the house has proven to continue it’s existence through everything that has gone down here. But that is for another time.
Alexander raps on the door as I bring the bags from the car. We stand on the rickety porch steps for many minutes before Silas finally opens the door and ushers us in. He locks the door behind us.
The tall, thin, brunette, man then turns and grins at us in his goofy fanged way. He is dressed in his usual dapper suit; the one he wore to his faked funeral. It is no longer jet black, but is a faded and dusty grey. His hair is disheveled; he has just now awoken.
I can only nod before I bring Alexander’s bags up the stairs to his room. When I return Silas and Alexander are speaking like the old friends they are.
“Are you getting enough sustenance?” Alexander asks, concern etched in his face.
The vampire laughs, “Do not worry, friend. I have plenty of resources!”
Silas is a joyful man. He is not sullen for being a vampire, he fully enjoys the eternal life he is given. He is also an invaluable ally to have on our side as he is just as brilliant as Alexander.
I descend the staircase, joining the two. Both turn in my direction at the sound of the stairs crying under my weight. Silas grins once again.
“Hey, Kid.” Silas greets me, while ruffling my dark curls.
Hello, SIlas. Good to see you,” I say politely.
“About what you have found out,” Alexander begins.
Silas scratches his pointed chin while nodding, “Yes. I know exactly what a coffin shaped box looks like, and that is precisely what has been arriving at that old house.”
Alexander hums in thought, looking out a window in the room.
“We will begin tomorrow. Let us rest for tonight,” Alexander decides.
Silas and I nod.
With that, Silas and Alexander retire upstairs to update each other on whatever things centuries-old friends do. I lay out my makeshift bed on the floor and retire to bed myself.
This time I wake with the first kick. As I re-wrap my wrists and such in bandages, Alexander and Silas make plans. Occasionally one of them will call my way to assure I have heard an important piece of information. I confirm and continue with my wrapping. When they had finished, Silas wishes us well and goes to bed himself before the sun can rise fully.
“Charlie, we will set up our gear before noon and watch until sunset. We must make sure they leave before we enter the house.” Alexander tells me. I nod.
I make my way up to Alexander’s room and begin unpacking and setting up the equipment.
Later, Alexander’s light footfalls alert me to his presence. I glance behind me, and there he stands. We both acknowledge one another then I return to work. He is hovering behind, studying my work and making sounds of approval. I grin to myself as I finish the last few things.
Alexander places a hand atop my head from behind. I turn on my haunches to look up at him. He nods approvingly. I give a nod back while rising to my feet.
“You’ve done great work. Now comes the waiting,” Alexander states.
We settle into our places and wait for sunset.
The house the rogue vampires are residing in is not that far from Silas; we can watch it from Alexander’s room. While we can see it with our naked eyes, we still need the assistance of looking glasses and the such to see any detail. The house we watch is just as dilapidated as Silas’. I know this means little to Unnaturals; most of them live for centuries. Vampires in particular prefer their solitude, which works well for us. This means we have no distractions or humans to fret about; we can freely do our job.
Hours later, the sun sets. I keep sharp eyes on the rogues’ house, hoping they would go out. Soon I spot movement within the house. It is hard to tell how many figures there are until they file out the front, laughing and howling all the way.
“There are seven of them, Sir.” I say with my eye still watching through the looking glass.
“They’ve grown. That is four more than before,” he states thoughtfully.
“Two are still young,” I note.
Alexander rises from his seat, “Let’s go.”
I rise following his lead. We descend the stairs to find Silas seated in his recliner reading. Alexander and Silas exchange words while I prepare mine and Alexander’s belts. I pull my scarf up my neck and taut, and put gloves over my wrapped wrists. When Alexander has finished and walks my way, I hand him the prepared weaponry belt, and we set off.
Once outside, Alexander stops me.
“Charlie, take this,” Alexander tells me.
He is holding out a small handgun to me. I look at it and then him apprehensively, but take it.
“Just in case. We may need to act sooner now that they’re growing. Only use it as a last resort.” Alexander explains.
I nod while slipping the gun into my belt. We continue towards the rogues’ dwelling.
We arrive quickly. Alexander instructs me to scope out the property for any strays or surprises. When I find none, I lead us cautiously inside, checking every crevice and dark place. I am on high alert; my senses heightened. The only sound I hear in the silence are our soft footfalls avoiding squeaking boards.
I am hit with a blast of musty and sour air upon entering the main room, then the scent of wood and soil. I know, even before Alexander pulls back the window curtain, that the coffins are here. Moonlight floods the room andsurely there they are; three coffins set on the floor, there is soil sprinkled around them and soiled footprints leading away from them.
Alexander passes me, moving to one of the coffins. He inspects it and the soil, running fingers through the soil. He brings the soil to his face, sniffing it and looking at it closely.
“These are three of the recruits; the soil is not Romanian.”
“The original three are upstairs then. But what of the fourth new recruit?” I ponder aloud.
Alexander looks over the room, “These are the first defense. They are down here so that those upstairs can escape if found. The fourth must be too important to sacrifice.”
“Did you happen to see any females leave?” he queries.
I shake my head no.
He hums, “This is curious.”
While Alexander continues his thoughts, I study the room further looking for nothing in particular. The room is undisturbed aside from the soil and coffins. I move to the kitchen. There are empty jars with congealed blood splatters. I nudge one with my boot. I continue to the refrigerator, opening it. The sour smell of mildew and old blood assaults my senses. There are empty jars here as well.
“Alexander,” I call.
He appears swiftly and silently beside me. I show him the rogues’ lack of food. His brows furrow.
“With seven now, I assume there isn’t enough to go around. This is a hunting night, they need to find resources. Meaning, we will have the time we need to thoroughly search this place.”
I close the rotting fridge, sick of the smell.
“Let’s finish our exploration quickly nonetheless. Then we shall retire for the night,” Alexander says.
We trek upstairs as slow and quiet as we can on the broken boards, wary of the possibility of a left behind vampire. I then take one end of the hallway, and Alexander the other. I check every room and corner thoroughly, but finding no sign of life or coffins. I turn and walk back towards Alexander, then I hear him call. I speed my pace until I reach the end of the hall. Alexander is inside looking at two more coffins.
“The other two are in there,” he says with a glance across the hall.
I only give a fleeting glance across the hall, as i do not feel the need to look further into these knowing they are the Alphas’.
“This one is the new recruit and the other is Dominick.”
Dominick is the leader of this gang of rogues. He is frivolous and ruthless and has no respect for human lives, they are only his play things. If he does not kill you he will turn you for his entertainment. While most of the humans he turns do not survive, the ones that do wreak havoc that we must stop and clean up. He is one of the worst rogue Unnaturals we have dealt with.
“What now?” I ask.
“Ideally I would like to set the entire place aflame to destroy their coffins and soil indefinitely. But that is frowned upon in human society,” Alexander says aloud.
I smirk. The old man still had spunk.
A change in atmosphere and the slight sound of something makes my smirk disappear.
“What is that sound?” I ask to no one.
Alexander looks at me. We both stop and listen to the night. There is indeed the sound of soft footsteps crunching gravel. Then we hear the voices. Alexander and I exchange an entire conversation in one look.
We were not expecting them back so early, but now that they’re here, we need to get out before we are trapped inside their den with them. Alexander glides to the window without a sound and peers outside, confirming our suspicions.
“It’s Dominick and gang. They’ve fed,” he whispers.
He and I are of the same mind when we both swiftly and silently begin our escape down the stairs; Alexander jumping over the rail part way down and I racing the rest of the way down the stiars. I trip over coffins but do not fall. Alexander is ahead but stops, stopping me as well.
“Ready for a fight?” he asks without removing his gaze from the door.
Alexander then throws the door open. The approaching vampires hault. We all exchange glances. The young ones make threatening advances, but Dominick juts out a hand to stop them. Alexander and I step out the door into the night. All is still and quiet.
Dominick takes an imposing step forward. The light of the moon falls on his face, illuminating his frightening features. There is still fresh blood running down his chin, which he promptly wipes away with his sleeve.
“Visitors! I must apologize for going out, but as you can see I have many children to feed!” Dominick breaks the silence with his thick accented voice.
I just want to punch his utterly mad and stupid face.
His yellow eyes glow, “and they are still famished!”
At this, Dominick raises his hands to the air, releasing his gang. Alexander and I are ready for this moment. We move forward ourselves into this fight. He and I stay within a relative distance of one another, protecting each other’s backside.
A young one and an elder are coming at me. I unsheath my dagger from my belt and take stance. They descend upon me fast. The young one makes a grab for my arm, but I dodge and and knock his hand away. The elder takes this opening to swing at me. I sidestep and bring my dagger down hard into his shoulder. I pull the dagger back as he staggers backward. I immediately swing the dagger across the young one’s face; he had gotten too close. He howls in pain gripping his face.
Of course both of these injuries only slow them down, they are back on top of me in no time. I land blows on them wherever I can; always aiming for the elder’s deep shoulder wound. They land their own blows; but these are nothing compared to if they manage to get their fangs in me. One throws a punch that I duck away from and kick his feet out from under him. I jump back up and land a hard blow to the elder’s wound, he falls back.
I leap upon the young one and plunge my dagger deep into his chest, not letting up until his spasmodic movements and screams cease.
A large weight grabs me from behind. I feel the brush of fangs across my neck. I yelp and shove my elbow backwards into his ribs. The vampire grunts and falls back long enough for me to jump up, pulling my scarf back up. He comes at me again. I swing my fist hard into his throat, making him groan and stagger backwards. I move toward him and continue to throw punches, not giving him time to recover. I have nearly got him when a fist collides hard with my back, between my shoulder blades, incapacitating me. The ground rises up quickly; I crash to the ground hard and unable to move. Feet advance on me. My dagger has been thrown far from me, so that I cannot defend myself.
“Get away!” Alexander’s booming voice commands.
A weight drops from above, feathers surrounding me. I know it is Alexander. I grunt and utter an apology for my poor fighting.
“Do not move.” he instructs.
His face is close to mine, his feather earrings brush my cheek as he speaks. He presses his palm between my shoulder blades creating a cool and calm sensation. He is healing my injury. It is not long before he removes his hand and I can feel movement returning. He pulls me up, still shielding us with his ashen wings.
“Can you move?”
He and I turn our backs to each other, pressing against each other hard. We are now surrounded by four hungry vampires; Dominick is staying back and watching.
“Sir, we’re surrounded,” I mutter.
He chuckles, “excellent! We can attack in any direction!”
Alexander’s utterly mad confidence is contagious. I laugh with renewed strength and charge the vampires in front of me.
My fist smashes on of their faces, sending him back. I do the same to the other. I land a powerful kick to the first one’s chest that knocks him to the ground with my weight following after. I take the vampire’s head in my arms and twist until an audible snap is heard. His limp head rolls on the ground.
Again, someone tries to take me from behind, but I spin around and bust his jaw. I jump up from the limp vampire to meet the yellow gaze of Dominick. He is rubbing his jaw with a pained chuckle, “You have quite the fist, my dear,” he notes with his now slurred accent.
I furrow my brow and throw another punch at him. He catches my fist and throws me effortlessly to the side. I land few feet away, only minorly injured, I rise and attack him once more. He deflects every one of my assaults; I can only play defense.
“Mm, appears I was wrong about that fist of yours,” Dominick says from behind.
I turn swiftly, raising my fist, but it all happens too fast. He roughly grabs my wrist, then my torso. He pulls me hard against him. I struggle, ramming my elbow into him repeatedly, but he does nothing more than flinch. Soon I find my arms pinned to my side; he is holding me with only one thin arm. His grip is iron.
Cold night air kisses my neck as my scarf is pulled away. The feeling of hot breath replaces the cold air. Dominick’s face is too close to me, he takes a long drag of my scent.
Well aren’t you quite the intoxicating mix, Nephilim,” He sneers while pressing his fang against the back of my neck.
“Why not add a little vampire to that mix? I bet you taste sweet,” he whispers.
“Dominick! Get your filthy fangs away from my assistant!” Alexander demands.
“Make me,” he grins into my skin.
Alexander’s eyes narrow, “now, we are both far too old for this game.”
My eyes meet Alexander’s. A silent conversation is had as we exchange looks. We have a partial plan, but I need to wait for the vampire to let down his guard.
Alexander withdraws the gun from his belt and aims it at Dominick. The vampire only roars with laughter at this.
“Yes, please point your gun at me if it helps you relax! But do remember who is between that bullet and myself!”
Dominick roughly uses me as a show of his safety, just as Alexander and I expect he will.
“He can be replaced,” Alexander says, finger grazing the trigger.
Dominick is mildly caught off guard on more than one thing, but still tries to call our bluff.
“You’re lying, you wouldn’t harm an innocent life. Isn’t that why you’ve killed my men? Because we have no care for your precious humans’ lives. Well, we certainly don’t, including half-breeds,” Dominick announces.
Dominick swiftly brings his fangs to my neck. Just as swift, I duck and Alexander pulls the trigger. The bullet whizzes so very close to my face, but passes without much more than a graze. Dominick staggers back, lessening his grip on me. I turn in his arms and push him to the ground, then escape to safety just feet away. I withdraw my own gun, only for protection if he rises back up.
Alexander and I keep our weapons pointed at the vampire as he clutches his shoulder. We will not fire unless needed. The vampire staggers back into an upright position, groaning all the way. I keep my hand steady and calm. He rises his head to see me with my own weapon and he laughs again, this one is pained.
“Children shouldn’t play with guns,” he jeers, mildly amused.
“Who said I was playing?” I deadpan.
The vampire roars and stumbles forward. I wait until the last moment then pull the trigger. The bullet strikes him through the chest. He grunts falling forward, but still advancing.
“You little, bit-”
I back away as another gunshot rings out. The vampire falls immediately.
Alexander had shot him in the thigh, throwing him off balance completely. I back up more until I am by Alexander’s side. The sun is beginning to rise and it won’t be long until the vampire is dust.
Alexander firmly grabs my arm, pulling me close to examine my neck. I shake my head. This releases a relieved sigh from him. We both watch the fallen Dominick, but he does not move.
“Let’s go.” Alexander instructs.
He began walking back to Silas’. I follow suit, tugging my scarf up and tighter around my neck. I stumble over a vampire’s body in my thoughtless path. Looking down, I notice something familiar about the body. His facial features. He is damn-near picture of Dominick. I kneel down to examine further, but the sun has risen and the bodies turn to dust.
I stay knelt on the ground for a moment until Alexander calls. I rise and catch up to him, keeping this newfound information to myself as it no longer matters.
“You have saved him from a miserable existence.” Alexander says, knowingly.
I can only smirk at the old man.