Taste of Blood - Part Six

Since becoming permanently a creature of the night, I generally had not woken up until after the sun had dropped below the horizon. Not today, I was up at least an hour before night had fallen. Anticipation had broken my slumber and had simply tossed an turned for the longest time. Watching through the open door at the top of the stairs, I could see slowly fading golden light. Feeling more and more impatient as time went on, I wanted to get moving but I had to wait until the sun dipped completely below the horizon.

Once I had gotten dressed, I had tried to go upstairs but found myself driven back down to the basement by the sun. I had found out the hard way that even the fading rays from the sun burned severely. Not just a sunburn, the sun would give me what were basically third degree burns which would hurt like I had been dipped in lava. The sun was one of the few things which would wake me up if exposed to it. Seeing to heal slower than other injuries, it would also take some time to completely heal. Smoke actually rose from my left arm when it had been sun for a few moments. If I stayed long enough in the sun, I would become ash. I was not ready to die yet. My life had changed but it had not ended.

My hope was that I really could catch up with the creature who had made me what I am now. Maybe find where his lair is. My best chance was that I could sense him where he was hiding. A second chance to kill him before he killed yet another woman. He would kill another within a few days. I needed to get him now, get him today before he killed another.

Vernon had headed up towards the police station in Carnation several hours before. He had left a message on the machine before leaving, telling me that he had headed up there having taken a requisitioned vehicle. Since he had left for the small town, I had not heard from him yet and likely he was still knee deep looking through paperwork. It would not be surprising if he was fighting with the police officers up there. In many cases, the police do not like giving information to those of other jurisdiction. I knew this quite well. The Seattle police department was known for not liking to share their cases either.

I sat on the futon, dressed except for my boots and jacket. I was all in black, black Jeans and a black T-Shirt, not that it would help all that much against the vampire. The bullet proof vest was a comforting presence. Trying to make time go by a bit faster, I had pulled out the pistol and began checking over the stainless steel weapon. All three additional magazines were loaded with eight rounds each and I had an extra round in the chamber. Thirty-three rounds of two hundred and thirty grain hollow point ammunition.

It was likely that I would need all of them. Just a few days ago, I had unloaded over a magazine full of forty-five ammunition into the vampire and he kept moving barely slowed. In addition, I had a large blade survival knife on my hip. If the creature was not stopped by the forty-five, I hoped to put the stainless steel blade into his heart. That was one way which I had been told could kill a vampire. Maybe I should also cut off his head just to be sure.

The last rays of the sun seemed to have finally disappeared. With the sun finally down, I could finally get moving. There was still a glow in the sky but that would soon disappear as well. Running up the stairs from the basement, I was out the door within moments.

No fancy remote to unlock the door to Vernon's car, I had to unlock the driver's side with the key. Vernon's car door opened smoothly and I slid inside. Closing the door, I slid the key in the ignition. I turned the key and the car caught after a few seconds. It ran rough for the first few seconds but even out and the engine purred like a tiger once it had smoothed out. Preferring old cars, Vernon had told me that they were easer to maintain. Even though an old car, it was well maintained. Unfortunately, while I was a pretty decent driver, I knew almost nothing about maintenance. No, it was not because I was a woman but that I had always been too lazy or too impatient to learn.

Slowly, I threaded the roads out of the city and the bright lights of the city slowly faded. In Seattle, with all of the street lights, it was almost never truly dark. Once out of the city, the area became more rural and much darker. There were few street lights. In some places, the trees on either side formed a skeletal canopy over the road. The winter had stripped most of the trees of their leaves. With my enhanced night vision, it still quite light out but as I drove east towards Carnation, the stars became much brighter in the night sky. I could see the belt of the Milky-Way. The darkened road just seemed to go on forever.

Something felt different out here. It was like a presence which I had constantly felt was diminished. The presence was something which I never noticed until it had decreased. I could not judge if the feeling was actually good or bad. Thinking, I had to wonder if maybe I could feel the presence of all the lives around me. Within a city, people were never more than a few yards away from me. As well, there were just so many people around you. Not here in the country.

The plan was for me to meet Vernon next to the police station and we would drive around and I could hopefully be able to sense the other vampire's presence. It might have been a fool's hope, there was just so much land up here to check. I rarely had left the city and was not real familiar with the roads out to Carnation. I don't think I had driven this way more than a half dozen times and never at night. I had always been more of a city girl than anything else. To try to keep from getting lost, I kept looking at the maps I had printed out from my new laptop computer.

I guess I was most of the way to Carnation when disaster struck. A deer jump across the road and I hit the breaks so I would not hit the animal. Suddenly, the car's engine shuddered a few times and then just cut off. There was enough momentum that I could at least pull the car off to the side. Once stopped, I put the car in neutral and tried to restart the car. The engine just turned over and would not start. A worse time for this to happen I could not have had. The gas gauge showed half a tank so I had not run out of gas. I tried starting the car a few more times but it still would not catch. Now, I was in the middle of nowhere. I wanted to yell and scream but took several calming breaths instead. It was time for me to lament no learning how to repair a car. I promised myself that I would learn some basic car maintenance so that I could at least deal with minor problems.

Pulling the cell phone out, I dialed Vernon's mobile number. The phone rang and rang before it went over to his voice mail. Where was he? When he was preoccupied, I know he sometimes forgot his phone in his car and had to wonder if he had not done it again. Bad luck seemed to have struck yet again. Without leaving a message, I closed the phone in frustration. At least I had most of the night still left. Maybe we could still meet up and hunt for the vampire.

Dialing Vernon's number a second time, I got his voice mail again. This time, I went ahead and left him a voice mail telling him that I planned to walk to the station. Looking at the map, I tried to figure out where I was. From what I could figure, the Carnation police station was only around five miles down the road. If I ran, I could probably reach it in a half an hour or so.

Carefully, I locked the doors of the car before setting out. While shockingly cold out here, seeming several degrees colder than the city had been, the cold did not particulary both me anymore. My pistol rode on my hip with the long survival knife in a sheath behind the small of my back. Everything else, I left in the car. With that, I took off down the road towards where I though the police station was. I could now run as fast as the best Olympic runner but kept a fairly slow pace. Running as fast as I could would draw too much attention. Had to wonder how the other vampire did not arouse any suspicion from running down the road. Maybe he ran through the woods where no one could see him.

I guess I had jogged a couple of miles when I sensed something off to the left hand side of the road. Whatever it was just nagged at the back of my mind but I could not tell what it was. In my mind, I debated back and forth for several moments what I should do. Would it be best to continue towards the police station and find Vernon or would it be best to investigate it. I slowed down for a few moments and looked around. The area was thickly forested here and I would have to break from the road if I was to follow it.

Finally, I decided it would be best to investigate the feeling. I took off into the woods. My feet padded through the deep leaves, my boots sinking in The leaves were wet and it felt like some of the moisture was soaking through my boots. Apparently. my boots were not made for running through wet leaves. They also had flat souls which meant that I had to be extremely careful or I would slip. When I had been an officer, I had a pair of tactical boots which I worn while I was in uniform. I wish I had picked up a new set.

As I got further in the woods, the presence began to feel stronger although it was still to weak to tell what I was truly feeling. Whatever it was, I suspected that if I had been in the city that I would not have felt anything. The presence of all the lives would have hidden whatever I was feeling.

It seemed like I must have jogged slowly for a mile or more from the road. It was hard to tell because I had to constantly dodge around trees. There were deep gullies as well. The area lacked any feature to tell me where I was back. I was more used to navigating using buildings and streets. It was hard to tell with the bare trees exactly how far I had gone.

The presence began to feel more and more familiar as I got further and further towards whatever it was. It felt like the time which I had tried to corner the vampire who had made me. Here I was in what seemed to be his element. It would be extremely easy for him to disappear. The only real hope was that he would not sense me. The presence got clearly stronger as I got closer and I now knew it was definitely him.

I began to slow down, walking instead of jogging, trying to keep my footsteps quiet. His hearing was as good as mine and he might hear the snapping of a branch. As I got closer to the presence, I could see an old log wood cabin sitting by itself. The walls appeared to be either unpainted or the paint had long peeled away. Probably a hunting cabin with how remote it appeared to be. There was a dirt track which I could see coming from another direction. Perhaps there was another road to the cabin.

There was no lights which I could see through the windows but there was definitely his presence in the cabin. Slowly, I crept up to the cabin, hoping to catch him unaware. Suddenly, it all went wrong again. Music, my cell phone was ringing. I had forgotten to shut it off. I pressed the mute button on the side but it was too late. Alerted by my phone, I knew at that moment that he felt my presence as well.

The door opened and he stepped out from the darkness. From the memory from what seemed like years ago but in reality just a few days. The fight I had with him had gone so fast that I had little chance to really see his expression. He was dressed all in black like the first time I had seen him, some kind of suit. Even though it was extremely dark, I could see his mouth opened to show fangs back at me. Penetrating eyes stared back at me. "Welcome, I was just thinking about you. I had not realized that I had created another." His voice came out in the same warm tone I remember from the night I died.

Anger came out in my voice, "You tried to kill me. I was to have been your victim. You drained my blood until I was on death's door."

"Yes, I have to feed my hunger. Just like you have to feed your hunger. I made you immortal, made you almost impossible to kill. Are not a few deaths worth that? They were just whores anyway, nobody of importance. Are they not criminals in your society?" His voice came out calm and even like I was the irrational one. Serial killers are often like that though and many are extremely personable.

For a second I thought about the drug dealers and other criminals I had killed in order to stay alive. Was I any different than he was. Sure, they were the predators of society, but was it right for me to feed on them in turn. It was definitely something which bore thinking about. Trying to keep my voice calm as well, "Maybe by law, they are considered criminals but they are just as much victims. You make them victims again although you take their lives. How about the women who were not prostitutes which you murdered?" I was trying to decide if I should strike or not.

"They were whores as well," he responded back. "A few sheep must be slaughtered to keep the shepherd fed. Does not their life force taste sweet? They enjoyed their deaths, you know that quite well. Perhaps we can come to some sort of accommodation could be made between us. Maybe, I could find a new hunting ground if this Seattle is so important to you? "

Yes, the life force of the ones who I killed tastes sweet. Still, it did not give anyone the right to kill another human being just for food. "They were human beings who might have chosen the wrong path but they did not deserve to be murdered. You controlled their minds. No matter how you put it, you raped them! You raped me!" I had lost my cool again and was almost yelling at him.

"You tried yourself against me,"he responded, his response beginning to sound haughty. "You really think you can win against me? You have been a vampire for less than a month where I have been a creature of darkness for over a century. Besides, you are a woman."

"I guess we will find out," I answered, my voice calm again as my mind dropped into combat mode. I thought it was his ego talking. He was tough but I still thought I could take him

Suddenly, he seemed to fly towards me. I don't know if vampires can literally fly. Maybe he just jumped at me. I could jump incredible distances but never figured out how to fly. No matter what, he moved too fast for me to draw my pistol. His hand appeared to be going for my throat. My training in martial arts payed off. Automatic reactions were well honed. Sliding to the side, I used his momentum and threw him as far as I could. The vampire landed against the remains of a dead tree and I could hear a cracking sound.

He got up from where I had throw him far faster than any human could. He may have had no martial arts training but I could tell by the way he moved that he was an experienced brawler. His movements were wary this time as he approached me. He pulled out an old knife which had what appeared to be a carved white handle of some kind. Probably ivory, likely an antique, I thought to myself. He handled the knife like he knew what he was doing with it. I never got a good look at the blade which he used to slit my wrists but in all likelihood this was the weapon which had done it.

Not waiting for him, I drew the Ruger and without pause opened fire on him. Suddenly, he charged me again. Maybe I got three rounds off with two hitting in the chest and the other one hitting him in the arm. Blood flew when they hit him but the bullets did not seem to slow him down at all.

His knife slashed down on my right hand and the pistol flew from my hands and I heard it land somewhere in the wet leaves behind me. The blade of the vampire was extremely sharp. My hand should heal in a few minutes but in the meantime I could barely use my right hand. Using my left hand, my weaker hand, I drew the survival knife and held it in front of me. My stainless steel blade was longer and heavier but he had use of both hands.

The vampire slashed at me with his blade and I evaded the weapon by what seemed to be the thickness of a hair. Now it appeared that I might have underestimated him. His blade slashed out again, this time aimed at my throat. I managed to parry his more slender blade with my survival knife but the impact was jarring. I slashed back at him, aiming low, but he evaded backwards.

The duel went on and on and I knew I would make a mistake eventually. He would strike at me and I would try to strike at him. Already, I had almost made a mistake which had almost killed me and I had a deep slash in my ribs. It had cut through the bullet proof vest I was wearing and with bit more force he might have found my heart with the knife. Kevlar was mainly designed to stop a bullet but gave limited resistance against blades as well. I had several more slashes across my arm when I had dodged a hair too slow or been unable to parry with my own knife. I had no luck in returning the favor. It was all I could do to protect myself from his blade.

In desperation, I looked for an opening because I needed to end the duel soon. If I had a PR-24 baton instead of a knife, I might have the advantage but I had almost no experience with knife fighting. He obviously had far more experience with the use of a knife.

My only chance would be to take his knife out of the equation for a moment or two. As he brought the blade down again, I offered him a target. He was aiming for my heart again but I moved at the last second and I allowed the blade to sink into my shoulder. With the blade caught in my shoulder and the layers of Kevlar, it was pinned for a couple of seconds. It hurt but was not immediately debilitating. My right hand was mostly healed and I transferred the blade behind my back from my left hand to my right hand. Swinging in an arc, I slashed at his throat. It was not as deep as I would have liked but the stainless steel bit into his throat.

He stumbled back, releasing the blade in my shoulder at the same moment. His hand went to his throat as if to protect it. There was no way to know if the injury would be lethal but I did not give him any chance to recover. I stabbed the survival knife down into his groin, hoping that he would feel pain like any other man. His other hand went towards his groin. As he did that, my heavy blade then went deep into his chest and into his heart. With that, he went to his knees dragging my survival knife out of my hands and down with him.

Stepping back, I pulled the blade which was caught in my shoulder. It fit in my hand quite well. I brought the blade down on his neck cutting his spine off. Rage boiled over inside me and I lost all control. For the longest time, I just stabbed him over and over again.

When sanity finally returned, I was on my knees. I don't know how long I had been stabbing at him. Looking at his body, I could not count the number of times I had stabbed him. The cloths I had been wearing were soaked in blood. My rage had spent itself but I steeled myself. Taking the blade one more time, I cut away at his neck. It was like sawing but I finally got his head detached from his body. It came to my mind that it was fitting. The blade which I used to kill him was the same one which he used to kill me.

The cell phone range again from somewhere. Apparently, I had dropped the phone during the fight. Looking around, I saw it laying in the old leaves. Taking a deep breath, I picked up the cell phone. It was Vernon trying to call me.

Flipping the phone open, I asked "Vernon?"

"Emily, where are you?" he asked, worry obvious in his voice. "I got your message about the car breaking down and drove back to where you left the car is. You were nowhere to be found. I tried to call you before but you never answered."

"I found him, I found the vampire," I told him.

"Where is he?" he asked, concern still in his voice.

"It is over. He is dead," I told him. My heart still felt like it was beating at about a million beats per minute. When he did not say anything, I continued, "He was in a cabin in the woods. I sensed him while running towards the station."

The sound of a deep breath being released could be heard from the other side of the phone. "I will come and pick you up," Vernon told me. "Where can I find you?"

"I am not sure. I walked a mile or more through the woods to find his cabin. I don't know if I can find my way back to the road through the woods but there is a dirt track which I might be able to follow back to a road." I began to look around for the forty-five and saw the stainless steel weapon laying on the ground.

"Alright, call me when you find out where I can pick you up," he responded. I knelt down beside where the pistol was partially covered by wet leaves. Holstering the weapon, I stood up.

"I will call you in a while," I told him as I hung up the phone. Before I departed down the overgrown dirt road, I pulled my survival knife out of his chest. It went back into its sheath on my back. I thought about taking his knife with me as well but decided to simply drop it next to his body.

Without another backward glance, I walked down the old dirt track. I hoped it would take me to a road which I could recognize.

It was several days later. While it had taken me a half an hour to find it, I had managed to find a sign which allowed Vernon to find me. He had a change of cloths for himself in the car which I was able to make fit me so that I no longer appeared covered in blood. There was no underwear but that was fine at the moment. The bloody cloths went in a plastic bag. It was wonderful to get away from the area and we had made it back to where his car had broken down in only ten or fifteen minutes once he picked me up. In that time, I filled him in on the basics of what had happened.

When he tried to start the car up, it started right up. Vernon told me that the engine might have flooded. If I had just waited about fifteen minutes instead of leaving the car and taking off on foot towards the police station, the car probably would have simply started back up. Still, it seemed for the best. If I had not been on foot, I would have likely missed his presence and I might have been still looking for him.

We both made it to Seattle long before the sun rose. Once home, I took an incredibly long shower and worked to dig the blood which had gotten under my nails, in my hair, and it places I do not want to mention. As soon as that was done, I collapsed, completely exhausted from the battle with the vampire.

When I woke up that evening, Vernon wanted me to fill him in with greater detail. He also tried to come up with a way to let the police to know that the serial killer was dead. That way, the resources being used to track him down could be used for other purposes. It took a while but I was able to convince him that we had no choice but leave the investigation ongoing.

I went to "Roses" and was introduced to a couple of gentleman who are willing donors. There was no way I could continue to keep feeding from Vernon and could not continue killing drug dealers to feed. Enough of the criminal element dying would attract the attention of the police. I was still of two minds towards the morals of feeding off of drug dealers and other serious criminals. It was something which would take me a while to resolve.

I am staying with Vernon for the moment. His home gives me a safe place for me during the day. I care for him a lot but cannot say I truly love him. Still, he seems to love me and how many others could deal with what I had become as well as he seems to have. There was a feeling in my heart that I owed him something but did not know what.

I don't know what the future will bring. My life had changed but had not ended.

By Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2008, Kitsune. All rights reserved.