Chapter seven – Revenge
Gods. This was one depressing chapter to write. It took me four tries and I’m still not happy with it, but I’ll post it anyway. Guys, just so you know, the Van Goulds in this chapter aren’t vampires or anything, just some very unlucky sims that I threw out so I could use their pretty manor for my story. And I don’t regret it for even a second.
The trees of Moonlight Falls rustled in the darkness. A crescent moon hung high in the sky, casting a bright and yet eerie glow over the lands. It was a dreading sight. I could very well imagine a zombie apocalypse like in the tales happening in this place. My team was sent here today, miles and miles away from Zephyr Hills, to execute a special mission.
I diverted my eyes from my surroundings and looked at our mission’s target: an old, wealthy-looking manor. It had been the property of the Van Gould family, people who called themselves the founders of Moonlight Falls. They had only recently stopped from showing up at work or school.
The civilians believed they were sick. But we knew better.
Inside that manor, a group of vampires had gathered.
It was something that had never happened before in the history of vampire hunting. These things lived alone, stalked prey alone, and killed things alone. Without others.
And yet, at the beginning of the week, a scouting group had given the alarming report of a group of three vampires roaming the lands of Moonlight Falls together. There hadn’t been any killings yet, but that would only be a matter of time, as it was with all of those monsters. The scouting group had followed the vampires and, alarmingly enough, found out that they had a hideout.
Something was wrong. Those animals weren’t supposed to be clever enough to have a hideout.
I clenched my fists around my weapon a little tighter and recalled the trip to the dungeons of a few days ago. In the end, we didn’t learn anything from it. The interrogation squad hadn’t been able to make it talk, and Yurick and I hadn’t been, as well.
And yet there was something about that creature. A nagging feeling that, that one, as well, had more to it than we could see at first glance. It was hidden in the way it looked at us when we entered the prison. Within the glimmer of its eye, the sort of glimmer people have when they know something you don’t. Almost as if it was mocking us.
Yurick and I had spent all night in that cell block, undisturbed, trying every method we knew to get the creature to talk. It just looked at us, grinning like a little devil.
As the night progressed, both of us grew more frustrated. And eventually, we gave up, thinking the vampire just wasn’t able to talk. That realization was not a pleasant one, as it meant that we’d ended up back at square one.
It was at the very ending of the interrogation, just as Yurick had already gotten back into the elevator, when it happened. As I cast a last glance as the face behind the titanium bars and turned around to join my squad member on his way outside, a voice spoke from the other side of the cell.
I turned around so fast that my body almost lost balance. The vampire had come up from its squatting position, staring me down with its yellow eyes. It had not once looked like that during the entire night.
And it was smiling.
‘What did you say?’ I asked, my voice a pitch higher than normal. I could barely believe that now, of all times, it had decided to speak. It was just my imagination. Yes. That’s what it had to be. It was just a mindless animal, after all.
With that thought, I turned away from it again and attempted to walk over to the elevator.
‘Raos nyigull, Urün heshkta.’
This time there was no mistaking it. That creature in the cell block had spoken words. Complete gibberish that I couldn’t even begin to understand, but words nonetheless. It made a serious dent in my view on them. The previous vampire’s I’d encountered… they hadn’t been able to speak like that. Was it because this one was younger? Could that be it?
‘Lanet’Emal,’ the creature said again, its smile turning into a devilish grin when it saw my confused expression. What on plumbob was it saying? My whole body seemed to react to those two words. I could feel my blood pulsating in my veins as a reaction, and it felt really uncomfortable.
What the hell was going on?
A twig snapping underneath my foot quickly brought me back from the memory. Within a second my mind was back in Moonlight falls, about to raid a highly dangerous house harboring at least three vampires or more.
We’d decided to combine forces with another squad, which was supposed to infiltrate at the front while we circled around to the back. And so we did, moving slowly between the trees and bushes to make sure none of us were seen.
It took about six minutes to get in position. I hid behind one of the bushes closest to the back door, with Derek and Tybalt to my left and Hao and Yurick on my right side. The mansion had massive windows everywhere, meaning it would be very difficult to get closer without being seen.
‘Remember, we’re up against triple the amount that we usually are,’ I muttered to my squad mates. ‘Rushing in blindly will most likely be fatal, so try not to get out of formation. And look out for each other in there, if you can.’
‘We’ll have your back, too, captain,’ Tybalt said, and, in his typical mischievous tone, he added: ‘Will you buy us a drink after this, to celebrate?’
‘Maybe. Come back in one piece and we’ll talk about it.’
I heard Yurick chuckling and directed my full attention back to the windows. From my position, I could not see movement anywhere within the mansion. Had the beasts left for a nightly hunt? No, that wasn’t possible. We’d set up a squad to keep tabs on the mansion as we made our way here, and they’d reported that no-one had been in or out the house since the alert.
‘Where are you…?’ I mumbled to myself, my eyes slowly scanning past the rooms that were visible from the outside. It was too silent. Way too silent- as if something bad was about to happen.
At that exact moment, one of the glass doors in the back of the mansion opened. I was too far away to actually hear it opening, but the movement caught my attention right away. My eyes narrowed as I mentally zoomed in to the scene to see who, or what, it was.
Two legs put in boots that looked like they were made of leather strode into the back room. They were without color, in a sickly pale way that I’d never seen on humans before, and looked almost fluorescent despite the lack of light in the mansion. The rest of the figure was still blocked from sight, but as it walked further, I could see an evenly pale hand with black claws. Black claws and blood on it.
We’d just found our vampire.
I raised my arm to give a signal to the rest of my squad, but then my arm froze in midair. Something was not right. The creature ahead of us- it was not moving in the way that the others moved. Those leeches crouched, and when running, they made big, sluggish strides, sometimes even running on their arms to gain speed, like four-legged animals did.
But not this one. She was walking up straight.
My eyes narrowed even more at this realization and I unconsciously leaned in closer, continuing to observe the strange vampire. Slowly, she made her way across the hallway, far enough to reveal herself completely.
But for some reason my eyes were glued to her hand. As I gazed upon the sharp, ominous looking claws, my heart started to beat violently in my chest. I could feel my blood rushing through my veins, pulsating with every heartbeat.
Something was wrong. Something was really wrong.
And then the realization hit me.
I’d seen those claws before.
I could feel my entire body starting to tremble as it realized what my mind had yet to grasp. Almost in trance, I slowly lifted my head to look upon her face. Her ragged clothing had long since disappeared, trading itself for a blood red suit. Her once wild and filthy hair had been tied together in a knot behind her head. Her large, inhuman yellow eyes flashed in the darkness. Slowly, she brought her claw-like hands to her face and smiled at the blood stains, before licking it off.
I recognised those claws.
I knew that face.
As if I’d ever forget after that day in the closet.
That was the monster that killed my siblings.
Within an instant, all of my feelings of hatred and anger from the past fourteen years returned to me. It burnt a way right through my heart and took control of my body, causing me to jump out of the bushes. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t think. Waves of pure hatred forced me ahead, making me charge straight at the mansion. Yelling at me to kill.
And I responded to that call without thinking twice.
‘Captain, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!’ Tybalt screamed behind me, but his voice fell on deaf ears. Within a few seconds I was past the stairs and kicked the door in, breaking all of the glass in the process. My hand was wrapped so tight around my weapon that it seemed to resonate with my pulsating blood.
Kill it. Kill it.
Another shattered door and I was in the same room that the vampire was in just a few seconds ago- but the room was abandoned. I looked around frantically for my target. There was not a single trace that something had been standing here mere seconds ago: even the door was closed again. It must have run back to the front of the house-
Behind me, I heard the breaking of glass, together with something that was unmistakably gunfire. Derek came running through the broken window, his weapon ready and pointed at another vampire that had snuck up on my from behind. It was hissing and clutching at his right arm; Derek had hit him in the shoulder.
‘What are you doing, going in by yourself?!’ he yelled at me. ‘Do you want to die?!’
The vampire lunged itself at Derek with a high-pitched snarl. Derek jumped back and immediately fired his weapon again, but the bullet missed. From the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of red behind the furthest glass door.
‘You deal with this one!’ I yelled at Hao and Yurick, who had just run come running inside.
‘WAIT! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!’
Their protests were ignored as my body took off on its own, chasing down its target. I felt waves of pure hatred, amplifying with every beat of my heart. I blasted myself through the third door, vaguely registrating that I’d arrived in what seemed like a home library. The heavy wooden decoration made the room seem even darker than the rest of the house, but I could clearly see due to the moon shining in from the window. She was there, standing just next to the empty fireplace.
‘I’ve been een looking for you, redhead,’ I growled with gritted teeth, and pointed my weapon at her to fire. The vampire looked me straight in the eyes, almost as if it could see my hatred. She blinked and tilted her head a little. And then she did something that made all the hairs in my neck stand on straight.
‘You smell familiar…’
The meaning of those words took away my last little bit of self-composure as I saw a red haze appear in front of my eyes. My gun fell out of my hands and reached the ground with a metallic clatter.
The next moment both of our bodies became a blur as our assault began. She was fast. Much faster than I had imagined. I could barely see her claws when they slashed at me to draw blood; sharp, pitch black flashes kept missing my head by just an inch.
‘I’m going to kill you, weak human,’ she said, blocking one of my kicks with her arms. ‘Did you know that? We’re going to kill every single one of you and feast on your-‘
The rest of her sentence was cut short as my boot hit her full on the side of her head, tearing at the knot in her hair. She lost balance and fell on the ground. Her blood red manes came loose from the knot and suddenly she looked just like on that day again.
That sight did something to me. She jumped back up again immediately, but I could feel the flow of battle had changed. I threw in one attack after another, hitting her hard wherever I could. Her initial smile had disappeared. She stabbed at my with her claws and started hissing more angrily as I kept evading them.
‘This can’t- you should be weaker!’ she growled. She was clearly surprised and off-guard and I used that moment to kick at her lower legs with all of my strength. The moment my feet connected, I could feel the bone breaking. She let out a screech of pain and fell to the ground.
My gun was only a few feet away. I picked it back up and shot at her arms, both bullets hitting their target and leaving the vampire completely incapable of moving. I could see the hate in her eyes; a fraction of the hatred that was my own. Slowly, I approached her.
‘Torinne, Cecilia, Ivan and Ciel Adams,’ I spat. ‘Four children that you drained and killed fourteen years ago. The pain that they went through… I’m going to return that to you tenfold!’
I fired my gun again, at her shoulders this time. The hand that was holding my weapon shook uncontrollably with rage. I was going to kill her slowly and painfully, to make sure she went through all the pain that I could give her before finally taking my revenge.
‘Curse you!’ The vampire spat. ‘I curse you all! How dare you, you filthy, ignorant humans! I curse you and your entire blood-‘
She stopped at that very word, not bothering to finish her sentence as her eyes widened a fraction. Her mouth moved silently, and I could make out the exact same phrase that the one back in the prison block had used.
And then, to my utter astonishment, she began to laugh. And not a little bit. It was a loud, horrible sounding laugh that sent chills down my spine.
‘What’s so funny?!’ I growled. She barely paid me any attention, despite being pinned down on the floor. It took over twenty seconds for her laughing to get less. It was the most bizarre scene I’d ever witnessed; me standing in a stranger’s mansion in the moonlight, pointing my gun at a frantically laughing vampire.
Finally, she looked me over in a grin that clearly showed her sharp fangs, her tongue licking at a red stain on her cheek that I’d caused.
‘I see… now I see.’
‘So that’s why their blood was so delicious.’
I pulled the trigger.
I never even felt myself do it. My body acted on its own, as it had been doing ever since I’d seen her behind the window. But it was enough. As in slow motion, the killer of my brothers and sisters collapsed and fell to the floor completely, hitting the wooden planks with a soft thud.
I’d fired my weapon at her five times.
After a few seconds, the red haze before my eyes faded. As did the hatred that had given me my adrenaline. My legs collapsed underneath me and I sank to the floor as well, the gun slipping out of my hand and rolling away from me.
I’d taken fourteen years of my life to get to this moment. Fourteen years of sacrifice, hardship and loneliness. And now, I’d finally done it.
I’d taken my revenge.
‘CHIEF! ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?!’
With an amazing amount of noise, my squad came storming in. They all seemed to be roughed up pretty badly, despite having no wounds. All four of them pointed their guns at different points in the room, saw me, and then saw the vampire. Yurick’s mouth almost dropped to the floor and Derek blinked his eyelids multiple times, almost as if he couldn’t process the scene in front of him. I slowly got up from the floor, not bothering to pick up my gun.
‘What about the other vampire?’ I asked, emotionlessly. My body felt like a lump of lead now that all of the adrenaline from the fight was gone. I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder. My whole body was probably going to be sore tomorrow.
‘It ran off,’ Hao said, in an apologetic tone. ‘Right through the windows. We wanted to make sure you were okay, so we didn’t pursue it. We’re sorry, m’am.’
The news that the other creature had run off did surprisingly little to me. Almost as if it didn’t matter anymore, after all that had happened in the past five minutes. The floor under me was swaying a little bit, and I leaned into the wall to keep my balance.
Slowly, Yurick came closer and cast a glance as the body lying on the ground. There was a deep frown on his face, and he kept looking from the vampire to me and back.
‘Chief… is that…?’
I gave him a slight nod as an answer.
‘Tybalt. Contact the other squad. There would be more vampires around, so we’ll need to do a thorough search of the entire mansion. Take Derek with you, it’s too dangerous to go alone.’
The look on Tybalt’s face said he absolutely didn’t feel like leaving this room. He quickly composed himself, though, and nodded to me.
‘Come on, Derek.’
The two cast another glance at me before leaving the room. Hao walked back to the doors, clearly to keep watch over the rooms he could see from here. Yurick and I were left alone at the other end of the room, together with the remains of the red-headed vampire.
‘We’ll need to give a report of this one to the Colonel,’ I mumbled absent-mindedly.
‘Yes, Chief,’ Yurick nodded. He, too, was about to turn around, when I saw him hesitate and turn back to me.
‘Chief? Can I ask you a question?’
I slowly turned my head towards my subordinate and nodded, just like I’d done before.
‘That was the one, wasn’t it? The one that killed your siblings.’
I kept quiet. Yurick came to a conclusion by himself already, though, and looked at me with a mixture of worry and curiosity on his face.
‘How… how does it feel?’
I knew what he was getting at. Revenge… it had been a goal for both of us. It had been my drive, my reason to go on for all these years. I realized that now. I’d felt that, if I were to kill the one that had killed them, it would achieve something. It would make up for something.
And then I did it. I’d killed the one that was the source of my nightmares for fourteen years. I didn’t just kill it, either, I’d tortured it. To make it feel to some extent the pain that my brothers and sisters, and I myself, had gone through.
I’d finally reached my goal.
But then what was this feeling in my chest? I was supposed to be happy. Relieved, even. I was supposed to be cheering with joy that my fourteen-year long hunt had finally come to an end. But instead, I felt nothing. No delighted feelings, no happiness. Not even the suppressed rage that had always lingered deep inside me somewhere, contained by the mental wall that I’d built to hide my emotions.
There was absolutely nothing left.
What did I think killing it would achieve? They wouldn’t come back. I’d fooled myself thinking that revenge would solve anything at all. And now I had nothing. Nothing to work towards, nothing to remind myself that I had a purpose in life.
There was absolutely nothing.
‘I feel empty.’