The story begins…
It always begins with the restricted feeling of movement. My arms nearly pinned down to my chest, my legs snugly forced together. I open my eyes, but I’m only exposed to more darkness. Inside this ‘package’, eyes open and eyes closed have very little distinction between them.
My body wants to stretch, but I can’t unzip the bag. Not yet. If there are any rays of sunlight left, they will turn me to ash before I get the chance to cover myself back up. This is a very precise procedure for people like us. Waking up before the sun sets completely can be a dangerous defect in a vampire’s sleep cycle. Luckily for us, we’ve learned to embrace it…and use it…to keep our pockets fat.
I finally hear the high pitched whistle coming from Twitch’s bag not far from me, and that means that we’ve gotten enough darkness to unzip our body bags at last. We had strategically placed them here on this bridge last night, not too far from our target. Most of the time, we had to move fast. This wasn’t going to be any exception. The whistle was a welcome signal, as I always hated lying in these things for longer than a few minutes at a time when I was conscious. It’s like being locked in a coffin, covered from head to toe, alone. I unzipped the bag from the inside, and sat upright, watching my four raider mates doing the same. The lingering traces of sunlight always made us a bit nauseous at first, the big sleep trying to hold onto us for as long as it could. But despite the discomfort of hibernation sickness, we had gotten used to ignoring the symptoms and bringing ourselves to full awareness as quickly as possible. As a raider, it was important that we took advantage of every moment that we could get before our targets woke up from their slumber. We didn’t have long. If they wake up before we finish, we were going to have one hell of a conflict on our hands. And even though we were able to scrap with the best of them, it was always better to avoid those confrontations than it was to provoke them. No time for stretching out and waiting for the sleep to wear off. We had work to do.
“Twitch? How much time do we have until their awakening?” I asked, as he put on his glasses and looked at his equipment.
“According to my calculations, we’ve got a possible window of 37 minutes. Give or take.” Twitch was as exact with his calculations as any computer, and I trusted him to always give us the right time frame. He was hardly ever wrong. He was the smallest of us, only 13 at he time of his crossover, with curly brown hair, brown eyes, dimples and glasses. As cute as a cupie doll you bring home from the county fair. But he was smart as a whip. No detail went unnoticed, no mistakes were made. He was even able to build equipment that let us know exactly when it was safe to expose ourselves to the fading daylight. Twitch wasn’t much for physical combat, he wasn’t big enough to intimidate ANYBODY, much less fight them off if we got into trouble. But he was definitely a greatly appreciated, and very necessary, part of our operation.
Delilah was the next to get out of her body bag. Shaking her medium length red hair so that it kept some kind of civilized appearance after being locked in a sack all night long. Her freckles had all but faded after being away from the sun for so long. Not even the regenerative properties of darkness could hold their once bold color. She was a beauty, no doubt, but behind those feminine looks was a cold hearted killer if the situation called for it. To be on her bad side was to nurture a very painful deathwish, believe me. She had an amazing eye for valuables, however. Delilah could easily tell what artifacts would bring in a great deal of cash later when we set up a market. So it was a bonus to always have her with us in the field. She never smiled, though. Not once in the four years that I’ve known her. No matter how big the take or how successful the approach. She was all about two things…money and business. And since money IS her business…it didn’t leave room for other things like…’joy’. “Somebody wake up Brigade.” She moaned with a roll of her eyes. “We’ve got shit to do.”
Brigade was the undeniable ‘muscle’ of our crew. He was huge. Crossed over at age 23, his big muscles and solid frame were frightening to most other vampires who happened to catch a glimpse of his size. Usually just moments before he smashes them in the mouth and sends them reeling back on their ass like a ragdoll. I’ll be honest and say that ‘book smarts’ isn’t his strong point, but if you need something done and done right…I doubt you could find a more loyal warrior to have beside you. He rolled over in his body bag, and I unzipped it for him, giving him a little kick. “No time for thumbsucking, Brigade. Come on. We’ve gotta put in work, hombre.” I told him.
“Just five more minutes…” He said, his deep voice rumbling around in his chest.
“Get UP! Move it! Quit fucking around!” That was Angel. Supposedly the head of our operation, even though the others trust me a hell of a lot more than they trust him. Angel was my age, fifteen, with frenzied blond hair, and a wicked smile that could back you up against a brick wall from a distance. He was one of those people who simply had an abrasive personality that was beyond his control. Even his sense of humor could be insulting if you weren’t used to it. Not that he cared either way, of course. Angel had money to make, and trinkets to steal. He didn’t have any tolerance for mistakes. In fact, he didn’t have any tolerence for much of anything. “Xavier, how are we gonna do this?”
Xavier, that’s me. Fifteen years old with over ten years in darkness. I was sired by a beautiful boy vampire named Demetrius, but he unfortunately became the victim of a pack of scavengers one night on the south side of town. I couldn’t tell you how long ago that was. I made it a deliberate point not to remember. I was all alone. Nowhere to go, nowhere to stay. For a vampire who was born into darkness with the ability to wake up earlier than most, there is always an opportunity to make some quick cash. And that opportunity comes from being a raider. Thieves, they call us. The bandits of the vampire world. Robin Hoods of the midnight hour…but without the extra step of selflessly giving our riches to the poor. We made a pretty good penny, doing what we did. Raiding small vampire camps, one by one, for the articles that they bring with them into darkness. And that kept us well housed in small private hotel rooms where we wouldn’t be bothered while we slept during the day. No sleeping on the streets or in sewers, abandoned buildings or junkyards. We maintained a somewhat suitable lifestyle reminicent of the one we had when we were human. With a running shower, music, television, decent clothes, and indoor heat or air conditioning. We kept ourselves comfortable, and all it took was the merchandising of a few forgotten memories.
You see, every vampire has something special in their possessions that they cling to for dear life. Something that reminds them of what it was like to be human. Pieces of their life that they can’t let go of, no matter how long it’s been. The older the vampire, the more valuable their possessions. And therefore…the more money we can get for it when we steal it from them. In a single night, if we find a nice sized cluster of vamps and get to their camp quick enough…we might find ourselves a couple hundred dollars worth of merchandise. When we set up a market, other vampires come from all over the city to look at our take. Old photos are usually a big seller, with music and sentimental pieces of jewelry not far behind. You’d be surprised how much someone else will pay for a physical representation of somebody else’s life.
“Get your head straight, Xavier! We need to get down there.” Angel grunted. He looked over the side of the bridge and scanned the old train yard below us. Empty box cars, rusted and forgotten, sitting on train tracks that hadn’t been used in years. It certainly looked like the perfect place for a vampire tribe to me. “You sure you got this place pegged right, Twitch?”
“Definitely. I’ve been casing the joint from the north overpass for a week now. I estimate a cluster of about fifteen, more than half of them are halflifes.” Twitch answered, looking over the yard with his binoculars. “I studied their sleeping habits, and only a few of them had varied results.”
“X?” Delilah looked to me for direction, and that always made Angel frown up wth offense. He wanted to be the head honcho, afterall.
“How much time do we have left?” I asked Twitch.
“Approximately thirty two minutes.”
“That’s not enough time for a major take.” Brigade added, now joining the rest of us. “By the time we get down there and get cracking, we won’t have much time left to snatch anything good.”
“Angel? What do you think?” I asked.
“I think we’re wasting time. We can grab enough. Just don’t get so fucking picky. Open your sacks and take everything you can find. We’ll sort it out later and trash what ain’t valuable.”
“I don’t know, X. I’m down for whatever. But it is a pretty small window.”
I looked back down at their camp, and knew that I had to make a decision. “I say we go for it.”
“The odds of getting a better take might increase wth more planned research of the area.” Twitch told me. “We can’t necessarily rob the same place twice. Better to have on big wipe out all at once.”
“Yeah, but we can’t chance camping out here for another day. If they find any trace of our set up on this bridge, they’ll stake us for sure.” I said, scanning the entire yard from where I was. There was an instinct involved when it came to knowing whether or not to go into a habitat, and this one felt right. “Let’s move.”
“You heard the man. Masks up. Move out.” Delilah repeated, and we grabbed our empty looting sacks, climbing our way down to the train yard. Wearing masks on our faces was important. Being recognized in the streets by the vampires we’ve stolen from can be a big problem. Especially if they remember us before we remember them. You get a lot of surprise knives in the back that way.
We always went with dark cloths wrapped over our mouths and noses. It was loose fitting, easy to breathe through, and didn’t restrict our vision at all. But I’ve seen other raiders do it differently. Some with monster masks, clown make up, gas masks, or glow in the dark face paint. Whatever camouflage they used, they knew the importance of invisiblity as far as their true identity was concerned.
We snuck down into the train yard and took our positions. “Twitch, you remember which cars were inhabited, right?” I ask.
“I’ve got the map right here.” He had it drawn out on a napkin, marking the ‘loaded’ cars from the empty ones. We didn’t have time to waste.
“Good. You go ahead of us and mark the boxcars with an ‘X’ for us. Brigade, start working on those locks.” I told them. They nodded and went right to work. “Angel…you…?”
“Don’t tell me what to do, X. I don’t need your help to rob a bunch of napping kids, thank you very much.” And he moved forward ahead of us. He never listens.
We gave Twitch and Brigade a three minute head start before fanning out to begin our operation. The game was in play.
Every raider was responsible for getting their own take. We all worked alone to cover as much territory as possible in the shortest amount of time. When we linked back up later, we could figure out who keeps what. For now, our only concern was a quick and quiet ‘snatch and grab’ without waking anyoe up. The faster we fill our bags and regroup, the better. I saw Delilah take the boxcar on the left, Twitch’s neon colored markings shining in the limited light. So I moved forward to break into the boxcar on the right. Brigade had brutally ripped the lock open with the tools he had brought with him, so it was easy to get inside.
The boxcar was prety big inside. Set up a lot like a large trailer home by the young vampires inside. Tables, an old desk, dresser, and a mattress and box spring in the back. I moved forward quietly, but swiftly, turning on the lamp beside their bed. There were three of them laying there, two halflife’s, about 14 years old, and a vampire that looked about 19 or 20. They were all completely naked, cuddled together in the most loving way, with the older vampire holding on to his young lovers in a protective embrace. They were physically dead to the world, but something about their position in bed, something about the love that lingered inside them when the sleep came to claim them…it made them look so alive. I have to admit, I paused in the midst of all this and stared longingly at the threesome before me. Their clothes kicked playfully to the side of the bed, their bodies sexually satisfied, their afterglow still evident through tiny smirks on the boy’s faces. I remember that. I remember being with someone. Sharing my eternity, my heart, my laughter. It’s times like this that I really do miss being a part of something special.
My trance was broken by the sound of Delilah coming out of the boxcar already with a full sack, and moving on to the next one. Damn…she was getting faster every day, it seemed. Alright, wake up, Xavier. We’ve got a job to do. I opened the drawers and began grabbing whatever I could. They didn’t have much in the way of expensive trinkets, but what they did have seemed to be extremely personal to them. Sentimental artifacts could sometimes bring in top dollars. Even more than other valuables. So I kept grabbing more stuff, working my way around the room. And when I got close to the bed…I saw somehing sticking out of an old backpack. A worn out teddy bear, with one of the eyes missing. I stared at it, picking it up to look closer. Wow…the emotional attachment is unbelievably high in an article like this. I know a few vampires who would give us a nice amount of money for something so adorable. But as I looked back down at the three boys in the bed, a hint of conscience washed over me. Whoever this bear belonged to…it meant a lot to them. More than anything some perverted ‘memory collector’ could give me at market. I hesitated for a moment, and even though my looting sack was full of their other possessions, I decided to leave the teddy bear. I instead put it into the bed with them, under the arm of the angel faced blond with the long hair and porcelain smooth skin. It looked like it would be his, if anybody’s.
Moments of compassion. I’ve really gotta learn to get rid of them.
I jumped out of the boxcar to see if I could make it to at least one other habitat before checking out. Angel and Brigade were finishing up their second take already, and Delilah was already heading to her third. Twitch stayed visible in the middle of the camp, pacing back and forth as he kept time and acted as a lookout for any suspicious movements. Our eyes met, and he tapped his finger on his watch, reminding me to hurry up. So I entered another car and took as much stuff as I could carry. The four of us had goten our hands on more stuff than we thought possible in the allotted time frame, and when we gathered in the center of the train yard with our bags full, we still had two or three minutes left to spare.
“Where’s Angel?” I asked.
“Right here…” I saw him walking up behind me, a slight frown wrinkling up his brow. And he had something in his hand. “…You getting sloppy on us, Xavier?” I looked down as he opened up my sack and stuffed it with the teddy bear that I had purposly left behind. Our eyes met for a moment, his gaze challenging me not to take it. Daring me to defend my actions. To admit that I was taking money out of the pockets of my teammates, all for the sentimentality of a teddy bear. “You left it behind…accidently.” He sneered. “Money is money. We need all we can get. That’s what we’re here for. Right?” Heartless bastard.
“Right.” I said with a sigh, keeping my mouth shut and closing up the bag. Sorry kid…I hope this bear wasn’t anything too special to ya.
“Alright, everybody’s accounted for. Let’s go home and divvy up the winnings, shall we?” Angel smirked.
“Not a bad night.” Twitch added with a boyish smile. “I’m thinking we can get back to our set up and get out of here before…URRKKK!!!!” It was so sudden that none of us were prepared for it! I didn’t even know what had happened until I felt the splash of blood splatter across my face! A look of utter horror appeared in Twitch’s eyes, as a long knife came pushing striaght through his chest! And then, he was literally lifted off of his feet! “Aaaaaagghhhhh!!!” He screamed, and we all looked on as a large behemoth of a man stepped out from behind a boxcar, holding our friend suspended in the air by the knife lodged in his back.
“Raider SCUM!!!” He yelled in a deep voice, and he slung Twitch to the ground in a heap. One of our targets…was awake!
“TWITCH!” Delilah hurried over to grab a hold of him as he coughed up splatters of blood. The young boy looking like a toddler in her arms.
Brigade needed no order to be given. He was almost as big as the bodybuilding hulk in front of us, and twice as fearless. In Brigade’s mind, if you hurt one of our friends, you get put down….HARD! He charged straight ahead, ramming the big man in his chest, and knocking him against the boxcar behind him. Angel’s fangs dropped down instantly, his crimson glow shining brightly as he jumped forward to add fuel to the fire. Despite the fact that we were usually pretty careful with our planning, he lived for this kind of conflict. If for no other reason than to keep himself well practiced. As Brigade was thrown to the ground, Angel was right there to trade blows with the enemy, his trim and wiry body moving so fast and so fluidly, that the man could hardly get a strike in before falling to his knees. Twitch was shaking, going into convulsions, and Delilah mentally scanned his body to see what the damage was.
“How’s he doing?” I shouted.
“His heart is ok! But the blade punctured a lung! He’s hurt bad, X!” She shouted back.
It was then that I heard Twitch’s watch alarm go off. Time’s up, the others are gonna be waking up any second! We can take down one ‘early riser’, but we’re not equipped for an entire camp of pissed of vampires! Especially with an injured party. Raider rules one, two, and three? Set camp, stock up, step out! In and out, clean! We needed an escape, and NOW!
“I’ve got him! We need to shoot out of here! Now!” I told her, and grabbed Twitch out of her arms. She had such a hateful snarl on her face, and drew two butterfly knives from the inside of her boots.
“You need a pathway out of here? Let me ‘cut’ you one!” She said, and she hurried off.
“I’m…I’m s-s-sorry….X….” Twitch mumbled, gasping for air, bleeding from his thin lips. “…I…I miscalculated…I….I’m sorry…”
“Shhh! No you didn’t, Twitch. You were right on the money as always, young blood? Don’t talk. We’re gonna get you home.”
“It…it HURTS!” He cried, and I lifted him up off of the ground. It was going to be a very rough ride for him, but the only way to get him out of there was to sling him over my shoulder. He’ll be ok with the next sleep cycle or two, but for now…he’s gonna just have to buck up and take it.
As I looked up, I saw Brigade and Angel basically being forced to stand back as Delilah began spinning and slicing our attacker all over his body faster than he could defend against. She barely left time for one wound to bleed before cutting three more slashes into him. Brigade just didn’t wanna get stuck by mistake, and Angel stood back just to watch our femme fatale go to work. He had to hold back from laughing. But that’s when I heard another boxcar open, and I knew that we only had seconds to get out of there. “MOVE! We’ve got a wakening here!” I shouted, and Delilah stopped playing around, shoving the two blades into the front of the large man’s knees! Slicing the tendons below the kneecap and causing him to roar in agony! Ouch…that just had to hurt!
Another vampire flew into the battle and Angel took him head on as the rest of us grabbed Twitch’s equipment and out take for the night. Boxcars began opening up all around us when they heard the noise, but by then, we were already skating out of there as fast as we could. They chased us for a bit, but were more concerned for their injured friends than they were in chasing us into the darkness. As Twitch bled over my shoulder, still crying and whimpering with the pain my carry was causing him…I looked back momentarily at the camp behind us. Right there, at the edge of the camp, a little blond teenager with porcelain smooth skin…bent down to pick up an object that I tossed out of our bag at the last second before our escape. A small ratty old teddy bear…with one eye missing. Despite being a thief, I’ve gotta keep SOME kind of boundaries. Afterall, a heartless vampire…is a dead vampire.
When we later got back to the hotel with our take, we slumped Twitch down in a corner and let him rest for a bit. The others were quick to dump their looting sacks out on the floor, sifting through the collection of valuables and separating what they thought they could sell at market and what they’d throw away when they were finished. Looking at them like that…I always felt a certain amount of shame. Don’t get me wrong, I was very good at what I did, I always was. But there was no challenge in stealing possessions from sleeping children. There was no honor in that. And as they scratched their way through old memories and collectibles, I saw Twitch lightly gasping for air in the corner, the pain still aching in the center of his chest. That little boy almost ‘died’ for this useless junk. And I know Angel and the others would have no problem sending him out there to take the same risk tomorrow once he had healed again.
“I’m gonna go for a walk.” I said quietly. “I need to clear my head.”
“Suit yourself. But we’re calling everything we wanna keep first. So if you’re left out in the cold, remember, it’s your own fault.” Angel didn’t even look up from his pile when he said it.
“Whatever.” I walked towards the door and opened it.
“Hey! Hold on! Where’s the teddy bear?” Angel shouted. The others looked up at me, and I didn’t bother to give them an answer. Then again, maybe the look I gave them was the answer. And I shut the door behind me, just as Angel yelled, “You’re a big fucking SAP, you know that???”
I took an extended walk indeed that night. I had hours upon hours of darkness left before the big sleep came back to give me some peace. Even when surrounded with friends, this life could be so lonley sometimes. Sigh…I miss my Demetrius. At times like this, he’d hug me close, and kiss my lips…telling me that things would be alright. And he would hum for me. No song in particular, just some improvised tune that always seemed to make the angst disappear. I could use that right about now.
I stood on a rooftop of an old building, just breathing in some fresh air and enjoying the silence and solitude for a moment. I looked down at the neighborhood below, staring at it blankly…giving my thoughts some time to unwind.
“You got a light?” Came a voice from behind me. It was another vampire, not far from me in age, with a long scar on the side of his face. He was holding a cigarette in his lips, and wearing a long coat.
“I don’t smoke.” I told him. I had to keep my guard up around other vampires. They couldn’t be trusted. Not when you make a living off of ripping them off.
“Ahh, don’t smoke. Good. Good for you.” The boy said. “You know, it’s not such a bad habit..once you take the poison, lung cancer, and addiction to niccotine, out of the equation. Us vampires have it easy, don’t we?”
I turned to face him. “Is this your awkward attempt of trying to ‘ease’ your way into a conversation?”
A big smile broke out on his face, and he put his cigarette away. “Yeah…you got me.”
“Well let me save you some trouble, I’m not interested. I’ve already got a vampire family, and we’re not looking to ‘adopt’, so beat it.” Better to say it cold and keep him from asking anymore questions. The faster he gets away from me, the faster I can be at ease.
“Actually…I’m not here for myself. I’m here on behalf of my boss.” He said. “You are Xavier, correct?”
“How do you know my name?”
“Hehehe, you’d be surprised what my employer knows about you.” The boy answered. “He has a very big proposition for you and your team. He’s downstairs in the basement if you’d like to discuss business. I’m pretty sure that he’d be willing to make it worth your while.” I squinted my eyes slightly, wondering what this boy’s angle was. Don’t think that it hadn’t crossed my mind that this could be a set up. For all I know, there could be an army of pissed of vamps waiting with baseball bats downstairs. But the curiousity over this so-called employer of his made me want to take the risk. If push comes to shove, I can hold my own in a fight. Then again, maybe having my head bashed in would be a welcome liberation from this life of mine. It’s hard to care when there’s so little to live for.
“I certainly hope this isn’t some kind of game. It would be a waste of time if I just had some thugs with a macho complex waiting to jump on me once I got down there.” I smirked, but with a serious tone.
The boy could only smile back. “We wouldn’t dream of leading you off, sir. We need you.”
He guided me down the steps and to the basement. I kept my eyes open the entire time just in case. My senses were on high alert, and every noise was calculated and measured in my brain to determine whether or not I was going to have to fight or flee. Finally, he opened the door to a large room, and inside was a man, about 25 years old, but with a much younger looking face. He had short hair that had been bleached white, and was wearing a glaring white suit, with a single red rose in the lapel. He gave me an evil grin as soon as our eyes made contact, and it was slightly unsettling. It was the kind of grin a snake entertains when it first spots that unsuspecting rodent crossing its path.
“Mr. Xavier…welcome.” He said in a low voice. “My name is Octavio.”
“Great. You mind telling me what this is all about? I was kinda enjoying my time alone.”
“I understand. A vampire needs to be alone with his thoughts from time to time. It heals the wounds of the soul. In darkness…there can be many.”
“Riiiiiight…” I looked him up and down, making sure he kept his distance.
“I realize that you want to get right down to business, so I’ll be brief. I want to know if, perhaps, you would be interested in pulling a little ‘job’ for me. A serious one.”
I looked at him sideways for a moment. “Is this, like, a sexual thing? Because I don’t do that.”
“Hehehe, no, Xavier. But I am sure you would get a rush from it just the same.” He grinned. “I heard you were a thief. One of the best in the area. Some say one of the best in the entire city. You have quite an impressive reputation preceeding you.”
“I need to hire you and your team for your talents. I’ve searched every inch of this city looking for a pack of raiders who would be able to pull this off, and your name came up many times among my informants.”
“We don’t pull jobs for ‘hire’…” I said.
But he interrupted with, “No, you waste your talents ‘pickpocketing’ from halflifes and homeless degenerates while they sleep. Vampires without a cause. Without purpose. Merely existing to breathe up all of our air and drain our already limited food supply. Children…with a collection of photographs and toys that you hope will bring you enough pennies to keep a roof over your head each month. Tsk tsk tsk…you could be doing SO much more.” Mr. Octavio walked closer to me, and I tensed up slightly, preparing myself just in case. “Imagine the small unimportant articles that you’ve seen and collected in your time as a raider. Small radios, old music, out of style clothes, and worn out shoes.” He circled around me with a grin. “And now…imagine what kind of priceless treasures you could find in the hidden underground vault of an Elder. A 493 year old vampire, that has gathered an entire fortune of memories over time. Imagine what a collection like that must be like. Antiques, coins, weapons, books, ancient texts the likes that you have never seen. A vault like that, and the objects inside…they could keep you and your team living well for the rest of eternity.” He then came around to look me directly in the eye. “Suppose…I knew the location of such a vault? And had a map to the inner workings of the place where it was held?” I didn’t answer, not right away. But just like I said before…sometimes the look on my face…is the answer. “I know I’ve gotten your interest, Mr. Xavier. You’re not some nickel and dime thief, are you? No….you feel the ‘itch’. The rush you get from a challenge this big. And a prize with the promise of untold fortune. You can taste it….can’t you? This is an opportunity that no true thief could ever pass up. No more robbing these pathetic kids night after night, putting forth a million dollar effort for a hundred dollar reward. It’s not worth it. I’m giving you the opportunity for something bigger.” He told me. “After that…if you decide to go back to swiping baseball cards and stuffed animals…it’ll merely be because you get a kick out of it.”
“I’m going to assume that all of these ‘untold riches’ are going to be split right down the center with you?” I asked, containing the building anxiety inside over such a primo offer.
“Hehehe, no. I have no use for such things, Mr. Xavier, I’m already quite rich indeed. You break into the vault with your team, and you keep as much as you can carry.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.” I said. “You wouldn’t pay us just to break in and walk away without wanting anything in return. So are you gonna tell me what it is I’m looking for, or are we gonna beat around that bush for a little while longer?”
“I like the way you think, boy. Hehehe…yes. There is one precious item that I want you to lift for me, and one only. Retrievng this artifact is a dangerous task, that’s why I needed a professional. Make no mistake…it will be well protected.”
“Ok, so what is it?”
He paused, almost as if he didn’t want to say. “A book.”
“Yes. But not just any book. A handwritten collection of memoirs. A vampire scripture that was expertly hidden away from any known archive in existence. This book, this sacred text….is believed to be written by Dracula himself.”
Okaaaay, somebody has been sniffing glue for way too long. “You mean Vlad the Impaler?” I said, wondering why I even bought into this.
“I mean…the amazing vampire that Vlad the Impaler was often mistaken for in the history books. I assure you, Dracula was very real indeed. And his personal scriptures are located somewhere deep in the center of that vault.”
“So you’re looking to peek at Count Dracula’s diary. Psh! Wonderful. That’s CERTAINLY a good reason for me and my friends to risk our lives!” I scoffed.
“Laugh if you will, but I am very serious about getting this text. I’ll pay any price.”
Looking into his eyes, my smile slowly faded. “You’re really serious about this, aren’t you?”
“Indeed I am. It has been said….that this book contains the undeciphered writings of Dracula himself. His life and times, his experiences, his loves, his battles…and a detailed account of extras the likes that our kind have never seen. Lessons and tutorials on how to develop and use these extras at will. Powerful abilities discovered back when our species was at its strongest. I would imagine that the pure vampires of his day would look at our dilluted watered down evolution much like the gods of Olympus looked down at its subjects in ancient Greece. As you can see…these hidden scriptures carry with them a level of power that you can’t even imagine.” The look on Mr. Octavio’s face was one of obsession. Beyond determination. Just talking about it made his eyes harden with a level of desperation that let me know that we could charge him almost ANYTHING, and he’d be willing to hand over he cash. “I WANT that book! And I need you to get it for me.”
“You realize that this entire mission is bullshit, right? That this is completely crazy? Dracula? Are you serious? He’s just a myth. A fictional character that some alcoholic author put in a book somewhere between dinner and bedtime. It’s not real.”
“I’m not here to fund your beliefs, Mr. Xavier. I am merely offering you and your pack of hooligans enough financial gain to get you off of the streets, and live comfortably for the rest of your existence. We can talk fiction and fairy tales when you return.”
Our eyes met, neither one of us willing to be the first to turn away. I have to admit, if this was a ruse, he certainly was passionate about making it believeable. I’m not one for being gullable enough to take something like this seriously…but if he’s right about the vault, and there really is an Elder’s collection of goods spanning over the last five centuries…then it’ll be the biggest take we’ve ever had. The stuff we could FIND in a place like that! We could set up market just one last time and get out of the game for good. No more stealing. No more fighting. No more injuries and arguments and waking up in bodybags on the edge of some dirty vampire camp. One last job…and we can all rest easy. Forever.
The only question now is…whether or not Mr. Octavio can be trusted. I haven’t met a desperate man yet that kept his word. I don’t like doing business with people where obsessions are involved. It makes us expendable. We’ll just have to see to it that we come out of this on top. No matter what.
Looks like we’ve got work to do.
WHERE WILL THE STORY GO FROM HERE???
That will depend on YOU!!! The stage has been set, and I know you guys have some ideas (and aren’t too damn CHICKEN to try your hand at finishing the story your way! Hehehe!) So, how does it all turn out?
Will Julian fight for the love of his life? Will he fight to stay? Will he fight to escape? Will he sneak out with Glenn on his shoulders before they try to do him some harm? Can the Nosferatu defect be cured somehow? Or will Glenn wake up and turn on his boyfriend, beginning a horrible massacre with his own sire? Will julian be forced to slay his one true love? And if so, will he do it before he wakes up? And are Julian and Glenn really who they say they are? Or are they hiding something from everyone else? There are endless possibilities, and the only limit is your imagination! So give us an ending…and do it your way!
All submissions will be proudly displayed right here on the “GFD: Blood Bank”, and all authors will be given full credit for their work and ideas! I know how I plan to end it…but let’s see what you come up with first! 🙂 Seezya then!