Authors Note: I watched “Interview with a vampire” a few weeks ago and decided to write my own vampire thriller, due to its length, I’ve decided to break it up into two or three parts. This is part one and was written entirely on my phone because my computer is no longer working. The second part will be published sometime this week. I hope you enjoy, feel free to leave some commentary! Music to read by: “Voodoo” Godsmack.
Rain fell in a hostile sweeping motion, causing the frightened stranger to seek shelter underneath a rickety lean-to left over by some previous nomad. Thunder rumbled and followed streams of lightning across the midnight sky. Ominous clouds engulfed the heavens, leaving the moon stranded somewhere in the atmosphere without a chance to comfort his weary soul. It was a cold rain and it soaked into his thick, unforgiving skin. His body ached in remembrance of his king sized mattress and his spine was erect from both fear and dismay.
Howling erupted from somewhere he could not see, his eyes opened wider and his ears moved to the haunting sound of wild animals lurking in the background. The thought of being eaten alive by carnivores with ferocious, razor-sharp teeth made him yelp aloud. He smacked his hand over his mouth and tried hard not to scream for fear of summoning the wicked creatures closer to his shelter.
It was a cold rain and it was an eerie, horrible night to be stranded in the woods. The wind played the tall pine trees like a harpist stroking the strings of his beloved instrument. But this was not a peaceful, relaxing tune. The world around him echoed and cried and he remembered the old Irish folklore about banshee’s ascending from hell in order to warn of impending doom. The storm was ruthless, leaving nothing exempt from its unstoppable power.
He cursed underneath his breath and swore to kill someone at the car rental agency. They promised “great cars at affordable prices”. But they had given him a lemon on four wheels and it had broken down a few hours after leaving the lot. The family had untold millions and access to whatever they wanted, but since he was yet to be “made”, he was on his own as far as comfort was concerned.
When the howling commenced for a second time, he pictured flesh being torn from his bones and wolves dragging him into their cave as they feasted on his scrawny frame without a second thought.
He was a wolf. A predator that stalked the streets in search of easy targets. The organ pumping blood into his veins was rock solid and filled with a murderous agenda and an appetite for everything unholy. Like the animals that stalked the dark forest surrounding him, the eyes in his sockets were empty, void of life and only satisfied when the scent of prey drew near. The family had sent him on a mission, if successfully accomplished, he would finally earn his stripes and receive the respect he deserved.
The target was a former Capo turned FBI informant who fled Chicago several months earlier and had been located deep in the Adirondack mountains in New York. It was an easy job and he didn’t mind getting his hands dirty because the rewards were worth it. But things had turned south quickly. He wasn’t in New York for more than a few hours before his car died in the middle of nowhere. The dirt road leading to his destination was a swamp, the rain and fog was too thick, and once the engine began to stutter and stammer and give in, he decided to abandon the small hatchback to its fate. With the hope of finding a nearby town, he began to hoof it.
Mother Nature had other plans as it bore down its wrath upon him. When he came across the lean-to, his boots were saturated and his mind played terrible tricks. Doubt crept up his legs and overtook his senses. Exhaustion, fear and respite from the rain took its toll and he began to drift off into sleeps soothing release.
By the time he came to, the monsoon had dwindled into a friendly drizzle and the morning sun was rising somewhere he could not identify. The world was hidden under mist, he stepped back onto the road and attempted to gain his bearings but it was to no avail. The howling had ceased and he hoped the animals had moved deeper into the vast territory and found another target to spy on.
The silence was deadly and it began to haunt him. No cars, no humans, no fast food. Just a jungle of nothingness and a date to keep with a former mobster. He was very punctual when it came business and he hated to disappoint the family. This was his opportunity, nothing would come between it.
An hour into his nature hike brought little in the way of civilization. The mud roads turned into sloppy pavement, he thanked the gods for this as walking became less of a burden. He was drenched. His new boots ruined, his cell phone was waterlogged and the anger, that terrible, piercing anger was slowly pushing his patience further into oblivion.
Then he heard the sound of hoof beats echoing through the air. Turning around, his ears tried to pinpoint the exact location and a spring of hope began to materialize in his mind. He stood very still while the noise grew closer and closer.
“That’s a fucking horse, it’s gotta be.”
Through the ghostly fog a giant beast began to come into view. It was pulling a small cart and its driver was shrouded in a heavy cloak. The horse was jet black with ripped muscles and long snout that undoubtedly exhaled fire and brimstone as it tore into the ground that it trampled.
He stood on the shoulder and waited for the caravan to come to a halt. As it drew nearer, all he could distinguish was the old person holding the reins. Its head was bent low and hidden by a hood. Grey, stringy hair flowed from underneath, its hands were ancient but in control of the monster that pulled it. The person underneath the cloak appeared thin, and a large wooden box sat unmolested in the rear cargo bay. A familiar chill ran up the young mans spine as the sinister apparition came to a stop ten yards away from him.
The horse and driver remained quiet. Not a breath could be heard, nothing moved. The fog seemed to grow thicker as the seconds ticked.
“Hello there. My car broke down about ten miles south of here, do you know if there’s a town close by with a payphone?” The murderer attempted to communicate with the odd human in front of him.
“This is private land, why have you trespassed? This is not a place for hitchhiker’s.” Came a raspy, emotionless reply.
“Like I said, my car broke down. I don’t see any trespassing signs, and this is a public road is it not?”
He deduced it was the voice of an old woman. Knowing what was at stake, he was prepared to take the necessary steps to keep things from getting out of hand.
“Who are you and why have you come? These woods are not to be trifled with. I can assure you there are things here that go bump in the night. Take heed of my warnings child, turn away now, go back to where you came from.”
With that warning she made a strange clicking sound and the horse began to move once more. His blood pressure started rising as he stepped closer to the buggy.
“Take it easy, I’m stranded in the middle of nowhere, can you at least give me a lift? I have money.”
A gut wrenching screech emerged from the driver seat as she laughed at his proclamation. This caused his belly to flip with unease, his anger, that devilish anger, was giving him bad thoughts about the old coot staying warm under her wool overcoat.
“I don’t know what’s so funny but-”
“Money! Alright young man, I shall give you sanctuary if you are in dire straights. I hate to see you end up like so many other hitchhiker’s who dare venture out here alone. You are brave aren’t you? Yes very brave indeed. Come, come up here and join me.” With a wave of her bony hand, she beckoned him.
He had yet to see her face, it was still hidden underneath her hood. He stood a moment and contemplated the offer.
“What is your name woman? And before I climb aboard your ship, I want to see your face. I don’t normally ride with strangers, but these fucking woods are creepy as hell and my legs are tired.”
“You wish to see my face? Very well, my name is Delilah and these are my woods. I don’t get many visitors, it could be nice to have supper with such a strapping young man.”
Delilah slowly put the reigns down and grabbed the rim of her hood gently and pulled it back. To his surprise, her skin was soft as porcelain, her grey hair now shone with a beauty he didn’t recognize earlier. Even her hands seemed less wrinkled.
But her eyes were solid white. No pupils.
The man standing in the muddy road gasped and looked away.
“I know what you’re thinking boy. I was born blind and my eyes are sensitive to light.”
Usually one to make quick decisions, he found himself at a loss and wasn’t sure if he should get on board with a woman who at one moment appeared to be ninety years old and the next, thirty. But he had people waiting for him to complete a task. He needed to get to a town fast, he chalked it up to exhaustion and a terrible night in the woods.
“Are you coming or not? I have no qualms about leaving you here to fend for yourself. This road is seldom traveled, you’re lucky I stopped. But alas, these woods are alive and to leave you alone would be akin to manslaughter.”
“How did you know I was standing here? If you’re blind, how did you see me?”
“I see many things. One needs only intuition, and a loyal horse.” She answered softly as she cooed at the animal.
He found himself attracted to her. A sudden rush of punch-drunk emotions left his guard weakened. He stepped carefully across the broken down road and stopped to admire the beautiful stallion and its flowing ebony mane.
“Are you a gypsy?”
When she laughed she sounded like a young maiden, not like the gaggle of an old dying crow he had thought he heard a minute ago.
“There hasn’t been a gypsy in these lands for a hundred years. I am just a widow, a wanderer who found a piece of earth to settle on. You inquire about much, fear not child. You are in good company, Brutus is a marvelous horse and will not fail to deliver us safely to our destination…I cannot say the same for your automobile.”
He snickered and was obliged to agree with her. He thought about going back to the car and setting it ablaze but lost his train of thought when a flock of ravens flew over his head. They appeared out of nowhere and settled atop a large evergreen, squawking and pecking each other for a better position on the branches.
The woman tilted her head into the air. Her thin, pinkish lips opened slightly. Her face grew tense as if the birds were a bad omen.
“We must leave now, the journey is far and the weather is not on our side. If you wish to come, I suggest getting in. If not, leave now. Go back to where you came from, this is no place for strangers.”
“Why are you frightened? You’re afraid of these woods aren’t you? What did the birds have to say?” He questioned with a laugh.
She ignored his mocking tone and clicked her tongue. Brutus began galloping forward, leaving him on the wayside.
“Hey! Wait for me!” He yelled and ran quickly towards the passenger side of the wagon. In one athletic motion he grabbed hold of the wooden frame and hoisted himself into the seat. The grey haired woman said nothing about his performance and kept her eyes on the rocky trail. The hitman turned around to look down the road and noticed the birds.
They were quiet as they watched the two humans make haste. Their beady eyes were lasers. Their sharp beaks, closed. There were hundreds and they all watched him carefully in deafening silence.
—–To be continued—–