Authors note: Hello friends and fellow fiction geeks. This is part 2 of my vampire story. I hope you enjoy it, please read part 1 to catch up. I felt a cold, dreary night was a perfect night for a little horror story.
The gloomy fog saturating the rolling valley was a living entity. With an indifferent hostility, it crept across the atmosphere, overpowering everything within its realm. The man riding shotgun was convinced they would be doomed if Brutus lost his way. But the stallion trudged forward without a thought, its massive head spliced the mist in half as it clumped down the muddy road towards its destination.
Delilah, once open for brief bits of conversation, had retreated into a disquieting aloofness. Besides an occasional word of comfort to her beloved animal, she hid under her cloak and ignored the stranger sitting next to her.
An hour had passed since the murderer climbed into the front seat of her outdated wagon. He was still damp and angry for renting the car he abandoned. Hunger swirled in his stomach, but he pushed it aside as he began to imagine the consequences of not taking care of the business he was sent to resolve. Food was the least of his concerns.
“How far is the next town? I need to get to a phone and we’ve been on this fucking road for an hour and there’s no sign of life anywhere. How do you people survive out here in the boondocks? It’s the twenty-first century, why don’t you have a car? I might have to shoot myself if I lived here.”
The woman turned her head slightly and chuckled under her breath. They were passing a grove of barren apple trees that stood like an army of skeletons waiting for orders. A rotted wooden fence ran for miles on either side of the road as if attempting to keep the ghastly shoulders from escaping their barracks.
“You don’t say much do you? Your personality fits right in with the rest of this horror show. Look at your clothes, what is that? A fucking cloak?” He laughed and slapped the side of the wagon. Brutus snorted in retaliation.
“Things are different here. Our towns and villages are small, our people stay in when the weather is not welcoming. You can learn a lot from these woods. Nature is life’s greatest teacher.” Replied the mysterious woman.
The man looked at her scrawny frame with a mocking smile and observed his surroundings.
“Can you at least throw the horse into a higher gear? Can’t imagine we’re going as fast as possible.”
She turned her head at his remark.
“Why are you in such a rush? I told you before that I would give you sanctuary. This particular road is seldom used. You are lucky I stopped to help.”
“But you’re blind! How do I know you’re heading in the right direction? Talk about the blind leading the blind, can the horse see where he’s going or is he winging it too?”
“Oh, don’t worry about Brutus. He is smarter than you and I. He sees everything, I trust him with my life.”
The passenger ignored her and rubbed his hands together to warm himself. The fog was still thick and moist and denied the sun access to life on planet earth. He remembered the chill that had soaked his bones the night before and shivered.
“Wouldn’t happen to have an extra jacket back there would ya?” He asked while turning around to rummage through her belongings.
With a quickness he had never encountered, the woman grabbed his arm and looked directly into his eyes.
If he was on the streets of Chicago he wouldn’t have hesitated to lay her out.
But those eyes. Those horrible, albino eyes penetrated his chest and struck fear into his heart.
“You must not touch any of my things. They are sacred, and private, and once we reach our destination I must ask you to keep your curiosity to yourself.” She demanded and released his arm.
He pushed his rage aside quickly and began to laugh.
“Well…I was taught never to bite the hand that feeds you. I’d hate to make you upset. What did you say your name was again?”
“Delilah, huh? And how long have you lived in these woods Delilah? I’m assuming you don’t get out much do you?”
“Yes that is my name. And I have always been here.”
He began to retort but howling erupted from deep within the foreboding apple grove. The hair on his neck froze instantly.
“Did you hear that? You need to move this fucking horse and buggy. I don’t want to get eaten alive by wolves in the middle of nowhere.”
“I told you this was no place for a hitchhiker. But fear not child, you are safe with me.”
“How so? Got a gun handy? Let me guess, you people use pitchforks and spades to drive away the monsters?”
She laughed an innocent, childlike laugh.
“There are much worse things to fear in this life. Dying shouldn’t be one of them. Like I said, as long as you’re with me, you’re safe…do you have a name?”
He hated not having a weapon on him. But if the old bat was confident and unconcerned, he would relax. If wild animals decided to attack their wagon, he would push her off and take control of the reigns.
“Well, if you’re Delilah, I guess that makes me Samson…Yeah, just call me Samson.”
She looked at him and nodded with understanding. In order to appease Samson, she gently snapped the reigns and snickered at Brutus. He obliged and began to trot faster, leaving the howls and orchard behind them.
Time passed slowly as they made their way up and down the same deserted road as before. Samson and Delilah said nothing to each other. The only sounds emanating in their world originated from hoof beats and the occasional squawk from a crow. The melody caused the stranger to fall into a restless slumber and he dreamed of terrible things.
Dark shadows filled a dimly lit stone hallway. Candles burned on the walls, the ancient purple rug underneath his feet was stained with blood. He couldn’t remember if he had entered the chamber willingly, nor did he recall opening the heavy oak door that led him to this place. His legs were rubbery and each step he took reverberated into the blackness in front of him. Picture frames hung every five feet but the portraits were faded from time and mildew distorted them beyond recognition. He attempted to shout for help but could not because his tongue had been removed. There was no memory of the diabolical procedure. No pain. Nothing. To make sure it was gone, he stood near a candle and put a finger in his mouth. Nothing but saliva and an empty space where it once resided.
Something began to knock on the inside of the walls and was followed by soft crying. It sounded like a child’s voice. He put both hands on the ice-cold stone and put his head against it to hear better. But the crying stopped at once.
He backed away and began to jog down the endless hall until more crying could be heard. He stopped and pressed his head onto the slabs once more. The mournful pleas died out and were replaced with whispers. Evil whispers. Whatever lived in the tomb of stone was not alone. He heard them whisper to one another. Quietly, as if they knew he was listening.
Everything went silent. After a moment he backed away and stood all alone in the middle of the hallway. Urine ran down his legs and his heartbeat echoed in his ears. His eyes were trained on the floor and his arms hung loosely at his side.
In his peripheral vision, he caught a glimpse of a cloaked figure running towards him with arms outstretched. He saw no face, he heard no devilish screech, he turned to face it head on and when it was a few yards away he went to scream with every horror filled fiber in his being.
But his tongueless mouth would not allow it to ever escape his lungs. The creature laughed with an ungodly voice and pounced on him.
Samson jerked awake and felt sunshine on his face. Delilah stood over him with a smile.
“Are you alright child?”
His bearings were still lost and the nightmare too fresh. He reached for his tongue and smiled when the soft, spongy piece of flesh reacted to its owners fingers.
“Yes…I’m fine. I just had a bad dream. Why have we stopped?”
“Because we are here.”
“The sanctuary I promised I would take you to. Welcome to my home Samson. Welcome to Antebellum.”
—-to be continued—–