“We’re here to stop you,” I said, hoping that my defiant tone wouldn’t betray the fear I was feeling. Just facing one master vampire was daunting enough, let alone three. The three masters chuckled to each other.

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“I think your confidence is misplaced. And why would you want to stop us when what we’re doing is benefitting humanity?” Mr. Griff said.

“What, by saving people from cancer?” I said.

“I see that the boys couldn’t keep their mouths shut,” Mrs. Thorpe scowled.

“We save everyone. And we aim to provide them with the skills needed to make this world a better place. Being a vampire gives you a certain perspective about the world that is severely lacking from you regular humans. We take a longer view of things, and surely you can’t dispute the fact that humans have made a hash of this planet. All we want is for people to be in a position where they can have a positive influence,” Mr. Griff said.

“To push your own agenda you mean. You can’t seriously expect me to believe that you want the best for this world. Sure, you might save a few people from cancer, but you don’t allow them to have any freedom. And I’ve seen all the feral vampires you spread through the city,” I said. “You can’t tell me they benefit anyone.”

“Everything serves their purpose. They serve a form of control. We vampires are an endangered species on the planet. We have to conserve our position and try to keep the human population in check. It’s a game of checks and balances,” Mr. Hanon said.

“It is, and we’re here to keep the balance on the side of the humans. We’re not going to let you get away with this. We’re Slayers, and we’re here to stop you.”

I whisked out my stake and held it aloft, gripping it tightly in my hand. Julia copied my gesture, although we weren’t in harmony at all. The three vampires seemed amused and grinned at us.

“I was so hoping it would come to this,” Mr. Griff said dryly. He rose and opened up his arms. The other two rose as well, and began to move around the table. I moved closer to Julia. We turned our backs to each other and wielded our stakes. In my other hand I pulled out my flask of holy water and popped the lid, throwing it around the room. It hissed as it hit their flesh, but they didn’t seem too perturbed by it. Smoke smoldered off their clothes and the room was filled with the smell of brimstone. These master vampires had better resistances than the feral kind. If I had soaked those vampires with holy water they would have shrieked and melted. Despite the holy water not being effective we still had our stakes, and every vampire was vulnerable to these no matter how old and ancient they were. Given Julia’s insistence that the Slayers and vampires had been descended from the Garden of Eden I did wonder if the first stake had been from a tree in the Garden of Eden, perhaps it had been a branch from the tree of knowledge. It was only a stray thought that passed through my mind though, because I had to focus on the matter at hand.

Mrs. Thorpe was nearest me, and Mr. Hanon took Julia’s side. Mr. Griff loomed over us like a dark shadow. He cackled and I braced myself for combat, unsure if I could win.

“Good luck,” I muttered under my breath. Julia thanked me and then suddenly Mrs. Thorpe moved with alarming speed. She rushed forward and her eyes were wild. Her jaws opened and I saw monstrous fangs emerge from her gums, ready to sink into my flesh. Her hands were more like claws as they came around my arms, trying to push me away. I swept my body to the left and kicked out at her leg, trying to unbalance her, but it didn’t seem to have any effect. I brought the stake down against her shoulder. It was nowhere near her heart, but I wanted to make her hurt anyway in the hope that it would at least give me some respite. I brought the stake down with all my might, but she twisted her hand and caught my wrist. Her nails dug into my skin and my hand trembled. I gasped in agony. I jabbed my free hand into her stomach and pushed forward, sending her across the table. She landed with a crash and I screamed. She had drawn blood and all the vampires licked their lips at me. I clasped my injured wrist. I felt weak, and I had to change the stake to my other hand.

I was about to press my advantage when I heard a yelp. Julia was being driven back by Mr. Hanon’s long reach. His arms swiped at her like chains, each one trying to tear her face and hair. Julia gave in to her fear. She hadn’t even hunted a handful of feral vampires and I was more worried for her than I was for myself because I couldn’t take care of her. She backed away past me, with Mr. Hanon’s arms swirling wildly. I watched her with despair as she went near the window.

“Julia! Look out!” I cried. Panic lined her face as she came to the open window. The air seemed to tug at her, and the only way she could get out of Mr. Hanon’s reach was to fall back. She screamed and I was about to run to her when Mrs. Thorpe grabbed me back. Mr. Hanon leaped out of the window and there was nothing more I could do for Julia. I turned around and slammed my elbow down onto Mrs. Thorpe’s arm. The bone cracked and her limb dangled unnaturally from the elbow. She hissed and nipped at me with her jaws. I twisted back and put my hands on the table, spinning my legs around, where I kicked her in the face using all the momentum of my body. I spun back and landed on my feet, jabbing the stake down in one fluid movement, but I missed her heart as she twisted away, writhing in pain. There was no time to waste. I had to defeat them soon, because the longer they stayed alive the more chance there was that they would defeat me. There were so many ways for them to hurt me, and I’d always been told that a Slayer being turned into a vampire was a very bad thing.

I wasn’t going to let that happen to me.

I wasn’t going to let it happen to Julia either, although she was on her own for the moment. I heard some muffled screams and some scuffles outside, but I couldn’t get to the window. Blood dripped down my wrist and I wiped it on my top. I pulled out another stake and held it in my hand even though the pain throbbed. Mr. Griff was so arrogant he stood there waiting for the inevitable. Mrs. Thorpe cackled and howled as she pushed herself up, her one broken limb dangling limply, the other one clawing her way across the table. I took the measure of her movements and anticipated where she was going to be. I drove one stake through the side of her head and then pushed her onto her back. I drove the stake down into her heart, feeling it split her ribs. I used all my strength to hammer it through her chest and the cackling laughter stopped.

I panted. Sweat dripped down my cheeks.

Mr. Griff applauded slowly.

“You’re quite the Slayer aren’t you? Some are better than others. I’ve known a few in my time. She’s not the best,” he cast a withering glance out of the window towards Julia. I couldn’t hear anything from her.

“This ends now,” I said. I gripped my stakes tightly and jumped on the table, striding towards him. As I did so he smirked and his hands slammed against the side of the table. I lost my balance and tumbled down, the stakes rolling out of my grip as I tried to steady myself.

“You’ll need to be cleverer than that,” Mr. Griff said. “It’s such a shame the council has corrupted your mind so much. They do tell Slayers the most horrid things about us. You know that they’re as bad as us, right? They want to control the world as much as we do, they’re just annoyed that there’s no way they can make Slayers themselves. They have to wait for the bloodlines to do their work. You might think you’re doing some sacred duty, but you’re really just another link in the chain, and it seems it’s time for this link to be broken.”

He opened his mouth and stepped onto the table. He was so tall. I pushed myself up, but he placed his hand on my head and squeezed. His bony fingers dug into my scalp and I felt him placing pressure on my skull. I slapped his arms, but his strength was unmatched and I didn’t seem to be able to break his hold on me. I reached out for my stakes, but they were just out of reach and he had such a powerful hold on me I couldn’t even move far enough to get them. I strained my fingers, trying to will them towards me, but that didn’t work either.

“It’s such a shame really that Slayers are so brainwashed, because I think in partnership we could achieve great things together,” he said. It didn’t even sound as though he was exerting any undue effort to keep me down, and I felt like such a poor Slayer for being in this position. I should have put up more of a fight. I should have been better.

I screamed until my lungs were raw as I tried to break free. I thought for a moment he was going to rip my scalp off. Hot tears streamed down my cheeks as he kept his grip so tight on my head, and then the doors opened.

Josh, Adam, and Troy stood there.

“Ah, my boys,” Mr. Griff said. “Sadly your mother has died, but now we can punish this Slayer as a family. You should be proud that you finally get to experience what it’s like to prove yourself superior to one of these pests,” he said. I looked at the boys with pain in my eyes. Their expressions were vacant and I had no idea if I could trust them or not. I know I had betrayed Josh when I told him that I was a Slayer. I had killed one of the vampires who had given them life. I was sure that Julia had already died, and I was soon to follow. The bloodline ended with me. I hadn’t done enough to secure my legacy. All of my ancestors had been wasted because I couldn’t keep the chain going.

The only boys I had given my heart to were vampires, and now they were going to kill me unless I managed to do something drastic.

“Please, Josh,” I groaned, reaching out towards him, “help me. He…he’s hurting me. I’m sorry. I didn’t want this. All I want is you. Help me…”

It was an attempt to break the control that their masters had on them. I wasn’t sure that it would work. If I had more time I might be able to make a difference, but Mr. Griff and the others had given them life. What had I done that was comparable?

Tags: Lilly Wilder Paranormal
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