Authors: Michael Dean
“What if the vampires hunt us down while we
’re waiting for you?”
“That’s precisely why it will be safe for you
as you wait.” I shook Murgit. “I’m going party crashing.”
“What do you mean?” Scruffy looked perplexed.
“I’m gonna be the distraction you need. A little payback is coming to our captors. They’re gonna be very busy dealing with me. Plus, I’ve gotta find Shade.”
“Sounds horrifying…let’s do it.” Scruff half smirked.
I swatted him on the back and we started rushing from cell to cell. I’d rip off the door and another person would come scurrying out. Scruffy was even getting confident enough to go in after some of the more reluctant ones. Some rooms were empty, but that still didn’t stop me from ripping the doors off the hinges in order to make sure. It took a few minutes, but we eventually explored every cell in the caverns. I pressured Murgit to make sure there wasn’t any more to explore.
petrified humans tagged along behind us as we reached the final door that led to the outside world.
“You pathetic humans will never get home alive!” Murgit tried to intimidate the nervous flock that hesitantly stepped into the fresh air after we opened the doors.
“Shut your mouth.” I smacked him across the face. “No harm will come to you…I guarantee it—just follow Mark and stick together. Call your homes when you get to town.”
I drug Murgit with me as I led Scruffy and our followers to a point on the cliff where they could see the nearby town.
“Right there…hurry,” I demanded as I pointed to the town below. Scruffy wished me luck with a handshake and called out for the horde of humans to follow him.
I watched them get a safe distance away before letting go of the squirming Murgit with a shove.
It had taken time for Scruffy to get some space between us and night was setting in. Murgit landed hard on the ground and slid backwards a few feet.
’ll laugh when my master takes your life.” He jumped up and starting giggling.
“You won’t get the chance because you’ll be dead,” I promised him
. “Now go tell Shimmer I’m coming for him and Shade…go!”
My temper was starting to flare as Murgit took off in a flash towards the castle
sitting on the next hill over. I was fully ready to unleash all the fury that had been building up within me since I’d been a prisoner here. But with that anger came patience. I wanted to make sure Scruffy had been given enough time to get to some measure of safety.
Finally when I deemed it was time for a little payback, I turned my attention to the castle. I started out with a jog that quickly gave way to a dead sprint. I felt like I was moving faster than I ever had before. I turned around to look behind
me as I was moving and noticed that I was running so hard and so fast that trees and shrubs that once stood behind me began to uproot, buckle, and break, only to be sucked towards me like they were in a vortex. Even the largest of the trees began to bend like they were in hurricane force winds. Everything was disrupted in the wake of my turbulence. I knew I was growing stronger.
Once I reached the sharp decline of the very tall, almost mountain-like hill that
held the Caverns of the Forgotten, I shot myself off the cliff and straightened my body out. Everything paused and got quiet around me for a moment as I became weightless in mid-air. I focused on a portion of the castle where I would make my entrance; a stone wall at the base. There wasn’t any reason why I chose that particular area to make my entrance. I just trusted my demon instincts that sensed a concentration of evil brewing from that portion of the imposing structure.
I thrust out my wings as I
dove towards my designated target area. I wasn’t going to knock on the front door in order to enter the castle, but I wasn’t going to kick it in, either. I was going to enter in a manner so they knew I meant business.
With as much brute force and speed as I could muster, I stretched out both arms
in front of me and aimed. I was moving so quick I actually sonic-boomed. In seconds, I slammed into the stone wall that surrounded the base. It sounded like an explosion. Dirt and rock fragments flew in every direction as the castle shook like it was hit by a bomb.
got to my feet. I didn’t want to go slamming into a horde of vampires and be at an immediate disadvantage, or even worse, slam into some unsuspecting humans that had nothing to do with this fight.
I couldn’t see a thing as I stood in a cloud of debris
, but I heard the sounds of something moving about in the chaos. As the fog from my mess slowly cleared, I could see that I was standing in some kind of ballroom. A gigantic chandelier of bones and skulls lit by candlelight swayed from the ceiling. I could see a couple of bodies picking themselves up from the floor when I entered. Large and small rock had shot everywhere into the room, even landing upon an extremely lengthy dining table that sat in the middle. There were also vampires holding different musical instruments in a corner of the vast room. The rest of the flock appeared to be in mid-dance as their arms and hands were still intertwined around one another.
My instincts had once again serv
ed me correctly as realized I had burst right smack in the middle of their large celebratory ball. All eyes were now resting angrily upon me.
“Am I overdressed?” I
“Leo!” A scream bellowed out from the opposite
side of the room.
My attention was immediately drawn to the scream
—it was Shade. I saw an elevated area, almost like a stage, where Shimmer sat on a giant throne of yet more skulls and bones. To his left and right, sitting on much smaller, but identical thrones, sat Sierra and Molina. All three were glaring straight at me. Behind them, in chains, stood my beautiful girlfriend, a little worse for wear, but still clearly human.
ght of her being chained completely enraged me. I glanced at all the vampires still standing stationary, peering at me. They were nothing more than weak obstacles between me getting to Shade.
“You make quite the entrance, Leo. The earth rumbled at our feet before your…magical appearance
,” Shimmer declared.
“What can I say, I enjoy showing up fashionably late.” I glared at him
then glanced at my girlfriend, who sported a renewed look of hope upon her face. I also noticed a smirking Murgit poking his annoying face from behind his master’s chair.
“My friends, most of you have had the
pleasure of meeting half of the main attraction at The Ball of the Dead on All Hallows Eve.” Shimmer stood up from his throne and waved a hand around in introduction. “But for those of you that haven’t, let me introduce you to the slayer of Agrelia, the hero who claimed Diccittidel and the recent thorn in my side, Leo Cutler.”
All the blood suckers in the room peered at me with a snarl. I crack
ed a half-smirk.
“Let’s show our uninvited guest how we treat rudeness…shall we?”
All vampires in the room went on the offensive.
!” Shimmer screamed. It was on. Shimmer slid around his throne and grabbed Shade, freeing her before pulling her, screaming, into a backstage area. Sierra and Molina remained seated, eagerly anticipating the impending battle about to unfold. Murgit followed his fleeing master.
want to wait for the vampires to come to me, so I marched into the ballroom with purpose, swinging and punching anything that came near me. My goal was the stage so I could follow Shimmer and Shade. A slew of blood blisters charged me. They couldn’t touch me. I was in a blind rage. Some of the vampires fell victim to my death punch as I penetrated their cold torsos and pulled out their hearts while others received a punch from either a fist or one of my wings which sent them flying across the room.
I was carving a straight
line across the ballroom, heading right to Sierra and Molina, who were arrogantly watching the fight from upon their perch. Vampires kept coming in waves at me, young and old, male and female. It only took a single punch most of the time to dispose of them. I was taking them out so easily I never took my eyes off Shimmer’s mistresses, who just glared at me with almost an aroused look upon their faces.
Before I knew it, I was standing at the base of the platform where the beautiful seductresses were sitting. I was taking out the last remaining vampires that still had the courage to come at me. Quite a few of them had fled in terror
when they realized they weren’t strong enough to stop me. Before I knew it, only one elder, male vampire remained. He was swinging wildly at me and I dodged every blow he threw. I played with him for a moment before putting him out of his misery. I grabbed hold of him in a bear hug and began squeezing. He gurgled a bit as he turned his head to face his two grinning leaders, who watched on in pleasure.
His eyes popped out of
their sockets and shot on the floor in front of them just before I broke his back and bent him over backwards. I then discarded the broken vamp. I smiled up at Shimmer’s twin brides before reaching down to the busted, but squirming body that lay at my feet and punctured it so I could take his heart. Once it was in my hand, still beating, I tossed it up on the stage. It rolled between their feet before it turned to ash.
“Impressive.” Molina raised an eyebrow.
“Impressive indeed, sister.” Sierra smiled and turned to her sister.
“I’m glad you ladies liked what you’ve seen. Now…if you don’t get out of my way, you will quickly join him.” I thrust my wings and landed on stage in front of the still
seated vampire queens.
“You have to admire his courage, eh
, sis?” Sierra said, keeping her attention on her twin sister as if I was no threat.
I suppose. But you can’t disregard his sheer stupidity…stupidity that will lead him to his doom.” Molina turned away from her sister and gave me a look of condemnation.
“What a shame,” Sierra
said as the two of them stood from their thrones. “Having to destroy such a specimen. No wonder the human loves him.”
, yes, such a pity, but our Lord’s wish must be fulfilled,” Molina added as four weapons, one for each of their hands, slid out from underneath their skin tight, long sleeves.
They twirled the weapons around in their hands
, preparing to use them against me. Once they were aimed in my direction, I could see that the four daggers were some sort of stilettos; extremely unique. The weapons appeared to be solid silver, from the daggers’ ends to the handles. They were detailed with black inlay to look like snakes with the serpents’ heads adorning the handle with its mouth open and fangs out, looking ready to strike. But the most striking feature that caught my attention about the stilettos were the diamonds reflecting from the eyes of the snakes. They were remarkable.
Now, these weapons weren’t the demon dagger
, of course, and couldn’t kill me, but they sure could do a lot of damage; a perfect remedy to slow me down enough to actually stab me with that very item. How was I supposed to know who currently possessed the demon blade? Not to mention that Sierra and Molina were the most powerful vampires after Shimmer. This battle would be no easy task.
I did a back flip off the stage in order to get some space between
me and my rivals. The twins only grinned at one another and leaped way up into the air, landing behind me in a spread out fashion. I quickly turned to face them and they slowly started to approach as they twirled the stilettos in their hands maliciously.
, sis?” Molina grinned and came at me from my right.
,” Sierra replied, tracking me from my left.
I took a defensive stance and waited for them to make the first move. It didn’t take long for them to engage me. The two of them
started slashing away with their daggers at the same time. I ducked and pivoted, successfully dodging their initial attack. But just as I thought I was ready to make an offensive strike, Sierra knelt to the ground and swung her leg around at my feet at the same time Molina chopped me across the neck in a clothesline fashion and knocked me to the ground on my back.
Sierra then leaped up off the ground and cocked one of the daggers back behind her in order to stab me with it as she tried to land on me. I was quick enough to roll out of the way before she could hit
her mark and she stabbed the dagger into the stone flooring, which made it spark like a loose car battery cable from the force of the impact.
My wings pushed me to my feet just in time to s
ee Molina spinning and twirling next to me. I blocked one of her jabs with the dagger with my forearm, but I wasn’t fast enough to react to another one of her spins and she slashed me through the side with the stiletto from my backside.
I cried out in pain right as
Sierra came somersaulting my way. I brought in one of my wings in order to protect myself as she one-two’d me with a couple of kicks. I pulled my wing back to counter her but I was too late and she cut me above my knee with the dagger. This caused me to sink down in pain. They were fast…really, really, fast. By far, they were quicker than anything I had ever come across before; maybe even faster than Christian.
As I tried to rise
, Molina kicked me square in the face and it sent me flying backwards, crashing into the lengthy dining table. The section I smashed through buckled and busted. All the fancy plates, lit candles and goblets upon the table either flew into the air and shattered when they hit the ground or fell and busted all over me.
…is the great hero that defeated Agrelia?” Molina antagonized me.
“Couldn’t be. He’s much too…slow.
This one is no match for our Lord,” Sierra added.
, he isn’t.” I made it back to my feet. “Looks like we’ll be able to take care of him ourselves.” The two of them laughed.