Authors: Jose Rodriguez
Tags: #vampire, #werewolf, #mythology, #frankenstein, #mummy, #black lagoon
Published by Jose Rodriguez Jr at
Copyright 2011 Jose Rodriguez Jr
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A world being consumed by the shadow seed
sounded like a hurricane, ravaged by winds just as powerful. Echoes
of thunder and flashes of lightning filled the air, as daylight
faded under a murky sky.
Leon was exhausted, spending much of his
blood fighting two Myrmidons that attacked relentlessly.
One of the Myrmidons, Xran, swung a sword
half his size from side to side as he rushed forward, driving Leon
back with every clash of their blades.
Even attempting a counter was pointless, as
Leon had to deal with Xran or Vela at any given moment.
The second Myrmidon, Vela, struck Leon’s
mid-section with her staff, sending him yards across the field.
Watching on a nearby hilltop, Nibiru and
Marduk were enjoying the battle.
Leon dodged Xran’s next attack, and used his
sword to deflect Vela's staff at the last moment, inches from his
head. When he tried to dart away, Xran backhanded him across the
As Leon staggered, Vela jumped backwards
through the air firing a ball of energy down at him. The whirring
sound of the incoming energy ball got Leon to make a panicked
scramble in any direction just to get out of the way before the
impact blinded all three fighters.
Although the explosion appeared to engulf
Leon, Vela was shocked to see him somehow leap over it and hurtle
straight at her.
Leon swung his sword, hitting Vela's staff so
hard that both weapons broke. Twisting his body in midair, he
landed a punishing kick to the middle of her chest.
Vela hit the ground with a good deal of force
and appeared to be unconscious.
When Leon landed on his feet, he found Xran
waiting behind him. Thanks to his Vesuvian reflexes and speed, he
dodged the oversized sword, causing it to become buried halfway
into the ground. Leon leapt forward and punched the hulking
Myrmidon in the face.
Xran lost grip of his sword but recovered
quickly and countered with a knee to Leon's ribs and a devastating
punch of his own that sent the Vesuvian sprawling.
Vela slowly got back up in a daze. It took a
moment to regain her bearings.
Xran approached, as Leon held his chest and
rolled over on his side.
Cracking his knuckles, Xran was two steps
away when Leon, clumsily, scrambled back to his feet and delivered
a bone crushing roundhouse kick to Xran’s face.
The Myrmidon fell stiff as a board a few feet
Leon’s breathing was strained. He stumbled a
bit as he ran to get away before tripping over his own feet and
falling to his hands and knees. On the ground before him was a
spent blood glaive from earlier in the battle.
Vela wasn’t too far behind. Still slightly
dazed, she grabbed hold of Xran’s sword before realizing what it
was. Like some kid who found a new toy, she pulled the sword out of
the ground. It took both hands, but she managed the cumbersome
Leon was still on his knees some distance
Vela steadied herself and leapt through the
air towards Leon. She raised the sword over her head, but before
bringing it down like a guillotine, Leon suddenly spun and jumped
towards her at the last second.
In a flash, Vela found herself lying on the
ground. All she knew was that she’d been hit hard in the face. Then
there was a searing pain that went from her lower jaw on one side
across to her eyebrow on the other. She screamed in pain, holding
her face with one hand as she crawled away.
Leon dropped the blood glaive. There was a
small cut in his palm, one that wouldn’t heal unless he could find
some blood to drink. He desperately tried to run, but lurched and
Xran stood and shook off his disorientation.
With a loud battle cry, he sunk his fists into the ground. Using
his ability to transmute just about anything into anything, he
pulled out two large battle-axes.
On his knees, Leon could only think of how
much the world had changed, how dark and desolate it had become –
and it was at that moment he noticed light, strangely, coming from
Looking closer at his hand, Leon saw his
blood was glowing.
Xran grimaced in pain at the light's growing
intensity. With each step he took toward Leon, the light burned him
more and more even though there was no heat. He howled in anger,
raising his axes as he came up behind Leon, as the light grew so
intense it became blinding.
That was the point Leon always woke. It was a
bad memory that had become a recurring nightmare. Sitting up, he
found himself on the couch in his home.
At the table in the next room over, Sara spat
food out in disgust. “Eww!”
Leon examined his hand as if he expected to
find the wound he’d suffered in his dream.
“Fighting old battles again?” Sara asked,
before poking at her dish. “I thought this stuff was supposed to
taste like chicken.”
“I figured it would,” Leon said, joining Sara
at the table.
Leon shrugged. “They’re the same size, and
they sound like them, so…”
Sara pushed the plate aside. “The stuff that
should be meat tasted like grass.”
“You’ve eaten grass?”
Sara rolled her eyes. “I like to live
Leon scratched his head. “I’m sorry I don’t
have much to offer,” he said, pulling out a deck of playing cards.
“Would you like to play a game? Maybe you’ll forget about being
“Hungry is an understatement, Leon,” Sara
said. “I’m gonna die. How can you eat this stuff?”
“I never have.”
“What about that pig thing I had last night?”
Sara asked. “That was even worse.”
“I don’t eat anything,” Leon answered. “Most
Vesuvians don’t. If we do, it’s out of curiosity.”
“What happens to the food then?”
“Our blood burns it off, but it's not a
pretty sight. We get real hot and weak, like we're sick.”
Sara sighed. “Well, while the idea of never
having diarrhea is interesting, a diet of blood still doesn’t sound
“We drink alcohol sometimes, but even then
it’s just for a good laugh.”
“You must get sloppy drunk then.” Sara
chuckled, placing her arms on the table and resting her head.
“Not really,” Leon said, then thinking. “You
know what? We can go to Nella’s Pub. She might have something you
Sara quickly stood. “Let’s go!”
Wasting no time, they both headed outside and
walked around to the back.
Leon noticed some rustling in a nearby hedge.
“Get out here, Chris.”
Sara looked over to see a young boy and girl
emerge from the bush.
“And you brought Delia,” Leon said. “What are
you two up to now?”
“We just wanted to see the human,” Chris
Delia clung to Chris’ arm. “You’re…a human?”
Sara thought the kids were cute. “Um…yeah,
Leon tried shooing the kids off. “Don’t you
have study, or something?”
“We are studying!” Chris said.
A dozen children then came out of hiding.
Delia stepped toward Sara. “We’re supposed to
observe the human.”
Sara laughed, flattered.
“The Council wants her well-treated,” Leon
said, stepping between Sara and the kids. “Stop bugging her.”
“It’s okay,” Sara said, as the kids
“That's what you think,” Leon said. “Give
them half a chance and they'll want to spend all day with you.
C'mon, the pub is just a few blocks down.”
A fog had settled throughout Vesuvia.
Sara couldn’t even see the top of the taller
buildings as she and Leon walked down the street. “Are the Turin
worried about something?”
“No, probably practicing,” Leon answered.
“It’s usually foggy or raining because of them.”
From among the crowd of Vesuvians in the
streets, a female Orlok holding a small, covered basket ran up to
Leon rolled his eyes. “Here we go.”
Sara slightly tensed up, fighting the urge to
gasp at the Orlok’s ugly appearance.
“What are you selling this time?” Leon
“I have something for Sara,” the woman said.
“Word on the street is she’s hungry.”
“How do you know?” Sara asked.
“Orloks, remember?” Leon said. “There isn’t
much they don’t know. We’ve probably had one following us the
“It doesn’t matter,” Sara said, crossing her
fingers with high hopes. “What do you have?”
The woman held the basket toward Sara and
pulled the cover to reveal a dead rat.
Almost fainting, Sara’s eyes went wide as she
covered her mouth in disgust.
Leon laughed at the sight of the rat. “Nice
“What?” the Orlok asked. “I’ve done the hard
part and drained the blood. ”
Sara tried to speak, but instead shook her
“Humans are somewhat particular about what
they eat,” Leon said.
The Orlok covered the basket and held it
close to her chest. “Beggars can’t be choosers!”
Realizing that the woman meant well, Sara
held her hand out. “I’m sorry…that was…rude of me. If I can’t find
anything at the pub, I’m…not going to have much choice.”
The woman joyfully gave the basket to Sara.
“That’ll be one shilling.”
“What?” Sara said in disbelief.
“Here!” Leon said, handing over a triangular
piece of silver.
Kissing and waving the coin around, the Orlok
cackled as she turned invisible and scampered away.
Sara and Leon continued on until finally
reaching Nella’s Pub.
Inside it was just like any other pub, a very
large one with Vesuvians.
“Stay close,” Leon said, trying to make his
way to the bar.
Everyone was drinking, laughing, or in the
middle of making fun of themselves.
Sara spotted a half-mutated Vesuvian.
Everything seemed fine, except that his nose and lower jaw was like
that of a bat. Straining for several seconds, the bat parts became
normal, and with a single hiccup he sprouted bat ears.
In an open area were two brawny females,
sweating and stumbling. Both were carrying a three hundred pound
stone, and struggled to cross the finish line a few dozen feet
“Those girls are from the House of Remia,
right?” Sara asked.
“Yup,” answered Leon. “What gave it away, the
muscles or the deep voice?”
Knowing the Remians had incredible strength,
Sara was confused. “They’re having an awful lot of trouble with
One suddenly dropped her stone and tripped
Sara tried not to laugh. “Looks like alcohol
is real bad for you.”
Leon caught a man about to fall and helped
him into a nearby chair. “Yeah, and using up blood is one of the
only ways of getting rid it.”
The bartender was a provocatively dressed
woman with spiky red hair.
“Nella!” Leon called.
Handing a drink to a patron, Nella came over.
“My favorite customer, what can I do for you?”
Leon was about to explain when two other men
began to fight.
“Okay, you’re done!” Nella said, her eyes
turning blood red.
The fighters immediately stopped, writhing in
agony for a moment before they began vomiting their alcoholic
blood, and then falling to the floor half unconscious.
Leon turned to Sara. “That’s the other way of
getting rid of it.”
Nella’s eyes returned to normal. She grabbed
two blood marbles from behind the counter and made them float over
to the men.
Both men ate the blood marbles and got back
up as though they had just crawled out of bed.
Nella gestured to the exit with her thumb.
“You can come back when you learn to behave,” she said, then
turning to Leon. “Who’s your friend?”
“I’m Sara,” she answered, shaking hands with
“What kind of food do you have here?” Leon
Nella had a puzzled look on her face as she
stared at Leon for several seconds. “Leon, I don’t serve food. How
many humans do you think I get?”
“I was just asking. Besides, I couldn’t think
of anywhere else.”
Nella grabbed a drink for another customer.
“No one is going to have anything.”