Welsh Road (The Depravity Chronicles) (13 page)

BOOK: Welsh Road (The Depravity Chronicles)
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“I don’t know,”
Jena said. “She told me that she wants us to know where she is. That she’s
expecting us.”

“And you believe
her?” Simon asked, incredulous.

“Actually, yeah,
I do. She was pretty damn convincing.”

Trevor laughed
dryly. “So to sum up, somewhere off Welsh Road there’s an old house. Wow,
that’s specific. I mean, for someone who wants us to know her location, that
seems like a pretty big freaking area to cover. Especially considering we’re
going into this practically blind.”

“Actually, the image
Jena received narrows our search considerably,” Simon said. “There are only
certain sections of Welsh Road where you can find portals or points of power.” As
he looked to Anish for confirmation of his theory, Trevor pointed at Simon then
shrugged.

“Dude, how do
you know this shit?” Trevor asked.

Anish answered,
ignoring Trevor’s question. “There’s an abandoned farmhouse not far from here,”
he added.

“Well at least
we can drive there,” Trevor said.

“Not exactly,”
Anish said.

Simon sighed.
“Let me guess. We have to walk through the woods to get to the house.”

Anish’s silence
was deafening.

“There’s
something else,” Jena said. “Nina said she was having a party. At first I just
thought she was being a demented bitch. But she mentioned it twice.”

“I would imagine
she is referring to a ritual of some sort,” Anish said thoughtfully.
“Considering the bodies you saw, as well as the altar, there are a number of
possible explanations for Nina’s behavior.”

“And those
explanations would be?” Jena asked.

“At this point,
speculation is futile until we have spoken with Anna and Matthew,” Anish said.

“Well whatever
it is Nina has planned, it can’t be good,” Simon said. Jena agreed
wholeheartedly.

“Gee, you
think?” Jena laughed.

Trevor groaned.
“Jesus, Anish. Do you think this could be worse than last year?”

“Indeed,” Anish
said.

Simon, Trevor,
and Jena traded uneasy glances, each of them wondering the same thing.
How
many people are going to die tonight?

Out of the blue,
Anish stood and walked briskly toward the door.

“We’ve got
company.”

CHAPTER SIX

The Best Laid Plans …

 

1

 

Simply put, the
altar was stunning. Had it not been for the fact that it was in the middle of
some crazy bitch’s living room, not to mention the few dead bodies lying
around, any church would be proud to boast such a magnificent display. A chill
traveled down his spine, nearly forcing his body to convulse with fear and
anticipation.

Get your shit
together, Collins
.
After his first failed attempt to find the front door, Nicholas was consumed by
a terrible mix of confusion and terror. It didn’t seem possible that things
could get worse after that freaky creature attacked him and Jena in the car
last night. He should have known better. His father had always warned him to
never ask the cursed question, Could things get any worse?

“Things could
always
be worse,” his father had said on a daily basis. Well, it looks like Dad was
right. Nicholas found himself wishing that his father were with him at that
moment, though he doubted it would do either of them any good. As he stared at
the altar he felt dangerously drawn to it, but managed to fight the pull so he
could focus on an exit strategy. He noticed that Nina was chatting with some
unknown entity he couldn’t see. Before yesterday, if he had seen someone talking
to empty space, he would have thought they were nuts. But now? Standing here
surrounded by a bunch of corpses and a woman that could talk to the dead? Yeah,
he was a believer.

The more he
listened to Nina’s side of the conversation the more convinced he became that
she was speaking with a spirit. It was also pretty clear that whoever this
spirit was, it apparently did
not
have a high opinion of Nina. Join the
club. Then, when Nina mentioned Mary Poppins, Nicholas immediately knew who it
was: Jena. He actually managed a smile as he remembered how Jena would always
insist on watching Mary Poppins while they studied. She said it was a ‘
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ thing.

His smile didn’t last long.

Questions crammed his mind, making it difficult to focus. Why
was Jena a spirit? Wouldn’t that mean she was dead? He couldn’t stand the
thought of living in a world without Jena. Behind the nagging questions was an
overwhelming sense of frustration. The last thing he remembered was being in
the Mustang while a monster chased him and Jena. She had passed out and then he
was blinded by a flash of white light. The next thing he knew he woke up here
in Hell.

Nicholas tried to push the frustration to the back of his
mind, but it was only replaced by something worse. Despair. There was no way he
could handle losing Jena. There was no way he was going to die here. He
strained to listen to Nina so he could figure out what was going on.

“…spirit travel…sever you from your vessel,” Nina was saying.
Nicholas was cautiously optimistic. He didn’t know jack shit about the
supernatural, but it sounded like Jena was still alive. Somehow she had managed
to be there in the house with them while her physical body was safe and sound
in some other location. Nicholas knew that if he was going to have an opportunity
to speak with her, the time was now.

“I love you!” Nicholas cried in desperation, hoping against
hope that Jena would hear him.

Without warning, Nina pulled a knife from under her shirt and
slashed it through the air. This motivated Nicholas to act. He wasn’t sure if
Jena was physically vulnerable since she was only there in spirit, but he
didn’t want to wait around and find out.

“NO!” Nicholas screamed as he leapt onto Nina’s back. This
time he wasn’t going to underestimate her strength. This bitch had power. Not
only was she physically stronger than him – which was saying something – but
Nina was also able to heal herself. That just wasn’t fair. To top it off, the
taste of her blood was still in his mouth from when she shoved her wrist in his
face.

“Nicholas!” Nina groaned, grabbing the back of his head with
her right arm and pulling him up over her shoulder. She slammed him onto the
floor, knocking the wind from his sails. “I’m growing tired of your little
episodes.”

It took a few moments for Nicholas to breathe steadily. When
he was able, he inhaled deeply and took a risk by engaging Nina in
conversation.

“I must be important or you would have killed me by now,”
Nicholas challenged. It didn’t take but a few seconds for him to regret it.

“Let’s play a game,” Nina said happily as she sat on his
chest, her knees pinning his shoulders against the floor. She juggled the knife
between her hands, often pretending to lose her grip so it would plunge into
his eye or some other part of his face he’d prefer not to lose. After what
seemed like an eternity, but in reality was no more than thirty seconds, Nina
abruptly threw the knife straight up in the air. It hovered above them for an
impossibly long time. It reminded Nicholas of Wiley Coyote’s unfortunate habit
of falling off high cliffs. Just before he would plunge to his millionth
demise, the cartoon character would stand on air and wave goodbye to the
overjoyed television audience. Nicholas was jolted back to the real world when
the knife began to fall.

The blade twisted in the air so that its tip was pointing
toward Nicholas’ head. Just before the knife sank into his forehead, it froze
again, suspended only a few inches above him.

“This is fun!” Nina sang. She snapped her fingers and the
knife dropped onto his forehead, and then it fell to the floor. Nicholas
instantly knew that the knife had pierced his skin. It was by no means a mortal
wound, but it was enough for him to feel pain and the trickle of blood as it
ran down the side of his face. Using her forefinger to collect some of his
blood, Nina smeared it across several areas of his head.

“Get up,” Nina ordered, picking up the knife and then helping
Nicholas to his feet. She held the knife in front of him.

“See this hilt?” Nina asked, clearly appreciating the
intricacies of her weapon..

“I don’t give a shit,” Nicholas barked.


Look at it,”
Nina demanded, hatred dripping from her
voice like the blood from his forehead. Without provocation or warning, Nina
let loose a primordial scream that rang in Nicholas’ ears. He was also pretty
sure that her voice had rattled the windows. So, as ordered, he studied the
hilt. Though he would never admit it to Nina, the hilt of the knife was quite
exquisite. It was black as midnight, with small crimson letters rising from the
obsidian-like surface. Nicholas didn’t know much about foreign languages, but
if he had to guess, it was either Aramaic or Hebrew.

“It’s real nice,” Nicholas said, trying to add sarcasm and
bitterness to his voice.

“Isn’t it?” she agreed. She ignored his tone. “This knife is
much older than you might think.”

Nicholas again issued a heavy dose of wit. “How old is it?”
he asked slowly and loudly, the way an audience would respond to the cue from a
comedian.

Nina hissed at him as she flicked his left ear. He
involuntarily yelped, shocked by how much it hurt.

“Keep it up, you little fucker,” Nina challenged. “While it
is true that I need you alive, I do not necessarily require all your limbs.”
She scratched his left cheek with one of her long, black fingernails. Again, he
felt the warm dribble of blood.

Wanting to punch her, but recognizing that would prove more
dangerous for him
than her
,
Nicholas tried to distract himself by
focusing on his pain. Anything to divert his attention from Nina and whatever madness
she was preparing to unleash. Unconsciously he scratched the side of his face where
the blood was tickling him. The pain was so acute and immediate that he fell to
his knees.

“What the hell?” he asked, confused by why a little scratch
from her fingernail would produce such a violent physical response.

“Ah, it’s working quite nicely,” Nina said.

Nicholas looked at his hand to discern just how much blood he
was losing. What he saw made him vomit. His blood was black and as thick as
tar. Nina squealed with delight at his shock and confusion. When he had
finished dry heaving, she grabbed his chin and forced him to look into her
eyes. He watched in horror as her pupils dilated until it filled up the irises
of her eyes. Next, the whites of her eyes began to slowly turn a deep shade of
crimson red.

Vampire. It all made sense now. This crazy bitch is a vampire.
As if on cue, Nina took her finger and sliced through Nicholas’ other cheek. Afterward
she squeezed both sides of his face to produce more of the tar-like blood.

Wincing at the pain, Nicholas did not like being her guinea
pig one bit. He began to feel dizzy, wondering how much blood he was losing. To
make matters worse, Nina began licking the blood from his face. Her tongue darted
frantically around his cheeks, eventually making her way to his lips. Nicholas pressed
his lips into a thin line in an attempt to keep her at bay. It didn’t work.

“The more you resist, the more excited I become,” Nina said.
“It is in your best interest to go with the flow. No pun intended.” Nina
chortled, believing herself to be a brilliant comic. She wiped his face with
her forefingers, acting like a baby with her pacifier as she sucked the blood
from her digits.

“I didn’t realize how thirsty I was,” she said, giggling like
a schoolgirl.

“Are you turning someone?” Nicholas abruptly asked.

“I beg your pardon?” Nina asked. She stared at him like he
had three heads. Yeah, right. Like
he
was the weird one.

“You know, turning someone? Is this what you meant by
throwing a birthday party?”

Nina feigned confusion. “Turning someone how? You’re not
making any sense. Christ, I didn’t take that much blood.”

“I am
not
stupid,” Nicholas pushed. “I know what you
are.” The pieces of the puzzle were beginning to fit together now. Nicholas had
just had a birthday a few days ago. Nina needed him alive. She had also told
the other guy William that she was going to save him. Well, until she snapped
his neck. But that was because he was annoying her.

Nina grinned widely. “Tell me, Nicholas. You seem to know
what’s going on. Please, enlighten me.”

“Show me your fangs,” Nicholas demanded.

Nina cackled, pretending to be insulted. “I don’t have fangs,
my dear boy.”

Nicholas slapped her in the face, hoping to piss her off
enough so that she might reveal her pearly whites. A fresh wave of confidence was
rushing through his veins. “Show me your fangs, vamp!” he commanded.

Laughter filled the room. Although he could tell it was Nina’s
voice, the laughter was coming from every corner of the room. Every hair on
Nicholas’ body seemed to be standing at attention. He scanned the room trying
to figure out how the laughter was in surround sound. At that moment, William’s
corpse began moving. His neck had already been twisted into a WTF position, but
it only got worse as William turned his head around. A full 360 degrees. Worse
yet, he started laughing. Two other corpses joined in the chorus, followed by
the chattering and howling of the dead animals in the house.

“This isn’t real!” Nicholas cried, putting his face in his
hands. He shook his head violently, hoping against hope that when he opened his
eyes and ears again he would wake up at home in his own bed. It had all been a
nightmare.

“What’s the matter, Nicholas?” Nina whispered in his ear. “Are
you seeing strange things? Are there disturbing sounds all around you?”

“Get away from me!” Nicholas slurred, struggling to make
sense of his senses. He looked back to William, but his body was once again
lifeless and lying in the same position and location where Nina had murdered
him. Had he really just seen William’s animated corpse? Was Nina glamouring
him? Making him see and hear things that weren’t there? Nicholas had always
been a fan of vampire movies, so he wracked his brain trying to recall any
folklore that might benefit him.

“I don’t think you’ll find your answers from
Twilight
,”
Nina said with a bitter laugh. “You won’t find me in any of your literature or
mythology.” Nina unexpectedly slapped herself on the forehead. “I don’t know
why I would have made the assumption that you read for pleasure, you illiterate
jock. My guess is that under that skull is a second rate organ that is probably
remembering some B-rate horror flick you saw in the theater while trying to
score with some whore.”

“Vampire,” was the only word Nicholas could manage to say
aloud. His brain was fried. Nina’s little monologue had rendered him
speechless. Seriously, how does someone respond to a statement like that?

Nina slapped him on the back of the head. “Snap out of it!”

Nicholas was actually thankful for this last little outburst
of violence. Somehow it helped to lift the fog that had settled over his
thoughts. “I knew
it!” he exclaimed. “I’ve always believed that vampires
were real. I would have preferred to find out a different way, but it feels
good to be vindicated.”

This time Nina slapped him in the face. “I am
not
a
vampire. And I resent the comparison, asshole.”

BOOK: Welsh Road (The Depravity Chronicles)
11.42Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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