Authors: Joshua Grove
“When I attempt
to listen, I hear only white noise. Ironically, it is deafening.” Eleanor was
now visibly straining to listen to any voices that might be in the autumn air.
Isabelle cried as the vampire’s head twisted into an unnatural position. Dead.
“Well this is a
most unpleasant turn of events,” Eleanor said.
“How long before
he wakes up?” Isabelle asked.
Eleanor said. “We don’t have that kind of time.”
“Then let’s wake
him,” Isabelle said. “Surely there are ways to do that.” She began searching
her memories for a spell that would wake the vampire.
“Of course there
are ways,” Eleanor said. “Allow me.” As she began to chant, the stake in
Isabelle’s hand began moving.
Isabelle grumbled, confused by the animated weapon. “Grandmother, what are you
“Me? I’m not
the stake, but she couldn’t overpower whatever force was taking control of it.
Isabelle cringed as her attempt to regain command of the stake resulted in
several splinters digging into her palms. After a brief struggle, the stake was
dislodged from her hands and drove itself into the vampire’s chest.
This woke him
from his deep, death-like slumber. A most unpleasant alarm.
vampire cried, stunned by this sudden turn in events. Isabelle and Eleanor were
also startled. His screams devolved into grotesque gurgles as he choked on his
own blood. Veins became visible all over the vampire’s body, pulsating with a
dark fluid. The veins continued to grow until his face was three times its
blow!” Eleanor warned, but it was too late. The remnants of the vampire’s
flesh, blood, and organs splattered everywhere, drenching Isabelle and the
surrounding rocks and trees.
something you don’t see every day,” Eleanor whispered.
vampires burned when killed, leaving nothing but dust behind?”
“Me, too. Not
this time, apparently,” Eleanor said as she removed the debris from her
granddaughter with a flick of her wrist.
shivered. “That was a
display of power. I had no control whatsoever
over the stake in my hand. There was energy was all around me. It was a dark
energy, almost cold. I’ve never felt anything like it.”
“I fear for your
and Jena’s wellbeing.” Eleanor said solemnly.
“So do I,”
Isabelle reluctantly agreed. She recognized the impossible expanse of strength
necessary to kill a vampire from a remote location, let alone overpowering a
formidable witch in the process.
“I think we may
have just gotten a taste of what this Nina character can do from a distance,”
Eleanor said. “Can you imagine what she’s like in person?”
“No, I can’t,”
Isabelle confessed. “But we’re about to find out. Now, more than ever, I am convinced
that Jena needs me. No matter how powerful Anish might be, they’re going to
need all the help they can get if they have any hopes of surviving.”
“You do realize
that Nina killed the vampire for two reasons, right?” Eleanor asked. “First,
she wanted to silence him.”
What’s the second reason?”
“She wanted to
leave us her calling card. This little demonstration is like a magical GPS that
will lead us straight to the farmhouse. And on this farm she’ll have the
Sam’s back hurt
like hell. He figured that when the net swept him up into the trees, it must
have strained a muscle. Without Anish there to magically break his fall, he
most likely would have broken his neck. He shivered at the thought.
“You okay?” Anna
asked as the group walked in relative silence.
“I think so,”
Sam said. “Anish’s powers seem endless, don’t they?”
“I think it
might have been Jena who helped you,” Anna said. She grinned at Sam’s
story?” he asked.
is still a mystery,” Jena said. “Yesterday I was just a regular nerd going to
my school dance. Today, well, I’m some sort of Stephen King novel come to
Sam laughed. He
gave Jena a brief summary of the story he had just relayed to the others while
she was on the phone with her mother, Isabelle.
Jena groaned. “So Nina is a vampire.”
“I’m not sure
about that,” Sam said. “There’s something, I don’t know, more
her than that.”
“What could be
more sinister than a vampire?” Jena asked. She waved her hand, dismissing the
question. “Never mind. I don’t want to know.”
me we’re going to find out anyway,” Simon said.
Sam nodded in
agreement. “The boy, Commissioner Jackson’s son, now
was a vampire.
At least I think he was…Jesus this is crazy.”
“Tell me about
it,” Matthew said. “During my time in Rome, and traveling around the globe
performing exorcisms, I thought I had seen it all. Even last year kind of fit
in with what I had learned over the years. A demon is a demon, no matter the
background or unique characteristics.”
“And now?” Sam
Jena laughed at
the priest’s language. “I know priests and nuns are no different than anybody
else, but it’s still funny to hear you curse.”
heard anything yet,” Matthew joked. “Stick around, kid. You’re bound to hear a
“Is anyone else
disturbed by our conversations?” Trevor asked out of the blue.
“What do you
mean?” Anna asked.
“Well, here we
are marching toward what could be our last hurrah. And, like, we’re talking as
if we’re sitting around the dinner table sharing war stories. I am hyper aware
of the fact that I am currently holding two guns in my hands, and across my
shoulders in a bag are more weapons.” Trevor shook his head. “It’s weird. This
feels different than it did last year.”
“Yeah, I second
that,” Simon agreed. “Last time it was kinda surreal. You know, it was almost
like a virtual reality game where if the bad guy kills you, it’s only a
simulation. This time it feels more real.”
conversation is surreal,” Jena chimed in.
threw his hands up in the air, gesturing for silence and alertness.
Anna asked, taking the gun off safety.
“Look up ahead,”
Anish said. Sure enough, they could see a faint light coming from a house.
“Is that it?”
“Yeah,” Sam and
Jena said in unison.
Sam took a deep
breath, trying to prepare himself for whatever was going to happen in the
farmhouse. He cursed under his breath at his back pain, hoping that the
ever-increasing adrenaline will alleviate some of the pain. God knows he had to
be as cunning and flexible as possible; his life depended on it.
heard twigs snapping and leaves rustling under the weight of several pairs of
feet. The sounds came from all directions.
* * * * * *
enough experience in spiritual warfare to know when something evil was brewing.
When Anish abruptly stopped the convoy from moving toward the farmhouse, he was
overwhelmed by the presence of danger.
How did I not
sense this earlier?
priest chided himself. Trevor had been right. They weren’t paying close enough
attention. One thing he had learned in his many battles against the spawn of
Hell was to never let your guard down. He reached into his bag and pulled out a
wooden crucifix that had a sharp point at its base. He felt chills traveling up
and down his spine like an interstate highway during rush hour.
shifted to Pastor Amy, one of his best friends who had died the previous year
in the underground lair of the Wendigo. He could almost hear her voice in his
the significance and history of the altar. Your knowledge of the occult and
ritualistic sacrifices may be the difference between life and death…for all of
unexpected happened. Matthew glanced at Anna, and it was as if they were in
high school again. Once upon a time, they had shared everything together. They
were the best of friends. From breakups and hookups as teenagers, to the
baptisms of her children in their 20s, to the fighting of old evils in their
30s and now 40s, Matthew and Anna were a hell of a team. He caught Anna’s eye,
and they shared a knowing smile.
Then, whether by
luck or divine design, Matthew was the first member of the group to see
movement in the shadows of the trees. He looked to Sam, who then nodded when he
heard the first twigs snapping.
They were being
* * * * * *
Listen to me,
the voice in
Jena’s head demanded. She had managed to successfully ignore it for the past several
minutes. But what began as a small whisper in her mind now sounded like someone
was standing beside her with a bullhorn, yelling in her ear. It was almost
My God would you
shut the hell up!
mentally shrieked. Anish turned to look at her, his expression inquisitive and
concerned. Jena winked at him, hoping that would make him feel better. She
seriously doubted it.
Listen to me
, the voice
Do not fight me.
Who are you?
listening to some random bitch in my head. For all I know, you
are Nurse Poppins trying to mess with me.
I told you
already. I am
During your blackouts, it was me who took over for us. Before the night is
through, you are going to need to unite us if we are to have any hope of
survival. Otherwise, we will all die. Tonight.
Jena moaned. She knew that if anyone had the slightest inkling of what was
going on inside her head right now, they would commit her. To say she was
nervous would be one hell of an understatement. After all, she had plenty of
reasons to feel that way. What made her the most apprehensive was that she
would be flooded with the memories of what happened during those blackouts all
at once. What if that distracted her at just the
moment? It could
freaking kill her.
“Listen to your
inner self, Jena,” Anish said, putting his hand on her shoulder. She continued
to be amazed by Anish’s capacity for dealing with crazy shit. If they pulled
through and also managed to save Nicholas, she was totally going to spend some
quality time with Anish. Who else would be able to help her deal with her
Jena at the time, the answer to her prayers – understanding her abilities and
how to manage them – had been living right under her nose all the while.
distracted from her thoughts when she realized that Matthew and Sam were
distracted by something sinister. It didn’t take her long to tune in to their
surroundings. And it wasn’t good.
* * * * * *
Trevor and Simon
stood shoulder to shoulder, guns at the ready for whatever was about to charge
them. Dusk had settled in the woods, exaggerating the shadows and magnifying
the danger. This was it. This was the moment. Tonight was going to solidify
their lifelong dream of becoming warriors against the Unholy.
The fact that
spirits – ghosts – were real was a no-brainer. Demons? Duh. Trevor and Simon
had hunted a werewolf not long ago, though it turned out not to be the Wolfman.
But vampires? Sure, the boys had always been believers, but they weren’t
fanatic about it. If someone had held a gun to their heads and demanded to know
whether they could track and capture a vampire…no way. They would have insisted
that vamps were the cultural result of myth, folklore, and ancient creativity.
Yet here they
were, in late 2013, preparing to decimate what might actually be a vampire
coven. Then they heard movement beyond their line of vision. Apparently Nina’s
undead minions weren’t waiting for them to arrive at the farmhouse.
It was time to
open a few cans of whoop-ass on these vamp bastards.
* * * * * *
Anna took a
moment to embrace the cliché. As the sounds of the impending arrival of dark
creatures grew louder, her life flashed before her eyes.
Like any life,
there are profound peaks and volatile valleys. Anna was pleasantly surprised to
realize that, aside from her children – who of course represented the great joy
of her life – the person who commanded a significant piece of her heart and
soul was Matthew McMillan.
Damn. If she had
any doubt that she’d be going to Hell in a hand basket, her feelings for
Matthew cleared that up nice and neat. She was definitely going to Hell now.
Even as the antagonists of this ludicrous horror story surrounded and flanked
them on all sides, Anna couldn’t help but look at Matthew and smile.
The smile didn’t
last long when she watched Matthew’s smile fade into a frown. Knowing he must
have seen or heard something, she glanced at Sam. He, too, had a look of dread.
Then she heard the twigs snapping and leaves rustling. It was coming from all
around them. Perhaps even above them.
Anna dropped her
rifle in favor of a Beretta with wooden bullets, which she held in her right
hand. In her left she carried a crucifix with a sharp point, as well as a flare
It was time to
send some vampires back to Hell, and Nina with them.
* * * * * *
getting sick and tired of constantly being knocked out. He was
sick and tired of Nina’s bullshit. But as Nina left the farmhouse with the
other two strangers, Nicholas suddenly felt intensely vulnerable.
sweetie,” a beautiful woman said to him. Her accent was heavy; he thought it sounded
Italian. Nicholas’ grandparents were from a small homey village in southern
Italy. But he seriously doubted that this woman was anything like Gran.
“I am not your
sweetie,” Nicholas spat. While he figured she must be innately evil, he had to
admit that she was incredibly gorgeous. Her skin was unnaturally pale, making
her lips seem lusciously red. It was actually difficult to not look at her, as
if she had some sort of power that was drawing him in.
tongue, boy,” some dude said with a flare of drama. He had an accent, too, but
Nicholas couldn’t tell where it was from. He, too, was pale…and amazingly
handsome. Nicholas may not swing that way, but he could certainly see why any
woman would find him irresistible.
having a difficult time remaining upright, which was turning out to be a
surprisingly difficult endeavor. He leaned against the wall not only so he
could keep from falling down, but also so he could get a better look at the
people in front of him.
The two people
who had spoken to him looked to be in their early thirties, and they were
holding hands. If Nicholas knew one thing about them other than their looks, it
was that they definitely thought their shit didn’t stink. Their hair was long
and dark, pulled back in ponytails. Her hair was straight, his curly. Their
clothes were incredibly fancy, a bit of casual chic. Then there was a third
individual, who was the exact opposite of the first two. Whereas the couple was
refined, snooty, and graceful when they moved, this guy was seriously rough
around the edges. He wore camouflage and looked like a long lost Robertson relative
from Duck Dynasty.
“Where are you
people from?” Nicholas asked, trying to keep them from killing him.
“I am from Italy,
originally,” the woman said. “My name is Natalia, and this is my husband Micah.
He hails from Israel.”
“And this is the
General,” Micah added.