W.B. Vogel




It was a brisk autumn day in the city of Brooksville, Carolina. There was a drizzle in the air, but the sun shown through briefly as the clouds charged forward on their ever-incessant journey. This was a good day to die, but an even better day to kill. That was exactly what Sam had on his morbid little mind for today...

He stepped softly passed the graveyard on his way to his appointed
rounds. The cemetery gates rattled gently as the harsh winds of an October storm assaulted their very existence. This clanging sound was a comforting symphony for Sam. He had heard it many times in his life. It was as common to him as the crackle of leaves under a child's feet, and just as entrancing.

But there would be no need to venture into the kingdom of the dead on this particular occasion. His quarry lay not in an earthen tomb, but in an edifice of brick and stone. Just outside the edge of Brooksville stood the building that would be his destination. Inside this keep was shrouded a realm of blasphemy covered in a cloak of darkness. This was where his enemy waited for him.

The sun was falling. He would have to hurry. After darkness fell the hunt would be much more difficult. His adversary would be much stronger...time was of the essence.

The building required a few minutes of study before an entrance could be attempted. It had a heavy steel door. To undo such a barrier would take several minutes at least. Sam opted for an easier approach. Scaling a large wooden crate, he gained access to a second-floor window. He strained gently to push it open, but it would not budge. Time was passing quickly. He finally slammed his elbow against the glass, shattering it into a million, dagger-like shards that scattered randomly across the floor like raindrops.

Through the window he lifted a large leather bag and a metal jug. He placed them on the floor, and then crawled through. He knew this would not be where his target was. There were too many windows to let the rays of the sunshine into this area. He knew his enemy all to well. Such knowledge was the necessary edge between victory and a six-foot-deep maggot farm.

The basement was where he needed to be. It would be the darkest location, and it would also have the most minimal amount of access. The monster sleeps where the long shadows fall.

It took a few minutes, but Sam found the stairs and was in the basement shortly thereafter. The room was dark and extremely cold. The air chilled the blood, and Sam knew that this was a good sign that he was in the right place. Next came a pugnacious odor...it was the smell of the undead.

Sam struck a magnesium flare. The cleansing light radiated outward filling the room with a red glow. He looked around the room carefully, but could find no coffins. After some time of thought he saw something that sparked his curiosity. It was a 55-gallon metal drum.

"Why would it be down here?" he thought to himself. Dragging that thing up and down those stairs would kill a person. Then it hit him like a brick.

Walking over to the drum, he saw that the lid was setting slightly off-center. It was not attached, and was just lying on the barrel. Lifting this away, he saw something that almost shocked him. Within the barrel was a body curled into a prone position. Never before had he seen a flesheater sleep this way.

From his metal container he poured a clear fluid over the corpse that rested within the canister. This was the simplest method he had ever used to dispatch a foe. Quick, efficient, and brutal, that was why flaming was his preferred technique. Stepping back from the barrel he struck a match.

Pausing for a moment, he spoke an epithet saying, "Now, down to Hell, and say that it was I that sent you there." He flicked his wrist, tossing the burning wick into the drum. As soon as the flame touched the fumes from the kerosene there was ignition. In a quick burst of fire his enemy's lifeforce was extinguished. The screams from the creature only lasted for seconds, but those were the brief sounds of a living Hell.

The tension flowed away from him as the flames died away. For just a second he was relaxed, but then there came a voice. It said, "You are a vampir. The bastard son of a vampire and a mortal. Did the gypsies teach you how to slay us?"

"Yes," Sam replied. He reached down into his bag, and retrieved a knife and a wooden stake. This, unfortunately, would not be enough to save his life.

Stepping from the darkness, she was a vampire of exquisite beauty. She spoke again saying, "Because you are a vampir you are an exceptionally talented vampire hunter. Your senses, knowledge, and skills are sharper than the average human's. How many of us have you killed? 10, 20, or 100? Your acumen for this will not be enough. The master is now dead, and we are all our own masters now." Ten more vampires came forth from the shadows. The odds were bad.

She said, "Things have changed. Do you think that you are fast? You're not fast enough to kill us all. One of us will kill you." Sam had always known that a woman would undo him, but this was not quite what he had expected.

"What is your name?" she asked him.

"My name is Samuel Creed," he said with insolence in his voice. His final words were, "It's better to die on your feet than on your knees."

She snapped her fingers, and they were all upon him. He destroyed a few. Now from vampir to vampire, his destiny had finally been fulfilled.




Copyright, © 1997 A.D.


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April 26, 2001 A.D.