Victim of the Night (Night Trilogy Book 1), page 1
Copyright 2014 by E.R. Willis
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Printed in the United States of America
First Printing, 2014
Thank you for embarking on this journey of changes, bravery, and loyalty.
Victim of the Night
I want to win the competition. This is going to mean a lot to me. For three years, I’ve studied the art of culinary and baking. If I win this, I get awarded $10,000. Who would pass that up? The challenge is simple. Someone has to bake a great dessert. That’s it! I know what I’m going for. A cherry pie. Not just any cherry pie, but a cherry pie that is made from the very cherries of this city. I know no one will think of this. Why? No one wants to venture into those woods. They’re too scared.
It’s silly how the people here think that it’s haunted, and that the old fortress hidden there is cursed. Nonsense. In fact, people live there. A long time ago, the city wanted to destroy the fortress, but a group of people came, and bought the place for themselves. Now that old fortress is a bakery and a weapons shop. There’s nothing wrong with that.
I took a taxi and traveled to the other side of the city. I paid the driver and got off. I walked into the forest and began my search.
I spent hours looking for the cherries. I found none. I was about to give up, but I found a strange place. The place looked greener, and the trees there gave fruit, including cherries. Bad thing is, it’s fenced off. A sign on the fence read, “Property of the Obsidian Family”. Obsidian? That must be the owners of the old fortress?
I sighed, and decided to climb over the fence. I need those cherries. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind me getting a few cherries. They wouldn’t miss them. I’ll be in and out in a flash.
I landed on the other side safely. I walked up to the cherry tree, put the basket I was carrying around on my wrist, and started climbing. It took me a while to get to the lower limb. This tree is tall!
I got on the limb and sat down. I looked down and got slightly dizzy. I’m scared of heights. I can’t believe I’m doing this for a few cherries. I must though. I need that money. I reached over and started grabbing cherries. I had to be careful. I didn’t want to fall.
I started going down after a few minutes of picking. I landed on the ground, but when I did, I heard someone clear their throat behind me. Oh goodness! I’m caught! I turned around and saw a man about six feet away from me. He’s about six feet tall, long black sleek hair that is to his waist, hazel eyes, and his skin is pale. His hair also has a white streak on his left side. He’s wearing a black top hat, a black trench coat over black clothes, black boots, and a black cane. His cane is solid black, except for the handle. The handle is a steel head of a dragon. His age looks to be around 25 or so? “Why are you here?” he asked, walking up to me.
“I’m sorry. I just wanted some cherries,” I said.
“Oh? For what purpose? Is it for profit?” he said, eyeing my basket.
“Well…I want to make a pie. It’s for my school. If I win, I’ll get some money,” I said.
“Money? So you are making a profit off of my hard work! Do you know how long I had to work for these trees to live again?” he said, snatching my basket.
“No. I don’t have a clue, but please! I need those cherries!” I said, taking hold of the handle.
“Fine. You can have the cherries, but you must tell me what you are going to do with the money. That is if you win,” he said, still not letting go of the basket handle.
“You want me to tell you about my problems? Why would I tell you? I don’t even know you?” I responded.
“All right than! No cherries!” he said, raising his cane and slapping my hand with it. It hurt, and my hand let go of the basket handle.
I broke down in tears as the man turned, and started to walk off. “I’m using it for my parents burial!” I said, yelling after him.
The man stopped, and looked down at the basket for a long time before turning around to face me. He walked back towards me and said, “That’s all I wanted to know. I’m sorry for your loss. Let these cherries of my forest make you triumph.”
The man handed me the basket and walked away. “Thank you,” I said as he disappeared into the thickness of the trees.
I trembled as I rolled out the dough for my pie crust. A lot of people showed up today for the challenge. The competition is taking place outside of the school. I must not get nervous. I can do this! I’ve got a great ingredient! The cherries! “Everyone, please be quiet as the contestants are at work. Enjoy the baked goods and snacks that the culinary students set out for you!” my teacher said to the audience.
The audience shifted to one side. They must be going to the table where the goods are laid out for them. This is good. I can focus more on my pie. I took a deep breath and continued. When the time was up, we presented our baked dessert to the judge’s one at a time. I was nervous. I was shaking as my name was called out. I went to judges table and set down the pie.
“Pie? I love pie!” one of the judges exclaimed.
The three judges each sliced the pie and ate. When they were done, they nodded. That was the sign that meant that I needed to go back in line and wait for the results. I did, but I couldn’t stop shaking. I looked over at the judge’s table. They are all talking among themselves. This is so nerve wrecking!
The judges stood up after a while of chatter. One picked up the microphone and spoke. “We will now announce the winner. We all enjoyed the baked goods, but one stood out. We think that the contestant deserves the prize of $10,000. The winner is…contestant number 5! Please step forward!”
I can’t believe it? I won! I stepped up and accepted the prize. I sighed with relief. This is a good thing. The challenge is over, and I need to head back to the hotel I am staying at. I took the rest of my pie, and walked away from the school. I was one step away from being off the college campus when a group of girls stopped in front of me.
“Oh, look who we found? I congratulate you for winning, but that check is mine!” the overly skinny girl said. I know her. She’s in my culinary class, and she’s nothing but a snob!
“Why? Aren’t you rich?” I asked.
“Yes, but I want to spend your money! I’ll throw a party for myself! Give me your check!” she urged while the others laughed. “Give it to me, or I’ll slap you!”
I held the check tight in my right hand. I don’t want to give up my money. I earned this. I put the check in my pants pocket and said, “No. Leave me alone.”
“Girls, back me up,” the skinny girl said. The group of girls giggled as they all approached me. I can’t beat them. I’m outnumbered five to one! Well, I can at least try.
I stood my ground, ready for them to attack me. The skinny girl rushed to me, but I grabbed her by the wrist, and threw her towards her buddies. The reason that was easy is because she is so skinny. All of them fell to the ground but one. That one ran to me, and tried tackling me down, but I didn’t let her. I strengthen my stance and began pushing back. The girl pushing me let go, and I was about to land a punch on her, but the skinny girl interfered. I felt pain in my stomach.
I looked down and saw that she has stabbed me. She pulled out the knife and backed off. “See what you made me do! Why fight for $10,000?” the skinny girl said.
“I earned it! Unlike you. You get everything
“Just give me the money, or I’ll stab you again!” she said, threatening me.
“Do it then! I’ve got nothing to live for anymore…” I said, closing my eyes as tears began to flow down my cheeks.
“Just let her go. You can’t murder her for the money? She’s right. You’ve got it all,” one girl said, trying to stop the skinny girl.
“No, she must die. She’s pathetic!” the skinny girl said. I opened my eyes, and saw the skinny girl dive towards me with the knife in her grasp.
This can’t be happening! I gasped as she came near me. Her knife must’ve been about a couple of inches close to my neck when something odd appeared. A hand had reached out, and stopped the knife before it stabbed me. I looked up, and saw a familiar person. “It’s…you?” I said, surprised to see him.
It was the guy from yesterday. The skinny girl let go of the knife, and backed away with the other girls. The guy has the knife between his fingers. He snapped it in two, and let it fall to the ground. The guy looked at his fingers and said, “It’s been years since I’ve seen my own blood.” I looked closer at his hand. I guess when he stopped the knife, it cut him a bit? The guy smiled, and licked the blood off his fingers. He stopped bleeding when he did that. His finger nails are long and black. Did he do that to his finger nails? That’s strange?
“Who are you?” the skinny girl asked.
The guy straighten up and said, “I am Lord Obsidian. I am the owner of Shady Thorn. Why are you girls picking on her?”
“We wanted her check. Don’t hurt us!” the skinny girl said, scared.
“Hurt you? You just hurt the innocent girl behind me, and you expect to run free of injuries? That’s unfair,” he said, pulling out a gun from the inside of his trench coat.
He aimed the gun at them, and pulled the trigger. He shot all five girls. They fell to the ground in agony. The guy turned to me and said, “Come, let’s go and get you healed up.” The guy picked me up and carried me to his car. His car wasn’t that far, but it felt like it to me. He opened the door with one hand, and seated me in the passenger seat. His car is strange too. It’s a black hearse. Yes, one of those cars that carry the casket, or coffin, to the cemetery? I never thought I’d be alive riding in one.
“Why did you save me?” I asked him as he drove.
“I saw the whole thing. I was there at the baking challenge. I wanted to see if what you told me was true, and it was. I followed you to get a taste of your pie, but…” he said, trailing off.
“Oh…yeah I dropped it when they attacked me. Thanks for shielding me. You know those girls will call the law to look for you. If they survive,” I said, holding onto my stomach.
“Yeah, but they don’t scare me. How are you holding up?” he asked, glancing at me.
“Not good, but I’m trying. I’m in so much pain, and the bleeding won’t stop,” I said, looking down at my bloodied hand.
I looked out the window, and saw that we weren’t heading to the hospital. “You passed the hospital. Where are you taking me?” I asked.
He didn’t answer me. He kept driving until we arrived at his place. At the old fortress known as the Shady Thorn.
He turned off the car and got out. He went around and opened the passenger door. “I want you to listen closely and carefully. I’m willing to heal you, but in one condition,” he said.
“What?” I said, eager to know. I’m in horrible pain, so I wanted this to end. I think I might be fainting as well.
“I see potential in you. You stood up against the other girls, and you know the arts of food. I ask you, will you join Shady Thorn, and become one of us?” he said.
That didn’t sound too bad? I get to work for him, and I’ll be okay. “Yes,” I said.
“Good. I’m going to recline the seat back, and then I’ll lay you down slowly. Relax, and close your eyes,” he instructed.
I did what he told me to do, and he did his part. It hurt to be laying down since it stretched my stomach a bit. It had to be done. I felt something wet and warm on my stomach. It moved all over my stomach. It kind of tickled, but at the same time, the pain went away. “It’s done. You can sit up and open your eyes now,” he said. “By the way, I’m Blaze Obsidian.”
I did so, and I felt better. “Thank you. I’m Starr,” I said. I looked up at him, and saw something at the corner of his mouth. It’s red. He must’ve noticed that I noticed. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. He looked down and saw the red stain. He licked it off, turned to me, and grinned. That’s when I saw them. His canine teeth are long and sharp. Are those fangs? Wait. Did he lick me? He licked up and swallowed my blood! Is he a…vampire?
“Now that you gave me your word, you will soon be one of us. You’ll fit right in,” he said, offering me a hand.
“I…don’t quite understand?” I said.
“Please, don’t tell me you haven’t noticed yet? I am what you think I am. My whole family is. I heard what you said when those girls wanted to stab you the second time. You said that you’ve got nothing to live for anymore. I’m giving you a chance to a new life. A life where you will be accepted no matter what,” he replied.
“I’m not too sure I want to do this?” I said, hesitant.
Lord Obsidian smiled and said, “You’ll learn to like it, but if you don’t want to become one of us, I can always kill you. Your choice.”
Kill me? What have I gotten myself into? All for wanting to get cherries? I should’ve chosen something else to make at the challenge, but then I would’ve been killed anyways? Right? If I would’ve won the challenge with something else, those girls would’ve finished me off. I guess I owe Lord Obsidian for that. I’ve got no choice. “All right. I’ll join you,” I said, taking his hand.
“Good choice. Since you lost blood, we will let you rest before we begin,” he said, closing the car door behind me.
We walked from the car, to the entrance to the old fortress. The fortress has tall steel walls, and the gate is open, but two people are standing there. They must be vampires guarding the place? They saw me as I passed, but they didn’t say anything. Inside the walls, a steel building sits in the middle. We went towards it, and entered through the main door. The door led to a huge spacious room. Half the room has baked goods, while the other half has weapons of all kinds. This is amazing! I’ve never been here before, so all of this is new. I hope I get a job here at the bakery. That’ll be nice. It’ll probably help me deal with being a vampire. Gosh, I’m already dreading it.
“Lord Obsidian, what have you here?” a lady behind the counter of the bakery side said. She looked to be around her early forties.
“Hello, Mrs. Pixy. I’ve brought someone who’s going to join the family. How are you and your husband doing?” Lord Obsidian said, stopping in his tracks.
“We are doing fine. That’ll be marvelous! Can she cook?” Mrs. Pixy said, smiling warmly at me. Lord Obsidian nodded. “That’s good. I can use an extra hand. I hope to see you soon.”
“Thank you,” I said to her. Lord Obsidian and I walked to the back door of the spacious room. There, I see a long hallway. A door is on either side of the hallway.
“Starr, to my left, we have the vampires that are excellent at blacksmithing. Mrs. Pixy’s husband runs that. He must’ve been on a break? That’s why we didn’t see him. To the right, we have the vampires that are talented at cooking and baking. Vampires get to choose what they want to be, but I assume you want the baking side. Am I right?” he said.
“Yes. That’s what I know,” I said, somewhat getting excited that I get to work in a bakery. That has always been my dream. I just never thought I’d be working for vampires?
“Great! Mrs. Pixy needs help in both the baking and cooking. If you know both, that’ll impress everyone. Including Lord Erebus,” he said, walking.
I followed him. “Lord Erebus?” I asked.
“Lord Erebus is our
500 years ago? How old is he? “Oh, does he look…strange?” I asked.
Lord Obsidian began to laugh. “Sure. You can say that,” he said, still laughing.
We continued walking until the hallway ended. It led us to a huge room. It’s so big that I feel like an ant. It’s empty for now. No one is here but us. There are tables everywhere, but at the end of the room, there’s a throne. The throne is decorated with bones and jewels, and it looks like it can seat a giant. Oh my! What if Lord Erebus is a giant? There’s no way, right? There are also…training dummies? Maybe it’s to try out the weapons they make before selling them? That makes sense, but why are there a lot of them? It’s like you can train an army in here! Lord Obsidian told me that this is known as the throne room.
“Lord Obsidian, I have a question?” I said, looking around at the room.
“What is it?” he said.
“I see that everything in here has dim lighting, and I understand that, but it’s in the afternoon. The sun is still up. Doesn’t that hurt you?” I said, looking at him now.
“Yes and no. Let me explain. Full-fledged vampires are normal vampires to us. The sun, garlic, holy water, wolfs bane, silver, and crucifixes can harm them. They only come out at night. They sleep during the day, but they can be awake during the daylight, but they must remain hidden in the shadows. That is what you’ll become. So be careful. Next, are the lord vampires. That’s what we have been calling them since I can remember? I’m one of them. The lord vampires can do what the normal vampires can. Except, we have an immunity to the sun, garlic, wolfs bane, holy water, silver, crucifixes, and we have dark powers. Finally, there’s the king vampire. They have everything the normal and lord vampires have. The king vampires have more power abilities, and can turn into a demonic form as well,” he said, summarizing.