Vampire Hollows, page 1part #5 of Kiera Hudson Series One Series
The truck lunged to the right, then to the left, and I nearly lost my footing. Doctor Hunt reached out to steady me and I snapped my arm away.
“Get off!” I hissed.
“Kiera?” he asked, his eyes growing wide. “What’s wrong?”
“I know who you are!” I shouted, raising my claws as to defend myself should he try and grab for me again. “You’re Elias Munn!”
The truck continued to rattle, lurch, and bump, and I pressed the flat of my hand against its frame to keep my balance.
“I’m not…” Hunt started and I jabbed at him with my free hand, fingernails long, black and curved.
“You’re behind everything,” I spat. “You’re the invisible man
we’ve all been searching for!”
“What?” Hunt cried in disbelief. “You can’t really believe that?”
“Why not?” I asked, staring into his eyes, trying to see something – anything. “It all makes sense now!” But did it? I couldn’t work it out. Where did Hunt fit into all of this? With my mind racing back to my days of training, I frantically tried to search for opportunity and motive. But did any of those rules apply to him? Wasn’t Elias Munn a twisted killer who only wanted the destruction of the human race because he had been spurned by his true love?
“I see it in your eyes, Kiera,” he said, his voice softer now.
“See what?” I shouted.
“Your uncertainty,” he said back. “Why would I help you escape from that zoo if all I wanted was to kill you anyway?”
“Because you need me to love you,” I replied.
With a half-smile on his lips, Hunt looked at me and said, “I’m flattered, Kiera, but aren’t I a little bit old for you?”
“I’m not talking about us being lovers!” I barked at him, my right claw still held out before me. “I could love you as a friend, as a father! And by you helping and taking care of me, there would be a very good chance I could grow emotionally attached to you – love you perhaps. ”
“That wasn’t my reason for helping you, Kiera,” he shouted back over the roar of the truck’s engine. “I want this Elias Munn dead as much as you. I lost my wife because of him and almost Kayla and Isidor too!”
“So if you’re not Munn, why were you trying to escape that facility with my mother, Phillips, and Sparky? Why have your head covered? Who were you trying to hide your identity from?”
“They were trying to hide my identity from you!” Hunt said.
“And why would they want to do a thing like that?”
“Because they were using me as a decoy, for crying out loud!” Hunt insisted.
“A decoy?” I asked confused.
“They wanted you to think that I was this Elias Munn, so you would follow me while the real Munn got away,” he started to explain. “They covered my head because if you had seen it was me, you would never have followed. You would’ve smelled a rat and not come after us. ” Then, looking at me he added, “But then again, perhaps you have come after me, not to save me, but because you did believe that I was Munn. ”
I looked at him and could see despair in his blue eyes. It was as if they had clouded over like a summer sky that was threatening a storm.
“So if you’re not this Elias Munn, who is?” I asked with a sneer, but something in my heart told me perhaps he was telling the truth. “You must have some idea. You told Murphy back at the Hallowed Manor that you had your suspicions. ”
“I can’t be certain, but…” he started.
“But what?” I demanded.
Before he could answer me, the truck tipped onto its side and I toppled backwards onto my arse, my arms and legs pinwheeling. Hunt was up, throwing away the cloak he had draped over his shoulders. He came towards me, his hand outstretched. I threw my hands up, as if to protect myself from him.
Hunt could see the fear in my eyes as he came towards me. Then reaching out, he grabbed hold of me and yanked me to my feet.
“Kiera, I’m not going to hurt you. You’ve got to trust me,” he said, his eyes fixed on mine.
Pushing his hand away, I looked at him and said, “Who then? Who is this Elias Munn?”
“Who is it that you love?” he asked, and his face looked almost sad.
“What…why?” I stammered as I searched my feelings. I knew in my heart that I had only ever loved a very few people. My father, mother, and if I were to be honest with myself, I knew I had fallen in love with…
The roof of the truck was suddenly ripped open as a set of claws shot into the darkness of the cargo hold and yanked Hunt out. I looked up to see his feet disappearing through the jagged hole. Leaping from the back of the truck, I swept up into the sky through the snow that continued to fall like giant feathers.
With my wings poised on either side of me, I snapped my head left and right and stared through the snow and into the night. Narrowing my eyes to slits, I saw a dark shadow whisk upwards and away. Pressing my arms against my sides, and tilting my head back like the shape of an arrow, my wings instinctively spread open, and with those little black fingers seeming to grab at the air, I propelled myself forward. I tore through the snowy air as I made my way towards the black-winged shape that was racing away from me. My long hair bellowed out behind me, and I could hear and feel the wind pressing itself against me as I cut through it. I don’t know how fast I was flying, but when I dared to glance down, the treetops and barren moors below me were just a blur.
I gained on the shape ahead of me, and as I drew closer to it, I could see Doctor Hunt struggling with the creature that had snatched him away. Hunt kicked and lashed out at the Vampyrus, but the other seemed stronger. In a flicker of shadows, the Vampyrus ripped and tore at Hunt. Over the sound of the roaring wind, I heard a cry that almost froze my heart. It was an ear-splitting scream of utter agony. Then I watched in horror as Hunt fell from the Vampyrus’ claws and dropped from the sky, his own wings fluttering on either side of him like two torn sails.
His attacker seemed to hover just beneath a grey belly of swollen cloud. Whoever it was looked back at me, and I looked into their face, but like in my dreams – nightmares – his face was a blur of shadows that appeared to twist and contort before my very eyes. Blinking, I looked back but he had gone, disappearing into the cloud that lumbered across the night sky, showering the earth below in snow.
I looked down and could see Hunt spiralling towards the ground. Twisting around in the sky, I shrugged my shoulders to spread my wings and I shot down after him. The ground raced up towards me at a terrifying rate. Still not really sure how to use the two glistening wings, I hoped that I would know how to stop in time. Reaching out with my claws, I snatched at Hunt as I shot past him. Then, knowing that I had just seconds to catch him before we both smashed into the hard, rocky ground of the moors, those bony black fingers at the tips of my wings, which had once repulsed me so much, gripped hold of Hunt. Seeing that I had caught him, I arched my back and came to a sudden stop, just inches from the ground. I floated downwards, placing my boots gently against the earth. Hunt felt heavy and lifeless. Placing him out of the blizzard, I rested him against a large rock and he slumped forward.
“Doctor Hunt!” I roared over the howling wind. “Who is Elias Munn?”
Gently taking his face in my hands, I lifted his head to look at him. His eyes were open and they stared back at me. Snow fell onto his black hair and chest. Staring into his eyes, I knew there was no life in them, but I didn’t want to accept that. Hunt had just been about to tell me who Elias Munn was, I didn’t want him to go – not yet.
“Please tell me,” I whispered into his face. “I need to know. ” But he just looked back at me, his
Then I noticed the snow that covered his chest and lap had turned pink, then red, almost black. With one of my claws, I brushed the snow away and closed my eyes at the sight of the ragged hole in the centre of his chest where his heart had been removed.
Laying him down, I stood up, clenching my claws. I then threw my head back and screamed into the wind.
I wept as I covered Hunt’s body with some branches and leaves from a nearby crop of trees. They weren’t just tears of sadness for him, they were more tears of frustration. It didn’t seem fair. However close I got to Elias Munn, the further he seemed to move away. Murphy had said that the invisible man – Munn – always seemed to be several steps ahead of us. It was like we had been chasing a ghost, something made of smoke; someone made of vapour.
When his identity was close to being revealed, it was snatched away from me, just like Hunt had been snatched away from the truck. As I gently placed the broken branches over Hunt’s body, I thought back to what he had said to me just before he had been taken and murdered.
Who is it that you love? He had said.
But what kind of love? How deep does this so-called love have to be? I loved my mother and father, and on some level, I loved Kayla and Isidor like a brother and sister. But I knew there were two others I cared deeply about and one of them I had fallen in love with. I couldn’t deny that to myself any longer, because if I did, then perhaps I would fail to see Elias Munn’s true identity.
Standing, I looked down at Hunt’s covered body and watched as the giant snowflakes seesawed down, smothering his makeshift grave like a blanket.
I turned away and headed back in the direction from where I had come. My wings trailed behind me, and reaching out, I ran the tips of my claws over their black glittering surface. They felt like the softest of feathers – like silk somehow, but tougher. The three bony fingers at the tip of each wing were curled closed like a deformed-looking fist. I looked at them and imagined them open, and no sooner had I conjured the thought in my head, the fingers curled open like the petals of a black rose. I pictured them closed and they folded inwards on themselves. It was no harder for me to open and close them than it was my own hands. I looked back at my wings. Now that they were out, how did they go away again? Just like I had done with those bony black fingers, I just imagined them gone again, and before I knew what was happening, my shoulders were rolling forward as if I were shrugging and the wings were withdrawing back inside of me. It wasn’t a painful feeling, just uncomfortable. I could feel them wrapping themselves around my ribcage, and for just a few moments, I felt short of breath. It was like my lungs were being squeezed or filled with warm water. Then the feeling was gone and I could breathe again, and I felt no different than I had for the last twenty years of my life. I looked down at my hands, which didn’t really look like hands anymore. They were more of a cross between a crow’s claw and that of an eagle. The skin covering my hands had taken on an almost translucent look, like marble. My fingers were longer – way longer than normal. I held them up before me and I guessed my middle finger was somewhere between ten and twelve inches long. Each one of them was capped with a sharp, black fingernail which was slightly hooked. I looked at them and wished that they would go, and no sooner had the thought entered my head, the claws were shrinking away and leaving behind my normal-sized fingers. I imagined the claws again, and they were back in an instant like blades being sprung from a flick-knife. I wished them away and they went as quickly as they had appeared. I still wasn’t happy or sure about the changes that my body was making and the thought of those little black fingers curled around my ribcage still made me feel sick, but the claws? They were pretty cool.
TIM OROURKE SERIES:
Other author's books:
- MoonlightUnscathedWitchDead WolfVampire ShiftVampire WakeDead WaterDead Angels
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