Vampire Esquire's War: A Novella, page 10
A lot bigger fish than the last one, Roland thought. Robbie Jernigan. He decided to use the term "righteous kill" because it fit, regardless of whether he was vampire or a person.
Roland wouldn’t be haunted by killing vampires or scumbag humans, who meddled in businesses like human trafficking. The vagaries inherent in war didn’t exist in human vampire war.
Magnum debriefed Roland. “The house where this asshole lives is set back on the property, so we can't drive in. There will be a party. We will need to drive about two miles down the lake and take a motorboat with a silent motor about 300 yards down the beach. There will be guards all around the back, but if we go late enough, the party will be in full force. It is likely the guards will be a little sloppy. I've hired several prostitutes to come on to the guards and distract them. I’ve also hired a contract vampire hunter code name Valkyrie to help us.
"Once we slink onto the property we need to walk into the house like we are supposed to be there. Blending in is key, but it shouldn't be a problem because everyone will be so drunk. Vamps will be there. Politicians, models, pro athletes, you name it."
A taxi picked Roland and Magnum up at the airport. It drove them downtown to the Marriott. They pretended to go into the hotel and check in. Instead they took the elevator to the parking garage. They went to the second floor. The door opened, and Roland could see a black Land Rover in the distance. As he and Magnum walked towards the Land Rover he could see their reflections in the shiny black metal.
A small and trim female figure appeared beside them in the shiny black metal. She wore jeans and a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt as if she were ready to hit a Hollywood club––not the kind of woman Roland expected to be hunting vampires. “Valkyrie,” asked Magnum.
“You aren’t very big.”
“Who says I’m supposed to be?”
Magnum and Roland laughed. “No one did.”
“Let’s got kill some vampires then.”
Magnum clicked the key, and the lights flashed as the Land Rover unlocked. He walked to the back of the jeep and opened it. They hatch slid smoothly as it swung upward. Several bags sat in the back of the car. Either they were body bags or they were gun bags. Roland supposed there wasn't a whole lot of difference.
Magnum reached down and unzipped the first bag. Sitting on top of several shotguns sat an envelop with a silver embossed seal reading "SS," for the Society of the Silver Stake. The note read 'Magnum and Roland, may these weapons prove true as you snuff out other evil lights. The Society of the Silver Stake.”
"Here we go," Magnum said with a smile as he pulled out a gleaming silver stake. Such an elegant weapon, thought Roland. He chuckled to himself. Magnum bore the name of a gun, but he knew Magnum preferred the silver stake. Magnum would have been more comfortable fighting duels with swords, which is why he preferred to slow down vampires with silver bullets. Then he plunged the silver stake into the heart of the vampire. And he stabbed with righteous rage as if with each stab he chipped away at an impenetrable wall only he could crack and tear down.
“Which weapon do you prefer Valkyrie?” asked Roland.
“I’m more of a silver stake kind of girl. I like silver swords too.”
“A woman after my own heart,” Magnum said.
“The silver stake is his favorite weapon. He talks about it a lot,” said Roland. “He lives for these missions. I’m still getting used to everything. It is a lot to take in.”
“Sure it is, but you will get numb to it over time,” said Valkyrie.
“Maybe,” said Roland.
Roland felt the cool silver in his hand. The balance of the weapon felt natural in his grasp, and he believed it acted as an extension of him. Although a great shot, he knew the war against vampires would not be won with shots from a distance. They would need to stab the sons of bitches in the heart.
"Here is something else I know you will like." Magnum handed Roland a crossbow. Then he handed him a quiver with a dozen silver crossbow arrows. "This should slow the blood suckers down."
The three climbed into the Land Rover and drove for forty-five minutes without any headlights turned on.
Despite the dark, the humidity and the heat rose up off the lake. Roland could see a small boat moored to an abandoned dock. Magnum strode forward silently, and Roland followed. Valkyrie also followed, her steps silent.
The three climbed from the dock and into the boat. They rode in silence, the whir of the motor barely audible. "We will be getting out over there." Magnum motioned to a clump of trees in a bend in the shoreline.
Magnum steered the boat forward up on the beach. The three climbed out of the boat and stashed it behind the trees.
They crouched as they trudged through thick undergrowth. They could see lights in the distance and hear loud screams and loud music. Before Roland knew it they were on the property, but there were no guards to be found.
“I suppose you used whores to distract them,” Valkyrie said sarcastically.
“How’d you know?” chuckled Magnum.
“Men are so predictable and weak whether they be vampire or human.”
“I suppose so,” said Magnum, “but it works.”
Several people were passed out on pool chairs. Multiple couples were having sex in a hot tub. No one seemed to pay them any mind.
The “whores” had worked their magic. He felt guilty for thinking of them as whores because they played a key role in this operation however unwittingly. And they weren’t really whores. They were agents playing a part, actors in a real life play.
They entered the house through French doors. No one stopped them. "This way," Magnum motioned Roland up the stairs. Still they faced no opposition. Maybe this would be easy, thought Roland.
"This is it." Mangum motioned to the door. "On the count of three I'm going to kick the door open. You two pull out your weapon of choice and have your backup weapon ready.”
Roland unsheathed a silver stake slanted to the right from his back carrier, and he checked his back for the stake slanted to the left. The stakes crossed like silver swords.
Valkyrie pulled both stakes from her back at the same time and pointed them outward, ready for action, a murderous, yet calm gleam in her eye.
Magnum counted to three, and he kicked the door. It shattered open to reveal a red velvet room. A naked vampire hissed and flew towards Magnum in a blur. He stabbed the vampire with his silver stake. Blood sprayed everywhere, and a blob of organs fell on the floor. One down, no telling how many left to go.
Something knocked Roland to the floor. Another naked vampire. Jesus, he thought, these things love to be naked. The vampire had no hair on its body, not even on its head. Muscles rippled on its back, legs, arms and chest.
“I hate vampire hunters,” it said in an Eastern European accent. “Do you know how many of you I have killed?”
Roland strained as the vampire pinned down his right hand. “Too many,” Roland said as he jammed his staked into the vampires left side. Immediately he was drenched in blood and puss, but he had survived the first kill. He took his left hand and wiped the blood out of his eyes. He would worry about cleaning his face later.
Shots rang out, and he saw Magnum holding his gun. A vampire fell backward, weakened by the shot, and this gave Roland time to pull out his other silver stake and stab the vampire through the heart. Blood sprayed, and goo covered Roland. He wiped the goo out of his eyes. “I thought you preferred the silver stake,” Roland shouted. “I prefer living more,” said Magnum, a thin smile on his face.
In a gilded chair in the back near a roaring fire sat Robbie Jernigan, a smile on his face revealing long fangs. "You all fight well, but you killed young vampires with little strength compared to me. I will dine on both of you, and, when I'm gorged with your blood, I will go sleep for a few days."
"I don't think so Mr. Jernigan. This is your last rodeo,” said Valkyrie. “You've been on the bull for too long. It's about time someone knocked
Jernigan stood up and hissed. “Why they fuck did you bring a woman here? Do you have so little respect for me?”
“It isn’t a matter of respect fang face. I’m better.” Valkyrie smiled as a tuft of hair fell in her face.
Jernigan lurched towards Magnum, an attempt at misdirection, but Valkyrie tripped him. The two still collided, and they fell to the floor. As he knocked Magnum down the two slid into a wall, smashing plaster.
Jernigan yanked Magnum up and dropped him. Then he straddled Magnum, his fangs about to plunge into his jugular. Without thinking, Roland pulled a bolt from his quiver loaded it and fired it. It shot straight through Jernigan's head, but it didn’t kill him. Jernigan reared back in pain. Valkyrie began to casually walk over to the fight with the grace of a ballerina and the ease of an athlete.
Before Roland could fire another shot or Jernigan could regroup, Valkyrie unsheathed a silver sword, and in the same movement she chopped off Jernigan’s head. Blood sprayed upward like a newly tapped oil well.
Roland pulled out a silver stake and stabbed the body through the heart. The body exploded into blood and entrails. “This is woman’s work. Never get a man to do what a woman can do better,” Valkyrie laughed.
“That’s the first vampire I’ve ever decapitated,” she said. “I will have to do it again. Some things are better the second time.”
“Strange how the head is still in one piece. Most of the bodies turn to mush wen stabbed.”
Valkyrie brought down the sword slicing the head in half. Roland stared at her. “I didn’t want to take any chances.”
"Let's go," said Magnum. “Our work is done here, but we need to go into the basement and see how many people are chained up, buried or whatever.”
They ran down the stairs and out the back door. The guards lunged at them with fangs. Roland fired two more bolts each into the hearts of the vampires. Two more kills. “Thanks for shouldering the work load,” said Valkyrie, a hint of irony in her voice.
“You are welcome, but that was your show,” Roland said. He smiled. She smiled back. God she is beautiful, thought Roland. Beautiful and lethal.
“This way,” said Magnum. Magnum opened a door onto a dark stairway. They must have gone down a hundred feet at least. It reminded Roland out of a passageway from a medieval video game he might have played as a kid.
They ran down the stairs in silence, but the floorboards creaked. When they got to the bottom they heard nothing. The floor was dirt. “Why is this a dirt floor?” said Roland.
“Because they buried people to make them into vampires. Jernigan must have kept them down here from the men and women he bought from sex trafficking. Sick assholes.”
Just then one of the five-dozen or so mounds of dirt began to rumble. “Shit,” said Valkyrie. “They are waking up.”
“We need to torch the place,” said Magnum.
“Or we can blow it up with this special silver encased bomb that will kill all these assholes possibly before, but definitely after they wake up––if they wake up.”
Valkyrie walked over and stabbed down into the dirt. The moving stopped, and blood began to seep up from the ground.
Then she reached over and connected the bomb to the wall with strong putty. “We have two minutes to get clear of the blast radius which is a tenth of a mile, so we better run.”
All three ran up the stairs and outside. They ran as fast as they could.
Roland, Magnum and Valkyrie felt a searing heat from behind and then a deafening boom. “Looks like we got rid of some old vampires, Robbie Jernigan and some baby vampires while still in the womb so to speak.”
“That’s right. Mission accomplished,” said Magnum.
“Maybe we will save some people before they get made to vampires.”
“When they are trafficked,” said Magnum, “they are usually too far gone. The best we can do is contain their spread at that point.”
They faced no more opposition. They ran down the beach, cleared the branches and hopped into the boat. The trio sped off in the water the moonlight leading the way to the dock. Who is this Valkyrie woman? thought Roland, I’m beginning to like her.
“Pierre,” this is Thomas Elder.
“Mr. President, nice to speak with you.”
“Likewise. I wanted to let you know Roland Walker, William Magnum and Valkyrie (a code name I suppose) did well in their mission in North Carolina. They killed Jernigan, and they killed upwards of sixty vampires.
“As we feared and were somewhat aware of, there are vampire hives tucked away in multiple places throughout the United States and elsewhere.”
“Yes, from the human trafficking victims.”
“That’s right Pierre. Human lust used to fuel this industry, but now it is also part of the vampire plan.”
Pierre paused, taking it all in.
“Anyway, I wanted you to know.”
“Thanks Mr. President.”
“I hear the mission went well,” said Pierre to Magnum via speakerphone.
“It did. We knocked out a key player in North Carolina.”
“And Roland is becoming more adept at killing vampires?”
“He is.” Magnum paused a minute.
“I know about Valkyrie, too. It seems she is a useful associate.”
Roland agreed. “She is. Quite useful. She’s very skilled.”
“I’m glad to hear that. Thanks for the update. I’m sure we will talk soon.” Pierre hung up the phone.
Pierre had another thought, one that didn’t occur to him as often as it had in the past; although he was happy the mission succeeded, he worried many of his fellow vampires viewed him as a traitor because he sanctioned the killing of his own kind. But he didn't consider vampires his own kind, not really anymore at least.
Another mission completed. Magnum, Valkyrie and Roland slid the boat up on the beach and hid it under the trees. All felt powerful and flush with victory. They had killed a major figure in the North Carolina vampire community.
"I'm sure you are wondering how this all fits together," Magnum said to Roland. "I guess I do wonder what the grand plan is––if there is one––other than killing as many vampires as we can."
Magnum chuckled a little. "There is a plan. I'm not sure how "grand" it is, though. It is more of a strategy.”
Roland arched his eyebrows inquisitively.
“I don’t ponder the origins of the mission. I just do what I’m told, and I hope it works out,” said Magnum. “Thinking too much about these things will blow up your brain. Leave philosophy to the philosophers. Such thinking is a luxury we can’t afford.”
Roland glowered, unconvinced.
“Okay, okay. You deserve at least some kind of answer. I know the threat comes from Europe.”
“We knew that. All the Nero shit. Could it be more than one country?” said Roland.
“Russia, you mean,” said Magnum.
Valkyrie rolled her eyes. “Why the fuck does it matter where it comes from or what the particulars are?”
“I don’t think this is coming from Russia too. Origin isn’t too important.”
“Then what is important Magnum?” Roland turned around, his back facing Magnum. Magnum could tell he was troubled.
“All I know is these vampires suck. My ex-girlfriend cheated on me with a vampire. Then he made her a vampire. He and the bitch vampiress were the first vamps I killed. After that I never looked back.”
Magnum let Valykrie’s comment go, more concerned with Roland.
“You are a lesbian?” said Roland with great disappointment and little tact.
“You got a problem with that?”
“No, I’m just disappointed.”
Valkyrie laughed. The mood lightened. “That’s one I’ve heard before.”
Magnum got them back on tra
Jesus, thought Roland. He never thought the most vulnerable would be used to take over the country. It didn’t make sense, but, then again, it kind of did.
Magnum didn't say anything else—he didn’t need to. Make the most vulnerable into vampires. Where had Roland heard the saying, “breed them out” It applied here.
“I see more hunts in our future,” said Magnum. “But we may be heading into places with superior numbers.”
“Oh you will, but they are trapped in by silver bars and other devices to keep them confined. They key is to blow the motherfucker up.”
This only gets harder, thought Roland, but if Valkyrie goes on these hunts, I think I can manage. I enjoy looking at her even if I don’t have a chance.
Thanks to the vampire hunters, President Elder had one less threat, but the greatest threat loomed across the dark ocean and all around them.
About the Author
Michael Wells Jr. is a lawyer in North Carolina where he lives with his wife and daughter. He sees strange things, imagines others, and he writes about both. Sometimes the things he writes happen both before and after he writes about them.
Wells Jr., Michael, Vampire Esquire's War: A Novella