Chapter 1 - Where's that vampire too?
There's days that suck, and then there's weeks where your world implodes, Alexa was about to have one of those.
Alexandrya De Vendetta, was a no nonsense vampire hunter, with her head firmly on her shoulders, unshaken by anything to do with blood, gore, violence… However she was also 16. And open vampire insert stake was the last of her worries tonight, there was a party and she had gone with two friends. Her only two friends.
One of them Edmund, was feeling a little sorry for himself in a corner. He felt trapped by their location, his situation, forever the friend and wallflower. Ughh, he was a wallflower in the countryside! There were already too many of those. He'd grumbled to his Nan just yesterday that he shouldn't be here, he was better. He thought the countryside of England is known for a few things, tiny creepy crawlies, damp rain, and splashes kinda pretty things when the weather finally makes up it's mind it's summer… The wet damp and rain struggles are real.
His Nan had reminded him 'but when our lill smiling sun shines, it let's us see some of the beautiful landscapes of lush grassy fields, red poppies, and Peter Rabbit and friends going about their fluffy little days. Cute right?' She still thought he watches the telly tubbies… whoever they are.
But he secretly agreed about the animals, they usually had the run of the pace now there were only a few decent humans left. The interesting and intelligent people have abandoned the country for the "civilisation" of the cities. He thought on the few farmers who survived, must have only through pure determination and dumb luck. Someone please remind him why he was at a young farmer*'s party? Oh right her.
He was standing happily in a corner minding his own business waiting for the girls to come back from the bathroom or whatever girly stuff they were doing, when that showoff Greg tripped over his lanky legs and spilled his bloody scrumpy all over Ed's FMA t-shirt! "Thanks…."
"You're welcome grebo. Bet you're goina smell well better."
Ed shrugged this off. He wouldn't have said that if she was around. But for once he appreciated the jocks presence. Ed looked out of the window to see Sarah disappear down the street into a park with a stranger. Not again! He followed.
He was catching up to the girl Sarah, no she would call herself a young woman. Ladies need respect. She was coyly perched on a bench next to a 'young man' who looks around about the same age. And she does seem happy, playing with her beautiful thick dark hair, giggling every so often, flashing up her blue eyes towards the boy's smouldering grey ones. Dainty scars cover her her limbs, tiny badges of a childhood well spent climbing trees and chasing through open fields. They aren't covered by her floating short dress, but she doesn't seem to mind.
Ed could see the boy minds, he appreciates her every-girl beauty taking a long look over her. She has a little meat on her bones but all the better, she has meat for both of them.
The boy's thin pale skin barely clung to his bones and his slim sinewy muscles, he was the embodiment of a handsome lanky teen. Great… that Harry Styles style. A "cute" young couple ordinarily unnoticeable, easy to walk past, unless your name is Edmund. Who now had to do something about them sitting so close!
Ed wondered closer to her, the most beautiful girl in the world or at least their small town, exasperatedly. Sarah has a really frustrating habit of trusting literally everyone. There's not even a gram of self awareness in her body. He stepped anxiously down the park's concrete path, careful not to stray or touch the grass. "Sarah! I thought I'd lost you! Again." Edmund yelled over at the couple as he reached them, he looking on in envy at the arrogant teenage heartthrob before him, oh it's so great to have muscles and cheekbones.
Ed and the stranger were of a similar build and colouring, bar a little extra rose hue, now covering Edmund from head to toe, from his little panic search around trying to find her. Sarah would have never looked at him like that. Impressed, in awe of the unknown. But that didn't matter to him, he knew in his heart he would always be there for her when she needed him. "Ah! Yes! The last bus home, but Ed come meet..." Edmund snatched her away from the charmer cutting her off mid flow. Pulling her by the hand and looping back down the path he came from.
But as if he had always been there, the outsider now blocked their path.
"Hey, I'll come too, we were just getting to know each other." He grinned with a sickly smooth charisma, otherworldly. Edmund halted in his tracks, he didn't know why sweat was dripping down the back of his neck, he was so afraid he couldn't remember to be jealous. The guy's eyes, his smile. Edmund was just so acutely aware he was the only thing between this guy and Sarah. What did the stranger want to do to her?
"Sounds good, only where's Alex too?" Sarah chimed up at him, beaming as if blissfully unaware of the danger. Yeah she must be basking in the glow of making a new friend, again. Edmund's brain recovered partially and it chose to scream at the top of his lungs for his brute of a friend "Alex!"
"Ouch. Heh. This guy must be something else." The stranger chuckled, a stray incisor escaping his mouth.
"I wouldn't say that wasn't true… Forgot to come back and get me my friends?"
Sarah was a little surprised as Alex appeared out of the night, and strode towards them. She always did that, her pleather boots should have squeaked and black bomber jacket should have rustled, but unless you were looking straight at her you wouldn't have known she was coming any closer.
Sarah squeezed herself from Ed's grasp, keen to bear hug Alex her slightly taller best-friend-forever. "Alex, come meet my new friend! Um, sorry what was your name again?" She beamed across to the stranger, not forgetting to whisper to Alex, "Oh my god, this guy is so cute, he's like all pale n' interesting. Can you please get rid of Ed, pretty please Alex?" Knowing her cute begging could work on literally anyone. "Why don't you give me a moment with him first? You literally have the worst taste in men." Sarah jumped off her BFF in joking disgust.
"Only because you don't have a heart." Smirking happy to take the bait, Alex playfully nudged her in retaliation. "Prove to me somebody's worth you first. This one?" Alex looked over the stranger, and smoothly offered her impeccably manicured hand. "Hello new friend, it's a pleasure to meet you. My name is Alexandrya De Vendetta. If it's alright with you I'd like to ask you a few questions whilst those two remember to go back and get their things."
"Oh… my bag?" Sarah started, but Edmund with his backpack and a floral bag he had found lying around the games cafe earlier, was very happy to leave Alex with the weirdo, and resumed his escape with the embarrassed Sarah in hand.
Alexa waited patiently for a hand to reach out towards her, but it never came. Sarah's unlikely bae had made his move, and it was not to mollify her, that made a change.
Even if he didn't know the face the stranger knew that name. All his thoughts of Sarah's vibrant innocent blood were abandoned. Clammy fear had dominated him, he fought the urge to tremble, he had to fly away from her, it. The monster monsters fear, the hunter. Dashing into the well kept undergrowth of the park gave him little cover, but it was better than nothing, he had to find something to slow her down. Circling a tree like squirrel, up to the branches where he could try his luck leaping across the canopy. He knew he had the steady footing to make it silently. From oak to conifer. Beach to another oak. The branches carried him, as his light bounds carried no sound. Which would have been comforting if he could hear anything following him. The silence in the park was eerie, even at night, in a park in a town like this something would creak. Where was she?
He felt the vibration first. Before he was aware of the noise. The branch he was landing on shuddered and failed to supply the foothold he needed. The next thing he knew he was on the ground with a slender hand on his chest, pining him. Emotionless beautiful black eyes stared into him, as she held up a thin sharp object. Then the world peeled away.
"Aahhhhhiee!" Sarah screamed in horror at the sight before her. She and Ed had circled back, because you shouldn't leave friends alone at night. Only Ed gaped at her, how did he not see Alex stabbing the hot guy, the thin shabby thing went straight through his chest. So gross, so heartless of Alexa to easily stab someone. "Why'd you scream? Did you see a snake? Alex where's the guy too?" Alexa slowly got up from her crouched position, casually stowing away what looked like a pencil into her small pleather bum bag. "He's gone, apparently Sarah wasn't to his taste after all." Alex said in her matter a fact possibly deadpan sort of way. Then it clicked. "Murderer…" Sarah accused with tears threatening to escape her big blue eyes, noticing, Ed reached out to her shoulder in concern. "Er Sarah are you okay?"
"She's covered in his ashes." Sarah pointed to her supposed best friend covered in a layer of grey dust.
Alexa tilted her head down slightly and observed the faintest trace of post-vampire ash, and brushed herself down lightly. She couldn't meet her eyes, but Ed, he just looked between the two confused. "What are you talking about Sarah? She got a little dirty kneeling." Ed tried to be helpful.
Alexa stayed silent. She didn't want to lie to the two people who had never judged her, who had included her when she had started school, been there when others had pointed out and dwelled over her differences. Loosing them had been her greatest fear since the day they started eating lunch together, it would be like loosing a part of herself. "Alex, then why were you kneeling?" Sarah sniffed, shrugging off the useless Ed.
What could Alexa say or do to explain all of this, declare the fictional demons with powers beyond human comprehension "vampires" are real, and she was put on this earth to destroy them? "Alex answer me." Sarah's blue eyes bored into her, daring her to reply, tell her all that was circling inside, and reveal the truth.
Ed didn't even want to register a girl fight, let alone the even more girly debate about the existence of overly handsome strangers that could be vampires. "She doesn't have to. WE have to get on the last bus or my mum is going to flip! Hey I'll flip, I've got a mock exam next week. I can't get any sleep deprivation buildup!"
"Did you not see what just happened in front of our… eyes!" Sarah smacked him square on the shoulder. "No! I don't know why you're shouting!" The strike didn't hurt him physically… only his pride, and his heart, a little. "Ed why don't you go ahead to the bus, I can drop Sarah off on my moped if she misses it." Alex mentioned her death trap and Sarah in the same sentence, however… With one last look between the two girls, who had somehow become his closest friends in the last few years, probably due the absolute lack of drama like this. "See you at school tomorrow!" He sprinted off into the night.
"We should get going too." Alexa attempted.
"Only if you answer my one question. Truthfully otherwise our friendship is over." Sarah had given her an ultimatum, she just couldn't, this whole situation should have been avoidable. What had she not planned for? Sarah had been watching her intently for a while, in silence, glare focused on never backing down. She finally took a deep breath in anticipation, was this it? "Okay, if you really think that is wise?" Alexa croaked.
Sarah didn't didn't want to accuse her friend of anything, but the dust, the stabbing, and the Edward Cullen Harry Styles alike, disappearing in front of her eyes had her thinkin'. She knew Twilight like the back of her hand, but other vampires, like real ones would they do the other thing? Disappear into dust, she believed in angels, aliens, and fairies, why not add vampires to the list. So she asked it. "Was he a vampire?"
It was Alexa's turn to collect water in her eyes. "Yes." Her throat caught, she had divulged the one secret that a hunter was supposed to keep until death. She watched as Sarah's brow softened as she thought her way though that word, and what it meant.
"So you really did just kill someone! I can't believe my best friend is a murderer!" Came out in newfound shrill terror.
"He was a vampire, not alive in the first place." Alexa tried to defend herself.
"I spoke to him, he was a person, a hot guy even! I have to call the police on you!"
"He was going to kill you!"
"Wait? Is that what has happened to the other guys you've 'talked' to for me? How many people have we killed?"
"I don't know what you mean."
"Every guy you have ever disappeared off with hasn't come back. You're a serial killer Alex, and I'm your accomplice!"
"They were never human, they wanted to kill innocent people, kill you."
"So you admit it!"
Alexa shamed herself, tried to think things through logically, it was one thing to admit the truth, but Sarah had taken it all the wrong way, could she argue the meaning of good and evil? They'd barely ever fought before. "Fine, I admit that I was born to be a vampire hunter! We need to exist, or the undead would destroy life as we know it."
"That boy would have destroyed everything?"
"Not exactly. Though he would have killed a human every couples of nights for centuries. And tonight he would have killed you with your goo goo Twilight eyes."
"This changes everything!"
"Don't start. Twilight isn't real."
"I know that! What I don't know is who you are? What you are?"
"I'm still your Alex, your friend."
"That's what you said to him before you killed him!"
Sarah took out her battered hand-me-down smart phone, and turned away sharply "Mum I need you to come and pick me up from town." She snook a quick look back at the girl she didn't know anymore, speeding up her walk to a run as she keyed in a new very short number. "Hello police, I need to report a murder. A girl called Alexandrya De Vendetta stabbed a vampire in Badger Meadow park. No, This isn't a prank call.… No, please don't charge me! Come and check the CCTV or something… Vampires are real. Please!" She sobbed down the phone.
"Sarah!" Alexa cried after her, but couldn't stomach continuing the conversation. Especially now, she knew Sarah probably needed some space to process what she had discovered. "Be safe." Was all she could mutter towards her disappearing best friend.
"Father, how is the town looking tonight, any attacks?" She questioned her earbuds. The very well spoken authoritative voice of her guardian answered. "A few fishy looking characters, but apart from that one following Sarah nothing concrete. You're going to have to go old school tonight."
"Is there any night I don't?" She rolled her eyes to herself.
"There will be sweetheart. I'm so close to a new programme that will turn all the CCTV cameras in Europe into infrared scanners with the capacity to check for moving bodies too cold to still be alive."
"Yes but that means for now I'm off sniffing out the fiends by myself, love you." The phone cut off and a little Skepta began permeating her body.
She started stalking down the street taking everything in, feeling her way though the thick night atmosphere, listening in for any untoward actions down the back roads behind her.
As a teenager it was difficult to do her job sometimes. Even with her forged ID most reputable bars were sceptical and refused to let her in. To her, it was impossible to hide her baby face, especially when she was most comfortable with a perfect sleek single braid and gelled edges, that likely emphasised her youthful skin. This worried her sometimes, considering she was put on this earth to protect humanity, there should have been a universe made loophole.
So she often decided to stalk the night, and the alleyways until she came across her prey. It wasn't too long before she found another one, it was pining a girl to the exposed brick work of the back of a hipster bar, her neck at an in-human angle, eyes already glazed over. Seeing there was nothing she could do, Alexa reached into her bum bag and took out a petite golden revolver inlayed with ancient ivory and engraved with the word 'Vendetta,' positioning herself on the rooftop opposite she reattached the gun's silencer, and shot the monster square in the back of his chest. She leaped across to another building not looking back, leaving the girls body to fall through a cloud of post-vampire ash. It was soul destroying when she couldn't save them, but she couldn't save them all.
D watched her work and knew he'd made the right decision to settle on Terra 5657 Terra days ago. His daughter was a vital part fo the eco system and he immeasurably happy with the job he was doing teaching her vampires are the enemy, that they are monsters she had been created to destroy, true fact, and training her to save the human race from them. When he thought about it all, he liked a good planet save, it always seemed to make his century.
A small yet luxurious unbranded private plane lands at Exeter airport, there is no one to greet it just darkness and a single figure walks out, no, not walks swaggers. Even I think that's obnoxious and I'm the narrator… But enough from me.
*young farmer's parties. Ever heard of a foam party? Fun right. Except if you swap the party safe foam for foam that can blind because you didn't know that that was possible. Young farmer's parties are fun, but the make doo attitude can lead to some dangerous situations. Be safe guys, don't drink and drive tractors.