Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Sword

Kristin and I waited until sunset before leaving her apartment to find and kill John Maguire. But I knew I needed to feed first before facing the vampire hunter. Apparently, John knew the same thing. As we were leaving the apartment, John Maguire was waiting by my car in the parking lot.

“Hello ladies,” John said. “Are you ready to die?”

“Where’s Dawn!?” I yelled.

“In a safe location,” John said.

Two men and a woman stepped from behind a parked van. But they weren’t human. I could smell the death ten feet away. Vampires, working with a vampire hunter. It made me sick. One man was a tall blond, the other man was a fat man, and he wore a Ryan Sandberg baseball jersey. I wondered how long he’d been a vampire. The woman was a red head wearing black lipstick, black eyeliner and black fingernail polish. I called them Blondie, Sandberg and Red.

Blondie charged first, followed by Sandberg and Red. I sidestepped Blondie, grabbed his arm and turned him face first into the driver’s side window of a BMW. The window shattered. He pulled back from the window with pieces of glass stuck in his bloody face. I did not stop to admire my work. Sandberg tackled me, shoved me against a truck. I turned, kneed him in the balls. Sandberg let go. I dropkicked him in the chest. Sandberg stumbled backward into Red.

Kristin stalked behind Red, grabbed her neck, twisted. Red’s head twisted off in Kristin’s hands, and the woman burst into ash and flames.

I hoped onto the hood of the BMW, Sandberg chased after me. Blondie climbed onto the BMW behind me. Blondie swung, I caught his fist, twisted, snapped his wrist. I heel kicked Sandberg in the face. Sandberg flopped off the car, hit the cement. I tore the antennae off the BMW, swung it with superhuman strength. The antennae sliced through Blondie’s neck. Blondie opened his mouth to scream just before his head rolled off his shoulders.

Sandberg, lying on the ground, crawled to his feet and fled into the night. I hopped off the hood of the BMW. Kristin stood next to me.

John Maguire grinned, waved us forward. Two vampires against one man. He’d watched us kick the hell out of three vampires. And he still wasn’t afraid. He drew his sword.

“Be careful of the blade,” I whispered to Kristin.

“Ya think?” Kristin snipped.

John Maguire charged toward us. Kristin sprang into the air, I dove forward. I kicked John in the stomach, Kristin simultaneously kicked him in the face. The impact of our combined strength hurled John Maguire into a black Ford F-150, collapsing the passenger door. A normal man would be dead. John stepped from the truck as if he wasn’t even hurt.

“Casey…” Kristin said.

“Stay calm,” I said.

“Yes… stay calm,” John said. “Your death is near… but stay calm.”

“Where is Dawn?” I shouted. “Is she still alive?”

“Isn’t that an odd question for a vampire to ask?” John asked.

“The answer will keep you alive longer,” I said. “Is she alive? Yes or no.”

“She lives… for now,” he said.

Kristin moved to John’s left. I moved to his right. He chuckled, unafraid.

“You seem in a good mood considering I butchered your granddaughter,” Kristin said.

“I’m in a good mood because I plan to do the same to you,” he said.

John swung the sword at Kristin. She ducked. I kicked at him. He blocked my kick with his forearm, then kicked me in the face. I staggered back, dizzy. The sword flashed. I couldn’t move.

Kristin shoved me out of the way. Kristin rolled, hopped to her feet. I sprang to my feet. John Maguire took one step, then leaped onto the roof of a minivan.

“Casey…” Kristin said nervously.

“Stay calm,” I said again, but this time it felt more to myself than to Kristin.

John cart wheeled off the minivan, landed between Kristin and I. He elbowed Kristin in the face, backhanded me, kicked Kristin. I narrowly ducked his sword, and then he kneed me in the face while I ducked. The back of my head slammed into the minivan. The sword hummed as he slashed at me again.

I ducked, and the sword cut a large groove in the side of the minivan, shooting sparks as it sliced through the metal. I punched him in the face, kicked him in the knee.

“You’ll need to do better!” he laughed.

Kristin lunged with her fingernails and sliced four long cuts into John’s neck. He bellowed, stumbled back. He raised his hand to his neck, felt the blood, his eyes widened.

“You’ll never see your friend again!” he shouted. John ran off, too fast for Kristin and I to follow.

“Did you see that?” Kristin asked. “I hurt him!”

“We can’t keep up with him,” I said. “But we can follow his trail of blood.”

A boot scuffed behind me.

It was John Maguire. I didn’t have time to scream. Kristin didn’t have time to turn around, and his sword plunged deep into her back.

“Nooooooooo!” I screamed, throwing myself at him. I tackled him, knocking him away from Kristin. His sword remained embedded in Kristin’s back. I jerked him to his feet, tossed him into a parked Chevette, then backhanded him. Blood spit from his mouth, and he slumped to his knees.

He fell flat on his chest, his body trembled as he tried to push himself back up.

“Your sword…” I said. “You get your strength from your sword.”

Kristin pulled the sword from her back, and then collapsed on her side, not moving. I walked over to her, grabbed the sword. It felt very heavy, despite my vampire strength.

“You don’t know what you’re holding,” John laughed.

I walked toward him, pressed the tip of the sword against his throat. And I said, “Why don’t you explain it to me.”

“My pleasure,” he grinned.

Lightning erupted from the sword, hitting me in the chest. I was thrown backward, into the street, crashing into the side of a moving truck. I fell onto the sidewalk, rolled, shuddered. My clothes were smoldering from the lightning attack. My hands were blackened from holding the sword.

Shit! I dropped the sword. I ran back to the Chevette, where John Maguire had been moments ago. He was gone. Kristin groaned, writhing in pain on the sidewalk. The wound in her back was hissing and bubbling with white foam, just like the cut I’d had on my arm last week. But this wound was much more serious than mine. I don’t know if she will make it through the night.

Why didn’t John Maguire finish the job? He could have killed both of us.

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