The Forever Ghosts Ch. 03bymadam_noe©
I was driving my old Nova. It had been my Dad's, an '87 Hatchback nicknamed "The Fuddmobile." It had the same pickup as a dead elephant, sounded like it was gerbil-powered, but it was reliable, even if the muffler was deafening.
"So will he be alone?" Donna asked next to me. We'd been driving for half an hour, our plan scant, but our determination strong. I could smell her fear and excitement, and above all, the sisterly love she felt.
"He has friends, and if they're there they will try to save him. We will wait until he's alone."
"He sleeps during the day, that's when we'll attack."
She thought on that for long moment. "Why would his friends try and save him?"
I gripped the steering wheel tight until my knuckles were white. "That, Donna, is all part of the story of how I escaped."
Thirteen months had passed.
Every night ended the same way for me. My body cut, my blood drained, bones broken even, soul shattered. Nikola left me unchained, with the door open. I was too weak to escape, and he knew this, taunted me with it.
He would bring up the paper from the porch, and in a juice glass was his special vintage. In the morning I drank it cold, in the evening he fed it to me raw and hot.
Morning drinks were torture. Even though I was used to it now, and often it was mostly healing grievous injuries, it was still arousing.
He left after chaining me and leaving the tray out of reach. He knew I would hurt myself even more to reach it. He wanted me to feel the desperation for the blood, the needful thirst that plagued me. He wanted me to know just how much agony I would endure for it.
That morning I had a broken leg, a shattered collarbone, two broken ribs, and a dislocated knee. I flopped down to the floor screaming in pain, and used one good arm to pull myself across the floor. It took me two hours to go three feet.
Climbing to reach the glass took another hour, and by then I was long past tears.
I barely reached it, succeeded in knocking it over, and I licked the blood from the floor. When I had consumed all I could I rolled to my back, closed my eyes, and felt the healing begin.
After a few minutes I was whole again, as if I hadn't had every last bone in my body broken countless times over the past year, as if I had never been touched.
"Irene, I summon you," I whispered, and she appeared. "Is everything in place?"
She nodded. "He plans to turn you now, and as his offspring you'll be trapped forever. Tonight the full moon hampers his vision, so with our help you should be able to escape. Now clear your mind, Alex, or he'll know."
I nodded. "Everyone is okay? Mom, Dad, Donna?"
"They are. I've tried so many times to get through to your mother, but she denies her power. It's hopeless."
I smiled wanly. "This from the woman who is ironically the embodiment of my hope?"
She kissed me, a mere cold shiver, and disappeared. She left me in the house of her brother, my great uncle, a demented vampire who was planning on making me one of his legion of the undead. I would die first, but I couldn't die and let the people I loved wonder about me. I couldn't die and waste the souls inside me. I couldn't let more innocents be taken.
I had to get out.
I found the checklist I had squirreled away. Five full moon ceremonies, four new moon. Nine people sacrificed, and I had stolen the power from the souls of six. Just one more, and I could beat the members of the Society.
Four men including Nikola and two women. If I resisted now, they would peel my soul from my body like I was a banana, but after the next sacrifice, I would be strong enough to resist. If I could just Bind one vampire, I could escape.
And Maribelle was the weakest, the one I wanted.
This meant one more person had to die, and I had to eat their soul like a living vampire, leaving it with the barest essence left to exist. Guilt warred with the need to survive every day, but these people would die whether or not I was present, and Irene assured me their souls would regain strength. Long after my bones turned to dust, but there was hope.
Exhausted, scared, I walked back to the bed, found the nightshirt underneath, put it on, and crawled under the sheets. I needed rest before the battle.
Night fell like a curtain and Nikola had appeared. That first feeding of the night was always the worst. Almost no violence, just a sick seduction between a niece and her most unnatural uncle. Those times would be the true ghosts that haunted me forever, the memories I knew would never fade.
The worst scars were always on the heart.
When it was over he dressed me the way I knew men dressed high class whores in their fantasies. Diaphanous fabric, no matter what the hell it was, my tits showed as well as everything else. Nikola made me shave all my body hair except on my arms. All part of the sick game he liked to play where I was a helpless twelve year old and he was himself.
He drove to a church. He may not have a sense of humor, but he appreciated irony. From there he flew us to the ceremony grounds.
All my life I'd heard whispered tales of Satanic Cults in Archer Woods, and now I knew the truth. These vampires gathered in robes, they passed around humans like wine glasses on a tray. Perhaps a joint would be better analogy, I thought at the time. They inspired the rumors, but the reality was far more terrifying.
We touched down at a wide stump they used as an altar. Nikola, as the head, would drink the soul from a person as his vamps drank the blood. He would bite me, and use my strength to distribute the strength to his vampires.
In the moment he would be distracted, I could steal power from the dying soul without him knowing. It was always dangerous, but necessary. If the night went to plan, I would escape.
The others landed silently like evil birds of prey.
Mirabelle and Amanda were twins. Both were 5'6", curvy, and blond with China Doll faces and Kewpie mouths. Salvatore was my height, swarthy, and sported a full beard and a row of silver hoop earrings. He preferred the pirate look though I knew he predated the pirates he was imitating. Marcus was Nikola's second in command, tall, thin, with snow-blond hair, he had been a Viking, I was sure of it. The last vampire to arrive was George Kobak. He was newly dead, newly enough to use a last name, and looked like a studly sandy-haired accountant.
He walked into the clearing, and brought with him a lush young woman who was drunk and tottering on heels, smiling the blissful smile of shock.
"Let us begin," Nikola said.
George and Salvatore tied her down as Mirabelle and Amanda stroked her flesh, baring more of it as they went. They were lovers of women, and I had been passed to them too often. Women just did not appeal to me, and the feelings their bites raised were hellacious.
No one chanted, but they slipped back their red hoods in unison, gleaming statues of horror in the moonlight. Nikola raised a curved silver dagger, and made the first cut. Mirabelle's kiss cut off the woman's scream as her thighs were slashed open, then her arms, and lastly a breast.
The vampires descended as Nikola watched, his arm around me like a steel band.
She died slowly, the pain in her soul was like a scent on the air even as she writhed in ecstasy. They drank and drank, their power rising, raising the hairs on the back of my neck. Beside me Nikola vibrated in anticipation, and when she died the vampires recoiled from her, afraid to drink her death into them.
With the release of her soul Nikola's portal opened, and it was sucked in.
Salvatore dumped her body like garbage, and Marcus and George took me from Nikola, laying me down in her place. I felt her death there, just as strongly as the others, and I wanted to weep but dared not show emotion.
Nikola bent over me like a demon, and the bite was right to my carotid. While pleasure claimed his mind and my body, I reached into his power with my own and peeled the soul, absorbing the scant power of a normal human.
I came, screaming, Marcus' kiss covering the sound, and Nikola pulled and pulled until he was satisfied. I was weak and dizzy from blood loss, an Marcus offered a small amount of his blood to help me heal. I sipped greedily and he came, grunting, fly open, semen spewing across my breasts.
I was aroused, I knew the vampires could smell it, and now came the time when Nikola would offer me to the vessel that claimed the most power from the soul.
I slid my eyes to Mirabel, pleading, trying to look seductive, and her ice-blue gaze sharpened. I felt her fighting the more powerful vamps, pulling. There were long moments of silent communication, but we were all Binders, we could all feel the power flowing around us.
Mirabel won, and my guilt died under the thrill of victory. "She is mine!" She cried.
Nikola nodded, as excited as the other men to watch. "Mirabel shall claim our Binder tonight. Drink heartily, Mirabel, for the ceremonies are not done yet."
All looked to him with adoring eyes. Stupid vampires! Perhaps they hadn't been very strong Binders to begin with, but how could they not see? It was all a trick. While they took the power of the simple human soul, Nikola took more and more of their Binding power. He was draining his most powerful vampires to become stronger, something I knew by then was forbidden.
Mirabelle parted her robe to reveal a translucent gown, her body naked underneath. She kissed me and I forced the bile down my throat. Her hands reached out to caress my breasts, rubbing the semen into the fabric. My body reacted instinctively, my nipples hardening in the cool night as her tongue found mine.
"Bite her, Mirabelle," Nikola commanded, and I braced myself.
She bit my lip, and just as I had with Nikola, I suppressed the pleasure as she drank, reaching into her power with mine. Before she knew what was happening, I tore her soul from her body and consumed it, swallowing her power with it. The portal had a back door so to speak, and what was left of her I released there. I didn't believe in heaven or hell, but if such existed, I hoped she was in hell.
As my portal swelled and bloomed the vampires hissed and lunged.
I swelled the portal large enough the trees bent towards it. The signal was cast, and ghosts began to emerge from the trees, careful to avoid it. As there were different types of humans, there were different types of ghosts, and the strongest began to claw at the vampires.
"Alex!" Irene called, and I ran after her.
Nikola grabbed me and I went down, then a cloud of green ghosts were on him and his blood was falling. I made it to my feet only to feel someone tackle me. It was Marcus, and he bit into my leg. I screamed at the burning pain, struggling against the pleasure, but he wasn't drinking; he was trying to kill me by blood loss.
With my other leg I kicked him and ghosts fell onto him. One carried a wicked looking sword and cleanly sliced his head off. I watched in terrified silence as he picked it up and threw it at the ghosts surrounding him.
Two finally helped me to my feet, and I ran for my life through the dark forest, running endlessly in terror.
I waited for the recriminations as we drove. I realized I wanted Donna to tell me I was damned for my role in the deaths of seven people. I wanted her to rail at me, but instead I saw tears slip below her glasses when I glanced over.
"Alex, did they all rape you?"
I turned back to the road and felt my jaw ticked. "Yes. They all did."
"We should kill them all."
The guilt was going to eat me alive worse than any vampire ever could. The ghosts would consume me from the inside out, a death of forever.
Donna watched her friend as they drove to a store parking lot. Dawn was breaking, and they'd left Nikola's house. He was alone for the world to see, but she had a feeling he was far from it.
Alex had vampire blood in her, she was a true hardened survivor. No matter what happened, she would make it. Donna had a sinking feeling she could not say the same. If revenge was what could start the path to healing for Alex, Donna was willing to die for it. All it would take was luck on their side.
And luck had been in short supple for some time.
The grounds were quiet. I was long purified of Nikola's blood but he still had vampire senses. Donna was a little thing, but thrashed through the world like a lead elephant. I made her walk behind me, a shotgun naked in her hand. Loaded with buckshot it might not kill a vamp, but it would sure as hell slow one down.
I picked the lock with my set, and had to signal to her to soften her steps three times in the kitchen alone. Memories assailed me, nausea rose, and I fought it, hard.
"Hold your breath as much as possible," I said in a low whisper.
At the hardware store I'd gotten a backpack sprayer, the kind used by gardeners to spread fertilizer. Inside was gasoline, and it was primed. The butane torch in my hand shook as we crept towards the stairs.
"Ready?" Donna asked, and I nodded.
The stairs were dark, and I had never been in the basement. Durand's blood helped my sight some, but I still wasn't very strong compared to Nikola.
We found one large room, empty, and three doors. I wanted to curse, I wanted to scream. I thought back to an old riddle about three light switches, one light, and a person who could only flip one to see which worked. I had never gotten it right, could never remember the answer, and now we were fucked.
Donna motioned to the left, motioned me to the right. She'd pumped the shotgun in the car, but if I lit the sprayer it wouldn't hold like a true flamethrower. Part of me prayed Donna would find him first, another part of me prayed neither of us did.
The doors were locked, and we both drew back, studied the locks, and kicked below where the door was weakest. Donna's splintered on the first try, mine took two, and since we had made enough noise to wake the dead (ha ha, I thought) I lit the sprayer.
The shotgun went off and Donna screamed. My heart stopped, but my legs responded. I came into the room with flames shooting far in front of me, and I aimed for the ceiling so no one would get hurt. The doorway, dry with age, burst into flames.
I stopped short at the hissing.
Donna was being held aloft by the neck, her gun at her feet. And the vampire holding her was Detective Michael Durand. I aimed the flames at him when the cold end of a gun pressed to my temple.
"Drop it, Miss Bindle, or your friend dies," an unfamiliar female voice said.
"Do as she says," Nikola purred from the other side. "Dear niece."
The woman was a vampire, short for someone at their genetic potential. She had dark hair, dark eyes, and a wicked gun. My father was NRA, I knew my guns, and this was military issue, used when someone wanted to blow a hole in the side of a tank. The recoil alone would knock her over.
Durand had dropped Donna who was coughing under him. He managed to look sheepish as Nikola paced around us, staring at me the way a cat stared at a slow, fat, and very stupid canary.
"I'm sorry Alex," Durand said. "But with your blood I know your thoughts, and what you planned to do. I am cast out from vampire society, but I couldn't just let you kill the Duke. They'd track me down through you."
I glared at him, feeling strangely betrayed though I knew he owed me nothing.
"Alex, my pet, meet my sheriff, Malaya. Monsieur Durand's old lover," he added with a chuckle as if that would hurt me. I didn't even glance back at the cop.
"The house is burning," the astute Malaya said.
"Kill the little one Durand. If she moves, Malaya, shoot her."
I didn't move, but I focused strongly on sending my thoughts to Durand, hoping he could read them. They were awake after sunrise, I didn't know how that was possible or how it affected them.
Durand, I thought. He may be the Duke but he is my great uncle. He held me here for a year. He beat me almost to death, raped me every night, all night. He fed me his blood to keep me alive. Other vampires, Marcus, Amanda, George, and Salvatore are in a group they call the Society. He's been stealing their Binding power for himself, using me to do it. He shared me with them, and Mirabelle, they all had my blood, against my will, and used my body. I killed Mirabelle to escape, but the others are alive.
While he was frozen, listening, Donna inched away, closer to her shotgun and the remaining cartridge.
"Where is Mirabelle?" Durand asked Nikola while looking at his old lover, and Malaya's sharp gaze turned to her boss. He must have touched her mind the way I'd touched his, I thought.
Nikola's furious gaze fell on me. "You shared blood with an outcast? You whore!"
He flew to me with vampire speed but Durand was there faster. He took the blow meant for me and threw Nikola against the wall so hard the house shook.
Malaya's gun trained on Durand and Donna took her chance and grabbed the shotgun. Durand and Nikola were entangled and so she swung at Malaya, who reacted too slow. I dove as buckshot sprayed and Malaya yelped, dropping her gun. I grabbed it as she landed with a thud and trained it on the two men.
"Nikola, I can take out your heart with one shot. You won't die, but I'll have time to burn you while you heal. And I don't give a shit about hitting Durand."
They froze and Durand looked down at the smaller man. "She's telling the truth."
"So what do you want, niece? I am a Duke, only the King of all vampires is above me. Kill me, and he will demand your life as forfeit."
"Alex, if I claim you under my protection, I may kill him for the harm he has caused. I have no standing in the vampire world, I will not be punished."
I met Durand's eyes over Nikola's shoulder. "He is mine to kill."
"Alex, the fire is spreading," Donna said urgently.
"If you kill him, Malaya is bound to report you. And I cannot let you kill her, Alex. She is my oldest friend."
"What if I kill you?" I asked casually, letting him feel just how honest I was. But I hadn't spent thirteen months with a master manipulator without learning some good tricks.
I shot Nikola through the heart, just as my father had taught me, and he dropped like a stone. Durand's eyes gave away that Malaya was rising, and I brought forth my portal. I sucked her soul in, freezing her, and sucked in Nikola's soul and power.
I balanced it delicately, eating his power, absorbing it, but it was a thing of pure death and I was still alive. I fell to my knees, the gun skittering, the flames licking closer.
Durand flew to Malaya in a panic and cradled her limp body. "God damn it, release her soul, Alex!"
I did without thinking and Malaya rose with a hiss, then literally disappeared.
"Durand!" Donna cried, and I saw the entire doorway was engulfed. "What about Nikola?" she asked me.
I looked from her to Durand. "Get us out of here, the fire will kill him. It was my fault, you can blame me."
For a long moment he gave me that unreadable look, but reason overcame any feelings. Extending his hands to us Donna and I grabbed them, and in the blink of an eye we were in my kitchen.
Donna looked left, right, and then crumpled to the floor. He caught her even as Durand danced away from the sun, dragging her into the dark hall.
"Durand." I followed.
"You stole his power, didn't you?" When I didn't answer he sighed, then grabbed me, and to my great shock, kissed me. It was not the kiss of a hungry vampire, it was the simple kiss between a man and a woman, and for a wild moment I felt guilty for ever considering killing him.
He pulled back with a cocky smile. "You need to get out of here. You're officially under my protection, but what will save you is the protection of another Duke. I happen to know the Duke of Oregon, Alessandro Santiago. You can find him in Portland, I will let him know you're coming. You'd better hurry, I can only hold Malaya off for so long."