Last week, we got to pick the song lyric. This week, Chuck got to pick it. This week it's: Sza's 'Drew Barrymore'... 'Why is it so hard to accept the party is over?'.
I sat at my desk wondering why it had to happen now; just when I was happy, just when things were looking good – just when...
Another line started blinking on my phone.
“Crap.” I muttered looking at my feed on the monitor in front of me as my secretary walked in with two new files in her hands, “When did the shit really hit the fan?”
“About an hour ago.” She shrugged, “I’m wondering who talked.”
“Nobody talked.” I stood, turning from her, regarding the burning sunset, waiting for full night, “I’ll find out who did this and everything will settle down.”
Her cool hand touched my wrist, my hand, “Just be careful, Arnold.”
Squeezing her hand, I nodded, “Keep yourself safe, and you know where the weaponry is.”
She smiled, “Of course. I am over a century old. I remember how to fight.”
I grabbed my gear and walked toward the door, put my hand on it, and turned, “If everything goes to shit...”
“I know, blow the place and run if I can.”
The morgue was a blood bath as I walked through to find all the doors were open and everyone was dead.
“Arnold, have you heard?” Rickson walked out from his office.
I looked over at his concerned face, “Yeah, rogues.”
Shouldering his pack, he sniffed the air, “No, they’re not.”
“Oh jeez... Van Helsing is back.”
“Yeah.” He whispered.
“Okay, let’s go.”
We left the place the mess it was to find that murderer and destroy him once and for all.
As we walked through the streets, we could feel the tension in the air as well as see it. The place looked like a war zone with cars and trucks all over the place, people dead and dying everywhere as Van Helsing’s people had mistaken Emo’s and Goths for vampires and killed them; not realising they were just going through a phase.
The view of this disgusted us as we tried to save these people through every Human way we could – but we found they had lost too much blood before we arrived.
Rickson knelt by his fourth patient, “Dammit, he’s gone too far.”
I looked over at him, “Well, after that Jekyll and Hyde dude, he’s just covering his bases I guess. But this place looks like a war zone. There’s something else going on.”
Wiping his hands off on his jeans, Rickson tried to keep himself from showing too much emotion, “Look, I don’t attack Humans because it’ll annoy the authorities; and besides, I like L.A. But Arnold, this – this is dreadful.”
Nodding I knew what we had to do next, “This is a witch hunt. Come on.” I walked away and he followed me, knowing where we were going.
Lewis was a vampire who never went out. He lived in the basement of an old building in the poorer area of the city; never drawing attention to himself... and so when he heard about what had happened, he opened up the rest of the undercover area of the building to accommodate for the rest of us.
Rickson and I were the last to arrive.
He opened the door and pulled us in, closing it behind us, “About time you two arrived! Where have you been!”
“Looking around what’s happened around the place. Since this started happening, I haven’t been outside.” I said, “But then the destruction started happening in the street of my building and I left. My secretary may be dead for all I know.”
“Arnold.” Her familiar voice said across the room and she emerged from between two people. The sheer sight of her brought bright red tears to my eyes, “It’s so good you got out.” Holding her close, I realised how much I really did love her; and yet I’ve never known her name.
“I used the freight elevator.”
“Okay... now we’ve felt our feelings, it’s time to find that Hunter and his army and kill them all dead.” Lewis said, “Last time, he came for a Jekyll and Hyde type dude; and that was okay. This time, he’s destroying our town and exposing us to the Humans.”
“But he’s not only destroying us, he’s destroying anyone who looks like us as well – and that’s just being bloodthirsty.” Rickson said.
Lewis’ face turned stone for a moment, “Right. We need a battle plan. Who’s been through a few wars here?” about six hands went up, “Okay you lot, let’s get started.”
Sunlight isn’t good for vampires. We don’t burst into flames, it just makes us feel like crap. But we had to wait until dawn to find the Hunters who were making our secret public... and you know? It didn’t take long to find Van Helsing.
Like any leader, he thought he was indestructible.
He had the old-fashioned ways of working through a city; and he thought he had won. But being a rogue agent, he hadn’t thought his actions through – not thoroughly.
As we emerged from the lower doors of the basement, Lewis, Rickson and I noticed something before anyone else: Van Helsing was being arrested by the army and FED’s. I put a hand up to stop everyone else from storming the streets as did Lewis and we were obeyed; and the doors were closed.
Lewis and Rickson looked to me to talk to the authorities, seeing I knew some of the police and worked with the media a little; and knew what to say, and spotted a cop I knew approaching us, “Arnold, what are you doing here?”
“I was investigating a few brutal crimes in this area and came across this dude.” I signalled towards Van Helsing with my head who started screaming.
“He’s a vampire! He drinks blood! He’s a killer, I’m telling you, he must die!” his German accent echoed off the surrounding buildings as he was shoved into the back of a wagon.
The cop turned back to me, “Well?”
“He’s nuts.” I smiled.
“Yeah... I guess.” He turned and walked off.
The area was cleared by the army and the city of L.A was cleared and cleaned up by the government within a few months; making it appear as though nothing had ever occurred. But all the vampires around our town knew Van Helsing had been here again – and not to help us, but to destroy us.
I visited him in the Psychiatric Facility he had been sent to every month, to see how he was doing. You see, he’d been around for a couple of hundred years because he had been infected with Count Dracula’s blood by accident.
This caused him to go a little mad and he did need some blood, but not much, because he wasn’t in fact sired by Dracula. So, I’d visit him for a chat.
But he wasn’t getting any better.
“I know what you are.” He said one day, “You are the walking undead.”
“Well, if I am the walking undead, that makes you the same thing I am.” I smiled through the thick glass partition.
“No... um...I am mostly Human.”
“Oh... mostly Human... but yet you have Dracula’s blood coursing through your veins?” I speculated.
“Oh shut up.”
“What pisses you off, Van Helsing is that you weren’t fully turned; and I was. Centuries have passed and you haven’t even noticed that the party is over. We live in secret; and you burst that open.” Sitting back, I shook my head, “Shame on you.”
“It was no secret!”
“In L.A it was. Nobody knew about us; not until you came charging in.” I stood, bashing on the door for the guard, “Why is it so hard to accept the party is over?”
The orderlies pulled him out of his chair, and he grinned madly, spitting at the glass: “Maybe to you... but I’ll get out. And your end is nigh!”
As the door on his side of the partition slammed shut, and mine opened, a shudder ran through me. I wondered if he was right. Was my species on the brink with his army out there waiting for his signal?
I’d never know.