|I saw him lying there in the bracken, convulsing. The only one of the students from the field trip who got lucky.|
His white eyes shone in the moonlight, but I could still smell human in him. There was time to save him. I crept silently over to him, and pressed down his shoulders so that I could reach his mouth. I kissed him, began to suck out the venom, spitting out each mouthful as I did so, careful never to swallow. He was nearly dry when I tasted only clean blood. He began to breathe again, slowly, raggedly, terrifyingly slow. There was no way he could survive with only the blood he had coursing through his veins. I swiftly grabbed my knife, and pared open my skin and his, holding them together so that my blood flowed into him.
Noises in the forest further away alerted me. I lifted my head from where I was lying next to him, and saw the worst sight conceivable.
Luminous bodies, grossly misshapen. Massive wings, covered in only leathery skin protruded from the bony bodies, knobbed shoulders rising into long, thin neck, into enlarged bald head. The one closest to us turned and saw us, lying together. It began to make its way over, walking its pigeon toed, unfamiliar walk on ground, hampered even more by the soft carpet of leaves and branches underfoot.
The human let out a small whimper as he saw it, my blood helping him to see truly what they were. His gaze rising over its body to its head, taking in the leathery skin stretched taunt over bones, placed in a cruel imitation of a human skull, but creating instead the large powerful jaw, and empty holes filled with a light which glowed upon seeing its prey.
I pressed my mouth to his ear and breathed out, “shh, you don’t want them to know you’re alive.”
He closed his mouth tightly, although I felt the strain on his body as he played dead, and refused the instinct to run.
“Ah, my pretties! My pretties! Like to join us?” It cried, coming nearer to us, expecting us to see its façade, its glimmer of beautiful humanity. When neither of us responded to its invitation, it looked at us again, a snarl rising in its throat.
“Oh, so you don’t want us? That is well… you are smarter than we assumed, humans. Or maybe, not humans?” It peered down at us, empty holes in place of a nose sniffing at us, attempting to detect what we are.
“You,” it pointed at the student, “are human. At least, for the moment. But you,” it looked at me. “You are enemy.” It hissed the last word, hating who I was, and my very existence.
“You want to put a stick in my heart? How about I put a stick in your heart!” It cried, displaying its fangs and reaching out to me.
Looking over its shoulder to see how much protection it had, it confidently stepped towards me, as I began to crawl backwards.
“You didn’t do a very good job on this one.” I said, motioning the human with my head. “Bit him, then left him. What’s the point? If you’re not hungry, don’t do it out of spite. What did he do to you?”
“He angered us.” Suddenly two more dropped from the skies, and all three stepped in tandem toward me, as I crawled further back, hoping to draw them away from the human. The first one was in the center of the two, the clear leader.
“Angered you. What does that mean, didn’t like the fact that you were trying to suck out his life?”
“No. What does it matter to you anyway, enemy? Or maybe… you are mates?” The leader said, stopping, cocking his head and glaring between me and the human.
“What! No, seriously? Do you think I would waste my time on a human? My job is to save them, not kill them. Do you think I’m that desperate?”
A harsh laugh forced its way from the smallest vampire, surprising me. “You have a sense of humor? Well, isn’t that funny!”
A swift kick lashed out from the leader, the smallest tripped and fell backwards. It quickly jumped back up, and regained its place.
As the attention was drawn from me, I quickly assessed my abilities. Although I was still weak from sharing my blood, I was strong enough to take on three fairly new vampires.
Punching up, I hit the smallest under the chin with my knuckle band, with cured, detachable wooden spikes on it. He screamed their eerie scream as the spikes travelled through its head with the momentum I had punched, and vanished, a foul gray smoke left in its place. The other two were wary now, and angry. Rolling their shoulders and flaring their nostrils, they began to stalk me, round in a circle. I felt my legs, sure that I had two stakes. But only one was available to my reach, the other one between my legs, hampering my knee from fully bending.
Sweeping out a roundhouse kick, I followed through with a jumping forward roll over the two and pulled out the hampering stake. Landing behind the second one, I drove it through its chest, leaning on it to force it through the skin and bones. It twisted its head to look at me, and gave a loud moan as it vaporized, leaving its terrible stench in the air.
The leader gazed at me, horrified, as I killed its protection. Turning, keeping its eyes on me, it began to run away, gaining momentum so that it could raise its wings and fly.
I waited until its eyes tore away from me before quickly running behind it and jumping onto it, twisting its head until I heard the bones crack and felt the skin shift. With one great pull, I tore its head off, and set fire to the body, then the head.
Hearing noise behind me, I turned again, lowering myself into a fighting crouch. I straightened when I saw the human stumbling to me, pale and scared.
“Wh-wh-who are you?” He whispered, holding a trembling hand out towards me, as if to attempt to grab me, to pull me to him.
“Hunter is easier for you. I am a Hunter. And you? Your name?”