Frau Hunter Ash
(a.k.a Dana Cooper-Kjarr)
Posting: This Halloween story is unfinished and will be posted in chapters. This type of posting is a first for me, so I may have to go back and change things in already posted chapters. In other words, read at your own risk J but there shouldnt be too much of that. I hope you enjoy it!!!
Ownership: This story is not meant as an infringement of any copyright. Any relation the characters within the following story have to other people (or True Born) living, dead or fictional is purely coincidental. All characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of me! This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.
Copyright © 2001 by Hunter Ash. All Rights Reserved.
Alt Fiction/Sex/Language/Violence: The story assumes a loving and sexual relationship between people of the same gender and of the opposite sex. If this offends or is illegal for you, then please leave. Come back when you are older, have an open mind, moved, or changed your laws. Additionally, the story does contain graphic action scenes and some adult language. So, if cutting off vampire heads or biting and sucking on someones neck bothers you, then please move on. Rating: R
Feedback: Always welcome and I do respond! email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Setting/Summary: This story is in todays world, specifically around Halloween, and is based in a small town somewhere in Northern California. Annie meets Cerys, an alternate universe being, who draws her into a battle between good and evil vampires.
Chapter 1 Hallowed Meeting
October 28, 2001
The following story is true; Ill admit I changed some of the names to protect survivors and families from harassment. Ill also swear personally that the events happened; I didnt change any of the facts and none of the cases. I lived through them but Ill also be the first to admit I cant believe any of it happened.
Annie R. Cooper shook her head as she bent over her computer keyboard. The author was not happy and scowled at the monitor.
The current story was not going well for the young woman. <God, I hate deadlines,> she cursed.
Ever since getting two short stories and one short novel published in two years, her agent and editor were after her to really develop a full-length novel. A novel based on vampires, preferably a hip new approach.
To help inspire the young author, her editor, Jeannie, had arranged for Annie to write for the summer at a cabin in Northern California. At first Annie hadnt been enthused but agreed after her agent and Jeannie assured her total peace and quiet as well as atmosphere.
<Atmosphere. That is a good word,> Annie thought. <A well stocked but creepy cabin deep in the woods with only a small town nearby.>
"Something out of Stephen King," she muttered. Her agent had found the place and convinced her that one of the attractive things about the town was it seemed to attract weird events.
For a small mountain community, it appeared that the town of Havenwood had three times the normal amount of disappearances to its credit. Add in a number of people going crazy and killing their entire families and you definitely began to get the idea things werent exactly normal in the small town.
What also seemed like it was straight out of a Stephen King short story was the fog which surrounded the town and cabin every morning. It was the type of fog that deadened sounds, distorted directions and made even the trees seem eerie and frightening.
Annie wasnt really interested in solving the mystery of the place but wanted to latch onto it for a bit. Leeching some of the energy from the surrounding area and writing were her objectives; the goal was her novel.
Now it was a month later and she was still stuck at certain key points in her book. There were spots that simply werent flowing easily and they were beginning to discourage the young writer. Having heard words like "the next generation Stephen King or Anne Rice" had been hard to ignore when she had her first two stories accepted and published. Both of them gained quite a bit of attention, more so than short stories in anthologies usually did. Annie was a little overwhelmed at the sudden change from unknown struggling writer to sought-after hot commodity.
Annie had been a realist though and hadnt let the praise and courting go to her head. She only reluctantly agreed to put her day job on hold when given the chance to write full time over the summer. It was a decision made easier when the publisher agreed to pay the cabin rental and supply a small stipend to live on.
The blonde absently tucked a lock of hair behind her ear and rubbed her green eyes as she glared back at the monitor. Then she glanced at the one joy in her life that was always a guarantee to get a smile out of the writer.
The boy sitting on the sofa was seven, his name was Travis and he was absorbed in his own joy, his books. <That was one of the things he had inherited from his mother and not his father,> Annie reflected. <He did get his good looks from both parents.>
David Sanders had been good looking with coal black hair and beautiful bright blue eyes that could melt the resistance from almost anyone, male or female. A strong swimmers body only added to his natural charm.
<One night,> Annie thought, <one night of a drunken mistake and I get the best thing that ever happened in my life: Travis.>
Then she grinned and bent back over the keyboard.
"Got you!" she muttered as her fingers began flying, trying to keep up with the images in her head and working out the words to go along with the visuals.
The writer figured it was an hour later when she looked over and found that Travis had fallen asleep while reading. Annie went to the sofa and gently brushed a lock of black hair from his normally pale forehead.
Annie remembered that time in her life with a mixture of regret, sadness and pride. She had taken the worst she thought most anyone could go through and had come out the other side with her spirit intact, a creative writing streak awakened, and a son.
The writer was also a teacher and thought her life was going fairly well. A good job, a relationship of four years that she considered a marriage, coworkers who didnt seem to notice she was gay, and a comfortable home.
A bomb threat had closed school early. When Annie opened the door to the apartment she shared with Samantha Harrington, she expected to be alone as Sam wasnt due home from work for another two hours. Instead the apartment seemed different somehow, it felt occupied, especially when Annie heard a familiar noise from the bedroom.
Annie had seemed like she was being pulled to the hallway against her will. The door was partially open, increasing the sound carrying into the hall. Inside Annies head a voice was screaming for her to just leave and not look inside the room.
The noises were enough to destroy her marriage and her life. The voice kept saying she didnt have to look.
The writer/teacher had opened the door a little further. After a few moments, Annie turned away, still stunned at the sight of Sam having sex with someone else. A male someone else, Annies mind screamed. The sound of Sams excited and passionate voice echoed in her ears as she slammed the door to the apartment.
Annie started on a downward spiral of drinking, lack of sleep, lack of food and bouncing from one friends sofa to another; this lasted three weeks. She gradually begun eating and sleeping a little more regularly and avoided all contact with Sam, even though the woman pleaded through friends and telephone calls to be given another chance. Annie had moved her things out while Sam had been at work and had put them in a storage unit.
The teacher became a frequent visitor to the local gay bar and that was where she met David Sanders. Annie didnt know it at the time but David prided himself on his ability to "help" broken-hearted lovers get over their ex-mates. The fact that it didnt matter if the broken lover was male or female only increased his attraction to most. He had turned his attention and his charm to Annie and the young woman had been more than willing to accept a friend.
How it had accelerated two weeks later into Annie being very drunk and in his car, Annie never really knew. The night had given her two things: the firm conviction that she wasnt bisexual and Travis, when she learned two months later she was pregnant.
After that night she had given up alcohol and gotten her life in order, including her desire to write again.
Annie smiled and lifted her sleeping son into her arms. Like most children, he slept right through being jostled about and put into his bed. The writer pulled off his slippers and pulled the blankets up over him. He had changed into his pajamas earlier in the evening before settling down with his books. She kissed him gently on his forehead and tucked him in, remembering to leave a nightlight on for him.
The writer returned to her keyboard.
Annie wasnt aware of how long she had clacked away on the computer until a knock at the door of the cabin distracted her. The young woman looked down and was surprised to see she had added another 15 pages to the story. That was a lot for one sitting and it pleased Annie at how well it had flowed from her fingers.
<Wait, she had been distracted by something.>
Another knock at the door brought her mind into focus that something had disturbed her and it was someone at her front door. Annie frowned and looked at her watch.
"Who the hell?" she muttered and winced as she attempted to stand up from her small computer. She made the mistake of not setting her watch again, she moaned. Annie had discovered that she often became lost in the joy of writing and forgot to move and give her body a break. It would often protest loudly in unused and stiff muscles when she tried to stand. The writer solved that problem by setting her watch alarm for an hour and she would force herself to stand up and stretch. She had forgotten to do that this time and now her legs were screaming at her.
Annie had no idea how long she had been typing a way. It had been a little after dusk when she put Travis to bed and now it was 9pm at night.
The writer went to the window and took the precaution of reaching above the window sill. She grabbed the two shotgun shells that rested above the sill and loaded the weapon that rested behind the door. Many hours had been spent teaching Travis respect for weapons, even to the point of taking him outside and showing what a shotgun blast could do to a pumpkin. Annie was assured the boy wouldnt play with the weapon but she still kept it unloaded just to be safe. She also kept it behind the front door to be secure in an area where mysterious things and weird people seemed to be.
She didnt think there would be any trouble during her stay but the stories of the disappearances and the wackos had made an impression. Annie wasnt going to be a stereotypical blonde victim of the latest weirdo running around in the woods with an axe.
"Who is it?" she called, wondering if that was on the lists of things "Not to Do" to survive a horror movie or novel.
"Im looking for a Ms. Cooper, the writer," a female voice answered.
<Well, serial killers usually arent female,> Annie tried to reassure herself. <Usually.>
"Its a little late, isnt it?" she called back.
"I apologize for the lateness of the hour but I was unable to find your cabin until this evening," the voice responded.
"Nice sentence structure, educated, possibly foreign," Annie quickly evaluated, made her decision and cautiously opened the door, the shotgun resting easily over one arm.
Standing on her porch was a tall female who was blinking against the brightness after Annie turned on the porch light. Annie quickly sized up her visitor, her writers mind filing away little details for future use.
The female was taller than Annie, which wasnt hard at Annies 54" slender frame. The stranger was dressed in black casual Docker-type slacks and a black t-shirt. Over that she wore a medium length leather jacket and cowboy boots, both black as well.
Annie quickly noted the black hair and was slightly surprised to find the strangers eyes werent black but a bright blue, a crystal color that held her gaze intensely. The hair was long except where it fell around the face, almost like a retro-shag from the 70s. Annies mind supplied the thought that it framed the strangers pale face and beauty very nicely before Annie mentally scolded herself for being distracted by the womans exotic looks.
"Im Annie Cooper," she said after a moment.
"Im Cerys and Id like to talk to you," the stranger said.
Again Annie was struck with the womans speech pattern, there wasnt a trace of an accent and that was part of the problem. The writer couldnt begin to figure where Cerys had been raised, educated or anything from any hints in her voice. No clues except the structure and word choice itself rang foreign to the writer but nothing else.
Annie hesitated, it was late and she had a son to protect. Even if the stranger in front of her was female and didnt look like Freddie Kruger or Alice Cooper, the writer wasnt sure she should trust anyone so quickly, especially in this area.
"Look, Im a friend of Jeannie Carson, your editor," Cerys smiled. "Her phone number is area code 415-555-4512 and she is divorced with two kids and thinks her ex-husband is a bastard but wont say so publicly because of the kids. You can also keep that shotgun in hand, if you wish."
Annie blushed and placed the shotgun back in its usual place behind the door. She also made a mental note to unload it after her visitor left.
Annie, faced with the decision, stepped back and motioned to the inside of the cabin. "Please, come in. I was about to make some coffee, would you like some?"
"No, thank you," Cerys answered with a smile as she moved past the smaller woman into the cabin. "I dont drink coffee."
"Cerys, what an usual name, where is that from?" Annie asked as she moved past the woman and motioned for Cerys to follow her to the kitchen area.
"An old family name," Cerys commented.
"Well, my mother swears that she didnt name me after Alice Cooper, the rock star, but I had my doubts," Annie grinned. "A. Cooper got me teased growing up, especially around Halloween."
"Like now?" Cerys grinned as she took a seat at the kitchen table, avoiding the chair in front of the laptop computer.
"Yeah, I went to one of his concerts once, imagine how they looked at me when I reserved dinner and seats under the name of Cooper," Annie grinned.
Cerys laughed easily and leaned back in the chair.
Annie turned to fix her coffee and frowned to herself. Here she was in her kitchen in the middle of the woods with a stranger and she felt comfortable and right at home talking with Cerys. <Cerys, what kind of name was that?>
"Can I get you anything? Ive got beer, some alcohol, soda, water, tea?" Annie asked.
"No, thank you," Cerys answered with a smile that froze Annie in midstep.
The writer mentally shook herself and she sat down at the table across from Cerys. "How can I help you, Ms. Cerys?" she asked
"Just call me Cerys, please," the stranger continued to smile.
"Okay, how can I help you?"
"By writing the truth," Cerys said simply, her voice dropping an octave as she grew serious.
"Excuse me?" Annie asked with raised eyebrows. "Maybe youve got the wrong writer. I write fiction, horror fiction not a whole lot of truth in there."
"But there can be and I need some of that information to get out to the public," Cerys said easily.
Annie felt a sinking feeling hitting her stomach. <Not a nut case, please,> she thought to herself. Her editor and agent had warned her that she would attract nut cases, especially horror fanatics. The writer was hoping she hadnt run into one way out here, it was awfully isolated and not a good place to deal with a stalker or fanatic.
"What kind of information? Horror fiction usually isnt regarded as fact, you know," Annie asked cautiously.
"I know but some believe and if only a handful of those who believe begin working, then the danger is lessened," Cerys said.
Cerys suddenly grinned. "This is going nowhere, you havent a clue what I am talking about and would not believe me if you did."
Annie smiled in return. "Youre right, Im thinking that youre probably a horror fiction fanatic who want their viewpoint of vampires or whatever in my next story. You probably would be very upset if I broke with your vision or canon of how vampires are handled," Annie admitted.
"All right," Cerys continued smiling and nodding. "Good, honesty is a good point to start any conversation and relationship from. Do you believe in vampires, demons, werewolves and witches?"
"Witches, yes," Annie answered easily. "People who are part of a pagan religious tradition can be known as witches if they practice magick."
"And the others?" Cerys asked.
"Thats more difficult," Annie frowned thoughtfully. "Im open to the possibility but it would take a bit to convince me. I dont see how any number of species: vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts and whatever could keep out of sight of the government and not leave proof of their existence."
"What if I could prove to you that vampires exist?" Cerys asked softly.
"Id think youre either a nutcase or got here on a black helicopter," Annie smiled but was still worried she might be dealing with a mental case.
"Black helicopter?" Cerys questioned with a frown.
"TV reference," Annie shrugged. "I take it youre not an X-Files fan?"
"Not particularly," Cerys admitted.
"Okay, this is almost exactly taken from "Interview With a Vampire"," Annie complained, losing her smile. "What happens next? You vamp out, move at lightning quick speed and threaten me with your fangs to prove that vampires exist?"
"I could probably do that," Cerys continued to smile and Annie felt her stomach lurch again and the author wasnt sure if she suddenly believed the woman in front of her was actually capable of doing all of those things. "Youll find most of us; especially True Born females only take blood from willing subjects."
"Oh Christ," Annie growled and rubbed her forehead with both hands. "I am much too tired to deal with this," she complained.
"And I dont have a lot of time to convince you either," Cerys smile grew rueful. She held out her arm across the table. "If you check, I have no pulse and I only breathe to form words of speech. I dont need to eat except blood in this realm and lots of other things that could help to prove Im not human."
Annie shook her head. "Look, I dont know if my agent set you up to wig me out or if you sincerely believe that youre a vampire. Right now, I dont care. Ive got a good run on the novel Im writing and really dont need the distraction. Why not drop in on Maine or something? Its been years since King wrote about vampires."
Cerys frowned and got up slowly. Annie cautiously watched the other woman as Cerys went to the counter and looked over the wooden block holding several kitchen knives and selected a long cutting knife. The small woman felt her breath catch in her throat when the stranger turned and looked at Annie closely.
The writer tried to absorb the shock that Cerys was now staring at her through yellow eyes and had fangs showing. The blonde also noted the womans ordinary fingernails had suddenly become thicker and longer, very much claw-like. Annie was positive the stranger might have been able to put in a set of fangs or attach a set of special effects claws but not contact lenses without Annie noticing.
The knife in Cerys hand also disturbed the writer, a lot. Annie moved her chair back a couple of inches away from the table, preparing to run for the shotgun if necessary.
Cerys made no move towards her but raised her t-shirt with her free hand and continued to watch the writer. "Seeing is believing, isnt it?" she whispered and jammed the knife into her stomach, just above her trousers.
Annie cried out in shock and jumped to her feet. Cerys held up a restraining hand as she whimpered with obvious pain. After a moment the woman straightened up out of the half bend she had gone into around the knife. Her face became very determined and she pulled on the knife abruptly, extracting the blade out of her body.
The writer stared in horror as the wound stopped bleeding and then slowly began to close in front of her eyes while Cerys held the t-shirt up for her to watch. After the wound had settled into an angry red scar, Cerys dropped the t-shirt and turned to place the knife in the kitchen sink. She slowly moved back to the table and sat down cautiously, never taking her eyes off Annie.
"Please sit down and Ill try and explain," Cerys said in a calm voice.
"Explain?" Annie squeaked. "Explain? How the hell can you explain that?" she shouted.
"Please, try and calm yourself and Ill tell you," Cerys urged.
"Okay, sitting down now," Annie muttered and sat down, her coffee totally forgotten. A stray thought wandered through, wondering if the fire had gone out in the fireplace, it suddenly seemed cold in the cabin.
"If you have a tape recorder or something, youll probably want to take notes," Cerys suggested.
"Definitely out of Interview!" Annie complained. "Reporter starts to interview fascinating person he met on the street, turns out the guy is a vampire and willing to tell his story. At the end he bites the reporter and leaves. Any ideas along those lines?"
Cerys laughed at Annies description and question.
"Only willing subjects, remember?" she grinned. "You would have to consent."
"Okay," Annie muttered and stood up. She quickly went to her bedroom and came back with a small tape recorder and set it up at the table. "If I ever write about this Ill be accused of stealing the idea from Anne Rice," she muttered.
Cerys merely shrugged.
"Im not going to tell you I was a farm girl in 1775 or a peasant in Medieval Europe or anything," Cerys began. "I am a vampire, a True Born. We live in another dimension and dont require human blood over there."
"Dimension, like the Star Trek episode where they wind up in a mirror universe?" Annie questioned.
"Yes, only unlike the inhabitants of your dimension, we are aware of your world," Cerys continued. "In our realm there are those who want absolute power and use dark magick to get it."
"Like Bill Gates or Donald Trump?" Annie asked with a mischievous glint in her green eyes and Cerys laughed.
"Maybe even worse," she smiled. "To achieve immortality and untold power, there is a ritual that can be done. To work the spell they have to cross over into this realm, obtain blood through fear and terror and become powerful as vampires. Once they achieve a certain amount of power they can either stay here as a Master vampire or return to our realm and achieve immortality and power."
"Whoa," Annie muttered. "Vampires are actually from another dimension?"
"Some of them, the original ones," Cerys answered. "So are demons and some werewolves. Other vampires are the human victims of True Borns, who have been turned into vampires. Most werewolves are also turned by True Born of my Realm."
"This is a little hard to swallow, you know," Annie frowned, wondering if she was believing this. How could she not? She knew that knife wasnt a Hollywood trick unless she had been drugged or hypnotized. Annie watched as the eyes changed from vampire yellow to gentle blue again and the fangs receded.
"Want to try and pull them out?" Cerys offered with an impish grin.
Annie felt herself blushing. "No, thats okay," she mumbled.
"So where do you fit in? You said the females take from only willing victims," Annie questioned. "You said the ritual required terror and blood?"
"Yes, its only males that seem drawn to this horrible dark magick in our realm," Cerys continued with the explanation. "Female True Borns cross over into this land to fight against the dark workers. We try and stop them before they take too many victims and turn too many humans. They leave the humans behind to wreck havoc in your world."
"That explains where vampires come from," Annie muttered.
"Yes," Cerys nodded.
"So what do you want from me?" Annie questioned.
"To see a portal for yourself, watch the fight and then write about it," Cerys said simply.
"Sometimes called a Hellgate," Cerys continued. "Its a doorway between the dimensions. There are certain times when a doorway becomes thin and those on either side can cross over. Mostly its from my side to yours because very few humans learn of portals and most dont want to cross over once they do."
"You know those stories about Hell?"
"Thats part of my realm, humans end up in the most unpleasant areas when they cross," Cerys said softly. "And when we cross into your realm, we become vampires and have to drink blood to survive. We cant go out into sunlight and other fun side effects."
"What about holy objects?"
"Holy to whom?" Cerys asked with a grin. "Ever run into an atheist vampire? No, holy objects dont work, neither does holy water or mirrors."
"Okay, so, let me get this straight, at certain times of the year, the doorways get thin and we get vampires, demons and werewolves coming to earth and causing hassles, right?"
"Yes, exactly, Cerys nodded.
"Let me guess, Halloween is one of those nights," Annie said ruefully. It was three nights until Halloween.
"Yes," Cerys agreed.
"And a portal is near here, right?" Annie continued.
"Yes," Cerys continued to nod. "Thats one reason strange things seem to happen around here. The negative energies leaking from the portal affect the people living around it and it also attracts vampires, demons, and werewolves on this side of the realms."
"Like a homing beacon?"
"More like honey to a bear," Cerys frowned. "They feed on the energy and it amuses them to watch the humans interact with a Hellgate."
"Okay, so youre a vampire but youre fighting other vampires to protect both realms from power hungry bastards?" Annie questioned.
"Thats it in a single sentence," Cerys grinned.
"And you want me to be your war correspondent," Annie continued.
"Yes, exactly," Cerys nodded. "Im hoping that a couple of other Warders will make it here before Hallows. If not, Ill have to take on one of the most powerful vampires to cross in 100 years by myself."
"Hes coming into this realm a Master already. Any power he gains on this side will be tripled on my side. He will be worse than your Adolph Hitler ever envisioned being," Cerys said seriously. "Im not sure I can take him."
Annie frowned. Here she was, sitting at a table in a cabin, in the middle of the woods with a total stranger, talking about Master Vampires, Vampire warriors and inter-dimensional traveling.
<Was she really believing this?>
"So all female vampires are the good guys?" Annie asked, trying to work the facts around in her head.
"No, some are humans that were turned into vampires," Cerys clarified. "They can be as deadly and evil as the male True Borns and anyone turned on this side."
"You said the gates are only thin during certain times of the year, how is it that youre here before Hallows?" Annie asked.
"Ive been here for several years. I fight the vampires left behind and try to protect humanity," Cerys explained. "Im a Warder, a protector warrior."
"Heavy," Annie muttered.
Cerys stood up abruptly, her face serious. "Its about to get worse," she muttered.
Annies eyes went wide when Cerys pulled out a large silver knife from her coat. Actually, it was more like a small sword, Annie thought. The blade was heavy and thick and looked something like a pirate cutlass.
"Whats gong on?"
"Vampires or demons, we can sense each other," Cerys responded.
"They know that Warders will come to try and keep demons and vampires from crossing through the portal on Halloween. The ones who are already here will try and stop us," Cerys explained.
"What do we do?" Annie asked; her voice slightly higher from the tension. "What about my son?"
"Your what?" Cerys asked, her eyes widening in surprise.
"What?" Annie demanded. "Your research on me didnt reveal I have a seven year old son sleeping in the next room?"
"No, it didnt!" Cerys frowned and ran a hand over her face. "Gods, this is bad. You stay inside where its safe," Cerys answered, moving into the living room and glancing out the window. "One thing about your legends, vampires cant enter a residential place unless theyre invited."
"How many are there and how do we fight them?"
"Ill fight them with this knife coated in silver," Cerys said, glancing back at Annie. "Silver doesnt kill but it hurts like hell. Decapitation, fire, and sunlight are the best methods. Locking a vampire away in a steel coffin for a hundred years really pisses them off," she continued, looking thoughtful.
"Perfect for pizza," Cerys mumbled, watching out the window again.
"Useless," Cerys continued. "Unless you can blow off their head with a shotgun."
Annie grinned and grabbed up the shotgun, she quickly went to a wall unit bookcase and opened one of the cabinets. She smashed open a box of shotgun shells and began stuffing them into her pockets.
Cerys watched with an amused look on her face.
"I want you to stay inside, no matter what happens," Cerys ordered. "Its important that if I get killed or cant stop the Master from crossing over that you are around for any Warder following me so as to get the information out to the general public."
"No one will believe me," Annie protested.
"How many Goth clubs and live action role playing games sprang up after "Interview with the Vampire" was released?" Cerys countered.
"Okay, point taken," Annie grumbled.
"Theyre here," Cerys growled and Annies breath caught when the vampires eyes changed from bright blue to yellow and her fangs extended.
Annie could feel the danger radiating from the other woman and it was almost intoxicating.
"Stay inside, I mean it," Cerys growled and opened the door to the dark night. "When I yell at you, turn on all the outside lights."
"Okay, what about the cops?"
"No such thing near a portal. They tend to be busy whenever theres a supernatural crisis going down."
The Vampire Warder stepped outside onto the porch and let the moonlight hit the silver blade in her hand as she closed the door. She heard Annie locking it behind her as she moved to the window.
Annie watched as the vampire stepped down the few steps to the clearing, her body moving like a panther. The writers eyes widened when she saw five figures step out of the shadows of the tree line and slowly begin approaching the Warder.
The Vampire Warder stepped further into the open, letting the five surround her as she balanced evenly on both feet, her sword held in a defensive position.
Annie opened the window and gripped the shotgun tightly. She saw Cerys glance her way and then the writer moved back to the door, her hand on the light switch.
"Annie!" a voice yelled and the writer flipped both switches, bathing the clearing and porch in bright spotlights. It was one of the precautions she had taken when she took the cabin for the summer. With all the weird events going on in the area, Annie felt more comfortable with bright lights surrounding the cabin.
She dashed back to the window.
Cerys was moving like something out of a martial arts film. She ducked under a slash from one of the vampire-like claws, slashed upward with her sword and severed the arm at the elbow.
The vampire fell back with a howl of pain and rage. Cerys rolled forward and came up with the sword stabbed into the center of the chest of another vampire. Annie whimpered when two other vampires grabbed the Warder, throwing her to the ground. Cerys kicked back and caught one of the vampires in the chest. The other vampire racked downward with his claws and Annie screamed at the sight of blood flying through the air.
The writer ran to the door and grabbed desperately at the lock. Flinging the door open she dashed out onto the porch as the vampire Cerys had kicked was getting to his feet. Annie jumped off the porch and placed the shotgun at the base of his skull. The writer closed her eyes and pulled the trigger. She opened her eyes and was surprised that there was only dust covering her instead of blood and brains. Annie somehow got herself moving again as she saw the vampire attacking Cerys flip the Warder over and begin struggling with Cerys for the sword.
Annie noticed the vampire with the severed arm getting to his feet with a growl. He turned towards the Warder and vampire but seemed to dismiss Annie. The writers eyes narrowed and she ran up to him and ducked as he slashed at her with his remaining hand. She came up under his slash with the shotgun and pulled the trigger.
Again there was only an explosion of dust.
Cerys smacked the vampire she was fighting with in the face and forced him off her. She rolled with him and brought the sword between them across his throat. Annie grimaced when the Warder placed her free hand on the end of the sword and pressed down.
After a moment the sword went through the neck of the vampire and he turned to dust.
Annie reached down to help the vampire to her feet when a commotion spun both of them around to face the cabin.
The vampire who had been stabbed in the chest, was dragging Travis out of the cabin. Annie screamed in horror when she realized the sound of the shotgun blasts and the fight must have awakened the boy and he had gone to the open doorway. He was just far enough outside for a vampire to grab him.
"No!" Annie screamed and rushed the porch. All Annie saw was the glimpse of the vampires hand and then she tried to sort out her thoughts of confusion as she shook her head and moaned, her body hurting everywhere. She was sitting in the driveway on the rough gravel and her tailbone felt like it was on fire.
She was also at least twenty feet away from the porch, away from the threat to her son.
The vampire grinned and pulled the struggling and screaming boy into his arms, lowering his fangs to Travis neck.
"No!" Cerys cried out. "Stop! I surrender!" she shouted.
The vampires fangs were making small indents in the boys skin as he hesitated.
"Total surrender?" the vampire asked around his fangs, drawing back only slightly.
"If you put the boy back in the cabin and let his mother live as well," Cerys said firmly.
"No, Cerys, dont do this!" Annie screamed and crawled to her hands and feet.
"You give your word as a Warder?" the vampire demanded, ignoring Annie.
"Yes, if you let the boy and mother live," Cerys growled. "Willing surrender."
The vampire lowered the struggling boy to the porch and shoved him into the doorway. Annie scrambled back to the porch and tackled her son, moving them both into the safety of the cabin. She grabbed Travis into a bear hug in relief.
"You okay, Bud?" she said softly and smiled as he nodded. He was no longer screaming in terror but his eyes were still wide and he was awfully pale.
The writer moved Travis to the sofa and then went back to the door.
The vampire had moved in front of Cerys and both seemed to be waiting and watching each other cautiously.
Cerys glanced towards Annie, "You stay inside with the boy," Cerys growled. "The vampires cant come in unless invited."
"Dont do this, please," Annie begged.
The Warder vampire turned and held her arm out to her side and opened her hand, dropping the small sword to the ground.
"On your knees, Warder Cer," the male vampire ordered.
"Never in any of your existences!" Cerys snapped, her voice suddenly angry.
The male vampire growled and lashed out with both hands, claws flashing in the bright spotlights across Cerys chest. The Warder went to her knees with a cry and the male vampire bent over and dropped his head before Annie could even blink, burying his fangs into the female vampires neck.
Cerys screamed and beat at his back as he drank. After a moment Annie could almost swear in court that Cerys was holding the vampire to her. Annie whimpered when the Warders arms dropped away, limp and the female vampires head dropped backwards.
The male vampire dropped the Warder prone to the ground and disappeared into the tree line as Annie turned to her son.
"Stay there, Travis," she ordered. "I need to help my friend out there, well be back in a moment. Dont move!"
The boy nodded, his eyes still wide from fear.
Annie rushed out and helped the Warder to her feet and the writer frowned at the amount of blood covering Cerys shirt.
The writer draped the Warders arm over her shoulder and helped the vampire back towards the cabin.
"I thought I told you to stay inside," Cerys grinned.
"You didnt have to do that," Annie protested.
"Yes I did," Cerys countered. "I got you both into this; I had to get you out."
Annie helped the vampire back into the living room. The writer helped the Warder to the sofa and went back and locked the door behind them.
"Travis," Annie said, getting the boys attention away from the slashes across Cerys body. "I want you to get the first aid kit out of the bathroom and bring two clean towels, okay?"
The boy nodded solemnly and rushed to the bathroom.
Annie turned to find Cerys removing her jacket with a look of pain.
"Bullets only annoy you but claws hurt?" Annie questioned, helping Cerys off with her jacket.
"From another vampire, yes," Cerys explained with a hiss of pain.
Annie pushed the vampire back and examined the wounds, tearing at the t-shirt, expanding the rips. She frowned at how deep the wounds went and how much blood the vampire seemed to be losing.
"How do I help you?"
"Not much to do," Cerys growled.
"How do you heal?" Annie demanded.
"Nothing here will help," Cerys said, dropping her head into her hands. "If I were human Id already be dead from a severed artery."
"What are you telling me?" Annie demanded. "Youre dying?"
"Yes, Im not strong enough to go through the Gate and my blood partner is about 400 miles away."
"Yes, someone willing to give their blood," Cerys muttered as Annie grabbed the first aid kit from Travis and began cleaning the wounds. "Doesnt matter about the wounds, you know."
"Hey, makes me feel useful, okay?" Annie muttered. The mother looked over and caught the wide-eyed look from her son as he saw the massive wounds. The writer went over to her son and squatted down next to the chair. "Can you do me and my friend a really big favor?"
Travis nodded, a goofy pleased smile on his face. He did like helping his mom every chance he got.
"Id like you to keep watch for bad guys out back from your window," Annie suggested. "That way they cant sneak up on us."
"Sure!" Travis said brightly and bounded out of the chair. Annie followed him to his room and bundled him up in a warm blanket and pillow in a rocker by his window. She was counting on him falling asleep soon and knew he would once the adrenaline eased out of his system.
Annie returned to the sofa and began doctoring the vampires wounds again. "Blood partners?"
"Okay," Cerys mumbled. "There are humans who know about us and like the act of being fed on. Some only believe us to be blood drinkers, obsessed or with a kinky fetish with blood. Basically, blood partners are people who get off on the feeding, on the eroticism of it."
"Eroticism, of drinking blood?" Annie frowned and shuddered slightly.
"For some its very intense. Most of the time a vampire will drain the donor only a little, no more than a human blood drinker, someone with a blood fetish," Cerys explained, her voice getting weaker as Annie held gauze pads against the wounds.
"Okay, how is that erotic?"
"Having someone needing something from you, the feeling of desperate need. Some find it arousing," Cerys tried to explain.
Annie continued to frown.
"Going further and drinking more is very erotic for both parties," Cerys continued. "Its one of the addicting things about being a vampire and being a donor or victim. The bite is intense."
"Ill take your word for it," Annie mumbled and then squeaked when Cerys fell over onto her side on the sofa. "Cerys!"
The writer lifted Cerys head and saw the vampire was nearly unconscious from the loss of blood.
"What happens if you die?" Annie demanded.
"Then the Master crosses over into your realm and wrecks all kinds of havoc, maybe even upsetting the balance of power between light and dark in this realm," Cerys said softly. "I dont think any of the other Warders will make it here in time."
"You said you cant get better without blood, what about animal blood?"
"This kind of wound requires the energy that comes from human blood," Cerys whispered, closing her eyes.
Annie frowned, trying to think around the problem.
"Leave here tomorrow," Cerys said softly. "Theres an address and phone number in the inner pocket of my jacket. Its another Warder; theyll protect you now that you know about vampires. Maybe youll even become a Watcher."
"Whats a Watcher?" Annie asked softly, taking the vampires hand into hers.
"A human who knows about the vampires and helps the Warders when they cross over," Cerys was interrupted by a coughing fit. Annie whimpered and wiped the blood away from the vampires lips.
"There must be something!" Annie cried out.
"Nothing," Cerys insisted.
"What about me?" Annie asked softly.
"I told you, theres a Warder who will take you in," Cerys snapped.
"No, I mean my blood," Annie countered and wasnt surprised when Cerys eyes opened quickly.
Cerys looked thoughtful. "You dont know what youre offering. I need more than a small amount of blood; it will drain you to the point of weakness."
"If it will save you, I dont care," Annie declared.
"You dont understand," Cerys tried to sit up and failed. "I choose gay males for my blood partners because of the intense sexuality connected with feeding. The sexual attraction only lasts during the feeding and doesnt spill over into everyday life."
"You mean with both of us being gay, Ill want to sleep with you after this?" Annie asked with a grin.
"Theres that possibility," Cerys admitted grimly.
"Well, I say we deal with that later. First we save your life then well see if we end up in bed together again," Annie said firmly.
"I cant, please," Cerys whispered.
"What do you mean you cant?" Annie demanded.
"In this weakened state I might not be able to stop," Cerys admitted, closing her eyes again, a look of emotional pain across her face. "If I drain you too much youll die or Ill have to turn you into a vampire to save you. I cant do that; your son needs a mother, not a vampire."
"Okay, Im not sure Im fond of the liquid diet idea but if thats what it takes to stop those things," Annie said firmly. "I may not be a perfect mom if Im a vampire but well adapt if we have to."
"If you are vampire youre stuck here in this realm. Turned vampires cant cross through a Gate and return to human on either side. Only True Borns can regain their humanity in my realm unless theyve worked the dark ritual for immortality."
"Okay, let me sort this out," Annie muttered. "A male vampire comes over from your realm to gain power through fear, terror and blood. They do a ritual and it makes them immortal and powerful in your realm."
"A female True Born comes through a Gate and is a vampire, but because shes a good guy, she only drinks from willing blood donors. Once you cross back into your realm you become human again because you havent worked an evil spell and used human blood and terror."
"Correct," Cerys managed to smile. "See, I knew we were correct in picking you for our writer."
"A human who becomes a vampire in this realm cant cross into your realm and remains a vampire here," Annie continued.
"Yes, if they try and cross through a Gate, they are sent to the equivalent of what you would call Hell or they are destroyed," the vampire whispered weakly.
"Then Ill take that risk," Annie decided. "We need you to fight the Master thing coming on Halloween."
"I wont let you, the risk is too great," Cerys growled.
"We stand a better chance with you alive," Annie declared. "That means my blood."
Annie became alarmed when the vampire didnt answer her. She firmly shook the vampire warrior and Cerys opened her eyes slightly.
"Now, damnit!" Annie snapped and pulled the Warder up into a sitting position on the sofa.
Taking a deep breath, Annie sat down next to the vampire and looked puzzled. "Okay, how do we do this with you so weak?"
"Normally, Id kiss you and drive you crazy with arousal and then sink my fangs into your throat," Cerys answered. "Now, theres no time. Lean into me where I can reach your neck if youre willing to do this."
Annie shrugged with a slight smile and moved her body until she had her arms wrapped around the Warders neck, in an embrace and pulled the vampire to her neck.
"I wish we had more time to get to know each other," Cerys mumbled, kissing the neck lightly. "I am attracted to you. Unfortunately, the sexual intensity runs both ways. I may not let you go after this. Female vampires have a weakness for emotions, thats why the males shut off their feelings and delve into the dark arts. They feel emotions make a vampire weak."
"Ill take that chance too," Annie whispered, her fingers running through the vampires hair and holding her head close.
The writer gasped and felt her body jerk when she felt a sharp pain at her throat. It lasted only a moment and then a wonderful warmth spread over her that centered right in her sexual area.
"Oh God," she muttered as the sexual arousal hit her body and she clutched at Cerys body. A chill began spreading through her body as well as the warmth; it was like dueling sensations causing her body to jerk in response. "So good," she whispered.
Annie felt herself growing weaker and Cerys hands reaching out to hold her close. The writer knew that her energy and life source was being transferred to the vampire and held on tighter.
"Dont stop," she whispered and then cried out as Cerys hands found she wasnt wearing a bra under the buttoned shirt. Somewhere she vaguely understood that the buttons were no longer part of her shirt, they had been ripped away so the vampire could reach her skin and breasts. "Oh God, please dont stop."
Annie felt herself being lifted from the sofa and lowered to the rug on the floor; the vampire never losing her grip on the writers throat and Annie didnt ease her hold around the Warders neck.
Cerys moved her body alongside the writers and pulled her close. Annie moaned and felt her body jerk against the vampire. The Warder growled and pulled back slightly, yellow vampire eyes meeting human green ones. Cerys began kissing Annie roughly and the writer whimpered with the incredible sensation that she was tasting her own blood on Cerys lips and tongue. Cerys pulled back slightly.
"Please, dont stop," Annie cried out, urging the vampires head back down to her neck. "I want this!"
Despite Annies apparent original reluctance at the thought of a vampires feeding, she had always fantasized about having sex with a vampire. She knew most horror authors probably shared her same fantasies about vampires and werewolves. It was what she wrote, after all.
Annie heard Cerys moan when she sank her fangs into Annies neck once more.
The writers body began to shake as she screamed out Cerys name. Darkness began crowding her as her hips bucked and her body shuddered.
She vaguely wondered if she was dying and decided if she was, she didnt care as long as the sensation didnt stop.
Annie opened her eyes slowly, trying to remember what had happened. With a smile she remembered and sighed with relief that she didnt feel any different than the day before. Well, maybe weak as a kitten but not what she would expect a vampire to feel like. She had warm skin and a pulse and Travis was asleep in her arms.
The writer/mother realized that Cerys must have moved her and Travis onto his bed.
Annie gently removed her arms from around her son, carefully so not to wake him. She quickly stood up and realized she hadnt dreamed losing blood the night before as the room began to spin and she held onto the wall. The writer closed her eyes and waited for the dizziness to subside.
She walked slowly out of her sons room and into the living room, her eyes darting around until they spotted Cerys lying on the sofa with the leather jacket thrown over her head.
Annie breathed a sigh of relief and knelt down next to the vampire. She gently pulled the leather jacket away from Cerys face and smiled at the healthy appearance of the vampire.
The writer figured out of all of them, Cerys probably looked the healthiest that morning. Annie knew she must look as bad as she felt and absently ran her hands through her hair.
"Cerys?" she said softly, placing her hand on the vampires shoulder. The Warder didnt stir and Annie shook her lightly. "Cerys?"
The writers frown deepened as her shaking became more solid and pronounced. Still the vampire didnt flinch or move.
Annie tried to calm her racing heart. <How the hell do you tell if a vampire is alive or not?> she demanded.
It wasnt like they had a pulse or respiration. According to the legends, they were animated corpses with barely any resemblance of life in them.
The writer tried to wrap her mind around the problem and not allow herself to panic.
"Okay, its daytime," she muttered to herself. "Maybe she cant wake up in the daytime."
Annie leaned her head on the vampires arm and tried not to break into tears.
"Oh God, what the fuck am I supposed to do if shes dead?" the writer mumbled. "A goddamn Master vampire is due here in three days, Ive got a scared little boy to look after and possibly a dead vampire on my sofa."
The writer stood up and glanced in a mirror. "Atmosphere," she growled. "Ill give Jeannie atmosphere if I get my hands on her."
Annie looked back down at the vampire, her anger quickly fading away as the feeling of desperation and panic tried to overwhelm her.
"Come on, Cerys," she growled, shaking the vampire again. "We need you! I dont know how to do this!"
The vampire remained either dead or comatose and Annie couldnt tell which.
It was three days until Halloween.
To be continued