The Vampyre

Hunting the Dark

Written by: Gary Deken

“I'm glad to meet you,” Xaver smiled. He was happy to meet a fellow roman soldier, after the units disbanded and local lords took control. Most people feared one another, and many were not willing to talk to strangers. It was good to find someone he could talk to. The two men talked about life in the legions for a few hours and downed several pints of beer.

It was well into the night and Stanislav paid attention to the innkeeper. He noticed the innkeeper checked that the windows and doors were boarded up. The guests that were here before didn't go home, but bundled up near an inside wall. Stanislav sensed that something more was going on. Xaver saw the look in his eyes.

“These people,” Xaver started. “Are afraid of something in the dark.”

“Afraid,” Stanislav questioned. He knew this was not the typical fear of a lawless land. Something more was going on. “This looks like intense fear. They boarded the windows, and the patrons won't leave, nor are they expected to. What has happened to this town?”

Xaver frowned and settled back into his chair. He look Stanislav in the eyes and spoke. “There was an attack a week ago on a farmer's sheep. Something got into his field and killed twelve of his sheep. Practically, ripped the animals apart.”

Shock filled Stanislav's face, and he leaned closer to Xaver. “It wasn't a wolf, then?”

Xaver shook his head and sipped more of his beer. “The monster that did that had claws the size of a man's hand.” Xaver held up his hand and demonstrated a swipe. “Four days ago, is when Gunter saw them. He said he heard his sheep making a horrible noise. When he went out see what was going on, he claimed to have seen some flying creature, the size of a man. It flew away from his fields, leaving behind several dead sheep. They were killed just like the others.”

“Flying creatures the size of men?” Stanislav's interest was peeked. He remembered seeing Radulf for the first time after he killed a cow. He turned into a bat, the size of a man.

“Then two nights ago,” Xaver become still. “A farmer's home was attacked.” Xaver paused reliving the horror. “A neighbor went to the house and found the family killed.”

Xaver drank more of his beer, in an effort to ease his fear. “The house was broken into. The door torn off. The family was killed. Their throats torn open. Ever since then, no one goes out at night. The farmers, that lived away from the center of town, come in before dark and stay with friends or here at the tavern.”

Stanislav looked around and realized that there were families here. They huddled into groups, keeping each other company. A few men stayed awake watching carefully at the doors and windows.

Stanislav turned back to Xaver. “You say the family's throats were torn open?”

“That's what I was told.” Xaver shrugged his shoulders. “I didn't see it myself.”

“And there were flying creatures, about the size of a man?” Stanislav started piecing things together.

“That's what Gunter says.” Xaver frowned. “But he has been know to exaggerate.”

“I don't believe he exaggerated,” Stanislav looked into Xaver's eyes. “The town I came from had the same problem.” Stanislav became very quiet. “Something was killing our cows and draining the blood from them. That same thing is what brought me here.”

“You know,” Xaver leaned in close to Stanislav. “What has been killing people here?”

“I suspect it is the same thing.” Stanislav spoke softly. “I have some old Roman scrolls that tell of this man, cursed by Satan to thrive off of human blood.”

“A cursed man,” Xaver replied.

“A man that has become pure evil.”

Stanislav showed Xaver into his room. Xaver glanced around, knowing how small the inn's rooms are. Stanislav lit a candle on the small table. He went to his bag by the bed and pulled it open. He reached inside, taking out the small jar with the eye inside of it. Stanislav placed it on the table in front of Xaver.

Xaver leaned down, looking at the eye floating inside. “That's it?”

“It came from the vampyre I killed.” Stanislav sat on the bed and leaned with his elbows on his knees. “The scroll said placing the eye in a mixture of ginko herbs, safflower oil and holy water. It is said to cause the eye to seek out other vampyres.”

“Does it work?” Xaver asked, almost skeptical.

“It's what led me here,” Stanislav replied, matter of factly.

Xaver looked at the eye as it floated calmly in the liquid. The iris was a colorful blue, giving it an eery look of being alive. Streams of veins draped out the back, as it stared blankly. Then the pupil of the eye grew larger. Xaver leaned away from it. “It has changed.”

Stanislav bolted upright, inspecting the eye, “They're here.” He grabbed at his sword, pulling it from its sheath. He threw his cloak back, “Get your sword.”

Xaver stood up beside Stanislav. “These monsters are fierce. I've seen what they can do.”

Stanislav looked Xaver in the eye, “That is why we must kill them.”

To Be Continued..

© Copyright 2008 Gary Deken, All Rights Reserved.