Run of the Vampires

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story about a young man who hears that vampires are nearing his hometown. I'm going to try to add at least one new chapter to this story everyday.

Submitted: July 22, 2017

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Submitted: July 22, 2017

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Chapter 1

 

Birthday congratulation song rang in the candle and lantern lighted Hamptons tavern. There were about twenty people in Josh's twenty one-year celebration. Mainly Josh's friends and relatives, but there was a couple of older regular customer, even if it was a private event.

Aaron stood behind the singing people who had formed a circle around Josh. Aaron looked at the people and noticed that he was the only one who did not sing. He was not a celebration people. When the song ended, it was time to blow candles, and everyone began to clap. Josh took a deep breath and blew candles off the top of a traditional cake. ''Make a wish, honey.'' Whispered Josh's girlfriend in his ear, red hair swinging in front of her eyes.

Josh and Amanda had been dating for a few years now. Aaron did not understand how they were able to stand each other for so long. Aaron himself was a lone wolf. He came along with other people, but for some reason he liked to be in his own condition. Tonight he had made an exception.

Aaron clapped with others and smiled at Josh. His best friend. Josh had a short blond hair that was sticking out all the time. He seemed like he had just woken up. Before Amanda Josh had many girlfriends and he was popular among women.

Josh cut the first triangular piece of cake and put it on the plate. "It looks good." He said. Then Amanda cut her piece. Then one of the regular customers came through the crowd for the cake.

''Give me a little bit too. Terrible hunger.'' The customer said and left pounding Josh's head. Then was Josh's relatives turn to take a piece from the cake. It would, at least, be enough for almost everyone. The nice female worker of the tavern had made a big cake for them.

Mounica was now behind the counter with a wide smile on her face. Something about her pulled Aaron to her, but Aaron did not know what. He had always felt it. He wasn't in love with her, but there was something in her. Mounica looked at Aaron with a smile and Aaron quickly turned to Josh, whose mouth was full of cake and hoped that Mounica did not notice his staring.

 

A couple hours after the cake, Aaron sat down at the counter with a hood over his head. He liked to conceal his white hair, for he had always considered them too weird. He had never met anyone who had the same white hair as he had. According to Aaron's mother, he had inherited the hair from his father.

Aaron had drank two pints and the third was halfway through. Josh was with his friends at a table farther drinking and playing a quiz game. Aaron had refused, for it was no news in Hamptons village that he was not the sharpest knife in the sheath. He had passed school just with luck. Josh kept a lot of noise at the table with his friends and they had been drinking quite a lot.

Mounica walked in front of Aaron on the other side of the counter. "Why dont you go to your friends?" She asked while she picked up a dirty mug from the desk and started cleaning it with a piece of cloth.

''I don't know.'' Aaron answered it. But that was not true. Aaron always felt like he didn't belong with them. Something in them was different. Others were good at school, and Aaron again was not. However, he was not bullied for that. He was only regarded as a black sheep of Hampton and maybe that was a little bit true.

Aaron had heard that his father had gone to war before Aaron's birth and died there. Everyone said that he was a war hero. Aaron's mother instead died of pneumonia when Aaron was six years old. About fourteen years ago.

Aaron had received a necklace from his mother on her deathbed. There was a circle in the necklace with a bird inside. It was the only thing that remainded him of his mother and he never took that jewel from his neck.

''Not just interested in quizzes.'' Aaron said and it was true. He did not like to show his own foolishness to others.

''I understand.'' Mounica said and lowered a clean mug to the counter. After that, she went around and asked if someone wanted more drinking. Aaron was left alone. He began to be bored and started to listen to the regular customers sitting at the table next to him. They talked about the vampires, and Aaron got interested. He began to listen more closely.

The Vampires had reportedly attacked Hantti and then Krimlon. Two nearby villages. ''They have not been so close to Hamptons in the last thirty years.'' The man who took cake said to two of his friends.

The man was short and firm, almost bald. He always liked to tell stories. The scarier the better. On his other side was sitting short and slender, clearly a drunk-looking man. And on the other side, a large, muscular woman. You shouldn't get on her bad side. It would not be the first time she would put a big man in his place.

She would propably rip Aaron into pieces. Aaron was normal length but slim. He would not be able to fight with power but with speed. But Aaron did not usually fight. Hampton was a quiet village and the only ones that caused problems were some of the tavern's customers who were drunk and fought among themselves. In Hampton it was safe to move around at night as well. In addition, almost everyone knew each other somehow, and no one wanted any evil.

There was a cry from Josh's table. Someone had the right answer and rejoiced it. Aaron took another sip from his pint and looked at Josh's table under the hood. Somebody was just throwing a dice. Shortly afterwards, Aaron focused on the regulars table again.

''I think they are on their way to Hampton.'' The storyteller told. Aaron hoped he was wrong. Vampires only caused chaos and death. No human would survive if they had to deal with them. ''After them there is a number of vampire hunters, but they haven't got them captured yet.'' The man continued, clearly enjoying the fact that he could tell the scary news to his friends. ''They are at least two villages behind.''

Aaron's concentration broke when Mounica returned and walked back to Aaron. ''Is it interesting?'' She asked. Was it so obvious that Aaron was eavesdropping? He started to be somewhat embarrassed.

"Only that the vampires are probably coming here." Aaron said quietly.

''Well. It's just a matter of time. They have not been seen here for a long time. '' Mounica said and took another mug she began to clean out.

"It was a week ago when the vampires were in Krimlon. I think they're coming in here the day after tomorrow or the following night. '' Aaron heard from the adjacent table. "It's a good idea to lock the doors and put the planks in the windows. Although it wont save you from vampires.'' He said seriously.

"What about the garlic above the door?" The woman asked.

''Ha! Garlic. It's just an urban legend. It does not help. The only weakness in vampires is the sun.''

Aaron smiled to himself. He thought everyone already should know that garlic does not help. Maybe he wasn't the stupidest human in the village. ''Do you have safety equipment at home?'' Mounica asked Aaron. She had also been listening to regular customers.

''I have some cheap ones.'' Aaron answered. ''Do you have?''

''No I don't.''

"What are you going to do if the vampires attack?" Aaron asked, and Mounica pulled her dark straight hair behind her ear.

"I manage." She said with a smile. Aaron wondered how easy it was to chat with Mounica. He did not feel like an outsider. He still wondered how Mounica was different. She did not look any different from the outside than Aaron, but something inside them was different. Aaron felt it every time he talked to Mounica.

"You could come to my place for the night." Aaron said and hoped that Mounica would not understand it wrong. She just laughed.

"Like I said, I will manage." She said. ''Do not worry about me.''

''Okay.'' Aaron said and decided to let it be. Maybe Mounica knew how to handle things. She was in the tavern at work where she had to deal with troublesome people. Even though the vampires were a bit different than the ordinary drunk people.

Aaron started listening to the regular customers table, but now they were talking about horses and traveling. Which one would be more comfortable sitting on a saddle or in a cart thats pulled by a horse. Not more about the Vampires.

Aaron wondered what to do if the vampires would attack the day after tomorrow. He would probably go to the basement to weep and hope that they will not find him. He did not come up with anything else and decided that he had already drank enough after emptying his third pint. ''I'll see you later.'' He said to Mounica, who smiled and said bye.

Aaron went to Josh's table to congratulate him once more, and Josh asked Aaron to remain, but he had started to feel tired. He went home and left others to party.

 

Aaron woke up the next day with a terrible headache. He laid on his bed for at least ten minutes. He had a terrible feeling. When he got up his stomach started to spin. He had never understood people who could drink many liters of beer without having a terrible hangover. He himself got the hangover from a couple pints.

He sat for a moment on the edge of the bed and recalled the last evening and how nice it was to chat with Mounica. He hoped Josh did not get dissapointed when Aaron left home so early. But then again he knew that Aaron did not like the occasions where were a lot of people.

Then Aaron thought about the vampires. Is it true what the regular customer said? That the vampires had attacked Hantt and Krimlon and were on the way to Hampton. If he was right the vampires would attack Hampton tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

Aaron got up too fast and started to feel dizzy. Or was it because he had a hangover. He did not even think about it any more. He stepped out of his room to the stairs leading downstairs. He walked them down. His house was two-storied. Downstairs was the living room and kitchen. Upstairs was the only bedroom.

The house was not large but large enough for one person. Aaron had previously lived in that house with his mother. Back then Aaron slept in the upper room, and Aaron's mother slept downstairs in the living room. The kitchen was just big enough to cook and from the kitchen window you could see a cobblestone street along which there were other houses.

Aaron's house was the second smallest in the village, and if he had understood right, Mounica lived on the other side of the village in the smallest house. Aaron had never been to that house. Josh, on the other hand, lived in one of the largest houses on the outskirts of Hampton Market with Amanda. Aaron had visited the house only twice, but it was clear that it was one of the finest houses in the whole village.

Aaron went to the kitchen and opened the cupboards. He looked for herbs to make a tea drink that would be help for his headache. The cabinets cried for emptiness. There was a lot of time, and Aaron could go to the market later in the dark. He opened the door of another cabinet and took a breadcrumb from there. There was one stack of leftovers left there. ''Good.'' Aaron said with sarcasm. He should also buy bread. He opened the third cabinet and noticed that all the food had run out. He cursed quietly for himself. He did not go to the market yet. He went to the living room sofa.

Aaron startled awake after hearing someone screaming outside. He got up and walked straight into the kitchen. He looked out of the window and saw three people there. Two pushed and tried to tickle the third. ''Children.'' Aaron said. He did not really like children. He did not hate them, but he did not really like them either. He had been a wild case as a child himself, but when he turned eighteen he calmed down. He used to steal stuff from others backyard and liked to throw apples on the windows of the houses. A few times he accidentally broke the window after throwing the apple too hard.

Nowadays Aaron spent his time reading and meditating on things by himself. At times, he went to the tavern with Josh, but not terribly often. Although Aaron spent much time alone, he was never lonely or unhappy. He enjoyed his own company.

It was even nicer to see Mounica in the Tavern. Aaron always tried to get an appointment with Josh when Mounica was at work. Aaron did not know her very well, but Mounica was always terribly nice to him. A few times Aaron had even received a free coffee. It was commonly known that Aaron was not very rich. He never had any new clothes and he always bought the cheapest drink in the tavern. He had money because he had inherited his mother's inheritance, but he should spend the money carefully so that they did not run out.

Aaron was not working. He had tried to do some work but never succeeded. He always made a lot of mistakes and the employers did not have the patience to watch him fail. So he was content to live without work. It did not hurt him terribly, for he liked to be by himself.

 

 

Chapter 2

 

It was already late, and the Sun had already fallen when Aaron decided to go to the market. It was probably empty from customers. Aaron did not mind the darkness. In fact, he liked it. Then he was unobtrusive and he could walk through the streets without anyone recognizing him and coming to talk to him. He usually walked with the hood on. He was too easily recognized by white hairs. They almost shine in the dark.

Aaron's mother had moved to Hamptons in her last pregnancy, and Aaron's father had already gone to war. Aaron's mother had told others about his heroic nature. "You have great achievements in front of you too." Aaron's mother told Aaron before death. Aaron did not really believe it. He was just worse at basic life tasks than others. He was the black sheep of Hampton. Did not sound like a great achievement.

He walked through the darkness with the hood on to the market. It was not a long way to go since Hampton was a small village. Just past a few houses and a turn. Again over a few houses and a turn. Then he was there. Along the way, he saw a few laughing people walking past him. In Hampton you rarely saw sad people. Everyone was relaxed and enjoyed life even though they did not have a lot of money or other unnecessary stuff.

Aaron went first to buy herbs. The seller was an old woman wearing a dry lawn-colored robe. She was always a little bit confused. Nobody knew if it was because of old age or some of the herbs. She spoke to voices what others did not hear. Aaron had received a few discounts for helping her carry large herb boxes in place. The old woman could not do it. Carrying big boxes caused problems to slim Aaron aswell. "What would it be?" She asked Aaron and smiled at him. Aaron tried to smile back, but the smell of herbs made him grin.

''Three grams of lahomatria.'' He said trying not to smell the herbs. When she heard it, the old woman digged a large glass bowl beneath the table. It was half full of green buds. Lahomatria was the most common plant for painkillery. There would also be Murmura, but it caused a terrible fatigue. Aaron took a small paper bag. The bag contained three grams of lahomatria. Aaron was happy and paid for the bag with coins. His headache had already subsided, but still disturbed. He just has to wait till he gets home to boil his drink.

Next he went to the man selling bread. ''What?'' The man said. Aaron thought he probably did not like his work. He was probably tired of standing behind the table sharing bread.

"Two bags of rye bread." Aaron said half-amused to a little under thirty year old man. The man had short hair and he seemed to be in the wrong place. He looked more like a workman than a merchant with thick arms.

After getting the bread, Aaron went to the meat counter and bought beef from a young butcher's daughter. Aaron had been in the same class with this girl years ago, but the girl had reportedly begun to get home education because she could not concentrate in the class. The girl had olive-brown skin and long dark curly hair.

Aaron took the meat into his bag and went on his way to the fruit stand. From there he bought a few bananas and a little onion. He almost laughed at remembering the woman's comment on the garlic before, but he managed not to laugh. It was never a good sign if someone publicly laughed or talked to himself. In that way, they would get a nutty reputation. Just as the old herb seller had received.

In addition, Aaron took the vegetables. He was going to make meat soup as long as he could only get home. Aaron also put the fruits and veggies in his bag and wished the merchant a good evening.

The visit to the market had been surprisingly nice. The marketplace had been almost empty. Most people were there when the sun was shining, but Aaron liked to go there during dark. That was one reason why he was considered a little different. Aaron was not an ordinary Hamptonian who thought everything was going always well. Aaron knew that in the midst of life he could get pissed off to ankles.

He walked to the edge of market square and turned to the left. He started to walk along the market side as he walked towards his home. There was about one hundred yards to the street that went to his home. Then Aaron saw two completely in black dressed men in front of him fifty yards away. The men had hoods over their heads. One of the men looked more muscular and the other was slimmer. They were almost the same length with each other and they stood in front of a large red house facing the way Aaron was walking.

Aaron started to suspect that the men were up to no good. Something about them seemed off. Usually, people in Hampton were relaxed and they looked happy, but these men were stiff like iron. Aaron was about to walk past them and look more closely at who they were because they did not look familiar. But after he started to walk the men also started to walk.

The men walked in the same direction as Aaron walked in. Who were they? Obviously they were not from Hampton. Aaron held a distance of fifty meters from them and decided to follow them. After a moment Aaron realized that the men went after a woman. The woman had a silvery shiny dress and pale hair with a fine hairstyle. Like she was coming from a party. Or going to one. The men could not plan anything good. Aaron was sure of that. The men did not blink around, but kept their eyes on the woman. Aaron kept the distance from them. He did not want to reveal that he followed them.

The woman turned to a smaller street at the market square. The next alley would have led to Aaron's house, but the woman turned from the previous one. After ten seconds the men drifted into the alley after the woman. Aaron speeded his pace and ran behind the house. Then he looked behind the corner and glanced at the alley. Both sides of the street had long terraces. They were wooden buildings painted in dark brown. The doors in the houses were red. In a few windows there were lights, but not visible inside, as the curtains were closed.

The men were still following the woman. Aaron wanted to shout ''Run!'' But decided to be silent. He had only a surprise on his advantage. The woman stopped suddenly and turned to left. She went to the door of a single row house home and started digging something out of her bag on the stone stairs. Probably her own keys. The men reached the woman and were almost in her case when Aaron went running along the alley toward the men. He could not let the men do anything bad to that woman.

Aaron threw his groceries into the adjacent bush and was preparing for the fight. He was not good at it, but he could attract men to him and lead them away from the woman. Aaron could lead the men to the tavern where he would have enough background support. These men would not be able to survive Hampton's Tavern's customers.

But Aaron was too slow. The slender man reached the woman before Aaron came to the men. Slender man turned the woman around violently and snatched her neck and raised her to the air. ''What a achievement for such a slim man.'' Aaron thought.

The woman tried to yell, but the air did not go under the man's hand compression so it was just a rasp. Aaron was almost with them but was still not fast enough. The man pressed his mouth to the woman's neck and the woman began to shout and scream even harder.

Aaron was disgusted by the situation. The woman clearly did not want the man to touch her that way. Aaron speeded up his pace. The muscular man just laughed and looked beside them. But his laughter came to a close when Aaron finally arrived next to them.

Aaron pushed the muscular man at the side with all his forces and then turned to a slimmer man. Aaron took him by the shoulders and pulled away. The man did not flinch. Aaron took a deep breath and began to suspect bad. He turned to look at the man he just pushed to the alleys side. He was still standing and laughing at the same spot as before. He had not moved a cent while Aaron had pushed him with all his powers. Then Aaron looked at the man in the eyes and breathed in horror. The eyes shone bright red in the darkness of the evening.

The man was bald and looked about thirty, but Aaron thought he was at least three times older than that. The muscular man stretched out his hand toward Aaron and lifted him from the shirt collar to the air. Aaron tried to struggle but did not get out of the way. ''What do we have here.'' The muscleman said. "Do you smell that too, Brandom?" Aaron could not believe his own foolishness. Of course these men were vampires. ''Brandom?'' The man asked now with a louder voice. The slender man let go of the woman's neck. He turned to see Aaron and Aaron saw his bloody lips and sharp fangs. The vampire was breathing in the air and his eyes began to shine brighter.

Brandom let go of the woman and the woman collapsed on the stones. The woman cried and weeped apparently of pain and shock. Her neck was bloody. ''Oh. Smells delicious.'' Brandom said and took the hood off. He had long dark brown mixed hair. Aaron was tempted to catch the hair and pull as strong as he could, but decided not to test what would happen. ''Tom should we share? '' Brandom asked the muscle man. ''Or should we take him to our leader?''

''Yes he smells delicious. Let's take him to the leader.'' Tom said.

"Why are you going to take me to the leader?" Aaron asked in horror. Are they going to turn him into a vampire? Aaron did not want to turn into a killer. He started to regret that he came to rescue the woman. If he had known that he was facing two vampires, he would not have tried his luck.

"You do not smell like a human." Tom said as his look drilled into Aaron's eyes.

"Our leader has told us to bring all non-humans to him." Brandom said.

''But I'm a human being.'' Aaron said.

"Do not lie!" Tom cried out that the spit flew a few drops on Aaron's face.

''I'm not lying.'' Aaron spluttered in panic. What were they saying? Aaron was a human.

''Yes you are lying. You smell like a white witch.'' Tom said eyes shining red. Now, there must be a misunderstanding Aaron thought. Although he has secretly hoped to be able to do magic, he has never done it. He had hoped it in secret becouse people are scared of witches. People were scared because witches were powerful. Humans tried to burn even white witches on a stake even though they were good, nice, and friendly bunch. Because of the fear they were trying to burn them. But most of the time, no one has succeeded doing that.

''I'm not a witch.'' Aaron said. "I can swear by my mother's grave that I have never used magic."

"Do you suggest that our sense of smell is lying?" Tom asked, raising his voice.

''N-n-no.'' Aaron said. He did not want to annoy the vampires. He tried to figure out a way to get away, but his chances were negligible. He would not be able to run away. Can not resist. Needless to try to shout for help. No one would help after seeing two vampires.

Aaron's original plan was useless too. He had managed to get the men off of the woman, but you don't run away from a vampire. "What does your leader want from non-humans?" Aaron asked.

"He wants their blood. Non-humans tastes three times more juicy.'' Brandom said licking his lips. Aaron started to feel a bit weak. The headache did not bother even though it was still in the head.

''Okay then. I will not fight. I know it would be pointless.'' Aaron said and when Tom heard it, he dropped him back to the ground. Aaron looked at the woman on the stone stairs. The woman had been silent for a while. "Is she dead?" Aaron asked.

''Yes. I did not suck her dry, but our poison kills humans." Brandom said. He was clearly not bothered by the fact that he had just killed an innocent woman. Aaron, on the other hand, felt angry with the vampire. But not enough. He was more scared.

''Let's go.'' Tom said and turned around. Aaron remained horrified as a cannon and Brandom pushed him so firmly that Aaron almost flew on his back.

''Moves to the joints. We do not have time all night.'' Brandom said, and Aaron was spared his fears for the second as Brandom pushed him. Aaron tried to run away. He started running toward the market as fast as he could but did not get far when something hitted in the back of his head and all he saw was darkness.

 

 

Chapter 3

 

Aaron woke up again to a terrible headache. His head ached and felt as if someone had beaten him with hammer to the back of the head. He would not be surprised if someone had done it. Aaron did not know what had hit him. The last thing he remembered was when he ran from the vampires and something hitted back of his head.

He opened his eyes and few tears came to them. He straightened his back and sat more upright. He half hung from his hands, and when he looked over his head, he saw his hands in a shackles. He was hanging from them and it had caused blood leak from his wrists.

He tried to look at his surroundings. He saw blurry in front of him. He looked ambiguously around the walls and faced the doorway where there was no door. From there, light drifted into the dim room where he was.

He blinked a few times to get the tears out of his eyes and after that he saw the walls better. They were stone walls. From here Aaron saw that water streamed along the uneven stone walls into a small puddle in the corner of the room. Was Aaron in a cave?

On the right side there was a torch attached to the wall that burned and created light. Aaron hoped the torch would be closer as he shaked from the cold and the heat from the torch would warm him up. But the torch was three meters from Aaron. He was in the middle of the room, leaning on the back wall of the cave. At least Aaron assumed he was in a cave. It would explain the cold air and uneven walls. He was not in any house that somebody had built. Otherwise the walls would be smoother and would not drain water.

His wrists hurt. The shackles were way too tight and Aaron saw that the blood flowing from his wrists had already dried up. Aaron wondered how long he had been there. Was it a night or a day? Had he been there for minutes or hours? He did not know, but then again, it did not matter. He was in shackles and probably would end up being the vampire's leader's snack.

Aaron tried to pull his hands out of the chains, but only groaned from the pain when the wounds opened again. Now the blood poured again from the wrist to the arm and from there to the armpit. Aaron tried not to cry and managed to do so barely. What was he thinking when he went after the men. He had just heard that the vampires were coming to Hampton the night before and he had tried to play the hero.

Would he ever see Josh again. Or Mounica. Had they noticed that Aaron was gone? Hardly. It was not a weird thing that Aaron was somewhere for a few days in alone. Sometimes Aaron locked himself in his own house for long periods of time at a time. Occasionally Josh had come to his door to check that he was still alive.

Aaron watched from the doorway to another room. It was clearly larger than this room and there were many more torches. There was also a lot of movement there. Aaron counted how many vampires he saw from the doorway. At least five. Two women and three men. Closest to him was apparently a couple who held each other out of hand. The man was huge and looked like a wrestler. He had a bald head and a round, but manly face. The woman, on the other hand, had a short dark hair and was a lot shorter than the man. Both seemed to be around thirty. At least from the outside.

Beside them, there was another woman who held an artfully forged knife in her hand and played with it. The woman looked about Aaron's age with long blond hair. If Aaron had to say which vampire looked most dangerous, he would say that she did. Something in her eyes was scary.

Behind her was clearly brothers. The same lengths and faces looked the same. They both had dark medium hair mixed up. Aaron noticed that another brother looked at him smiling. Aaron had to look away quickly.

Based on the voices, there were at least 10 vampires in the cave, if not well over, and someone talked in a larger room. Probably their leader. His voice was sibilant and he spoke strangely. Clearly a dialect that was not from this century.

"We are ahead the hunters. We have nothing to worry about.'' The leader hissed at others, and the voice got Aaron to quiver. It was horrible. The whole situation was horrible, and Aaron wanted to sink under the ground. What did he think? "Tom and Brandom went to Hampton yesterday to check if there are any hunters there." The leader continued. "And for our delight, we can say that they have not found us yet." A few vampires mumy something with satisfaction and some laughed.

Brandom and Tom. Aaron recalled their shining bright eyes. So they were just checking the town. The worst was still ahead. Aaron hoped the Hamptons villagers were prepared for the attack of the vampires. Although Aaron did doubt that anyone could be prepared for that. The vampires would crack the doors even if they had strong safety equipment.

Aaron's situation was all the worse. He was imprisoned by at least a dozen vampires. He was blamed for a white witch even though he had never used magic. There was not witches in his family. Not white or dark. Although he had never met any of his relatives in addition to his mother. But still. Aaron had no magic powers. He was sure of it.

"We are going to the villagers tonight. When the sun goes down, we're moving." The leader said aloud. So it was a day. Then again it did not help Aaron in any way. He started seriously hoping that he was a witch. Maybe he then could be able to run when the vampires were in Hampton. ''We have a guest here.'' The leader said quieter now. ''He claims to be a human, but you're sure to smell him from here. He is a white witch.'' Many vampires agreed what Aaron did not understand. He was not a witch!

"I also smell something dark in him. Therefore, he may be dangerous. Be careful around him.'' Now, Aaron was even more surprised. Smelled something dark? Was this a joke. Aaron started to almost laugh at the whole situation. First he smells like a white witch and now there is something dark in him too. He wanted to scream ''Fuck you!'' But decided to be silent.

"I'm going to speak to him. Wait here.'' The leader said to his vampire flock. Aaron has never been so terrified. He decided to pretend to be sleeping and pressed his chin against his chest and closed his eyes. Then he listened to the almost soundless steps of the leader that approached him.

The leader stopped in front of Aaron and squatted. "You're in vain to pretend to be sleeping." He said silently. "I hear your heart beat and sense that you are afraid.'' Aaron cursed in his mind and opened his eyes. Then he looked up from the ground.

The leader looked like a middle-aged little man. He had a almost bald gray hair and his eyes were yellow like the sun. He was wearing a dark gray suit. Although Aaron was terrified, he had to admit that the eyes of the vampire leader looked beautiful in dim light. ''What are you?'' The leader asked Aaron. Aaron decided to be silent and did not answer. He felt that no matter what he would say the vampires had already decided his fate. Aaron was a human no matter what the vampires said. Then there were a long, pressing silence.

The leader did not ask again, but now focused on Aaron's necklace. ''I have seen such before.'' He said and took the necklace in his hand. ''With one small white witch in Branks.''

"What then?" Aaron asked. ''Such jewelry will probably be sold in many places.''

''Maybe.'' The vampire said quite quietly. It was painful and it seemed to Aaron that his breathing could be heard kilometer away. ''Or then not.'' The leader said, raising his voice back to the level of speech. ''Perhaps these jewels are made just by white witches.''

''I'm not a witch, and that jewel is definitely done by just a regular jeweler.'' Aaron said and the leader began to smile.

''Where did you get this?'' He asked.

''From my mother.''

''When?''

''When I was six years old. Before the death of my mother.'' Aaron told and now the leader smiled wider.

''So you really don't know,'' He said and sounded creepy. And his smile was even more disturbing. Aaron quickly looked at the vampire's fangs. It was only a matter of time when they would sink into his neck and he would die of blood loss. Or the vampire poison, which seemed to be really painful.

"Know what?" Aaron asked. What game did the leader play? This was definitely some kind of vampires game they liked to play with their victims.

''It does not matter. You'll die tomorrow morning anyway.'' The leader said and got up. ''Brandom and Tom will keep watch while we are in your village.''

Aaron swallowed up loudly. Hopefully Mounica and Josh would stay safe. Mounica knew to prepare for vampires. She had heard what the tavern's regular customers had been talking about, but Josh had been playing a quizz game. He was probably completely unaware of the matter.

Before the leader left he licked blood from Aaron's arm. "I'm looking forward to being able to handle you properly." He said with a crooked smile and left the room.

Aaron was hungry. He had not eaten anything all day. Not the last night but last had a cake on Josh's birthday. He felt like fainting. He also had a thirst and he watched leaking water on the walls water on his tongue.

The vampires had not left yet, even though it had already been dark for a couple of hours. They just talked in the bigger room. Aaron did not even try to listen to what they were talking about. He was feeling horrible. When he had been almost unconscious for a couple of times, he cried to the vampires. ''Could I have some water?''

All the vampires were silent, and a few whom Aaron saw from the doorway turned to look at him. It was silent, and Aaron began to be ashamed. Then add silence. When Aaron was wondering how stupid he was, the vampires began laughing.

Aaron wanted to hit himself. Of course they do not bring water. What was he thinking again? He was not their guest but a prisoner. Aaron swallowed down and looked at the small water puddle in the corner of the room. If his hands were not in the chains he could drink from it, but that was just a dream.

Hour later the vampires began to leave. "We'll be back before the sun rises." Their leader said in the bigger room so Aaron certainly heard.

"We watch him. Do not worry. He will not escape." Tom assured his leader and walked to the doorway in front of Aaron. Brandom followed up and now they were both back to Aaron in the door. They barely both fitted at the same time at the doorway. Aaron was already so desperate that he could not care. He would be there all night. Shackled, hungry, and thirsty.

Perhaps he could talk about one of them to bring him water. But Aaron was not very hopeful. Both stood like statues without movement. Neither of them seemed to breathe. Why would they bring drink for him?

The rest of the vampires left the cave loudly. Some danced and banged their chest while shouting and some left calmly. ''They're a lively bunch.'' Aaron thought. Vampires of many different ages and sizes. Aaron saw just the root of the tunnel behind Brandom and Tom, where the vampires left the cave. Now he managed to count how many of them there were. He counted sixteen besides leader, Brandom and Tom. Hampton was doomed. How many villagers were prepared for the attack?

A couple hours after the departure of the vampires, Aaron's thirst was unbearable. Now his throat was already hurting, and his backside was numb. He could hardly change the position he sat on. He still looked at the water puddle in the corner of the room. Eventually, Aaron had to turn his gaze away, for it was just a torture to look at it.

Brandom and Tom were standing in the doorway all the time. Didn't their legs get tired, Aaron wondered. He also thought of his village. What a chaos there was. How did Mounica think to survive when he did not even have safety at home? Josh would probably survive. He probably had the best safety equipment in the village.

Aaron's thirsts began to disturb even his thinking. "Could I have some water. Even a small drop?'' Aaron begged Brandom and Tom. Tom turned rigidly around and looked at Aaron like a cheap sausage. "Be silent or you will get a new blow to your head." He said and turned his back to Aaron. Aaron was not surprised. But then Aaron was surprised when Brandom turned around and looked at Aaron almost pityingly. Almost. Then he looked at Tom. And again Aaron.

"I'm going to get him water." He said to Tom and Tom looked at him like a nutty.

''Then go.'' He said with a strange tone of voice. "We do not want him to die before the leader gets his hands on him." He added, and turned to look at Aaron. He had a really nasty smile on his face. Aaron could not look him in the eye. Aaron was secretly grateful to Brandom for the good thing that he was going to get him water.

''Thank you.'' Aaron said quietly when Brandom went to walk through the larger room toward the mouth of the cave. After a while, he lost to the tunnel that led out.

When Aaron didn't hear the steps of Brandom's no longer, Tom turned around and walked in front of him. Aaron stiffened from horror. What is he going to do to him? Did he mean to torture Aaron. Tom squatted to the same level as Aaron and looked at Aaron in the eyes. This time, Aaron looked terrified back. "Do not be afraid boy." Tom said. "I'm not going to do you evil. I leave that to the leader.'' He said calmly.

"Why don't you then just stand like a statue at that door?" Aaron asked and tried to figure out what Tom wanted. Tom put out his hand and was going to take Aaron's necklace in his hand. Aaron tried to pull himself away and his wounds opened again. The blood began to run along his arm.

Tom pulled his hand farther away and smelled the air. His red eyes shined a couple of seconds brighter than normal. ''Strange the blood of the white witches.'' He said. "It's like a drug for us. It gets our strength stronger and our speed faster. But only temporarily. It is a pity that the leader is not generous and let others enjoy too.''

Aaron wanted to cry out that he was not a witch. But why did Tom's eyes shone brighter for a while. ''Strange.'' Aaron thought.

"Im tempted to eat you. But the leader would be upset and I do not know what he would do.''

"Give it a shot," Aaron said defiantly. He knew Tom would not do it. Vampires were forced to obey what their creator had commanded them to do. Everybody knew it. Thats why so many did not want to be a vampire. Even though strength, speed, and eternal life would attract, it was not worth it to be someone's slave. Tom took Aaron's necklace into his hand, and Aaron was filled with hate. "Let it go!" He shouted. He did not know where this courage came, but it felt good.

''I heard you talking with our leader about this necklace.'' Tom said, looking at it closely. ''You got it from your dead mother?' He said questioningly.

''Yes.'' Aaron said. ''Let it be!'' He said struggling and ignoring the pain in his wrists.

''No. I think I'll take it for myself." Tom said and pulled the jewel from Aaron's neck. If Aaron had just been angry, now he was furious. He was throwing curse words and hateul things on a continuous feed when he was struggling on the ground.

Tom stood up and laughed. He walked back to the doorway and turned his back to Aaron. Aaron had forgotten the feeling of hunger and thirst completely. The only thing he now felt was a deep rage against the vampire. His wrists were on fire and the pain spread to his palms and fingertips. But in spite of that, he just continued to struggle. He did not care about objects in general, but the jewel of his mother was dear. The only thing Aaron had from her. It was the only memory he had.

Aaron's eyes were nailed to the back of Tom, as he pulled his hands apart and, surprisingly his hands were loosened from the chains. Aaron's hands were free. He looked up at the chains and saw that they shined in orange as if they were melted.

Aaron did not believe his eyes. How could the chains have melted suddenly? He felt warmth in his hands and then he looked at them and breathed from surprise. His hands were on fire. Literally in flames. Aaron wondered why he did not feel pain. It just felt that the hands were warmer than usual. He felt the heat of the flames on his face as he rose to stand without looking anything but his hands.

They really were on fire. Literally in flames. Aaron laughed. Was he really a witch? But, why right now? He had never done magic before.

He had not yet properly understood what was happening when suddenly something closed around his neck and raised him to the air. Tom. He had heard Aaron's laugh and had turned around. Now he lifted Aaron and Aaron felt like his neck would snap if Tom pressed any harder. Instinctively, Aaron raised his burning hands to Tom's face and his cheeks began to burn under Aaron's hands. Then Aaron pushed his thumbs in the eyes of the vampire and watched Tom's entire face now on fire.

Tom shouted so loud that Brandom must have heard it outside the cave. After a while, Tom's grip loosened and Aaron dropped back to his feet. Tom crashed into the ground and turned into a one big pile of ash. Aaron did not have time to move when there was a shout from another room. ''What's happening there?'' Brandom shouted and ran into the doorway with a bowl full of water in his hand.

His eyes rounded as he saw Aaron free of chains and saw Tom's ashes on the ground. "What the hell?" Brandom asked, and before he could do anything, Aaron kicked Toms ashes and the ashes flew over Brandom's face. Brandom dropped the water bowl to the ground and threw his hands in front of his face, but too late. There was ash in his eyes.

Aaron took advantage of the opportunity and ran into Brandom. But his hands were no longer in flames. They were normal again. Brandom flew to his back from the collision force, still rubbing his eyes. Aaron got up and run to the bigger room, but soon realized that running was futile. As soon as Brandom got the ashes out of his eyes he would run on Aaron in less than a second.

Aaron stopped three meters from the doorway where Brandom was still laying and rubbing his eyes. Aaron began shaking and waving his arms in the hope of getting them back to flames. But fire did not arise. He just looked foolish.

Brandom stood up and turned to Aaron. His face had a murderous look. Aaron lifted his hands behind him, and then threw them to the front. There was no flames, but a cracking came up over the doorway. Brandom looked up surprised and the crack formed a circle on the stone above vampire's head. Then a big round rock stone dropped and squashed Brandom.

The earth shook, and Aaron stood in shock. What just happened? Did Aaron break it or was it just a luck? He shivered and glanced at his hands and then the ceiling. Then, again, his hands and again the cracked ceiling. Then he started laughing hysterically.


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