Bell Tower Blues: Part 2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Part 2 of the Bell Tower Blues seris. The mismatched group of vampire hunters prepare themselves for the coming of their prey. When the monster finally arrives, they soon discover that he is far more powerful and intelligent than any of them anticipated.

Submitted: July 22, 2007

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Submitted: July 22, 2007

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The old man, who's name turns out to be Harold, leads Aedan and Alastar to the second floor in the west wing of the house.

“Where's Mrs. Alison?” Aedan asks.

“The other hunters believe she would be easiest to defend in the old bell tower.” Harold responds.

“Other hunters?” Alastar inquires.

“Yes, Mrs. Alison wants as much protection as humanly possible.”

“Well, who else is here?”

“One is a Greek by the name of Hektor.”

“Never heard of 'em.” Aedan says.

“His reputation doesn't travel too far from Greece itself. Mrs. Alison found out about him from a worker who visited there. The other two are an Italian named Amintore, and a German named Degenhard.” Harold says.

“I've heard of the Italian, the German is a new one, though.” Alastar says.

“I must admit, I haven't heard of him either, but he produced quite a few trophies from vampires he has slain. This way, sirs.” Harold says. He leads them to a door where a dark skinned Italian is painting a symbol on the back of an open door.

“Amintore, allow me to introduce Aedan and Alastar. They'll be joining you this evening.” Harold says to the man. Amintore turns around, a broad smile on his face.

“Il piacere incontrala. Glad to have you.” he says. His is English has only a slight trace of an accent. Aedan and Alastar say “Hello” to the Italian. Harold turns to the two Irishmen.

“If you'll excuse me, Mrs. Alison would like for all her employees to leave before the hubbub begins. She doesn't want any more deaths.” he says turning to leave.

“Hey . . .” Aedan calls after him.

“Yes, sir?”

“What about Mr. Alison?”

“He was the gentleman in the box a few moments ago.” Harold says disappearing around the corner.

“Oh . . . that's a shame.” Aedan says. Alastar examines the symbol Amintore is painting.

“Will this hold?” he asks politely.

“Of course. Shall I tell you the layout of the place?” the Italian says.

“Please.”

“Beyond this door is a small lounge. At the other end is a door that leads to the old bell tower.”

“What's in the bell tower?” Aedan asks.

“Another lounge on the first floor. The second is a library and study.”

“Where's Mrs. Alison?”

“She's just inside. Go in a introduce yourself to her and the other hunters.” Amintore puts the finishing touches on the rune while the two Irishmen enter the lounge. It is a posh room, complete with overstuffed chairs and dead animals that also seemed to be overstuffed. A petite, elderly woman sits quietly in one of the chairs, facing the fireplace. An iron pot dangles over the orange flames. A tall man with long, dark hair approach the two.

“You must be Hektor.” Alastar says.

“That I am. Who might you two Irishmen be?” his accent is a little more present than Amintore's, but he otherwise speaks very good English. The two Irishmen introduce themselves to the Greek, who turns right around and introduces them to Degenhard, the German. The small man nods to them as he seals off the only window with a magical rune.

“He's a mute.” Hektor explains. “But he seems to know exactly what to do, so don't worry.”

“Hey, Degenhard!” Aedan calls. The man's head swivels around to face them.

“Can we call you Degen for short?” The German nods and returns to his work.

“Why don't you two introduce yourselves to Mrs. Alison.” Hektor says. The two Irishman drop their packs and stroll over to the elderly women quietly gazing into the warm fire. They introduce themselves, acting like perfect gentlemen.

“Thank you very much for coming tonight.” she says.

“No need to thank us, Miss. It's our job.” Alastar responds.

“The church was kind enough to leave some holy water for you to use against the monster.” Mrs. Alison says.

“Thought the church didn't think there was enough evidence of a vampire?”

“I insisted that I have some sort of protection, so they left this.” she says motioning to the basin full of water on the small table to her left.

“No thank you, Mrs. Alison. That stuff don't really work.”

“It was blessed by a priest, child.”

“It was blessed by a man. What good is a man's blessing against a devil?”

“Aedan, Alastar, we're ready to go.” Amintore says. He walks up to Mrs. Alison. “It's time for you to retire to the bell tower.” Mrs. Alison nods and allows Amintore to help her up from the chair. He leads Mrs. Alison across the room to the bell tower door. Just before Amintore closes the door, the old widow turns and speaks to the group of vampire hunters.

“Thank you for coming to my aide.” she says. “I shall pray for all of you to be safe tonight. I shall pray for you until the monster is vanquished.” The hunters thank Mrs. Alison politely before she turns and disappears up the stairs. Amintore checks the rune on the back of the door and shuts it when he's finished. Hektor uses a hook to lift the iron pot from the fire. The Greek carries the pot to the center of the room and gently lowers it to the floor. A dull silver solution bubbles inside. The hunters begin dipping their weapons into the pot.

Amintore plunges a spearhead into the concoction. Aedan dips several crossbow bolts into the liquid. The silver clings to the weapons without dripping. Hektor takes a sponge and coats the edge of an ax in the silver, then dips a dagger in the pot. Alastar pulls a rifle from his pack and begins loading it with bullets already coated in the silver liquid. Degenhard throws an ammo belt over his shoulder, buckling it down by his right hip. The belt has been modified to hold wooden stakes made from a dogwood tree.

A vampire cannot be killed as easily as driving a stake through it's heart. The reason being is that a vampire has three hearts. If a hunter pierces all three hearts with any sharp object, not just a stake, he can kill the vampire. However, vampires are deathly allergic to the wood from dogwood trees. A hunters needs but one stake embedded in one heart or the brain of the vampire to kill it instantly. No one knows why vampires are allergic to the dogwood. The most common theory is that Christ was crucified on wood from a dogwood tree, and therefore the tree is holy.

Secondly, a vampire is not allergic to plain old silver. The creatures are only allergic to a concoction known as Bram's Silver. This an alchemical recipe that has been passed down to vampire hunters throughout the ages. The mixture was named after the most powerful hunter in history, Abraham van Helsing.

Now, their weapons prepped and easily reached, the mismatched hunters wait for their enemy. Amintore slices some bread and cheese that Mrs. Alison left for them, passing it around to the others. Degenhard declines the food and adjusts a red and gray striped scarf so that his mouth remains well covered. They eat in silence for a few minutes.

“So, how long have all ye been vampire hunting?” Aedan inquires, bored with the silence. Hektor swallows the food in his mouth and speaks first.

“Well, I started when I was eighteen, so I've been on the hunt for about eleven years now.”

“I've been hunting for fourteen years. Mostly around Rome, and several rural areas in Italy.” Amintore says.

“What about you two?” Hektor says, indicating the Irishmen.

“Oh, we've been doing this for about nine years now. Mostly in Ireland and Scotland.” Alastar says.

“Have you two always worked together?”

“Aye.” Aedan says. “We grew up together. A hunter took us in when we both young.”

“I see.” Alastar turns his head to Degenhard.

“What about ye, laddie? How long ye been at it?” The small German holds up five fingers.

“Five years?” The German nods.

“Well, how many vamps have ye killed?” Aedan says. Degenhard holds up all ten fingers. He curls them up into a fist and opens them again. He repeats this four more times.

“Sixty?” The German nods.

“That's impossible.” Amintore says. “You're lying.” Degenhard shakes his head fiercely.

“I don't think he's lying, Amintore.” Hektor says.

“Me neither! What's yer secret, laddie?” Aedan says. The German's head suddenly whips toward the door The symbol on the back glows a bright red. A low hiss emanates from behind the wooden barrier.

“He's here!” Amintore whispers harshly. He snatches up his spear and jumps to his feet. The other hunter grab their weapons and face the door. Aedan and Alastar put the butts of their weapons against their shoulders, ready to pump the vampire full of Bram's Silver. The rune glows an intense red.

The magical runes act as wards against a vampire. If a vampire touches an object with the symbol painted on it, his skin is burnt like fire. Particularly crafty vampires have found ways past the runes before, so it is best that a hunter does not really on them.

Hektor and Amintore stand with their weapons at the ready. Aedan and Alastar moved the overstuffed chairs so they could stand on them and fire over their fellow hunters' heads. Degenhard stands off to the side, so he won't hit anyone when he throws his stake like a dart.

The hunters jerk at the sound of footsteps.

“Oh, no!” Hektor says. “Is there still someone in the house?”

“Shh! Listen!” Alastar whispers harshly. The sound of the footsteps become softer. Whoever it was, he or she was now moving away from the door.

“Is the vamp leaving?” Aedan exclaims. The hunters wait in silence for several endless minutes. They sweat tension, each one expecting the vampire to burst through the door. When those inhumanly long minutes finally passed, Amintore lowered his spear.

“I . . . I guess he left.” he says. The floor abruptly explodes upwards. The hunters (all except for Degenhard) are thrown in several different directions. They smack against the walls and slide to the floor as splinters of the destroyed floor rain down from the ceiling. Amidst the chaos, a slender silhouette floats through the air and perches on top of the fireplace mantle. Shadows dance across the face of the all powerful vampire. His unnaturally white teeth and unnerving eyes pierce the darkness. The hunters stare in awe at the face of their great enemy.

“Who dares imped my feeding?”

 

To be continued in Part 3 . . .


© Copyright 2019 Aleksander Azrael. All rights reserved.

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