Darrel grimaced as the needle entered his arm. A plump man with a frown as deep as the Marianas Trench began to draw blood from the purple vein that criss crossed across his limb. A woman with
blonde pigtails was practically jumping up and down next to them, looking like she had to take a trip to the little girl's room.
"Come on come on come on come on!" She demanded, licking her lips.
"It's coming!" The plump man shouted back. Darrel looked away, already feeling queasy.
When a small bag of his blood was filled, he turned back just in time to see the other man toss it to the blonde. She caught it with ease, ripped it open, and started chugging. Darrel threw up a little in his mouth.
Why do vampires have to be so god damned gross? He thought, getting up and walking away from the odd 'Blood-Drive'. Ever since vampires had been introduced to mankind, both species were forced to try and get along with each other. It wasn't all that easy. Not all vampires cooperated, and neither did all humans. Blood had been spilled in more ways than one, and adjusting was proving to be a difficult task. There were vamps who thought taking blood from a bag took all the fun out of it, and there were people who were completely convinced the vamps were sent straight from hell. Of course, they probably were, but that was no reason to disrespect your neighbor, now was it?
Darrel opened the door to his small, grey car. He had to duck just to get in, and he could feel his dark hair touching the roof of the car even as he slouched. The engine made a whining noise while starting up, and, back at the Blood-Drive, he could hear one or two vamps screeching in annoyence. Darrel couldn't help but feel a small bought of satisfaction. The vampires were like the movie ones, only they didn't die in the sunlight and there were no bats involved. They were still vulnerable to garlic, of course, and had super human senses, as well as other things.
He drove for a while through the small town, not entirely interested in going anywhere. The club he was in, HoV (Helpers of Vampires), was scheduled to meet that afternoon, and he still had about twenty minutes left. HoV, unlike HoH (Helpers of Humanity), was an unofficial group devoted to helping vamps find jobs, houses and other such things in their comfortable town known as Mablevile. They set up Blood-Drives, much like the previous one, and claimed to be the Vamps' best friends.
The leader of the group, David Wilson, was a man of popularity, and was often seen at church. He was considerably rich, a ladies man and loved attention, so it was no surprise when he started a group specifically made for the topic everyone was focused on those days. Darrel thought he was an arrogant idiot, but who would ever listen to the new guy in town?
He looked out the window of his car as he approached a stop sign, spotting a couple of vamps walking side by side on the crosswalk. They looked almost completely human most of the time, but there were small differences one had to look for, and Darrel was getting quite good at it. He didn't necessarily hate the vampires, but found himself more annoyed by them as time passed. They always looked so damned perfect compared to everyone else, and the ones that'd lived through hundreds of years didn't even bother to speak to anyone. It was almost as if they were constantly showing off.
Darrel put his foot on the gas as the vamps passed, and continued his cruise down Main Street. It was a cloudy day, with a slight chill in the air from the passing winter. St. Patrick's Day was only a day away, and everything was covered in four leaf clovers, paper pots of gold and leprechauns. The parade was going to be fantastic, so everyone said. After all, the vamps would be helping out this year.
The HoV meeting was now only ten minutes away, so Darrel sat up a little and drove the rest of the way down to St. Joseph's church. He parked, turned off his pathetic excuse for a car and walked inside the cool building, heading towards the basement. St. Joseph's' held a lot of meetings and other things for various groups, including Girl Scouts. There were entire cabinets built into the basement walls, dedicated to the Food Pantry, and because of this it always smelled suspiciously like old vegetables.
There wasn't really enough room for every member down there, so instead of having tables of snacks in the actual room itself, they were out in the long hall that led up to it. Darrel had to suck in his gut just to get around them. He could already hear the scratchy voice of David Wilson even before he walked in and squeezed into a corner.
"-because if we don't help them, who will?" The man smiled with perfect white teeth as the crowd roared it's approval. He was standing on a small stage that took up a considerable section of the room. "These extraordinary beings are a gift from God, not Satan! And we must treat them as such!"
"Hear hear!" Someone said loudly in the back.
Wilson beamed, his ego swelling. "Brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen, let us open our arms and-"
"Mr. Wilson!" A small, female voice spoke up. She was wearing a green dress with a clover on it. "What about the parade?"
"Ah, yes little one! This year, we are blessed with the help from a few of the vampires themselves! Would Elsa and Melvin please come forward?" He gestured into the audience, and everyone followed his gaze. A man and a woman, both painfully obvious as vamps, smiled, walking with ease to the stage.
"It is an honor to be here." Elsa bowed gracefully.
"Indeed." Melvin was expressionless.
"All the arrangements have been made, in fact, I think the only thing we're waiting for is the mayor's 'ok'." That got a few chuckles, even a fake one from Wilson.
"And we're all as excited as we can be! Please invite yourselves to some snacks for a moment while us three discuss other matters."
Everyone obeyed him in a zombie-like fashion, trying to get out into the hall with little success.
Darrel caught sight of the little clover girl again. She was standing by a few other kids of her age, all of them smiling and laughing, following the normal routine for happy three-year-olds. The dark haired man couldn't help but smile too.
The next day, the parade started off with great success. The clouds from the previous day were gone, replaced by shining sunlight and a warm breeze. Nobody could have asked for better weather. Kids stood on each end of the street, their hands out for candy and they're ears for the school band. Firemen, policemen, and paramedics were scattered throughout. Horses whinnied as they pulled carriages and held people on their backs. Darrel, lucky Darrel, had been selected as one of the people to clean up after them.
He trudged along, shovel in hand as he walked behind a horse carrying Miss Mablevile. A float or two ahead of them marched an army of preschoolers dressed up as leprechauns. Among them, he once again spotted the little girl. She looked as happy as ever, skipping along like a real leprechaun might, her paper hat trying to fly away in the wind.
Everything was just fine and dandy, a small town having a small parade, until all of the horses stopped. This wasn't much of a problem, though it did stop almost everyone else, except for when one of the horses suddenly panicked and took off. This horse happened to be the one carrying Miss Mablevile, and she screamed her head off as it carried her majestically into the sunset. Now all of the horses were running, rearing, kicking and neighing wildly. The mayor urged everyone to get out of their way over the loudspeaker, but he stopped short.
A series of high-pitched wails filled the air. Darrel couldn't believe his eyes. There, a float or two ahead of him, five vampires had begun to prey on the small leprechauns. They screamed and screamed as some literally lost their heads. The vampires attacked without mercy, sucking the life blood out of their dieing victims.
At first, no one did anything. They could only watch the horrifying scene unfold. Then, a few of the firemen rushed forward, beating the vamps with their fists and whatever else they could find. Other people joined in, yelling with the fury and rage of a mother cat defending her kittens. The vampires left in a hurry, but the damage was done. Darrel blinked, a sickening feeling rising within him. There, in a pool of blood, lay the little clover girl.
"May I have your attention please?" Wilson spoke with a voice that held nothing of his previous confidence. The St. Joseph's basement got quiet. "Miss Elsa would like to say a few words." He stepped to the side to let the female vampire have enough room.
"I cannot express how deeply troubled I am by all of this." She sighed. No one spoke. "Those vampires, once caught, will receive the strictest of punishments, I can assure you. This is one act I will not stand for!" There was a pause. No one clapped, no one cheered. They only stared, their eyes sullen and, for some, hateful. Wilson watched her with an expression of disgust and loathing. Elsa, very aware of everyone's attitude, swallowed nervously. "A-and we will catch those traitors who are most certainly not considered among the true-"
"That will be enough, thank you Elsa." Wilson muttered. Then, suddenly, his eyes brightened. "Actually, I was wondering if I might invite you and every other vampire in Mablevile to a little get-together tomorrow afternoon."
"R-really?" She smiled hopefully.
"Absolutely! After all, what is one mishap compared to all the help you've given us? You know of the old brick building down by Brackner's farm, I presume?" She nodded and he laughed with all the merriment of a homicidal Santa Claus. "Very well! Gather your people in whatever way you choose. We will meet you all there once we get the proper arrangements, uh, arranged."
Darrel noticed very few people applauding. He himself only wanted to go home and sleep for the next five years. However, as everyone began to leave through the small doorway, something told him to stay. The room gradually grew less crowded, and he found he could get close enough to the stage to see Wilson talking in a hushed voice to a few other men. Elsa the vamp was gone. Wilson turned to notice him, and with the strangest smile, he beckoned him up onto the stage.
"You look like a clever fellow." He paused. "Are you a vampire?" Darrel shook his head, showing his teeth. "Very good! You see... me and a few of the others couldn't help but feel that the vampires might enjoy a few... fireworks at this new little party of theirs."
And so, the 'arrangements' were made. Wilson had no intention of letting any of the vampires forget that particular night. Guns, garlic, wooden stakes and holy water were brought together by all the highest members of HoV. Darrel was in charge of finding the most strategic places for bombs to be placed, as well as who got the biggest guns and stood up front. Surprisingly, he felt no remorse.
They didn't expect all of the vampires to attend; everyone only wanted to let them know just who they were messing with. It didn't matter that three of the five vampires had been caught and killed already. It didn't matter that those vamps had been a part of a terrorist group that wanted themselves to be the dominant race. It didn't matter how many times a vampire said it was 'sorry'. All there was left in the heart of Mablevile was the strong desire for revenge. Whether or not the vamps sensed it made little difference.
Over two thirds of the vampires in Mablevile attended. Any human left inside was to be labled as an unfortunate accident. There was no time to make sure absolutely everyone in there had pointy fangs. The doors were locked and the stage was set.
Inside, there was a moment of complete silence as the vampires realized the situation. Some scrambled to get out, while others howled with anger and destroyed furniture. Darrel pressed a button, and the building exploded. Limbs, torsos and heads rained down with the rubble, some still moving. A raging fire began to build up, and the firemen held it back, with hoses spraying holy water.
Vamps came running out, waving their arms wildly, some completely engulfed in flame. Wooden stakes were driven into the ones that got close enough. Everyone was wearing garlic around their necks. One vampire ran out and tackled a woman, ripping her to pieces as they were shot at. A chunk of building crushed a human as he laughed wildly at the scene.
Darrel stood calmly next to Wilson, the two joined in a strange bond. Something began to crawl towards them, though half of it's body was gone. It was Elsa, her eyes wide and pleading, her hand outstretched, begging for help. Wilson cocked his gun and pointed it at her head. She tried to speak, confusion and terror spelled out on her face.
"They were kids, Elsa." Wilson said. "Kids." He blew her head off.
Darrel watched her body crumple to the ground, and, suddenly, he wondered just how different humans and vampires really were from each other.
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