Asa did something she hadn’t done in days but felt like years – she ran. She disregarded her old method of day and miles as it now felt everything she knew was wrong. Her few words with Mr. Rogers eased her mind a bit only because she heard his voice. She couldn’t feel safe – at least not until she knew when the Old Man would strike.
She purposely ran through the locations that had lead her to this point. First, the parking lot where she had pissed off the Old Man. What had been a vacant was now bustling with cars and carts and customers, unknown to all the people there of the cries from the woman a few nights ago.
The innocent, the mindless, the people Asa protected so they could Shop n’ Save according to the sign that glimmered against the mid morning sun.
From there Asa ran all the alleys seeing in her mind the blood and dust from all the creatures killed. The thought of all the death on her hands and soul… started to weigh Asa down.
Then she noticed something up ahead, on the ground.
She stopped and stared. It was the same pulse as a vampire, except on the ground like a splatter of blood. For a second Asa looked around and if someone had been nearby she would have asked them if they saw the pulsing. There was nobody around, and even so Asa knew that nobody would see it.
The splatter kept pulsing. Asa stepped over it and with some sort of sixth sense kicking in, she looked around again – from the rooftops to the roots of trees. She waited for sets of eyes to appear.
Inside her voice said, not yet…
Asa walked, slow. Everything felt different. She felt enclosed, trapped, and worse yet, watched.
Ahead there was another pulsing splatter. There was more than before. Asa was drawn to it without hesitation. She saw another spot and another… and another. And at each one she walked marveling at the pulsing outline of the marks on the ground.
When Asa finally realized the trouble she was in she was walking aimlessly with her arms at her side staring at the ground…
Asa looked up, blinked, and realized two things.
First, it was definitely some kind of creature’s blood on the ground.
Two, it was put on the ground on purpose to lure her in.
A second later two figures stepped forward appearing a few feet away.
Big ones. Really big ones. They looked more of the type that would be fighting something bigger but what’s bigger than the best killer ever?
Even then, these sunwalkers looked different. There was something Asa couldn’t figure out.
She stood still trying to gain a sense of her surroundings. She hated to admit it but she was lost.
The sunwalkers laughed and one took another step. The creature rolled up its sleeves to reveal a cut on its forearm. The glowing of the blood on its arm matched the pulsing outline around the vampires. Asa couldn’t imagine sunwalkers being so creative like this. It wasn’t their nature. They were more known for showing up then killing. The element of their surprise was walking in the sun.
These ones were different so without thinking anymore into it, Asa stepped back trying to find a way out.
As she moved, the sunwalker walked to the blood and put his arm out.
“I should take this back… for strength…”
The blood began to shiver then it lifted into the air. It continued glowing as it floated through the air and went back into the wound of the vampire.
“That’s better,” it said.
Then the sunwalker motioned and all at once the rest of the blood spatters began to come back. As the splatters hit Asa they stung feeling like pieces of metal. She spun to dodge the best she could.
A few seconds later the blood was back, the wound healed, and the sunwalkers attacked.
Asa punched one in the face but as she spun with a kick the other creature grabbed her leg and wrestled her to the ground. She wasn’t used to that kind of strength from a sunwalker.
“Asa! Get out!”
Mr. Rogers came two seconds too late.
The other sunwalker joined its comrade and they held Asa down.
“Help me,” Asa whispered.
Mr. Rogers didn’t respond but she could sense him there, trying to figure something out.
The sunwalkers didn’t care. One held up a finger and a pointed nail grew. Then it cut Asa along her wrist, just enough to show trickles of blood.
“Asa, fight,” Mr. Rogers said.
“I can’t… they’re too strong…”
The sunwalkers laughed, mocking Asa. She felt the tickling feeling as her own blood ran down her arm. She tried to move her body but couldn’t as a deadly mix of weakness and fear crept into her.
One of the sunwalkers adjusted its position while the other opened its mouth. A set of glistening fangs appeared.
“Hungry…,” it whispered.
The first sunwalker turned Asa’s head and held it. She stared at a dying group of flowers, un-watered and neglected. Moments later she felt the chilly breath as the vampire moved closer. Of all her fights she never felt so vulnerable.
The creature put its fangs to Asa’s neck and pushed. Asa felt the uncomfortable sensation and the start of pain. She closed her eyes wondering how long it would take to die. Or what if they didn’t kill her, only just changed her? What if they turn her on the world she was supposed to protect?
The fangs began to burn like a fire on her neck.
Then they were gone. She opened her eyes to find the sunwalkers had let go. She sat up in a hurry and watched as their pulsing outlines walked away.
One turned… “He comes in six days. Your warning.”
Asa touched her neck and checked her fingers, no blood.
“Asa, I’m sorry… I didn’t know until it was too late…”
The fear in Mr. Roger’s voice was evident.
“Asa? Talk to me… are you okay?”
Asa could only reply with one word: “No.”
©2011 Jim Bronyaur
Jim’s site: www.jimbronyaur.com
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In the Corner, Jim Bronyaur’s novel, is available here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/s/ref=is_box_/177-9177525-5616338?k=Jim+Bronyaur+