Tag: Dark Fantasy

  • Collision Course – Part VII

    Edith lunged forward, poised to plunge the blade straight into Clara’s heart. Her eyes focused on the precise spot to strike at the expense of anything else. That is, until a blur of blazing orange materialised from out of the ether.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    “What the—” Edith said, questioning her eyes.

    The apparition gained definition in both shape and form, but the girl maintained a modicum of transparency. The red hair, freckles, and acolyte’s uniform were all clues to this interloper’s identity.

    “Carrots,” Clara tried to say, inducing a coughing fit that sprayed liberal amounts of blood over the pavement.

    Edith questioned her next step, and the why of this situation was her first thought on the matter. She had not summoned this child, nor was there a reason that she could think of. Doubt set in and infested her thoughts, much to Clara’s relief. Sadly, that coughing fit had been severe enough to render her unconscious.

    Angela’s lips moved, but she was unable to vocalise. Frustrated, the apparition closed her eyes, calmed down, and materialised fully into this world.

    “What in heaven’s name are you doing?” Angela questioned.

    “I’m fulfilling my mission,” Edith said bluntly. Her features then softened before adding, “So I can get back to you.”

    Angela smiled before wrapping her arms around her lover’s mid-section. Given their age difference, this looked more like a mother being reunited with her long lost daughter. Edith dropped the blade and lifted the child. That single moment of intimacy was enough to feel whole, wanted, and alive.

    “So,” Angela said. “You think that killing the greatest love of your life will bring you back to me?”

    Edith jerked her head back and blushed. She never thought it possible that Angela would defend Clara, let alone show a mastery of insight on matters that Edith had yet to admit to herself.

    Angela giggled and gave Edith a quick peck on the lips, “You really thought I knew nothing of this, or even suspected?”

    “How did you?” Edith asked.

    “For one, you summoned me from the grave to fetch Clara. You could have chosen anyone else, like say the Reverend Mother,” Angela replied.

    “And?” Edith urged the other to go on.

    “I saw you two during the war,” Angela said. “That woman saved your life and endangered her own when she left behind her great coat to keep you warm in the dead of winter.”

    Edith always figured that Angela had stayed within the confines of her own world. She never once questioned why Angela was able to recognise her after aging twenty-years. For this to make sense, Angela would have had to visit the overlook and keep an eye out for Edith.

    Angela knew the thoughts running through Edith’s mind and said, “Yes, I saw that.” She then giggled before adding, “I wanted you to be happy. So why complicate matters?”

    “That… I was aware, yes,” Edith replied.

    “Just like I knew that your vigils over the mortal realm were for more than sightseeing,” Angela countered.

    Angela squeezed Edith’s neck and kissed her cheek. The senior of the two did not notice any waning in affection or emotion. In fact, the opposite was true.

    “Besides, I saw Clara fall to the mortal realm around the same time you did,” Angela said with a nod. “Happened right after that shockwave hit us.”

    “You mean?” Edith asked.

    “That she was telling you the truth?” Angela asked to confirm. “Yes, Gabriel confirmed it for me. Although that wasn’t the biggest surprise.”

    “Oh?” Edith asked.

    Angela kissed Edith passionately before pushing herself away and landed on the pavement. She then walked over to Clara, placed her wrist against the wounded woman’s forehead, and shook her head. She then turned to look out towards the alley’s entrance. In the distance, there were signs of panic building in the park and that meant their time was growing short.

    “You were waiting for me when I got home,” Angela said with a straight face.

    “I was home?” Edith queried.

    Angela nodded, “The incarnation of you who never became an angel. The one who finally managed to find release from all of that duty and honour that haunted you in life.”

    There was another Edith out there which meant there could be two Claras as well. That did a lot to explain the remnant she found back in the apartment.

    “I know you don’t really get what’s going on,” Angela said.

    The sounds of people in a panic were growing more pronounced. Edith turned her head to investigate and saw streams of people fleeing the park.

    “Your destiny awaits,” Angela said while she pointed to the commotion in the park. “I’ll take care of Clara, just like I did for you. Remember? Now go!”

    Angela’s smile was warm and compelling. She remembered seeing that beautiful child, even through the delirium induced by a near fatal infection. All the while, the sense of panic out there continued to grow.

    “I love you!” Edith said before running into the chaos.

    “I love you too!” Angela said with a smile.

    In the back of her mind, Angela hoped that Elizabeth would get back here soon. Otherwise, Clara would not have long in this world.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Collision Course – Part VI

    “Stop. Wonderland Station,” the automated train chimed.

    Victoria opened her eyes for the second time. This time, she was comfortably seated on the padded leather seats of the train. The bright overhead lighting brought on a headache, an unfortunate side effect of waking up from a deep sleep.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    As pain radiated out from her temples and spiked through her corneas, Victoria closed her eyes to soften the blow. Alas, there would be no getting a pass; she would just need to get on with it.

    “It was all a dream then?” Victoria wondered.

    That scene with Evelyn had been so visceral, so real, that she would have bet her life on it being genuine. Evidence spoke to the contrary; this train and the memories of crawling out of that pit were just as tangible.

    “I need to tone down my imagination,” Victoria said.

    The notice came as the train began to slow down. Victoria saw the world come into focus as they slowed, and just ahead, there was a station.

    “Just like the one I left behind?” Victoria pondered while avoiding the difficult question lingering in the air.

    Victoria did not know how long she had been unconscious. Without that detail, there was no way of knowing how far they had travelled, nor how many stations, if any, they bypassed before now.

    “Wonderland,” Victoria questioned the name of the stop.

    After pulling up along a shiny terminal, the train came to a full stop. This time, Victoria had less trouble getting back on her feet.

    “Perhaps exhaustion would do me the favour of taking a back seat for now,” Victoria mumbled.

    She gave the train one last look before transitioning to the platform. If the name had not been announced, Victoria would have guessed they were back where she had left off. Every aspect of this station matched that of the chapel station: dimensions, colour, and building materials. Even the elevator door was the same, right down to the size and location.

    “This doesn’t help me figure out if any of this was real,” Victoria said, with a deep sigh.

    Victoria dragged her feet over to the elevator and pressed the golden button. While the button glowed softly, there were no whirrs or hums associated with an elevator coming to life.

    “What is this?” Victoria asked.

    The doors slid open noiselessly. Instead of an elevator car, Victoria had a direct view of the outside world. Admittedly, she found that hard to digest. How was it that the station’s structural elements were not visible?

    Just beyond the golden doors was an artist’s representation of Wonderland. Several notable characters were congregated around a mushroom. Alice sat atop the oversized fungus, which served as a table for the other characters. This landmark was the clue, an important point of reference to explain where she was.

    “But how?” Victoria asked.

    There were no buildings or structures near that landmark, nor anything above ground. Even though the sun hung low in the eastern sky, children were crawling all over the statue while parents watched. Meanwhile, tourists spent their time taking snapshots of the scene, all to create the illusion of a memorable trip.

    A couple was facing the doorway as they posed for a selfie. Victoria rolled her eyes at the spectacle, complete with fake smiles and choreographed pose. Now she found it hard not to add nausea to her list of ailments.

    “To appear happy and content for a fraction of a second,” Victoria said.

    The smiles momentarily disappeared from the couple’s faces. Their brows dropped and they looked at each other as though questioning their reality.

    “They heard me?” Victoria whispered. “They must have.”

    Excitement seeped into her weary bones. For the first time in recent memory, she was seeing an end to this ordeal.

    During her deliberations, the couple picked up from where they left off. They looked so artificially happy, their smiles large and inviting. They remained in that pose until Victoria walked through the gateway, appearing out of thin air.

    Their smiles evaporated, replaced by gaping mouths and glassy eyes. Victoria had seen this many times before in her horror movies. This was the look of dread, one which would be invariably followed by a blood curdling scream.

    Before Victoria had a chance to calm the couple, the phone was already plunging towards the ground. Just then, a child caught sight of Victoria and immediately began to shower the lawn with tears. The child’s mother turned to investigate and, upon setting eyes on her child and what stood in the background, shrieked in horror. The sound was so powerful that it rang out into the park.

    “That’s going to draw unnecessary attention,” Victoria muttered.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Collision Course – Part V

    There was a dull rumble that permeated the atmosphere. The sound was so pervasive that it blocked out everything else. When Victoria awoke, the noise faded into the background, leaving her to wonder what was going on.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    It took a great deal of effort, but Victoria managed to pry her eyes open. She found herself sitting on a wooden bench in a train station, surrounded by a world devoid of colour. This was oddly familiar, reminding her of a scene featured in a movie produced well before her time.

    Victoria forced herself from the bench using her weary arms for leverage and explored. The tracks were well maintained from what she could see, since the dim glow from the gaslight was quickly swallowed up by the night. Above, she saw the stars shimmer, dancing in that wave of distortion.

    She was momentarily mesmerised by the dancing flame, reminding her of the fire she kept going back home. In a way, it was her kindest critic, the one who cheerfully burned away the worst of her work, never judging or critical.

    Victoria snapped back into reality when the sky illuminated with lightning. Two separate discharges of energy made the ground tremble, generating a rumble so loud that Victoria hoped her ear drums would not burst.

    Victoria collapsed onto the bench and held her hands against her ears. That seemed to help, minimally, but a small part of her questioned why each instance of thunder produced a distinctive musical note.

    The sky lit up again, creating another spectacular light show, one that displayed a wide range of colours. This time, every flash of light corresponded to a sound, and Victoria needed time to realise that these sounds formed vowels, which, in turn, became recognisable words.

    “Next,” the sky rumbled.

    While the words echoed between the buildings, Victoria’s mind struggled to process all of this stimuli. The situation was more like a memory than a dream. In addition to the sights and sounds, she could smell and feel the rough surface of the bench. Never had a dream been this vivid, and she thanked God that this was the exception rather than the rule.

    “Next?” Victoria asked. “What possible meaning could that word have?”

    There was an infinite number of combinations that could include that word. Her mind struggled to find common phrases or sentences but came up empty. Exhaustion was her constant companion now, one she would rather do without. She wanted nothing more than to put her head down for a while. Would that do her any good in this environment?

    Victoria sensed that the wind was beginning to pick up. Clouds began to form into a funnel cloud, one large enough to encompass the entire sky. Victoria searched for cover but realised there was nothing suitable to weather a storm of this magnitude.

    This time, when the sky lit up, the lights were so powerful that Victoria was blinded. She shut her eyes as hard as she could but still saw red filtering through her eyelids.

    “Is this the end?” Victoria wondered.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Collision Course – Part IV

    Clara had been expecting trouble, so when someone yelled from above, her reaction was imperceptible although immediate. She sensed time slow down. The yelling morphed until the voice was deep and slow, more fitting of an opera hall than a dingy alleyway.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    She turned around at what would appear to be a normal speed. Her eyes darted over every aspect of the alleyway, searching for ingress points and any object that could aid or hinder her.

    Clara could have sworn that it was Edith who uttered those words, yet she had never known Edith to unload that kind of vitriol towards anyone. This woman was always cool as ice, not a swirling maelstrom of hate.

    After the poisoned words faded, Clara was almost fully in line with the alley. From out of her peripheral vision, she spotted a window shatter which sent glass shards flying in every direction, just like a grenade going off. However, that was the least of her worries, since there was an angel of fury descending on her.

    Edith’s trajectory was in line to impact both Clara and Elizabeth. While Clara could weather such a blow, her friend, no matter how imposing, was ill equipped to do so. That meant Clara would need to deflect the attack, and so far, her accelerated reaction times would help to stack the odds in her favour. Clara pivoted towards the street using her wings to back off a couple of feet before adopting a runners starting position. She kept her eyes fixed on Edith who was just beginning to realise what was going on.

    “Too late,” Clara said while using her wings to jump start into a run.

    The two women made contact half-way through the alley. Clara managed to deflect Edith enough to send her into a dumpster. The metal deformed on impact and drove the refuse bin into the wall.

    On the other hand, Clara was not so lucky. She aimed a bit low, so the force of the deflection sent her straight into the sidewalk. The impact scraped her bare arms and left a golden streak on the sidewalk. Later on, the full force of that pain would make itself known, but for now, there were other priorities.

    After several bounces on the sidewalk, Clara regained her footing and said, “Di mi! Have you been kicking the gong around?”

    The altercation caught the attention of a passer-by who noticed the wings in addition to the carnage. Sensing his fifteen minutes of fame, he pulled out his phone and began to stream the altercation online.

    Edith pulled herself away from her crater. She ignored Elizabeth, focusing all of that pent up anger on Clara who was standing twenty yards down the line.

    “I don’t talk to traitors,” Edith said while her wings brushed off the dust from her dress.

    “Traitor, now?” Clara queried with a smirk.

    Clara had used up her abilities for now. Edith, however, had yet to use that skill. Clara saw the other angel shift unnaturally, and just reacted.

    Before she knew it, two throwing knives whizzed by her chest. It turned out there were advantages to having breasts that were not as bountiful as Elizabeth’s. Anything bigger would have left a visible mark and slowed her down, in more ways than one. While pain could be ignored, it reduced her effectiveness bit by bit.

    Clara reached toward her back, grabbed the shotgun, and brought it forward. While she had no desire to pull the trigger, still, it paid to make a show of force. A gal had to look out for herself after all.

    Edith remained accelerated and kicked the shotgun barrel up in the air. That shot managed to draw in a larger crowd of spectators. Clara had kept a solid grasp of the weapon until this happened, but at that speed, it was difficult to compensate. The price of holding on meant spraining her dominant wrist.

    “Horsefeathers!” Clara yelled as she backed away.

    Somehow, her opponent could remain accelerated for longer periods than Clara. To compensate, Clara slowed down time just a smidge, but even that was pushing her limits. Still, it made anticipating her opponent’s movements easier.

    Now, when Edith attacked, Clara’s boot made solid contact with the former’s chest. The reaction was immediate and forced Edith to return to normal speed. The hit struck her in the sternum and left her winded, although temporarily.

    Clara had a mild advantage, but that would not last. On instinct, Clara sent the spent shells through the air and used the opportunity to insert fresh ammunition. Once more, she trained the weapon on Edith and remained calm even as the barrel drifted, a side effect of steadying the weapon with a weakened wrist.

    “Not going to answer my question?” Clara asked.

    Edith looked up, her eyes burning with hate. There was nothing left of the woman Clara knew reflected in those eyes. No matter what was said, those words would never reach a reasoned mind.

    “Or would it be better for me to ask why?” Clara asked. “I am starting to understand why men hate getting that line,” she added before adopting a wide grin.

    Edith was a formidable sparring partner at the best of times. Her cold and calculating nature meant that every strike and parry were part of a grand plan. Most were able to think a move or two ahead, but Edith was more like a grandmaster when it came to hand to hand combat.

    Clara did not stand a chance in a fair fight, but her impulsive behaviour often served to add some spice to the chaos. That tactic might end up being her ticket out of this.

    “Elizabeth,” Clara said. “It’s time for you to leave.”

    Elizabeth’s head popped out from one of the dumpsters. When she saw what looked to be a standoff, she figured it was best to follow directions. Clara opened up her wings to their full size in an effort to conceal the escape. While ineffective, it did serve as a distraction.

    When Edith twitched, Clara rested her fingers on both triggers. The sound of the trigger mechanism being engaged, even lightly, was enough to change her opponents mind. Alas, Clara knew this détente would not hold for long.

    “Thank you,” Elizabeth said as she slipped away.

    Clara did not respond and instead kept her eyes focused on the other, the one who had been called down from Heaven in some alternate decision path, a reality where Clara had not been there at a critical junction for Edith.

    “How did you get your wings?” Clara asked, showing genuine curiosity.

    Edith flinched for a moment, conflicted on her course of action. Still, she chose to play along and replied, “I killed Drusilla.”

    Clara quirked a brow before replying, “You too, eh?”

    “Liar!” Edith yelled.

    “How do you think I got these?” Clara said, wiggling her wings.

    “By fucking that vampire,” Edith said.

    “One of them with wings?” Clara asked while cocking her head to the side. “Really?”

    Reason and logic were known to have some sway with the rational version of Edith. The latter took one look at those wings and chose to make a play for the weapon.

    Clara kept her grip on the weapon, but the sprain made her wince. She should have fired a shot, but could not bring herself to pull the trigger. Instead, Edith gripped the weapon from both sides and, through brute force, sheared off the barrel assembly.

    Clara backed away and made sure to block the alley entrance. She wanted to make sure that no one else got in the way of Edith’s wrath.

    “I loved you,” Edith said faintly.

    Clara’s eyes widened. In truth, she had known for years but never expected to hear those words. The effect of that revelation might have been weakened by this tempest of dark emotions, but it did much to lift Clara’s spirits.

    “I know,” Clara said in a cocky tone.

    That quip hit a raw nerve. Edith literally snarled and in a burst of speed, sent Clara flying into one of the dumpsters. The impact was hard, but it was the steel lid that slammed onto her left wing that really hurt.

    Clara realised that she had fractures to deal with. Her wing drooped unnaturally at the midway point, and every time she shifted, pain travelled down all the way to her toes.

    “What?” Clara asked. “How are you even surprised?”

    “You never said anything,” Edith replied.

    “Do you think I was blind to how you looked at me when we were together?” Clara asked. “I fell in love with you the day Sister Beatrice did that strip tease in class!”

    “Then why?” Edith trailed off, her eyes softened.

    “Because they would have kept us apart, and they would have assigned me another partner,” Clara said while forcing her wing closed and wincing at the excruciating pain.

    “You left me,” Edith said.

    Clara knew that was not the whole truth. It was the Reverend Mother who assigned Clara a new mission and left Edith behind as a reprimand for nearly getting them killed. How could she broach that subject without unearthing any uncomfortable truths?

    “The Reverend Mother made that call,” Clara said while massaging her wing back into shape.

    “You never came back,” Edith said.

    “True,” Clara said. “Did you bother to tell me that you left the order?”

    “How do you know about that?” Edith asked while wiping tears from her face.

    “I met you right before heading off to the Grand,” Clara said. “You’d just lost your… lover… and were devastated.”

    “You were never there!” Edith yelled out of disbelief.

    “And yet here we are, sent to Earth on a mission by Gab—,” Clara said.

    “Gabriel,” Edith finished.

    Clara nodded and smiled, hoping that Edith was letting down the wall she had built up over the decades. Despite that, Clara kept her pistol at the ready, knowing that she could not afford to hesitate. A broken wing could heal, but a well-placed strike would end her.

    “Did you land in all of your glory?” Clara asked. “Or did you come to Earth looking as though you just rolled off the red carpet?”

    Edith snickered and a weak smile appeared on her lips. Perhaps things were about to settle? So why was Clara still uneasy about the situation?

    Clara thought back to the last time she saw laid eyes on that smile. Her friend had been an emotional mess back then too. She must have spent hours consoling a distraught Edith that day and another week in Mexico to make sure she pulled through.

    In Edith’s reality, they never crossed paths after being separated at the Tower. Did that mean there was a vampiric doppelgänger on the loose? The thought led Clara to wonder how that reunion would end up.

    “I’m sorry,” Clara said. “I really should have made an attempt to stay in touch.”

    Edith looked at her friend while streams of tears ran over her red cheeks. In the background, they heard a collective disappointment. Now that the worst appeared over, people were expressing their displeasure at reaching a peaceful resolution.

    “So, you didn’t betray me?” Edith asked.

    Clara smiled and opened up her arms, “Of course not. Why would I do that to you?”

    Edith seemed to hesitate while her mind struggled to come to terms with these revelations. Hunters were trained to deal with the unknown, but this was pushing it.

    Eventually Edith moved in closer, opened her arms, and embraced the other in a hug. Even through the leather, Clara was warm, welcoming and enticing.

    Play with your berry patch,” Clara had said.

    Edith’s grip tightened. She reached out and grabbed the wounded wing to grind bone against bone. As waves of pain washed over Clara, she broke free and recoiled in agony. That move left her exposed, so Edith exploited the opportunity by plunging her blade into Clara’s chest.

    “Your days of manipulating me are over,” Edith spat.

    Clara crumpled to the ground. A lung had collapsed and the cavity began to fill with blood. To hold on, she kept her breathing shallow, but it would not take long for her condition to worsen. When she tried to speak, all that came out was golden blood.

    Edith towered over the wounded Clara, all the while wearing a sick smile. In her mind, Clara had been her mission all along, and severing all ties with this traitor would get her back home. Right now, all she could think of was how much she needed that to happen.

    Edith grabbed another knife; her knuckles went white around the handle. For a moment, doubt crept into her mind, but that voice was quickly drowned out. She raised her hand, ready to strike, believing this blade would be her coup de grâce.

    “No!” Elizabeth exclaimed.

    Edith ignored the woman. In a way, this was an act of charity. Clara would be denied the chance to use that tramp as a sex toy.

    “How dare you try to shift the blame!” Edith shouted.

    Just as Edith was about to strike, a shot rang out, but the round flew low and ricocheted off the pavement. Elizabeth stood at the mouth of the alley, her hands shaking, eyes wide. Clearly, this woman was shocked that the shot had gone off.

    Edith didn’t particularly care. Given the range and the shooter’s experience, there was little to no chance of getting a hit. She ignored a second shot that rang out, sure of her invincibility.

    Again, she went in for a strike, just as another series of shots rang out. This time, one of the projectiles flew true. The bullet, however, did not hit home since a wing shifted on instinct to deflect the shot.

    Edith turned to glare down the alley entrance. Her narrow eyes, tense jaw, and white lips were clear signs that she was fuming. She watched the crowd melt away until all that was left was the original passer-by and his phone.

    When this man came to the realisation that he was the only one left to contend with her wrath, he smiled uncomfortably and disappeared around the corner. In the meantime, Elizabeth sped off into the unknown, a passenger of some nondescript cab.

    Clara was nearly unresponsive by then. The golden blood that pooled around the blade was turning a dull red over time. By that point, she was not in any shape to put up much of a fight.

    Edith turned back to face her former friend, the fire in her eyes rekindled, looking more like windows into the seventh layer of hell. Clara struggled to keep her eyes open. She wanted to face her death, show a bit of dignity, but not all wishes were meant to be.

    “Teach you to play with her nethers,” Edith said, and this time, there was no earthly force that would distract her.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Collision Course – Part III

    “Light,” Edith murmured, and opened her eyes.

    The world was marred by a haze as it often is when waking up from a deep sleep. When she looked up, the crater caused by her impact came into focus. The visible internal structure of the wall, followed by cracked brick, made her shudder.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    The room was bathed in a dull light which provided more detail but did nothing to convince her there was something important here. Nothing that required her—

    A loud moan caused Edith’s ears to perk up. She sat up straight without trouble and flexed her wings to confirm that everything was healed. Certain that she was back to full fighting force, Edith stood up. Her eyes lingered on the sight of the hallway and adjoining living room, just to make sure that this spectre was not going to interfere.

    When satisfied, she navigated around the ejecta and bed. Before walking up to the window, Edith noticed that a pane was broken. However, the hole was much smaller than expected, and the lack of debris implied it had been cleaned up well before she showed up.

    From the corner of her eye, Edith spotted some movement. Her eyes immediately focused on a tall woman of mixed ethnicity. Even from this distance, the traits that made her a knockout were easily discerned. The fact that this woman had an imposing height, only made her all the more attractive, since that was a trait Edith found alluring.

    As her eyes lingered on the details of those lips, Edith noticed someone moving below. Even though the other gal was on her knees, the silhouette was unmistakable. Edith had spent far too many hours running over the details of that toned figure, petite stature, and elfin-ears, to mistake Clara for anyone else. Although, she did have to admit the black wings were new.

    “You bitch!” Edith exclaimed. “How could you betray me like that?”

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Collision Course – Part II

    Play with your berry patch,” Clara said from out of the shadows.

    Edith unsuccessfully sought out the source of those words. The world before her was pale and grey, an existence devoid of detail. She associated this place with a poorly drawn out sketch and wondered if this was all part of a dream.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    That would not have been the first time she woke up in a dream state. Most of the hunters she knew were able to manipulate their dreamworlds as they saw fit, so Edith was deeply disappointed that this was the best she could come up with.

    To test her hypothesis, Edith focused her thoughts and observed the world transition from a pale imitation, to a place filled with vivid colour and detail, confirming that she was the master of this domain. Not bad for a gal who had not slept in almost a century.

    “So why am I dreaming?” Edith asked herself.

    The world morphed in response to her query. She was faced with a scene devoid of light, a dark room that lacked any details. The scene was distinctly familiar, but her conscious mind was not fully in control.

    Up ahead, there was another version of herself, the well-dressed flapper who looked like she had just come out of the hen coop. Edith walked around her avatar, taking in the scene, and noted that her copy was observing something down the hallway. Seeing that spectre made her flinch, just in time to witness the powerful transfer of energy that launched her copy into the wall.

    The sight of that impact brought back a dull memory of the pain, none of which was reflected in her current state of being. Edith had never thought about this incarnation’s ability to heal, let alone if it happened at an accelerated rate.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Collision Course – Part I

    “So that’s it?” Clara asked.

    Elizabeth nodded, Clara began taking in the building’s details. The first thing she noticed was the presence of a doorman who kept a vigil over the entrance. Still, she had to assume there were cameras or other forms of security. With a bit of thought, she could get past the doorman, but that might risk exposure.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    The last thing she needed was to draw in a swarm of constabulary. Clara was armed with what were sure to be illegal heaters, and the shotgun had a sawed off barrel. While it lost all effectiveness at range, it would do a number in close quarters.

    She shifted her wings, not accustomed to keeping them constrained for so long. While annoying, it was either that or cause a small panic once people realised that her wings were not props.

    Then she noticed the building was surrounded by alleys which meant there were fire escapes. The hunter smirked as a naughty little thought came across her mind.

    “You mentioned a broken window?” Clara asked.

    Elizabeth turned to face Clara before saying, “Oh yeah. Just down that alley.”

    The alley was big enough to accommodate two way traffic and was filled with large trash bins. At this time of day, the sunshine was on the other side of the building which meant this side was well shaded and would have ample cover when breaking into the apartment.

    “You’re sure?” Clara pressed.

    “Yep,” Elizabeth replied, her voice remaining calm and steady.

    “Good,” Clara said. “Have you ever used a peashooter?”

    Elizabeth’s eyes betrayed the confusion she had over this terminology. Fortunately, some long lost memory of a gangster movie rushed to the forefront of her mind and filled in the blanks.

    Clara was not sure if Elizabeth knew how to handle a weapon. She supposed the use of armaments did not come naturally to social workers. Although, technically Clara had been a nun, and that never stopped her from being trained to use a wide gamut of weapons.

    Clara smiled and spread out her arms inviting the other for a hug. When Elizabeth moved in to reciprocate, Clara slipped a pistol between them. It was obvious to the recipient that this was not the first time such an exchange took place.

    Right before Clara pulled away, she got on the tips of her toes and whispered into Elizabeth’s ear, “Clip is in, round is chambered, and there is no safety. Just squeeze on the trigger, and it will fire. But remember that the first shot will need a tighter squeeze.”

    Before Elizabeth could ask, Clara kissed her directly on the lips. Despite this being nothing more than for show, there was a lot of passion behind the act.

    “Not now,” Clara said as she pulled away. “Save it for the bedroom,” she added, while a uniformed police officer passed nearby.

    Once the officer moved out of sight, Clara grabbed the other by the hand, jaywalked across the street, and stopped just at the threshold of the alley. She then pushed Elizabeth against the wall with just enough force to make passers-by take notice.

    “I want you,” Clara said. “I can’t wait for us to get home,” she added with a wink, pointing suggestively toward the alley.

    Wry smiles on the faces of several passersbys hinted that they got the idea. Elizabeth did not initially make the connection, and memories of this morning in the bathroom only served to cloud the issue. Still, once everything came into focus, the suggestion made her face turn a bright red.

    Clara did not wait for an answer. She chuckled, smiled, and headed off into the alley. Elizabeth, led by her arm, followed her guardian angel.

    They ventured deeper into the alley until they came across a cluster of dumpsters. Clara hauled Elizabeth off to the side and leaned in for a kiss which permitted her to disappear from sight.

    “Keep your eyes mostly closed and pretend that I’m undoing your pants,” Clara said. “Then act like I’m about to play with your berry patch.”

    Elizabeth played the game well since she was no stranger to faking sexual gratification. She looked down both sides of the alleyway and saw nothing more than foot traffic. How fortunate that one person lingered in the hopes of catching some of the show.

    When Clara dropped to her knees, Elizabeth feigned surprise and closed her eyes until all she saw were silhouettes. As though a lover was actually between her legs, Elizabeth pushed her head back letting out a deep, contented sigh.

    Clara had been busy stowing away her jacket in order to release her wings, but when that sound registered, she became inexplicably aroused.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Luck of the Irish – Part III

    Evelyn hated riding in the boot of a car. Every bump or hard turn tossed her around the compartment like a rag doll. Still, this option was far better than making a run through the sewer system or waiting in that bar for someone to come sniffing around.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    When the car stopped, probably for a red light, her phone chimed. The imp checked her notifications and smiled. Evelyn hated having to wait to repay her debts because that meant someone had leverage over her. That had been a common thread throughout her life, and the last thing she needed was for that habit to start up again after death.

    “I’m ready to hit it on all sixes, and make this my declaration of independence,” Evelyn replied with a giggle.

    * * * *

    “Evelyn says that she is ready to give it her all to repay her debt,” Clara said.

    Elizabeth quirked a brow. How in the world could Evelyn’s sentence equate to that? Nevertheless they clearly managed to establish a line of communication. Just in time, too, because the phone’s battery was draining fast.

    “Now, I want you to ask her this,” Clara said.

    Clara noticed that the waitress was hovering nearby, so she leaned over the table and whispered the rest into Elizabeth’s ear, all the while giving her friend an eyeful.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Luck of the Irish – Part II

    Clara and Elizabeth sat facing one another in a booth while waiting for their order to arrive. This was an old style diner, one mostly found during the Second World War. This place featured a central counter, kitchen behind the back wall, and booths on the outside, adjacent to wrap-around windows.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    Clara was suspicious of the black liquid in her cup. Despite having a bowl full of sugar packets and cream, she doubted that this concoction would rival last night’s drink. Meanwhile, Elizabeth was dividing her time between her phone and whatever odd quirk that this blast from the past dredged up. She was tempted to ask about her love/hate relationship with the coffee but preferred to witness it first-hand.

    This morning, Elizabeth was not getting any enjoyment from catching up on the endless notifications she had amassed since her last check-in. Normally she would have loved to catch up on what her family and friends were posting on Bealzabook and Twitcher, but last night’s events made that all seem inconsequential.

    Nonetheless, she quickly responded to her closest friends and ignored the rest. Elizabeth found it odd that there were no notifications from her wife, although being on tour meant she was always in transit or performing. Before putting down the phone, she scrolled through her apps. There was a nagging sense that there was something she needed to do, but could not remember what.

    Meanwhile, Clara picked up the mug of coffee, swirling the contents as though they would crawl out of the cup like some lovecraftian creature. Once assured that the beverage was safe, she took a cautious sip. The reaction was both immediate and comical, doubly so coming from a woman old enough to be Elizabeth’s great-grandmother. This scene reminded her of a child tasting something bitter for the first time.

    “Tastes like this coffee has been burning over a flame all night,” Clara said. She then eyed the sugar packets and said, “So, teaspoons of sugar are now individually packaged and sealed?”

    Once the words registered, Elizabeth snapped out of her recursive loop. She then looked at the bowl of packets and chuckled.

    “Yeah,” Elizabeth replied. “Why do you ask?”

    “Well… Isn’t it wasteful?” Clara mused while tearing apart four packets.

    Elizabeth was about to explain how they were not all sugar, but that was a lesson better saved for later. Although, she did wonder if Clara would notice the taste of artificial sweeteners.

    “People can take packets with them when the order is to go, it is cleaner, and saves them having to refill the dispensers,” Elizabeth said. “Besides, the paper can be recycled.”

    Clara shrugged, taking a sip, and this time, her reaction was more subdued. Another four packets were sacrificed in an attempt to make this swill safe for human consumption. When she finished pouring in the sugar, she stirred the concoction and eyed the mound of paper.

    “All of that waste for sugar,” Clara sighed, and eyed the creamer. “Are those recyclable too?”

    Elizabeth was about to say something, but spotted something on the television. Despite the volume being muted, she managed to infer enough from the news headline and associated pictures to know what was going on.

    “Before we came here, you mentioned something about reality being shattered?” Elizabeth asked.

    “Ab-so-lutely,” Clara said unfazed by the change in subject.

    Elizabeth ran a search on her phone to confirm her suspicions. On her first attempt, she found a relevant Wiki page in addition to several news sites that were covering the story. Every page echoed what she saw and confirmed that Victoria’s parents were back from the dead.

    “What did Hecate say?” Elizabeth asked.

    Clara grabbed a creamer and shook it, unsure if it was worth a try. All the while, she mulled over her conversation with Hecate in an attempt to refine her summary.

    “When I died, Saint Peter talked about the chances of my becoming a goddess had I taken her up on the offer. He also mentioned that I could have ended up a chew toy for making the same deal,” Clara said.

    “Why the lack of certainty?” Elizabeth asked.

    Clara smiled while she pulled off the lid and sniffed the contents of the creamer, “He told me that our ability to choose throws a kink in determining the future.”

    “So our actions are not?” Elizabeth began to ask, but could not think of the word.

    “Predestined?” Clara said to confirm the other’s question. “No. Ultimately, every choice we make has an effect on how the world turns out,” she added while pouring in the cream.

    “How was it shattered?” Elizabeth asked.

    The milky white vortex in a sea of black was eventually stirred to a consistent tone of brown. Clara took a sip and paused, wondering if she could come to terms with her coffee.

    “An experiment designed to alter outcomes,” Clara said while deciding on the fate of this so-called coffee. “Instead of altering a key choice in history, they ended up resurrecting alternate timelines and merging them with our own.”

    “So…” Elizabeth said. “People who were declared dead years ago could be walking the earth unaware of their deaths?”

    Clara took another sip. While no amount of sugar and cream would make this a great cup, she decided that it would do.

    “A bit specific there,” Clara said with a grin.

    “I saw them after you saved me,” Elizabeth replied. “I thought they were ghosts, but every major news network is covering that story, in addition to related news bites.”

    Clara was about to ask, but she was reminded of another lingering priority. She casually retrieved the absconded phone from the inside pocket of her coat and tossed it at Elizabeth.

    “Can you reach Evelyn on that thing?” Clara asked.

    Elizabeth tapped on the screen and noted that it was in power save mode since it had an eight percent charge. Despite having a charger on hand, the cable she had was incompatible with this particular model.

    She ran through the contact lists line by line, discounting entries that were obviously from the previous owner. Elizabeth then skipped over any numbers that were out of state. That helped to eliminate most of the entries except for Firecracker.

    “Figures,” Elizabeth said. “She probably figured you wouldn’t be the one using this phone.”

    Clara laughed before saying, “Girl from the reign of the Sun King assumes that a gal from the Roaring Twenties is going to have trouble adjusting to modern technology. Smart cookie.”

    Elizabeth had never stopped to consider just how old her ex was. Once she put two and two together, she no longer questioned why Evelyn had been the best lay of her life.

    “Yes, she is,” Elizabeth said. She clicked on the contact to open the messenger app, then looked up to ask, “So what is it that you want me to say?”

    Clara leaned forward and said, “Tell her that I don’t want to be a dingle dangler, but I know who caused this off-time jive, and I’m curious if she’s interested in giving them the electric cure.”

    Elizabeth’s eyes went wide and vacant. Clara snickered, since she expected that particular level of confusion.

    “Relax. Write it out as I say it, so Evelyn will know that these messages are from me,” Clara said with a wink.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • Luck of the Irish – Part I

    If Evelyn excelled at anything, it was exploiting the deprived minds of men. There was nothing so simple or basic as the male libido, the proverbial triangle in a symphony music orchestra. Thus, any woman skilled in the pleasures of the flesh could enchant, manipulate and hunt men with impunity.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    Most of her kind maintained some sort of connection to the living world. While Evelyn had wholeheartedly embraced the life of an artist, there was profit and power to be gained from the world’s oldest profession. In her day, Evelyn’s madam made it known to her girls that the thirst of men was not easily quenched.

    Evelyn kept a network of girls around the city, a select few who were both well compensated and protected. Any man who dared to harm a hair on those girls ended up a headline on the evening news. Evelyn was as beautiful as she was cruel and took great pleasure in making an example of such vermin.

    While the women turned a nice profit, that paled in comparison to the intelligence they collected. A select set of pictures, an occasional videotape, or even the existence of an illegitimate child, gave Evelyn ample leverage to guarantee her the freedom to indulge.

    Tonight, her network gave her with a hot tip. A gang from the Irish mob were celebrating their recent expansion. These monsters had graduated from drugs and racketeering to human trafficking and prostitution, the latter being somewhat of a trigger for Evelyn.

    Since she needed a fresh group of blood donors tonight, her choice became obvious. Directions were passed down to the girls to keep away from their pub, the one currently closed for a private engagement. That final detail is what really sold her on this course of action.

    Evelyn looked over the dilapidated two story structure. The slotted windows were high enough to take in natural light but kept any casual onlookers from looking in. The bar was a blight on this upscale neighbourhood, and Evelyn questioned how she missed this eyesore before.

    This had been a long evening for Evelyn. The altercation with that hunter and her wounded companion left her drained. Her dress was torn, she had a burned wrist and was missing a patch of skin, and there was a gouge on her leg.

    Nonetheless, she still possessed attributes that men fell for, a tight hourglass shape, green eyes, long silky hair, an enchanting voice, and a smile that suggested so much. She would wield these like weapons, long enough to get a taste of blood, and then the party would start.

    Even from outside, Evelyn heard the jukebox booming. The men were already loud and inebriated, meaning they were busy depleting the bar’s reserves. Inebriated guests always complicated matters, adding an element of chance to the hunt. Evelyn smiled at the prospect. After all, what was life without the occasional challenge?

    As per instructions, Evelyn walked up to the front door and knocked. Given the music and energy in the room, it was not surprising that there was no answer. So Evelyn slammed the door using the hand that was missing a layer of epidermis. Pain immediately flushed through her mind, and she clenched her jaw in frustration, the bulging muscles visible through the skin.

    This time, the door opened and a burly tattooed goon looked out into the alley. His eyes drifted from head to toe, sizing her up like a piece of meat.

    “Yeah?” the goon asked.

    Evelyn did not say a word. Instead, she opened up her coat, revealing her figure and cleavage. The smile she wore told him all he needed: this was a woman who could push him to the very limits of ecstasy. It also shifted the focus away from her hands which she crossed behind her back to bring her chest forward.

    Once the fantasy poisoned his brain, she sensed every element of his arousal. His heart raced, breathing grew shallow, and eyes dilated. Even the goon’s penis grew erect, pushing against the confines of his underwear, a sign that his primitive male brain was now fully in control.

    “Hey boys!” The goon said as he stepped aside. “The entertainment’s here!”

    The crowd went wild at the mere mention of willing flesh entering the bar. The odours of booze, vomit, and sweat were more pronounced than anticipated. Now that the game was afoot, Evelyn’s suggestive smile transitioned to a smirk.

    “What’s your name, lass?” one of the men asked.

    Evelyn giggled, every tone musical and haunting. Immediately, she noticed that a few men simmered down as their ears perked up. Sure they were all looking at the fresh meat, but these were the ones who were more susceptible to her charms. Still, there was more work to be done to shift the odds.

    “Branna,” Evelyn said in a husky voice.

    “Funny. You don’t look Irish,” a man from the corner said.

    Evelyn took one look at him and guessed this would be the wild card. He showed no signs of being spifflicated and his heart rate and breathing were normal. Besides, the way he looked at the bartender implied that her charms would get her nowhere.

    “Really, boyo,” Evelyn said while mimicking the accent perfectly. “The name means dark haired beauty.”

    Despite these being members of the Irish mob, many had grown up locally and would not have known that. Fortunately, Evelyn dated many an Irish lass in her time. One of the older members broke out in laughter which percolated through to the rest of the crowd, all except for that well-dressed man in the corner. Evelyn wondered how the others would react if details of his carnal appetites were known.

    Evelyn scanned the room and made out certain key features. There was a lighting panel behind the bar; bathrooms and a back door were located unimaginably to the rear. She also noticed a pool table with an unfinished game. All told, there were about a dozen men in total, all of them armed, not to mention the heavy weapon she assumed was hidden behind the bar.

    Evelyn let her coat slip off her shoulders and onto her arms. The tight black dress she wore was torn, but that was an easy detail to overlook. Besides, it exposed her bare shoulders, and put her tits on display, the soft fabric hugging her like a lover’s embrace.

    She sauntered over to the jukebox, then swiped the chord with her foot. The speakers instantly cut out, but it took a moment for the lights and associated display to dim.

    Evelyn giggled to focus the men on her, smirked and began singing Mo Ghile Mear, a song that brought forth fond memories. The year that song came out had been rather eventful, and she remembered every word to this day.

    The musical tones of her voice were enchanting, and she noted that half of the room was focused on her. Many of the others were beginning to calm down, lowering their guard with every note. Of course, the well-dressed man was uninterested and appeared to be a bit bored.

    The imp swayed her hips alluringly as she sauntered over to the pool table. The two at the table stepped out of the way. Evelyn then twirled around to face the bar. In a slow and deliberate show of flexibility, she curved her back until it lay flat against the table, and picked up a pool ball in each hand. In another attempt at subterfuge, she rose her good leg into the air which hiked up her dress more than enough to give the boys an unobstructed view of her bare slit.

    Despite the show, there were only a couple of hoots. The rest were now entirely under her spell which put the odds in her favour.

    Without a care, she left behind her coat, exposing her arms for the world to see. While making her way to the one who would never yield, she sang her favourite verse.

    Gile mear sa seal faoi chumha,” Evelyn sang.

    In the background, she heard one of the hooters say, “Hey! What’s wrong with her arm?”

    Gus Éire go léir faoi chlocaí dhubha,” Evelyn sang while her outstretched arms moved her forward.

    By now, the well-dressed man had caught the look of confusion on the face of the guy who spotted the wounded arms. That’s when he noticed the visible bone, sinew and muscle. At first, there was confusion, but that was temporary. The cloud of uncertainty would soon dissipate.

    Suan ná séan ní bhfuaireas féin,” Evelyn sang as her suggestive smile faded into a smirk.

    “—the fuck!” the well-dress man exclaimed.

    Evelyn did not change her rate of advance or alter her demeanour. Between words, an impish smirk appeared, one that made it clear that the fun was about to begin.

    Ó luadh i gcéin mo ghile mear,” Evelyn added.

    The well-dressed man reached for his piece holstered under his sports jacket. Evelyn was ready. She covered the remaining five feet in the blink of an eye. Before his hands reached the weapon, the imp drove one of the pool balls into his mouth. The strength and viciousness of the act was enough to shatter his teeth and lower jaw.

    She then took the remaining ball and threw it with all the strength she had. The ball flew from her hand, spending out a shower of sparks as it struck the lighting panel. The power flickered on and off, and caused the overhead lighting to blow out. Moments before, Evelyn had been bathed in light, exposed and vulnerable. Now, she melted into the darkness.

    The well-dressed man never had a chance to scream. Instead, he slipped straight into unconsciousness. With one man down, Evelyn scanned the room to find that the men were beginning to rouse from their stupor. That much was expected; either way, she needed to feed.

    She pivoted around and ran. Since her strength was beginning to wane, another burst of speed was ill advised. She focused on her immediate threat, the goon that could overpower her if she were careless. As she approached, her fingers turned into claws, Evelyn then leapt and grabbed his larynx. She squeezed hard on his windpipe and crushed the external structure to deprive him of air.

    His immediate reaction was to protect his neck, so Evelyn swung low near his hip and tore a gash through his jeans, piercing skin, fat and muscle to sever an artery. She latched onto the wound, taking in his life giving essence as fast as his heart supplied it.

    Evelyn was enraptured by her feast, the blood that gushed down her throat invigorated her. The skin on her arm began to regrow, while the gash on her leg healed in less than a minute. Alas, Evelyn needed more than a snack. Besides, it was time to have some fun.

    Before Evelyn could drain him, she noticed a dull white glow. One of the men had been smart enough to use his phone’s flash to cut through the darkness. Once the light settled on her, the group gasped at the sight of this girl bathed in blood, baring long white fangs.

    “What’s wrong boys?” Evelyn said in a sensual voice. “Not the kind of party you were looking for?”

    The men drew their weapons and fired. Muzzle flashes lit up the room, and highlighted the men for a fraction of a second. Still, before the first round crossed the distance, Evelyn was long gone.

    The searchlight resumed scanning the room and was soon joined by others. The room was eerily quiet, so much so, that the men were left with a general sense of unease. Once the light shone on the well-dressed man, unconscious and suffering from a shattered jaw, some of the men approached to help. Meanwhile, one brave soul risked looking after the goon.

    Evelyn giggled, and every man turned towards the source of that sound. As soon as their eyes caught sight of something, they emptied their magazines, only stopping once they realised they shot one of their own. Riddled with bullets, the man nearest to the pool table face-planted the floor. The group was too dumbfounded to notice the gouge on his neck.

    “Where’s Sean?” one of the hooters from earlier asked, although his voice by now, was an octave higher.

    Before the search could resume, something big came at them. Some closed their eyes, hoping that a higher power would intervene. Veterans in the group opened fire. The marksmen among them were successful at hitting the oncoming object. Either way, they ended up with more casualties.

    Sean’s corpse fell into the mass of men nearest to the bar, knocking them down like bowling pins. The impact caused a few to discharge their weapons, and that’s precisely when they heard a blood curdling scream. The sound was high pitched, unearthly and ear piercing. Anyone still conscious cringed at the thought of what they unleashed.

    “A banshee!” the bartender yelled.

    Bâtard!” Evelyn shrieked as she kicked the pool table and sent it crashing into the back door. No one was going to run out of that door before this party was over.

    That crash had been enough to break the will of a few. In a panic, they made a beeline for the front door, intent on leaving their brethren behind. Others chose to stand their ground, determined to shoot at something… anything.

    The first man who reached the door was intercepted by the jukebox that barrelled down on him like a freight train. The impact pinned him to the wall, breaking bones and bursting organs. The look of shock on his face quickly gave way to a volcano of blood erupting through his mouth.

    “Jaysus—” A man yelled, but before he could add any additional expletives, he disappeared from sight.

    Those who still had their wits formed a tight circle with cell phones pointed upwards to provide ambient light. One took the time to change clips while the others kept an eye out for the banshee.

    Of course, the room still had a lot of dark corners where that creature could hide. The men were on edge, trying to block out the sound of anyone writhing in pain. Given the number and the circumstances, this was difficult.

    Despite the ambient noise, the group heard a metal object bouncing on the floor. They looked down to find a blood covered copper slug, one fired from a nine-millimetre. The slug rolled up to their feet, the sight of which was enough to make someone faint.

    “Tsk. Tsk. Tsk,” Evelyn said when she came out from the shadows.

    Behind her, they heard something slide onto the floor, probably another of their missing colleagues. By then, no one was sure of who was left.

    “You’ve been naughty,” Evelyn said with a smile that showcased her fangs.

    She was covered in blood; even her hair was saturated in it. Still, she looked at ease, sensual, like this was her natural state of being. Gone were signs of trauma—no wounds anywhere. If she had been shot, it was fully healed as well.

    The lead man trained his weapon on her. Just as he was about to squeeze the trigger, his elbow was forced to the rear so fast that the motion was blurred. When the round shot off, the head of the man to his right disappeared in a mist of brain matter.

    Evelyn did not fool around. She ripped out his voice box before he could scream. The flow of blood did not last. This banshee sealed the wound with her lips, taking in liberal amounts of blood whistle relishing in the energy it provided.

    A blast rang out through the room, and three rounds of buckshot found their mark. The two men who were still in this fight witnessed these rounds penetrate her chest and exit out the back. The bartender who fired that particular shot could not help but have a self-satisfied look on his face.

    Evelyn screeched the sound was even louder than the last. Out of frustration, she pushed the lead man with enough strength that the bones in his ribcage cracked, creating a sound that echoed throughout the room.

    The guy turned into a projectile, hitting the last man standing who never knew what hit him. Both were dead before they impacted the floor.

    “I deserved that,” Evelyn said casually as her wounds sealed themselves shut.

    The bartender broke the breach and ejected a single cartridge. He then fumbled around under the counter, searching for fresh shells. That smug look from earlier was long gone.

    “I might have let you live,” Evelyn said from behind him.

    The man had no time to react since her attack was quick and precise. The cut to his jugular released a strong spurt of blood that covered what was left of the lighting panel.

    He dropped the shotgun as his hands spasmed, sending shells everywhere. He kept thinking about how close he got to getting out of here alive—if only he had been a smidge faster. That thought faded as he bled out. Evelyn knew to leave enough blood evidence behind, otherwise, investigators would start asking the wrong questions.

    All she had left to do was make sure there were no survivors. A few were wounded in such a way to ensure they would bleed out and make collecting blood evidence a nightmare. Others were shot using the array of weapons left lying about to foil ballistics. In the end, only the well-dressed man remained.

    She approached him, lifted him onto a stool, and said, “I know that women are not what you desire.”

    Evelyn then ran a finger around his ear and down his neck. Even in his state of unconsciousness, the body responded to her skilled touch.

    “But tonight you will experience pleasures you never thought possible, rapture that will leave your body and mind empty,” Evelyn said in a husky voice.

    When she bit into his neck, every part of him responded. He grew erect and moaned from the pleasure as the pain she inflicted earlier simply vanished. She drained him completely, then picked up his empty husk.

    She carried him outside, opened up a manhole cover, and dropped the body. The well-dressed man was whisked away by the pungent current. By the time they found him, he would be too badly mutilated by rats and decay to provide a viable cause of death.

    “Now, someone is missing from the group,” Evelyn said.

    Investigators would know of this gang, their activities and its key figures. With one man missing, detectives were likely to conclude there had been a power struggle. That would lead them to expend valuable resources on a false lead.

    Unfortunately, she noticed that the sky was beginning to change colour. Evelyn went back inside the club and wondered how to proceed. She cursed her need to feed and how that left her in a bit of a bind. Fortunately, that was the moment her phone pulsed. A quick check indicated that she had a missed message. For tonight, it seemed that her luck was holding out.

    “Perfect,” Evelyn said.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

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