Tales of a Night Walker
By Bert McKenzie
Copyright 2010

Chapter 21

I woke to pain.  My body ached as if I had been brutally beaten.  I wasn't
sure if that had actually happened.  I did remember the odd looking man in
the bathroom.  I tried to sit up but was unable to.  I was lying on a dirty
floor and apparently bound with a rope, my feet tied together and then the
rope came up behind my back and attached to my hands.  I felt like a young
steer at a rodeo.  I tried to look around but wasn't able to move freely so
my field of vision was limited.  It looked as though I were lying on the
floor of a small wooden building.  There was no furniture, only the wooden
walls and floor.  On the far wall I could see a stone hearth, but it
appeared to have not been used in a long time.  There was a grimy little
window letting in some light on a wall adjacent to the hearth.

I wondered who would want to do this to me.  Why would anyone want to
kidnap a Midwestern community theatre director?  But then as I thought
about it, one person came to mind, Jefferson Wesley Smythe II.  That would
be the only reason.  The man who did this must have been Jeff's father.
There was no one else who would have any reason to take me captive.  I no
longer feared for myself, but wondered about my lover, my partner and
husband.  How would he feel to find me missing?  Would he think that I had
simply run off or disappeared?  Or would he make the same connection.  I
would rather my lover think he had been abandoned than to have the vampire
searching for his murderous parent.  The last time the two of them had
crossed paths Buddy was murdered and Jeff was chained to a wall to await a
gruesome and fiery death.

But at the moment there was nothing I could do.  So I closed my eyes and
waited.  I waited for someone to come or something else to happen.  I could
only lay in wait and worry about myself and my lover.  Time seemed to pass
slowly.  I wondered how long I had been there.  It must be daytime from the
amount of light that was coming through the grimy window.  If my captor was
indeed Jeff's father, then I probably wouldn't see anyone until at least
sunset.  Some time into the day my stomach began to growl and I suffered
from thirst, but there was no one coming to my aid.  I tried to ignore the
hunger and thirst, and nap hoping sleep would help pass the time.  It must
have happened because I was suddenly awake and realized that darkness had
fallen.

A sound caught my attention.  It was a scraping noise, and then muffled
voices.  A door opened somewhere and a body fell into the dimly lit room.
The door slammed shut again.  I could barely make out the dim outline of
what looked like a teenager.  He had a thin frame, almost effeminate, he
slowly picked himself up from the floor and came over to where I was laying
bound.

"You okay?" he asked with a thick accent.

"Not really," I replied.

"I help you," he said and began to tug at the ropes that held me in such an
uncomfortable position.  They seemed to almost magically melt off of me.
He must have been good with knots.  I was soon able to stretch my arms and
legs out.  I groaned and began to rub them trying to restore circulation in
my limbs.  I then looked up at the boy who knelt beside me.  It was almost
too dark to see, but the boy looked a bit older on examination, perhaps in
his early 20s.  He had long curly dark hair and a very pale complexion.
His face seemed to have delicate features, and he was dressed only in dirty
shorts with no shirt or shoes.  It was too dark to see much more.

"Thanks," I said as I looked up at the boy.  "I'm Frank, who are you?"  The
young man looked back with a blank look on his face and then shook his
head.  He mumbled something in a strange language that I didn't understand.
"Guess you don't speak much English," I said.

The boy shook his head again.  "No, no speak English," he said in a halting
tone.

I pointed to myself and said, "Frank."  I then pointed to the boy.

The young man nodded and replied, "Jayron."

I reached out and clasped the boy's hand.  "Glad to meet you, Jayron," I
said and smiled.

The boy smiled back, his teeth gleaming in the darkness.  "Meet you,
Frank," he replied.

I crawled to the window then slowly stood up, looking out the dirty glass
pane.  On the outside someone had covered the opening with rust covered
metal bars, so even if I could get it open I wouldn't be able to use it as
an escape route.  Beyond the bars all I could make out were trees.  We
seemed to be in a cabin in the woods or some other rural area.  "Where are
we?" I asked more to myself than my companion.

"No speak English," Jayron answered.

I came back and sat on the floor next to the boy.  "I wish we could
understand each other," I said to the strange young man.  "It might help to
know what was going on."

Again the boy replied in his one phrase, "No speak English."

We sat in silence for a long time.  I had no way of knowing how long.  The
room grew colder with the darkness of night.  I began to shiver.  The boy
came over closer and leaned against me, as if to try and share body heat.
I noticed that although he was practically naked, he didn't seem to be
affected much by the cold.  We leaned together for a while.

After some time the boy jerked his head up as if listening to something.
He looked at me and nodded toward the door.  A light now appeared
underneath the door which soon opened.  The stocky man who had hit me stood
in the doorway holding a lantern in one hand and a bullwhip in the other.
He came in and stared at the two of us and snorted in disgust.  "So you
both are fags," he said.

"And you're a vampire, what of it?" I replied.

"Cheeky too," the man said.  "So you know who I am.  I suspect my son has
told you.  Well, I just wanted you to see what we have here," he stepped
forward and grabbed the boy, pulling him to his feet, and then pushing him
back to the floor in the middle of the room.  "I don't need this lantern to
see, and neither does Blueboy here," he said.  "But I know you do.  So I
brought it just so you could see what this thing is." The then swung his
hand and cracked the whip down on the boy's naked back.  The kid flinched
but didn't utter a sound.  I jumped in surprise.  Again the older man swung
the whip, lashing out at the young boy.  Stripes began to appear on his
back.  Again and again he cracked the leather.

"Stop it!" I yelled.  "Please stop it!"  I was in tears at the savage
brutality of the older vampire.  The boy just curled up on the floor and
moaned softly.

"Look at him!" the vampire said and shined the light on the boy's back.
The bloody stripes were bright blue, not the red color that blood should
be.  "You see what he is?  Some sort of devil creature.  His blood isn't
even right, it's the wrong color.  So I'm gonna leave you with this devil
creature for the night.  Tomorrow I'll be back and I'll find something fun
to do with you both."  He turned to leave and walked into the next room,
taking the lantern with him.  He came back for a moment and set down a
large crockery jug and then tossed a loaf of bread into the middle of the
room.  "Wouldn't want you to starve before my boy gets here.  He'll only
come if he thinks you are alive."  The man walked out slamming the door
shut.

I crawled over in the dark to where I knew the boy lay on the floor.  I
pulled my own shirt off and then reached for the jug.  I sniffed it and it
appeared to be water.  I moistened my shirt and then bathed the boy's
wounds.  Jayron gasped in pain as the cold water cleaned his bleeding back.
But I made soothing sounds and tried my best to be gentle.  When I had
finished, I took a swig of the water and then offered the jug to the boy.
Jayron took it and sipped some of the water from it.  The boy then crawled
across the floor and retrieved the bread.  He broke it and gave half to me.
The two of us sat in the dark, munching the dried bread and sharing the
water.

In the dark I pondered the situation.  I was pretty sure I was captured by
Jeff's father and was being used as bait to lure my lover to some trap the
older vampire had devised.  But I couldn't see any way out of it.  But the
young man who was a prisoner with me was quite a mystery.  He didn't speak
English other than a few words here and there, so communication was pretty
much nil.  How did he come to be a prisoner as well?  Where did he come
from?  And why was his blood a strange color?  I used to think the world
made sense, but since I found that vampires existed I began to accept a
world hidden beyond my own.  Maybe this boy was a creature from myth as
well.  I tried to think back on all the legends I had heard, but none of
them spoke of anyone with blue blood.  Then a thought suddenly occurred to
me.  Jeff had told me a story that he had heard from the old witch who
lived in the Ozark hills.  She had told a story of a fairy land.  Did that
other world exist?  If so perhaps this creature actually came from that
other land?  I wondered if I would ever know the answers to these
questions.

* * *

Just before morning came I heard sounds in the outer room.  The lamp light
returned under the door and soon the door was opened.  Jefferson Smythe the
second stepped back into the room.  "Well, I just wanted to let you know my
plans," he said with a laugh.  "My son should be on the way here to rescue
you.  But he's gonna be too late.  You see there's a clan of hungry vamps
not too far from here.  I'm gonna make sure they get here before Jeffy
does.  When they do, they'll make quick work of both of you.  Unfortunately
they won't know that Blueboy here is poisonous.  They'll drink him and then
find out when they all start dying.  Of course you'll be long gone before
that."

"Well I gotta go get ready for my big reunion with my boy.  Can't wait to
see the expression on his face.  Oh and don't try to escape.  There are
bars on the window.  They will keep you in.  And Blueboy here has a problem
with iron so he won't touch them.  As to the door, I'll wire the knob so it
will have an electric charge.  The first vamp to get here might be a little
surprised and toasted, but the others will learn from his experience.  But
if you manage to get out of this room, I sure wouldn't try to open that
outside door.  I don't think you'd survive the shock like a vampire would.
And if on the off chance Jeff would make it here before those other vamps,
well he'll be the first to get the shock, and three minutes after that
front door is opened, BOOM!  The whole place goes up in a big ball of fire.
So while Jeffy is recovering from the shock, he'll see you blown to
smithereens.  And if the other vamps get here first well, you'll all be
destroyed and no evidence remains."  The older vampire chuckled.  "I guess
I've thought of everything," he said, gloating.  Then he pushed the door
open just a bit further.  In the outer room I could see two small and very
frightened children, bound and gagged.  "I guess I better go lay my blood
trail in the woods so I can lead those others right to your door.  Time to
go, children."  He turned to leave.

"NO!" I screamed and ran toward him, but his vampire reflexes were too fast
for me.  He turned and swung his arm and I found myself flying though the
air only to smash into the far wall.  It hurt like hell and I lay there
dazed, Jayron kneeling over me and checking me out to see if I was
seriously injured.  The old vampire closed and locked the door, and then he
was gone.

After a while I managed to get up and look out the grimy window.  The
forest outside was growing brighter with the breaking dawn.  "Jayron, we've
got to get out of here.  We've got to escape," I said.

"Escape?" he repeated.

"Yes, get away."  I picked up the heavy crockery jug.  It was now empty.  I
took it to the window and used the bottom to beat on the glass which
shattered.  I carefully broke out all the fragments and reached through the
opening.  The rusty bars seemed to be fastened to the window frame with
heavy screws.  There was no way I was going to be able to just pull them
loose, but maybe if we both worked together.  "Jayron," I called and waived
him over.  The boy slowly approached the open window and looked out.  "Help
me," I said and tried to indicate pushing the bars.  He nodded and we both
reached through the broken window.  But when he grasped the metal, I heard
a sizzling sound and he cried out in pain jumping back.  I looked at his
hand and it had a long burn mark on it from where he had touched the bar.
It was as if the metal was coated with acid or possibly flaming hot.  But I
touched the same metal with no reaction at all.  It was evident that Jeff's
father had not lied.  The boy definitely had a bad reaction to the iron
bars.

It seemed we were trapped.  There was no obvious way for the two of us to
escape our fate.  I hoped with all my heart that Jeff would arrive before
the clan of bloodthirsty vampires, but then I feared what would happen if
he touched the booby trapped door.  If I could get him to come to the back
window instead, he could possibly bend the bars and get us out without
electrocuting himself or blowing up the building.  Then when the other
vampires got there, we would be long gone.  I didn't have any hope for
saving the two children that Jeff's father had captured.  For all I knew
they were already dead so that he could use their blood to lay a trail
through the woods.

There was little we could do to escape and no hope of visitors before
nightfall.  For most of the morning we sat quietly.  I tried to talk with
the strange boy but he understood so little English, it was pretty much a
waste of time.  The more I tried to speak with him the more frustrated I
became.  About mid morning the boy seemed to grow as frustrated as I was.
He grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me close, looking directly into
my eyes.  The way he pulled our faces close together, I thought for a
moment he was going to kiss me.  But then another thought seemed to form in
my mind.  "I don't want to kiss you," my mind said.  Where did that thought
come from?  I shook my head.  But Jayron grabbed my chin and pulled it back
up, looking again in my eyes.  "This is the deep communication," I thought.
"This is the only way we can communicate since I don't understand your
language and you don't understand mine."

With a gasp I suddenly realized it wasn't my thoughts.  I was hearing the
thoughts of the young boy, looking at me.  I seemed to fall into those twin
pools of blue that were his eyes.  "How is this possible?" I thought,
forming the words in my mind.

"No time to explain," the boy said in my thoughts.  "The old man means to
kill us.  He is a night walker."

"It is much worse," I thought back.  I quickly remembered all that Jeff's
father had said.  I thought about it so the boy could understand what peril
we were in.  At the end I added, "We must escape."

"I know not how, if we cannot go through the door and we cannot break
through the window."

Suddenly a new thought occurred to me, one of my own.  "You are very thin.
How big is the opening in the chimney?"

The boy instantly broke our eye contact and I seemed to fall back into
myself, sitting again on the dirty wooden floor of the cabin.  I looked up
and Jayron was in the fireplace, looking up the chimney.  He turned back to
me with a big grin on his face.  He climbed into the hearth and tried to
push his way into a standing position.  I followed him to the fireplace and
getting on my back, slid in beside him, looking up.  He had reached up into
the chimney and was trying to find a grip on the dirty stones.  He was very
thin, but the opening wasn't very large either, and unlike the stories of
Santa, this would not be an easy trip.  In fact I remembered stories about
people being stuck in chimneys who tried descending them either at
Christmas or as a means to burgle a house.  I could only hope that this
being an old chimney might be larger, and Jayron as I said, was very thin.

He actually began to make a little headway, slowly climbing up.  I helped
all I could by pushing from below, allowing him to step onto my shoulders.
I tried to sit up, giving him a slight boost, but wasn't able to get my
shoulders clear of the top of the opening to the fireplace.  He stepped up
onto the top of my head and kept working.  Eventually I felt his feet lift
off my head.  I looked up and saw him wedged into the chimney.  He seemed
to be making a little progress but it was very slow going as he inched his
body further and further upward.  At this rate I feared it would be dark
before he ever managed to free himself.

I shouted words of encouragement, but I knew he had no idea what I was
actually saying.  After a while I slipped out of the fireplace and back to
the broken window, looking out at the long shadows that seemed to be
growing as afternoon came on.  Back to the fireplace again, I looked up and
could see that he was much higher into the flu.  It might not be long now
before he could actually pull himself out the top of the chimney.  But then
I realized that once on the outside, Jayron was free, but I was no closer
to freedom.  He couldn't open the door without either electrocuting himself
or setting off the bomb.  And I was sure he would have just as much trouble
with the iron bars on the outside of the window as he did with them from
the inside.

"Frank!" a voice shouted.  I ran back to the fireplace from the window
again and saw Jayron looking down at me from the distant opening.  He was
free.

"Go get help!" I shouted, knowing he wouldn't have any idea what I was
saying.

His face disappeared and I heard him scrambling across the roof to the
eaves.  Then there was silence for a moment before his face appeared
outside the bars to the window.  I ran back and looked out.  We made eye
contact again and I felt myself being pulled into those intense blue eyes.
"What should I do?" he thought.

"You must get me out," I thought back and wondered how weak the bars were.
After all they were covered in rust.  I tried to picture a big stick used
to lever the bars off the window.  The boy nodded and disappeared into the
trees.  I wanted to send him for help, but I knew we must be miles into the
country and the other vampires would be there long before Jayron could find
anyone and make his needs known to them.  I started to pace when I heard a
scraping noise.  Looking back to the window I saw a very heavy tree limb
push through the window opening.  Jayron was trying to force it sideways.
I grabbed the other side of the limb and pushed as well.  There was a
metallic groan and then a sickening snap.  Jayron pulled the branch back
and I looked to see that one of the bars had broken and bent.  I pushed on
it and tried to bend it even further, but I wasn't very successful.  But I
could get my head through the opening.  I tried to wriggle my way past the
broken bar.  Jayron grabbed my arms and pulled.  I felt the jagged metal
scratching into my skin, but I was beginning to slip out the opening.
Suddenly my hips cleared the window and I fell to the ground in a tumbled
heap on top of my rescuer.  We hugged each other for a moment in happy
surprise, and then I jumped up.  The shadows were all but gone, a gloomy
darkness descending on the forest.  "We've got to get out of here," I said,
and grabbed the boy by the hand, pulling him around toward the front of the
cabin.

Along the side I could see blood smeared on the wall and dripped along a
path that led into the woods.  I knew it must belong to one of the two
children I had seen.  So the vampires would be coming from the woods.  We
quickly ran to the front of the cabin and saw what looked like a small lane
just wide enough for a car or truck to drive through the woods to the front
of the cabin.  This was our only chance to return to civilization.  "Come,"
I said and began to run for the narrow driveway.  Jayron ran close to my
side.

As we ran the forest grew darker and darker.  Jayron took the lead and I
followed him.  He must have supernatural eyesight as he seemed to know the
lane better than I.  At times I thought I would lose him, but he kept
coming back and grabbing my hand to urge me on behind him.  We hadn't gone
too far down the trail when we heard a scream from the distance behind us.
This just caused us to try and run faster.  Jayron was obviously much
better at this than I and I felt badly for holding him back.  Several
minutes later we heard a loud boom in the forest behind us and turned to
see bits of orange glow between the trees.  The bomb must have exploded.
That meant someone had opened the door, setting off the booby traps.  I
feared it might be Jeff, my Jeff, but surely he would have detected my
scent and followed us.  It must have been the other vampires.  I wondered
if Jeff's father knew we were gone before his trap was sprung.

We tried to run all the faster, but I thought I could hear sounds behind
me.  It sounded like something was in pursuit of us.  I feared some of the
vampire clan might not have been destroyed.  And besides them, there was
always Jeff's father.  This just caused us to try all the harder to put on
the speed.  It was no good trying to hide in the woods.  Vampires would be
able to find us by their abnormal sense of smell.  Our only hope was to
reach some sort of civilization where we might find some type of
protection.  We finally broke out of the woods and into a wide clearing.
The moonlight was spilling down and illuminating the landscape ahead of us.
There was a dual ribbon that made a roadway across a grassy meadow to a
gate in the distance, beyond which was a paved highway.  I could see and
hear the occasional car driving down the highway.  "We're almost there," I
shouted as we ran up the ribbon of road.

Suddenly they were there, quick moving shadows.  They seemed to pass us by
and surround us, cutting off our only means of escape.  We stopped and
turned.  They were behind us as well.  We were surrounded by about seven
tall, figures.  They were dressed in dark clothing as well, but their faces
gleamed in the moonlight.  I could tell by the pale complexions that showed
around us and the reflecting glow from their eyes that these were indeed
vampires.  I was frightened, but my mind said I should try and communicate.
After all, Jeff was a vampire as well.  These had once been humans like me,
and might have the same emotions as I.  I held up my hands and said, "We
don't want any trouble."

One of them seemed to be the leader, since he took a step closer toward us.
"I'd say you already bought a heap of trouble, boys.  Was that supposed to
be an innocent prank, laying a trail to that cabin and then booby trapping
it?"  He held up his hand and I could see the burn marks on his palm in the
glow of the moonlight.  He must have been the one to try and open the door.
But that act had saved him from the explosion.

"We didn't do that," I said quickly.  "There's an evil vampire who was
trying to trap you.  He was using us as bait."

Laughter came from all sides.  "An evil vampire?" the speaker said.  "And
what do you think we are?  A rock and roll band?"

"Seriously," I pleaded.  "He was trying to use us as bait to trap you in
that cabin.  He wanted to blow you all up in that fireball.  He's your
enemy, not us."

"You're right about one thing, boys.  You aren't an enemy.  An enemy
implies a threat.  You two pose no threat to us.  That would be like a
chicken dinner threatening Colonel Sanders."  The other vampires broke into
laughter.  They moved faster than my eye could and suddenly I found myself
held tightly by muscles that were much stronger than my own.  Jayron was
also held captive, and the vampire leader was standing in front of the two
of us.  "Well, boys, now that Trey, Fred and Elvis are gone, that leaves
just more blood for the rest of us.  Now let's not be stingy, there's
enough to go around...for now and we can always go into town for dessert."
With that one of the vampires leaned over and bit Jayron on the wrist.
He'd only sucked for a second or two when he released the boy and screamed.

The vampire who was just about to sink his teeth into me hesitated and
everyone looked at the screaming vampire.  He fell to the ground writhing
and then froze.  His body seemed to collapse in on itself, as if it were
turning to dust or shriveling from the inside out.  "What did you do to
Buford?" the leader screamed as he looked at Jayron, the blue blood
dripping from his wrist.

"He's poison," said another as they released the boy and shoved him away.

"No matter.  We still have this one.  We'll just have to make the most of
him."  They were all focused on me.  I knew it was just about time for my
final curtain when suddenly the leader grunted in surprise, a long shaft of
wood protruding from his chest.

"Release him, now!" a familiar voice said.  I looked up to see the leader
fall forward onto the ground.  Jeff stood behind him, releasing the wooden
pole he had driven through the head vampire's body.

I found myself flying through the air as the creature holding me tossed me
aside.  I looked up and saw Jayron kneeling at my side, helping me up.  His
wrist was still bleeding, so I ripped a strip of my shirt and wrapped it
around the wound, tying it off and creating a makeshift bandage.  We looked
at the activity just a few yards from us.  Jeff and another man, dressed in
strange, renaissance looking clothes were jumping here and there among the
vampires.  It seemed that the two of them were almost a match for the six
others, but everyone was moving so fast it was hard to see what was
actually happening.  Another vampire fell, his head flying from his body,
cleanly sliced off by a sword.  Then another went down.

One of the group seemed to break off and head toward us.  I hoped it was
Jeff, but unfortunately, it looked to be one of the other vampires.  Jayron
jumped up as if to stop him, but the creature swung his arm and hit the
boy, sending him flying.  I tried to get up off the ground but the creature
was too fast for me.  He was on top of me.  I felt his hot breath as he
leaned over me and then the stinging pain as his teeth sank into my throat.

Only a few minutes later his body went flying off me.  I heard the sounds
of the fight slowing down, as if they were being muffled by cotton stuffed
into my ears.  I tried to move but I couldn't; I felt so weak.  Jayron
lifted my head.  I could see the concern on his face.  Suddenly Jeff was
there, holding me and brushing the hair back out of my eyes.

"Frank, hold on," he said, but it sounded like he was speaking through a
long, echoing tunnel.

"He die?" another voice asked, that I thought must be Jayron.

"He's bleeding and I can't stop it!"  I think it was Jeff again.  "Frank, I
love you," he said, looking into my eyes.  I tried to speak, to tell him I
loved him as well, but my voice wouldn't work and my mouth felt as though
it were full of blood.  I focused on Jeff's eyes, but they seemed to be
disappearing.  It was as if the sun had come up; a bright light was
blinding me and I had to squint to see around it.  It was incredibly white,
like an arc spotlight, and then I felt as though I was being pulled through
a tunnel into that bright beam.

 

 

 

 

 

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