X In Omnia Paratus
"There's no time for that," I said to Charlie as he fumbled for the keys to his pick-up. "You need to stay with us, To the ambulance, and hurry!"
"I've got all my things in the U-haul," said Bob."
"We'll have to come back for it, no time now, let's go!"
Perhaps Charlie's missing finger combined with the fresh images of the death struggle they had just witnessed propelled them to action, or maybe it was simply the human survival instinct that took over, but whatever it was, the three humans joined the two vampires and rushed from Charlie's home toward the ambulance. The Ford F-450 shimmered, and faded, and reappeared as the Cadillac as soon as Angus and I entered the front seats, with Chrissy, Charlie and Bob safely in back. The engine roared to life when Angus turned the key, and he stepped on the gas and we rolled, then sped away from Charlies home.
There was no traffic, not a car, or truck, or police cruiser. Even the forest's noctornal preditors were done for the night, their hunts through, their victims safely nestled inside of them.
"How do you know they are going to come for us?" asked Bob.
"That's how," I said as a loud thump eminated from the Caddy's roof, and a fanged face appeared in the windshield. Angus hit the windshield wash button and the vampire's skin melted from his face and his eyes smoked, and he fell onto the road in a heap.
"Holy Water," he said and grinned when I gave him my best incredulous look. "I had Tim put it in the resevior a few weeks ago. I had a feeling Sid might be trouble."
"I trained you well, lad. In Omnia Paratus," I said and scanned the night sky for move attackers. There would be more, no doubt about it, and soon.
"In omnya who?" asked Chrissy.
"In Omnia Paratus," replied Angus. "Latin. It translates to "In all Things, Prepared."
"Thank goodness for Latin," she smiled.
More vampires appeared, flying next to the Caddy as it sped through the night. The ability to fly is not one all vampires posess, with few exceptions only the lightest of our kind can do it, the physics of flight can only be suspended so much. A good vampire has the ability to shrink his body mass fifty percent by concentrating on his or her cellular structure, and consciously making half of those cells diminish in size, thus allowing the dead body to contort in such a way that when propelled by the force that makes the universe turn it is able to levitate, then move forward without being hindered by gravity. It takes years to master. I can do it, even though I'm not small. Angus can not.
"We're pretty much fucked," said Angus as we sped through the Vermont countryside. The Outpost is filled with Sid's minions, we have nowhere to go and daylight approaches.
"I've got a place that might do," said Bob.
"The faster we get away from these two assholes the better off we'll be," said Charlie.
"Assholes or not, we would be dead if they didn't show up when they did."
"It's just a matter of time till they kill us."
"Maybe not. And your granddaughter needs them. We have no idea how to get to her, and where she might be,or even if she has any time left."
"They seem alright to me," said Chrissy. "I know all about vampires. I've been reading the Twilight books."
"Those books are bullshit," said Angus. "Not that vampires aren't capable of certain human functions and all that, but truth be told being among the undead ain't all its cracked up to be."
"It doesn't look so bad," she grinned, and Angus smiled back at her.
"Know this," said Angus, "at the moment of my death, when the lights faded, and sounds dulled, and my breath became shallow and my heart stopped, I saw God, and he invited me to him, and held open his arms, and everything I feared was taken from me, and in its place knowledge of eternal life after death was instilled in me, and I knew that in a different form I would go on, and know peace, and live on with grace and dignity in a loving embrace for all eternity. Then, just as I was about to embrace eternal peace and comfort, fangs pierced my neck, and my dying blood was taken from me, and replaced with a creature of the night's life force, and months later I returned to this earth, and took my prior form, but taken was my soul, and I have no idea where it is, or if I will get it back. I fear I will not, and when the day comes that a wooden stake finds my heart, or my head is removed from my body, or I am exposed to sunlight, what once was Angus will be no more."
That quieted things down for a minute.
"Where to, Bob? I asked, breaking the uncomfortable silence.
"South on Route 3, Then onto Maldagash Road, up the hill a ways till the Old Cemetary. I've got a cabin up there, it's where me and Chrissy planned on starting over."
"Sunrise approaches," said Angus. "What of us."
"Ther'e a root cellar under the floor in the barn. It's dark, and dusty, and probably full of rats."
"Excellent," I said, and we drove on, all the while waiting for the attack that would inevietably follow. The vampires that followed us broke off their chase, knowing they needed the shelter and protection that only The Outpost provided, allowing us to continue our escame unaccompanied.
"Our lives are in your hands," I said as we turned onto Maldagash Road. Once the sun rises, we are vulnerable. You could kill us easily."
Charlie sparked up at that, and considered the options.
"And they could kill us easily at night. It appears we need you as much as you need us. And we all need to figure out how to save my granddaughter!"