The panic one feels is transferred to one such as I once intimate contact is established. As much as I hate to think of such things, Bob the firefighter and I have shared blood, he is part of me now, and his being the last blood I drank, the bond is strong.
Death in all it's blackness still has a shimmer, and that shimmer is coming through loud and clear. Bob is not only in trouble, but close to losing everything. The sun creeps toward the horizon agonizingly slowly, inching toward the ground in miniscule increments, slowly, slowly, slowly. As the edge of the giant orb touches the earth's line, I stir. The deadly UV rays diminish, and my eyes flicker, and the sun sinks, and I rise.
Smoke. There is something sinister in this, I know, for mixed with the pleasant aroma of burning wood, flesh mingles. Whose flesh is the question, and if the last of the light would finally creep into the abyss for the evening, I could crawl from my grave and find out. My body is stiff, but my brain increasingly alert. Going, going, gone! I'm free.
Heat. Intense heat. It sears my skin, but that's okay, my skin has taken much worse. Orange glow from the crack in the barn floor outlines the shape of the hatch that sealed Angus and I this morning.
"Malcolm, we need to get out. Crissy needs us."
"On three. One. Two. THREE!"
Together, we push the door up, exposing us to the smoke and heat. We are through the door in a flash, and tear through the flames and out of the barn, and into the cool Vermont dusk. Light retreats as the sun falls behind the earth, but its afterglow lingers, and fills me with mourning. If I had one wish, it would be to set foot on a bright, sun filled field, and walk among the plants and flowers, listening to the creatures that stir under my feet, and watch the birds in flight as they live their mortal lives, oblivious to their own impending demise, just content to be alive, and free, and busy, bathed in light.
Flames roll behind me, the heat now on my back as I run forward. Charlie is down, Bob swinging an axe as three fiends surround him. Sirens wail in the early evening stillness, beating the crickets to fill the quiet night with noise. Crissy is nowhere.
I surge. The fiends are new, no match. They are a mockery to the uniforms they wear. Firefighters! How dare they desecrate the name! Rage fills me as I attack. I've grown fond of the profession since joining the ranks some seventy years ago, and my affinity for those who filled the boots rather than simply wore them fuels my rage as their memory is tarnished by creatures of the night using the world's most honored profession as no more than a means to fill their veins with the blood of a populace that trusts them.
Just as Bob nearly succumbs to the onslaught, I appear in the fray, taking the heads of two of the vampires and smashing them together, stunning them, and crushing their skulls. They won't be dazed for long. The third looks upon me with eyes wide open, and anger fills his face, and his body prepares to attack.
"Malcolm! How could you turn your back on your own kind! You are Vampire!"
"You are neither Vampire of Firefighter!" I scream, the rage taking over now, blood lust creeps in slowly, but once stoked is difficult to control. I clutch the Vampire's throat with my left hand, put my right on his forhead, pierce his skin and clutch his skull, then twist, not stopping until the head is severed from the body. He doesn't bleed, does not scream, does not twitch, but does die, forever. His form is reduced to ashes, and they fall at my feet. Bob catches on quickly, and uses his axe expertly, taking the heads of the other two monsters, who also turn to dust and leave this earth forever. The sirens are closer now, no time to reflect.
"They have Crissy!" shouts Bob.
Angus appears, the Cadillac purring, and ready to go.
"Let's go!" he says, flashing a fanged grin that makes me believe for the moment that he has things under control. Bob lifts Charlie over his shoulder and puts him onto the stretcher in the back of the Caddy, then closes the door. I take the passenger seat, Angus hits the lights and sirens and the chase is on.