FOR ABANDONED SHE WAS NOT
© Andre Michael Pietroschek, all rights reserved
A solitary vampire huntress had survived against all bloodsucking odds and beyond expectations. Valerie Brewster, now sitting in the paramedic car, sure had felt her faith being tested fiercely. I guess the same was true about me. The unexpected wildcard, which is the glorified version of the one vagrant unexpectedly not being completely useless.
Barely four hours ago, our investigation of a suburban construction site had turned into an unwanted invitation to purgatory. It was not like Stephen King had written it. It was not, as darker movies, like Thirty Days of Night, wanted to simplify it either. Looking at that stubborn, red-haired woman, I still feel proud that I did not choose the easy way out ago.
Valerie was sent by whatever secret society can afford to pay vampire hunters. I do not know, and I would not qualify anyway. Been homeless, a drifter, an assistant in sales, finances, and administration. Had my moments, and knew what street life teaches survivors. She had been sent, like animals going silent, homeless vanishing, and other supposed telltale signs made it worthwhile to find out if indeed that rarest occurrence had been the reason for it. Most vampires were ravenous bloodsuckers, charging a spotted victim, and going for the throat to drink blood.
But, sometimes a larger Evil seems possible, like an exception to god’s regular plan. If God needs a plan at all. I don’t know. My investigation was about finding lunchboxes, stealing some craftsman tools, or just keeping myself busy if such could not be found. I stumbled in when the ambush itself was clearly about god’s children being welcome on most hit lists of Satan’s followers and the damned. Or so it seems, vagrants and drifters are not that good with finesse.
If my recollection is decently well, then the lone investigator, the valiant huntress of undead evil, had arrived at the construction site, and after some observation from a safe distance, she had sneaked in, much like I did to loot in the name of surviving the next night outside. Suburbs are calmer here, so one has less trouble with youngster gangs, but also less charity infrastructure open 24 hours per day.
Wolves hunt in packs, and vampires can be smart enough to gang-up and cover their tracks. Here, it was a forming mob not yet experienced with going unscathed. Probably some junkies or drunkards, who were only turned into bloodsuckers, so the real vampire mastermind has his little bunch of lackeys and thugs. Could make sense, but officially and by science vampires did not even exist. The vampires did not seem to care.
For me, it started, with both hands busy being checking for loot, as I had not even noticed the vampire huntress in my surge for survival. The unfinished building was cleaner than real ruins, but with walls already erected, it also meant one did not see much by night when no flashlight was used.
One moment I hope for loot, the next moment a shady figure charges through the darkness, colliding with the woman I had failed to detect. Struggle beginning, like some junkie punk losing nerves and turning a mugging into rape and be an idiot brute about it. The red-hair fought like a frenzied alley cat. Not hesitating to make her assailant regret his decision to assault her. It was a brawl won by the woman before it turned into a real kill or be killed fight. Or so I thought. The moment she did the stake routine on the felled assailant I had not enough time to wonder, how much loonier it would get, as the buddies of mister assailant had used the distraction to circle the huntress.
Moment of truth. Sneak out and save my own life, craven but wise. Or, a dumb stalwart from movies I watched in my childhood, play knight in shining armor, coming to the rescue of the damsel in distress. I knew she reminded me of my daughter, but that was not the point. Here I stood, realizing that outnumbered and outgunned, there stood one woman, a signifier for the life we once, long ago, had all hoped for. Before God and karma had proven themselves just more capitalist propaganda. On the other side, ready for trouble, the overwhelming bunch of fuck-ups, who were signifiers for everything which made most of us lose faith and joy in this life. There was the foul play, the selfishness being extra ass holy with a smile on the face, the evil we knew from rock bottom up to the richest of the rich.
I was too far away to hear whatever threats the leader unleashed upon the woman. But, reminded of manners, I decided it was time to announce my presence to her. The best way this bummer could come up with? With not window glasses installed yet, I picked up a brick stone, gripped it tightly, and threw it with every bit of strength I could muster, aiming for the leader’s skull. I did not miss, and the crunching sound, which would have dropped a human assailant, made the entire little mob angry as a beep.
At the very worst lady red hair had her chance to make a run for it. I did not like the thought of me now being alone with the fiends. But, the hissing and fang baring failed to impress me. In my loot here was the loot to make me survive another night. My lucky charm was a smaller crowbar, which I hid in my jacket, the way a Tonfa is held, my hand around a part of it, so it could slide down by gravity given just a soft push. Yeah, Bruce Lee and Jean Claude van Damme were not forgotten. In a vagrant kinda way of improvising it. The fucks charged, two incoming through the window frame, another through the doorframe.
With the bloody brawl beginning, I managed to surprise attack the first pale freak, breaking his jaw with the crowbar handle still in hand, getting it out while he screamed, and pushing the long part through his chest, where the heart is supposed to be. Then I was smacked from the open flank, and my two further assailants were upon me, even biting where smarter vampires would not leave tracks. I went down, both of the punks clawing themselves to me, continuing their attacks while I only got out some resisting by smacking them with a crowbar in one hand and punching with the other. Bad.
I was nearly blacking out when lady red-hair saved me. I do not believe that whatever made these two steam and scream in utter agony was merely holy water. Maybe they mix some acid in, not to fool the witnesses or so. But I was out of the worst, even able to bandage two of my wounds with a shirt I will miss the next icy cold night outside.
“Nice to meet you.”, she said.
“You are welcome”, was what I tried to articulate.
“The name is Valerie Brewster.”, she said.
“Aron Foster.”, said I.
Whatever had blocked the smartphone signal was gone, so we slowly made our way back to the outside and called the ambulance.
In retrospect, it was so simple: The vampire huntress prevailed, as the one unexpected wild card, a vagrant on the prowl, did not run for his life, but helped her when the enemies tried to gang up on her and go for the proverbial kill.
Those seconds of struggle made her win, as the bloodsuckers could not overwhelm her from all sides. I still cannot believe it…
NOTE: The ONLY website with a legal submission of the written version of this story is: w w w dot thrillerteller dot com!
Author: Andre Michael Pietroschek