Deborah tucked her black pants into her black boots and tied them tight. Her black long sleeve was a little loose, but the tactical vest’s straps could be tightened firmly. She couldn’t take her red eyes off of the former vampire guard, now a pile of gray ash.
Megan was huddled in the corner of the concrete cell, cradling her baby in one arm and telling her older child some instructions on how to stay safe.
Deborah used Megan’s pocket knife to cut a length of shoestring from one of the dead human guards. As she tied her platinum blonde hair into a ponytail, she asked, “Megan, you’re sure there’s no more guards on this floor?”
“Wouldn’t they be here by now?”
“Yes. That’s why I’m worried.”
“You think there’s a trap?”
“We don’t have guns, they know that, and the only way out is through a hallway. Not much of a trap. More of a kill zone.”
Megan sighed, “Are we getting out of here or what?”
Deborah grabbed a shock club in each hand. “I’d rather die than get chained to that fucking wall again.”
“That’s your guarantee?”
“I’m also really good at killing. That help?”
Megan sighed again, “Sure.”
“Okay, from what you told me, these vamps are keeping people fat and happy for a reliable blood flow, right? It makes sense for them to prioritize young children. If they’re raising people into this life, it’s easier to mold young minds into going with the flow.”
“The kids go first.”
“And if you’re wrong I watch my kids die seconds before I die.”
“Or we wait forever and they walk up to our door with a flamethrower or some shit. Come on, we have to go now.”
Megan’s eye twitched before she sighed again, “Fuck. Fine.”
Deborah holstered her clubs in the back of her vest above her hips. She pulled out the pocket knife as she grabbed the young boy’s wrist. “Come on kid.”
Megan jumped up with her own club at the ready, “Be careful with him.”
Deborah kept her grip firm, “What’s your name kid?”
He barely spoke up, “Tommy.”
“Tommy, you’re a tough kid right?”
He nodded with a blank face.
“Good boy.” Deborah looked at Megan, “Drop the club, you have to look like you’re my hostage.”
Megan let the club fall and stood up with her baby. “I guess I’m leading.”
Deborah nodded to the door, “Yep.”
Megan looked like she wanted to growl, but she walked out first. She whispered, “It’s okay Angelica. Just going for a walk.” Looking left and right, she seemed surprised, “There’s no one out here.”
Deborah picked Tommy up and held the knife to his throat. She sniffed, He just pissed himself. Rolling her eyes, she tried to reassure him, “I’m not really going to hurt you kid. Calm down.”
Deborah edged her way to the left door frame and looked as far down the right side of the hall as she could. All she could see was more fluorescent lighting and steel doors like on her cell. She slid to the opposite frame and glanced ahead of Megan. Am I the first person to escape or what?
Megan slowly walked towards the elevator, passing three doors on each side of the hall, and then an empty guard station enclosed in glass. Deborah checked as they passed. Locked.
The hallway ended at the elevator door. Megan waited a beat before pushing the black button pointing up. “There’s usually someone in the box.”
Deborah let Tommy down and flattened her back against the wall next to the doors. “How many?”
A soft chime sounded before the doors slid open. Megan stared inside, “One.”
A deep voice asked, “One what?”
Deborah swung her body through the door, jamming both clubs into the broad guard’s neck. The clicking noise quickly dropped the guard to the floor, unconscious. Deborah dropped the clubs and slid him out of the doors.
Megan swooped her children inside, Angelica started crying like a banshee. Deborah sniffed the guard, felt a pulse, and bit into his throat. Every bit helps. She was suddenly aware of how her skin felt fuller. Finally got out of the UV light.
Deborah was suddenly aware of Megan shaking her shoulder, “Don’t you have enough yet?”
She looked down and saw that the tanned guard looked horribly pale. Shit! Deborah pushed herself up and got in the elevator with the other three. “How long?”
Megan bounced the crying baby in her arms as she hit a button for the ground floor. “Few minutes I guess.”
Deborah felt blood dripping off of her nose and chin. She didn’t bother to wipe it away as she picked up the clubs. “I should be good for a while.”
Tommy chimed in, “You said that with the first two.”
Deborah wrenched her neck to look at the boy. “How old are you Tommy?”
He squeaked, “Four.”
“I stopped pissing myself by then, so maybe keep your mouth shut before I make you do it again.”
Megan pulled him close to her hip, “Take it easy bitch.” The elevator rocked.
Deborah yelled over the crying baby, “Oh, fuck you too!” She barely heard the elevator chime.
Deborah turned around to see the doors were open. Four guards with shotguns stared at Deborah. There was a brief hint of recognition from them, Deborah assumed it was the uniform. Their eyes collectively widened, Deborah assumed it was either her red eyes or her mouth coated in blood.
They stood two by two. Tan and sunburnt skin, definitely human. The two in front raised their guns. Deborah knocked them away as they fired, then activated the electricity as she clubbed the two faces in the rear.
The front two cocked their guns, Deborah dropped the clubs and pulled on each shotgun. The two shot each other through their torsos. Deborah kept the guns in hand and clubbed the stunned guards until they fell.
Deborah dropped one gun and decapitated all four heads with the other. She briefly studied the trigger guard to find the pump release. She ejected two shells before it was empty. Deborah tossed the empty gun and grabbed the two shotguns that hadn’t been fired.
Scanning the hallway, Deborah could smell fresh air on the other end. She recognized the double steel doors. Absently, she handed a full shotgun back to Megan, “Eight shots.”
Breaking out of a trance, the teen mother nodded and took it, still holding the crying Angelica with the other arm. “Fuck.”
Deborah quickly slid a body halfway through the elevator to keep the doors from closing. That means it won’t go down, right? Deborah pointed to the far doors, three meters away, “Move!”
As Megan ran, Deborah knelt to the other guards and yanked two vests off. She almost went for more. I’m already pushing it. Deborah quickly followed Megan out of the thick double doors.
The concrete garage was two stories tall or more. Three large stacks of wooden crates were stacked more than halfway to the ceiling, a shiny steel wall hiding the far wall. There better be something with wheels over there.
Near the ceiling, Deborah was glad to see it was still dark outside. The soft orange spotlights above didn’t show any more guards about. This is too easy. Except for the crying baby, not the best companion for stealth.
Deborah quickly led the way with her shotgun raised, “How many people went with Tate?”
“I don’t know, he didn’t make it sound like a big deal.”
Deborah kept an eye everywhere. She was surprised to reach the metal wall and doors without incident. She unlocked a door from her side and scanned the last third of the garage where only one beige truck and trailer was parked. Hell yeah.
Finally lowering her gun, Deborah opened the door and jumped in. The key was missing. She checked the sun visor and caught the key that fell. Dumb fucks. Deborah started the batteries and hit a button clipped to the visor. The garage door began to roll open.
Deborah clicked the truck in reverse. She was actually smiling, “Let’s go!”
Megan walked her kids around the front. The truck’s cab was spacious, with only two seats. There was no trace of dust, the mirrors shined bright and the six battery gauges were nearly full. Deborah forced her lungs to inhale just so she could release a comfortable sigh. Fuck this place. The passenger door opened, Deborah’s smile faded.
Megan was aiming over the seat with her shotgun. “No offense, but I got it from here.”
Deborah felt her body vibrating with a full tank of fresh blood. She felt invincible. Keep your head. “We had a deal.”
“Yeah, well, the way you talked to Tommy, and the way you go into a blood coma when you drink, you haven’t shown a lot of self-control.”
“I haven’t been a vamp for very long, I’m still learning how to control it, okay? And you say ‘fuck’ and shit in front of your boy all the time.”
“I don’t threaten him so much that he pisses himself.”
Deborah darted her attention back to the garage, “Shit, they’re coming! In or out, right now!”
Megan twitched before dropping the shotgun. She reemerged with her children and closed the door. “Okay! Go!” Megan looked ahead.
Deborah smirked as she backed the truck out. Even if someone had been coming, neither Deborah nor Megan could see over the metal divider.
Megan sneered, “Bitch.”
“Back at you princess.”
Deborah turned all of the dash and outside lights that had turned on. Megan protested, “What are you doing? Oh… night vision.”
“And it should make it harder to spot us, unless there’s no winds to cover our tracks tonight, then we’re fucked.”
Megan dryly replied, “Good to see we’re both optimists.”
Tommy had enough room to fully stand between Megan’s seat and the dash. “Mommy, are we going to meet Tate? He’s a lot nicer than her.”
Megan scoffed, “No honey, we won’t see Tate for a long time.”
Deborah almost felt bad for Tate. He was just trying to keep you safe… even if he is an idiot.
The group drove across the steep, hilly terrain throughout the night. Deborah was overjoyed that the baby had stopped crying, but she still grew anxious with the lack of drivable paths. Less roads, easier to find us.
Megan had since moved to the floor to let Tommy sleep on the passenger seat. Angelica sounded asleep as well. The mother whispered, “Sorry about the double-cross.”
“Attempted double-cross. I get it. I might’ve done the same. Except for hesitating.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve always been more of a scrapper than a soldier.”
“Mmm. I grew up with two other people. We all kinda had to pitch in with the killing and what not.”
Deborah smirked at Megan’s constant sarcasm. “So, what did you do then? You’re what, sixteen?”
“Good guess… How long were you studying my people?”
“About a week.” Should I even apologize about that? “Listen, I know this won’t mean much, but I came at you people like that because… that’s right around where I turned.” And your village just happened to be full of people I wanted to kill.
The pair sat in silence for minutes.
Megan cleared her throat, “I’ve seen a few people become infected with the red eyes. They say the first thing to go is the soul.”
“You believe that?”
“In souls? Maybe. That being said, I’ve never seen anyone with the red eyes for very long.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve had a steady diet so far.”
“I thought you were going to say you were lucky.”
Another pause of silence filled the air.
Deborah shrugged, “I used to kill vamps for a living.”
“How is that a living?”
“Anyway, when I found out I was turned… I tried to kill myself. I knew what I’d become.”
“You’re still here.”
Deborah didn’t know how to follow that up. I haven’t changed that much… Can I?