As I watched the fist slowly come towards my face I thought about the choices I had. I could stop him and put him in his place, which I really wanted to do, but that might scare Elaine and I really didn’t want to do that. Or I could let it hit me and maybe she might show me some sympathy. Sometimes you just have to take one for the cause.
His fist hit me square in the nose and I had to admit that it stung a little bit, like if a baby accidentally hit you. At least that is what I imagined a baby hit would feel like.
I had become very good at acting—it’s part of the job—so I jerked my head back and fell to the ground. My entire body burned with rage but I held it back because I was afraid that I might kill him. The three guys with him cheered.
“John, you’re such a jerk,” Elaine yelled. She pushed him back and he put his hands up.
“He asked for it,” he told her. I kind of did.
“Not yet. I want to see what’s in this jerk’s bike.” He walked over to my bike and I started to panic. All my weapons were in it.
“Hey,” came a voice. It was a police officer—not good. “What’s going on here?”
“Nothing,” John lied.
“Yeah. Get out of here now.”
“Right away.” John took one last look at me and left. The cop walked up to me and stuck his hand out. I accepted it as he helped me up.
“You alright son?” he asked me.
“Yeah,” I replied.
He looked back at my bike and then to me again. His face showed doubt. “Who are you?”
“I’m just passing through.”
“Mind if I take a look in your bag?”
I felt a surge of panic again, but I was saved by the bell.
“Chief?” came a voice over the radio.
The Chief picked up his radio. “Yeah.”
“Old man Johnson is shooting mice again.”
The Chief let out a long and exasperated sigh. “OK.” He put his radio away and looked at Elaine. “Get home soon. It’s almost curfew.”
“OK,” said Elaine.
He looked at me again one last time and then climbed back into his car. The dust kicked up as he drove away.
“Are you OK?” Elaine asked me.
“Yeah,” I assured her.
“I should get going.”
She looked at me, surprised.
“It was a long drive and I could use the company,” I begged.
“I don’t know,” she said.
“It’s on me.”
She was reluctant but eventually agreed. We headed over to a diner that was relatively quiet, but it was a small town and the Chief did mention a curfew. People were obviously scared about the disappearances. I ordered a nice hearty steak and enjoyed every bite. It may be a disheveled town but the food sure was amazing. Each piece was better than the previous.
Elaine told me how John was a troublemaker and didn’t really make too many friends, and that Chief Jackson was a good guy. I didn’t really blame him for not trusting me. I wouldn’t trust me either.
“So what happened to Penny?” I asked her. “Maybe I can help.”
She still didn’t really want to help me. I could see it in her eyes.
“I can help,” I assured her.
“You won’t believe me,” she promised.
Her eyes were darting back and forth until they finally settled on mine.
“We went out to the warehouse,” she started. “It’s supposed to be abandoned but there are stories of it being haunted. Right when we walked in we were attacked, by…”
“Go on,” I said.
I nodded my head and kind of wished she didn’t confirm what I already knew.
“You don’t look surprised,” she noticed.
I shook my head. “Unfortunately, no.”
That is when we heard John outside.
“Hey!” he yelled. “Get out here.”
“I have to go out there,” I said. “It’s getting dark.” It was getting dark. It would only be a matter of time before the vampires went out hunting. Especially since their last hunt was two days ago. That isn’t usually odd but with the way these ones have been hunting it was.
“You don’t think they’ll come out here?” she asked.
“Your friend isn’t the only one missing,” I pointed out to her.
I stood up and walked outside to meet the jerk that was making a whole bunch of noise. He might as well have had a flare and megaphone in his hands. As he saw me coming a smile stretched its way across his face.
“Come on,” he said.
“You need to shut up,” I warned him. “Get inside.”
Elaine had come outside and was right behind me.
“Don’t tell me what to do.” He started for me and got right in my face. “Let’s finish this.”
Just like that a flying vampire snatched him up. Oh yeah, they have wings and can fly. John yelled and Elaine screamed. I started to chase after him and immediately regretted it, because another one came and took Elaine.
I watched as the vampires flew away with two new victims, which was odd for them because they would only need one. That meant that the nest is bigger than I thought it was. Even still, though, they don’t usually take more than one person to eat.
I felt stupid because I didn’t find out where the warehouse was and the vampires were gone within a matter of seconds. It was odd that they just ignored me because you can bet that they knew what I was when they saw me. I looked back into the diner and noticed that everyone had saw and was looking at me. I darted back in.
“Where’s the old haunted warehouse?” I asked openly.
Everyone just stared at me like I was crazy.
“If I don’t get there quick those two and anyone else those monsters have kidnapped are going to die,” I warned. “Assuming they are not dead already.” Most of them were.
The girl standing behind the counter stepped forward.
“It’s north,” she said. “Just head up Main Street for about five miles and you’ll see it.”
I had already wasted enough time so I ran out the door and climbed on my bike. Leaving just as much dust as the Chief left I was on my way to the factory. I just hoped I wasn’t too late…