It was a very simple job- a little snatch and grab, a lot of reward. Silver didn't know exactly what the King wanted with the child she now held in her grasp, but in truth she didn't care. It had been fun; the terror on that girl's face as she sunk her teeth in had been a reward in itself; an unexpected bonus of a takeaway dinner. Yes, it had been very simple indeed. Now all she had to do was deliver the package.
Silver walked away from the scene without hurry or agitation. She talked to herself as she went- rehearsing her planned conversation with the King as the child squirmed in her arms. Dig the nails in quick- that would make the brat stop screaming. A little pain served and then on with the journey. Close to home now, not much further.
But then the sudden darkness. Silver only managed to let out a small gasp of surprise as she felt cool fingers press down on her neck, cruising across her skin until they found the spot, and she slipped into unconsciousness.
As the creature's grip loosened and she slumped to the ground, Maia tumbled from her arms and onto the damp grass. The child let out a squeak as she regarded the body on the floor, and a further sound echoed when she saw the other figure now towering over her. She'd seen him before, she knew that now. He frightened her, and she froze.
Hands reached down and lifted Maia, and as she was taken she could only wish to herself- 'if only I were older, stronger, taller- then I could save myself'. Maia had been saved by others all her life, but she knew it couldn't last forever. She knew the eventually she would have to learn to protect herself, before her luck ran out.
Kale muttered to himself as he neared the end of his journey, thinking of the wasted trip across town and wondering why he had been called into work for no reason. It had been annoyingly pointless, but at least now he could come home and spend some time with his wife and baby. A smile now as Kale thought of that, but then the expression slipped as he reached his home. Opposite him the vampire watched.
Kale could only stare helplessly as the creature glared, and his heart reached desperately for Maia as she screamed and thrashed in the vampire's arms. It was a stand-off, and one that would not end well... or so Kale thought. Abruptly, seemingly without reason, the vampire took Maia, placed her safely on the ground, and ran off into the night.
There would be time for analysis- time to make sense of what had just happened- but for now Kale was just glad that Maia was okay, and glad that the vampire had not attacked them. He picked Maia up, hugged the girl closely and tried to calm her down, and walked up the steps towards his front door. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the body, and his heart pitched deep into the pit of his stomach.
A laugh escaped Kale's lips, but it was short and sharp- more like a bark. A painful grimace contorted his face as he observed his wife; waited for her to move, get up, share the joke with him. But the body stayed still. He touched her hand- it was cold. He let it go- it thudded to the floor. She was dead.
Kale began to cry. His heart heaved and his hands trembled but the tears never came, instead his eyes just ached and his throat just burned. In the distance he heard the frantic cries and laboured breathing of Glade and his date as they ran across the road towards him.
When Glade reached the porch he immediately turned to Kale to ask him questions whilst Lexie leaned heavily against the railing and tried to catch her breath. For a second there was hysteria as Glade looked for Maia but this passed when he saw her sitting safely on the floor, though her clear distress disturbed him. Glade turned back to Lexie and grasped at her hand, smiling and repeating that it was okay over and over. Lexie gripped his hand firmly, placed her palm against his face, and gently turned his head around. Glade saw that it was definitely not okay.
The body lay on the floor and its cold presence mocked them.
There were no words; Glade could only hold out his hands to Kale and try to keep them from shaking. He pulled Kale towards him, the need to wrap his arms around his friend seemed all consuming, and Glade wondered if that was because, without another to hold on to, both would just fall apart.
Lexie took Maia into the house and checked on the baby asleep inside. Outside Glade held Kale and tried to keep his world from ending.
After a little while Kale made moves of independence- calmly moving out of Glade's embrace and standing alone. He avoided Glade's eyes, thinking he wouldn't be able to bear any more sadness than his own, but that emotion didn't stay steady for long. Soon a harsher force pushed its way to the surface- one that scorched and itched, begging for action. Anger is an easier thing to feel than sorrow, indeed.
Kale calmly turned to his friend and thanked him for his comfort, but asked him to leave him for a moment and perhaps check on the children. Of course Glade wasn't about to refuse his broken companion, so he went inside the house and joined Lexie. He saw her shaking and held her too; thoughts of Kale escaping his mind for a minute. That was all the time Kale needed to steal away from his living nightmare.
Across town Drake paced the small scope of his crypt and licked his wounds. After bringing Silver back to their lair she had not treated him kindly, instead turning on him with hostility after she had regained consciousness. She demanded to know why he had stopped her taking the child but he had no explanation that would satisfy her, and so Silver had scowled, pouted, and ran off back to her King. Drake was used to their fights, but in near two decades together it had never stopped hurting.
Time is insignificant when you live in darkness, but still Drake knew of its passing. He waited for a while, wondering if Silver would come back to him, but before long it was evident that she wasn't finished sulking. He liked to think that was all it was- petulance and defiance- but since that King had come into their lives he had felt Silver changing, and suspected she hadn't returned because she was happier with the Master.
Drake sighed deeply, though no air passed his lips, and prepared himself for rest now that the sun was imminent. Wandering vacantly over to his coffin he trailed a finger through the layers of dust and wrote her name in it. When he heard the door creak he smiled and turned to greet his love, but it was hate instead that confronted him. He began to speak but halted quickly as he saw the weapon in hate's hand.
Back at the house Lexie was alone. It hadn't taken long for Glade to notice Kale's absence and, after grasping Lexie feverishly and instructing her to stay in the house with the doors locked, he had raced off after his friend. Lexie didn't know much about ghosts- she didn't know if Kale could even be killed- but she knew that Glade would not let his friend risk danger alone. She admired that about him, and tried to imagine his strength was her own as she fought her fears.
Meanwhile, in the room behind her where Maia sat playing, a strange violet glow began to materialise and fill the space with its light.
Most little girls wish that they were special, but only a few truly are.
In the hallway Lexie was disrupted by a confusing sound- noise like a hundred tiny bones cracking all at once... Bemused, Lexie placed the sleeping baby Cayden back in his crib and turned to face the discord. There stood a stranger, and she was smiling.
In the vampire's lair Drake faced his demons. The ghost before him trembled with emotion but the hand that held the knife was strong, and Drake knew he was prepared to use it. At first he opened his mouth to protest but one look at the boy's face told him no.
When he'd stopped Silver he hadn't seen the body on the porch, but he had smelt the blood; now he could only taste the fury. Someone had died tonight and it wasn't over.
A rush of commotion at the door and Glade burst in, sweat and fear too. He quicky scanned the room, frantic eyes darting between Kale and Drake, Kale and Drake, Kale and The Knife and Drake. It glowed- that was odd- the knife seemed to possess the same ghostly power that Kale was composed of. Glade wondered if that would affect its savage potential.
Fear did not immediately present itself, and instead Drake stared into the eyes of a hollow man as he chewed his bottom lip. He bit it til it bled but still nothing changed- the ghost's anger remained and so did the danger, and Drake couldn't help but think that maybe this was meant to be. He had done so much in his life and now his sins outnumbered his years; maybe it was time to pay for them.
The blade hovered and made promises of retribution, but the vampire stayed still. He thought about fighting back; relented. As final fatality loomed Drake thought about the black marks of his past, and the one that had brought him to this...