I remember letters from people over the years claiming to have seen a zombie. Letters I laughed at as vampires trying to get my attention so they could turn me in to Primus for a reward. Letters from people who had been undead for so long that they were going crazy with age like the humans, only the undead version is called “Heat Psychosis” due to the fires of Hell awaiting anyone who tries to get out of giving the undead life.
Well, apparently I owe a good deal of people an apology. There they are. Hungry, slow but steady, focused, possessed bodies that are in a state of decay but spry enough to commit mass genocide if unleashed. So this is what the Reign of Blood Primus always had planned was about?
I had heard whispers coming out of Transylvania that Dracula had taken up his old habits of war and chaos. But, I quickly dispelled the idea because open impalement for the sake of putting your victim on a spit and having roasted blood clots is frowned upon in the modern world. Especially by VETA because of the unnecessary suffering the victim is going through. In fact, if I remember correctly, Dracula’s open disregard for people and the open impalement and roasting is what inspired the first chapter of VETA to assemble.
But, why would he want zombies? No one messes with dead meat because bodies that have been dead long enough for the blood to go bad taste like rotten fruit. Vampires wouldn’t attack them for food, or mess with them in general to avoid possession by whatever dark spirit inhabits the dead body.
What is the point of this? They look deranged, and like they recognize me??
“I command you all to stand still in the name of Jesus.” I said as I collected my thoughts and decided to investigate further.
There was a painful snarl and moaning throughout the crowd of zombies heading towards me. Nonetheless, they all stood still as though my words had physically bound them as their eyes followed my every move hatefully.
“Who sent you?” I asked the crowd.
“Our Lord.” They all answered.
“And his name is?” I demanded.
“Vlad.” They all said.
Vlad the Impaler I bet… also known as Dracula. Although I could swear he had been going by the name of Aiden or something for the last century or so.
“Where is he?” I asked.
“Gone.” They answered.
“Where are you headed?”
“All who oppose our Lord.”
“All who live again.”
I shook my head. A riddle it seems. All who live again. Not just all who live. No, this is slick. The again part made my stomach drop. I heard footsteps in the grass behind me.
“I command…” I began only to be met by a demented smile on a tall vampire whose hand currently had my blood pouring over it past the knife he’d thrust into my stomach.
“Shut up.” He said as he reviled in my physical pain and surprise from his appearance.
“No, I command…” I began again. He twisted the knife.
“You command nothing. Because of you these here will waste away in a matter of three days because none of us have the power to reverse what you’ve done here. You stupid wench. Now where do you think these dark spirits will go huh? Skipping back to the flames? No. They will enter those who are weak minded and hard hearted in the town over there and the real fun will begin.” He continued.
“No, they’d have consumed the humans already if it was that easy.” I countered and winced.
“Oh a smart one we have here. Well, that doesn’t make much difference does it. It’s still lights out for you darling. You little bible thumping brat. Now die already.” He insisted.
“I plead the blood of Jesus over myself.” I managed weakly.
All at once, the blood on his hands began eating away at his skin until his hands and wrists withered away to ash. He looked at me angrily. I seemed to have turned myself into a Holy Object, including my spilt blood. He was handless and although he still looked like he was more angry than afraid, he walked past the zombies towards the woods they’d come from.
I was still in pain, but I could feel the slit from the knife’s blade closing layer by layer until I was only bleeding superficially. I followed the handless would be huntsman to a lake that only spanned further into the woods. He walked into it. I half expected alligators or something to swarm and tear him apart, but the water was otherwise very still.
My curiosity was pulling me to the water’s edge. I stood in the water, only one foot in. How can I stop the hungry? Wasn’t my mission complete by stopping the zombies in the woods? Was it really necessary for me to try and solve the whole mystery by myself and get to the bottom of this… lake? What good would it do if I walked into a trap though?
I have a feeling that there is a secret door or something leading into the mine and the culprit behind all of this. But what if I watch too much tv? What if there is nothing down there at all that leads to a way out and an opportunity to run for my life if need be? What if I’ve been goaded into a lake full of vampires and zombies ready to tear me apart and this is where they’ve been hiding them?
“Well, I didn’t think I’d find you here? After all, you are the new Grace are you not?” said a smooth man’s voice.
All at once the rage for what had been done to Grace and Belle came flooding over me. Grace was executed for being bugged by an immortal. Her place on the Vampire Council was meant to be filled by me. Only, Primus decided that me in my right mind would only continue to oppose him so he had a dark spirit implanted to split my mind and take over my body. Due to a case of mistaken identity, Belle was implanted instead of me and is now Grenhelda the new Councilwoman. Belle is Troy’s most recent ex-wife who only became a vampire because Troy felt sorry for himself after Grace died.
“What makes you say that?” I asked as the man revealed himself from behind a tree.
“Only the council was warned not to go deeply into the lake. Everyone else walked into a pool of hungry zombies and vampires that don’t need to breathe.” He continued.
“Progress report.” I said trying to sound official and like being on the Council was a good thing.
“Hmm. On target.” He said just as vaguely.
“Pretend I didn’t do the reading.” I sarcastically answered him.
“Nor would I expect you to. Most of it is gibberish unless you are a scientist which you are not. But, for the most part, the idea is to target specific vampires and send zombies after them. Everyone whose portrait shows that they are trying to become human again and become alive again. Every turncoat vampire in our empire.” He said.
“I see.” As I bent down to touch the water with my index fingers. “I bless this water in the name of Jesus.”
All at once, almost 200 bodies stood up wailing in the water trying to escape while seeming to be put to death as they attempted to wade out of the lake. Vampires had instant life thrown at them only for all of their years to catch up to them and burst into the ash of a century old carcass. Others seemed to melt into a bloody and steaming pile of bones.
The man who stood behind me looked me in the eye and stood toe to toe with me. “I had a feeling you were going to cause a mess here. But, that’s why you were called.”
“You are the informant?” I asked trying to compose myself at the sight of hundreds of zombies freaking out and melting.
“Does an angel need one? After all, it was Rafael who sent you is it not? I am merely on the list of zombie targets hoping to have one less thing to worry about.” He said as he slinked back into the woods and left me there standing in a lake of blood.
The sound of helicopter blades was closing in. I took one last look and then walked briskly back to the woods to the place where I’d left the group of zombies I initially stumbled upon.