Episode 16: Combat training…

The angel left me standing there in a mental fog. Not so much because he used some type of powers on me, but because I can stay down here for more than a day and not have to die some horrible death each night. One tiny problem… how do I even find these people I’m supposed to hunt? It’s not like God to leave me high and dry on information.

“Lose something?” a voice behind me said cheerfully.

“My mind, possibly.” I answered not quite knowing what to expect.

“Not likely. Overthinking it is probably what got you here.” he said.

I spun around wondering who would even know to find me here right now. A soft smile on a familiar face greeted me. Gabriel is tall, dark, and handsome. He wears all black, and doesn’t usually broadcast that he’s an archangel with the halo and wings and stuff that others tend to use.

“Am I in trouble?” I asked squeamishly, I know what his job is.

“No, you are here on a very interesting assignment and I am here to equip you for it. I mean, it’s not like there’s a chapter in the book of Acts on vampires and their associates… that you know of. The Vatican does keep certain things under wraps.” Gabriel continued.

“What kind of equipment? I asked as I tried to recall anything in the Bible at all about vampires. Nothing came to mind.

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“Well, you are going to need a few perks, angelic perks. You will be given our strength, our speed, our healing ability, and the gift of insight that will allow you to see up to 30 seconds ahead. It might not seem like much time, but when you’re moving in angelic speed it can last quite some time.” Gabriel continued.

“That sounds amazing!” I squealed. Still no teleporting huh?

“The first thing you need is combat training. You need to learn how to fight using these new gifts. The beings you are tasked with hunting have survived a very long time and will not go willingly.” Gabriel said as he walked up to me and held both of my hands.

He really is very handsome. I was distracted by his eyes until I noticed an odd mist surround us. As I looked around I felt a peace about being undead that I never thought I’d feel. God is still with me even though I am this now. As suddenly as the mist arrived, it subsided and I saw that we were standing in the middle of a dojo.

“This will be your home for the next few weeks while I train you. The first thing you must master is disobeying your thirst. Being a vampire has it’s obvious pitfalls.” he said chuckling.

“Do you think I can do it? I mean, I never considered the food part of this.” I asked as dread spread across my face.

I’d hate to kill someone, let alone drink their blood. That’s gross and messy and now somehow sounds delicious. I mean really delicious. I could go for a drink right now. The idea of a blood splattered random person made my stomach flip and then I understood what he meant. I can’t give in to this.

“I think you can do it.” he said as he read my face for signs of trouble.

I don’t think he wants to have to chase me down and pull me off of some poor person… like my ex-husband’s new wife. I mean really, that’s who you replaced me with? Sure, I was two handfuls but she is completely boring. At least my daughter gave him a run for his money as a teenager. I’m sure she did. Maybe boring is what he needed after that. I guess I can’t fault him for choosing her.

I think I really just fault myself for not choosing us over whatever I thought was so much more important at the time. I’d probably still be alive if I had. I could have died at the ripe old age of older than forty something, never have been homeless and attacked because I’m a woman alone on the streets, and at the very least still able to take care of my little girl. But, there’s no going back now.

“Thanks.” I said wryly. I messed up so badly. At least I get a chance to do something right.

“Let’s get to it. We’re not going to fight tonight, but you do need to get your bearings. First, you’ve been dead longer than you think. Your daughter is not a little girl anymore, she’s in her seventies. Your ex-husband still lives. In fact, he and your daughter are both in the same board and care facility.” Gabriel began.

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I let that sink in for a minute. This whole time I was redoing my death to make things right for my little girl and now she’s older than my mom was when I died. That hurts in a very specific way, like I failed her beyond all hope. I looked at Gabriel with pain in my eyes. He knew what I would ask.

“Yes, you can go and catch a glimpse of her. Do not speak to her or let her see you. I would hate to have to erase any part of her memory. I would suggest going into her room while she’s at a meal time and checking out the pictures of what her life became. She was alright. It hurt not to have you there, but she did have a decent life.” Gabriel explained.

“Right now?” I asked.

“No, it’s like three o’clock in the morning. Later Gemma.” he said laughing. “But since you’re so eager, you need to know that you are not going to be alone on this one. You have another family member who will be joining you on your hunt.”

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“Are you serious?” I asked and perked up. I wondered if it was my mom or one of my sisters.

“Your niece will be joining you. The one who you were close to.” he said.

“Does that mean…?” I began.

“Yes, she died of old age and came back as a result of one of our programs too.” Gabriel explained.

At least she died of old age and not sheer stupidity like I did. I hope she’s not coming with me in the form of an old woman though. That would make this whole hunting thing a lot harder.