Saturday, May 11, 2013

Flash Fiction: Desperate Slayer

Thanks to Chuck Wendig, I am able to exercise a new writing muscle by trying my hand at smashing two subgenres into one short story. My two, randomly generated, subgenres were Haunted House and Weird West. Hope you enjoy!

 Desperate Slayer 

The vampire sank his teeth into my bicep, he would’ve ripped it apart had it not been for the rope I tied around his legs a moment before. The idiot creature already forgot. I pulled the rope and watched the vampire fall to the floor as his feet were yanked out from under him.

I took my gun from its holster and shot him effortlessly in the heart, turned on my heel and left immediately. I swung my leg over the back of my horse, careful not to put pressure on my injured arm, and gave him a silent nudge with my spurs
In the last year there was a surge of vampires, they started popping up everywhere and they were no longer afraid of us. My home was the only place I felt completely safe anymore. That is, until she started making appearances.
It was harmless at first, she popped up a few weeks ago for a few seconds and would disappear without a word. She had started sticking around for longer and longer, staring at me with cold, dark eyes. Three nights ago, she communicated with me for the first time. She showed me vivid scenes of Native American villages getting pulverized. White men on horseback drove families from their homes and killed those who did not leave willingly.

Dismissing her from my mind for the moment, I sat down and removed my leather chaps and boots. Last to come off was the ten-gallon hat my wife had given me for our five-year anniversary. I now wore the hat exclusively when I hunted. It would always remind me of her and how one of them took her life. The day I saw the vampire suck the life from my wife’s throat one drop at-a-time was the day I vowed to die killing them.

I collapsed, exhausted, on the couch and let my thoughts wander, noticing after a while that they weren’t my thoughts at all, they were hers.

Nara, Nara Harjoe, she introduced herself. Her voice was beautiful and withdrawn in my head.
“What do you want from me?” I asked.

I want you to stop interfering.
“What do you mean? Interfering with what?”
Stop killing them. You’re ruining everything.
I’m ruining everything? You’re sick. They’re monsters that are killing innocent people.”
You don’t know anything.
Immediately, my small living room disappeared and I was seeing the same blood bath she had shown me a few days ago. Dozens of Native Americans were fleeing, running from the rancher’s with guns. The rancher’s checked every house and shot those who tried to fight or refused to leave.
One of the ranchers aimed at an Indian man who was trying to set fire to crops. When he shot he missed. Instead, he hit a child who was strapped to the back of his mother. The bullet went through the child’s skull and grazed the mother’s shoulder. The woman turned around, and her familiar face was distorted in anguish. Nara touched the fatal wound of her only son. She clung to him, rocking back and forth, her sobs turning into rattling breaths. Her tears transforming from sadness to a promise of revenge.

The scene dissolved around me and changed to a dark night. Nara stood in the center of a stone pattern, under a cloudless sky and a full moon. Her wrists were slit and she was chanting. Her dark face was smeared with mud and blood, her face lifted to the sky and her arms opened, as if she were offering herself to something. Her body burst into flame and the scene dissolved again.

Next I saw her as the apparition I had come to know, she was at the bed side of a dead man, she made herself one with him until his eyes blinked open and he turned into a vampire.
I shook my head, snapping out of it. “What the hell? Who are you? Why are you doing this?”

You saw. They killed my son, my only love. I made a deal with The Dark One, He promised me I could rid the world of those men and their children. All their children.  

“And my wife?” I yelled. “What did she do to your family?”
She was a casualty.
How is what you’re doing any different than what they did to you? You’re killing innocent people! Leave me the hell alone.”

It’s different. Her expression had changed after a thoughtful silence.  Those men…they took everything from me.
“And how do you think I felt when I stared into the eyes of my dead wife as one of the monster’s you created sucked the life from her veins?”
A single tear escaped from her eye and she vanished.

With a new sense of purpose, I grabbed my hat and embarked on another hunt.
I waited, rope ready and gun holstered, until I saw one of them creep out of the shadows and into the moonlight. I kicked the horse and we ran toward him, not seeing the other vampire behind me. He jumped up and wrapped himself around me. I rolled off the horse just as the vampire lunged for my throat. He jumped off after me and I kicked my foot out in time to sink my spur into his stomach. He barely flinched.

I held him at arm’s length with my injured arm, fumbling with my holster with my other. He pushed forward, inch-by-inch, until I could feel his breath on my neck.  He snapped his teeth millimeters from my neck and I knew I was done. My arm finally gave out and I closed my eyes, embracing death…but nothing happened.

Nara stood over me, the vampire lifeless on the ground. You were right, I’m sorry.

I breathed heavily, remembering everything that had happened over the last few years, all the pain and near death experiences. Then I remembered the look on Nara’s face as she rocked her dead child back and forth and turned to The Dark One for help. And she saved me. “I forgive you,” I said.

She looked at me in astonishment and, suddenly, started becoming more substantial. She turned her hands over, watching them turn to flesh once more. “You truly forgive me,” she said, shocked. “For decades men and women have prayed that I would suffer the most unspeakable fates for what I have done to them. But you…you truly forgive me. You’ve freed me from The Dark One.” She pulled me into a sobbing embrace that spoke more thanks than she ever could.

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