The smell of burning wood and blood permeated the air. Snarls and screams from the distance frightened me as we tried to escape. My mother had a firm grip on me, as my father led the way. She was terrified as she held my hand; I could feel her trembling through our link. My father, on the other hand, was armed with a machete, ready for whatever came his way. Even if he couldn’t kill one, there was no way that he was going down without a hard fight.
Being the last noble family in the area, we became a prime target for our enemy; vampires.
“Marnie, honey, keep up,” my mother said, pulling me along behind her. My little legs were very fatigued from moving so quickly. I had barely woken up when all the commotion started.
A servant boy brought up the rear of our party. He was quite large for his age, about ten or twelve. His eyes were a piercing green, and his dark hair was shaggy around his eyes. “Boy,” my father said, waving him forward. Whispering something in his ear, the boy scampered off, away from the pandemonium.
Approaching the closest barn, we carefully crept through, as not to disturb the horses. Peering out the other side, we were still a far cry from the woods. With the coast clear, my parents breathed small sighs of relief.
“Marnie,” my father said, motioning for me to go to him. Gathering me in his arms, they began to run, at a much faster pace than I would have been able to keep up with.
Two steps from the barn, a loud growl pierced the air.
Gripped by fear, I held onto my father tightly as he ran. My parent’s eyes grew wide as their steps hastened. Handing me off to my mother, my father ran back to the barn, releasing the horses in hopes they would slow them down.
Managing to make it to the woods, a horrible, guttural scream resonated behind us. Turning back, we saw a vampire tearing open my father’s throat. Through the veil of tears, I was unable to see the vampire’s face.
“In the woods!”
“They went that way!” the vampires yelled to each other.
Their voices startlingly close, my mother widened her steps, trying to put as much distance between us as she could.
Taking momentary refuge behind a large tree, she looked around for a moment. “Marnie, do you remember where to hide?” Nodding, I pointed directly behind me. “Good girl,” she praised. “I want you to run as fast as you can there. Do not leave until I come for you.” Wrapping me tightly in her arms, I felt her tears through my clothing. “You’re such a good girl. I’m so happy to have been able to take care of you.”
Releasing me, she smoothed the hair from my face, placing a kiss on my forehead. Shoving me in the direction behind me, a pleading look came over my face. “Mommy!” I cried.
“Go! Go, now!”
Then, I watched her take off in the opposite direction from me.
Gathering my fleeting courage, I sped off as fast as I could toward the hiding place. As a precaution, my father built in the event vampires found us. For years, we’d managed to live in peace. We never harmed anyone. Yet, vampires sought us out to slaughter.
A familiar, piercing scream in the distance caught my attention. I froze immediately.
There were voices in the distance.
“Tell me where she is!” a venomous voice growled.
I peeked out from behind a large tree.
Before me, the bloody scene unfolded. My mother was on her knees, bleeding from the neck, hair disheveled, her dress tattered and torn. “You’ll have to kill me.” She spat back in the vampire’s face.
Furious, the vampire hit Mother with such a force that he snapped her neck.
A scream escaped me, and the vampire’s head jerked in my direction. “Over there!” he pointed.
Scrambling to my feet, I bolted off as fast as my feet could carry me, but to no avail. Suddenly, I was airborne, my body hurled into a tree. “There you are, you little bitch! You get the same fate as your filthy parents!”
I hope it’s quick.
“Stop!” another voice bellowed.
The vampire standing before me immediately halted his hand. “Why? She’s human,” he said, hissing.
It was hard for me to focus from the force of my skull hitting the tree. My eyes couldn’t adjust to my surroundings, making me unable to clearly see the beings that surrounded me. The pounding in my head was unbearable, and I could hear my heartbeat thump against my skull.
“She could be useful,” he barked at his subordinate. “Bring her, unharmed.”
No one made a move.
“Useless cretins,” he snarled.
“My lord, she’s just a child,” one vampire reasoned.
“Silence!” he commanded. “Everything in due time.”
My body felt like it was floating, the cold air bit my skin.
“Don’t worry, little one. We’ll meet again someday.” Through my obscured vision, I only caught a glimpse of his deep blue eyes, and strikingly blonde hair. Then, his large arms encircled my body as blackness surrounded me.