Chapter 1: Bounty Hunter
I remember the beginning of the end of my life.
This memory is forever embedded into my mind for as long as my life is lived.
The year was 1720 and I was just ten years old. My family and I lived in a small one room cabin in the green mountains of Bucharest, Romania. I can see my mother now preparing dinner with an apron tied around her waist and her black hair pulled tightly into a bun. That night my father wasn’t home and, at the time, I was unaware of what he did every night. But after uncovering the truth I’m happy that I never knew.
I was lying across our dusty, wooden floor on my stomach reading. “Mother?” I said.
“Yes Jonathan?” she answered as she continued to stir the ingredients in her bowl.
“When will father be coming home?”
“He will be here shortly.” She put down her spoon. “Could you come here and cut this carrot for me?”
“Yes ma’am.” I stood up and ran over to dice the carrot. I remember hearing the thunder rumbling outside. Thunderstorms never really scared me as a child. In fact, I was never really frightened by anything at that age.
I put the carrot slices in the bowl as my mother ordered and began to cut more. Then suddenly, there was a knock on the door.
Even now, I can still hear that knocking though it’s so much louder in my nightmares.
“Jonathan, could you see who’s at the door?” My mother asked.
I obeyed like I always did at that age but now I wished I wouldn’t have opened that door. I wish I would’ve taken my mother away from the horror that unfolded that night.
The figure which stood in the doorway casted a long shadow over my small frame. I could barely see him.
“Hey there, lad,” he said as he squatted down to my level. I looked into his deep scarlet eyes. “Is your dear father home?”
I shook my head slowly.
“Well then,” He stood up. “I guess we’ll just have to kill you and your mum instead.”
His words petrified me as I wasn’t sure if I had heard him correctly but a blood-curdling scream snapped me back in action.
Spinning around on my heel, I saw my mother limp on the ground with a figure looming over her. She lied there weak and wilted, for she was dead by then. Her blood was smeared on the other figure’s face and he bore a sick smile as he slowly stood.
The blonde vampire tossed me across the room and I heard my shoulder break as I hit the wall.
“Johnny,” the vampire that murdered my mother began. “I’ve been planning this moment for a long time now and I am much obliged to welcome you into my world.” I stared up at him in fear as I held my wounded shoulder.
“I want to bring you into my family and show you the ways of the dark.” He started to circle me. “This is the beginning of the end of your life. You will live on in eternity, you’ll never die, and you will be powerful.” He knelt down next to me, “You will be more powerful than any other of your kind.”
I was in disbelief as I listened to this inhuman creature speak.
“Welcome to the darkness Jonathan Torok.”
That night changed my world forever and I became something more than a man.
This new life had begun that stormy night in Romania and I would come face-to-face with the end many centuries later.
The date read December 1, 2017 and it was eerily silent on the dark streets of New York City.
Without the streetlight on every corner the block would be pitch black. Every now and then I would pass a few people snuggling against their coats as they walked. On the streets at night I go unnoticed, but during the day, I always catch somebody’s eye.
I blend in with the night with my long black leather trench coat, my shoulder length black hair and my white hands were concealed by black leather gloves. The only thing that’s really visible is my pale face and deep red eyes.
As a bounty hunter, I like to camouflage myself so criminals won’t see me coming. Speaking of criminals, this was the reason I was out in the streets. I was looking for a man named Carl Young. He was responsible for the rape and murder of two teenage girls. New York City is full of crime so Chief Barbara Collins of the police department needs a vampire like me always on call. If she’s having major issues with a case she calls me. I like getting rid of killers on the street. Even though I am supposed to be a killer, I try to get rid of all the other monsters that threaten mankind. Right now, I need to locate Carl and I think I’ve found him.
There was a short, stout man with his back towards me and he was standing in an alley smoking a cigarette. I could smell his familiar scent from the crime scene of one of his victims. He didn’t look like much with his brown messy hair and big glasses. He looked like Jeffrey Dahmer, but it’s always the normal looking ones who are abnormal on the inside.
“Carl Young,” I spoke, my deep voice booming.
He looked over at me with a startled expression. “Who are you?” he asked in a harsh tone.
“I’m here to arrest you for the murders of Elizabeth Fields and Carly Allen.” His whole face seemed to change as I said that. Dropping his cigarette, he darted out of the alley way.
With a sigh I began to walk towards him as he fled from me. “Really Carl?” I asked. “You’re running? What a coward...” I began to pick up the pace. “Now, we can do this the hard way or the easy way, which one is it gonna be?”
He continued to run.
“The hard way it is then,” I ran after him and, within seconds, we were neck and neck, throwing him into a brick wall. I cuffed him, read him his rights, and then headed for the New York City Police Department.
The NYPD is a tall building consisting of many fine detectives and police officers. But there’s one in particular who trusts me with her life and that is the chief of the department: Barbara Collins.
She’s a classic blonde-headed and blue-eyed respectable forty-year-old beauty. Barbara was the first person to know in the department about me being a vampire.
After cracking an impossible murder case she made me a sort “bounty hunter”. Now, I could become a detective if I wanted to as she has offered me the job many times but I’ve always denied. I don’t want anything permanent, for I never stay in one place for too long. I live in a suitcase; I’m like a gypsy.
Dumping the trash off at the interrogation room, I subsequently entered Barbara’s office without knocking.
She looked up at me from her desk. “I thought vampires had to be invited before entering a room.”
“Yeah well, I’m not Dracula.” I said as I sat down in one of the big chairs before her desk.
“So, you got Young?”
“He’s getting questioned right now.”
She smiled and then she started looking around as if she was making sure no one was watching before getting up and closing the door and blinds.
I watched at her awkwardly. “Now Barbara, I know I’m attractive but can’t you wait until we get a little more privacy?”
She sat back down, giving me a serious look. “Jonathan I need to talk to you about something.”
This doesn’t sound good.
I scooted the big leather chair closer to her desk. “What’s going on?”
“Do you remember Daniel Saints?”
I was taken aback when she spoke the name I hadn’t heard in six years.
Daniel Saints was a patient at St. Reynold’s Asylum here in New York. He and another patient named Tom Sanders killed every patient, nurse, and doctor in that hospital, dubbed the “St. Reynold’s Massacre”. It was splattered all over the newspapers when it happened.
The two men were on the run for months before Tom Sanders was eventually caught and locked up in a mental hospital in Montgomery, New York. But Daniel was never found and it gives me chills to think that a monster like that is still out there. They did things that even a vampire like me couldn’t imagine. I saw the crime scene and it was a true horror story.
“Why are you asking me about Saints?” I asked. “The St. Reynold’s Massacre was six years ago.”
“Well,” she said as she leaned back in her chair, “A security guard at the Montgomery mental hospital was found dead this morning. The morgue said that one of his main arteries was cut. The security tape revealed a rather familiar face.” She then pulled out a yellow file and opened it before me. There he was, Daniel Saints, in a black and white photograph staring dead at the camera.
“Why the hell would Daniel be there?”
“Probably trying to bust out Tom.” She said. “Anyways I would be happy if you would go over to the hospital and set up an interview with Tom to see if he knows anything.”
“He didn’t know anything when he talked to the police after the St. Reynold’s Massacre. What makes you think that six years later he’s gonna say anything?”
“I just want to know if he talked to Daniel and if he said anything about his whereabouts.” She said. “We need to catch Saints, Johnny, he’s a dangerous man and I don’t want anything like the St. Reynold’s Massacre to ever happen again.”
I sighed. “Ok, I’ll go. But you’ll have to make an appointment.”
I smiled at her then stood up. “Well, I got to go. I’ll leave at three tomorrow and head over to Montgomery. I’ll take Vlad with me, he’s pretty intimidating.”
She smiled. “Thank you, Johnny.”
Then I finally left for home. Speaking of Vlad I’m sure he’s wondering where I am.
In the year of 1860, I was living in Rome and I had crossed paths with another vampire named Vladimir Sima, originally suspecting him as an enemy but that quickly changed.
We moved in together and have been traveling the world ever since. The two of us are opposites though, he’s an art professor at Julliard in Lincoln Square who enjoys peace and quiet while I love violence and action. Opposites definitely attract in this case. But regardless of our differences, the two of us make a great pair. I think I’ve found my true partner in life.
I came to our townhouse, walked up the steps, opened the door and entered the warm air of the apartment. I like our little townhouse. Entering through the front door, there’s a flight of stairs leading to the second story on the left and in front of you is the dining room and, to the right, there is the small kitchen. We have a sunken in living room with a long black leather sofa facing a flat screen TV sitting on a long table. We also have a fireplace that we rarely ever light. In the living room there are sliding doors that lead to the balcony which has a good view of the city.
Vlad was sitting at the little kitchen table reading the newspaper, he scared me when I came in because he was just sitting there in the darkness. Vlad has a rather grim appearance, for you would walk the other way if you saw him on the street. Nearing seven feet in height, he’s built like a body builder with long black hair that falls down his back. His eyes are a much lighter red than mine, well his eye is, for Vlad only has one eye. He conceals this with a black eye-patch.
When Vlad was a soldier in Alastaz’s army he endured many injures and the eye was just one of them. If he was human he would’ve died from such an injury, the only way you can kill a vampire is if you stab them straight through the heart. That’s how Alastaz made us.
Alastaz is a demon who created the vampire race but also the demon that killed my mother and the one who turned me into a vampire. We’ve tussled in the past which led to scars on his face. The two of us cannot stand to be in the same room together but his elder brother Henric got fed up with Alastaz’s evil games and decided to put him back in the Underworld where he belongs, although I still worry that Alastaz will rise again and come find me. But he’s been down there for over a hundred years so I doubt that he’ll be showing up anytime soon.
“Did you catch the crook?” Vlad asked and he put down the paper.
I switched on the light. “Why are you just sitting here in the dark?”
“I was waiting for you.”
“You scared me.”
I couldn’t help but smile at him. I sat across from him at the kitchen table. “Do you remember Daniel Saints?”
The surprise in his face illustrated it all. “That psycho that ganked everyone in the asylum?”
“That’s the one.” I said.
“What about him?”
“Montgomery’s hospital found one of their security guards dead. He bled to death after someone cut one of his arteries. Security tapes revealed Daniel to be culprit.”
“Do you think Daniel was there to bust Tom out?”
“That’s what Barbara said. She scheduled me an interview with Tom tomorrow afternoon so we can get some information on Daniel, if he has any. I was wondering if you wanted to go with me.”
“Why would I go? I’m just an art professor.”
“Yes, but you’re a good interrogator. After all, you were a soldier for over hundred years.”
He sighed. “True…but still…”
“Fine,” he said after a moment, sounding like a teenager.
“Good.” I stood up. “I’m going to bed. We’re leaving at three tomorrow so I suggest you head to bed as well.”
“You’re gonna make me get up that early on a Saturday?” I turned around and looked at him. “Dude, it’s three in the afternoon. Normal people get around at like eleven.”
“Yeah well we’re vampires we’re not normal.”
I smiled and headed upstairs. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Alright, whatever, goodnight,” I heard him say as I entered my room. The next morning, I will have to face a man who is responsible for more than a hundred murders. But, I’ve faced worse monsters than Tom Sanders.