I woke up in the middle of the night to my mom shaking me and my dad yelling somewhere in the distance. We were in the middle of a thunderstorm and I heard lightning crackle about seventy feet away from us. My mom and I were in our four-person tent out in the middle of the woods. I couldn’t see my dad but I heard him yelling something about five yards away.
“Arabella!” My mom called out whale shaking me.
“Hmm,” I responded, still a little groggy. “What is it, mom?”
“You need to get up baby, grab your things quickly.” My mom says grabbing a backpack and starts stuffing things inside. I followed suit and grabbed my dark red backpack. I managed to throw my flashlight, one bottle of water, and a half-full box of crackers into my bag before my dad busted through the opening in the tent.
“I couldn’t hold them back any longer!” My dad yelled and as I turned around I saw that the side of his face was cut open and his clothes were covered in blood.
“What’s happening!?” I ask concerned.
“Class X,” My dad says, grabbing his bag and coat. “We don’t have much time! They are right behind me, we need to go now!”
My dad starts pushing me to the opening in the tent and as I step out into the pouring rain and I caught a split-second glimpse of about five or six class X vampires. They were clumsily running towards our tent. Their skin was so pale it was almost translucent, and they were so thin I could see their bones through their torn clothes.
“Come on Arabella!” My dad yells as he grabs my arm and starts pulling me deeper into the woods. It was still storming out and we were soaked. Lightning struck a tree not too far away from us and the tree was enveloped in flames.
I look over my shoulder to see my mom struggling to keep up and the class X vamps closing in on her. My dad notices and yells for her to catch up. She trips over a tree root and collapses into the mud. She tries to recover but is not quick enough. One of the class X vampires jumps on her back and sinks its jagged fangs into her neck. I scream and my dad lets out a shaky breath and pulls me along faster.
My short legs were getting tired and I was breathing hard. My dad continued at the same speed, never slowing down. Eventually, we ran across a rusted chain-link fence and my dad let out a string of curses. He looked around, panicked and let out a sigh.
“Alright Ella,” My dad says looking at me with sad eyes. “I’m going to give you as much time as I can. I want you to climb that fence then run.” He took our bags and threw them over the fence.
“Start climbing Ella!” My dad yelled at me and turned to face the horde of class X vampires chasing us. He drew the butcher knife that he uses for a weapon.
“Dad!” I called out as he started running towards the horde of bloodthirsty beasts.
“Start climbing Arabella!” He called back to me.
I did as I was told and began to climb the rusted fence. With tears in my eyes, I pulled myself up the wet fence and jumped down to the other side. I picked up the bags and turned around just in time to see my dad get pinned down by two class X bloodsuckers. He let out a yell and I turned away and started to run.
Hot tears were streaming down my face and mixing with the cold rainwater. I could hear the growl of class X vampires in the distance. I was all alone now, my family is dead and I need to survive on my own.
After I put some distance between me and the fence I slowed to a walking speed. I came across a road with a few abandoned cars. As I approached a rusted red car I noticed two skeletons inside. There was a skeleton of an adult in the driver’s seat and a tiny skeleton, not much smaller than me, strapped into some kind of weird chair.
With a shiver, I turned my gaze away from the skeletons and continued down the road. I eventually came across a city with really tall buildings. Most of the buildings were collapsed, but there were a few still standing.
I came across an old building that was mostly intact. It had vines creeping up the side and all of the windows were broken. I pushed open the rusted doors with a groan. It was still dark out and I could hardly see anything. I took out my flashlight and managed to find an old desk in the middle of the room. I set the bags on the desk and started to look at my dad’s stuff.
I unzipped the bag and found a can of fruit, a black marker, and an ebony-colored sleeping bag. I continued searching the side pockets and what I found next made tears fall from my eyes all over again. In the side pocket of the bag, I found my dad’s silver dog tag with letters crudely carved into it “A-J”. Those are my parent’s initials. “A” for Annie and “J” for Jonathan. “EM” was carved in small letters under my parent’s initials.
I didn’t know what “EM” meant but I didn’t care. With shaky hands and heavy sobs, I clipped the silver chain holding the dog tag around my neck. My small fingers closed around the tag and laid down on the floor sobbing.
I don’t know how long I stayed there, but when the tears finally stopped falling it was light outside. I pushed myself off the floor and looked at the two backpacks. It would be too difficult to carry both and my father’s ebony-colored bag was bigger than my ruby-colored one. I took my things out of my bag and stuffed them into my dad’s. The bag was mostly full but still had room for other things I may need. I decided it would be good to scavenge for more supplies while I was here.
There were two hallways on both sides of the desk. I chose the hall on the left and noticed there were three doors. The first door has been ripped off its hinges and is now lying face down in the hallway. There were old muddy footprints over the door and across the hall. I let out a sigh knowing that meant someone has already been here and probably took all useful supplies with them.
I entered the first room and my suspicions were confirmed. The room was stripped of everything except an old rotten table in the center of the room. The next room was more of the same. The door was hanging on by one hinge and had a large hole in the center. There was another rotting table in the middle of the room with some tipped over chairs around it.
I approached the third room and noticed this door was mostly intact.
Hopefully, that’s a good sign. I thought to myself.
I pushed open the door with a little too much force and it hit the wall with a bang. There were no windows in the room so it was pitch black. I didn’t want to waste my flashlight’s battery so I squinted my eyes and tried to have them adjust to the dark. I could make out a rotting wooden table in the center of the room with some odd symbols carved into it. I stepped in and made my way over to a shelf on the far wall. The shelf had a book with covers that were too badly faded to read and they had a thick layer of dust covering them.
I grabbed the book off on the shelf and blew the dust off the cover. Dust flew everywhere and I started coughing. I pulled open the cover and discovered it was some kind of journal with odd pictures off to the sides. The journal was written in a language I didn’t understand. The first page read “Ventus audi animi mei et mitte auxilium vocat.”
“Well, look what I found!” A cheerful male voice behind me. I slowly turned around and froze. The book fell from my hands and I covered my mouth in horror. The man was dressed all in black with a four-pointed star over his chest. “Is this human child able to read that book? What a delightful surprise!”
I recognized the man standing in front of me only because of the tone in his voice. The person on the other side of the room was not human, he was a vampire. You can’t tell by his looks, other than his pale skin he looks just like any other human. The only way I can identify him was because of how he was talking to me like he was superior.
The vampire started coming closer and I began to panic. I looked around for a way out but he was blocking the only exit. I picked up the journal intending to use it as some kind of weapon. As the vampire came closer he grabbed my wrist as I was swinging the journal at him.
“Nice try little pet,” the vampire said in a low and threatening voice to me. “Why don’t you be a good girl and tell me what you read in that book.”
“Y- you have it wrong! I- I can’t read it!” I tried explaining with tears in my eyes. “It was in a different language!”
“Is that so?” The vampire said with one of his lips curling up in a half-smile. “What if I told you that book looks blank to me, little pet?”
I stood there shocked. How was it possible that the book looked empty to him?
“Now,” the vampire said, leading me to one of the chairs in the corner of the room. He pushed me into the chair and pulled another one across from me. He sat in the other chair and crossed his arms. “Do you want to know what I think?”
I gave a small nod and he continued. “My guess is that you can read that book whale others can not because your- hmm, let us say special. Only a handful of humans can read these journals and you, my dear seem to be one of them. Now tell me, what exactly did you read in that book?”
“I- I don’t know! I can’t understand it!”
“You know something, little pet?” The vampire said standing up. “I’ve had just about enough of this!” He said, throwing me against the wall and putting his hand over my throat. He leaned in and I could feel his breath on my cheek and whispered, “The only reason I have not killed you yet is that you are quite valuable. Our prince has requested that we find as many of you as possible and bring you back to him. Now I am going to give you one last chance, little pet. Tell me what you read or I will end your life right here, right now.”
“A-Alright!” I said struggling to breathe. The vampire loosened his grip slightly and I took in a big breath. “The journal said ’Ventus audi animi mei et mitte auxilium vocat.’”
After I finished saying the last word a big gust of wind came out of nowhere. It blew the vampire across the room so hard when he hit the wall you could see cracks where his body had hit. Tables, chairs, and papers blew in every direction. My hair and clothing were being tossed by the mysterious wind and I saw everything in the room be carried in circles around me. It was so loud I could barely hear the vampire screaming at me, telling me I will regret this. Before the wind stopped I made my escape back threw the door, down the hallway, and straight out of the building.
I didn’t stop when I reached the road. I continued running as fast as my little legs would allow until I made it back into the forest. I tripped over some rocks and didn’t try to get back up. I lay there breathing hard and fast.
What was that!? I thought to myself. That room had no windows! Where did that wind come from?
I felt tired from all that running and I was nauseous. My vision was fuzzy and my heart was pounding in my chest. My ears were ringing but I could have sworn I heard a voice.
“Welcome to your destiny Ella.~” Said a soft female voice. It was the last thing I heard before the world went dark and I fell unconscious.