I called Iraz after school.
“Yo, sista,” he answered.
I sighed, but smiled anyway. “You shouldn’t answer the phone like that. People will notice.”
“Don’t care. Hey, it’s good you called. Some hikers went lost and while searching, I found something interesting. You should come and check it out.”
“I’ll be there in a few.”
“See you later,” he said.
Ten minutes later, I had run at inhuman speed to the forest, where I knew Iraz was.
“Hi, sista,” he greeted me with his usual smile. While he was going on as my father, Iraz’s true appearance didn’t look like me at all. He had very light blond hair and very bright blue eyes. Guess he had finished his shift.
“‘Sup bro?” I asked. “Needed me?”
“Yeah, since you can use more gifts than me. Some hikers went missing. I told my colleagues it looked like an animal attack. But you should take a look at this.” He pointed at the forest floor.
I squatted and took a close look at the floor. It was just a left footprint from a human. But when I glanced around, I didn’t see a right footprint.
“Hmmm…” I hummed. I walked a bit in the direction the person was running to and a huge distant further I found a right footprint. “If I’m right, the speed of this person, or whatever it is, was at least 900 miles per hour.” I gasped. “That’s definitely too fast for a human.”
“Maybe it was one of us?” Iraz said.
“No, that’s impossible. I would have seen an Ether coming in a vision when he or she would decide to come. This is something different.” I sniffed the air. “Were the hikers found?”
“Nope, we couldn’t find them.”
“I think I found them.” I smelled the air around me again and followed the closest scent of human flesh. I heard Iraz following me and he bumped into me as I came to a sudden halt.
“It stops here,” I said softly and looked around. But then I looked up. “Oh my god, Iraz, how many went missing?”
“Around twelve, I guess. Why?”
I pointed at the enormous tree above us. “We found them all. I count seventeen corpses.”
Above us, as if it was the biggest Christmas tree ever, dead bodies hang on every branch. I heard Iraz gasping in complete horror, while I jumped in it, and freed the lowest body. Gently, I laid the man on the forest floor. Dark brown hair with grey tufts between them, 58 years old, woodchopper, no wife or children.
I frowned, before I took out my pocket knife.
“What are you doing?” Iraz asked.
“Look.” I mad a cut in the wrist of the woodchopper. I watched as the flesh was revealed, but there was no blood. “That’s why you couldn’t smell them. They’re all drained. Dry to the last drop. All have the same wounds in their neck.” I grew more and more angry. “This is not good. Iraz, I need to tell you something. You know about the story I told you about Gares’ death?”
“Yeah yeah, vampires, right? Do you think vampires did this?”
“Yes, but that’s not what I wanted to tell you. Today at school, I saw five kids. All pale, inhumanly beautiful and golden eyes.”
“Well, then, it couldn’t have been them, right? Because of the golden eyes?”
“That doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous, Iraz. I will talk to them when I get the chance, but I want you as far away from them as possible.”
“Aye, aye, captain,” he chuckled. “We’ll get these killers, but in the meanwhile, we need to get back to the hospital. You’ve got a job to do.”
I smiled. “Absolutely, I’ve got a duty to discharge.”