My name on his lips was just a whisper. Nevertheless, it was like a scream in the silent church. I had walked up and down, but the Father’s voice made me stop. I watched him turn around to me. He didn’t say a word. His facial expression told me everything I needed to know: the moment had come. My executioner was here.
Slowly, I walked over to the Padre. Immediately, he barred my way.
“Don’t do it, Ada. Please!” he said.
I stood on the tip of my toes and hugged him tightly, my rock. For minutes we stood like that, until a cracking sound coming from behind me made us let go of each other. It was the camera’s microphone coming to life when the vampire spoke to us for the first time tonight.
“I have come to get your mistress, church man.”
I looked at the Father. For a brief moment we exchanged our thoughts by just looking into each other’s eyes. I saw him pressing his jaws together. He straightened up. Now, he radiated strength again, just like he had done the first time the vampire had been here, though it was just to be seen on the outside. On the inside, it was different. Still, he didn’t want to show his weakness to anybody but me.
The key turned in the lock. The portal softly creaked as the Father slowly opened it. The square in front of the church was filled with enemies I had been hunting for years. Could it be there were more of them here this time?
My executioner emerged from the crowd and stopped in the middle of the square. Grinning, he bowed to us. “Are you ready to die, huntress?” he asked, his voice cold as ice.
I just stared at him and this made him laugh. He was so smug!
“No, she’s not,” the Father whispered next to me. He had spoken so quietly, I wasn’t sure he had even said it. For the supernatural ears of the vampire it must have been as loud as a foghorn. The nasty grin on his face disappeared from his deathly pale face. Now, he looked like a wild animal more than ever.
“Either you give her to us, church man, or we will kill you,” he said, looking the Father directly in the eyes. Red met black. It seemed to me as if sparks flew between them across the square. It was a trial of strength. Good against evil. Who would win?
“If you give her to us, you live …maybe,” the vampire added, grinning. His smile reminded me of the Father’s one, which I had learnt to love. But the vampire’s parody made me sick.
Out of nowhere, a hand hit me and pushed me back into the nave of the church. The door was slammed shut. The Father leant against it with his hands. At the same time, the speaker croaked. An inhuman yell of rage could be heard. I whirled around to check the monitor and saw the vampire fly across the square. It was quite elegant, no question. But when he crashed into the invisible wall and was thrown back, it didn’t look very graceful anymore. For a split second he seemed surprised. Then his face contorted into an angry mask. He started to run, only to crash into God’s invisible defensive wall. The vampire raised his fists and hit against it. It looked like he was beating the air. Still, there was no sound to be heard. I stared at the portal. Father Michael was still leaning against it. I didn’t know what I had expected, but surely not silence coming from that direction. Maybe the microphone was already damaged?
I looked back to the monitor, which was showing the vampire giving the air a working over, but he couldn’t overcome the church’s defences. When he realized his efforts were useless, the vampire lowered his arms, staring at the camera above the door.
“Until now we held back. We didn’t fight with unfair means. That’s over now! Do you hear me, priest? You made a big mistake. Mercy is over now. Give her to us!” So, the microphone did work. What a real pity! Believe me, nobody wants to hear such words.
The vampire returned to the middle of the square. He was running so fast he was just a blurred line on the monitor. He planted himself there, staring at the door without blinking. He was waiting. He was lurking. The restless moving of his foot told me his patience had come to an end. If we wouldn’t do what he wanted, terrible things would happen. I felt it. I pushed the Father aside with all the strength I could muster up.
“Ada, what are you doing?” he asked.
“I do what I must do!” I replied firmly.
We fought with each other for a while, but in the end I managed to push him away from me so I could open the door. The satisfied grin of the vampire immediately greeted me. I took a deep breath. Then I stepped over the threshold and stood on the step in front of the door. I heard the monsters grunt. I felt the ground under my feet vibrate as the creatures of the night began to stamp the ground with their paws. Behind me I heard the Padre say, “No!”
I wanted to turn around to apologize and to see his beautiful dark eyes one last time but I couldn’t. Something kept me from moving. I couldn’t lower my head or lift my leg to step forward. I had no choice but to look at the vampire, who was standing a few meters away from me, concentrating completely upon me. I was standing at the border between heaven and hell. But what was paralyzing me was a different kind of supernatural power. It was the opposite of God’s safety and grace.
It was evil.
It was death.