“Bohdan, is that you?” a voice called out. Bohdan instantly recognized the voice as Isaac. Bohdan looked around in the dark and saw Isaac standing alone in a wooded area near the Mormon house.
“Yes, it’s me,” Bohdan replied.
Isaac rushed over and met Bohdan, noticing right away he had the warden in his grasp. “What are you doing with the warden?” Isaac asked. He still had his familiar British accent.
“I took him when they weren’t looking,” Bohdan replied.
“When who wasn’t looking?”
“The guards,” Bohdan replied. “Where have you been all this time?”
“I’ve been living with the Mormons.”
“The Mormons? I heard they’re a bunch of killers.”
“No, not at all, you should meet them, Brother Adam is a very nice man.”
“That’s what they call themselves,” Isaac explained. “Come with me, I’ll show you.”
Bohdan didn’t have much choice, his options were very limited in the pit and it would be a short time before the guards came looking for the warden.
“Let him go,” Isaac said.
Bohdan let go of the warden’s neck but kept a grip on his belt. “If I let him go, he’ll lead the guards straight to the Mormon house. I’m taking him with us.”
“You talk like I’m not here,” the warden said. “I have a say in this.”
“I have the strength of three men, you can try to run, but you won’t get far. If you make a sound, I’ll snap your neck,” Bohdan said. “I’m keeping you until I no longer need you, do you understand me?”
The warden pulled away to test Bohdan’s grip. Bohdan pulled back hard enough to whip the warden’s neck with a crack.
“Try that again and I’ll make sure your neck breaks.”
The warden slumped his shoulders in a submissive pose letting Bohdan know he was in charge. “How far is it to the Mormon house?”
“Fifty feet beyond these trees,” Isaac replied. It was getting dark and Bohdan wasn’t familiar with this part of the pit.
“Let’s go then,” Bohdan said and the three headed off to the Mormon house. Fifty feet plus or minus a few yards didn’t take long to traverse and once they were beyond the trees, they could see the house easily. The first thing Bohdan noticed was how well the house was kept. Unlike the miner’s house, the Mormon’s house was clean on the outside, without cracks or damage. All the bricks that had fallen over the years had been patched back into place, and it looked like the outside had been painted in the last few years.
“This place looks a lot different from where I’ve been living, or should I say sleeping.”
“The Mormons are very tidy, industrious people. To them being dirty is against God.”
“You sure learned a lot in a week,” Bohdan said.
“I’ve been reading the book of Mormon, they’ve been teaching me. What’s it like where you’ve been living?” Isaac asked.
“Think of a smelly shit hole, now multiply that by ten,” Bohdan replied.
“Why do they live like that?”
“Don’t ask me, maybe miners like living in squalor.”
Isaac led Bohdan and the warden up the steps to the front landing and then to the front door. Without knocking, he opened the door and led the two men inside. They were shocked at how clean and nice it was. From the kitchen, the men could hear the voices of women talking and smell food cooking on the stove.
“What are they making?” Bohdan asked.
“You’ve seen what they feed us haven’t you?” Isaac asked.
“Yes, the prisoners and the slaves they dump from above.”
“Yes, they store the bodies they collect under the house where it is cool. Then we prepare them by drying the meat and salting it.”
“You make jerky out of them?” the warden asked. “That’s why you keep asking for salt?”
“Yes, that way the meat lasts until the next feeding,” Isaac explained. “Brother Adam told me all about it.”
“This Brother Adam, where is he?” Bohdan asked.
“Probably in the bedroom with his wives.”
“These are Mormons, they have many wives,” Isaac said.
“I hear women’s voices in the kitchen, how many women live here?”
“Twelve,” Isaac replied.
“And how many men?”
“Brother Adam, Brother Paul and Brother Mark.”
“Three men and twelve women, that’s four women each,” Bohdan said. “That’s fucking awesome.”
“No, Brother Adam has eight wives, Brother Paul and Brother Mark both have two.”
“Are you telling me that Brother Adam is getting laid by eight women right now?”
“I wouldn’t put it that way,” Isaac said.
“Since when did you become such a prude? The Isaac I remember would be peeking through the door.”
“I obviously can’t do that and live here,” Isaac said.
“But you want to, I know it,” Bohdan said with a smile.
“Maybe you should meet the brothers.” Isaac turned and stepped over to the kitchen doorway. He spoke to the women cooking and then turned back to Bohdan. “Brother Paul and Brother Mark will be out soon.”
“Do you have to keep calling them brother all the time? Paul and Mark will do fine.”
“It’s their custom, I think we should honor it.”
Bohdan took a seat and sat the warden next to him to keep an eye on him. He gave him the look that said if he moved, he’d be dead. The warden got the message and sat quiet waiting for the two Mormon brothers to show. Instead, Brother Adam stepped out of the bedroom fully dressed, clean and neat.
“Brother Adam,” Isaac said. He stood up to show respect. “I have someone I want you to meet. This is Bohdan, he’s an acquaintance from my past, and I think you’ve met the warden.”
Brother Adam stepped forward and shook Bohdan’s hand, then the wardens. “Glad to meet you, my name is Adam. I’ll introduce you to Brother Paul and Brother Mark when they arrive.”
“What about the women?” Bohdan asked.
Isaac gave a look to Bohdan telling him to be quiet. It seemed it was out of place to discuss the women.
“What can I do for you?” Brother Adam asked.
“I need a place to stay for a while,” Bohdan replied. “And the warden as well.”
“Doesn’t the warden have a house?”
“He does, but he’s going to be staying with me for a while.”
“Is that right?” Brother Adam asked as he looked at the warden. “Is this some sort of new prison program you’re trying out? Live like a prisoner?”
“No, he’s holding me against my will, are you that fucking stupid you can’t see that?” the warden snapped.
“There’s no need for such language, we have women present,” Brother Adam said.
“I don’t give a shit about your women, or your fucked up way of life, just let me go,” the warden said.
“My way of life is none of your concern warden,” Brother Adam said.
“You know what? I’d have you locked up down here whether you were vampires or not, I think you’re sick religion should be outlawed and you should all be in jail.”
Bohdan spoke up, “You know what I don’t understand? You have to be a killer to be locked up in here. You don’t seem like the murdering type, what did you do to get sentenced to the zoo?”
“We don’t like to speak of that,” Brother Adam replied.
“They killed three families off a wagon train and ate them all. They were on a fourth when then got caught,” the warden explained.
“Really?” Bohdan asked flat. He was shocked that such a well-mannered man could be so cruel. “Tell me about it.”
“I will do no such thing,” Brother Adam said.
“Why not? You ate them, you should be proud of it.”
“We were starving, we had no choice.”
“That’s not so bad, did you tell that to the judge?”
“Of course we did.”
“He didn’t believe you?”
“He hated Mormon’s, it didn’t matter what we did, it was who we were,” Brother Adam explained.
The warden spoke up, “That’s bullshit, the judge tossed you in here because you killed five kids. You didn’t need to kill the kids, you had plenty to feed on. Hell, you could have killed some fucking Indians and never seen the inside of this place.”
“You killed kids?” Bohdan asked.
“Don’t act so high and mighty Bohdan the Vampire Ripper, you killed plenty of kids yourself,” the warden replied.
“I never killed anyone under twelve years old,” Bohdan said.
“Like that makes a difference, twelve is still a kid.”
“How old were the kids you killed?” Bohdan asked.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Brother Adam said.
“Were they big enough to fit in a soup pot?”
“Is that some sort of a joke?”
“I noticed your women are boiling something on the stove, made me think. Hell, how do you have a stove? There was no gas at the miner’s house!”
“There was at one time,” the warden said. “They ripped it out.”
“Who knows? Stupid hole diggers, too stupid to maintain their own house,” the warden said
“So anyway, we’ll be sleeping here for a while,” Bohdan said.
“I don’t think so,” Brother Adam said. “We have no extra rooms.”
“We can stay in Isaac’s room, he won’t mind.”
“Isaac has no room, he sleeps outside.”
“Is that right?” Bohdan asked. He looked to Isaac who was nodding his head. “You made it sound like you were living under the roof.”
“I didn’t mean to make it sound like that. I meant that I had become friends with the Mormon’s and I chose to live nearby.”
“That’s not going to work for me, or the warden, we need a room,” Bohdan said.
“You’re out of luck, sorry,” Brother Adam replied.
“How many rooms do you have here?”
“Three bedrooms, a kitchen and this living space.”
“You keep eight wives and you in one room?”
“It’s a large room, yes, that doesn’t matter to you, and you’ll be leaving soon.”
“Do you know who I am?” Bohdan asked.
“Yes, they call you the Vampire Ripper.”
“That’s right, and I might start in on your wives if you don’t make room for me.”
“We are vampires as well, you can’t kill us like you would a human.”
“A vampire woman is still a woman, and I’m an expert on killing women. If you want to test me go ahead and try.”
“There are fifteen of us and one of you, I don’t think you have a chance in hell,” Brother Adam said.
Bohdan smiled and stood up. He stepped over to Brother Adam and looked him in the eye. “You may know how to kill little kids and babies, but I’ve killed grown men. More than you can imagine. I don’t just kill little girls like you do.”
“How do you know? You don’t know me,” Brother Adam said.
Bohdan shoved Brother Adam back just enough to intimidate him. Bohdan expected a fight, but nothing happened. Not yet anyway.