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White Tiger of the West

By Becky Ann Molargik All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Fantasy

Preface

Preface

She couldn’t hear passed the whooshing of her own blood in her ears. She sucked in oxygen, trying to control her breathing. If she hyperventilated now, she’d be as good as dead. She pumped her legs to the maximum speed now and she could feel them cry out in protest when they hit the two mile mark. As hard as it was she couldn’t look behind her or she’d risk losing her balance and breaking something. “You’re a fast one.” The voice seemed to be carried by the wind as he was a great distance away, but she knew he was close. “But I’m faster…” This time the whisper was next to her ear. Before she could stop she was yanked violently from the ground. Powerful hands grasped her like impenetrable iron. Her legs twitched from the effort of running. She saw the face of the man who’d been pursuing her.

Blood was dripping from enlarged canines his eyes no longer held color in the iris, but became as black as the pupil. His hair was disheveled from the wind running through it. His sharpened fingernails gauged her skin causing her to cry out, feeling warmth running down her arms when there hadn’t been any previously. He made a motion his nostrils flaring like that of a hound picking up a scent. “Your blood is pure. It’s almost a shame to have to kill you, but I’ll find more.” With that she was helpless as he bend down and bit into the vein in her neck. The twin pricks of his canines felt like hot knife points dipped in a blazing fire as they dug into her skin. She thrashed and fought, but that only increased the pain. Please…Please I don’t want to die, I still need to make mistakes. Graduate college. She supposed she had made a mistake by leaving campus. Something struck her she didn’t hurt anymore. The thing wasn’t standing in front of her anymore. A dream? She hoped, but when her fingers discovered the cloned wound that door was slammed shut. She looked down she found the man that attacked her laying motionless at her feet. She shivered as she bent down to investigate. His eyes were glazed over like you might see in a stuffed animal. The black that had consumed his iris was gone revealing the softness of brown eyes now stale with the touch of death. Vampire… Her mind whispered. She scoffed they were a thing of legends, stories told to children at night. Yet here was one and her mind was making excuses. A question struck her, why was he dead? Heart attack? Her mind concluded. She shook her head. Their hearts didn’t beat therefore they weren’t prone to cardiac arrhythmia. It was almost as if he’d been poisoned. Her blood? Without warning she picked up and ran. Her legs willingly doing her biding. Something was wrong with her. She hightailed it back to campus and didn’t stop until she was behind her locked dorm room door. Her roommate wouldn’t be back for at least another hour because of her class. She was content with sitting in the farthest corner of her room hugging a pillow until she got back.

“Rylee”? The dark room filled with light when the door was pushed open and her roommate flipped on the lights. “Rylee you…” She stopped when she spotted Rylee tucked in the corner. She dropped her books and rushed over to her. “Hey what happened”? She asked. Ryle looked up.

“Maki.” She cried. “I thought I was going to die. He was going to kill me. He was so ugly. His eyes changed. He…he bit me!” She exclaimed brushing aside her hair so Maki could see the twin puncture wounds. Maki looked away.

“No, it’s too soon.” She murmured. Rylee looked at her questioningly.

“Maki, what is it? What’s wrong?” She asked. Rylee had met Maki when they were in grade school. Maki had moved from China to here because her parents had gotten a job here. Because of who Maki was and where she was from no one had wanted a thing to do with her. Rylee had had shared a part of her cookie with her, and after that they shared everything.

“Please don’t freak out. But my parents didn’t move here for job opportunity.” She paused. “A person, a girl usually, in Chinese lore was said to be born here and I was to provide her guidance and protection until she became ready. When I first met you I didn’t know it was you, but as we grew older I knew.” Maki spoke with a proud smirk as if she had been tasked with an assignment of the utmost importance.

“I don’t understand. What this has to do with the thing that attacked me?” She questioned. Maki paused trying to find the right words.

“Your blood is special, you are special. You are a protector. A protector of the Earth from those that are unnatural, evil creatures. Such as the vampire who bit you. There is a magical property in your blood unlike any other. It’s because of your lineage. Your parents were celestial protectors. However, shortly after your birth the court found out about what they had done and had them put to death, the way you remember they died, in a plane crash.” Her voice had gone soft and was filled with warmth. “Rylee your powers are developing and that will cause attention to the darkness. I need to know if you’re with me, if you will fight.” Maki asked, her eyes were pleading. Rylee looked away, thinking that Maki was joking and that any second she would burst into laughter. She did not, if anything her expression became more intense. She thought about how scared and alone she felt when she thought she was going to die. When that vampire pierced her throat with his fangs she was convinced that was the end. If what Maki said was true, others wouldn’t be as lucky and would die at the hands of such vile creatures. She could help them if she joined Maki. Her thoughts flicked to her parents who had died when she was young. She would deal with that at another time, she needed to find out everything about what they were and what happened to them. Maki was the answer to all of that. With new resolve and determination Rylee reached out and grabbed Maki’s out stretched hand.

“I will fight.” Rylee said with a new fierceness she’d never known was there. Maki smiled.

“We will start training soon. You must be strong for when your powers come.” She said. Looking at Maki with a new light, Rylee saw a strength and beauty she had never noticed before.

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