16: A Cross with Justice
Helen let out a sigh as she watched her last customer walk out the door. The end of the day was always hard, especially for a staunch spiritualist like the beautiful, light brown-haired, thirty year-old woman.
Helen loved spiritualism. It was something that had opened her eyes to a deeper aspect of existence. But even more than the movement itself, she loved helping people with the power it had granted her.
The world was a place full of chaos; full of despair, especially with the ongoing war which had the whole earth fearing it wouldn’t end. Everyone was looking for hope, looking for connection, even if it was with a dead relative or friend; and that was exactly what Helen offered them.
Sitting in her small divination shop, she attended to dozens of customers every day. Many of them were skeptics; people whom she had been recommended to by a friend or spouse; or even both sometimes.
But no matter how founded their skepticism was, they always left a believer. That was the foundation of spiritualism for Helen: hope and belief, which was why whenever the time came to close up shop, she always felt sad for the ones whom she hadn’t been able to pass those two fundamentals to that day.
Sighing once again to relieve herself of the tension which had settled in the pit of her stomach, Helen got up to arrange her tools back on the shelf in the shop. But that was when the bell at the door suddenly chimed and she looked up to see a tall, blonde man with the fierce look of a warrior enter into the shop.
“Helen Patterson?” he asked and immediately, Helen felt an electrical tingling sensation at the tip of her skin. It was the familiarity of her power.
But she forced it down and stood up to fully face the man. “Yes,” she replied. “Is there something I can happen you with?”
“Actually, I’m the one returning back something to you.” He held up a sack Helen hadn’t noticed before. He upended the sack and its contents spilled onto the rugs; three severed heads.
“My God!” Helen screamed as she jumped backwards in horror, colliding with the table behind her.
The man began to walk towards her and she backed away until she came up against the wall. “Sending those vampire slayers against me was a very wrong move, spiritualist,” he said when he finally caught up to her. “Tell me, what exactly did you think was going to happen?”
Looking up with her fire in her eyes, her initial fear suddenly forgotten, Helen returned, “The only thing that should, Minotaur. Justice.”
Without any prior warning, the spiritualist reached for her belt and grabbed a silver dagger which she aimed directly for Michael’s heart. But even with the short distance between them, the ancient vampire easily caught her hand, slamming it against the wall to dislodge her of the weapon before flinging her across the room into a shelf.
The fall winded Helen and she groaned as she tried to regain herself and get back on her feet. But she had barely put a hand on the ground when Michael was suddenly in front of her and stepped on the hand. “You will never raise a weapon against me again, spiritualist,” he said, readying to crush her bones firmly beneath his heel.
“Let go of my mother, you monster!” A young girl, just about eighteen years old, rushed at Michael from behind and whacked him in the head with a stick.
Barely grunting under the impact, the ancient vampire turned and grabbed the girl just before she could jump out of his reach, raising her up to his eye level even as she kicked and scratched.
“Let her go!” Helen screamed at Michael’s feet, struggling futilely against his foot still on her hand. “Please!”
“Oh, but I have no intention of hurting her,” he returned, smiling as an idea suddenly occurred to him. “She has something to do for me.”
Michael brought the squirming girl closer to himself and said, “Your mother thinks she knows what justice is. But she’s wrong. You, little one, are going teach her what true justice feels like.” And he let her go.
Despite Helen’s scream for her to stop, the compelled girl went to pick up the silver dagger from where it laid the floor; holding it tightly in her fist as her eyes zoned in on Helen.
“No!” the spiritualist cried from where she was on the floor, the plan suddenly becoming clear to her. “Please, no!”
With the fury of a deranged animal, the girl ran at Helen and stabbed her in the chest; once, twice, thrice. It wasn’t until the spiritualist completely stopped kicking that the compulsion wore off and the now recovered girl screamed at the sight of the carnage in front of her.
“What did you make me do?” she shouted at Michael, crying.
But the ancient vampire only grinned like the devil, kicking one of the severed heads at the girl’s feet as he turned to leave with only one word as a response. “Justice.”
“Helen Patterson.” Michael sighed exasperatedly at the mention of the name. “I should have known that mule of a woman wouldn’t stop being a pest even in death.”
“Well, she did seem to hate you a lot,” Jack returned from where he sat, prompting a short laugh from the ancient vampire; That sounded exactly like the Helen he knew.
“So, Helen Patterson told you to seek justice against me and then, you did what?” asked Michael as he walked circles around the spiritualist who tried his best to keep up with the movement.
“Well, I did the only thing I could do,” he replied. “I went to see Mistress von Strauen on whatever information I could procure about you from her. But when I heard the true tales about you, and combined with the fact that that was around the time that West Harbour waitress turned up dead, I knew I was way in over my head. Fearing I might be next, I came to only place I knew to escape; here for all the good it did me.” The spiritualist rubbed his neck, obviously remembering how close Michael was to snuffing him out back then.
“So, you’re telling me that you had nothing to do with the imposter Minotaur,” the ancient vampire said.
“That girl was mutilated,” Jack returned. “I would never do that to another person.”
Suddenly overcame by frustration, Michael growled and punched a hole in the cabin wall, terrifying the spiritualist to no ends. “I swear to you, I didn’t kill her!” he shouted in his defense.
But the ancient vampire wasn’t interested in it anymore and he stormed out of the cabin into the woods.
Thing is, Michael had been very sure that Jack was the piece he was looking for; spiritualists were always the cause of a vampire’s problem.
But he was wrong. The spiritualist was just as terrorised by the murder as the others; and he also believed that the ancient vampire was responsible too; Michael could still feel the fear coming off him as he walked away from the cabin.
That meant the reality was that the imposter was still somewhere out there in the darkness; and the ancient vampire had run out of ways to find him.