City of the Damned

All Rights Reserved ©

Summary

Kaydence realized that humans were not the only species on the planet the night that she lost her brother to one, a vampire. She has since dedicated her life to tracking down her brother's killer, and all of those like him, and preventing any other family from enduring the same type of pain that she did.

Genre:
Horror / Action
Author:
Arianna Del Gaudio
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
24
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter 1

Kaydence was pulled from a deep sleep by the sound of her cell phone vibrating, a shrill ring tone greeting her ears. Her hand fumbled on her bedside table groggily as she tried to find the screaming Razor flip phone, the ring tone almost mocking her. She finally found the phone and checked the caller id. “Larry” appeared with a picture of her brother. She groaned and looked at the clock on her bedside table. 2am. She flipped the phone open and pressed it to her ear, her groggy voice greeting the receiver.

“What’s up, Larry?”

“Kay! What’s up, sis?” Larry’s slurred voice shouted at her. She could hear loud music and boys partying in the background. One of the boys yelled for Larry suddenly. “Shh!” Larry yelled back. “I am on the phone with my sister!”

“Dude,” Kaydence mumbled, rolling onto her back in her bed. “Do you know what time it is?”

“Nope,” he replied bluntly. “But, I need, like, the world’s biggest favor. Will you take me home? I can’t-I’m too drunk to be here.” He giggled as he said the last word.

Kaydence sighed. “Larr, you can’t go home drunk. Mom and dad will kill you.”

“Nu uh! I was with my frat brothers!” he shouted.

Kaydence’s hand smacked her forehead. “Larry, just because you’re in a fraternity does not mean that you can legally drink at nineteen.”

“Well, too late, because I did. Are you gonna get me or not?”

“Fine, but you are staying at my house tonight.”

“Deal,” Larry said, then proceeded to tell her the fraternity’s address.

Kaydence clicked her phone shut and sat up. She swung her legs over the side of the bed and slid off, her feet comforted by the carpet as she walked through the blackness in an attempt to find the light switch. She fumbled against the wall for a moment, then flipped it on and blinked away the brightness. Her hand supported her against the wall for a moment as her eyes adjusted. Her white walled bedroom was rather small, her queen bed taking up the majority of it. Her disheveled blue comforter had been tossed to the side, her pink sheets matching her two pink pillows. She smoothed down her white nightshirt as she returned to the bed, retrieving a pair of blue jeans that were on the floor beside it. She pulled them on, then slid into a pair of black sandals, her pink toes popping out against them. She retrieved her car keys from her black bedside table and left her room, turning off the light.

She snuck into the bathroom, making sure not to wake her other two roommates in her dorm. She found her brush in the dark and ran it through her long, blonde hair, which fell comfortably against her waist. She walked quietly into the living room and found her little white purse on the dining room table. She snatched it up and slipped out of her dorm, locking the door quietly behind her.

She felt her way along the walls of the dark hallway, her right hand attached to the wall. Her Razor was flipped open to use the light of the phone as a small flashlight. He’s lucky that I love him. She reached the end of the hall and opened the door to her right, leading her to a stairwell. She closed the door quietly behind her, then jogged lightly down the stairs. Her dorm was on the fifth floor, but she was worried that the elevator would wake someone. She reached the bottom of the stairs and opened the door presented to her. She slipped through the lobby quietly, then pushed open the main doors.

The cold night smacked her face, waking her up as if she had been shot with caffeine. She raced across the street to the parking garage, making her way to the back of the first story of the garage. She rubbed her hands on her arms in an attempt to warm herself. I’ll have to deal with security in the morning for having him for the night, she thought. I’ll just make up a story.

She finally reached her black four door Silverado truck, her remote on her keys unlocking the car doors. She climbed in and took in a sharp breath, the leather seats giving her a cold kiss. She clicked the seat belt over her body, then started the truck and began to drive.

Luckily, Larry’s fraternity was not far from Kaydence’s school, making the drive about a five minute trip in total. She reached a red light and turned right, the dark road greeting her. I don’t understand why there are no streetlights, she thought, bitterly. She took a left on a side street, music clearing the still air of the night. She rolled her blue eyes as she turned right onto another side street, the music growing louder. She pulled up next to the big fraternity house, her truck blending in with the row of cars already lining the street. She shut off her engine, but left her headlights on. She opened her truck door and climbed down, a dull dinging noise from her truck urging her to turn her lights off before exiting. She closed the door after her feet touched the ground and crossed her arms over her chest, her keys gripped in her right hand.

“Larry?” Kaydence called, walking up to the sidewalk in front of the house. While he was giving her instructions, he had agreed to meet her outside. She jumped as two boys stumbled from the house, but she shook her head as she noticed that neither one of them was her brother. A cold breeze sent goosebumps down her arms. She shivered and walked along the sidewalk, her headlights giving her extra eyes in the dark.

She suddenly heard a muffled groan coming from between two cars. “Larry?” She asked cautiously. She walked slower, uneasy. “Lawrence, if that is you, answer me!” Kaydence yelled. She heard the muffled groan again, and she released a sigh of frustration. He’s probably barfing, she thought bitterly. She finally reached the two cars where the noise was coming from, one car red, and the other car blue. She rounded the corner and froze in her tracks.

Lying between the two bumpers of the cars was Larry. His blonde hair was a mess, his eyes closed. She could not make out what he was wearing, but it was who he was with that terrified her. There was a man with his body facing the street, his mouth clamped firmly on Larry’s neck. The man had blonde hair darker than Larry’s, his eyes pure black as he stared at Kaydence. He removed his mouth from Larry and grinned at her, blood glittering against his lips. The blood was trailing down the man’s throat, staining the white collar of his light blue shirt.

Kaydence ran forward, the man springing to his feet and sprinting away. Kaydence knelt down beside her brother, gently pulling his head into her lap. Her fingers found a large hole in his neck, blood pouring over her fingers and splashing on to her pants. Kaydence heaved as a big sob rolled over her, tears pouring from her eyes. Larry’s breathing was ragged, his heartbeat shallow. She bent down and pressed her forehead to his. “Larry, please, wake up.”


Kaydence jolted awake, a cold sweat sticking her red night shirt against her chest. She was breathing heavily, her eyes darting around the room. After she surveyed her bedroom in the dark, she fell backwards onto her bed, pulling her blanket even tighter around her. She sighed and slowed her breathing while her right hand felt under the pillow beside her. Her fingers grazed the cold metal of her silver bladed switchblade. The knife itself was about five inches long with a black handle, the silver blade exposing its full three inches. She never slept with her knife closed. She rolled onto her left side and felt beneath the bed, the roughness of her wooden stake greeting her fingertips. She let out a sigh of relief and closed her eyes, trying to calm her nerves.

She had been twenty-three when she had lost her brother, and, every night for the past three years, she was forced to relive that night every night; she just could not shake that nightmare from her brain. She had tried sleeping pills, sleep deprivation, anything to make her too tired to remember her dreams, and nothing worked. She began her weapon ritual shortly after his death, a baseball bat at first, and then it escalated from there. That same baseball bat was now in the backseat of her truck rather than in her house. When she had spoken to the police about the attack, describing a man eating her brother, her parents had insisted on her confiding in a counselor. She had fought them at first, but finally gave in to put them at ease. After three months of sessions, Kaydence ended them, and spent her spare time in the library. She dropped out of college and began interacting more within society to find the vampire that murdered her brother.

Kaydence opened her eyes and turned on the lamp on her bedside table, the light burning her eyes momentarily. Her master bedroom held her queen bed rather comfortably, allowing plenty of walking space. She had a TV facing the bed, sitting on a small, two drawer dresser that held underwear and socks, the rest of her clothes hidden in her closet. Directly beside the TV was a white laundry basket. She gathered her black smart phone and looked at the clock, finding it to be only five in the morning. “I have only slept for two hours,” she grumbled. She set her phone back on her wood nightstand and lowered her feet to the floor, stretching as she stood up. She opened one of the nightstand drawers and retrieved another switchblade. This one had a deep maroon handle, and the entirety of the knife was seven inches long. She raised her night shirt and slid the belt clip of the handle onto the right side of her black lace thong, letting her shirt fall back into place.

She opened her bedroom door and stepped into the hallway, the rest of the house lit up compared to her dark bedroom. The hallway itself was rather narrow. Right across from Kaydence’s room was a closed door that led into the bathroom. The door right next to hers belonged to her roommate, which was closed as well. Kaydence heard singing from the living room and she smiled.

She entered the front of the apartment to the smell of coffee welcoming her. To her left was a tan wood dining room table buried under papers and textbooks. There were two matching chairs sitting in front of the dining room table. One chair held a blue backpack with its arms, a black leather purse in its lap. The other chair held a bright pink purse on its arms. To the right was a rather large living room for an apartment. Against the wall connecting to her roommate’s was a long, black sectional couch facing a forty-two inch flat screen that was against the opposing wall.

A deep wood coffee table sat about two feet in front of the couch, a laptop screen displaying the university web page, a cup of coffee comfortably beside it. A black throw rug sucked some of the brightness of the white walls. The blinds of the balcony had been pulled back, the sliding glass door open to welcome the cool, morning breeze inside the house. It was still dark outside, and the air became full of the ocean as another breeze snuck into the house. I love that smell, Kaydence thought. One plus to living in California. Her family had moved to California from New York when she was about ten, so her accent was gone for the most part. But, it did still make an appearance here and there.

Kaydence glided through the living room and entered the balcony, going directly to the railing to look down. She had been fortunate enough to find an apartment available by the ocean. She heard the waves roll gently over each other, as if worried to wake the sun. She smelled cigarette smoke and turned her head.

Morgan, Kaydence’s roommate, drew in a breath off her cigarette. Her shoulder length brown hair had been pulled into a ponytail, her hazel eyes bright. She was wearing a red long sleeved shirt against her tanned skin, blue jeans complimenting it. Morgan had been friends with Larry for a few years, and the two had fallen in love. Before they could ever actually act on their feelings, Larry was murdered. Morgan continued with school, Kaydence offering to move in for help.

“Did I wake you?” Morgan asked as she exhaled a puff of smoke.

“Not you,” Kaydence said, shaking her head. “I dreamt about Larry again.”

“Didn’t you just get home?”

“A couple of hours ago,” Kaydence yawned. “Work was slow, which made the night worse.”

“Any drunk stories?”

“Not last night. Wednesdays are pretty dull.”

“I think I’ll drop by with some friends Friday,” Morgan said as she finished her cigarette. She smashed the cigarette down into her clear ash tray on the railing, then walked back inside. Kaydence followed behind her, closing the door.

Morgan cradled her laptop and curled up on the couch, looking at Kaydence for a moment. “Do you have any cute guy stories? That is always a good morning starter.”

Kaydence laughed and leaned against the wall beside the couch; she knew that if she sat down, she would fall asleep. “Just my double shot of Vodka, followed by a Pepsi.”

“You still don’t know his name? Oh my god, I need to introduce you two.”
“No, you don’t.”

“Oh come on,” Morgan groaned, rolling her eyes. “You need to find out his name. For my sake.”

Kaydence laughed again. “How is that your problem?”

“Um, I live with you? When was the last time that you had sex?”

“Morgan!”

“Hell, when was the last time that you dated someone?”

“Goodnight,” Kaydence smiled. She leaned down and kissed Morgan’s forehead. “Have a good day at school.”

“Thanks,” Morgan said, her attention turning back to her laptop.

Kaydence turned and walked back down the hallway to her room, slipping through the bedroom door. After she closed it, she snuggled back into her bed, removing her dagger from her thong. She set it beside her phone and turned off her light, falling into a deep sleep with the darkness.

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