Sean stands up. “I think me and Colleen need to tell our stories. What we saw that day.”
Molly asked. “Did you see the attack?”
Sean sighed. “Yes, the whole thing. I was with my older brother Sean and Colleen’s older sister Aileen were there. Wallace and Fred Norwich were there also. Thank goodness Wallace was there. He saw the hunters running up to the house. If it was not for him, I am sure all of us would be dead.”
Colleen spoke up. “I was only 10 when it happened. So was Sean. Aileen and Seamus were 13. Wallace was 15. Fred was only 8. Let me tell you, what we saw that day stuck in our minds for the rest of our lives. I still have nightmares about it. I can’t tell the story; you tell it Sean.
Ten-year-old Sean Dillon walked to the pond carrying his fishing pole. He was with his brother Seamus. Their sisters, Aileen and Colleen tagged along. Two boys from his school; Wallace and Fred were with him also. They took a short cut through the Stirling’s property.
The day was blistering hot. Everyone was going to the creek to cool off. Sadly, this was going to be a fishing trip none of them would ever forget.
Sean saw four men walking around the coal miner’s mansion. Two of the men had shotguns. The men with shotguns hid in the shrubbery in front of the house.
Sean asked, “Who are they?"
Seamus said, "Hunters, probably tracking an animal."
Aileen said, “I don't think Mr. Stirling would like them on his land.
Colleen said, "Look those men are throwing rocks!"
Wallace Kowalski who was 15 and knew danger said, “I don't like this, everyone hides in the woods! Seamus, get Sean and the girls under cover, Now!" He grabbed his younger brother Fred, who was only 8.
Seamus gripped Colleen and Aileen and dragged them into the woods. Sean followed them. They found some bushes on the edge of the property. They were 20 feet from the pond. Sean saw Malcolm fall down 10 feet away from the pond.
Sean asked, “What is going on?"
Seamus peeked out from behind a tree. "Don't know, but it isn’t good!"
Sean saw three men kick and stomp on Mr. Stirling.
Sean said, "We need to run for help."
Wallace said, “Can’t, they will see us.
Sean whispered. "We shouldn't just stand here and let them hurt Malcolm!"
Wallace whispered, "They got guns. Now shut up or they will find us!"
Sean and Seamus noticed a man walk towards the bushes. “Shh, I think he heard us!”
The man shook his head and made put a finger to his lips. He then turned his back and walked away.
“Why did he walk away?” Seamus asked.
“Don’t know.” Wallace whispered. “I just know we were lucky, now we need to stay quiet so nobody else comes and finds us!”
Sean was horrified to see the men pull down their pants and pee on Mr. Stirling. Their shrill laughter made his skin crawl. It was not until he was much older did he understand what two of the hunters did next. One man got behind Mr. Stirling and seemed to fall on him. Malcolm shrieked in pain. Sean heard Seamus gasp. He felt Seamus put a hand over his eyes. “Little brother you do not need to see anymore.” Sean heard Wallace say the same thing to Fred. He could hear Colleen and Aileen sobbing quietly.
Five minutes later Seamus said, "They are leaving. I wonder what spooked them."
Seamus walked away from the tree trunk. Wallace stopped him. "What are you doing?'
Seamus said, "I’m going to help Mr. Stirling."
Wallace said, "We need to wait. Make sure they are gone."
“Fine.” Seamus said, “We will wait 10 minutes. If we wait much longer, Mr. Stirling is likely to die.”
Wallace and Seamus ran ahead. They took their fishing buckets to the pond. They all poured water on Malcolm and put the fire out.
Sean did not want to go down to the pond and see Malcolm. He could smell burning flesh and the wet coppery smell of blood. Mixed in with these odors were vomit and feces. He got within 5 feet before he stopped and vomited on the ground. He was embarrassed at first, then he saw Seamus and Wallace do the same thing. Aileen also vomited.
Sean could hear Fred, Colleen and Aileen crying. Seamus spoke up. “You girls do not need to see this. How about you take Sean and Fred and run back to town. Go to the hospital and get the constable.”
Sean was glad he did not have to get too close to Malcolm’s body. He was sure Malcolm was dead. He was motionless and did not make any sound.
Sean said, “I will go get the constable. Fred you can come with me. You girls go to the hospital.”
Sean and Fred took off running. Sean never ran so fast in his life. By the time he got to the constable’s office, he was gasping for breath. Constable Clancy Kabe stopped Sean. “What is the hurry?” Sean told him about the attack on Malcolm. The constable got two deputies and they all jumped into their cars. Sean could see an ambulance racing toward the Stirling mansion.
When everybody got to the pond, Dr. Grant got out of the ambulance. He had a bunch of tools with him. He had a hacksaw and a few smaller saws. Sean walked over to his brother. “What are those saws for?” Seamus said, “They have to get him out of the trap.” Sean’s curiosity got the better of him. He walked closer to where the trap was. Sean saw three men hold down Malcolm. He saw Dr. Grant start hacking into Malcolm’s right leg below the knee. Sean covered his ears when the shrill, shrieking started. He saw Malcolm thrash and throw off the three men. He saw Dr. Grant’s assistant put two syringes into Malcolm. Sean could see blood spewing all over the constable and Dr. Grant. Sean was so upset by what he saw, he fainted. He wished he never got closer to see what was happening.
“What I saw that day caused me to have such horrible nightmares I slept with my mother and dad for 6 months. I consider that day to be the worst thing I ever experienced. Even when I went to war, nothing compared to it. I was a policeman for 30 years and nothing shocked like the attack did. I lost my innocence that day. I believe all who was there did also.”
Molly could not comprehend what she heard. Four members of her family behaved like monsters and tortured an innocent man. She hoped Malcolm did not think she was capable of such cruelty.
“No wonder Malcolm hates me. He thinks I could do something like that. Maybe I should leave.” Molly said.
“Dear child, please do not leave!” Alister begged. “If you go, only terrible things can happen. I am sure the Jones family will figure out you are alive. They will come for you. They will turn you evil, just like they did to your father.”
Molly was surprised to hear this. She thought her father was born evil. From what people said, there was not one good thing about her father. Then again, he must have had some good in him. Her mother fell in love with him. Molly had no idea what to think. What she did know was that she did not feel welcome here. She could not handle the hostility from Malcolm.
“Why should I stay here?” Molly asked. “I don’t feel welcome. I don’t feel safe here either.” She looked pleadingly at her aunt and uncle. “I want to leave, and I want you to come with me. I don’t want to lose you, especially after I just found you.”
Sean put his arms around her. “I think we should stay here. Don’t worry, I will make sure no harm comes to you. If Malcolm frightens you, we can stay in one of the guest houses. You will not have any contact with him.”
Molly looked at her Uncle and had tears in her eyes. Then she glared and pointed at Alister. “Malcolm is not the only one I am worried about! I know you blame me for what happened to my family. You also blame my mother. I don’t want to have to walk on egg shells if I stay here.”
Alister hung his head. “Molly, I do not blame you, nor do I blame your mother. I doubt Malcolm does either.”
“Cut the bullshit! I know you hate me! That is why you sent me away!” Molly yelled.
Her aunt and Uncle gasped in shock. “Young lady, I am sure your grandparents did not raise you to talk like that to your elders.” Colleen said. She took Molly by both shoulders and shook her. Molly sat back down. She did not look at her aunt.
Alister put his hand over his heart. “I swear I do not hate you. The reason I sent you away was because I wanted you to be safe. Your family was in shambles after the attack. Your great aunt and uncle were injured. Other members of your family were also hurt. There was no way you would be protected. The Jones family was angry because of your father’s death. I heard from my sources that they were planning another attack. I knew they would not rest until they took you away from us. When everyone found out you were dead, they did not attack again. There has been peace since then.”
How nice for him. His family was safe. My family mourned my loss. I had to grow up in foster homes. Some of them were abusive. I cannot believe I spent 8 years away from my family. If Nicole had not found me, I would never have known I had a family. I would be alone for the rest of my life.
Molly glared at Alister. “You think “peace” was worth me going through hell living in foster homes. Me thinking I was alone and had no family? Was it worth me never knowing who my family was?”
Alister looked shocked. “I never planned for you to never find your family! I had every intention of waiting until you were 18 to tell you the truth about who you were. I— “
Molly jumped up and screamed in his face. “Liar!”
Alister put his hands on her shoulders. “I am telling the truth. I wanted to wait until you were 18 because I wanted you to be mature enough to handle everything. I did not want you to have to face the horrible truths about your family. I did not want you to suffer any more in your childhood than you already did.”
Molly snorted. “I suffered plenty. I had to live in foster homes where people abused me.”
“I’m sorry about that.” Alister said. “Andrew slipped up. As soon as he found out what was happening, he put you in a new foster home.”
“I don’t believe you. Why should I believe you, when you lied to my great aunt and uncle all these years?” Molly asked.
“You don’t have to believe me about that. I just want you to trust me when I say I will protect you and your aunt and uncle.” Alister said. “I need you to realize that if you leave, you will be in great danger. If your aunt and uncle go with you, you will put them in danger. I don’t’ think you want them to get harmed. How can I get this through your thick skull?”
Molly looked at her aunt and uncle. They were both very old. She doubted they could handle being on the run. Her uncle was strong, but he probably could not handle attacks from the entire Jones family. She would never forgive herself if they got hurt, or killed because of her.
“I will stay. I don’t want to leave my aunt and uncle and I don’t want to put them in any danger.” Molly said.
There was a knock on the door. Colleen got up to answer it. Nicole walked into the room. “Hey what did I miss?”
Alister stood up and pointed his cane at her. “Young lady I ought to beat you with this. I know you had something to do with this whole mess.”
“Now Father, why would you think I was involved?” Nicole asked.
Molly gasped in surprise.
Alister, Molly and Nicole walked back into the living room. Nicole sat on the same couch as Alister. Molly sat down with her aunt and uncle.
“What? Are you joking?” Molly asked.
“Afraid not.” Nicole said.
“How can Alister be your father?” Molly asked.
“I don’t’ want to go into that. Maybe when you take sex education in school you can figure it out.” Nicole said.
“That is not what I meant. I thought your father was Fred?”
“Yeah, well so did he. Quite a shock when the DNA tests came back. But I digress. We do not have time to go into my sordid complicated past. We need to be talking about your sordid past.” Nicole said.
“Young lady, you tell me how you found Molly.” Alister said.
Nicole looked at Alister. “I never reveal my secrets.”
Alister shook his head. He sighed and said, “What’s done is done, can’t be undone.”
“Sounds like a cop out to me!” Nicole said. Molly chuckled.
Alister glared at the two girls. “I suppose you figured that out with your infinite wisdom and experience? Let me tell you girls, when you get to be my age, cop outs may be the only thing you have to survive.
Sean and Colleen nodded in agreement. “I am surprised to hear you say that.” Nicole said. “I never thought any grandparents of mine would think that.”
Molly looked at Nicole in shock. “Huh?”
Nicole laughed. “You really do need catching up. My mother, Mary, is Sean and Colleen’s daughter. That makes us cousins.”
Molly said, “I can’t believe this. I forgot so much while I was dead.”
Alister rolled his eyes. “I thought we went over that? Now can we move on. Nicole is right we need to go over more history.”
Nicole grabbed her chest. “Whoa, my father said I was right. Usually I am told all I do is do wrong and cause lots of problems.”
“I think you got me mixed up with Fred.” Alister whispered. “Your Daddy never gave you enough respect.”
“I’m confused.” Molly said.
“I call Alister “Father” and Fred “Dad” Nicole explained. “Those two have disagreed about how to take care of me. That is in the past. It is not worth getting into.” Nicole looked at Alister. Alister shrugged and put his head down.
Sean stood up and clapped his hands. “Folks, we need to get back on task.”
“Right then. What shall we talk about next?” Alister asked.
Molly thought really hard. She was not sure if she wanted to hear any more stories of the past. She almost went insane when Malcolm told his story. Then she remembered about Claudette’s eyes. She also wondered what happened to the Jones and Davis brothers after the incidents.
“I want hear about Claudette.” Molly said.
“Then we need to bring her in here.” Alister said. He got up left the room.
A few minutes later Alister arrived with Claudette and Malcolm. Malcolm stopped when he saw Nicole. “Well, look who’s here. My dear sweet sister Nicole.” He chuckled. “I guess we have you to thank for Molly being here. It is very nice for you to have your friend back. Never mind that I am suffering horrible memories of my past.”
Nicole snorted. “Just grab some Scotch and some Coke and you will forget again.”
Malcolm laughed. “You know me too well. I have had Scotch today, but no cocaine.’
“Then you need to go to your AA and NA meetings and tell everyone you fell off the wagon. Maybe they can help you get back on.”
“Do not mock me girl!” Malcolm spat. “I have had a day of reliving the hell of my past pain. Your friend caused it.”
“Molly, if you stay here, you will have to get used to my brother’s tendency toward melodrama. He can also be quite a megalomaniac.”
Malcolm glared at Nicole. “I should slap you, but I don’t believe in hurting women. I was raised the right way by my family. Not like some families who slaughter and kill innocent women.”
Molly shook her head and rolled her eyes. I am not going to let him get to me anymore. I will not give him the satisfaction of arguing with him. I will not waste my time fighting with a miserable drunk. I wonder why my great aunt and uncle are friends with him? Is it because they feel sorry for him? That must be it. It is a pity friendship.
“Malcolm, you might have my aunt and uncles pity,” Molly said. “But you get no sympathy from me. Stop milking your past. My family was full of assholes. They did shitty things. I am a completely different person. Stop rubbing my nose in my family’s shit!”
Malcolm doubled over and grabbed his stomach. High pitched chuckles came from his mouth. He gasped a few times then said. “It is about time you stood up to me. This is so much better than you crying and sniveling in the corner. You have steel in you. You will need it when the war starts.”
“Malcolm shut-up!” Claudette said. She walked over to the chair in front of the fireplace. “I am here to tell my story. You can play your mind games later.”
Malcolm nodded and bowed toward Claudette. “The floor is yours.”
Claudette gave a rude hand gesture in Malcolm’s direction. Everybody laughed.
“A lot happened on that day. I was not the only one who was harmed.” Claudette said. “
It was a cool, crisp fall day in October. It was Sunday and it was Employee appreciation day. There was a carnival on the grounds of the glass factory. Everyone was enjoying the many beautiful colors of the leaves on the trees. Children ran around playing while their mothers sat and gossiped. The townspeople gathered around the Ferris wheel. The Dillon and Murphy family were in front of the Stirling family. Alister Stirling caught up on old times with Ailin and Seamus Sr. Claudette stood chatting with Maggie and Mary. They were discussing pumpkin pie recipes. Everybody was having fun until 4 men showed up. Malcolm saw them and let out a strangled wail. He tried to walk away, but Alister griped his arm. Seamus and Ailin stood proactively in front of Malcolm. Claudette noticed and let out a hiss and put out her claws. Alister put his hand on her shoulder and shook his head.
“If you come any closer, the Constable will arrest you.” Alister said.
Wide eyed with innocence, Zeke said, “Arrest us? For what?”
“You attacked my son.” Alister said.
Zeke smirked and then winked at Malcolm. “Oh we were just having some fun. It got a little rough,” He shrugged his shoulders. “I am sure Malcolm enjoyed it a lot more than he let on. “Malcolm hung his head, his hands began to shake. His breath became fast.
“Besides, you only have Malcolm’s word on what happened. The four of us say that he attacked us. We were defending ourselves.”
“As if anybody would believe you lying scum!” Alister said.
“You can’t prove anything!” Emmet said. “No court of law will take his word over ours.”
“You are wrong; you were seen by people in this town."
Despite being restrained by his mother Seamus Jr. yelled, "I saw you! Sean Dillon bravely stood next to his brother, "So did I!
Zeke retorted, "So what, your families are known as vamp lovers. Nobody will believe you."
Wallace Kowalski said, “My sons Wallace and Fred also saw you. They hid in the woods just like Seamus and watched the entire thing. They will testify against you also!"
The Constable walked over to the vampire hunters with his shotgun drawn. Cormac said, "In Juliette, we make our own court of law. You men are not going anywhere; you are under arrest for attempted lynching of Malcolm Stirling."
“You going to take us all by yourself?” Zeke asked.
“No, I got 5 new deputies.” Cormac said.
Seamus Sr., Ailin Dillon, Wallace Norwich Sr. and Keagan Clancy and William McCabe pulled back their jackets to reveal deputy patches. They then drew their pistols and pointed it at the four men.
Alister Stirling, Bruce Stirling, and Al Jr. began to hiss and their fangs began to come out. “It was a great idea to do some extra feeding this morning. I do not feel any weakness. Of course it being a cloudy day helps also.”
Claudette saw an opportunity and leaped on Emmet. She had her claws out and raked them across his face. She scratched at his eyes and ears. Blood soon poured out of the long scratches on the sides of his face. Alister grabbed and pulled her back.
“Hey, that was an unprovoked attack in daylight. You need to control your vamps.” Zeke said.
“Hah, man I did not see anything.” Cormac said. He looked at Ailin and Seamus. “Did you men see anything?” Ailin and Seamus shook their heads.
John Davis glares at Cormac and asks, "Why are you helping these vamp bastards?"
Cormac hits him with the butt of his shotgun, "They are my friends and friends of this town." John falls down after he is hit.
Zeke said, "You can’t do that!”
Cormac said, "I can and I will. Now you men better stand still. I am placing you under arrest.”
John Davis yelled, "Is this entire town filled with vamp lovers? Makes me sick!" Emmet Jones yelled, "I'm sure not everyone in this town are vamp lovers. Some people in this town got to have some sense.
The town’s people were silent. Many of them were gathering up their children and leaving the town square in a hurry.
Zeke Jones shouted, "This town is full of vamp loving trash. I think you all need a lesson in what happens to vamp lovers!” He pulled out his pistol and fired into the crowd. Two men fell down.
The rest of the vampire hunters pull out handguns and fire at Cormac and the deputies. Seamus Dillon and Allen Murphy fire at the vampire hunters. Some of the other town men pull out guns and join in the battle.
Emmet saw Seamus Jr. running away. He aimed his gun and fired at Seamus’s back. Luckily, the bullet hit him in the arm. He fell down screaming. His father Ran over to his son. Seamus Sr. began to cry. He said, “I am going to make you bastards pay!”
Because of the chaos that the gunfire caused, many people were pushed down on the ground and trampled. Seamus Dillon’s pregnant daughter was one of the people that got stepped on. She lies on the ground screaming for help. Her husband, Brian Malone ran and knelt down to help her, but he was treading on also. He got up and shouted, “You bastards will pay!” He then picked up his unconscious wife and carried her to a truck.
Claudette noticed that Zeke tripped over the legs of somebody and fell on the ground and no one was near to help him. She saw her chance to get revenge for what happened to Malcolm. She pounced on him and bit him on the arm. She tried to bite his neck, but he screamed for help. Emmet saw what happened and jumped on Claudette to pin her down. Zeke said, "That bitch tried to claw my eyes out! She needs to be taught a lesson!" He asked, "What do you want to do with her?" Zeke said, "Hold her arms." He reached into his pocket and took out a hunting knife. He plunged it into Claudette's left eye. He twisted the knife as he stabbed her. Claudette shrieked as blood spouted out of her eye socket. He then plunged his knife into her right eye. Because she was struggling, the knife nicked the side of her eye. Blood splattered down Claudette's face. Claudette screamed and shrieked while she held her hands over her eyes. Malcolm heard her and ran to her aid. He saw her hands covered in blood. He took her hands away. Blood poured out of her eye sockets. He screamed and hugged Claudette tightly.
Constable Cormac and his deputies came running. But they were too late. The damage was already done. The vampire hunters were outnumbered and were soon overwhelmed. The vampire hunters ran out of ammo and dropped their guns in surrender. The Constable and deputies surrounded the vampire hunters and tied them up. They dragged them off to jail. The townspeople stood in outraged silence. They could not believe that a beautiful day turned ugly so fast. It was a day that no one would ever forget.