Jocelyn had gone back to her house to get some things for Mason and found Jethro and all his personal items gone.
Whether he left town to escape the changeling wrath or because he was sick of his family, he’d left Jocelyn a single mother. Jocelyn had moved back and changed the locks in case Jethro planned on coming back.
Connor and Lock had gotten their own place about ten minutes away leaving me and Avery alone in their house again. Matt Soulton had decided to stay with Jocelyn and Mason until he figured out what he was going to do. We didn’t mind being alone again but the house was oddly quiet.
I was used to a noisy house with Leslie and the friends she normally brought over, I guess I sort of just missed it.
Avery had turned on the television and was watching the news, some story about some missing teens.
“They always disappear near an old abandon mansion,” Avery mumbles. “Could it be a case?”
I turn my attention to the news and listen. Four teens have gone missing so far. The house is about seventy-five years old and reported to be haunted.The question was whether those were rumors or it was actually haunted.
“We could check it out,” I reply.
We make the drive up to the abandon mansion on the outskirts of Marksville. The mansion stands three stories tall with both a porch and balcony on the top and bottom. There are dust and cobwebs littering the outside of the place, I can only imagine what the inside looks like. It reminds me of the Winchester Mansion, hopefully, it wasn’t as endless and confusing.
I pick the lock at the front door and it swings in. The sunlight is dulled through old, white lace curtains and it gives the place a creepy feel. I notice a video camera laying on the ground. One of the missing teens must have brought it to capture the paranormal activity.
I picked up the camera and attempted to turn it on but it was dead.
“Give me the flashlight batteries,” I say to Avery.
They pull the batteries out of the flashlight and give them to me. I take the dead ones out of the video camera and replace them. I turn on the video camera and hit play on the last video. The video shows the curtains moving sporadically.
“Emma, did you see that?” asks a male voice.
“It was probably the wind,” the female brushed it off.
It sounded like a lamp smashing in the distance.
The videotape blurs as the filmer moves to find the source of the sound. They come upon the lamp in what looks like the next room over.
“Was that the wind?” the male voice asks turning the camera to a blonde female and zooming in. The female looks frightened.
“Can we leave, Jake?” she asks.
“No, we came here to prove this place is haunted. We have to capture lots of footage otherwise people will think we faked it,” Jake replies turning away from the female.
A baby starts crying in the background.
“Why would a baby be here?” the female questions.
“It wouldn’t be, it’s the ghost, come on,” Jake called.
The videotape blurred again and they were back in the front hall. The camera hit the ground.
“Stop, let her go,” Jake yells out of sight.
“Jake, help me,” she exclaims in the background quietly like her airway is being blocked.
“Emma,” Jake calls.
The videotape goes silent and records until the camera dies.
“Were those two on the news?” I ask Avery.
“No, they must have only come here last night or this morning,” Avery replies.
“Emma, Jake,” I call.
The mansion is silent.
“Guess we have to look around,” I reply.
I place the batteries back in the flashlight and leave the camera where we found it.
“They’re probably upstairs or in the basement, we would have heard them if they were on this floor,” Avery replies.
“Unless they’re not conscious,” I remind them.
“We’ll check this floor first to make sure we’re alone, then upstairs,” I continue.
Avery follows me through the first floor which is pretty open, with only a living room, kitchen, dining room, and bath. All are clear aside from the shattered lamp in the living room. We go upstairs next. The floorboards creak under our feet.
All the rooms upstairs are closed and the hallway is dark. I turn on the flashlight and go door by door checking the rooms. The upstairs is clear.
I and Avery hear a bang downstairs.
“You think after seeing the news they’d stop coming,” I roll my eyes.
“Remember they don’t know there’s any real threat here,” Avery reminds me.
“But people are disappearing, you think they’d think twice before coming here,” I mutter.
“Let’s go see who it is,” Avery comments.
We make our way downstairs. The front door is open and sunlight is streaming in making dust particles visible in the air.
“Hello,” I call.
I round the corner by the stairs into the living room.
I’m grabbed and dragged.
“Avery,” I call.
The figure stops dragging and pulls me up, holding a knife to my neck.
“I don’t think he’s here to investigate the ghost rumors,” I comment.
If he was a hunter though why was he threatening us with a knife? Maybe he was the cause of the disappearing teens and not the ghosts.
If I bit him maybe he would be too surprised to hurt me, hopefully. In order to be turned, you had to consume vampire blood, a bite would do nothing to him.
I bit down hard on the intruder’s arm, he started to attempt to free himself. Once I was out of his other arm’s reach I let go and ran to protect Avery who was standing in the living room’s entrance.
“You bit me!” the guy exclaims.
Then he starts to examine the bite mark.
I keep my mouth shut so he can’t see my fangs.
“Are you a vampire?” he questions.
“We’re hunters,” I answer.
“A vampire who is a hunter, why hasn’t anybody killed you?” he says with a condescending tone.
“We haven’t hurt anyone,” Avery exclaims.
“You’re one, too?” he asks roughly. “How are you alive if you don’t drink blood?”
Would he spare us if he knew how? Was he like Damin?
“You’re lying, aren’t you? You drink human blood and then hunt other monsters out of guilt for killing those humans,” he cursed.
He sauntered closer and I pushed Avery back out into the hall.
“We don’t drink blood from people,” I exclaim.
Not directly, I don’t know if that mattered to him.
“You are monsters,” he continued. “That doesn’t matter.”
“We don’t want to hurt you,” I reason.
He grabs me and puts the knife back to my neck.
“Rave!” Avery shouts.
“Don’t move, if you move I’ll shoot one of you,” he warns.
“Josh, what’s taking so long?” I hear Damin’s voice.
He emerges into the living room entrance and sees Josh threatening me.
“What’s going on?” Damin asks.
“They’re vampires,” Josh answers.
Would Damin spare us again with another hunter around?
I swallowed nervously.
If Damin wanted to save us, he would. If not, we’d have to fight our way out. Moment of truth. Damin pulled out a pistol. The pistol wouldn’t kill us, you had to decapitate our heads. I was watching Damin.
Avery moved aside cautiously.
Damin looked from Avery to me.
Damin raised the pistol in Josh’s direction.
“Release him,” Damin demanded calmly.
“Are you insane?” Josh asks.
“He’s the Shadowends’ boy. If he were a threat, they would’ve dealt with him,” Damin exclaims.
“Maybe they didn’t do it because they couldn’t kill their own child even if they were turned,” Josh continues.
I felt the pressure of the blade on my throat.
Damin’s determination wavered for a second. He glanced at Avery. He regained his composure and straightened the pistol’s aim at Josh.
“Let Rave go,” he demanded with a slight waver of fear.
“They’re vampires, monsters. They’ve hurt people, killed people,” Josh exclaims.
“Release him or so God help me, I will shoot you, Josh,” he demands.
I felt Josh waver.
“Why are you doing this, Damin?” Josh questions. “They have killed people.”
“How do you know they have? Do you even bother to ask the monsters you kill if they’ve ever hurt anyone? No, you just shoot them, dead,” Damin answers.
“They’re vampires, they survive by drinking our blood. How are they alive and in control right now if they haven’t fed off of humans? They’re monsters, they deserve death,” Josh replies.
“Josh, trust me. They are not monsters,” Damin tries to reason again.
“I swear, you’ve lost your mind,” Josh mumbles. “I’ll deal with you after I’ve dealt with these monsters.”
Damin fires a warning shot at the floorboard of the old mansion.
“I meant what I said, Josh. I will shoot you,” he exclaims.
“Why are you defending them?” Josh questions again.
“Because I know they aren’t monsters and someone has to defend the innocent,” Damin tries.
“Innocent? They’re vampires. They drink our blood. I swear, you’ve lost all your sanity. So, what if he’s a hunter? He’s killed people. He will kill more. Don’t those people deserve to live?” Josh tries.
“Would you kill someone who hadn’t ever killed anyone?” Damin questions.
That was my question.
“No, but they’re not people, they have killed,” Josh exclaims.
“You don’t know that,” Damin interrupts. “Now let Rave go.”
Josh seems to consider this.
“Even if they haven’t killed anyone, they could, I can’t take that chance,” Josh replies.
Josh puts the knife closer to my throat, that’s when Damin shoots him in the leg.
Josh releases me staggering back.
“You shot me!” Josh exclaims.
“You wouldn’t let him go, I had no choice. He’s never hurt anyone who didn’t deserve it and you were going to kill him all because he thrives on a substance that normally to obtain you need to kill people and just because he could kill someone. We kill people. Anyone can be driven to kill someone, it’s just a matter of circumstance and raising,” Damin replies. “I could have killed you right now, but I shot you in the leg.”
I went to Avery and hugged them.
“We have to get him to the hospital,” Damin replied.
Damin approached him pulling off his coat.
Josh attempted to drag himself away.
“The more you struggle and move the more you will bleed,” Damin states.
He straightens Josh’s leg and ties his coat in a tourniquet around his leg.
“Are you gonna allow me to help you out of here or do we need to call you an ambulance?” Damin questions.
“If we draw the police here, the place will be swarming with cops for the next few weeks, we won’t be able to investigate the disappearances,” Josh exclaims.
“Well, at least you have some sense,” Damin comments.
“Me? You’re the one protecting vampires,” Josh scoffs.
I released Avery and approached Damin and Josh.
Damin would need help getting Josh to his car.
“Get away from me, you filthy monster,” Josh exclaimed.
I paused, looking at Damin.
“I’ll get him to the hospital, stay here and see what’s going on,” Damin accepts.
“Thank you,” I whispered to Damin touching his shoulder.
“You’re my friend. Friends protect each other,” Damin replies.
Damin helped Josh up.
“If they end up killing people, it’s on you,” Josh spits to Damin.
“Thanks, I know,” Damin comments, shuffling with Josh to the door.
I and Avery watch them go.
We hear the car peel out of the driveway off down the highway.