I scream as a blade comes flying at me across the room from a hunter’s hands. I expect it to lodge into my arm or side, but I hear it thunck into the wood and I look down to see it had cut the rope binding one of my wrists to the chair. I yank my hand through the rope as it loosens. Then I release my other hand and then start to work on my ankles as quickly as possible.
“Quickly, Jennifer!” I hear my mum scream at me from the other side of the room and I fumble with the rope on my legs, realise I should use the knife lodged into the wooden chair, and yank it out. Once I am free of the rope I stand with the knife in hand.
Any vampire trying to rush me, attack me or rip my head off was being held back by the vampire hunters who were kicking ass with weapons that rendered the vampires incapacitated.
I tense my muscles, ready to run to the exit where my parents were fighting off some vampires.
I shriek when I look down to see an iron grip on my ankle. Darrius had awoken. He is on his back, looking up with me with hungry, lustful and furious eyes. His grip tightens on my ankle and before he can haul himself up I kick him in the side of the head as hard as I can with my bare foot.
I cry out from the pain but his head smacks back against the marble floor, his grip on my ankle loosens and he closes his eyes.
Did… did I just knock out a vampire?
I decide to dwell on it later and run towards my parents, weapon still in hand. I have to swivel as a dead vampire is thrown in my path. I make it to my parents safely. My dad starts holding off the vampires while my mum grabs my wrist and starts dragging me from the carnage.
Half way down the hall I hear an explosion. I scream, fearing my dad is dead. When I look over my shoulder I see him running towards us.
“Run! I gave the order to retreat!” My dad yells.
We run together around the bend in the hall and my eyes widen as I see more vampires coming down either end of the hall. Fuck, we were trapped –
“Up here!” My mum and dad grab hold of me and hoist me up past a hole in the ceiling. When I’m in the hole I put down my hand for my mum to grab but she shakes her head, tears in her eyes, “Don’t wait for us. Close this off with the net. Escape, darling. I love you,” I open my mouth to scream at both of them to hurry up into the ceiling with me but the words get stuck in my throat. Suddenly vampires swarm in on my parents, attacking from all sides.
They wouldn’t survive this.
A vampire in the midst of the crowd spots me and jumps towards the opening in the ceiling. I look to the side of the hole and see a net, a net stretched across a frame. It was covered in strings of garlic.
Without hesitation I pick the net up and slam it on top of the hole in the ceiling. I hear the vampire scream in rage as his hand hisses as he touches the net.
“Run, Jennifer!” It’s my dad’s voice I hear this time.
I don’t wait any longer.
Swallowing my tears I start crawling through the roof, finding a trail of little glow sticks. They left me a trail to escape. Maybe I was wrong, maybe my parents would survive. They had to survive.
Please, god, don’t let my parents die. Please, please, please.
I repeat the plea in my head as I crawl away. The tears come anyway, even when I try to hold them back.
It doesn’t take me long to find the exit out of the palace. I crawl to another hole leading outside. I have to crawl up, as this whole palace was built underground. I hear cars and people above me and I crawl out into the middle of the city. The hole I come out of is a fake drain, and people watch me with suspicion as I sit on the pavement, shakily trying to get to my feet.
In my black dress from Darrius, bare feet, and a numb mind… I start to walk home.
A few people call out rude things to me, but I ignore them and no one approaches me.
It takes me a whole hour to find my way back to my house. I open the front door, walk inside…
“Mum? Dad?” I call out into the empty darkness.
There is no answer.