Leaves blew down the street carried by a gust of wind. A man shivered slightly and put his hands into the pockets of his long, black trench coat. This man was an older man, somewhere in his 50s; in his hair one could see several streaks of grey through his once dominant brown hair. His face looked weary as he trudged down the street in the dead of the night.
His eyes darted around his surroundings. He didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Then the man checked his watch, 1:30. “I’m getting to old for this,” the man muttered quietly.
He reached an intersection where he met with another man. This man was quite a few years younger than him. He had the look of a teenager, but he was in his early twenties. Unlike the older man, he looked more alive and not as stressed. The young man had light blue eyes and a completely brown head of hair.
“What does it look like over there, Jonathan?” The old man asked.
“I’ve got nothing, dad. I think our information wasn’t legitimate. Probably another crazy, we get our share of them,” Jonathan replied, “I didn’t see a single thing.”
“I didn’t see anything either, but it’s out there. I can sense it,” the old man said with confidence.
“You can sense it? How in the world can you sense something like that?” Jonathan asked in disbelief.
The father chuckled and replied, “When you’ve been hunting them for as long as I have…”
The son smiled at his dad’s comment when a bloodcurdling scream was suddenly heard. Jonathan looked at his father. The man nodded and they both ran down the street in the direction of the sound.
“You think it’s one of them?” Jonathan questioned between breaths.
“No doubt,” answered the older man.
The two men turned the corner and found a pale-faced man come out of a house. Blood trailed down his mouth as he looked up and saw the men coming down the street. The pale man hissed at them and started to run away from the men.
The old man stopped in front of the house, bent over and took several deep breaths. Jonathan stopped, seeing his dad struggle, and asked, “You okay, dad?”
“Just…too…old. Go on. I need to cleanse his victim, anyway,” the man breathed.
“Right,” the boy said with a nod.
Jonathan took off down the road after the pale man while his father got to his feet and entered the dwelling. Inside, the old man didn’t see anything unusual. There was a small coffee table in the living room along with a couch and a television. He continued his search through the other rooms, not finding what he was looking for. After searching the entire first floor he made his way up the stairs to search the second floor.
At the end of the hallway a door was wide open. It was a bedroom and sprawled on the floor, near the open window, was a young lady. On her neck were two small puncture holes about an inch apart.
The man shook his head and reached into his trench coat. He drew out a long wooden stake about a foot long and a wooden mallet. He positioned the stake over her heart and then brought the mallet down upon it. The stake pierced her heart spraying blood all around the vicinity of her body. He put his hand into his trench coat once more and pulled out a vial of crystal clear liquid. He unscrewed the cap and poured the contents over the woman’s body. A sizzling could be heard as her body slowly started to dissolve.
Then the man got up and recited a small prayer before leaving the house. As he walked outside he paused and wondered what the authorities would say if they saw the body. Then he pushed the thought out of his mind thinking, her body will have already dissolved come the crack of dawn.
The old man ran down to the end of the street where he reached an intersection. “Now, which way did they get off to?” the man muttered. He decided to turn left and as he sprinted down the street he smirked and thought, father’s intuition.
He ran along the road for a while passing several houses until he stopped. There, on the side of the road, was a massive cemetery complete with flowers, tombstones, and even a mausoleum. The old man just shook his head and said sarcastically, “Hmm, I wonder where they might have run off to?”
The man stepped into the cemetery and scanned the perimeter. He didn’t see anything, but again had the feeling that they were here. “Jonathan?” he called out.
The old man continued walking through the graveyard which was accompanied by an eerie silence that almost seemed unnatural. “Jonathan?” the old man called again this time with more urgency.
Instead of receiving a reassuring reply he was answered by a low, dark chuckle. “Good evening, Frederick. It’s nice to see you again.” This familiar voice sent a chill down the old man’s spine.
“B-Ben, is that you? Y-you’re dead. You died back in the war,” the man said, suddenly realizing what his friend had become.
The voice called out from the darkness again answering, “Yeah, Frederick, it’s me and I’m still alive…to a certain degree.”
The man stepped out of the shadows from behind a tree revealing yet another pale man. Ben had black, unkempt hair and cold white eyes. Under a headlock was Jonathan, who wore a look of terror on his face. “So, this is your son then? Looks exactly like you, I’ll give him that much.”
Frederick stared wild-eyed at his now, grotesque friend, then to Jonathan, then back to Ben. Frederick shook his head and stammered, “Ben, you’re not like this. The Ben I knew back in the war wouldn’t do something like this.”
Ben’s face contorted into anger and snarled, “Don’t tell me what I would or wouldn’t do, Frederick! Times have changed. I’ve changed. I’m willing do anything to get my revenge. You left me out there in the middle of enemy fire. I was wounded, Frederick, wounded!”
“The captain gave us strict orders to pull back, and my son had nothing to do with that,” Frederick pleaded.
“More than you know, Frederick. After I was left to die, I was eventually captured, not by the enemy, but by this horrible disease. I’ve lived, but with these ghastly symptoms: Needing to feed on blood; only able to come out at night; my pale skin. I could never go back to my family, besides, they thought I died. But tonight, I’m going to finally settle the score.”
“Ben, the captain’s orders. There was nothing I could do.”
“You could have helped a so-called friend! Empty your trench coat pockets and lay them on the ground in front of me. I know what you are and I’m not going to let you get the better of me when I can smell the sweet smell of victory.”
“Ben…,” Frederick said weakly.
“Do it, now!” Ben roared.
Frederick reached his hand into his trench coat when Jonathan yelled, “Dad, don’t do it! There’s more than one of them!”
Frederick stole a quick glance and realized there were three other sets of eyes watching him. Ben saw Frederick’s eyes move and said, “Nothing fancy, now, Frederick. Just empty your trench coat.”
Seeing that he had no other choice he started to pull out his tools. With each one, Ben called them out as they hit the ground. “Crucifix…a string of garlic…holy water…the dreaded mallet…and, ah, the even more dreadful stake.”
Ben walked over to the stake, avoiding the crucifix and garlic, dragging Jonathan with him. Ben picked up the long, pointed piece of wood and looked at it. “You’ve killed several with this one, haven’t you?”
Frederick didn’t say anything, but tried to formulate a plan to rescue his son. Ben then positioned the stake over Jonathan’s chest and said, “Now wouldn’t that be poetic justice if your own son…”
Frederick stared at the stake and choked out, “Don’t do it, Ben.”
Frederick inched closer to his weapons that lay on the ground. Ben, seeing the movement, said, “Ah, ah, ah, Frederick. Stay back!”
Frederick moved away as Ben’s three other cohorts came out of the shadows and into the moonlight. All of them had pale skin and blank white eyes. They snarled at Frederick making their hatred toward him quite clear.
“Alright, tie him up now. After all these years, Frederick, I guess they get you in the end. Now the legendary hunter will be just that, a legend,” Ben said with a wicked grin.
Frederick gritted his teeth as he saw the other three creatures advance towards him. Frederick took a step back and then glanced at his son’s face. For some peculiar reason Jonathan was grinning and then Frederick saw why. Hidden in Jonathan’s sleeve was his own stake. The old man, realizing what he was going to do, and shouted, “Don’t!”
Instead, Jonathan ignored him and threw the stake towards his dad. In that instant, Ben brought the stake down into Jonathan’s chest and then threw him aside. “Jonathan!” Frederick roared as he picked up his son’s stake and sprinted over to his son.
Frederick was then cut off by the pale man he saw coming out of the house earlier. Frederick shoved the stake into the man’s heart with such force that a mallet was not necessary. Frederick ripped the stake out and turned to face the other two who advanced on Frederick, but he dispatched them just as easily as the last one. Frederick looked up and found Ben fleeing from the scene. Frederick rushed over to his son and looked into the young man’s blank eyes.
“Jonathan…” Frederick began and then stopped as he felt a steady flow of tears run down his face. He closed Jonathan’s eyes and then got to his feet. Frederick looked up at the clear night sky and then bellowed out, “Run, Ben, run, but no matter where you go, where you hide, I’ll find you and then I will get my own revenge!”
* * *
Candlelight flickered throughout the room while Frederick sat in front of a table staring at a blank piece of paper. Frederick ran his hand through his fully gray hair and sighed. He then picked up a pen and began to write.
He continued to write for at least an hour, pausing several times throughout. When he was done he read over what he had written. Several tears sprang up in his eyes, but he quickly stifled them as he folded the message and put it in an envelope labeled Jonathan. Then he walked over to the coat rack and stuffed the envelope in his pocket.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered before he put on his trench coat and opened the door to walk outside into the night air.
* * *
“Sir! Sir! Please slow down!” A small, stocky man said carrying a video recorder while running after Frederick.
“Sorry, Mr. Haggardy, but they never slow down. Besides, I told you not to come along,” replied the old man.
Mr. Haggardy ignored the warning and instead asked, “By ‘they’, what exactly are you talking about? Vampires?”
“Chaos. Chaos in the flesh, Mr. Haggardy.”
“What is your name, by the way? I never caught it,” Mr. Haggardy inquired.
“I never told you, and it’s Frederick,” the old man replied grimly.
“Frederick? What’s your surname, Mr. Frederick?”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” Frederick muttered. He then stopped suddenly and looked around. He could only see trees in all directions. He listened for any sound of movement but couldn’t discern much over Mr. Haggardy’s heavy breathing. Frederick looked at the young man and shook his head.
How did I get stuck with this guy, anyway? He’s just another person who wants to prove that they’re real, Frederick thought. He remembered the meeting back at the Motel 6. Apparently, young Billy found out that he was a hunter and now wanted to make a documentary of his work.
Mr. Haggardy looked up and asked, “What are you doing?”
“I was trying to find clues,” Frederick grumbled. The old man bent down and examined the ground for tracks. He eventually found the trail and darted off in the direction.
Mr. Haggardy ran after him, with his camera dangling around his neck, and called out, “How long have you been hunting them?”
“All my life.”
“Why do you hunt them?”
“My father and grandfather before me hunted them and…,” Frederick began and then muttered, “never mind.”
Frederick then reached his hand into his trench coat just to reassure himself that the envelope was still there. Mr. Haggardy, not hearing the Frederick’s pause, commented, “Wow, so it must have been a father to son kind of thing, right? Do you have a son to whom you can teach your skills?”
“No, and I wouldn’t teach my son, or daughter for that matter, anyway. Better to live a normal life than a cursed one.”
“Cursed one? It sounds like it would be cool.”
Frederick stopped and then turned around. He glared at Mr. Haggardy and said, “Cool? Cool?! Let me tell you this, boy. Living the life of a hunter is not like in those movies or video games you play. You don’t live happily ever after and there are never any breaks or something that will miraculously save you or anyone else. You live in constant fear and paranoia, and the things you see…you can’t even begin to imagine.”
“U-uh, y-yes, sir,” the young man stuttered with a loud gulp.
Frederick turned around and started running again when Mr. Haggardy asked, “Wait, if you don’t have a son, who’s going to carry on the legacy?”
Frederick shook his head and replied, “It dies with me. I’m the last surviving member of my family and I intend to keep it that way. Then no one else will have to bear this heavy burden.”
“But what about the vampires? Who’s going to purge the evil?” Mr. Haggardy squeaked.
Frederick gave a soft chuckle and muttered, “The young and naïve…Evil will always live on, Mr. Haggardy, and there’s nothing I can do about it. And as far as who’s going to fight them there are others who will follow in my footsteps whether I want them to or not.”
The young man just nodded and then suddenly said, “Whoa. Why is there a crypt in the middle of the forest?”
Frederick observed the crypt’s entrance and said, “Best stay close to me, Mr. Haggardy, unless, of course, you want to turn back. Which I should probably say would be the wisest of choices.”
Billy shook his head and replied, “No way! I didn’t come out here just to turn around. I want to see a vampire.”
Frederick sighed as Billy took a picture of the crypt’s entrance. Billy turned to Frederick and asked, “How do you know it’s going to be in the crypt, though?”
“It’s almost dawn and it must get out of the sun,” Frederick answered as he veered closer to the crypt. He retrieved two strings of garlic and threw one to Mr. Haggardy. “Wear that around your neck,” the old man instructed. Next, Frederick pulled out his crucifix and threw it over to Mr. Haggardy. “Use that too. Just make sure you hold it in front of you and hold it tightly, so you don’t drop it.”
Then Frederick pulled out his stake. He stared at it for a while when Mr. Haggardy’s voice broke his silence, “Well, are we going?”
Frederick nodded and switched on his flashlight as he descended into the crypt. He carried on, walking down several stairs until he reached the bottom. He looked on ahead and saw that the corridor continued straight until he could see no farther into the darkness.
He looked behind him and saw Mr. Haggardy trying to take in everything with his camera. “Whoa. This is unreal!”
Frederick shook his head and then went forward into a darkness, which almost seemed to dare him to come into its depths. The corridor went on for a while until it opened up into a large room. Within the room were 20 coffins lined up in four columns. Frederick went up to one and pulled it open to reveal an already decayed body inside. Several snaps were heard from Billy’s camera as he took a picture of the coffins and the body within the one Frederick had just opened.
“Be ready with that crucifix,” Frederick warned, “There’s no other way out of this room other than the entrance, so I think it’s safe, or unsafe, to assume that the vampire is hiding out within this room.”
Billy clasped onto the crucifix tighter and got right behind Frederick. He eyed the dark corners of the room wondering whether or not something was going to jump out after him. Frederick walked over to the next coffin and tore the cover off. Inside revealed yet another decayed body. He repeated this process several times and each of them revealed another decaying skeleton.
Frederick kicked the cover off the 13th coffin and peered inside. This body was different from the others. Instead of decaying, the body looked perfectly normal except for the fact that she was pale. Billy looked at the lady, who was garbed in an 18th century dress, and whispered, “Is that a vampire?”
Frederick pulled up the vampire’s eyelids to reveal a milky white pupil. He nodded and set the flashlight down in an upright position. Then he pulled out the mallet from his coat and positioned it over the monster’s heart. Mr. Haggardy shivered but he continued to record. Frederick lifted up his mallet and was about to strike down when the woman’s eyes suddenly sprang open. She looked at the stake and then reached for it, trying to pull it off. Frederick, however, was too fast for her; he brought his mallet down on the stake, screaming, “Die you foul demon!”
Mr. Haggardy gave a shout as the pale lady writhed in pain for a few seconds before dieing. Frederick breathed heavily and reached into his trench coat once again for a vial of holy water. “I have to cleanse this woman’s soul now,” Frederick explained to Billy, but when he turned to him he found that the young man was now shaking violently.
Frederick could see that blood had splashed upon Mr. Haggardy’s video lenses and onto his hands. Frederick emptied the holy water onto the creature’s body and that was followed by the familiar sizzling sound. Frederick pocketed the vial and retrieved the flashlight that had been knocked to the ground. He went over to the next coffin when Mr. Haggardy shrieked, “Didn’t you already get the…the thing?”
“Yes, but there might be more. I have to make sure that this area is completely cleansed,” Frederick replied and then went back to taking the cover off the coffin.
“Wait! Can I…can I go and wait outside?” Billy cried.
Frederick nodded and said, “Yeah, the sun’s probably coming up by now. Just wait up by the entrance until I’m done.”
Frederick pulled out another flashlight and threw it to Billy. Billy then switched on the light and rushed out of the room back into the corridor. Frederick watched him and then gave a sigh. “The young and naïve...,” Frederick muttered as he put his hand in his trench coat and clutched the envelope.
* * *
The moon glared brightly over the now-bare trees shining in Frederick’s eyes. He looked down the path as the wind gave a slight gust blowing several leaves around. The man pulled his trench coat tighter around him while looking over his shoulder. In his hand he clutched an envelope that he had kept with him all these years. He heaved a sigh and gave a sorrowful stare to all the graves around him. The old man walked among the tombstones looking at each of the names until his eyes rested on one. He gazed at it while several regretful and grief filled memories entered his thoughts.
A tear trickled down the side of his face when he noticed a flash of movement in the corner of his eye. He quickly turned around just in time to see the figure flit behind a tree. “No use hiding, vermin,” he said into the darkness, “These old eyes see a lot better than you’d like to think.”
“Aw, Frederick, still mourning your loss?” a man said walking out from behind a tree. The man had a gaunt face and black hair that was streaked with several strands of white. His eyes were sunken in and glowed bright red.
Frederick glared at the sorry looking man and just shook his head, “Ben, what’s happened to you?”
Ben raised his head and let out a loud cackle, “It appears that there was a disclaimer when it comes to immortality. You actually have to drink blood.”
Frederick smirked and answered, “That’s interesting, you never drank any blood after all this time.” There was a pause of silence when Frederick said, “Why did you come here tonight, Ben, when you know I’m going to kill you?”
“To relieve this curse, Frederick, this nightmare,” Ben answered, “living all these years like this. I still want my revenge, but freeing myself would be just as rewarding.”
Ben, suddenly, lunged at Frederick knocking him to the ground. Frederick hastily pulled out his crucifix and threw it in front of him keeping Ben at bay. Ben sneered at the old man and said, “Still have those tools, eh?”
Ben knocked the crucifix from Frederick’s hand sending it flying into the bushes. Frederick got back to his feet, but was knocked back down as Ben tackled him pinning him to the ground. Then Ben pulled a small switchblade from his pocket and slashed Frederick’s side. The old man gave a gasp of pain but was able to pull out a vial of his sacred water. He cracked the container on Ben’s arm releasing the liquid. Ben screamed out as part of his arm started to dissolve, and in that moment, Frederick sprang to his feet and whipped out a stake and his mallet. “I saved this stake for you,” Frederick yelled as he jumped on Ben.
Frederick positioned the stake over Ben’s heart. “Release me,” Ben whispered.
Frederick brought the stake down and Ben let out a gasp before shutting his eyes.
Frederick got to his feet and then doubled over. He put his hand were Ben had slashed him, coming in contact with a very red and thick substance. Frederick slowly nodded to himself and walked back over to the grave he had looked at earlier. He leaned up on the side of the tombstone and picked up the envelope containing the letter he had written several years before. He stared at the envelope’s label and then whispered, “Jonathan, I’ll finally be with you again.”
The old man then leaned his head back against the grave and stared out at over the horizon for the dawn that was soon to come. He recalled Billy’s question and then whispered before closing his eyes, “The legacy ends.”
The inscription on the grave read:
Jonathan Van Helsing
- Title: Redemption of a Hunter
- Artist: Ken387
- Description: Ok, this is just some vamp story I made up a while ago. I had just read The Journal of Professor Abraham Van Helsing by Allen C. Kupfer and was totally entralled by it. Well, again, enjoy it. Hate it. But above all else give feedback.
- Date: 12/15/2008
- Tags: redemption hunter