He taught me how to read people’s eyes. When the vamps first took over, no one knew how to tell them apart from humans. Well, except for the obvious ways but once you saw those, it was already too late. My father saw something different in them. When provoked, a vampire’s eyes turned red. But it was their resting eyes that you had to look for if you wanted to get the jump on them. At just the right angle, you could see the red lurking beneath, like a waterfall of blood beneath the iris.
I followed him now, through the city during the darkest part of the evening. I’d never been on this type of hunt before. He always said it was too dangerous; no place for his daughter.
But circumstances change. The attack on our camp last week dwindled our numbers. There were almost no hunters left besides us. We were supposed to snag a vampire to take back to our camp. Doc would be disappointed if we came back empty-handed. He’d lost his last subject two weeks ago. He was eager to get his hands on another for his experiments.
We moved quietly down the side of the street. This part of the city stood abandoned, but I knew what lurked in the shadows. These vamps were dying of starvation but they were still a threat. I stared at my father’s back and waited for his orders.
His hand reached up to the sky and I stopped in my tracks. My eyes darted around the dark and empty street in an effort to see what prompted the halt. I glanced behind me and saw nothing but empty space. He made a few motions with his hands and I moved in front of him and darted up the street.
My arms were sore from holding the gun taut to my shoulder but I couldn’t relax them. You never knew when an attack would come. You had to be at the ready at all times. No excuses.
I moved up to an overturned car and crouched behind it. My father came up soon after and knelt beside me.
“What do you see?” he asked. I placed my eye to the scope and scanned the tall buildings around us before finally seeing movement.
“A block and a half up. Left side. One, maybe two hostiles,” I whispered.
“If there’s more than two, we’re dead,” he replied. I nodded and looked again. The figures huddled in a storefront. Their eyes appeared normal. I moved back and forth in a pivot until I saw it.
“Hostiles. Definitely two.”
“Okay, you circle around and move up the left side,” he said as he moved around me. “I’ll move up the right and make sure they see me. When they make their move, you take ’em out.”
I moved away from him without another word. Sweat dripped down my face despite the chill in the air. I glanced at him as he moved along the other wall. Through the scope, I saw the vamps salivating at the sight of him; their eyes burned red now with hunger and rage. I paused and readied myself. Their hunger finally took over and they were off. I pivoted my body as they ran and fired. The vamp in front went down. I moved to the second and breathed out slowly as he closed the distance to my father. I fired. The click that followed sent bile up my throat.
I lowered the weapon and watched the creature close in on my father. His machete was out, but this vamp was monstrous. I screamed at the hurdling mass, hoping he would change his course but a starving vamp was a motivated vamp.
My father yelled for me to run but I couldn’t move. I clung to the wall and closed my eyes. My father was right. This was no place for me. I heard the swish of a machete and jerked my eyes open as the vamp’s head careened off his body and fell down to the ground.
“I told you to run,” he said, smiling over at me.
“Yeah, I heard you,” I grumbled.
“Now, come on.” He motioned for me to come and walked over to the unconscious vamp. “It’s a long walk back to camp and this son of a bitch will be heavy as hell.”
Come get Sloshed at the Speakeasy!