The Dash-All Chronicles: Revelations


I looked from one to the other.

“Look,” I finally broke the silence, “I’ve had a really rough night and a very strange morning and I’m beginning to get completely weirded out by this whole situation so please just explain it to me so that I can understand why you look like you’re both about to throw up. Please.”

I added the last specifically aimed at my sister and she clearly softened because her face muscles relaxed – I actually saw them relaxing – and she came up to me, ushering me gently over to a chair and making me sit down before bringing out the piece of paper from her apartment.

“This is part of a larger volume kept at the vaults in Saltbrooke,” she said.

I frowned.

“There are vaults in Saltbrooke?”

“Will you not interrupt me, maybe?”

I clamped my lips shut and focused on the odd tangle of foreign letters and symbols which filled the paper.

“It’s Monaic – their language. It’s a journal entry, written nearly three-hundred and fifty years ago, telling of how a young man came to be invited to a midnight soirée and offered immortality if he would sacrifice his younger sister. The vampire overlord wanted her for a pet, you see, to be drained over and over for the rest of her life. However long he managed to keep himself from killing her, that is.”

I swallowed hard, feeling an uncomfortable lump in the middle of my throat at the mere thought of it. I already knew who the young man was.

“But he didn’t sacrifice her,” I said, certain I was right.

“He did,” Maryann said. “He writes how he’d always been selfish and careless and how his sister had just yelled at him for throwing their father’s inheritance away. He was tired of her. So he brought her to the overlord. He writes that he can still hear her screams as they closed the door behind him.”

“He got her out of there.”

I’m convinced now.

Maryann shakes her head slowly.

“No, this is what we’re dealing with – understand? This is what they are. They have no conscience. He doesn’t write anything about regret or sorrow. Journals written over a century of chronicling his journey and that’s the only mention of her. That’s what he had to do to become one of them. There’s no humanity in them.”

“And wasn’t it a human who made the choice to hand her over?” I exclaimed, unsure of why I was so incredibly defensive all of a sudden.

Father Ignesius had removed his collar and stepped through the door of a bathroom to now emerge wearing black jeans and a grey sweater. He looked simple and ordinary. When he’d worn the guise of a man of God at least he’d had some clout, I’d thought, but now I just thought of how Seth had tackled the Lion and I felt like laughing at them. What did they think they were going to do?

“Have you ever even seen one?” I asked.

Father Ignesius paused, meeting my gaze with the same unflinching stare that Seth had granted me only a few hours earlier.

“Yes,” the father replied and something about it sent a chill up my spine.

“What’s the original sword?” I asked.

The father smiled. I thought it was almost sad.

“It’s part of an old saying.”

“An old saying?” I asked, my eyebrows raising. “That’s why you’re so worked up?”

“‘We all exist in world forlorn till sword of wood show our scorn’,” he cited. “It’s their… Roman eagle. Their seal. It’s enough to create flames that won’t simply allow for us to smother them back down. These flames will spread like wildfire. Have already begun to.”

“What are you saying here?” I asked. “That the vampires are… converging? How many are there? Can’t be that many if they can stay hidden.”

The father and Maryann exchanged another of those knowing glances and I felt like stomping my feet. I didn’t want to ask silly questions or say stupid things, but twelve hours ago I would have scoffed at the mere word ‘vampire’ and here I had to suddenly deal with there being a vampire crisis?

“Give me a break,” I sighed.

They seemed to at least grow regretful at that as Maryann said:

“You know all those things you read about them? They’re fast, strong, got great hearing, sight, smell? Yeah, that’s all true. Add to that that they’re incredibly smart – I mean, some of them have had a thousand years to hone their intellect smart – then if you put a hundred of them in a battle field against a human army then you might have a slim possibility of standing as victor. Aim a thousand of them at the same target and the human race honestly don’t have a hope in hell.”

“Why haven’t they just… aimed themselves before?” I asked.

“Because they’re too disorganized,” the father replied. “Until now. If they – how did you put it…?”

“Converge.”

“Right, if they converge around the sword then there’s no telling what they’ll do.”

“So how many are there?” I asked, trying not to sound panicked.

Maryann replied slowly:

“That we know of… closer to ten thousand.”

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~ by mescribe on January 24, 2012.

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