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Monday, 28 July 2008

The Rising - Chapter 12: 'Where Are You Taking Me?'

Emily Owen had kept perfectly silent during the long journey from the city out into the country. Without any interruptions, she had managed to calm herself down and accept her situation.

Thoughts of her husband were always on her mind. She hadn’t seen him since he had left, promising to come back for her and telling her everything would be okay. He could be in exactly the same position as her for all she knew but it was the not knowing that was hurting her the most.

Worrying about Andrew meant she wasn’t thinking about where her captor was taking her. She tried not to think about what her captor had done at the police station but she couldn’t escape the images that had flashed before her eyes after he had pulled her from her cell.

The floor had been strewn with bodies, some police officers, others civilian, but all dead. Pools of blood had gathered on the floor and red splatters streaked up the walls. The commotion she heard outside her cell had lasted for only a matter of seconds, but it was all the time her burly captor needed.

Did he really kill all those people single-handedly?

She knew there was only one explanation for his strength. This was the first time she had met a vampire. Well, it was the first time she was sure she had met a vampire. Andrew had told her they were everywhere in the real world, not just hiding in dark corners waiting to suck the blood of innocent people. Ever since he told her the secret he had kept hidden from the rest of the world, she always kept her eyes open for vampires in her everyday life.

The woman who always served her at the bank. Their dentist. The postman. Members of her own family. Her friends. Politicians.

Are any of them creatures of the night? Are they all creatures of the night?

She could never tell for sure but always had her suspicions. Many times in the past she had questioned her husband’s sanity and her own.

Come on, Andrew. Monsters don’t exist. How can they? They’re the stuff of fantasy, creatures that only show up in movies.

But she trusted Andrew. He was the last person in the world she thought would let his imagination run away with him. He was the most strait-laced and sensible person she’d ever met. That’s why she loved him so much. She had no reason not to believe him so she put her faith in him with no promise of any pay-off for her devotion.

Andrew had been straight with her from the start. He knew that he might not live to see the fruits of his labour, but he was certain he was part of something big, something important that the survival of mankind depended on. Many scientists before him had tried and failed to create a cure for the vampire virus. Part of him wanted to be the man to succeed where others had failed, but he was a realist.

All he thought he could do was make one breakthrough that would allow his successors to continue to develop further. But that had all changed when he and Doctor Forrest made the breakthrough just a matter of weeks earlier.

Emily stared out of the window at the dark, empty countryside. They were driving higher and higher into the mountains, working their way round winding roads edged with metal barriers that were supposed to stop careless drivers plunging into the rocky depths below. Artificial orange light illuminated the car for a few seconds as they passed through a small village. The car was then plunged back into darkness.

After a few minutes, Emily finally plucked up the courage to ask her captor a question.

‘Where are you taking me?’

As soon as the words had left her lips, he hit the brakes and turned the car off the road. A shiver shot down her spine and adrenaline coursed through her veins.

Oh my God, she thought, is he going to kill me for asking where we’re going?

Relief hit her as she realised the coincidental timing of her question. The reason the driver had turned off the road was not to kill her and dump her body. A large metal gate ahead of them swung open and they continued down a dirt track that led into the mountains.

The relief Emily had felt left her as soon as it had arrived. She realised that wherever they were going, they were almost there and her fears turned to thoughts of what might happen to her when they reached their destination.

He didn’t bring me all this way just to kill me.

Did he?

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