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Wednesday, 25 February 2009

The Rising - Chapter 103: 'You Are Now Leaving Blackchapel'

By the glazed happiness on their faces, I assumed they were the cause of the noise in the bar outside. One by one the vampires moved into the reception area and their expressions changed. Smiles turned to shock, which in turn quickly morphed into anger.

Still brandishing the dagger to keep the two closest vampires at bay, I dragged Dave towards the mob. They all kept their distance but looked at me like they were trying to burn a hole in my head with their stare. With their legs bent and arms out to their sides, any one of them was ready to jump me if they thought they had an opportunity.

I could kill any of them with a single jab from the dagger, but can I take them all on?

My heart was pounding again. Adrenaline was flowing through my body to my brain but I did all I could to maintain a calm front as I edged us closer to the front door. The vampires circled us at just over arm’s length and kept their distance. Thoughts and voices flashed into my mind.

We’re going to kill you.

We’re going to feast on your friend.

You killed our brother. You must die.

He’s one of us.

He killed one of our brothers. He’s one of them.

He’s an infiltrator.

Kill him!

With the last voice, I heard a scream behind me. Keeping hold of Dave’s collar, I spun round and was faced with a vampire leaping towards me. I swung my right arm out, the silver blade pointing at him.

He flew right into me. I stumbled backwards but kept my footing. I heard a familiar noise. It was the faint fizz of a vampire’s body turning to ash. I looked down and saw that the blade had stabbed him square in the chest.

There were more screams around me. I pulled the dagger from his still-dissolving body and my victim fell to the floor screaming. I held out the dagger, swinging for arms that were reaching for me.

‘Come on then!’ I shouted, ‘Who’s having it next? I’ve killed two of you bastards already. It’s too easy!’

Still threatening them with the dagger, I took larger steps towards the door. They all wanted to attack me but none of them wanted to meet with the same fate as their brother, who was now nothing more than a pile of ash and clothes on the floor. The circle broke and I kicked the front door open.

Dragging Dave’s heavy body out of the hotel and down the steps, I kept looking at the vampires that were staring me down from inside. We reached Dave’s car. I stuck my hand in his pocket and breathed a sigh of relief when I found his car key. I opened the back door and threw Dave onto the back seat, then got into the driver’s seat and hit the gas.

As we passed the sign thanking us for passing through Blackchapel, I made a mental note never to return. Or if I did, to bring plenty of silver with me.

Warmth spread all over me as my vampire blood regulated my bodily functions. The fight was over. Keeping my eyes on the road, with one hand I reached back and felt for Dave’s wrist. I found his pulse, just wanting to double check that I hadn’t wasted my time rescuing a dead body.

Every few seconds I shot a glance in the rear view mirror, half expecting to see the sky filled with vampires on our tail, but saw nothing out of the ordinary. They had decided not to give chase and I wasn’t that interested in knowing why. All that mattered was getting back to the city in one piece and finding our old friends.

The road was empty, which I hoped would allow us to make good time. The only traffic I saw was two coaches going in the opposite direction.


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