Free Story: Nightwalkers Outtake: The Vampire Linares
Nightwalkers is one of the books I’m currently editing for publication. While working on that, an idea occurred to me that had nothing to do with the novel. I hope you enjoy my little distraction.
Nightwalkers: The Vampire Linares
“Keep that bitch away from me,” Calvin grumbled.
Robert chuckled, “Relax man, she won’t bite. Hit me.”
Calvin dealt Robert a two of diamonds. “Yeah, so you say. She looks hungry to me; kind of pale.”
“She’s always pale. She’s from England or somewhere.” Robert looked over at Linares, who’d taken her Reeboks off and sat curled up on the end of the sofa, watching The View. “Hey baby, you’re from like London or Liverpool or somewhere, right?”
Without looking away from the television Linares said, “Spain.”
“She don’t look Spanish,” Calvin muttered.
Now Linares looked at Calvin. She smiled at him. “And you don’t look American.”
“What the fuck you mean? I was born here. My people were brought over here in chains, bitch. My people were here before most of the motherfuckers in this motherfucking country got here. I’m American; I don’t know what the fuck you are.”
“If you want to be technical, I’m Iberian,” Linares said.
What the fuck’s an Iberian, bitch? I thought you just said you were from Spain.”
“I was born in Spain before anybody ever called it Spain…bitch.”
“Yeah well, whatever the fuck you are, just keep your ass over there on that couch, ‘cause I don’t trust you. And what the fuck are you doing out in the daytime anyway? It’s damn near high noon. Aren’t you supposed to be burning up or something?”
“The dark man sent her,” Robert said. “Hit me again.” Calvin dealt an eight of hearts and Robert said, “Shit, busted on twenty-two!”
Linares said, “You shouldn’t believe everything you see in the movies, Calvin. We don’t all walk the night. Those of us old enough have learned to adapt.”
Calvin barely noticed his win at cards. He had his eyes on Linares, who’d turned her attention back to Barbara Walters and her crew. “So how come Abdiel didn’t come himself? He ain’t as old as you? Dark as that nigga is he shouldn’t even feel sunlight.”
“Abdiel is the oldest of us all, and the most powerful,” Linares said. “He simply prefers anonymity.”
Robert spit out a laugh. “She means the brother likes to keep his shit undercover. Damn man, pick up a book sometime.”
“So what’d he send you here for?” Calvin asked Linares. “What’s up? We’ve been handling our business like we’re supposed to. Me and Phillip got the sleeping chamber finished. It’s so light tight you can’t even squeeze air in.”
“And I’ve got around the clock security ready to go to work,” Robert added. “You can move somebody into the house whenever you’re ready.”
“So what’s going on?” Calvin asked again. “I mean, this ain’t typical, one of you just showing up for no reason. You sure you’re not just feeling thirsty and come here looking for somebody to suck on?”
Linares giggled at something on television and then said, “One of the four of you has been taken. When Phillip and Teresa return I’m going to kill that one.”
Calvin said, “Fuck!” and shot up from the card table so fast that he knocked his chair over.
The View went into commercial break, so Linares watched Calvin with an amused smile as he rifled frantically through his tool bag. He came out with a claw hammer.
“What the fuck you talking about, ‘taken?’” he shouted at her. “What the fuck you talking about, killing somebody?” He looked at Robert and pointed at her with the hammer. “See? I told you that bitch was up to something! She was looking at us funny the minute she walked in the door. I told you she was hungry!”
Robert had gathered up the playing cards and was shuffling them. He said, “Relax, man. If she wanted your blood you’d be running on empty right now. So Linares, what’s this taken thing?”
A commercial about shampoo had drawn Linares’ attention away from the men. As she watched it she ran her fingertips through her raven black hair. “How do you think I’d look as a blonde?”
“Not so hot,” Robert said. “Blondes need a tan to work it right. You’ve got that milky thing going on with your complexion. The black hair is a nice contrast. You look sexy like you are, so I wouldn’t change it.”
“Oh, you’re so sweet. Thank you.”
“Man, fuck all that bullshit!” Calvin yelled. “She ain’t giving you no pussy!” He shook the hammer at her. “Who you trying to kill, huh? ‘Cause all I did was build the fucking box like ya’ll said!”
Linares swung her legs off the sofa. She wore jeans under a New York Yankees replica pinstriped jersey, and looked like anyone’s college girl next door. Calvin outweighed her by ninety pounds and was clutching his hammer, but he backed up a step.
Linares didn’t stand. She placed her hands primly on her knees and looked back and forth at the two men. Then she said, “One of you four has been taken by evil. The demon controls your actions and every word you speak. It’s come to try to destroy the one we set up the house for.”
“Hey, all I did was build the fucking box around the bed,” Calvin said. “I ain’t trying to destroy shit, and I don’t want to get destroyed, neither. So keep your fucking fangs off me.”
Robert said, “My security team is tight. Nobody will get close to whoever is coming.”
Footsteps sounded on the front porch. Robert dropped the cards. His hand shot to his side and he gripped the butt of his service revolver.
“It’s Phillip and Teresa,” Linares said, and Robert relaxed.
“So are you going to bite one of us?” Teresa asked. “I mean like, bite us for real? Because I kind of like the little nibbles you give me.” She sat next to Linares on the sofa, close enough that their hips touched. Phillip sat on Linares’ other side. “Actually, I really like them.”
“That’s because it makes you come,” Phillip said. “This isn’t about that. This is serious stuff.”
Teresa scowled at Phillip. “Yeah well, you fucked her, you asshole. Don’t think I forgot that. So she made you come, too.”
“I swear I didn’t know he was your husband then,” Linares said.
“Yeah well, he knew he had a wife,” Teresa snapped. “I blame him, Linares.”
Calvin had been pacing the living room with his hammer clutched in his fist. Now he stopped and glared at Phillip and Teresa. “What the fuck is wrong with ya’ll? This bitch is fittin’ to kill one of us and you’re talking about your dick and pussy. What the fuck?”
Teresa smiled up at him. “You don’t know what it’s like,” she said. “It’s like…like…” She clutched herself and shivered. “Bliss…”
“Yeah well, fuck all that,” Calvin said. “I’m in it for the money. Keep paying me and I can buy all the bliss I want. But I ain’t letting shit bite me; not Linares, not Abdiel, not none a them pointy-teeth motherfuckers.”
Robert was still at the card table, shuffling the cards. He said, “So Linares, why didn’t you just pick off whoever it is while they were by themselves? Why do you want all four of us here?”
Linares sat back on the sofa and crossed her legs. Teresa scooted closer to her, and the vampire wrapped an arm around her shoulder. Calvin curled his lip and shook his head in disgust.
Linares said, “It’s what Abdiel wants. He wants you all to bear witness.”
“Bear witness to what?” Phillip asked. He reached to place a hand on Linares’ breast, but Teresa smacked it away.
The vampire said, “Evil isn’t just a thing that men do, Robert. It’s not simply a thing you can control with a will to be good. Evil is an entity. It exists separate and apart from the will of man. You’re going to see the demon. You’re going to see evil in its earthly form. By bearing witness to the physical presence of evil, your faith in the rightness of what we do will be reinforced. You’ll better know that your service to us is a righteous service.”
“So you’re going to bite one of us for real?” Teresa breathed, “Like, suck us good?”
Calvin said, “She’s going to kill you, you stupid fucking horny –“
“Hey, watch it man,” Phillip warned. “You’re talking to my woman.”
“I can’t take the blood of the possessed,” Linares said. “It’s fouled, laced with the filth of Lilith, the mother of demons. It would make me sick.”
Phillip said, “Then it must be Calvin. He’s the only one that won’t let you bite him.”
Calvin backed away from the sofa, back to the card table. “Uh-uh-hell no-that’s bullshit! Ain’t no fucking demon inside me!”
“The possession happened recently,” Linares said, “a day or so ago at most. It could be any one of you.”
“How are we going to see the demon?” Teresa asked.
“A person weak of spirit is easily taken by evil,” Linares explained. “But once it enters its host, the demon can’t leave so easily. It requires either extraction by exorcism – which is painful for the demon – or the death of the host body. Until either happens, the demon is trapped within its host. But when the body perishes, the demon is released. Many human suicides are actually caused by a demon wanting to leave its host. Anyway, since I’m not a priest I’ll have to kill the one of you possessed to release the demon. You other three will see it then, when it leaves the body. Then I’ll kill it, too.”
“So you know which one of us it is?” Phillip asked.
Linares nodded. “Besides being able to bear the sun, another benefit of my age is that I can sense the presence of Lilith’s spawn. That’s something a young vampire can’t do. It’s why Abdiel chose me to prepare the house.”
Teresa snuggled closer to Linares and kissed the corner of her mouth. Then she said, “So the demon knows you can see it?”
Linares smiled. “It does now.”
“How are you going to kill it?” Robert asked.
Linares stood up. She reached back under her hair to her collar and grasped the hilt of the dagger sheathed at her back. She held the blade out for her consorts to see. “This blade is forged from the ore from the earth of The Garden. It can cleave the ethereal flesh of the spawn of Lilith.”
Robert heaved the card table over, dashed for the front window and dove headfirst through the glass.
Linares was a blur as she flashed from the sofa to the window. She grasped Robert by the back of his policeman’s shirt and yanked him back into and across the room. He slammed into the far wall and fell to the floor, but was on his feet instantly. Shards of glass stuck out of his face. Blood oozed out around the glass, matching the sudden glowing red in his eyes.
Calvin yelled, “Oh, fuck!” and drew back his hammer, ready to fight whichever of the creatures came at him. Phillip clutched Teresa to him as if his human arms would protect her from whatever was about to happen.
Robert yowled a cry that sounded like a mixture of a cat’s screech and a snake’s hiss and charged at Linares. The demon used Robert’s human arm to strike at the vampire, but Linares caught his fist and twisted hard. Robert’s forearm cracked like a breaking tree branch and dangled uselessly in the sleeve of his uniform shirt.
Snarling, Robert snapped at Linares like a rabid dog. She jerked her head away, and his teeth chocked together so hard that a couple broke loose from their roots and fell from his mouth.
Linares took a skip-step back, and then delivered a side kick to the side of Robert’s knee. His leg collapsed on itself, and he dropped to one knee. Linares was on him in a blink. She wrapped her arm around his head and grasped his chin. She wrenched his head around so violently that it spun twice on his neck, and Robert dropped face first to the floor, his human body dead.
Linares picked up her dagger, stood over the dead cop and said to her horrified consorts, “Now watch.”
The air just above the dead man’s body shifted, and then darkened, until it became a translucent shadow as large as a medium-sized dog. The thing was all darkness save for two red orbs that glowed at Linares with bitter hatred.
Linares slashed it with her blade, and the shadow screeched. Blood flew into the air in a red arc. She slashed again, drawing another otherworldly screech and more blood. The demon shuddered and collapsed back onto Robert’s body. Linares stepped closer, and shifting the blade in her hand, drove it down into the evil so deeply that her fist sank into the shadow.
She withdrew her blade and backed away. Her face and clothes were spattered with blood. Again she said, “Watch.”
As her terrified consorts watched, the now still shadow faded away until only pure, clean air remained in the space it had occupied. The demon’s blood faded and vanished too, from Linares’ body and from where it had splattered around the room.
Linares slid her dagger back into its sheath and said, “Anyway, that’s how you kill a demon.”
Calvin dropped his hammer and said, “Fuck me naked. Did ya’ll see that shit?”
“Yeah,” Phillip said, “It was like a living shadow.”
Teresa said, “I feel like I’ve seen something like that before.”
“You probably have,” Linares said. “Sometimes that thing you think you see out of the corner of your eye isn’t just your imagination. Evil is among us, always seeking out the weak and impure. It’s always looking for a way in so that it can bring more suffering and misery to mankind.”
“So Robert was a punk,” Calvin said.
“You’re the punk Calvin,” Teresa snapped. “Have some respect for the dead. I would’ve bet money it was you with a demon inside you.”
Linares laughed. “Calvin’s an asshole, but he has a good heart.”
“Fuck you too, dead chick,” Calvin said. “But do me a favor: You ever see one a those shadow motherfuckers around me, stab it before it gets inside me, okay? I’d appreciate it.”
“What are we going to do about Robert’s body?” Phillip asked.
“I’ll make a call,” Linares said. “We have other people on standby to handle cleanups like this. They’ll get here pretty quickly, so we should leave and be out of their way.”
“Where are we going?” Teresa asked.
Linares said, “I vote for Dairy Queen. I’m absolutely dying for a strawberry shake.”
© August 2012