• Opening

    “I can make that stop”, said a silky voice.
    “Raphael!” I twisted on my toes, ready for an attack, “you know what I promised you”
    “that you would kill me if I ever approached you”, his voice was as sweet as ever, his movements smooth like liquid, eyes that shined golden with dark maroon pin points, almost black, with hints of red around the edges. “Well, haven’t we grown up quite a bit”, laughing as he slinked between the shadows and came out into the moonlight.
    “With times like they are we all have to grow up fast”, my fists tightened blood ran down the pads of my hands, I didn’t care. “What do you want now? Are you going to kill me……, or do you just want to gloat!?” Slumping up against the walls of the ruined fortress I began to bandage my leg.
    “Let me do that you will only make it worse”, he came and attempted to dress the wound as I kicked him away, “fine just bleed out”
    “Well you made sure I couldn’t do that, now didn’t you!!”
    Raphael gave me a look that sent chills up my spine, I new that I shouldn’t be pressing my luck. How could I not, after I ran away from the abbey and began to live on the streets I thought that my life was as shitty as it could get, but he brought me to a new low.
    With a voice like crystal daggers he snarled, “If it had been me you would have died!” with that he was gone.

    The bleeding had finally stopped and I was able to limp my way into town. It was after curfew and no one in the village would notice me slipping quietly through. I had a ways to go before sunup, and I was not entirely convinced Raphael did not mean to in fact kill me.
    “If it had been me you would have died!” “Hah! Why do you deny what you have done!”
    For the rest of the night I decided to sleep in the abandoned ruins of a church. The stained glass windows where shattered and covered over with blasphemous spray paint scrawls, call for a good time….Satan rules…..etc.etc. After people first started to believe that there bedtime horror stories where that of fact, many places where abandoned. Something I never understood was why they fled from the churches, its true vampires can enter these places of worship but how where they to know that. I still find comfort and hope as I lay here curled on my pew.

    With the rising of the sun I had to be gone of my church. I didn’t want to risk being discovered by a search party. It would be hard to explain why I had been outside after curfew, and the numerous cuts in my hands and leg. So I took to the old roads that where to left over from before.

    “Miss I’m going to have to ask for a blood sample before you can pass into the city” the man at the gates was the usual militia recruit, crew cut and dressed in uniform. His name tag read Ron.
    “Well Ron I was just here last week and you where about a foot taller with blond hair and green eyes, and you got your blood sample.
    “Yes I am his replacement, and we have to take new blood samples” he gave me a look of frustration as if he had rehearsed what to say and had said it to everyone to day. Seeing that I wasn’t going to just give in he explained. “There has been a large number of outbreaks lately and we are……..tightening security”
    “Oh and you think I could be one of them? Well if I was would I not just kill you and carry on with my paces?” I flashed him my I.D for the Pass and he quickly let me through.
    “I’m sorry Miss, the Pass is always welcome” He bumbled, “May I ask your name though……just for the records?”
    This boy was starting to irritate me with his efficiency, “Just for the records I am Shifter, and if you waist anymore of my time there will be a new Ron manning this gate!” That shut him up, and so I was able to slip into Exion the main hub of natural life in the western world. He would soon find that the Pass agent name Shifter was deceased and that he had failed in his job.
    It wasn’t that I could not just sneak in to the city undiscovered it was that by sounding alarms with my entry the city would be swarming with the Pass by nightfall and Raphael would be unable to track me.
    The Pass is an agency of well trained humans that specialize in the extermination of vampires and other oddities, why they call them the pass, well I’m not sure I want to know. They combine the old spiritual ways of killing the undead with some new questionable practices.
    My first objective in Exion was to patch myself up, and that meant a trip into the bowls of the city before the Pass realized I was here. And then next I would gather supplies and slip out unnoticed hopefully Raphael would not notice me giving him the slip…I would be so lucky.
    The early morning air stung in my lungs as I briskly walked down to the corner of Outcast street, “ha-ha outcast street, more like the street of the mentally insane and sane,” those people who didn’t buy into the Pass’s lies where concentrated on the north side of the city. Raphael if he did attempt to inter the city after me would not dare to come here unless he was hell bent on seeing my demise. These people here where more acute in there discernment of good and evil, living and undead, natural and unnatural, and the list goes on.
    With a flick of his wrist Graph, a crusty old ex C.I.A agent assembled a gun that looked archaic next to the newer ones that the Pass carried, though much more affective in its job. “Ah, well she lives to see the light of day, don’t give me that look! you know I’m only kidding with you girly” I liked Graph, he had taken me in was going through hard times and helped me cope with everything without asking many questions. I still have no clue why he did what he did, I know he has ideas, but I’m not sure he knows the whole story or even guesses at it; maybe he doesn’t want to know.
    “Would you stop calling me girly please I’m 16 now, legally an adult,” I followed him into the roughly constructed shack, the walls where lined with decommissioned toys of the past, that only those that where once employed by the military new how to acquire. Sitting down at the table a threw my leg up on the table top and yanked up the pants leg, “Well…Can you fix it”
    “God, child are you ever going to learn? I mean come on what happened to all that inhuman agility and grace you used to have?” He went to his cabinet and pulled out what had become so familiar to me, I believe graph had also been a scientist in his earlier days, he knew how to fix everything. I also believe that is how the skin on his forearms was burnt. He had been in an accident he had explained when he was younger and had to have skin graphs placed on his arms, people started calling him Graph after that and it stuck. “Well that should hold you,” pulling the gauze tight he brushed off his hands and returned his tools of the trade to his cabinets and returned with a small brown paper bag. Awkwardly he shifted from one foot to the other, his eyes where sad and reluctant. He seemed drawn into thought.
    “I know that you are leaving for good this time,” the words came out with pained emotion, his lips drawn together in fine lines; he was trying not to cry. “I can tell by your eyes, I know you don’t need me to patch up such simple cuts as these anymore.”
    Getting to my feet I closed the gap in between us and embraced him as tears that only he could cry ran down his wheather worn face. “You know you where the closest to a father that I ever had?” An these words where true as I spoke them I had never felt like I belonged to anyone but Graph had excepted me on every level, sometimes I would fancy that I was his daughter.
    “How about you go get us some coffee then I can see you off”, without even awaiting my answer he walked out, brushing the last of the moisture from his face.

    Upon my return I felt the chill that covered the street that only accompanies death, walking hurriedly towards the shack I began to stumble on the uneven sodden ground. The door was thrown open to the chilling night as light cast from a solitude candle threw eerie dancing shadows about the room as I entered. There on the floor, Graph lay eyes, mouth wide open like he had struggled to take in his last breath. He was dead.
    “Well didn’t take you long to come running home” Now I understood why Raphael had not followed so close nor had fought me harder at the ruins, he just wanted to hit me in the weakest aspect of my frail life and then make me come crawling to him. That’s why he had sent his lap dog. “I presume you understand the message?”
    “I do not…….but I will surely send you back with one………….John you remember the promise I made Raphael?” smiling I turned to avenge Graphs murder.