Ripped from the pages of an age-yellowed penny blood, the page stained and smeared, the cover lost and the author dead to time, yet from these half-writ fragments forms a story in the mind…
“Peter,” said Manuel, returning to the tomb and standing opposite. “I’m going to need you to cut off her head.”
Slowly, Peter shook his head. He wiped his face with the back of his hand and grave dust stung his eyes. “This is impossible,” he said. “Impossible.”
He looked away from Lucille, past Father McCafferty to the boy outside. “How did you know? What part have you to play in this depravity?”
“Now is not the time, Peter,” said Father McCafferty.
“The boy needs a doctor,” said Peter, his voice cracking on the last word of the sentence. He did not want to look down at Lucille LaFey’s bloated, undead body. He would not.
“Peter!” hissed Manuel. “A doctor will be no help; the boy will not awaken until the job is done. We must sever him from the source.”
Father McCafferty’s lamp began to flicker as though caught in a breeze—except that there was no breeze within the cramped confines of Lucille LaFey’s tomb. The statue of the Virgin Mary looked down on them impassively, eyes blank like the gorgon.
Peter looked down at the oversized cleaver in his hands. The edge of the blade glinted in the light, edged with fire. “I can’t…” he said. His stomach turned over. He began to shake.
Manuel Churchill gripped Peter by the arm and said: “For Sammael: you must.”
The vampyre hunter released his grip and took up the mallet and the stake. Peter glanced at Father McCafferty, whose face looked lined and ancient in the shadows cast by the lamp.
“We must strike together,” said Manuel. “Now: get into position. At my count, on one…”
This is happening, thought Peter. In his imagination the stone lips of the Virgin Mary had twisted into something matching Lucille Lafey’s smirk. He extended his arms above the body, the sharp edge of the cleaver hovering directly above Lucille LaFey’s exposed, smooth-skinned neck.
“Three…” Manuel took up the wooden stake and the mallet. “Two…” the vampyre hunter took a moment to align the stake above her heart. “One!”
The mallet struck the stake with a high-pitched wooden clink. No air whispered out from Lucille LaFey’s punctured lung, for vampyres do not breathe. But there was another sound, from her lips, a whispered word: a lilting sing-song lullaby, a lover’s whisper. Peter hesitated and the vampyre’s eyes snapped open.
“Out!” Manuel screamed. “Get out!”Continue reading