MURDER IN MOONLIGHT FALLS
To say that the scene was gruesome, was a severe understatement. Agent Capes grimaced as he bypassed the black and yellow tape, this time keeping his sunglasses on to hopefully reduce the severity of the crime scene.
He remembered his first day on the job – there had been a horrific pile up on the mountain roads. Bodies were left strewn everywhere and it had been his job to tag and bag. The officer remembered how he came home from work that day and cried his eyes dry. He thought he would never have to deal with something like that again – that is, until he arrived at the scene this morning. He had regretfully identified the victim as Helen Hall – a real honest person. She’d never been in trouble with the law before, so he suspected it was a random act of brutality. But there was so much blood. Who would do such a thing?
Capes beeped into the coms, requesting some detectives who had dealt with serial killer cases and a few experts on animal attacks. The officer sighed as he took a final glance at Helen’s corpse. He desperately hoped that it had been an animal.
Draven cleared his throat obnoxiously, peeling open this morning’s newspaper once again and pacing slowly in front of the tomb Lilith had chosen to sleep in. Spinning on his heel, and starting in the other direction, he began to read the headline article – practically yelling it.
“Murder in Moonlight Falls! Long-time resident, Helen Hall, was found dead this morning outside of her residence… blah, blah, blah… the reporting officer remarked that this was: ‘Something like he had never seen before.’ Moonlight Falls has seen it’s fair share of strange occurrences… prepare for the worst!“
The vampire grimaced as he looked at the attached pictures and shook his head in disbelief. He knew Lilith had done this. Who else would be such a messy eater and spill that much blood?The door of the tomb began to slide open with a ghastly grinding sound. The doors obviously needed some greasing or just more use to wear the stone down a little. Draven folded the paper away neatly and slid it into his pocket, patiently waiting for her to emerge from her beauty slumber.
“What’s going on out there? You’d better be getting murdered Draven or I swear – ” Lilith shoved the thin stone piece out of the way, slamming it shut behind her with a grumble. Even if she had been asleep for just under a century, she still needed her rest.
She was not happy. He wasn’t surprised. But now it was his turn to be grouchy at her. Draven couldn’t believe how reckless she had been. She completely disregarded the rules set in place, and just gorged on the first person she saw. He’d have to talk some sense into her if her little cult here was going to survive more than a day.
“You’re unbelievable, you know that? Had a nice feast yesterday night, yeah? Good because it’s all over the news and you won’t be eating that well for a while now. They’ll all be locking their back doors so serial-killer-psycho won’t break in and drain them dry.”
Lilith looked guilt for a whole three seconds before ugly malice slipped back onto her face. How dare he tell her what to do. She didn’t take to criticism lightly and fired back instantly. “I’ll do whatever the hell I want to do. Especially when we’re just talking about mere humans. They don’t deserve any mercy, not after what they’ve done to me. How can you defend them?”
Her voice seemed to cut completely through his resolve. Her hatred burned painfully bright, scorching anyone who dared challenge her beliefs. And could you expect any less from her? Her whole clan had been wiped out and she had been left with a letter that blamed the humans. What was a girl to do in such a situation?
Draven still shook his head, but his purpose had been lost to the flames. “It just scares the people. And when they get scared, they lash out.” He didn’t say it, but he was willing to bet that her coven had been wiped out due to paranoia.
She seemed to calm down a little now, but her anger still simmered quietly beneath. “I’ll try to tone it down a little… but they deserve everything they get.”She tacked on the last statement hastily, snapping it out before looking away.
“Tone it down a lot. Please.”
Begrudgingly, she responded with a sharp nod and turned to walk down the barren hallway. She felt like she would snap if she stayed any longer. It was testing enough that Draven had now decided to just move himself onto her land. As she strayed further down an endless corridor, she felt sadness quell her wrath. It leaked from the walls like a somber gas, intoxicating her, placating her. There were so many memories contained within the walls.
Draven watched her disappear down a thin pathway to the right before striding straight ahead towards a grand-looking room. He guessed it might have been used as a throne room before, or potentially even a meeting room. Of course, it helped that there was a rusting old throne standing proudly at the back of the room. He stalked towards the throne, shifting nervously as red mist curled around him. What was with all the red? Her coven must have loved the colour of blood.
As he approached the worn throne, he noticed something else at it’s base. It looked burnt, slightly disfigured. He stared at it strangely, wondering why he hadn’t noticed it when he came through before. His face contorted into shock and then terror as he understood what he was looking at.
Recoiling from the throne, Draven felt like an intruder into something sacred. He looked back and called Lilith over, stepping back in case her emotions flared uncontrollably. She came at her own leisure, appearing from the alley with solemn features. He didn’t ask anything.
Her reaction surprised him. It even surprised herself a little bit. She didn’t know grief could hit this hard – and so suddenly too. Lilith raised a cold hand to cover her mouth, wishing she could cover her eyes as well and forget what she gazed upon. She felt shocked, even though she should have expected this.
Her chest felt heavy, ribcage digging into her flesh and gnawing. She hated it. She felt so blue inside. Blue was so weak.
And from the blue she felt a hand reach out and touch her. It was an unfamiliar touch, but she welcomed it. Lilith looked up at Draven, embarrassed that she had shown such weakness in front of a rogue. If she wanted to rebuild this coven, there was no room for blue couches and teal curtains.
Out of the ocean, Draven offered a sympathetic smile. “I’m sorry I didn’t clear this out before you woke. It slipped my notice. Hey, you alright?”
Finding Lilith unresponsive, he continued on. “It’s not your fault anything happened.”
She was grateful for his company, but she didn’t show it too well. All she gave was a half-hearted smile and a mumbled thanks through a heavy sigh. But that was enough to reassure Draven that he had done enough to calm her down. He was starting to understand this strange she-vamp, though there were still plenty of issues between them.
Interrupting their perfect little moment, Draven’s phone suddenly rang and he answered to the angry sound of his boss.
“Where the fuck are you, Draven? We can’t pull this heist off without our getaway driver.”
“I’m hurling towards the location right as we speak.” He gave Lilith a frantic look and pointed her in the direction of the elevator.
“I better see your sorry face in one minute. One minute.”
The call ended and Draven raced towards the lift, ushering Lilith inside. It was better to take her rather than risk her having another murderous rage on her own.
“That’s two minutes, Draven. You’re late.” The black-haired man growled at the vampire, just as he would address other humans. Lilith was confused at the lack of respect he showed. Even from behind the tree she was told to hide behind, she was appalled by the fact that vampires had to interact with humans in such a way.
Draven grumbled angrily and shot his arms up. It was obviously the two weren’t the greatest of friends. “Look is there a job now, or isn’t there? Because I’m here now.”
Something shifted in the man’s face, like clockwork melting and rearranging. “There was never a job for you. Just one for me.”
“What?”Draven spat out the incredulous reply, furrowing his brow in confusion.
This cued a short laugh from the other man. “You think I don’t know what you are? What you did to Helen? There’s a big bounty on your head, Draven, and I want it. Vampire Slayer of Moonlight Falls. Sounds pretty nice doesn’t it?” He retrieved a silenced pistol from somewhere on his person and played around with it. Lilith sneered at his confidence, preparing to dash if she had to.
Draven still had that stupid shock written all over his face. Rolling her eyes, Lilith sprinted towards the scene, sliding her body between vampire and ‘vampire slayer’. She’d had her fill of amateur slayers in her life – this one was annoying her. “Drop the gun,” she tried to speak with a stern and measured voice, but there was a hiss behind her teeth.
The man pouted at the two. “Oh, how cute. Got your girlfriend to protect you? But I thought our pick-up zones were meant to be confidential, what ever happened to that rule?” He was twirling the gun around as if it were a toy, swinging it around his finger and flailing it around in every direction.
“I don’t have time for games, boy.” Lilith snapped impatiently, “either leave now or stay here forever. What’s it going to be?”
In a blazing display of arrogance, he let out laugh once again, training the pistol in between them and shifting as if deciding which target to hit first. “Sorry sweetie, I can’t leave. Not now. Just let me kill this freak and – how about I offer you 12% of the pay-off? Sound good?”
Disgusted and highly offended that he assumed they were of the same species, Lilith lunged towards him, exposing her fangs for the second time under the frenzied glint of the moon. She didn’t even catch his reaction to her beautiful canines. Feeling reinvigorated by her meal the previous night, she dug her nails into his shoulders and tossed him up into the air slightly, holding him in place momentarily.
“You mutts never learn,” she grouched beneath her breath, sending a balled fist towards his face, “never listen and never learn.” Lilith socked him a few more times before she was satisfied and dropped him onto the grass.
It really wasn’t anything to be proud of – beating up a human in the middle of the night – but she was proud nonetheless. Maybe at least one of their kind would listen now. She whirled around to face Draven, maybe expecting to see adoration in his eyes and a swoon, but she was met with an unimpressed groan.
“What? I didn’t kill him!”
He just rolled his eyes and grabbed her wrist, running away from the scene as if she had murdered someone. Draven was concerned for the future of his job. That was his boss that she had just beaten up. But Lilith found this all too amusing, laughing as they sped away.
When he decided that they’d finally put enough distance between them and the scene, Draven suddenly stopped and took in a breath. He was ready to give her a lecture… yet again. Unexpectedly, Lilith piped up first with an apology.
“I’m sorry.” She cast her eyes at his feet and then sent her attentions to the treeline just behind his head. “He’ll wake up though.”
It would have been so easy to grill her for what she’d done. He was as good as unemployed right now, unless a new crime gang decided to take in the ‘really pale fast driver’. Draven bit his tongue and swallowed down his anger, instead shaking his head and putting on a smile. “It’s fine.” It was his turn to look down now, embarrassed that his gratitude would appear so lackluster when presented to Lilith. “Thanks for, you know, saving me the pain. Bullets are hard to squeeze out, they catch on all sorts of things in there – especially in the chest – “
“Okay, I get it. You’re welcome.” She was just fine without having known that.
Draven smiled sheepishly at her and then gestured towards a ratty looking car. It wasn’t his before tonight, but it belonged to him now. “Get in. We’re going shopping.”
“So where exactly are we headed?”
“Nice house with lots of windows and glass doors. I know the floor-plan back to front. No security cameras either. Don’t worry, they’re basically begging to be robbed with so much glass all around.”
Draven stopped the car abruptly – and in the middle of the road – and hopped out, running over the large house they would be robbing. Lilith had never been considered a ‘criminal’. Though she supposed that was just because she never got caught. The break and enter was surprisingly easy… Draven just opened the front door and they walked in.
“There’s a bedroom upstairs where you can raid the dressers if you want. They also have a shower but be warned the hot water heats up really fast.”
Lilith nodded slowly, watching him disappear into a room downstairs as if he lived here. Damn rogue – had probably been robbing people his entire life and now he was robbing her of time. She quietly ascended and creeped into the bedroom, heading straight for the dresser. The clothes she had on were old, stiff and were beginning to smell like death.
She took a while to change. Looking good was important to her. Very important. She left the room quickly and was surprised, to say the least, when she saw Draven already changed and waiting for her. His choice of clothes were… surprising.
“What,” she paused and looked him up and down, “are you wearing?”
He feigned a hurt expression, looking down at himself with a frown. “You don’t like it? Makes me stand out.”
“At least I won’t lose you now,” Lilith smiled ever so slightly and headed for the door. She’d had a bit of an accident with her shirt. It was a bit too tight for her, so she had accidentally ripped it when pulling it on. There were slim chances of getting it off – so she kept it.
Draven gave a toothy smile, pleased that he had gotten her to talk a little more. In the short time he had known her, he had made significant progress. Maybe, she would even reserve a spot for him in her coven. Then he would finally belong. He would finally be secure. “Don’t leave without me. You can’t even drive.”
They rolled out of the street quickly, speeding back towards the crypt and racing the sun. It was early morning now, that orange gem glowing just below the horizon and painting the skies. The house had seemed empty when they entered, and Draven was sure no-one had seen them come or go. So Lilith’s criminal record could still remain clean, despite the murder and robbery.
But someone had seen them come.
And she was watching as they left.