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Chapter 2: Death by Frying

One or three of the stupid ones jump at me and try to knock me out of the sunlight. I dodge and two actually collide with each other in a ray of sunlight. They fry instantly, scorched flesh turning to ooze. The other hiss and circle like a pack of hyenas. I try not to seem like I’m shaking in my boots and give them my best smile.
“Now boys and girls, I just want to go over a few ground rules with you. No cheating, no biting, and above all, no tattling to Daddy. And if any of you get ooze all over my new shoes, I am going to be very, very annoyed.”
They hiss and snarl at me but other than that, don’t take any interest in what I am saying. Figures; I finally think up some good comeback lines and the only audience I have are a bunch of brain-dead blood addicts.
I’ve got two stink bombs I keep in reserve stuffed in my back pocket, and I take them out now, lighting and throwing them into opposite ends of the pack. The ranks thin considerably as one by one the Vampytes succumb to the smell.
I keep my stake in my right hand just in case any of them get too close and search through my jacket pocket until I find what I’m looking for. I’ve got another surprise for those who are still standing. It’s something I learned back when I was in Pre-K. I pull out my magnifying glass and mirror and focus a beam of reflected sunshine on an unsuspecting Vampyre. He lets out a scream as first his hair, then his head catches on fire. I hit a female standing next to him, who has particularly long locks and her head and torso go up in flames as well. I learned this by accident a few weeks ago, but Vampyre hair is extremely flammable. Probably due to their lack of decent hair conditioner, though it could also be the fact that they’re… well undead. I hit another, and another. It’s like burning ants again, except on a much larger scale.
There’s mass panic in the room as Vampytes run around, trying their best to beat out the flames. Some get too close to others, and they catch on fire as well. The smell of burned hair and decomposed skin makes me want to puke. But then, Vampyre killing isn’t tea and cookies with the Queen. If it was, maybe there would be more of us. Or maybe not. Colin has been doing a spanking good job of killing off everyone except…well, me. I’ll explain later when I’m not fighting for my life.
A particularly sneaky, though stupid Vampyre grabs me by the ankle, ignoring the instant cauterizing of his forearms and hands, and tries to pull me off my feet. Perhaps he’s just really loyal. Regardless, he has no self-preservation instincts. I kick my foot forward, pulling him into the sunlight and stab him in the back with my stake just to make sure. He lets go and collapses into a pile of ooze. Some of it stains my boots. I wag a finger at the dissolving head.
“You naughty boy,what did I say about oozing?. I’m going to have a word with your Daddy because this is a big no-no, mister.”
I fry another Vampyre who thinks I’m not paying attention, point-blank in his eye. He howls and practically tears the surrounding skin off, trying to extinguish the flames.
“Well don’t rub it, that will only make it worse!” I yell after him. “Just let it sit and…burn for a second. Maybe it will go away.” The Vampyre collapses to the ground and starts to disintegrate like a marshmellow in a campfire. “Or not,” I say with a shrug and fry another sucker, following through with a stab to the chest. Surprisingly, the body remains mostly intact, except for the smell of a ripe limburger cheese. Suddenly, I prefer the ooze.
More Vampytes are howling for my blood and I keep the mirror in my left hand and my stake in my right, alternating between stabbing and frying. I try to keep up a steady rhythm, but wouldn’t you know, the other team tends to cheat, some coming all at once, others sneaking up behind. But I still manage to get them all. The mall now smells like the time the grill exploded during Dad’s Barbeque birthday party a few years ago. No one was hurt, except for the rack of pork ribs roasting on the fire. This is worse though. The pork ribs didn’t scream in agony . I fight the bile rising up in my throat. Some of the Vampytes are hobbling around on charred limbs, stumbling and slipping in the ooze of their defeated companions. A few fall over, twitching, and lie still as they too begin to decompose into organic matter. The rest are sleeping off the effects of my stink bombs. If I don’t step out of the light soon and stake them, they’ll rejoin the masses trying to attack me. I’m tired, so tired, my adrenaline rush is waning, my arms and legs feel leaden. I wish I could stop fighting, I wish I could rest. I am dripping with sweat and I raise my arm, frying another Vampyre as I wipe my sweat with my less-sweaty shirt. Who needs exercise every day when they have Alex’s Annihilation Aerobics?
I put the mirror in my pants pocket for a second and feel for the two bottles that will be my ultimate trump card. I had been tempted to use them before Colin had left, but I’ve never tested them before on anything but newbies and didn’t want to take any chances. I’m about to light and throw them when I hear boots marching. I curse under my breath and relax my grip. Colin was sending in reserves. Time to make my escape.
Before I continue, I must say, Vampytes are relatively intelligent creatures, but at the moment, there were a few things in my favor. Firstly, they were hungry. I know from experience Colin purposefully starves them in order to make them more eager for blood - my blood in this case. Their senses are on high alert, especially their sense of smell. They’re seeking for the scent of fresh human blood like sharks in the water. And, while there are ample bodies lying around they can snack on, I am a more tasty morsel then the charred lumps of Vamp flesh languishing on the dirty marble floor. And all this self-preservation exercise is making me smell better and better with every minute. It kind of makes me wish normal guys were so attracted to the smell of a sweaty female. I mean, there would be a lot less effort on date night to look nice. Throw on a nice dress, pull the hair back, go jogging, “hi honey, you like the smell? It’s called fe’male B.O. totally authentic.”
My Vampyre Survival Kit is getting a little light in weaponry and it sounds like another hundred are coming to join the fight. I take a precious second to pull the special grenades out, balancing them in one hand. ( I need to remember to make more of these when I get home.) The best part about cremated Vampyre is the smoke is very disorienting for the newbies who are relying on their olfactory systems. These grenades come with smoke too, but the added aroma to the rest of the smells in the room will make it extremely confusing. This smoke also has an ingredient that can be my salvation or death, depending on my timing. It’s my blood.
When I was in high school, I had to take a semester of community service at the local theater. I’m not really an arts person, more of a tom boy so it would’ve been a horrible drag except I got the job as the prop assistant. My mentor was this grouchy old senior citizen who had hair like Einstein and a smile like The Grinch, but he taught me how to use the fog machine, even make a smaller version for my Halloween party later that year. It’s all dry ice and chemicals but I managed to use his lessons to make my stink bombs and the special grenades I had in my hands. And basically, these babies were going to create a lot of chaos so I could get myself to safety.
I squinted to the back of the mall, the reinforcements were getting closer. If I waited any longer I could be stuck in a mass blood bath of no return. I light and toss the blood grenades, aiming for the doors where the new Vampytes are coming in. The little objects explode, releasing a cloud of vaporized human blood scent over them all. There’s a crumbling stair railing to my left and I leap for it, managing to grasp a bar with a couple fingers and pulling myself up and out of the way. If the Vampytes were hypothetical sharks, the grenade was a hypothetical dummy dropped in the water and covered with bloody steaks. Or in their case; another bleeding shark.
The mall becomes total chaos as Vampyre turns on Vampyre, totally consumed in bloodlust. It doesn’t matter what they taste like now, the scent of my blood overwhelms it all. Ordinarily, the two parties might be smart enough to realize that the room didn’t suddenly fill with humans, but they’re hungry, their primal super sniffers have been awakened . Neighbor turns on neighbor, neither realizing they are one and the same species.
I follow the railing as far as I can and then drop the ten feet to the ground, sprinting for the open doors. Very few are in the area, most are in the back of the mall where the feeding frenzy is. Those that try to stop me, I stake, staying to the sunlight as much as possible. I’m exhausted, my heart is pounding and my legs are seizing up from exertion. Just a few more steps…
I’m almost there, I can see the blue sky outside the open door when a pair of hands fasten unexpectedly around my ankle. I stumble and fall, helpless as fangs latch onto my pant leg, and bite down.



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