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Once Bitten

Caressing my medium brown hair I could see my baby blue eyes looking back at me in a daze. I´d been zoning out for hours.


“Wendy!” My mother called from downstairs. “Hurry, It's important!”


I ran as fast as I could, taking two stairs at a time. I´m sure she's called my name more than once by now. As I entered the kitchen a wave of fear washed over me. Why were both my mother and father pacing, getting guns, knifes and breaking off chair legs? Especially the brand new dining room chairs made from pine...
Oh no. Please tell me this isn't happening. Not now. I thought silently.


“Wendy, sweetie, come here. Do exactly as I say before we run out of time. Double check to be sure the safety is on. Carefully but quickly take my guns to the cellar. When you come back up here, help your mother take the knifes and some food down there to. Once I´m finished with these chairs I'll bring the legs down there. We don't have much more time.” My dad said franticly.


Still not sure of what was going on, started carrying the guns to the cellar as I was told. I forgot how creepy the cellar was when it was pitch black. Having my father's guns in my hands made it impossible for me to reach the light switch. I made my way to the far corner of the cellar and carefully set the three shotguns down one by one. As I rushed up the stairs I hit the light switch for when we come back down. At that moment I heard a woman scream. It sounded like my mother.


I ran through the living room and to the kitchen where I last seen my parents. The glass slider was wide open and my parents weren't in here. Neither was our wirehaired Jack Russell Terrier, Comet.


Oh no. Comet was still out in the back yard. What if they went to go get him? What’s out there?
I slowly walked to the open slider. As I got closer, there he was. Laying on the ground. Dead. Bloody. With a huge wound on his stomach. But not just any wound. A bite of some sort. Cautiously, I kept walking slowly, but I soon regretted it. My parents weren't too far from Comet. They were lying on the ground sprawled as if they were making snow angels. But as I looked closer, they both had wounds on their neck. The same wound Comet had on his stomach.


When I looked up, there it was. A dark, shadowy figure the shape of a human. The thing that had killed my parents and Comet. As I noticed I was unable to move, a wave of fear washed over me and I got the sick feeling like something was watching me.


Probably the creepy thing in the tree, I thought.


When I could finally move again I quickly closed the Slider. I made sure the front door and all the windows on the first floor were locked and closed, then I made my way to the second floor to do the same. But I knew it would only keep them out for so long. Rushing back to the first floor I grabbed a few broken chair legs and ran to the cellar, locking the door behind me.   


Deep down we all knew this day was coming. I don't know what to do, clearly I wasn't as prepared as I had thought. I've already lost my parents to those blood sucking hellions and now, I have to figure out how to keep myself alive. As I hear is blood-curdling screams of the neighbors I know it will not be long until they come for me.


CRASH!


It started raining, the cracks of lightning lit up the cellar through the tiny windows.
Cra-a-a-c-c-k! BOOM!


One of the trees in the front yard have fallen over, I really hope it hasn't hit the house, but there's no way I'm about to go check. It´s not safe.


Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.


As soon as I heard loud scratches on the cellar door I knew it was time. They were here. The vampires were coming for me.


As quickly and as quietly as I could, I grabbed two of the broken chair legs and tucked one in each side of my waist band. Then, I grabbed two shot guns. I placed one on top of the of the very tall bookshelves and had the other in my hand.


BANG! BANG!


The vampire, or vampires, beat the door down. When I heard footsteps slowly coming down the stairs, I wedged my thin self in the small space between the two bookshelfs hoping they wouldn't see me right away. For once, only being five feet and two inches tall would be an advantage. When the vampire got to the bottom of the stairs I had a clear view, there was only one vampire. In the cellar anyway, who knows. There could be more upstairs. The vampire accompanying me in the cellar slowly stalked around, looking top to bottom as he walked closer to me. With where I am now, there's no way to avoid being seen. Somehow I have to move without drawing attention to myself. Which of course will be ten times harder since he can see and hear a lot better than I can.


Carefully, I look around to see if there is any way I could move without being noticed. There is  no way. Any way I choose it will be a huge risk. One I'm not sure I'd be willing to take because if I stay put there is still a chance I won't be seen.


Stop it. Right now. You will be seen. This is not a good place to hide. You know that. I´m gonna have to take a risk and move. said the voice in my brain. Sadly, I knew it was true.


The vampire walked towards me and I held my breath. I was so sure he seen me. When he didn't, he turned around and went back up the stairs. That was a close one. But now, where else can I hide? It will be much easier now that he's not down here with me. I just need a good place.


Looking around I noticed the piece of drywall leaning up against the cement wall with snow sleds, swimming tubes, and three life jackets around it. Of course! I could hide behind the drywall and make sure the other things were covering me. Now, I wait…


***

Footsteps were coming faster this time. Much faster. My breath got heavier as the footsteps got closer. Before I knew it, he was right in front of me. There isn't even enough space between us for me to lift the shotgun and blast him. This isn't good, but I can't give up now. I´m not going down without a fight.


Just as I went to reach for the broken chair leg tucked in the right side of my waistband he grabbed me and catapulted me across the cellar. The shotgun flew out of my hand and landed by the stairs. I slammed against the cement wall and smacked the back of my head, hard. The cellar started spinning, I'm so dizzy I could puke. Before I could recover the vampire launched himself at me. He had me pinned on the freezing cold cement floor, trapped.


When I noticed my left arm was still at my side crazy and risky thoughts filled my head.


What if I can move my arm just enough to get the chair leg from my waist band? Then I could drive it through him. Hopefully I could reach around him and hit his heart from his back, but I doubt it. At least I could wound him and get him off me. Maybe it would slow him down enough for me to run back to the bookshelf and get the shotgun off the top.


Gradually, I reached for the chair leg in the left side of my waist band. If he realizes what I'm doing I'll probably be dead in an instant.


Why is he just on top of me, keeping me pinned, and looking at me like he´s seen me before?
It´s almost free from my waist band. His eyes changed colors as an angry look washes over his face. My heart started beating faster and I halted, leaving the chair leg where it is.


“Rose, you think you have me fooled? Acting as a mundane, thinking I wouldn't recognize you. I thought you were killed over one hundred years ago.” He chuckled.


“My name is Wendy. Who´s Rose?”


“Oh no. This can't be.” He said alarmed and quickly jumped off me helping me up. “You're the doppelganger of Rose. You look just like her. Listen to me, you're in grave danger. I assume you don´t know how awful this could end for you. We need to get you out of here. First, we need to get a few things. Things that could help you. We need to make sure you can´t be compelled before we go anywhere, in case we run into other vampires who know what you are. We need a herb, vervain. It shouldn't be too hard to find but we need to be careful while seeking it. If the sheriff, mayor, anyone on the city council, or anyone who knows what vervain is used for they could kill me, maybe even you but I doubt it. If I´m dead, no one will be here to save you. I´m sure the other vampires will realize it soon enough and they probably won't be as kind as I. My name is Archie, by the way.”


“Alright, Archie. How can I trust that you won't trick me? Kill me, or sacrifice me to one of the others that will hurt me?” I said matter of factly. I probably shouldn't be thinking things like this, but with his copper hair, gold eyes, and a toned muscular body,  Archie is kinda cute.


“I give you my word. It may not mean much to you, but it's huge for vampires. If you give someone your word, you fulfill the duties you promised. If that's not enough for you, I guess you'll just have to learn to trust me on your own and go with all this. Your options are basically come with me and stay alive, or don't and die. Your choice.”


Archie displayed so much emotion. Showing emotion can be hard for vampires, I do know that. His facial expressions, body language, and emotion proved that I could trust him. So, consequently, I don´t have a choice. I will go with him, I will do what it takes to survive.


“Fine, I'll go with you. How can I help?”


“First, grab a bag, pack up some of your clothes, make sure to grab a jacket. If you wear makeup, grab that too. We need to do everything we can to make you look normal once we leave this town. Your parents car keys, we'll need those too.”


“I can´t drive.”


“Do you realize who you're talking to?” Archie said snidely with a c***y grin on his face. “I´m four hundred years old, even though I know I only look 16. You could say I'm a pretty great driver.”


Of course I didn't have a good comeback to Archie´s c***yness. Without responding I sprinted up the stairs and down the hall to my room. In a large duffel bag I packed enough clothes for seven days including pjs, one hundred dollars, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, deodorant, perfume, chapstick, my tube of ivory cover-up, concealer, powder, mascara, moisturizer, and makeup remover.


When I got downstairs Archie had wandered to the kitchen looking for food. We should probably bring some of that too, one hundred dollars isn't that much. There was a cardboard box on the kitchen counter, so we both just started putting food in that. We grabbed two loaves of bread, a big jar of chunky peanut butter, a big jar of strawberry jelly, a bag of pretzel sticks, salt and vinegar potato chips, a box of cinnamon toast crunch cereal, cheerios, two jugs of purified water, and a two-liter of pepsi. This should keep us fed for a little while.
Archie grabbed the box of food, I grabbed my duffel and the car keys to my mom's black 2016 chevy malibu. Once Archie and I got the food and my duffel in the trunk we walked to opposite side of the car. I tossed Archie the keys over the top. The car stalled for a second then the engine roared to life.


“That scared me for a second, I didn't think it was gonna start.”


“You're forgetting I'm a vampire, I can make things do whatever I want” Archie chuckled.


“Oh shut up Archie! You´re so full of yourself!” Hopefully he could tell I was annoyed with all his confidence. It’s okay to be confident, but not overconfident.


“Come on, don't get mad at me because you're a mundane and can't do the things I can. It's not my fault Wendy.” He said snidely.


All I could do was glare at him. Mostly because I didn't have a snarky comeback. Also, because I need Archie’s help. I hate to admit that he's right, but he is. I'll probably die without him. When I turned my head away from him to watch the town go by in a blur, Archie put his hand on my knee.


“Wendy, please don't be mad at me. I know I can be a little too confident sometimes. I keep forgetting you're not used to all this vampire stuff.”


I laughed, though I didn't mean to.


“A little? Archie, you're more overconfident in yourself then anyone I've ever met, and that's saying something.”


“Well I'm sorry, I guess I´ll just have to work on that, huh?”


He started laughing, but I'm pretty sure it was because if my attitude more than anything. This kid drives me insane. Honestly, I´m kinda glad he decided to help me. Because if he didn't I'd be dead right now. There's no way I could have fought against him being that weak. Even if I could have, I couldn't survive much longer because I wouldn't know what to do.


Archie stopped the car, and I looked up confused.


“where are we?” I asked.


“In the woods. By the old Johnson property. This is as close as we can get. We're gonna have to walk the rest of the way, but it's not far. Follow me and watch where you walk. I don't want you to get poison ivy.”
I did as Archie told me, following him carefully. He sounded like he actually cared. That's Definitely gonna take some getting used to. He's always so c***y and acts like he doesn't care about anything. So why does he act like he actually cares about me?

***


When Archie and I reached the old Johnson property there was a mausoleum. Archie opened the door and started down the stairs that followed.


“What are you doing? Come on Wendy. I´ll protect you from the monsters.” he chuckled once he noticed I didn't follow him inside.


“Oh I'm sure I can protect myself just fine.” I joked, trying to catch up with him. 


When we got to the bottom of the stairs there were tons of plants. It looks almost like a greenhouse, but in the dark. They were all the same plant, some were blue and some were blue-purple like they hadn't finished blooming yet.
“Archie, what is all this?”
“Its vervain. I´m gonna open up that locket you're wearing and put a bud or two inside. Vervain makes it so it´s impossible for you to be compelled or controlled by other vampires. We need to grab as much as possible. We can use it for more than protecting you. I know how to slip it into drinks to see if someone is a vampire or not. If we need to, we can also touch them with it. It will burn their skin to the bone. Just remind me to be careful if something like that happens.”  Replied Archie.


“Do you know how absent minded I am? I can't make any promises.”


“We need to hurry. This town isn't safe. Especially with you being Rose´s doppelganger. Only grab the blue vervain. If it has any purple in it then it´s not fully matured and will be weaker. If it's weaker than normal then it may not be able to protect you against the originals or other very strong vampires. Basically, the older you are, the stronger you are. Start putting it in that blue bucket against the wall. We'll just take that with us.”

***

Archie was driving and I was the passenger. The windows are down, breeze blowing my hair all around. It was nice to feel normal for even a few minutes. Then I remember what I'm doing, who I'm with, What happened to my parents, the bucket of vervain in the trunk of my dead mothers car, my favorite dog being murdered and I wish things could be the way they were before. Then it hit me. What if Archie killed them?
“Was it you?” I said in monotone.


I felt Archie look at me. When he seen the blank expression on my face he pulled the car over.
“What are you talking about Wendy?” Archie said carefully.


  “My parents. My dog. Was it you?”


His face immediately turned ghost white.


“Wendy, don't do this. Not here. Not now. Ill tell you everything when the time is right.”


“No, Archie. That's not how this works. You can't expect me to be okay with an answer like that at a time like this. Tell me what happened.”


Archie sighed, stopping the car so he could shift in his seat so he was facing me. He tried grabbing my hands, but I pushed them away.


“Wendy, I want you to know I´m sorry. I didn't know any of this would happen. I planned on Killing all of you. I never would have thought that I'd be saving you from something like th-”


“No. Just stop. I don't wanna hear it. I don't wanna hear any of your lame excuses. Just leave me alone Archie. I'm done.” I said fighting back tears.


The door to the Malibu swung open and I got out. I started walking along the deserted highway when someone got ahold of my wrist. Tight.


“Let go of me.” I said attempting to pull my wrist from his grasp. “Archie. I mean it. I don't want your help anymore. I'll figure it out on my own.”


     “You actually believed Archie was helping you?” I female voice said hysterically. She squeezed my wrist tighter, twisting me around so I was facing her. She was gorgeous, Just like Archie, but with golden blonde hair and glowing green eyes. 


“Regina  don´t hurt her. We need to return her to Alex  alive or he´ll scorch us.” Archie called to her from my mothers car.


I can't believe it. I trusted Archie. He gave me his word. Now I’m embarrassed to admit I'd even started crushing on him a bit. Who is this Alex  guy?


Regina  grabbed me by my waist and forced me into the backseat of the car.


“What do you want from me?” I asked.


“Wendy, you'll be our sacrifice. Since you're Roses doppleganger only you can complete the circle,” said Regina .
I turned to Archie, “So this whole thing was a joke?” The look in his eyes on the reflection of the rearview mirror told me I shouldn't mention the vervain with Regina  around.


      “You acting like you care, trying to help me, giving me your word. That was all a Joke. You never planned on helping me, you were just gonna kill me like the others? I trusted you.”


Regina’s eyes flashed with anger,  “You did what, Archie?”


“I gave her my word. Its no big deal. I said I would TRY to help her. It will be fine Regina .”


The car came to a halt. In front of us is a big, beige abandoned house.


“Alex  is suppose to meet us here. In the meantime, we should go tie her up in there.” Regina  stated, grabbing at me again.


“Stop it! I will walk by myself!” I said shoving Regina  away.


     “I hope for your sake you're not gonna try anything stupid.” She chuckled.


I started towards the house. The thought of being someone's sacrifice troubled me. I need to get out of here.
     But how? How can I escape not only one vampire, but now two. Archie would have been easily fooled. But Regina? I don't think so. Can I even pull something this stupid off? They can hear and see much better than any human...


Meanwhile, I was waiting for Regina and Archie to meet me on the old front deck on the house. They were still by the car. This would be the perfect time. Just as I walked to the corner of the porch, I realized it extended around to the back of the house.


Perfect. I thought grinning. This should be easy.


At a distance, I could see them talking to someone else. A male. Probably Alex . I need to move fast. Quietly and as quickly as possible I sprinted to the other end of the deck, carefully stepped down all three stairs, and dashed for the tree line a few meters from the deck.


There is a tall plump bush I'll have to hide behind for now. I don't dare hide inside it. Who knows what filthy things could be in there?


“WENDY! WHEN I FIND YOU YOU'RE DEAD! I TOLD YOU, I´M NOT PLAYING GAMES WITH YOU!” I heard Regina  scream in my direction.


Whoosh! Whoosh!


What the heck was that? There's been no wind since we got here. That didn't sound quite like wind but then…
“Ha. I got you. Now come here. Before Regina  gets you.” Said a familiar male voice behind me.
I turned around dumbfound, “I thought it was all a joke.”


Archie grinned. “I did give you my word, didn't I?”


Then, Archie bit his wrist. “Drink.”


I looked at him confused, and kinda grossed out. “Why?


“Just do it. Hurry. Before Regina  gets here.”


Slowly, I sipped the blood from Archie´s wrist. While doing so I tried to keep the gross and awkward thoughts away. The thick, copper tasting liquid eased down the back of my throat slowly. The feeling alone was enough to make me puke.


Before I know it, Archie pulled his wrist away.


“How was it?”


“Sickening. Why would you have me do that?”


“Because. Now you won´t die. I will have kept my word.”


Just then, out of nowhere Regina  appeared. Archie grabbed me by my arm and lifted me up. Acting as if he just found me.


“Silly little girl.” said Regina . “You made a huge mistake. First, you tried running away like a fool. In the process, you kept Alex  waiting. Which, makes him angry with me. That makes me angry with you.”
Regina  started moving in closer, dark veins popping out under her eyes, fangs showing.


Oh no. Archie! Help me! the voice in my head was screaming,This is it. I´m gonna die.

 

***


Those were my last thoughts before I died. I still can't believe the way Archie just stood there. But he received his pay back when I drove a stake through his heart. Regina  was the first target, then Archie. I cannot even express the joy I felt in doing so. After everything they put me through. All of Archie's lies. At least Regina was always honest.


I will never forget the day I became a monster. The day Regina turned me into my worst nightmare. I never thought I'd become a vampire.






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