Mission Failed This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

October 28, 2010
Midnight, Arizona, 1997

A small Volkswagen van sputtered, then came to an abrupt stop. Behind the wheel, Detective Jim Carter Mason cursed. He was on an important investigation. Jim had a stern face with distinct blue eyes. His hair was a grayish black color, along with his sharp furrowed eyebrows. Wearing a checkered red shirt and blue jeans, he did not feel it necessary to wear a uniform, and the only thing that gave notice to his work was a badge tucked into his shirt pocket.

As I was saying, he was on a very important mission. In this part of town, around sunset, people got in their car and drove away. They did not return.

“We found a dead man in a pick-up truck with an Arizona license plate. His body was completely bloodless. No signs of being shot, strangled, stabbed, injected, or smothered, and no medical history. Natural death signs: negative,” an authority said when they found a car in North Nevada after the car was confirmed missing six months before. That was when they called Jim.

It’s a good thing that I’m near a gas station, Jim thought after getting out of the broken down car. Just visible were the faded lights of the gas station flickering off and on at the top of the hill. The most eerie news of all, was that this morning, a gruesome death had been confirmed, much more violent but similar in ways. Six now-bloodless members of a family, a mother, father, 4 kids, and even a dog, were killed by a grisly break to the spine and a horrible double acupuncture to the wrist. After shuddering, he began his walk. While he climbed the hill, he had the strange feeling that he was being watched. Looking around, he saw a shadow zip under the car. Fingering the pistol at his waist, he saw the shadow again, and drew it. A black cat emerged, and he relaxed. Red eyes blinked through the gloom, and the cat crossed in front of him. It was weird, the feeling it gave him. Were cats even supposed to have eyes that color? As he looked at it, he shivered and kept walking.

Joey, the store manager, looked out the window as he saw a teenager in nice clothes approach his store. Old as he was, he never missed a thing that went on in his gas station. However, when the young man walked inside, it was almost like he didn’t open the door.
About 19, the man had a thin pale face that looked as though the skin had been stretched until the skull was visible. Sleek, night black hair ended in a slight V at the forehead. Wearing an expensive tuxedo with matching shoes, he looked to be from a rich family. Most disturbing, however, were the eyes. They were such a light brown, they appeared to be red. Staring, Joey asked, “Can I help you?” “Ah yes,” the man said with a slight accent That Joey could not place. “Yes, you see, I have come a long way and I am thirsty. Yes, very thirsty.”
“You’re at a gas station. We don’t sell many drinks here. There’s some Soda and water in the back but you can probably find that on your own.” said Joey with a confused expression.
“Oh no, I think you have what I need,” the man said almost in a whisper. He then reached forward, and before Joey could do anything, he snapped Joey’s neck, bared sharp teeth like daggers, and sunk them into the manager’s throat. Joey’s yell was cut off as the vampire sucked him dry. Drawing back, his mouth red, He let let the man slump to the floor.

“Someone slightly less brave than me must have been startled by the cat too,” Jim thought as he heard the scream. Entering the station, he asked the man at the counter if he could have help with his car. The man’s badge read “Joey Golden.”

“Have you seen any unusual things happen around this part of town?” Jim asked. What Jim didn’t see was the real Joey Golden, dead, under the counter. Detective Mason walked out the store talking about why he was in the area. “There have been disappearances, and two deaths as well,” said Jim. “I’ve come to find out what’s been going on over here.”

“Well you found it!” said the Imposter with a smile.
At that moment, something very strange happened. In disbelief, the detective watched as the man standing next to him started folding inside out. When he was finished, the teenager that had murdered the real Joey Golden was standing there.
“My parents gave me the name of Johnathon Dillon, but after I revealed my true side, as a vampire, they started calling me Plague. I have been robbing stray drivers of their blood ever since I arrived in this part of town. And you, Detective Jim Mason, will be my second feast of the night,” the man said, a grin creeping along his face. Suddenly, darkness engulfed him, and he was gone.
Jim started breathing hard, and he knew it wasn’t over yet. “Where did you go?!!!!” he yelled, and ran for his car. Remembering the black cat crossing his path, he saw that it was all laid out in front of him. “HELP ME!” he screamed in horror. Frantically, he reached the car, grabbed the door and… it was locked. “NO! NO! NO!” Then he saw two gleaming red eyes through the mirror and turned. He saw gleaming teeth, felt a stabbing pain in his neck, and heard a chuckle. That was it. The limp body fell against the car and dropped. Plague bent down and began to drink. He wiped his mouth clean, and with a ripping noise, ragged, scaly black wings unfolded from under his coat and he soared into the air like a giant bat, preparing for the long day ahead he would spend sleeping and the bloody night that would follow.

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Sue Donim said...
Nov. 6, 2010 at 8:37 am
A fabulous story by an up and coming author! 
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