Chapter 46

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North of Conway was the small town of Berlin New Hampshire. Just off a seldom used logging road in the middle of nowhere, there was a small log cabin where a man named Dale Briars lived with his wife Chloe. They were both vampires, he was getting close to the one hundred fifty year mark while his wife was only ninety two. Neither looked older than forty. Dale had been taught by the vampire that made him that if he wished to stay in one place and avoid a lifetime of running then he needed to keep his head down and kill as few people as possible.

Taking that lesson to heart, Dale hadn’t drained a human for over ninety years, instead living off the blood of animals. It was an acquired taste as far as he was concerned; animals left a bitter taste in his mouth and didn’t hold him off nearly as long, but human blood was like a drug. Even a little taste would leave him craving more, and Dale had found it was much easier to stay at a permanent residence for long periods of time if he wasn’t killing off the local population. Chloe had never tasted human blood, something he had made sure of from the day he made her. Together they lived a quiet life outside of the small town, only keeping each other’s company and avoiding as many of their own kind as they could.

That morning he was sitting out on his porch looking off into the forest. He could hear deer moving around and smell every squirrel and raccoon that came within a hundred feet of the small cabin. Chloe was inside getting breakfast ready for them both, quietly humming a tune Dale didn’t recognize. Even though neither of them slept, they still liked to keep up the tradition of three meals a day as a reminder of the lives they both left behind. Just beyond the tree line of his yard he heard a large deer slowly munching its way through the low brush. By the size and smell of it he knew it was a big buck, one that could be drained and feed the both of them for the next week or so. As he stood up to chase it down a stern voice behind him made him stop.

“Leave him alone Dale, I don’t want you running off and getting filthy before we eat.”

He sat back down in a huff and waited for Chloe to put the tray down in front of them. a large tray of jellied bear blood with a hot tea kettle of water and a small dish filled with a white powder. The powder was dried blood plasma from cows that Chloe ordered somewhere online and liked to have as tea. She sat down and spooned a small pile into a cup, then poured hot water on top and handed it to Dale.

“He’s a big one you know, keep us fed for a while” Dale said.

He took a spoon and stirred the plasma into the hot water while Chloe spooned some of the jellied blood onto his plate. He had to admit as much as he missed human blood, Chloe did a fine job making the animal stuff at least edible.

“You can get him later, sit down and relax for once.” She said smiling at him.

He took a sip of the tea and started to dig into his jelly. He had just taken his first bite when he noticed hot water spilling all over the table around his plate. He looked up to see Chloe staring off in a daze, all the while pouring hot water into her overflowing cup.

“Chloe? Are you alright?” he asked. She kept pouring water into the cup and staring off into the woods. The look on her face concerned him, it was the look of a hungry newborn.

“Can you feel him? He’s calling us…” she said quietly, “we need to go south, we need to feed…”

“Feed on what? We have breakfast right here” Dale said, confused.

“Human blood...” Chloe whispered.

 As she spoke a light flickered in her eyes. No, not just light, for a second Dale thought he saw flames. Then he felt it too, a tiny yet powerful urge to go with her. It was like someone was calling to him, a tiny voice impossible to resist. And the hunger, it was faint, but it was the same hunger he had felt himself as a newborn. And only one thing could satisfy it…

Then as suddenly as it came the urges left him and the tiny voice fell silent. He looked up to see Chloe shaking her head and blinking her eyes.

“What just happened” she asked, “I think I blacked out. Do we black out?”

“No,” he said, “I have no idea what that was. We better not go back into town for a while, I don’t want it to hit us again around people. Are you ok? You look strange.”

Chloe held her hand up and rubbed the side of her head, giving Dale a weak smile. “Yes I’m alright, just a little dizzy. I think you’re right, let’s stay away from town for a few days. I’ll go get something to clean this up, finish your breakfast.” And with that she stood up and kissed the top of his head before going back inside.

Dale put a spoonful of jelly into his mouth and thought about what might have happened. He hadn’t felt that kind of urge since he was first turned; it was like he was starting to lose control of himself. He took another sip of his tea and sat back in his chair.

“Strange,” he whispered to himself, then went back to concentrating on trying to find the deer again.

….

Unseen by human eyes, the top of Mt. Chocorua was slowly but steadily catching fire. The spectral flames and smoke were spreading to every crack in the rock face of the summit. The rock with the strange markings and broken blade was slowly digging itself deeper into the mountain, spreading its poison. The markings were now glowing red, and a substance that looked like blood was dripping out from around the edges of the broken blade. A hiker walked right through the fire and smoke, right past the glowing rock, and didn’t see or sense a thing.

As the fire spread, so did the spell’s influence. The younger the vampire, the quicker it would take them, but as the fire spread and the spell became more powerful, older and stronger vampires would be enslaved as well. Then finally, when it was strong enough, the fire would start to take the werewolves into its power as well. From a distance, the man who had started the fire watched silently, smiling to himself. A week, maybe two, then the fire should be strong enough to enslave even the oldest of vampires.

 He whispered a few quiet words into the air and a thick, black smoke started to spread behind him. The smoke was heavy, clinging to the ground like tar, it rose no more than a foot or so above his feet. He felt an intense heat on his back and heard the approach of snarls and growling. His smile grew to a menacing grin.

“Are you hungry my pets” he asked quietly, not looking back at what he knew approached.

“Because I have a chore for you…”

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