Dinner With A Vampire. Did I Mention I'm Vegetarian? (1)

Start from the beginning
                                          

The peace of the square was unusual. Nothing moved and the dull hum of far away London traffic seemed to fade away into eerie silence. Late-night drinkers disappeared into a side-alley on the opposite side of the road, stumbling along until they're raucous laughter was lost to the darkness.

I wondered which of the two boys we had met tonight had struck lucky with Ruby. I felt a pang of regret, wishing I could be as carefree and... loose as she was. But I couldn't. Not after Joel.

More minutes passed and I began to feel uneasy. Nobody had passed through for a while and the cold night air was descending like a blanket around my exposed legs. I glanced about for a cab but the roads were empty; the square deserted.

I was pulling my phone back out, thinking I could try Ruby again or call my father and ask him to pick me up when all of a sudden, something flickered in the corner of my eye. Almost dropping my phone I jerked up, heart in my mouth, scanning the square for any sign of movement.

Nothing. I shook my head, the panic waning. It was probably just a bird.

Shakily I began dialling my home number in, the cold numbing my fingers. I glanced up every few seconds, willing my breathing to slow.

But no... something had definitely moved then.

A shadow had passed across one of the huge fountains, almost too quick for my eyes to see. Yet the square was deserted, save for a few pigeons plucking at the bins. I shook my head, pressing my phone to my ear. The line crackled, ringing feebly, breaking every few seconds.

I tapped my foot impatiently. "C'mon..." I muttered, glancing at the screen. Full signal.

My eyes wandered about as the number dialled and dialled, lingering on Nelson's Column, towering hundreds of feet in the air. The blazing floodlights that lit up the statue at the very top flickered, like a flame in the breeze. In a moment they stilled again, as intense and bright as before.

I shivered involuntarily, but not from the cold. Silently I begged someone to answer the phone; but the line crackled and with one last pitiful ring, went dead.

I stared at it, wide-eyed, before adrenaline began to rush into my veins and instinct cut in.

Slipping off my heels my eyes flickered to the column, watching in disbelief as the shadow I had seen just moments before swept across the statue, vanishing from view as quickly as it had come.

Fumbling with the last strap I wrenched the shoe from my foot, snatching both up in my hands. I started forward. But no sooner had I taken a few steps forward, I froze, rooted to the spot.

A gang of men, clothed in trench coats and carrying long, sharpened canes were descending the steps. Their grim, weather-beaten faces were dark and heavily scarred, every brow set in an unwavering, determined line. Their heavy footfall rang in my ears, pounding out an uneven march on the paving as they moved ever closer.

Stunned, I shrank back into the shadows, noiselessly folding myself into the bench. Hardly daring to breathe I tried to make myself as small as possible whilst inching towards the edge of the square and escape. Something eerie was going on here, unless this was a film convention.

Somehow I seriously doubted it.

The man at the head of the group barked something inaudible and the men spread out, creating a line as wide as the square, stretching from one lion to the other. There were easily thirty of them, maybe more.

As one, they came to a halt just in front of the column, totally still, only their coats moving as they billowed behind them.

Not even the trees made a sound.

The Dark Heroine: Dinner With A VampireWhere stories live. Discover now