Hank had been pacing in front of the open front door of the house for several minutes when he finally admitted to himself he didn't have the courage to go inside in his current form. With that decided, he relaxed and sat down in the rocking chair while pulling off the backpack. Once he was sitting, he put the backpack in his lap and opened it. He fished out the two thermoses and took a long drink of water again. Then, he put the water thermos back in the backpack and stared at the other thermos for several minutes.
An idea had occurred to him. What if he drank some of the vampire blood? Would it give him the confidence to do what he knew he had to do? His stomach gave him constant warning that any moment it would start digesting his vital organs if he didn't give in to its demands. It probably wouldn't be so bad, he figured, if the last meal he had eaten hadn't had the nutrition content of a single toothpick. His stomach growled again as he looked into the thermos of blood. He wondered if the thick, black liquid would satisfy some of his hunger.
Oh well, he thought, down the hatch. He lifted the thermos and took a big gulp, forcing himself to swallow. The taste was akin to bitter metal but amplified a hundredfold or so. It was so strong it actually made his head hurt until the tang of it faded from his tongue. He wiped his mouth with his sleeve, even though there was nothing to really wipe. Then, he put the lid back on the thermos, slipped it back into the backpack, took the flashlight out, and zipped the bag shut.
He stood up, put the backpack back on, and turned to face the front door again. He turned the flashlight on and shined it in the open doorway. After about a second of standing there looking in the house, Hank started to feel the effects. Then, he literally began to see the effects as well. The glare from the flashlight was suddenly quite bright. He turned it off. He could now see clearly and normally in the dark with just his eyes. Then, he noticed that he could now zoom in on specific things with his vision without exerting any more effort than any other physical movement.
At one point, he accidentally zoomed in on one of the spiders and nearly jumped off of the porch. He even found that controlling his fear was quite simple now. No wonder he had been so calm taking on that vampire. He focused on the different spiders on purpose now, trying to assess what he was up against. He didn't recognize most of them, but one stood out easily. Its body was like a huge black bulb with a blood-red hourglass shape on its abdomen. He had never actually seen a black widow before, but he knew for sure this was one. It surprised him to find himself thinking of it less like a monster and more like a simple obstacle to avoid. In fact, he had been mapping out a course in and around the complicated pattern of silver webs subconsciously the whole time.
Hank put the flashlight away and then hooked both of his thumbs in the straps of the backpack. Then without even raising his heart rate, he went through the doorway and began crouching and swaying through and around the complex obstacle course of spider webs. An onlooker would have been reminded of jewel-thief movies where the thief had to get through a myriad of laser lights without touching them. The room appeared to be a large living room with blue suede matching furniture scattered around and an old TV against the front wall next to the door. Only a few seconds of sleek gymnastics through the webs and he was at a large clearing toward the back of the living room. Ahead of him was a thin hallway that ended in what looked like a dining room. And in the next room, he could make out a large white refrigerator. There were only the occasional cobwebs in these rooms. He walked into the dining room, slowly at first. When he was sure there was nothing to concern him in there, he continued on into the kitchen.
He began opening cupboards and drawers. Everything was covered in a thick layer of dust. He found the utensil drawer and snatched up one of each kind and slid his backpack around to open it. Once opened, he set the backpack and the utensils on the counter above the drawer. Then he continued foraging within the drawers, adding to the accumulation of dust clouds in the room. A few drawers later and he found another key item he was looking for: a can opener. He picked it up, looked it over, and set it on the counter beside the utensils. When he was done going through the drawers, he began looking through the cabinets. Five cabinet doors later and he opened the jackpot. The smell almost kept him at bay, especially with his senses so intensified. First he had to take a deep breath (away from the cabinet) and blow away all of the dust before he could see what there was.
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Shining in Crimson: Empire of Blood Book OneHorror
Set in a dystopian, religiously-demented American Empire, the city of Las Vegas is no longer a city of sin. Now called Necropolis, it is a city that eats sin. The vampires of Necropolis wait patiently for the Empire's weekly drop off of guilty Penit...