The last shreds of my memory fail me. I was asleep, in the bottomless night that is how we spend our days as vampires. Perched upside down from the pipes and wooden cross beams, safe out of harm's way.
Unless you knew where to strike us.
I felt the sharpened wood piece the direct center of Marko's heart. Felt his once immortal self crumble and begin to decay, spewing his un-life from the wound in great gushes, speeding him towards his eternal damnation.
He was unable to scream. We screamed for him.
Roaring. Confusion. Utter chaos. Paul and Dwayne screamed for Marko, screaming his pain and his fear out so loudly it echoed in great swirls around us.
I roared for the loss, the pain, the anger. At myself for my utter betrayal of my best friend. No one deserved such pain. Especially Marko.
But I had put him there. Me.
Tipping my head up as I roared, my eyes focused through my vampiric sight. Three heartbeats, rapid pulses. The Frog Brothers! And one more boy with them, the most scared. Marko's corpse dropped on top of them, no longer able to hold to the wooden beam. He writhed in agony, coating and soaking the three teenage boys in his earthly remains.
I could right this. I'd done exactly what I'd been told to do: Marko was dead and the place for Michael secured. Max wouldn't ever have to know if there were a few more casualties.
I dropped, executing a mid-air roll and landed on my toes, springing up like a lion ambushing its prey. I roared louder right in the face of Marko's killers. They ran.
I like chasing my meals.
The Frogs retreated up the tunnel towards the main cave. Trailing them was the blond boy. Sam, Michael's brother! I knew better, but he was the closest. Streaking up the tunnel in a blur, I grabbed his ankle and yanked. He screamed as I pulled him down towards me, towards my fangs, towards his death.
"Hi!" I managed, so over come with killing nature of my internal beast. It really seems so trivial now, pretty lame. Maybe I was going for a cliche moment, like in The Shinning.
I could taste him, taste his blood, the beating flesh of his heart. I yanked hard, but the Frog Brothers had gotten their arms around and pulled back. Sam tried to make a cross with his fingers but to no avail. All three were groaning and screaming with the effort of escape. I got both hands on Sam's calf and pulled as hard as I might, short of ripping his leg off at the hip. I wanted to guzzle his blood. I wanted it to splash hotly on my mouth and face, in atonement for what I had done to Marko. I had become Judas and sold my own friend to save my worthless hide.
Forgive me, Marko!
Vaguely I heard it, the word "sunlight" pour from Edgar's lips. Alan and Edgar put every ounce of their strength combined and yanked Sam's scrawny frame as hard as they could.
Unfortunately, my hand went with Sam's leg. The sunlight, one of the very few weapons actually effective against us, bathed my hand as my grip slipped and Sam slid away.
White hot rage, to match the burning white flesh of my hand, tore through me like thousands of heated knives. The Frogs and Sam retreated, hightailing it up the tunnel and spilling out, up through the main cave, and out into the topside world of day.
Yelping, clutching my damaged hand tightly to my body, I fell back in the opposite direction. In the cool shadows I hid, a wounded animal in both body and mind. Finally my hand stopped smoking, the flesh already beginning to knit anew.
The pain and my betrayal of Marko would always remain fresh in my mind. To the very bitter end.
I smiled to no one and nothing as a single tear escaped my eye. A tear hot with rage and fresh with ideas of revenge. The first tear I had shed in so long a time I could not remember my last.
"Tonight!" I chuckled. Tonight, the Boys and I would avenge Marko. I would make things right again! Of course, hindsight is always twenty-twenty.