Distribution: Carla's site and Sammy's site
Dedication: To the Lost Cave.
His eyes opened, but he saw nothing in the stark blackness. The throbbing at the back of his head told him to be grateful for the darkness, for surely his head would explode in a force of agony if any light crossed his pupils.
Then he heard it.
The whispering in the distance, an occasional throaty giggle. Dear God, where was he?
Then, in panicked horror, it all flooded to the front of his mind. All his childhood nightmares, all the town folklore had come true that night.
He'd gone there on a dare. MJ Ellard and he had been sitting on the beach smoking cigarettes and discussing girls. Then his friend had started telling him the story that every Santa Carla teenager knew.
He'd already known about the legend of the bloody battle at Old Man Emerson's place. He knew Santa Carla was said to be the murder capitol of the world. Every kid in his class knew the names of the key players. But MJ was adding details that would make your head spin.
"Come on, MJ. Vampires? You know that's all just one fat urban legend." He remembered taking a drag on the butt in his fingers. "You're really starting to bore me, bud."
MJ had suddenly turned serious. "Look, Josh. I'm going to tell you something that I've never told a living soul. Swear you'll take it to your grave."
"Yeah, whatever. I swear."
"You know the Emersons? They changed their names after the vampires invaded the house. Michael married Star. She was pregnant. With me. Michael, Junior."
"No way." Josh couldn't believe his ears. Wouldn't believe it.
"You don't believe me? I can prove it. Prove me wrong, man. I know where the cave is. You know, the sunken hotel where all those vamps used to hang out. Will you believe me if it's really there?"
"All right, but just to shut you up."
"There's nothing to worry about. My dad, Uncle Sammy and the Frog brothers got all the vampires. I just want someone to know that the stories are true."
So, he'd gone.
But the cave wasn't deserted like it was supposed to be.
He heard someone shout "Intruder!" And then all had gone black.
His eyes began adjusting to the darkness, and he saw the walls of the cave were lined with coffins. There was a poster of some kind to the right that caught a glimmer of light now and then from a torch that was lit further back into the cave.
He sat up, and a moan escaped from his lips.
"Our guest is awake," a female voice announced.
"A new toy!" Said another.
"Carla! He looks to be only about 13 or 14 years old."
"Hey, then a light snack for the rest of us." That voice was authoritative and masculine.
Josh winced at the thought of being food for anything - or anyone.
"Oh, David. You're so clever!" a lilting British accent exclaimed.
David - he knew that name. Oh God. He was one of the vampires from the stories. No. That couldn't be right. The stories were fiction, and even in the stories David had been killed.
Then David was standing over him. "Come on, when have you ever heard of deer antlers killing a vampire?"
He'd read his mind. Oh God. How was he going to get out of this one?
"I can answer that." David again answered his mental questions. "You'll either get out of this dead... or undead. We don't give any other options around here. You've found our lair. We can't very well just let you go, can we Samantha."
"Now, David, you know I don't approve of violence. But we can't let the cave be found by any hunters. And the family does have to eat..." Samantha's was the first voice he'd heard. The voice of reason, Josh had thought.
"Maybe we should find out how he knew about the cave," the British girl piped in.
David smiled sardonically. "Yes, Tracy. I'm glad to see that your exams haven't turned your brain to mush, sweetheart." He turned to Josh. "So, shall we beat it out of you or slowly drain you of every ounce of blood until you tell us where you got information about our cave?"
Josh started to answer, but surrendered gladly to the blissful unconsciousness that overcame him.