Before we’d even had the chance to a draw breath, a horde of monks dashed around the far corner of the corridor and raced towards us.
“Find Kayla!” Murphy roared at me. “Go! Go! Go!”
“I’ll help her,” Isidor said, firing off another volley of wooden stakes at the approaching monks, he then turned and raced away down the corridor.
Glancing at Murphy, who now stood with his back straight and arms rigid by his sides, I knew that he was readying himself for battle against the mass of approaching monks. Pulling back their hoods and stripping away their robes with razor-sharp claws, they scrambled along the walls and ceiling. And just like I had seen Luke in that room at Hallowed Manor, these Vampyrus were in their true form. Their bodies rippled with muscle which was covered in sleek, black hair. With ears pointed upwards, and noses looking similar to snouts, they sped forward, their dripping fangs shining in red, open mouths, and their wings unfolding behind them. In three short bursts, Potter had reduced his habit to rags, which fluttered to the ground.
Rolling back his hood, Luke looked at Potter and said, “So much for a quick in and out and no heroics.”
Potter grinned at him, then, turning to face the approaching Vampyrus, he said, “You know you wouldn’t want it any other way!”
Then throwing himself at the wall, he scurried up it towards one of the approaching Vampyrus. I stood and watched as Potter raced across the walls, swiping at the Vampyrus with one of his arms, shredding them into strips as he tore through them. Chunks of Vampyrus splattered the walls of the corridor and rained down on the stone floor. As he set about another one, he suddenly snapped his head around and looked down at me, and his eyes looked black – gone was the sparkling green – now they just looked dead.
“Don’t you think you should be searching for Kayla,” he said more as a command than a question. Then almost grinning down at me, he added, “You really don’t want to see what I do next…I promise.”
“Yeah…erm…sure…” I mumbled as Potter turned and sliced through two more Vampyrus with one swift swipe of his claw-like hand. Then as if on cue, Murphy and Luke sprang into the air at lightning speed and joined their friend.
Wheeling around on my heels, I dashed away down the corridor in search of Kayla. As I went, my ears were filled with the sounds of tearing, ripping, and biting, along with screams of those Vampyrus that had been disguised as monks.
Catching up with Isidor, we reached a set of spiraling stairs and dashed up them, not knowing if we were heading in the right direction or not. Panic wanted to take control of me, but I sucked in deep lungfuls of air and tried to control my fear. Reaching the top of the staircase, we were greeted by two more of those hooded monks and they came screaming towards us. Within touching distance, Isidor released another round of stakes from his crossbow, harpooning them both in the face. Almost seeming to cartwheel, they flew back through the air, thudding into the wall at the end of the corridor.
“Kayla!” I shouted at the top of my voice. “Kayla can you hear me!” But the situation seemed helpless. I could barely hear myself over the sound of the wailing alarm and the agonising screams coming from below.
“Kayla!” I hollered again, and this time Isidor joined in with me as we raced down the corridor. We crashed through any door that we came across, not caring or fearing what or who might be hiding on the other side. But each door only opened to reveal a derelict-looking room. Then I stopped so suddenly that Isidor crashed straight into me. “Isidor, the dream that you had – the dream that we both had,” I said.
“What?” he asked, looking confused and pushing his baseball cap to the back of his head. “You had a dream just like I did about Kayla,” I shouted over the roar of the alarm. “Where were you in that dream?” “In a corridor,” he said looking confused. “What did it look like?” “Well, it was painted kinda lime green and had wallpaper hanging off the walls,” he said. “and there was a door at the end of that corridor.”
“Don’t you see?” I said, staring into his bewildered face. Then, looking all around me, I yelled, “Look Isidor, this corridor is the one from our dream. The lime green peeling wallpaper, it’s exactly the same.” Then pointing down the corridor, I whispered to myself, There’s the door.
Without waiting for Isidor, I ran as fast and hard as I could towards the door. Throwing myself against it, I rushed inside. Just like my dream, the room was dreary, dull, and dark. But in the corner, there was a bed, and over the sound of the alarm I could hear the gentle sound of sobbing.
“Kayla!” I almost screamed with excitement mixed with dread. “Kayla is that you?”
Without waiting for an answer, I rushed into the gloom and towards the bed and my heart almost stopped. Kayla looked back at me from out of the darkness, and at first I had trouble believing that it was her. She was almost unrecognisable.
“What have they done to you?” I cried, taking her in my arms. But she didn’t say anything, she just wept against my chest. I looked down at her as she hid herself against me. Her once fiery hair had been cut off. All that was left were some thick random tuffs sticking out of her head at irregular angles. Her body felt cold and brittle against mine, and her skin looked taut and waxy as if it had been stretched over her bones.
Taking her face in my hands, I brought her close and said, “You don’t have to be scared anymore Kayla, we’ve come to save you.”
Then jolting violently in my arms, she made a gasping sound in the back of her throat and slumped against me.
“Kayla?” I said, my mind screaming at me that something was very wrong. “Kayla!” I cried, shaking her in my arms like a rag doll. I could feel something warm and sticky flowing over my hands as I cradled her. Then leaning her away from me, Kayla’s head flopped backwards on her neck and it was then that I saw the wooden stake protruding from her chest.Glancing back over my shoulder, I saw Isidor standing in the centre of the room, his crossbow aimed at Kayla. Feeling as if I’d just been hit by a truck, I stared at him and gasped, “Oh my god Isidor…what have you done!”
Then, reloading his crossbow, he aimed it at my heart and said, “I’m sorry, Kiera.”
Resting Kayla’s lifeless body on the bed, I slowly turned and faced Isidor. He still had the crossbow aimed at me, and I could see that his hand was shaking. My heart was pounding in my chest, and I felt as if I was going to puke. I could feel rage surging through me, and every part of my body wanted to charge across the room and rip his heart from his chest.
As if sensing that I was planning to launch myself at him, Isidor waved the crossbow at me and said, “Stay where you are, Kiera.”
“Why? So you can murder me like you’ve just murdered Kayla?” I spat, tears, spilling onto my cheeks.
“That wasn’t Kayla,” Isidor said, his crossbow still trained on me.
“What the fuck are you talking about!” I shouted with clenched fists by my side, trying to hold back the urge to scream.
“You read the email back in that office,” he said, and I could see that he looked a little scared. “Whoever wrote it said that they were experiencing problems with the genetic copies – something about the DNA sequence of the female half-breed not being complete.’”
“But you don’t know that isn’t Kayla!” And this time I did scream at him. “You just killed her – without even -”
“How did you know all that stuff back at the farmhouse?” Isidor cut over me, his voice now simmering with anger.
“What are you going on about?” I said, now almost speechless that after just killing Kayla, he wanted to talk about what had happened a few nights ago back at the farm.
“How did you know that the farmer had a two year-old daughter, that his wife liked Beyonce, that they had cooked a chicken for dinner,” he said, “that they had two cars, they hadn’t travelled far and he would return in a very short matter of time, that he dyed his hair and their surname was Kenner?”
“Why are you asking me all this shit?” I asked in disbelief.
“How did you know all that stuff?” he said almost as a command. “You didn’t even go into the house, you were gone less than a minute but you came back with all that information about the people who lived on the farm.”
“It was easy!” I snapped at him.
“How?” he snapped back.
“There was smoke coming from the chimney,” I shouted at him. “No one would go and leave a fire burning if they didn’t plan on coming back real soon. Not only that, there was a shed, the door was open and inside there was lots of expensive tools. Again, no one would go away for a long period of time without securing their valuables. There were two cars, because there were two sets of tire tracks in the mud. The car that had been left had one of those ‘Child On Board’ warning stickers on the rear window, but I couldn’t see any child safety seat in the back, which suggested that it had been transferred to the other car. There was an empty bottle on the back seat and it was decorated with pink flowers and butterflies. A girl’s bottle, and the fact that she still drank from her bottle suggested that she was probably about two years, but no older than three.”
“What about the Beyonce thing?” he asked, not letting-up on me.
“There was a CD case on the dashboard, just above the CD player,” I told him.
“But it could have belonged to the husband?” he pushed again.
“No, the car belonged to the wife,” I snapped. “There was make-up in the glove compartment that had been left partially open.”
“How did you know the husband dyed his hair?” he asked, the crossbow still pointing at me.
“There was an empty box of ‘Just For Men’ hair dye in the trashcan,” I said.
“The chicken dinner?” he barked.
“Giblets and plucked feathers…” I started.