“Potter!” I shouted again, shaking him in my arms.

He tried to say something.

Leaning in close, I put my ear next to his mouth and said, “What are you trying to say? Are you okay?”

Then seizing the moment, he gently kissed my earlobe. “Stop stressing, tiger – I’m fine.” Then I heard him begin to laugh softly in my ear.

“You’re such a jerk,” I snapped, dropping him back to the floor.

I watched him pull himself to his feet, rubbing his throat with both hands. The blind Vampyrus was still staggering around further up the corridor, hands thrown to its empty eye sockets, and screaming.

“That thing’s getting on my bloody nerves,” Potter said, and his voice sounded croaky and raw.

Without saying anything, Isidor shot the Vampyrus and it fell silent. “Better?” he asked, cocking his pierced eyebrow at Potter.

Still rubbing the purple-black bruises that were now shining on his neck, Potter glared at Isidor and said, “And what’s your problem? That thing could’ve killed me. What took you so long?”

“I just wanted you to realise that you need me,” Isidor said, slinging the crossbow over his back. “I want you to know that I’m not just some dumb kid.”

Dropping his hands from the bruises on his throat, Potter stared at Isidor, and smiling he said, “Isidor, I don’t think you’re some dumb kid.”


“No?” Isidor said, looking surprised.

“No, I think you’re an arsehole,” Potter grinned.

Without saying anything, Isidor turned around and walked away down the corridor.

Turning on Potter, I looked him straight in the face and said, “No, Potter, you’re the arsehole. What, are you jealous of him or something?”

“Jealous?” Potter scoffed.

“Yeah, jealous!” I shouted back. “I mean look at him, he’s fit, younger than you and he has that neat little crossbow-thing! Worried he might be stealing some of your limelight? Let’s be honest, you haven’t been able to take your eyes off me since I showed up that night at The Ragged Cove.”

“Take my eyes off you!” Potter said, sounding shocked. “You haven’t been able to take your eyes off me, tiger!”

“Oh yeah?” I said. Then, without giving him the chance to say anything back, I fled down the corridor and caught up with Isidor.

Isidor and I traced our steps back down the twisting staircase, which led us to the lower passageway. At the bottom, we turned to see Luke and Murphy charging towards us, a group of Vampyrus and vampires in hot pursuit.

“RUN!” Murphy roared, and turned and swiped his claws at the creatures behind him. But one of the vampires was too quick for him. It threw itself at Murphy and sunk its fangs into his shoulder. No sooner had its teeth drawn a speck of Murphy’s blood, the vampire exploded into a shower of grey dust.

“He wasn’t lying about those queets,” I said, watching the dust fly from Murphy’s shoulder like giant flakes of dandruff.

“How long that stuff will last, I don’t know – now follow me!” Luke shouted over the noise of the screeching vampires.

Potter appeared at the foot of the staircase and looking away from him, I followed Luke as he raced along the corridor and down a flight of stairs. Thrusting open a heavy wooden door, we piled in behind Luke into a large circular room that towered high above us. Looking up, I could see that we were in the bell tower. Four thick ropes hung out of the darkness above us and swung about in the middle of the room.

Murphy was the last to enter the room and he slammed the door shut behind him. Pressing his back against it, the Vampyrus and vampires tried to smash through. The door began to splinter inwards, and their long, yellowy fingernails raked at the air through the holes in the door.

“I can’t hold them off forever!” Murphy shouted at us.

Luke and Potter dashed into the middle of the stone chamber and glanced frantically about. There were no other exits from the room.

“Nice one! We’re trapped!” Isidor shouted.

“Any ideas?” Potter hissed back at him.

Taking hold of one of the ropes, Luke tugged on it. A bell high above us began to chime and we all covered our ears with our hands. It was deafening.

“Take hold of the ropes,” Luke ordered us.

Darting into the middle of the room, I took hold of one. Potter grabbed one, too, and Luke wrapped one around his waist. The door to the bell tower began to buckle under the crashing and banging from the creatures outside.

Coiling one of the bell ropes around his forearm, Isidor looked back at Murphy, who was still trying to hold the door shut “C’mon, Sarge, take hold!” Isidor shouted.

Murphy came running forward, and as he did, the door blew inwards and the vampires came crashing in. Murphy took hold of Luke, making sure the rope around his waist was fastened. Then, reaching out with one of his claws, Luke sliced through a thick cable nearby and roared:


The vampires grabbed at us. Then suddenly we were all propelled upwards into the darkness, as the bells above us came thundering down the bell tower. I looked down and saw one of the huge bells plummet into the creatures below, smashing into them and sending clouds of dust and guts back up the tower towards us.

We raced upwards, and as we reached the belfry, I grabbed at a set of wooden rails that circled a ledge that ran around the inside of the tower. Taking hold of them with all my strength, I hoisted myself to safety. Isidor swung towards me, but fell short of the wooden platform that I now stood on. Snapping my arm out, I grabbed hold of him and desperately tried to pull him to safety.

Sensing his fate, Isidor looked back at me through the gloom, and clawed at my hands. I took hold of him, but his grip began to loosen as he slowly slid down the length of rope and towards the vampires that were now crawling up the ropes and walls.

I could see that he was stuck, and I began to panic. With one hand holding the rope and the other slipping through mine, Isidor had no way of escape. He couldn’t reach for his crossbow, because if he did, he would have fallen straight down the bell tower. And if the impact of a three hundred foot drop didn’t kill him, then the vampires and Vampyrus at the bottom surely would have.

Teetering on the edge of the platform, I frantically tried to keep hold of Isidor, but his fingers were slipping through mine. He looked up at me, and I could see the fear in his eyes.

“Help me, Kiera!” he gasped.

I looked around for help, but Murphy and Luke were preoccupied with clawing and biting at the approaching vampires, which were scuttling back and forth around the rim of the belfry. My fingers began to lose their grip on Isidor. Knowing that I was unable to keep hold of him, he looked at me and said:

“Kiera, don’t worry about me – just find Kayla!”

“I’m not letting go of you!” I panicked. “I’m not letting go!”

“Please, Kiera,” he begged, his eyes wide and fearful. “Save Kayla – she’s my sister.”

“Your sister?” I cried.

The tips of our fingers brushed momentarily, then he was gone, falling backwards into the mass of waiting vampires below.

“Take my hand!” I screamed, but he was gone.

Dropping to my knees on the narrow walkway, I covered my face with my hands as tears splashed into them. My heart felt as heavy as lead in my chest. “I’m so sorry, Isidor,” I sobbed.

Then, over the sound of my own sobbing, I heard someone say, “That’s the problem with you girls, you’re always crying about something.”

Lowering my hands, I looked to see Potter staring back at me over the rim of the walkway. His claws dug firmly into the wooden boards so as not to fall back down the bell tower.

“Haven’t you got any feelings?” I cried.

“I don’t do regrets,” Potter said emotionlessly. “It doesn’t suit me.”

I couldn’t believe his insensitivity and screamed at him, “I know you’re a freaking vampire-bat, but for God’s sake….don’t you have any feelings!”

“I have a feeling that if we don’t get out of here right now, we’re all dead,” he grinned in that obnoxious way of his.

“How can you be so heartless -” I started to say as he hoisted himself over the lip of the bell shaft and onto the wooden platform. It was then I noticed one of those Vampyrus monks clinging to his back. Edging away and pointing at him, I screamed, “Potter, there’s a Vampyrus on you!”

Hearing this, the monk ripped back its hood and said, “Kiera, it’s me!”

With my heart racing, I stumbled forwards and said, “Isidor? I thought I’d lost you!”

Potter scrambled to his feet and threw Isidor from his back. I leapt forward and threw my arms around my friend.

“I don’t believe it!” I exclaimed.

Isidor held me tight, then whispering in my ear he said, “Potter must really want you bad.”

“What makes you say that?” I whispered back.

“Apart from that stench of excitement that he gives off every time you go near him, that’s twice he’s saved my life this week.” Then easing us apart, he winked at me and said, “I don’t think he’s as bad as he makes out.”

“I know,” I whispered, and winked back.

“Without wishing to sound completely heartless,” Potter said, “I really think you should save the reunions until later.” And he looked at both of us curiously as if wanting to know what it was we were whispering about.

“I’m all done,” Isidor smiled at Potter, taking his arms from around my waist.

“Good!” Potter said. “Then perhaps we can get out of here!”

I let go of Isidor, and wiping the tears from my face, I said to Potter, “So, what’s the plan?”

Without speaking, he raised his claws. His hands were smeared with blood, and dried bits of vampire flesh hung from beneath his fingernails. Potter stared at me with those cold, black eyes I had seen in the passageway below, and once again I was sure I could see just the faintest of smiles tugging at the corners of his lips. Then my attention was broken. Spinning round, I could see Luke slamming one of the Vampyrus into the wall of the bell tower. Brick and dust flew into the air as the wall began to crumble and crack. Again, another vampire threw itself at him, but within a blink of an eye, Luke had snatched it from the air and was pounding it into the wall. He did it with such force, the whole tower began to tremor. Snatching hold of a vampire by its entangled black hair, Murphy launched it at the wall. He’d figured out what Luke was up to. A giant crack had now begun to appear down the side of the tower, and it split open. Rain and wind rushed through the hole as the tower began to rock from side to side.

Most Popular