The officer’s footfalls stopped, and so did my heart as the sound of rustling came from a few feet from where we hid. Torchlight suddenly lit up the ground, only inches from us. The tension was unbearable. Isidor raised his crossbow, and both Potter and Murphy arched their backs like sprinters on the start line. Luke squeezed my hand.

The light from their torches swept by us then stopped.

“It’s just a fox,” one of them said.

“Where?” asked one of the others, not sounding so sure.

“Look! Over there!”

There was silence for a moment. Then the doubter said, “Okay, I see it. Let’s keep moving.”

We continued to crouch in the dark and the damp, until the sound of their footfalls disappeared into the distance.

Cautiously, Murphy got to his feet and peered out from beneath the slide. Feeling secure that the immediate area was free from danger, he looked back at us and whispered, “Let’s go!”

Trusting in Murphy, we got to our feet and followed him out of the park. With our backs bent over, we followed Murphy out onto the street where the police sergeant lay lifelessly on the hood of the police car. Scraping my wet fringe from my eyes, I looked down at the face of the dead police sergeant. Her eyes were wide open and staring blankly up into the night sky. At first, I thought she was crying, but then, I realised it was raindrops splashing into her eyes and spilling down her cheeks.

“Potter, you know what to do,” Murphy whispered, pulling open the driver’s door of the police car and peering inside.

Wiping the rain from his face, he bent over the police sergeant sprawled across the bonnet in a black pool of blood.


Realising what he was intending to do, I pushed him aside. “You can’t do it,” I told him, looking up into his green eyes.

“Look, we don’t have time to start getting out the police tape, sealing off the area, and crawling around on our hands and knees looking for clues,” he said. “This isn’t one of your crime scenes…”

Scowling at him, I said, “I didn’t mean that.” Then reaching out, I took hold of the police sergeant’s wrist and checked for her pulse.

“She’s dead,” Potter said. Then grinning he added, “But not for long.”

Placing a hand on my shoulder, Luke said, “Kiera, it’s not nice, but if she isn’t destroyed then she’ll only become…you know…”

“A vampire,” Isidor finished for him, raising his crossbow and aiming at the dead officer’s heart.

Snatching the weapon from Isidor’s hands, Potter glared at him and said, “You make me nervous every time you get this thing out, wonder-boy.”

Turning his baseball cap backwards on his head and stepping toe to toe with Potter, Isidor hissed, “Give that back and my name’s Isidor – not ‘kid’, not ‘Van Helsing’, ‘wonder-boy’ or anything else.”

Without taking his eyes from Isidor’s, Potter aimed the crossbow over his shoulder and fired a wooden stake into the dead officer’s chest. Handing Isidor the crossbow, Potter smiled and said, “It’s all yours, Rambo.”

Before Isidor had the chance to respond, the dead officer sat bolt upright and screeched. The noise she made sounded as if she were in unbearable agony. Looking down at the stake protruding from her chest, she fumbled for it with her blood-spattered fingers. Rolling her head back, her eyes rolling wildly in their sockets, she screamed then exploded, coating the car in a shower of grey dust. This was followed by a squeaking sound as the wipers started to pass back and forth across the windscreen, clearing away her dusty remains.

“Are you lot just gonna stand there chatting all night?” Murphy said from behind the steering wheel of the car as it rumbled into life, “Or are we going to get out of here before they come back?”

Without needing any further prompting, I raced around the front of the car. Nudging Potter out of my way, I clambered into the front seat next to Murphy.

“Easy, tiger!” Potter hissed. “I travel up front. I’m the sarge’s navigator.”

“Not today,” I smiled back at him and slammed the door shut. He looked back at me through the window and his nostrils flared out on either side. I could tell that he was pissed at me. Good.

“I don’t need this shit,” Potter snapped, climbing into the back of the vehicle. Glancing back over my shoulder, I could see that Luke and Potter sat on either side of Isidor, who looked squashed between their muscular frames.

Facing front, I looked again at where the officer had disintegrated and watched as the last of her remains blew from the hood of the car.

Murphy lurched the vehicle forward. It stalled then rumbled into life again.

“C’mon, Sarge,” Potter moaned from the back, “sun’s up soon.”

“Okay! Okay!” Murphy shouted. “This thing has got a gear stick - I’m used to an automatic!”

“I could drive!” I said.

“No thanks,” Murphy said as he crunched the stick into gear, “I’ve seen the state of your Mini.”

Pressing down hard on the accelerator, ramming the gear stick into first, the police car shot forward, almost into the path of an oncoming vehicle that was racing towards us. Throwing the car to the left, Murphy veered out of its way. Glancing in the wing mirror, I could see that the vehicle we had narrowly missed was another police car. With my heart in my throat, I watched as it spun around in the road and came tearing after us, its sirens and emergency lights blazing.

Chapter Three

Murphy snaked the car from left to right, and gunned it forward at an ever-increasing speed. The car rocked and rolled and bounced up and down, throwing me up out of my seat. Potter’s arm was suddenly holding me down, while his other hand pulled the seatbelt across my chest.

Clicking it into place, he whispered in my ear, “Hold on, tiger!” Murphy took a quick sideways glance at me and gave a grim smile. “I don’t know how we’re going to get out of this one,” he said, as if acknowledging the look of fear on my face.

Suddenly, we were thrust forward as the police car that gave chase rammed into the back of us. The rear end of our car skidded back and forth across the road, as Murphy desperately fought to keep it under control.

Again they smashed into us and the car shot forward, this time nearly sending us headlong into a ditch.

“They can’t do this!” Isidor shouted from the back. “They’re police!”

“If you hadn’t noticed, Einstein,” Potter snapped at Isidor, “they ate one of their colleagues back there!”

Cops that eat other cops could do anything, couldn’t they? I thought to myself and however much it pained me, I knew that Potter was right – these cops weren’t normal, they just wanted to kill us.

Murphy pressed harder on the pedal and we raced forward, the tires screaming against the rain-soaked tarmac as he desperately tried to keep the car on the road. Staring through the windscreen, I could see a roundabout ahead and Murphy raced us towards it. At the very last minute, he eased on the brake, and with a screech of burning rubber, Murphy pulled on the wheel and we sailed around it and headed towards a duel carriageway.

Now that we were on a straight and wider road, Murphy pushed the accelerator all the way to the floor and we flew forwards at a terrifying pace. Glancing at him in the gloom of the car, I could see that his bright blue eyes were fixed on the road ahead; his face was a mask of grim determination. The police officers who pursued us showed no signs of backing off.

“I hate to be the one to tell you this, Sarge,” Luke said from the back of the car, “but we’ve got more vehicles approaching from behind.”

Snapping around in my seat, I could see that Luke, Potter, and Isidor were all twisting their necks to see out of the back window.

“That’s not our only problem!” Murphy shouted back at him.

Swiveling in my seat, I stared straight ahead at the helicopter which was now hovering just ahead of us, its powerful searchlight sweeping back and forth across the road.

“Oh you’re kidding me!” I cried in disbelief.

“That’s it! We ain’t ever gonna get away now!” Isidor groaned.

“Why not” Murphy snapped over his shoulder at him.

“Haven’t you ever watched ‘Cops’ on the T.V.?” Isidor shouted over the roar of the sirens screaming behind us.

“Cops?” Murphy said sounding bemused, as he threw the car to the right and tried to block the police car that was now trying to pull up alongside of us.

“What you blabbing on about kid?” Potter cut in. “We don’t need to watch no cop shows – we are cops!”

“You could have fooled me,” Isidor shouted, then added as if to make his point, “Those helicopters have infrared thermal imaging cameras… and lots of other Gucci-shit! You can’t ever get away from ‘em!”

“He’s right, you know! We can’t outrun those helicopters!” I said.

With that grim smile, Murphy glanced at me again and said, “We’ll see!”

From behind me, I heard Potter spray laughter as if he were sharing a private joke that only he knew the punch line to.

“You’re actually enjoying this?” I gasped, looking back at him.

Staring at me from the darkness, Potter winked and said, “I thought you craved excitement, sweet-cheeks?”

“Knock it off, will-ya,” Luke barked and elbowed Potter in the ribs.

Ignoring Potter, I faced front as Murphy threw the car to the right and smashed into the side of one of the police cars that had managed to draw level with us. Both cars rebounded off each other and veered apart. The police car then came back at us and crashed into the driver’s side, throwing Murphy violently towards me. I looked at him as he frantically tried to keep our vehicle traveling in a straight line.

Staring into the police car that had pulled alongside us, I could see two officers seated in the front. They were dressed identically, and were the ones we had hidden from in the park. Both were dressed in black. Their faces were sickly white and drawn-looking.

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