The nightmares came too, but they were less frequent now –all of them portrayed twisted glimpses of an apocalyptic future where Vampyrus had over taken the cities of the world. I still didn’t know if these nightmares or visions were snapshots of horrors yet to come or just my fears and anxieties manifesting themselves inside of me. And it was with these thoughts charging around the corridors of my mind that I fell asleep.

Chapter Five

The crying at first was faint. A gentle sobbing that dripped into my unconsciousness like a tap that hadn’t been turned off probably. I moved through the darkness, one careful step in front of the other. The walls of the corridor were covered in pale green wallpaper that hung in long, tattered strips. It was spattered with dark patches of mildew. My trainers made a whispering sound as I passed along the corridor. Although I was in complete darkness, I didn’t need the aid of a torch or lantern to see my way – I could see perfectly in the dark now.

Moving forward, I followed that sound – the one that sounded as if someone was being hurt. With my heart racing like a trip hammer in my chest, my breath came out of my mouth in short shallow bursts.

“Hello?” I called out, my voice echoing back at me from down the corridor. “Is anyone there?”

“Help me!” a voice came back, but it sounded as if it came from behind me. Spinning round, I saw just the briefest glimpse of something large move in the darkness behind me.

“Who’s there?” I called out.

Whoever it had been didn’t make a sound. Wringing my hands together, I retraced my steps and headed back down the corridor towards whatever had been lurking in the dark.

Then the sobbing started again, but this time it was more than sobbing, it was yelps of pain that I could hear.

“Help me!” the voice came again, but this time it sounded cracked and broken – raw as if the person calling out were in agony.

“Where are you?” I cried out, my voice sounding shrill from the fear that was creeping into it. “I can’t help you unless I know where you are!”


“This way,” the voice called back, and again it had switched direction and was now coming from behind me again.

Turning, I caught sight of that large shape again – but for just a moment longer this time. It was huge and bristled with hair. Then it was gone again, almost slinking into the darkness.

With my legs feeling like lumps of lead, I headed towards it, my heart now feeling as if it might just explode inside my chest.

“Hurry!” the pained voice called out, echoing all around me.

Quickening my step, I headed back down the corridor, now feeling disorientated.

“Please!” the voice came again, but in the confines of the corridor, it was distorted, and I couldn’t tell if the voice were male or female.

Heading towards it through the dark, the strips of wallpaper almost seemed to clutch at me, like clawing hands. Starting to run, I raced down the corridor, my hands stretched out in front of me. Ahead of me in the blackness, I could see a door. It looked old and warped in its frame.

“Help me!” the voice came again.

Reaching the door, I pushed against it with my shoulder and it swung open on a set of rusty hinges. Flying into the room, and nearly losing my balance, the voice called out again.

“Help me!”

Scanning the darkness, I could see a bed in the far corner of the room, and there was someone lying in it.

“Quickly!” the voice came again.

Heading towards the bed, I could clearly make out the shape of…

Chapter Six

…I woke to the sound of Murphy’s voice and the smell of pipe smoke. He was whispering. I then heard Potter speaking back to him. Then Murphy continued, “The situation is far worse than I first thought.”

I kept my eyes closed, and lying perfectly still next to Luke, who still slept, I listened to their conversation.

“How do you mean?” Potter asked in a hushed voice.

“Those police officers that were chasing us…some of them are obviously Vampyrus,” Murphy said, his voice tinged with fear.

“We’ve always known that our race has infiltrated positions of authority within human society,” Potter said emotionlessly. “After all, we’ve been masquerading as cops for years.’”

“I know that,” Murphy almost seemed to snap at him. “But we were trying to live honest lives above ground – we weren’t eating one another.”

“But what about Rom and Phillips?” Potter said. “They did their fair share of killing.”

“That’s just my point. I thought that it was just them who had wormed their way into the police force, intent on using the power that the job gave,” Murphy sighed. “But it appears that many more Vampyrus have imbedded themselves into positions where they will be able to pave the way for…”

“But who is he?” Potter asked.

“That’s the million dollar question, Potter,” Murphy said. “If we knew the answer to that, then we wouldn’t be banished from The Hollows, chased across the length of the country, and hiding out in this godforsaken barn.”

“But we don’t even get close,” Potter whispered. “The agents he sends after us are agents of agents. It’s like the one that we need to find is invisible.”

“But whoever he maybe,” Murphy said, “I fear that his plans are far more advanced than we originally thought.”

“Because of those cops?” Potter asked.

“Not just because of that. He always seems to be several steps ahead of us,” I heard Murphy say. “He manages to maneuver his agents into position…Phillips, Rom, Mrs. Payne, this friend of Kiera’s – Sparky, to name just a few. It’s almost as if he has…” Murphy tailed off.

“Has what?”

“The answer is too troubling to think of,” Murphy whispered.

They sat in silence for a moment, I kept myself as still as possible so they didn’t suspect that I was listening to their conversation. After a few moments, I heard Potter ask, “Sarge, where are you leading us to?”

“There is a saying that my father used to tell me when I was a boy,” Murphy said. “If you want to know where a man is going you stay behind him. But if you know where he is going you need to get ahead of him.”

“And?” Potter said.

“This invisible man, whoever he may be, is not the only one who can maneuver people into place,” Murphy whispered.

“What’s that s’pose to mean?” Potter asked, sounding intrigued.

“I have a friend…someone who, let’s say owes me a favour,” Murphy said.

“And what’s this favour?”

“Let’s just say that I know where Kayla is,” Murphy said.

Hearing this, my ears pricked-up and my whole body stiffened.

“Where is she?” Potter asked.

“You don’t need to know…not yet,” Murphy told him.

“Why won’t you tell me?” Potter hissed, sounding confused. “You can trust me.”

There was a pause, then Murphy said, “I’m sorry Potter, I no longer know who I can trust.”

“After everything we’ve been through,” Potter almost seemed to gasp. “I can’t believe what I’m hearing!”

“Keep your voice down!” Murphy barked. “I’m not saying I don’t trust you…it’s…”

“It sounds exactly like you don’t trust me,’ Potter said and I could hear him stand up. “I’ve always had your back, Jim – I’ve always done everything that you’ve asked me without question and now you say that you can’t tell me where Kayla’s at.”

“I’m sure that’s what Kiera thought about her so-called-friends…Phillips…Sparky and -”

But before he had a chance to finish the list of those who had betrayed me, Potter said, “I’m nothing like those people…I am your friend.”

Then, I heard the barn door swing open and then close as Potter stormed away. Lying perfectly still, I thought of those I had put my trust in…my friend and colleagues, Phillips and Sparky. But Murphy was going to add another name to that list before he had been cut short by Potter. I wondered who else it was that had betrayed me.

Suddenly, Isidor shot bolt upright and screamed. I opened my eyes to see him sitting, clutching his crossbow to his chest and panting wildly. Sweat was streaming from his brow and his eyes were wide like saucers. Murphy darted across the barn and was on him in an instant. He threw one arm around his shoulder and covered his mouth with his free hand.

“Shhh…we can’t afford to let anyone hear you,” Murphy hushed.

Isidor looked nervously about, as if he were totally unsure of his whereabouts. Slipping out from beneath Luke’s arms, I got up, crossed the barn, and crouched down in front of Isidor.

“What’s going on?” Luke said, looking up from the hay, bleary-eyed.

“Shhh, Luke,” Murphy told him.

“Isidor, it’s me, Kiera,” I told him, taking one of his hands in mine.

His eyes met mine and I could see the fear in them.

“Calm down. It’s okay…we’re safe,” I tried to reassure him.

His breathing began to slow and his body began to loosen. Seeing this, Murphy removed his hand which was still covering Isidor’s mouth.

“I was having a nightmare…it was horrible…” he gasped, pulling his hand free of mine.

“It’s okay…you’re safe…it was only a bad dream,” I reassured him.

“No, you don’t understand…it wasn’t me in danger…it was Kayla…”

“Kayla?” I whispered. “What do you mean?”

“She’s being kept in a darkened room at the end of a long corridor. She’s in a bed and calling out for us to help her,” he said, looking wide-eyed between Murphy and me.

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