VAMPYRE 2000:Life to the Lifeless Christopher F. Benson
www.vampyre2000.com
Vengeance has a name and it knows no boundaries.
Book Two

Excerpts from Vampyre 2000: Ill of the Dead, available in August of 2011.

 

The stranger pushed open the doors and stepped out onto the patio, he too was relieved that no one else was sitting out there. Noticing Rita sitting alone, he nodded politely as he passed the table and continued on to Cornelius.

“Is she cool? She with you?”

“Yes, she is with me. Are we going to do business?”

“Yeah, alright. Let’s do this.”

“Would you mind if we did this somewhere else? I would be more comfortable if we didn’t do this in front of so many prying eyes.”

“Uh, yeah, sure. Actually, I’d prefer a little privacy too.”

“I’d like to make this quick, why don’t we go down to the water?”

“That works for me too.” agreed the man. He held out his arm and Cornelius quickly went down the steps to the rocky slope that met the water.

 With his arms at his sides, he waited patiently while the stranger joined him.

“Ya know man, I’m not in the habit of doing this. I’ve only got a little left, just enough for myself really, but I’ll let you have it. Ya see, I like you, I don’t know what it is about you, but I like you.” He reached into his front pocket and pulled out a small white envelope, “So, I’m willing to part with this, for a price.”

“Certainly and how much do I owe you for that?”

“All of it. Ya see, I like that big wad of cash ya got there too.”

“Yes, naturally I assumed that you were interested in that. You were very transparent about your intent.” Cornelius quickly glanced over the man’s shoulder, Rita had joined the two and was standing a few feet behind him. After turning back to Cornelius, he put his head down for a moment and shook his head.

“Just what the hell you think you’re doin’ man? You better tell your lady friend to back off before she gets hurt.” he demanded. The time had come upon him to act, after hearing what the man had said Cornelius was finished playing around.

 In the blink of an eye, Cornelius was standing toe to toe with him. Before he even knew it, Cornelius had tightly wrapped his fingers around the man’s neck and lifted him into the air. Struggling against Cornelius’ hold, he tried to speak, but he could only choke as Cornelius was completely crushing his neck.

“You won’t be hurting anyone tonight, my friend. You see you weren’t the only one with ulterior motives. Let it be known that I will be in your debt because you do possess something that I need, something that we need.” The man’s struggling began to lighten as he was suffocating, soon he would be unconscious. Cornelius lowered the man and put his feet back on the ground, he wasted no time in burying his fangs into the other side of the man’s neck. At this point, the man was barely conscious and there was no longer any struggle from him at all. Cornelius held the man with one hand and pressed his face deeply into the fleshy part of his neck. The stranger’s blood was pouring down his chest and was soaking his clothing; Cornelius had ripped open a gash in his neck. He was greedily satisfying his hunger, but he remembered that he could not finish this man. This kill tonight was for his beloved Rita and so he withdrew. Reaching down and grabbing the man’s shirt, Cornelius wiped his mouth and chin, he looked toward Rita and said,

“Rita, come. He is for you, you must finish him.” Rita was paralyzed from fear and disgust. For the first time in her life she was witnessing a violent and bloody attack and it was unlike anything that she might have ever imagined. This was real, it wasn’t a scene on television or something from a horror movie. Actually watching Cornelius’ fangs pierce the man’s skin, hearing them tear through his flesh, seeing Cornelius swallowing his blood and then looking at her with a mouth wet with blood as it dripped from his chin utterly sickened her.

“Cornelius, I can’t.”

“But this is why we are here…what we came for.” he said holding up the man and waiting for her. “You must, you need to feed.”

“I’m sorry Cornelius, I really can’t do it.” Rita said. Cornelius stood there motionless for a moment and he could see by the terrified look on Rita’s face that she was serious. She was not ready and Cornelius was more than disappointed. All of this, this entire evening was orchestrated for her. But at the moment, Cornelius decided to redirect his attention and focus on a more important matter at hand; a man lying in his arms dying from a vampire attack. If this man were left unattended and subsequently died, Cornelius would bring another vampire into being. To him, that was out of the question and was not an option. He had no intention of creating another ever again, especially by mistake. There was absolutely no choice in the matter over what he now had to do. With Rita unwilling or unable to feed upon this man and finish him, Cornelius would have to do it and quickly. It was something that he’d had to do a thousand times before. With no time to waste, Cornelius turned away from Rita and once again buried his face into the man’s neck. This time he had every intention of feeding from this man until he was dead. Rita stood behind quietly and watched for what seemed to be an eternity. She could hear the stranger’s heart beating slower and slower, until it finally stopped. Cornelius had finished; this poor man was dead and he would never be coming back.

 

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10:55pm, Rita had plenty of time, but the night would slip away from her if she didn't get something started soon. Rita looked up from her wrist and was startled once again. Standing directly in front of her and staring at her curiously was a familiar face.

"Rita? Rita Alderwood, is that you?" asked the woman. She stared at Rita with an excited look on her face. Rita knew this woman well, the two of them had once worked together not too long after they had gotten out of college. Nervous anxiety overcame her, she hadn't prepared on what to do in this situation. Not only was this completely unexpected, it was incredibly untimely.

"I'm afraid you've got me mixed up with someone else." said Rita as she turned her back to the woman.

"Rita, come on. I know it's you, don't you remember me?" asked the woman as she placed her hand on Rita's shoulder.

"I'd advise you to take your hand off me." Rita replied without turning around. The woman complied, she had gotten her feelings hurt and slowly she removed her hand.

"Rita, I'm sorry. I don't understand, have I done something wrong?"

"Look, I told you, you're mistaking me for somebody else. Alright?" snapped Rita.

"But, it's me Rhonda, don't you remember me?"

"Listen, I'm not gonna tell you again, I don't know you. Now, would you please just leave me alone?" Feeling dejected, Rita's old friend slowly backed away from her.

"Yeah, yeah, okay." she said quietly. Rita watched carefully, out of the corner of her eye, until she was out of sight. She felt so bad for her friend. Naturally, she understood just how she felt, she would've loved to have spoken with her and caught up. Unfortunately, their friendship needed to remain in the past, talking to Rhonda now would only bring with it a great deal of danger for her and for Cornelius. Rita's Friday night out at The Vector had not turned into a good one. As far as she was concerned, it had gotten worse by the minute. Being left alone, having horrific visions and having to reject an old friend drove her past the point of frustration. Rita hadn't forgotten about why she had come, but enough was enough. It was time to go, once she found Cornelius, she was going home.

 

The stranger looked down at Cornelius' hand around his arm and then looked up at him.

"Hey man, what do you think you're doing?"

"Listen, my friend, what if I told you that I could expedite your encounter with that woman?"

"You? What are you talkin' about?'

"As a matter of fact, she and I happen to be acquaintances."

"What, is she with you?"

"Uh... no, she is not." lied Cornelius.

"Yeah, I didn't think so. You don't look like her type." Just then, Cornelius noticed Rita below. She stormed out of the bar area in a haste and it appeared that something was wrong. He needed to get to her and investigate immediately.

"Tell me, sir, what is your name?"

"It's Rick."

"Rick, meet me downstairs and I'll have it all arranged. Can you do that?"

"And you're gonna hook me up with that chick?"

"Trust me, Rick, your chances of being with her are much greater if you allow me to persuade her. Can you be downstairs?"

"Yeah, man, okay."

"Excellent, then I'll see you shortly." Having said that, Cornelius quickly made his way to the stairs and disappeared out of sight. Once he was again on the main level he traversed the tables and the dancers at the edge of the dance floor and headed toward the level where he expected to find Rita. He climbed a short set of stairs and stood on another level. Carefully scanning the room, he searched for her. She was no where to be seen, but he knew that she was close. Cornelius moved quickly across the level and went down to the next one below. From end to end he scoured the barscape in search of her and then he spotted her. Rita was combing her way through the crowds, obviously looking for him.  Like a dart, Cornelius made a path directly toward her, it was as if there were no obstacles in his way. Approaching her from behind, he put his hands on her arms softly and stopped her. Startled, she immediately spun around.

"Cornelius, where have you been? I've been looking all over for you."

"I know my dear. Are you alright? I came as soon as I could." Cornelius pulled her close and she hugged him tightly.

"Cornelius, why did you leave me alone? I don't wanna be here anymore, I wanna go home."

"It's alright now, Rita, I am here. Everything is going to be alright." Rita, I left you alone so that you may find your own way. You mustn't merely mimic what I do, you must develop and grow on your own. In that way, you will become very powerful."

"Cornelius, I'm not ready. I don't know if I'll ever be ready and you just left me here alone."

"Rita, you were never alone, I was watching you all along. I returned to you when I saw you exit the bar in such haste. What happened to you back there?"

"Cornelius, I don't wanna talk about it, I just wanna go. Can we please go home?"

"Rita, have you forgotten why we came here tonight? You must feed tonight my dear and there are so many opportunities here."

"Cornelius, listen. I don't want to feed tonight or any night for that matter. Got it? I just want to go home and if you aren't coming then I'm going without you." demanded Rita. Cornelius reached down and took her by the hand, he leaned in and spoke to her softly.

"Come with me, I think you will be very interested in what I have to show you." Cornelius looked at her softly and added, "Trust me."