Some Fun Facts before we Jump in
Every thirty seconds, seven-hundred-twenty people disappear. That adds up to approximately 27,397 per day, making a year’s total 10,000,000. Of these 10,000,000, only 500,000 reappear. We see missing people’s pictures on billboards, postcards, milk cartons, and if the story is especially sad, our local news. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but as you can see from the numbers above, most people who go missing are never found. And if it wasn’t for people like me, the numbers would be double.
I’m not doing this to spoil anyone’s faith of finding a loved one, but numbers don’t lie. The only chance they have of finding these lost people, would be if their loved one is in that lucky percentage of those who are taken by other humans. If they are taken by the things I hunt, their chances are slim to none.
If you think about it, there has to be something—or multiple things—that are taking all of these people. Well, I know who and what it is, but with society’s recent turn to love these creatures that aren’t supposed to exist, it makes my task more difficult. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m telling you that your loved ones were probably taken by an undead. And by ‘undead,’ I mean not human.
Let me start you off with the worst of the undead: vampires. Movies depict them as creatures that are always smitten with humans. They’ve recently been depicted in stories as those who love humans, and will drink animal blood to survive. The stories say that they don’t like to kill and that they only take a little of our human blood to survive. Movies want us to believe that there could be a ‘good vampire,’ because even though they’re posed as fictional, if they were to exist, they wouldn’t kill us. They’ll sweep us off our feet, fall in love, and maybe even sparkle in the sun. The thought makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit, especially since these are the worst of the creatures I hunt. Trust me, they have no respect for human life, and the only thing they love about us is our blood and how amazing it tastes as it drizzles down their throats. To show you how cruel they are, let me bring you back to those missing people.
Take a good look at who are the people that are missing. What do they have in common? You never see Grandma or Grandpa on a milk carton; you see mostly children. Why, you might ask? It’s because, to them, the blood is more pure. They don’t care that this person has only lived seven years; they just care that one: they are the easiest to catch; and second, but most important: they have what they call the “purest blood.” At these young ages, the blood is the purest, because it is just developing, making it mostly free of diseases and untainted by drugs or alcohol.
If you are ever taken by a vampire, you’re lucky if they take your life right away. The more cruel ones will save you for years, using you as a blood slave, until your soul crumbles and finally gives up.
Why one would ever want to become one of them makes me sick to my stomach. It’s mind boggling, when I walk around the mall and see these young girls and boys wearing shirts that say ‘bite me.’ Ha, if they only knew the truth. The truth being that, not only going along with the torture and death that would come from being bitten and drained of your blood, you do not change into a vampire by merely being bitten. No, you only become one if the vampire exchanges their blood back to you.
A vampire will bite a human for one of two reasons: One: they want a slave, for whoever changed you is now your master; or, two: they need bodies to sacrifice in their war for power. Neither a reason any sane person want to sacrifice their human life. Most vamps have so little regard for human life that they don’t change anyone, because they feel no human deserves to be like them. So please, kids, enough with the ‘bite me’ shirts.
In fact, the only species I hunt that would change from a simple bite would be a werewolf. However, don’t get your hopes up, people; this is no experience you’ll ever want to try and endeavor. Simply put, there is almost no chance of you surviving this ordeal. When werewolves hunt, they not only need the blood of humans, but the meat as well. They basically tear their prey to shreds in seconds, ripping limps, and sucking the blood that drains from them. They leave nothing behind, unless, maybe an eyeball or a finger falls out of their mouths while they’re consuming you.
However, there is that one-in-a-million chance that, after you were bitten, you got away. If this happened though, being a werewolf is no pleasant ordeal. You become a part of their family, which is a very strict society that is almost impossible to escape. You will always be hungry, and you will have no control over your emotions or feelings on the night of a full moon.
Werewolves are the only creatures I remotely feel sorry for, because of their limited self-control on a full moon. I still kill them though, because they don’t only feed on a full moon. It is most difficult to kill them on these nights, because they are at their full strength. The kill can still be done, but it takes a lot of practice. Unlike vamps, they don’t usually pry on children, because frankly, they don’t have enough meat yet.
The last, and least likely, undead creatures I hunt, I call the non-consumers. These are the shape shifters, witches, and fairies that I sometimes come across. I’ve actually only killed a few of each of these. I refer to them as the non-consumers, because they don’t actually have to consume human blood for their existence. That doesn’t mean that they don’t…it’s just that, unlike vamps and werewolves, they don’t have to in order to survive.
Occasionally though, I have caught shape shifters feeding on humans, merely for the thrill of the hunt. Just like you would see a cat torture and leave a dead mouse’s body behind. These shape shifters usually work for, or run with, vamps.
Witches, on the other hand, don’t feed on humans at all. I have caught them using human blood and limbs for their potions though. This rarely happens, because they can use animals to serve that same purpose. The ones that use humans for their potions work for, or run with, vampires, like the shape shifters.
As far as fairies, I’ll be honest, I’ve seen them twice and I’ve killed two. I only did it because they were with vamps and were trying to kill me. I don’t really know much about them.
Now that I’ve educated you briefly on the undead that I despise, I not only hope you refrain from wearing a “bite me” shirt, but I need your help in my battle with these creatures. I’m hoping that, after hearing a brief history on me and the past year of my life, you will be able to help me with my quest. I’ve given to you, in this journal, as much straight, to-the-point information as I possibly could, in the amount of time that I could afford. I’m asking for help, because I can no longer do it alone. Things have happened where this is no longer possible. I hope whoever finds my scribbles will find the strength and knowledge to join the effort.
So I guess, to really help me, we should start with how I got into all of this. I wish I could say for vengeance or revenge—that a vampire had hurt my family—but hey, that would be a lie, and we must learn to trust one another. Here’s the truth: I started all of this for the same reason that most 18-year-old girls do something crazy for…a boy. Here I was, fresh into college, without many friends, and no family. He had a really cute face with a hockey butt to match, but we’ll get back to him later. For now, we’ll hit the “no family” part.
I had lost my parents when I was young, and by “lost” I mean: my dad ran off, and my mother followed suit when I was about nine. Not really a biggie to me, from what I can remember; I didn’t like her much anyway. I always recall wanting to stay at Grandma’s, and at nine, I got my wish. My grandma was a gambling, loud, moonshine-drinking hell of a woman. She always told you exactly what was on her mind, and didn’t give a damn what anyone thought of her.
She had lost my grandpa, the only man she’d ever loved, right after she had my mom. We didn’t talk much about him, because it seemed to be the only thing that could bring her to tears. Like myself, Grandma didn’t like my mother much. She would always say how opposite they were: my mother was a “no backboned” woman that couldn’t even spell responsibility.
Looking back, I would have to agree, especially since the reason she had left me at age nine was because she’d met a rich man. This man wanted to start a family, but couldn’t see himself dating a woman with kids. This was perfect because she didn’t let him know she had one. She dumped me, so she could live happily ever after.
My grandmother said the only good thing my mother ever gave me was her looks. I guess she also had strawberry-blond hair, pale skin, and light-colored freckles. Our only differences, my grandmother had said, was my height, since I’m 5’6” and she was 5’1.” Our eyes also differed as my mothers were brown, like mud, while mine are a light, turquoise-blue.
Whatever, though—I had no grief over it; I loved living with my grandmother. You never knew what would come out of her mouth, which made each day a thrill. She was also extremely random. To the point that one day we just went to the airport and she let me pick out which plane, and that’s the one we flew in. I loved her like a mom and was sad the day old age took her away from me. It was a week before I left for college. So here I was: eighteen, a freshman in college, with no family and no friends, since my grandmother insisted on homeschooling me.
This brings me back to the boy. Kevin was his name; he was twenty-one and a senior, finishing up his elective courses. He stood six-foot-three, with baby-blue eyes, tan olive skin, and dirty-blond hair, styled like a hockey player. His hair lay just below his ears in a tangled, curled mess. I was lucky enough to snatch up the seat next to him on the first day of class. It was a business communications class, which required a lot of group projects. Since we sat next to each other that made us partners. It didn’t take long for us to become a couple, probably because I basically worshiped the ground he walked on. He was the first boy that really gave me attention. I remember the day he asked me to be his girlfriend. I thought it was the best day of my life.
It also happened to be the day that he introduced me to his ‘extracurricular activities.’ We had been talking for about a month, and to be honest, I hadn’t really listened to anything he had said; I was too busy looking at his face. So it came as a shock when he brought me to this meeting where everyone dressed in black. We were the only ones in, what I thought to be, normal dress.
Kevin introduced me to his four ‘friends’: Stacy, who had short, blond hair and the body of a twig; Scott, who also had blond hair but was built heavy, like a wrestler; Alice, who was tall, with a solid frame, and had dark, hazel eyes; and Carrie, who was short and a twig, like Stacy, but with black hair.
They all seemed to be as interested as Kevin in these paranormal fiction books. They would rant about vampires, witches, werewolves—you name it—and they basically covered the whole fantasy world. That was all we ever talked about really. Actually, that’s what they talked about. Kevin would take me to, what I thought to be, ‘book club meetings’ once a week. I would have rather been humping, since I had just recently discovered how enjoyable it was, but he insisted we go to these meetings. He said that once his friends trusted me, it would be so much better and I would enjoy the meetings more. Two months into attending these book club things, Alice finally talked directly to me.
“Caylee, it’s this group’s decision to let you into our true circle. Do you want to become part of our fighting alliance, for if you do, you can never go back, and we will become your only friends and family? If you become a part of this, what we discuss and do never leaves the six of us. You will be bound by life or death to hold this bond, for what we discuss, will help our race so that they cannot bring us down. Do you want to join?”
I was slightly confused and weirded out. How intense were these book discussions that we couldn’t talk about them outside of the group? But, whatever, if it made Kevin happy and his friends would trust me, I guess I would agree.
“Uhh, yes,” I replied, and they all smiled and took a deep breath.
“Thank god,” Stacy said. “I’m so sick of talking in code.”
“Huh?” I asked. And for the next half-hour I was enlightened by them on how this wasn’t a book club I had been attending, that the science-fiction things they talked about were real, and they hunted them. I stared in shock, probably with my mouth open, and started laughing hysterically.
“Yeah, nice joke, guys, you got me…is book club over now?” I asked. I really wanted to get back to my dorm, where Kevin and I would be alone.
“They’re not kidding, Caylee. I know it’s hard to process—I thought the same thing—but tonight we’ll show you,” Kevin said.
They really like to play out their jokes, I thought as I followed behind the five of them. In new black attire, since they had brought a change of clothes for me. We were in depot town, a place full of alleys and old, abandoned buildings.
“Are you sure you scouted one here last weekend?” Alice asked Kevin.
“Yeah, and last night I double checked. You know how they all like to feed in the same place,” he responded.
“Alright, well here, Caylee, here’s a stake just in case, even though you won’t need it tonight. If anything comes near you, stick this in their chest, through their heart,” Alice said as she handed me a stick that was shaved off into a point. It was as thick and heavy as my forearm.
“You can’t be serious…” I mumbled. How far was this joke going to go? I got the point.
“Shh, we’re almost there,” Kevin said as everyone went silent. We walked down an alley and came to a point where you could turn right or left to, what I guessed were, other alleys. He turned to us, put up one finger, and gestured to Scott and Stacy to go back out and around the other way to. He did this I guessed in effort to trap whatever was in the alley. They headed the other way as Kevin motioned Carrie and Alice to follow behind him. He put his hand up to me, telling me to stay put. They all gripped their stakes and held them up, with the pointed end facing forward. One by one, they turned around the corner. I crept up, slowly, behind them. As I rounded the corner, I heard a loud sucking sound, like when someone slurps the last of their drink through a straw. What the hell was going on? I slowly peeked my head around and saw Kevin, Alice, and Carrie stalking up on something that was hovering over a huge rock. That was when Kevin yelled.
“Hey, bloodsucker!” And I watched as Kevin flashed a bright light onto whatever was hovering over the rock. I watched as the light flashed on its face. My mouth went wide in horror as the thing looked up into the light, like a deer in headlights. It hissed and its eyes froze, giving a cold, dead stare at Kevin. What the hell was this thing? It appeared human—hell, it looked human, besides the fact that its eyes were a dark, blood-red, and it had fangs. Freaking fangs! What I thought was a rock that it was hovering over, was actually a person. Well, more like a lifeless body. That thing hadn’t been hovering over it but, rather, drinking from the person. The blood dripped from its chin onto the cement below.
The thing remained still, trapped in Kevin’s light. I heard it hiss once more as it looked behind it, to now see Stacy and Scott coming. It then leaped up onto the wall, and used the wall as leverage to bounce off and leap onto Stacy and Scott. Taking them both out and sending them flying, it stood on the ground, unaffected. I saw Stacy and Scott put up their stakes as the thing readied its pounce. It once again leaped, this time on top of Stacy. It grabbed her arm and twisted it, making a loud popping sound. She screamed out in pain, and I watched, frozen, as Scott then tried throwing something, that I think was water, at the creature.
Whatever he had thrown at the thing seemed to work, because it hissed again—as if the substance burned its skin. By this time, Kevin, Carrie, and Alice were feet away from the creature and they all had their stakes held high in their hands, attempting to trap the thing. I watched its face as its lips curved up into a smile, proudly showing its fangs as it seemed to be thinking about which person to attack first. I then saw it run at Scott so fast that, if I had blinked, I would have missed the whole thing. It grabbed his arm that had the stake in it. A loud cracked filled my eardrums, as it used Scott’s arm as a rope and swung him around its head—much like cowboys do in movies as they’re about to lasso a bull with their rope—but Scott was the rope. After a few twirls of Scott above its head, it launched his body into the rest of them, sending them all flying into a wall. The thing was laughing, and getting ready to leap again onto the heap of people it had just defeated. I looked in horror at Kevin’s eyes: terrified, from defeat and shock.
Before I knew it, my feet started running towards them—before my brain could even process what I was about to do. I just knew I couldn’t watch as this thing killed them. What I was thinking? It was too late now to go back. As soon as I took those first steps, the thing heard me and snapped its attention my way, making me come to a halt. When its eyes met mine, I froze as I felt a shiver run up my spine. What the fuck was I going to do? The plan had been for me to just go and watch.
“HAHAHAHHA,” I heard the thing laugh again. “I can see from your face that I’m the first vampire you have ever met. Pity for you—your stupid friends shouldn’t have brought you here. They at least knew what they were getting into, but the look on your face tells me you did not.”
“No, I didn’t,” came out of my mouth. Was I really talking to this thing?
“I’m surprised you can even speak…bravery, maybe? Entertaining, I’ll admit. Maybe I’ll even let you become my blood slave, since you dare to speak to me like you have the right to stand before me. Yes, that sounds good. I think I’ll kill your friends and make you my slave.” He laughed.
“I’m not really good at house chores, so I don’t think I’d make a good slave,” I said, still without thinking. But I somehow knew I had to keep him distracted while my brain rambled on for a solution.
“So I’ve not only found a brave fool, but a smartass as well?” the thing asked, and I watched him slightly bring up his left foot, indicating he was done with my distractions. I felt my fingers tighten around my stake, and watched as he ran at me at a speed that I barely processed. I screamed the whole time he came at me, but made my eyes focus on his chest. It was actually the only thing I focused on. Something I would never do now, but that was all I could think about. When he was a foot from me, I threw up my stake, putting it into his chest that I had been so heavily concentrating on. His body crashed into mine, my slammed into the cement behind me, and everything went black.
I awoke to Kevin screaming my name and shaking my body. “What…What…” creaked out of my mouth. I then, slowly, forced my eyes open and saw all of the book club members staring at me in shock. “How long was I out?” I asked.
“About ten minutes.” Kevin laughed. “Is that really all you’re concerned about?” he asked, smiling from ear to ear. “Caylee, you just saved all of our lives…”
“I, what?” I asked as my lovely memories of what just transpired flashed back to me, and informed me of why I was on the ground. “What the fuck was that?” I mumbled as I slowly lifted my body to stand. My head was throbbing from the knot that had just been placed in the back of my skull.
“That was your first vampire killing!” shouted Alice from my left.
“So you weren’t kidding about this not being a book club?” I asked.
“No, definitely not,” she said.
“Well, that’s good, because I don’t really like reading…” I said as I tried rubbing my temples to make the headache go away.
“I’m so sorry, Caylee. You weren’t supposed to be involved just yet. I just wanted you to be there so you would believe. I underestimated this vampire. I didn’t know he was an empyreal. I would have never brought anyone if I had known,” Kevin rambled.
“What is an empyreal?” I wanted to know.
“Yeah, well, we hadn’t had the time to explain that part, but there are different kinds of vamps. This one was one of the worst to face,” Kevin explained.
“You can tell by their eyes what kind they are,” Stacy said as she flashed Kevin an accusing look. They then enlightened me on how vampires, depending on age and skill, were ranked. The lowest rank was the amateur level. These were freshly made or born vampires. They had little skill, but still had super strength, and other things that were superb to human abilities. The next levels, in order of rank, were: rookie, knight, judicial, empyreal, and royal. Empyreals and royals were the “top dogs.” They told me that I should never face an empyreal alone, and if I ever saw a royal, run the fuck away, as they were near impossible to kill.
“I’m so sorry,” he pleaded to Stacy. “The lighting had to have been funky. I thought he was an amateur. You know I would have never…”
“She knows that…” Alice chimed in.
“It doesn’t change the fact that my wrist—and now Scott’s arm—is broken,” Stacy shouted. “It’ll take months before we can go out full-force again.”
“More time to train Caylee,” said Scott softly, trying to mediate the situation.
“Yes, Scott is right. Let’s look at it like that. This was definitely scary, but we’ll learn from it. What a good first kill for Caylee to have on her record.” She didn’t bring up the fact that it only happened out of sheer dumb luck, and the vampire way underestimated me. But, hey, I was alive and the vampire was not. One point for Caylee, zero for the vampire.
Things carried on like this for four years. They taught me everything there was to know about undeads. Like our vows said, we really all did become a family—a naïve, stupid family, thinking we could remain a large group and successfully take on the undead. We trained, studied, and even came up with a sweet hunting party name: ‘The Dukes.’
Ultimately, it wouldn’t matter. We probably would have been better off to break apart and hunt on our own, but we thought the group unity made us stronger. In the end, it would be our demise.