A Name Worth Dying For – Part 1

by jeanineoloughlin

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I haven’t talked about their deaths much since it happened. We hunt the undead, so death is always part of our lives. Not even Lizzie knows exactly what happened. I know it bothers her that I won’t talk about it. She’s my best friend, but it still hurts too much; however,  I suppose it’s time someone knew exactly what happened.

It was late spring, we only had a few weeks left of school and the days were getting longer. My mother, sister and I lived in a small town outside of Chicago. I was washing the dishes after dinner when there was an urgent knock on the back door. My mother told us to go into the living room. Her heart shaped face was knit in a tight expression forming a deep crease in her brow. I knew then that something was wrong. “Mom?” I asked as I ushered Maddie, my seven year old sister into the other room.

“Just do as I ask, Adrian,” she said curtly as she ran a nervous hand through her long black hair. I did but made sure I could see into the kitchen from where I sat on the couch. I could make out two tall figures, and pointed them towards the dining room.

“Adrian!” my mother yelled for me. I ran into the dining room and saw the two men with her. One was barely conscious and being supported by the other man. I could see blood all over his clothes, and I was pretty sure it was mostly his own. His hair was long, blonde and covered most of his face and his skin was pale even for someone of fair skin. The other man also had blonde hair, but cropped very short, and his blue eyes looked tired as he held up his companion. I had seen injured Hunters before, but those were minor scrapes compared to this.

My mother hooked the injured man’s other arm over her shoulders and helped bring him to the table. She was almost his height, but his muscular build versus her thin one made her seem so small in comparison. They gingerly placed him on the table, his blood smearing all over the blue tablecloth. “Bring me my kit. Adrian grab lots of clean towels and start a pot of water,” my mother tilted the man’s head to see his wound and the gash along his neck covered in fresh flowing blood. It made me almost lose the dinner I had just eaten. The flesh was ripped and shredded and reminded me of the ripped jeans I was wearing.

“Mom is that…” I couldn’t finish my thought and just stared at the man, dying on our kitchen table. I wanted to look away but my eyes were trapped by this horrifying sight.

“Adrian!” My mother never raised her voice at us, but in this case it was what I needed to get me moving. This man’s life was in her hands and she needed all the help she could get. I pulled out all our towels from the bathroom and put them next to her, then filled our biggest pot and put it to boil. The uninjured man took the tackle box that was our first aid kit from Maddie before she could enter the room. She had the same black hair as my mother but it was short and curly where my mother’s was long and straight. She looked a lot like my mother with big dark eyes and a sweet face, but with full chubby cheeks. The Hunter sweetly told her to go back to the couch; I think to keep her from seeing what I had. I didn’t blame him; Maddie didn’t need to see something so ugly.

He placed the kit on the counter behind my mother, “What do you need?” he asked. My mother had a towel pressed against the wound trying to stop the bleeding. She turned and said “Call Winston,” as she opened the box with one hand while keeping pressure on the wound with the other.

I knew of Mr. John Winston, he was a high ranking official who oversaw our area. My mother drilled into me that if we were ever in trouble to call him for help. My stomach started turning itself into knots out of the tension building in the room. I was still a little queasy, but with the wound covered I managed to keep my dinner in check. The hunter had walked over to the phone on the kitchen wall and was dialing a number into it. I leaned against the counter and tried not to look so scared.

“Adrian?” Mom called for me and I stepped hesitantly beside her. “Open and hand me the heavy gauze bandages,” she swapped the soaked hand towel for a fresh one as I went to opening several bandages and handing them to her. I adverted my eyes from the injured Hunter.  “The bleeding is slow, but It hasn’t stopped yet,” she said in frustration.

“Ben!” she called and the short haired Hunter came over, hanging up the phone, and they began speaking in low whispers. I was trying to just stay out of their way when I saw Maddie peering around the corner from the living room and I could see the shock on her face at what was happening in our kitchen. Most of the gore was out of sight behind the adults but she was still scared. I took her to her room and sat her down on the bed. “Adrian… is that man going to die?” she asked in a small quiet voice.

“I don’t know,” I put my arms around her and she leaned into me. She was shivering and I knew it wasn’t from being cold. I wrapped her in a quilt and held her for a while, hoping that with any luck she would fall asleep and this would all be over when she woke up. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Within the hour there was another knock at our door. “Adrian!” my mother’s voice carried to me from down the hall.

I got up and left Maddie lying on her bed. “I’ll be right back okay?” She nodded and pulled the quilt tighter around herself. I headed to the door expecting to see Mr. Winston and an army of Hunters. When I opened the door I was immediately flung backwards by a hard shove in the chest by the man in front. All I saw before landing on the hardwood floor was that he was incredibly tall with long dark hair. My mother cried out and ran to me.

I was sore, and was going to have some bad bruises, but I didn’t think anything was broken. I saw Ben engage two figures, but in a few seconds a man with a blonde ponytail had him pinned to the ground using one arm and a foot on his back. With that show of speed and strength I realized… they were vampires. I heard Maddie call for me from her room and my mother ran towards her but the tall dark vampire threw her to the ground like she weighed nothing as he disappeared down the hall.

To Be Continued…

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