Chapter 13: Raging Battle! Vampire Killer, or Killer Vampire?
From the shadows, the nightwalker spoke.
“I wasss beginning to think you’d never come.”
I was ready for combat. All of my years reading comic books, watching horror films and playing video games had led up to this moment. I squinted and searched the darkness. “Show yourself, you son of a bitch!”
However, it wasn’t a son who emerged from the shadows, but a daughter. Before me stood Crazy Soup Girl, baring her shiny fangs and her similarly satanic neon green t-shirt and orange pants!
“What the hell?!” I exclaimed in disbelief. “You’re a vampire? But how? I saw you in the daylight!”
“Thatsss when I wasss a daywalker,” she replied, inching past the light of the open window and forcing me into the hallway. Instinctively, I backed into the nearest office. Though it was still dark, I was able to feel my way in, half by instinct, and half from having memorized the floor plan when I started working there, just in case of such an incident.
“Then how did you become a vampire? Did one sweep you up after you jumped out that window?” No one but me had noticed Crazy Soup Girl’s body missing from the ground mere moments after she leapt out of Kara’s dorm...
But it all made sense! Obviously, the scent of her blood had attracted a vampire who was somehow immune to sunlight. He sensed an easy meal, swooped down and grabbed her, then brought her back to his castle and feasted on her delicious plasma!
“No,” she hissed, “I was fine after jumping out of that window. I just dusssted myssself off and walked back inssside. I became a vampire two nightsss ago when I left my window open a crack at my house in Alassska.”
And that would have been my second guess.
“But I tire of thisss. My employer sssent me to dissspossse of you,” she revealed. I could tell she was licking her lips. Her inhuman eyes shone through the shadows. “Are you ready to cry bloody tearsss?”
“Employer!? Who? Who wants me dead?”
I could feel the joy of the kill escalating within Crazy Vampire Soup Girl. “Wouldn’t you like to know?” she taunted. “How ironic that I wasss sssent to kill a dead man!”
I didn’t exactly have time to sit around and contemplate the irony.
“Please tell me,” I weakly pleaded. “I’ll be your best friend.”
“Never! You ssshall die not knowing your true asssailant!”
I searched my pockets for any sort of bargaining chip. I hastily bumped into the only thing of value in my pocket. It was a long shot, but it was also my only shot. I looked her in the eyes. “If you tell me, I’ll give you a piece of gum.”
“It wasss the orphansss!” Crazy Vampire Soup Girl exclaimed, leaping out of the darkness, yanking the gum out of my hand, and chewing it with great ecstasy.
I stumbled back, grabbing a chair and regaining my balance. “The orphans!? But why? Why would they…?”
“Thank you for the tribute. But now I really do have to kill you. I have a four o’clock at a fun houssse in Chessster.”
“Tribute?!” I was flabbergasted. “You steal men’s souls!”
“Perhapssse the sssame could be sssaid of all religionsss,” she returned smugly. “What isss a man? A missserable little pile of sssecretsss! But enough talk. Have at you!”
As if on cue, before she could even throw the first punch, Crazy Vampire Soup Girl began reeling with agony. She coughed and spit out the gum, tripping over a nearby conveniently placed object and slamming into the adjacent wall.
I smiled ever so slightly.
“Garlic gum. I never leave home without it; it makes your breath so fresh and minty!”
“Cursssse you!” she yelled. The fires of hatred blazed in her eyes.
I sprinted over to the wall she leaned against. “Rise and shine!” I screamed valiantly, reaching for the cord to the blinds. I yanked them valiantly.
“Hang on, this is going to be super cool!” I pulled again, but it still didn’t work. I could tell that Crazy Vampire Soup Girl was getting frustrated. I was so embarrassed, I could feel myself turning a vibrant shade of red.
“What’sss the hold up!?”
With a final tug, the blinds rolled up. Sunshine poured into the room like a tidal wave. Crazy Vampire Soup Girl flopped around on the floor like a badly dressed carp caught in a fisherman’s net. I closed the blinds just enough to let only a little light in. The vampire stopped flailing as much.
“Tell me where my coworkers are!”
“I don’t know!”
“Then, tell me where the orphans went!” I let a little more light in through the blinds.
“They’re outssside!” she exclaimed.
But as I watched her writhe about on the floor in such pain, I actually felt sorry for her. It was against my better judgment, but…
“If you promise to be nice, I’ll let you go,” I offered.
Crazy Vampire Soup Girl took little time to make her decision. “Yesss, I will!”
I closed the blinds. Crazy Vampire Soup Girl slowly regained her footing. “I guesss a thank you isss in order…”
I nodded. “From now on, I want you to play nice, okay?”
“You can hang out in that closet over there until nightfall, and then go and do whatever it is vampires do.”
She shrugged her shoulders. “Usssually we play Monopoly or make fessstive sssoups together. And we love reality TV, like Sssurvivor and –”
“Okay, But no more biting people,” I commanded. “It’s rude.”
I dashed to the back exit, leaving Crazy Vampire Soup girl to fend for herself. After all, I had a bigger threat to thwart. I opened the door and rushed out.
“Bravo,” congratulated a small, sinister female voice. “We didn’t think you would make it this far.”
I didn’t need to see the speaker to know who it was. I spun around hurriedly. There in front of me were the immoral orphans, standing coyly in the parking lot by mother’s car. Thankfully, they had driven my car to the scene. Hallelujah! I never thought I’d see it again! I didn’t even care that it had orphan germs in it!
I faced the terrible tribe of heathens and stared them down as best I could. After all, there were three of them and only one of me, and though I had gained a few pounds from all the ramen noodles and cheese I had been gulping down, I still wasn’t big enough to equal their combined mass.
“I should have known that you satanic orphans had something to do with all of this!”
“Something to do with it?” asked Sinister Eyes, trying to contain her awful laughter. “We had everything to do with it!”
Sinister Eyes seemed disappointed. I could do nothing but continue standing there, my mind racing. “Oh please, I thought you were smarter than that. I thought you’d have figured it all out by now.”
“Sorry, I was playing that new video game, Yojimbo’s Carnival of Pain,” I retorted. “I guess I got a little distracted… for six weeks.”
“It’s no coincidence that we targeted you last month with the old ‘orphans by the side of the road’ scheme. It works every time!”
“Gasp!” I gasped.
“And it wasn’t your boss or anyone from the Wappingers Falls Tribune who wrote that obituary. It was me! I wrote it as soon as we finished beating you.”
I shook my head with disgust. “Well, shows what you know. That obituary was full of spelling, grammar and factual errors!”
“We did it on purpose to embarrass you, you fool.”
I shook my fist at them angrily. “Damn you! It worked!”
Sinister Eyes allowed herself a small grin. “We’ve been trying to ruin you from the beginning.”
“But why?” I asked, confused. “What did I do to you?”
“This goes far beyond petty vendettas. It’s all business. You see… I wanted your job.”
“My job!?” I exclaimed with disbelief. “But you’re only nine years old!”
Sinister Eyes squinted at me, her devilish sight squarely on my face. It was as if she was looking directly into my soul. “I’m actually 27. I’m older than you. And my comrades are both far past the legal drinking age. Together, we have formed the crime syndicate known as… the Ying-Yang Gang!”
“The Ying-Yang Gang!? You mean the jewel thieves that the Wappingers Falls Tribune reports on?”
“The very same,” returned Sinister Eyes. “We estimated that if I got your job, I could slowly gain more and more influence and finally become the editor!”
“And when that didn’t work, we just tied everyone up and left them in the storeroom,” added The Yeti.
“Shut up!” yelled Sinister Eyes. “I’ll do the talking here!” The Yeti’s lip curled up and he began to cry. Sinister Eyes ignored him. “So now that I’m the editor, I can print fake news stories that will make store owners leave their stores open at night… for us to rob! Because if you read it in a newspaper, it must be true!”
“That’s diabolical!” I exclaimed.
“And no more of those pesky reports of our activities,” she added.
If there were ever a time to prove myself as a ninja, it was then. I assumed my most deadly ninja fighting stance. I wasn’t going to be defeated again!
“Oh? A challenge?” countered Sinister Eyes. “We weren’t going to let you live anyway, but now disposing of you is going to be a lot more fun than anticipated. Are you ready for another thrashing?”
“Uhh… well, are you ready for some… football!?”
I’ve never been very good at comebacks.
Sinister Eyes readied herself for combat, her hands set to both defend and attack. The Yeti and Silent Orphan followed suit. I knew that defeating three evil orphans wasn’t exactly going to be simple, but at least this time I was ready for battle. I breathed in deeply, and motioned arrogantly for the orphans to “come on” and attack me.
Milliseconds before the clash could begin, an engine revved loudly in the distance. All heads turned in the direction of the sound. From out of an alley, a blue minivan careened towards us. It screeched to a stop and the door slid open ominously. I wondered if I’d be able to take any more assailants or if I should try to escape during the confusion.
Out of the van stepped Kara and Shannon! “Thank God!” I exclaimed. “But how did you know I needed help?”
“Who are you two?” Sinister Eyes inquired, puzzled. “What’s going on?”
“I thought you might need a hand,” replied Kara. “Looks like I was right.”
Shannon waved at me. “Hi Matt!”
There was someone else around as well, though. I could sense their presence. “Well don’t stop now!” they yelled from behind me. I couldn’t believe it. I mean really, who else could possibly have shown up? Would there be yet another combatant, again turning the tide? I looked cautiously, ready for anything.
Except for who was standing there.
“Come on, keep going! This is great stuff!” Joe Shurize yelled, his camera rolling. “I’m gonna call this American Brawlers and put it on the Video Club channel!”
Sinister Eyes rolled her tiny pupils. “Are you all quite finished? Because there’s supposed to be an epic battle right about…”
“NOW!” The Yeti shouted as he jumped at me. My right leg jetted up swiftly, ready to deliver a snap kick, but before I could extend my leg past knee-level, The Yeti hit the ground hard. Either I was a really great ninja, or something else had hit him before I could. Then I saw the answer. Kara was standing over him, holding a stop sign with a yeti-shaped indentation. She flashed me a thumbs up gesture.
With The Yeti out of the way, I could concentrate on Silent Orphan before taking out Sinister Eyes. But when I looked away from Kara, searching for my next opponent, the first thing I saw was Shannon sitting on Silent Orphan and tying him up.
I was beginning to feel slightly inadequate.
“Your fight is with me now!” taunted Sinister Eyes.
I was ready. It was she that had orchestrated the entire incident! It was her fault I had spent the last month in hiding! It probably wasn’t her fault that I always had bad dreams, but for now I’d blame it on her because it was inaccurate but convenient, just like the legal system!
We flew at each other like lions, both releasing a volley of shots. Stinging blows rained down upon both of our bodies, but neither yielded to the pain. I was in an unstoppable frenzy. My feet barely touched the ground.
“This is golden!” Joe exclaimed, moving closer to the action for a better shot.
Our rage in the streets continued. Sinister Eyes uppercutted my stomach. I doubled over. She landed a devastating blow to my jaw. Then she grabbed my hair and thrust my face towards her unholy knee.
My elbow sailed through the air like a baseball bat, crashing into the side of her head. Sinister Eyes was knocked back just enough for me to wiggle free of her unrelenting grasp.
Another flurry of punches and kicks followed. Sinister Eyes attempted a jumping attack, but I intercepted her with a rising tackle. We both hit the pavement. We were up in an instant.
My fatal fury was unmatched. A quick roundhouse kick slammed into my nemesis’s shoulder, followed by a quick haymaker to the chest.
Sinister Eyes returned the favor with a knee attack to my chest. I fell to the ground. The second I returned to my ready stance, Sinister Eyes had a big, shiny gun pointed at my forehead.
“This ends now,” she informed me calmly. Kara and Shannon stood back, powerless. Joe stepped in for a close up. “You were a good sparring partner, but my associates and I really must be going now. Enjoy truly dying.”
My life flashed before my eyes. It was mostly playing video games and eating cheese. It kind of made me feel like I should have done more with my time on Earth, like playing more video games and eating more cheese.
My reprieve came in the form of a curious fluttering sound above our heads. Sinister Eyes instinctively looked to the sky. Crashing down towards her was the fiendish paper swan!
Shannon began screaming. “But I killed you!” she yelled, and tried to hide by pulling her jacket over her head.
Sinister Eyes flailed her arms crazily, but the swan just kept floating towards her. “Stop lookin’ at me, swaaaaaaaaaaan!” she exclaimed in terror.
My chance was slight; hesitation meant death. My spinning crescent kick knocked the gun from her hands. Sinister Eyes looked back at me just in time to catch a spinning back kick with her face.
The swan landed peacefully next to her fallen, incapacitated body.
“That was awesome!” Joe exclaimed, hopping up and down and swinging his camera triumphantly about. One more punch and I think we’d have had to clean Joe’s joy-exploded head off the pavement.
Kara and Shannon released a collective sigh of relief.
I listened to the police sirens in the distance. Someone must have seen me and my friends beating three little kids senseless and called the cops. It was so nice of whoever had called the police to come to my aid. The flashing lights surrounded us all.