The Hunt


Pamela Sanchez

Drawing by Pamela Sanchez

Victoria Lorenzi

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been in this state of being alone, although I’m surrounded by people. Such is the life of the last living member of the Belmonte Clan. My family was hunted out by not only the vampires they fought in their line of work, they were also hunted out by the people they fought so hard to protect. People blamed my family for the vampires’ uprising even though they were the ones who fought hard to keep them under wraps. When I was younger, my mother hid me away when the people came to the house to get rid of them. My mother told me goodbye as if we would never see each other again; it turns out she was right.

I remember being alone in my hiding spot. It felt like forever to me, but then again, I was only a child. The voice of men I had never heard before had caught my attention. The entrance to my hiding spot was opened, light flooding in, momentarily blinding me. “We found her. The Belmonte Clan weren’t lying. They left their daughter behind.” From there on out, these people raised me as one of their own so I could continue my family’s legacy, seeing as vampires still roam the earth.

“Alright, team; I don’t want any mistakes happening. Got it?” The team surrounding our captain, Axel, all gave a curt nod as he continued on, “We’ve been waiting for this opportunity for far too long. I don’t want any excuses. Keep in mind we all must hold off until dawn. Everyone is counting on us, not to put pressure on you, but if we fail, this the village is down. Alright let’s get this done with.” Axel’s head shot in my direction, followed by his hand waving me towards him. “Alexandria, you’re going through that window with Rebel 5. You two are opening the door from the inside. Good luck, and don’t forget to report.”

With the orders given, I took a deep breath and looked towards Rebel 5, more commonly known to me as Connor, before double checking my equipment. Our teammates gave us a pat on the back as we walked past, making our way to the window. The dull thud of a wooden box was the only sound echoing around the small cabin our forces had surrounded. The eerie sound of the old window opening chilled me to the bone. Quickly shaking my head, I reminded myself that this was our only chance, my only chance to get rid of it, get rid of that monster lurking inside the house. I pulled myself through the window and gently landed on my feet. A thump behind me signaled that Connor followed me in.

We gave each other a quick nod before surveying the area before reporting to Axel. The sounds of our automatic stake guns cocking filled the empty room. “I don’t see anything just yet, go let them in.” My voice barely above a whisper, caught Connor’s ears as he walked towards the door only for our radios to go off, startling the both of us.”

“What the—heck—just happen—rebel—fi-five—do—you—you—copy?”

The radios cut off after that. Connor and I locked eyes for second before he made his way back to me, our backs touching to cover both our flanks. It was a trap. The sound of muffled footsteps caught our attention, the both of us cocking our weapons in the direction of which the sound came.

We caught a silhouette emerging from the darkness, laughing lightly as if this was all some kind of game. “No need to point this weapon at me. It will never reach me.” Daggers gleamed from Connor’s eyes to the creature before us, doubting its words as it continued, “And that is a promise. Your device will be out of usage. I recommend giving up on trying anything stupid. Lucky for me there’s a safety switch.” As realization hit, I let a gasp escape my lips. The vampire was right: my weapon was malfunctioning. What is this, witchcraft? I look up at Connor’s face, only to see a scowl. His weapons weren’t working either. “Struggling will only make our first encounter as an unpleasant memory. Let us be civilized and respectful towards each other.”

Connor was the first to speak, the words having left my throat. “Why would we be respectful towards a killer like you?” Since there was no need for us to be quiet anymore, Connor spoke loudly, trying to alert the others outside, if they were still alright. The vampire didn’t seem to mind Connor’s brash demeanor. “I feel it would do us all some good.” I could feel the gaze of the vampire on me, causing me to shudder. “Would you mind? I can hardly see you under all this equipment of yours let me do you a favor,” he outstretched his hand to remove the gear from both Connor and I, our items hitting the floor with a dull thud. “Ah, you are actually quite pleasant for the eyes,” the vampire’s eyes never left mine, “Such attractive eyes. They would be perfect without the expression you are giving me. Fear looks good on my enemies. And enemies to me are people trying to make sure I perish six feet under.” Heat rose to my cheeks as Connor pushed me behind him. I don’t understand how I’ve become frozen like this. I’ve been training my whole life for a moment like this.

“It would be such a shame to waste a potential bond. I feel like the three of us could get along easily too.” The vampire then looked towards the window from which we had entered. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t really apply for the others. They are of no bother anymore, anyway. You are all followed to think that I am alone. The undead made sure their priority was no retreat.” At those words, a gasp escaped my lips. That monster killed them, he killed all of them. I sank down to the floor, covering my mouth as tears threatened to fall. Connor was at my side, comforting me, remaining quiet. “Leaving you completely behind. That must feel terrible, to think that they were ready to spare their lives to save you. How cruel. Do not worry I am here to comfort you. Unlike them, I don’t like the thought of leaving you.”  The vampire extended his hand out to my collapsed figure, which Connor slapped away.

The vampire appeared unfazed.  “It’s all good. I must be thankful however, they brought you to me. I couldn’t have asked for a better peace treaty.” A smirk found its way onto the vampire’s lips as he looked down at the two of us. The thought of becoming a peace offering to this creature made me gag as chills went down my spine. This only seemed to entice the vampire more. “You are trembling; could it be that the thought of attacking me is no longer available for you?”

“Shut your damned mouth!” Connor shot back while standing to his full height. He took out a pair of twin daggers and got into his signature stance, “I will end you here and now.” The vampire let out of a deep chuckle before he swung his arm into Connor’s face, sending him back with a crash, knocking him out cold.

A small squeak escaped my throat as I watched my teammate go down. “Shhh, it is all good. I have forgiven you. There is nothing to worry about. I will not hurt you. You are my guest after all. The least I could do is give you an enjoyable time, right? Let us sit down a little bit. Get to know each other a little bit more.” The vampire took my hand, pulling me to my feet and leading towards a dark living room lit up by candles that illuminated as we entered the room. He led me to a chair and had me sit down before taking off. While he was gone, I took a quick look around the room, looking for any and all points of escape. The vampire returned with a pot of tea and two tea cups. He poured one cup, handing it to me before pouring one for himself. I mumbled a soft ‘thank you’ and brought the cup to my nose to test if it had been poisoned or anything. To my surprise, the cup smelt like regular rose tea.  I took a small sip before placing the cup on its saucer on the coffee table that sat in between the two of us.

“I must say, I’m sure I’ve seen your eyes somewhere before. They are giving me a vague feeling of déjà Vu.” I remained silent; I couldn’t bring myself to speak with this monster so casually. The vampire continued even without my response. “I have seen many things in my life before. For surely, that has to do with it. Who knows, maybe I fell in love with one of your ancestors. That would be interesting.” The thought of that chilled me to my bones. Has he figured out who I was?

“I know it’s very sudden to be abandoned by the people who have looked after you for so long. But it was completely ridiculous to attempt to ease me from this world, one that I’ve cherished my whole life. That I’ve grown so attached too. It must be complete jealousy towards my ability to live for eternity, right? I don’t see any other reason. Humans were always terrified of what is different from them and instead of coming to terms with it, they would rather not have it in their lives. It is, simpler that way, yes. Those strong emotions are what made the Belmonte Clan. They wanted nothing more than my head on a spike. Even though I personally had nothing to do with them to begin with.” At the mention of my family name, I tensed up. He must know who I was. This had to have been a trap. He must have known a Belmonte was coming.

“I heard there is none of them left in the world. Maybe we can finally rest in peace and worry about absolutely nothing.” Then he doesn’t know who I am; that’s a relief. I could have sworn I was done. I lifted my head from the ground to look up at him. The vampire noticed and gave a small smile and continued on. “Humans believe I want to cause harm and destruction, when I simply want to live a quiet life within these walls. Only taking a few of their lives of course. Humans die every day. Why should it matter?” My mind immediately thought of a response to his statement, but I remained quiet, not wishing to anger the vampire.

“There’s only one thing I must complain about this style of life: I am very lonely. And it doesn’t really get any better.” For a moment, I felt sympathy for the vampire. Being alone is not the best feeling in world. I didn’t realize that vampires could feel such strong emotions. It’s rather strange. “But I really hope you are enjoying this tea. It is probably my favorite creation from your kind.” A small smile found its way onto my lips as I finished off the tea. For him being a blood thirsty monster, he was considerably gentle and kind. “See how talking made things better between you and me? I was never threatening to begin with. The military take us as violent animals that bite into anything that moves close to us. What a joke. And our kind responded with calling you names.”

“I really appreciate how quiet you are. It makes a big difference with the usual human interaction I get. May I get the pleasure to know your name? It is quite odd to keep the conversation this long without knowing how I may call you.” The question caught me off guard. Never in a million years would have thought that a vampire would exhibit manners.

As I remained silent, the vampire’s eyes only stared into my own, so I had no choice but to answer. “My name is Alexandria.” My voice barely above a whisper.

“Ah, I see. That is a beautiful first name. Quite fitting I must say. I like it a lot.” The vampire’s breath tickled my ears as he had gotten close to my face to whisper in my ear. A light blush coated my cheeks, quickly. I turned my face to avoid the vampire seeing my face that way.

“What do you think about spending the night here? It is getting quite late for you while my day has only begun.” I gave a quick shake of my head. There was no way I was going to stay in the house with a creature that could kill me. “If you are afraid of being turned into one of my kind, don’t worry these rumors are completely false. We are only capable of manipulating the dead. I’m afraid those lies were to scare people away from us.” The thought of being turned into a vampire hadn’t even crossed my mind, yet that too would be unappealing. How can I trust this vampire? “I understand that it must be hard to trust me but the greatest meeting we can give to a new best friend is a strong handshake, right?” I looked up at the vampire to see him giving me a smile. The vampire was now standing, holding his hand out towards me.

I couldn’t bring myself to shake his hand. “Could it be you are still hesitating to approach me? If I wanted to kill you, I would have done it the second you entered my home.” The vampire had a point- if he wanted me dead, I would be already. I stood up slowly and extended my hand to him, the sound of my heartbeat going through the roof was the only noise I could hear. My actions pleased the vampire greatly, “There you go, nice and slowly.” Our hands finally clasped in a firm shake.

“Was that so hard?” The vampire had a cheeky grin on his face with his playful tone. I couldn’t help but smile, my heartbeat finally calming down. I looked from the vampire to the belt I was wearing. To the naked eye it looked like a normal belt. It almost was a normal belt if it weren’t for the compartment inside of it. The compartment held a syringe inside, containing just enough holy water to kill a vampire. It’s now or never. When the vampire released my hand, I brought it close to my chest as the other reached for the compartment on my belt.

“You still haven’t given me your surname—” I cut him off by stabbing him with the syringe and injecting the holy water. “Oh, I see. I should have known something was strange, Belmonte. Humans are getting smarter with time. I suppose underestimating you was a mistake. I always hated how we can smell and detect a variety of things, but holy water was never one we were capable of.” The vampire was frozen in place. I took my chance to back away from the beast.

“You never know where a Belmonte is lurking.” I whispered softly as I watched the vampire sink to the floor.

“Well played, I was the one fooled after all. Farewell Belmonte. We’ll always be a threat to you. That is a promise. Well, I had a good time.” With that, the vampire withered away to dust, leaving me all alone once again.