In Search Of The Master (Chapter 1)

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The day was exceptionally hot, even for July, which was, just over, a week away. The sun was nearing its zenith, in a cloudless sky, as a black VW van turned into the drive, of a large, old house. There was not even a discernible shadow being cast, by the properties tall boundary hedge. Despite the brightness, of the day, the three occupants, of the van’s cab, were in deep shadow and only discernible as three female shapes. The van slowed, to a stop, close to the house’s front door. Before the van had stopped moving, the cab’s passenger door was open and Jo stepped out, running up to the front door of the house. Di, the other, front seat, passenger, and Al, the driver, disembarked once the van had stopped moving. They went to the van’s sliding side door. Jo was, by then, knelt before the house’s front door. Di gestured with her hands and muttered, as Al slowly opened, the van’s side door, a few inches. With her left hand, Di reached into the van, then smiled at Al; the signal received, with exceptionally speed, the van’s door slid back, though it only softly slid, into its retainer. As it did so, the only sound it made was the click of the mechanism, that held the door open. A man in a heavy overcoat, gloves and a hood, which had no eye holes — all of which were made of leather — exited from the van. Taking him by the hand, Di led him up to the house. Having lifted a bulging kit bag, out of the van, Al closed the door, to the van, and strode passed Di and the man.

Al entered the house, where Jo held the door open, for then. Jo smiled, as the man approached, the front door, “James Redfern, please enter this house and be welcome.”

Di glared at Jo, “Shut it changeling! We’ve got…”

Jo closed the door, behind them; “It is always safest to obey the lore.”

James moved quickly, to a shadowy corner of the hall, where he slumped, against a wall. As Di shot a concerned glance, towards him, Al pulled a pistol and an ammo belt from the kit bag, throwing them to Jo as she softly, almost inaudibly, said Jo’s name. Jo caught them, without looking towards Al. On reaching James, Di removed his gloves and coat, then slowly and tenderly removed his hood. Once it was removed, it revealed that James’s face showed signs of sunburn. Seeing this, Di closed her eyes and stoked his temples, with her fingertips as Jo asked, “Is he all right?”

Before Di could answer, Al passed her a crossbow and a quiver of bolts. Di took them, “Thanks Al. He’s better than we could have hoped, for him to be. We will just have to find a better hood, for days like today.”

Moments after she had spoken, there was a sudden change, James’s sunburn became even redder and more noticeable, as animation flowed back, into his body; “Jo, you keep the four, on the second floor, quiet. We’ll deal with the others. Don’t you dare, even think about, snacking upon them.”

Without looking, Al passed a tool bag, to James, then extracted, from the kit bag, another tool bag, a shotgun and an ammo belt for herself. Di loaded ten bolts into the crossbow, “Jay dear, do you need me, to do something, about your burns?”

At the foot of a staircase, Jo stood ready; “Al or I could…”

“No, thank you”, James shook his head, “lets just get this over with.”

“Fine,” Di pricked her thumb, with a needle, “Then it’s time, to get the rings done.” She smeared a drop of blood, over the ruby ring, that was on her left, index finger. The others in turn presented similar rings, to which she did the same. That done Di traced a sign into the air and intoned, “Vad Eka!”

A drop, of blood, steadily grew, on her thumb; “Well? Which of you, greedy sods, wants it?”

Each of them gave her a filthy look; Jo laughed, “You know, we are what we eat, and we wouldn’t want…”

After he had licked his fangs, James reached out and took hold, of Di’s thumb; “Shall I seal it for you, darling?” Then he slowly drew it, towards his mouth. With a hawk’s gaze, Di watched, with her eyen fixed upon his fangs, as he sealed her wound. The preliminaries over, Jo sprinted off, up the stairs. Once she had left, James led the others down the hallway towards a sturdy oak door. When James reached it, Di pulled out a folded piece of paper, saying a single word as she pulled on its corners, unfolding it. Once the paper was a flat sheet, James pulled on the door, only for it to still resist him. Taking a futile deep breath, James, slowly increased the force, with which he pulled, until eventually the door yielded.

With the door wide open, James went through, followed by Di and then Al. Five steps beyond the door, James turned with blinding speed and grabbed Di. With screaming in reaction to his action, James leapt and carried her up into the air. As this was happening, Al sprang back, through the doorway. High in the air, James’s powerful left arm firmly held the struggling body, of Di, against his unnaturally, solid body. When her head eventually turned towards his, their eyes connected, and their gazes locked on each other’s eyes. A fraction of a second later, Di stopped struggling and she started to smile and embrace him. Once she relaxed, James’s mouth descended towards her, making contact with hers as they began slowly drifting down, into the black pit, that passed for a cellar.

With vulpine agility, Al leapt, from the doorway, and dropped passed them, landing softly on the cellar floor, well clear of the debris, that filled one corner, of the cellar. This debris was the remains, of the landing and staircase, that had collapsed, only moments after they had jumped off it. Crouched, with her shotgun, levelled ready for use, was Al, when James’s feet finally touched the cellar floor. As they touched down, Di had one arm around James’s neck, with her left-hand steadying the crossbow, that was trapped between them. Abruptly being brought back to the cellar, Di and James’s kiss was ended, when Al snapped, “Really! You two, stop it! Business before pleasure.”

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