The ghastly glow from the golden orb in the sky cast light down below, revealing the twisted and macabre scene.
"What in the world..." My brother, Adrian's, eyes were burning with anger as we both stared aghast at the blood stained carpets in the old, rundown manor that must have once been beautiful in its former glory.
"It's worse than I have ever seen." I could feel the tears stinging my eyes with the heavy stench of death lingering around.
I could see blood streaked handprints staining the dusty, creaky, wooden floorboards, as if someone had been dragged away into the darkness of the room beyond.
"You don't have to go further in, Vivienne." My brother glanced at me worriedly. "I understand if you want to wait outside, this is beyond what any of us have ever seen before."
"Which is all the more reason I must do this, I have to make her pay...Veronica!" I pushed past my brother as he tried to tell me to tread carefully, but I was too enraged. This atrocity was too much for me to handle and I needed to make her pay.
"Veronica!" I shouted again as I stormed into the next room, I could see the claw marks and venom dripping from various areas.
"Wait, Vivienne! We have to stay professional about this! We can't ever let our emotions get in the way of our work!" My brother rushed in after me, the contents in a satchel clinking together.
I watched for a second as my brother raced to catch some of the noxious, viscous liquid in an enchanted jar meant to withstand the toxicity of such poison.
Vampire venom, that which comes from their fangs, was more deadly than a black mamba's bite combined with a scorpion's sting. After all vampires are the world's deadliest predator.
Vampires are soulless and blasphemous creatures, that were originally human. Either they were turned by another or like Dracula, the very first of Vampires, they evolved from the greedy, malicious, and murderous desires of their ice cold hearts.
Veronica was just as Dracula, in fact many say she was his wife. Dracula died long ago, setting a reminder to us vampire hunters that slaying such demonic forces was a possibility and a necessity to guard and protect the human race, not just physically but also spiritually.
And now after all these years, hunting Veronica down and finding various other malfeasance, we had located her after the gruesome, yet well deserved torture, of a Vampire by the name of Melvin.
It was then my pleasure to do away with that fiend in the most merciful way possible, as a reward for his cooperation. Then my brother and I went straight away to this abandoned and condemned mansion, where we knew Veronica would be waiting.
"Okay, now you got the venom. Let's away and make sure Veronica faces justice, as she should have centuries ago!" Clenching my hands into fists and stealing my courage, I ran up the stairs, skipping them two at a time. Sensing the proximity of Dracula's widow nearby.
"Stop this, Vivienne!" My brother hissed at me, whispering as quietly as possible, hoping to avoid alerting Veronica of our presence. He grabbed me and carried me down the stairs.
"Let me go, Adrian!" I struggled in his grasp, I could feel the heat of my righteous anger burning throughout my body and I wanted to make her pay so badly for all the pain and harm and death she had caused.
"No! We are leaving! You are not ready for this!" My brother implored me, his grip tightening on my arm.
"You don't understand!" I could feel the tears stinging my eyes, not from the smell of death this time, but from anger and from a distant memory.
"I do understand, it wasn't just you, Vivienne! I lost them too!" I could see the pain in his eyes, tears being held back as his eyes seemed to sparkle with tears.
"Then how can you be so...so calm about this!" I said exasperatedly.
I suddenly could not hold it back anymore and I broke down. In my brothers arms, I finally unleashed all the sadness that has been building up in me. Sadness that I had denied for years.
I had always believed it necessary to stay strong and not to cry. After all I was so young when it happened, I needed to grow up and become independent and strong on my own.
All I could imagine was finding her. Finding Veronica. I, along with my brother, began our career as vampire hunters. We hunted various mild mannered beings, always preparing ourselves for the moment where we would see her face to face again.
"I get it, okay. Viv, I really do. But this won't help. It won't change anything. And you will only get yourself and maybe me killed if you do not calm down and think logically." My brother grasped my shoulders and looked me in the eyes, I could see he meant well.
"You're right, Adrian." I could feel the icy coldness of my indifference start to cloud over me, forming back into the armor that protected me from feeling anything. The very thing that made me the heartless and successful vampire huntress I was.
"Let's go. We can find her later and when we do, we will plan how to capture and how to kill her. How to rid the world of another destructive entity, forever." I had completely shut down on my brother and he must have seen that too as his shoulders relaxed, but in a more defeated position.
Adrian nodded his head, his shoulders relaxed, seemingly relieved. He let me go, glanced at me, probably making sure I was calm. Then he headed down the stairs, turned towards me again, and continued his descent.
"Leaving so soon?" Her voice seemed to ring in the air, a musical sound. Something beautiful, yet deadly. A musical note that caused the blood to boil in my veins, I whirled around.
I could see her seated on a bench at the top of the stairs, her eyes glittering with a twisted and sick pleasure at her making me angry. Maybe she could sense it in the beating of my heart or the fact that it was written all over my face.
I grit my teeth together, placing my hand in the pocket of my leather jacket, I could feel the chill of steel, as my hand wrapped around the handle of the knife.
"How dare you speak to me. You witch!" I screamed, eyes flashing with anger, the tough exterior broken with rage that was burning in my heart.
Before my brother had a chance to reason with me, I threw the knife. It spun in the air, slicing through it and landing straight within the headboard of the bench. It buried deep inside the cushion, remaining stuck as it too sank into the first layer of the wall.
"You seem to lack good aim. I heard so much about you Vivienne Connelly. Such a shame..." She laughed, a malevolent sound echoing through the halls of the blood stained manor.
"Viv! Back down, now!" I could hear my brother's concerned voice in the distance.
Too late. With an angry cry I threw myself at Veronica. I crashed into her, taking her by surprise. We tumbled down the stairs. Her claws raking into my skin, my spare knife hacking at her.
"How dare you!" Veronica screeched, as her eyes smoldered with broken pride at my small accomplishment. "You shall pay for this!"
Veronica stood up in the living room, her white skin gashed open, black inky blood dripping from the wounds. Her hair was wild, the once finely curled fiery rivulets were in tangles from our struggle.
I regained my footing, panting. Grasping the blood stained knife, not caring that the venomous and virulent ichor was eating away at it. I watched as she turned, from the beautiful yet dreaded creature, to an even darker and more twisted form.
Her hair twisted into a multitude of horns, her wounds quickly healing, being covered up by layers of scales, like that of a snake. Her eyes flashed with a demon's gleam, the irises becoming slits like that of a cat's.
Her claws became sharper, longer, and venom dripped from them. Fangs broke through her front teeth, coming down in arc, perfect and white, yet dripping with the toxicity of a vampire.
"Oh my...I have never seen this before...get back Viv!" My brother lunged at me, to keep me safe.
But I was beyond reasoning with. I dodged him and watched as he landed in a heap on the floor. I turned to the demoness, fixing my gaze at the unnatural being that glared back at me.
"I will make you pay. Do you even know who it is you have killed?" I could feel the pain again, the loss and the images of that moment thundered in my head. The moment my life had ended. The moment I had lost them.
"Names do not matter to me. What matters to me is my immortality and my ability to survive another century." A twisted smile played its way on her face, the way she said it so matter - of - factly caused me to lose further control, until I saw red.
"So you admit it! There is no soul in you, beast! I am so glad my ancestors had the pleasure to strike down you husband." I felt satisfaction sting through me as those words soared from my mouth. could see something flash in those demonic cat like eyes. Maybe a distant memory...
"What was his name again?" I smiled as twisted and cruelly as the monster I was fighting with.
"Viv...don't. You will only be poking the bear and this is beyond the strength of any bear...please." But my brother's voice was like the sound of static, as if from a radio station that had been disconnected.
I ignored my brother's pleas as I could feel the hatred inside me growing stronger, the cankerous bitterness spreading. Then I smiled, a cruel and mirthless smile. I knew this would make her angry.
"I just wish it was I who killed him. I wish I was the one who drove a blessed stake in his heart. In the heart of Count Dracula." The was a deafening silence after my words pierced the air.
I was right.
With a guttural shriek, Veronica lunged straight for me. The growling of the demoness echoing within the chambers of the manor. I was taken aback at her strength, her claws slashed my throat, catching me in a supernatural grasp as she attempted to choke me to death.
I slashed at the scaly claws with my knife, but it was no use. The knife, already melting, shattered into a million pieces of steel. I felt myself fading away, I could see the vehement glow of her eyes, I could hear the grotesque sound as her fangs ripped through my neck.
I hung in her grasp, helpless and nearly lifeless.
When suddenly, I saw a flash of light. I could make out the dripping of water. Screaming. Then I faded into blackness.