Moonlight Crusade: Chapter 6
A vampire story set in New York
Ursula countered Kyle’s punch by deflecting it with her wrist, but that was becoming less frequent. He was getting in more and more hits.
As usual, they stood in front of the altar. Kyle was drenched in sweat while Ursula was as dry as a desert. “You’re not just letting me get in hits, are you?”
She smiled. “That would be an insult to you. More importantly, you wouldn’t survive if I did. Your enemies will do their best to take your life, so I must be as hard on you as I can. Your progress is due to your commitment and hard work.”
“Okay, I’m glad—”
Ursula closed the distance between them and hit him in the solar plexus with a palm strike. The result was a dull thud and Kyle falling flat on his back.
“Always be prepared for an attack,” she said.
He said nothing as he had learned his lesson. Instead, he resumed the fighting stance she had taught him and cautiously moved toward her.
In one fluid movement, she pivoted towards him with a kick. “Kick” sounded too vulgar for what this move was, however. She arced her leg at him with the grace of a ballerina. He had spent the first hours of his training being transfixed by the beauty of it and getting hit, but he had learned that lesson as well.
He grabbed her leg and pushed it away. He knew she would smoothly transition into a kick with her other leg, but he jumped back and the toe of her foot missed his face by inches.
He continued to be amazed as her pastor clothing didn’t hinder her movements at all. “You fight like a ballerina. Where did you learn to do that?”
She relaxed her stance and stood straight. “Centuries ago, I met a group of women in North Yorkshire who had developed their own unique fighting style. They taught it to me. Now, as it was made for them, I don’t expect you to perfectly replicate it. You must find what works for you, fighting-wise. And you’ve been doing exactly that in your time here. I should also mention that there are more Satanic Feats to learn, but we don’t have time.”
She looked away. “We just don’t.”
Okay… “Well, you’ve already taught me a lot, so thanks.”
“It was my pleasure.”
* * *
After she retired to her room, Kyle made his way over to Marvelous Mel’s. The place was livelier tonight, probably because it was Saturday night. Nevertheless, Kyle found an empty seat at the bar to the right of a pony-tailed brunette.
Jazmine came over to greet him. “Welcome back, sour cream. I wasn’t sure I’d see you again. Kinda thought your first visit here would scare you off the bar scene.”
“Not at all,” he said. “I mean, yeah, it probably would if it were any other bar.”
“Are you flirting with me? Because you should be aware of the stiff competition you face.”
Kyle laughed. “No. I just… it’s nice to have another friendly face to talk to.” And another human.
“I think you mean, another pretty face to talk to.”
Smiling, he replied, “I didn’t see the point of buttering you up on account of the stiff competition I face.”
“Touché,” she said. “Now, what can I get you?”
The woman sitting to his left suddenly said, “I’d like to buy this gentleman an ‘Unrepentant Sinner.’”
“Wise choice,” Jazmine said. “Is that okay with you, sour cream?”
“Uh, sure. I’ll be more careful this time.”
Jazmine nodded and left to get the ingredients for the drink. Kyle turned to the mysterious stranger and said, “Thanks.”
“Don’t mention it.” She spoke with an Italian accent and wore glasses. In addition, a slim black dressed hugged her svelte body tightly. She was striking, he thought.
“Are you from New York?” he asked her.
She shook her head. “No. I’m not even from this country. I guess that makes us both strangers in a strange land.”
“What do you mean?”
She said cryptically, “You have the look of someone who no longer belongs in this world.”
“You don’t even know who I am.”
She abruptly changed the topic. “Did you hear about the mass murder that took place in the Lexington Excelsior Hotel a few days ago?”
Unfortunately, he had. “It was pretty brutal, I hear.” He didn’t like where this was going, to say the least.
Jazmine came back and put down a dark concoction in front of him. “All yours, kid.”
Jazmine left to attend to other patrons and Kyle sipped from his glass. It had a bittersweet flavor.
“Oh, yes, it was brutal,” the stranger continued. “Everyone was ripped apart. I would hate to have been a part of that.”
His heartrate began accelerating and he began trembling all over. He fought to control his own body. “So would I.” He couldn’t look her in the eyes, so he stared straight ahead.
“But one person from that college group remains unaccounted for. Now, I can understand running away from a dangerous location. But why not go to the police? Unless, of course, you had a hand in it, Kyle.”
“Idon’tknowwhatyou’retalkingabout,” he blurted out.
He then bolted to his feet. Quickly realizing that only made him more suspicious, he beat down his rising panic and walked awkwardly to the men’s room. He found it to be quite small—just a stall and a urinal. It was, however, well-lit with a nice marble countertop which he stood in front of.
Who was that woman? Shit, she knows who I am. Ursula was right; I should have stayed in the church.
Okay, I need to sneak out of here and hope she doesn’t follow me.
The door opened behind him and the strange woman entered. “You shouldn’t be in here. This is the men’s room,” he said.
“Neither should you, Kyle. You should be dead after what happened. And you’re going to tell me what happened.” She locked the door.
He tried to get past her, but she grabbed his arm with superhuman strength and twisted it behind his back. Within a split-second, she had him immobilized against the sink. He stared at the bizarre scene reflected in the mirror. “Are you a vampire?”
“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that since you just answered one of my questions. Now, I’ll ask another. Where are the rest of the monstrosities that killed your friends?”
“I don’t know! They were in an auto garage in Queens, but I haven’t seen them since I escaped.”
“About that,” she said. “How did you escape? Did that mysterious woman with you help you?” She meant Ursula, he realized.
These were legitimate questions, but Kyle didn’t want to betray his savior. “I ran out when they weren’t looking.”
She scoffed. “As if vampires would be so careless. Who was the woman with you on the subway?”
He didn’t answer. In response, she literally twisted his arm. A surge of pain shot through him.
“I-I ran into her after I escaped. I didn’t know where I was and she showed me how to get out of there.”
“Who is she? If she’s just a local resident, you should have no problem telling me her name.”
“J… Jennifer! Jennifer… Gantry.”
She twisted his arm again, and he cried out. “Why the hesitation, Kyle? Surely, it would be easy to remember the name of the woman who saved your life. Now, then—”
They were interrupted by someone banging on the bathroom door. “What’s going on in there?” It was Jazmine.
“Merda,” his interrogator said under her breath. Then, to him, she said, “Don’t make a sound.”
The threat aside, he knew this was his chance to escape. “Help!”
“Bastardo,” the woman said.
The door came open with a crash, splintering wood as it exploded free from the lock. In strolled Jazmine as if the door hadn’t even been there. She immediately locked eyes on the stranger.
His interrogator was caught off guard. Kyle Planted both feet on the wall below the sink and shoved as hard as he could. Both he and his tormentor were propelled backwards before she had a chance to regain her composure.
He ended up landing on his arm which the woman hadn’t let go of, because he landed on her as well. He howled in pain but managed to extricate himself from her. Wasting no more time, he charged out of the men’s room.
“Wait!” the interrogator yelled. Screw that.
There was the sound of a scuffle behind him as he exited the room. The crazy woman was probably trying to come after him, but he heard Jazmine say, “Not so fast! You’re paying for that door.”
“Let go of me!”
Kyle swiftly left the bar. No doubt that heavy-handed woman would be coming after him. What to do?
Spotting a dark alley next to the building on the side where the church was, he had his answer. He dashed into it.
* * *
Angelica pursued Kyle Falconer outside.
Not seeing him anywhere up and down the street, she quickly reasoned he had gone into the alley, so she went wasted no time following him.
However, he was nowhere to be found. Nevertheless: “I know you’re in here! You’ve been turned. That makes you my enemy. Next time I see you, I will kill you. Those were your friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, and you betrayed them by joining Satan’s minions!”
He must have been using “Thief in the Night,” but the she couldn’t see through that trick even with her enhanced senses. She had special equipment back at the Holy See that would do the job, but she hadn’t brought it out of fear of being conspicuous. She hadn’t known Kyle had been turned. She hadn’t wanted to believe his innocence was taken.
It was a shame, but now he was officially an enemy of God, and no mercy could be granted such an entity. Ti troverò di nuovo. I will find you again.
* * *
After the strange bespectacled woman left, so did Kyle Falconer in shadow form. No one had seen him enter the alley.
No one, that was, except Chloe. The scene Kyle had created upon leaving the bar had been easily noticed by her.
A vampire could spot another vampire in shadow form if she knew he was there. And, unfortunately for him, she knew. She could kill him now, but she needed him to lead her to Ursula Southeil.
So, for the time being, she followed him.
* * *
From: [email protected]
This is to be my final message. Things have progressed faster than I originally envisioned, yet I must face my fate.
I met the boy I saw in my visions and I saved him from Kyrios and his manzil. He’s going to do great things. My one regret is that I won’t be around to guide him for much longer.
I want to express my eternal gratitude for everything you and the other girls have done for me. You took me in when everyone else wanted to kill me, so thank you for that. My life—or whatever you call a vampire’s existence—was better for having known you.
With that, I will bid you adieu. May fortune forever shine on you.
P.S. I am including Kyle’s (that’s the boy) cell phone number in case you ever want to meet him.
Ursula sent the e-mail and shut off her computer. Within moments, she heard the front door of the shut bang shut.
* * *
Kyle slammed the door and frantically locked it. His heart was practically an Olympic athlete with all the exercise it had been getting lately.
He stepped away from the door and stared at it, paranoid that crazy woman would burst through it. He didn’t know if she was a vampire; she had seemed incensed at the very suggestion. But if she wasn’t, then how was she so strong? She had been asking him questions like a cop, but he had never heard of a cop like that.
He jumped, spun around, and saw Ursula coming in from the left hallway. “It’s just you,” he said, both relieved and scared out of his mind.
“What happened?” she said. She was wearing a cream nightgown.
He told her. “Ah. I see. You met a Redeemer.”
“What’s that?” he asked.
She explained, “Vampire hunters working for the Vatican in Rome. They call themselves redeemers because they believe they redeem unholy creatures through death.”
That didn’t quite make sense. “Wait, if she’s not a vampire, why is she so strong?”
“The Vatican has advanced medical technology. They administer a procedure that grants super-human strength and enhanced senses at the cost of half the patient’s remaining life.”
He couldn’t see his expression at that moment, but he imagined it was one of shock. “Why would anyone do that?”
“You might as well ask why anyone would slaughter a Christian college group. The answer is always hate. Push someone hard enough and nothing will be beyond their capability.”
He looked down at the floor. “She said I betrayed my friends by becoming a vampire.”
“That was not your choice, Kyle. That was Kyrios’ choice and he will be made to answer for it one day.”
Kyle collapsed onto a pew in an encore of his first night here. “I really hope so. But, for now, shouldn’t we, I don’t know, get out of here? That Redeemer could find us here.”
“That wouldn’t be wise. They’ll probably be combing the area for us. We need to stay inside where it’s safe.”
“You’re right,” he said. “In the meantime, I need some sleep bad.”
* * *
Kyle Falconer had gone into the church. That must have been his base of operations with Ursula.
Standing outside, Chloe checked her watch. The sun would be rising soon. She doubted she would have time to kill them both and escape before that happened. Therefore, she decided to retreat to a nearby safe house and wait until tomorrow night.
Then she would complete her mission and return to Kyrios.
About the author
I'm a science fiction and fantasy author living with Asperger's. I've published 10 novels and a few short stories thus far. I decided to join Vocal in order to share stories that are fiction and non-fiction.