A black silhouette slinked out of the mist towards me. I took a quick inventory. I was surrounded. Just how I liked it. I flicked my cigarette into a puddle, where it hissed and went out. They tensed around me. I sniffed the cold air, looked carefully at the walls either side of me and spoke calmly.


“Come on vampires, I’ve been really pissed off lately, killing you will be…good…THERAPY”


I screamed the last word and pulled out my double anti-vampire guns from their holsters at my hips and shot into the sky. At this signal they leapt at me. Keeping my feet planted; still, I twisted to my right and planted a bullet through the heart of the nearest vampire.


The thing is, with vampires, ordinary weapons won’t kill them. Silver stakes do work, but I figure, why let them get that close? They can be killed with special anti-vampire guns, or any normal gun blessed by a holy man. With both of these, the healing takes much longer than is usual for a vampire, so it is possible to kill them, but, if you hit them in the heart or head with one of these devices, they die instantly. And that’s what I’d just done. When vampires die, they don’t just slump to the floor, they explode into tiny fragments of white crystal. This is just what happened.


I shot at a few of the other vampires around me, which only made them madder. I managed to kill another, pausing to watch the crystal shards float around, and then disappear. Hearing the vamp behind me try to rush me, I back flipped, landing squarely on her head, and did another to land on the low roof behind her where I hailed down bullets on them like an avenging angel. I glared down at them furiously, watching the mystical blue anti-vampire bullets reduce them to little more than dust.


Their blood red eyes glared up at me out of the darkness with pure hate. One of my guns was spent, so I shoved it back into its holster and pulled out another gun from my thigh holster. This one had been blessed by a priest, so it looked very ordinary, but its bullets had been blessed and soaked in holy water. Firing one of these burnt straight through the vampires. Watching coldly I saw a bullet go right through one vampires chest, and bury itself in another one’s thigh. I watched them explode with a sick sense of satisfaction.


There had been a time when I hated killing them, now I was simply used to it. And they had tried to kill me first. I watched all the tinkling crystal shards blow about on the breeze. Pretty. There had been a few less than fifty when we started this. Now there were around a dozen. Holstering my other exhausted anti-vampire gun I pulled a small pistol from the small of my back. This was the last blessed gun I had with me. I had more bullets for all the guns but changing them would take time I didn’t have. I started shooting more carefully. I worked out that I had about three bullets for each vampire. They started to advance, sensing my change in tactic. I aimed and another one exploded into shards of crystal.


I could tell what they were going to do next. They were calculating the jump to my roof from where they were. Big mistake. Aiming carefully I gunned another two down. There were only a few left now. I rained bullets down on them once again and those left fled. I refilled my guns before I put them back in their holsters and jumped to the next roof. The chase was on.


I sat in front of the roaring fire late that night. I took another long pull from my beer and lit up a smoke. I was reflecting my day. Those vamps had come after me because I’d killed an elder. Not all vampires were formerly human. Not very often, once a decade or so, vampires are fertile. Vampires that are born vampires have special powers. Not even vamps know the full extent of their powers, but they are scared of them anyway.


These ‘pure’ vamps are called elders and there are very few of them, and most of them were born over a century ago. The regular vampires consider killing them a sin. Vampires are not nice creatures, nor are they as bad as legends make out. They don’t kill very often and they aren’t soul-less. They can go to heaven or hell just like the rest of us. I chuckled sourly and took another gulp of beer. With all this about vampires not being completely evil, you may be wondering why I killed an elder?


Well sometimes vamps go crazy. Most often it’s the elders, but not exclusively. When elders reach about five hundred years old, they are at risk of going crazy. So the church watches them. And if they start killing indiscriminately, then the church calls in the exterminator; me. This elder went on a lovely little killing spree so I was called to clear it up. Of course, the vamps who were formerly humans didn’t like that. That’s why they attacked me tonight. I expected it, of course, but their numbers surprised me. And they were fairly easy to kill, which means they must be newborns. Someone must be making new vampires in quantity. Great.


After falling asleep in front of the fire the night before, I went down to the church at the end of my road early next morning. The good Father there had been very kind to me since my own father had died, and it was sort of like he had adopted me as his own. He was the person who I asked to bless my guns. He was a short little man. He had shoulder length black hair, streaked grey. I pulled open the old, elegant doors and strode into the quaint little wood and stone building.


“Father, I need some more bullets”


“That’s all you ever come in here for son, why don’t you repent what’s on your mind, instead of trying to drink them away? That won’t work you know.”


I grunted through my migraine. I knew Father Kimura wouldn’t be offended; he hardly ever got a real reply anymore.


“Here. After the church sent you after the elder I figured you’d need more soon. How many came after you this time?”


I sighed and rubbed my temples in an effort to quell the mother of all headaches.


“Fifty, as far as I could make out.”


I heard the good priest’s sharp intake of breath and nodded to the floor. We both knew that this couldn’t be good.

“That’s more than ever before my son!”


Father Kimura exclaimed. I looked up into his sad, kind face miserably.


“I know. Someone must be making more.”


I hesitated, and then blurted out something else that I had been pondering over last night.


“Do you think someone is creating an army Father?”


“If that’s true my son then we are in for some very bad times.”


Now that even the good father thought so I knew that what I was thinking must have some merit. A lot of the elders were reaching that magical age now, so I’ve had a fair amount of experience with the former humans exacting revenge upon me, and they had only ever sent about a dozen after me before.


“If it’s this bad then you might need this soon.”


I looked up from my silent contemplation expectantly. He handed me what looked like an ordinary grenade.


“What’s this Father?”


“A grenade, what does it look like? But I filled it with holy water.”


“That’s a great idea Father!”


I suddenly felt very hopeful and pocketed the new, deadly weapon.


“I’m in the process of making more, I know how quickly you go through things like this, so drop by again before you plan to go hunting next, but this will help you in a surprise attack.”


I nodded at this clear dismissal and said


“Thank you Father, goodbye.”


I left the main body of the church and went to a small room off the side of it. The man in here had put in a desk, to make it look more like an office. This priest I wasn’t so friendly with.


“Mission complete”


I stated and started to walk away.


“Hold it, boy”


The elderly priest snarled at me, an evil flash of hate crossing his eyes.


“I heard what you were saying to Father Kimura, and other sources do tell us that a new power is questing for total dominance.”


“You mean your torture chambers uncovered information using closed questions”


I hissed back bitterly.


“They don’t have souls boy”


“That is in LEGENDS! They do and you know it!”


I yelled this at him and started to storm out, but his final words caught me


“If you let any of the other priests know this I’ll make you regret you were ever born”


I stomped out of the church then, and down the street to home.


There was nothing that man wouldn’t do. He’d let everyone believe that vampires were soulless so that they could do whatever they wanted to them. He was twisted. But…he’d said I was right. And they can’t have been using closed questions because…they hadn’t known how many had come after me. Or had they? How long had they known about the ‘new power’? What other information were they keeping from me? No…I was getting paranoid now. I got up form my chair and started to pace. I had to do something. I grabbed my jacket and went round to the dojo.


When I got there, I took off my shoes, bowed to the instructor and started training against the pads. It was very cleansing for my soul. I practiced everything I wasn’t good at, and then the whole routine. It was tiring, but in a good way. After that I went over to the mini shooting range and practiced with my normal guns. This was easier, so I had time to catch my breath.


Whilst I shot the target, I thought. My favourite gun had always been a beautiful revolver left to me by my father. He had been a member of the Yakuza. He also left me several Katana swords, which I don’t use against vampires, but I still train with them. I did miss my father, but I hadn’t seen him very often when he was alive anyway, so it wasn’t much different now. My mother is a Koryū artist I didn’t see her very often either. It was better that way. I always had vampires after my head. When I’d finished thinking about my family and training, I picked up my shoes, thanked the instructor and left. When I got outside I checked my phone. I had missed a call from Father Kimura. I checked my watch and found that I had left the church four hours ago. The call was fairly recent, however, so I called him back.


“What is it Father?”


I asked worriedly when he picked up.


“The monster took Father Nakamura”


Father Nakamura was the twisted priest I had spoken to earlier. No great loss as far as I was concerned. But I said to the good father


“You mean the vampire that has been making all the newborns?”


I asked, emphasizing the vampire part instead of saying ‘monster’. The whole church knew that I didn’t think that vampires were monsters.


“Ah. Yes.”


Father Kimura replied, rather guiltily.


“How do you know it’s the vampire?”


“He left a note”


“He left a note?” I queried sceptically.


“Yes. It’s in blood, so we can presume its Father Nakamura’s blood”


“What does it say?”


“That you have to meet the vampire at the beach tonight”


“Have you made any more grenades Father?”




“I’m coming round to pick them up. You’re coming with me Father.”


“Why my son?”


“Because you can take Father Nakamura back to the church whilst I fight the vampire.”


“Ok then. I’ll see you soon”


“Bye Father”


I got to the church from the dojo in a record time of half an hour. I went up to Father Kimura and he had a bagful of ‘slaying’ equipment; stakes, daggers and… “Garlic Father? Really?”


“Well some of the legends are true, so this one might be.”


“Alright Father”


“Let me try something son, hand me one of your anti-vampire guns”


I did so and looked at him questioningly


“I’m going to bless it. Take the bullets and go dip them in the holy water”


“Please do these too.”


I handed him a couple of new guns that I had picked up from my house


“I will my child, but do you have the holsters for them”


“No, I’ll carry them”


I went to the shallow dish at the front of the church and soaked the bullets for the anti-vampire gun in the holy water. I also soaked extra bullets for my other guns. I didn’t know what he expected to happen, but I said nothing and after a few minutes I gathered the bullets and went back to him. I collected my guns back off him and reloaded them all. I also took the three ‘holy’ grenades that he’d managed to make from him. All I said to him was “Let’s go.”


When we reached the coast we had to make our way down a steep rocky path to get to the beach. The path was very narrow, and we both almost fell to our deaths several times. Even my extensive training didn’t help my balance much. When we finally reached the beach, we looked around…and it was deserted! We were on time, the only light was from the gorged moon, and that bastard hadn’t shown!


I walked around to the other side of the path we came down…and there, yawning out of the rock face, was a massive cave! I knew, deep in my heart, that this was where the vampire would be. I started to walk into the cave, Father Kimura followed at a safe distance behind. When I stepped into the cave, the wall torches flickered into existence, showing the muddy interior of the large cave, and a decent sized tunnel stretching out the back of the cave. This must be one powerful vamp.


At that moment, several vamps who were formerly human dropped from the ceiling. They rushed us and I planted twin bullets in the front two vamps brains. I took a dagger from my boot and flicked it at a female vamp. It had been dipped in holy water so she didn’t even have time to scream as it went straight through her heart, and she shattered. I kept shooting at them as they gathered around us and advanced to collect my knife. Soon there was only one left. I smiled at him and shot through his head. He exploded into crystal. I turned round to Father Kimura and he looked shocked.


“Never seen one die, eh?”


“No…why didn’t you ask them if they wanted to repent?” he asked me faintly


“Because, Father, they would have slaughtered us. Laughed in our faces, and then slaughtered us. They are behaving how they believe their god would want them to. They don’t believe that they are doing anything wrong by killing the one who killed all those elders”


Father Kimura nodded. He looked slightly ill, but I couldn’t think about that now.


As we set off down the tunnel it widened out and more newborn vampires came at us. The cave tunnel was still only wide enough for two to run abreast so they were fairly easy to kill. I ran out of ammo for one gun, so I reholstered it and pulled out another. Father Kimura looked much worse for wear now. We kept pushing forward with more and more newborns coming at us, shooting constantly and changing guns often. When I had shot over a hundred bullets and was on my seventh (and last) gun, there was a lull in the attackers. I refilled my blessed guns with ‘holy’ bullets – I was saving my anti-vampire guns for the elder – and turned to Father Kimura


“They’ve probably stopped because we’re getting close. You stay here. Keep the escape route open. Here. You’ll need this. I’ll send Father Nakamura to you when I find him.”


I handed him a pistol with refill bullets. Father Kimura looked like he was going to throw up but nodded and turned away from me. I turned back and set off again, deeper into the cave. The tunnel was still getting wider, it could probably fit five men abreast now, and it was getting colder. The tunnel was starting to slope down. I took as deep breath and quickened my pace towards my destiny.


The walls were slimy and wet. My breath was coming in short gasps and steaming in front of me. It was very cold. There were fewer torches now. I wanted to take one, but my hands were heavy with guns. The flames on the torches were getting smaller. The cold was even getting to them. I tried to warm myself up by walking very fast. My breathing evened out as my body got used to the pace. I was warming up a little.


I started to hum a little tune. I knew this would piss them off. I wasn’t supposed to be happy. I even started to laugh a little, but cut myself off abruptly as the harsh sound bounced off the walls and somehow made it spookier. After what seemed like a long time, the tunnel started to slope up again, and the torches began to appear more often, like it had been before. This vamp certainly liked theatrics! The tunnel did several very sharp turns, and then, finally, it looked like I had come to the end of the line.


There were seven steps upwards to a large cavern. The floor was completely flat and there were intricate and strange symbols on the floor. It made a sort of circular pattern, and cowering in the centre was…


“Father Nakamura!”


“I’m…glad…you…came” he wheezed.




The air was suddenly filled with howls and screams of delight. Father Nakamura shook in the centre of the circle as hundreds of vamps, and no, I am not exaggerating, descended from the ceiling and popped out from dark corners of the cavern. And not all of these were newborns!


It might have looked hopeless, but I was a born fighter – in every sense of the word – and was taught to never give up. So I started planting bullets in them. The sound was deafening. The echoes of blasts screamed around the room, but I figured, with the vampires advanced senses, it was probably hurting them more than me. The reverberations were so loud, that I couldn’t hear the sweet tinkling that came after their demise of their crystallised remains falling to the floor that made you think that they couldn’t have been all bad, really.


Something strange was happening though, when they were killed over some part of the symbols on the floor, they bled. And the blood ran around the circle, straight to a small circle around the Father! The air around him was pulsing and he was shivering uncontrollably. I had to be careful not to kill any more of them over the symbols. As I had been watching Father Nakamura writhe, they had advanced closer to me. I hadn’t killed two dozen yet, and both my guns were almost spent! They were all around me, so I didn’t have enough time to aim. Just shoot and shoot and shoot. I remembered the grenades just in time. I pulled one from the little bag of ammo I kept on my hip, ripped the pin out with my teeth like my father had shown me how to do once, and aimed it at a big cluster of them right in front of me.


Their shock as it was flying gave me enough time to pull new guns from the holsters. I planted bullets in the vamps behind me and watched them depart this world. I saw the grenade do its deadly work, and I‘ll spare you the details, but I think it worked better than Father Kimura and myself had dared hope for.


Shooting all around me I waited carefully, hoping some would regroup. The grenade had exterminated over fifty of them! If they were stupid enough to gather together again, I might just live!



*        *        *



Later on the army had thinned out dramatically. I had four blessed guns left because I’d thrown the remaining grenades at the same time, allowing me to reload most of them. I was bruised sore, and had cuts all over me. But, there were only around fifty left! ‘I may live to see tomorrow!’ I remember thinking, but my hope was short-lived I wished I had just one more grenade. Exhaustion was taking over. I could hardly go on. BLAM! My legs felt wobbly, I could hardly stand. BLAM! BLAM! My arms could hardly hold the guns up anymore. BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! I stumbled. The remaining vampires hissed in victory. No…I couldn’t…no…this couldn’t be how it ended…no…no…




I screamed. Forcing myself on. Forcing myself to keep shooting. I swapped guns again and blinked. Their numbers had decreased rapidly, but…I wasn’t shooting well at all, and it looked like they were dying every other shot! Someone must be looking out for me!


“Thaa…tsaa…ENOUGHHHHH.” A poisonous voice hissed.


The dozen vampires that were left retreated, whimpering, back to where they had come from.


I turned around to where the voice came from. It was near the centre of the cavern. In the circle where Father Nakamura had been whimpering and crying not long before…


In the centre of the circle stood a monster. He was sickly, slimy. He was massive, powerful. This was clearly the super vamp. He was wearing long black robes with the same deep blue intricate pattern as on the floor on the hem of his robes, climbing halfway up his claves. What skin he had on display was a sickly yellow colour, and horribly misshapen. His nose was a bulbous mess, and his lips were swollen, cracked and oozing. He had lumpy, disfigured stumps protruding from his back that I could see rising up behind him. His toenails – for he wore no shoes – were curled into slightly green claws.


“Where’s Father Nakamura?” I demanded, trying not to outwardly cringe at this thing’s appearance.




It gurgled horribly. I looked hard into the cold, hateful, blood red depths of the vampire’s eyes, and saw a familiar, anger filled flash behind them.


“Oh…oh God” I moaned


“Whaaa…tisit? Do youuu recognise me…BOY?!” Father Nakamura hissed.


He was obviously trying desperately to speak properly. I gazed at the floor around him in pure horror. In amongst the pool of slime around him was ripped off pieces of skin and blood…so much blood. I felt bile rising in my throat but I forced it back down and stared at the floor under my feet. Looking at these patterns I realised I recognised them slightly. In the former Father Nakamura’s ‘office’, he’d had a book open a few weeks ago, with an ancient design in it. It had been a book about vampires!


“But…what?...How?...Why?” I stuttered.


“I am the oldest vampire in existence boy. When I reached my five hundredth birthday, I was watched. Everything I did boy! And halfway through my fifth century, they decided that I must have gone crazy already, even if I didn’t show any outward signs, because no vampire in existence has lasted that long. After I heard they were after me, I had to hide. So I fashioned a body. And hid. For half a century. And now that I’m going to kill you, no human in existence will know that I’m back. I’ll have disappeared from the radar. I’ll be free. And I set it up so nicely. I even have a little…SNACK to keep me going whilst I leave the country.”


His voice still gurgled and hissed menacingly, but at least I could understand him now. Well, maybe that wasn’t a good thing, but I could stall him better, being able to understand what he was saying.


“There’s a problem with that plan.”


“Oh? And what could that be?”


“I have no intention of letting you eat me here today, vampire.”


I growled, and cocked my anti-vampire guns ready.


“Oh, but I think you will. And that’s vampire LORD to you, human scum.”


He started snarling and snapping at me, getting ready to attack. But I wasn’t ready to give up. I couldn’t help but think of him as the hateful priest. He had become human to me. And that was dangerous. But I had to give it one last try.


“Why don’t you repent vampire? Surely all these years as a priest has taught you something about right and wrong? We don’t have to fight; we could make you human again.”


“Don’t insult me. I would never confine myself like that again. I would not degrade myself. However, I did learn something. I learnt that it’s for the best that you scum exterminate the idiots that let themselves succumb to the madness that tugs at us our whole lives.”


“All your lives? Then why five hundred, all of you? Why…”


“Shut up! Enough talking now. Prepare to die.”


I tensed and he laughed wetly. He readied himself and pounced…right at my face!


I shot my anti-vampire guns straight into his face and leapt back. One of the guns…it must have been the one Father Kimura blessed…had transformed. It was different now. Its blast, once a mystic electric blue, was now a fiery, violent orange. And what had one been a celtic-esque spiral pattern, was now a cross. And it went straight through his eye and out the back of his head. His wound oozed and he howled in pain and frustration, but he didn’t die. Oh brother. Whilst he was stumbling around, unable to see, I drew my knives from my boots. I aimed for his heart, and one after the other, sent them flying home. They embedded themselves there as he screamed again. I shot several more times into his heart and head, but he still refused to die. His painful cries suddenly turned into sick laughter and his wounds scarred over. Just like that. They were ugly, raised scars that broke when he moved, but they were still scars. He had healed shots from an anti-vampire gun. Impossible.


“My turn” he chuckled.


He thrust his arms out in front of him, and the next second I was swept off my feet and slammed into the wall behind me by a blast of air. Did elder vampires manifest a control of the elements? This was going to be impossible. Oh please God…someone…help me.


There was nothing much I could do except keep shooting at him. Soon the vampire lord had oozing sores all over him, but, so did I. my shirt was torn to shreds and my trousers were muddied from where I’d been slammed into the wall. I had a long gash down my back that I could feel bleeding heavily from where I had slid down a jagged rock to the floor. I would soon be running out of ammo, and considering his healing rate from these, more powerful guns, I daren’t use any of my blessed guns.


The more bullets I put in him though, the longer he seemed to take to heal. I think it was the holy water slowing up recovery. As he attacked me his sores kept opening up and oozing. He reached down with a grin and pulled my daggers from his heart. He aimed, and threw my own daggers at me! I leapt to the side and the one that he had aimed at my own heart slammed deep into my upper arm. I screamed in agony. My hot blood was soaking the remains of my t-shirt as the second dagger grazed my side. I could feel the trickle of blood run down my side, but I was blind to that pain with the intensity of my arm wound. I could not life the gun from that arm. He advanced on me menacingly.


My gun had run out of bullets so I dived into my ammo pouch. My clumsy hand was shaking hard as I reached for the refill pack; I was so convinced that this was the end. But my nervous hand brushed something cold that didn’t feel like new bullets. My mind flashed back. Father Kimura had given me three new grenades, not two. Hope flickered once more as I grabbed the bullets and the grenade. Reloading quickly I smiled at the former Father Nakamura.


“Vampire, you are being executed for heinous crimes. Including, but not exclusive to; creating an army of vampires with murderous intent, killing humans for personal pleasure and threatening your executioner.”


“What are you going to do about it boy? It’s impossible. I can’t die by your silly bullets.”


He sneered at me, his eyes narrowing.




I replied simply, ripped the pin out of the grenade, and threw it, hard, at his chest. It exploded, drenching him with the holy water. That’s when I opened fire with all that I had. In the heart. He stared at me. He gurgled something intelligible. He seemed to shrink a little, and then, cracks started to appear all over his body. I started to back away, but not quick enough. His body exploded into huge fragments of crystal. A huge piece came flying at me and speared me straight through the heart!


The pain burned with the intensity of a thousand suns. I could hardly walk. But other pieces were flying at me, so I staggered, moaning, weeping, across the cavern to the steps, and the tunnel to freedom. Walking to the exit was the hardest thing that I had ever done. Every step jolted my stake deeper into my body. How ironic. The vampire hunter gets staked through the heart with a piece of the vampire. Ha ha. I slammed into the wall of the tunnel over and over again. This ripped my arms to shreds, but the pain was too intense through my heart. My balance was practically gone, so I couldn’t help it. Somehow I managed to stumble my way to Father Kimura nonetheless.


When I got to him, he was out of breath, his hair was messed up and


“Is…that…HAIR…all…over…the…floor?” I panted.


“What? N-no it-Oh My! What happened? We must get you to a hospital immediately!”


“What? This? It’s…nothing…just a…scratch ha ha. It doesn’t…even hurt…actually”


And that’s when I passed out.



*        *        *



So now I’m here, in a hospital. That little guy must be a lot stronger than he looks. We’ve since swapped stories, and it turns out that those ten or so vampires that ran off went straight for Father Kimura. However he must have been much more prepared than we both thought because he shot them all down in cold blood. He seems very ashamed and has been begging God for forgiveness ever since. I keep telling him that if they came at him (which they did) he has to stop beating himself up, because with vampires, it’s kill or be killed. But he retaliates by saying he’d rather be killed!


I’m thinking that I might retire soon. If I survive that is. The doctors are doing their best of course, but I was hurt really bad and they’re still not sure if we got here in time. The crystal missed me by an inch - AN INCH! Literally an inch away from death! – So I’m very lucky to be alive even now. I guess time will tell. They’ve prescribed at least three months bed rest if I do make it through. They say that there’s less than twenty percent of that happening, but hey, I’ve always been a survivor. Modest too. Don’t know what I’ll do for three months of bed rest though. For now I’ll take every moment as it comes, I’m supposed to be resting now. And I might do that. I’ve earned it. I wonder if I will make it through the night. I guess time will tell. Yeah. Time will tell...