This is the fourth installment in a novel I am writing. Click here to go to the beginning.
But our fall? It didn’t happen that night.
We were in rare form.
It was almost like we shared one mind. We were one perfect organism. It’s hard to say where one of us began and where another ended. Our glamour, was a living thing that pulsed between us.
We all felt it as we parked the car at the gate to the park.
It was a full moon, that night. The raids often happened on full moons. I’m not sure exactly why.
We walked down the closed park road. The Gothic, he pulled the darkness behind us, so that we couldn’t be seen from the street. And he parted the darkness before us, some. Lightened it; lessened it. It wasn’t like being in the light. Nothing like daylight. A bit more like looking at the world through a grey filter, I suppose.
The road lead us to this little shack. If it had been daytime, the shack would have been opened. A ranger would have been inside. There were specimens and maps of the area on the wall.
“It’ll be open.” Tom said.
And so it was.
We walked in. It was creepy and dark.
We had tried in the day time, earlier. But during the day, standing there, before the wall-sized elevation map of the place, I’d gotten nothing. It wasn’t only that I had no sense about where they were coming. I couldn’t even make heads or tails of the map itself. It was nothing but a poster-sized series of concentric ovals.
But when we’d made it back that night, as I stared at the map, it went all fell into place. I could almost see the way the hills rose and fell. And I felt my attraction drawn to the a spot just northwest of the center.
I pointed. “There. It’s right there.”
I new I was right. So did they.
If it had been a movie, this would have been the time that the song from the soundtrack kicked in. It would have been one of those atmospheric shots, with lots of close ups, but from down below. The shot would have established our toughness, and how cool we were.
I laught at it now, but then, in the middle of it, I can’t quite describe how it felt. Perfect. Like I’d been made for it.
We were wordless as we slipped out of the place. Heading toward that spot. Less than half a mile away.
Tom wore a grey duster like something out a western. The hem almost swished the road we walked on. The bat was balanced on his bulky shoulder, nails, of course, facing out.
The Gothic was smoking a clove cigerrette. He sent the darkness out from us, in waves. It darkened the street lights above us and blotted out the moon, gathered, as it was, in a bubble perhaps thirty feet around us. Inside that little bubble though, we saw everything. He was wearing one of those shirts had a wide open collar and sleeves that blossomed open at the wrist. It might have been one of the only white pieces of clothing he owned.
Essie’s hair was still blue. She wore a t-shirt whose collar and sleeves looked like they’d been torn off. I think the shirt advertised some punk-rock band. Her boot heels clicked on the street.
I had fallen half a pace behind them to survey the scene. I suppose I might have been the most “normal” looking out of the bunch of us. I wore black jeans that night, and a grey sweat shirt.
Sometimes, everything just feels so thin. Have you ever noticed that? Sometimes everything just feels so thin.
It felt like the right kind of finger nails might be able to scratch through the covering of everything. The bushes to my left, they felt like the waxy-metalic covering on lottery tickets. You might be able to just scratch it right off and see what lay beneath.
I don’t have words for what I felt must lay beneath. But I felt so close to it, as we walked over to the place where the vampires were entering into the world.
I don’t know what the others were thinking about, but that’s what I was thinking about: how thin the world felt. In the end, that’s why I did it. That’s why I was addicted. Because it brought me so close to God.
Part of it is because it was deadly serious business. But part of it was because the world was quite literally thin there. Even if I hadn’t known it I would have felt it. It made the hairs on my arms stand up. It made me feel like somebody had caffeinated my blood.
I did know it, though. I knew that there were holes in the world. That’s how the glamour had been handed down. Because some of those holes lead to places where the inhabitants wanted to give us something for our protection.
But other holes in the world, these lead to a different place. A place that had been used up and sucked dry. A place full of the vampires, desperate for a new feeding ground.
We rounded a bend and I saw that hole. It was like all the other ones we had closed. Eight feet high, maybe, a curved line, a fissure almost. It Leaked fog.
They were climbing out if it, grunting and groaning as they did it. Many of them had already gotten out, and they were waiting for the rest.
They turned, as one, to see us.