As a special bonus for the paperback release of Part 1, I elected to revise a few portions of the ending. I decided to add it to my website too. Feel free to email me at ally at allythomas dot com and share your impressions of this extended ending, or post a comment on this page.
“You are a killing machine now, daughter. Think of what this means. As a vampire, you are useful to us. You’ll create an army of warriors for me, straight out of Hell. And my favorite child here will lead that army and bring down the House of G. I will take back what is rightfully mine, and you will help me.” Father glared at me for a moment. Then he dismissed me and returned to gloat in front of everyone. Several guests slowly approached him and shook his hand, offering their congratulations on his triumph.
Visions of all the Earth vampires I had seen in movies ran through my mind. Nosferatu. Dracula. Lestat. The hottie from the TV show that my online friends and I drooled over. They were monsters, not real monsters, only fictional. Was that what I was now? A monster? A flame throwing vampire forged from Lucifer’s demented mind? I shuddered at the idea of it. It couldn’t be true.
“Rayea, hear me. When I let you go, set Cedric on fire. Do you hear me?”
I glanced sideways at Blick. Out of the corner of my eye, I could tell that his mouth had not moved, but I had heard his command. “Do what? No, I can’t. I won’t,” I thought.
Firmly, he squeezed my arm. “You have to do this. We must leave immediately. Your father’s blood is poison. It’ll kill you if we don’t heal you and fast! Make contact with Cedric’s mind. Force your way into his thoughts like you did with your father. Trust me. You can do it. Open your mind.”
He gave me a moment to collect myself. Then with a jolt, he released me. I stumbled in front of Father, Stephanie, and the guests.
Father yelled, “What is this?”
Immediately Blick transformed again, into his hellhound form. The green demon look, similar to Father’s, quickly became a memory when he shifted a second time. He stood larger than life on his hind legs. Thick black fur covered his entire body, and his muscles underneath expanded amid his physique. They bulged out along his arms and legs, flexing and pulsating. His face was that of a large wolf, broader and fuller than Cedric’s thin jackal head. Blick towered over Cedric’s size by several feet. He seemed to be taller than his stature of seven feet, maybe eight or nine, or more.
As Blick blocked the others from me, he glanced around the room. Many guests had fled. Only Father, Stephanie, and a few stragglers frozen in fear remained. I caught a glimpse of Blick’s eyes glowing an intense gold. His demeanor turned savage, like a crazed animal, as he stood before us. He stomped his enormous paws over and over as if he were gathering strength from the repetitive movement. Finally he let out a howl that brought a chilling silence to the entire room. He had everyone’s attention.
I totally forgot myself as I observed this beastly side of my best friend. Father and Stephanie stood motionless watching Blick. It was awe-inspiring and frightening at the same time. “Mutt, my ass,” I thought.
“Now, Rayea,” Blick roared at me.
Jumping into action, I ducked behind Cedric. “Been nice knowing ya, skunk pup.” I jerked my jaws open, letting my fangs extend and wrapped my arms around him. I focused on hearing his heartbeat. He struggled against me, but I held him tightly. I heard a snapping sound and realized I had broken his arm. He whimpered and remained still in my grip.
Once I heard his heartbeat, the sound calmed me. Feeling his pulse against my body, I reacted instinctually. I didn’t think about my next movements. I exhaled and slowly sank my fangs into the side of his neck.
“Come to me,” a voice inside my head said. It was a voice I’d never heard before.
Cedric moaned, moving only slightly.
Fearing he was trying to get away, I increased the pressure of my grasp around his neck. As if summoned, his blood rushed freely down my throat.
With little effort, my thoughts entered his mind and I released the energy I now possessed. Flames suddenly erupted from my hands and engulfed the hellhound.
His legs wobbled and he fell to the ground, burning uncontrollably.
It was like watching a horror movie being played out in slow motion before me. I observed Cedric’s body fall in front of me. Glowing embers and sparks floated through the air. Suddenly an overwhelming vapor of skunk odor escaped from his remains. It too rose above me, finally fading from view. The stench of charred flesh lingered in the air and brought stinging tears to my eyes. Poor Cedric. He didn’t deserve to die like that.
Guilt seized me. I couldn’t move my legs. Realizing I was in shock, I looked down at my body. Killing machine. A path of soot covered my shirt and jeans. Drops of blood stung my chest as they fell from my chin. I wiped the drops away, smearing them on my jeans with disgust. “No, I’m not,” I said to myself. “I’m not!”
Then the rush hit me. I felt the new blood flowing through every fiber of my being. My body tingled and radiated. I felt alive. Exhilarated. Invincible. I was born anew.
A single question entered my mind as I stood there. Could I stand up to my Father now? What about my sister? Could I be a good vampire? A vampire who fought against evil?
“Why not,” the new voice inside my head replied.
Inwardly I agreed. Waves of confidence and euphoria washed over me, seemingly responding to my decision. Breathing slowly, I let it come. I didn’t fight it. If this is what it meant to be a vampire, a true vampire, and not some snaky demon like my father or sister, then I was in. I could fight them now like this and I could crush them.
My mission was set.
As I scanned the room through a dissipating cloud of smoke, I licked my tongue across my fangs, feeling the heat quietly retreating within my teeth. Interesting. I savored the taste of blood on my lips. No turning back.
Spotting my father and sister only a few feet beyond where Blick stood, I stepped towards them. Ashes from Cedric’s remains clung to my shoes. He was nothing more than a pile of smoldering bones that I had now trampled through. Crossover.
Noticing Stephanie cowering behind Father as they silently watched me., and I smiled back at her, fangs and all.
“Shall we?” I asked her.
Blick grabbed my arm. Before I could resist, he embraced me in a hug and said, ““Not today. We’ve got to go! G, open a passage.”
My eyes widened in disbelief. I went rigid. “The House of G,” I asked. A flash of white light blinded me for a moment.
He lowered his head and touched his cold, wet nose to mine as he held me. “That’s right.” Blick replied.
I felt a warmth from the white light as it encircled us. Digging my fingers into his dark fur, I closed my eyes and returned Blick’s embrace. Finally peace.
The voices continued to invade my mind. It was utter chaos. Was I sleeping? Was I dreaming? Was I dying? The voices were all around me. Some male. Some female.
Now and then, it felt like I was being dragged under, deep into a pit. No pain. No fear. Only ongoing confusion. Chaos. Endless.
Other moments I thought it was over and I tried to open my eyes to see. Nothing. I saw total darkness. But I felt no fear, only contentment.
At times, I knew Blick was near, somewhere close. I could hear his voice. He sounded so distraught. I wanted to reach out to him, but I couldn’t move. I couldn’t see him. I could only hear the conversations. Ongoing. Relentless.
“You must save her.”
“How much blood of his did she have?”
“I don’t know. Enough. A cup or so? It was in her wine. You must save her. If the fever doesn’t break, she’ll die.”
There’s more blood here than a cup or so.
She drained Cedric I think before she set him on fire.
“It’s too late then. She’s made her first kill. I can’t change her back.”
“But the poison. She’ll die! Or J will destroy her!”
“Blick, you know what this means. I can’t go against J’s wishes. It’s part of my agreement. I’m on the council. I can’t get involved. We’ll have to see if she pulls through. I have herbs to keep her comfortable, but otherwise I can’t get involved.”
“To hell with your agreement! You must do something! You must save her! She’s your daughter!”
“Don’t yell at me! I know that! But it’s not up to me now. Her fate is in the hands of the gods. I can’t get involved.”