The door was ajar to the training room, only long tables and chairs filled the room. Andrea and the Archer stepped in slowly and quietly so they could hear the typical wheezing of those horrors that could be hide in the dark.
But they were not alone.
Movement… Weapons turned the same time. Archer lightly bumped a chair with his hip.
“Stop walking.” Andrea hissed at Archer.
It was a shadow that did not fill with light — then it was gone.
Something moved and echoed Andrea’s hiss, avoiding the lights as it moved.
It moved quickly, a blur under the corner of a table, knocking over chairs.
“Come out!” Andrea sounded braver than the Archer felt.
The shadow charged as Andrea pulled the trigger on her weapon. The flash of expanding, burning gunpowder illuminated the room for a less than a blink of an eye, driving the serpent-like shadow backwards for a moment. Another hissing sound and an arrow buried itself into the head of the shadow and the hiss became a shriek of anger.
Bits of a desk erupted into splinters and sawdust as a dozen pellets tore apart the pressed wood construction whilst Andrea tracked the shrieking creature that moved like a cat on crack cocaine and too much espresso.
Clawed hands gripped the arrow and pulled the shaft out of the right eye socket, the eye reforming as it did.
The Archer’s earphone buzzed. “REPORT! Who is shooting?”
“Sorry, busy!” Archer answered as Andrea rocked the room again with her scattergun.
Archer blinked to clear his eyes from the dust fell from the ceiling. He shot the wrong shadow with an arrow and it stuck in a stupid angle in the wall, the sight of it made him shake his head while he nocked another shaft to the bowstring, tracking the correct shadow this time– the one with teeth.
“Call back later!” Andrea yelled into in her mic. “We’re killing shit!”
The shadow was too close this time, charging like a cat as she racked in another shell, brass bounced off the floor in slow motion as the black-shadow charged Andrea. In that moment an arrow intercepted the creature in the left eye and knocked the attacker off-balance.
The shotgun fired again, destroying its face and the arrow. The black creature did a back-flip, landing on all fours. Its face rebuilding and it launched at Andrea again as a winged quadruped.
A flash of inspiration, Andrea kicked a table against the wall and pinned the attacker — It was no zombie, and suddenly bi-pedal would have stood nearly to the ceiling if it got to its clawed feet, the shriek becoming a drawing out roar as it tried to stand. Still, its facial features could not yet be determined beyond fangs and cat-like eyes— struggling against the wall, pinned in an awkward way.
However, although it was immensely strong and changing shapes, it was in a twisted position, struggling from behind the heavy desk that Andrea held against it with her foot.
“Shut up!” Andrea yelled as she pressed the tip of the barrel into the dark visage of this solid shadow. A contact shot, she fired into the inhuman face. The shotgun blowing a hole in the wall behind the attacker the size of her fists. But she might as well have spit on it for all she had done with the gunpowder and lead.
Gristle and meat, black blood and bone exploded and splattered on the wall, and then just… jumped… back to the struggling body. Then a tickle of wind and a swishing sound at her ear and would later be angry with Archer over how close the arrow was that flew past her.
Suddenly the angry shriek and gnashing of teeth stopped as the creature choked and clawing at the arrow stuck that in its chest, then collapsed into a pile of bones and ash.
“Wh-wh-w… ” The Archer, already nocked another arrow. “The.. Son of a… Holy… Shiiii…Fuuu… what… HELL!” His eyes as large as a car’s headlight as he searched for the best profanity.
“F’k’n oath!” She said, nodding with the Yankee. Still tracking what was left of the attacker with the pool of light that was the aim-point of the twelve-gauge.
Thundering footsteps down the hall announced that Al and company were coming as backup.
“No sneaking up on a bloke with that crowd.” Andrea said to Archer as the Al kicked the door open and entered with a shotgun at the ready, followed by Stormy and Gail each with submachine guns, lasers crisscrossing, looking for a target.
“You shouldn’t talk, that damned thing is LOUD.”
“What the hell was going on down here? Could you keep the room at least in one piece?” the Canadian Cop surveying the room and the holes and arrows stuck in the sheet-rock.
The Archer picked up a skull off the floor and walked out of the room. The skull had two huge fangs in its mouth as he looked it over in the lighted hallway, then he handed it to Al.
“This is what attacked us.” Archer said. “I believe we woke it up.”
“It’s so light.” The flesh crumbled under his fingers leaving polished bone if he rubbed firmly. “It’s so dry.” Sharp teeth glinted in the harsh hallway’s light.
“Not when I first shot it. It crumbled and dried up in seconds when I hit it with my wood-shafted arrow.” Archer reported.
“Aluminum arrows had no effect.” Andrea nodded. “Neither did the buckshot from the riot gun.”
“Wood-shafted arrow? What are you talking about?” Al asked. “What the hell?”s
Andrea and The Archer looked at each other and laughed.
“My words precisely.” Archer said. “We are fighting something besides a virus I would say.
“What does that mean?” Gale asked. “You’re talking in riddles.”
“It means, ” Archer said, “that skull you hold, goes into a consecrated cemetery. One blessed by someone of the cloth, toss that in a hole of a cemetery and it won’t rise again.”
“Rise? A-a-again?” It was Zac.
“That,” The Archer pointed to the skull. “is a vampire, a Dracula-like creäture, I would wager. It kept changing shape while we fought it.”
“BULL!” Jameson yelled. “The news explicitly said it was a virus! We are not fighting something so profoundly… so profound…. so… F’k’ng WRONG! NO! You are not telling me that it’s a lie! An explicit, bald-faced LIE? THIS IS JUST A…
“Jameson! CALM DOWN” Gail slapped the coach driver so hard he fell over.
“Coincidence.” The downed man moaned out.
“There is nothing in real-life as vampires!” Zac said, echoing Jameson’s disbelief. “That is only in movies.”
“There are no zombies, either. But we have seen otherwise, haven’t we?”
“Is it dead?” Jameson pleaded.
“No.” Gail said. “If Archer is right and the legends hold true, it is in a hibernation state, drip some blood into the skull and it will wake up. That is why we need to separate the head from the body and buried at a blessed cemetery.”
“Blessed cemetery? Aren’t they all?” Jameson asked. Coming back to grips with himself. “I’m sorry about that. Vampires terrified me as a child.”
“No.” Stormy said. “Some even have consecrated and unconsecrated ground within a single graveyard. We need to choose where to bury that skull carefully.”
“Should we put garlic in it?” Zac asked.
“You brought back some garlic powder and garlic salt with the last shopping spree you and the Canadian did.”
“Stuff it, bag it and bury it.” Sergeant Frobisher said. “But where?”
“There is a church up the way.” Andrea pulled at her ear. “I don’t recall the kind of church. Catholic maybe, but I am not positive.”
“Catholic, Jewish,” Archer shrugged. “Could be a Shaolin temple for all I care, so long as it involves holy ground.”
“Let’s make it done.” Al ordered.