My entire body is aching, but I push it to the limits running down the hallway. I never thought I’d play the victim in a horror movie. I keep moving past the elevator, I don’t have time to wait for it. I slam through the door to the stairwell and start to limp down the stairs. I make it a flight before I hear someone humming Yankee Doodle. I know it’s the vampire and I know that wasn’t five minutes.

“Shit,” I slip down the stairs as he drops in front of me.

“You didn’t get far,” he reaches down to grab me. I summon my nightmare and stab at his hand. He releases me long enough for me to push him down the stairs and run up to the next floor. I make my way through the door and grab at the fire alarm.

The screeching pains my ears as the lights begin to flash. I know it has to be worse on him, vampire hearing and vision being as good as they are. I hate to admit it, but I’m pulling a Destiny move, hoping to blend into the crowd of people fleeing. I make my way down the hall, banging on each door, yelling fire and hoping people file out.

“You can’t run,” he calls from the other end of the hall.

I hit the stairwell with other people from the apartment and make my way down the crowded stairs with everyone else. There’s a loud clattering sound followed by several thuds. Looking back, he’s knocked the door of the hinges and it is slowly sliding down the stairs after us.

“Yankee Doodle keep it up, Yankee Doodle dandy. Mind the music and the step,” he manages to yell out over the alarms.

Even with the alarm ringing, the only thing I can hear is his maniacal laughter as I reach the ground floor. Pushing through the people, I can feel my heart beating in my ears. If I can just get to my car, I can get away from him. He can’t catch me if I’m in the car, or he can, but they have fees and stuff for that right?

I don’t see him behind me the sunlight must be keeping him back enough for me to gain distance. Shit, I don’t have my car keys. I must have lost them during the fight. I just have to keep moving, and stay in front of people. It shouldn’t be hard; the street is filling up as fire trucks arrive. There’s nowhere for him to snatch me, but also nowhere for me to run.

“I see another snarl of men, digging graves they told me. So tarnal long so tarnal deep, they tended they should hold me,” what the hell is that song? Is he in my head? Does nobody else hear this?

Just a little further, I can hop on the L and get away. He’s not going to kill a car full of people. I just need to keep moving, even if every muscle in my body wants to give out. It’s getting harder to breathe and keep moving. Is this what it feels like to have a broken rib, or am I having a heart attack?

My vision blurs and needles are shooting through my back. I try to scream out, but my mouth and nose are covered by a rough hand. When my eyes catch up to the motion I realize I’ve been slammed into an alleyway. Vampires, way too fast for me to keep up with.

“It scared me so, I hooked it off, nor stopped, as I remember. Nor turned about till I got home, locked up in mother’s chamber,” he continues to sing as he grinds the leather glove into my face. “There, finished my song. You got further than expected. The alarm, that was smart,” he just talks now.

With a hand over my mouth and another around my neck, I’m losing air. I can’t hang on much longer. He just laughs as a I grab at his arms, trying to pry his fingers free, anything I can. Why doesn’t he just snap my neck or bite me? He’s taking joy in this and nobody can hear me being murdered forty feet from the sidewalk.

I stop clawing and start flinging both my arms at his head. He only laughs, there’s no real damage behind them. My last hope, I summon one of the blades and stab where I think an ear is. He finally stops laughing but doesn’t scream in pain despite dropping me. I take big gasps and try to crawl as he removes the blade from his head. If I had more strength left, I could have gotten deeper, I might have killed him.

I try to grip at the asphalt beneath me, knowing it’s futile as he drags me back by my ankle. I can feel it on the verge of cracking in his grasp. He’s using more of his strength now, I was never getting away. I didn’t expect it to end this way.

Even now as he looks into my eyes, I can’t really hear what he’s saying. I’m half hoping someone comes to save me, half realizing this is my own fault. I shouldn’t have even been at Destiny’s apartment. I shouldn’t have followed her through the club that night. What kind of stalker crap was that? I should have been more outgoing. I should have told my family I loved them more.

No, this isn’t the end for me. A small tear in his mask, where I stabbed him earlier. If I can just force my body to move. My arm doesn’t respond at first but with some effort it moves. I’m able to get it up and he compliments my courage to keep fighting. Apparently, he’s seen vampires and lycans with less fight than me.

I manage to grasp at the mask and pull, I refuse to let go even as he tries to pry my hand. We’re both dying in the alleyway today. I’m getting that mask off, and he’s going to turn to dust. Destiny better not have lied about that. I don’t want to die, but if I have to I’m going to take him with me, even if he does break every bone in my arm. The back of my head slams onto the asphalt as he tries to push me through the ground.

But I’ve got a good chunk of the mask in my hand. He’s ugly, pale skin, crooked nose, sunken eyes. A real classic aristocrat type that might be hundreds of years old for all I know. He doesn’t have to worry about being ugly much longer as the sun shines on his head. He tries to cover his head with his arms, but he can’t cover it all. I thought he would just turn to dust all at once. Instead he starts to vomit what has to be blood. The pale skin on his face begins to bubble and fester as if it were boiling. He’s trying to scream, but chokes on the blood. Even as he inches closer to me, he still doesn’t turn to dust. It’s almost as if he’s fighting his demise, the same way I was a few seconds ago. Finally he collapses a few feet from me. Only his head turns to dust, the rest of his body is still covered and still solid, but he’s dead and that’s all that matters.


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