Copyright to Jonathan O'Donnell - Protected under UK and International Copyright Laws, any reproduction, copying or publishing without the Authors express consent is strictly prohibited.
There are no rules in war
Copyright © 2013 Jonathan O’Donnell
Mary noticed the light seeping from under her daughter’s bedroom door. She looked at her watch; it was well past three in the morning. Mary just got in from her shift at the local hospital. As emergency nurse, her shifts were often long and unsocial, but there were times when it was the most rewarding thing in her life. Tonight had been one of those nights. A hobo was brought in, his blood loss was critical. A victim of an attack and his neck slashed. They had worked for an hour, replacing his blood and trying to prevent total organ failure. They had placed him in an ice bath to reduce damage to his cells. When she had left, his body had stabilised and his brain showed good activity.
Mary knocked on her daughter’s door, “hey are you asleep”?
No response, Mary opened the door. Expecting to find her reclusive Emo daughter with her jet-black hair and horrible make-up asleep on top of her covers. Instead, the room was empty. It was cold, the wind flipping the curtains wildly. Mary went to the window and pulled the window too. She looked around the room. It was immaculately tidy as always.
“You are in big trouble now little lady”, she said. Checking her watch again, she shook her head in frustration.
Mary went to her own room where the noise of her snoring husband was the only disturbance on this quiet morning. Mary changed into her pyjamas and turned on her bedside lamp. She decided that this time she was going to deal with her sixteen year olds perversity for late night jaunts. Mary knew she had always been perhaps too protective of her daughter. When the Doctor diagnosed her skin condition that meant since she was born, she had to smothered with factor thirty sun block. Her skin burnt easily in the sun, as she got older the condition had worsened, and her daughter had become progressively nocturnal.
Mary propped herself up on her pillows, taking her book from the night-stand she sat reading with the rhythm of her snoring husband next to her. Mary did not know how long she read for, or when she exactly fell asleep. Her mind interrupted, she felt hazy and disoriented, but knew something was waking her. Eventually her senses combined to bring her from her shallow sleep. Her book lay on her lap, her neck felt sore from the position of her body her neck pressed against the hard headboard. Her husband still snored. Mary looked over at the clock; it was now five in the morning. With her senses beginning to function again Mary heard a noise, she shoved her husband, “Did you hear that?” He barely stirred, Mary cursed, she slid her legs over the side of the bed, took her dressing gown from the hanger, and slipped it on as she tiptoed out of the room and she tied the gown’s belt around her waist. Opening the bedroom door, she tenuously looked over the banister and then silently she moved towards the stairs; the soft carpet fibres squeezed between her toes her movement silent. Going down the stairs, she could see the kitchen door was ajar and the light was on. She reached the door, took a breath and slowly put her head around the door. Her daughter Holly sat on the tiled white floor with her back to her. Mary sighed, “What on Earth are you doing Holly?” Holly turned; her face covered in blood, the family cat lay limp in her hands, its entrails dangled sickeningly. Mary was stunned, she tried to breath but could not; her scream muted her hands and body frozen. Holly’s eyes were completely black, he mouth open and her teeth dripped warm blood. Mary, still frozen found her eyes drawn to her daughter’s mouth. Her eyes fixed on two prominent fangs that protruded an inch from the rest. Mary tried to speak but she stopped, Holly hissed at her then turned back and sunk her teeth back into the jet black fur of their cat. Mary edged from the kitchen; her legs shook uncontrollably, her mind dazed. Suddenly she was bathed in light at the kitchen door opened, Mary turned to see Holly leap at her. The last thing she remembered that night was Holly’s dark eyes looking into hers as she felt the fangs penetrate her neck.
In the morning, Holly’s father was up early, he was brewing coffee and pouring her cereal. Mary walked in, her mind felt funny, at the kitchen table sat her daughter. She smiled at her, “Morning Mum”, she said nonchalantly.
Mary suddenly remembered last night, she stared at the floor, and there was no blood, no dead cat. She wondered if she had dreamt it, just a horrible nightmare. Mary was about to speak when Holly interrupted her, “Mum I need money and a lift to the mall tonight!”
Mary wanted to say no, but all she heard from her mouth was “Yes dear!”
Mary looked at her husband and he smiled back at her. “It will be ok my love, Holly is special, and she has given us both a gift!”
Mary felt light headed, she felt something odd in her neck, she went to scream but could not, and her mind suddenly filled with her daughters thoughts. ‘You made me, I am what I am, now you will serve me, or you will die’.
Mary looked at Holly, her eyes were jet black again, the sight unnerving and disconcerting. Mary opened her mouth to speak; ‘SILENCE’ bellowed her daughter’s voice inside her mind.
Mary sat still; tears grew in her eyes and lazily ran down her cheeks.
Mary sat in silence; she did not know what to do. The doorbell rang; Mary looked at her daughter and then her husband. “Dads busy, answer the door Mum!”
Mary nodded, she wiped her eyes dry and stood, checking her gown was done up she walked to the hall. Mary opened the door her eyes exploded with light and she hit the floor.
Slowly Mary began to feel something, it was cold and it pressed against her back and legs. She tried to open her eyes but it hurt, wherever she was it was very bright. Slowly she went to open her eyes, she moved her hand towards her face to rub her eyes, but a chain prevented her from reaching any further than her neck. Slowly her senses returned, Mary blinked her eyes and eventually she was able to focus. She lay on a metal stainless steel floor in a stainless steel room. It was small about six feet square, but adequate for the use. In each corner of the room, a camera watched her. Mary looked at the restraints on her wrists; connected to a hook in the centre of the floor.
Mary pulled herself up to a sitting position, she was naked and no matter what she touched, it felt cold. A loud scraping sound, followed by the door opening, Mary flinched as she expected the worse.
“Good Morning Mrs Read!” A man with grey hair, tall and with a lab coat on entered. He was followed by an armed guard who carried two chairs. He put one by Mary and he put the other down for the man.
“Now Mrs Read, let’s start shall we!” He held a clipboard with papers pinned to it, he took a pen from his pocket and clicked the button.
“Now when did you first discover your daughter was a vampire?” his soft eyes betrayed the quiet menace in his voice.
Mary stared at him, her hands doing their best to restore her dignity. “Where is my husband and daughter!”
The man smiled, he crossed his legs, “Now now Mrs Read, this is not a negotiation, this is an investigation. However,” he paused, put his pen down on his clipboard, “I see you are unlikely to cooperate until you know!”
He put the clipboard on the floor, “My name is Chief Inspector Grange. I work for a United Nations Department of Species Management. And the species I am referring to is Vampires!”
Mary just stared at him, her eyes red and watering. Grange ignored the emotions on display and continued.
“Now let’s talk about your daughter, Holly! We have been watching her since her birth. We watch all children who are flagged as ‘Possible’ on our system. To sum it up Mrs Read, we monitor everyone’s health files from the age zero to eighteen. Your daughter tripped one of our alarms!”
Mary spoke at last, “What alarm and what gives you the right to view my daughter’s medical files?”
Grange laughed, “I still find it amazing how naive the general population is! Mrs Read do you think your safety at home or at work is based on random chance that the police will somehow manage to intercept a criminal or a terrorist, don’t be so stupid. The governments of every nation on Earth have been monitoring all the children since Nineteen Ninety-nine.”
Mary Read did not answer, she just shifted on the cold chair folding her legs more tightly, she had never felt so violated.
Grange leaned forward, his demeanour softer, less stern, “Now to the main issues you seem to care about, the whereabouts of your husband and daughter! Your husband I am afraid is dead!”
Mary stared into his eyes, searching for anything that would tell her that this was a lie. She found none, her heart hurt, her chest felt tight, her voice dry. Her mouth opened to speak but nothing came out.
Grange interrupted her reaction, “But your daughter is very much alive!”
Mary looked up; her eyes welled with tears, her eyelids crimson. “Alive!” she repeated.
“Yes indeed Mrs Read, and so by the grace of my surgeon are you. Something you will be thanking me for later on!”
He picked up his folder and pen and placed them on his lap, “Now, back to my questions!”
“Wait,” said Mary, fighting back the tears, “How did my husband die?”
“Why Mrs Read we killed him of course,” said Grange, his voice even, his eyes cold and the warmth gone.
“You murderer!” screeched Mary.
Grange lurched forward and slapped her, “Murderer, oh no, I released him, it is your daughter that is the murderer! She killed two of my officers in her escape. Ripped their throats clean out, she is the murderer. Your husband also stabbed one of my officers defending your blood-sucking little child. We had no choice but to take him down. Fortunately for you, you had only recently been infected, that allowed us to operate on you.”
Mary looked up, “Operate, when, what did you do?”
“Mrs Read we have placed an electrical device in your brain that prevents the parasite from controlling your actions, thoughts or behaviour. However, the device only works when placed within a magnetic field,” his had indicated towards the metal walls of the room. “Of course this means you will never leave this room as long as you live.”
Mary’s eyes widened, the emotional and physical blows were taking their toll on her ability to assimilate the information. She felt dizzy, her muscles ached and her left ribs felt like they had a hot poker shoved between them.
“Now Mrs Read back to the problem at hand, I have two questions for you. When did you learn about Holly’s affliction and where is she?”
Mary looked up, her eyes were wide and intense, and her hatred for Grange had grown with every word he uttered. “The answer to both your questions is, go screw yourself!” she forced a smile and stared back into his eyes.
“That is most disappointing Mrs Read. I have tried to be nice; I have resisted using other methods in the hope to appeal to your logical side. Clearly that was wrong and so was I.”
He turned to the uniformed man who had stood silently in the corner. “Captain Jagger, if you would!”
Captain Jagger stepped forward, Mary lifted her head and looked into his eyes, and she felt the explosion of his knuckles on her left cheek. Her head filled with sparkles, her eyes refused to function. Suddenly she felt her head jerked backward, he grabbed her hair and pulled her head back until her neck was stretched taut. His left hand held a knife. He scratched the blade tip down over her neck, then up over her lips. He pushed the point into her left nostril. Mary’s eyes briefly focussed on his face; there was no emotion, no hatred or enjoyment just a man performing a function. The knife flicked and Mary’s left nostril spilt, blood spurted and ran into her mouth, she screamed. He ignored her; he inserted the blade into her right nostril, and splayed the flesh with a flick of his wrist. Mary screamed until her voice could produce sound no more. Her torturer waited, he just stared dispassionately into her eyes. After a minute Mary retained some control and he moved towards her again, his knife-point moved towards her right eye, Mary squirmed and wriggled, which resulted in his knuckles landing on her solar plexus’s. Her breath pumped from her lungs and her head flopped. He wasted no time; he yanked her hair back and advanced the point again towards her right eye. Mary closed her eyes, but he ignored her, the pointed penetrated her eyelid and she felt it slowly push against her eyeball. They she heard a sickening ‘pop’ and intense pain in her eye, and briefly a bright light flashed through her eye. She could see the point then she saw nothing more. Her screams echoed off the metal walls, as he twisted the blade repeatedly, turning her right eye to mush. Mary could no longer scream, her voice box shattered, her mind seared by pain from her eye.
Grange lifted his right hand and the Captain backed away letting Mary’s head fall forward, the blade still suck in the eye socket.
“Mrs Read, this can go on for hours, and days and weeks. We will feed you your kidneys; remove your toes, fingers. You have to understand this is not what I wanted, but I do not have time. Holly will be out there killing people and infecting others. She has to be captured! I will not harm her, but if you do not help me I may have to kill her!”
Mary croaked, “The summer house!”
Grange smiled, “See was that really so hard?”
He stood up picking up his clipboard; he looked at the Captain, nodded and left the room. A moment later Mary’s last few drops of blood pumped from her garrotted neck. The Captain left and crossed the hall to the wash room to wash his blade and his hands.
Grange kicked over the rubbish bin outside the cabin, “She lied to us!”
Captain Jagger shrugged, “they rarely sell their kids out, even if they’re turned into monsters.”
Grange looked over the lake to the far bank, “If we don’t get her soon she'll have infected too many people for us to deal with quietly. We need her in the lock up with the others of her kind without delay.”
At that moment his wrist phone bleeped, Grange looked down. “Damn another one, oh that’s unusual, this one born on Mars, Name: H E Barns, born to two engineers on Mars, Mons City. First alert for Mars we have ever had!”
Grange frowned, this was a new and frightening dimension to the Vampire problem, controlling them on Earth was one thing, controlling them elsewhere could be a problem. In addition, the first possible vampire born off world, what would the creature be like back in its natural habitat? He felt a shiver go up his spine; he did not want to contemplate it.
He tossed his clipboard to the Captain and walked off along the banks of the lake, pondering the problem while the soft rippling water eased his tortured mind.