Jack Starkley does not look like someone you would think of if I mentioned the words “Vampire Hunter”. Yet that is exactly what he did, Jack killed vampires and he did that well. Standing at a mere 5 foot 2 inches, his blonde hair cropped short. He was middle aged with a portly figure from alcohol.
I first met him on a rain drizzled night past the stroke of midnight on the 17th November 2010. Twenty years old and a night of clubbing, had ended with a sultry red head on my arm. I was sure I was going to get lucky, well I suppose I was…but not in the way I had hoped.
Melanie and myself were huddled together in a shop doorway trying to keep dry. This close I could smell her perfume. I saw the taxi coming down the street, I grabbed Melanie and we ran to flag it down.
Neither of us was expecting to be bowled over. The stranger hit me hard and fast, I was sent rolling. The world seemed to freeze around me, it was a moment before the fact I had been seperated from Melanie settled in.
The scream seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere. The second scream drew my eyes to the left, I saw Melanie a few yards away. Her struggles were frantic.
The stranger was on top of her, powerful arms pinning her down. Melanie was screaming, her cries cut through me like a knife. I got to my feet and ran towards her. The next scream was different to the others it brought me to a standstill.
I looked at her again and saw the blood, it was a crimson pool that started to pour from her throat. At first I was confused what was happening, then for the second time that evening my eyes saw things later than they should have. The man was biting her. His teeth buried in her throat, Melanie’s blood splattering down his throat.
The vampire still pinned her down even as Melanie’s struggles grew weaker. Finally she was still, I watched as the last vestiges of life seeped from her body. He stood up, her blood still freshly dripping from his lips.
I could only stand there watching the scene. He got up slowly and when the vampire went for me I didn’t even see him. One minute he was getting up over Melanie’s dead body, then in a flash he was on me. I felt his fingers grasp my throat. The grip was iron clad and I instantly knew the vampire could squeeze the life from my throat easily.
Luckily for me it didn’t want to kill me like that, unfortunately it wanted me for food. With ease the vampire flung me at the wall, I hit it hard and my world flashed white.
I’d like to say I got right back up and killed the bastard, but that’d be a lie. The truth was I fainted from the pain. When I woke up a newcomer was knelt over the vampire who wasn’t moving. I looked closer and I saw something in the vampire’s chest. A wooden stake…
That was how I met Jack Starkley Vampire Hunter.
A month later I found myself in a dilapedated basement. Jack stood next to me he carefully placed a bag on the floor and pulled out a wooden case. The hunter flicked a clasp and the lid swung open. Inside lay five wooden crosses; he took one and passed another to me.
These stakes were made from the wood of a dead tree. Before us was the coffin, the sun was high in the sky, the monster within would be sleeping. It was the perfect time to strike it down. Gripping my stake tightly I raised it and pulled the coffin lid open…it was empty.
I staggered back confused, Jack had said a vampire was inside this building. Maybe he was wrong I started to wondered. The hunter stepped to the coffin and looked down. He shook his head, I walked closer just in time to see his hand shoot down as if he intended to stab the floor of the coffin.
Surprisingly it never reached it. I was watched in confusion as his hand was halted abruptly as the tip of the stake was swallowed by thin air. Jack pushed the stake deeper and blood began to ooze out of nowhere around it.
I watched in amazement as the air inside the coffin shifted, cloth seemed to spill out from the point where the stake was. Then became clothes, the whole scene had taken a minute and I found myself staring at a woman lying in the coffin. Jack’s stake had pierced her heart.
He must have seen my confusion, he turned to me.
“Vampires are powerful supernatural beings, but when they sleep they are weak. To prevent this they learnt to use their supernatural auras to influence mortal minds. Normally they use it to make their prey more docile or to trick them into coming to them.
“Then they started to do it when they slept. This is the fourth vampire who I’ve dealt with that tried to mess with my mind,” he said calmly,
“What do you mean?”
“Their aura affects yours senses, when you looked inside the coffin it looked empty because that is what the vampire wanted you to see. Some times they even make you see someone you care about lying there. They just want to discourage you from killing them.”
“If that is true how did you know she was there?”
“Because my eyes told me she wasn’t. My experience said she would be.”
Jack Starkley turned and left me alone with the vampire. Before he went up the stairs I heard him shout.
“Grab my stake.”
I reached for the stake, I pulled it out and followed him.
Over the next year I accompanied Jack on many hunts. Soon I became, forgive me for being cocky but soon I could claim I was nearly as good as he was. Then he vanished and I never saw him for a long time…
Until today, Jack Starkley is sitting in my living room as I write this. He is no longer the man I know. The hunter now carries the taint of a vampire, he has just asked me to try and kill him. Yes I just wrote the word TRY, because even if he wanted me to do it. Jack is a vampire and they are not the type to lay down and die.
In a moment I will lay down this pen and pick up one of the stakes Jack had given me when we first started to hunt. In a minute I will try and stop him.
By the time you read this letter. I will have killed my mentor, or he may have killed me. Who knows you may even be reading this after you have stepped over both our bodies to read this.
Actually dying near someone you care about…that doesn’t seem like a bad way to go…