Professor Fang: The Living Spaceship: Part 2: The Chosen Few

 

The old man and Kirsteen were trapped in a sea of hideous rotting corpses all reaching out to claw at them.

The largest Zombie at the back however to the old man’s surprise started to attack the other creatures. It pulled a short female Zombie up off the ground by her hair and then placed its hand on her shoulder and pushed down hard, effectively tearing her head off.

Two of the other Zombies turned their attention to the giant, but they too were quickly torn to pieces by the larger creature. The other Zombies started to run alongside the Professor and Kirsteen.

The larger Zombie seemed to go to for the other members of its kind, allowing Kirsteen and the old man to escape by the corridor the larger Zombie had come down.

At the end of that corridor was a dead end. “No it can’t be” The old man screamed in frustration.

Kirsteen saw that the larger Zombie was coming their way, holding the severed head of one of its victims in one hand. It moved a lot faster than its large size would suggest. Kirsteen prepared to try and run past the monster, but the old man held her back.

“Trust me you wouldn’t make it, get behind me”, he said as he raised his cane in defence.

Just then a blue circle started to appear at the end of the corridor. “Quick get in” the old man shouted as he pulled Kirsteen into the circle.

The larger Zombie suddenly ran at its two intended victims with a look of panic on its face, but before he could reach them, the old man and Kirsteen vanished in a blue light.

Kirsteen suddenly found herself in a large, brightly lit room with a massive book case behind her, and a massive 20 inch screen tv and some recliner chairs in front of her. At the very centre of the room hung a massive gold chandelier.

On the left hand side of room were two huge wooden doors, whilst on the right hand side was a large dining area, fit with a huge 20 foot long table, and a small kitchen behind it.  There were several, scared looking people huddled together over the table. There were about 7 people in total. One of them, an old man was constantly downing shots of whisky.  They all looked as though they had come from different eras. One, the youngest boy at the back looked like a little street urchin, whilst another appeared to be dressed in a confederate uniform from the wars of independence. At the back of the table was a young, attractive woman with long dark hair who appeared to be separate from the others. She looked less confused and disoriented and was holding a strange device. The woman rushed towards the old man as soon as he arrived.

“I’m so sorry Professor. I had to temporarily get rid of the portal when that creature discovered it. He would have used it to come here and.”

“That’s quite alright Lindsey I understand, the important thing is that we got the last survivor, now we can get out of here.”

“Excuse me” Kirsteen shouted. “Can someone please tell me what the fuck is going on here? Am I on drugs again? Are you lot hallucinations.”

Lindsey approached Kirsteen. “Relax don’t worry, we’re here to help you. You’ve been abducted by aliens. That ship my friend here, Professor Fang rescued you from, it collided with ours. We’re not sure who created it yet, but it appears to run on magic.”

“Magic!” Kirsteen shrieked in surprise. “Aliens is one thing, but magic?”

One of the people at the back suddenly piped up, a young woman in her 20s named Jenna. “Hang on a minute she looks like Kirsteen Williamson.”

“She could very well be”. Professor Fang said as he tinkered with some device by the wall.

“But that’s impossible, she died about 30 years ago!”

“So?” the Professor said. “I told you I haven’t had time to check what era we’re in, but we could very well be 30 years in your past, or 1000, or we could be in another universe altogether. Most of you are from different times. Still if you’ll give me a few minutes though we can find out where we are.” He said somewhat impatiently.

Kirsteen was deeply disturbed by this conversation and begged Lindsey to let her go. There was something about Lindsey that seemed non malicious. Even in this strange environment, Kirsteen didn’t feel threatened by her, much like with the Professor.

“Please we don’t really know what’s going on here either, but we’re doing the best we can. Just trust us, you’re safe in here.” Lindsey assured Kirsteen.

The others started to protest, but Fang quickly shut them down by slamming his stick on the table.

“I don’t like any of you being here either. This is my home, and I’m normally very picky about who I let stay here. Still we all have to stick together for the time being. Not all of you were lucky enough to get this far, or need I remind you.”

A deathly silence fell over the room.

“Exactly, now please give us some peace while we try and get us all out of this situation.”

After Fang and Lindsey left the room, Kirsteen went over to the table. The people almost didn’t pay attention to her they were so wrapped up in their own problems.

“So” Kirsteen said somewhat awkwardly. “Any chance any of you could tell me who, or rather what took us here.”

Only one of them answered Kirsteen, the old man that had been drinking the whisky, who was dressed in somewhat tattered clothes. ”

“None of us do. We’re all from different times it would seem. I’m from the year 3892. There I was, in the middle of the fight of my life with the Vampire scum, Felesca, and his pet Tyrannosaurus when suddenly I was in a tiny little room, with several rotting corpses pounding on my door.

“I’m sorry did you say Vampire?”

“Yes. I can only assume you come from a time before their filth covers our entire world? I’m convinced the man who brought us here is one of them.

“A Vampire?”

“Yes, I know one when I see it. I’ve spent years running away from them to know one when I see it. Still I don’t think he’s behind the ship. Him and that girl, they’ve got something else in mind for us. If they try anything though don’t worry. I’ve killed more than my fair share of those bloodsucking monsters.”

Meanwhile the Professor and Lindsey had made their way to the control room. It had been somewhat damaged in the crash, but fortunately not only could the Professor repair it in no time, but the ship had a sort of magical healing factor that would repair any damage automatically anyway.

“Honestly you’d think they’d be grateful we pulled them out of that nightmare” The Professor said to Lindsey as he adjusted the controls.

“To be fair Professor, we may have been the ones who got them into this awful mess.”

“Nonsense my dear. You heard them. They were prisoners on board that ship before I eh crashed into it. Its strange that we didn’t find any pilots when we were searching for the survivors.”

“Apart from those horrors. God do I hate Zombies. I’ve never met one I liked you know. Even Vampires and Demons can be pleasant, but Zombies? They’re always bad company.”

“I quite agree my dear, but still there is no way those brutes could build a craft like that. No this is something else. Once we’ve gotten those people back to their own time, then I intend to investigate.”

The Professor attempted to start the ship, but nothing happened. He heard a strange whirring sound for a few seconds afterwards, before trying the controls again. This time however there was a crashing sound and the whole ship began to shake violently for a few minutes.

“I don’t understand, it should have repaired itself by now” The Professor said as he opened up the controls.

“No everything is in place, I don’t know why it won’t take us out of here.”

Just then a strange noise, like someone groaning in pain began to echo through the ship.

“I don’t like the sound of this” Lindsey said as she began to check the communication device. “According to this there’s nothing coming through.”

“Of course not. This noise is poking its way into our very minds Lindsey.” The Professor said in a worried tone.

The voice began to speak.

“Please help me, you, you are the only ones who can. I was too weak to contact you before now.”

“Who are you?” The Professor said defiantly.

“I am Gyster, I am the vessel you clumsily crashed into with that bat shaped excuse for a vehicle.”

“Gyster? Of course I should have known. I’d heard stories about you. A lot of people dismissed you as a legend, but I have a slightly more open minded than most.” The Professor said which made Lindsey roll her eyes somewhat.

“Who is Gyster” Lindsey asked trying to get the conversation back on track.

“Gyster is a time and space ship made from magic. It was constructed by the Frexeia civilisation. They built it to explore all of time and space. The magic used to build it however caused the ship to develop sentience as you can see for yourself.” The Professor said.

He continued. “The ship loved its crew however. They were its friends, they all enjoyed travelling through time and space together. When the crew died, according to the legends Gyster would begin abducting other beings from all of time and space to be his new crew. ” The Professor said.

Lindsey had sudden realisation. “Oh my god. Those Zombies, they were his previous crew members.”

“I didn’t kill them!” The voice protested.

“They died themselves of old age. Most of them were not happy at being taken at first, but in time most of them came to appreciate the lives I gave them. When they died I kept their corpses preserved in magic as a sign of respect.”

“There’s a huge but isn’t there”. Lindsey said.

“If my ship was ever breached by an outside menace, then I would bring them back as Zombies to protect my current crew.”

Both Lindsey and the Professor felt sick at the revelation.

“I was honouring them!” The voice protested. “I was giving them a chance to be heroes again after their passing. I was allowing them to save the next generation.”

“The ones I met didn’t seem to see it that way Gyster” The Professor said with disdain. “Why were they trying to kill your current crew?”

“That is on your head Vampire. When our vessels collided in the vortex, you ruptured my engine. The magic from my core seeped out and revived the Zombies. They’re crazed, feral, but they are the least of my problems. In a few hours the rupture will become so great that I will explode.”

Lindsey could see that the vessel’s words had affected Fang. “Well you could have looked where you were going too.” She snapped.

“Neither of you are leaving until you repair my core. Your vessel is caught in a trap of my creation. Its draining the energy from your core. It’ll put off my death by a couple of more hours. After that, I’ll die, but your vessel will be trapped here, powerless unable to move, and you’ll be caught in the blast.”

“I don’t intend to help you carry on taking people and defile their corpses. You’re a monster” Lindsey protested.

“Sadly we don’t have a choice I’m afraid. He holds all the cards for now. We need to fix that engine, for those people out there. We’ll talk about his poor lifestyle choices later” The Professor said in a grim tone.

“You will not take my new friends” The voice boomed! “This is the best collection I’ve ever assembled. Heroes, artists. They’re mine!”

“Like I said we’ll discuss that later. First let us teleport back to your ship.”

“I’m afraid not. Whenever you teleport you use up more energy keeping me alive. Its why I was so weak. I’ve disabled the teleportation spell.

“If you think that I’m going to make my way through those Zombies.” The Professor protested.

“Like you said. I hold all the cards.”

To Be Continued

 

The Circus Master: The Book of the Vampires Part 2: The Circus Folk

American Experience: The Circus | Netflix

John Ferguson couldn’t remember the last time he had eaten so much, and considering he wasn’t what you’d call a light eater that was really saying a lot.

Ferguson was a gluttonous man in virtually all aspects of his life. Food, wine, women and especially wealth. He was notorious for his meanness and firing his employees for the most trivial issues.

Ferguson was hated by all his employees and the local community alike, but he didn’t care. All Ferguson cared about was maintaining his own selfish, hedonistic lifestyle. Sadly for John Ferguson however, a lifetime of selfishness was about to catch up to him.

Ferguson often walked home alone and tonight was no exception. He hated having to waste money on a carriage, and he felt assured that due to his influence, no one would dare try and attack him in the dark.

This night would be different.

Ferguson spotted what looked like a shambling figure in the very distance, headed in his direction. “Probably a begger” he thought to himself and instinctively turned away. It soon became apparent to the miser however that the “begger” was following him.

“Oh great” he thought “I’ll have to actually push him away with my cane again. Why don’t these people learn?”

Ferguson approached the begger confidently. “Look sir, I don’t know who you are, and you clearly don’t know who I am or else you wouldn’t be bothering me. I’ve just had a big meal, I’d like to get home and”

The begger who still did his best to conceal his face behind a ragged hood interrupted Ferguson “Don’t worry I wouldn’t expect any show of humanity from you. Unfortunately for you” the figure said as he raised his head, pulled his rags back, and revealed his hideous, monstrous face to a petrified Ferguson. “You can now expect the same from me.”

The figures skin was bright white and rock hard. Its features were long and pointed, whilst its mouth was filled with razor sharp teeth. Like all Vampires, its upper canines however were the longest. Its claws were tar black and long, whilst its hair was thinning and scraggly looking.

As John slowly backed away from the monster in terror, he thought that he could actually recognise the beast for a moment before his fear overcame him. Ferguson raised his cane to the stranger in a pitiful attempt to defend himself. The monster however quickly batted the cane from his hand.

“Listen, whatever you are. If you harm me there will be consequences I can assure you. I’m not some useless beggar, or jumped up harlet. I’m.”

The monster interrupted Ferguson’s egocentric pleas. It spoke in a hideous, screeching hissing voice.

“Oh they’ll notice you’re gone, but only out of relief you’re finally gone. Come now, look closely at this face. The last you will ever see. Don’t you recognise me? Or do all the people whose lives you destroy just blur together as one inconsequential mess.”

Ferguson looked more closely at the aberration. There was indeed a creeping sense of familiarity in the Demonic visage.

It finally hit John when the monster raised its right arm from out of the robes it was wearing. John could clearly see that it had a stump where its right hand should be. “Of course! You’re that Richards bastard aren’t you? Is this your latest pathetic little prank to try and get back at me for your failure of a life?” Even in the face of certain death, Ferguson’s arrogance knew no bounds.

Richards had once worked in Ferguson’s mill. Due to his constant cutting corners however, Richards had lost an arm in one of Ferguson’s filthy machines. After the accident he was deemed unfit for work, and unable to get another job. Tragically Richard’s daughter later died of rickets whilst his wife drank herself to death in grief.

Richards had always blamed Ferguson for what happened and eventually he even tried to attack him in the street. Even with one hand Richards had managed to overpower Ferguson, but the police had quickly apprehended him. Ferguson through his connections was able to make sure that Richards would be in prison for life, but now he had seemingly escaped. Ferguson started to think that he wasn’t really a monster, and that Richards was just trying to scare him and remained defiant.

“It’s not my fault you were so incompetent you had an accident, or that you were unable to provide for your own family. It’s tragic what became of them, but that is your concern. This pathetic little attempt to scare me with that clown make up is not going to work. Now either you let me pass, or I’ll make sure they bloody well hang you this time.”

Richards was still unscared however, and simply let out a devilish smile before slashing the man he hated more than any other across the face.

Ferguson wasn’t used to pain, and the sudden shock alone was enough to bring him to his knees.

As he stared down at the pavement and saw his own blood drip onto it, Ferguson had a sudden realisation of the danger he was in and shouted out for help as he darted down the street as fast he could. There was no one around however, and even if there was no one could save him from the fury of the undead monster that wanted his blood.

Just when Ferguson thought he had escaped his undead tormentor, Richards suddenly jumped down in front of him. He hadn’t been chasing Ferguson at all. Richards had simply waited until the Mill owner was a good distance away, and then leaped in front of him. The Vampire must have jumped over 40 feet in the air, and could clearly see through the fog no problem.

Ferguson knew that didn’t have a chance of escape and so he now tried to bargain with the monster.

“Look Richards maybe we can come to some kind of arrangement. I can pull some strings, get you a lighter sentence.”

Richards wasn’t listening however. Instead he grabbed Ferguson’s right arm and bit right through his skin, veins, muscle and even bone. With his teeth alone he ripped Ferguson’s hand clean off. Ferguson passed out from the pain and blood loss within seconds, but the Vampire wasn’t through torturing the miser yet.

Richards dug its claws into Ferguson’s back and lifted him up off the ground with one hand in a fantastic demonstration of superior Vampire strength.

Ferguson was a massive man. Richards in comparison looked tiny, yet here he was, balancing Ferguson above his head on one finger. If anyone else had been around it would have looked both a horrifying and comical sight.

Richards threw Ferguson about 6 feet through the air to the other side of the road. Ferguson landed head first, and for a second Richards was scared that he had finished his enemy too soon. When the Vampire went to examine him however he saw that unfortunately for Ferguson, he was still breathing!

The monster ran one of its massive claws along the bottom of Ferguson’s stomach and started to disembowel him slowly. Ferguson awoke from the pain only to see his former, Demonic employee holding his intestines in its clawed hands as it started to lick them. The last sight Ferguson saw was Richards bearing down on him, hissing his blood soaked fangs, and spitting Ferguson’s own blood over his face.

“Come on love, any longer and we’ll be late” Carlene shouted to Brian as she stood by the door with Ashlei, Tom and Daniel. She heard no response for a few minutes and started to worry before Brian came staggering out of the bathroom, looking like a badly made up bed.

“Sorry Miss Vampire, I, I don’t know what came over me.”

“Love, call me Carlene remember. Oh dear you look a right state darling. Here let me help you get ready.”

Ashlei sighed. “I don’t see why we’re bothering going to this Circus. You said you saw the blue woman in the sewers? So tell the authorities and they’ll arrest her. Problem solved.”

Carlene frowned. “I told you the authorities often aren’t able to deal with this sort of thing love. Besides all she did in the sewers was help me. Your little brother might not even be ere if it wasn’t for that blue siren. I need answers and I’m going to find them myself. Besides I would have thought you’d have wanted to go to the Circus. It’s a day out.”

“I hate it. Big bright, flashy colours to distract idiots from how horrible their lives are” Ashlei said bitterly.

“Well if it makes you feel any better it’s not exactly my scene either, but I suspect there’s something odd with this Circus and I want to find out.” Carlene replied firmly.

Whilst the two were talking, Daniel sat absorbed in the morning paper. He had noticed that there was one more reported disappearance from last night, that of the local mill owner and tycoon, John Ferguson.

Ashlei smirked when she heard John had vanished. “Miserable old bastard” she said. “You wouldn’t have to be a Vampire to want to tear his neck out.”

“Ashlei” Carlene said sharply. “I don’t care who this man was, don’t ever talk that way about someone. Trust me when I say this. No deserves to die at the hands of a Vampire.”

Ashlei bowed her head somewhat. “I’m sorry, but he was the most mean spirited man I’ve ever come across. He kicked me one time when I tried to ask to him for some food.”

“Ashlei’s right” Daniel interrupted. “There’s no shortage of ordinary people that would want to see John dead, but according to this” he handed the paper to Carlene. “William Richards, who had previously been arrested for an attempt on Ferguson’s life was broken out of prison the other day. The police don’t know how, but one witness, a drunken beggar claims to have seen a giant bat like creature rip the walls off of the prison.”

“It seems someone is using the book of to create new Vampire breeds after all. If only I knew where that bloody fool had kept it? I never fitted in with that lot. Van Helsing, and his cronies. I mean to be fair I am kind of a monster, but still. Working with them was a nightmare.” Carlene said as she went to check on Brian.

Brian came out of the bathroom dressed in a small penguin suit, looking a lot more energetic than before. Carlene had made sure they all had a good meal, a couple of hours rest and clean clothes to change into before going to the Circus. Naturally they had to look presentable to go to the Circus, but she couldn’t stand to see the children in those filthy rags for another second.

When the four arrived in the audience many heads turned towards Carlene. They often did, but this time the fact that she arrived with 4 children/teenagers shocked people all the more.

One gentleman in the audience felt so appalled that these children were with a Vampire of all creatures, that he had to interject.

“Please I don’t know what you want, but those are children.” He said in a scared, but still somewhat confident tone. Just then Brian surprisingly came to Carlene’s defence before any of the others could. “Get away you stupid sod. This woman here saved our lives whilst you were sitting on your arse, moaning about too many children playing across the road!”

The man backed down. Carlene patted Brian on the back, whilst Ashlei looked on in concern. She had never seen Brian react that way. He was normally such a calm, gentle, quiet little boy. It seemed the experience in the sewers had changed him somewhat.

The Circus of Tzas opened with the usual parade of animals doing tricks. The Circus Master was a huge colourful character on stage. He must have been roughly 6 foot 5 inches tall, with an enormous build, though he was still incredibly thin overall. His frock coat was bright red with gold decorations running down the lapels, whilst his hair was long, jet black and curly. Atop his head sat a tiny, but very long bright blue top hat. He had thick, bright green gloves and yellow, stripped trousers. His face was very long thin and deathly pale. His eyes looked as though they were locked into a permanent scowl, whilst there was a constant, somewhat unsettling smile on his face. His voice was incredibly deep and booming, At times it didn’t even sound human. Many children in the audience appeared to find him quite scary at times, particularly those in the front row. Carlene took an instant disliking to the Circus Master. Why, she couldn’t quite put her finger on. He didn’t seem evil, but she just didn’t like him. Despite his unsettling nature he was a very upbeat and energetic performer all around.

Everyone seemed entertained by the Circus various antics. Even Ashlei, despite her dour, persona began to warm to some of the animal tricks. Right from the start Carlene however could see something was amiss about the whole thing. The Circus animals weren’t real. They were magical illusions. Carlene could only tell thanks to her heightened Vampire senses.

She could smell the magic off of them. The Circus Master himself didn’t seem human either. There was something about him that didn’t seem right. Carlene had been around enough Vampires, Demons and other unnatural creatures in her long life to know when one was trying to pass as a human.

She felt the same way about one of the later acts, a small Chinese child called The Strange Boy. The Strange Boy was deathly pale in appearance. He didn’t say a word, and his expressions also seemed completely blank.

Nevertheless the boy didn’t have to say anything. He amazed the crowd through displays of almost impossible strength. He crushed several large blocks of stone with his bare hands, and he lifted another performer, a 7 foot tall, bear of a man called Keptis (who dressed in strange armour) above his head no problem.

A young black woman (already a most unusual sight in Victorian England) named Denika also performed various tricks which were clearly the work of magic. She conjured up images of the most fantastic creatures and beasts that both terrified and amazed the crowd.

Finally the blue Siren, who Carlene had seen the night before performed a closing song. The Circus Master introduced her as Florence Faith. Just as in the Underground, Carlene was the only one not completely enchanted by the strange blue skinned, flame haired songstress. Even Ashlei was utterly mesmerised.

Carlene knew the Siren’s song was magic, and that it could entrance anyone (according to the legends) but she still couldn’t help but feel a little bit jealous. In all her years as a singer, she had never won over a crowd to that extent.

When the Circus was finished, Carlene waited behind. She wanted to speak with the performers herself. The three children waited with her. Ashlei meanwhile had calmed down a little after hearing the Sirens song and was a bit more laid back than before.

Carlene assured them that they would be safe. In spite of the fact that they weren’t human, Carlene did not think that the Circus folk whoever they were, were actually evil.

She waited just outside the main tent, having managed to sneak her way in there without making a sound.

Keeping hidden behind two barrels, Carlene saw the Circus Master standing outside the tent holding what looked like a strange sphere. All round him where the various animals and performers. One by one the performers walked past him into the tent. Denika, The Strange Boy, Keptis, and finally, Florence Faith.

The Circus Master then uttered a strange sounding chant and the Circus animals vanished into nothing but a puff of smoke, before the Circus Master joined the others.

“By god you were right” said Daniel in an exasperated tone. “These fellows aren’t human.”

“Neither am I” said Carlene as she moved closer to the tent to inspect it.

Before Carlene could get a good look at it, Denika suddenly emerged from the Tent.

“Well, well looks like the Vampires know we’re here.” She said.

Before Carlene could reach for any magic repellent’s in her beehive, Denika ensnared her in a magical tractor beam and pulled Carlene into the tent.

The inside of the tent looked nothing like a Circus. Its floor, walls and ceiling were all made of solid grey stone. At the far end of the Tent looked like a small living area. There were 3 recliner chairs, and a massive couch perched in front of what looked like a massive television set, and a 21st century video game system above the television. Behind the living quarters were several bunk beds.

“How can they possibly have all this in the 19th century” Carlene thought.

As she looked around the room she saw on the far right side what looked like a work area where there was a strange glowing device. In the centre of the room, just behind where Carlene had been placed meanwhile was a massive fountain, with green water.

All of the walls were decorated with various paintings from what looked like different eras, whilst on the left side of the room was a massive book case over 20 feet tall.

“Well done Denika, I’ll just get a truth spell ready.” The Circus Master who emerged from behind the fountain alongside the Strange Boy, Keptis and Florence said.

Carlene turned around to defend herself, but she couldn’t move to fight or even run away.

“Relax we’re not going to hurt you” The Circus Master said. “I just want to know why and how you were trying to tamper with my ship.”

“Ship?” Carlene said in confusion?

“It’s okay” Florence interrupted. “This is the woman I met in the sewers yesterday. She helped save those children. At least I think.”

“She’s a Vampire.” Denika said.

“And so am I, and so is the Strange Boy? Is there something wrong with that?” Florence replied.

Just then, Daniel, Tom, Brian and Ashlei came charging in through the tent doors, which still looked like cloth on the inside rather than stone.

“Get away from her you freaks” Ashlei who was ahead of the three boys and wielding a pipe shouted.

“Relax young lady. We’re not here to hurt any of you, I just need to know why you’re here.” The Circus Master said to the four urchins.

Carlene spoke up. “I’m here about the book of Khastran.”

All of the Circus Folk gave Carlene a look, except for the Strange Boy who continued to stare into space.

“Someone has found it from wherever Van Helsing left it and is using it to create new Vampire species around London. I had a run in with one, as did your friend here in the underground, but it looks like there’s still at least one new breed out there.”

The Circus Master was quick to correct Carlene. ” We’ve only been here for a few days, but at my last count there’s about 15 new breeds created in the last few months or so.

“Fifteen? But that’s not possible?” Carlene gasped. “I would have known.”

“Whoever is doing this has a clear plan. They want to create an army of Vampires. They’re keeping them hidden until the time is right, only turning the best people into Vampires. Or should I say the worst.”

“How did you track them down” Carlene asked.

“Well we knew they were here from the start. We were told to track them down.”

“By who?”

“It would take too long to explain, and besides I have some questions I would like to ask of you young lady.” The Circus Master said. “How did you come into possession of magics that powerful?”

“It would take too long to explain” Carlene said sarcastically.

“From the looks of things it seems neither of us belongs to this time.” Carlene continued as she glanced round at the television set in the corner.

Just then a strange look of surprise and delight came over the Circus Masters face and he went to consult his books.

“What do you mean” Denika asked.

“Well I’m just saying I know that technology at the back won’t be around for about 100 years at least.”

Before Denika could respond, Carlene suddenly felt herself able to move again.

“Sorry, I now know who you are. You’re Carlene aren’t you?” The Circus Master said as put a book he just skimmed through back on the shelf.

“Who?” Denika said in response?

“She’s a Vampire, but don’t worry she’s one of the few nice ones alongside our friend Florence. She was thrust through time by powerful magics and now fights evil on the streets of London. Am I right?”

“Pretty much, how do you know all that?”

“Well let’s just say you’re right. We’re not of this time either. Unlike you however we’re not trapped. We can move freely through time and space, though everywhere we go, we have a mission to complete.”

“A mission from who?” Carlene said with interest.

“Time itself.

“Let’s just say you can travel through time, and you can make your own history, but you can’t change it in any way. Once you do, you become an anomaly. You also can’t fail to make your own history either, which is what we are doing now. We are creating the future you come from Carlene, a future where Vampires didn’t overrun the earth in the 19th century.

Carlene took a minute or so to take this all in. Even for the type of life she had led, a time travelling magic circus seemed a bit much. She wondered what it must have been like for the children!

“So what’s your stories then. I mean you seem to know everything about me, it’s only polite I know a bit more about you.” Carlene said somewhat nervously to the Circus Folk.

“I quite agree” the Circus Master responded in a somewhat chipper tone. “Well we are all going to be working together.”

“Working together” Denika interrupted?

“Yes” The Circus Master said as he looked round at the rest of the Circus Folk who were somewhat confused at first but soon realised what he meant.

“My name is Ron Baker.” The Circus Master said. “You can call me Circus Master though, everybody does.”

“Why? that not a little bit pretentious?” Carlene asked.

“Well yes, but I prefer not to think about my past as a human. I am a Vandal.

“Oh I get it, now I know why I didn’t like you. No offence.” Carlene said.

“None taken, it’s instinctive.”

“What on earth is a Vandal.” Tom asked.

“Vandals are the cousins of Vampires love.” Carlene said. “They are undead Demons who can turn people into members of their own kind just like Vampires, and there are also hundreds of different breeds too. The Vandals however feed on souls using their claws.”

The Circus Master unsheathed his claws which each were about 6 inches long to show the children.

“We stab them into our victim’s chests and slowly drain their lives away. And that’s if they’re lucky.” The Circus Master said before retracting his claws.

“We were created by a Demon of the same race as Khastran, but our father was a sworn enemy of Khastran, so Vampires and Vandals have always hated each other, even just on instinct.”

“I don’t get it though” Carlene asked. “If you were such a bad bloke before you became a Vandal, how come you’re ere helping people?”

“Well its a long story, but all you need to know now is that I’m one of the nice Vandals, same way you’re one of the nice Vampires.”

“So” Carlene continued after a few seconds of awkward silence. “What about the rest of you, eh.”

The rest of the Circus Folk didn’t seem eager to share much with Carlene. It wasn’t that they distrusted her specifically, but they clearly weren’t used to sharing much about their lives.

“My name is Florence Faith.” The Siren said in an extremely posh, refined voice. It was literally the polar opposite to Carlene’s accent.

“I was born, not far from here actually. I was the last survivor of the Titanic. The Sirens who sunk the vessel, turned me just before I went down with the ship. Like you and the Circus Master, it took a long time for me to come to terms with what I am, and I still don’t think I have, but at least I’m not a danger to anyone anymore. Well anyone who doesn’t deserve it.”

Denika was the next to speak, but she was very cagey about her past. She simply told Carlene that when she was from the 21st century originally, but that she had been abducted by creatures from another realm of existence where she had learned her magic. She didn’t seem to trust Carlene, and the Vampire didn’t blame her. She didn’t really trust any of them much either.

Keptis was the next to talk.

“I come from Mars, the red planet.”

“Amazing.” Daniel said.

“A real life Martian. I always thought there was something in those stories about Martian canals.”

“There are no canals on Mars, at least not anymore.” Keptis said with regret.

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean too.”

“It’s okay. I’d just rather not talk too much about it. All you need to know is I’m not of this earth, but I’ve come to appreciate some of its people.” The Martian said whilst looking at Florence, who seemed to almost blush.

“So… what about im.” Carlene said whilst pointing at the Strange Boy who stood motionless at the side.

“None of us are quite sure.” The Circus Master said.

“He is Jiang Shi, one of the most powerful breed of Vampire.”

“I’ve fought with the Jiang Shi myself. They’re strong buggers.”

“Yes they are, and that’s why we’re lucky to have one on the team.”

“Why’s he not killing you though? Jiang Shi are Savage Vampires. They’re among the most bloodthirsty?”

“Like I said we don’t know. There were many legends and stories about the Strange Boy when we first found him prowling the Chinese countryside. Some say he was a prince who had been infected by the Jiang Shi virus, but a Wizard was able to preserve his human soul. Another stated that he was the soul of a boy who was placed into the body of the Jiang Shi that killed him. Others stated he was cursed to help people. We don’t know, but like I said, we’re glad he’s on our side.”

Carlene looked at the Strange Boy for a few more seconds. There didn’t seem to be anything under the boy’s face, not even a hint of sadness despite the awful state he was in.

“Anyway” The Circus Master interrupted. That’s enough about us. Carlene I think we have some work to do. Tell us all you know about Van Helsing and where he might have placed the book.”

“Alright darling, but first I just need to get these kids home.”

“Good idea, apart from the Strange Boy, this is no place for children.” The Circus Master said as he returned to the strange, glowing device at the corner.

Carlene took the children to the side.

“You don’t trust these weirdo’s do you” Ashlei said quietly.

“I don’t know love. They are definitely not of this time, I know that, but whether they’re working towards a better future for us who knows. I don’t like that this guy knows so much about me. He must have met me in the future or something. Maybe he even killed me? Either way though they seem to be the best bet for finding out who created these Vampires. It’s important that whatever happens you lot stay out of it.”

“How can you expect us to do that? Those things took my brother.” Ashlei said.

“Suddenly you care.” Brian said under his breath, though Ashlei still heard him.

“Brian!” Tom shouted. “How can you speak to her like that.”

“It’s okay.” Ashlei who was still feeling guilty at having left the boy said.

“Now, now you lot I don’t want any squabbling. I want you to stay back in my mansion until this is over. If you really want to prove you care about each other, that’s what you’ll do.” Carlene said firmly.

“All right fine” Ashlei said reluctantly.

“I’m going to walk you all home too. No point in taking chances with these Vampires running around.”

The Circus Folk meanwhile had gathered in the workshop area of the Tent.

“I don’t know why you trust this Vampire so much. No offence Florence.” Denika, who was working on some device said.

“You know why. Time says I have too, though I’m afraid I can’t reveal too much, but this is one of those rare instances where we know our own future. We have to play this very safe.”

“Well I don’t have the best experience with Vampires, apart from a few exceptions.” Keptis said, again looking at Florence. “But I trust your judgement, Ro, I mean Circus Master.”

“It’s not my judgement remember. We are going to need Carlene’s help to stop the vision we saw of London being overrun by those bloodsuckers.”

To Be Continued.


 

The Circus Master: The Book of the Vampires: Part 1 The Demons of the Underground

American Experience: The Circus | Netflix

 

“Roll up, roll up, roll up. Come get tickets to see the Circus of Tzas” the young boy shouted whilst pestering as many adults as he could to buy some tickets. Only one responded to him however, and it was really out of pity more than anything else. She certainly wasn’t going to see a Circus of all things, but she didn’t want to leave the poor little urchin to go hungry.

The young urchin however was somewhat intimidated by the sight of this strange lady who he knew from reputation. She was quite unlike anyone else in all of London. She was dressed in completely dark, strange clothing. She wore a low cut black top, surrounded by a black fur coat, had pale skin, whiter than snow, a long thin nose, piercing green eyes, and a massive beehive haircut. She was also smoking too which the young boy thought was most unlady like. When she smiled, the boy could see what appeared to be sharp teeth, though only for a few seconds.

Despite her somewhat elegant if unusual appearance when she spoke it was in an extremely gutteral, thick cockney accent.

“Awright Darling, here have one on me. ” she said in a friendly tone as she handed him some money. After a few seconds hesitation the boy accepted before running away. He may have been scared of this strange, generous lady, but this was more money than anyone else had ever given him. He shouted thank you at her as he ran away, almost too intimidated to even look back.

The lady in question, Carlene, had built up quite a reputation in the area, despite being here for over 6 decades since 1824 (where she had seemingly appeared out of nowhere.) She seemingly hadn’t aged a day and still had the appearance of a woman in her 20s. Any time there was something weird happening she was always there. Still despite the fact that many suspected her of witchcraft and something unnatural, she had the full protection of the police force.

The truth was Carlene didn’t belong here, in this place, this city, or even in this time. She had been pulled from her own era by a supernatural force far greater than even she could comprehend and thrust into the early 19th century. She had never really adapted well to this era, but even in her own time Carlene had never really fitted in.

She was a Vampire, specifically of the breed known as the Heklox. Unlike almost all other members of her kind however, Carlene had learned to control her bloodlust many years ago (or rather many decades in the future.)

Over the decades Carlene had helped the police defeat many dangerous adversaries and monsters, but they still didn’t entirely trust Carlene either, but they had nevertheless realised she had a greater knowledge of the paranormal than anyone else in the city. Carlene often had a similar relationship with the authorities wherever she stayed for any given period of time.

Many people in the local area would still throw things through Carlene’s windows, or refuse to serve her in a local resturant. Many knew that she was a Vampire, but even those who didn’t still felt she was sinister and involved in the black arts. Anyone who threatened the Vampire however was still charged as the police still valued Carlene’s help too much with paranormal cases.

Carlene had just been to the police station to help them crack a case involving the zombified corpse of the former criminal mastermind, and evil wizard Doctor Masterik. Carlene had been fighting Masterik for many years (and had even foiled an attempt by the Wizard to condemn all of England to a horrific curse.) She had personally killed him too, but unfortunately the criminals servants had found a way using his own black arts to revive him.

Carlene was sure she had seen the last of him this time. “Even that bugger couldn’t put himself together again after that” she thought as she walked home through the foggy streets of Victorian London.

Carlene just wanted to get home, have a cold glass of cow blood, and then have a long days sleep after the night she had. However when she got home she found two children sitting anxiously on the steps outside her front door.

One of them, a girl was about 16 or 17 years old, whilst the other, a boy couldn’t have been older than 12.

“Awright is there something I can do to help you both?” Carlene said, wondering if she was going to have get her windows fixed again.

“Please you have to help us” the little boy mumbled through tears as his sister hugged him tight.

“Now, now darling don’t cry” Carlene said in a gentle tone as she comforted the boy.

The sister spoke more firmly with Carlene.

“Look I know who you are. You’re, you’re not human are you mam. Normally when we see you in the street we give you a wide berth like everybody else, but please, our little brother, he was. He was taken, by something. I don’t know what, but it wasn’t human. It snatched him and it went into the underground. I looked but I couldn’t”. She had to stop there to regain her composure. Carlene put her hand on the young girls shoulder and she continued.

“Please I know you don’t care about us, no one does, but I need your help. I’m begging you” the young girl broke down and got on her knees.

“You’re right darling I may not be human, but I still care. Of course I’ll help you both. You can stay at my house for as long as you need and I’ll search for your brother right away, but I’m going to need some more information about this creature that took your little brother. Okay darling.”

The girl was shocked by Carlene’s answer. She had heard rumours about her being a Demon, and had always thought she looked quite creepy. She had only gone to this strange lady in black because she felt the police wouldn’t know how to deal with the monsters. Still the girl thought she would have to bargain with Carlene or even blackmail her by revealing that she was a Demon to the police (as if they didn’t already know) but to her surprise Carlene was extremely gentle and sympathetic.

“What’s your name darling.”

“Ashlei, Ashlei McKay”.

“Awright Ashlei, let’s get you and your little brother inside, can I ask what your name is young man?”

The little boy was still too upset to properly speak and so Ashlei told Carlene her little brother’s name. “He’s called Tom” Ashlei said softly.

“Well don’t worry Tom, sweetheart I promise I’ll find out what happened to your brother okay. Let’s just get you somewhere warm first.”

Carlene took them inside and told them both to remain here until she got back. She told the two children that they would be safe in here as Carlene had placed various protection spells around the house for Demons, though she couldn’t guarantee that the villagers wouldn’t attack the house, she felt sure they would never harm the children.

Carlene question Ashlei some more about the creature that had attacked them. She didn’t push too hard as she could see how difficult it was for Ashlei to even acknowledge what had happened.

“We were sleeping in Paddington, where we always sleep, next to the tube station. Its a good place to beg. So many people come and go, you’re bound to hit on one who’s generous. We were all huddled together as usual when suddenly.”

She had to pause for moment. Carlene put her hand on Ashlei’s shoulder to comfort her.

“Its okay love, I understand but please I need more information on the creature. Was it a Vampire? A Demon?”

“I don’t know” Ashlei snapped through tears. “I’ve never seen anything like it. It ripped through the gates of the underground. It was strong, strong and huge. Its skin was slimy, white, and the stench that came from it. I was almost sick. It looked bloated, but it moved so fast. It cornered us before I could even wake the boys. We’d have all been dead if it wasn’t for some poor old bugger that distracted it.

Ashlei continued “He was an old drunk who used to wander round the neighbourhood at night. Sometimes he’d shout at us to give us the money we’d been given by strangers. I’d generally just ignore him. He was never violent or threatening towards us. To tell you the truth I pitied him. I sometimes did give him any spare change I had. He wouldn’t get it from anyone else that’s for sure. The boor blighter probably thought it was someone giving us money instead of him again and he ran towards that thing to plead. It, it tore him to pieces. There was nothing we could have done. We ran as far as we could down the street, but the monster chased us. Eventually me and Tom managed to lose him, but when I turned around I saw that my youngest brother, Brian was gone. I thought he was right behind us, but obviously that monster got him. I was too busy running to even look out for him. I left him. I was a coward and left the person I should have been looking out for the most.”

Ashlei collapsed into Carlene’s arms. “Don’t worry I promise I’ll find that creature”

Tom spoke up “Do you know what it was?”

“No, but from your sisters description it sounds like a Vampire.”

“You mean like you” Tom replied somewhat nervously.

“No, nothing at all like me love. I am a Vampire yes, but there are hundreds of different breeds of Vampire. They’re all monstrous, except for me. I’m a one in a million Vampire, but from the sounds of things though this could be a whole new breed. I should be able to track it. I can’t imagine it’s got that far and even in a place as big as the London underground a Vampires stench still stands out.”

Carlene fetched her various anti Vampire weapons and placed them inside her beehive. Carlene had always worn a beehive, even before she became a Vampire. It was in fashion when she was alive in the 60s, but she had kept wearing it in the decades after and before which often made her stand out from the crowd.

The reason for that however was not just a fashion choice. Carlene’s beehive was actually a secret weapons chest. Thanks to powerful magic’s, it was bigger on the inside than the outside. Carlene kept stakes, axes, bottles of holy water, even guns in her beehive (though she didn’t like to use guns in Victorian England.) At one point Carlene had even kept a small, carnivorous Goblin in her beehive, though sadly she had left her little pet in the 21st century. Her beehive was also magically fused to her head. She could take it off any time she wanted, but no one else could knock it off her head.

Carlene made the two children promise a final time not to leave the house under any circumstances before setting off through the foggy streets of London. It was still dark, though there was probably only half an hour or so of night left. Carlene hoped that this Vampire was vulnerable to sunlight. She was fairly confident that she would return. Even though it was a seemingly unknown breed of Vampire, she had slain many thousands of Vampires in her time.

Carlene’s house was not far from the tube station where the three children had been attacked. She was able to get there in about 10 minutes. The beggar’s corpse lay by the stairs leading down to that gates that had been torn open.

The beggar’s body had been mutilated beyond all recognition and his guts had been torn out. One leg had been ripped clean off and scattered across the other side of the road. Carlene placed her dark fur coat over the mangled body as a sign of respect.

“Poor sod” Carlene said bitterly “I wonder if there’s anyone out there that’ll even know the right name to put on your grave stone.”

Carlene tread slowly down the stairs into the underground. She could pick up a very faint sent of something unnatural. Vampires of her breed had an incredibly enhanced sense of smell. Ironically Carlene had always been picked on for having a large nose growing up.

This creatures scent, whatever it was, was genuinely unlike anything she had ever encountered before. Carlene traced the scent down the railway. As the stench got stronger and stronger Carlene found tiny drops of yellow slime on parts of the rail. Many Vampire breeds, particularly the stronger types dripped slime. In the dark Carlene could see what looked like a large hole by the side of the railway track.

It looked big enough for two people to slip through. On the other end of the hole was a long tunnel, filled with water, ankle deep.

Carlene wadded through the water, constantly searching round for any sight of the monster or its possible victims. The tunnel seemed to be never ending, but as Carlene climbed further and further down the abyss she started to pick up the scent of human blood as well.

When she reached the end of the tunnel she saw that it led to a small waterfall on the other side which in turn led to a massive cavern. In the middle of the cavern was a massive pile of mangled body parts. All that was left of the previous victims. Just behind the mountain of human remains however Carlene could see two people chained to a wall. One of them was an a teenager aged about 18 years old, whilst the other was a small boy who couldn’t have been older than 9 years old. The older boy was struggling in his chains, whilst the younger boy was just crying.  10 feet or so to the right of them was another tunnel.

“Why had they both been spared” Carlene thought? She didn’t like the look of this at all. Using her Vampire agility and strength, Carlene jumped from the top of the waterfall to right in front of the boys. She must have leaped over 80 feet in one jump!

The two boys recoiled in horror at the sight of Carlene when she landed in front of them without making a single sound.

“I knew it” the elder boy said in terror. “I knew you was in on it. We’ve always thought you were creepy. I bet that thing’s your pet or your son or something”

Carlene rolled her eyes. She didn’t have time to bother to explain her full life story to them, and hoped the two boys would see she wasn’t there to hurt them by her actions.

As Carlene went to try and rip the chains off the wall she heard a thumping noise. It was coming from the tunnel to the right of the boys. Carlene quickly jumped onto the wall above the tunnel, which her Vampiric powers allowed her to stick too.

She waited patiently for the monster to emerge. The boys kept quiet as they weren’t sure what she was doing and didn’t think anyone could help them anyway. They were both frozen in a state of terror.

The monster slowly crept out of the tunnel. Ashlei wasn’t lying in her description. The monster must have stood about 8 feet tall. It had to crouch when walking down the tunnel. Its body was completely white, whilst there were horrible, yellow, wet patches all over its body. Its hands were also dripping with yellow slime too, whilst its claws ended in yellow, rotting, but very sharp talons. The monster’s eyes were bright green meanwhile with a red pupil. Its hair was white, thinning and scraggly.

The monsters mouth was filled with massive razor sharp fangs like any Vampire, whilst a putrid green slime dripped from its mouth and down its chest.

Its entire body was bloated, but its stomach in particular was massive, whilst tiny green and yellow warts and spots littered its entire body.

The creatures stench up close was so great that Carlene felt like vomiting all over the beast.

As the monster moved towards the two boys, smiling with sadistic delight at how petrified they both were. Carlene reached into her beehive for a weapon. She pulled out a long wooden stake. A stake through the heart was a common weakness of many Vampire breeds (including Carlene’s.) It would be a safe first option to test as a weakness on this new breed of Vampire.

Carlene jumped on the bloated Vampires back with a tremendous speed. The beast completely taken by surprise tried to shake her off, but Carlene dug her claws deep into its flesh. The monster was every bit as disgusting to touch as it was to look at. Its skin was ice cold to the touch, so much it was almost burning! It was also wet and slimy. Carlene probably couldn’t have pulled her hand away, even if she wanted without some force as the slime was so thick.

Carlene rammed the stake straight into the monsters back, but it didn’t even react.

Carlene then reached into her beehive for a silver sharp, but the monster reacted by ramming backwards into a nearby wall. Such an act would have crushed an ordinary human into nothing but paste, but Carlene’s Vampiric constitution allowed her to survive unscathed. It was still a most unpleasant experience however as the monsters slimy, warty fat filled her mouth.

The monster would ram her again and again a few more times, but Carlene having become practically embedded in its back used all of her strength to pull herself off of the monster.

Carlene ran towards the waterfall and immersed herself in it. The slime that covered her body from the monsters back was painful. It stung all over her body.

If it had been the sewers, Carlene would still have dumped herself in the sewage to get the slime off!

Carlene next pulled out a gun loaded with silver bullets and fired 3 shots into the monsters heart. Again it did little to deter it, with the monster simply twitching for a few seconds before laughing at Carlene’s latest attempts to hurt it. Carlene then pulled out an axe from her beehive. It was made from Bronsicate, a metal forged by the gods themselves, it was capable of piercing the skin of just about any creature on earth.

With one swing of her blade Carlene took the bloated beasts hand clean off. Within seconds however it completely regrew its hand. Carlene was more than a little shocked. She’d never seen a Vampire with that kind of healing capability before. It must be a very old, or perhaps even an Alpha Vampire.

The monster charged at Carlene. It was fast, faster than any human could possibly be, but fortunately Carlene was faster. Carlene went for the monsters stumpy leg next with her axe which took it clean off. Though the leg regrew again, the monster still stumbled to the ground. Carlene then struck the Vampire in the back of the neck.

Unfortunately however before Carlene could fully part the beasts head from its shoulders, the beast managed to grab the axe, whilst it was in its neck!

With one hand the monster threw Carlene about ten feet across the room, whilst it still clutched her axe.

The Vampires strength absolutely dwarfed Carlene’s. It would probably take about 30 of Carlene’s breed to arm wrestle this Vampire.

“Oh bollocks” Carlene said to herself when she saw the monster wielding her axe. She fished through her beehive again but before she could pull anything out the monster ran at Carlene swinging her own axe. She managed to dodge it in time. Her greater speed allowed her to continue to dodge the monsters attacks but only just, and she wasn’t able to pull anything out of the portable weapons chest on her head in the meantime.

The larger Vampire was getting visibly frustrated. It wasn’t used to an enemy that could evade its attacks. Carlene tried to keep the monster away from the children. She lured it back towards the waterfall. Her chance came when the monster briefly stuck its axe in the wall. It was only for a moment, but that was all Carlene needed to flip back 20 feet in the air and stick to the wall next to the waterfall.

This Vampire didn’t look like a jumper so Carlene could safely test which of the weapons in her beehive would work on the monsters from up here. First Carlene threw a gold dagger straight into the monsters throat which did nothing. Then she shot it several times using a gun loaded with iron bullets. Then she dropped a magical bomb on the monster, only dangerous to who the user wants it to be. The bomb created a massive blue explosion which enveloped the entire room. When the blast faded however, the bloated Vampire stood there perfectly fine.

“You pathetic coward, you stand there throwing trinkets at me, because you are afraid of a fair fight! Come down and face me!”

“I hardly think a bloke who picks fights with old beggars and defenceless children can call anyone a coward love”. Carlene sneered back.

The monster started throwing things at Carlene. It threw back her gold dagger, and started ripping out slabs of concrete from the ground itself and hurled them at Carlene who effortlessly dodged the monsters clumsy throws. Eventually however the beast made a mistake and threw Carlene’s axe at the beehived Vampire which she caught instantly.

Carlene then jumped towards the two boys again and using her axe broke their chains. “Get behind me boys”. They still didn’t trust Carlene, but they could see she was at least, the lesser of two evils compared to that monster.

The monster circled Carlene and the boys, waiting for the right moment to strike. As Carlene reached into her beehive for another weapon the monster paniced and tried to attack the beehive topped Vampire, but it proved to be a mistake. Once again Carlene sliced the monsters hands off, but whilst it was regrowing, Carlene pulled a bottle of holy water from her beehive and threw it in the monsters face.

This time there was a reaction. The colossal Vampire sank to its knees and clutched its face in pain as its flesh began to sizzle.

Carlene walked calmly towards the bloated Vampire knowing it wouldn’t put up much of a fight now, and raised her axe to part its head from its shoulders.

Just as she was about to strike, Carlene suddenly heard the two boys scream. She spun round and to her horror, stood another Vampire similar to the beast she had just fought, holding the two boys in the air by the back of their necks.

This Vampire was much smaller than the previous one, and it was a female.

“Drop the axe NOW, and take that stupid thing off your head.” The Vampire had clearly been watching from the tunnel, waiting for the right moment to strike.

“But it’s my actual hair”

“Really?” the monster said, somewhat surprised.

“Yeah look I’ll show you” Carlene said as she reached into her hair and threw two smoke bombs in the monsters direction. The gas startled the Vampire enough to make her drop the two boys allowing Carlene (who could see through the gas clearly) to grab the two boys. With the two monsters blocking the way to the waterfall, Carlene was forced to run down the tunnel with the two boys.

At the end of the tunnel was a small room which led to three different tunnels. A figure began to emerge from down the left tunnel.

Carlene kept the boys behind her whilst she went to confront it. The figure looked like an ordinary man. He certainly wasn’t one of those hideous monsters, but he didn’t look well at all.

“Don’t be afraid. Everyone might think I’m a bit creepy, but I’m here to help. Just let me”

The man interrupted Carlene shouting at her “Please get away. Those things they” he suddenly coughed up a hideous, steaming yellow liquid from his mouth as he clutched his sides, and sank to his knees in agony.

The same yellow liquid began to burst out of other parts of his body including the palms of his hands. His arms, legs, torso and face all began to swell too. He screamed, but there was nothing Carlene could do except try and put him out of his misery.

These creatures had infected him and there was no way to reverse the process of becoming a Vampire. It was better he died now. Carlene pulled a sword out of her beehive. Just then Carlene suddenly heard a singing voice coming from the other end of the tunnel. She turned round to see a strange blue skinned woman standing in the centre tunnel. She had flame red hair, and was dressed in a long flowing white dress. She was incredibly beautiful and her voice seemed to have an effect on both the two boys and the man changing into a Vampire, who seemed to forget the pain he was in as he wandered closer to this strange woman. Carlene had to hold the boys back meanwhile. “I don’t get what all the fuss is about.”  “Her voice is nice, but it’s kind of limited. I doubt she could sing anything by Sinatra or Billie.”

Carlene watched as the blue Siren lured the young man near to her. She didn’t know why but Carlene didn’t think that the creature was evil. Maybe she was falling under its hypnotic spell too. Carlene didn’t think so however. Whatever this creature was, she didn’t seem evil, and maybe she could help this poor soul.

When the man came close to the Siren however, she stabbed him through the heart with a strange knife. Carlene instantly reacted and ran towards the Siren, with its victim falling into Carlene’s arms.

The man began to change back into a human after being stabbed in the heart. At first Carlene felt like attacking the Siren but then she realised that she had only done what Carlene herself was about to do a few seconds earlier. Carlene pulled the knife out of the victims heart. The blade was made of copper, obviously a weakness of this breed of Vampire. The Siren snatched it back out of Carlene’s hand.

“That’s alright I’ve got my own” Carlene said as she ruffled through her beehive. She was sure she had a copper weapon of some kind in there. Copper was a common weakness among certain breeds.

The Siren suddenly pushed Carlene down as she ran towards the two boys. The two giant Vampires had made their way down the tunnel and were preparing to advance on the children. Carlene quickly jumped back up and joined the Siren, pulling a silver sword out instead as it was all she could reach in time.

The Siren slashed at the face of the female Vampire who reached out to grab the boys. Carlene meanwhile went for the larger male. She swung her sword at the monster but it managed to dodge her attacks before grabbing the blade, and then pulling the sword out of Carlene’s hand. Carlene jumped onto the creature’s chest and managed using her full body weight to knock it back into a wall, causing it to drop the sword. She delivered a flurry of punches to the monsters face before it batted her across the room.

The Siren meanwhile had been overcome by her Vampire. She wasn’t anywhere near as skilled a fighter as Carlene.  The monster had made the Siren drop her knife and had also managed to pin her to the ground. The two boys stood cowering in the back. There was nothing either could have done, and if they had tried to interfere they’d probably just have made things worse.

Carlene attacked the female Vampire. She grabbed the brute from behind and pulled it off of the Siren. The female Vampire quickly managed to shake Carlene off, but the beehived Vampire had managed to distract it long enough for the Siren to grab her copper knife and stab the female Vampire in the heart with it. The female Vampire crumbled into nothing but a pile of ash on the floor in a matter of seconds.

Carlene and the Siren stood in front of the two boys, both brandishing weapons. The male Vampire didn’t look scared however.

Several more of its kind soon came trundling down the three corridors. About ten in total. Carlene quickly headed for the two boys whilst the Siren jumped into the crowd of monsters. Carlene called at her to stop, but within a few seconds the monsters were on top of the Siren. Carlene tried to help the Siren. She lifted a bottle of holy water from her hair and splashed it over several of the Vampires, scattering some of them. Carlene could see fleetingly through the mess of Vampires that the Siren had managed to escape down the middle tunnel, with some of the Vampires pursuing her.

Carlene didn’t know if the Siren could escape that way, but sadly she didn’t have time to worry about her mysterious blue ally. She had to think of the boys who were completely defenceless against the monsters. Grabbing the two boys, one under each arm, Carlene darted back down the corridor to the room with the waterfall, with most of the Vampires in hot pursuit.

Fortunately Carlene could outrun the Vampires no problem and once she reached the waterfall she was able to jump to the top with her Vampiric strength. Carlene quickly reached the other end of the tunnel above, back onto the railway. With the monsters right on her tail, Carlene lifted a bottle of holy water out of her hair and poured it into the ankle deep water which filled the tunnel. (Once she was free, as holy water was lethal to Carlene’s breed of Vampire as well.)

The holy water affected all of the water in the tunnel, and it instantly began to glow yellow and burn the Vampires feet. Some of the Vampires fell face down in the water from the pain. Others tried to run, but the holy water burned their feet away into nothing and they fell into the water too. Only a few, including the original Vampire Carlene who had faced (who she was sure had to be the Alpha, as he was the largest and strongest) were able to make their way to the tunnel.

Only the Alpha had the strength to jump from the top of the waterfall to the other end of the room. The other Vampires, too weak from the pain, and their feet having virtually been eaten away, simply fell down the waterfall which burnt them away to nothing.

The Alpha meanwhile couldn’t stand once it reached the cavern below. Its feet were burnt to a crisp!

Carlene told the two boys to wait behind whilst she crawled along the roof of the tunnel, avoiding the holy water. She told the two boys that if any creatures come up the railway line they are to jump into the holy water where they would be safe. She didn’t like to leave them, but she had to make sure there was no one else in the Vampires clutches. All of the Vampires in the tunnel had been consumed by the holy water. All that was left of the Vampires were a few bits of burnt flesh floating in the water/

When Carlene made her way into the room with the waterfall, she could see the former Alpha lying on the floor, clutching what was left of its feet, screaming in absolute agony.

It would be an easy kill now, but Carlene almost felt pity for the beast. She would make it quick.

She jumped from the ceiling she had clung too, onto the monsters chest. The beast was too weak to fight back, but it spat at Carlene in a final act of defiance.

Carlene calmly took an axe from her beehive and parted the monsters head from its shoulders, after which it crumbled to ash instantly. Carlene searched through the entire underground area. She didn’t find any other survivors, and only one other Vampire, which she quickly decapitated with her axe.

In the three rooms at the end of the three tunnels were the chained and mangled corpses of various street urchins. “Poor sods” she thought. “They were easy meat for these monsters” Carlene didn’t find any traces of the Siren however. In the centre room, which the Siren had ran too, Carlene found a massive hole in the ceiling. When she investigated it she saw that it led to another part of the London underground.There was seemingly nothing around. It was possible the Siren had escaped this way, but Carlene didn’t have time to investigate. She couldn’t leave the boys any longer.

The two boys had huddled together in the dark, too scared to even move. Neither were sure if they wanted Carlene to return or not. In spite of everything she had done, they still didn’t trust her. Nevertheless the two boys couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief when they saw Carlene crawling back down the roof of the tunnel.

“All right loves, let’s get you both home” she said as she descended from the roof.

“I have no home” said the elder boy with regret.

“You do now. You can stay at my mansion for as long as you need.”

The two were still unsure of Carlene.

“You can trust me” she said with slight frustration. “I did just save you lives. Also do either of you have a sister and a brother.”

The youngest of the two boys suddenly spoke up. “Yes, yes,” he said excitedly. “Ashlei and Tom. I tried to keep up with them, but I”.

“It’s okay” Carlene said. “She and your brother are fine. They sent me here to rescue you. They’re at my house waiting for me to come back. Let’s not keep them anymore shall we?”

Carlene led the two boys back to her home. The elder boy, whose real name was Daniel had been part of a group of boys and girls who had survived on the streets for years. In fact he had risen up to become the leader of his gang. They had all been slaughtered by the Vampires however. The monsters in their cruelty had saved the leader for last. Daniel would carry the guilt at not being able to protect the other children, who in many ways looked up to him as a surrogate father figure, for the rest of his life.

By the time Carlene returned home with the two boys, it was light. Ashlei and Tom had sat anxiously by the door the entire time for what felt like hours for the two orphans.

They couldn’t believe Carlene had kept her word and after hugging their little brother so hard they almost crushed him, Ashlei would hug Carlene too. Both of her brothers were somewhat surprised at her reaction. Their sister had always seemed somewhat hard faced and angry on the streets. To see her cry and show outright affection to anyone or anything was almost as unusual a sight for them as the Vampires!

“I’m sorry I was wrong about you. You, you’re a hero” Ashlei said through tears.

“Thanks, but trust me if you saw me when I’m pissed out of my head you wouldn’t be saying that” Carlene joked.

Carlene was thrilled she had been able to keep her promise to the kids. Seeing them together had almost made having the Vampires slimy fat in her mouth worth it. Still Carlene knew that the presence of a new breed of Vampire was serious.

“This is not good, not good at all.” She said to herself as she searched through her beehive for something.

“What are you talking about” said a confused Daniel?

“Oh sorry darling, I just meant that if there is a new breed of Vampire out there then that means the book of Khastran must have fallen into the wrong hands.”

“The book of what?”

“Let me explain. You children clearly don’t know much about Vampires. You’re the lucky ones.”

“Yeah we’ve really led a charmed life” sneered Ashlei. “Oh right eh sorry about that.” She then said sheepishly.

“Anyway” Carlene continued. “The first member of any Vampire breed has to be created from the book of Khastran. Khastran was the first Demon ever to exist. He was said to have been created by the Creator of all things himself. He was also the most evil and powerful Demon ever to exist. He and his race the Kardons, fed on the blood and the souls of their victims. He came to this world thousands of years ago before being banished in a great war with Gods and Angels. He left behind a book however, bound in his flesh, and inked in his blood. Each page of the book has the power to turn any human into the first of a new breed of Vampire. It is said that when Khastran’s children, the Vampires, outnumber humanity then he will rise once again. The book was here in London a few years ago. The last I heard Van Helsing had hidden it somewhere. He didn’t tell me where though. To be fair I don’t think he trusted many people with it, but still it looks like someone’s got it now and is creating new Vampires.”

“How many pages are there in the book”. Asked Ashlei, who was clearly petrified. She always tried to appear tough for the sake of her boys, but the thought of there being more creatures like the one that chased her and her brothers being out there, chilled her to the bone.

“Hundreds of thousands I’m afraid, and there will be a lot worse than that creature we fought today. Whilst there are hundreds of Vampires, they can all be divided into 3 categories. Soul Vampires, Savage Vampires and Pure Vampires.” Carlene said.

“What’s the difference” asked Tom.

“How they are born. Vampirism is spread in many different ways, through a bite, mixing of blood, scratches, but the evil Vampires infect their victims with always takes them over in three different ways.

In the case of a Pure Vampire the evil corrupts the human soul in the body and turns their human soul into a Demons soul. All positive aspects from a person’s personality, love, compassion, are purged in the process, and all negative aspects are heightened. They are the most common Vampires. They must account for about 85 percent of Vampire breeds.

With Savage Vampires meanwhile, the evil ejects the human soul from the body and grows into a Demon that reanimates the corpse. There is nothing human about a Savage Vampire. They are the most powerful and evil of all Vampire breeds, if not Demon species on earth. They are often as single minded as animals.

Finally my breed belong to Soul Vampires. In our case the evil grows into a Demon, that doesn’t expel the human soul from the body. Instead it influences it. All emotions like love, compassion, remorse are repressed, our darkest desires are heightened and we are turned into killer monsters. Unlike with other Vampire breeds however there is a possibility, no matter how remote for us to fight the Demons influence. Its the strongest form of mind control in the world. I am not the only person to ever fight the Demon however. There have been a few other isolated cases throughout history, but most Soul Vampires are evil bloodthirsty killers too.”

Carlene continued. “Still the fact that we do still have our human souls causes other Vampires to look on us as pathetic, low life mongrels. Some Pure Vampires will even hunt us down and kills us. We are the rarest type of Vampire.”

Just then Carlene pulled what she had been looking for out of her hair. It was the leaflet for the Circus.

“Yes” she said triumphantly.

“I wouldn’t have thought you went in for that rubbish” Ashlei said in surprise.

“I don’t love, but I knew I had seen that blue woman before.”

She turned the page around, showing that among the many colourful characters on the leaflet was the blue woman with flame red hair that had helped Carlene and the two boys in the sewers.

“It’s her, the blue lady with the beautiful voice” Brian said in amazement.

“Yes clearly there’s more to this Circus than meets the eye. There was a blue woman in the sewers Ashlei. She helped us. I’m not sure, but I think she was a Siren. Whatever the case, she was already there before me. She must know more than us about who is creating these new Vampires. Looks like I’m going to the Circus after all.”

To Be Continued