The Circus Master: The Book of the Vampires: Part 6: New Beginnings

American Experience: The Circus | Netflix

As Marcozia lifted his stake into the air to strike the killing blow, Denika tried to fire another magical blast at the Vampire, but it deflected it back as easily as it had done before, though at least this time Denika was able to evade it.

Denika fired different kinds of spells at the Vampire, but Marcozia either dodged them or managed to deflect the magic back at Denika.

“Pathetic. You call yourself a Witch?” The Vampire sneered at her. “You’d be the type to get burned at the stake because you were too stupid to realise you could just fly away on a broom!”

Whilst the Vampire was taunting her however, the Circus Master grabbed the rug that Marcozia was standing on and pulled it from under him, knocking the Vampire flat on his face.

Using the strongest magics she could conjor, Denika engulfed the Vampire in an energy beam. It would be strong enough to vaporise a human in a matter of seconds, but Marcozia’s Vampiric constitution allowed him to survive longer. He fought hard against the beam, but its power was too strong and he collapsed to the floor, apparently beaten. The Vampire let out a scream to alert his minions.

Four different breeds of Vampire came crashing through the doors. A female Vampire with red hair, and green slimy tentacles emerging from various parts of her body. A small Vampire with green skin, horns on its head, four eyes, and six arms. A Vampire with blue skin, black eyes like a shark, yellow fangs, and long arms that ended with three clawed fingers. Finally the last Vampire was a large, skinny, deathly pale, blonde creature with spindly arms and completely black eyes. Its mouth was twisted into a hideous grin.

The tentacled Vampire was actually Kelly the worker from Ferguson’s old Mill who had now completely her transformation.

Kelly shot one of her tentacles at Denika, who was forced to place a magical shield around herself for protection. Unfortunately as a result she had to abandon her spell around Marcozia. Marcozia’s flesh was badly burned from her spell and in rage he jumped at Denika tearing through her magical barrier with his strength and sending her crashing to the ground below. The Circus Master ran to help her, but as he did, Kelly reached out and grabbed him by the leg, pulling the Vandal towards the other three Vampires, who started to scratch, punch and kick the Circus Master furiously.

Marcozia slowly tried to choke the life out of Denika. He wanted to savour her death after what she had put him through. It had been a long time since anyone, apart from his maker, had been able to hurt him.

With her last ounce of strength Denika managed to summon up a small blast using magic created from her adopted universe that threw Marcozia across the room.

Marcozia however instantly jumped back up and ran at Denika. Too weak to summon up powerful magics, and knowing that Marcozia would most likely dodge her attacks, Denika fired a magical blast into the ceiling causing rubble to fall between her and the Vampire.

Getting her strength back, Denika then flew into the air and fired another blast at the ceiling above the Vampire, burying him under a mass of rubble, after which she then flew towards the Vampires attacking the Circus Master. She fired an energy blast at the blue clawed Vampire, which clearly was not as strong as Marcozia as it was vaporized relatively quickly.

The other monsters then turned their attention to the Witch and started attacking her, though Denika was able to evade their attacks, and whilst they were distracted, the Circus Master headed for his hat containing the weapons.

Kelly was soon able to get a lucky hit at Denika however and smacked her to the upper balcony, before scaling the side of the building with her tentacles in pursuit.

The Circus Master pulled a copper knife from his hat and plunged it into the blonde Vampire’s heart from behind. (He had encountered this breed in the future and knew their weaknesses.)

The smaller green Vampire shoved its hand through the Vandal’s stomach, but the Circus Master finished him by putting his hat over the green Vampires head and pulling it down. The hat’s magical security system fired various anti Vampire and Demon repellents into the monsters head causing the green Vampire to slump to the floor in agony. Of all the weapons that had been fired into the monsters head, the Circus Master could see that the iron knife had hurt him the most, and so he pulled it out and shoved it straight through the beasts heart.

Kelly meanwhile had managed to ensnare Denika. Clinging to the roof by two of her tentacles, she wrapped one tentacle around Denika’s waist, one around her neck and four around her arms and legs. The only reason Denika was still alive was because the monster couldn’t decide whether it wanted to crush the life out of her, or tear her into five pieces.

The Circus Master jumped up to the ceiling to attack the Vampire, but Kelly effortlessly batted him away with another tentacle.

Whilst the Circus Master was on the floor, Kelly reached one tentacle down and wrapped it around his legs and started to bash Vandal against the roof and walls of the Church. The Circus Master however held onto his hat and threw two knives into the tentacles the monster used to hold onto the roof, severing them.

Kelly fell to the ground, dropping Denika who then flew out of reach. The Circus Master threw several more knives into the tentacled monster from his hat, distracting her long enough for Denika to catch Kelly in an energy blast, similar to the one she had used on Marcozia. Whilst caught in the blast, the Vampire reached one tentacle out and managed wrap it around Denika’s throat. The Circus Master however jumped across, and again severed the tentacle, this time using his own claws! Within a matter of seconds Kelly was vaporised into nothing.

The two had not known Kelly in life, but they had ultimately done her a bigger favour than anyone who had. They had spared her from an eternity as that monster and put her down before she got a chance to harm her loved ones.

“Quick get them out of here now” the Circus Master said about Marcozia’s prisoners to Denika, whilst he went for the book of the Vampires which he then placed in his hat.

Denika wrapped an energy bubble around herself and the three people Marcozia had held prisoner who she then flew out of the church, with the Circus Master following her.

Marcozia meanwhile pulled himself out of the rubble, roaring and hissing. He ran towards the doors of the church, only to see Denika conjuring up a massive energy blast in front. In panic he ran back through the church. Denika’s blast however brought the entire church down though Marcozia was still able to escape just in time by jumping out the back window. The blast still scorched the Vampire and threw him several feet through the air.

“Cursed Witch!” he screamed in pain and anger.

Still lost in the factory, Ashlei thought she could hear the Strange Boy clawing at the two giant front doors for a few minutes before it stopped.

“Strange Boy.” Strange Boy” She screamed, only to be met with her monstrous brother cackle. “Why are you hiding.” Ashlei shouted whilst holding her crowbar up. “Then your pain would be over” Brian taunted in response.

Ashlei backed into a wall. She could barely see anything in the pitch black, but she could at least make sure that he couldn’t jump her from behind this way.

“You fucking coward. Fight me!” she screamed in panic, only to be greeted by the sound of her Demonic brother laughing again.” He soon emerged from the darkness, most of his burn wounds having healed.

“Don’t feel bad sis. I’m going to make your death a lot more memorable than Tom’s”

Suddenly as Brian prepared to strike, he was jumped from behind by the Strange Boy. The Jiang Shi hadn’t managed to break his way into the door, but he had been able to pinpoint Ashlei by scent and had managed to make his way in through a window above.

In a one on one fight Brian had no chance, even against the child Jiang Shi, one of the strongest breeds. In just a few moments, the Strange Boy was able to break Brian’s legs pin his body to the ground.

The Strange Boy pulled out a copper knife and prepared to strike it into the Vampires heart.

“STOP” Ashlei shouted to both Vampires surprise.

“Let me do it” she said.

After a few seconds of hesitation where The Strange Boy almost seemed to growl in anger, the Jiang Shi handed Ashlei the copper knife. The Strange Boy’s behaviour was always hard to predict, but he seemed to understand on some small level why Ashlei felt she should do this herself.

Ashlei still hesitated for a few minutes. The Strange Boy didn’t react one way or the other. He just stood there as always with no expression.

“Please Ashlei. Don’t fail me again like you always did.” Brian whimpered. Even when begging for its life a Vampire couldn’t help but be cruel.

After waiting for a few minutes Ashlei finally plunged the knife straight through the Vampires heart. Just before Brian crumbled into nothing, Ashlei said. “I’m doing this for Brian. The real Brian.”

After killing the twisted Demonic caricature of her brother Ashlei simply sat in silence. The danger was over, for her now anyway, but she started to wonder why she had even fought so hard for life. Where could she possibly go from here. The Strange Boy as always didn’t speak or acknowledge anything had happened, but he still didn’t leave her side.

Carlene, Florence and Keptis had managed to make their way to what looked like an old prison where the Vampires kept most of the humans for food, or to be turned into new Alpha’s. (Though they also kept people in cages underneath other old buildings when the prison was full.)

The three had evaded the horde of pursuing Vampires by jumping from the tops of buildings (with Florence carrying Keptis.) They had managed to lose the monsters by jumping down a back alley and then sneaking in through a nearby house, after which they then slipped out through a window.

The Vampires were running through the streets tearing up buildings to try and find their enemies, whilst the three time travelers, keeping out of sight crept in through a back window of the prison.

Inside there were very few people. Most had either been turned into monsters or dragged off to be tortured and killed by the Vampires. The prison was dark and dank and limbs and entrails were scattered around the place.

Whilst Carlene and Keptis searched the nearby area for any Vampires, Florence approached the first prisoner they could see, a young man cowering in a near by cell, covered in blood.

Suddenly he ground beneath Florence’s feet began to shake and she was knocked over as something big began to emerge out of the floor.

It was a giant snail’s shell. Carlene shouted at Florence to get out of there. She knew this breed of Vampire from her time only too well.

Before Florence could even get up however, the upper body of a hideous, green, slimy bald, fanged man came out of the shell and grabbed Florence. The monster didn’t even speak. It was completely animalistic.

Carlene tried to attack the Snail Vampire, but it smacked her across the room and through the doors of a nearby cell.

Keptis tried to attack the Vampire next with his flaming saw, but the monster deflected the saw onto its shell which it bounced off of!

Florence however grabbed one of the poles from the cell door that Carlene had been thrown through and stabbed it into the Vampires eye. Whilst the Vampire screamed, Keptis sawed its hand off with his saw. Carlene then jumped on the Vampires upper body and held it down, whilst Keptis sawed the monsters head clean off.

“Snail Vampires were always my least favourite.” Carlene said with revulsion as she wiped the stinging slime from its back off her hands.

The two Vampires and the Martian next freed all of the captives with Keptis easily slicing his way through the metal bars.

When they reached the bottom floor however, dozens of Vampires came bursting in through the walls from different corners. The three time travelers were completely surrounded, but they made sure to put the prisoners in middle. Fortunately help soon arrived in the form of Denika, who came crashing through from above in a magical bubble along with The Circus Master and Marcozia’s prisoners.

The Witch expanded the bubble to be large enough to scoop up the other three time travelers and the rest of the prisoners after which she then flew back through the sky.

Several winged Vampires started to attack the bubble, though most of them simply bounced off of it. Still each time they struck the bubble, Denika was clearly hurt.

One Vampire managed to jump its way through the bubble just like Marcozia had done, but Keptis disposed of it with his flaming saw.

“There are other prisoners, we need to find them” Carlene said.

The Circus Folk would trace the very few remaining prisoners there were, using Carlene, Florence and the Circus Masters’ advanced sense of smell. They’d break into each run down building, either dispose of, or keep the Vampire guards distracted whilst Denika would take the prisoners and the Circus Folk themselves to safety. Unfortunately the stress of carrying so many people, soon began to weigh heavily on Denika. She almost couldn’t bare it.

“Down there” Carlene shouted, pointing at what looked like a small park. “The last of them is in there.”

In the centre of the park were a few people hung upside down from trees, all women, and they all looked as though they had been beaten and scratched.

Denika lowered them to an area just outside the trees. She was forced to temporarily release the bubble when she landed, she was so exhausted. It was a struggle just to stay awake.

Eight Vampires instantly came jumping down from the trees as the Circus Folk approached the hostages. They were of the same breed as each other and looked relatively human, albeit with reddish skin. They were incredibly fast and agile. Carlene, Keptis, the Circus Master and Florence battled the Vampires. Physically the Vampires were very weak, and quite easy for the experienced hunters to overpower, but their speed made them a pain.

Whilst the Circus folk were distracted however, the horde caught up with the time travelers and started to attack their prisoners. One of the winged Vampires grabbed a prisoner, a young girl, and threw her to the rest of the horde who then tore her apart.

Denika was too weak to even fight back. Seeing what was happened, Carlene quickly grabbed the Circus Masters hat and jumped in front of Denika and the prisoners who all huddled together. She started to throw various knives at the Vampires. As there were so many different breeds, some Vampires were not affected, though she did manage to slay over a dozen or so of the monsters. There were far too many of them however and they soon cornered Carlene and the prisoners.

Denika managed to muster up her strength just in time and send a wave to blast the Vampires back, before placing the bubble around herself, her team mates and the prisoners, who Keptis, Florence and the Circus Master had managed to bring down from the trees.

“We, we have to get out of here.” Denika said weakly as they hovered to sky. “I can’t hold on much longer. We’ve scoured the entire village, Carlene said she can’t smell any more survivors.”

“Yes.” Said the Circus Master. “If only we’d arrived earlier. We’ll need to fly round the village one more time however.” He continued.

“Why!” Denika said barely able to speak she was in so much pain from the struggle.

“We need to burn it down that’s why.” The Circus Master replied as he reached into his hat for several of Denika’s flame bottles. There were eight in total which he threw all over the village. The flames soon spread around the entire village. Among the Vampires Carlene caught sight of in the panic was the young urchin boy.

In a matter of minutes the entire village went up in flames and Denika only just made it out before finally fainting in mid flight. She and all of the others she was carrying fell from about 20 feet in the air.

One of the prisoners even broke their leg in the fall, but Carlene still managed to catch Denika before she hit the ground, though she couldn’t rouse her.

“Denika, Denika please say something”. She had been pushed too far, not just in carrying the prisoners, but also in levelling the building and conjuring the magics from her world.

The sound of the Vampires screaming in the flames was deafening, but not all of the bloodsuckers were consumed in the fire.

Four large grey Vampires came marching out of the fire and Marcozia stood on the largest grey Vampires shoulders above the flames.

Marcozia instantly jumped at the Circus Master, whilst the grey Vampires went for the others. Carlene tried to punch one of the monsters but it simply grabbed her arm which it then broke before throwing her back towards the flames, though Florence managed to catch her in time.

Keptis’ flaming saw was no use. It simply bounced off of the Vampires and when he tried to fight them in hand to hand combat they easily dominated the Martian. Still he didn’t give up.

Marcozia meanwhile after overpowering the Circus Master had stolen the Vandals hat from him. Whenever the Circus Master tried to get it back, Marcoza would easily dodge his attacks and strike him to the floor.

“Without this box of tricks you’re nothing! Tell you what, get on your knees and beg and I’ll give them back and you can try and save your friends.” Marcozia taunted

The Circus Master looked around at Florence and Carlene being hopelessly overpowered by one of the grey Vampires, whilst the other three toyed with Keptis.

“Well do we have a deal.”

The Circus Master got down on his knees much to Marcozia’s delight.

“I honestly thought you’d have more dignity than that, then again you are a Vandal.”

“Let me debase myself further” The Circus Master said enthusiastically as he reached his claws into his stomach and ripped them open. Marcozia couldn’t stop laughing, but the Circus Master quickly threw his guts into the Vampires eyes. Whilst Marcozia was blinded for just a few seconds, the Circus Master, attacked the Vampire and slashed him repeatedly, tearing his guts out, slashing one of his hands off and clawing out one of his eyes, before grabbing the hat.

The Circus Master threw two gold knives to Carlene and Florence. Carlene slashed the Grey Vampire in the throat before burying her knife into its chest, killing it instantly.

Florence meanwhile jumped onto the back of one of the Grey Vampires attacking Keptis’ and stabbed it through the heart, before flipping over to face the other two. She managed to stab another of the monsters before it could even react, whilst with the final monster she easily dodged its attack, slashed at its kneecaps, then its chest, and its throat, before finally stabbing it through the heart.

In the confusion Marcozia grabbed Keptis whilst Florence was busy with the Vampires and held him by the throat.

“Give me the book” he snarled at the Circus Master. “Or I’ll tear this freak’s head off.”

The Circus Master reached into his hat, but rather than the book, he threw a stake to Keptis who caught it and stabbed Marcozia in the shin, before punching him in the face.

Whilst the Vampire was dazed and weakened from the pain, the Circus Master jumped him and lifted Marcozia above his head before throwing him into the flames of the village.

Marcozia screamed and actually managed to make his way out of the flames, by a kick in the chest from The Circus Master sent him hurling back and in a few more seconds the screaming stopped.

The Circus Master went to check on Denika, whilst the rest of the Circus Folk stood guard over the flames to make sure none of the other Vampires could escape. Up above Carlene, Keptis and Florence could see one of the winged Vampires attempt to fly above the burning village, but its body had already gone up and though it did managed to fly out of the village it soon collapsed into a nearby tree causing it go up in flames too.

After a few minutes Denika started to wake up, though she was still incredibly weak.

“Thank god for a minute you had me worried.” The Circus Master said.

“It’s over Denika” The Circus Master said as he picked her up, whilst the rest of the Circus folk rallied the confused survivors together.

The Vampires base of operations was destroyed and the book was in their possession. Sadly not all of the Vampires would perish in the flames. The Circus Master and Carlene had encountered many of the new breeds in the village in the far future. Clearly some of them would escape the flames and infect others, or at the very least they had infected others around London already.

There was nothing the Circus Folk could do to stop that however. Vampires would always continue but they had succeeded in their mission in preserving the timeline.

It would be several months more before the Circus Folk could leave Victorian England however. They had to make sure that the over 40 people they rescued from the Vampires did not share anything they had learned about the supernatural to preserve the timeline. They also had to make sure that the families of those who didn’t make it, such as Kelly were informed which was always the hardest part of the mission. It took them a long time to track down all the people who had been abducted and turned by the monsters.

The Circus folk also had to make sure than of the surviving Vampires didn’t regroup and finally they had to find somewhere to bury the book. The Circus Master couldn’t destroy it, even if he wanted to. Not only was it indestructable, but it would be discovered again at a later date according to the timeline, so he made sure to bury it in the place it would be found.

At the very least it would be several more decades before it’s horrors would be unleashed upon mankind again.

During this time Carlene not only helped the Circus Folk in their numerous grim tasks, but she also looked after the two surviving children. Carlene had been the one who found Ashlei in the factory after they returned to the Circus from the village. Ashlei didn’t even have to tell Carlene what had happened. She couldn’t bring herself to say it. As soon as Carlene arrived in the factory, Ashlei collapsed into her arms sobbing.

Ashlei always felt she could be herself around Carlene more than anyone. Even with her brothers she had always had to be the strong one, but with Carlene she could be honest with how she really felt. Even then however Ashlei still found it hard to talk about what happened with Tom and Brian. She simply didn’t want to admit it happened.

Fortunately for Daniel Carlene had managed to catch the infection in time, though he still went through hell for a few days until he was sure he wasn’t infected. It was only due to Carlene’s support that both children were able to make it through what would be the darkest periods in their lives.

Finally after two months. The Circus Folk were ready to go. Carlene met the Circus Master one last time outside of their Circus. The others it seems didn’t care enough to say goodbye in person.

“So where are you going now?” Carlene asked the Circus Master.

“We go where the timeline needs us. It could be anywhere on any planet, at any point in it’s history. The supernatural exist all over the universe.”

“So eh” Carlene said awkwardly. “Why does it look like a Circus?”

“It was built by Vandals. When they ruled over Europe, this was the product of all the thousands of years worth of magics they had access to. They built it as their ultimate weapon, to spread their evil across time and space, but it was disguised as something you’d never expect to be an ultimate weapon.”

“A Circus?”

“Yes exactly, fortunately though I was part of a team who were able to steal it. Most of the time it’s not a problem that it looks like a Circus. There are so many weird spaceship designs out there, and if we do land somewhere like here? It makes a perfect disguise.”

“Interesting, interesting. So do you reckon you’ll ever come round these parts again.”

“If you want to come along Carlene, you just have to ask.”

“What makes you think I want to?”

“Like Marcozia said. You’re not sure where you fit in. Too much of a human for monster town, too much of a monster for human town. You just helped to save this city from being overrun by bloodsucking Demons, yet they run away from you in the street. Even if you don’t exactly see eye to eye with everyone here, I reckon you’ll probably fit in with us more than anyone else.”

“I’ve never been much of a team player.”

“I don’t know about that? I’ve read about the legion of paranormal you worked with. You also seemed to work quite well with us.”

“How do you know so much about me?”

“Let’s just say I had a peek into the Circus Folk’s future and well it might be of interest to you.”

“You’re saying I join you.”

“Well I can’t say for sure, timeline and all that, but if you’ll just take the hint. They seem to keep going over that beehive of yours.”

“Well maybe that’s one possible future.”

“Not it isn’t. Trust me on this. You can never, ever, under any circumstances change history. Do you understand. It’s why I don’t generally like to tell people their future.”

“What happens if I change history?”

“You become an anomaly and the Guardians will take you to the Abyss.”

“The what?”

“An endless void of nothingness, where you never age, never die.”

“I don’t understand? Didn’t you change history now? For all you know Vampires were supposed to take over London.”

“No we didn’t. We just made history, specifically the history you come from in the future where Vampires didn’t rule the earth in the late 19th century. There is a difference between making history and changing it. You could go backwards in time and be the reason your grandparents met, which results in your birth. You’ve just made your own history that way. However if you were to go back and kill your grandparents before your father or mothers birth, you’d be creating a paradox. You’d never exist and then your grandparents would never die, and then you’d be alike again, and you’d kill them and so on and so on. In order to stop these paradoxes from trapping people, even whole worlds in time loops, the Guardians will take you to the Abyss out of time and space.”

“How can you possibly know that you are making history?”

“I can tell when we are the right course, all time travelers can. If you start to deviate you feel pain. Also in The Circus, in the fountain, which is at the center of our vessel, we experience illusions of the timeline that will happen if we don’t create it. If you fail to make your own history the Guardian’s will come for you too.”

“So you’re telling me then I have to come with you or I’ll get thrown into a black hole forever?”

“Well when you put it that way yes. I thought it would be better if I came at it from the whole, you’ll fit in better with us angle.”

“Well I suppose you were right about that darling. I don’t like this time. It’s horrible. No wonder the Vampires thrived in this city. The corruption, poverty, the greed.”

“It’s the same in every period in human history. Vampires, Vandals, Demons their always waiting in the shadows preying on the weaknesses of humans for their own ends.”

“Well maybe I can find somewhere out in the universe where that’s not the case.” Carlene said.

“Awright I’ll join you, though remember it’s mostly because I don’t have a choice.”

“I know, I don’t either remember.”

“You better let the others know.”

“I already told them. I lost the coin toss for being the one to tell you you had to come with us. You’ve taken it well though. Not everyone does when they’re told they have to join us.”

“What do you do if someone doesn’t want to join, but you need them to for the timeline?”

The Circus Master didn’t answer her and simply told Carlene to get her things ready.

Carlene returned to her mansion to let the children know she would be leaving, which would be no easy task. Carlene didn’t want to leave either, but even without the changes to the timeline, Carlene felt it would be better for the children in the long run. Her presence here would just make Ashlei and Daniel targets for both the supernatural and the easily frightened citizens of London. After what had happened with the Vampire urchin in front of Carlene’s house the public had been more untrusting of her than ever. They’d literally run away screaming at the sight of her, despite her name being cleared by the police.

Carlene intended to leave her house and wealth to the two children, but it sadly it wasn’t enough. For Ashlei anyway. Daniel was upset but he understood Carlene’s reasons. Ashlei simply couldn’t bare to lose someone again.

“I’m sorry darling”. Carlene said softly. “I have to go to preserve the timeline . Call it fate or destiny or whatever, but I have to go.”

“In my entire life Carlene, you’ve been the closest thing I’ve ever had to a mother. Now I’m going to lose you too. I don’t think I can.”

Carlene hugged Ashlei. “I wish it could be different Ashlei.”

“Take me with you.” Ashlei said through the tears.

“I’m afraid I can’t.”

“You just want to abandon me like everyone else.”

“You wouldn’t be safe Ashlei.”

“You can protect me. Please, just ask them.”

Carlene thought about it for a second. Deep down she wanted Ashlei to come with her too. She had grown extremely fond of the young girl. Still she’d never forgive herself if anything happened to her. Carlene decided to let Ashlei ask the Circus Master, believing that he would tell her that she couldn’t come to preserve the timeline.

It was cowardly Carlene admitted to herself, to put the task on the Circus Master, but she felt Ashlei would accept it more if it came from him.

Daniel meanwhile was adamant about not going with them. Whilst he was sad to see both Ashlei and Carlene go, he had had his fill of adventure and monsters for one lifetime. Somehow Ashlei and Daniel both knew this would be the last time they would see one another and wished each other luck.

“Goodbye Ashlei. I hope you can find peace wherever you go.”

“You too Daniel. I’m sorry I said I’d always be there for you.”

“Its okay I understand. You and the Vampire have already done more for me than my actual family. I hope we meet again someday, but if we don’t just know that I’m glad I met you. Both of you, thank you for everything.”

When Carlene and Ashlei arrived at the Circus, the others except for the Circus Master were surprised to see Ashlei.

“You’re not thinking of bringing her along too?” Denika said in disbelief.

“Please let me come with you. I’ve got nothing back here. I want” she said as she clutched onto Carlene. “To be with you.”

The Circus Master was silent for a few seconds before letting out a big smile.

“Of course you can come with us.”

The rest of the Circus Folk were shocked.

“Are you taking the piss?” Denika said

“I don’t make the rules up. You should know that by now. Do you remember in the year 1949 when we took care of that skirmish between the Goblins and the Monsters, the old man who made sure I took his diary with me? Take a look” The Circus Master said as he took the diary out of the book case and tossed it to Denika.

Denika flicked through the book for a few seconds before handing it round the others.

“Well that settles that then.” Denika said somewhat embarrassed.

“I can’t say that a young child with no fighting skills is an ideal choice of companion, but like I said I don’t make the rules up. Miss McKay I hope you do us proud”

Ashlei hugged Carlene who was still unsure about the whole situation. At the very least she didn’t have to break Ashlei’s heart, but she wasn’t sure what kind of a life they could give the young girl.

The Circus Master meanwhile tossed a coin into the fountain which then turned green, before the Circus vanished in a puff of purple smoke, to another time and place.

Whilst Daniel had had his fill of the supernatural, he would go on to use his wealth to fund research into the occult. He lived a long and very happy life thanks to Carlene’s wealth and he never forgot who was responsible for it. Many years later he would repay the favour to Carlene and Ashlei in 1949 when he met a younger version of the Circus Master and gave him his diary, which he assured the Vandal would come in handy one day for both of them.

To Be Continued

The Circus Master: The Book of the Vampires: Part 5: Consider Yourself One Of Us

American Experience: The Circus | Netflix

Florence awoke in a smelly, dark, wet cellar behind several bars.

On the outside of her cage she could see blood stained all over the floor and the furniture, which consisted of a few chairs and a table. She tried to break the bars with her Vampire strength, but they were too strong for her.

Florence noticed a young girl, crying and hiding at the far end of the cage. As she went to comfort her she could see the girl, who was no older than 14, was covered in cuts and bruises.

“There were 12 of us.” She whimpered to Florence. “I’ve been here for two weeks, and each time they take one us outside, I can hear their screaming above. It lasts for hours each time. The last time was different however. They took one of us, a young boy, and they.”

“They what.” Florence said as she tried to comfort the poor girl.

“They read from some book, and they, they turned him into a monster. He tore another three of us apart. They’ve left me here for two days. I don’t know when they’re coming for me but.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.” Florence said as she hugged the poor girl.

“Oh really? You couldn’t even protect yourself. Would you be in our cage otherwise?”

It was the Alpha Vampire that Florence had fought in the hospital. Some parts of its face were still badly burned, and once again Florence felt there was a depressing sense of familiarity to the beasts face.

Florence pushed the girl behind her and stood her ground against the monster.

“I’m not going to beg, as I know that’ll only make it worse, can I just ask you who were before you became this?”

The monster smiled. “I believe you once knew me as the butcher of Ivory.”

“Malstrom” Florence said.

“I don’t understand? They hanged you years ago?”

“The book can also bring back the dead it seems. They’re picking the best and brightest for their new army.”

“Even by their standards I wouldn’t have thought they’d want you. Surely even Vampires know you’re scum.”

“They don’t judge me unlike you bitches. You all thought I killed that girl, you lot threw the noose around my neck without ever even knowing the truth.”

“What do you mean.”

“That girl they supposedly caught me for killing. I didn’t do it.”

“You’re lying”

“Why would I lie now? Its not like you or anyone else can hurt me. I can take what I want, but I assure you, I did not kill that girl.”

“So what you’re saying you were just some poor misunderstood guy that we all formed a lynch mob against. Blamed for killing his parents, his wife and his patients?”

“Oh no I killed all of them” Malstrom said in an extremely casual way. “But the last one I was innocent of! It’s not fair. I was hung for something I didn’t even commit.”

“Well” Florence continued. “If it makes you feel any better I’ll make you pay for the things you have actually done.”

The Vampire smiled. “Oh really? Tell you what, if you can beat me here, I’ll let the little brat go.”

The young girl clung to Florence.

“He’s the worst of them all.” The girl said as she held onto the Siren.

Florence wasn’t sure what to do. She knew she couldn’t take him in a fair fight. Still maybe she could trick the Demon and buy the girl enough time to get free.

The giant Vampire opened the door with its tentacles and then battered Florence to the back of the cage as she tried to fight, before wrapping its tentacle around her feet and pulling her out of the cage. The monster threw Florence to the other side of the room and then punched her into a wall. When it tried to make another move against her however, Florence jumped over its back and grabbed the table. With her super strength she managed to life it, and smashed it over the Alpha’s head, before using one of the planks from the broken table, to repeatedly hit the Alpha over the head again and again.

“Run now” Florence shouted to the young girl, who instantly obliged. The Alpha however batted Florence away, and wrapped its tentacle around the young girl and lifted her into the air.

“You lose I’m afraid.” The monster taunted. Florence however jumped onto the Alpha’s back and and dug her claws into the Alphas burnt flesh. It hurt both of them as its boiling blood burnt Florence’s fingers.

The Alpha however simply swung the young girl back into Florence knocking her off. It then grabbed Florence and threw her back into the cage and locked the door.

Florence tried to pull the bars down, but it was no use. She was forced to watch as the Alpha grabbed the young girl and started to slowly crush her to death.

You’ll be safer in here. Carlene said to Ashlei who didn’t respond at all. Carlene had taken Ashlei back to the Circus. It’s magics were a lot more powerful than those that protected Carlene’s mansion and could prevent any Vampire or anyone else from entering. With her brother on the loose Carlene felt that the two children were better off here. Carlene was also worried what the angry villagers would do after all of the commotion involving Brian.

Daniel who was still out cold, was secured in Denika’s magical chains at the corner. They still didn’t know if he was going to change into a Vampire or not, so they had to be sure. The Strange Boy was also left behind to protect Ashlei if Daniel did change, and somehow managed to escape the chains.

Carlene tried to comfort Ashlei assuring her that they wouldn’t be long in dealing with the Vampires (even if she didn’t believe it.)

Ashlei however still didn’t respond. Carlene didn’t know if the young girl was going to stay put or not, but sadly she didn’t have time to focus on Ashlei. The Vampires needed to be stopped.

Outside Denika had created a magic bubble that would encase all of the Circus Folk (except for the Strange Boy who was left on guard) and allow them to travel much quicker to Lourouse. They reached the village in about five mins thanks to Denika’s magics, which would have taken four times longer otherwise. They were cutting it fine to the time limit the Vampires had given them, but Denika had needed all the time she could to try and master the magics in Carlene’s beehive.

When they arrived at the village it was seemingly deserted. The village stunk so badly they could smell it from miles away. It was the stench of the Vampires themselves. Most Vampire breeds had an absolutely foul stench, so when that many congregated together, it was almost toxic.

Many of the buildings had crumbled to bits, or at least looked worn down, though there was still a gigantic church right in the middle of the wretched place that looked more or less intact.

Denika took the Circus folk down into a square right in the middle of the town.

The Circus Master stood in front of the others calling out to the Vampires. A few minutes passed before Vampires from various different breeds started to emerge from all the corners of the square.

There were at least six different types of Vampires, all utterly grotesque. They included three blue skinned Vampires, with plated skin, green eyes and no hair. Two yellow skinned Vampires with long flowing red hair and red eyes. Two Vampires with massive bat like wings and hideous snout like faces and long flowing black hair. Three Vampires each with eight tentacles, flailing around and large rock like heads. And finally a woman who had a greenish hue to her skin, massive blue hair, and large claws. She looked the most human of all the monsters there, but there was something cruel about her that went beyond even being a Vampire.

The monsters all had blood dripping from their fangs. They hissed and snarled at the Circus folk who huddled together in fear except for the Circus Master who stood his ground.

“Even just looking at you is enough to make me sick Vandal.” Said a strange figure who emerged from behind the two winged Vampires.

Unlike all the other Vampires he looked almost completely human, though he was still incredibly thin and pale. Carlene instantly recognised him as Marcozia.

“I still can’t believe it’s true” Carlene said.

“Well if it isn’t the traitor.” Marcozia sneered.

“Oh so suddenly you’re a born again Vampire? Unbelievable. I remember when you used to give me shit for being a Vampire. It was all, a Vampire can never change, I’ll always be a monster no matter what. Yet now I’m a traitor?”

Marcozia laughed. “Well you see that’s the thing, Vampires, hunters, Vandals, Demons. They’re all just trying to survive. They’ll delude themselves into thinking that they have the moral high ground, but ultimately everyone just roots for the team they are a part of. When I was a human, I was on their side and wanted to kill every Vampire. Now that I’m a Vampire? I’ll be just as dogmatic against my former team. You on the other hand Carlene? You’re an idiot. You still cling to the memory of what you once were and fight for a side that wants to kill you. I’ve never realised just how sad you were until now.”

The Vampires words stung Carlene. She didn’t doubt that what she was doing was right, but Marcozia’s words did remind her of how no matter what good deeds she did the overwhelming majority of people would only ever see her as a Vampire.

Marcozia continued. “You do know that I’m not going to release your friend, right?”

“A Vampire that doesn’t keep his word? Shocking!” Keptis said.

The Vampires moved closer to the Circus folk, whilst the Circus Master still stood his ground.

“I admire your courage. I didn’t think either Vampires or Vandals were capable of it.” Marcozia said.

The Circus Master responded by bowing in a mocking fashion and dropping his large top hat on the ground, upside down. Two of the yellow Vampires looked into the hat out of curiosity and saw nothing. Suddenly however the Circus Master reached into the hat and pulled out two silver blades, both coated in holy water and started slashing at the two Vampires. Their wounds both sizzled, though he wasn’t sure if it was the holy water or the silver that had hurt them.

The Circus Master then picked the hat back up and started throwing weapons to the other Circus Folk, including Keptis’ flaming chainsaw. Denika had successfully duplicated the magic in Carlene’s beehive and applied them to the Circus Masters hat, allowing it to be bigger on the inside and contain all the weapons they needed.

Keptis managed to slice the head off of one of the blue Vampires as it attacked him, whilst Denika blasted the winged Vampire several feet backwards with her magic. Carlene meanwhile had been given an axe which she used to hack at the Vampires. She cut one of the winged beasts legs off and sliced the arm off of the blue haired Vampire.

Unfortunately however the yellow skinned Vampires flame red hair was able to stretch out and grab both the Circus Master and the Carlene from behind, enveloping them both.

The hair was so strong that neither could break free. Denika who was hovering about 20 feet in the air above blasted the yellow Vampire that had grabbed Carlene and the Circus Master. Unfortunately another yellow Vampire used its hair to smack Denika in the chest, sending her flying across the village. The Circus Master however managed to catch the Yellow Vampire that had attacked he and Carlene, whilst it was off guard and stabbed it through the heart with a copper knife, killing it instantly. The Circus Master knew this breed in the far future and so he knew its weaknesses.

The other Yellow Vampire that had overpowered Denika tried to grab The Circus Master, but Carlene tackled it from behind. Before the Vampire could defend itself, The Circus Master tossed one his knives to Carlene who stabbed it through the Vampires heart.

Keptis meanwhile fought off the tentacled Vampires. He sliced off a few of the monsters tentacles with his flaming saw, but there were so many arms attacking him, that they eventually managed to knock the saw out of Keptis’ hand. One of the Vampires then wrapped its tentacles around Keptis’ throat and brought him to his knees. The monster prepared to strike another tentacle through the last Martian’s chest, but the Circus Master stabbed one of his silver blades into the monsters tentacle, and then grabbed Keptis, though not before Keptis was able to pick up his flaming saw.

The Circus Master jumped over twenty feet in the air onto one of the few remaining buildings with Keptis in tow, whilst Carlene followed him.

Ashlei hadn’t moved for ages. She couldn’t muster up the energy for anything. Not that there was anything to do mind you. Daniel hadn’t woken up. He occasionally groaned, but he was still completely out of it.

Suddenly the torturous silence was interrupted by an all too familiar voice. It was Brian.

“Ashlei, Ashlei please, help me. That thing its gone now, I don’t know for how long, please!”

“What, what’s going on” Daniel grumbled as he started to come round, but as soon as he looked down at the stump where his arm had once been it all came screaming back.

“Oh god  Ashlei, I’m, I” suddenly he noticed Brian’s voice calling from outside.

“He’s here he found us” Daniel said as he struggled in the chains

“Relax he can’t get in here” Ashlei said somewhat coldly.

The Strange Boy was still standing outside the tent. He hadn’t moved however despite Brian calling to Ashlei.

“Why am I chained up? Is this, the Circus? Where’s the Vampire, the Circus Master, the Witch, the”

“They chained you up” Ashlei said as she searched through a chest.

“What? Why?”

“They said you were infected by my brother. They’re not sure on whether you’ll turn into one of those Vampires or not. You’ll have to wait a couple more hours to see if you’re in the clear.”

“What!” Daniel shouted in anguish. “No, oh god please tell me I won’t become one of those things, please Ashlei.”

“I’m sorry” Ashlei said almost with no emotion which disturbed Daniel.

“I have to see my brother now.”

“What you can’t go out there. It’s not your brother anymore. Ashlei, please I need your help. Ashlei!” She continued to ignore him as she marched outside to confront her inhuman brother.

As soon as she stepped outside Ashlei could see Brian was lying, as he soon came into view. Not that she expected her brother to be himself mind you, but it was still a shock to hear her brother’s voice come from the hideous abomination. The Strange Boy instantly hopped towards Brian, but Ashlei held him back.

Brian started to cackle. “I can’t believe you fell for that. You never were too bright were you sis?”

Ashlei tried to keep her cool. “I know this thing isn’t who Brian really was.” she said whilst trying to hold back her tears.

“You’re right. It’s the product of your failure. You were supposed to look out for me, for both of your little brothers and look what happened. If those monsters had just killed me, you could have mourned for a few seconds and then forgotten me like everybody else. Instead they’ve immortalised your selfishness and cowardice for all time.”

“I swear I never meant to leave you, I” She held back the tears. “No I know you’re not him, but I do want the real Brian, if he’s in there, to know that I’m sorry.”

“Sorry” the Vampire laughed. “Is that all you can say for letting me become this.”

“No I meant sorry for what I’m about to do.” Ashlei pulled out a small bottle of holy water that she had taken from the chest in the Circus and threw it over Brian whose flesh began to burn and sizzle just like before. Again the Strange Boy attempted to intervene and finish him, but Ashlei held the little boy back. She was determined to finish Brian herself.

As the Vampire fell to the floor writhing in agony, Ashlei made a move towards the monster with a wooden stake. She stabbed it through his heart. Nothing happened however and Brian grabbed Ashlei by the throat and threw her in the opposite direction from the Circus.

Brian laughed as the holy water burned his flesh.

“You should have done your research Sis” he taunted as he pulled the stake from his chest.

The Strange Boy meanwhile grabbed Brian from behind. The Jiang Shi’s strength was greater than Brian’s breed, but nevertheless Brian was able using his superior body weight to push the Strange Boy back into the Tent.

Brian then grabbed Ashlei and held her by the neck, stopping The Strange Boy in his tracks.

“Try to follow me you little freak and I’ll rip her to pieces.” Brian continued as he headed to a nearby abandoned factory.

Once they reached it Brian shut the two gigantic, reinforced steel doors behind him and threw Ashlei to the floor in front of him.

“Let’s have some fun” the monster said to Ashlei who was forced to flee ahead in the darkness.

The Circus Master (who was carrying Keptis) and Carlene had managed to escape from the horde of Vampires by jumping from roof top to roof top, (or rather what was left of each roof top in most cases.) None of the three time travellers were really sure where they were going, they just wanted to get a bit of a distance between themselves and the Vampires.

Since they fled the square, literally hundreds of Vampires had started to emerge from practically every building and corner of the village,.

Carlene however quickly stopped on the latest building they had landed on. It was mostly intact, compared to the other buildings in the village.

“Carlene, what are you doing? Come on!” The Circus Master shouted.

“Hang on I think I’m picking up a scent. It’s Florence, she’s down there.” Carlene replied.

Suddenly two new type of Vampires jumped onto the roof. They both had three heads, all long and serpent like, and 6 arms, whilst their skin was thick, armour plated and yellow.

“Go find her, I’ll hold these things off. Go now” The Circus Master said. Keptis and Carlene jumped down to an alley between the two buildings whilst more and more Vampires jumped or flew onto the roof to attack the Circus Master.

The Circus Master pulled out a massive sword from his hat. It’s blade was made of fire just like Keptis flaming saw. The Vampires all attempted to dogpile on the Circus Master but his sword prevented any of them from getting close. Arms and tentacles and even the odd head from the attacking Vampires went flying all over the roof, as the Circus Master swung his sword back and forth.

“She’s in there, in the basement I can pick up her scent, only just. Come on” Carlene said.

Two Vampires however had picked up Carlene and Keptis scent and descended on either side of the alley. They were both tall and incredibly thin to the point where there were practically skeletons, whilst their faces were rotten and decaying. The monsters were both far stronger than their light frames suggested, with the Vampire who attacked Carlene easily overpowering her, whilst the other Vampire managed to grab Keptis’ flaming saw by the handle and toss it out of his hand.

Carlene in response bit the Vampire that pinned her in the throat, shocking it for a minute before she punched it in the stomach, the face and then flipped it over her shoulder onto the other Vampire that was attacking Keptis.

Whilst the two Vampires were down Keptis used his saw to slice one of the Vampires heads off. The other Vampire however jumped to its feet and struck Keptis before he could attack, knocking him to the ground. Carlene attempted to fight the monster again, but this time it was too fast for her and delivered a flurry of punches to her stomach and face. Keptis however went for the monsters legs whilst he was on the ground and sliced one of them off, before taking the monsters head off when its body fell to the ground.

Using her Vampiric strength, Carlene punched a hole in the wall, leading to the cellar in the house, which she and Keptis fled through before more Vampires could pick up their scent.

In the cellar the two time travelers saw the remains of a young girl, literally ripped in half, just by the cage where Florence sat looking completely broken.

“Florence” Keptis whispered. “We’re here.”

“You have to get out of here it’s” before the Siren could finish her warning, a massive tentacle suddenly came bursting out of the ground and grabbed Carlene by the neck, before smashing her into a nearby wall. When the tentacle attempted to grab Keptis however, he managed to slice it off with his saw.

The creature the tentacle belonged to, the hideous Alpha Vampire Malstrom, burst out of the ground screaming in anger.

Keptis stabbed his saw into the monsters’s chest, which caused the Alpha to fall to its knees in pain. However as he pulled the saw up to slice the monster up the middle, its blood splashed onto Keptis’ arms, burning him horribly.

Keptis dropped the saw and fell backwards in pain, whilst Malstrom’s tentacles slowly wrapped themselves around the Martian.

Florence again struggled to try and break the bars, but it was no use.

The Circus Master had managed to hold off the Vampires, with the roof now being covered in nothing but Vampire body parts and entrails. Suddenly however one of the monsters actually managed to stop the Circus Master’s sword dead in its tracks.

It was a large completely grey Vampire. It must have stood over 7 feet tall and it had piercing yellow eyes and massive fangs. The monster had managed to grab the flaming blade itself, which it then snapped in half.

The Circus Master reached for his hat, but the giant creature thumped him in the chest sending him flying towards the edge of the building.

The monster then grabbed the hat and reached into it, but this proved to be a mistake however. Just like Carlene’s beehive, there was a booby trap system in the hat which fired various weapons into the Vampires hand.

Only one of the knives harmed the monster. A gold knife which became embedded in its hand. The Circus Master then jumped forward and reached for the hat, but the monster pulled the gold knife out of its hand and stabbed the Circus Master in the heart, before getting him in a head lock. The Circus Master clawed in vain at the monsters arm, but the beasts hold around his neck grew tighter.

In the factory Ashlei though managing to evade her brother had become lost. No one had set foot here for quite a long time, though the stench of misery and death was still everywhere. All she’d found in the way of weapons where a few crowbars, but nothing that would be particularly useful against a Vampire.

“Oh god Circus freaks where are you” she said bitterly whilst clutching her crowbar. “They said that creepy boy was supposed to protect us!”

Just then Ashlei heard a sound of glass breaking in the distance. “He’s here oh god.”

She had no idea where she could go. It was so dark and cluttered ahead and her vile brother could be around any corner.

“I was right” Brian’s voice came piercing through the darkness. “This is fun.”

Ashlei couldn’t believe she had gotten herself into this situation. She should never have tried to take on a Vampire on her own and just let the Strange Boy deal with Brian. Ironically it had been because of her love for Brian. She was determined to be the one to free him from this nightmare. In a way she felt it was her only way of redemption.

“No” she thought, pulling herself together. “I’m not going to die in here, not at that thing wearing my brothers corpse’s hands.”

Ashlei ran through the dark room ahead, not even sure where she was going. She suddenly heard another screeching sound.

“He’s just toying with me. I need to get out of here now.” As she turned the corner however she suddenly bumped straight into Brian.

Brian batted the crowbar and easily restrained Ashlei. The monster prepared to sink his fangs into Ashlei’s neck, but she was able to escape by punching her brother in his burn wounds, which threw him for a few seconds.

Ashlei grabbed her crowbar and shoved it straight into her brothers forhead ramming him into a nearby wall. The Vampire however threw Ashlei about ten feet across the room, after which it then pulled the crowbar out of it’s forehead.

Brian threw the crowbar at Ashlei, who only managed to just avoid it. Ashlei then picked the crowbar up again and hit her brother over the hit with it, as he attacked her. She knocked Brian to the ground and repeatedly hit him over the head, smashing his brains in. The monster however simply got up, hissing and slabbering at its former sister. Knowing she’d never be able to fight him off or even hurt him, Ashlei ran in the opposite direction.

The Circus Master tried to dig his talons deep into the grey Vampires arm, but it barely made a mark. The Vampire literally laughed at the Circus Masters attempts to hurt him, as did the other five Vampires who gathered round to laugh at the Circus Masters plight.

As all seemed lost, a blue light enveloped the large grey Vampire from behind and though it struggled, the light pulled it away off of the roof.

Another blue light blasted the five Vampires in front of the Circus Master backwards off of the roof. The Circus Master then looked up to see Denika hovering above the building.

“Denika! And here I was trying to rescue you!” The Circus Master laughed as he went for his hat.

Denika scooped the Circus Master up with her magic as more Vampires began to crawl up the building, and the two then flew over the village encased in a magical bubble.

“Where are we going?” The Circus Master asked.

“Marcozia. I followed him and saw that freak retreat to the ruins of church. I could sense something in there. That’s where he’s keeping the book. We have to get there now. I think he’s going to turn someone else into a new Alpha.”

“Well we should go back for Carlene, Florence and Keptis” The Circus Master responded.

“No time I’m afraid, if we don’t move now some other poor soul will become one of those monsters.”

Back in the basement, Carlene had managed to get the drop on Malstrom just as he was about to crush the life out of Keptis like he had done to the young girl.

She jumped on the Vampires back and repeatedly hit him over the head with a piece of concrete that had come off the wall, ironically when Malstrom had slammed Carlene into it.

The Alpha threw Carlene off again, but this time she landed on her feet.

Malstorm roared in anger at Carlene and tried to impale her with one of his tentacles, but Carlene’s reflexes were too fast and she managed to keep dodging the monsters strikes. Carlene was able to trick the Alpha by landing in front of the cage where Florence was imprisoned. When the Alpha tried to impale her, Carlene jumped up to and clung to the ceiling causing the Alpha to hit the bars instead. The Alpha’s strength knocked the bars down instantly. Though Florence was also knocked down too, she jumped back up and picked up one of the bars which she used to hit Malstrom in the face.

Florence was overcome with such rage towards the Alpha that she caught him off guard, and as he tried to fight back, Carlene started to hit the monster from behind with another slab. Carlene went for the monsters legs, whilst Florence struck the monster in the head over and over.

Malstrom however managed to wrap one tentacle around the pole and pulled it from Florence’s hand and then smashed it into Carlene’s face before confronting Florence.

Florence still didn’t give up and jumped at Malstrom, delivering a flurry of punches to the Vampires face, though it quickly overpowered Florence.

Malstrom grabbed Florence by the neck with one hand and lifted her up against the wall. Keptis however used his flaming saw to slice off the arm Malstrom was using to hold Florence up. Some of his blood splashed on Florence, giving her minor burns, but not enough to deter her.

Keptis struck his saw into Malstroms head, but he was still so weak from the burns he didn’t have any strength to sink it in deep, and Malstrom struck the Martian to the ground. Florence however kicked the monster with both feet in the back, knocking him over and then pulled Ketpis’ saw from the monsters head which she then rammed into the Alpha’s neck. Malstrom tried to pull himself up, but Carlene using the pole, Malstrom had hit her with, impaled the monster through the back and to the ground.

Florence sawed the monsters head clean off. Even though its blood splashed onto her hands and burned them, Florence was so overcome with rage, she fought through the pain until she killed the monster.

“Hopefully you’ll stay dead this time.” Florence muttered bitterly as she started to feel the pain from her burns, whilst Carlene helped Keptis up. “I’m okay” he said somewhat proudly.

“Trust me, I lived on a planet full of those things out there. I’ve been through worse. Thank you anyway.”

“No, thank you” Florence said as she tossed the Martian’s saw back to him.

“We need to get back to the Circus Master, he’s alone up there.” Carlene said.

When the threesome made it back to the roof however they saw it was deserted.

“He’s gone? He wouldn’t leave us.” Florence said with worry.

“I can’t smell any Vandal blood here.” Carlene tried to reassure her.

Suddenly the horde below noticed the three time travelers on the roof and started to scale the building.

“We need to get out of here, now.” Keptis shouted as he powered up his flaming saw.

“We need to find their prisoners.” Florence responded.

“They keep humans to lock up as food for the new recruits”

“How are we supposed to find them?” Keptis replied.

“You forget, we’re Vampires, we could easily pick up the scent of any humans that are left” Carlene said.

Three Vampires, consisting of one Octopoid Vampire, and two yellow Vampires soon emerged over the side of the building.

“We need to go now” Carlene said as she jumped onto another building, carrying Keptis with her.

The Circus Master and Denika meanwhile had reached the Church. Through the broken window, the two could see Marcozia holding the Book of Khastran itself that created each new breed of Vampire, with two young men and a young woman sat close by, tied up.

“You make me laugh.” Marcozia said, mockingly to the young woman.

“We both know who you really are, yet here you’re pretending to be vulnerable and weak. Trust me. You’ll love being one of us.”

Denika fired a magical blast at the book, knocking it out of the Vampire’s hands and across the room.

“Not very smart, leaving yourself, one average Vampire to guard your book.” Denika taunted the former hunter before blasting an energy beam at the Marcozia.

The Vampire however managed to deflect Denika’s beam back at her and sent the witch flying backwards to the other end of the Church.

“I’m not an ordinary Vampire. I was once like you. I spent my whole life fighting the supernatural remember. I know how to deflect a simple magical blast like that.”

The Circus Master pulled a copper blade out of his hat. He knew Marcozia’s breed of Vampire and their weaknesses well. They weren’t among the strongest, but Marcozia seemed confident that he could beat The Circus Master even unarmed.

The Circus Master tried to slash Marcozia in the face, but the monster was too quick and kicked the knife out of the Vandals hand. With another kick he knocked the hat off of the Circus Masters head.

When the Circus Master tried to reach for his hat, Marcozia, grabbed the Vandal and flipped him over his shoulder.

The Circus Master jumped to his feet and unsheathed his claws. Every one of his strikes however missed Marcozia, who delivered several blows to the Circus Master’s face and stomach, before grabbing him by the neck and throwing the Vandal to the other end of the room, through some debris.

Before the Circus Master could pull himself up, Marcozia jumped on him from across the room, and pummeled his enemy into submission.

“Whether I’m a human or a Vampire, I still love killing Vandals.” The former hunter said as he lifted a stake.

To Be Continued

The Circus Master: The Book of the Vampires: Part 4: London’s Bleeding

American Experience: The Circus | Netflix

Richard’s was restrained with magical chains right by the fountain of the Circus. Despite the Vampires greater immunity to magic, these chains were forged by some of the most powerful magics found at the very edge of the universe itself.

The Circus Master was preparing a truth spell that would force Richards to talk, but it would take a few minutes. The others sat impatiently by Richards who had already awoken from Denika’s spell.

“What are you going to do to me you freaks.”

“Kill you eventually” Carlene said bluntly.

“But right now the boss is just whipping something up to make you talk.”

“It doesn’t matter if you kill me, there are more like me waiting in the wings.”

“Yeah we know darling, that’s why we want you to talk so we can kill them too” Carlene replied.

Keptis meanwhile looked somewhat worried.

“We should have heard back from Florence by now. I wouldn’t have thought it would have taken that long to take down a child Vampire.”

“You didn’t see what the little bugger was capable of” Carlene replied. “I have a new digestive system because of him.”

“Well” The Circus Master interrupted. “In a few minutes we’ll know just how many of those things are loose in London.”

Richards tried to struggle to break free again, but it was no use. He then started laughing.

“What’s so funny you freak” Denika said.

“Just that you lot combined had trouble bringing me in. I shudder to think how you’ll cope with the others.”

Florence had been able to track the Demon child all the way across London. Florence much like Carlene had an advanced sense of smell, which allowed her to pick up the Demon child’s scent. She carried a large bag containing various Vampire repellents with her.

The trail ended at a nearby hospital. Florence had been there as a little girl. She had most unpleasant memories of a particular Doctor named Malstrom, a famous quack who had a pathological hatred of woman. According to some rumors he had murdered his mother and father, both of whom he allegedly poisoned. His first wife also died under mysterious circumstances too, but it would be for the murder of several of his patients that he would finally be arrested and hanged.

Florence broke down the two rotten front doors of the hospital. Oh how she wished she had just let Carlene follow the boy now. This would be a very unpleasant trip down memory lane.

The hospital had been abandoned not long after the scandal about Malstrom. Very few people ever went there again, and eventually it shut down. It hadn’t been demolished, but rather was simply left to rot right in the heart of the city.

The whole place stunk of urine and vomit that had been allowed to congeal over the years, as well as rats that ran everywhere along the mouldy floors.

Even with the repulsive odors, Florence could still pick up the Vampires scent. He was clearly trying to conceal himself in amongst these horrible smells. As she made her way to the upper levels however, Florence was suddenly able to make out more strange, distinct smells. The scent of more Vampires. There were clearly dozens more in the hospital, maybe even another Alpha. The little boy had actually led her into a trap. Florence slowly backed away towards the stair case she had just come up, hopeful that the Vampires weren’t aware she was there yet.

Unfortunately however a figure suddenly came emerging from the door closest to the stairs. As it wandered out of the darkness it revealed a hideous, bright green, slimy face. The monster had no hair, whilst its skin looked rotting and pungent. Its nails were long, almost as long as the Circus Masters unsheathed, whilst its eyes were completely round and red with a black iris. The monster also had a forked tongue that slithered out of its mouth full of razor sharp teeth.

The monster attacked Florence, but before she could fight back the young urchin Vampire that she had chased in the first place managed to sneak up on the Siren while she was distracted and grabbed her by the back leg. When Florence turned around to try and push the Vampire child off, the slimy, Vampire grabbed Florence in a bear hug from behind. The monster’s slimy skin was burning to the touch, and the slime ate through her clothes and flesh! It managed to pull Florence backwards into a room filled with corpses of the monsters previous victims before throwing her to the floor.

Florence landed right in front of the body of an old man, most of whose skin had been ripped off along with both of his arms. His guts had also been torn out and were smeared all over the nearby wall. Rats had already begun to feast on his mangled innards.

The green Vampire, roaring and hissing grabbed Florence by the legs and pulled her back towards it. Florence however managed to pry herself out of the beasts grasp, flip onto her back and kicked the monster several times in the chest and face, sending it backwards.

As she got up to stand her ground, she heard more roars and hisses from Vampires coming down the halls. There seemed to be dozens of them from the sounds of things. It seemed every room in this hallway was filled with at least one Vampire. “I shouldn’t have gone on ahead alone” Florence said to herself, as she desperately tried to think of a way out.

When the Vampires came in, they started firing globs of slime from their hands at her, which ate through the walls and floor of the hospital. Florence managed to dodge the monsters attacks, though one bit of acid managed to splash on her arm. It was only a tiny bit, but it still melted right through to her bone before it quickly healed.

Florence was able to trick the Vampires into using their acid to burn a hole in the floor which she then escaped through.

Below Florence fell onto the corpse of a young woman lying an old bed. The woman was not one of the Vampires victims. She appeared to have been dead for a few years, and had died quite peacefully in her sleep. Sadly however it seems she had just been forgotten about when the hospital shut down. One of the Vampires soon fired more acid at Florence from above, though once again she was able to dodge it, with the acid eating through the dead woman’s face and the bed.

Florence opened her bag and threw a bottle of holy water at the Vampire. It did nothing. Next she lifted out a stake and managed to ram it through the first Vampire that descended from the ceilings heart. It killed the beast instantly. Unfortunately however the stake melted inside the Vampire, and Florence only had another two stakes in her bag.

“Oh dear this isn’t going well is it?” She said to herself in panic. Another one of the Vampires jumped down from the hole in the roof and blocked the door to the hall in front of her. Avoiding its acid attacks, Florence pulled out a cross which caused the Vampire to back down a little at first, but the monster then fired a blotch of acid at her cross, which melted it and burned her hand.

In desperation, Florence next lifted out a bottle of condensed magical flames. These weapons were created by Denika. The weapons were somewhat unpredictable however, and at close quarters the flames could sometimes consume everything in the nearby area. Denika had meant to try and find a way to perfect it, but she had never got around to it. Florence fled to the other end of the room and before the Vampire could follow her, the Siren emptied the bottle of fire onto the beast causing it to go up instantly. The other Vampires above backed off a little bit, allowing Florence to flee the room, running past the burning Vampire as the flames consumed him completely.

In the filth ridden hall, Florence saw a window at the other end of the room which led outside. Florence would have to jump about four stories out of the window to reach the ground, but that would be no problem for her Vampiric constitution. Florence intended to escape through the window and then use her five remaining flame bottles to burn the hospital to the ground from outside. Florence could tell that there were no remaining humans in the area. Even with the pungent odors of sick, rats, blood and the Vampires themselves, she would still be able to pick up their scent if there were any people.

As Florence prepared to leave, she felt the roof and the walls around her shaking. There was something on the floor above, something a lot larger and more powerful than the Vampires chasing her. It was the Alpha, unquestionably. Florence quickly headed to the window, throwing one of her bottles at the door behind her as she ran, which held the Vampires back.

After jumping to the ground below. Florence threw three of her remaining bottles at the hospital. She threw two at the upper levels the Vampires had been chasing her on, and another at the door below.

The building went up very quickly. Some of the Vampires were able to make their way to the windows, but Florence held her cross to the monsters, causing them to double back into the flames. Some of the Vampires tried to fire acid at her from above, but Florence managed to avoid their attacks even more easily this time, whilst still holding the cross up.

Suddenly just as the Vampires seemed beaten, a gigantic figure came crashing through the walls of the building, covered in flames.

The monster must have been about 7 feet tall. Its skin was green and slimy just like the other Vampires, except it had long slimy tentacles coming from its hands. Its eyes were also black like a shark.

This was clearly the Alpha, and Florence was now going to have to face it alone!

The monster reached its tentacle out and grabbed hold of Florence’s left leg as she tried to run away. It pulled her back and started swinging her around before throwing her back into the inferno she had created.

Florence managed to jump out of the flames however just in time and tore a large flaming 2 by 4 out of the rubble as she fled.

Florence used it to hit the Alpha several times in the face, but the monster soon batted it away. As Florence continued to evade the monsters strikes, she noticed a sense of familiarity in its face.

She didn’t have time to figure it out now however. Florence quickly made a dive for her bag of weapons, but as she tried to grab it, one of the Vampires that had managed to escape the hospital grabbed her from behind. It held her in place for its “father”, but Florence was able to jump out of its grasp in time, causing the Alpha to hit the Vampire with its tentacle instead. Florence then rammed the lesser Vampire into the Alpha, knocking them both back before she dived for the weapons bag.

Florence threw the bottle at the Alpha who not knowing what it was, managed to knock it out of reach, but it still broke when it hit the ground, which unleashed the flames on the Alpha anyway.

As the Alpha struggled in the flames, another lesser Vampire managed to escape the inferno and started to attack Florence. This creature struck Florence’s weapons bag with an acid attack, but Florence pulled a stake and a silver blade out of her bag before it all melted. Florence then threw the stake straight into one of the lesser Vampires hearts.

Evading the other lesser monsters acid attacks, Florence then sliced its arm off with her blade. Sadly however the blade melted from the monsters acidic slime, but Florence then grabbed the flaming 2 by 4 and drove it through the Vampires heart when it tried to attack her.

The Alpha meanwhile, unable to put the flames out collapsed onto the floor in pain.

It still wasn’t completely dead however, but Florence, using what was left of the 2 by 4 prepared to stake the Vampire through the heart.

Just as Florence was about to strike the killing blow, she was struck from behind by one of the Vampires. It was ironically the urchin Vampire that Florence had chased to the hospital in the first place. The Vampire hit Florence with a led pipe, hard enough to knock her to the floor, and when she tried to get up, the Alpha seizing its chance, jumped up and struck her in the face, knocking Florence out cold.

As soon as Florence was knocked out, the flames disappeared from the Alpha, as they were dependent on the users will.

“You’re going to pay for this bitch” the Alpha said as its charred flesh started to repair itself.

Meanwhile back at the Circus, the magic had begun to affect Richards. Despite his best attempts to fight them, they were simply too strong.

“Curse you Circus Freaks. I swear, I will make you all pay for this.”

” I thought you were confident your master could tear us apart? Anyway can please tell us who created you and where are they?” The Circus Master said in an annoyingly chipper tone.

“I just hate being used” Richards spat back. “I was made by Marcozia Agner in the small seaside town of Lourouse. That’s where he is creating all of us. The town was abandoned 100 years ago. We have children all over this country however. You can’t stop us now.”

“Marcozia Agner?” Carlene replied in shock. “I know who that is. He must be lying.”

“I assure you he is not.” The Circus Master said.

“Marcozia is a Vampire hunter. He is one of the greatest I’ve ever met. He’s a total prick mind you. Tried to stake me several times. Even after I saved his life one time. Still I find it hard to believe that he would ever allow himself to be turned. Even if he became one, he’d definitely stake himself.”

Richards smiled “You have no idea. He is our leader, our commander. He will lead us to victory. He will tear you all to pieces.”

Carlene still couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“This is not good. A Vampire hunter that has turned over to their side. He knows all of their weaknesses and how to overcome them.” Denika said.

“Well I know Marcozia” Carlene replied “and if there’s one thing” suddenly a noise from outside interrupted Carlene.

It was a young boys voice shouting on the Circus Master to come out. Carlene recognised it as the young urchin Vampire.

“That little prick. I thought Florence would have got him by now”.

“She hasn’t and that’s very worrying” the Circus Master said. “Stay in here. This could be a trap, and no use in all of us walking into it.”

“What do you want Demon child” the Circus Master said with disdain.

“Its simple. We have your little Siren friend. If you want to see her ever again in one piece, you’ll surrender to us right away.”

“I wonder what’s taking them so long” Ashlei complained.

“I’m sure that Vampire lady’s got everything under control.” Daniel said as he looked through Carlene’s book collection. Daniel had actually come from quite an upper class family initially, but his parents lost their wealth when he was just a boy, before abandoning him as a load.

Still in the brief time he enjoyed a luxurious life, Daniel had learned how to read and had developed a real appreciation for the arts. He had always been somewhat condescending to the other urchins he came across however, and here was no different.

“Yes of course she does, that’s why there was an angry mob right on our front door.”

“Well they’re away now aren’t they?” Daniel said as he flicked through more books.

“I suppose. It’s just well, if something happens to her, or those other circus, eh folk. Then what chance will we or anyone else in this city have of stopping those things.”

“We can’t think like that. We just have to hope they really do know what they are doing as much as they claim. Frankly though its not the monsters that scare me.” Daniel continued.

“What do you mean?” Ashlei asked

“After this is all over, and the streets are ‘safe’ for us to sleep on again, I can’t see the Vampire lady keeping us around.”

“You don’t think she’ll just dump us back on the streets again?”

“Why not? No one else cares about us. My own parents dumped me when I became a burden. I don’t expect a Vampire that doesn’t even know me to be any better.”

“We got on fine before her, and if need be we can do it again.”

“You don’t understand. I did have a group of friends. A gang if you will. I was their leader. I was supposed to look out for them, but those monsters. They killed them all. I should never have let them. I wasn’t fit for it. Now when I go back I’ll be alone.”

Ashlei held Daniel’s hand.

“No you won’t. Whatever happens you have us now. After what we’ve all been through, we have to stick together.”

“Thank you” Daniel said. “That means a lot to me. Maybe you can cope with anything if you have the right people around you.”

“Oh don’t get all sappy” Ashlei responded in a light hearted tone. It was probably the first time she’d joked in years.

“You never know” she continued. “The Vampire might surprise us. She already has. I’d have never thought before today that the creepy lady we always swerved to avoid, would end up showing us more concern and kindness than anyone else.”

Just then Tom came stumbling into the room from the kitchen, looking somewhat annoyed.

“Tom what’s wrong love” Ashlei asked.

“Brian. He threw me out of the kitchen. I was just getting something to eat, and he screamed at me to get out. I don’t know what’s with him.”

“You weren’t locked up in that sewer.” Daniel interrupted. “Trust me. Those monsters, what they did to people. It will probably stay with him for the rest of his life.”

“I’ll have a talk with him. All this time I’ve just been so glad she got Brian out, I haven’t thought about what it did to him. He needs me more than ever.” Ashlei said.

“You honestly think we’re going to agree to that? You must be insane as well as sick.” The Circus Master said to the Demon child.

“You have no choice. If you want to see the Siren, you’ll have to face us unarmed in the village of Lourouse. If you can beat us without any tricks or weapons, then we’ll let you go.” The boy repeated whilst barely able to contain his laughter.

“Its a fair fight, no weapons on either side” the Demon said mockingly.

“Yeah real fair, five of us against what? Hundreds of you freaks.” The Circus Master said.

“Well your blue friend tried to kill me and I’m just a poor little orphan boy, that’s not exactly fair. You have one hour to agree to our terms. If not we’ll start to send you bits and pieces of the Siren. Oh and ditch that beehive as well. Not just because it looks stupid, but we know what it actually is.”

The Demon child then jumped through the air and back into the darkness.

“It seems we have no choice.” Keptis said with regret.

“What are you saying” Denika asked.

“If we don’t stop those Vampires then they will spread across all of London. There could be millions of them, new breeds, with unknown weaknesses and strengths. In a couple of decades they could take this world. We have to destroy them now and make sure the book stays buried.” She continued

“If we go into that village all geared up, they’ll kill Florence in a second.” Keptis protested.

“So you want us to go in there unarmed? Do you really think those things will keep their word, even if we did somehow managed to overcome them? Florence is dead either way.”

“God I knew you can be a cold bitch, but I didn’t think you’d be this callous after all we’ve been through!” Keptis snapped.

“Do you want this world to end up like your own? You of all people now how quickly Vampires can spread.” Denika said back.

The argument started to get more heated at the mention of Mars. Carlene tried to break it up, but the Martian and the Witch both ignored her. The Circus Master meanwhile ignored the petty squabbling as he tried to wrack his brains about what to do.

“I’ve got it.” The Vandal shouted. “Carlene, can I see your beehive please.”

The others looked at him, completely puzzled.

“My beehive?”

“Yes, we both know its not just a wig. It’s a weapons chest, bigger on the inside than the outside, am I correct?”

“Well yes, but that little git said we couldn’t bring it. They know what it really is too.”

“Yes but the magics used to create it. We could perhaps duplicate them to create another tiny space to hide dozens of weapons to sneak into the village. Well when I say we, I mean you Denika.”

Carlene lifted her beehive wig off of her head and handed it to Denika. The front of the beehive opened to reveal a massive weapons chest. There must have been well over 100 different knives alone, each designed for a particular breed of Vampire or Demon.

“Amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Denika said.

“Well I didn’t create it. Everyone was wearing a beehive back in the 60s when I died.”

Denika gave her a look.

“Sorry, I’m not sure how it was created. A friend of mine made it for me. A ghost actually. Her father had access to some of the most powerful magics used by the Vandals.”

“Well I can’t promise anything, but I might be able to create some crude replicas.” Denika said as she examined it further.

“You’ve got 20 minutes” the Circus Master said to Denika.

“We’ll need to get back my Mansion darling. I have more advanced models of the eh, beehive. Plus I need to check on the kids.” Carlene said to Denika.

The Circus Master meanwhile went back into the “Tent” to deal with Richards.

“We just have one loose end to tie up first” The Circus Master said as he pulled a silver knife out of his coat.

“You won’t win you freaks. You have no idea what’s waiting for you in that village. We are the future!”

“Trust me I’ve seen the future and your kind are just a horrible annoyance as always. It’s horrible enough in the next few decades without having to deal with millions more of your lot running around.” The Circus Master replied as he stabbed the silver knife through the Richard’s heart.

When Ashlei entered the kitchen, she saw that Brian had made a terrible mess of the place. He had smashed the table in half, broken the chairs, and thrown knives, glasses and plates all over the place and smashed them.

Brian himself was sitting in a corner, holding a knife and crying. Ashlei ran to him.

“Please, please Brian just put the knife down.”

“Ashlei, I have to do it. Its inside me, its wanting to get out.” Brian tried to thrust the knife into his chest, but Ashlei grabbed his arm. She had to use both of her arms to stop him. Brian’s strength had seemingly increased dramatically.

Brian however with just a shove, sent Ashlei flying to the other end of the room.

Daniel came bursting in having been alerted by the sound and he helped Ashlei up. Unfortunately however Brian thrust the knife into his chest. Ashlei screamed out in anguish and looked away in horror, but little did she know the worst was to come.

The knife didn’t kill Brian. Instead he started to spray a yellow, thick slime from his mouth as his body shook violently before starting to swell. His skin started to turn grey, whilst his hair fell out in large clumps.

The Vampires that had captured Brian in the sewer had infected him. Daniel had suspected it for a while. The reason he and Brian had been kept separately from the other prisoners in the Vampires sewers was because the monsters were clearly planning on turning them. They hadn’t shared this information with either of course, and when Daniel saw the Vampire infecting Brian (just before Carlene had rescued them) he had assumed it was just torturing him. However given how strange Brian had been acting, he had his suspicions, but he didn’t want to believe it. He had also hoped that Carlene would have been able to sense it if anything was wrong. Quite why the Vampires had selected Daniel and Brian to turn he had no idea, though he didn’t want to put too much thought into it. Ironically it may have been because Brian had been abandoned. Vampires often liked to turn those with more anger and bitterness into members of their own kind.

“We need to go now. That’s not your brother any more. He’s one of them.” Daniel said.

“No, no, we can help him, we just have to wait for Carlene to come back.”

“There’s nothing she can do. We have to lock him in here.”

Brian pulled the knife out of his chest. It was dripping in yellow slime. By this stage he had morphed completely into one of the Vampires Carlene had faced in the sewers.

“Lets play a game of tag. If I catch you, I flay you!” Brian said, as green slime sprayed from his mouth, before he burst into a fit of heinous cackling.

Daniel pulled Ashlei, who cried and begged Brian to fight the Demon’s influence out of the room, and slammed the doors shut.

“What’s wrong” Tom shouted as he jumped up.

Daniel paused for a minute, whilst Ashlei sobbed.

“I’m so sorry Tom, your brother.” Before he could finish, the doors to the kitchen suddenly came crashing down. Brian emerged, still holding the knife and roaring.

“This is all your fault. Both of you. You always treated me as a burden, another mouth to feed. You both left me to get eaten by those things and you were angry when that freak saved me.”

“Brian please, you know that’s not true. We love you” Ashlei said through sobs as she clutched onto Daniel.

Brian simply ignored his sister however and went for Tom first. Daniel tried to stop him, but Brian stabbed his knife right through Daniel’s arm, causing him to faint from the pain.

Ashlei was forced to leave Daniel as she went to help Tom, but her Vampiric brother got to him first.

Brian easily overpowered his brother and held the knife at his throat.

“Please Brian, don’t do this. Just put the knife down. I promise we’ll do everything we can to help you, just please, put the knife down.” Ashlei pleaded.

“Okay fine” Brian said as he dropped his knife.

Both Ashlei and Tom paused for a minute as Brian simply stood beside his brother, grinning, and revealing his new, hideous, fangs. As Tom reached out for Ashlei, Brian suddenly rammed his hand through Tom’s back, pushing it out through his chest. The Vampire held Tom’s heart in its hand that stuck out through the other end.

“I said I wouldn’t stab him.” The Demon cackled.

Ashlei collapsed into a heap on the floor, hoping any minute she’d wake up from this nightmare.

Brian started to lick his brothers heart, as Tom’s lifeless body collapsed in front of him. Ashlei looked up to see the twisted Demonic caricature of her little brother gnawing on Tom’s heart. She knew both her brothers were gone now and she wanted to make the Demon that had taken them both pay

“Where are my manners sis.” Brian said as he threw his brothers heart in Ashlei’s face. “We’re always supposed to share aren’t we?”

Brian went for Ashlei next who stumbled back onto the dining table. She picked up a plate and smashed it over the Vampires head to no effect. Brian then pinned Ashlei to the table.

“You left me to become this. I hate you!” the monster slabbered as it prepared to sink its fangs into its sisters neck.

In desperation Ashlei grabbed a fork from the table and stabbed it into her brothers eye as he went for her neck. Brian doubled back in pain and whilst he was distracted Ashlei then picked up a chair and smashed it over his head knocking him to the floor.

Ashlei ran to Daniel to try and wake him up, but Brian grabbed her by the hair. He pulled hard, but Ashlei managed to tear herself out of the Demon’s grasp, losing a lot of her hair in the process.

Ashlei was forced to leave Daniel as the Vampire got between her and her unconscious new friends body. Fortunately for Daniel the blood sucker seemed to be more focused on its sister now.

Ashlei headed up the main staircase with her brother in hot pursuit. At the top he managed to corner Ashlei against a wall, but thinking fast she grabbed a vase from a nearby table and smashed it over her Demon brothers head, which deterred him for only a few seconds that she used to escape.

“Come on I just want to see what your insides taste like!” Brian said with a perverse glee.

Ashlei ran to the nearest door and slammed it shut behind her, but Brian effortlessly started to smashed his arm through the door. In desperation Ashlei pulled a nearby cupboard in front of the door, but the Vampire started to smash down the cupboard too. Ashlei searched the room for anything she could find. There had to be something in Carlene’s house to fight off this monster.

She soon spotted a chest by Carlene’s bed. It was a weapons cabinet. Only problem was Ashlei didn’t know how to use any of the weapons, or even if any of them were effective. She picked up a bottle of holy water and started to splash it on Brian just as he was about to enter the room.

Brian’s body caught fire and he quickly retreated. Ashlei waited for a few seconds more before she made it to the door. She looked around only to see no sign of the Vampire, except for a few yellow bits of slime.

“Did he melt” Ashlei thought to herself. She looked down the other end of the hall however, where she saw the slime led to a smashed window on the other side.

“He can’t get out into the streets. I have to stop him.” Ashlei thought. Even though he was a monster, she still felt he was her responsibility.

Ashlei got another bottle of holy water as well as a cross from the chest and went towards the window. It led to a balcony outside. Hopefully Brian was still there and she could finish him. When Ashlei crawled through the broken window and onto the balcony, she found her brother curled up in the corner his skin steaming and covered in burns, whimpering in pain.

Ashlei slowly unscrewed the bottle of holy water, but Brian noticed her.

“You bitch, I swear I’m going to hurt you so much for this.”

Ashlei tried to throw the holy water on her twisted brother, but the monster jumped towards her so fast, he was able to knock it out of her hand. Ashlei however still wielded her cross at the Vampire, and though it appeared to have an effect on the monster, it wasn’t enough to deter him.

As the monster cornered her against a nearby way, he was suddenly distracted by the sound of Carlene’s voice below.

“Ashlei, Brian please answer me.”

Ashlei screamed for help and Brian knowing that he wouldn’t stand a chance against the more experienced Vampire killer jumped off the edge of the balcony.

Carlene had arrived at the mansion with Denika. Denika was busy trying to help Daniel, whilst Carlene searched the mansion. Ashlei came running down the steps and collapsed into Carlene’s arms. She was crying so hard she could barely tell Carlene what happened.

Daniel suddenly awoke screaming in pain. Denika pulled the knife out of his arm and prepared to heal his wound, but she couldn’t.

“My magic’s not working. He’s been infected.” Denika said. “The monsters blood was on the blade he was stabbed with. Mixing blood must be how they reproduce.”

“Oh god please no” Daniel whimpered. “Kill me now, I don’t want to end up like Brian.”

Carlene headed upstairs to her weapons chest. She pulled out a machete and a make shift flaming torch she had made from a piece of wood and her lighter. Carlene sliced off Daniel’s arm and used the torch to cauterize the wound. Daniel screamed and passed out from the pain, but Carlene didn’t waver. She burnt the wound until the flesh was completely black and crispy.

“I might have got it in time. In 12 hours if you can’t heal him then.” Carlene said unable to finish.

Carlene went back to comfort Ashlei, who was now a completely broken woman.

“I’m so sorry Ashlei, I.” There was nothing Carlene could say. She felt completely responsible for what happened. She had left them without even realising that Brian had been infected by the monsters.

Ashlei couldn’t bring herself to feel any kind of anger to Carlene or anyone else however. All she could feel was just despair.

“Brian, he, he killed Tom. He’s a monster” Ashlei said through tears. “Now he’s out there, as one of those things. I tried to stop him, I tried, but I.”

“I promise you Ashlei, I may have let you down, but I’ll make sure your brother isn’t left in that state. I promise.” Carlene said as she hugged the poor girl.

“They seemed to agree to our terms master.” The Urchin said to Marcozia.

“They’ll try and trick us of course. I don’t blame them. I’d do the same thing. Even if I were still a human. I know how Carlene thinks though. Poor sad creature. Fighting for people who would kill her. Still even if they destroyed this village it doesn’t matter. Enough of my children have made their way into London now. The way this society is going people will be only to eager to become one of us.

To Be Continued

The Circus Master: The Book of the Vampires: Part 3: The Satanic Mills

American Experience: The Circus | Netflix

Kelly couldn’t take another second. She had been on her feet non stop for about 6 hours, and she still had another 6 to go. Even though Kelly had worked in this rotten flower mill for the past 8 years. (She had the scars, as well as a few missing fingers to prove it.) This had been a particularly hard shift however.

Things had become a lot harder for Kelly overall in the last year as her husband, Christopher had tragically been killed in an accident in this very mill. The two working together barely scraped enough money for their three children, two girls and a boy, all under about 6. Kelly and Christopher were almost like strangers to their children they got to spend so little time with them.

Kelly hated the mill more than any of the other poor souls who were forced to work there. Every day she would come in and be forced to stare at the machine that tore the man she loved to pieces. Sadly she couldn’t leave however as work was scarce elsewhere. At certain points she even contemplated forcing her children to work in the mill she was so desperate. Ultimately however she always thought better of it. Kelly had been forced to work by her own father since she was 4 years old. She’d never really had time to figure out who she was, or what she wanted in life. Almost all of her days had been spent in a noisy, hot, dangerous factory of some kind, with only a few hours of comfort sprinkled in between. She was determined that her children were going to have more of a chance than she ever did.

“I just hope that rotten Ferguson doesn’t stiff me with some truck wages again” Kelly said bitterly as she took her five minute break to have a smoke.

She had to go outside the factory to smoke. “Heaven forbid my smoking should pollute the already poison air we breath in here”, she thought to herself, but still she had to obey the rules. The higher ups would take any excuse to fine her.

Kelly wasn’t in the best of health, and the 18 cigarettes a day certainly hadn’t helped her. Still it not only got her out of the factory for a short while, but it was the only way she could cope with the stress. If she knew she could get a fag at the end of a 6 hour shift, it was something to strive for.

This time however would be different. For once Kelly would actually regret coming outside.

As she stood by the wall near the door, taking in the fresh air before inhaling nicotine into her lungs, she suddenly felt a drip on her shoulder. “Oh great its going to rain” she thought. “I’ll have to trundle home in the most miserable weather.” She had about an hours walk to get to work.

As she went to wipe it off her shoulder however she saw that the “rain” was red. She dropped her fag and screamed only to see there was more blood on the floor next to her.

“Some poor soul must have had an accident” she thought, but then as she slowly looked up, following a trail of blood up the wall, she saw a flayed, mutilated body, impaled into the building with a large knife. Kelly wasn’t the squeamish type. This was a woman who had seen people, including her husband suffer fatal accidents her entire life. She saw her own father get his hand caught in a machine when she was just 9 years old, which he then had to have amputated! Still this was enough to make her sick on the pavement.

After puking her lungs out, Kelly got a better look at the body. She could see that it was her former miserly employer, John Ferguson! She could tell because of how fat the corpse was more than anything else. Even then however most of his guts had been torn out, along with both of his legs.

Kelly ran back into the factory, coughing and spluttering as she did.

“Someone call the police” she shouted through coughs to her co-workers. Most of them didn’t take notice however as the noise of the machines drowned her out.

As she frantically ran around trying to get their attention, a tall, hideous looking figure suddenly entered the factory.

The creature had white skin, long pointed features, thinning, scraggily hair, and when it smiled, it revealed a mouth full of razor sharp, blood stained teeth.

The monsters chest and hands were completely covered in blood. Kelly was so scared at the sight of the creature she was frozen, but the beast got everyone’s attention soon enough when it let out a roar. All of the workers had the same reaction as Kelly. They all stood in silence at the sight of the monster as it relished in the terror it was provoking.

“Don’t worry” it said. “I am here to elevate some of you from this life of drudgery and pain. Others meanwhile, you will finally be getting what you deserve.”

“I don’t see why we have to wait here” moaned Ashlei.

“I’m sorry darling but its for your own good. You’re just children, there’s no way you can face those monsters.” Carlene said as she prepared to leave the children in her mansion to rejoin the Circus Folk.

Even though Ashlei knew Carlene was right deep down, she still couldn’t help but feel upset at being left out of something important.

Carlene assured the children she would be back soon as she packed her anti Vampire weapons into her hair and headed off to the Circus.

They still had a couple of hours of daylight left. Hopefully enough to find at least one of the new Vampire breeds and find out who was creating them from it.

As Carlene made her way through the streets of London, with almost everybody staring at her as usual, she thought about whether or not she wanted to go back to her home time.

There was no one waiting for her back in her own time, but still she did miss the anonymity that she had in the 21st century. Also she thought about the children. She couldn’t possibly send them back onto the street, but she didn’t want to adopt them either.

She had grown quite fond of them, and she had always wanted children but she knew it wouldn’t be safe for them to stay around her. She hoped that the time travelers would take her with them and that she could then leave the mansion to the three children. Even then however she wondered if doing so would change history. As horrible as it may seem, maybe the children were destined to die on the streets? Maybe she was destined to never get home and die at some point in the 19th century. The Circus Mster had to know who she was for a reason, and knowing her luck it probably wasn’t a good one.

Carlene was interrupted from her anxious thoughts by the scent of blood. It was unmistakable for a Vampire. She could pin point it almost exactly. It was down a nearby alley. The perfect place for a Vampire to pick off some unsuspecting poor soul. Carlene followed the scent down the alley, being sure to pull a stake from her hair first. Little did Carlene know however a young couple, named Martin and Claire had begun to follow her. After she had been spotted with the children earlier at the circus, there was an outrage within the local community that several children were in the care of a Vampire. Martin and Claire just couldn’t take the police’s protection of this apparent beehive topped monster anymore and were resolved to do something about it. They decided to follow Carlene to see if they could catch her out on anything.

When Carlene made her way down the alley she found a young woman lying in a heap on the floor, covered in her own blood, cuts and weeping. Carlene approached her slowly so as not to startle the poor woman.

“Don’t be scared darling I’m here to help” Carlene said as she reached out to help the woman up.

The woman tried to run away but Carlene held her back. As they struggled Carlene saw Martin and Claire behind her. They had tried to hide, but the Vampire was too quick for them.

“What are you two wankers doing here? I don’t have time for this crap, bugger off.”

“Why so you can kill her like you did those two children.” Martin said whilst shaking with fear.

“I didn’t kill anyone, and if you actually thought I did, two bergs like you wouldn’t be following me. You’re just wanting to look brave and cool to your posh little friends, well fuck off.” Carlene said as she restrained the young woman.

“P-please I have to get out of here, those things, they’re, they’re coming.” The woman said she she tried to pull free.

“It’s all right love, I’m not going to hurt you, but I need to know more about these things okay.”

“N-no, you’ll die, just like they did”

“Who?”

“I’ll’ I’ll show you shall I?”

Just then the woman’s skin turned completely white, her finger nails grew into long black talons, he teeth grew into razor sharp fangs and her thick, dark hair turned into thinning grey strips.

She slashed Carlene across the face and punched her into the nearby wall. This Vampire’s strength already dwarfed that of Carlene’s breed considerably.

The Vampire girl grabbed Carlene by the back of the head and started to smash her face into the wall several times over.

Martin and Claire both screamed in terror and ran in the opposite direction. Martin however in his haste tripped and fell. Claire didn’t even notice he wasn’t behind her until it was too late.

When Claire turned round she saw the Vampire lady holding Martin above her head with both arms. Quick as a flash the Vampire brought him down on her knee and not only snapped his spine, but broke him in half completely!

Claire was violently sick and began to faint at the gruesome sight, but the monster turned its attention to her. It grabbed her by the throat and slammed Claire into a wall.

Claire kicked as hard as she could but it was hopeless. She screamed out for help. In her desperation she even called out to Carlene, who tried to stake the Vampire from behind, only for the monster to shove the stake down into Carlene’s stomach before striking the beehive topped Vampire in the face, sending her crashing to the ground.

When Carlene got back up just a few seconds later she saw that the Vampire had already ripped Claire’s spine out and was licking the blood off of it. Carlene tried to pull another weapon from her beehive, but the Vampire lady rammed Claire’s spine right through Carlene’s stomach and pinned her to the wall. She then pulled it up through Carlene, ripping a hole in her, right from her stomach, through her shoulder. The Vampire girl then started to beat Carlene to the floor with Claire’s spine.

The Vampire girl screamed in frustration as Carlene still didn’t die and she stabbed Claire’s spine into Carlene’s head and pinned her to the ground with it!

She then started stabbing Carlene in her chest over and over with the spine, screaming each time it failed to kill Carlene.

Carlene meanwhile reached into her beehive with her good arm and pulled out a silver knife which she stabbed into the Vampire girls shoulder.

The Vampire girls flesh began to sizzle and boil. Clearly silver was a weakness. This wasn’t just a random guess on Carlene’s part. This was clearly a new breed of Vampire, but it looked similar to other breeds who were vulnerable to silver. It was a good guess that this type would also be weak to silver too.

The Vampire girl staggered back with the knife still in her shoulder whilst Carlene scrambled to her feet. Carlene’s Vampiric healing powers allowed her to patch up her wounds in a relatively short space of time.

The Vampire girl pulled the silver knife from her shoulder, with the wound having turned green, and her arm underneath having turned completely limp.

Both Vampires bared their fangs as they screamed in rage at the other. Both were in tremendous pain, but that just pushed them even further.

The Vampire girl swung at Carlene with her own silver knife. She was able to match Carlene’s speed and slice her several times across her chest and stomach, but Carlene wasn’t deterred however as silver was not a weakness for her breed. Carlene eventually after taking a few more hits managed to kick the blade out of the Vampire girls hand. They both went to reach it, but the Vampire girl got there first. Carlene jumped on her back however and bit into her hand. Carlene bit so hard she cut through the Vampire girls bone and nearly took her hand clean off!

Though the Vampire girl managed to knock her off, Carlene grabbed the knife first. She slashed her Vampiric enemy several times across the face, throat and stomach. The wounds had a devastating effect on the Vampire girl. They all sizzled and boiled and turned green, weakening her to the point where she collapsed backwards onto the floor.

“Please don’t kill me” the Vampire, now too weak to fight back pleaded pathetically.

“I’ll help you if you tell me what I want to know” Carlene said holding the knife to the monsters throat.

“Who made you? Where did you come from?”

“Ferguson’s flour mill”. The Vampire lady replied, struggling through the pain. “A man came in, he, he used to work there, but he had become a monster. He turned several of us. Said he was elevating us. He sent a few out into London, I was told to find you, the creepy lady.”

Carlene heard all she needed to know and raised her silver knife.

“You said you’d spare me” the Vampire lady said in terror.

“No I said I’d help you, and trust me I am” Carlene replied coldly, as she finished the monster by plunging her silver knife through its heart. The Vampire instantly crumbled into nothing but a pile of green dust on the floor.

Carlene took a rest for a few minutes to heal her wounds. “That was a tough bitch” she thought as the bones and muscles in her shoulder nitted together.

As she popped her knife back into her beehive Carlene looked around at what was left of the poor sods who’d followed her down the alley. As much as she hated herself for it, the sight of their blood was making her hungry.

As she prepared to leave, suddenly Carlene noticed someone else had followed her down the alley. It was a young urchin, ironically the one who Carlene had bought the ticket for the Circus from yesterday. He had seemingly followed Carlene solely in the hopes of making another sale.

“No darling listen to me, see that little green pile of dust there, well” the boy didn’t listen however. He was so scared he ran back down the alley screaming for help.

“Please someone, that creepy lady’s gone beserk. She’s killed two people! Tore em up.”

Carlene managed to catch up to the boy, but as she tried to hold him still and explain, the boy dug his finger into one of her stab wounds that hadn’t closed over yet causing her to let him go.

The boy managed to make it to the end of the alley, and though Carlene caught up with him again, this time his screams alerted people outside. A crowd soon gathered around Carlene and the boy.

“Oh fuck, you know this really isn’t a good time.” She said somewhat nervously, but the little boy spoke up.

“She’s a monster, she tore two people up back there, ripped one in half and tore another’s spine out. Kill her”

Carlene tried to cover his mouth but it was no use. The crowd didn’t need a reason to want to see Carlene dead so they naturally believed the young boy without any proof.

“I really don’t have time for this” Carlene thought. “The police will clear it up. They need me” She let go of the boy and scaled the nearest building in a matter of seconds. The angry crowd tried to follow her on the streets below, but the Vampire was too fast for them. Within a matter of minutes Carlene managed to jump across various buildings and out of sight thanks to her Vampiric speed.

Little did the crowd really know the boy had in fact deliberately set Carlene up. He too was a Vampire of the same breed as the one that Carlene had just fought with. The poor boy had managed to secure a job in the mill, on the night he had managed to sell his last ticket to Carlene. He was among the first Richards had turned into a Vampire, as Richards felt that a child would be able to pass undetected more successfully. This breed like many species of Vampires had the power to assume human form. Carlene should have noticed the boy was a Vampire, but she was too distracted on trying to stop him from shouting, as well as weak from her wounds that she had sadly slipped up this time.

Still she didn’t care. For now she had a bigger concern, to make her way to the Circus and tell them about the Mill.. When Carlene arrived at the Time vessel, some of the Circus Folk were impatient.

“Finally” The CIrcus Master snapped. “Now we can get down to business of finding these Vampires.”

“Yeah sorry about the hold up, I had to you know face a new breed of Vampire, watch it kill two people, get stabbed in the stomach and in the head by one of its victims spine’s, and then get blamed for the murders and chased across London. Other than that though I did manage to find out where one of the new Alpha Vampires is. It’s turning people in Ferguson’s Mill.”

“Ferguson’s Mill?” Florence said with a shocked expression? “I know him. I remember from my youth. He disappeared one day. God if the Vampires have turned him then I shudder to think what he’s like now.”

“She said it was one of his employees. He’s promised to elevate them from their humble little existence.”

“Is that how he describes it.” Keptis said with disgust. “Well we need to get there now.” Keptis was holding a most unusual weapon, clearly from the far future. It was a chainsaw that’s saw was made of fire! The Martian had picked it up on the Circus folk’s previous adventure to the magical world of Kastericia. He couldn’t wait to test it out on some Vampires.

The others meanwhile were carrying more conventional weapons, save for the Circus Master who carried nothing but a cane, the bottom of which seemed to glow red.

“I’m afraid I’m going to need to ask some of you to help me check on my mansion. I left the children there, but there’s probably an angry crowd outside.” Carlene said with regret.

I’ll go with you.” Florence replied. “The rest of you get to that flower mill now.” The Circus Master commanded.

Carlene and Florence quickly made their way to the mansion, jumping back across the rooftops, and generally keeping out of sight, whilst the others made their way to the Mill. (Florence knew the way to the Mill from when she was a little girl and told the Circus Master.)

When they arrived at Carlene’s house, there was a massive crowd descending outside, carrying torches and pitchforks, screaming for Carlene to show herself. A local police officer tried to diffuse the situation, but it was no use. From the crowd’s perspective they were finally going to rid themselves of the monster that had terrorised their local community, and nothing was going to stop them. Carlene could see Ashlei peering out of the window from the rooftop they had both perched on behind the crowd. Ashlei looked scared, but she was confident that the crowd wouldn’t hurt her and the boys at least.

Florence started singing and within seconds the entire crowd began to calm down. They all slowly turned to face Florence, utterly mesmerised by her voice. All except for one that is. The little street urchin.

Confused as to why everyone had suddenly stopped, he ran in front of the crowd and started screaming.

“What’s the matter with you? The creepy lady lives in there. Lets get her.”

“Bloodthirsty little maniac aren’t you?” Carlene said as she descended from the roof, getting the boys attention. “I wonder why you’re the only one not affected? Maybe you’re more of a rock and roll kind of a boy. It won’t be invented for another 70 years or so, but still.”

Carlene could see the boy wasn’t human now, and felt like kicking herself for not noticing it.

“I didn’t kill those two in the alley, it was a monster just like this boy here” Carlene shouted to the crowd.

Realising his ruse was up, the boy quickly morphed into his Vampire form and killed a young woman standing at the front of the crowd. He stuck his hand right through her stomach and pulled her long intestine out. He then used it as a lasso to trip Carlene up when she ran to try and stop him.

The crowd started to scatter. The Siren’s hold over them was very weak.. Older and more powerful Sirens could influence people to kill others, or hurt themselves, or even walk over a cliff if they wanted. Florence’s power in comparison however was very basic.

As the crowd ran, the boy killed the police officer who bravely attempted to restrain him. He tore the officers arm off and impaled him with it! He then jumped on another old woman’s back, and grabbed her head by either side and pulled until he tore her head in half. He then pounced on another young, teenage girl who was fleeing in the crowd and pinned her to the ground. The girls mother tried to pull him off, but the boy sunk his fangs into the girls neck.

Carlene however was able to grab the boy and hoist him in the air. The boy however despite his size, was still several times stronger than either Carlene or Florence and managed to escape Carlene by head butting her. He then sunk his fangs into her arm, and bit right through her bone! Carlene screamed in pain as she tried to shake him off.

Florence tried to pulled the boy off Carlene’s arm, but his grip was too tight,. Still Florence didn’t give up and the boy in response slashed her across the face, knocking the Siren off her feet.

Whilst Florence was on the ground, the boy quickly jumped on top of her and stuck his hand in her mouth.

“Lets see how well ya sing without one of these ya bitch.” He cackled as he tried to pull her tongue out. Florence bit down on the Vampires hand to try and deter it, but the boy just smiled as it dug its claws harder into Florence’s tongue.

Whilst the boy was distracted with Florence, Carlene reached into her beehive for a bottle of holy water. She threw it on the boy. It didn’t hurt him as much as it had the Vampires in the underground, but it still produced minor burns and smoke. Enough for Florence to push the Demonic child off.

The boy crawled along the floor to get away from the two women. (By this stage the entire crowd had fled the area in panic.) Carlene lifted out a silver blade from her hair, and prepared to stab the monster through the heart. Just as she raised the knife however, the boy morphed back into his human form.

Carlene hesitated for a moment. She knew it wasn’t a child at all. It was a Demon wearing the corpse of an innocent child. Still she couldn’t help but see it as a boy, and as she tried to work up the courage, the monster seized it’s chance and jumped up, sticking its claws right through her stomach. It pulled Carlene’s intestines and guts out, and smeared them in her face.

By the time Carlene had pulled her guts away from her face, the monster child had scaled a nearby building and made its way across several roofs.

Florence helped Carlene up.

“Man those things are vicious” Carlene said as she threw her old guts to the ground.

“I’ll follow him. He can’t have gone too far. You need to get to the factory.” Florence said as she wiped her blood from her mouth.

“We need to stay together, that thing is one vicious little bastard, and he could have made more like him for all you know”. Carlene protested.

“I can handle it. You need to help the others at the Mill. If I run into the the locals again, I can always use my voice. Now go”.

Carlene saw that she was right that Florence wouldn’t have to worry about the crowd and headed off to the factory. She was relieved somewhat. She didn’t want to have to stake the child Vampire. “Poor blighter” she thought as she made her way across the rooftops. “I’ll find what ever turned that boy into a monster and make the bugger wish he’d stayed dead.”

“No offence to Florence or that cockney Vampire girl, but just when you think Vampires can’t repulse you anymore” Denika said as she stared up at what was left of the mangled and flayed corpse of John Ferguson.

“Well I guess this is the right place at least” Keptis said as he fired up his flaming chainsaw.

“Remember, we have to take the leader alive. He knows where these new Vampires are being created.” The Circus Master said as the 4 time travelers entered the Satanic Mill.

There were bits and pieces of people scattered all over the dank Mill, and the walls were literally dripping with blood. The Circus Master used his stick to light the way ahead.

Many of the victims had clearly not even been killed for their blood. Denika could see the top half of a young man, no older than 18 stuffed into a large machine. His face was twisted into an expression of the most unbelievable agony. At the back of the room meanwhile was another victim, nailed to the wall, with long strips of skin having been ripped off, and his guts splattered about in front of him.

In one of the corners, Denika could also see the body of a young girl, no older than 13 or 14 with her jugular torn out. It was too much, even for someone like Denika who had seen her home world invaded and she had to take a minute to regain her composure. Much like Carlene, Denika had a real love for children. She was always the most rational and no nonsense member of the team, but there were times when it got too much for her.

Unfortunately however little did Denika know, the young girl was not dead. None of the Circus Folk noticed the girl slowly rise from the blood and entrail stained floor.

The Circus Master was too busy investigating another body that he suspected may rise soon, whilst both Keptis and the Strange Boy had gone on ahead.

The undead girl slowly crept towards Denika, with the Witch only noticing when it was too late.

The beast knocked Denika to the floor, laughing at Denika’s apparent helplessness. The Circus Master turned around, but as he did, the body he had been investigating quickly rose and grabbed him from behind.

The monster threw the Circus Master onto one of the large machines, similar to a threshing machine on a farm. and jumped on top of him. The Circus Master’s strength was no match for this brute either.

As the teenager held Denika down, and prepared to strike, Denika started to chant a basic deflector spell. It was all she would have time for. She just had to hope that this particular breed of Vampire was more vulnerable to magics than others.

The magic threw the Vampire about four feet through the air. If it had been an ordinary human it would have not only thrown them farther, but also through any nearby solid object and rendered them helpless for a few minutes.

The Vampire however instantly got up and hissed in rage at Denika. Denika’s hands and eyes both started to glow bright blue. The Vampire was curious for a few moments, before lunging at her anyway. Denika fired a blue beam from her hands, which cut a hole straight through the Vampire. Sadly it did little to deter it, but Denika was able to evade the monster’s subsequent attack by floating about ten feet in the air.

Denika would then attempt to fire another energy beam at the monster, this time aiming for its neck, but the Vampire was too quick. It not only dodged her attack but jumped ten feet in the air and managed to grab onto Denika.

Denika tried to knock the Vampire off using the deflector spell, but the Vampire dug its claws deep into her shoulder and held on. As the Vampire made its way for Denika’s throat, Denika used her powers to fly head first into one of the large machines below. Once again this did little to hurt the Vampire, but the collision (which she was sure the Vampire took the brunt of) was enough to distract it long enough for Denika to get out of its grip.

Denika then using her magic lifted up a massive pole with her mind and impaled the Vampire with it through the chest into the machine.

The Vampire however grabbed the pole and tried to pull it out. Denika however tried to stop the Vampire with her mental powers, but the Vampire’s strength was too great and it managed to rip the pole out which it then used to beat Denika. It struck her in the face, the stomach and her right leg. In the process it broke her jaw, her ribs and her leg, before it stabbed the pole right through her left hand.

The Vampire cackled like a hyena at Denika’s pain and after it pulled the pole out of her hand it started to lick her blood off of it with a perverse ecstasy.

Denika fought the pain and made the pole fly out of the Vampires hands and go right through its foot. Whilst the Vampire was distracted Denika hobbled to safety and quickly performed a healing spell which fixed her broken leg, ribs and jaw instantly as well as repairing her hand.

Now a good distance away from the Vampire, Denika fired more magical blasts from her hands, but the Vampire was quick enough to dodge them again. The Vampire moved so fast her magical blasts constantly missed, but as the monster taunted Denika, it unknowingly stood in front of a broken down machine, which Denika noticed.

Denika fired her magical blast at the Vampire, and it dodged her again, but this time her magic hit the machine and triggered an explosion which threw the Vampire across the room.

Whilst it was vulnerable Denika fired her magical rays at the monsters legs and arms, severing them. Now unable to defend itself, Denika finished the monster off with a silver sharp through its heart.

The Circus Master meanwhile was still wrestling with his Vampire. It tried to shove his head into the gears of machine below, but the Circus Master was able to use the claws on his right hand to disembowel the Vampire. It did little to deter it, with the Vampire even laughing at the Vandals attempts to hurt it at first, but the Circus Master thinking quickly, grabbed one of the monsters intestines and threw it into the gears of the machine which pulled the Vampire into it. The Vampire clogged the machine and started to tear it apart from the inside.

Whilst it made its way through the machine, it lost its arm in the process, and its face and body were badly mangled too.

The monster roared in anger at the Circus Master, who tipped his top hat in a mocking way before the Vampire tried to attack him again.

The Circus Master dodged its attacks and quickly went for his cane which he used to set fire to the Vampire. Denika hovered near to the Circus Master. “That beehived Vampire was right when she said these guys were tough.”

“Her name is Carlene, Denika, but you’re right, lets find the others.”

Keptis and the Strange Boy meanwhile had made their way to the other end of the factory. They had been following the sound of screaming. Along the way they had encountered more bits and pieces of other unfortunate workers, as well as smashed machinery.

At the far end of the room, Keptis saw four Vampires bending down over a young girl, covered in blood and cuts, screaming in agony. He and the Strange Boy ran to aid her, but unfortunately they weren’t fast enough.

Two of the Vampires grabbed her legs, whilst another two grabbed her arms. They both pulled at either end until they ripped her in two. Keptis froze for a second at the gruesome sight before him. “Denika’s right just when you think these freaks can’t repulse you anymore.”

The Strange Boy jumped through the air, managing to land right on the nearest Vampire by the woman’s severed legs, and knocking it into the other. The Strange Boy was actually stronger than this breed of Vampire, with the Jiang Shi being among the strongest of all Vampires. He was able to hold the monster he landed on to the ground, but the other Vampire however grabbed The Strange Boy and hoisted him into the air, but the Strange Boy flipped backwards out of the Vampires grasp and landed on the blood suckers upper back. He then grabbed hold of its head from either side and pulled so hard, he ripped it clean off. The child Vampire then threw the severed head at the other larger Vampire, before pouncing on him.

This Vampire however managed to swat The Strange Boy backwards through a nearby window and out onto the streets.

Keptis meanwhile attacked the other two Vampires with his chainsaw. He managed to saw one of the Vampires arms off as it raised it to strike him, whilst the other jumped onto a nearby wall and scaled it in a matter of seconds onto the ceiling.

Keptis then decapitated the Vampire whose arm he had sliced off, but the Vampire on the ceiling was able to jump him from behind and knock the chainsaw out of his hand.

Keptis tried to struggle free from the Vampires grip but it was no use. The monster then started bashing Keptis’ face off of a nearby cotton machine, breaking his nose in the process.

Through the pain, Keptis was able to pull a knife that’s blade was made from lightening out of a holster in his shin and stabbed it into the Vampires kneecap. The Vampire was jolted by the brief flash of pain enough for Keptis to get free from its grasp. Keptis then instantly reached for his flaming chainsaw.

As he tried to strike however the Vampire managed to pull the knife from its knee and used it to deflect the chainsaw’s flaming blade.

The Vampire who was considerably faster than Keptis, was able to slash the Martians arm causing him to drop the saw. Before Keptis could even make a move for the saw, the other Vampire that had knocked The Strange Boy out of the window grabbed Keptis from behind and held him in place.

“Flay him” the Vampire said as it dug its claws into Keptis’ arms. Just then however a blue light suddenly severed the Vampire holding the knife’s arm. Keptis looked up to see Denika hovering in the sky, her hands and eyes shinning blue, and below her the Circus Master whose bright, garish clothes pierced the darkness of the factory just as much as the flame that he fired from his cane, which burnt the Vampire that had been holding the knife to a crisp.

Seizing his chance, Keptis headbutted the Vampire from behind and got free. Grabbing his chainsaw from the floor, he took both of the monsters arms off before slicing its head clean off its shoulders.

Carlene and the Strange boy came bursting in through a window a few seconds later, with Carlene brandishing a long silver blade. Carlene had seen the Boy outside and helped him back up,

Carlene looked around to see the last Vampire’s corpse slowly melt away into nothing.

“Well I guess I came in the nick of time” Carlene said jokingly to the others.

“It seems you did. I’m glad I don’t have to track down all my major enemies. Now I can kill them all in one place.” A voice from the distance said.

Carlene and the rest of the Circus Folk turned round to see a large figure emerge from the shadows. It was Richards, the Alpha Vampire of this breed.

“You killed some of my children. It doesn’t matter though. More of my children are already loose in this miserable city. They will make more and more and soon London will belong to us.”

The Circus Master didn’t even let him finish his rant. He fired his cane at the monster, but this time the cane didn’t shoot fire, but instead a large beam of electricity that wrapped itself around the Vampire. Richards simply grabbed hold of the electrical beam undeterred however and used it to pull the Circus Master about ten feet towards him, before breaking through the beam and punching the Circus Master in the face.

Denika responded by flying into the air and shooting at Richards. Richards however much to her surprise was able to block her beams with the palm of his hands, before blasting them back at her, which sent Denika flying outside of a nearby window.

Carlene then jumped through the air to try and catch Denika before she fell outside.

Whilst Richards was distracted by Denika, Keptis rammed his chainsaw into the monsters chest, but Richards simply smiled at the Martian and said, mockingly “Is that supposed to hurt.”

He grabbed the chainsaw with both hands and not only pulled it out of his chest, but hit Keptis in the face with the butt of the weapon. The Circus Master then tried to fire his cane at the monster, but Richards dodged the blast and sliced The Circus Masters cane in half using Keptis’ flaming chainsaw.

Richards then tried to attack the Circus Master with the weapon, but the Circus Master was able to dodge Richard’s attacks, though he wasn’t able to offer any counter attacks of his own.

Denika (who had been prevented from falling by Carlene) returned and blasted the chainsaw out of Richards hands, before getting a second hit on the Vampire as he turned around, knocking him a few feet across the room. Carlene then threw a silver knife from her hair into Richards leg as he tried to get up.

The silver didn’t hurt Richard as much as it had his children, but Carlene could see that it had caused him pain, and the wound hadn’t instantly healed, unlike those made by the chainsaw.

The Circus Master started to strike Richards repeatedly with his claws, whilst The Strange Boy sneaked up on Richards and jumped on his back. Whilst Richards struggled to throw the little Vampire off, The Circus Master pulled Carlene’s knife from Richard’s leg and slashed the Vampire across the chest several times, before stabbing him in the stomach with it.

In pain and desperation, Richards was able to throw the Strange Boy off his back and into the Circus Master. Carlene however was next to join the fight with another silver knife she had pulled out of her hair. She slashed at the monster and managed to hit Richards a few more times in his face, but Richards now overcome with rage managed to hit the weapon out of Carlene’s hand, and land another hit in her stomach. He then grabbed Carlene by the throat and lifted her into the air.

“I always hated you, you creepy bitch” Richard spat as he prepared to tear her head off. Fortunately the Circus Master jumped Richards from behind causing him drop Carlene. The Circus Master was able to stab Richard two more times with Carlene’s knife, including in his spine, before Richards shook him off. Whilst Richards was distracted by the Circus Master, the Strange Boy grabbed Richards by the back leg and pulled him down to the ground.

Carlene and the Circus Master jumped on Richard’s back, holding him down before he could get up. Keptis meanwhile using his flaming chainsaw sliced both of Richards legs off.

Denika who had been hovering in the air, waiting for a moment to strike arrived in front of Richards and began to chant in a strange language. Richards became more desperate and tried to push the two time travelers off, but the Strange Boy then jumped onto the Vampires back as well, firmly holding him in place.

Eventually Denika’s magic took effect on the monster and Richards passed out.

“It’s a sleeping spell. It’ll only work on him for a bit. but we got him” Denika said whilst panting. It had taken quite a lot out of her just to put the Vampire out for that short a space of time.

“Now we can find out who is creating these monsters” The Circus Master said as he hoisted Richards unconscious body over his shoulders.

Kelly suddenly awoke in what looked like an old abandoned church. The last thing she remembered was the hideous monster attacking her. She’d tried to defend herself, but the monster had knocked her out before she could practically raise her fists.

As Kelly looked around, dazed and in pain, she could see three more people beside her in chains, all beaten and covered in cuts.

“I’m sorry you’ve been made to feel uncomfortable. Our people are not known for their hospitality. Still I’ll make sure that we look after our own.”

Kelly looked up to see a well dressed man with a relatively normal appearance compared to the creature that had brought her here. His skin was still deathly pale and his eyes were bright red. When he smiled, Kelly could see he had fangs.

“What do you want from me.” Kelly said.

“One of my new children selected you. You should be grateful. All of you. From what I’ve been told you’ve all lived lives of such hardship, pain and loss. Now you’ll finally be able to get back at the people responsible for your pain.”

He started to read aloud from a book. All of the others screamed and begged at him to stop. Kelly wasn’t sure why at first, but in a matter of seconds she started to feel a tremendous amount pain surge through her body.

Worse than that, she could feel herself beginning to slip away. The love she had for her children, that had driven her through such trying times was replaced by anger. Anger at the little bastards for making her waste her life. Soon new violent twisted urges towards her co-workers and friends that terrified her began to emerge. In a few more minutes however she started to embrace them. She practically didn’t even remember her children’s names. All she cared about was in satisfying her newfound bloodlust.

As she looked around Kelly could see the others slowly turn into hideous monsters as the strange man continued to read from the book.

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. 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 like I said 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 defense 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 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.

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 to know about the Book of Khastran?”

“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. The Circus Master had disabled Denika’s spell.

“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 a 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 yet fancy clothing, whilst her skin was whiter than snow. She had 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, ere 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 eccentric lady, but this was more money than he’d ever been given before. 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 local 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 or worse, she had the full protection of the police force.

The truth was Carlene didn’t belong in this city, or even 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 even they still didn’t entirely trust Carlene either. Nevertheless the Vampire was too useful to them as 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.

Even with the protection of the police, many people in the local area would still throw things through Carlene’s windows, or refuse to serve her in a local resturant.

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 however. “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 was a girl 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 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, 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 assured the two children that they would be safe. 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.

The Vampire still had some questions 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. It’s 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.

“It’s 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 neighborhood 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” she said.

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.

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.

The Beehive topped Vampire’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 the 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 even 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 to herself “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 huge nose growing up. (During her days as a singer, some critics had made unflattering comments about her big nose too.)

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. As she climbed further and further down the abyss Carlene 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 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.

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, whilst 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.

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. Her beehive had become more than just a fashion choice over the years. It was in fact a magical weapons chest, bigger on the inside than the outside, and created by the strongest magics. Carlene pulled out a long wooden stake, 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, 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 the slime was so thick.

Carlene rammed the stake straight into the monsters back and pushed it with all her force through the layers of fat and into its heart. The monster 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. 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 after 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 as well as revolting. 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 from her beehive 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, and 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 its other hand the monster then 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, and 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 children can call anyone a coward love”.

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 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 one.

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 darling, 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, but just as she prepared to strike, she was distracted by a singing voice coming from the other end of the tunnel. She turned round to see a strange blue skinned woman standing slowly walking towards her.

The blue lady 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.” She thought to herself.

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 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, which it then pulled out of Carlene’s hand. Carlene jumped onto the creature’s chest and using her full body weight knocked 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 however instantly shook 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. 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 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 thanks to her actions 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 defenseless 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 reached the other end of the tunnel above, back onto the railway. With the monsters right on her tail having managed to climb up with their claws. Carlene however was ready for them. She 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 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 end of the tunnel.

Only the Alpha had the strength to hurl himself 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 then searched through the entire underground area. She didn’t find any other survivors however, and only one other Vampire, which she 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. 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 to, 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.

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 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. Almost. 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” asked 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” Ashlei said. “Oh right eh sorry about that.”

“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. He and his race the Kardons, fed on the blood and the souls of their victims, and they came to this world thousands of years ago before being banished in a great war with Gods and Angels. Khastran 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 they are capable of creating a lot worse than that creature we encountered 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. What we encountered tonight was a Pure Vampire.

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 paused for a minute to drink a glass of cow blood, much to the others disgust. ” Relax it’s just cow blood. I’ve been waiting all night for that. Anyway 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. I’ve heard vague stories about them, they’re also a bread of Vampire apparently. 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