Prey and Prayers in the Night

alley

From the film “Red Fog” (2013)

From the Unlife and Curse of Sean Becker

Heaven help me, my name is Sean Becker and I’m a vampire. I figured I’d better write all this down. Maybe it’ll help someone else facing the life or non-life I have now. Maybe it’ll just help normal people understand that we’re not all monsters.

I’d been casing the Red Cross blood bank for days. I figured out their schedule. They ship blood out by all kinds of methods including car, bus, and plane depending on the need and the distance it has to go. Blood shipments are sent day and night. It was the night I was interested in.

But in the end, I couldn’t go through with it. Sure, stealing from a blood bank means I don’t have to attack anyone. It would be a victimless crime, right?

Wrong.

Blood being shipped somewhere means a hospital or other medical facility has requested it. If it didn’t arrive, it would mean I’d taken blood that was meant for someone else, someone who could die without it.

Attacking people for their blood is reprehensible, but I don’t kill for it. But I hate preying on the innocent.

So I’ll prey on the guilty.

My name is Sean Becker and I’m a vampire. I guess I’m also a crimefighter of sorts, an anti-hero who preys on the predators.

*****

19-year-old Helena Jefferson knew it was a stupid idea the minute she walked into the alley. Her bus was late and when she got off with only ten minutes to make it to her shift at the diner, she thought taking the shortcut would get her there before six and she’d get to keep her job.

She was halfway down the alley before she saw them, three guys, she slowed down and then turned and started back the way she came, but it was too late.

“Hey, baby. Where you goin’?”

“Yeah, you just got here. What’s the rush. Let’s party.”

The third one just chuckled which was what sent the shiver of terror down her spine.

She started running. If she could get to the street, maybe they would give up. She could hear them coming after her. They were going to catch her, catch her and…

“Help me, please, somebody!”

Something moved past her from the side of the alley, like a shadow, incredibly fast.

“Don’t look back” was all the voice said. The running footsteps behind her suddenly stopped. She didn’t care what was happening. She made it to the street and ran all the way around the block to the diner, arriving in a panic.

*****

“Hey, dude. What the fuck did you do that for?”

“All I need is one of you. You’ll do.” Sean pointed at the punk who seemed to be the leader. “You other two, take off.”

The leader pulled something out of his pocket, a switchblade. The other two followed his cue.

“Someone’s gonna get cut tonight.”

“I’m not the one who’s going to bleed.” Sean bared his fangs and even in the dim light of the alley, he could tell by their expressions that they saw what he wanted them to see.

The leader stammered, “Hey, uh…” The other two were smarter. They ran down the back of the alley as fast as they could. Leader tried to turn and follow, but Sean had become fast, faster than is humanly possible.

The blade raked across Sean’s abdomen as the panicked kid, he couldn’t have been more than sixteen, managed to get lucky. Sean stifled a yelp of pain knowing that he’d heal in seconds.

It was over with one blow of his fist to the side of the kid’s head. He was out. All too easy.

Sean no longer got nauseous at the thought of drinking blood, but he didn’t enjoy the idea either. Only the hunger drove him to his knees, made him grab the kid, expose his neck, and then plunge his extended incisors into warm flesh and feed.

He’d just finished when he heard the sirens. The girl must have called the cops.

But Sean was fast and the night was his cloak. By the time the first patrol car arrived, he already was gone.

*****

Most churches had activities on Wednesday nights and no one would think it odd that someone off the street stepped into a house of worship and slipped into the sanctuary, at least Sean hoped they wouldn’t.

Only a few lights were on so the large room was mostly in shadow. He picked a spot that was away from the doors and the windows, knelt behind a pew, and prayed.

“God, I don’t know what to do. I beg you to forgive me for what I’ve done, what I need to do. I don’t know the answer or how to stop being the thing I am.”

Hot tears streamed down his face. “I want to serve you. I want to walk in the footsteps of Christ. I just don’t know how to do that with what I’ve become. I need your help, Lord, even if it’s to end this miserable existence, to put me back in the grave and keep me there this time.”

Sean listened for a long time but silence was his only reply. He didn’t really expect anything else. He just needed someone to talk to and if anyone could possibly understand the nightmare Sean was living, it was God.

Sean became aware of the passage of time. If he were discovered, it wouldn’t seem too unusual, but then again, he wasn’t an attendee at this church. He’d be recognized as a stranger and there were questions about himself he’d rather not answer.

He got up to leave and saw a figure sitting in the back. As Sean walked toward the exit, the man stood. He was slightly shorter than Sean but large and powerfully built. Salt and pepper hair with a matching beard.

Sean tried to walk past him but the man put out his hand. “Son, I’m Pastor Haslett, John. You’re welcome in this sanctuary. Stay as long as you want.”

The vampire shook the Pastor’s hand and knew that the man standing opposite of him would find his flesh a little too cool to the touch.

“Thanks, Pastor. I appreciate that, but I was just leaving.”

“You seem like someone who has a lot on his mind. If you want, we can talk.”

“It’s Wednesday night and I know you must be up to your eyes in other things to do, Pastor. Thanks again for the offer, but I need to be going.”

Sean brushed past Pastor John before the clergyman could respond.

As Sean reached the doors, he heard the voice from behind him say, “Give me a call if you want to talk. You can come here or I’ll be glad to meet you wherever you want.”

Sean half-turned back as he opened the door. “Thanks. I’ll think about it.”

Then he left in a rush. He couldn’t let anyone get even slightly close to him. The risk of discovery was too great. Like a lot of Pastors Sean had known over the years, Pastor John wanted to help. He could tell Sean was in trouble, but of course, he had no idea what kind.

Sean walked out of the main doors of the church and into the darkness. If this Pastor knew the life he was facing, if anyone knew, he’d be horrified that a Christian man who was also a vampire had ever dared to pray in a house of God.

Sean fled back into the inner city. He was sure there was a victim needing to be saved, and there was a predator who would fall to the vampire tonight.

I had the idea of having Sean actually steal blood from a blood bank as a “safe” alternative to attacking living victims, but when I read an article about the transport of blood at the American Red Cross website, I realized he would never take blood if it meant putting someone at risk of death.

So I found another way.

I wrote the first story about Sean Even Coffee Doesn’t Help as a one-off right before Halloween, never intending to create a series. But then I started wondering what a Christian would do if he found himself waking up in his grave as a vampire.

So I wrote a second story called The Shadow Meeting where Sean confronts the vampire who had curse him. This is the third tale of his “unlife”. This is the third tale of Sean’s existence in darkness. The next story is called The Mysterious Mr. Franks.>

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Prey and Prayers in the Night

  1. I like the anti-hero role. The church scene is predictable. But I’m thinking coming up for air and spill his guts to someone or thing. An uneven acceptance or surrendering to his fate, short lived would work

    Like

  2. As a reader who is NOT an author or accomplished writer, I do know what I like as a reader. 🙂 I may not have all the terminology, but I didn’t see the church scene as predictable. I saw it as the last thing I would’ve expected actually. But I do agree with the anti-hero role. It’s another brilliant resolution on your part as the author.

    Enjoying immensely. 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s