Fantom hobbled through the passages, a shell of his former self. What a fool he’d been. Had he not been so prideful, he’d have known to assuage his step-father’s anger. Instead he provoked the beast, and in doing so accepted a wealth of pain that left him debilitated. Such was the cost of his hubris, to which he could blame nobody else.
It would be some time before he healed enough to face Fang Force again on equal terms; if, by that time, there was still a Fang Force to battle.
He limped into an antechamber, where laid across a pair of long beds were the two vampires staring at an hourglass. The grains sifted through the funnel at a snail’s pace. Neither paid any mind to the stranger as he entered the room.
“You should have ended them when you had the chance,” Fantom said. Continue reading “Fang Force #16 – “Bitter Return: A Fang Force Divided” (Part 4)”
The city of Crescent Valley is named for its position below an arcing mountain range shaped on a map like the waxing moon. Home to over half a million residents, their numbers swell with the countless visitors that enter its limits every year; for during the days of its founding Crescent Valley was home to a being of legend, simply known to locals as ‘The Great Vampire King’.
Many are skeptical that such creatures ever walked among humans, yet cannot explain the great stone castle that sits above the city. Strong and silent, the structure watches them through the ages, though marks no time of its own, as the grand clock fixed to the central tower sits frozen for over a century with hands set at one minute to midnight.
That it had already struck and that a pair of vampires set it back was, for the purposes of keeping the peace, a fact that could be overlooked. Continue reading “Fang Force #13 – “Bitter Return: A Fang Force Divided” (Part 1)”
It wasn’t until she’d rested that Lindsay felt the full sting of her experience. She whined as Spike wrapped tape around her ribs with a skill greater than a small creature should possess, while the other two cried for her from the other side of the modesty screen.
“It’s Lindsay,” she said. “Lindsay!”
Of course she could command them to use her name – the power of the Great Vampire King compelled them to her commands – but that didn’t seem right. Better they get in the habit themselves, she thought. Having leadership thrust on her was hard enough; being a ‘Master’ was next level. Continue reading “Fang Force #12 – “Dark Temptation: Lindsay Decides Her Fate” (Part 6)”
Once Lindsay scoffed at Lord Nihilex, because she’d been lucky. She’d never been touched by evil personified; never felt its needles tear her from the inside out. She cried out, though her sounds were lost in the darkness, fading in the course a thousand tunnels.
Lindsay clutched her chest, as though to do so would keep her together. What little defiance she had ebbed by the second. Moments dragged for eternity. She convulsed, no longer aware of her surroundings; only the supernatural power that wrenched the life from her.
The torture ceased, but not by the mercy of Lord Nihilex. The taste of copper dominated her senses. Lindsay lifted her head, and through the haze could swear to seeing Fantom on his knees facing away from her. It was hard to tell in the dark. More curious still were the licks of smoke rising from his chest, same as it did from her jacket.
Lord Nihilex snatched Fantom by the collar and lifted him to his feet. Weren’t they on the same side?
“I’ve had enough of your insolence,” the conqueror snapped. “Stand in my way again and you’ll share her fate!” Continue reading “Fang Force #11 – “Dark Temptation: Lindsay Decides Her Fate” (Part 5)”
Only those with an inflated sense of daring took to the mountains over Crescent Valley. The trees shooting from the slopes promised a thousand bloody ends to those who fell, long before they ever hit the bottom. For two vampires, however, the danger of gravity was an annoyance at best.
They moved from ledge to ledge with inhuman deftness, stopping only to scan for anything out of the ordinary. Cassius sniffed the air, searching for a trail only a wolf was attuned to. For miles they roamed, and would continue to do so well after the sun had set.
“Anything?” Luther asked.
The blazer clad guardian lifted his nose in hope of a sign. In spite of his stoicism and resolve the undercurrent of dread ran deep. Though only a few short hours had passed it was time enough for the worst to unfold. The Fantom of present was without question equal in cruelty to the monster of memory.
“We’re getting closer,” Cassius told him, though it was a half-truth. No sign of Lindsay appeared in the ground they’d already covered, eliminating a handful of possibilities. That they provided no solid leads was a fact he kept to himself. Continue reading “Fang Force #10 – “Dark Temptation: Lindsay Decides Her Fate” (Part 4)”
Of all the joys to the twenty-first century, there are none greater than coffee and fresh cinnamon donuts. Though it wasn’t until she was halfway up the castle steps before Lindsay wondered if vampires liked either. Did they need to eat at all? Other than blood, that is. She discarded the thought as too gruesome before breakfast and pushed on with the power of caffeine.
Lindsay bounded into the clock tower – steaming paper bag in one hand, a tray of cups in the other – and was overcome. Two days was all it took for a pair of vampires and a little bat to perform a miracle.
The first time she entered the belfry it was musty, dark and strewn with cobwebs. All that seemed like a bad dream. Crates had been replaced by polished wood furniture and high backed leather chairs, which made a good home on the new planks they’d set. Even the inside of the clock face was wiped clean, along with the bell overhead that reflected the morning light.
She almost dropped their breakfast – almost.
“You guys did all of this?”
Cassius and Luther emerged from hiding. Both had their hair pulled back and were wearing aprons. Their lace cuffed shirts, however, were still in tatters, and only the worse after all their work. Continue reading “Fang Force #07 – “Dark Temptation: Lindsay Decides Her Fate” (Part 1)”
Freaklings. Shambling aberrations. Darkness given shape.
Throughout history they were feared by humankind. Great warriors took swords to them to no avail. Barricades as tall as the sky could only delay them. The desperate fired cannons at the monsters with nil effect. Only when faced against supernatural foes did they ever meet a challenge, though two soldiers were as nothing against a swarm… in theory.
All of that changed because of her. What should have been a foregone conclusion was thrown into jeopardy because of her! The Great Vampire King had vanished from the world, but his spirit lingered in the form of a pathetic human, barely more than a child!
Lord Nihilex paced around the throne, and received a wide berth from those beneath him. When he growled, underlings knew better than to respond unless addressed.
“With my own hands I cast him into the deepest pit of the Abyssal Realm,” he railed, “yet still he resists! When will this cursed opposition end?” Continue reading “Fang Force #06 – “Rebirth: Rise of the Red Fang” (Part 6)”
There were noises outside the castle. They were loud, they were violent, and they were the last thing Lindsay needed while sitting on top of a vampire bat. Was this another prank, or something much worse?
Lindsay shifted on the pail to keep her skirt from riding up. It was a good thing she was wearing flats, in case she needed to run. She could run like the wind if she had to; and jump, and climb. In fact she was remarkably good at sports, despite never having a passion for them.
Spike tapped at the walls of her aluminium prison. “Excuse me, miss? What did you say your name was again?”
The young woman relented. “Lindsay…”
“Miss Lindsay,” Spike chirped. “I understand that you fear for your person, but I have urgent business that I must attend to. Is there anything I can do to assure my good faith?” Continue reading “Fang Force #04 – “Rebirth: Rise of the Red Fang” (Part 4)”
Lindsay was resolute. This, she decided, was a practical joke; or an elaborate new attraction Mr. Nowak put together without her knowing. She was the guinea pig, and that was fine – but Lindsay being Lindsay had to get her own back.
The alternative was too horrifying to think about. Real vampires, and the return of the Great Vampire King? No thanks. It made for better fiction than history.
An aluminum pail from the supply closet seemed a good weapon of choice. She lingered around a corner, just out of sight from the staircase.
There were voices in the bell tower; two men and a woman if she heard right. Were they the figures from the coffins? The lady wasn’t in fact a lady at all, but some kind of bat creature who spoke like an English teacher. A puppet, maybe? Maybe, she thought, it was remote-controlled.
Two gentlemen emerged from the staircase as though stepping from a period drama; a badly funded stage period drama with an amatuer wardrobe department. Their clothes were falling apart. The lace cuffs barely held to their stitching! If Lindsay didn’t know better, she’d swear their clothes were worn with age.
Both men sprinted down the opposite end of the hallway, leaving only the winged creature to worry about. With the pail held above her head Lindsay approached the staircase, step by careful step. The element of surprise was hers, but only if she was careful. Continue reading “Fang Force #03 – “Rebirth: Rise of the Red Fang” (Part 3)”
Spending the better part of her lifetime lingering around the castle left no corner with which Lindsay was unfamiliar, except one; the belfry of the clock tower, which was deemed off limits long before Mr. Nowak was appointed curator. “It’s out of respect for the Great Vampire King that we don’t enter the clock tower,” he’d once told her. “Besides, the mystery is half the fun!”
This mystery, Lindsay decided, was not fun at all. The higher she scaled, the deeper the ill harmony that stirred with every strike of the bell. What she’d mixed on her computer for the tour groups paled in comparison to the hollow, gruesome knell. Yet she pressed on, determined to know the origin of the sound.
At the highest point of the tower was a wooden door, rotted and crumbling. What was once well protected with a solid beam was brittle with age, and barely held together under the brutal vibrations of the bell. The sound on the other side was deafening, but Lindsay resolved to see what started it all. One strong kick was all she needed to collapse the handle, sending the door swinging on its hinges.
Then the ringing stopped. All was silent, and the bell hanging overhead still. Had she dreamed it? Continue reading “Fang Force #02 – “Rebirth: Rise of the Red Fang” (Part 2)”