WHERE THE GAMES FINALLY OVER? WOULD THEY BE SAFE?
“I wholeheartedly agree with you, gentlemen,” Reece said as he appeared with Leanne and Diane, closely flanking him on either side. They were wearing long black robes with hoods covering their faces. A glowing light shone on them, softly illuminating the room with its strange green color.
Mike became frightened; they reminded him of the robed creatures who’d attacked Louise in the gazebo.“Who are you?” he asked as he backed away…He was losing track of all the players in this deadly game.
“We are the elders of the world’s vampire population,” Diane said as the three of them stepped forward, removing their hoods to reveal their familiar faces. She looked at the terrified look on Mike’s face and added, “The leaders of the good vampires.” She gave him a bright smile that lit up her whole face, until he could even feel its warmth radiating out toward him. Now he remembered the three major vampires, who’d been fooled by Wolf one too many times. So far, he hadn’t been too impressed with them.
“Are there many vampires in the world?” Mike asked. He wondered how many of these creatures roamed the earth at night.
“Not too many any longer,” Leanne said. “We’ve been diligently trying to preserve our species by merging with humans. That way, humans can live enriched lives while we blend into society more effectively.”
“How many elders are there?” asked David.
“We were four; but now that Wolf is gone, we are only three,” Reece said.
“What about Hayden?” Mike continued to throw questions at the elders. He had so many questions in his mind that he didn’t know which to ask first.
“Hayden has always been a loner, never joining a group. Maybe now that he’s chosen a side, he’ll be more willing to work with us,” Todd said.
“How many vampires are left in the world?” asked Mike, who was totally enthralled by the whole idea of vampires. In his mind he envisioned colonies of vampires: working together during the day to fit into society while concealing their secret powers, then at night traveling the world to seek out new adventures.
“There are a few hundred vampires left in the world—spread across many countries,” answered Todd as he stared at Mike, who seemed to be lost in his own dream world.
“You have powers so—are you really a vampire?” Linda
confronted Todd. She hoped that he wasn’t like Wolf or even Hayden. The first had been a vicious vampire, while the second relished in flaunting his power a little too much. Todd didn’t appear to be like either of them but, in actuality, she really didn’t know him at all.
She was closely monitoring the expression on his face, but as usual his face showed no hint of emotion. He was watching her, as if waiting for a response; however, she was the one who had asked a question.
“He’s not a vampire. Todd, Sam, Shirley, Hank, Minnie, Frank, Judy, Gregg, and Ryan are the only human vampires in the world. They are the natural offspring of a vampire and a human,” Reece stepped forward, facing Linda with his kind brown eyes.
“Does that make you a human or a vampire?” Linda asked Todd again. She wanted to hear the truth from his own lips, not some practiced propaganda spouted by Reece and the elders.
“He is definitely human. His children will be human. By
mating with a human, a human vampire gives his mate and his offspring a healthier and a much longer life span. A human vampire has limited powers—such as heightened senses and greater strength,” continued Reece, not giving Todd the chance to respond to the question on his own.
Linda was becoming irritated that Todd wasn’t being allowed to explain for himself.
“Can a human vampire shape-shift or change reality?” Linda asked. She wanted to know how much power he really had.
“No. Only vampires can shift shapes and reality. They can move at lightning speed and even fly, which, as you have already witnessed, they usually do in the form of shadows or bats. Those were the shadows that have been sighted in town. Human vampires can live in the light while vampires have to avoid direct sunlight. Vampires must be protected by a special green-tinted glass—which filters out the harmful rays—if they desire to be out with humans during the day,” Sam responded.
“So that explains the weird green glass on all the buildings in town and on the houses up the hill,” pointed out Shana.
“You commanded the front door at End House to open on its own, but I thought that human vampires don’t have any special powers?” Linda confronted Todd directly, forcing him to answer the question that had been plaguing her for a while.
“I’m a human vampire—not a vampire. I have limited powers of suggestion, which I use only in desperate situations,” Todd said, standing strong against Linda’s attack on his past behavior.
“Could you use this power on a human to control his or her behavior? Could you hypnotize someone or put them in a trance—like what happened to Louise?” Linda asked, not happy with Todd’s explanation.
“Only vampires are able to use hypnosis that way. They have very strong powers, where they can place unsuspecting people into deep trances against their will. Louise had to have been hypnotized by a vampire. My powers, on the other hand, are very limited. I can break through certain illusions, such as the tunnel and front door at End House. I can only suggest thoughts or actions, but the affected person still retains his free will to make his own choices. Of course I would never use my power to make someone do what they wouldn’t want to do willingly; and of course, I would never ever use it on you,” Todd said.
Shana spoke up. “Why do Gregg, Judy, and Ryan call you boss?”
“I’m the appointed leader of the human vampires: they
come to me for advice and help.”