Just outside of Richmond, Virginia lies Four Mile Creek Park. Just on the perimeter of the park lies a house. Old and decrepit is how most people would describe it. Some might even say haunted. The walls are old brick and the windows look like cathedral windows. Kids never walked in front of the house. They would cross the street just to go around it. There was a six foot tall black metal gate that surrounded the house. Two old willows sat by the front entrance to the gate. The park that the house sat by was beautiful and prominent. They held city activities, fundraisers and social gatherings. Families played with their children and walked their dogs around the park. The house that sat there wasn’t abandoned.
A man lived in the house. A very old man. He didn’t age like others. He was centuries old. His name was York. York lived in the same house for three hundred years. He’s seen Virginia come from rural land to the revolving city that it is now. His house was the only one at the park. That park was the only thing he had left of his freedom and his beginnings in that area. York had ways of keeping people from building around him. They were ways that would seem unspeakable to other people. For York it’s all he’s ever known and all he’s ever done. He was the last of his kind. He never brought anyone into his home and if they did sneak in, no one ever left.
At night bats would land on the house and the two willows out front to keep watch. Looking for anything suspicious where they needed to alert their master. The bats served York and did whatever he asked. They would sit there until right before the sun came up. The bats eyes were sensitive to the sun. They would fly back to the park and sleep in the trees until the next evening. Rarely would you see anyone walk by the house. No one would even walk on the same street. If they did it was rowdy kids trying to stir up trouble. Trying to face the fear.
York never worried about things at night. The evening was where he felt most comfortable. It was during the day that he dreaded. He hardly ever went out during the day. The light didn’t agree with him. At night York would sit by his window or on his porch and flip a golden coin. The coin had an X on one side and had a fang on the other. The coin was gifted to him over two hundred years ago. His mentor gave him the coin after he completed his final test. York had to kill someone. He wasn’t a serial killer but he had to kill in order to survive. He was able to complete his final test and finally became a full blooded vampire.
York was a vampire. The coin that he always kept with him helped him determine who to let live and who to kill. No one was ever chosen because of things they did. Even if someone did something wrong to York, he had to flip the coin. If it landed on the X the person was able to keep living. If it landed on the fang York would take the person’s blood and dump them in the lake at the park. He only killed three people a year. It was a trimester feeding.
York thought about letting one he was going to kill, live. Turning them into a vampire to further his kind. He had no children and really hadn’t ever thought about it. His attitude was always poor. Not sure if it was because he had no children or if it was because he had no spouse. No one to spend endless decades with. His life as a vampire was coming to an end. This species only lived for about four hundred years. He had roughly a human lifetime left. One hundred years to keep killing or to find a lover to share his killings with.
Once a month York would go out in the evening. He would stroll through the park and see if any teens were trying to deface any parts of it. He sometimes wished someone would come and stab him with a stake through the heart. It’s a terrible thing living your life all alone. His mentor told him this numerous times. He asked York if he was sure he wanted to be a vampire. Of course he did. When you’re young and dumb anything sounds like a good idea. Now centuries later he has regrets. Remembering the words from his mentor like he heard them yesterday, “This is a lonely life. It’s you and the blood. For all of eternity”. York’s favorite part of the park was by the lake. Not because almost all of the bodies he’d ever killed were stashed there. He enjoyed the way the moon glistened off of the water. Even when there was no moon, the clouds played just as big of a part. The best weather for him is rainy, cold and foggy. It brought out his strong yet intelligent side. In his old age he needed every drop of reinforcement he could get.
After his stroll through the park, he would head down to one of the neighborhoods near by, searching for his next victim.He always found a couple that he liked more than others. The smell of their skin and the sound of their blood coursing through the veins. Some rushed down the veins and sounded healthy and filling. Other people’s blooded sounded like muddy water, sloshing around, going nowhere fast. At the end of the day it wasn’t his choice he got to pick. It was the coins choice. It was always about the coin. Luck is what he called it. One flip could change the course of someone’s life.
October 29th started the change of York’s life. During the day he slept happily in his coffin in his room. The same place he’d slept all of his life. It had only been about four hours that he’d been asleep. A loud slam came from down stairs. York always kept all of the curtains closed so the sun wouldn’t burn him. He pushed open the coffin and started down the stairs. His front door was open, the door handle was laying on the floor and he heard a rustling back in the kitchen. York shut the front door and propped a statue up against it to keep it shut until he could fix the handle. Once the door was shut this turned his house dark again. He headed towards the kitchen.
Once York entered the kitchen he saw two teenage boys with guns rummaging through all of the cabinets. York said, “Both of you! What are you doing here?” The two boys turned around and fired their guns at York. York dropped his robe he was wearing, looked at the boys, his fangs began to grow and his eyes turned red. Each bullet that hit York didn’t make a dent. The bullet went in and then came back out without leaving so much as a scratch. He flew towards one of the boys, grabbed him, threw him against the cabinets. The other boy hit York on the back of the head. He let go of the boy he was holding and they both ran out the kitchen door. The glare from the sun burnt York’s skin a little.
York shut the kitchen door and peaked out the back window at the two jack wagons that broke into his home. They scaled the fence and ran through the park. They knew York’s secret. Who he was and certainly what he was capable of. He knew he had to find these two teenagers. He was hoping the coin would be fangs up for both of these boys. York also realized that no matter what luck resided on his side or theirs, neither of them would get what they wanted.
York decided there wasn’t anything that he could do right now, not while the sun was out. He closed the blind and went back upstairs to his coffin. He closed the door and slept until the evening. Once he woke the work began. The boys couldn’t have lived to far from him. They didn’t ride bikes or have a vehicle. Knowing this information helped York begin his search. He left his house and began walking down the street. Wearing a top hat, long black jacket and black boots. York sent all of his bats to the other two neighborhoods. Giving them clear details on the two boys and to report back with any sighting.
York was curious how many people the boys had told if they had even seen anyone that is. Maybe they weren’t even at their houses. They could be camped up in the park…York’s backyard. It would seem like the most absurd place to hide but in reality it would be the smartest. Why would York check their first. He knew they couldn’t be there. He decided to stick with his original plan and scout the neighborhoods. He knew the scent of boys. It was just a matter of tracking them and making each one pay. If one lived the other would have to watch his friend die. That would be traumatizing enough.
He passed by the first couple houses. Not seeing anything worthy of his time he continued on. Trying to track down a scent was becoming more hard in his old age. He had one or two good fights left in him and was hoping one of them wouldn’t have to come tonight.
The bats passed over one neighborhood flying roof to roof. Hanging from windows and scoping all the rooms in each of the houses. They didn’t have a strong sense of smell like the vampire did but they could see incredibly well in the evenings. The first neighborhood showed no signs of the two boys. They moved on the to second one. Diving up and down fireplaces. They all stopped at one house. Looking through the window both the boys were sitting in a bedroom on the floor. They had a laptop out and were searching everything they could find out about vampires.
The bats flew up into the air and headed directly for York. They circled above him and signaled for the house where they found the two boys. York sent the bats to the park to keep an eye out on his house. He didn’t want them at his house in case someone decided to sneak in during the night. Not wanting the bats to scare off another break in. York wanted to deal with the trespassers himself. He finally reached the house where the boys were staying. He hovered up to the window and didn’t see them there. The sound of a door slammed and York dropped down and walked to the street. The two boys were running as fast as they could, heading straight towards the park.
York started heading towards the street. He was halted almost immediately, looking down, a pile of garlic from a smashed jar laid out in front of him. He yelled in anger and walked around the back of the house and started running down the street after the boys. He reached the park and called the bats. They had no info of where the boys might be. No sign of seeing them running through the park. York looked around and then heard a gate slam. They were at his house.
York was over the games. He hovered up into the air and flew towards his house. Landing abruptly on the roof he jumped down to the front door. He pushed it open so hard the door came off the hinges and landed in the walk way. York stepped in and yelled, “Where are you boys at!”. His house was three floors and ten different rooms. If it was going to take all night then so be it. He would go room to room and search for both of those boys. He walked into the living room and didn’t see anything. He turned around a flipped his coin. Landing on an X he snickered…
He headed upstairs and pushed in each door. Five doors and five misses. York started walking down the stairs and heard a rustle in the basement. It sounded like someone kicked a piece of metal. He figured it’d be smart to hover down the stairs instead of walking. The floors were old and made too much noise if he was going to have any chance at all of sneaking up on the boys.
He got down to the basement. It was all one room down there. Supporting pillars were the only things that separated the space down below. York saw a shadow run across the room and behind a pillar. He moved in that direction, turned full vampire, and clawed around the pillar. No one was there. These teenagers were either brilliant or dumb. Probably a bit of both for running back into the beast’s lair.
York jumped up into the rafters and began crawling around. Looking down at the floor, searching and hoping to find at least one of these criminals. He saw a body shoot out from behind a wall.
York jumped out from above and crashed down on top of one of the boys. He opened his mouth and was about to sink his fangs into the neck of the teenage boy. The other boy came out from behind the shadows and was about to tackle the vampire when York turned and grabbed the boy by the throat. Holding one boy down and grabbing one by the throat, he grabbed his coin. Flipping it once for the boy on the ground it landed on an X. Growling at the results he looks at the second boy and flips the coin again. It lands on the fang. He smiles and looks up at the boy. He whispers in his ear, “I hope you’re ready to pay”. Fangs out and red eyes beaming he goes to sink his teeth into the boys neck. York feels garlic thrown into the back of his throat. He jumps off both the boys and yells in pain. One of the boys has a wooden stake and lunges at the vampire and drives it into his heart. Both the boys run up the stairs and out the front door. York was far from slain…he pulled the stake out of his heart and stood up. York whispered, “This war is far from done”.