This is the first draft of Zombies vs Vampires, each chapter posted within a few days of being written. As a first draft, there will be continuity errors, and sections that will need to be deleted, moved, re-written or expanded for the final version. Please bear this in mind as you read it. If you spot something you think needs changing in any way, don’t hesitate to tell me in the comments. I’ll give you a shout out in the published version.
The two black towers were stakes driven into the heart of the city. Overbearing, ugly, and completely out of place, they looked down on the pale sandstone and red brick of the lower rise buildings cowering under them.
Terry knew their story- the outline of it, anyway- everyone did. They had been proposed by a pair of footballers, looking to invest in property for lucrative retirements. But, when they were half finished, the post-Brexit decline had priced the sportsmen out of the project. Mysterious partners and backers- Russians, almost everyone agreed- stepped in to buy out the famous faces and finish the buildings themselves.
No-one got into the towers. No-one that anyone knew, anyway. They were a mystery. Two slabs of darkness looking down on them. There were shops at ground level, and two storeys of offices, but above these, the dark windows swallowed sunlight during the day, and never lit up at night. So it was surprising- and thrilling and frightening- that Glenn said he could get them in.
Terry wasn’t sure what he should make of Glenn. The older man- only a few years, but it seemed to count for so much- had decided to be Terry’s protector. There were plenty of predators around the tent town, lots of them looking for a piece of fresh meat who looked as young as Terry did. But Glenn wouldn’t allow them the chance. So far, he hadn’t asked anything in return. Perhaps he was truly a good person.
They were in an alley behind the towers, where the goods for the ground floor shops were delivered. To the left of the roller shutters was a heavy door, clad in light grey metal and with a large shiny handle and security grade brass lock. To the left of the door was a galvanised fence, to keep them from falling into the bottom of the ramp that ran down to another large roller shutter and the underground parking.
Glenn put his hand on the door handle and turned to grin at Terry. “Wait’ll you see inside here! It’s mad.” He pressed down on the handle and pushed at the door.
The door didn’t open. Glenn’s confident smile faded, until they heard a click, and the door opened.
It was dark on the other side of the threshold. Much darker than outside, under the bright security light. Terry faltered, unsure, until Glenn grasped his cuff and pulled him in. The tug was more violent than Terry had come to expect from his protector. He was too shocked to pull back, though, and quickly found himself inside.
The door shut with an ominous thud. Terry jumped at the sound, then again as lights in the ceiling turned on. The glow was only around them, the rest of the space wasn’t illuminated yet. He could see the door and the wall either side of it. There was no handle on this side, just a pull bar the height of the door, and a brushed steel number pad on the wall.
Glenn was his smiling, reassuring self again, the flashes of impatience and anger gone now. He beckoned Terry to follow him. As he strode into the dark, more lights came on above him, lighting the way.
The floor was marble, Terry thought, looking down at the blood red veins marking the shiny white surface. A stone stuck in the tread of Glenn’s boots clicked against the floor with each step.
The lights, still not very bright, illuminated the space. It wasn’t very large, but it was lavish. The marble of the floor extended halfway up the walls, where a narrow gilt band separated it from the dark wood of the rest of the wall and the ceiling. The lights were set in the cornice at the top of the wall, and seemed activated by movement. At the far end of the hall, there was the polished brass of an elevator’s door.
Glenn pressed a button on the wall by the lift and, with a ping, door opened. He stepped in, beckoning Terry after him. “Come on. Come on. He’s expecting us.” Terry wondered what that meant, but stepped in anyway.
The floor of the elevator was the same sort of marble as the hallway. The walls, however, were covered in pleated and padded red leather. Terry stroked, then pressed it, and found it surprisingly soft and supple. He looked to Glenn for some explanation of what came next.
There were only three buttons inside the lift. As the doors closed, Glenn pressed the top one. The box rose up its shaft rapidly. Terry felt the acceleration in the soles of his feet and the pit of his empty stomach. Glenn had promised him food if he came along, but had said nothing about someone waiting for them. The hunger was stronger than the worry, so he leant back against the soft wall and waited to reach the stop.
Suddenly feeling light, Terry knew the lift had halted. How high up were they, he wondered, as the door opened.
They were as high up as they could be, he decided, looking across the wide space that had been revealed, and at the view through the dark tinted windows. “Penthouse suite.” Glenn told him. “What a view.”
Terry walked toward the windows, drawn by the view. The floor was marble again, but he couldn’t make out many other details. The room was dark, lit only by a small number of small lights in the ceiling. Reaching the window, Terry touched fingertips to the glass, finding it warmer than he expected, and looked down at the Town Hall. A long way down. He couldn’t guess how many floors up he was.
The lights that illuminated the Gothic façade of the Town Hall were muted, made a strange grey by whatever lined the floor to ceiling window. This must be the tint that kept the building dark, no matter what time of day it was.
“Life in the sky, mate. Innit brilliant. We can have this view as long as you keep him happy. He does like pretty boys like you, he said.”
Terry didn’t turn round to look at Glenn. He just had to look up to see the reflection in the glass. Glenn was about halfway across the floor, under one of the lights, the lower half of his face shadowed, so Terry couldn’t properly see his grin. The top half of his face, however, showed greed. Terry was going to fight his expression back to passivity before he turned. He wouldn’t show Glenn his disappointment. The older man wasn’t his friend, but his pimp.
“Lap of luxury, am I right? You’ll let him do what he wants, and we’ll be set.” Glenn wasn’t asking. He expected Terry’s compliance.
Focussing on his own reflection in the glass, Terry knew he was not yet ready to turn around, or even say anything. Just another betrayal in a lifetime of betrayals.
“He should be here soon. I mean, he said he’d….” Glenn’s words were cut short, and he made a sucking sound, then a strange, pained whistling.
Still, Terry couldn’t bring himself to turn. He shifted his gaze to Glenn’s reflection, and fought down a cry. Glenn’s head was tilted to the left, an expression of wide eyed surprise on his face. The skin down the left side of his neck was torn open in a jagged U, from which blood flowed profusely.
Some of the blood, the more powerful spurts, seemed to be caught in mid air and disappear. They were going into a red rimmed hole. It might have been in the shape of a mouth, with sharp, even serrations that could be teeth. Two of the teeth, at the top of the circle, were longer than the others.
Glenn managed to move, finally. His right hand reached into a pocket, and drew out a knife. The blade flipped open with an instinctive move of his thumb, then came up and back. Most of the determination drained away, however, before it reached the top of its arc. It struck something, slid to the side, then dropped from Glenn’s hand. There may have been the hint of a line of blood raised by the blade across the air.
The blood mouth closed, then opened less wide to let out a little sound of disgust. Glenn collapsed, a soft bag of flesh and loosely connected bones.
“Do let me ssee you, little one. Are you as pretty as he promised?” the floating lips said.
There was something about the voice that could not be ignored. Terry turned slowly. What he saw made him take a frightened step back, until he was pressed against the glass.
Standing over Glenn’s body was a woman. She was tall and slim, with long, jet black hair, wearing a tight, sheath dress, split down the left to reveal a shapely leg and thigh, and with wide sleeves that hung down from her arms. She reached down, and tore a strip from Glenn’s shirt with ease, using it to wipe the blood from around her mouth. Running it across her forehead, she dabbed up the blood from the wound that Glenn had inflicted- a wound that had already closed. Done with the rag, she dropped it so that it draped itself over Glenn’s face.
“You are lovely. Yesss, you are. He was a horrible little man, and he tasted horrible, but at least he was honest about that.” The woman took a step toward Terry. She was beautiful, even in the unforgiving light. Terry felt himself relaxing, as far as he could. His limbs weren’t under his control, it seemed. Just as he felt happy to succumb to this stunning woman’s charms, her expression changed. She was hungry, looking at him like a delicious meal. Somehow, without lines appearing on the perfect, white skin of her face, she appeared ancient. The centuries showed.
Terry could do nothing as the woman drew right up to him. His head tilted to the left, exposing his neck to her. “You will taste so much better than your friend. And I will not tear at this perfect ssskin, no. No. And you can take a taste in return. I think you ssshall be so much more than just one meal.”
The teeth entered Terry’s neck so gently he couldn’t believe it. An ecstasy he had never before felt flowed out from the perfect wounds and filled his body.
Then it all went black.
It’s almost Halloween, so how about I start a little story about vampires and zombies.
A month or so ago, I pondered on Twitter about the existence of any films pitting blood suckers against the walking dead. It seems there is an awful film called Vampires Vs Zombies, but nothing else. So the idea started to brew, and here’s the first part. I’ll write more bits as I can. It’s all first draft, and if I finish it, it’ll get edited, expanded and published as a Garth Owen Lost Picture Show novelette or novella.