Bloodletting

Logan snorted loudly in the poorly lit room. His fingers shook violently as he struggled to hold the thin metal pipe up to his nose. His once brown table was now a chipped, grey mess of rotten wood. The table was littered with newspaper clippings all talking about kidnapping. That was the last thing on his mind as he positioned the pipe over the thin white lines over them. His head shot back as the powder was sucked into his narrow nostrils. His now bloodshot eyes stared at the ceiling that had a gaping hole in it. He had promised himself multiple times he would get it fixed; yet, come a rainy day, his furniture would be drenched. He imagined the raindrops splashing onto his raven black hair. The imaginary drops slammed onto his forehead and felt like a soft thud. The soft thud soon became a loud banging, and he held his head in pain. He was almost screaming at the noise when he realized that it was someone banging on his door. Upon hearing his name being shouted, he was sure that this sound was real. He got to his feet shakily, and walked over a naked blonde girl who lay on the floor in the puddle of bodily fluids. Her skin was covered in cigarette burns and handprints. He didn’t even remember her name, and his eyes glazed over her for a second as he headed to the door. Logan had barely opened it when a small, but burly, man burst into his house and grabbed him by the neck.

“You useless piece of shit!” The man said through gritted teeth , saliva dribbling down his chin.

“What have I done this time, Boris?” Logan said in almost a whisper.

“You’ve gone back to your old ways, huh?” Boris replied, and pushed him with full force. A naked Logan tripped over a bottle before falling onto the sleeping girl. She woke up with a comical yelp and, without even considering the situation, took off into the night.

“What kind of allegations are you making at this time of the night, Boris?” Logan said angrily before picking himself up.

“Don’t lie to me, you hell spawn” Boris said, looking around for something to hit him with. He spied a wine bottle, grabbed it, and slammed it against the wall.

“Boris,” Logan said finally, and his cool demeanor broke. “How long have I been in this town?”

“Four hundred and thirty,” Boris replied with a sullen look.

“How long have I been responsible for protecting it?”

“Two hundred and five,” he responded in almost a childlike tone.

“So, tell me why I would choose now to return to sucking the cholesterol-filled blood of humans?” posited Logan

“Well, how do you explain what happened down at my farm?” Boris said, now visibly ashamed at his behavior.

“Take me to this farm, and let’s solve this thing like civilized people.”

Boris looked for the words to say to mask the uncomfortable situation, but all he could do was thank the man he just had roughed up.

“Boris…” Logan said with a voice that chilled the squat man to his bones. He turned around and saw as Logan’s pale body raised to its feet.

“If you ever repeat this… you’ll beg me to kill you.”

Boris led the offended man into the foggy night, his body still visibly shaking from the threat.

The two walked along fields full of vegetables ready for harvest until they reached a clearing that caused the two to retch loudly. The pale moonlight shone down on the, now rotting, cadavers of cows, horses and whatever other animals the farmer had kept on his land.

“You could have at least told me to get gloves from the supermarket,” Logan hissed before crouching beside the closest body. The creature had been bled out, and all signs pointed to the work of his kind, but as his hands danced over the rough skin, he could not locate any puncture wounds. His hand did find something, however, and he nodded to himself as an idea began to form in his head. Logan moved over to other bodies before calling the farmer over.

“Do you see that?” Logan said, and flipped the large cow to its side with ease to expose a large hole where its heart should have been.

“It must have been drained from the blood loss,” Boris said, now feeling doubly stupid for not inspecting the bodies.

“Now give me an educated guess on what you think might have done this,” Logan said before raising his grey eyes to look at the humbled man’s face.

“This is definitely the work of the corpse eaters,” Boris replied, looking at Logan for confirmation.

“Precisely. This is the work of ghouls,” he said, and his eyes slowly turned a bright red. He looked at the grass and could clearly see the trail of blood that led into the forest in the distance. Without saying another word, he took off toward the row of trees to put an end to this very stressful night.

Logan had been following the trail for an hour when he started to notice gravestones placed randomly around him. If he wasn’t undead, he would have felt uncomfortable in the disturbing environment. The fog grew ever thicker, but the trail was still as clear as day on the forest floor. A branch snapped in the distance, and Logan rushed quietly over to its location.

“We’ll wire the money to your account in the morning, Marty,” a husky voice said in the dark.

He stuck to the middle of a thicket and looked down the embankment before him at five figures with torches in their hands. The cocaine was affecting his vision, but he could make out four grotesque men with a young human around a large hole. The four monstrous looking men, with grey skin and yellowed eyes, looked excitedly at the hole, and it wasn’t difficult to tell why, as a coffin was dragged out of it the next second. Logan spat in disgust before jumping down the embankment. He landed in the middle of the group of men and, like cockroaches in a suddenly lit room, they scattered in multiple directions. He didn’t need all five of them. He only needed one, and this was exactly what he got as he grabbed at the nearest ghoul. The creature struggled in his hand, and his rotting smell was exaggerated by Logan’s (?) skin that was now covered in perspiration.

The ghoul’s flashlight fell from his hand and rolled across the ground until it’s powerful beam fell onto the two figures.

“Sherriff?” a rough voice said, and the two men suddenly stopped their short tussle.

“Why am I not surprised it’s you, Vincent?” Logan said and looked squarely at the ugly man in his grasp.

“I did what you said, Logan,” the man said in a voice that sounded like he was half choking on meat.

“I don’t eat anything that isn’t already dead.”

“I meant beef or fish, not this disgusting excuse for dinner,” Logan replied.

“This is an abandoned cemetery, Sheriff,” Vincent argued, but before he could continue, Logan had already shushed him with his lips.

“If there are gravestones, then that means these people had loved ones who would like to come back here to remember them.”

Vincent looked at the pale sherriff without a word, as he knew there was nothing he could say that would defend his actions.

“What do you know about Boris’ farm?” Logan asked through gritted teeth.

“I know it’s the biggest on this side of the state,” Vincent said, matter-of-factly.

Logan squeezed at Vincent’s neck until the man jerked violently as he was slowly lifted off the ground.

“You and your degenerate friends have hit him in the past, don’t play dumb with me.”

“What are you talking about?” Vincent said, struggling to breathe with his already less than average lungs.

“Tell me you didn’t go on a rampage at Boris’ farm,” Logan said.

“I swear I didn’t,” Vincent replied, with as much sincerity his voice could project.

Logan looked closely at the creature, and then dropped him immediately. The trail he was following was nowhere near this part of the woods. He turned around to look at the embankment, and noticed a red mist of blood that led further and further into the trees. Logan jumped back to the top of the embankment, and hurried as he noticed the trail was starting to fade. He didn’t notice Vincent and his, now smiling, friends climb back into the hole to resume what had been disturbed. The thick, red cloud that the blood trail had released was now nothing more than a thin wisp the fog was beginning to overpower. The forest was becoming a lot thicker now, and vines snaked along the sand around the exhausted man. The idea of turning back and going home to finish the rest of his blow seemed to be more exciting than this empty chase with no leads. Two marble pillars stood on either side of the narrow path in front of him. From the deep grooves in the sand, Logan could tell the pillars had been recently dragged there, but those wasn’t the only structures in the, now choking, part of the forest. Half ruined buildings stood in multiple corners in front of him. He could tell from the level of decay, and the vines that dug into the very walls that they had been here for ages. The trail withered away completely, and now the Sheriff had to have to depend on his other senses to discover the truth behind this strange crime. The branches twisted into disturbing knots above him, blocking out the moonlight. This was undoubtedly the work of a dark entity. His vision was not hindered, as he could see clear as day, albeit everything was in a deep shade of red. He pushed open the door, and it fell loudly onto the ground. A thick cloud of smoke was thrown into the air forcing Logan to cough as it irritated him. He had walked across the wooden floorboards within the empty house for a few minutes when he heard the soft moaning of a collective of people. At first, he thought it was his nerves, but this sound clearly came from behind the thick walls in front of him. The reason he doubted the sound in the first place was the fact that there was no door leading to an adjoining room, but after remembering the branches outside, he crept to the wall and placed his ear against it. He knocked loudly against it, and the sound of people moaning increased frantically. If he had a functioning heart, it would have been beating loudly now. He stepped back slightly before sighing loudly. Logan charged through the wall, landing in a dark room made of stone. On the ground, around him, were multiple women and a few aged men, tied by their arms and wrists, with not even a sock upon their naked bodies. They were covered in grime and, from their sunken cheeks, it was evident that they had spent quite some time here without food, or even water. Logan was overcome with the many reasons why these people had been kept here, as well as the overwhelming smell of excrement, while he began slicing at their binds. He had freed his fifth captive when a door squeaked open in the far end of the room. A figure walked down the long hall, passing many more people who were shackled where he stood. A fire sparked to life in a sconce beside the man, and the light illuminated a face that made Logan’s already icy blood run cold. A heavily aged woman with bright yellow eyes was staring at him in shock. Suddenly, everything made sense. The people, the hearts, and the disturbing environment all meant this was the site of a ritual.  The witch opened her blood- stained mouth, and revealed a row of toothless gums. Logan was just about to react when a thick vine erupted from the ground, wrapping itself around his legs. He fell down to the ground and more vines covered around his body. He felt them crushing him as one wrapped around his head, before covering his face, and then he felt himself slip into the darkness.

Logan’s eyes opened and the first thing he saw was the hole in his ceiling. He looked down to see the blonde girl, and quickly jumped to his feet.  He checked his body for anything to prove that what happened was reality. He was quickly convinced himself that it was all a coke-induced dream, and sat back into his chair. He looked down at the white lines smiling up at him from the newspapers, and grabbed his metal pipe. He was just about to snort when he heard a loud banging at his door, and a deep voice calling his name. The voice was Boris.

Categories: Fantasy

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