Oh my god, he–no, it–was real.
Nobody else was ever going to believe her.
Not unless she had proof.
There Melanie stood, feet frozen to the sidewalk on Burning Tree Road, watching with horror and fascination as the vampire sucked blood less than ten feet away. The human’s face was turning from white to purple until finally the vampire dropped its prey and smacked its lips in satisfaction. Blood dripped.
Snap! Snap! Yes! Perfect shots of the perfect front page newstory. A fleeting smile crossed her face, but it was wiped off almost immediately as the vampire’s heightened senses caught the sound of the camera clicking. It jerked its head towards her direction, and its beetle black eyes met her little blue eyes as they widened with terror. Melanie gulped and turned around to abscond for her life. She barely ran a couple yards when a very strong and very cold hand wrapped its fingers around her neck. The vampire hurled her into the ground and pressed one powerful thumb against her Adam’s apple.
Melanie beat her fists against the vampire’s chest, but it was like punching against a brick wall. The vampire grinned, showing a line of black, rotting teeth, and Melanie tried to scream out, but instead choked as the thumb created more and more pressure. She quickly slipped the memory card out of her Nikon camera and slid it into her pocket. No matter what, when people needed to know the truth behind the recent attacks, that they weren’t just a part of some sort of sick Halloween prank. It was up to her to save the evidence and get the word out.
Then, Melanie purposely shoved the camera in front of her chest as if to shield herself.
The vampire laughed a sharp, high-pitched laugh that created goosebumps all over Melanie’s arms. She fumbled with the camera, struggling to keep it stable within her grasp. She pretended to click it again. “Now everyone will know what you are!” The vampire snatched the camera and wrenched it from her neck. Melanie’s skin burned from where the camera strap had chafed against it.
“NO!!” She cried. “Give that back! Who and what are you?”
The vampire smiled. “Your worst nightmare.”
Melanie cringed away from it. “What do you want from me?”
“Fool. If you hadn’t caught my attention with your little toy here,” –the vampire gestured at her beloved camera–“then maybe I wouldn’t be here about to break it. And you.” It grasped her jaw with one hand, which was as sallow and white as death should be. Melanie tried to look away from the hideous face in front of her, but she couldn’t. It was too painful.
It continued to smile evilly.
“I know all about you, Melanie Sullivan. Oh yes…” Melanie’s heart filled with terror and her breath quickened. Somehow, she knew this was the end of her life. “Hotshot journalist. Trying to make a ‘difference’ in the world. You’re all over the newspaper…a byline here, a byline there. Thirsty for news? Well guess what…you’ll be next on the front page news in the Chicago Tribune when they find your body broken.” It fingered her poor Nikon and lifted it up into the air, and she knew that the vampire was going to end its life as well.
“You can take my life, but you can’t take my camera!” she screamed, and lunged for the one thing that made her feel accomplished in life. The camera unhooked from its strap and dropped into her arms. Melanie slipped from underneath the vampire and staggered to her feet. Again, she ran.
She could feel the vampire right at her heels. She tripped and fell.
Voices…so many of them all around. Melanie couldn’t make them out, but she hoped they were the voices of humans. Her head was pounding, hurting. Sore.
Her hand curled around the little memory card in her pocket and clutched it tightly.
Melanie went unconscious.