“You know I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.”
“No you are not. You are far too young to defend yourself against these blood thirsty creatures.”
“Don’t but dad me. I said you are too young and I mean it. You don’t know what you are up against. I have seen the murderous remains of their victims left to rot like some road kill that no one cares to clean up or bury properly. So when I say no you are not allowed around those nasty vampires; that’s what I mean and it will not change.”
“Well I am sixteen. If mom was here she’d let me go. She would say that I am quite capable of taking care of myself since she was the one that taught me.”
“Young lady; your mother, god rest her soul, would be rolling over in her grave right now. Yes, I know she taught you to defend yourself and I am grateful for that every day. But this nest is different from what she was used to. If she were still here she would agree with me. End of discussion.”
“But dad let me explain.”
“I said end of discussion.” Avery said very sternly and left the kitchen.
“I’ll show you.” Sierra whispered under her breath and headed to her room. She packed the weapons she thought she would need in case of danger. She knew that the group she had met were not the monsters her dad was making them out to be. She would prove him wrong.
When she had first met Edwin he was very shy. After a while he came around and explained to her why he couldn’t be around her. He explained that he was a vampire but didn’t drink human blood. Unfortunately her blood scent bothered him so he had get his urges under control. When Sierra tried to explain her friendship with Edwin her father wouldn’t listen and ordered to stop hanging around him. So she snuck out and went in search of Edwin and the rest of his group. She had to prove her dad wrong even if it meant her death.
Six Months Later
Avery still couldn’t believe Sierra was gone. He followed every lead he had received but to his horror nothing led him to her. He tried to find the vampires that she had befriended but no one seemed to know where they were hiding. Some claimed they had moved while others thought they were still in town. The killings were still occurring and he thought he knew who the killers were but he had no proof.
When Sierra first left he was livid. How could she just disobey him like that? Didn’t she listen to his warnings? He agreed that she was able to defend herself but these vampires were different. His worst fears had been realized; that he was a horrible parent and had failed his wife. He promised to protect Sierra when his wife died and he felt as if he had broken that promise.
One day while he was at the office he received a plain brown envelope that has his name written on the front. He was hesitant to open it at first; but he finally opened and saw that there was a letter and a picture. He placed the letter on the desk and looked at the picture. Tears formed in his eyes. It was a recent picture of his daughter, Sierra. He turned the picture over and on the back was April 28, 2011. He laid the picture down and picked up the note not even considering being careful due to the fact that it might hold clues. The letter stated:
Dear Mr. Synclair:
Sierra is alive but to keep her that way you need to cooperate. You cannot involve the police or anyone else. She has been taken by a group of renegade vampires and I fear her life is about to end. I need to know that you will follow my rules exactly. I met Sierra six months ago and I am consumed with guilt in not contacting you earlier. If you want to get her out safely then please meet me at the old abandoned factory on Eighth Street at ten p.m. tonight. Come by yourself. I will have others with me watching you to make sure you comply. Any sign of law enforcement and I will leave and you won’t see her. I am putting both of us in severe danger by sending this message. Please destroy this letter as soon as possible. Please be careful and watch your every move. If you aren’t it could be your last days here on earth and your daughter will be dead. I know you love your daughter and will do what’s best for her. I will be waiting for you and I hope you make the right decision.
Avery laid the letter back down on the desk and leaned back in his chair. He tried to think if he knew this person but no one came to mind. And he didn’t meet all the vampires that Sierra started hanging out with.
Later that night he pulled up in front of the building. He hoped this wasn’t a trap. He stopped, turned the car off and made sure the headlights were off. He looked around to see if he could see anyone hiding but he wasn’t able due to the darkness. He slowly opened the door and pocketed his keys. He put his cell phone in his pocket.
He carefully walked to the front of his car and kept an eye and ear out for anything suspicious. He wasn’t sure who he was dealing with and he knew that his and Sierra’s life depended on him keeping an open mind. As he walked up the sidewalk and neared the building to his left he thought he saw someone move but as he got closer there was no one there. He then turned and headed back to the front doors of the building. From behind he heard someone speak, “Mr. Synclair thank you for coming on such short notice. I wasn’t sure you would. I figured though you would do anything for your daughter including risking your own life despite your feelings for my species. I hope that what I have to say will be helpful. Please keep your temper in check and don’t go off half-cocked and go in guns blazing.” .
Avery started to turn around to see who was in the shadow but he was stopped in mid turn. “No Mr. Synclair, you must not see me. It is better that I remain invisible to you for the time being. If you find out whom I am before the time is right it could ruin everything. Right now every minute is crucial to getting your daughter out safely. So please bear with me and do as instructed for everyone’s safety. Do you understand?”
“Yes I understand. Why can’t you tell me who you are? Are you the one that actually took her?”
“No, I didn’t take her. I had seen her from a distance when she started hanging out with Edwin and his friends but I never actually spoke with her. Edwin is a part of Jean Pierre’s group who adhere to the rule of not attacking humans. But there are others who disagree. I was away the night your daughter was taken. When I arrived she had already been captured and there was nothing I could do at the time but stand back helplessly and watch them torture her. I’m sorry to tell you that but I don’t think you want me to sugar coat what has happened.”
“No, I appreciate the honesty.”
“That’s what I figured and that’s why I chose to contact you and offer my help on saving her. There are others who want to help but they don’t want to show themselves either for fear of retaliation by the group led by Adler. Jean Pierre doesn’t truly know what is going on yet but I am sure he will soon. When he learns the truth there will be hell to pay. I want Sierra out of harm’s way when that happens.”
“Thank you for the concern. When Sierra started hanging out with Edwin and his group she mentioned someone name d Quincy. Was he involved in her kidnapping?”
“No, he wasn’t. I can assure you he would never hurt her. He liked her too much and isn’t a part of Adler’s group. I’m sure Adler found out how much Quincy likes her and used it against him. Jean Pierre is over five hundred years old and is trying to blend in with the human race. He doesn’t kill unnecessarily and if he feeds the blood is donated willingly. He hates the myth that all vampires are blood suckers. He wants to coexist with the humans and Adler is just the opposite. I digress. I had to do this quietly and quickly because I do not know whom to trust right now. All I can tell you is that Sierra is alive but she has been badly beaten and bitten. They haven’t bled her to death because they want to punish Quincy. I think they have plans to turn her.”
Avery spun around and growled, “No. I won’t let that happen.”
“I’m right here. I told you I cannot let you see me. So please stay calm and let’s figure out a plan on how to save your daughter and take down Adler and his followers.”
“Alright, I’ll calm down and I’m sorry; she’s all I have left. My wife died seven years ago from a vampire attack and ever since then I have raised Sierra. I have searched for her killers but nothing. I won’t stop trying to find them; when I do find the person responsible they will die or I will die trying.”
“I understand your feelings. I was taken away from my family and every day I wish I could go back and change things. Tomorrow night at nine o’clock I need you to meet me at Old Miller’s Pond. I will be there and will have two others whom I trust. Together we will plan a way to get you inside the group.”
“Alright, nine o’clock tomorrow night at Old Miller’s Pond. I trust you will be there because right now God help me you are my only hope of seeing my daughter alive again. Thank you--?”
“Just call me Athena.”
“Athena? Like the Greek goddess of war?”
“Alright Athena, I will see you tomorrow.” Avery turned around and once again was greeted by darkness.
“I hope this isn’t some kind of trick.” He then walked back to his car and opened it up and climbed inside. Once he has sat down he locked the door and leaned his head back and took deep breaths to calm down. He finally felt like he was in the right track of finding Sierra and might find the light at the end of the tunnel. For the past six months he had been a robot walking in the darkness.