This took too long.

by

They were talking in the dim light. Cards on the table, chips in untidy stacks, they focused on the game and company, avoiding thoughts of the night outside the narrow wooden walls.

There was suddenly a jiggle and a thunk at the door, and it swung open behind the weight of the pale figure now staring at the three card players. The vamp held a long, hooked knife in front of it, and advanced on the men.

One man lifted a naked sword from the ground by his chair and yelled to his companions.

“Go upstairs and get the fucking weapons! Keep an eye out – there’s probably more of them!”

They ran up the stairs, Jon dashing ahead. He reached the blades first, grabbed them, and turned to give Brian one – just in time to see Brian tackled. The thing flashed against Brian – thump – and next thing John knew, Brian was struggling at the window. He clutched at the sides of the opening and hooked his legs over the windowsill, but the arm wrapped around his waist was winning.

“Your knife, Brian, your knife!” called John.

For a moment, it seemed that Brian had not heard him, but then he reached for his boot and pulled out a small knife. He jammed it down into the pale arm that pulled at him and the arm slipped away. But by the time it was gone another arm had snaked across the other side of Brian’s body, reaching up his torso and gripping him by the neck.

Jon caught Brian’s frantic eyes for a moment before Brian jabbed the knife at the new hand, stabbing over and over at his own neck, and then his body slipped out the window, leaving only a red spatter on the sill.

Jon forced his rigid body to turn and run, gripping the handle of his rusted machete. He took the stairs three at a time, rushing back to aid Lars.

Lars was backed into a corner, still holding the vamp off with his sword. As Jon hit the bott0m of the stairwell, the menace turned his pale, bald head. Lars took the opportunity to lunge forward. The vamp leaned to the side and grasped  Lars’s right hand with his own pallid fingers. Jon heard a wet pop as the vamp, almost too fast to see, shoved his forearm against Lars’s head. Jon saw his friend’s arm dangling uselessly at his side, grotesquely twisted out of its normal range of motion. The vamp turned and affixed Jon with his too-big eyes for just a moment, smiled a toothy grin, and was gone, leaving the door open to the night.

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