Sunday, 2 August 2009

Flash Point

Roland was just trying to get his car back into the proper gear and move it forward away from the Porsche's crumpled bonnet, when he heard a tapping on the window. He cursed when he saw two shadowy figures peering in; the police had arrived just when he didn't need them to!

He cautiously rolled the window down and jerked back involuntarily when Vlad stuck his face through the window.

'What are you doing here, de Cazalrenoux' said Vlad indignantly 'And what have you done with Mike Costello!'.

Roland pushed the door open with a violent shove, leaped out of the car and grabbed the young vampire around the throat.

'I have just about had enough of this. Vladimirescu!' he ground out. 'Why didn't you tell me you were meeting the psychic tonight and why is it that Kingsteignton is back on the loose'.

Vlad felt his fangs clatter loosely over his bottom teeth as Roland rattled him around for several long minutes as effortlessly as if he had been waving an empty sack in the air.

'I suggest that you let my Leader go now' stated Count Antonescu darkly as he leaned over Roland and prised Vlad from his grip, dropping him back onto the pavement.

Vlad was sure that the Count could have stepped in earlier or stopped Roland from grabbing him in the first place, but he bit his tongue and pulled himself together.

'We have no requirement to discuss official Vampire business with you, De Cazalrenoux' began Vlad, very much on his dignity now. 'We do not know how you know about this meeting or that Lord Kingsteignton is currently unaccounted for; but we do not have to explain ourselves as it is not your concern'.

'Until my missing Clan member is returned to me everything you do, say or breathe is my concern you little bloodsucker! spat out Roland menacingly.

The Count put a very large hand on Roland's chest and pushed him gently backwards.

'Enough! Desist! We have bigger problems than your petty arguments. Name calling is not necessary Clan Leader; you are a bigger man than that!'

Roland drew himself up to his full height.

'Agreed' he said apologetically 'I have had a very trying day and am very frustrated that we seem to be getting nowhere with this matter. Also, I am very close to turning which shortens my temper somewhat. I am here because I got a message on my answer machine to come here, that also warned me to trust no-one. Did either of you leave it?

'No' said Vlad looking a little pale at the idea that this imposing creature might turn before his very eyes 'I had no intentions of anyone but myself coming to meet Mike. But how did you know about Kingsteignton?'

Roland felt about in his pocket and handed over the business card.

Vlad went even paler as he stared down at it. After long moments he looked up into Roland's face.

'Do you think Kingsteignton has got Mike?' he asked piteously 'You do know that Kingsteignton is rumoured to feed the old way?'

Roland softened further at Vlad's obviously genuine distress.

'When I checked out the pub,I definitely caught a whiff of Costello downstairs and then found the card on the table. I would say that they have both been here, but maybe at different times?' suggested Roland gently.

'No, he has Mike. I feel it in my bones. We must move heaven and earth to get him back, he has been a good friend to me!'

At that moment, they were suddenly illuminated in headlights as a police car came screaming around a corner and came to an untidy stop. Two officers got out and walked towards the little group. Roland had the sickening realisation that they had been tipped off about his shunt into the Porsche and also that he would not have time to deal with the police and get safely home before he turned. Also, they would probably breathalise him and take blood.

Knowing that to be caught and tested would open a massive can of worms for him and the Clan, he took a massive leap from standing and jumped onto the top of his car. He was outlined against the dark sky for a dramatic second before he took a second longer leap over the adjacent wall and disappeared from view.

The two police officers could not believe what they were seeing, but were even more mystified when they turned back to the two individuals that had been left standing and realised that they had gone. They had disappeared into thin air, without a sound and with no evidence as to which direction they had gone in.

Meanwhile, many, many miles away, in the underground cavern in Romania, the dark, manic laugh was heard once more, and the ancient sacrificial stone table of the Vampire Nations cracked in two.

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