M.A.Z.E. 005

M.A.Z.E. 005

Read Time:6 Minute, 12 Second


005: Gishban!

Vampires don’t have any supernatural weakness to wooden stakes to the heart, that’s just an urban legend. Sort of. I mean, anything stabbed in the heart with a wooden stake is going to die, but vampires don’t stay dead from it, they just fall into a comatose-like state and wake again when the stake is removed. The benefit of wood is that the tip can break off in the heart, making it difficult to remove, which is why old-timey vampire hunters would carve their stakes with breakaway tips.

In a street scrap when one did not think to bring wooden stakes, and does not have immediate access to silvered weapons, the broken leg of a discarded bar-stool will do. A quick kick dislodges the leg from the rest of the stool and I square off with Brady and Jock 2.

Wielding my new weapon I strike first, leaping forward and closing the gap between myself and the two other combatants. Cordelia seems to have run off, which is smart; she’s just discovered that her friends are blood thirsty monsters and is probably running, screaming, through the streets right now.

I swing my club for Brady’s head and he ducks under the blow, bringing himself straight down into my rising boot knife. He catches the blade in the same shoulder I hit earlier and falls to the side, howling; not used to being the one hit. Jock 2  blurs as he makes a move, but I was expecting that; not like I was expecting him to just stand still and wait his turn while I beat up his buddy. This isn’t a martial arts movie. I use the momentum of my initial attack and dive over Brady, narrowly avoiding a wide swing from Jock 2. I roll as I hit the ground and end my turn with a standard superhero landing, putting Brady between Jock 2 and myself.

I should really get Jock 2’s name, it feels weird calling him Jock 2.

“Hey, what’s your name?” I ask as I rise and spin to face him. His eyes are so intensely locked on mine that he doesn’t notice me lift the lid off the trash can behind me. Jock 2 follows my lead; he leaps over Brady and I bring the lid up to meet him. The makeshift shield contorts to his face as it makes contact, but doesn’t stop his momentum. I spin, dodging him like a matador dodges a bull, and he crashes into the trash can behind me. Brady turns to face me, just in time to get a flying can lid to his face. He ‘oofs’ and goes face down on the pavement.

With my opponents down, I quickly retrieve my lighter and move to position both vampires directly in front of me. I flick the cap, igniting the flame, and pause briefly to think of a good one-liner.

“If you can’t handle the heat, you should have stayed in your coffins,” I try to give them my best Clint Eastwood, but I come off as more Seth MacFarlane. I slump my shoulders and shake my head, disappointed with myself and my delivery. “Damn, that was dumb. Uh. You’re gunna be the hottest vamps since Twilight? Fudge, um. Can you guy’s hold on while I think of som- no? Fine.”

Jock 2 is almost back on his feet and Brady is making good progress to his knees. I raise the lighter in front of my face and take in a deep breath like I’m about to blow bubbles. 

Of all the different types of magic, Veritas magic is both the easiest and the most dangerous. It’s easy because all you need to do is memorize the true name of the elements, which is actually hard because you can’t actually write their names down. Anything that contains a true name tends to spontaneously combust. It’s weird; like the elements don’t want anyone knowing how to control them. My uncle was clever and hid the true name of the first fire in his journals, which is the only reason I know any elemental Veritas magic.

Fortunately, it’s also the most useful against vampires.

“Gishban!” I exhale hard upon the fire, like I’m trying to extinguish the flames on my birthday cake, and the small flame of my lighter bursts into a cone of napalm that spreads across the alley in front of me. Brady is engulfed as the fire whirls around him and flings himself to the ground screaming and rolling; guess he actually learned something from school. As I pan the flame toward Jock 2 he vanishes again, using his ridiculous speed to get behind me. His hand falls upon my shoulder. I release the flamethrower and spin around. I bring the broken bar stool up and bury it straight into the center of his ches-

It’s the bartender.

She doesn’t react; her eyes are fogged over and staring through me at something on the horizon. Jock 2 stands a few feet behind her with a giant grin on his face; he’s tricked me. Cordelia steps up beside him, her eyes so focused on the Bartender that I’m amazed she’s not burning holes in the back of her head. As she turns her attention away from the bartender, the girl I just shafted gasps. Her eyes clear and dart about in confusion. She looks me straight in the eye as she regains her focus, then seems to register that she can’t quite breath. Her gaze drops to the makeshift stake sticking out of her chest, with my hand still wrapped around the handle, then back up at me.

I’ve seen that look before; disbelief, disgust, fear of the monster that stands before them. She opens her mouth, I don’t know if she’s trying to say something or just scream, but all she emits is a gurgle as blood bubbles up in her throat.

“Oh, fuck,” I pull the stake from her chest and immediately regret it as a spurt of blood spatters my face. Her shirt quickly turns red as blood begins to pour from the gaping wound. I drop the weapon and step closer, reaching toward her to put pressure on the wound, but her eyes go wide and she tries to push me away. In her current state, her actions shove her backwards and she loses balance. I try to catch her but my arms swipe only air and she falls backwards, collapsing… straight into Cordelia’s waiting arms.

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