David and Emily took Anna home, which thrilled her since it meant she did not have to stay a week in a motel and eat out every meal, and especially since it allowed her to watch the bowl games she was otherwise missing. Emily shook her head and wondered what it was about football that could be so mind numbing. Dad enjoyed the company, especially when they rooted for opposite teams. Mother certainly had no interest in football, but she did not mind giving up the kitchen one evening so Anna could cook a Chinese feast.
Anna and Emily were called out on several occasions, and David drove. Emily brought her sword. Anna carried her case with her spear in two pieces. David had an army knife, but he mostly stood back and watched in awe, especially when Anna and Emily devastated a colony of five. The vampires had taken refuge in the basement of a neighbor’s house since the neighbor was in Europe over Christmas. They imagined they were safe, but as Anna said, they were still too close to home.
“The hard part is the children,” Lieutenant Anthony admitted, but he was getting his squad into shape and even Marion did not hesitate to behead a six-year-old that looked at her with puppy-dog eyes. “Like night of the living dead,” the Lieutenant concluded.
It was New Year’s Eve and Anna was thinking that things were well enough along she could afford to return to her antique shop and Emily could afford to return to school. “He has my number and yours if we are needed,” Anna said.
“I understand,” Emily agreed, but she was still concerned and her face showed it. Thus far, Brad, Duncan and Hoover had not been found. She feared as long as they were at large, this epidemic would never be cured. She spent one whole day on the phone talking to people who had been even remotely friends with one of the trio, but none of them could give her a lead on their whereabouts. Emily imagined they had some secret hideout where they met after school or over the holidays and summer vacation. She guessed they were now using that place as a home base. She assumed it had to be somewhere near one or more of their houses, or near the school, but her searches thus far had proved fruitless.
“Don’t worry,” Anna assured her. “They will be found.”
“You know, I never liked Brad,” David admitted.
“Me neither,” Emily said. “But it took me a while to figure that out. Excuse me.” She stepped outside to the front porch. She wanted to call Pierce and wish him a happy New Year. She sat on the porch swing. She focused on her phone. She never imagined that Brad and his companions would attack her house.
Emily ducked, but the rock grazed her shoulder. As she scrambled for the front door, the three vampires moved to cut her off. “Help!” she yelled, but doubted she was heard over the touchdown. She did then what she had never done in her life. She screamed.
Brad, Duncan and Hoover all paused at the scream, like their brains were trying to interpret the sound. Then Brad spoke, but it was not Brad. “Time for that beating we promised,” he said, and the three jumped her and dragged her down.
Emily fought back, but they had her in an awkward position between the swing and the wall where she could not get any leverage. They hit her, and if they focused on that they might have seriously hurt her, but instead they were focused on trying to sink their teeth into her and she only had to hold off their faces.
The front door opened and Anna and David each tackled one. David landed on Hoover in the front yard, but Hoover was strong enough to push him off. Anna kicked hers off the porch and let her half-spear do the talking. She easily separated Duncan’s head from his shoulders, and she let her spear swing wide as Hoover tried to stand. Her arm was not long enough. She sliced Hoover’s neck but most was untouched. The vampire might have healed its neck if David had not been there with his army knife to finish the job.
Emily shoved Brad back. He hit her hard and turned her head. The punch slammed her into the wall. She hit him back, harder and he crunched against a porch column. Emily saw Tyler standing there with her sword in his hand. She grabbed it as Brad realized what happened to Duncan and Hoover. He turned to run, but Emily was faster, and her arms were long enough. Brad’s head popped off with one swing.
Wicked!” Tyler yelled as Marion, the policewoman came running up the front lawn. A second police car came roaring in, siren, lights and all. Marion made a quick assessment, whipped out her badge and flashed it at the officers.
“Marion Hartley,” she said. “Department seven. You two need to watch these stiffs and make sure they don’t get up.” Marion got her phone out. Emily already had hers out.
“Anthony, we got the trio,” Emily said.
“Three more bodies fit for the fires of Hell,” Marion said and both phones closed together. Emily stared down at Brad’s face.
“Hard to believe I actually dated that guy,” she said.
“That had to be fun.” Marion responded with a large dose of sarcasm.
Anna was already back inside. They saw Anna clean her blade like it was an everyday occurrence. “What did I miss?” Anna asked.
“My team scored again while you were out,” Emily’s father rubbed his hands together. “Twenty-eight to seven. That means you owe me twenty-one cents.”