C4 Chapter 4
It hurts. Everything hurts. My back, my arms, my legs, my chest – everything. It's like I was hit by a truck a couple of times, then something weird happens, I saw my mom. My dead mom, and I saw...me. 5-year-old me. We were at the beach and mom was chasing me, while dad was trying to keep the pink Hello Kitty kite afloat. We were happy. Then fast forward to the night of the car accident. Dad took me with him to the scene, and mom's car was a wreck.
I saw my mom on a stretcher being carried by the paramedics. I see red and blue lights flashing, I can hear the siren of an ambulance, the horn of firetrucks. Dad's police friend let us ride with him, while mom rode the ambulance. It's like I was there. It felt like it was just yesterday. But why am I having these flashbacks? Am I dead? Am I reliving my past in my head?
A jolt woke me up. Oh, thank God it's just a dream, I thought. But the ache in my body is real. I looked around confused. "Good morning, sunshine!" Collin said cheerfully. I looked at him slowly and wondered why he's there on the driver's seat and I am here. "What happened? Where are we?" I asked in my just woke up husky voice. "We are in North Carolina. And yeah, we encountered a werewolf last night. Well, wolves." I looked at him, scanned him, then I saw a glimpse of blood all over me, and now, I'm wondering why he hasn’t gone all crazy with the smell of my blood. I mean, he did patched me up last night, right? What is going on?
"What? What are you lookin' at?" He asked. "Nothing it's just that...did you? I mean, you have blood all over you, are you okay?" I replied, still confused on why he hasn't gone all Dracula on me. "Yeah, I'm fine. You're the one who was beaten up last night. Well, not much, but still," he replied calmly. “Are you sure? You’re –“
“Dude, I’m great,” he said cutting me off. “I know you’re wondering why I haven’t gotten all crazy. It took me the past 2 years to master not to drink human blood. I’d rather mutilate a cow than kill an innocent person,” he turned his gaze to me, only to find myself just staring. “So, it’s like…burger but with all the blood?” I stupidly asked.
“Hahaha! Yeah, exactly,” he said after letting out a heartfelt laugh. I smiled and looked out the window as I put it down to get some fresh air.
I don’t know what kind of carnage the rest of the world is going through right now, but I am here inside my truck with a vampire, trying to figure out where to find my dad and if Collin’s family is still alive, then my phone rang and woke me up from daydreaming. It’s a restricted number, who on earth knows my number? I thought, “hello?” I answered. “Hi!” said the seemingly cheerful voice on the other end, “is this Amelia Fuller? Hello? You still there?”
I couldn’t speak. I don’t know who this is but how did she know my name? How did she know my full name?
“Uhm, no this isn’t her. May I ask who this is?” I dryly replied. “Oh, I see. It doesn’t matter who I am, I just saw a black wallet and found a card that says to call this number if –“
Black wallet? My mind was racing. I don’t have a black wallet except…“Wait,” I said, “does the wallet have an ID?”
“Uhm, hold on a minute. Yes there is.”
“Is the name on the ID Alexander Fuller?”
A pause. A long pause.
“Yes, that’s the name. Is he –“
“Someone I know.”
The woman who called told me she’s in Kentucky, formerly from South Carolina, but they had to run. Turns out Hindu Goddess, Kali, has a thing for nice things. But she single-handedly destroyed places in Charleston where no one wants to praise her including where the woman who found my dad’s wallet lived. I asked her to meet us, but she was hesitant. She wanted to contact this Amelia Fuller to make sure that this person is looking for the “man who owns it”.
Well, I AM looking for him. I AM Amelia Fuller. I AM his daughter. I AM going to find out what happened to him, no matter what it takes.
I told Collin to turn the truck back to Kentucky. On our way, we stopped at a seemingly empty gas station. Thankfully, the gas containers are full, and we can refill my truck. Collin and I went out to stretch our legs. I scanned the area to make sure nothing will just jump at us when he opened the gas tank door. Collin took the gas pump off its holder, placing the nozzle in. I decided to step inside the store when a realization set in, we’ve been here before, I thought. I looked around the ghost town of a store to help me recognize the place. The smell of the store is mixed with expired milk and rotten meat, making it hard to focus on the place. I wiped the sweat off my forehead and looked at the counter where a calendar is plastered on the wall between the cigarettes and liquors and saw the date: June 2022.
What the fuck? I thought and walked closer to the counter and the closer I get, the putrid smell gets stronger. There on the other side of the counter, I see the attendant on the floor. Dead, decomposing with his heart ripped out. “Shit,” I whispered and ran immediately out to the truck, at the same moment Collin was done refilling the gas, “let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. Come on!” I frantically said as I rode inside. “What? What’s the hurry?” he replied while slowly turning the engine back on when we heard a crash from inside the store. I turned my head to the store’s direction and started yelling at Collin to step on it.
I stuck my head out when I heard the glass shatter from the store, and what jumped out was a werewolf. Big, brown, and hairy full-grown werewolf with a scar on its left eye. He was just standing there in all fours, baring his teeth at us. He didn’t run to follow, he just stood there watching us leave. I cut off my gaze and placed my head on the headrest and breathed…hard. “You okay?” Collin asked as he ease off his foot from the gas pedal, slowing the car down just a little bit. I nodded my head and sat there quietly. But in my head, I am wondering why the wolf is a wolf at daytime when they should only be turned at night. Unless we just ran into a Skinwalker.
I have no idea how long we’ve been driving but all I know is something’s not right. We’re about to pass by a familiar diner down the road, Rhode’s, Rhode’s, Rhode’s…where have I seen this place before? I asked myself. Then it came to me, “Collin?”
“Yeah?” he replied. “Do you remember the name of the diner we ate at when we first met?” I asked.
“Uhm, yeah, sort of. I think it’s Reed’s? or Rose?”
“Yeah! That’s it! Why?”
I answered by pointing at the wore down diner. The place looked like it has been bombed. The roof is half gone, the signages were ripped off, the glasses shattered. There were scorched bodies and bones in the area. “Didn’t we just –“ Collin said, cutting himself off. I nodded, “something’s off. We were here a few days ago and no one reported anything. The walkie talkie’s been silent –“ I said, this time, it’s my turn to cut myself off. I realized, the walkie talkie’s been silent. We drove past the diner and decided to drive by the motel we stayed in the same night we met.
When we arrived at the motel, it looked as gnarly as the diner was. Everything was almost gone. I couldn’t breathe. Collin hit the brakes and turned to me, told me to keep it together. That everything is going to be okay. He told me to keep my eyes straight on the road and pretend we didn’t see the ran down motel. Alarm bells were ringing inside of me, knowing exactly how screwed we actually are. I dialed Eric’s number but it’s being redirected to voicemail. I left a couple of messages to other hunters in the area. A few answered and told me that they’ll check it since they’re heading that direction anyway. I placed my phone on the dashboard and put my hands on my head. It’s now pounding, and I feel dizzy. I want to throw up, but I can’t. I haven’t eaten anything else since this morning. We’ve been driving for, probably, hours, and all I see are deserted towns, ruined diners, and restaurants, blown up buildings that were once a hotel, motel, and even a mall. Everything is a gigantic mess. How the fuck was it fine a few days ago compared to now?
We arrived in a small town called Lycan Hills near Knoxville. I heard that this place was the birthplace of the first werewolf or in hunter terms, the Alpha, but that’s just a legend or something your grandparents tell you so that you don’t go out at night especially on a full moon. “I thought we’re going to Kentucky?” Collin muses then looked at me. I looked down on my phone and read that perky woman’s text saying to meet her here instead, “yeah but change of plans,” I replied.
“Are you sure you can trust her? I mean, I am not doubting your skills or anything, but it’s just so sketchy as fuck.”
“I know but if that wallet is going to lead us to my dad, then I am taking the risk.”
Collin let out a frustrated sigh, “fine. But the moment this woman lets out a claw or a fang, I will turn into a cold-blooded murderer. Deal?”
“Yeah, whatever floats your boat.”
Collin stepped on the brake to stop the car, changing the gear to park. The look on his face is serious like he knows something but doesn’t want to tell me. I know that vampires have these abilities that other monsters don’t have, I just don’t know what Collin’s special vampiric ability is, but I do get the feeling he’s hiding something greater than he let on.
I watched Collin get out of the truck without saying anything. I followed him with my gaze and saw that he went to the compartment at the back, gathering my stuff – duffel bag, machete, flashlight, gun – everything. He took out all the essentials and closed the compartment, then he disappeared to my side of the truck and opened the door, “why are you still there? Are you waiting for Christmas or something?” he said while handing me my gun and machete. I went out of the truck thinking about why Collin is being such an ass right now. “Are you okay?” I asked after closing the passenger side door. Collin just ignored me and walked straight ahead, I jog up beside him and spun him to face me, “the fuck is wrong with you?!” I asked angrily. He clenched his jaws and looked to his side then back at me, “nothing. Let’s just go meet this person and get out of here.” He walked past me, and I followed. I looked at my phone again to double check where we’ll meet this woman.
I stopped on my tracks and looked up to see where Coral Bookstore is, but as I looked around, there were no people in sight. I started to get the feeling that I am being watched or worse, that I was lured here for some reason. Collin has walked farther away from me. I started running towards Collin’s direction when I heard multiple crashes from behind me. I looked back and saw shadows coming closer. I ran faster, turning my head back to face forward and called out to Collin. He looked at my direction, dropping my duffel bag, and let out his fangs. I slid down to my bag’s direction as Collin jumped on the werewolf behind me. I looked for the rest of my silver bullets inside the bag and placed them inside my back pockets, as I stood up, the werewolf that I saw at the gas station was standing in front of me. I was about to walk away when I realized he wasn’t alone.
Out from the shadows, a woman with golden eyes and curly red hair came out, walking towards the werewolf. “Finally, it’s good to see you…Amelia,” she said. “Who are you? What do you want from me?” I asked, pointing me gun at her. She smiled, “don’t you remember me, sweetie? We talked on the phone,” that familiar perky voice came out from her. “Look, I don’t want to hurt you, really. I just want you to tell me where your father is,” she said but her perky voice was replaced by a serious tone.
“You and me both,” I said.
She lets out a loud laugh, “you really think you can fool me? Your father loved you so much that he did his best to hide you from us,” she moved so fast that she was inches away from me, grabbing me by the neck. I grabbed onto her wrist with my left hand then she started lifting me up. I couldn’t see if she was holding something, but I felt a sharp pain on my stomach, felt warm liquid run down from my stomach and felt them on my jeans. I started panting, closing my eyes. “I’ll ask you one more time. Where is your father?” she said, her eyes glowing and fangs starting to show. “I don’t know,” I said then she cut me once again, and I groaned in pain. She raised her hand and saw her sharp claws, dripping with my blood, “if you do not tell me where your father is, I will rip your heart out,” she warned me.
“Put her down,” I heard Collin say, well, more like threaten. The woman looked over my shoulder and then back to me, “I did not see this coming,” she said then laughed. She turned me around, still holding my neck, letting Collin see my cut and blood running down, “looks good, ain’t it?” she said to Collin. “I know your type. You pretend like you don’t want her blood, but you do. You want it because, let’s face it, we all know who she is – or should I say what she is,”
Collin gave me a look, wondering what the hell she was talking about. I don’t know what she’s talking about either. Can you just please rip her head off? I thought, Collin looked at me like he understood my thoughts because his curious gaze at me turned into a murderous look at the woman. He let out his fangs and the werewolf with a scar started growling at him. The moment the wolf lunged forward, Collin ran towards him, and they wrestled. Vampire versus werewolf, the old nemesis. The classic war, fighting to see who the strongest specie there is.
I heard the woman laugh a little bit, then whispered, “I hope you realize that your bloodsucking boyfriend has nothing against Gabe. He’s the strongest werewolf in the pack, MY right hand.” Slowly, I took out a knife and swiftly stabbed the woman on her side, she let out a scream and a low grunt. She removed her hand around my neck dropping me to the ground and screamed in pain. I grabbed her face and I bent down to her, being a few inches away from her, “and I do hope you realize I am not as helpless as you think I am. Don’t ever underestimate me again, bitch,” I said with an intent look at her eyes, seeing the life slowly fading away as I stuck the knife deeper inside of her before pulling it out fast. I saw a few more wolves starting to step out of the shadows, I looked at behind me to check on Collin – who looked back at me after ripping the scarred-eye wolf’s heart out – I gave him a half smile. One of the werewolves starts charging at Collin, giving me only a little time to catch up. I ran and leaped at the werewolf before it even reached him – who is fighting another werewolf. The werewolf who was running towards Collin got distracted by me, he – or she – was about to pull me from behind but I took my knife – the same knife I killed the woman with – from my back pocket and stabbed its neck. I took it out and jumped off, the werewolf was bleeding to death when I decided to take my gun and shoot its head. The other werewolves ran away before I could even shoot their tails off.
I totally forgot about the wounds on my stomach. I was only reminded of it when the wind blew, and I flinched at how much it actually hurt. I looked around for Collin, but he was nowhere to be found. I slowly walked back to my truck and opened the compartment. I took my first aid kit out.
I poured alcohol on my belly and groaned, “son of a bitch!” I whispered to myself. I took a nylon suture out, poured it with alcohol, and started stitching myself up. I took deep breaths as I continued stitching myself. Collin better have a good excuse for not being here right now, I thought and groaned again. I’m gonna need a ton of antibiotic for this, I’m not even sure if I still have any left.
Once I was done with the stitches, I placed a gauze above it and taped it in place. I sat there for a moment when my duffel bag fell on the ground. I looked up and saw Collin standing in front of me, blood all over him. I opened my mouth to ask him where he’d been and what happened, but he put his hand up, silently asking me not to say a word. I just nodded and stood up. He carried the duffel bag again and placed it back on top of the compartment. He closed the back of the truck and went straight to the passenger’s side, tossing me the keys as he walked past me.
I went and sat on the driver’s seat while Collin was already inside, resting his head on the window with his eyes closed. I started the engine and drove away from that dreaded small town.
“I know your type. You pretend like you don’t want her blood, but you do. You want it because, let’s face it, we all know who she is – or should I say what she is,” what that bitch said replayed in my head over and over again.
What does she know that I don’t?