Devin Stoddard: Vampire Hunter
By: Devin J. Meaney
Devin Stoddard held a stake firm in his battered and manly hands as he stalked his pale yet menacing prey. The garlic necklace hanging from his neck brought forth a pungent stench…and the crucifix in his back pocket gleamed slightly in the moonlight as he made his way through the graveyard.
His familiar, Charlie, followed quickly yet quietly behind him…eager to kill…yet wary of the fanged ones that may or may not creep silently from their forsaken tombs. This was their third hunt just this week, and they had already bagged nine fanged ones…but this hunt was different. They were on the trail of an elder vampire by the name of Jinne…and rumor told that he had an entire brood under his twisted thumb, one big enough to turn all of Cape Breton into nothing more than a mere feeding ground.
The graveyard was silent, but Charlie inevitably broke the quiet with an utterance.
“Master…when will I get to kill again?”
Devin put his fingers to his lips motioning for Charlie to muzzle himself.
“Quiet you. You will be able to have fun soon. Right now we need to locate Jinne’s tomb. If we cause a disturbance before then it will awaken all the other filth. We need to corner Jinne alone…with him gone, the others will perish within days.”
Charlie simply nodded and continued to tail Devin. He was loyal to his master, and he knew that if he was successful in the hunt he would be handsomely rewarded. The flesh of the deceased would be his hearty meal…with a side of as much lettuce as his dark soul desired. Lettuce was Charlie’s favorite.
The duo made their way to the midpoint of the graveyard and it seemed as if no vamps were in sight. Devin was expecting the surrounding woods and marshes to be teeming with undesirables, but it seemed as if they were alone in the cemetery. Aside from the chirping of crickets the quiet continued…but again, Charlie felt the need to speak.
“Master…why is this Jinne so dangerous? We have caught many fanged ones and they were always easy prey. Why is this one different?”
Knowing they were alone, Devin turned to reply.
“Jinne is thousands of years old. Rumor states that he has ten times the power of an ordinary vamp, and his horns extend toward the heavens like spears of ancient bone. His fingers are clawed like a spawn from the deepest darkest depths…and just the shrill of his voice is enough to leave you breathless.”
“He sounds delightful.”
Devin chuckled quietly.
The moon was still high in the sky and the drone of the crickets seemed unending. The duo continued to stalk between the gravestones, and the moments passed at a sluggardly pace…each second as still as a photo and as prolonged as a Cape Breton winter’s chill. It seemed as if they were getting nowhere with the hunt…that’s when they heard the music.
Like a cacophony of malignant sirens, the music pulsed feverishly. It started out as a low hum, but as Devin and Charlie quickened their pace, it grew louder and more maniacal the more the pair delved into darkness. Each step forward brought a heightened tone to audible madness…but they continued on. This was seemingly the playlist of a monster.
Just as the music appeared to be reaching a grotesque climax, they saw what seemed to be an open tomb. As moonlight cascaded upon it, it looked as if light was emanating from the ground. A strange sight to see, and even stranger still was the fear in Devin and Charlie’s hearts. They both knew this was no regular fanged one. They knew then and there that this was the abomination they lusted for. This is when Devin spoke.
“Prepare your holy water, Charlie. I will need backup if this monstrosity wakes up. We need to be quiet. We need to put a stake through its heart quickly and efficiently. If Jinne wakes up, the others won’t be long making their way here…so we need to kill the master promptly. We don’t need a mess in this cemetery now do we?”
Charlie just nodded and readied his Super Soaker. He was prepared to do battle (and maybe even die) for his master. The meat of the decomposed was waiting at the finish line, the lettuce would be abundant after victory’s embrace…and another notch in the belt of Charlie the Gnome would be cut with pride.
Devin and Charlie moved forward, and within seconds they saw a sight that left them almost paralyzed. A music box laid beside Jinne’s tomb, its music now more abysmal than ever. The light they glimpsed previously they now knew was coming from an old oak coffin, which was open…showing the ghastly innards to the moon with nefariousness.
Laying in the coffin was a beast like no other…his skin as pale as powdered cocaine and his hair as elegant as an eagle’s flight. His claws were as long as opal daggers…and his horns, like fangs of vicious serpents enlarged to behemoth proportions sat upon his withered head like venomous pillars far beyond basic human comprehension. The light seemed to be coming from the vampire himself.
Devin nodded and Charlie whispered back in anticipation.
“…Let’s do this!”
Devin crept forward with his stake in hand, his other hand clutching the crucifix. Charlie stood at the edge of the tomb prepared to blast the master vampire back to hell with his liquid holiness. Devin inched closer and closer, and just as he was raising his hand to impale the creature…Jinne’s eyes opened, their milky white appearance as revolting as curdled bile.
Devin came down with his stake, but in a fraction of a second his stake and crucifix were intercepted by Jinne. They went flying through the air…ending up somewhere unseen and out of reach. Charlie tried to pump his soaker, but that too soon went the way of Devin’s arsenal. It seemed as if the pair had been stifled. Then…the vampire laughed.
“Who dares disrupt my slumber? Are you the delivery men? Did you bring me the falafel I ordered?...And what’s with the stake? Are we in medieval Europe? I think not!”
Devin just gasped in confusion.
Jinne laughed again.
“So…you’re not the delivery men? I ordered falafel two hours ago and it still hasn’t arrived. They better get here soon otherwise I’m not paying full price. Falafel is best served fresh…and they better not forget my Pepsi!”
Devin just stuttered in awe.
“…A v-v-v-vampire that eats falafel?”
“Whoa. Whoa. I’m not actually a vampire, ok? That’s just an act I put on to get popular with the gothic babes. What…so you were trying to KILL me?”
Devin once again writhed in confusion.
“But…but…the music…the light…the coffin…the stories?”
Jinne raised his hand in dismissal.
“I play in a black metal band. The music is from my upcoming EP. I sleep in a coffin for publicity and the stories I put out myself to ramp up album sales. As for the light, I grew up by the tar ponds…ok? Don’t worry about it!”
“If the vampires aren’t real…then who the hell have I been killing all week?”
Jinne crossed his arms in disappointment.
“Uh…goth kids. You’ve been killing goth kids…arsehole.”
* With that, Devin and Charlie realized that their quest was nothing but fantasy. The vampire takeover was as fake as Jinne’s claws, horns, and contact lenses, and Cape Breton was not actually in any peril at all. There would be no flesh of the dead for Charlie to feast upon, and the notch in his belt would remain un-cut.
No more would Devin and Charlie push forward on their delusional rampage…and after the LSD wore off, they would go to jail for multiple homicides. Never again would Devin and Charlie “bag” another “fanged one”, and never again would Cape Breton feel the wrath of the vampire slayers. Due to the publicity of the graveyard spree, Jinne’s band would sign a record deal and go on to release a whopping 66 copies of their EP worldwide…and as for Jinne, well…he’s currently dripping in gothic babes!