Being half angel isn’t what you’d expect, we don’t go around whispering bad things in people’s ears or helping crooked politicians to power, nor do watch over a particular human, ready to defend against anything that is about to befall them.
The truth is we have our own problems, and it’s one giant hugemungous problem.
My family tried to stay out of the conflict but no matter where we went, the Regent always finds my dad and pleads for help. We stopped moving after my fifteenth birthday, dad said that it wasn’t worth it anymore. The Regent seemed to be able to find us no matter how well we hid. I don’t know why we were always hiding. Dad said that it was my mom’s last wish, that I didn’t become like them, whoever ‘them’ was.
See, my dad had always been, well my dad, but to others, he’s this glorified warrior. Epic battles and songs are sung about him and there’s even a painting of him holding a gleaming sword and the severed head of a monster hung on the Regent’s wall.
Today I turned 18, and it’s not every day a young girl turns 18. But I’m not like most girls I know, and that’s only a few.
I didn’t want a new pretty dress or sparkling diamond earring, or a fancy party. I wanted a new carbon fiber Bo-Staff with steel tips, strong enough to crush a wide pipe but light enough for me not to get worn out while fighting with it.
And I wanted to use it.
It seems I’m a lucky girl because I got both my wishes.
But like the old saying goes. “Be careful what you wish for.”
It was raining pretty hard when me, my dad and an elite team of the Regents men, or as I like to call them, “The Blood Banes” stepped out the back of the black van.
The street lights were dim and a few completely out altogether, but we needed our eyes adjust to the gloom, so all was good.
The suit I wore was pretty tight, dad said I would get used to it and eventually wear it in any way. Still, the tight kevlar body jacket really restricted my breathing. We all wore the same gear, black military grade boots, dark kevlar padded trousers, a matching reinforced Kevlar body jacket and underneath that a stab proof shirt. The only parts of the whole get-up unprotected was our heads and arms.
It’s funny looking back on that scene. If anyone would have seen us we must have looked like a team of power rangers or something.
The regent had the word of a den located in the recesses of an abandoned warehouse in the 4th district, people had been going missing for a few weeks and he had decided that we paid the culprits a visit.
I can still feel the excitement of the hunt if I close my eyes, how my dad had communicated with his unit with his unique signals. How we all crept into the shadows. My heart beating in my ears, trying my hardest to slow my breathing, lest they hear it and be alerted to our presence, the burning of anticipation in my extremities.
My dad stopped by a heavy looking sliding door, like the types you see in the butchers, only this one was rusty and stained. Greg had his hand on my shoulder, dad had put him under the express protection of me. I swear I could feel his heart beating like a drum through his hand.
Dad looked at me and gave me a signal that no one else knows.
Our very own signal. “Be safe, I love you.”
He pulled the door back on screeching wheels, and all pandemonium broke loose.
The first creature flew out with bat-like wings. The body looked like it had been sucked dry, dark brown skin clung to its bones. It tried to escape to the roof but one of the Blood Banes opened fire and the Bullett’s torn at its wing and back. It fell to a heap on the floor, blackish blood oozed from its wounds.
I lost count of the number that came out after that, they seem to all come at once, screaming with teeth and wicked claws.
Greg let me go and pulled a long blade from its sheath at his side, turning towards the onslaught of the vampires. The adrenaline pumped through my veins and lent courage to my staff. I twisted out the way of a clawed hand aimed at my face, bringing my silvertip up and into the chest cavity of the thing, piercing its heart. That’s when I noticed the smell, the dead vamps started to decay right where there laid, curls of smoke snaked away from the bodies, it was revolting, I would have lost my stomach but a second – or was it third – attack kept me from dwelling too much on it.
For some reason the vampires stopped attacking me, every time I approached one of their kind, they would turn away and fight someone else.
I let my staff go loose in my hands. And stood up straight.
My father was ripping through the horde with a vengeance I never knew he had. It makes me shiver now thinking back to his face, the face I have found comfort in all my young life. His face was covered with the black lifeblood of the vamps, his eyes were wide with anger, white teeth clenched so hard I could see his jaw muscles protruding in his face. The savagery of my father was never portrayed in the picture in the Regent’s halls.
Through all the chaos I heard a voice, small but clear. “Willow.”
I looked around for the voice while the sound of the fight geeked my ears again.
The vampires were falling but they had managed to wound a few of the Blood Banes. That’s when I saw him, he stepped out of the shadow of the meat hanger, tall and dark, his skin seemed to gleam in the pale moonlight. All he wore was a pair of jeans, no shoes, no shirt. His muscles rippled when he walked, the effect on me like a snake to a snake charmer.
“No! You will not have her!”
My father exploded toward the man with his sword held high, only to fall to the floor as the man disappeared.
The voice laughter as the vampires renewed their attack.
My father rolled on his back as flipped up in one fluid movement. He took two heads vampires who were unaware of his presence before catching at Greg’s arm.
“Get her away, it’s a trap.”
Greg nodded once and barrelled into me, carrying me away over his shoulder as the Blood Banes fought on.
I seemed to come out of my trance then,
We got the van and the wind went out of my chest.
“Sorry low, get ready, they’ll be coming out after us in a minute.”
Sure as hell they did. The Blood Banes came out backward with maybe 30 vampire flying, crawling and striking at them. The glint of silver and steel flashed in the moonlight as pieces of the creatures were cut off. The topless man walked behind them with a huge grin on his face like he hadn’t a care in the world.
I could see his blood-stained canine protruding from his lips as he opened his mouth to talk.
His minions stopped in their attack and settled by their master.
“It’s nice to see that I’m still welcome here Abel.” The man bowed mockingly to my father.
“Cain.” My father signaled to hold fire.
“Is that how you greet your brother after so many years, tut tut.”
“You are not welcome here, brother!”
Spat my dad.
I could see the strain on my father’s shoulders. If my dad was shocked at seeing his brother stepping out of that meat hanger, it was short lived. But for me, it was like the angel Michael had stepped down from heaven and punched me in the gut. Had I an uncle?
“So, I see nothing has changed Abel.”
Cain’s hand encompassed the occupants of the dim alley. A stray vampire lurched out with his teeth at a one of the Blood Banes. Cain’s flicked a finger at the creature, and it cowered back.
“I don’t know what you mean Cain?”
My father circled around between the Blood Banes, his brother, and his vampires.
Greg tapped me on the shoulder and motioned to the back of the van.
“How you surround yourself with these humans, attempting to live like one of them when you know that it’s impossible, humanity has forsaken you and me, just like he did.”
I looked into his blood-red eyes for the first time and saw the madness behind them. My father walked around and put a protective hand between my shoulder blades. The Blood Banes moved behind us weapons at the ready. I felt my dad’s hand going through a series of signals against the small of my back; one of the Blood Banes jumped in the back of our tactical van. I could see the van wobble out of the corner of my eye as he moved to the driver’s seat.
My father spat on the floor and raised his sword towards my uncle. The moonlight glanced off the sword giving it an unearthly aura.
“Why are you here Cain? I thought that you were trying to find your way back to him.”
Cains laughed and raised his arms wide.
“Come now, brother.”
I looked up at my father and saw his jaw muscle clench and his lip peel back in a snare.
“You know I could never get back into his good graces “
Cain pointed to the heavens and then at his brow, where a thick brown mark the shape of a seven with three strips sat.
My father lowered the sword slightly.
“Your doing, not mine.”
Cain’s pets started getting restless again, edging forward, screeching and screaming to the point it came unbearable.
Cain bent low and swept his face around his minions. A growl emanated from the back of his throat as the vampires crawled back whining. He then straightened and glared at my father.
“Now, where were we, oh yes.”
Cain started taking slow measured steps toward us; my father pushed me back with his free arm, and Greg pulled me away.
“And the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother? And he said, “I do not know: am I my brother’s keeper?” And He said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the soil. And so, cursed shall you be by the soil that gaped with its mouth to take your brother’s blood from your hand. If you till the soil, it will no longer give you strength. A restless wanderer shall you be on the earth.”
My father growled and raised his sword again. Cain took one last step as the tip of the blade touched his Adam’s apple.
“You killed me, remember; I’m not the cause of your curse.”
“How could I forget, brother.”
Cain knocked the sword away and struck out at my father. Greg pulled me back into the van as the engine came to life.
A few armed Blood Banes opened fire on the vampires as they charged towards us.
My father still fought my uncle. Cain struck out again and again, but my father ducked and dodged, and finally counter with the butt of his sword, connecting with Cain’s face. The blow sent my father reeling in the dirt as Cain staggered back.
Leo jumped out the van with Greg, and each lifted my father under his shoulder and pulled him back into the van.
The tires screeched forwards, black smoke filling the night. The back doors flapping in the wind. I didn’t realize how tight I was gripping my staff; the blood had completely drained from my knuckles leaving them stark white against the black carbon fiber. Just then we heard a thump on the roof of the van, and we all looked up, Evan, a former navy seal, bumped against my shoulder and gestured to my staff.
I passed him the staff. He moved to the front of the cramped van and drove the spiked end through the roof.
A high-pitched squeal pierced our ears as black blood oozed through the metal roof.
Evan pulled the staff free, and the vampire tumbled off the roof and hit the tarmac in a cloud of smoke.
He stepped back over a wounded Blood Bane and passed the staff back to me smiling.
My father laid by my feet unconscious, I could see a weak red mark the same I had seen on Cain’s head outlined on his cheek.
Evan leaned down and patted my father on the shoulder.
“Abel, wake up, Abel.”
My father stirred and finally sat up holding his cheek.
He spat out some blood and a tooth on to the palm of his hand.
“What the ‘hell was that governor?”
Geezer sat at the back of the van almost obscured by darkness. He was the only English man in our unit, a furious fighter who liked to fight with two long daggers forged from silver.
He moved into the light sweeping through the van from passing street lamps, the orange glow traveling over his face.
“I’ve seen all sorts of carnage before gov but that was madness. I’ve never seen anything like that dude and them mindless vamps.”
My father pulled himself on to the seats that line the inside of the van.
“That was Cain.”
“Wait a minute, *the* Cain, like, the biblical Cain?”
The voice came from another Blood Bane. I can’t remember his name, only he has a giant bald eagle tattoo on his shoulder.
“The one and only I’m afraid.”
Geezer sat back with a thump.
“What does he want dad?”
My father turned to me and reached a hand to my face and stroked softly down my cheek.
I could see the pain in his eyes, that his very own brother wants to hurt him.
Evan reached over and patted my father on the shoulder.
“We are here with you Abel. We can help you fight him.”
“That’s the problem. No one can hurt him; the big guy saw to that, and you just saw what happened to me with only a shot to the face. I’ve tried fighting him before, and it never goes well, ever heard of Constantinople? That was the last time we met.”
“Shit.” Spat Evan “Well if we can’t fight him, can we reason with him?”
My father looked down at his hands and then into the eyes of each of the Blood Banes.
My father hung his head and shook it once.
Geezer leaned into the light again.
“Sometimes there are guys who just want to see the world burn.”
Evan closed the back doors of the van as our thoughts turned it an immortal vampire that couldn’t be killed.