This week the Chuck Wendig challenge was a genre mash up. I got Dieselpunk and Vampires. I keep getting the undead in these mash ups, and considering I don’t enjoy horror, the dice gods are cruel.
The deep rumble always filled Burnsville. One didn’t hear it during the day. Too many people talking, driving their huge bikes, and the dirty business of living. Of course I never heard it during the day. During the day I was dead. At night there wasn’t much else to hear. It made the city seem like a large slumbering creature.
My eyes flickered open. The automatic lighting started to flicker on around me. I slipped off plush bed, and stood up. Already, my throat burned. The hunger thrummed in my veins begging for someone, anyone. I opened the door, and headed up the small stairway.
Before I reached the top I could smell the burning gas, and loud laughter. The clave was up.
The living room filled with old style furniture with brightly burning lamps. All three of them sat passing around a liquor bottle. “Aren’t one of you supposed be guarding the door?”
Heaven and Trix stilled their eyes widening in fear. Trigger laughed. “Screw you, Urien. We are partners not your thralls. If you want some lackeys make some.” He chugged whatever swill he’d been drinking. “My babies are all over it.”
“Forgive me if I don’t trust animals to our safety.” I couldn’t stop from throwing up my hands in disgust.
Trigger’s face darkened. “There’s nothing wrong with my rotts. They’re more than smart enough.”
“They drink out of the toilet.” Before Trigger got more upset about me slandering his ‘babies’, I strode over to the couches. “Did you get the blood, or is there a someone to feed me?”
Heaven brushed her honey blonde hair from her face. “Sorry, Urien. These huge tanks rolled in, and everyone scattered. The military is making the move. They want to own Burnsville.” In a self-conscious gesture she rubbed her neck.
The scattered government of what used to be America couldn’t stand that Burnsville had enough weapons to be free of their influence. For weeks they’d been threatening a takeover. There was one thing they didn’t know. Burnsville was mine. No one gets to have what’s mine. “Did they?”
A heavy silence hung over my allies, and perhaps friends. None of them were my people, who are singularly untrustworthy in any case. Each one shot side glances at the others, they were worried. Trigger snorted. “You’re a scary asshat.”
“Isn’t that why you are with me, and not my pathetic, strutting rivals?” I shifted to sit in the gray brocade wing chair next to them.
Trix patted her knee. Her body was strapped head to toe in knives. “Do you need me to round up the men?”
I considered it. “Yes, that would be best. Let’s not allow those usurpers to get comfortable in my city.” Trix stood bowed before striding out.
“Urien,” Trigger started. “Are you going to feed off Heaven, or what? What do you need us to do?”
Feeding off Heaven was less than ideal. My witch needed to be at full power. Unfortunately, I couldn’t feed off Trigger at all. For whatever reasons his blood was poisonous. “Animal blood from the butcher’s?” As terrible as it tasted it would work for now.
“Yeah, we got some.” Trigger gave me a once over with his green eyes. “I don’t know why you care about Burnsville. The military is going to use the city, just like you.” He was always the one to ask the questions. Often, I wondered why. Did the fact I couldn’t feed off him make him brave? Or, did he merely lack the common sense to be afraid.
I moved faster than the human eye could follow. My fingers wrapped lightly around his neck. His fear perfumed the air as I leaned in my lips brushing his ear. “It is mine. I have lived for centuries. And never, ever have allowed anyone to take what’s mine.” I let go.
His green eyes widened, but his fear lessened. A slow smile lifted his lips in a daring grin. “I’m happy to be yours. Sometimes, you need to be shook up. You don’t want to end up like the others.”
The other vampires who’d gone insane. When the world started to burn diesel, coating everything with a permanent layer of grim they went insane. What caused it, none of my people know. Yet the possibility of losing my mind weighed on me. It is the only reason I told my three how to kill me. I’d not be a beast roaming the streets.
“I’ll see you at their base at midnight. We’ll show them what the Lord of Burnsville can do.”
Ash hung in the air. The humans couldn’t feel it, but I could. My lungs felt clogged with a thick morass of it. However, I ignored it. The battered, massive tanks bulky forms rested against the backdrop of the power plant. From here I could see they were attaching tubing to siphon off my gas. A snarl pulled my lips up. The urge to charge in nearly overwhelmed me. I needed to wait until they were in place. A sweet whisper of honey, and raspberries floated into my mind. “Everything is in place.” Heaven deliciousness faded.
I cut the leash I held on my power. The blood pounded in my ears, I could feel them. My tongue ached to taste them all. The leader, I needed to kill the leader. A slow, agonized walk as I got closer scanning for the huge, stripped tent would be the officer’s. I spotted it. A fierce joy unfurled in me. Blood would run.
Shots fired at the soldiers rolled out their gleaming Gatling guns fired back. A flaming explosion landed in camp causing as even larger one as some of the diesel caught fire. The screams and burned flesh bloomed around me. My heart raced faster, and faster. Soon, I promised, soon. Finally, the commander stumbled out, a gun in hand. I flashed forward tackling him back into his tent my body pressing him to the ground. “I’m hungry.”
“What the hell?” He struggled trying to throw me off.
I laughed, maniacal and loud. Yet, I knew no one could hear me. The noise was too loud, too thick. I shredded his coat exposing his neck. I bit down. The warm, thick liquid wet my parched body. So desperately I wanted to sink into the sensation forget the outside world. With my will alone I remained aware. Once his body was free of blood, I dragged him upward. A megaphone rested next to the tent. Hefting the body, I snatched it and raced up to the top of the tank.
I pressed the megaphone to my mouth. “Your captain is dead.” The body flopped as a bright light rested on him. “Fire, your bullets won’t kill me. I’m the Lord of Burnsville.” Many of the humans didn’t believe I was real. Instead of running, or hiding, I waited for a bullet to hit me. A barrage them cut through my body, they burned. I cackled into the megaphone and the shots slowed, and stopped.
“You tried to take Burnsville from me. I could kill all of you, bathe in your blood.” A smile pulled up my right corner of my lip. “I want to. It would be decadent in the extreme.” My tongue rubbed over my teeth. “Either way, you are mine. Choose how you wish to serve.” As I spoke my people closed in around them. Surrounded, their leader dead, and a vampire wanting to taste them. They did the smart thing and dropped to their knees. I sent out a mental command. “Any who are not cowed, knock them out. I’ll drain, and store their blood.”
I stepped down throwing the commander’s body down. A man had bars on his chest, “Are you his first?”
“First?” He asked his voice shaking.
The word escaped me. “Are you now the commander of this…” My mind searched for the word. The air outside caused my brain to work slower. “Unit?”
He nodded. “Yes, sir.”
“Good, you are mine.” Fear rolled off him in waves. The speed of his heart so fast. “Are you happy to be mine?”
His head bounced up and down rapidly. “Of course, sir. I am happy to serve.”
My fingers wrapped around his chin as I peered into his eyes. “You don’t need to lie. You will like it. Don’t worry I take care of what’s mine. Serve me well, you will be well. Make sure your men now they are mine, forever. Can you do that?”
I shook my head. “Yes, Master Urien. You will serve me very well.” I let go the man collapsed at my feet. His sobs punctuated my steps. Burnsville was mine fully, once more.