STAKE by Alex Chase @CoffinHop 2013


Hello Travelers,

Today I bring you a particularly old piece of mine. I haven’t edited it, because I want to preserve, how shall we say, the antiquity of the piece. While it was given a few small awards through http://www.writing.com in the past, I’ve never officially published it and had no pressing urge to do so. So, without further ado, here is the entirety of STAKE.

###

Joe Daniels prepared himself for the coming battles. He was finally prepared to lead the Strike Team Against Killer Entities troop through New York City. He and his troops had done heavy weight training and cardiovascular exercise to train their bodies to fight the supernatural killers known as Vampires. They had seen many humans mysteriously disappear, and every so often, one was found, drained of all blood. The local vampires insisted they had nothing to do with these incidents, but Joe knew better.

Inspired by the infestation of the undead beasts, Joe had taken the precaution of ordering several thermal-imaging lenses some time ago, so that he could tell who was human and who was not. However, this had not been enough, so he ordered silver chains, holy water and guns that could fire miniature stakes. With these, he turned to his closest friends and formed the STAKE.

With thermal imaging equipment and high-powered, anti-vampire weaponry, he was ready to lead his small group through the night and smite the undead scum, just as God should’ve done when they died the first time.

“Ready men? Move out! Tonight, they will feel true death!” His troop swarmed out of his home and into the blackest of nights…

***

Clarissa walked casually down the moonlit streets, the light illuminating her ivory skin, her full lips contrasting with a deep red lipstick. She had a slight smile tugging at her lips, knowing the reaction people would have when they saw her blood colored eyes. A choker encircled her neck, a cross of Gothic design hanging upon it.

She looked up at the sky and let out a sigh of pleasure. She loved how she lived, without the hustle and bustle of day life. The city calmed down at night. Well, except at the clubs, of course, which she frequented often. The cool wind whipped around her, brushing over her skin. She never wore a coat, mainly because she didn’t ever feel she had to. She didn’t feel the cold like most would’ve. Clarissa had grown accustomed to this life, and would not have it any other way.

For the most part, trouble avoided her, and she avoided it. She never deliberately harmed anyone, despite what she did to live. It just came naturally to her, and she always regretted when her actions hurt people. But tonight, as always, she set out to do things all over again. In the end, she never really had any pity on her victims. Some would even say she was heartless.

Her silent saunter brought her down street after street, ever closer to her destination. She passed by alleys, restaurants and Broadway theaters. The calls of the night were music to here ears, and she was eager to partake in the action that could be happening tonight. She moved faster, feeling the vibrant pulse of energized life within the clubs. She had a specific one in mind tonight, and would not allow herself to be distracted.

Suddenly, a thick hand wrapped over her mouth, yanking her to the side and slamming her into a nearby wall, her head colliding with brick. She cried out as a thick chain of pure silver wrapped tightly around her throat, rough edges grating over her skin. Her throat burned as the chain began to suffocate her.

“How are you doing, freak?” A man leaned down, and though a strange device covered his eyes and forehead, disabling her ability to see his eyes, it appeared as though he was glaring. She could feel his hot breath wash over her.

“What…?” She tried to gasp out through the choking sensation. She could barely breath. Her heart leapt into her throat as she looked at the burly forms of her attackers. Her dark eyes were wide with terror.

“That’s right, we’re finally rising up against you. You scum drain our citizens, kill our families, defile our holy grounds, and then you all have the nerve to ask to become citizens yourselves? We’re the STAKE, and you’re the undead quarry.” He spat upon her cheek as someone else tightened another link of silver around her wrists, tying it even tighter as she cried and begged for release. The metal ground hard against her flesh and a sob began to rise in her throat. One man stood on each side of her, holding her arms tight so she couldn’t even try to move.

The man who spoke earlier appeared to be their leader, and he brought his hand back, striking her across the face with his knuckles. There was a crack, and he grimaced, shaking his hand as she shrieked, her face dripping blood.

“Damn, I hate you freaks! I can’t even hit you without being hurt myself,” he groaned. “I’m just glad I wore these pure silver rings.” Clarissa caught the gleaming of at least four rings upon his fingers, but her vision swam. She was slowly getting weaker as the silver pulled tighter.

“Please… let…me go!” The burning in her throat was slowly getting worse as she felt herself slipping away.

“Let you go? Why should I let a monster like you roam free to kill my kind?” He looked down at her pallid skin; her glistening crimson eyes were wide with terror. She tried to croak out a response, but she could not. Clarissa’s pouting lips quivered with fear. She had never known this fear and danger before.

“Don’t try to deny that you’re a vampire. I can see your skin is cold, and even if I couldn’t, your eyes are as red as the blood you drink!”

But it’s cold outside… how would he know if it weren’t just from the wind? Clarissa thought.

“Don’t worry, blood sucker. I’m giving you what you deserve.” He pulled a long wooden stake from his jacket pocket. She screamed and flailed against her captors, but it was no use. The man kicked her to the ground, and Clarissa let out one last cry as he slammed the wooden shaft into her chest. She collapsed, her body convulsing one last time as blood flowed from her open mouth.

The STAKE team cheered and whooped over their victory. The girl was motionless, her pale skin seeming luminescent in the moonlight. Joe Daniels meandered to the nearest pay phone and told the police about their kill. The woman on the other end informed Joe that the Chief of Police would arrive shortly- and he did.

As the officers stepped out of their car, STAKE continued in their revelry. Joyous cries echoed down the street as the police investigated the scene. They loudly wondered if they’d be rewarded for each kill. The men were still celebrating when their arms were yanked behind their back and handcuffs were slapped onto their wrists. They protested with confusion and outrage as they were thrust into the police cruisers.

“Hey, what are you doing? We’re heroes! We killed one of those undead scum, why are you arresting us?” Joe yelled.

“She wasn’t an undead.” The chief grunted, slamming the door shut.

“What? That… that’s impossible! You’re a liar! You’re supporting vampires you piece of…” His cries faded from earshot as the cruiser pulled away.

Unfortunately for Clarissa, she had not been a vampire. She was a journalist for the New York Times, and she covered the nightlife in their culture section. She was normally found dressing up and prowling the night in search of the newest and hottest clubs and late-night eateries, and was known for scathing and ‘heartless’ reviews. Clarissa naturally broke out in hives at contact with silver, but regardless, the chains had been pulled so tight that her trachea was crushed. She had dressed in such dark garb to get into a new, heavy metal club for the paper. By night, she could be anything or anyone she wanted to be if it got her into the clubs. By day, she was a loving wife and mother of two, and had never hurt a soul in her life.

Now, Clarissa Burnside was lifeless on the sidewalk, her blood-red contacts still in place as the police finished the investigation. The dark lipstick hid the fact that her lips were turning blue, and her skin was notably more tan when brought out of the moonlight. Her skin was now truly as cold as ice, and her heart would forever remain as motionless as STAKE had thought it to be.

***

Walk with me over the coming week as I post some of my work in honor of Coffin Hop 2013. Some of this is quite old, some of it not–guess which is which, Traveler. Perhaps a right answer will earn a stroke of fortune for you…

For this tour, I’ll be giving away one signed anthology in which a story of mine has been featured. Which anthology is up to the winner. Keep in mind, I reserve the right to award additional gifts as per Coffin Hop rules. Who knows–if I get a lot of hits, you might see a lot of rewards in the future. Be sure to click the badge at the side of my page and visit the other Hoppers!

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8 responses to “STAKE by Alex Chase @CoffinHop 2013

  1. That brief tale is living in my mind’s eye in vivid detail. I absolutely would read a novel about that situation.

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