Betrothed, p.11
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       Betrothed, p.11

         Part #6 of The Vampire Journals series by Morgan Rice

  Kyle loved watching the night fall. This was his favorite time of day, especially as he went further back in time, as he watched all the simple human folk close up their shops, board up their shutters, scurry to their homes, as if terrified of the dark. The further back in time he went, the more afraid people seemed to be of the night.

  And of course, they had reason to fear.

  This was the favorite time of day for people like Kyle, and for his entire race. As dusk fell, that creepy feeling that the humans began to feel was indeed the feeling of his kind awakening. Kyle never felt so energized as he did at dusk, so ready to head out there and wreak whatever damage he could.

  Kyle reached down and touched the dozens of vials of plague he had stored safely in his pouch, and a reassured smile crossed his face. Standing there, in the heart of London, he looked at the bustling crowds before him, all these pathetic little humans who had no idea what was about to come, the storm that he, single-handedly, was about to bring. He felt elated, like a kid about to enter a candy shop. Everywhere, there were crowds, alleys, bars - places to spread the plague. He was so giddy, he hardly knew where to begin.

  But Kyle had to control himself. He knew that if he wanted to spread this plague thoroughly and professionally, he would need to enlist not only his mercenary vampires at arms, which he already had, but also an army of critters - rats. An army of rats would be much more effective, and much faster, at spreading the plague than he ever could, and so his first task was to find and infect them.

  He might also, of course, try to infect humans individually, and in large gatherings, but that would just be for fun.

  Kyle practically bounced through the streets, ready to have some fun. As he saw a big fat man, swaggering with a bottle of gin in his hand, Kyle reached up and patted him hard on the back - as he did, sticking a small, infected needle into his shoulder blade.

  The fat man screamed out, suddenly wide awake at the pain, but Kyle just bumped him hard and kept walking, disappearing into the crowd. Kyle smiled wide. The first infected was always such a great feeling.

  Kyle saw a wild dog sniffing at a mound of garbage beneath his feet, and he dropped to one knee, suddenly grabbed the dog by its mane, and stuck a small needle right into its neck. The dog yelped, and tried to turn around to bite Kyle, but Kyle was faster. He leaned back in time and kicked it, sending it back several feet. The dog yelped again, and took off. Kyle smiled, knowing the damage it would do as it carried the plague all throughout the streets.

  Kyle saw a vendor's stand up ahead, with rows and rows of fruit spread out over it. He walked up to it and the vendor stared back cautiously, staring at all the scars on his face. Kyle discreetly spread the plague on his hands, then reached up, and ran his palms all along the fruit, in one great swipe.

  "Hey, get your hands off my fruit!" the man screamed.

  Kyle smiled, grabbed an apple, reached back and hurled it at the man's throat. It was a perfect strike; the man reached up with both hands and grabbed at his throat, struggling to breathe from the blow.

  As Kyle preceded down the block, he watched several humans crowd around the fruit he had just infected, feeling it. He smiled wide.

  Now it was time to get serious. Kyle spotted a rotting wharf in the distance. Perfect. He knew exactly what he would find beneath it. Rats.

  He hurried off to the riverbank and slipped down the muddy slope, until he was in the blackness beneath the wharf. There, he saw exactly what he'd expected: dozens of rats, crawling into and out of the water, scurrying under the wharf. They turned and hissed at him, and most began to flee. He laughed at the irony: rats scared of him.

  But Kyle was faster than they. He zoomed in, using his instincts, on the Queen rat, and darted at her, grabbing her hard on the neck, reaching up, and injecting her. The rat hissed, trying to bite him, but Kyle chucked it far from him. He then reached out and grabbed another rat, and another, and another. In a dizzying array of speed, he managed to prick at least a hundred rats before they could flee from his super-fast reflexes.

  Kyle had emptied a good portion of his vials, and, satisfied, he hurried back up the slope, away from the water. He stood at the top and brushed himself off, and looking down, saw the rats scurrying in every direction. He watched as several of them slipped into a large boat, crowded with humans, and as several more scurried up the riverbank, into the crowded streets. He knew that his job was done - at least for now. Within hours, they would infect every corner of this city.

  Now it was time to get really serious. The humans were taken care of, but he still had to get the poison, the special poison, to kill Caitlin. He had to get to the Tower of London, and free his old vampire friend, and get him to tell him where it was.

  Before Kyle could set off, he suddenly heard a distant roar. He looked out, across the Thames, and saw, in the distance, a small circular stadium, lit up from the torchlight. He heard another roar, and suddenly realized what it was: a bearbaiting stadium.

  Kyle was overcome with joy. It had been centuries since he'd seen bearbaiting, and he missed it dearly.

  Without thinking, he leapt into the air and flew over the river Thames, heading right for the stadium. It would also, he realized, serve a double purpose: there, he could infect thousands more humans. And more importantly, he could enjoy wreaking havoc personally. He felt a craving for violence, and it was time to let it out on someone.

  Kyle knew, as he flew over the bearbaiting stadium, that he should stay focused, proceed to the London Tower, break his friend out, and get the poison. But he wanted to have some fun. He still had plenty of time, and he was still way ahead of schedule. He figured he could afford a small distraction to wreak some havoc of his own.

  Kyle flew over the stadium and looked down, in the torchlight, at the thousands of humans packed in below, screaming, betting, at the bear tied in the middle, being attacked on all sides by dogs. It was his kind of fun.

  He dove down, right for the stadium, and landed right in the center of the pit. As he did, he grabbed a dog from behind, picked it up, spun it over his head, and hurled it right into the bleachers.

  There was a look of shock and amazement among the thousands of humans who watched him land, right in the center of the stadium, who watched him seemingly drop out of the sky. They all stood, gasping, wondering what on earth he could be. Several of them crossed themselves.

  Kyle grabbed more dogs, throwing each one over the bleachers; as they landed in the seats, all worked up, they began biting humans.

  Next, he ran right to the bear. The bear, sensing something, recoiled, trying to get away from Kyle.

  But Kyle wasn't done. He grabbed the bear's chain and tore it off the pole. Then he picked up the chain, and swung the bear around and around. Finally, he threw it.

  It landed in the bleachers. Humans shrieked, trying to run - but it was too late. The bear landed in the bleachers in a blinding rage. It swiped its paws left and right, murdering people with a single swipe. It bit, and chewed, and swiped, and trampled, killing every human in its path.

  A stampede erupted, and humans trampled humans as they tried to get away. Even more people were crushed in the melee than the bear could kill. Within moments, the entire stadium was emptying out, people running in every which direction, screaming, hoping to make it out alive.

  Kyle wasn't finished. He grabbed the torches along the sides and raced through the bleachers, setting everything on fire. Then he ran outside the stadium, and quickly circled the perimeter, setting fire in all directions, and barring all the entrances.

  It worked. Most humans were trapped inside, as the flames and smoke grew higher. Kyle flew up, over the edge, and hovered over the Stadium, watching as the flames grew higher, as people screamed, trapped, and as the infuriated bear tore any survivors to pieces.

  Kyle couldn't ask for a better start to his night.

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