9.7 Don’t Choke

by Matt P.

Siobhan gasped for air as she was lifted off the ground by her throat. She reached up to try to pry the fingers off of her windpipe, but they were like cold iron bars and she could find no purchase. Perhaps predictably that left her next move as trying to kick whomever it was in the stomach, but her choker was apparently pretty hardbodied as it just ended up hurting her foot. She started to panic a little bit, as she heard a voice.

“They always try to kick,” the deep voice offered with an amused drawl. “It’s always the fingers and then the kicking. Why aren’t people more imaginative?” Siobhan managed to look over her shoulder to find the largest Asian man she had ever seen holding her up. Each of his fingers was the size of a sausage—he probably could have effectively choked her with two fingers and a thumb.

“I mean,” came the other voice, which turned out to belong to a slender woman of medium height. “You’d get more variety if you didn’t just kill people by choking them to death. Kind of your fault if it gets a little repetetive.” She walked up to Siobhan and reached out to stroke the back of her head. “Now then, you seem to have brought us who we needed. Put down the…knife, and we might let your sister go. It won’t help you with us.”

Oh, right, Siobhan thought wryly, even as she was choking. It was worth a shot—she didn’t think vampires ware particularly susceptible to swords but that didn’t mean it wasn’t worth trying for. She got a good grip on the sword, and started squirming to try to get a good angle. The Asian man laughed at that. “Oh, she’s got fight in her, I like—” He started in a condescending tone. Then Siobhan got the right angle and jerked her body, swinging the sword in a wide arc that brought it through the man’s wrist. Far from having no effect it seemed to have a completely normal effect, slicing in to the flesh and bone. The man let out a gasp and screamed in pain, his hand releasing her neck and dropping her to the ground.

Siobhan stumbled away from him back to the other students who were watching in mute horror at the unfolding proceedings. That brought her back to the side of the Eisenhund as well, who was growling at the vampires. Siobhan gave him a sidelong look, gesturing. “Thanks for the assist, buddy,” she groused in a voice gone hoarse. The dog looked apologetic somehow, but took a step forward to indicate that its head was back in the game so to speak. Siobhan nodded, and turned to the vampires again who were staring at her in shock.

“What the fuck are you?” The Asian man asked, looking at her through eyes gone wide in fright in a way that seems like it might have been a long time since he was afraid of anything. The woman was also looking in concern, but since she wasn’t injured it was less pressing at the moment. “Why is it healing so slowly?”

Siobhan shrugged. “Faerie…girl?” She shrugged a little bit, brandishing the sword out in front of her. “Faerie princess seems a little bit presumptuous. Wait, no, I got it!” Siobhan grinned wickedly. “Faerie knight, that’s the ticket. I’m a Knight of the Courts of Faerie, and you are not taking my friends. Leave now, keep all your limbs,” she offered.

The Asian man grunted, but with his off hand reached in to his long coat to pull out a wicked long knife. “No, now we’re going to make it hurt. I’ve never gotten to kill a Faerie before. I wonder what you taste like, you little bitch?” He hissed angrily. Siobhan blinked, and then snorted.

“That’s your line, I wonder what you taste like?” Siobhan asked. “Seriously? You don’t sound like you’re a badass, you just sound like you’re a pervert. I’m not worried about you killing me, I’m worried about leaving my drink unattended. So if you want to have to ask your buddy there for a courtesy handy, come and get some fang face.” That was apparently all the motivation they needed to start bolting for her.

Shit they’re fast! Siobhan thought, throwing herself to one side as the Asian man came at her in a blur with the knife. She thought they might have been faster than the Faerie woman she killed in the High School, but she wasn’t faster than the demon they’d killed in the basement of the hospital. God my life is screwed up!

She dodged out of the way as the man slashed with his knife again, and he looked rather surprised that she hadn’t been right there to get disembowled. But he was fast as a viper to turn and press the fight to her, until he was interrupted by the Eisenhund snarling and lunging at him. That distracted him for a long enough moment that Siobhan could turn and slash at the female vampire as she came in for a bite. That forced the woman to dance back because she had no desire to get slashed with a weapon that could apparently hurt her. But they were still fast enough that Siobhan felt like she was probably going to be on the losing end of this battle. Even as she thought that, however, she felt something in her chest that felt…familiar somehow.

She had no time to think about it as the woman changed angles and tried to come in from the side. That required her to pivot but put her back to the Asian man, who lunged at her past the Eisenhund. The dog’s snapping teeth prevented him from scoring more than a light slash, but it still burned as the knife lacerated her shoulder and spent a little spray of her blood across the hallway.

“Shit!” She gasped, stumbling back away. The Eisenhund lept to join her, presenting a united front, as the feeling in her chest continued to grow. She whimpered, backing up past a storage closet as she tried to place it. The vampires turned to advance menacingly, growling with a little bit of inhuman hunger as they did so.

“Well what do we have here,” came a voice from behind her. Siobhan groaned, looking back over her shoulder as the two vampires they saw originally came up from behind her. “Having trouble containing one little girl with a sword?” These were two men, and one raised an eyebrow in taunt.

“Ok, I don’t want to go through this again,” Siobhan began, shaking her head. Finally the feeling in her chest, why it was familiar, fell in to place. It was the High School, what Antigone had felt before she opened the door. Which meant… “Sorry, little bit distracted. I don’t want to go through this whole thing again. You guys run the hell away, and you get to keep your limbs. Got it?” She turned to face the closet and backed away, putting her back against the wall so she could watch everyone as they advancd on her—which they obligingly did, coming up slowly to form a loose half circle around hr and the Eisenhund.

“And why should we do that?” The vampire woman asked. “There are four of us, one and a dog of you, and while you apparently have some skill I doubt you have more than all of us.” She held up a hand, and her fingers and nails slowly began to grow into wicked black talons. “And like the man said, I bet you taste delicious.” Siobhan swallowed, her pulse pounding and her shoulder aching. Come on, come on…she thought, biting her lower lip. “So why should we run?”

“Because,” Siobhan answered, swallowing as she looked at them. “If you don’t, that closet is going to open up and kick your asses.” She pointed beyond them to the closet, which drew their attention. They all looked back it with raised eyebrows and bewildered expressions. Come on, come on…she thought desperately.

“Are you smoking something? Professionally speaking, since we’re about to eat you, that effects us too,” the Asian man offered with a pained if cruel grin. “Cause there’s no way something is going to come out of tha—”

He never finished his thought as there was a flash of bright blue-white light and a burst of frost along the opposite wall. The door to the closet exploded off its hinges in a spray of snowflakes and Walter Richards, dressed to kill in a suit, launched himself out of the closet and buried a strange looking knife in the back of the Asian vampire’s head.