They Do Exist

by Lakesha Jenkins

I'd always heard the stories but never believed them true. But as I stood in the dark, hoping they could not see me, knees shaking and teeth chattering as if cold even though it was 85 degrees, I found myself convinced. I could hear the dragging like sound of talons long as my forearm dragged the ground. I could not see them but I imagined them sticking their tongues in and out of their mouths, tasting the air, searching for me in the darkness. I had seen how they had devoured my neighbors, slurping thirstily from their necks as if they were a cold glass of water on a hot day. I watched Pat and Mona kicking, screaming and begging until they couldn't anymore, until they were drained of their blood. I shook my head, no way. Not me. I'm not going out like that.

I tried to remain calm. Slow my breathing. All the stories said they could see in the dark, hear your heartbeat from miles away, hypnotize you, fly, move at lightning speed — these things were false. But they were strong and once those long talons gripped you, you weren't going anywhere. I tried to remember the Lord's Prayer as I stood in the darkness of the closet. I could hear the furniture being overturned as they searched for me. Dishes breaking in the kitchen.

Again I heard the dragging sound of the talons on the marble floor. I braced myself for the door to be opened at any moment. I tried to envision how I would escape my pursuers. I was so scared I had to pee and could hardly hold it in, my bladder seemed to be launching its own rebellion. I groped in the dark for a jacket, sweater anything to put on my bare arms just in case I had to make a run for it. I knew those talons would tear through my exposed arms with little effort. I couldn't take the chance of being paralyzed like the others, powerless.

I wondered if my parents were ok. Had they made it out? I prayed they had. Time seemed to stand still. The blood pounded in my ears and my heartbeat seemed to be incredibly loud. Minutes seemed like hours. I could no longer hear anything, it was deadly silent. "Were they gone?" I thought to myself or "Is this some kind of trick?"

There was only one way to find out. I reached my hand up but the fear inside wrestled it back down. It was suicide, going out this door was suicide. There were too many of them. I didn't stand a chance. I swallowed hard and reminded myself that I had to get out. I had to warn people before it were too late. Lives depended on me getting out of this closet.

I felt like a coward. I wished I had been braver, like Pat and Mona. Then again, I rationalized in my fear, Pat and Mona were brave and now they are dead. I was alive. I planned to stay that way. My body seemed to grow tired. I felt like the energy was sucked out of me, it was probably my adrenaline fading. I moved my hand around in the closet searching for something to use as a weapon and before long I found my son's baseball bat. My son! My kids! How could forget about them, they were at their aunt's house but what if the same things was happening there? I could never live with myself if my kids were being sucked dry while I hid in this closet. Move! Move, move, move — my mind screamed at me. Suddenly I was angry. I was ready to rumble.

I busted out the closet and tore through the house. My tennis shoes didn't even squeak on the floor like the usually do which I took as a sign from God. I moved room to room. My parents were gone. I prayed this meant they had escaped. I made it to my room, changed into my khakis and steel toe boots and took out my husband's 38 special, loaded it, emptied the bullets into my pockets and hoped this would even things up a bit. Next I grabbed my keys off the nightstand and my cell phone — it was the only light I had and who knew where those things were. Slowly I made my back downstairs with a hiking bags, grabbed can goods, bottled water, all the knives in the kitchen and went to the garage. The door was up. Oh no! One was standing right by the drivers door.

My heart started pounding and my breathing became excited. Ok, keep calm. I creeped around the to the driver's side door and pulled a steak knife. I didn't see any others with it. I crouched down and sprang up with all my power and raked the knife across its through nearly severing its head. I held my breath until I saw it fall after staggering. It kicked briefly then lay still. I sat in the darkness looking out, the entire street was dark, not one light. Slowly, I eased my way back to where it had fallen. It's skin sparkled in the moonlight as if made of diamonds. Its teeth looked almost like an alligator or lion, long and pointy, its talons seemed perfectly sharpened. After a minute it blazed up, just like in the movies. I jumped into the car and sped off. I had to find my kids. They had to be ok. I still couldn't believe it, Vampires! They really do exist.

They Do Exist by Lakesha Jenkins

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