Grave Knight: Part 2 (Short Story)


Note: This sample story is based on the original screenplay. http://amzn.to/2roPkh5

*****

It’s been only a week since the tragic events that transpired with Mary Clarese, and there’s already been another attack. Jasper Jefferson, a young boy roughly Mary’s age. Bitten, turned, and killed by Ian McKnight to save the city and his secret from coming out. Similarly, to Mary, Jasper also had an older brother desperate to uncover the truth behind the senseless death.

Stefan Beckett spends the entire morning locked in the morgue, but in truth, it only took him roughly two hours to finish Jasper’s autopsy. He’s used the extra hours to bide Ian time to uncover the truth behind the killings. A second death that week being that of Ms. Clemens, an elderly woman with her neck savagely torn apart when Jasper fed.

Now, Stefan sits in a metal chair, staring at the young child they would have to “re-kill” before he could rise from the grave. Stefan’s skin was nearly as pale as the corpse, sickened by what was occurring in the otherwise quiet town.

Meanwhile, Ian barricades himself in his office as he contemplates the murderous events. Although he had no proof, Daniel Jefferson followed Ian into the woods and saw what happened to his younger brother. Daniel’s dead younger brother. He saw Ian attempt to reassure the scared boy. He saw Jasper covered in blood, asked bizarre questions before snapping the boy’s neck. Now, Daniel’s hell-bent on proving what he saw.

Stressed and confused, Ian was going through his blood supply twice as fast as he searches through old records and notes for any mention of what was happening now. Pacing back and forth, Ian suddenly stops and peers out a small window. Although hidden in the bushes outside, his vampiric eyesight immediately spots Daniel hiding within them. His eyes scan every window of the house. Crap, the kid won’t stop until he gets me to confess… He got himself caught up in this mess.

As Ian watches the kid outside, he hears footsteps approaching his front door. He bolts out of his library and opens the door to find Detective Montgomery approaching.

“Are you going somewhere, Mr. McKnight?” she asks, surprised at the convenient timing.

“Call me Ian. And no,” Ian states with a faint smile, peering up at the cloudy sky with an internal sigh of relief. “I was thinking about going for a walk. Is there something I can help you with?”

“A person has stepped forward with what they believe is a lead in our investigation into the young kid’s deaths,” Det. Montgomery states. “How about I join you on your walk?”

Ian nods politely as he locks up and the pair walks away from his house. He glances back as his gaze meets Daniel’s in the bushes. The kid freezes as though staring death directly in the face. Ian turns away as Daniel bolts away.

“Where were you Wednesday night, between 11PM and 2AM?”

“In my library. I enjoy late night reading sessions,” Ian states, not missing a beat.

“Were you by any chance near the forest before or after those times?” she asks, although without suspicion. She’s giving him the benefit of the doubt.

“No… is your lead the older Jefferson kid, Daniel?”

“I’m not allowed to divulge that information to you,” Det. Montgomery states.

“I’m only asking because he accused me of harming his brother. He’s also been skulking about my house since then,” Ian states nonchalantly. “It’s completely natural to blame the people working at a morgue or funeral home. It happens more often than you’d expect. They’re just trying to work through their grief.”

“Must be rough. How are you and Mr. Beckett holding up?”

After confessing they’ve never dealt with such a case in their lives, Ian quickly switches the direction of their conversation, which Det. Montgomery doesn’t resist.

He listens intently as she explains the personal reason she became a detective, her grandfather’s mysterious death, and her aspirations of becoming a Captain one day. As they continue to chat, Ian feels strangely connected to her. In turn, he’s happy when she looks up at him because her heartbeat beats just a little quicker. What began as a police questioning quickly morphs into something resembling a chat between friends as they circle back to Ian’s house.

“Thanks for the nice walk, Ian. I’ll see what I can do about Daniel Jefferson leaving you alone,” April says, before leaving Ian to carry on with his day.

Meanwhile, her partner, Detective Francis, heads over to the funeral home to pick up Stefan’s autopsy reports. However, he’s new to the job and isn’t familiar with the layout, feeling nervous about meandering through. He and death don’t blend well. He shuffles his way to the basement floor where Stefan’s tidying up the autopsy room.

“Hang in there, kid. If you can get through this case, the rest of them will be a synch,” Stefan mutters, before handing over his reports.

The detective can’t help but notice the mortician’s pale and exhausted demeanor, the case having taken a toll on everyone involved. He suspects that McKnight, and possibly Beckett know more than what they’re letting on, but his partner refuses to indulge the idea. Frankly, he suspects she’s getting too close to McKnight.

Back at Ian’s house, he’s immediately struck with an oddly familiar scent. He’s unable to place it as he barges into his library, where it grows stronger. He finds an empty blood sack in the blood fridge that he knows he closed before, which is an assault on his senses.

He uses his vampiric speed to bolt into his bedroom just as a figure vanishes from near his open window on the second floor. Ian runs outside, but the culprit is gone. Gone too fast for any human being. Furious he can’t pinpoint the scent he goes to the funeral home where the scent resurfaces. He’s being followed.

“I know you can hear me. Meet me tonight in my backyard. We need to talk,” Ian says under his breath, confident that it’s somehow a vampire that’s lurking around town.

Ian enters the autopsy room to find Stefan cleaning his equipment in the sterilized sink. He listens to Stefan’s breathing. It’s too quick for such a simple chore. His face twists with concern as he leans against the wall.

“Do you want to talk?”

Stefan shakes his head no as he continues washing. He suddenly drops everything and turns around to face his friend.

“Two young kids. They had their whole lives ahead of them. They did nothing wrong. And now what?” Stefan asks hopelessly. “We know exactly what happened to them, but we can’t say anything.”
“I’ll end it tonight,” Ian states as Stefan’s face shifts with concern. “Whoever’s doing this broke into my house when I was out. Their scents all over this place, too. They’re following me. They know who I am. What I am.”

“What are you planning to do, kill them?” Stefan scoffs, but Ian remains quiet, allowing his silence to speak volumes.

Ian’s prepared to do whatever it takes to end this violence, but he refuses to put innocent people in harm’s way. Which is exactly what’s occurring as Daniel Jefferson continues to stalk him, sneaking in the shadows as a murderous vampire skulks in deeper shadows. Ian storms out and screams at the boy until he finally runs away.

“Crap,” Ian mutters as the scent wafts from inside the house. More specifically, from within his room.

Ian speeds inside but stops dead in the doorway to his room, his eyes falling on a gorgeous redheaded woman standing by his open window.

“Hello, Ian. It’s good to see you again. Frankly, I never thought I would again,” she said with a sly smile.

Veronica Everston. His love from the distant past that he presumed died in the vampire war.

“How are you here?” he whispers in shock. “The war…”

“I didn’t participate. I hid somewhere that no one could find and smell me out. I realized we were wrong. The war should never have happened,” Veronica says, her lowered voice full of regret.

She sits down on the edge of Ian’s bed, motioning for him to join her but he remains stiff by the doorway.

“You’re responsible for the recent deaths,” he states emotionless.

“Oh, honey. I only turned them. You’re the one who killed them.”

“What do you want?”

“I wanted to propose a plan to you, one that you and I would change the world for the better with,” she states seductively, which Ian evades challengingly. “We shouldn’t have to keep our existence a secret. What if we all coexisted? Vampires and humans living together with no “filthy” secrets diving us.”

“Just get out,” Ian scoffs. “I don’t want anything to do with you.”

“We could create a new world order. A better world where no one is hunted. Don’t pretend like you don’t care about these people. I’ve seen the way you try to be one of them. The way you love that mortician like a brother… and the police officer.”

In a flash, Ian’s in front of Veronica with a hand around her throat. “If you lay a finger on them…”

He lets the threat settle in as Veronica saunters out, confident that he’ll come around to her idea. As the hours bleed into days, Veronica makes it a point of interfering with Ian’s daily life. She follows him to work, where she unexpectedly spots Daniel watching Ian, without the faintest idea of who the boy is. Not realizing that she’s the sole reason that Daniel’s on this death mission.

She even interferes with Ian’s coffee break with Montgomery, attempting to stir up trouble between the pair by cozying up with Ian. But Montgomery’s a woman of slightly higher class, and instead, decides to question the lady from Ian’s past.

“So, when did you move here?”

“Oh, about a week or so ago. I needed a… fresh start,” Veronica says with a sly smile, echoing Ian’s earlier sentiment.

Although the vampire gives nothing away, Montgomery makes it a point to keep an eye out for her. The funerals for Jasper and Ms. Clemens go off as expected; full of tears and grief. A unique form of grief is held solely for Stefan as he’s unable to sit through the young boy’s funeral.

With a final failed threat from Veronica to join her cause, Ian retires for the night. He’s surprised to see that Daniel isn’t lurking in the shadows, waiting for him to falter. But his surprise morphs to fear when the boy is pronounced missing the next morning.

With a sinking feeling that Veronica had something to do with his disappearance, Ian joins the town in their desperate attempt to find him. Mrs. And Mr. Jefferson already lost one son, they didn’t need to lose another.

That night he returns to his home in failure. Although Veronica joined the search, he was positive that she had done something. But he immediately smells something strangely familiar yet off as he enters his home. He follows the scent into his library where Daniel stands with an empty blood sack in his hand. Blood drips down his chin as he snarls at Ian.

*****
Copyright © 2017 Julaine Piette

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