Finally, someone had a clue what to do! Honestly, my only proposal was to explore that house to search for evidence of Damon’s vampire nature, and once we accomplished that, I didn’t have the foggiest notion on how to proceed from there! I had just been hoping that whatever we found would give us a clear indication on how to move forward, but now that Aleck had a plan, my thoughts on what actions to take seemed wildly irresponsible! He went to the trunk of his car, and my curiosity peaked on what he may have had in there! My imagination went crazy thinking that he had some kind of secret weapon that could annihilate the problem in an instant, so you can imagine my disappointment when he pulled out what looked like a children’s toy! It crushed me to view our only way out of this mess was to enact my insane suggestion! I tried not to show my actual feelings to him to keep him on board with assisting me as I regarded him, “Your idea is an r/c helicopter?”
“This is not an r/c helicopter!” Aleck responded with a note of offense in his voice. “This a drone! I paid a lot of money for this than I would an r/c helicopter, and it can do so much more! For instance, it has a camera built in so we can fly it into the house and see what’s in it without risking our lives if there’s something dangerous in there!”
“That is a good idea!” I acknowledged as he began setting things up on top of his car.
Ellie gazed at him with a slight confusion. “Why do you need a flying camera? Do you wanna know what your neighbors are up to or something?”
Aleck refuted himself against that accusation, “I’m not spying on anyone! I use it to study weather patterns! I like teaching biology, but I like to dabble in other sciences too! I did use it to watch my wife undress once; I thought it was cute, she did not!” He finished setting up the drone, and we all gathered around as he turned on the monitoring screen…
At first, all we could see was a roof full of pine needles, but as it reached a hole that a fire had obviously created, my pulse started racing! We had access to the inside, and I felt certain we would discover something vital to the cause! I didn’t know what that could have possibly been, and I mused myself with pictures of catching Damon turning into a bat or hanging from the ceiling as he slept. I really hoped that we wouldn’t see something innocuous like him doing his homework in there! Or worse, we could have found nothing at all! When the drone neared the part of the house that still had a shred of structural soundness, we all held our breath as our anticipation mounted at its highest! We saw something glowing in there, and we were all on the edge of seats as our scope of it climbed closer and closer…
All of a sudden, the drone froze in its tracks! It made some glitchy noises, emitted some sparks, and it fell to the floor! Our spirits all sunk as the feed turned fuzzy, and Aleck appeared to be on the verge of tears! He lamented, “Aw man! That was expensive!”
“Now what?” Ginger posed to the group.
“We’re going to have to go in there ourselves,” Phoebe told us, “I stopped at the hardware store on the way here, and I grabbed some weapons to sue. You know, just in case!”
She went into her sedan and pulled out a fairly full bag of stuff. In my head, I envisioned her grabbing some sort of knives or hatchets for us to use in case Damon attacked the group, and I inwardly commended her for her stroke of brilliance! Before I could congratulate her on her foresight, she revealed what she had purchased- wooden spikes with cute little flowers and insects on them! It baffled all of us, and she evidently saw it on our faces because she explained, “They’re stakes! I don’t know if vampires are real or not, but Damon certainly thinks that way! So, if we all go in there brandishing a vampire’s most potent method to get taken down, we can intimidate him!”
As she handed out one to each of us, my insides writhed with dread! I had forgotten that vampires got slayed in that way! I guess it should have been fairly obvious, but I think I blocked that out of my memory since I knew it would mean I would have to face my greatest fear… “So, if he is a vampire, we’ll have to… stab him?”
“Straight through the heart, yes!” Phoebe confirmed as she finished passing out the stakes. A lump rose in my throat. I knew we had to protect our students from these monsters, and if we didn’t do it, no one else would, but I didn’t believe I could do that! If I even came close to piercing his skin, I’d probably faint and become easy prey for him! I nearly started to shiver just at the prospect of doing that!
“Could you have gotten some without so much fru-fru crap?” Fletcher inquired as he studied his “weapon” in disgust.
Phoebe replied, “I was in a hurry to get here, so I just went into the garden section and paid right there at their register. We can always go back and invest in new ones if we need to.”
Ginger stared hers in delight. “I like mine! It’s adorable! It would be a shame if it got covered in blood!” I tried not to vomit at the image she projected! “Hopefully it doesn’t come to that!”
“And what are we supposed to do if there aren’t vampires and we get attacked by real people?” Ellie challenged.
“It’ll still hurt for a normal person to get stabbed by one of these suckers!” Fletcher pointed out.
A part of me wanted to cancel this whole ordeal, but I couldn’t’ let my phobia prevent us from doing the right thing! I knew we had to do this, and my more cowardly sense prayed that someone else would volunteer themselves to do the actual stabbing! I mean, it only takes one person to drive a stake through the heart, right? Once again, I questioned everybody, “You guys ready to do this?”
No one readily answered that! We all wanted to help, but now that it became real, it truly intimidated us! Seriously, we were about to face someone dangerous, who wouldn’t be nervous? After a minute of a spooked silence, Aleck piped up, “Let’s just get this over with!”
Despite our unspoken agreement of his logic behind that direction, we all stayed frozen for a minute! It’s not that we didn’t want to do it, well, I suppose we didn’t really… It’s not as though we weren’t willing to do what our moral code deemed as right, our bodies just didn’t want to move! Phoebe was the first to break that spell. I really admired her bravery, but I couldn’t’ sit on that thought for too long! I couldn’t allow that goddess to go in there by herself, so I followed after her. Soon, the others trailed behind us too, and we were all moving towards the abandoned house… Slowly. Hey, at least we were moving forward! We halted just before we set foot on the property, and we all took a pause to gawk at the place. No one spoke until Ginger eventually spoke up, “Who would ever willingly go into this thing?”
“Crazy people!” Ellie remarked. “No one sane would go into a building like that!”
“I almost went in there,” I commented. Ellie bore an “I told you so!” look, so I went on, “But I did it to try to help people! It’s not like I wanted to go ghost hunting or something! Damon actually lives there! Well, he spends a lot of time there… Either way, how sane could he be?”
Ginger stated, “That’s true. Vampire or not, he’s just… off! And he may have some victims in there too, so…”
Phoebe recommended, “So we should go find out for sure!”
We all warily took a step onto the driveway, and when nothing significant resulted from that, we inched closer and closer to it. I could smell the smoldering remains and feel a cold chill as we got nearer and nearer to the structure! My heart pounded faster and faster, and I could practically hear the same effect emanating from the others as well! We were almost on the front yard, and I started to think we could make it there without incident. Just as we set a toe on the dead leaves where the lawn must have been once…
Something jumped out of the building! We all screamed and ran back down the driveway. I didn’t really want to know what ghoulish creature we would face, but it occurred to me that whatever it was might have the ability to outrun us, so I figured it would prove more practical to meet our adversary. I turned around as did the others, and we saw… Jett! We all felt foolish for getting scared of a little kitty, and I could only have imagined the impression we made on my neighbors! We all needed some time to recover, so we watched Jett circle the front yard. I pondered why she hadn’t come to me when I called her earlier, she had to have heard me from there!
“Shoo! Shoo, demon cat!” Fletcher tried to usher her away.
“She’s not a demon cat! That’s my cat! I named her Jett.” My instinct had been to defend my pet, but Fletcher’s comment prompted me to consider something- if Jett wasn’t demonic, then what was she doing in that house? She seemed pretty harmless in my home; the biggest offenses committed were laying on my bed at just the right spot so I couldn’t pull up my blankets and wanting out when I had just gotten myself comfortable, so I had no cause to view her as anything but trustworthy. The fact that she had gone into that house was troubling though! Had I gotten tricked by a wicked force?
Jett chose a spot and squatted, and we realized that she had chosen to relieve herself right there! “See! She’s not evil! She’s creating landmines for our enemies!” I sincerely believed that. It didn’t make sense to me that she would take a dump somewhere where she might trod on it, so I firmly maintained that she was taking a stand against whatever malevolent figure resided there! It made me swell with pride to have a cat who showed so much moxie!
After she finished, Jett tried to scurry away from there, but she stepped onto something that got caught on her foot! It appeared to be a piece of paper, and its tape got stuck on her back paw. She couldn’t get it off, so she put together the face that she wouldn’t be able to rid herself of it. She decided to ignore it and attempted to walk off with it attached to her. Aleck hollered, “She’s taking off with a clue!”
We all chased her, and she dashed into the woods. Phoebe suddenly had a revelation, “Guys, cats won’t come ot people who are running after them! We gotta let her come to us!”
“How do we do that? She wouldn’t go to me when I called her for her din-din!” Did I just say that? I don’t think I had ever used the term din-din in my life up until that very moment! What was it about her that evoked that kind of effect on me? I cringed, but luckily everyone was too preoccupied to ridicule me for that.
‘We could lure her with food,” Ellie threw out there. “It works on my dogs, and you said she didn’t eat yet.”
I was so glad that she hadn’t repeated my din-din phrase! I offered, “I can try tempting her with her bowl again.” Phew! I didn’t blurt din-din out again!
Fletcher let us know, “I have some chicken in my truck we could use.”
As he retrieved a fresh bag of fast food from his vehicle, Ginger queried, “You came here with dinner? Did you think we were gonna take a meal break fighting vampire men?”
“Hey! This place didn’t have a line- they never have an empty drive-thru! I had to take advantage of the opportunity!” Fletcher defended himself. He broke off a piece of chicken and stopped as low as his bad knees would allow him. “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty! Here, Rhett!”
“Jett!” I corrected him.
Fletcher grumbled, “Whatever your name is, come here!” For a while, I didn’t think that this would work out, but thankfully, Jett poked her head out and cautiously crept towards us. She gingerly sniffed Fletcher’s offering, and when she decided to trust him, she picked it up with her mouth and began eating! I quickly bent down and held her as Phoebe detached the paper from her fur. She didn’t appreciate that as much as she should have! Like, jeez! If someone helped you by taking off what got stuck to your body, wouldn’t’ you feel grateful?
Once the paper got removed, Jett hissed and ran back into the woods. I hoped that she would forgive me, but I couldn’t think about that right then! My curiosity returned and burned with intensity as we gazed at the paper! Phoebe flipped it over from its blank side, and what we saw printed on the sheet shocked us!