Flash Fiction: Assassins versus Vampires

Last week’s challenge was to pick a one group of people from one table, pick another from another table and pit them together. It was due last Friday, so it’s hella late but I’m going to post it anyway. This is the first writing I’ve done in about 3 months, and I could tell. The characters aren’t very complex, and the story reads more like a scene in an action movie, but I had a lot of fun writing it. Also used the term “assassin” pretty loosely. Anyway, hope you like it.

“It went into the goddamn Walmart,” Jill muttered to Jack as they crossed the massive parking lot. She sheathed her specially-made wooden bowie knife at her hip, tugging her flannel shirt down over it as she scanned the parking lot, looking for others.

“Should we split up, or stick together?”

“Let’s split up. There’s only one of ‘em but the store is huge. We’ll cover more ground and maybe get outta here sooner.”

“You sure?”

“I’ll be fine. Even if it has a buddy, I can take a couple of ‘em myself. Me ‘n Irene have it covered.” She patted her shirt above the knife as she walked through the automatic doors, Jack just behind her. “Motherfucker, it’s bright in here.” The contrast between the darkness outside and the flood of fluorescent lights inside nearly blinded her.

“No kidding. That bloodsucker must be in agony.” Jack shielded his eyes against the glare while he scanned the entrance. Aside from the greeter swaying on his feet, half asleep, the store was deserted. One cashier’s light was on, but there was nobody at the till. Not a single customer in sight.

“I’ll head upstairs while you check down here. Yell if you need backup,” she whispered to Jack. He nodded, then they both silently headed down the main aisle. She scanned the aisles that branched off to the right, Jack the left, but there was no sign of the vamp so far. Not a single person, either. Just rows of make-up, shampoo, and cheap shower gel. About halfway down the center aisle, the escalator chugged up to the second level. A shopping cart was jammed near the top gate, clanking against a metal post.

“God, that’s loud. Should be louder than me, I reckon. I’m headin’ up,” Jill said, pointing to the top of the escalator. Jack nodded, and pointed further along the center aisle as he headed that way. Jill stepped on the stairs, ducking down until she was shorter than the handrail so she wouldn’t be seen. She watched the landing for any vamps, hand at her knife just in case.

Once she got to the top, Jill headed straight for the nearest wall, at the elevator. It was out of order, which meant the only way up or down was the escalator. Good for her, since the vamp could only get to her one way. Bad for her because there was only one way back down.

Jill slid along the wall to the left, peering around the corner. Electronics. Not a sign of anyone, living or dead. Just a row of flat screen TVs playing some terrible 80’s movie on silent, and the sound of video games auto-playing car races and battle scenes. She crept back along the wall to the right and peeked around that corner. Housewares. Rows and rows of sheets, towels, and pillows, and beyond those, kitchen appliances. Jill headed in that direction. The vamp might not be there, but where there were blenders, there were knives, and Jill could always use an extra weapon.

She was only halfway down the first aisle, children’s bedding, when she heard something, causing her to jump. It was just a soft shuffling sound the next aisle over, but it was the first sign there was anyone on this floor besides her. She crept to the end of the aisle, peeking around the corner as she turned to the next one. She pressed herself against the display of beach towels as sought the source of the sound, then visibly relaxed. Just some middle-aged guy, in track pants and a stained Bulls tank, shoving plastic bed-in-a-bags around on the shelf. Definitely not the vamp she was tracking.

“S’cuze me, you work here? I’m lookin’ for a queen size an’ all I kin see are dubbles,” said the guy, turning towards Jill.

“Do I look like I work here?” she replied, indicating her flannel shirt, loose jeans, and hunting boots.

“Nah, you look like a hunter,” said the guy, dropping the bag he was holding to the floor, canines flashing as he grinned at her. Fuck fuck fuck. A vamp. Lightning fast, Jill pulled Irene from her sheath, taking a defensive stance as she took a couple steps back. Into another body. That wrapped its arms around her waist, pinning her. Double fuck. An icy fear flooded her body as she realized why the store was so deserted, even in the middle of the night. This Walmart was a goddamn vamp nest.

Reflexively, Jill stomped on the foot nearest her own, as hard as she could, slamming her elbow into the vamp’s gut. It shrieked and let her go, and she bolted down the aisle, knife pointed towards the redneck vamp as she flew past it. She pivoted on one foot and headed straight for the escalator.

“Jack!” she screeched, hoping her voice would carry to wherever he was. “It’s a nest!” She reached the escalator, sure the two vamps were on her heels, but when she reached it, she halted. The jammed cart was gone. And the escalator was shut off. She’d have to run down, leaving her in the open for the entire descent. Fuck that. Sheathing Irene again, she turned and bolted in the other direction, sprinting past rows of dishtowels and tablecloths. She turned right and kept running until she found the kitchen utensils. She grabbed a handful of wooden spoons and kept going till she hit the back of the second floor. Not ideal weapons but they would have to do.

At this end, there was a half wall, with a birds-eye view of the entire grocery section below. She scanned it frantically, looking for any sign of Jack. There. In the frozen foods section, directly in front of her. His back to the freezer, surrounded by three bloodsuckers. Jill dropped the spoons to the floor beneath her, perched up on the half wall, and jumped down.

She managed to stay on her feet when she landed, but her feet and knees weren’t happy about it. Too fuckin’ bad. She grabbed the spoons and sprinted towards Jack, hoping that their clattering didn’t draw too much attention, and she’d be able to catch at least one of the vamps by surprise.

She slowed her steps once she reached the aisle nearest Jack, holding her finger to her lips as his eyes widened in recognition. She moved as quickly and quietly as she could towards him, one spoon held in both hands. When she was right behind the vamp in the centre, she snapped the spoon in half and shoved the jagged end of the handle in its back, at heart-level. It screeched in pain and surprise, wheeling to face her before staggering to its knees. Jill jumped back to avoid its reach for her legs, dropping the other half of the spoon and reaching for Irene.

“It’s a nest!” She stepped around the felled vamp, and the pool of black blood spreading along the floor. Then, she grabbed the second vamp by its tattered leather jacket, shoved her knife into its chest, yanked it out and threw the body to the floor, all in one smooth motion.

“Ya think?” Jack pulled his custom-made wooden stake from its holster and sank it into the third vamp’s chest, all the way to the engraved metal handle. “So, do we run or fight? I have no idea how many there are. Maybe we’re outnumbered.”

“You know me, I’ll always fight, but you’re right ‘bout being outnumbered. There are at least two bloodsuckers on the top floor. Maybe more. And we still haven’t found the vamp that lured us here to begin with.”

Jack pulled his stake out of the now-dead vampire and wiped the blood on his jeans before returning it to its holster. He began to jog towards the main entrance, Jill following. “We can always come back with reinforcements,” he said, rounding the corner and passing the row of check-out stands. Then he froze.

“Hmm, maybe not,” Jill said, halting beside him as she spotted the cluster of vamps blocking their escape. This was bad. Two hunters, with only two weapons between them, and at least a dozen bloodsuckers. Then Jill remembered; there had to be an emergency exit around somewhere. And if all the vamps were here, maybe they wouldn’t be as well-guarded. She grabbed Jack’s sleeve, pulling him back the way they had come.

“Where are we going?” He pushed her hand off as they broke into a sprint.

“Emergency exit. Did you see one?”

“No. But there must be a delivery door near the dairy section.”

“Good ‘nuff for me.” Jill scanned the huge signs around the grocery area, spotting the dairy section halfway along the back wall. They reached the end of the checkouts and turned right, heading for the set of swinging doors just beyond the dairy cases. As they reached them, two vamps slid in front of them, blocking their way. Jack and Jill both drew their wooden weapons and lunged at the vamps, but the bloodsuckers stepped aside just in time for both hunters to stagger through the doors, nearly losing their footing. Jill recovered and looked around. It appeared deserted.

“There’s the door,” said Jack, heading towards it.

“Wait. Them bloodsuckers didn’t just let us go. There must be some sort of trap.”

“There’s nobody here. Let’s go before that changes.” Jack reached the delivery door and pushed the bar to open it. Locked. Or Barricaded. From the outside.

“Double fuck!” Jill cried in frustration. “I knew it!” Both of them scanned the entire back area, looking for any exit, but the only way out was back through the store. Jill took a deep breath, willing herself to calm down. She wasn’t sure if she’d been in worse situations, but she needed to get the hell out of this one.

“Wait,” she said, walking towards the dairy cooler. “Can you fit ‘tween the shelves? If we move them jugs out the way?”

“Yeah, I think so.” He joined her, and they quickly pulled the jugs of milk out, tossing them behind them. There was just enough room to crouch through. Jill looked through the glass to make sure the area was clear before quietly sliding the door open and sneaking out of the cooler. A cluster of vamps surrounded the other door; none of them noticed her. She crept backwards, away from the vamps; a moment later, Jack had done the same.

Jill slid over into an aisle near the bakery department, checking to make sure it was empty first. Her and Jack dashed down the aisle, halting at the end of it. Jack peeked around the corner, looking right, then left, then motioned for her to go. As quietly as possible, they made for the women’s clothing section, the closest section near the entrance. The clothing racks made for good cover, too; they ducked from one to the other as they approached the entrance once more.

The only thing between them and freedom now were the self check-out counters. Just a few more feet. And, as Jill looked out the automatic doors, she was greeted by an even more welcome sight. Sunlight. She didn’t even realize until now that the store must be east-facing because the entire entrance way was flooded with it.

“C’mon. Let’s get the hell outta here. We’ll come back tonight with the others,” Jack said, heading towards the doors. Jill followed, and they strolled right out of the store. Like they had been shopping, not hunting. Except she was exhausted, her jeans were ripped at the knee, and her boots were covered with blood that looked like tar.

Jill pulled out her phone and dialled. “Hey, I don’t know what that vamp you had us hunt stole from you, but the price to get it back just tripled.”

 

 

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