I peered around the entrance of the cavern to see what I was up against, and it made my blood run cold. Thomas, Samantha, and Dane – the vampire hunters – had ransacked the cavern too. All of Peter and Mae’s things had been flipped over and torn apart.
Samantha had cut open Mae’s mattress, and she dug through it. Dane stood at the edge of the cliff, holding a chain in his hands. The chain had been looped through an old pulley system in the ceiling, and Jack hung from the other end of it, right over the edge of the cliff. His hands were bound with chains, and he had blood all over his body. His head hung down, and his body was limp.
Thomas stood off to the side of him, leaning on a walking cane. Or at first I thought it was a walking cane. Then I realized it was a long metal poker, and the end on the ground still glowed orange. They’d set fire to Leif’s books, and the smoke from it stung the air.
“So, you’re still saying that you don’t know where the child is?” Thomas asked. He picked up the poker, twirling it in his hand like a baton.
“No, I’ve already told you she’s dead,” Jack said, and Dane yanked on the chain, making Jack bounce up and down. He grimaced, and his shoulders had already been popped from their sockets. His wrists looked like they’d been crushed, and blood seeped down his arms.
“We need to find the child,” Thomas said firmly. “I don’t think you understand how serious I am.”
“No, I do… I just…” Jack closed his eyes and winced. “I can’t help you.”
Thomas held the poker over the flame from the books, waiting until the end was glowing bright yellow, and he took it out. He stepped toward Jack, raising the poker, and I couldn’t take it anymore.
“Stop!” I shouted and ran inside.
“Alice.” Jack looked at me, and his eyes were wide and terrified.
“Well, well.” Thomas grinned and twirled the hot poker again. “Maybe she can tell us something.”
“No!” Jack shouted. “She doesn’t know anything! Leave her alone!” He struggled against the chains, bucking so hard at them that it had to cause excruciating pain. “Alice! Get out of here!”
“Do you have the child?” Samantha asked. She stood up from her task of butchering the mattress, still holding the knife in her hand, and stepped towards me.
“No,” I said. “But I know where she is.”
“Alice!” Jack yelled. “No, don’t listen to her! She doesn’t know anything! The child is dead!”
“Oh, be quiet.” Thomas sounded bored. While looking at me, he jabbed the burning poker backwards, right into Jack’s abdomen, and he twisted it.
“Stop it!” I yelled. “Stop it or I won’t tell you where she’s at!”
“Tell us where she is, or we’ll kill him,” Thomas countered.
“I don’t think she knows anything,” Samantha sniffed. She stepped closer to me, cocking her head and breathing me in. “I think she’s lying.”
“I think you’re a stupid bitch,” I said.
Her eyes widened, which was probably the biggest reaction I would get out of her. I raised my right arm like I meant to hit her, and when she dodged to the side, I kicked her with my leg, connecting right in her stomach.
As she went to the ground, Samantha tried to swipe out my legs from under me with her knife, but I jumped. She hit the concrete but did a backflip back up, landing on her feet.
She kicked me in my hip, but I grabbed her leg, twisting her around. She jerked the knife back, stabbing me in the stomach, but I ignored that and grabbed her hair and yanked it back.
“Fighting like a typical bitch,” Samantha grinned wickedly at me.
“I’m just getting started.” I pulled the knife from stomach, and I sliced open her neck.
I let go of her, and she wrapped a hand around her throat, trying to stop the blood flow. I turned the knife sideways, and while she held her throat, I stabbed the knife into her chest. It slid in between her ribs and right into her heart.
She stared at me for a moment, and she didn’t fall, so I twisted the knife, making sure she was dead. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head, and she fell back on the concrete.
“That was unexpected,” Thomas said.
I wiped her blood off my hand, trying to make it less slippery, and then I threw the knife at Dane. It only hit him in the shoulder, not enough to really hurt him, but it startled him into letting the chain go. I thought it might, so I started racing forward as soon as I threw the knife.
When I got close to the edge, I jumped. One foot landed on Dane, and I used him as leverage to jump up higher. It also had the side effect of knocking Dane forward, and he fell over the side of the cliff. I heard him yelling as he fell, but I never heard him hit the bottom.
I grabbed the end of the chain just before it slid through the last pulley, stopping it a split second before Jack plummeted down after Dane. The force of Jack falling pulled the chain hard, and it slammed me into the ceiling.
I almost lost my grip, so I looped the chain around my wrist twice. I used my body as an anchor, preventing the chain from slipping through the pulley, and Jack from falling down the endless hole.
Thomas didn’t get to stop us because Peter came in, and he started fighting with him. Thomas turned out to be a much better fighter than his friends, but Peter wasn’t too bad himself. He bounced off a wall to kick Thomas in the head, but Thomas recovered quickly.
Bracing my feet against the ceiling, I tried pulling the chain up. Jack wasn’t that heavy, but I had one wrist bound to the chain, so I had to do it one-handed. Plus, I had to do it hanging upside down, and the angle I pulled it from made it hard to slide through.
“Alice.” Jack stared up at me, his feet dangling over a black, bottomless pit.
“Hold on, Jack. I’m getting you.” I strained on the chain.
The chain cut into my wrist deep, making blood pour down over my arm and the chain. The chain was slick, and it began to slip through my hands. It would deglove my hand soon, and if it did that, the chain would slide free, off my hand, through the pulley, and Jack would fall down…
“Alice, don’t!” Jack yelled.
“No, I’ll get it!” But as soon as I said it, the chain slipped.
I’d pulled Jack up higher, so when the chain slipped through my hand, he fell harder and faster. That put more pressure on my wrist when the chain pulled taut.
The force of it slammed my hand into the pulley, and I heard Jack cry out. The chain had to be nearly tearing off his own hands and arms.