Another flash fiction challenge. For this one, a word generator coughed up five random words, which had to be incorporated into the story.
My cell phone buzzed with a text from one of the spotters: “TG N ANDR-53 E-S SOLO”. Pretty simple: Our target was heading north on Anderson Avenue, at 53rd Street. Target was on the east side and alone.
The sun had set ten minutes ago. It was still fairly light, but dusk would soon be here. The target never came out before sundown and she was back in her apartment before sunrise.
She had to be, she was a vampire. She worked at night. So did we. I sang softly: “Heard of a van, loaded with weapons, packed up and ready to go.” My spotter looked at me askance. Oh, well, back to work.
We had to be sure about her. I keyed the radio: “Sierra five, Sierra actual, eyes on prize?”
“Verify protocol two.” My spotter looked at me funny. We had to be sure. He was. I wanted to be even surer. My mission, my team. My call.
“Wait one.” It took about fifteen seconds. “Sierra five reads two two Charlie.”
“Sierra actual, roger. All units, prize verified.” 22 degrees Celsius was the skin temperature of the target. 35C or so was normal for humans.
I hummed to myself. “Heard of a grave site, out by the highway, a place that nobody knows.”
The reports kept coming in. The target was moving north along Anderson. She was keeping to her normal routine. She would go up Anderson to the 75th street entrance to the metro. Then she’d go downtown to the end of the line. Down where the disposable people lived and worked: Drug abusers, prostitutes, runaways.
Not that this was a nice neighborhood. But it was more desolate, not many people after the working day ended.
She’d go downtown. She’d find somebody that nobody would miss and she’d feed. Usually it was some strung-out male that she’d flirt with, lure him away from others for a bit of romance. Or so he would think.
It was both good and bad that she chose to feed there. Bad because it took us too long to find her. Good because we could keep a lid on it. Vampires might be fun in literature, but there was nothing romantic about them. They were demons in human form. They hunted humans. We hunted them back.
She was one for whom we knew a lot– turned in 1967. She had had cancer at age 32 and somehow found a vampire who would turn her. So she looked pretty good for the age of 75, nice figure and all of that. But because she had lost her hair to chemotherapy, turning mean that she never grew it back. She had to wear wigs and she liked nice ones. Expensive ones, all human hair. They had to be replaced, wigs apparently tended to be damaged by her victims. Which was how we were able to track her down.
She’d be in range in a few minutes.
Killing vampires was difficult. It meant going up close and personal with a creature who was stronger and faster and more agile than any human. They had excellent hearing and fast reflexes. Crossbows were good, but you had to still get very close so the target couldn’t react to the sound of the crossbow bolt being shot.
We hoped to change all that tonight.
“Sierra actual, Sierra four. Prize two bravo, inbound.” She was two blocks away.
Three minutes later, my spotter hissed. “I have her.”
We had pulled a tall dresser near the window. My rifle was on a bipod. I stood behind it and looked through the telescopic sight. “I’ve got her.”
My spotter pulled back for a quick overall look. “No conflicts, take her.”
Hooray for that. This was our fifth attempt and our third position. We’d been all over this town.
She wasn’t walking too fast. The line of fire wasn’t that divergent from her path, anyway. I applied pressure to the trigger and held the crosshairs where I wanted them to be.
PFFwhaaat. That was all the sound that the rifle made.
I worked the bolt and got back on target.
The vampire was one hundred fifty meters away, on her hands and knees, her head thrown back, howling a sound that no human could make. It was beyond blood-curdling. It was as though someone had rammed a marlinspike through your ears and into your soul. People ten blocks away could probably hear it. Lord only knows what they thought they were hearing.
The vampire straightened up her upper body. She was still on her knees. I didn’t want her to get back on her feet. Ever.
PFFwhaaat. Another 260 grain bullet smashed into her chest. I threw the bolt again and got back on target. I was about to fire a third round when the vampire shuddered and came apart in a cloud of dust.
My spotter keyed his radio: “Cleanup on Aisle Two.”
There wasn’t much to clean up. The cleaners mainly had to see if they could find the bullets. Those silver bullets cost about $25 apiece, which wasn’t all that much in the scheme of things. But we’d rather they not be found. Inconvenient questions might be asked.
This ain’t no party, after all.