Warning: This work has been rated 16+.
Ezra must have been sat on the kitchen floor for hours. The disgusting mess that had once been his dear friend had gone cold like old meat. But he hadn’t moved. Why should he? Where would he go? The world seemed to be ending and his need for self-preservation was waning. He wasn’t angry anymore. He was just… tired.
The front door clattered open and the bloody, broken table leg was clutched in his bloody hands in an instant. Was it more pyscho vamps? Here to finish him off now? He bared his fangs. Well, he wasn’t going to make it easy for them. No. He was going to enjoy slaughtering those fuckers.
Okay, maybe he was still angry.
Footsteps clicked leisurely across the hallway laminate and Ezra sighed with relief, dropping the table leg onto the floor with a squelch at the sight of his Maker.
Silas surveyed the bloody mess. He was dressed immaculately as always. His hands were slotted casually into the pockets of his trousers. “Who’s that?” he asked, using a slight tip of his head as a gesture to the entrails and tattered clothing.
A lump suddenly lodged in Ezra’s throat but he managed to choke out, “Gabriel.”
Silas frowned and he bowed his head solemnly. “You were in a lot of pain.”
Tears pressed against the back of Ezra’s eyes. Silas must have felt his suffering. Maybe he had accidently sent him a Cry for Help like Lillian had when she had killed Ben.
Silas crossed over the tiles, marring his polished shoes with Gabriel’s remains. He stopped by Ezra’s side and Ezra dropped against him, his bloody fingers knotting into the stiff material of his trouser leg. Silas’s rough hand stroked his matted hair in silence while his progeny cried.
“I didn’t know what else to do,” Ezra sobbed. “He was out of control. They all are.” His body convulsed as all of his emotions came rushing out of him, tumbling over each other like crashing waves in a storm. “It’s the diet isn’t it? The animal blood? It’s messed us up.”
“It appears so,” said Silas, the deep timbre of his voice oddly soothing. A life raft cast out into tumultuous waters. Ezra clung to it desperately. “It’s happening everywhere. It must be why more of our kind have ventured here, seeking whatever they can. Our hungry is coming back with vengeance. It’s taking down all of us, one by one.”
Using his Maker’s trousers like a tissue, Ezra rubbed his face and looked up at him. Silas’ impossibly blue eyes gazed down at him with a softness he’d never witnessed before.
“Is it going to get to us?” Ezra asked, the questioning lilt in his voice making him sound like a fearful child asking his father if the monster under the bed was really gone.
The muscles in Silas’ jaw flexed. “At some point. We’re older. It’ll take longer. But it would be foolish for us to think we’re above this. We need to take what is happening as a warning for what is in store for us.”
Ezra dropped back against the kitchen cabinet, releasing his knotted grip in Silas’ trousers. He gazed down at the bloody mess. The strip of Gabriel’s shirt was still woven around the fingers of his other hand like a collection of rings. “What do we do?”
“We need to go somewhere secluded- with a low human population – and barricade ourselves. Separately. We can’t risk us changing and killing each other.”
Ezra thought about the plan. About entombing himself like Dracula. His lips uplifted and a hollow huff of a laugh escaped him. Gabriel would have loved that reference.
“So, we’d just waste away in there?” Ezra asked hollowly. Without blood, they would both go into hibernation; living corpses waiting to be released from their eternal slumber.
“It’s better than wreaking havoc and taking innocent lives, isn’t it?”
Ezra looked around the room, at the blood spray arching up the fridge. The clumpy goop congealed on the cabinet door handles and hardened on the dining chairs. The living room beyond the wall, shut off from visitors due to the musky, old blood smell and the sticky furniture. The bricks on the outside still stained with red painted thrown by the angry mob.
This house wasn’t a home anymore. It was a place of pain and despair.
Then he looked down at himself and his whole body sagged. Gabriel’s blood covered his hands like red gloves. As he stared down at them, all he could think about was all the other times his hands looked like this. All the times he’d killed. All the lives he had cruelly ripped away when following the wicked guidance of the man beside him. But despite how many blood siblings he had destroyed in the past, and his own offspring, the thought had never crossed his mind that Gabriel would follow suit.
Gabriel had been different. Yes, he had made mistakes but he was good. He had integrity. He had morals – even if they had been a little murky.
Ezra rubbed the pads of his fingers together, feeling the slimy texture of the blood.
Gabriel would be his final kill.
Stiffly, Ezra nodded, accepting the road ahead. Silas held out his hand. Ezra grabbed it and his Maker hoisted him up to his feet. Meaty clumps tumbled off him and plopped to the ground, joining the rest of the mess. A dull ache throbbed in Ezra’s bones as he stretched, his joints creaking after being in the same position for far too long.
They stood facing one another. Silas appraised his progeny and flicked a bit of goop off his shoulder. Ezra’s arm wounds had healed, but the memory of his friend trying to rip him apart tightened his features and sat heavily on his chest.
“Get yourself cleaned up,” said Silas, gesturing upstairs. “I’ll do what I can with this mess.”
Ezra nodded obediently and headed for the shower, his fist curled tightly around the strip of fabric, desperate not to lose it.
It was 3am and Becca was still driving. Hicklesbury had been left behind a long time ago, along with her best friend, and her grandad. Tears welled in her eyes and she shook her head to rid them. There were more cars on the road than usual. Most likely driven by people with a similar plan as her. The plan simply being ‘get away.’ She wondered if any of the other drivers had a destination, or were they just as frantic and lost as she was.
But as Becca headed onto the motorway, she found herself following a route she hadn’t taken in over five years. The last time she had seen her parents, it had been at Christmas. She had put on a brave face and tried her best to play along with the chitter chatter and feigned interest in her aunties second marriage. But her mum had been quick to steer the conversation towards where Becca had moved to, and why, while they ate turkey and stuffing.
Her mum’s mouth had that pinching uppity shape to it which only happened when she was discouraging her daughter’s life choices in a fun and pleasant tone to come across as charming and not at all inappropriate. She had talked about how Becca was insulting her father by insisting on keeping Julian in the family, after her mother had done a splendid job of cutting him out. It was as if all that hard work had been for nothing.
But Becca didn’t see it that way. She didn’t think that people’s pasts had to define them. She had caught a glimpse of a small, proud smile on her dad’s face when she had spoken up against her mum. He didn’t join in the discussion, but Becca knew that he understood her; he just didn’t wish to get on the wrong side of Kathy, which she couldn’t blame him for.
Soon, Becca was off the motorway and back on smaller, quieter roads as she headed towards her quaint, childhood home. Empty fields gave way to empty pubs and shuttered cottages.
Her heart began to hammer and her hands were clammy against the steering wheel as she started familiarising herself with the place.
She drove past the bus stop where Charlie Matthews tried to kiss her when she was twelve. She’d ended up freaking out and tried to run all the way home, only for her to call her dad when she gotten lost and he had spent an hour driving around the town trying to find her.
The streets were desolate, and she hoped with every fibre of her being that what was happening in Hicklesbury was an isolated situation. She didn’t really understand how it could be. She didn’t really understand what the situation was. But she just needed to remain positive.
She turned a corner and slammed her foot on the break, her heart leaping to her throat at the sight of two black figures in the middle of the road. There were streetlamps dotted about but only bright enough to give everything a weird, dull, orange quality. She squinted, trying to make out the figures.
One was taller than the other. They both moved closer, the shorter one staying a few paces behind.
Panic set in as they veered to come up to her window. She slammed her foot on the gas but she was shaking so much, her foot jerked and the car juddered, and stalled.
The taller of the two figures was male. She could now see him clearly as he stood by her wing mirror. He had long, dark, shoulder length hair. He had a bohemian quality to him. His clothes too baggy and relaxed, his hair ruffled and unkept but in a way that seemed purposeful.
He leaned down and his pale face filled the window. Becca bit down a fearful whimper. The stranger’s thin lips formed a sad sort of smile and he rapped his knuckle against the glass. She locked eyes with him and her whole body loosened.
Two soft, blue orbs gazed at her. A warmth spread across her heart as he studied her face. The man was beautiful, with high cheekbones and skin the colour of ivory. His eyebrow quirked up in a helpless motion as he pointed downwards.
“Open your window.” His voice was as decadent as dark chocolate. Rich and smooth and wistful.
She obeyed, her fingers pressing down the button before her mind even registered what she was doing. It was as if her brain had turned to mush. All she cared about was what this beautiful stranger wanted her to do.
The window rolled down silently and a hiss came from behind the stranger. A young, redhaired girl appeared from his back, fangs out and eyes as black as the night.
“Stay back, Evie,” snapped the man. His voice was different that time. It reverberated through the air and hung there with purpose.
The young girl receded, disappearing from view.
“I need you to do something for me and my companion here,” the man said to Becca, his voice returning to its succulent tone.
Becca felt her head nod and a single word tumbled from her lips, “Anything.”
The beautiful stranger smiled, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. There was a flash of pain there. It was only for a second, and Becca forgot it instantly.
“I need you to take us to an address I’m going to give to you. You’re going to take us down into the basement and tie us up with these.” It was then that Becca noticed he had a bag slung over his narrow shoulder. The backpack dropped to the ground with a heavily clang. He bent down and she heard him unzip the bag and then growl in pain. Her hand flew to the door handle to go and aid him but he reappeared at the window. Thick leather gloves now covered his pale hands, and in them was a knot of thick, shiny chain. It draped across the sleeve of his corduroy skirt and pooled by his feet.
“You’re going to wrap us both up in this, okay?”
“We don’t want to hurt you. This is for your protection.”
“Okay. We’re going to get in the back of your car now.”
Becca let them. He took the seat directly behind her, the bag lodged between his long legs, and the redhead slid in beside him. Her eyes were no longer black but she kept her gaze on her lap; subdued. The man watched her, his eyebrows pinched with unease. He placed a hand on her lap, no longer gloved.
“We’re going to make it,” he said in a hushed tone. “This will work.”
The girl nodded and looked out the window, but her hand blindly found his and squeezed.
“She’ll be our only kill. One sacrifice to save hundreds,” he spoke softly.
A spike of fear shot through Becca. Were they talking about her? As if pulled from a reverie, she regained control of her mind and went to grab the door handle. Something blurry flashed before her and she heard the click of the door lock. Her heart thudded and her eyes flickered up to the rear-view mirror. The man was sitting behind her like he hadn’t even moved. His eyes locked onto her reflection. The warm sensation casted over her again. Entranced by his soothing gaze, she couldn’t look away.
He watched her, like a wolf inspecting a fawn. A wetness swelled in her eyes, her real emotions seeping through her fake calm. “Once you’ve tied us up, I’m going to give you a date, it’ll be in a few months’ time, and you are going to come back and release us, okay?”
She nodded, letting a tear slip free. It rolled down her cheek and dropped onto her lap.
“Say you will.”
“I will,” she said affirmatively, her voice alien to her own ears. And just like that, Becca’s fate was sealed.
AUTHOR NOTE: So, we've reached the end! Hope you all enjoyed the read! Huge huge thank you to @starlitmind and @Stormblessed242 for being amazing loyal readers, your reviews have really kept me going!
Also, no need to be too sad that we have reached the end because there is a whole other novel set in this same world fourteen years on from this global massacre.
If you are confused by the final scene (which you most likely are), it is because in links to what happens in The Progeny.
The very first draft of The Progeny is on here but I have edited and tweaked it over the past few years and have published it on Amazon. I've learned a lot about writing these past few years so if you do wanna read the novel, I would HIGHLY recommend grabbing a copy from Amazon. You'll get it at a much better quality and you'll be helping out this new author <3
If you know anyone who might like this world I have created, please spread the word! You can read the books in either order.
I don't know if links work on here but just type 'The Progeny by Shelley Crowley' on Amazon and it'll come up. I'm also on Goodreads, so if you do give it a read, please leave a review!
THANK YOU AGAIN FOR STICKING WITH ME!
I'll be editing this over the next month or so and have this published on Amazon too :)