Over Coffee

cup of coffee on white ceramic saucer
Image from Unsplash, taken by Emre

This is the fifth in a series of short stories and you can find the full story here

“What do you mean, you know where the vampire hunters are?” Martin asked the nature spirit seated across the café table from him.

Jack grinned, his eyes bright with mischief. “I know where one is, and I’m not telling you.”

“Don’t be an idiot, Jack,” Martin said. “This isn’t time for games.”

“Oh, I think it is,” Jack said. “Just think of all the fun I can have, leading them a merry dance to chase you and Dean.”

“It’s too dangerous,” Martin said. “And it’s not fair on them. What if they find something that’s actually there?”

“Wouldn’t that be delicious?” Jack said. “It would be quite irresistible.”

“Resist it,” Martin snapped, before looking around the White Hart and lowering his voice. The supernatural supply shop wasn’t busy, but there were a few tourists hanging around the fairy figurines. The last thing that they needed was to be overheard.

“He’s soooo earnest,” Jack said. “He’s taking exercise to better fight off the evil fanged foe.”

“I’m warning you,” Martin put down his coffee cup and loomed over Jack.

“It’s not like you’re going to get a mob waving poorly made stakes,” Jack said. “The most I could hope for is a run on garlic in the supermarket. I wonder what they’ll try next?”

“It could drive them mad,” Martin said. “You need to send Darren over to them.”

“He’s already spoken to Darren,” Jack said. “The padre is a marvellous exorcist, but he isn’t much of a shepherd to his flock, is he? It sounds like he made quite the mess of it.”

Martin narrowed his eyes. “It’s the one that tried to rescue Kayla, isn’t it?”

“I heard all about that!” Jack’s eyes glinted with laughter. “I don’t know. But I know he has pictures of Rey, your wife’s former lover from before you woke up.”

What?” Martin stared at him.

“He was a vampire as well, you know. It seems that Lady Freydis has a taste for necking-”

Martin hauled Jack out of his chair and punched him hard with the speed that only a vampire could manage. Jack was slow to read it and caught the full force, sailing over the counter and bouncing into the floor in the back room. “Do not speak of my wife like that!” Martin snarled, striding towards the counter, fury in every inch of him.

Rhys slouched over the car park of the White Hart towards the door. He had avoided it so far. There had been receipts around from the store, and it looked like there could be a connection. He had to risk it, though. It seemed to be the best source of occult books and paraphernalia so perhaps vampires shopped there. Maybe there was a notice board or something. Mentally he grinned. Perhaps there should be something like ‘wanted, kids scooter in good condition’ and ‘for sale, coffee table’ and ‘for sale or swap, silk lined coffin, lightly used’. He opened the door and stared. A tall man, like the vampire that Alex had described, dark and dangerous looking, was staring past the old woman minding the counter, and every sense in Rhys’ body screamed at him to run. This was death, this was dominion, this was rage and power and darkness that could overcome him with a thought. This was a vampire that ruled the devil. Without any rational thought, Rhys turned and sprinted away, his vampiric speed taking him out of sight before Martin could move to stop him.

Martin stared impotently after the fleeing vampire, then stalked around the counter and into the back room where Jack was massaging his jaw, still sprawled on the floor. “Hell and damnation! I’ve just seen a vampire – a fledgeling! I haven’t created one, and I’m damned sure that Dean hasn’t, so now I have to track down the poor kid that’s just fled, plus have a word with their creator to ask why they haven’t presented themselves at court. The last thing I need is a boy scout vampire hunter messing around. Get it stopped, Jack.” Without waiting for an answer, Martin disappeared.

Jack looked thoughtfully at the space Martin left. Martin had been old when he came with the Roman legions to York. He had seen all humanity and was surprised and shaken by so little. To see Martin so rattled was a gift beyond price. He had to find the fledgeling first, and then set the hunters on their merry chase. What fun!

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