Part 144 – Elsie Comes Home

Elsie walked through the forest.

It was dark.

The path was vastly inconsistent. It was visible for a few feet only to be engulfed with weeds and grasses for a whole yard and back to a path again.

But Elsie was in her woods and she knew it well. It was her home.

Her sanctuary.

And her house was her palace.

She stepped over a log and deftly avoided an opossum-sized hole in the ground.

She sighed. “I suppose I could have just driven around to the other side of the forest and pulled into my driveway.”

I’m glad I didn’t. I need to think.

Everything I told Hildreth is true. Everything. Every word. I love him.

I do.

As for Ambrose—

She stopped and listened.

Footsteps.

Barely audible.

Coming her way.

She pulled out her stakes and counted.

One.

Two.

Three.

Four.

“Hello, pretty girl all alone in the woods. So helpless. So alone.”

“I am alone.”

He laid his hands on her shoulders. “How about a small kiss?” His fingers crept along her neckline.

She kicked that small space right below his knees.

One.

Two.

He fell, grabbed her ankles, and pulled her down.

She kicked him in the face. Hard.

He released her and let loose a wildly inhuman yell.

She dove at him and staked him. “I am not helpless.”

Elsie didn’t want him to do the horror movie trope and jump out of the bushes at her when she least expected it. She sat beside him and watched the light fade from his eyes.

And she thought about Ambrose.

One day, I might have to do this to him.  I’ll have to stake him and his eyes will grow dark and empty. And he will be truly dead.

She imagined it a bit too vividly and her heart sank. But if I have to do it…If I must…

Why does it have to be like this? Why do they have to hunt us? Why can’t we live in peace?

She reclaimed her stake. “I suppose an antelope might ask the same question about a lion.” There will never be peace between us because it just isn’t possible. They are hunters and always will be. And we will always be their prey. Until they can find an alternate energy source.

She resumed her journey.

***

Four vampire surprise attacks later, she followed the path’s turn and curve to her house.

She stopped.

Her house was gone.

It wasn’t even a salvageable wreck. The house was nothing but ashes and nature’s ruins.

It was like staring at a loved one’s grave.

Another vampire leapt out at her and knocked her to the ground.

Elsie fought back with savage energy. There was no elegance or grace to her fighting moves. It was just all pure brute strength and aggression.

She staked him and his light faded into death’s unknown land.

She cried out and staked him again and again and again.

A man’s hand grabbed her wrist.

She screamed and tackled him down.

“Elsie!”

She came to her senses. “Hildreth?” Her breath came out in short gasps. “Why are you here? You said you were going to stay in the car. You said…”

He hugged her.

She melted into his arms and sobbed into his shirt.

“Who did this?”

“Mark Caten.”

“That swine.” He kissed the side of her head. “It’s all right, Elsie. It’s okay. It’s okay.”

No, it isn’t. It’s all so far from okay, but his arms around me…His voice…”Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For being here when I needed you.”

He leaned the side of his face against her head. There were so many things he could have said. Some right. Some wrong. Serious words. Flippant words. But he said nothing.

He just held her and let her cry.

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8 thoughts on “Part 144 – Elsie Comes Home”

      1. I was the same way, but I get bored with long, drawn out action. The writer doesn’t have to describe every swing or shot; in fact I think it’s more effective if it’s fast, brief in description, and to the point. That way the reader is placed inside the action,rather than out of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. First big action scene I tried to write involved an elf who was an expert swordsman and an ordinary guy who was far from expert. I wanted their fight to show the difference in their skill levels. The elf would fight in such a way that it would feel/look like a dance while the human would be more like a chicken running around without its head. I had no idea how to show that without abusing the words blocking, blocked, thrust, parry. I wound up putting the story into long term hold.

        One of these days, I’ll pull it out and work on making that fight scene sing. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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