“Hey, you know what?” said Marcus. “You should do it again.”
Raven frowned. “I’m not sure I understand, sir.”
Idden smiled. “Marcus means what you did for us, you should do that again.”
Raven quickly shook his head. “I can’t. I can’t take on that responsibility. Not after what I—”
Idden’s smile fell. “There are other bad vampires out there who need your help.”
“Your protection.” said Roy.
“Yes. Protection. You did it for us.”
“I failed, sir.”
“So, try again.” Idden curled his hand into a fist and pressed it above Raven’s heart. “I know you can do it. I trust you. I believe in you. And believe me, what happened to us wasn’t your fault.”
Raven laid his hand on top of Idden’s hand. It felt strange.
Not quite there.
Yet, he could feel it under his hand and it comforted him. “I will do it. I promise, sir.”
Idden’s hand passed through Raven’s hand. It felt like winter turning into summer without a spring in between.
Idden smiled. “Then, we can leave.”
“Yes. You were the one thing binding us to Earth. We’re free now. I can feel it.” His smile grew into light.
They all turned into light.
Light that was as bright as day, but as cool as night.
Raven averted his gaze.
“Raven.” Their voices combined into a lake ripple of sound.
He reluctantly looked back at them.
The men he had known. Their shapes, their faces, the hair upon their heads, every detail he knew had vanished into clean, pure light.
“My friends. Don’t. Please. Don’t abandon me.”
The one that used to be Idden touched Raven’s chest.
Joy and peace poured into him even as Idden spoke words that crushed Raven’s heart.
“We have to go. It’s our time. We’ve done what we were supposed to do.” His light brightened. “Now. Now, we can go home.”
“Idden. Everyone. Let me be your home. Stay here with me.”
“We can’t.” said Navarre. “We have to go. They’re calling us. Can’t you hear them? ”
“Their voices are music.” said Idden. “Music you’ve never heard. To call it beautiful is an insult. It’s beyond all language. And that’s where we’re going. Raven.” His voice trembled with joy. “That is our home.”
“Let me come with you, sir.”
“We can’t.” said Navarre. “There are vampires here waiting for your help. Help them, Raven. Your time will come. Your night will end. We’ll see you then.”
“How will I find them? How will I know?”
“Hey, don’t sweat it so hard.” said Marcus. It will be just like how you found us. As needed.”
“It won’t be the same, sir. It will not be like when we were all together.”
A small blip of silence.
“Does it have to be?” asked Idden.
Raven wanted to say yes, but it felt like the wrong answer. “I would like it to be so, but I understand it can’t. I’ll miss you. I miss you all.”
“Good-bye, Raven. Thanks for everything.” Idden flickered out like a candle’s flame.
“Good-bye, Raven.” Navarre was the next to go.
“Bye. See you around.” Then, Clay.
“See ya!” Pete.
“Hey, don’t get all down anymore. Remember there are people out there who need you.”
“You just have to find them. Bye!”
And with Marcus’ disappearance, the Bad Vampires Club was gone.