The footsteps came closer.
The creature stopped in the light and struggled to catch his breath.
A thick scar ran from the highest point of his forehead down through his right cataracted eye all the way down to his jaw. His skin was heavily bruised. His left arm hung limp and crooked.
Barbara’s fear turned to pity. “Who did this to you?”
The vampire raised his head and looked at her with his one good eye. He bared his fangs. He took another step towards her and fell to his one good hand and knees.
He bowed his head. His breath came in and out in wheezes.
I don’t know what to do. “Ambrose?”
She walked over to the vampire and hesitated. I don’t want him to bite me, but…
“Isellta.” He crumpled to the floor. “Isellta. Hungry. Hungry. ‘sellta.” He closed his good eye to half-mast.
Barbara wondered if he could close it all the way.
Ambrose finally broke through. “Barbara! What?” He knelt beside the other vampire and shook him. “Hey.”
The other vampire curled his knees upward and groaned.
“Are you the only one here?”
He focused on Ambrose. “Vampire.”
“Yes, I’m a vampire. Are you alone?”
He stared at Ambrose with a significant lack of understanding.
“Are there any other vampires here?”
Still no understanding.
Ambrose looked up to Barbara for help.
She came down beside him. “Hi.”
He licked his lips with his dry tongue. “Hungry.”
“We’re here to rescue you.”
Ambrose startled. “What?”
“Is there anyone else here who needs rescuing?”
Tears ran down the one side of his face. “‘sellta.”
“Okay. Anyone else?”
“Isellta. My Isellta. ‘sell…” And he drooped into unconsciousness.
Ambrose frowned. “Since when is this a Save The Vampires mission? I came in here to get you.”
“He needs help.”
“I don’t care. I just want to get us both out of this accursed place.”
“Ambrose. We can’t leave him here. It wouldn’t be right.”
“Why? It’s not like he’s going to die.”
“He’s hurt. You know I can’t leave him like this. It would be wrong. It would be cruel.”
“Barbara. He’s broken. He should be staked.”
She looked up at him. “You’ve been broken.”
He stood and stalked back to the broken wall.
She got up and followed him. “Ambrose.”
“What do you care? He’s just another vampire.” He turned to face her. “Why do you care?”
“Oh.” He’s jealous. I actually made him jealous! Ha! “I’m not in love with him and I am not planning to fall in love with him. That would be too annoying. He’s obviously in love with this Isellta person. I don’t know if she’s someone in his past or present, but I really don’t want to get looped into another Elsie, Ambrose, and me drama triangle. It’s far too draining on my emotions.”
He smiled. “You really are a brat.”
“But it’s true.” She laid her hands on his chest. “I just feel bad for him. That’s all. I look at him and imagine you. I would never leave you like this.”
He gave the other vampire a silent, disdainful look. “I suppose I’ll have to carry him.”
She smiled. “But true.”