“You Catens are the worst!” Elsie launched a fury of blows at the cloaked woman. “Back-stabbing jerks! Obnoxious! Egomaniacs! Odious! Silty seedy germ slime parameciums with the wits of a sloth on drugs!”
Incandesca roared at that last insult and slashed at Elsie in full earnest. She landed several good blows that should have sent Elsie reeling.
But Elsie’s anger overruled everything else. She didn’t let up.
She didn’t stop until she had driven Incandesca flat on her back, gasping for breath.
Elsie knelt beside her with a stake tight in her hand. “I’m sick of you Catens and your sick games.”
“You won’t kill me.”
“I can’t kill you. You’re already dead, vampire. I will stake you.”
“You don’t know anything, Marauder. You don’t know anything about me, about vampires. Nothing.”
“And, let me guess, you’re going to school me. No thanks.” She raised the stake and was all set to land the killing blow.
The doors at the top of the stands opened. “Elsie!”
Elsie gasped. “Hildreth?”
A small group of vampires ushered Hildreth down to the arena.
He smiled. “Found ya.”
She wanted to jump up and run to him.
Incandesca tilted her head and smiled. “Isn’t this a nicely balanced tableau? You have me and my vampires have your man.” She raised her voice. “If she stakes me, you know what to do.”
Sneeze. Sneeze. Sneeze. Rub nose back and forth. “Yes. Change him into one of us. I’m looking forward to that.” He sniffed Hildreth’s sleeves. “Really looking forward to that.”
Hildreth looked at her. His face was pale and his eyes held hurt. “Do what you have to do, Elsie. We are light.” He winced. “We fight for the light. We…” He groaned. “Elsie. Just do it.”
“Just do it. Stake her.”
She looked down at the masked woman.
Mark Caten’s wife.
“It’s none of your business, ya dumb broad. So, why don’t you flake off?”
She tightened her grip on the stake.
“We fight for the light.” Elsie said it softly to herself. The light. What is the light right now?
Where is it?
Is it here with me staking this vampire?
Or is it with me surrendering so the one I love does not get destroyed?
Incandesca smiled. “Elsie the Marauder.”
“That is not my name.” She stood. “My name is Elsie Vansing. I am a vampire hunter. I fight for the light.” She let out a warrior’s cry and ran at the vampires surrounding Hildreth.