Sneezer sniffled. “You don’t have to get all physical about it.”
“What this? This isn’t me getting physical.”
Elsie kneed him. “This—”
She elbowed him in the middle of his back. “—is—”
She threw him at the granite altar. “—me—”
She grabbed his hair and pulled his head back. “—getting—”
She touched the tip of the stake to right above his heart. “—physical.”
“Ah..ah..” He sneezed. “Why?” He looked down at the stake. His hands clenched and unclenched in the snow. “Why?”
“Because I just rescued a little girl from one of your kind. You don’t deserve to live. None of you deserve to live.”
He sneezed several times. “You really do deserve the names we call you: Marauder. Monster. Soulless One. Ghoul.”
“Those are all empty words coming out of a monster’s mouth.”
“Heartless Father’s Child.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“It means that you are the child of a heartless father. And you are just like him.”
She stood quickly. “What do you know about my father?”
“I know what all vampires know.” He stood with great difficulty. “Your father didn’t want you. He didn’t love you because he couldn’t. He was born without a heart.”
She shook her head and backed away from him. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“He sold you body and soul to the trainers. And he forgot all about you.”
She rushed at him and hit him in series of furious strikes.
He struggled to defend himself. “Even to his dying day, he didn’t think of you.”
But his struggles were useless. “He didn’t care.”
She drove him down to his knees.
“He never loved you.”
She knocked him onto his back.
“And you’re just like him. Every bit as heartless.”
He sneezed a couple more times and rubbed his nose. He looked up at her with unfiltered belligerence. “You’ll abandon your children too. Just wait and see. You’ll be just like him all the way to the end.”
“SHUT UP!” She staked him.
But that wasn’t enough.
She staked him and staked him until the stake snapped in half.
Elsie bowed her head and covered her face with her hands.
What if he’s right?