The seven men circling me were most definitely looking for trouble. They carried with them quite a selection of weaponry: baseball bats, chains, lead pipes, a knife here or there—you had to appreciate the diversity. After all, variety is the spice of life.
The sun had just set and the shadows were beginning to creep along the ground. There were four of them to my right and three more to my left. If I played this just right, this could be the most fun I’d had in New Orleans to date.
The apparent leader stepped forward with the Devil dancing in his eyes. He was a rough looking sort, probably from down by the docks. He had a scar that ran from above his right eye down to his left cheek. Holding a baseball bat in his right hand, he pointed straight at me with his left. “Is this the guy, Vinny?” he snarled.
I recognized the bastard who answered. He was a short little nothing that literally resembled a rat in the face. It looked like his mother had climbed into the swamp and mated with the largest rodent she could find, producing this disfigured little asshole in the process. The rat, trembling from some kind of nervous tick, nodded. “Yea, yea, that’s him! That’s the guy I saw with Faust the night Fats died.”
Why you little tattle-telling, bastard!
Apparently having done his job, the leader of the gang tossed a few coins on the ground which the rat quickly scooped up and ran away with. I was quite disappointed. Seven was such a lucky number to kill, but I guess I’d just have to settle for six.
Slowly, the three men on each side of me got closer, smiling with every step that they took. “Now, now, gentlemen, there’s no need for violence here.” Oh the wicked lies I told while stalling for time. With every passing second, the shadows darkened and that was most definitely playing to my advantage.
Pointing his baseball bat just a few inches from my face, the leader snarled, “This is how it works, kid. You killed Fats, and now we kill you.”
Stalling just for a few more moments, I faked a smile. “Aw, you sure there’s not a way to avoid bloodshed here, boys?”
Shaking his head, the leader replied, “Afraid not.”
I shrugged my shoulders and nonchalantly said. “Okay, have it your way.” The trashcan in my left hand I hurled at the leader and I leaped after it. My timing was a little off but my boots smacked the trashcan about the same time the can smacked ole scar-face in the chin. That sent him flying down the alleyway and the fight was officially on.
The two thugs flanking where scar-face had been standing both tried to rush me at the same time. I jumped into the air and watched as they collided into each other and collapsed to the ground. While still in the air, I managed to plant my left foot against the wall and pushed off with all the force I could muster. I went hurling through the air like a cannonball, tackled one of the three standing thugs, and knocked him into the shadows. I quickly went to work on him with my fangs and claws.
As I carved him up and drank from him in the shadows, his screams filled the alleyway. When I appeared out of the darkness with a face covered in blood, the look on the remaining thugs’ faces was priceless. “Wh—what the fuck is he?” one of them screamed.
By this time, scar-face had regained his face, and boy was he looking pissed. He screamed, “I don’t care what he is! He’s surrounded! Finish him off!”
Apparently my appearance was enough to make even the bravest of his thugs think twice about it. I could smell their fear and while they hesitated, I just couldn’t resist taunting the lot of them. “The only thing I’m surrounded by is a bunch of dead men and cowards!”
Well, if his men wouldn’t attack, scar-face sure would. He charged at me, bringing the bat down from twelve o’clock to six. I sidestepped and gave him a little push as his momentum had him stumbling by me. Much to my amusement, he fell into a pile of garbage. As he lay there in God knows what, I openly laughed at him. Looking like he might blow a blood vessel, he screamed at his men, “Fucking kill him or I’ll skin you all alive myself!”
Blood-soaked face or not, that got his men into action. One swung low with a chain while a second went high with a lead pipe. Falling down to my knees, I avoided the lead pipe and caught the chain with my left hand. It wrapped around my wrist three times, giving me a good bit of leverage on it.
I pulled with all my might on the chain and monkey-flipped the thug into the wall. I kipped up to my feet and wrapped the chain around the throat of the thug with the lead pipe. Leaping up and over him, I kicked the other two thugs standing behind him in the chest, sending them flying as I lifted and choked the life out of the poor sap wrapped up in the chain.
Pulling on the chains, I flipped the thug I was chocking. He landed on his knees, already turning pale shade of blue. With a well placed kick to the side of his head, I heard his neck snap. I was having the best night in ages! For a Vampire, this was like being a kid on Christmas morning—so many presents to unwrap, so many necks to snap!
As I stood admiring my work, one of the thugs I had kicked managed to pick up the lead pipe and got behind me. He connected with a blow at the base of my neck, sending pain radiating up and down my spine. “Why you little…” I snatched him by the neck and tossed him into the wall. He landed with a terrible thud. I think the impact may have knocked him unconscious, but just to be safe I decided to leap up and drive my knee into his face. His head popped like a melon and blood splattered everywhere. I even managed to catch a little on the tip of my tongue. I have to admit, to be street scum, he was actually fairly tasty.
Scar-face had apparently seen enough, because when I turned to face him, I saw he had pulled a pistol. I watched him taking aim and just as he fired, I grabbed the nearest living member of his gang and threw him into the path of the projectile. The poor sap took it right through the heart and fell to the ground, clutching at his chest. As for me, I propped up against the alleyway wall and smiled at scar-face. “Looks like you’re running out of men, good sir.”
The chap who had first brought the lead pipe had seen enough. He was running down the alleyway to escape, but I couldn’t be having that. I was having far too much fun to just let him walk away. Darting in and out of the shadows, I was on top of the runner within moments. I snatched him up by the throat, flicked my wrist, and snapped his neck while scar-face looked on in disbelief.
Discarding the corpse to the ground, I slowly strolled back towards scar-face. “Well, now you are out of men. So let’s see how tough you are by yourself.”
I somehow knew scar-face was either going to be too stubborn or dumb to run away, and I was right. I had called him out, and he was going to go down swinging or die trying. He started swinging for the fences with his bat. The first I ducked beneath. The second I sidestepped and countered with a kick to his leg. I watched his knee buckle and smiled. I just love playing with wounded prey.
I’ll give the guy credit, he kept coming even though he had to know he was beaten. He swung wildly out of desperation and I ran right by him, letting my talons slice through his soft mortal flesh. Twice more he tried to connect, each time I dodged and dug my claws a little deeper into his open wounds until my hands were both a solid shade of dark crimson.
He was almost done. He could barely walk by the time he tried for that one last homerun shot with the bat. This time I didn’t even try to dodge it. I simply threw my hand in the way and caught the bat a few inches from my face. As scar-face’s jaw dropped, I smiled, saying, “Man, tonight is just not your night is it?” I pulled him down and had my fangs buried into his neck in no time. I almost had him drained dry when I heard someone making their way out the back of the soup-kitchen. It was, of course, Faust.
“I heard noises and wondered if you were… sweet Mary Mother of God! What the fuck happened out here?” he asked, as I stood there in the middle of six corpses, completely covered in blood.
Very calmly I replied, “Had a little trouble. Nothing I couldn’t handle. Thanks for checking up on me though.”
Faust just stood there in shock. He looked back and forth between me and the destruction in the alleyway. He just couldn’t seem to wrap his mind around the fact that little ole me had done all of this. Suddenly he screamed out, “Well for the love of God! Help me move these bodies!”