No Use Crying Over Spilt Blood

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Portal Keepers Book 2 (The sequel to 'Would You Like Brains With That?').
Danira travels back to the Realm of the Undead to stop humans being used as blood-slaves.

Cover by Zillah Designs.

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27. A Tapestry, a Bruise and a Nasty Shock on the Conveyor Belt

 

      Leila, Teri and Nadia continued gossiping about Luca so I left the room, saying that I needed some air. I hated being the centre of attention and just wanted some time to myself. I should have known that wasn't allowed.

      Kelsey followed me. “Wait up, Danira!” she cried, slipping her hand into mine.

      We strolled down a bookcase lined hallway towards the front door. 

      “... Following orders.” I paused upon hearing the voice, recognising it as Pegasus. It seemed to be coming from behind a nearby door.

      Another voice spoke but I didn’t know who it belonged to. “Whose orders though? Surely you can tell me?”

      Pegasus sighed. “I cannot tell you. They want nothing to be traced back to them.” 

      I jumped when the door opened, revealing Pegasus and the biggest mummy I had ever seen. He was bulky and tall with fresh bandages, so it looked like he was quite young.

      “Danira,” Pegasus beamed when he saw me. “Is everything alright?”

      I watched as the mummy’s eyes widened in alarm when he saw me but then he gazed at me curiously.

      Smiling I replied. “Yes I’m fine thank you.  We were just getting some fresh air.”

      I gently tugged Kelsey down the hallway, wondering whose orders Pegasus was following. Did the S.P.B.R have a leader?

      On our way to the front door we passed a tapestry, which was odd because every other available space was filled with a bookcase. It was big, spanning several metres. Staring at it I tried to decipher what it depicted. There was a great swirling mass that resembled the portal, which was in the centre of the tapestry. On the left hand side of the portal was a green land with lush vegetation and peaceful looking peoples. However the right hand side was a grey scene with blood smeared faces. I shuddered. It was pretty obvious that the tapestry was showing the Realm of the Living and the Realm of the Undead, with the portal in the middle linking them both.

      Kelsey pulled at my hand, demanding my attention. “I thought you wanted to go outside?”

      “Uh, yeah I do. Come on.”

      We sat on the steps outside the front door. Kelsey rested her head on my shoulder and I lay my cheek on her head.

      “Do you think I will get to go home?” she whispered.

      Lacing my fingers through hers, I kissed her soft hair. “Yes, sweetheart, of course you will.”

      “You remind me of my older sister.” Kelsey told me. “She's kind and beautiful, just like you.”

      Tears formed in my eyes and I pulled her into a hug. “You'll see her soon.”

      “Hey, you two,”

      I glanced up to see Aidan. He joined us on the steps.

      “Everything alright?” he asked smiling.

      “I just needed to get out of there.”

      Aidan laughed. “I know what you mean. Those two can be intense, huh? Do you fancy wandering around the Castle?”

      “Sure, why not? Do you want to come, Kelsey?”

      Her brown eyes widened and she shook her head, her hair hitting me in the face. She scrambled to her feet and ran inside.

      “She moved fast when she wants to.” Aidan grinned.

      I smiled and stood up.

      We left the mansions of the posh part of the Castle behind, and strode through the lower town. Aidan and I chatted about nothing in particular and I was enjoying myself until I spotted a familiar face.

      Nevrac.

      He was gliding along with three blood-slaves trailing after him. One had a black eye. I increased my pace as we passed them and kept my eyes on the brown ground beneath my feet. Nevrac’s arm shot out grabbing my wrist and he pulled me roughly against his chest.

      With a glance at Aidan, Nevrac’s cruel green eyes glinted. He smirked, saying. “I hope that you are enjoying yourself, Danira, while you still can.” then releasing my wrist, Nevrac strode away with his slaves trailing after him.

      “Are you alright?” Aidan asked alarmed.

      I nodded silently and we continued walking. Bruises were already starting to form on my wrist from Nevrac’s harsh grip. What had he meant was I enjoying myself while I could? Did he know about something that I didn’t? Was something big going to happen? And how did he know my name?

      The buildings suddenly disappeared as we reached what reminded me of a rubbish tip. There were piles and piles of unwanted junk and rubbish. My eyes fell on a conveyor belt that was unloading rubbish into the sewers. The vampires were probably too lazy to do it themselves. At least they didn’t get humans to do it. Aidan and I stopped, staring at our surroundings in a mixture of awe and disgust.

      “What did Nevrac say to you?” Aidan asked his blue eyes filled with worry.

      “Nothing important,”

      “He really does terrorise you doesn’t he?”

      My pained expression must have been answer enough because Aidan gave a sigh.

      Hearing voices I yanked Aidan behind a huge wad of carpet that must have rolled off the conveyor. We peered around and saw two burly vampires carrying something that was wrapped up in a cloth.

      The taller of the vampires was laughing. “The Boss sure does get through them, doesn’t he? How many is that now?”

      “Three this week,” the shorter vampire answered with a grunt.

      The vampires dumped the wrapped object on the conveyor belt and slapped each other on the back before leaving.

      “What do you think it is?” Aidan asked standing up.

      Walking over to the conveyor we kept pace with it as the wrapped object inched closer to the entrance of the sewers. Aidan ripped the fabric open and something pale flopped out. It was a human hand. My blood ran cold and bile rose in my throat. Aidan looked horrified and turned away, his hand clamped over his mouth.

      “It’s a body.” I whispered clenching my hands into fists as anger flared within me. “Someone is killing their blood-slaves.”

      When he had regained his composure enough that he could speak without the risk of vomiting, Aidan glanced at me with fearful eyes. “The Vampire Lords?”

      I growled. “Most likely, after all, that vampire had said ‘the Boss’.”

      “We’re so lucky, Danira.” Aidan whispered.

      “I know,”

      

      The meeting had ended by the time we got back, so we returned to Ferriday’s mansion. I gathered Bertie, Jayden and Ferriday together.

      “What wrong?” Ferriday asked, knowing from my expression that something had happened.

      “Aidan and I went to the entrance of the sewers earlier.” I saw Ferriday's eyebrows shoot up in alarm and I continued. “We saw two vampires dumping the body of a blood-slave.”

      Jayden placed a cool hand on my shoulder in sympathy.

      Ferriday was staring at me. “Are you certain?” he asked shocked.

      I nodded. “They said it was the third one this week.”

      Bertie bristled in anger, making the nearest paintings shake.

      “Have you any idea who they were working for?” Ferriday asked looking outraged.

      “No, they only said ‘the Boss’.” then remembering that there had been a SPBR meeting I asked. “Has anyone seen Ridge?”

      My question oozed hope and there was apology in Ferriday’s grey eyes as he replied. “I’m afraid not, Danira, I’m sorry. However some alarming news was brought to my attention; more zombies are massing around the Castle with every passing day. It is thought that they are planning a mass assault.”

      “They aren’t intelligent enough to plan something like that are they?” but then I remembered how a group of zombies had overpowered a vampire in the Maze of the Undead. Maybe zombies weren’t as dumb as everyone thought?

      Ferriday sighed. “Who knows, Danira? But I think that it would be wise to have a plan in case of an emergency.”

      I nodded in agreement. “Of course, let me know what you come up with.”

 

      Seeing the limp, dead hand of the murdered blood-slave had affected me more than I would have liked. I sat on my bed and wiped my tears away. One thought kept running through my mind. What if that dead slave had been Gina? I wouldn’t know and her parents would never see her again.

      Why was everything such a mess?

      It was as I pondered this that Jayden and Bertie came into my room, and in an attempt to cheer me up they suggested that we look around all the antique and junk shops in the lower town of the Castle for the Infinity Blade. I jumped at the chance because finding the Infinity Blade would solve most, if not all, of my problems. We searched the lower town for hours but returned to Ferriday’s mansion empty handed.

      

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