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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9. Sleepless Nights and Preparations

 

      Dad had taken to patrolling the portal, but even he couldn’t watch it all the time so the vampires, because it was definitely them, were still taking humans. What I didn’t understand was what they wanted them for, or how they were getting them through the portal.

      It was the evening of the arm wrestle and at college I had become known as 'the girl that made Russell the Hairy Pitts cry'. It was now four weeks since Ridge had gone. Neither he, nor Bertie nor Scott Bates had made an appearance. If it wasn’t for Jayden I think that I would have gone crazy. Strangely chatting to him made me relax, it was probably because he was such an easy person to talk to. So every night we met on the roof of the café.

      I peered down at Dad as he paced in front of the portal. “Do you know anything about the Vampire Lords’ plan?”

      Jayden was spread out on the roof beside me. “I’ve never been to the Realm of the Undead.”

      “What never?” I asked turning to face him.

      He shrugged. “Don’t see the point. It’s all just politics right? I don’t need that kind of bad karma.”

      Laughing I lay down beside him.

      “Has your dad spoken to you yet?”

      I had told Jayden practically everything.

      “No.” I muttered angrily.

      He nudged me with his elbow. “You should try and talk to him.”

      Meeting his kind green eyes I said. “I know, but it’s hard. He never seems to be around.”

      Jayden sat up and pointed down to the garden. “Now is the perfect opportunity then.”

      “I don’t know.” sitting up as well I looked down at Dad.

      I could hear the smile in Jayden’s voice as he said. “You’ll never know if you don’t try.”

      Then I was plummeting to the ground and if it wasn’t for my quick reflexes I would have been as flat as a pancake, but I landed in a crouch. Dad whirled around and his eyes widened when he saw me.

      I walked up to him, my hands in my pockets, unable to look him in the eye. “Hi Dad,”

      “Danira,” he cleared his throat obviously uncomfortable.

      “So,” I said trying to think of something to say. “How are you?”

      Dad didn’t answer so I looked up to find him staring at me, his hand gripping a stake.

      “Dad?” I gasped shocked.

      Shaking his head he ran inside the café. I cried out in frustration and kicked the stone slab that I had been sacrificed on, bloodstain included, breaking it in two.

      “Thanks for that.” I growled through clenched teeth when I jumped back onto the roof.

      Jayden’s eyes were wide. “I’m sorry, I thought...”

      “Yeah so did I.” I lay down and rubbed my eyes. Wanting to change the subject I asked. “Do you get tempted to drink my blood at all?”

      “No. I learned to control my thirst ages ago, right from the beginning. It’s supposed to be easier that way.”

      “As opposed to drinking loads of blood and then cutting your intake down?”

      “Yep,”

      “Huh.” had that happened to Ridge? I wondered. It would explain why he found it so hard to control his thirst when we made out.

      “You miss him, don’t you?”

      I closed my eyes, wishing that my throat didn’t tighten and tears didn’t form when I thought of Ridge. “All the time,”

      Jayden reached out a cool hand and patted my cheek patronisingly. “I’m sure he’ll be back soon.”

      Scowling I pushed him away, my lips twitching in a smile. “I sure hope so.”

      “Danira? Where are you?”

      I sat up at the sound of Mum’s voice.

      “I’ve got to go. See you tomorrow.”

      Swinging down through my open bedroom window I scared the living daylights out of Mum.

      She held a hand to her chest, as if she was afraid that her heart would escape. “You frightened me. Where were you?”

      “On the roof,” I told her with a shrug, sitting on the edge of my bed.

      “Do you do that a lot?” Mum asked joining me.

      “Every night,”

      Brushing the hair from my face, she said. “I hardly see you anymore. Are you ok?”

      “No. Have you talked to Dad?”

      Mum was hesitant. “Yes I have sweetie, that’s why I came to see you. He’s in the living room.”

      Mum took my hand, pulling me to my feet.

      I gazed at her warily. “He’s not going to try and stake me, is he?”

      She shook her head looking appalled and led me out to the hallway. “Of course not,”

      Mum opened the living room door and my eyes fell on Dad who was sat on the sofa looking wretched. Mum went and joined Dad so I settled myself on the other sofa.

      Mum elbowed Dad saying. “Go on. Tell her what you told me.”

      I waited for Dad to speak and eventually he looked me in the eyes. He sounded like he was in pain as he spoke. “Danira, I’m so sorry. I’ve been such an idiot. It doesn’t matter if you’re not fully human, as long as you’re alive in some way. You are my daughter and I will always love you. Can you forgive me?”

      Dad brushed tears away and I walked over and wrapped my arms around him. “Of course I can.”

      I was so glad that Dad and I were talking again. I felt lighter, like I had been weighed down before. Clinging to him I thought that maybe, just maybe, this meant that things were turning around.

 

      “There’s a wrestling club at college and today the coach asked if I wanted to join. I declined.”

      Dad laughed at this and I smiled.

      It was the next day and we were in the back garden by the portal.

      He scratched his head saying. “It must be strange suddenly having these new... abilities.”

      “Yep, I have to be really careful. Like today I nearly broke a door handle at college. If I slip up then someone could get hurt.”

      Dad stared into the portal. “You wanted to be a superhero when you were younger.” he mused.

      “This is nothing like that.”

      “No,” he agreed. “It’s not.”

      I jumped up onto the roof, feeling maybe just a teeny bit like a superhero. Jayden was already there reading a comic book. What an odd coincidence.

      “I told you everything would work out.”

      I sat down beside him and hit him gently in annoyance. Jayden smiled and continued to read his comic, so I lay down and closed my eyes.

      Maybe twenty minutes later I felt cool fingers on my skin. Opening my sleepy eyes I watched as Jayden put one of his bracelets around my wrist.

      “Why did you do that?” I asked, admiring the multicoloured beads.

      He smiled. “We’re friends.”

      “Thanks.” I said smiling as well.

      Suddenly Jayden shot up into a crouch, his green eyes locked onto something in the back garden. I sat up and peered down. Dad wasn’t there anymore, but two other people were. I watched as one of them bit their wrist and held it out to the other who accepted it. My blood ran cold. It was a vampire giving blood to a human. Surely it was meant to be the other way around? The human hadn’t drink much before the wrist was retracted and the vampire pulled him, I could just about tell that they were both males, through the portal. As the human wouldn’t have been able to see the café I supposed that it must have looked like they had been either in the warehouse or around the back of it.

      I turned to Jayden, anger flaring in my stomach. “What the hell just happened?”

 

      I didn’t sleep well that night. It wasn’t because I had witnessed a kidnapping, though that was pretty disturbing and had explained how the vampires were getting humans through the portal. It seemed that just a small amount of vampire blood was enough to convince the portal that the human was in fact a vampire. We really needed to fix the portal. No, the reason I couldn’t sleep was because my dreams were being plagued by flashes of gold. I didn’t know what it meant but it sure as hell was annoying.

    

      Over the next four days I barely slept. My dreams were still being haunted by the flash of gold which was starting to look vaguely familiar. I could barely stand so it wasn't surprising that I fell asleep on the roof.

      “Danira, wake up.”

      “Go away.” I groaned rolling over.

      I didn’t know who it was but I was having my first dreamless sleep in ages.

      “You’re going to fall off the roof.”

      I recognised the voice as Jayden and reluctantly opened my eyes. It was dark and there were hardly any stars in the sky.

      “Come on, let’s get you inside.” Jayden scooped me up in his arms and flew down to my window. “You’re going to have to invite me in.” he told me, an invisible barrier preventing him from going inside.

      I invited him in and Jayden lay me down on my bed. I crawled under my duvet.

      “Still having bad dreams?” he asked sitting on the edge of my bed.

      I nodded. “Until just then,”

      “Oh, sorry,”

      “That’s ok.”

      I had nearly fallen back asleep when the scar on my stomach gave a twinge. It felt like I had been drenched in ice cold water and then I was suddenly dreaming. The gold flash was there again, except that this time it was coming towards me. The flash became blurry and transformed into Lady Prenalla.

      “Danira,” she sounded far away and her image blurred again like when you can’t get the signal right for a TV channel. “I’ve been trying to reach you for days.”

      “Why?” my voice echoed and sounded strange to my ears.

      “The Vampire Lords are taking humans from the Realm of the Living through the portal.”

      “I know I’ve seen it happen.”

      Lady Prenalla blurred again and started to fade. “You are the only one that can stop them. They are using the humans as slaves. Blood-slaves,”

      I shot up to find myself sitting in bed, panting and drenched in sweat. Two sets of eyes were on me. “Bertie?” I asked in surprise when I recognised him.

      The other eyes belonged to Jayden who was looking at me worriedly.

      Bertie floated over to me and placed a hand on my arm. I got an electric shock, but apart from that his cold touch was quite pleasant. “Are you ok?” he asked.

      I rubbed my face. “I think so.”

      “What happened?” Jayden asked me, looking curious.

      “It was Lady Prenalla.” at their blank expressions I added. “She’s a really old vampire who gave me a piece of the Infinity Blade.”

      Bertie nodded silently.

      “What did she want?” Jayden inquired.

      “She said that I’ve got to stop the Vampire Lords. They’re taking humans through the portal and using them as blood-slaves.” I shuddered and chewed my lip anxiously. “Why me though?”

      Bertie swooped forwards agitated. “That’s why I came back to see you! I went to the Castle and they’ve set up a slave market.”

      I gaped at him and Jayden snarled.

      “All those poor people...” I whispered. “We have to help them.”

      Jayden nodded in agreement.

      “We’re gonna teach those stupid Vampire Lords a lesson.” Bertie cried punching the air.

      “You guys are going to help?”

      “You betcha,” Bertie grinned.

      Jayden was much more serious. “They can’t get away with this. Behaviour like that gives us vampires a bad name.”

      And there I had been thinking that I would have to do this all by myself, but I was so grateful that I wouldn’t. “Great, but how do we stop them?”

      Bertie’s face fell.

 

      We talked for a while and the only ways that we could think of stopping the Vampire Lords were if we did one of the following; stake them, which would be extremely difficult, use the Infinity Blade which we would have to find first which could be impossible, or we could find a way to poison all the humans blood so that vampires died when they drank it, hence putting an end to the blood-slave trade. So out of these three options, the latter was decided to be the most likely to succeed. Unfortunately none of us had a clue as to what could be put in a human’s bloodstream to kill a vampire.

      “Holy water?” I suggested from where I was tucked up in bed.

      “Holy water would work, but is it easy to obtain?” Jayden asked.

      I shook my head. “No, but I can ask Dad where he gets it from.”

      Looking hopeful Bertie said. “Well that’s a start. I can see if there are any plants or herbs that will kill vampires. If worst comes to worst we can just get everyone to eat lots of garlic.”

      I shrugged. “Maybe, anyway we need to stop the Vampire Lords as soon as possible, before they get anymore out of hand.”

      Jayden and Bertie nodded in agreement.

      “We should go the Realm of the Undead within the next few days.” I decided.

      “We need to be prepared before we go.” Jayden told me, his eyes worried.

      “Definitely,”

      “I’ll be back as soon as I can.” Bertie said before disappearing with pop.

      Smiling sadly Jayden stood up. “I’ll ask around about holy water in the few hours of darkness that are left.”

      I watched as he flew out of the window and then with a sigh I rested my head on my pillow and tried to get to sleep. I had the feeling that tomorrow was going to be a long day.

         

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