Flesh and Blood

In 2020 Britain, Avril is one of the very few humans left. Ravaged by malevolent demons, human Britain is hanging by a thread. A revolution of blood is taking over the world, drop by drop and Avril finds herself at the bleeding heart of it. Filled with hatred yet human desire, she fights for revenge and for everything she's known. Until someone deadly arrives, who is too alike to Avril. Torn by the presence, will she carry on fighting or will she do what so many others have done. Give in?

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1. Streets of London

The bell rang and Avril immediately sprang out of her seat and walked purposefully out the door. She smiled as she weaved her way expertly through the corridors, dodging the bags and students on the way. This was her favourite part of the day and she was mindful of being late. Her smile dissolved as she stepped out of the gate. It was October and dark approached quickly. Her mouth set in a hard line as she marched down the road. She slipped her hand into the pocket of her jacket and fingered the small tube nestled inside. Her eyes and ears constantly stayed on the alert, even as she turned into the gates of the local primary school. She stood against a pillar and watched as th hoards of children spilled into the open space. Her gaze styled on a small blonde head heading towards her.
"Hello cub." she greeted, reaching out a hand.
He looked up at her with a happy, toothy smile "Hello Mum."
Anyone overhearing would've thought how odd this sounded. Avril's head full of black curls contradicted with the little boys soft, golden mop as did her striking green eyes against his bright blue ones. They looked about 5, perhaps 6 years apart but were in fact 10. Nevertheless, the little boy took Avril's outstretched hand and proceeded with her to walk down the streets to their home.
"So, how was school?" Avril asked.
The boy seemed to ponder on this a little "It was okay, we learnt about animals today. I already knew most of them though."
Avril smiled "Which one was your favourite?"
"Cat" he said, without hesitation.
She squeezed his hand gently "Of course."
"But...Dylan made fun of me today too." he confessed.
Avril stopped, looking down at him "What?"
"He said I had no parents, but I told him I have you. He said you'd never be my mum."
"Is that all he said, or more?"
The little boy looked flustered "That's all."
"Hex..." Avril warned.
"He said you were a demon too." he mumbled.
A twinge if anger bit into Avril. "Right. And what did you say?"
Hex looked up at her confusedly "Of course you're not a demon."
Avril nodded and looked up at the sky, it was dangerously dark. She pulled on Hex's hand gently, leading him.
"Come on, we need to get home."
They walked quicker now, their school bags bumping against their backs. They made sure to keep in the dimming beams of sunlight until they came up to a big, dark house. Stepping over a thick line of powder surrounding the house, they walked in, quietly shutting the doors behind them. Avril helped Hex out of his thick winter coat and hung it up along with his gloves, hat and scarf before taking off and hanging her own. She bent down to look into Hex's face
"It doesn't matter what people say. Right?" Hex nodded eagerly. "It only what matters what this-" she prodded his chest playfully "-little guy says. Okay?"
Hex giggled and wrapped his small arms around her neck. She hugged him back.
"Warm?"
He nodded against her "Warm."
She moved back to look at his face "Kiss?"
He kissed her cheek, then she in return kissed the tip of his nose, before straightening.
"Now run along. Liza's got your supper." Hex did as he was told and Avril trailed behind him. She walked into the big empty living room and collapsed onto the sofa, stretching her legs out and closing her eyes. Blissfully, she let herself rest for a bit.
"Eat." she heard a voice demand. She peeked through one eye to see a steaming piece of toast ladled with beans on a plate thrust in her face. Liza stood in front her, holding the plate.
"You have to build up your energy you know." She thrust it further for emphasis.
Avril sat up and took the plate, looking at the beans rather dejectedly.
"Thanks."
"No problemo." Liza said, walking away.
She ate in silence, then brushed off the crumbs and set her plate in the kitchen sink before making her way upstairs. A rugby ball sailed towards her as she reached the landing and she caught it smoothly.
"Avril!" Zac hollered.
Avril held up the ball "Wasting time?"
He came towards her "Aww no. I was just...warming up." he grinned.
She walked towards him to hand him the ball, then realized too late. He bent into a crouch then rushed towards her, slamming his shoulder into her hip and gripped her legs as he lifted her up.
"Score!"
"Zac, stop it!" Avril complained, but couldn't stop laughter bubbling through.
Hex and two other little kids climbed up the stairs. Seeing the ball, they ran and danced at Zac's feet, reaching up their hands to grab it.
"Let us play!" the little girl demanded, making a snatch. Hex came up to Avril and reached his arm up for the ball. She dropped it into his waiting hands and he flashed her a quick smile before running away with the prize and his friends following.
"You're too soft with that kid, you know that?" Zac said, as he let her down.
"He's been through a lot." she answered, smoothing her clothes down. She looked at her wristwatch "And we have 15 minutes. Are the rest ready?"
Zac nodded "Yeah, they're in the basement."
"Great" Avril said, walking into her room and shutting the door "15 minutes."
She changed out of her clothes immediately into thick black jeans and jumper. She transferred the small tube into the pocket of a charcoal jacket and put it on. Finally, she laced up sturdy black boots then flexed her feet, legs, arms then torso. Satisfied, she walked out her room, down the stairs and into the living room. The oldest were gathered there, clad similarly, then at her arrival, moved towards the door.
"Salts?" Adam, the oldest asked. There was a mutter of yeses. "Partners?" everyone moved towards their partner, and Zac towards Avril. Adam pulled open the door and pointed with a glove hand to the left "Kayla, Lucy, you go there." then pointed to the right "Luke and Amy there. Me and George'll go to the south and Zac and Avril, you guys take the north. Everyone back here at 8, yeah?" Several heads nodded, then in twos, they split off into different directions.

Zac and Avril walked casually yet carefully down the area they were scoping. To the outside, they looked like two careless teenagers, but were not.
"You see anything yet?" Zac asked.
Avril shook her head slightly "No, not yet."
"Rumour has it, there's one hiding out in the house at the end of Moor street."
"And the source of the rumour?"
Zacs voice was grave "Will."
"Shit."
He nodded "Yeah. It's boarded up at the front, but not the back so we'll have to get in from there."
"Has it done anything yet?" she asked.
"You mean kill? Not as far as I've heard, no." he swerved into another street and Avril followed, sticking close to him. They stepped over a small stone fence and into the back garden of a neglected looking house. Zac walked up to the door and carefully tested the handle, before shaking his head to confirm it wouldn't budge. Avril went over, pulling out a hair pin. Expertly, she inserted the thin pin into the lock and niftly moved it around until it gave a satisfying click, then pushed open the door.

The sun no longer in view, the house was smothered in almost full darkness. Avril didn't
wait for her eyes to adjust, instead rapidly scanning the house. She took out the salt from her pocket, and held it ready as her and Zac moved around the first floor. It was definitely long neglected, with cobwebs stretching across the ceilings and crevices of the room. They checked the floor thoroughly, before moving onto the second. Avril winced as the stairs creaked under their weight but didn't stop. Back to back, they peered into the bedrooms. The first two were clear and they moved onto the third. The door was semi closed and Zac kicked it open gently with his toe. It swing open to reveal a master bedroom, with a big double bed in the middle.
"Shit, Avril..." Zac whispered. There was something crouched down behind the bed, shaking. Upon Zac's voice, it froze. Then with frightening speed, scrambled across the floor on all fours towards them. Zac stepped back, then met it head on with his foot, cracking it across the creatures face as it came into view. It had blood red pupils and irises with a sickly yellow instead of white for the eyeball. It's skin was blistered and pus leaked out from various wounds. It's teeth were cracked into jagged shapes, embedded into decaying gums. It thrashed wildly, saliva spilling out in gushes from its ruined mouth. With quick, jerky movements, it scrambled to its feet and came at them again but they were prepared. Zac pulled in his elbow then slammed it against the creatures skull, leaving it screaming as it crumpled onto the ground. He pinned it to the floor with his foot, and Avril rushed over, yanking the creatures head brutally back before holding the salt in front of its nose. The creature breathed it in, then almost immediately went slack. They didn't release their grip, instead Avril pulled out a pair of handcuffs laced with powder and cuffed the creatures hand to the leg of the bed. She pulled out her phone and dialled a number. Someone picked it up on the second ring
"Sean? Hi, it's Avril...Yeah, me and Zac have got one...Moor Street, north area...Alright, thanks. ..Bye." she looked at Zac "They'll be here in 10."
He nodded and released his weight from the unresponsive creature. The skin around its cuffed hand burned from the powder. They could still smell it as they stepped back onto the street.
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