Nightbird

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Read an Excerpt


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Copyright © 2018 by Cynthia Fridsma

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents ei¬ther are the product of the author’s imagination or are used ficti¬tiously. Any resem-blance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coin-cidental.

The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be re-produced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author, except for the use of brief quota¬tions in a book review or scholarly journal.

More information about the writer can be found on

www.cynthiafridsma.com

Background cover: Susan Justice AKA Sveva

Cover Design & artwork: Cynthia Fridsma

Photo of Boston: Nelson48

First Printing: 2018

ISBN-13: 978-1723288616

ISBN-10: 1723288616


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Dedication

 

 Boston

 

This photo of Boston downtown skyline has been released into the public do-main by its author, Nelson48 at English Wikipedia.

To the people of Boston, who inspire me to keep writing about your beautiful city.


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Acknowledgments

Nightbird is the compilation of the eBook vampire miniseries, volumes 1 to 5, published on Amazon in 2018 about vampire Sybil Crewes—she who fights zombies, werewolves, and other unearthly creatures.

The vampire miniseries is a revised version of my debut novel, Hotel of Death published in 2015, but mostly told from Sybil’s POV, making it a new book entirely.


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Preface

 


 

As head of Nightbird, Sybil Crewes is working 24/7 to keep America safe from zombies, demons, and other unearthly creatures. Her ultimate goal is to end the curse that turned her into a vampire, but first she needs to destroy The Necronomicon, the infamous book of the dead. Unfortunately, Sybil's archnemesis, The Reaper, uses the book to raise an army of zombies.

When she finally retrieves The Necronomicon, Sybil not only runs into hideous, dangerous zombies and werewolves, she’s also haunted by her disturbing past, which goes way back to the 1770s. A deadly race against time to destroy The Necronomicon emerges as the gates of Hell open. Will she be able to stop evil before it spreads around the world?


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Volume 1

1 – The Attack

 

 

Sybil Crewes tapped her pencil on the desk while she glared at the monitor. Her friends were in London, but she was still at the office in Boston to hold the fort. She exhaled. Dammit, she hated to sit still, doing nothing.

Her glance slid to her Uzi submachine gun lying on the desk next to the keyboard. She took a sip from her cup that was filled with a red liquid. She almost choked. Drinking blood is disgusting. She put down the cup and gazed at the wall that needed to be fixed so badly—the plaster was almost crumbling off.

Sybil squinted at the condensation on the ceiling. One day she hoped to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but until then . . . she bit her lower lip. To distract herself, she searched for music on the computer—Jimi Hendrix. She grinned. It was the only silver lining. God, she hoped to find the Chosen One soon. This life, being a vampire and sucking the blood from the innocent was something she had never asked for. But alas, because of The Necronomicon, she was changed. An ancient curse, translated by my father.

Sybil narrowed her eyes at the thought. She hoped that her blonde tech nerd, Felicity Walker, had more luck finding the Chosen One. Then she

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frowned. I haven’t heard from her, yet. Felicity and Jason Weisshart—a freelance reporter who wrote articles about the supernatural—were following Harry Brown on his flight to London.

Thinking about Harry, fueled her anger. Harry Brown was a former CIA agent who now worked for her arch nemesis, the Reaper. The Reaper used The Necronomicon to raise an army of zombies. God, she thought, if I had the Book of the Dead in my hands, I could not only end the curse but also ends his fucking army.

Sybil had faced supernatural threats many times, but she hated zombies. Mindless zombies who wanted nothing more than to chew your flesh.

Just thinking about it caused a cold shiver to run down her spine and cut through her bone marrow. Yuck! Disgusting-looking zombies. But it will all end with the Chosen One because he, or she, is the key to destroying The Necronomicon. It had to be a descendant of James McPierson.

The pencil broke into two halves when she thought about McPierson. He was the one who had turned her world upside down by selling The Necronomicon to Sybil’s father. She threw the two pieces in the trashcan and pumped up the volume of the music. When a beep sounded, Sybil glanced up. Harry Brown’s voice interrupted the music.

“Hello, Mr. Reaper? I’ve located the Chosen One.”

An easy smile shaped her mouth, and she muted the sound while the computer recorded the ongoing conversation. Sybil opened a new window on the monitor like Felicity had taught her, to get a map with coordinates. Pleased, she picked up the phone on the desk to call Felicity.

“Sybil, I hope you’ve some good news?” Felicity asked.

“I’d say so,” Sybil replied. “Harry is at Weston Street.”

“Are you sure?” Felicity asked. In the background, Sybil heard the wind and some street noises. “Jason and I are keeping an eye on Harry’s hotel room, and he hasn’t moved yet,” Felicity complained.

“He used his cell phone which activated your app.”

“OK. Well then, we’d better hurry, thanks!” Felicity hung up.

Soon she would have the Chosen One. Involuntarily, Sybil rubbed her tongue over her fangs. Feeling restless, she stood and moved to the window. It was getting dark. The sun was about to set. In the background, Jimi

 

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Hendrix played “Machine Gun.” Sybil closed her eyes while she enjoyed listening to Jimi’s guitar solo. Sybil was glad she had visited a few of Jimi Hendrix’s gigs in the 1960s.

“Too bad you’re no longer among us,” she said under her breath. Some time passed before Harry Brown’s voice interrupted the music.

“Mr. Reaper? I’ve destroyed the building complex of the Chosen One. A whole building is burning, thanks to some C-4 I placed in the boiler.”

“Great,” the Reaper replied.

Sybil gritted her teeth after hearing his voice. They had been lovers for more than two hundred years until things had changed drastically once the Reaper had gotten his hands on The Necronomicon. He had told her he wanted to use it to create zombies and gather up all humans in cages like cattle. Feeding them and bleeding them dry, bottling their blood and selling it to other vampires.

Sybil stopped him, and suddenly, the two lovers turned on each other. The winner was yet to be decided, but for the time being Sybil kept his army of zombies small so he couldn’t complete his master plan.

“Oh, and I captured two of Sybil’s friends: Felicity Walker and Jason Weisshart,” Harry announced victoriously and hung up.

All the blood receded from her face. Involuntarily, she pictured Harry’s face and used him as a punching bag. Her friends were in danger, and there was nothing she could do about it. Dammit!

Sybil’s face was getting warm. She pulled her cell phone from the small shoulder bag she wore and proceeded to speed dial Felicity’s girlfriend, Vanessa Dogscape. The dark-blonde data analyst, working for the ATU—Anti-Terrorism Unit—in Boston, could help her because the phone conversation was too short to get his location. Perhaps, Harry discovered his phone was compromised by Felicity. God, when she thought about Felicity, her chest ached.

Sybil had saved her life when the Reaper had wanted to drink Felicity’s blood after he had tied her down on a table as a “romantic gesture” because Felicity was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer look-alike. And Sybil was a great fan of the famous 1990s TV show. But seeing “Buffy” laying on the table, surrounded by a bunch of candles with classical music in the background,

 

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made her furious. For the first time, Sybil and the Reaper argued and split up after Sybil freed Felicity from the ropes and the hungry vampire using his own scythe. That was the start of Nightbird—Sybil’s agency to fight evil.

When Sybil dialed Vanessa’s number, it went straight to voice mail, so reluctantly, Sybil left a message and hung up. She turned away from the window, her gaze drifting to the cup on the desk. Sybil grabbed it and drank it in one go. After she wiped the blood from her chin, she exhaled, “I need more blood!”

Taking large steps she went into the kitchen, holding the cup in her hands. Putting it on the table, she opened the fridge. Besides four cans of Coke and two tomatoes, it was empty. Wait, isn’t that a bag of blood? she wondered and took it out. Ugh, rotten tomatoes. Quickly, she threw it in the trashcan and gazed at the clock on the wall. The shops were still open. If she hurried, she could buy pigs blood from the butcher.

With a sigh, she glanced at her face in the mirror and opened her mouth to glare at her fangs. In the movies, vampires can withdraw their fangs but in reality, they can’t. Reluctantly, she took the pincer that was near the faucet. Her hand trembled as she closed the pincer on her fang—CRACK! Pain shot through her, but she wasn’t done yet and repeated the same exercise. A sigh of relief went through her after she’d finished.

But the wounds kept bleeding until she healed them with some blood. She grabbed the cup from the table and stared at the bottom. There was some blood left. With a finger, she wiped it clean and used it to heal the wounds. Again she stared in the mirror and smiled—good as new! For a few hours, she could pass for a human. After she rinsed her mouth, she headed for the exit and stepped into her Ford Mustang convertible.

***

A few minutes later Sybil parked the car and paced toward the butcher’s shop. A sign near the entrance read: YES, WE’RE OPEN. Relieved, she opened the door and was welcomed by the sound of a small bell and a rush of warm air. The smell of meat and blood reached her nostrils as she glanced at the shop’s owner, Lewis O’Toole. He was standing behind the counter

 

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with his curly brown hair and wearing a stained apron that used to be white at some point in the past. He grinned at her. “Well, if it isn’t my favorite blood-loving customer.”

Sybil squinted at him, not knowing what to say.

His smile widened. “I take it you’re here to buy pig’s blood, huh?”

Sybil nodded. “Um, yes, please, Lewis.”

“It’s none of my business,” Lewis said, handing her a sealed plastic bucket filled with blood, “but why do you want this?” He scratched the back of his head and chuckled. “You’re not a vampire, are you?”

Lewis always asked her the same question, and she never told him how right he was. Instead, she smiled faintly and gave him the money.

“Have a nice day, Sybil,” he said with a wink.

“You too, Lewis, thanks,” she replied and stepped outside.

A man passed her on the sidewalk while she carefully put the bucket in the back seat of her car and drove back to the office.

Again she called Vanessa, and again Vanessa’s cell phone went straight to her voice mail. This time Sybil hung up without leaving a message.

As she sat at her desk, she took a sip from her cup and rubbed her eyes. A sudden alarm startled her, and she looked up. Sybil leaned forward and glared at the images on the security monitor. Someone was approaching the building.

Sybil grabbed her Uzi and ran into the elevator. She emerged from it into a long hallway lined with identical doors on either side—leftover hotel rooms from the building’s former glory. The most recent guests had checked in around fifty years ago. She and Frank were among them when they were still close. A sob came up into her throat. She looked around and realized that certain events in this hotel had been a major turning point in her life. Fifty years ago, a fire had broken out in the hallway near their hotel room. She and Frank—aka the Reaper—had barely escaped the fire as it eagerly licked the furniture.

They were later told that a man had doused himself with gasoline and ignited himself. He was the distraught father of a teenage girl whose decapitated body had been found on the side of the road. She and Frank were aware of the fact that this father wanted to burn the two of them along

 

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with himself because they were responsible for the brutal murder of his daughter. The poor girl was last seen in their company.

It had been difficult for Sybil to deal with this because she knew she had to intervene when Frank threatened the black-haired teenager with a scythe. Still, she had done nothing to stop him, even though the girl had looked so helpless begging for her life. The girl’s eyes were filled with fear and distress before Frank slit her throat. Sybil squeezed her eyes shut when she recalled the girl’s face and swallowed a lump in her throat to suppress her tears. Long story short, after that horrible night the hotel was closed and never reopened until she bought it in the year 2000 (more or less with a grain of repentance because of the girl and her father) and used it as a front for Nightbird. With a sigh, she switched off the alarm with her cell phone and walked on until she was in the great hall.

She paused at the reception desk and glanced at the bell on the counter. She tested the bell. It sounded muffled. Then she lifted it up and noticed the amount of dust on the inside. She blew out the dust and immediately had to close her eyes while waving her free hand in front of her face to get rid of the newly created dust cloud. She pressed the bell again. It worked; the tinkling sounded clear once more. Satisfied, she put it back on the counter.

Now she moved to the barred door that gave access to the hotel. Through the bars, she noticed a silhouette standing near the old tree.

“Hey, this is a private property,” she warned. “It is strictly prohibited to enter this area without my permission. This offense falls under the laws of Massachusetts, Chapter 266, Section 16 and gives me the legal right to kick your ass!” She opened the door and shone her cell phone’s flashlight on the intruder’s face. Her heart jumped for joy when she recognized her long-lost niece and fervently embraced her.

“Catherine, it’s been so long!” The last time Sybil had seen her, they were under attack. Sybil had tried to help Catherine, but at the time she was surrounded by about twelve hungry zombies—ugly, decaying monsters!

Sybil used her Uzi to distract and kill zombies. It was back then she’d discovered a bullet to the head wouldn’t stop a zombie. They kept coming. Sybil found out the only way to truly stop a zombie is through beheading.

 

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Something she accomplished with the help of a sharp knife after she’d run out of bullets. Since then, Sybil always used a sword to fight against evil.

After the battle, Catherine had gone missing. Now that she was able to look Catherine straight in the eye, she noticed that Catherine’s face was covered with scars. Her skin was torn away altogether in some places. “Where were you all this time, girl? After that horrible fight, I looked everywhere for you, but I couldn’t find you.”

“I was everywhere and nowhere,” Catherine remarked. “After the fight, I didn’t feel the same. I felt like I was a freak. Besides, I wasn’t sure I still had myself under control after all these bites.” She pointed to her neck and shoulder, adding: “I was afraid the virus had infected me. You know that one bite is very contagious, let alone multiple bites. It was just too risky.”

A cold shiver ran down Sybil’s spine, and she backed away from Catherine and frowned. Then she remembered zombies couldn’t talk. Sybil relaxed. “Sorry, sweetheart. The fact that you can talk and have a normal conversation proves you’re still yourself. Come inside and have some coffee.”

Catherine nodded. “It has been a long time, you and me talking and drinking coffee.”

“You deserve it more than anyone else. Why didn’t you come here sooner?”

“Because I was gathering information. Over the past two years, I have infiltrated the organization of the Reaper. That wasn’t so hard since I look like a zombie. All I had to do was growl, and I’m good at that.” Catherine demonstrated by curving her fingers and growling at Sybil. Sybil slapped Catherine’s hands. “Please stop, you’re freaking me out.”

“Sorry,” Catherine apologized, “but that was the only way to get into the Reaper’s organization. You know that he works solely with monsters?”

“That doesn’t apply to Harry,” Sybil reminded her. “He’s anything but a monster.”

Catherine raised her eyebrows. “Harry? You mean Harry Brown? His head is full of brain tumors. He depends on the Reaper’s medicines he gets in exchange for his service. He is a freak like me. Only his looks are far, far better.”

 

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“Poor thing, I wish that things had turned out differently for you.”

Catherine sighed. “Alas, but I do have information. After two years, I discovered the location of the Necronomicon.”

Finally, a breakthrough! Sybil gave Catherine a kiss on the cheek.

“That’s fantastic! With the book, I can put an end to the curse! Come inside and tell me all about it.”

***

Several minutes later they faced each other holding nice warm cups of coffee in their hands. Sybil took a sip of hers. “You said you know where the Necronomicon is?”

“Yes, I know where it is. Before I give you the information, however, I want to make a deal with you.”

“Well, it depends on what you want,” Sybil stated, smiling. “If you’re expecting a zillion dollars, a villa with a pool, and someone who loves you, then I’m afraid I can’t help you.”

“Nothing like that, silly. If you have the book, then it means you need to open the hotel, true?”

“Yes, that’s correct. We need the Chosen One and the relatives of those who were involved in the curse.”

“Well, if you’re going to open the hotel, then you’ll need a receptionist. That’s what I want.”

“You want to be the receptionist? OK, I didn’t see that coming.” Sybil’s eyes grew wide and she covered her mouth. A zombie receptionist—genuine or not—would scare people away. Perhaps on Halloween, she thought. Sybil looked closely at Catherine. Sybil would do anything for her, but she had to be realistic. Carefully, in order not to hurt her feelings, she said, “We would have to do something about your appearance, because . . . well, let’s face it—with your current looks, you’d scare people away.”

Catherine looked down at her own trembling hands and let out a sob. Sybil felt sorry for her and gently stroked Catherine’s face with her fingers. She pitied her niece. Catherine was a former photo model. Her face was in various fashion magazines, and she even got her picture in an issue of

 

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Playboy. That was before she joined the Nightbird. Then Sybil’s face brightened as she thought about Dr. Carl Meaning. “It’s a good thing we now have a doctor on my team. I’m sure that Carl Meaning will find a way to restore your skin. Once it’s restored, you can get a job in the hotel,” Sybil promised, adding: “And of course we still need to refurbish everything here.”

She gestured around. There were holes in every wall and the plaster from the ceiling had seen better days. It had almost come off in some places.

Catherine looked at Sybil with hope in her eyes and told her where she could find the book. “But beware, it’s heavily guarded,” she said. “I had mound guarding duty for the Reaper . . . that’s how I discovered the whereabouts of the book—” She looked worried.

Sybil took her hands and gently squeezed them to reassure her. “It’s good that you came to me.”

“I had to. How else could you end the curse? But if you go to the cemetery, you must prepare yourself for the worst.”

“No worries. Now that I know where to look, I’ll do everything in my power to get it in my possession. Make yourself comfortable, then I’ll ask Carl if he wants to keep you company. You two can talk about which treatment is the best for you.”

 

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2 – The Necronomicon

 

 

It was well after sundown when Sybil arrived at the old cemetery. Catherine had told her The Necronomicon was buried around here somewhere. Sybil walked carefully toward a short stone wall and glanced up at the sky as gray clouds released a torrent of rain. The wind was whipping her face. Sybil had to squint her eyes to see and quivered from the cold raindrops as she hid behind the weather-beaten wall and peeked over its edge.

Four men were pacing around the cemetery. She took a deep breath and bolted over the wall.

“Well, what have we here? You gentlemen aren’t afraid of ghosts, are you?” Perhaps they were here to pay their respects to a dearly departed loved one. She exhaled. At this hour? In this weather? Not very likely. As she observed the foursome, the men turned and slowly came toward her, growling like rabid dogs. They definitely weren’t here to pay their respects. First of all, they walked weirdly—rather stiff and stumbling. These were zombies! What would Buffy Summers do? she thought while visions of the blonde vampire slayer flashed through her mind. She drew her sword. Sybil’s lips and chin trembled, and not only because of the cold. Her heart was pounding like crazy in her chest when the zombies stumbled toward her with their grasping hands held out in front of them. Their jaws opened as if they were excited by the smell of flesh.

A foul stink reached her nostrils while she literally stood face-to-face with the enemy. The zombies were in various states of decay—rotting flesh, hollow eye sockets, and some faces were slightly covered with worms.

 

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Sybil held her breath and swung her sword over her head. With a solid slash, she pierced one of the zombies in the skull.

She pulled out the sword, creating a nasty sound as she did so. The corpse dropped to the ground and fell apart. Only a greasy, mud-like substance remained, making the ground extra slippery under her feet while the other three zombies tried to grab her.

Sybil lost her balance and slipped, smashing her back onto the sticky substance. A zombie fell on top of her. Gagging, she clenched her jaw while the zombie tried to bite her. The remaining zombies also stumbled upon her. She was now laying beneath three hungry, growling, biting zombies. A few teeth came near her face, and she grimaced when a few maggots dropped close to her cheek. Feeling groggy, she sprained her muscles, pushing away the biting zombie. Her fingers crushed into its soft eye sockets. Bones cracked, sounding like snapping wood, while she pushed harder. But finally, she cleared her waistline, glanced sideways, and noticed her sword laying in the mud.

The slippery ground now worked to her advantage, and she crawled out from under the soaking wet foul bodies. Her fingers reached the sword at the same time a zombie grabbed her leg. Before he could do any damage, she picked up the sword and pierced its skull. She stood and finished off the two other zombies the same manner.

She gasped for air and wiped her face. God, she yearned for a warm, foamy bath right now with lots and lots of soap. But there was much to do before she could go back to the house.

Sybil sheathed her sword and used the rain to clean the sticky substance and worms from her face. Feeling a little better, despite the cold, she glanced around, using her cell phone as a flashlight, as she wandered across the land of the dead. She was shining the flashlight from left to right on many nearby graves when she heard a low, feral growl from behind her. Startled, she turned and stared into the sinister eyes of wolves.

Sybil knew that wolves were faster, more agile, and no comparison to mindless zombies. Without giving it much thought, she rushed between the graves, toward a huge monument of Gothic design. This one looked wide enough to cover her back against the wolves.

 

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Near the monument, she found herself face-to-face with a real skeleton with glittering eye sockets. It produced a shrill noise that reminded her of the awful squeal sound of fingernails against a blackboard. It triggered a long-forgotten childhood memory. She recalled the face of her sadistic teacher from her first day of school. His dark beady eyes behind his glasses had made her shiver with fear.

She shuddered involuntarily and took a deep breath as she took into account her surroundings: in front of her was the skeleton; behind her were the wolves. It didn’t look good, either way. She had precious little time to decide what to do because the wolves would be upon her in seconds and, judging by their growls, they didn’t mean well.

Sybil took the path of least resistance. Running toward the skeleton, she yanked out her sword. With a heavy blow, she struck its skull. It fell apart with a thunderous roar. The only thing that remained was a layer of white dust on the ground. She didn’t have time to praise herself for the victory; the wolves were quickly approaching.

Fortunately, she was near the monument. It provided sufficient rear protection. She gasped for air, scanning the wolves closely as she leaned against the monument. The wolves crept forward like trained police dogs, which baffled her because it wasn’t how wild wolves normally behaved. With a stern face, she grabbed her Uzi and shot into the air to scare them away. To her horror, they didn’t respond.

A wolf was now so close to her that it risked a leap. In a reflex, Sybil kicked its head. With a high-pitched whine, it flew through the air and landed with a heavy smack against a nearby tombstone. The wolf shook its head and leap toward her once again. To save bullets—Sybil didn’t have extra ammo—she caught it with her sword. The sharp point stabbed through its throat with a cracking sound. The wolf closed its eyes as its life was drained. Blood gushed from its neck while its skin began to ripple until it became a human laying in front of her.

Sybil’s eyes widened. Werewolves! A growl from her left caught her attention. It was a werewolf with white fur jumping at her. From the corner of her eye, she glimpsed another werewolf doing the same.

 

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With one single movement of her hand, she emptied the Uzi. The two werewolves dropped to the ground, riddled with bullets, both returning to their human form. Fifty bullets fired in less than a minute, now her precious Uzi was empty. Shit!

The other werewolves were snarling, baring their teeth, but they carefully avoided any contact with the sword Sybil held threateningly in their direction.

“Get lost, if you want to survive the night!”

As if in reply, a werewolf growled while the others howled.

“Come on, stop that,” Sybil complained. “It’s not even a full moon!”

Sybil sat on her haunches and waited until the werewolves came closer. Sybil groaned; those beasts kept howling and staying on their spot, about thirty feet away from her. Their howling was getting on her nerves. It caused an empty feeling in the pit of her stomach. If the werewolves attacked her all at once and wounded her, then perhaps she would change into a werewolf—not in this life! She was reluctant to live in a basket and gnaw on a bone for the rest of her life—that’s a dog’s life. And what about fleas? Yuck!

With a free hand, she rubbed the sweat from her forehead, staring anxiously at the werewolves. She stood and went toward them with her sword in both hands. Her heart thumped in her chest. Sybil watched the werewolves cautiously so they couldn’t attack her from behind. The werewolves ceased howling and looked menacingly at her.

They got closer, forming a semicircle, growling like wild animals getting ready to attack her. Sybil stepped forward and turned on her axis. She swung her sword at high speed and hit them where she could. She decapitated two werewolves, whose heads hit the ground with a loud thud. She hit another on its back when he tried to pounce her. Then she pulled the sword from his back and glared at the remaining werewolves that were no longer so keen on attacking her. With a high-pitched howl, they retreated to a small hill, about one hundred feet away.

Sybil breathed a sigh of relief when she realized she’d won and wiped her sword clean on the fur of a werewolf’s lifeless body before it transformed back into a human. She felt sorry for the woman who lay in front of her feet,

 

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but it was her own fault. If she had left Sybil alone, then she too would be sitting on the hill with her pack howling at the invisible moon in the sky.

Sybil picked up her cell phone (it still worked!) she had dropped during the fight and continued to look for the grave Catherine had described. A few minutes later she found it. It was in a remote place near a rotten tree.

She looked around to see if any of the werewolves had followed her, but this was, luckily enough, not the case. They still howled on the hill, which was hidden from where she stood.

After she wiped the sweat from her forehead, she tried to pry her sword underneath the grave’s small tombstone. As she applied steady pressure to the tombstone a second time, she noticed it was giving way. Sybil pushed with full force on her sword, and she joyously realized that soon she would have the book. Catherine was right—bingo!

***

“I have it,” Sybil yelled in triumph as she entered the hotel. She held the book above her head like a trophy before placing it in a large dish. Catherine and Carl looked up at her.

“You stayed away far too long,” Carl said, sounding worried.

“Yeah, what did you expect? The cemetery was guarded by zombies, skeletons, and, last but not least, by werewolves.”

“Annoying,” Carl remarked.

“Well, that’s the price you’ve to pay if you’re a vampire slayer. But I have the book. So, once the Chosen One is here, we can put an end to the curse, and I can stop being a vampire! I see you were introduced to each other?”

“Yes. Carl and I talked about surgery while he examined my . . . um . . . skin condition and—”

“I’m confident we can restore ninety percent of your skin,” Carl said, interrupting her. “It will take multiple treatments, but then you’ll be shipshape!”

Sybil nodded. “That’s good news.”

“I think so,” Catherine remarked with a deep sigh.

 

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“Today we got The Necronomicon, so the Reaper can’t create any new zombies. But in London, Felicity and Jason were captured by Harry Brown. Dammit.”

“Come again?” Carl replied, but Sybil ignored him and bit her lower lip. She took a seat on the corner couch across from them, not thinking about the foul smell she was spreading around.

When she noticed Carl touching his nose frequently and looking the other way, she realized she smelled like a zombie despite the fact she was soaking wet. Catherine was obviously used to the foul stink because she didn’t even bat an eye.

“OK. Don’t say a word. I know I need a bath,” Sybil mumbled and stood. She pulled out her cell phone. “But first I have to, you know, make a phone call,” Sybil announced and took a deep breath, “Like I said, Harry captured our friends in London.”

Carl and Catherine glanced up.

“Well, he did after he burned down a building complex in London.” Sybil drew her eyebrows together.

“Who are you going to call?” Carl demanded.

“Vanessa Dogscape,” Sybil said. “You know, Felicity’s girlfriend.”

“Felicity is gay?” Catherine replied, raising her eyebrows.

“She is, and it doesn’t bother me,” Sybil answered and exhaled. She dialed Vanessa, and it went straight to her voice mail. “OK. Um. She doesn’t answer the phone. Well then, I’ll clean myself up first, before I try again. I feel dirty is all I’m saying.” She looked at Catherine. “After that, you and I go downstairs to the hive.” Sybil grinned. “The heart of Nightbird.”

 

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picture of Cynthia Fridsma

I hope you enjoyed the preview!

Click on this link to buy my book. Buying the book also means that you're supporting me, so I can keep on writing ;-)

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FXNJ6WG/ 

 


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