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Monsterhearts, A Clue or Two

June 28, 2017

A letter from Benjamin Gilbert

 The whole history of the fire we published in the Times was a lie, of course. The fire had nothing to do with that foolish Swede in the wood shop, we just used him as a convenient scapegoat. It was all because of the vampires. 

 Hunters from the east were on their trail, and had been for awhile – one of the creatures they called “Jonathan” was particularly disruptive, hardly bothering to cover his tracks as he left a trail of destruction, broken lives and broken families from New York to Oregon. He ravaged Seattle for weeks before we finally trapped him and his henchmen in the wood shop. The owner, may he Rest In Peace, was part of the plot, and invited them in so they would be unable to harm innocents when we confronted them. The vampire Jonathan – an exceptionally tall man, with dark hair, striking blue eyes, and an ugly scar down the right side of his neck – tried to compel us with that curious mental power they have, but we’d taken precautions – the standard herbal remedy from the old country proved effective. But we were unprepared for his extraordinary speed and power, and that of his companions. 

 DeMarigny took out two of the bloodsuckers with stakes, and I wounded one with my silver knife, but failed to slay it. Grossman’s bullets proved entirely ineffective, and Jonathan snapped his neck in the blink of an eye. DeMarigny and the other hunters fought like lions, but the vampires were just too fast. Jonathan knocked the knife out of my grasp and pinned me to the wall with an insane strength. He forced me to watch, helpless, as they drained DeMarigny of his life.

 Gloating, the evil vampire looked into my eyes. “Now that your friends are dead or dying, I think we’ll take our time with you. You organized this hunt, and are worthy of special interest.” 

 Although my heart quailed within my breast, I put on a brave face. “Do your worst!” I cried, “I go to meet my maker with a clear conscience!”

 Jonathan’s grin grew wider. “No, you won’t,” he crowed, “because I will turn you. You will join us, and I will personally supervise your transition as you feed on the innocent and helpless. You will receive a punishment beyond death.” With these words, fangs sprouted from his mouth and he bit down, piercing my neck. I am not ashamed to say I cried out then, in greater despair and horror than I had ever known. 

 When I was weak and dizzy from blood loss, he opened a vein in his arm and forced me to swallow some of his blood. “You will die soon now,” the vampire said, “and when you wake up, you will be one of us.” I was too weak to move or respond, and lay slumped against the doorframe. The exit was inches to my right, but may as well have been on another continent. The creatures turned to begin feeding on those wounded hunters they hadn’t yet killed, and tears fell from my eyes as I heard their cries of despair and pain. 

 It was then that she appeared. Beautiful, with a face showing traces of an ancestry from the east, and dark hair that fell in curls onto her shoulders. Kneeling down, she looked at me, and I thought I saw pity in her eyes, combined with a steely determination. I struggled to rise, entreating her to flee, to save herself, but she shook her head. “Invite me in,” she whispered, “and I will help you. This I promise.” 

 It was then I knew she was another creature of the night. My first instinct was to refuse her, but then, what did I have to lose? My fate was already sealed. “Come in,” I managed to croak. 

 Instantly she entered, followed by companions of her own. They were like a storm, unleashing a savagery upon Jonathan and his faction that words cannot describe. It was in this struggle that the fire started. I managed to crawl out of the burning building, and watched as the battle between the vampires continued, first onto the roof of the woodshop and then onto neighboring rooftops. The conflagration spread, as burning vampires set nearby buildings alight as they screamed and died. And so the Great Seattle Fire began. This was the truth we dared not print in the paper. 

 I died at some point during the night. Ling found me later, and cared for me, showing me how to feed. She had her own reasons for wanting Jonathan dead, but of these she forbids me to speak. She believes that monster perished in the fire, but I am not so sanguine. It is this Jonathan’s fault that I now walk as a creature of the night, condemned to darkness and to feed on the living for as long as my foul existence continues. And I make it my only goal to take vengeance upon this villain, and all those like him, who prey on the innocent with cruelty and malice. 

 I write this so that those on the inner council may know the truth, and be warned, and so take appropriate action. In my next note I will confirm for you the best and most reliable methods for warding against and destroying vampires. I urge you to employ these methods and protections throughout the region, using whatever excuses as may seem fit to the council. 

I am most sincerely,

Benjamin Gilbert

A vampire

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