By Amanda Ashton
Greg had always played by the rules. When he was a police officer he had to and because of it he had the cleanest record on the force. But then there was that fatal night, when he had lost his partner. How many years ago was it now? It still felt like yesterday. Every day he was reminded of it with nightmares and he tried not to break the rules. Over the years he had developed some skills and now the cravings where very few. But if he got stressed they could still bubble to the surface.
That’s why he had built his luxurious house out here in the middle of nowhere, in the Canadian Rockies. It was peaceful and he could get on with his hobbies. How they had changed too, he used to play sports, keep up his shooting practise and have a fast moving social life. If someone back then had told him his favourite hobbies would become painting, listening to classical music and yoga, he would have laughed. But these kept him calm and that kept everything under control!
But at the moment it wasn’t going too well, and his stress levels were high. He’d been up all night and to keep calm he needed his sleep. Now he could smell it, close by and fresh. He wondered if it had to do with all the shouting and the music from the campsite nearby. He knew campers used the forest and usually he would hear a bit of noise, but this had been very loud. It had to be teenagers, the music was deafening to his sensitive ears. He had paced the room of his house, wondering if he should confront them.
Now in the early hours everything had quietened down, so he left the sanctuary of his home, to investigate. The smell was getting stronger and he was finding it harder to keep in control. It had been a very long time since he’d smelt that smell! He wondered if he should turn back but the lure of the aroma was too much.
When he arrived at the campsite there were four tents, a heap of beer cans, bottles and a smouldering fire. As he reached the perimeter, his nostrils flared, there on that broken bottle was the most wonderful sight, probably only a few minutes old. BLOOD! Fresh wonderfully thick red blood. He couldn’t stop himself, his gums ached as his teeth began to lengthen. With inhuman speed he was by the broken glass. His hand hovered over it. Greg licked his lips bending down to try it, but then he stopped. A gentle night breeze caressed his skin, it carried a stronger scent. He looked up, his pupils dilated. He could see a gentle glow coming from one of the tents and heard someone saying “Keep still the bandage is loose. We really need to get you to the hospital.”
Within moments Greg was beside the tent, his senses went into over drive. Fresh human blood! His body tingled in delight, quivered physically with anticipation. He clenched his fists getting control, his teeth slowly retracted. Remembering his yoga training, his heart rate slowed, his body relaxed and soon he was back to his old self again.
He said calmly, “Hi, is everything ok? I live not far from here and heard all the commotion.”
There was a shuffle in the tent and a young blond girl poked her head out. Holding a torch, she shone it straight into Greg’s eyes, forcing him glance away. She quickly dropped it down and smiled softly, “Oh sorry. Yeah, hi, sorry about the noise. Some of our friends got a little drunk. Can you help? My boyfriend managed to cut himself on some broken glass over there when we were tidying up.”
A young man peered out, his hand wrapped in a bandage. Greg smiled, knowing what he was about to say was going to be a big mistake; “If you come up to the house I can sort that out for you. Where is everyone else?”
The blonde nodded over to the other three tents, “Sleeping it off.”
He nodded, “Come on I have something back at the house for that cut. It looks deep.”
The young man nodded as he stepped out of the tent. His girlfriend already standing next to Greg with the torch. “Yeah, stupid of me to try and tidy the glass up. But Heather here was worried an animal would get hurt!”
Greg smiled “Don’t worry. The animals round here won’t be bothered by some glass, grizzlies have other things on their minds.”
“Grizzlies!” replied the young man looking nervous and grabbing the torch from his girlfriend to check the trees nearby.
Greg chuckled, “Don’t worry they won’t hurt you.”
* * * *
Greg leaned back on the sofa feeling satisfied. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Stuff the rules! He felt good. Greg glanced down at the couple sprawled on the floor, both pale and lifeless. The girl had almost been decapitated from him feeding frenzy. He felt a little giddy from the alcohol in their blood. He sighed; now he’d really broken his rules. He coursed under his breath, knowing he would have to deal with the other campers now.
Well it had been a long time since he weakened to the lust, hell how long was it? Eighty years! Well if he broke the rules every eighty years that wasn’t too bad.
He looked outside, dawn was a while away yet. Once the sun rose his vampire strength would be gone. Leaving the bodies in the lounge he ran to the camp site. High on human blood and alcohol, he felt invincible. Needing this to look like a ferocious grizzly attack, he allowed his whole body to transform. The vampiric beast crept towards the tents.
With inhuman speed and with barely a scream to be heard from the victims, the tents were torn apart along with the occupants. Greg looked down at the bodies, as he sucked the blood and flesh from his fingers; satisfied with the results. A few moments later he was carrying the two bodies out to the camp site, to join the others.
As first light framed the pines on the horizon, and no longer needing his vampire strength, he jogged home and headed into the shower. With the lounge scrubbed clean and all the evidence either down the drain or burned in his wood burner, he made the call, “Hi, this is Mr Wallis, I want to report a grizzly sighting. Near my home, I think some people are camping in the woods. I am little concerned.” He paused listening to the officer the other end of the line, “Yes, my father was Officer Gregg Wallis.” He nodded, “Yes he was a good officer…………….. Yes thank you, yes, he was a good man…………… Missed by many. Thank you.”
Knowing how long the police took to get out to his home, he rolled out his yoga mat. Taking the Lotus position he took a deep breath and waited for the police to arrive.