Warning! This is a horror/dark fiction story so may be disturbing to some. There is strong language and sexual situations.
He was well above the treeline now, loping easily across a slope. The blowing snow in his face and the howl of the storm in his ears was invigorating and he could almost imagine that he was back in the cold northern mountains of his youth, a fiery young noble roaming the land, taking what he wished, gathering with his comrades to tell heroic tales of prey taken and tribes conquered.
Although the wind and snow prevented him from tasting her scent, the vampire felt he was close to the female now and her proximity gave him hope; hope for the strong new dynasty he would sire, the helpless prey he would conquer. His time was coming. The time when he would rule and revitalize the scattered tribes of the Seven Kingdoms.
There was a momentary lull in the wind and he heard the whining machine somewhere below him.
They were coming after all.
Angling away toward an outcropping of black boulders near the summit of a high ridge, he passed them by, leaving a clear trail in the snow. When he had gone perhaps a hundred yards–far enough that the boulders were no more than a dim outline in the blowing snow–he climbed straight up toward the ridge, then doubled back along a different path. Leaping lightly to the top of the tallest stone, he fell to his stomach and aimed the black shotgun at his own footprints in the snow: the footprints his pursuers would be following.
The noise of the approaching snowmobile was louder. The beam of its single headlight stabbed through the swirling curtains of snow far down near the tree line..
“Give it up, Junior, we’re gonna freeze to death up here.” Frolich was shouting at the top of his lungs, not sure whether the deputy could even hear him over the racket of the speeding snowmobile. Frolich realized now that it had been stupid to take off on this half-assed hunt. They should have waited until morning. Called in a chopper… The snowmobile hit a dip, went momentarily airborne slamming back to earth with a spine-jarring crash. Frolich hung on for dear life. Shit!
The speeding machine was coming on fast, the black shape behind the flaring headlight resolving into the outlines of two men.
Straight Razor Dan thumbed off the safety of the heavy shotgun, training the thick barrel on the approaching snow mobile. The sound of its engine was clattering annoyingly off the rocks. He squeezed down on the trigger…. Held.
Another headlight had suddenly appeared behind the first; a second faster machine was racing to catch up with the first, bouncing across the frozen surface and throwing up a great white plume in its wake. The vampire felt a surge of pleasure as he realized that it was the woman. He would have her right here among the frozen rocks, drink her hot blood before continuing on his trek… He trained the sights of the gun on the first machine now. It was close. Close enough to see the grim face of the driver… the woman’s mate. When he killed him the woman would surely rush to his aid. His finger tightened on the trigger again.
The twelve gauge shotgun exploded with a thunderous report that stunned the waiting predator with its loudness. He watched the racing machine flip onto its tail, tossing its two riders into the air like broken dolls.
Then the rocky surface beneath the vampire’s feet began to vibrate and he put his hands to his ears, trying to drive out the low subsonic rumble that was filling his head. The rumbling grew louder and he turned dumbly and looked up at the ridge behind him.
Straight Razor Dan froze like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck as the entire crest of the mountain fell, obliterating him in a sudden crush of rock and earth.
Annie screamed as the avalanche roared toward the wrecked snowmobile, a thundering wall of white racing down the slope from above. She had been flying along in the track of Vince’s machine, her lighter Kawasaki closing the gap between them, when the Ski-Doo with the two men aboard had unaccountably flipped into the air, flinging Vince and Frolich into the soft snow and landing on its nose some distance away. A moment later, the avalanche had begun and now she watched helplessly as it swept to within a few yards of where the two men lay.
Revving her light machine ahead, she raced to the nearest of the figures in the snow. Frolich pulled himself to a sitting position, clutching an injured shoulder. The stunned detective looked groggily up at Annie. “What the fuck was that?” he muttered.
Ignoring him, she aimed the Kawasaki’s headlight at Vince’s still body, then jumped from the snowmobile and waded to him through knee-deep snow. He lay face down. “Oh God,” she murmured. “Please.”
Annie rolled him gently onto his back, wincing at the sight of his blood against the depression in the pure white blanket covering the rocky ground. “Vince?” she whispered. “Honey, can you hear me?”
“Bastard took a shot at me,” he mumbled like a drunk who’s just taken a fist to the jaw in a barroom brawl. He opened his eyes and smiled up at her.
“Are you hurt badly?” she asked.
He groaned and tried to sit up, wincing against the pain. “I don’t know,” he said, “but my Ski-Doo is gonna need a whole shitload of new parts.
Frolich hurried up, talking urgently into his portable radio. He collapsed the antenna and leaned over to peer down at Vince. “Hey, Junior,” he smiled. “looks like we got the bastard.”
Vince shook his head. “The bastard got himself.”
Frolich raised his eyes to the collapsed mountainside, still rumbling as smaller falls of loose rock and snow sought a new equilibrium in the wake of the initial disaster. “Yeah, you really think the other one’s still up here like the fat guy said?”
Vince closed his eyes, clasping Annie’s hand against the pain.
Right now he didn’t really care.