When I reach the Shop, I see a poster displayed in the front window:
The top line of the contain the words:
"These Three Sacrificed To Appease the Wrath of Vampirania".
Under these words are three photos in line, of Paula, Diane and myself, with our names posted underneath.
Beneath the photos are the words;
"Sacrificed by Roxanna Morgan. The Vampire Staker".
Roxanna's photo is posted beside that statement.
Beneath her photo and the statement, are the words.
"Now all is well in Sangreville".
Is Roxanna Morgan, I wonder, the new Vampire Staker instead of me? If it was anyone other than her, I wouldn't object. It's not a job I want. But...but she got the job as a reward for committing the murder of my cousin Paula Sheridan, and the attempted murder of me; and she's getting away with it. Not only getting away, but proudly taking credit for the deed.
What else should I expect? This is Sangreville.
Roxanna will replace Paula? Paula was a woman of strong character, who un-derstood right from wrong; and always wanted to do what was right. That's something you can't say about Roxanna; who is now in some kind of position of power. Will the life of every citizen of Sangreville be hers to play with? Aren't things bad enough already?
I remember reading in the devotional booklet, "Messages From God to You" the quote:
"The wicked walk on every side when the vilest of men are exalted." (Psalms 12:8)
I walk up to the window and call out; repeating the words I had originally spoken while standing at this spot, when I'd first provoked the wrath of Vampirania.
"Get away from us Satan, and stay away from all of us! The Lord rebuke you! In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."
Now I Elaine Harris, cry out again, quoting the Bible; the same words I'd read outside the Cavern entrance.
"'These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.'"
Now I call out the same prayer that I'd begun to pray outside the Cavern.
"I call upon the Lord to shut and lock the door of this demons' gateway, and the gateway on the mountainside, along with any and all other demon gateways; so that demons will not be able to attack any more members of our community; and we will all be healed! I ask in Jesus Name! Amen!"
Now I the "Sacrificed" Elaine Harris, turn away from the Dark Arts R Us Shop, and head for the corner. I've decided to head over to Sangreville High, hoping to re-enroll for the night classes, so I can get my life back, as close as possible, to normal.
As I stand on the corner, waiting for the traffic light to change, I hear a woman call out.
"Hey! Elaine Harris!"
I turn in her direction, and see an anxious looking Loretta standing outside the entrance to the Dark Arts R Us Shop, facing me.
I step away from the corner and head toward her, as she approaches me. We come to about two steps from each other when we halt.
She points behind her toward the Shop's window, and speaks with tension.
"According to that poster, you're supposed to have been sacrificed."
"That's true." I tell her, "I'm no longer alive. I'm undead."
I extend my fangs. She gasps and takes a step back.
"It's okay Loretta. I'm not gonna violate the Truce."
"That's good to know." She speaks nervously, "What about your cousin Paula? Is she dead, like that poster says? I don't mean 'undead'. I mean really dead; totally."
"I'm sure she is." I tell her, and she gasps. "But I don't know for certain. I think we should ask Roxanna Morgan about that."
"Well I think Roxanna's someone who it'd be better to avoid."
Now I ask, "Is she the new Vampire Staker?"
"According to the poster she is; with all the demonic power of Vampirania behind her. So it's just best for us to stay out of her way."
"But if we do that, things'll get even worse." I repeat the words, "The wicked walk on every side when the vilest of men are exalted."
Loretta looks startled. "You're a vampire and you're quoting the Bible? I just saw you standing in front of that poster, and I heard you calling out. You were quoting the Bible and praying in Jesus Name?"
"That's right. 'Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.'"
"But how is that possible? All vampires are under the rule of the Demon Vampirana; eternally enslaved, and incapable of acknowledging any faith in God or resisting the Devil."
"I'm not." I tell her, "It was the Lord who raised me. Not Vampirania. I still have free will. It's possible that it might be the same with my cousin Diana and with Nathan too."
"They're not eternally enslaved?"
I tell Loretta, "I'm heading over to the High School, to re-enroll for the night classes. I want to get my life back to normal; or as close to normal as possible. I'll see just how enslaved anyone enrolled in those classes is, or isn't."
"Good idea. That's where Nathan's just enrolled."
I sigh. "Don't worry Loretta. I've decided not to attend any more fang bangs."
"I don't know Elaine. Now that you're a vampire, it might not be possible for you to avoid."
"Well if I can't avoid attending, I promise to avoid fang bang banging your boyfriend again."
I head away from her and go back to the corner. The light is now green, so I cross the street and head on over to Sangreville High.
As I walk along I wonder. What did I just do? I just prayed the same prayer, with which I'd originally provoked the wrath of Vampirana, in the exact same place where I provoked her. That first prayer led to Diana and Nathan becoming vampires, Paula getting killed, along with me getting almost killed? Almost? Now I've prayed it again? How bad are things going to get?
Should I continue praying to stop the Vampirania, I wonder, if doing so will only get the Evil One angry, and lead to more harm for myself along with everyone in Sangreville?
No. "Resist the Devil and he will flee from you".
When I reach the High School, the front doors are unlocked and the corridor lights are on. I step inside and find things different.
Nighttime at Sangreville High, is very different from the daytime. For one thing, the place is quiet. The brightly lit corridors are empty of students and faculty. Every classroom I walk past is locked, dark and unoccupied. So is the Office.
No one in the Office? I wonder. How do I enroll for the Night Classes?
If nobody's here, why are the front doors unlocked? Are the Custodians at work?
I call out, "Hello! Is anybody here?"
My voice echoes along the corridor. I hear no reply.
I decide to wait, to see if anyone shows up.
I call out again. "Is anybody here?"
There is again no reply. I wait about two minutes. There is still no reply.
I wonder, Are they really holding classes for teenage vampires?
I shrug and decide to leave. I'll ask Mom to ask about exactly what's going on with these supposed night classes for the undead.
I turn and head for the front door. I put my hand on the push bar, when a teenage boy calls out from the far end of the corridor behind me.
"Hello? Are you looking to enroll in the night classes?"
I turn in his direction. I see a boy with dark hair, who was around my age, hurrying along the corridor in my direction. I stay where I am and wait for him as he hurries over to me.
When he reaches me he stands still and repeats, "Are you looking to enroll in the night classes?"
"Yes." I tell him. "I've been looking around. The Office is closed and locked, and so are all the classrooms, and all their lights are off. I thought the place was deserted, and there was nobody here."
"Oh we are here. There just aren't all that many of us."
"Enough to fit in one classroom."
"Are all of you vampires?"
He nods and extended his fangs.
I extend mine. "That's good to know."
Then he steps away and beckons. "Follow me."
I walk beside him, along the brightly lit, quiet, empty corridor.
"My name's Jimmy Manetti." He asks, "What's your name?"
I told him, "Elaine Harris."
He halts. So did I.
I asked, "Is there a problem?"
He speaks uneasily. "Are you the cousin of Paula Sheridan, the Vampire Staker?"
I speak cautiously. "That's right."
He lowers his voice. "Nobody knows what's happened to her."
I'm not sure what to tell him; what I should or shouldn't say.
What I do tell him is, "I think you should ask Roxanna Morgan about that."
He nods and we continue walking along the silent corridor, neither of us saying anything. We go around a corner and come to classroom 128 where the door is open and the lights are on.
Jimmy and I enter the room where about two dozen casually dressed guys and girls in their mid teens are seated at the desks. They sit facing a man in his mid thirties, who stands at the blackboard facing them. I don't recognize him.
I don't recognize most the kids in the room either; but some I do. My cousin Diana Sheridan is a member of this class, so is Nathan, and so is Mr. Steven "Good-bite". I'm still not sure what his real last name is.
As soon as Jimmy and I enter, all the Students and the Teacher stop what they were doing, and turn their attention to me.
Diana calls out, "Elaine?" She speaks nervously. "What's happened to Paula? Is she dead? I don't mean 'undead' . I mean really dead; totally."
"I'm sure she is." I tell her, and she gasped. "But I don't know for certain."
Everyone begins murmuring.
"The Staker is dead." One girl says, "Sacrificed by Roxanna Morgan, to Vampirania."
Nathan speaks to me, "And according to Roxanna Morgan, so were you."
The teacher taps the blackboard with the piece of chalk in his hand. The entire class quiets down.
He speaks to me with a calm voice. "Can I help you Miss?"
"I hope so." I tell him, "My name's Elaine Harris. I've come to enroll for night classes. I understand that I am now qualified to attend." I extend my fangs for everyone to see. "But the Office is closed."
"That's all right." The man tells me. I see that he also has fangs. "You may address me as Mr. Driscoll. I have the forms here at my desk. You can fill them out here."
I start to move toward the desk, when Nathan calls out.
"You're undead Elaine!"
He continues. "You weren't killed at the fang-bang, and you weren't undead when you and Paula left to go to the Demon's Gateway. Who bit you?"
"The only vampire who's bit me," I point, "has been 'Mr. Goodbite' there."
The 'Goodbite' Boy says, "But that was at the fang-bang, and we were all being very
careful. You didn't die then."
Nathan says, "and you didn't die in your sleep like me and your cousin Diana here."
"I was killed by Roxanna, outside the Demon's Gateway. She shot me and Paula with arrows through our hearts. That was after I received my first biting. Roxanna told me that since Paula died beside me, it meant I would be the next Vampire Staker. That's why she shot me, to keep that from happening."
"But you didn't stay dead. That means that you're the one who's the Vampire Staker. Not Roxanna."
"I know; but it's a job I don't want!"
"Miss Harris." Now Mr. Driscoll speaks. "Everyone. Please don't panic. The identity of the next Enforcer of the Truce is not to be decided by you, or by Roxanna Morgan. That decision is to be made by the Truce Commission, and then confirmed by the Town Council. From what I can see, it doesn't look like either of you would be qualified."
"That's good to know." I tell him, and everyone.
"Exactly." He tells us, "Every now and then, some of the important things which happen in this town are actually decided by us grown-ups."
Nathan called out, "Good!"
Diana, and the other vampire kids nodded
Then I ask the teacher, "Mr. Driscoll, among those grown-ups, are there are least ten righteous men?"
He asks, "Ten righteous?"
"Sangreville" I tell them all, "is often compared to Sodom and Gomorrah, which God de-stroyed with fire and brimstone. Now before that happened, according to the Bible, God told Abraham, that if there were ten righteous men in those cities, he would not destroy them.
"Right now, Sangreville might be in the same situation. If there are not at least ten righteous people in this community, Roxanna Morgan might not be the only one who gets burning coals dumped on her head."