Read C.O.T.V.H. (Book 2): Judgment Online

Authors: Dustin J. Palmer

Tags: #Urban Fantasy/Vampires

C.O.T.V.H. (Book 2): Judgment

Chronicles of the Vampire Hunters:

Judgment

 

by

Dustin J. Palmer

 

SMASHWORDS EDITION

 

* * * * *

 

PUBLISHED BY:

Dustin J. Palmer on Smashwords

 

Copyright 2012 Dustin J. Palmer

 

 

Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author's work.

 

 

 

Edited by

Doree Anne Colon

Horror Zedits & Last Writes

 

 

 

PUBLISHED BY:

Dustin J. Palmer

Copyright 2012 Dustin J. Palmer

 

 

 

Prologue

Jake/John

 

 

The Bishop Residence, Lubbock TX 

May 30, 1997 4:09am

 

 

“Jake, whatever you do, whatever you hear, do not come out of this room!”  Jake’s dad’s hands shoved him forcefully into his Grandpa Cort’s safe room.  “No matter what.”

The pounding on the barred front door grew louder by the second.  The windows in Cort’s room shattered and the ceiling shook violently then cracked as something heavy crashed into it.  Jake knew the rebar reinforcing the ceiling and the iron bars protecting the doors and windows would only hold them at bay for so long, any minute now they would be inside.

“Come on you dirty bloodsucking sons of bitches!” his Grandpa Cort roared from the living room.  “Come suck on this!” 
The Cleaner,
a ten gauge shotgun handed down from Jake’s great-grandfather, blasted away in the older Bishop’s hands.  “John!  Make it quick son!  They’re almost inside!”

John grabbed a pump action 12 gauge off the wall and a box of shells and tossed them to Jake.  Then he yanked a razor sharp machete down and laid it on the floor at Jake’s feet.  “Load the gun.  Hold it tight to your shoulder, remember to squeeze the trigger don’t pull it.  If anything manages to get through this door you keep blasting until it’s not moving then you cut its head off.  You
have
to take its head to kill it.  Do you understand?”

“But Dad, please just give me a chance!”  Jake pleaded, fumbling to get the shells into the shotgun.  “I know I can help you!”

“Not this time kid.”  John ruffled his shaggy brown hair.  “It’s nothing personal but you’d just get in the way.  Pop and I have got everything under control.”

“If you won’t let me help then come in here with me!  You and Grandpa both, we can all fit!  We’ll just wait until the sun comes up.”

“This is our home, son,”  John said solemnly.  “They’re not taking this from us.  Not again.”

An even louder crash sounded in the living room.  “Johnny!”  Cort yelled then fired a three round burst.  “Dammit boy!  It’s game time and you’re late for the kickoff!”

John grabbed two .357 revolvers off the wall and tucked them into his waistband, another machete, and two boxes of ammo.  He smiled at his son then slammed the heavy steel door closed and locked it behind him.

Jake angrily pounded his fist against it.  “No!  Dad!  No!” he yelled in anger.  “I can help you!”

The door was at least six inches thick but Jake could still hear the muffled sounds of continuous gunfire.  Terror gripped tightly at his chest. 
Please God!  Please let them be okay! 
He prayed. 
Please!

Something heavy slammed into the door hard enough to dent it inward.  Jake fell backwards over an ammo box and fired his shotgun into the steel door.  He landed hard hitting his head on a steel shelf.  Buckshot ricocheted around the room missing him by mere inches.  His ears rang as darkness crept around the edges of his vision.  With his left hand, he touched the back of his head and felt blood in his hair.  He tried to sit up but the room started spinning violently.

With another thud, the heavy steel door bent further inward as some monstrous foe struck it.  Razor sharp talons wrapped around the top right edge and peeled it back a full three feet.  With one final pull the door groaned outward and the crimson eyes of a Maker peered in at Jake.  “Evening mate!” He smiled a mouthful of fangs.  “We’ve been looking for you.”

He was dressed in a strange punk rock getup; complete with black leather jacket, fishnet stockings, and leather biker gloves covering both hands.  His stringy purple hair hung down nearly to his waist.  He climbed fully into the tiny room before dusting off and straightening his jacket.  “Bloody hell that attic was dusty!”

His head still spinning, Jake picked up the shotgun and racked in a fresh shell.  His aim wavering badly, he pulled the trigger filling the small space with a loud BOOM!  Bits of buckshot tore into the side of the Maker’s face, causing him to wince in pain.

On reflex, Jake dropped the gun and grabbed his ears in pain.

“You miserable little snot!”  The Maker snarled in a British accent, sticking his fingers in both ears and wiggling them around.  “Don’t they teach you hunter pups anything?”  He seemed completely unfazed by the buckshot lodged in his skull. “You don’t fire a gun in an enclosed space!  Everyone knows that.  Stupid bastard . . .”

Jake reached for his gun but the Maker kicked away. “Once Macro is done with you I’m going to rip your head from your neck and shove it up your arse!”

Silent as a ghost, another figure, dressed entirely in black, suddenly dropped in behind the first Maker.  Punk Rock Maker took two steps closer toward Jake’s terrified form. His smile faltered when he noticed Jake was staring behind him.  He turned just as the figure clad in black reached out with his hands and wrapped them tightly around the Punk Rock Maker’s neck.

The Maker in black extended his talons into Punk Rock’s pale white skin then jerked both hands apart.  Surprise and terror filled his eyes as his head was ripped from his body, sending an eruption of black blood onto the ceiling and walls.  The body, still twitching, slumped to the floor at Jake’s feet.

The remaining Maker stared down at Jake.  He stood right under six feet tall, had short brown hair, and couldn’t have been more than seventeen or eighteen years old.  At least that was the age he had been before being turned.

His cold, dead eyes turned from blood red to a familiar soft green.  It was then that Jake realized he’d seen this Maker once before.  Years ago, at his Grandpa Riker’s, it had been the same Maker that had spared his life when Macro had come looking for him.

Michael!  Macro called him, Michael. 
“Why?”  Jake mumbled softly as the blood pooled around the back of his head.

He started to answer then frowned, as the gunshots from the living room grew closer.  He turned and grabbing up the Punk Rock Maker’s body in one hand, his head in the other leapt through the vault door and disappeared into a hole in the ceiling.

  Jake’s head throbbed painfully; he slumped to his side, closed his eyes and dreamed of his mother’s loving, green eyes.

“Jake?”  His Grandpa Cort’s familiar voice finally broke into his sleep.  “Jake?  Come on kid wake up.”  The old man’s weathered hand gently slapped his cheek.  Jake’s eyes popped open and looked right into the eyes of a blood soaked Cort Bishop.

“Grandpa?”  Jake muttered groggily.  “What happened?”

“You hit your head.”  His father’s concerned voice said from beside him.  Jake turned his head several inches and again the room started spinning.

“Easy now kid,” John said squeezing his shoulder.  “Take it slow and try not to move too much.  You might have a concussion.”

“What? How did I get in the safe room?”  Jake muttered looking around at the dozens of rifles, shotguns, and handguns lining the walls.

“What’s the last thing you remember?”  John asked.

“Uhhh . . .” Jake had to think very hard for several long seconds.  “I remember someone beating on the front door.  You came and got me out of bed . . . then Grandpa yelling something about football . . . then I saw . . . Mom’s eyes . . . those green eyes.”

“Great,” John said to Cort.  “He’s definitely got a concussion.  It was vampires, son.  Six grunts.  And from the look of things, one of them got in here with you.  There’s plenty of blood on the walls, floor, and ceiling so you must have gotten a pretty good piece of him.”

“What!”  Jake exclaimed trying to sit up.

“Easy, easy.”  John gently pushed him back down.  “Pam Williams is on her way here to check you out.  Just lie still till then, okay?  I don’t want to move you until she says it’s okay.”

“But, but the vampires!”  Jake yelled.

“It’s okay.”  Cort grunted, climbing back to his feet, his knees giving a very audible pop.  “It took some doing and the house is trashed, but we killed them all.”

“Holy shit.”  Jake muttered looking around the room in confusion.

“You’re out of it right now, so I’ll over look that.”  John smiled at Cort.

A tall African American woman with short black hair and dark circles under her eyes placed a hand on Cort’s shoulder then stepped past him into the tiny space.  “Hey now fellas?  How are we doing?”

“We’re doing okay, Pam.  A little shook up with a few cuts and bruises, but I think we’re okay.”  John smiled giving her arm a gentle squeeze.  “I think Jake might have a concussion though.”

  “Is that so?”  Pam said kneeling down and giving Jake a good once over.  “John, Cort, go in the other room and have Holloway take a look at your wounds.  I’ll be in, in a few minutes, once I’ve checked Jake out.”

John nodded noticing for the first time the big gash running across his forearm.  “I’ll be in the next room if you need me, son.”

“Hello, Jake.”  She smiled.  “Can you tell me where you are?” she asked checking his pupils with a small penlight.

“Uh . . .” Jake groaned.  “I’m in Grandpa’s gun vault.”

“Uh huh, and who is the President of the United States?”

 

-----

 

John stepped into the living room where three of Mike Holloway’s guys were keeping guard.  Mike, a heavyset cowboy, complete with a big straw hat and pair of cowboy boots, came back from outside where he had been talking to the police.

“So what’s the damage, Mike?”  John asked grabbing a towel from the kitchen and wrapping it tightly around his arm.

“I’ve got an old friend in the Sheriff’s Department that used to be a hunter.  He’s covering things with the PD.  Though there were more than a few that wanted to come in and have a look around.  I heard a couple of them saying something about a standoff involving Cort?”  He looked from John to Cort.  “Cort, you old outlaw you, do I even want to know?” 

“Big misunderstanding,” Cort grumbled.

“Well anyway, lucky for you my man convinced them to look the other way.  How’s the boy doing?”

“He’s doing alright.”  John nodded.  “Pam is checking on him now.  It’s a damn good thing you guys were still in town when these bloodsuckers hit.  Thanks again for coming so fast, Mike.”

“No problem at all, hoss.”  Mike grinned a crooked smile.  “My pleasure.  It’s just a damn shame you two killed them all before we could get here.”

“Well, what can I say?   When you’re good, you’re goo . . .” Cort said falling back into his old leather recliner.  The chair immediately broke apart, dropping him hard to the ground.

“Son of a bitch,” he cursed, lying flat on his back with his feet up in the air.  “Well don’t just stand there looking ugly!  Give me a hand!”

John and Holloway both gave each other a half smile before reaching down and pulling Cort to his feet.  “Son of a bitch.” He repeated looking down at his ruined chair.  “I loved that chair.”  He shook his head in anger biting his bottom lip.  “Son-of-a-bitch!”

John placed a hand on his shoulder trying to calm him, “It’s just a chair, Pop.”

Cort angrily shrugged it off, “Just a chair my ass!  Look at this place,” he said motioning around the room. Bullet holes riddled every wall; almost all of the furniture was covered in black vampire blood. The windows were shattered, the front door hung off its hinges and the ceiling had collapsed where one of the grunts had managed to punch his way through.  The big iron-gate that had protected the door was nowhere in sight. “The house is completely destroyed!”

“It’s just a house, Pop,” John said in a tone suggesting it was much more than that.  “Just a house . . .” He had spent almost his entire childhood in this house.

“How the hell did they find us?”  John said picking a broken picture of his old friend Terry Williams up off the floor.  “You’ve lived here for what Pop?  Forty years?”

“I’ll tell you how they found you,”  Holloway said heatedly.  “It’s that goddamn Coalition!”

“Mike . . .” John started to say.

“I warned you John!  I warned you and Billy that everyone knowing everyone else’s business was a bad idea.  When you’re dealing with the government there are just too many damn leaks!  You boys should have left well enough alone.  Just kept it all independent like it’s always been.”

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