As my eyes focused again, I watched the vampire limping off. Trails of dark liquid spotted the grayish tiles of a walkway leading away from the cemetery. He yanked the blade from his leg. His body shuddered as more blood sprayed about, mixing into the puddles forming from the heavy downpour. He breathed in massive pants.
And then suddenly he was on me, both hands on my neck, clutching at my collar, twisting the material into a tourniquet. I heard Emily sobbing somewhere in the background.
“I’ll kill you,” Coveton snorted.
My windpipe was collapsing. I yanked at his hands. No air made way into my lungs. My chest heaved. Everything turned white and still, like a canvas, and in those long seconds, I caught glimpses of my life: images of the past, of my daughter Emily and my wife Elizabeth, of a place called Keen Manor, and the graveyard built behind it, of burying my wife, and seeing my daughter walk me to the gates of a new home, away from everything, and a door closing in a cold, steel room.
Thunder struck again, as the sky bellowed out for us, and the noise broke my attention on those false memories. Coveton continued to choke the rest of my breath away, but even as my life ebbed, I regained my senses enough to hear a pair of footsteps.
“Stop it, you’ll kill him!”
A loud thunk. A sudden jolt. Hands went limp around my throat.
I propelled backward across the foot of a grave. I heard a groan that was not my own and then a splash of a large mass hitting into sodden ground.
The air was thick with water and fog, but I sucked it into my lungs, trying to stay awake in this final chapter. My back was soggy and head rang in a thousand bells. Somehow, I managed to roll to my side. Emily stood nearby; the crucifix clutched as a sword in her hands.
I staggered up to my hands and knees. The soil kept giving way beneath my fingers. So tired. I lifted my head. Emily stood over Coveton, brandishing the heavy cross, a smear of blood across the symbol.
I pushed myself to one knee and snatched up the wooden stake from the ground. I hobbled over to Coveton. His dark eyes fluttered as raindrops hit against them.
I plunged the stake into his chest. His body convulsed and shook, hands gripping the wooden object impaling its flesh and organs. Blood spouted then coursed vigorously from the wound. Thick dark electric blood. Streams of silver, red viscous ooze. I waited for him to burst into flame or turn to ash but his body just continued to shake until a violent moment of thrashing, and then he went still.