I was part of a team sent to represent the Lincoln chapter of PFLAG at a national convention in Arkansas. The convention was at a church, in a town where much of the industry that had kept it alive had dried up, leaving whole blocks deserted and streets in disrepair. The church was also a hotel, with many levels and hidden places beneath. We arrived the day before the convention was to start, so we unpacked and then hit the streets to do some exploring.
Some of the younger people in our group led the way into an industrial area full of empty warehouses and run-down shops. We climbed a fence and picked our way through a yard full of old junk, entering an old factory containing rusted machines.
Just then, I looked around and realized several members of our group were missing. They were elderly, and must have gotten left behind. I tried to get the group to stop and go back for them, but everyone else was too caught up in the adventure.
I retraced our steps all the way back to the church, but could not find them. I was getting very worried. Some younger church members who were helping coordinate the convention also ran the hotel, and I asked them for help. They told me that if the missing people had signed the coat-check roster, that meant they were safely in their rooms. “Where’s the coat-check?” I asked, heading toward the front desk.
“We know a shortcut,” said a young man with light brown hair. “Follow us.”
Outside, the sun had gone down.
I followed them down, past the basement and into a sub-basement that was dark, with twisting hallways and many narrow rooms and short flights of steps, first up, then down again, until I was thoroughly lost. The young man opened a utility closet lined with steel pipes and containing a water heater. He pointed past the pipes to a square opening near the floor. Just beyond this opening was a long, dark room that might have been a gym or basketball court with large pipes running along what I could see of the walls.
“It’s through there,” he told me.
I grasped one of the pipes and swung through the opening. Just before letting go of the pipe, I looked back. “Which way—” I began, but the rectangular square of yellow light from the hall outside was just disappearing as they closed and locked the door, leaving me in complete darkness.
As fear gripped my heart, I woke up.
I lay there, staring at the ceiling, thinking about the people in my dream and getting angrier and angrier. I knew what they were planning to do. They were going to leave me locked in that dark sub-basement and sneak in later, wearing night-vision goggles, and terrorize me all night for their amusement. I kept telling myself it was just a dream that came out of my own mind, but that did not abate my deepening rage.
I closed my eyes and fell back into the dream.
I was still hanging from the steel pipe above the basketball court. I opened my eyes in the pitch darkness…and I could see without light. At one end of the court stood six dark figures: five guys and one girl. They were vampires, eager to have some fun with me before killing me. They were all watching me and grinning, unaware that I could see them.
Unaware that I was something far more powerful than them.
I let go of the pipe and dropped to the floor. As I walked slowly toward them, they began closing in, their grins widening.
Just as they were about to strike, I stabbed several of them through the torso, too fast for them to react (I don’t know what I used to stab them). This did not kill them, only slowed them down. They all attacked at once, but I had some kind of dark magic inside me so that all I had to do was blow in their faces and they were instantly dead.
Leaving the six corpses on the floor, I pushed out of the gym doors and ran through the maze of corridors and cubicles, trying to find my way out. It was still completely lightless down here, but I could see clearly.
In front of me, a door burst open and the biggest vampire of them all blocked my escape. He was tall, with brown hair and eyes. He was unaware that I had killed his companions, or that I was anything more than frightened prey. Grinning in the darkness, he reached for me. I blew in his face. His eyes rolled up into his head and he crashed to the floor.
I knew he was too big for one breath to kill him, and that he would reanimate. Sure enough, as I stepped over him, his arm shot out, grabbing for me. I leapt easily out of his reach, and came down with both feet, crushing his skull.
I opened the door, stepped into the light, and woke up smiling.
Today has been an awesome day.