Chapter 1 – A Willing Companion
She was determined. She was prepared. She was organised. She was powerful. Well, she wasn’t that powerful. But for someone like Evelyn Reed, you didn’t need power if you had the three Ations. That’s Determination, Preparation and Organisation. And Evelyn had all three. The only thing she didn’t have was a willing companion.
She’d had many before, all eager to travel the world with her, hunting monsters big and small. But as her adventures turned into disasters, the sorcerers of
began to realise what was happening when Evelyn returned home without anyone beside her. Australia
This time, Evelyn was hunting vampires. Not a very easy feat, she knew, but if she were to wipe out the whole existence of vampires, then no one would be bothered by those evil creatures again, and Evelyn Reed would be a hero.
But now, since everyone who had heard of her knew much better than to join her in her travels, Evelyn had to be a little cleverer when it came to finding a companion. So when Evelyn arrived at Eyre’s Rock, and saw the man racing around the giant red rock, she knew she had come to the right place.
She proceeded to wave to the man, and when he came around again and saw her, he ran over, unnaturally quickly. She started to wonder if he was a vampire himself.
But no, he smiled when he stopped in front of her, and vampires didn’t smile a lot, Evelyn figured. The man was sunburnt all over, wearing a tank top and shorts, and a rather battered pair of sneakers – no socks. His sandy hair was flattened with sweat, and he looked like he was up to any challenge set before him. Perfect, Evelyn thought.
“Got any water?” he asked. “I’m parched.”
She tossed him a water bottle, and watched him as he took a large gulp, then poured the rest over his head. She didn’t speak, she just clawed at her arm; it had been itching for days.
“Mozzies gettin’ at you, huh?” He laughed when she said nothing. “They try and take my blood, but I’m way too fast for those suckers.”
Evelyn thought it best to start talking. “You’re a sorcerer, right?”
The man snorted. “I’m no Sanctuary agent.”
She paused, then smiled patiently. “But you do have magic, yes? I don’t know anyone who can run that fast. Well, besides vampires, which is what I wanted to talk to you about...?”
The man shook his head. “Sorry, lady, I don’t do vampires, but I have a little brother, and he really needs to get out these days.” He looked at her, then added, “Don’t worry; he’s almost as fast as me. I’ll be back in a jiffy. Name’s Swift, by the way.”
Evelyn watched Swift run off until she couldn’t see him anymore, then she sat on the hot ground and waited. A while later, she glanced at her watch, then remembered it was broken, so she applied sunscreen to her burning limbs and waited a little longer. Ants were starting to find their way into the bag she had brought with her. Finally, Swift returned with a boy.
“Hey, sorry I took so long. Little Jimmy wasn’t too keen on coming back over here.” He grinned.
“Hello Jimmy” she said, a little doubtfully. If she hadn’t been told, she would never have guessed that the two were related. The boy had neat, dark hair and his skin wasn’t tanned or sunburnt at all. The way he was dressed told Evelyn that he definitely wasn’t an outdoorsy kind of person. He didn’t seem to possess any noteworthy muscles whatsoever. But beggars couldn’t be choosers, Evelyn reminded herself.
“Hello” was all Jimmy said.
“I hear you’re a fast runner”
“Do you know who I am?”
Evelyn smiled and shook her head. This was a good sign. “My name is Evelyn Reed. I hunt creatures that threaten the lives of others, sorcerer and mortal. But I can’t find anyone to help me in my adventures, so I came here because I heard there was a powerful sorcerer that could come with me.”
“You’re probably thinking of Swift” he said, and turned to walk away.
“Oh, but I’m sure they were talking about you. You look like a powerful sorcerer.”
Jimmy turned back, and looked at her for a while. “Fine” he said at last. “What are we hunting?”
Evelyn felt a smile appear on her face. “Vampires.”
Chapter 2 – Operation: Vampire
Evelyn Reed and Jimmy approached the vampire’s house. It was a house, not a coffin, as she kept reminding him, and yet he was still surprised when they found the place. When Evelyn had met up with Jimmy at the bus stop, he had been carrying stakes, holy water, a crucifix and an unlimited supply of garlic. After an exasperatingly long argument about what a vampire’s weakness really was, Evelyn had emerged triumphant, and all that had been discarded at the bus stop.
So now two shaky hands held a jug of salt water, most of which had spilled out onto the ground, and Evelyn Reed and Jimmy approached the vampire’s house.
After a thorough check that no one was around, Evelyn knocked on the door. She had Determination, Preparation and Organisation. The three Ations. Jimmy prepared himself, ready to toss the salt water into the vampire’s open mouth, until he realised that there was nothing left in the jug.
Evelyn and Jimmy exchanged terrified expressions, and proceeded to run like hell.
Evelyn Reed and Jimmy approached the vampire’s house, this time carrying guns. More specifically, water guns. They were filled with salt water, and the caps on the guns ensured that Jimmy would not be able to spill it with ease.
Quickly checking that no one was around, Evelyn knocked on the door. The three Ations, she kept reminding herself. The three Ations.
The door opened, and the vampire opened his mouth, presumably to eat them, and the pair opened fire. Salt water sprayed everywhere. The vampire spluttered and coughed as water shot down his vampiric throat, but other than that, no reaction. The vampire was not dead. Evelyn and Jimmy holstered their guns, and peered at the vampire expectantly. Nothing. Evelyn realised that Jimmy was no longer beside her.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” the vampire roared.
“Uh” Evelyn said. “You’re a vampire”
The vampire stared at them, a look of furious disbelief on his face, and Evelyn knew she had made a mistake.
She chewed her lip.
Chapter 3 – Zombified
“My sword’s heavy” Jimmy whined.
“My sword’s perfect” Evelyn said lovingly, admiring her newly acquired blade. They had both agreed whole-heartedly that hunting vampires was far too dangerous, and the fact that what they had faced wasn’t even a vampire made the concept of fighting an actual vampire even scarier. So now they were hunting zombies, and the man – she’d never gotten his name – had assured her that the swords he had sold to her were perfect for killing zombies.
“What are we going to do?” Jimmy asked, hunched over from the weight of his sword.
“We’re going to run in and slash them all to pieces” Evelyn answered him.
“Really? That’s our plan?”
“The three Ations, that’s our plan.”
Evelyn didn’t answer him. She strode through the forest, her companion dragging his weapon after her. She could see a warm glow coming from ahead, and she got a little closer before hiding behind a tree. It was almost pitch black, a starless night and a new moon, and Evelyn thought she heard Jimmy stumble into a tree.
“Ooow” he moaned.
“Shhh” Evelyn peered at the camp from behind the thick trunk. The campfire was still burning, and she spotted a chunk of meat on the ground. Raw meat. Raw human meat. She heard Jimmy whimper. She shot him a look, though she doubted he would see her through the darkness.
She heard a twig snap, and a moment later, a zombie lumbered into view. And another one. And another one. Soon seven zombies were staggering around the camp, probably searching for more food. Evelyn guessed they had already cleared this place out, and had come back to see if anyone else was here.
That was Evelyn and Jimmy.
Evelyn and Jimmy crept around the camp, then darted behind one of the tents. Well, Evelyn darted. Jimmy sort of fell.
“On the count of three” Evelyn began quietly.
“Wait” Jimmy puffed. “Let me get my breath back!”
But it was too late for that. One of the zombies had already seen them.
They both scrambled to their feet, and Evelyn pointed. “You take those four, I’ll take these three!”
Jimmy grabbed her arm, petrified. “What? But then I get more!”
“Well, there was no way we could split it evenly!”
“But you gave me all the big ones!”
“But your sword’s bigger!”
“But my sword’s heavier!”
Jimmy gave her one more horrified look, then ran at one of the zombies she had assigned for him, heaving the sword upwards, but he hadn’t gotten close enough, and the tip of the sword merely nicked the end of the zombie’s nose. The zombies advanced on him.
Evelyn saw her three zombies coming at her, so she started spinning around in circles, swinging the sword in a wide arc. When all the spinning proved too dizzying for her, she stopped and examined her work. One of the zombies had been ripped to shreds, and she had opened up another’s eye. The third zombie had its arms cut short at the elbows.
She looked over at Jimmy, but she could hardly see him in all the chaos. He seemed to be running around the zombies, maybe hoping to create a mighty hurricane with his own speed. He could be so naive.
The zombie with all the blood coming out of its eye charged at her, but Evelyn just stuck the sword through its brain and smiled smugly. Her movements were becoming more confident.
She was about to go at her remaining opponent, but before she could even raise her weapon, someone came crashing into her. Her sword dropped out of her grip. She pushed her attacker away from her, snatched up her sword, and spun round to face...
“Please help me” he cried. “There are too many of them! I can’t –“
Before he could say any more, two rotting hands grabbed him from behind, and a set of yellow teeth bit into his shoulder. He screamed and lashed out, but he lashed out the wrong way, and kicked Evelyn in the belly. She stumbled back, dropped her sword again, then stumbled forward and snapped her palm in the zombie’s direction. It went shooting back and collided with all the other zombies.
She dragged Jimmy through the forest, but she could see that he was dying. When they were well away from the camp, Evelyn dropped Jimmy onto the forest floor, and checked for a pulse.
He was dead.
She didn’t cry. She didn’t mourn. This had happened countless times before. It was how she had gotten her terrible reputation. She would take her companion on a marvellous adventure, and it would always end with her companion’s somewhat nauseating death. They had all been good people. Stupid people, granted, but still good. Jimmy was no different. Except that Jimmy had survived his first mission. And he’d kind of survived his second...
Jimmy opened his eyes and blinked. He sat up against a tree, and Evelyn looked at him for a while, and he looked as though he was about to ask why she was looking at him like that, and then a realisation dawned on him. He cringed.
“No” he whimpered. “Please don’t.”
“I have to kill you” she said, an impassive air about her. “You’re a zombie. I hunt zombies. It’s what I do.”
“But you can always hunt something else. Like, I don’t know, Sea Hags. You wouldn’t persist with the whole zombie thing anyway, not after tonight. Just don’t kill me!”
“I would be doing everyone a favour.”
“You wouldn’t be doing me a favour!”
“You’re going to eat lots of people if I don’t kill you right here and now.”
“I’ll be a good zombie, I swear!” He looked at her with wide, green eyes, filled with fear, and Evelyn finally gave in.
“Fine” was all she said, and with that, she turned around and stalked through the forest.
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