Don't Turn Around
By: David K. Montoya

The bass erupted from the speakers as she walked inside the club. An amalgam of neon and black lights laid out across the area gave the place an almost science fiction feel. Jenny eyed the party goers as they belonged solely in their own worlds, some in a group while others alone—but, everyone appeared comfortable and that they belonged there.

But unfortunately for the innocent people, Jenny Sintel was not in the mood for pleasure. But rather, it was a professional visit which demanded her presence at the Club Hiddaway. It was an intimate place located just off the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and despite the Summer's California heat it was almost a cool chill in the atmosphere.

With her hand readied atop the hilt of her firearm, while she moved cautiously through the crowd. With the sound of a fog machine that disembogued the artificial haze into the already seductive ambiance, Jenny quickly shifted into defense mode.

Jenny smiled inwardly, at her response to the noise. It was something that a rookie might have made, but not her. Although young, Jenny had been a Swamper ever since she was taught that she had special abilities over men and to her that felt like a lifetime ago. When she was still a child in the Nebraska Corn Fields, but that no longer held relevance to her—different place and a different time.

She quickly re-centered herself and moved deeper into the crowd, as the song changed to something slower, but the base remained prominent. They dancers moved in closer to each other in a frolic that felt more sexual than anything else. For some, it may had created an uncomfortable environment, but while she had an odd sensation pitted in her stomach, Jenny was steadfast in her job.

With a more seductive music, it allowed her to move more freely among the masses. Jenny knew who she was there for the people that controlled an international cartel known as the Legion. As the lights flashed the people seemed almost inhuman, with the rotation of coherence and darkness they appeared at time disfigured.

Jenny stopped where she stood which appeared to be perfectly centered on the dance floor, tentatively she examined the men and women who accompanied her. She swore they were something created from nightmares themselves, and that feeling in her stomach developed into one of controlled panic.

To her it felt as though she was spinning in circles, but in reality Jenny slowly and evenly paced turned in a complete three hundred and sixty degrees. All she saw were what could only be described as monster, perhaps demons even, with their disfigured faces, bulging eyes and fanged teeth.

She stared down one of them dead on, it simply gave her a demonic smile and with its elongated fingers waved in an almost mockery. Subconsciously Jenny's hand moved from a resting state upon the hilt to fully gripped the stock, but she remained stationary and waited to draw her sidearm.

Jenny wondered if the College could have had been correct, she struggled to form a thought. In that single moment, a heavy lightheartedness came over her, and though she fought to remain awake—before she realized it was futile attempt—Jenny was unconscious.


Jenny step from the motor car and was confronted with an amazingly enormous cathedral. Once she made it up the steps, an older man dressed in traditional attire for a priest was there to greet her.

"Miss Sintel?" The man asked in such a deadpan tone that it almost caused Jenny to let out a laugh, but she was in a professional environment and refrained from such behavior.

"Yes. And you are?" She asked.

"Irrelevant," The Priest returned. With no other worded offered from either, the older man turned and walked toward the entrance of the large church. "Please follow me, the College of Bishops are awaiting your presents."

The moment Jenny entered the building, immediately she noted a smell of musk that could only be subjected for collection from the last two millennia. Her eyes roamed at the surroundings with a sense of nostalgia, as it was her first time in Rome.

The man stopped at a large entrance way, which was protected by two wooden double doors. Jenny could not help but to have had wondered just how old it was. The priest grabbed the knocker and banged it against the aged wood twice, until a barely audible, "enter," came from the other side.

"Miss Jennifer Sintel has arrived," The Priest announced the moment he entered the chamber. A handful of elderly men each dressed in red attire stood as Jenny walked into the room. Once she was inside, the priest quick and quietly exited the scene.

The College stood in silence and examined Jenny from afar, finally a man, taller, more physically defined emerged from the others. He walked up to her said in a cool and calm in an almost chilling tone, "You do not believe in God, child?"

"Is it a requirement for the job, Father?" Jenny asked, her words laced with sarcasm.

"I am Cardinal Peter. We fear that a God fearing individual would be weighted by their moral gravitas to get the job done."

Jenny chuckled at the Cardinal's words.

"I lack the understanding to see the humor, young lady." The Cardinal snipped.

"No disrespect Cardinal," Jenny corrected in an apologetic manner. "But just because I do not believe that a man with bad fashion sense and a poorly groomed beard created all of existence would disqualify me from having a understanding the seriousness of taking another human being's life."

This time it was the Cardinal who chuckled at Jenny's words.

"Good. Then there should be no problem taking a life?" He asked.

"It's what I do."

"Good." The Cardinal smile widened. He walked back over to the others and unity sat down. They all looked at each other, it was certainly obvious that there was more to be said. "Please come closer child."

Once Jenny was next to the College, a man that was closet to her turned to the Cardinal and asked, "Do we tell her?"

The Cardinal did not reply right away and studied Jenny before he turned to face the other man and answered with a simple nod.

"Have you ever heard of a Nosferatu, young lady?" The man asked in a frail voice.

"I've seen the movie when I was a child," She replied, obviously puzzled at the question. "Why?"

The Cardinal sighed and stood, and said in an authoritative voice. "I got this Mark."

He walked over to Jenny and placed a hand on her triceps, and said, "Not the movie. The unholy creatures known as the Nosferatu… Bloodsuckers. The Undead," the Cardinal paused for a moment then said, "Vampires."

Jenny let out a laughter that was so loud it echoed from wall to wall inside the chamber. She saw their faces and realized that the man had not intended it as a joke. "I'm sorry. I thought you were trying to break the ice with a joke."

"She does not believe in God himself, how can you expect someone like that to believe in anything but herself?" A Bishop from the College asked the Cardinal.

"Point made, Luke." Said with disappointment. He turned toward Jenny and shook his head. "Perhaps you are not the one we are looking for, Child."

Jenny sensed that her payday was in jeopardy, she quickly retorted, "Look. Look, Father Cardinal Sir, I am the best at what I do! Regardless of my beliefs, I will get the job done! You want someone dead…"

She scanned the college before she finished, "…Then they are good as dead."


Jenny opened her eyes and found a large surgical light mere centimeters from her nose. The illumination was so intense that she felt it hitting her skin, as dreaded sense of claustrophobia came over her and tried to move which was useless.

Jenny struggled for her freedom, but the straps that held her down were too tight. The leather rubbed painfully against her naked body, more Jenny moved the more it hurt. She had to think her way out of her current situation, Jenny took a deep breath (which burned her lungs) and attempted to relax.

Jenny lied there for a moment with her eyes closed, and thought to herself: Okay, what do I need to get get out of here? First thing, is to get that damned light out of my face.

With a loud thud, she rammed her head against the light which caused it to move, but it wasn't enough. "Shit," Jenny said, and again, but this time with more force head butted the large surgical light—it worked! Although she felt hot fluid as it moved down her face, which surely had to had been blood, the light was no longer in her face and for the first time saw where she was.

It was a plain white room. No windows, or door, only her on top of a steel operation table and a metal tray that levitated next to her. Her eyes followed the small tubes that were similar to an IV that one got in a hospital, but these ran into the ceiling.

Her terror escalated as she watched what appeared to be blood exit into the ceiling and replaced with three different colored fluids. Finally, at her climax, Jenny screamed, "Help me! Someone! Anyone! Please HELP ME!"

There as a Wooooosh sound that came from behind here, followed with dominate footsteps. Jenny tried to look upward, but was unable to see who or what was in the room with her. In a weak voice she asked, "Hello?"

"Fear not, child, it will all be over soon," the voice responded. But, Jenny knew that voice, she continued to try and see if she was right, but could not.

"Cardinal Peter?" Jenny asked. The footsteps grew louder and finally a figure stepped into her point of view, and indeed, it was Cardinal Peter. "Yes, child, it is I."

She struggled more at the sound of his voice and shouted, "Hurry the Nosferatu! They're on to us, help me out of here! Before someone catches us!"

Again from behind her, came a laughter—a dark laughter. The Cardinal looked at Jenny with mournful eyes and said, "Please come over here with me so I can explain."

Instead of footsteps there were splats, as if someone tried to walk with diving flippers on. Then, it came into view, it was one of those monsters from the club.

"Watch out! The Vampire!" She screamed. To her surprise, the creature did not attack the Cardinal, it came to a stop and stood next to him. Jenny examined him he was pale as window glass, with black hungry eyes, she knew there was no getting out alive. "What the Hell is going on?"

They both grinned.

"Jennifer, there is no vampires or whatever we called it. We were testing your faith." The Cardinal started to explain. "See, if you believed in anything the College and I wouldn't have chose you. But you are a Godless Girl, and sacrificing people like you makes the lose bearable."

"I— I, don't understand."

The Cardinal sighed.

"Tagrisso here is from another planet an A—"

Jenny interrupted. "An Alien?!"

Tagrisso nodded.

The Cardinal walked over and knelled down so to see Jenny better. "They came to Earth almost a thousand years ago. They wanted to understand how we, as humans, could live past forty. While the maintained a level of geniuses unknown to humanity, they almost never live past forty, forty-one if they are lucky."

The Cardinal continued to speak, but Jenny watched as Tagrisso waddled to a corner of the room and a control panel ascended from the floor to in front of him. Once it was in a reachable distance, he pushed buttons on the panel.

Almost excitedly.

"So you see, child. We agreed that we'd allow the to extract a sample from us once a week, and in return they would share their technology with us." The Cardinal continued. "You're just that flavor of the week, no hard feelings I hope."

"Help me?" Jenny gulped.

"Are you even listening," he said aggravated. "The life of a non-believing, murdering sinner like you for a knowledge to help guide the world in the right direction…"

The Cardinal stood up straight and shrugged.

"Well that's a no brainer," He said and turned to walk away, but stopped when Jenny asked.

"Will it hurt?"

He looked at her for a good moment, his eyes filled with empathy and eventually answered when he said, "Yes. Yes, badly, I'm afraid."

Jenny screamed and pleaded, but the only one that could had been her savior walked away forever.



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