R. Edinger: Night Kill

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R. Edinger Night Kill
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    Night Kill
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    Криминальный детектив / на английском языке
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Andrew heard the doorbell announce the arrival of a visitor and his quiet time vanished completely. Andrew grudgingly rose out of the hot tub and grabbed his robe. According to the clock on the wall it was almost eight thirty. Who would be so bold as to disturb his quiet time? The office was locked up for the night and none of his clients knew his home address. So who could it be?

Andrew left the four season room and walked through the foyer to the front door. He already felt chilled and drew his robe closed even tighter. Andrew opened the front door.

He saw a woman with wispy blond hair dressed in a nurse’s uniform carrying a briefcase. He didn’t know her, but of course he did recognize the man with her. It was Father Michael, his parish priest. The old priest wore bifocals and had much less hair than Andrew remembered.

“Andrew,” Father Michael smiled at him. They embraced briefly. Father Michael, in return, introduced the woman with him. “Andrew this is Nedra Collins.”

“Nice to meet you,” Andrew said, shaking her hand.

“Mister Knight?” Nedra blurted out, “I want to hire you to find my son.”

“We need to explain,” Father Michael apologized. “Do you have a moment?”

“Please come in,” Andrew said. “Go sit down in the family room while I go change.”

Nedra and Father Michael went to the spacious and nicely decorated room as Andrew went upstairs to change. “So much for peace and quiet,” Andrew grumbled as he went into the bedroom. He quickly took off his wet trunks and robe and threw on a pair of jeans and sweat shirt. He slipped on a pair of leather slippers and went back downstairs.

Andrew joined his guests in the family room. He sat down on the sofa. Nedra and Father Michael were already seated in the chairs in front of the fireplace.

“So tell me all about it,” Andrew settled back.

“Two weeks ago my son’s girlfriend and her family were attacked,” Nedra said.

“That was the Higgins family in the news, right?” Andrew interjected.

“Yes,” Father Michael answered.

“What does that have to do with your son?”

“My son was a member of the Ravenclaw coven,” Nedra explained. “The coven consists of five clans. There are, the Higgins, Drakes, Bristols, Hancocks, and Moores. The leader of the coven is a man called Vlad Ravenclaw. Wyatt was excommunicated because he violated the governing laws of the coven. My youngest son Chad is your average sixteen year old. His girlfriend Amber is from the Bristol’s family.”

“Did you say coven?” Andrew interrupted. “Were they witches?”

“No, vampires,” Nedra answered.

“Did you say vampires?” Andrew was taken aback.

“They perform blood rituals,” Father Michael explained. “They drink human blood from donors. The church has never condoned this type of behavior. Since the murders, the rest of the Ravenclaw coven has gone into hiding. Vlad Ravenclaw believes that the clan is the target of a secret society of vampire slayers.”

“I’m sorry but would you like something to drink?” Andrew suddenly remembered his manners.

“Some coffee would be nice,” they answered.

“I’ll be right back,” Andrew excused himself and went to the kitchen.

“You said he would help,” Nedra looked worriedly in the direction Andrew had gone.

“Andrew is a good man,” Father Michael answered. “He’s also the best private investigator I know. He will find your son, trust me.”

Andrew returned a short time later with a serving tray with a coffee carafe, cups and cream and sugar. He set it down on the coffee table and quickly served up some for his guests. He then served himself and sat back down.

“While I was in the kitchen, I came to several conclusions,” Andrew took a sip from his cup. “First of all, I don’t believe you’ve told me everything. Second, from the tone of urgency in your voice I get the sense that you feel your son is in danger. And lastly, you believe that your son, Wyatt, is involved somehow with the attack on the Higgin’s family.”

“My son suffers from Renfield’s syndrome,” Nedra finally confessed. “He was receiving psychiatric treatment for the condition.”

“I’m not familiar with Renfield’s syndrome,” Andrew said. “Who was his psychiatrist?”

“Okay,” Nedra drew a deep breath. She explained, “Renfield’s syndrome, also called simply Renfield syndrome and traditionally known as clinical vampirism. It is a mental disorder used to describe an obsession to drink blood.”

“When did you first notice it in your son?”

“When my son was young, he fell off his bike and scraped his knees,” Nedra further explained. “He put his hand on the injuries to stop the bleeding. When I got there I saw Wyatt licking the blood off his hands. As soon as Wyatt saw me, he immediately stopped.” Nedra stopped to finally take a drink from her cup. Andrew picked up on the sadness in her voice as she continued, “When Wyatt reached puberty it became worse, almost a sexual arousal with him whenever he saw blood. He also was cutting himself.”

“Is that when he met the Higgins girl?”

“Yes,” Nedra replied. “That’s when he met Storm.”

“So they brought him into the clan then, right?”

“Yes,” Nedra said. “Jonathan, Natasha, Peter and Storm inducted Wyatt into their clan. There were others that also joined. Wyatt told me that they had agreed upon to follow the laws set forth by the coven. The members of the coven would carefully screen those who were willing to be blood donors for the coven.”

“So what happened next?”

“He couldn’t control his urges and sought out blood from those outside the coven,” Father Michael answered this time.

“So he was excommunicated,” Andrew surmised. “There’s more, right?”

“Let me explain,” Nedra said. She first asked for a refill, which Andrew obliged. She took a long, slow drink of her coffee before continuing, “After Wyatt was excommunicated from the coven he hooked up with a supposed vampire slayer by the name of Night Blade.”

“What I heard from other parents whose kids are involved in this vampirism,” Father Michael replied, “Night Blade is trained in the martial arts, and various forms of weapons. He or she has been rumored to be responsible for several deaths.”

“Can they identify this Night Blade?”

“According to the kids, Night Blade wears a full head mask,” Father Michael answered. He also asked for a refill of coffee, took a quick drink and went on to say, “After Wyatt hooked up with Night Blade, he was trained to be a vampire slayer. It’s also rumored that Night Blade arranged a permanent blood doll for him.”

Andrew sat there and mulled over all that he had learned. His head was reeling with all kinds of questions and weird thoughts. Andrew couldn’t fathom that people were actually like this. He knew about the Goth culture and that several sub cultures branched off from it, but vampires?

“Who’s in charge of the investigation?”

“Sheriff Delsmann,” Nedra replied. “She and one of her deputies were also attacked the same night as the Higgins.”

“Interesting,” Andrew mused while sipping his coffee. “Well then, you’ve got yourself a private investigator.”

Nedra jumped up and rushed over to Andrew. She bent down and threw her arms around him in a tight hug which almost made him drop his cup. Andrew’s face flushed.

“Okay, okay,” Andrew said patting Nedra on the back. “You can let go now.”

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