That last line of her, reminded him of the first time she discovered about monsters. It was a Halloween night, eleven years before. Every year she asked to go out like every kid, but her aunt didn't want to let her go. But that year, Jamie convinced her to let her go while he accompanied her. He was 16 years old, he was a teenage boy, way taller than her and into the hunt since six years already. He had his long hair and next to him, she looked like his little sister. They went out, she wanted a mask but couldn't have it. In turn, she had a little black shiny dress of a witch and a pointed hat. She was holding a bag in one hand and Jamie's hand with the other. She was all happy and swinging her and Jamie's hands back and forth as they walked along the streets of Sun Valley, Idaho, their home town. He looks down to her and smiles, seen her so happy.
"How did you manage?" she asks with a cute voice, referring to their Halloween exit.
"Well, I told mom that you should have gone out like all the other kids, and she accepted" he tells. She looks up and smiles.
"Thank you Jamie. But weren't you in punishment?". He smiles.
"For the bad mark"
"Yeah, yeah,... But she wanted me to come with you. And she knows that I always study. I didn't have enough time for that test..." he explains.
"Because you went on holiday?" she asks, he smiles a bit.
"Yeah, on holiday..." he comments, bitterly.
"Can I go on holiday too?"
"Ahm, when you finish the school, we'll go to the beach"
"Yay!" she exclaims, jumping happy. "You know, I miss you". He looks down at her, not expecting this.
"Oh, and why? I'm always here"
"Yeah, but we don't play like before anymore"
"Ha, yeah, well, you know, the school, the studies...". She looks down, a bit sad, and notices a small gun, that he keeps hidden inside the jeans' belt.
"Jamie, can I ask you one thing?"
"Technically you just did". She looks at him frowning. "Yeah, shoot" he adds.
"Why do you have a gun in your jeans?" she asks. Jamie looks surprised at her and tries to hide the gun better with his leather jacket.
"How did you see that?"
"I saw the auntie giving it to you. It is a toy?"
"Yes, yes! It's part of my, very poor, Halloween costume" he tells.
"Oh..." she comments. He bends down to see what's inside her bag.
"Hey, we already have a lot things in here!" he tells. "Do you want some more?"
"Ok, then, let's start again".
They carry on for some more time, it's already dark and they keep going 'trick or treat' around. Marya is a cute little girl and seeing her going around with who seems her big brother, appears adorable to people, who give her a lot of sweets. Jamie and Marya are still going around when Marya notices another house.
"Jamie, Jamie! Let's go there!" she tells, dragging him.
"Mary, wait" he tells, as they slowly get closer to the door. When they get there, Jamie notices a symbol engraved on the wood of the balustrade of the house. It's a voodoo symbol, maybe used by someone to protect from the spirits during Halloween night. Jamie doesn't want to mess up with anything voodoo now, and not with Marya.
"Hurry up Jamie!" she tells. He pulls her back.
"No, Mary, not this one, come here" he tells. She looks at him, sad.
"Come on, we'll find more" he tells, taking her away. In that moment, someone opens the door: it's an old lady, not very reliable in appearance. In fact, Marya gets scared and clings to Jamie. The old lady looks at them, wickedly and irritated.
"Excuse us, madam, sorry..." Jamie says quickly, going away. The woman gives them another bad stare and then gets in.
"Who was her?" asks Marya.
"No one, honey, no one." tells Jamie.
After a while, they're walking, after getting enough candies. Marya looks up to Jamie.
"How did you know the lady didn't want to get disturbed?" she asks, still not convinced.
"It was written on the door, Mary" he tells, thinking he could end it like this.
"I didn't see anything" she says. Jamie looks down, thoughtful. She's 10 years old and he was her age when he started hunting. He can maybe tell her the truth, in an edulcorate version, because it can be useful for her too, to defend and protect herself. She should take it well. So, he stops her and kneels down in front of her.
"Mary, you know, this night is particular"
"Because it's Halloween?"
"Yes. It's a special night. During this night, the worlds of the living and of the dead are closer, you learned it at school"
"But that is a legend" she tells. He smiles at her and caresses her already long hair.
"Well, sometimes it can happen. There are bad things out here that can be dangerous"
"That's why you have a gun?"
"Yeah. To protect you. And that's why mom didn't want you to go around for Halloween. But you don't have to be scared, there's me with you"
"And the old lady was one of them?". Jamie laughs a bit.
"No, I don't think so. But she didn't want to get disturbed tonight". She thinks for a while.
"So, monsters are real?" she asks. Jamie thinks for a while.
"Just some of them. For example, there's nothing under your bed, I check every night". She looks down, thoughtful.
"It's late now, do you still want to go around?" he asks. She shakes her head.
"No, I'm tired"
"Ok, let's get back home" he tells, getting up and starting walking.
"I'm tired, my feet hurt"
"Ah, we walked too much"
"Can you pick me up?" she asks. He smiles.
"But you're grown up now... Well, if you didn't eat too many candies, yeah, I can take you" he jokes, taking her bag with sweets on one arm and picking her up with the other, making her sit on it. She smiles happy and holds to him. Then takes her hat and puts it on Jamie's head. He turns to her, smiling.
"How do I look?" he asks.
"Scary" she says and laughs. In a little time, she falls asleep on his shoulder, while they come home.
Once there, he puts her on her bed and gives her a goodnight kiss on the forehead. Few hours later, Jamie is sleeping on his bed, when the door of his room slowly opens. A thin beam of light gets in and Marya silently steps in. She reaches Jamie's bed and touches him a bit, waking him up. He blinks at her, confused and surprised.
"Mary? What are you doing here? You couldn't fall asleep?" he asks, sleepy.
"I'm afraid... I think there's a monster in my room" she says.
"Oh, Mary, there's nothing in your room, I checked it before..." he tells, a bit annoyed.
"Have you seen the stars in your bed? Those protect you from any monster"
"But... Can I sleep with you?" she asks, cutely. At that point, Jamie can't say no. He smiles at her and caresses her head.
"Yeah ok, get in" he tells, opening the blankets. "At the end, it's my fault, I shouldn't have told you. But tomorrow morning, go quick to your room, or mum will get angry". She lays down on one side, next to him.
"Ok, thanks. Good night Jamie" she tells, kissing his cheek. He smiles. "You scratched me..." she adds. He laughs lowly.
"Sorry kid, I didn't shave today. Come on, sleep now" he tells, caressing her head. "Goodnight".
The next morning, Jamie comes back to the motel room with some coffee and a little paper bag. Marya is reading something on the laptop.
"Croissants?" asks Jamie, all happy and waving the bag. She likes them but she's a bit down.
"Jamie, there's been another attack" she says. He gets serious and goes behind her.
"Where? What happened?"
"A man has been assaulted, he died tonight"
"He just had a child few months ago..." she adds. Jamie gets why she's so sad.
"Oh no... That's terrible. Is it the same thing the woman described?"
"Yes, it seems. He had many more wounds"
"Mmm. We should go to the coroner" he tells, standing up.
"Yeah, ok..." she gets up. He takes the bag again and waves it in front of her.
"You want one? I can assure you you won't be hungry anymore later". She thinks for a second.
"Yeah, ok" she tells, taking one from the bag.
They go, dressed with their suits, to the morgue. The coroner is waiting for them there.
"Agents!" he says. Jamie and Marya smile a bit. "You're here for the man dead because of the wolf attack"
"Yes, exactly" replies Jamie.
"I tell you, it's not a good sight" says the doctor, pulling out the body. Jamie tends to keep Marya behind.
"Don't throw up here" he whispers to her. The doctor takes up the sheet a bit. The body is really in bad conditions, he's been wounded and cut everywhere with wounds pretty deep. The doctor cleaned the blood but the marks remain.
"Oh, holy..." Jamie comments.
"Yeah, it's been terrible when he arrived. He was all covered in blood I couldn't understand where the face was"
"Well, it seems useless to ask what is the cause of death..."
"Yeah... The wounds reached the vital organs and he lost a lot of blood, in any csse he would have died"
"And can you identify what kind of weapon, better, claw made these cuts?"
"You don't believe in the wolf theory, agent?"
"I think that's a bit too much for a wolf"
"Probably, but surely it's not a werewolf" he jokes. "These are evidently caused by claws, not any knives or blades. The claws must be really sharp and long because they penetrated 'til some tens of centimetres on the body"
"There was something missing? Some organs for example?"
"Such a strange question! No, there was everything, you can say, strangely enough, seen the conditions of the body. And it's also strange that an animal didn't touch anything of it"
"Mmm... And there weren't evidences on the body that can help us finding the wolf?"
"No, but there's another strange thing" he says, taking his folder. Jamie and Marya wait, curious and perplexed. "I found this earth" he tells "a particular kind of earth"
"What kind of earth?" asks Jamie, looking at the pictures on the folder. It looks like common earth.
"It comes from the cemetery, in particular from the zone of the dig of a couple of nights ago"
"The dig?" asks Jamie, confused.
"Yeah, you didn't hear that? A tomb has been dug out two nights ago. The police thought of some vandals or people making some kind of satanic ritual, but they didn't find anyone yet"
"Oh..." comments Jamie. "Where did it happen?"
"At the Central Cemetery, in the ancient part, in the mausoleums area"
"Ha, thanks. And where did you find this earth on the body?"
"It was in his mouth"
"In the mouth?" asks Jamie, surprised.
"Yes, I was surprised too."
"Ok, thanks. Call us if you have any news" tells Jamie, handing his card.
Jamie and Marya go to the cemetery and search for the dug out tomb. They walk among graveyards and mausoleums in the monumental zone, until Marya notices some moved earth. She points it to Jamie and they get closer. It's the tomb of a man, died two months before.
"What's this, a zombie?" asks Marya.
"I don't know, there is a way to know that but we can't do that now" tells Jamie, looking around. There are some more people going around there.
"Digging it out?"
"Yeah. It's still fresh and someone who was here got in contact with the man killed last night. Unless he came here on his spontaneous will, but I don't see why he should have eaten the earth"
"But what do zombies have to do with the wolf or whatever thing it is?"
"I don't know, we have to figure it out"
"Two monsters in one town? It's very unlikely"
"Especially when there are hunters. The tomb has evidently been opened from inside. A hunter would never do such a bad job and I saw security camera out there. If they wanted to make rituals, they would have gone to another place"
"So, we still have to get what it is and what is the link". He nods. "Maybe we can inquiry about this man?"
"Yeah, mark his name" he tells.
Twenty-one years before. Jamie is at home with his parents and his brother. He's playing in his room with his machines, he's 6 years old. Then the door bell rings and he overhears some enthusiastic exclamations and salutes. He recognized a female voice, his aunt's voice, and the cry of a baby. Then his mother calls him.
"James! Come here, the aunt came for a visit". The aunt, Marya's mother, was his father's sister. She was friend with his mother and she liked to come around for a chat. Jamie quickly runs to the sitting room, hearing Marya's cry. He arrives, all happy and smiling. The aunt smiles at him.
"Jamie! Hi, little boy!" she says, lulling Marya, few months old, in her arms.
"Hello auntie" he replies.
"Come on Jamie, go to the little cousin" tells his mother, seeing he shyly stays back. He goes there and caresses her arm, smiling. Marya looks at him and chuckles.
"Do you remember her name?" asks his mother.
"Mary" tells Jamie.
"Marya, with the a " corrects him Marya's mother. Jamie looks at her, puzzled.
"Mmm... Mary, I can't say that other. But why with the a ? It doesn't exist" he tells. His aunt laughs a bit.
"But hers is with the a "
"She's so small" he tells, observing her.
"Because she's still little" tells his mother. He looks at her. "Give her a kiss, come on. Give a kiss to your little cousin". He bends down and kisses her cheek. Marya laughs happily and Jamie laughs too.
Now, he's sitting on the chair at the table and smiles, remembering that moment. Marya is in front of him, working on the laptop.
"The man was a normal person, nothing strange" she says, leaning back to the chair. "His name was Adam Fresnel, he was a lawyer and he died in a car crash, two months ago. He's been buried there and nothing, nothing strange"
"Not even strange stories about him while alive?"
"No, nothing, he was a normal person". Jamie thinks for a while, leaning on the table.
"There must be something else, something we're not seeing..."
"I can try searching something more about our creature, maybe we're lucky and we can find something"
"I feel terrible, you know? About that kid" she says, typing on the keyboard. "She will grow up without a father, without even knowing him. And she probably will never explain to herself what happened to him. Growing up and living without knowing it, it's the worst thing. I would do whatever thing to know what happened to my parents that night" she says. Jamie looks down, feeling guilty and sad about it all. He would like to tell her but he made a promise and he doesn't know if telling her is the best thing.
Meanwhile he remembers what happened that night. He was sitting on the couch, playing with a game-boy. He already had his long hair, at 10 years old. A teenage Jeremy was cooking the dinner for him, in the kitchen in front of him.
"Jamie, come on, it's almost ready, go washing your hands" he tells.
"Yes, one minute..." tells Jamie, when the door of the house opens. Jamie quickly turns around and gets down the couch, happy because his parents got back from the hunt.
"Mum!" he shouts, and then stays surprised when he finds Marya too, in front of him, together with his parents. She was 4 at that time. She has a coat on and is holding her favourite stuffed bear.
"Mary!" he tells "what are you doing here?". She looks a bit disoriented and confused. Jeremy quickly turns around as he hears Marya's name and he stares angrily and furious at his parents. He would strike lightnings with his eyes, he keeps staring at them, incredulous, but they keep avoiding his look.
"Marya will stay with us for dinner. Jamie, take Marya to play a bit in your room" his mother says, pushing a bit Marya towards him. She's confused and Jamie takes her hand and brings her to his room.
"Come on Mary, come with me!" he tells, happily. He puts her on his bed, while she looks around.
"Why did you come today?" asks Jamie, while searching for some game.
"I don't know. Auntie took me" she says.
"Ha, maybe your parents asked mum to watch over you tonight" tells Jamie, showing her one of his toys, Batman. "How do you wanna play?" he asks, but she doesn't look much convinced. "I have a piano, do you like playing it?" he asks, taking it off and putting it in front of her. He sits in front of her and takes her hand, the one with which she isn't holding the teddy bear, and starts playing the piano with it. She smiles and laughs too a bit.
"I wanna go home" she says. Jamie looks sad at her.
"Oh well, they will come and take you later" he tells. Then noticing her teddy bear, he gets an idea and gets down the bed.
"Oh, I have something that you may like" he tells, taking a big teddy bear from his closet. She looks happy at it and stretches her arms ahead.
"Teddy!" she says, as Jamie gives it to her. She grabs it and hugs it, caressing it. "Can you give it to me?" she adds.
"Oh, well, if I give it to you, you won't come back to play here" he tells, smiling. She gets serious again.
"Where are my parents, Jamie? I wanna go home" she tells. He caresses her arm.
"Ok, wait me here, I'll ask mum" he tells, getting down the bed. She nods and smiles at him, while hugging the teddy bear. Jamie gets out of his room and goes toward the kitchen, from where he can hear yells and shouts. A bit confused, he slowly approaches and hides behind the corner of the wall. There are Jeremy and his parents that are furiously fighting.
"What the hell does it mean it caught them??" asks Jeremy.
"Jeremy! We already explained, we don't due any explanation to you" tells his father.
"What? Yes, you do! Her parents died! And you are responsible for it! You due her explanations!" he yells, angry. Jamie stays frozen there, listening. He's petrified and devastated, how can he tell her? What should he tell her now? She wanted to go home.
"Stop using that tone with us, boy!" yells the mother. "We did what we could"
"Running away? That's it what you could?" Jeremy tells.
"We're hunters, there's always a possibility things can go wrong" says his father.
"Yeah! Tell it to that kid, that will grow up without parents now! And that's not true, they quit, they weren't hunting anymore! You asked for their help and they didn't want to! They had a kid, they stopped!" he yells. Surely Jamie couldn't remember all that his brother said, or maybe not even hear everything.
"Stop with this scolding tone!" yells his father, angrily.
"I had told you, I warned you! It was for Marya's good that I spoke and you didn't listen to me! Now you'll have to face the consequences" Jeremy ends, quickly going to his room. Jamie hurries back to his room and hides on the door frame, as his brother passes in front of him and crashes the door of his room. Jamie doesn't want Jeremy to know he was overhearing them. Then he slowly gets in his room, where Marya is looking at him, scared.
"What was that?" she asks.
"Ahm, Jeremy with the door of his room" he explains, going to her.
"He shouldn't crash it, it can break". Jamie smiles at her.
"Yeah, tell him..."
"So, Jamie?" she asks. Jamie is a bit unsure and unprepared. He always had a lot of imagination, therefore he invents something.
"Your parents.. went on a holiday" he tells. She looks sad at him.
"Ha, it's an adult thing" he tells, though he never understood the meaning of that, but they always told him that when they didn't want to explain.
"They abandoned me?"
"Oh, no, no" he tells, trying to reassure her. "They left you with us because you will feel at home here. And you can play with me" he smiles "They will come back" he tells.
"Found it" she says. Jamie looks up to her. "It's a Blutsauger"
"A what?" asks Jamie, reaching her at the other side.
"It's German. Blut means blood, and in a whole it means bloodsucker"
"Ha, now I get it"
"In the German tradition, anyone can become a Blutsauger. It's a dead person who comes back to suck blood from people, and in this it looks like the vampire. But its body is covered with hair and it has no bones. It can turn into a wolf or a mouse, and for this it resembles a werewolf"
"Ok, I think you're right, it seems it fits"
"Yeah, but there's a problem" she says, carrying on reading. "The Blutsauger always brings some earth from its grave with it because with this it can turn people into other Blutsauger. It makes people eat it"
"Ha... So he turned the other man too... Wow, awesome, two monsters then"
"We have to get rid of that man, soon. Does it give any reference to the full Moon?"
"No, it doesn't say anything. At the end, it's not a werewolf"
"Is there any way to kill it?"
"Actually, it doesn't mention much. It says one can spill flowers over its grave so when it comes back, because it has to, it must count them all. So it loses time and the light of the dawn would burn it"
"Mmm, anything more powerful? Tell me whatever thing, but I don't believe in these kind manners..." he tells, bending down over her.
"No, nothing, it tells nothing"
"Wonderful. Well, if it says light burns it, we can try and burn it" he says. She looks up to him, a bit unsure but his idea is the only thing they have.
The night, when no one can see them and the morgue is closed, Jamie and Marya get there, dressed in their usual way but bringing their fake badges, just in case. Jamie forces the lock of the entrance and they get in. They start roaming around the offices and labs, going toward the obituary.
"I didn't like this place during the day and I don't like walking around here at night now" Marya comments. Jamie glances at her smiling.
"Come on, Mary, they are just dead people. Except one, but we're going to get rid of him soon"
"Still I don't like it" she tells, pulling up better the bag on her shoulder.
"Even if they were all zombies, we could have dealt with them easily. That's the good thing of being a hunter". He looks at her, that is looking around. "I didn't know you still were afraid of monsters" he jokes. She turns to him.
"Shut up" she says and he chuckles. They reach the obituary and Marya starts searching for the corpse of the man they're searching. She doesn't like that job but Jamie left her to do that, maybe on purpose. He's meanwhile trying to deactivate the fire alarm on the wall. She takes a look at him as he works with screwdrivers and other tools. She opens the various drawers.
"Jamie, be quick" she tells. He laughs a bit.
"Why? Are you scared?" he tells, without distracting.
"No, because we have another Blutsauger to care about"
"Yeah, yeah, we'll pass to the cemetery later, I'm almost done here" he says, while she finds the right corpse. She draws him out and uncovers it a bit, to be sure. She stares at him, a bit afraid, glancing at Jamie.
"Jamie, come on, I'm ready" she says, taking the gasoline and matches from her bag.
"Yeah, yeah, I told you" he repeats. She takes a look at the dead man, when he suddenly opens his eyes. Marya screams a bit and Jamie turns around, confused and puzzled. The man sits on the table and looks around, with a hungry expression. Jamie, who finished there, quickly reaches Marya and the dead man and pushes him down on the table.
"Come on man, you'll go around another time" he tells, smiling, while the man stares at him, hungry, showing his sharp teeth. Then suddenly, Marya shoots at him in the head. Jamie starts a bit and looks at her, surprised.
"Damn it, you could warn me!" he tells, shaken.
"I didn't have time" she says. Jamie leaves the dead man, who actually seems dead now, and steps back, to see if it worked.
"Do you think he's dead?" she asks.
"I don't know, so it seems, but I think it will be better finishing him now"
"Ok" she says.
"Turn around kid, I'll do that here. I can't dress him up now" he tells while pouring gasoline over the body. Marya turns around, a bit annoyed by Jamie's protective manners.
"Will you ever allow me to do anything?" she asks. He looks up.
"Only with dressed up men" he jokes, while striking a match and setting fire to him. He moves back as the flames burn high. She can feel the huge warmth on her back.
Later, once the body has burnt, they close the drawer and go away. They are walking outside the morgue, along the alley in the back, with their bags on the shoulders and commenting.
"Now that we burned him, we'll never know if the silver bullet worked" tells Marya.
"Maybe not, but it's better to be sure" he tells, taking a look at his watch. "Oh, it's early, we're still in time to go to the cemetery... What are you doing?" he asks her, puzzled. She was jumping around and protecting behind him.
"It's bloody full of rats here!" she tells, disgusted. He looks down and that's really true.
"Oh well, we're at a morgue, I'd expect that" he says, when a rat bites his ankle. "Ahi! Dammit, that's disgusting!" he yells, complaining for the pain and turning around to catch the mouse. "I'll need a visit to the doctor now!" he says when they see the rat behind them is slowly growing and growing. They stare shocked at it, until it gets human-like in size, but much more stronger and covered with hair. It has big teeth and sharp claws. Jamie quickly takes his gun and shoots at it. Marya does the same but the Blutsauger doesn't seem affected. It starts going toward them, rapidly. Jamie searches for the gasoline on his bag but at the same time, the Blutsauger attacks Marya. She takes out a machete and tries to defend but the Blutsauger pushes her against the wall. Then it wounds her on her abdomen with its claws. She screams in pain, as Jamie finds out there's no more gasoline in the tank. He takes another machete then and attacks it from behind. Marya falls down on the ground, aching, pressing her wound that quickly stains her, or better Jamie's chequered shirt and her black singlet. She stays there, complaining and not able to move. Meanwhile, Jamie tries to hit the Blutsauger but all his hits are vain, because he can't hurt it. The Blutsauger grabs him and pushes him against the wall at the other side and tries to bite his neck. Jamie tries to push him back.
"No, no, not again!" he tells, and then has an idea. He takes the lighter from his leather jacket pocket and lights it up. With it, he burns the Blutsauger in the arm. He doesn't hurt it much, but enough to make it run away. It turns back to a rat and runs away. Jamie catches his breath for a while and then notices Marya on the ground, holding her stomach, breathing with fatigue. He runs to her worried and kneels down.
"Mary! Mary! Dear Lord, what happened?" he asks.
"I'm fine..." she says, panting. Her shirt though is completely dirty. He takes away her hands.
"Holy heavens..." he tells, seeing her bad wound, few cuts all parallel, from its claws. She looks at him, concerned.
"Don't worry, Mary, at least it's not very deep..." he says, taking a handkerchief from the pocket. She looks at him, catching her breath, aching and trying to see. He presses her wound with the kerchief.
"Ok, Mary. We'll come back to the motel and fix this, don't worry"
"Yeah..." she mutters, lowly.
"Put your hand here, yeah, good" he tells, putting her hand on the wound. "Ok, come on" he adds, taking her up on his arms. He smiles at her.
"Like the old days" he says. "You're just a bit heavier". She smiles and laughs a bit, for what she can, and leans her head on his shoulder.
Few minutes later, they're at the motel and she's lying on her bed, with her singlet up, while he medicates her wound. Sitting next to her, he tries to stop the bloodletting with a towel. She tries to take a look and he pushes her down again.
"Mary, stay down, come on. I'm taking care of it. You must keep your muscles relaxed" he tells.
"Yeah, ok" she says, looking up. He presses her wound and it hurts her a bit.
"You've been lucky... It could have been worse" he glances at her. "The cuts are pretty big but superficial. I'm afraid I will have to put some stitches though"
"Oh wow, beautiful..."
"Yeah, I know."
"And what about you? How is your bite?"
"Ha, it's nothing, don't worry" he takes away the towel. "I think it should go now" he comments, taking the lighter and a little needle from the bag. She looks at him, not very happy.
"The silver bullets didn't work" she comments.
"Yeah. Or maybe it didn't work because the Blutsauger was turned. That man wasn't turned yet, so probably we'll never know" he says, sterilising the needle with the flame. Then he puts a nylon thread in it.
"Are you ready?" he asks.
"Do that, and be quick" she tells, eyes closed.
"Ok" he replies, starting to sew her wounds. She complains a bit but she has to stand it.
"Sorry, I'll be quick, I promise". He keeps going and then pours some alcohol on the wound. She starts screaming in pain.
"Damn it, Jamie!!" she tells.
"I'm sorry, I have to do this or it can get infected" he explains. She glances at him, aching.
"You would have been such a good doctor, Jamie". He laughs.
"Or a tailor. But yeah, actually if I didn't become a hunter, I would have probably been a doctor" he comments. She smiles a bit. Jamie keeps going sewing and then puts a patch over it. He blocks it with some tape at the corners.
"Ok, I'm done" he says, moving back. She tries to sit and he puts her down again. "Hey! I didn't tell you to get up"
"Not now, the wound is still fresh, it can reopen. Do you want it to reopen?"
"So, stay down. Resist if you have to go to the toilet"
"No, I don't have to"
"You're such a mad doctor, cousin". He laughs.
"Yeah. You know what? I think I have to put a bandage too, so it will press a bit and keep it tight". She looks up, resigned.
"Yeah, do whatever you want. Keep playing at the happy doctor with my body". He laughs.
"Haha, don't worry, it's just a bandage" he tells. So, he wraps a long bandage around her abdomen and fixes it.
"It's too tight?" he asks.
"No, it's fine"
"Ok girl, now have a rest and try to sleep"
"I think I'll go with the kind manners. I'll probably find some flower shop open"
"It's over midnight"
"Yeah, but you never know"
"Remember, not simple flowers, but hawthorn"
"Yeah, don't worry"
"Yes, Mary, don't worry. This is the kind manner" he tells, pulling the blankets up and giving her a kiss on the forehead. "I'll stay there to see if it works" he whispers.
"Don't wait for me awake, have a sleep... Goodnight". She smiles.
"Goodnight... And be careful". He caresses her hair, takes his bag and goes away, smiling.
Jamie luckily finds a flower shop and buys a big bunch of hawthorn. Then he goes to the cemetery, it's still dark though it's 2a.m. He climbs over the cemetery fence and heads towards the ancient part. He walks there, among the tombs, with his bag and flowers inside. He's used to do that but he feels a bit uncomfortable alone. He prefers doing that with Marya, even if he was making fun of her before, for the same reason. He reaches the tomb of the man, the earth is obviously still fresh and moved. Jamie takes a look around then he gets closer and poses his bag on the ground. He kneels down and starts searching when he hears the noise of crunching leaves around him. He quickly looks up and around. He can't see anything but the sound was clear. Therefore, he quickly takes out the flowers but while doing so, the Blutsauger attacks him from behind and pulls him away. Jamie tries to get free but the monster draws him on the ground. Jamie grabs a gravestone and holds to it, trying to resist, when the Blutsauger leaves him and he ends up hitting his head on the stone. He's confused for a while, his sight blurred, while he stays clinged to it. The Blutsauger comes back to him, Jamie tries to get up, with some blood flowing down his face from his temple. He walks ahead, staggering, walking more like a drunkard. He tries to reach his bag when he falls down, just in front of it. The Blutsauger catches him from the back and turns him, blocking him with his back to the ground, and tries to bite him. Jamie's sight is still a bit confused, he can't understand precisely the distances of the Blutsauger over him and the flowers next to him. He keeps the monster back and stretches his arm to reach the flowers. He stretches some more when he grabs a little bunch of flowers and throws them over the grave. The Blutsauger suddenly stops and gets up. It goes toward its tomb and kneels down to count them all. Being them not much, Jamie hurries up getting up, even if still a bit dizzy, and takes all the remaining flowers. He tears all the petals and throws them singularly over the tomb. Once he's done, he steps back, tired and exhausted, and sits down on the ground, leaning to a tombstone. He observes the strange scene in front of him, with the big, scary monster kneeled down counting all the petals. He stays there, watching, until the sun starts rising at the horizon. Though tired and sleepy, Jamie stares at it, happy as it quickly rises up. The light of the sun shines on the Blutsauger then, that surprised emits a high yell and then takes fire. Its body turns to ashes and it disintegrates. Jamie smiles a bit, closes his eyes. Though they got hurt a lot during the hunt, this kind of peaceful ending cheers him up.
One day, fifteen years before, a 12 year-old Jamie was playing with a 6 year-old Marya. He took her doll and was running all around the house, which they had free, all for them. He didn't want to give the doll back to her and was holding it up. Marya was chasing him and jumping around him, trying to catch it, but she was too short to reach it.
"Come on Jamie, give it to me!" she tells, running after him.
"No! I have it now, it's mine!" he tells, running again. Marya runs behind him but then falls on a stair. She falls down and starts crying. Jamie ran already far away and hearing her cry, he turns around.
"There's no need to cry, ok, I'll give you back" he tells when he sees her on the ground. He runs to her, worried. "Oh Mary! Are you hurt?". She shakes her head. He kneels down and caresses her head.
"Why are you crying then?" he asks, smiling.
"Because I fell... Give me my doll!" she says, trying to take the doll from his hands. He gives it to her, feeling guilty, and she takes it, surprised.
"I'm sorry Mary... I didn't want you to fall down... Are you sure you're fine?" he asks, taking a look at her, at her arms and legs. "You have some scratches here... Oh, there's a little wound here" he tells, pulling up her dress. She looks at him worried and sobbing.
"Don't worry, it's just a little scratch, I'll fix this now" he says, taking her up and making her sit on the stair. "Come on, stay here. I'll be back in a second". He hurries to the bathroom and comes back with some cotton and a patch. He kneels down in front of her and disinfects her wound on the knee. She looks at him and smiles.
"Does it hurt?" he asks.
"No" she says. He smiles.
"Ok, good. I'll put a patch now and it will pass" he says, when the door opens and Jeremy comes back home. He finds them on the ground with Jamie medicating Marya's wound and looking guilty.
"Jamie, what happened?" he asks worried and goes to them. Jamie is a bit afraid.
"We... were playing and she fell"
"She fell? On her own??" Jeremy asks, not believing it.
"We were playing" tells Marya.
"Yeah, we were..."
"James, how many times did I tell you you don't have to run at home? It's dangerous!"
"Yeah I know, sorry..."
"But now Jamie is fixing me" tells Marya. Jeremy smiles at her.
"James go to your room and study"
"But I already studied!"
"Start again then! You're lucky that I'm not mom. And you should thank me that I'm not going to tell her" he says. So, Jamie gets up and head down, goes to his room. Marya looks at him, sad.
Little time later, Marya goes to Jamie's room and slowly peeps in from the half closed door. Jamie is sitting on the bed and she gets in.
"Jamie, are you studying?" she asks. He looks at her and smiles.
"No. Come on, get in". She reaches his bed and he pulls her up.
"I wanted to tell you that I'm not mad at you for what happened" she starts. He smiles.
"Oh, thank you. I was really afraid you could be angry" he jokes but she thinks he's serious.
"But I'm sorry, I didn't want you to get hurt"
"But we were playing"
"Yeah, but I stole your doll... I promise you I won't do that again. And we ran inside home, it's dangerous". She looks down.
"But I'm not mad at you" she repeats and he smiles. "Do you wanna play or you have to study?"
"Oh, I really want to play with you!" he tells and she smiles happily.
The morning, Jamie comes back to the motel. He's still a bit dirty with blood and earth. Marya is still sleeping, on one side. Jamie smiles and goes to her to pull up the blankets a bit. Then he sits on his bed, in front of hers, and leaves his bag there. She slowly wakes up and blinks at him.
"Yeah, I'm back" he tells. She half-sits on the bed.
"Is it over?"
"Yeah, it worked. I was surprised actually but it worked. It's been a strange sight to see such a awful monster counting flowers, but at the end the sunlight burnt it. There haven't been any other attack yesterday night, except us obviously, so I suppose it didn't turn anyone else"
"Oh, good" she takes a better look at him. "But, are you ok?? You have blood on your face". He rubs his face and looks at his hand surprised.
"Yeah, I'm fine... We had a little fight. And I hit a gravestone"
"Yeah, not fun. My sight got blurred for at least one hour. But don't worry, I'm good now" he says, seeing her concerned expression. "And your wound?"
"It pulls a bit..."
"Maybe it's because it's closing... Let me take a look" he tells getting up. She doesn't oppose anymore to his doctor things. He unwraps the bandage and takes a look under the patch.
"Yeah, it's closing, though some parts are still fresh. It can bleed for some more. But it's looking fine". She looks at him, smiling.
"And what are the prescriptions of the doc?"
"Don't strive too much, don't run, don't stretch, don't do strange movements or yoga" he tells, giving himself some air. Marya smiles at him. He helps her sitting on the bed and then sits next to her. He keeps his head down and she looks at him, expectant.
"What's up?" she asks.
"I have to tell you one thing" he starts, serious.
"What? I'm going to die? Does it look so bad?" she jokes. He's a bit confused at first. He shakes his head.
"No, no, it's a serious thing. I thought about it a lot, I didn't know if you should have known it or not, but a thing you said yesterday, made me think". She looks at him, perplexed.
"What is it Jamie?". He looks up.
"It's about what happened to your parents". She looks at him, incredulous and shocked.
"You know what happened??"
"Not completely, but... What do you remember of it?". She thinks for a second.
"Ahm, not much actually, just fragmentary things. I was sleeping at home when the aunt came and woke me up. She made me get dressed and took me away. She took me to your home, I was confused, I don't remember much. But what is that you know??"
"Your parents and my parents were on a hunt that night"
"I knew they died on a hunt..."
"Yeah, but they were together. They were hunting a Wendigo, though your parents had quit". She looks at him, confused. "They stopped when you were born, they wanted a normal life and didn't want you to become a hunter" he tells, slowly and looking at her. She listens, puzzled. "My parents asked them to join them because they needed to be more on that hunt. Your parents didn't want at first but then accepted. I don't know precisely how it went, but the Wendigo caught them. I must say that it's difficult for me too to tell, I feel terrible and ashamed, but my parents didn't come back to help them. They left them there and ran, my father told it can happen during a hunt-"
"They left them there? To be the meal of the Wendigo?" she asks, angry and indignant. Jamie is a bit ashamed.
"The people I lived with for most of my life are the reason of all my pain and misfortune?" she asks herself, incredulous. "How do you know this? Since when you know this??" she asks, angry.
"I... didn't know this either. They didn't tell me, Jeremy told me this, the last time we saw. He didn't want you to know this, he made me promise-" he tells, but she interrupts him violently smacking his face. He stays silent, he didn't expect this.
"You knew this and didn't tell me anything?! You knew how much it meant to me! All that I suffered because of it! Jeremy is dead, your promise was lifted!" she shouts at him. "It's been months that you kept this secret, that you lied to me!". He looks at her, hurt and a bit offended by her blow. His cheek gets red because of it. She notices that and looks at him sad and a bit guilty. She tries to reach him but he moves back. She takes her hand back.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have..." she says. "But that doesn't change the fact you should have been honest with me. I'm not 10 anymore, I'm 21 and I want to know the truth, I need to!". He looks up at her.
"I don't know anything more. Jeremy didn't tell me more. He surely knew what happened. I was shocked too when he told me". She shakes her head, upset. "He never got over it, he kept reproaching my parents about it every time, he always gainsaid them about everything for this reason. He had told them but they didn't want to listen to him. He was very protective towards you, also because he knew the truth and felt guilty for that, even if it wasn't his fault. He didn't want you to become a hunter and that's why he didn't want to hunt together. As he said, 'it wasn't an accident but a mistake'. And he didn't want to do that again". Marya listens, silent.
"But why didn't he tell you everything? And why didn't they?"
"Maybe for the same reason: they knew I would have told you". Marya looks down. "Mary, I know it's shocking but if they didn't want you to know, it's probably for this reason. You don't have to stress about it. It's done now, we can't do anything else". She looks mad at him.
"Are you trying to get another smack? You can't tell me this! I want to know what happened for real"
"You can still ask them"
"I don't know if I'm able to do that now, or if I can believe them. You lied for months, but they lied all the time"
"I guess Jeremy didn't want you to see it like this. He wanted you to know that at the end they love you anyway."
"I can't see it like this anymore"
"You don't have your parents anymore but someone had to act like them"
"Can you imagine how my life could have been without all this?" she asks. He looks down, sad. "Yeah..."
"Mary..." he looks up "Are you still mad at me?"
"I'm furious with your parents. But yeah, I'm still mad at you too"
"I'm sorry". She looks at him and caresses the cheek she smacked.
"It's passing..." she comments lowly. He smiles a bit and she looks down, silent.
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