I was only 5 when the truth of the vampire was revealed to me. Three of the fiends broke into my childhood home. I was made to watch as they devoured my parents before me. Although I have vivid flashes of memory – the bright blood, the crack of bones – the fog of youth preserves me from the worst.
My death approached in the form of the leader of the trio, who gripped me by the throat. I was spared though, as the door thudded open, broken from its hinges. Into the door frame stepped a man in black robes, a golden cruciform prominently hanging from his neck. A crossbow was nestled in his arms, which he used to bring down the first of the three.
He chanted a prayer as he strode in, his resonant voice filled the room with the words of his religion. He throbbed with power, I could almost see it emanating from him. As his attentions turned to the second of the three, she flailed backwards. Smoke rose from her first, then flames ignited. Seconds later, she was consumed entirely.
The leader discarded me casually, turning to face the threat. I knew the strength of this one, I crumpled against the wall, broken. The leader closed on the priest, undeterred by holy power, confident to the last. Even in my youth, I saw this could only last moments, my saviour was doomed.
Yet his faith never faltered. He matched the creature blow for blow. For all its might, he was its equal, and then its master. It fell under a golden sword, drawn from beneath his robes. That same sword ended the vampire with a crossbow bolt embedded in its chest; both collapsed into dust as hundreds of years of decay took effect in seconds. In less than a minute, the three horrors were reduced to piles of ash and I was saved.
Since then I was raised to hunt them. It became my life, my strength. I have brought peace to many, saved those who would otherwise have been lost. But like Father Logue, often I have arrived too late. Each life I failed to save cost me a little more. But the Father’s first words after I recovered still burn within me, after all this time.
“You’re His instrument now boy. And He is not gentle on his tools. You had best learn to endure. For the world will have need of you.” 50 years later, the nights seem darker than ever, and they have always worked best from the shadows. But I continue to bring what light I can. And if it is within my power, I will bring the dawn to those creatures, once and for all. His will be done.