Reaching the bottom of the concrete steps, Melissa followed the trail of Kevin’s torch down to the corpse lying on the concrete floor of the basement.
Kneeling down to the side of the light, she saw the five wounds in the back of the man’s neck. Rising back to her feet, she kept the gun aimed directly ahead of her.
Shining the torch ahead of Melissa, Kevin caught a quick glimpse of a shape ducking behind a row of metal shelves. “There’s someone...”
Melissa interrupted before he could finish, “I saw.” She slowly approached the shelves, focusing on where Kevin was shining the torch. She quickly stepped to the other side of the beam of light, taking slow steps toward the back of the shelves.
She stopped, her shoe coming down onto something soft and sticky. There was just enough light to see the melted flesh she had stepped in, “Crap.”
“What?” Kevin focused the torch beam on the liquefied flesh oozing from the clothes, “That’s what Teresa was wearing.”
As Kevin and Shaun shone the torches along the floor to reveal more pools of melted flesh seeping from fallen clothing, Melissa started to step back from the metal shelving in front of her. “There’s something else down here with us.” She gave Kevin and Shaun an extremely quick glance, “When I say run, get the Hell out of here and back up into the kitchen. Don’t stop, keep going until you’re out of the building and even then, keep going.”
One of the torches still pointing towards the shelves, Melissa saw a hand grip the metal frame and a youthful face appeared in the beam of light, focusing on the fangs becoming visible as the woman’s lips parted. “Strigoi.”
Shaun swung round, shining his torch towards the stairs leading back up to the kitchen. “Crap.”
Two more Strigoi, a man and a woman, were standing by the steps, both of them showing their fangs.
Glancing back and forth between the three Strigoi, Melissa grabbed each of Kevin and Shaun’s shoulders, drawing them back with her as she stepped back from the advancing Strigoi.
Turning to shine the torch along the length of the wall behind them, Kevin saw the door leading to the bomb shelter. He pulled himself free of Melissa’s grip on his shoulder and rushed to the side of the door, shining the beam back towards Melissa and Shaun. “Over here.”
Pulled by Melissa as she edged her way towards the light from Kevin’s torch, Shaun focused the beam from his torch on the three Strigoi, the fear in his voice easy to notice. “They’re getting closer.”
Reaching the side of the thick metal door, Melissa shoved Kevin and Shaun through the opening. Grabbing the door, she pulled it towards her and removed her fingers from the side just before it slammed shut. Stretching up to slam the thick bolt into place, she took a step back, expecting the Strigoi on the other side to began hammering on the metal.
The silence lingered.
Moving further back from the closed door, Kevin almost dropped the torch when fingers gripped his ankle.
He slowly pointed the torch towards the ground, the light shining on the fingers holding his ankle.
“Help us.” Susanne Copeland looked up into the beam of light as it shone onto her face pressed against the bars of the cage holding her.
Snatching the torch out of Shaun’s hand, Melissa directed it from one cage to another, exposing a single person trapped in almost every one.
Kevin glanced back at her, “We have to get them out.”
Shining the torch around the room, Melissa stopped the beam on a cobweb covered desk against the brick wall. Approaching it, she searched through each of the drawers, pulling them completely out and dropping them on the floor.
Finding a set of keys on a ring in one of the drawers, she tossed them to Kevin. “Start letting them out, we’re going to need them if we’re going to survive this.”
Dropping her bag on the floor, Melissa removed an iron bladed machete and began smashing the removed drawers apart.
Sharpening the ends of each piece of wood from the shattered drawers into points, she handed one to each of the captives released from the cages, leaving the last two for Kevin and Shaun.
Retrieving the machete from the floor near to the desk, she directed the torch to an opening in the wall as she approached it. Stopping, she glanced back at everyone else. “Who’s coming with me?”
Kevin was the only one who stepped forward, the makeshift stake held firmly in his hand.
Waiting a few more seconds to see if anyone else would step forward to join her and Kevin, Melissa turned to the opening in the wall.
Keeping the torch pointed directly in front of them, the pair of them advanced along the short passage. Coming to another opening, Melissa shone the beam into the room beyond and stepped through the gap in the wall.
Following her through, Kevin focused on the flickering light coming from the hole in the far wall. Leaving Melissa standing near the opening with the torch, he approached the hole and peered into the candle lit chamber. “Oh God.”
Stepping through the opening, he saw the bodies scattered across the concrete floor, each with a ripped open throat.
Entering behind him, Melissa went straight to the nearest body and knelt by the side. She brushed the teenage girl’s red hair away from her neck, further exposing the torn flesh.
Raising the machete blade, she brought it down on the girl’s throat, the head rolling onto one side as it was cut from the rest of the girl’s body.
Kevin watched her begin to move towards the next, turning his head away as she cut off the head from another of the bodies.
He remained with his head turned away as she continued the decapitations, only glancing back at her when she was done.
Emptying the contents of her holdall onto the floor, Melissa began blowing out the candles and shoving them into the bag. Filling it completely, she zipped it up and turned towards the opening. “Come on.”
Following her back to where Shaun and the others were waiting, Kevin watched her remove the candles from the bag and place them around the room, lighting them.
The candles giving just enough light for everyone to see each other, Shaun glanced at Susanne as she saw and hugged her sister, Mandy.
Walking past the opening, Adam Ramsdell stopped and looked at Melissa as she removed the mobile from her back pocket.
Watching her begin talking to whoever she was calling, he waited until she finished the conversation and took a step forward. “Are you going to tell us what all this is about?”
Melissa saw the hands coming out of the darkness behind him as she turned.
The hands gripped him by the back of the throat, tightening as he was pulled back into the blackness.
Rushing forward, Melissa stopped Kevin and two of the other men from approaching the opening. “Crap.” She glanced towards the locked bomb shelter door, “I thought they were all out there.” She turned back towards the darkness of the opening, “I’ve trapped at least one of them in here.” Melissa looked at the faces staring back at her, “With us."