THE CHILD, PART 3:

ENDGAME

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As you can tell, this story was never developed beyond the concept stage. The dialog disappears and then it becomes a narrative very early in the story. The storyline, which was written after the story was started, tells more than the story itself does and the storyline itself just stops. Frustrating as it may be for the reader, this story has no further development.
Last thoughts on The Child Trilogy
Parts 2 and 3 were an experiment to see if I could continue a storyline over the course of 2 or 3 stories where each story can stand alone. They fail in this effort and lack the elements that make part 1 good. Vampires are not my favorite supernatural being. I don’t typically follow vampire myths, so it is unusual for me to have written a story at all. I had just read Coleridge’s Christabel and found it fascinating. I wanted to bring the character Geraldine into modern times.

The first story is the best one, the first version I think is better than the revision. At the time, I felt the story needed explanation. Seeing it again 20 years later, I re-think that and feel that it was truly better the first time.

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The Child, Part Three: Endgame
Van Turner, 1993
(Other titles considered: Conclusion)


Three days passed until the next victim turned up. It was another young man, this one from London. The police examined the body and post mortem report suggested he’d been dead some time.


“Three days?” exclaimed the London police captain in disbelief. “The slasher’s long gone by now! What good is it to know he’s been dead three days?”


None of his underlings had a real answer, but one suggested: “Well, this blows our cult theory. This one belonged to a cult. We’ve been following him sometime now.”


The captain had to agree. He turned to one of his colleagues and told him to call Sunderland. He wanted Lieutenant Hulke there as soon as possible.


The call went out and two days later the lieutenant from Sunderland showed up in London with a strange little man.


“My name is Baggins,” the short, plump man to the graying captain. “Andrew Baggins. I’m a specialist of sorts. In these matters, anyway.”


“Well, I’d just as soon not know until I see the report,” said the captain. “You will be making one, won’t you?” It wasn’t really a question.


“Of course, of course,” said the dark haired man. He sounded as if he hadn’t heard the first word and appeared to be daydreaming as his blue eyes scanned the functional office.


The little man’s trench coat found the back of chair as his behind found the seat. His thick hands found an even thicker book and he was oblivious to his surroundings.
Later, the lieutenant needed to speak with him, but Baggins had disappeared…


It was dark and threatened rain again. Funny, Baggins thought. It hadn’t rained since Alex Hillman was killed.


Of course, Baggins knew who did it. Same person who always did this every twelve years or so. And he knew why.


The mighty stone monoliths stood like they’d stood for however long they’d stood. Like sentinels, watching the herds of sheep that inhabited most of Wiltshire.


Baggins counted ten persons within about six weeks. Alex, the young man driver, the girl child, the other young man cult follower, the old woman, the two young girls, and the boy child. There are five female, five male. One of each is old, one of each is a child, and two of each is a young adult.


They were all missing and winter was slowly coming to an end. It was the beginning of March. March 22 is the vernal equinox, the beginning of spring and birth after the death of winter. Baggins waited until March 22 to move on Geraldine. He and ten men and women surround Stonehenge and wait for nightfall. Geraldine and her daughter enter, followed by the ten undead.


One of the policemen recognized one of the young girls and asks Baggins what’s going on. He explains that it’s the vampire Rite of Spring. The ten undead will drink of Geraldine’s blood and of her daughter’s. She and her daughter will drink of each other, then they will eat of the hearts of each person. This will make them immortal, provided they accomplish all this before midnight. Otherwise, they must wait until next year.


The policeman, looking very green is about to ask a question when the ritual begins. Geraldine goes to Alex. Her daughter does the same. The policeman faints when Geraldine cuts Alex’s heart out and takes a bite. Her daughter follows her example. They move to the next person and another policeman faints as yet another gets ill.
Baggins, when looked for, is nowhere to be found. But suddenly he appears in the circle with a wooden sword. He charges Geraldine yelling something incomprehensible. Her daughter, who has just had her share of the third victim, meets him. The girl has a real sword and breaks Baggins’ wooden one, then mortally wound Baggins. Baggins is momentarily out as Geraldine and her daughter take turns on the fourth, fifth, and sixth victims.


Baggins gets up and stumbles to find his sword. Finding it, he staggers toward Geraldine as she takes her share of the seventh victim. She catches him and throws him outside the circle. Her daughter takes the seventh victim as she takes the eighth. Baggins crawls back into the circle as the remaining six policemen begin firing at Geraldine, her daughter, and the remaining victims. This delays the vampires but it doesn’t stop them.


It’s just a few minutes to midnight when the last policeman fires his last round. The vampires begin advancing on them and they flee the scene. The vampires turn back to the last two victims with minutes to go.


Geraldine takes the ninth as does her daughter. She turns to the tenth when out of nowhere Baggins faces her with his broken sword. He stumbles and falls on her, stabbing her through the back and deep into her heart. Baggins falls to the ground as Geraldine slowly takes the tenth victim’s blood and cuts the boy’s heart out. She drops the heart before she can take a bite and falls down.


Her daughter picks up the heart to take a bite when Baggins weakly laughs that it’s too late. She takes her bite then stops to look at Alex’s watch: 12:02. She screams and flings the heart at Baggins. She turns to leave when suddenly and wooden stake bursts into her chest. She sits down hard and starts to cry as Alex’s butler steps from behind a stone with a crossbow in his hand. Baggins smiles at him and dies, saying thanks to an old friend. The butler tells him to rest well and flings the crossbow at the girl who is already dead.


The story and the trilogy end, as it began, with it raining.


Notes:
The Child, Part 2: Endgame Storyline
Geraldine and her daughter left Sunderland and headed south. Days later, a body is discovered. A young man, a known cult follower, turns up at Stonehenge. The police are baffled and call the Sunderland police to help. They send a specialist, a strange little man named Andrew Baggins. Baggins knows a lot about the occult and reads Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson and Stoker.
After meeting his colleagues he leaves and we find him in the stone circle at night. Geraldine and her daughter come out to meet him.
He holds out a medallion that shines in the dark. Geraldine is dismayed and her daughter is puzzled. Who is this man? How does he know?
Baggins reveals that he is the descendant of the man who banished her to the woods and knows her history. He is impressed by the girl and wonders about her origin. Geraldine tells him the girl is the daughter of a prince she let have his way with her before she killed him.
Geraldine tells him that her daughter has been initiated and is a vampire in every right. Baggins points out that she is not immortal, unlike herself. And even that isn’t definite. He tells her it is his duty to destroy her, but only on his terms and his ground. Geraldine says she’ll see about that but before she can attack him, Baggins vanishes.
He turns up at the police headquarters with a full report the next day. He tells the others that he believes the murders are the act of one person, a lunatic, one of the so-called modern day vampires. That she drinks the blood, what she can, and soaks the rest in sponges as was a common practice with three other vampires he’d chased. When asked why he thought the murderer was a woman, he replies “intuition.”
A few days later a horrible discovery is made. Alex Hillman’s body is missing, as are all the others. And another body is found, an old woman. A few days later, her body goes missing. Within two weeks, two more bodies turn up then a few days later go missing. Both are young girls. Then a boy child …


Notes 2:
Song lyrics considered for The Child, Part 3: Endgame.
“Cause now you’ve got to fly/ fly to the angels”
Slaughter – Stick it to Ya: “Fly to the Angels”
“I want to run/ I want to hide…”
U2 – The Joshua Tree: “Where the Streets Have no Name”
“Hold on tight the night has come’
Indigo Girls: “Secure Yourself”

 

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