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Saint Michael the Archangel Statue.jpg

The moon cast its light over the streets of Archangel, West Virginia. Birds and squirrels nested in the tall trees that surrounded the city. Raccoons and deer and frogs inhabited the forest floor. They slept, but the people of Archangel did not.

They sat, fearful, in their chairs, upright in their beds, leaning against their front doors. None of them spoke; none of them stirred. They feared what lurked outside their doors, what traveled their streets.

Craig Morris held the hand of his wife, Christine. They looked at each other every so often, mouthing, “I love you,” as the sounds grew louder. Julia, their daughter, had her blanket firmly pulled over her head and her eyes closed shut, wishing that the monsters would leave her alone. Craig feared for his daughter, but he also feared for himself. Their door pounded mercilessly.

Angela Brown was hungry. The figures plaguing the streets made leaving the house impossible. She hadn’t eaten in nearly a week, and it was starting to show. She was never the thinnest girl, but the malnourishment had taken its toll. Her ribcage was fully visible, and her face had pulled into a gaunt frown.

She sat in the one windowless room in her house—the first floor bathroom. Her mirror—that useless, useless mirror—had slipped off of the wall and shattered on the floor. Her fingers were jammed in her ears to stifle the sound. The door pounded mercilessly.

Steven and Frederick DeLucca crouched in their garage. The two brothers saw nothing. They were alone. Their father was killed by the dark figures outside. His body was stabbed clean through the heart and then tossed out into the streets, to rot in the moonlight. The two brothers sang softly under their breaths, repeating the words often sung by their mother before she too was taken:

We sing to the grace of the night,

We sing to the stars in the sky,

We sing to the moon so white,

We sing till the day that we die.

They sang to block out the sounds of anger coming from just beyond the garage door. They held each other and sang. Their door pounded mercilessly.

The general store at the corner was boarded up, but the owner and his daughter could see fire through the slits in the boards—fire, and dark figures that screamed and roared and bashed themselves against the walls. The girl cried in her father’s cold, trembling arms. The walls pounded mercilessly.

The night progressed and the pounding never stopped. The inhabitants of Archangel held themselves and each other and wept. Gloria Pitt and Lauren Halstead hid under their bed. Little Joey Richards stole away inside his closet. The priest, Uriel Michaels, lay down below two pews. The Crenshaw family held hands in the basement. They didn’t hear the front door come crashing down.

Outside, in the streets, the figures held torches. In their hands were wooden stakes and around their necks were crucifixes. They were angry. The vampires in the city of Archangel must be destroyed.