*Part 01: Vampire in the National Park
*Part 02: The Quantum Vampire*Part 03: The Thirteenth Vampire
I saw him on a moonless night while desperately clinging to my sanity.
It was the summer solstice of 2017 when a young couple decided to go on a pleasant summit hike to Sentinel Mountain. It is a relatively easy scramble on the eastern slopes which overlook the tranquil waters of Gemini Lake. These slopes can be reached by following a steep fire road from the parking area at the lake.
Upon reaching the top, they took in the surrounding beauty of the landscape. There, they enjoyed a small snack and beverage. Afterwards, they made their way to the standing stones. On the summit of Sentinel Mountain is an archaeological site that was believed to be a medicine wheel and burial site. There is a mound surrounded by a ring of crumbling boulders with stone circles and effigies nearby.
The mound was excavated in 1975 by a team of archaeologists from Ashvale University, which uncovered a burial pit with human remains and a myriad of artifacts. The site was dated to 15,000 years ago.
The wife caught sight of a cleft in the ground not far from the ancient site. Upon taking a closer look they discovered the entrance to a small cave. The cave was no more than five feet high and eleven feet wide. And twenty-five feet deep.
The husband noticed a slightly raised portion of the floor was bordered by a circle of rocks. Just outside the circle of rocks was a neat pile of flat stones which were stacked in such a way to resemble a human being with outstretched arms.
Nagging curiosity compelled them to dig into the soil with their bare hands, brushing the dirt aside they discovered human remains. The couple reported their find to the RCMP who dispatched officers to investigate.
Shortly afterwards, the RCMP contacted the Ashvale University located in the nearby city of Karswell. A team of archaeologists was assembled to excavate what were the remains of an ancient mummified child. A small bone fragment was collected from the mummy and radiocarbon dating revealed that he died nearly five-thousand years ago. This is what was officially released to the public.
There are several anomalies that have been kept secret. An individual who wishes to remain anonymous contacted me. This person explained to me that the burial site itself was not ancient but rather it was dug up very recently and that the remains were placed in there. Things would take an even stranger turn when the autopsy was performed. Inexplicable discoveries that would defy our understanding of biology and the natural world.
The first thing to note were the physical characteristics of the child's mandibles. All of the teeth were razor sharp. The jaws were rigged with tendons, muscles, and ligaments that gave it flexibility comparable to that of a snake.
Despite the apparent outward appearance of the withered corpse, the musculature beneath showed little decay and was still red. Truly a curious find indeed.
It was revealed that the brain and several other internal organs to be 'fresh' as well and not desiccated as one would expect. Both circulatory and nervous systems were also in relatively good condition, although the heart was abnormally enlarged. It was double in size compared to that of a normal heart. All of this was sealed in by the leathery and petrified exterior outer flesh. Analysis of the stomach contents revealed a copious amount of partially digested human blood.
Further analysis revealed that the stomach was teeming with an unusual form of protozoa that were actively consuming the blood. The parotid salivary glands, the spleen and cerberospinal fluid were also infested with scores of these microscopic organisms. The further they investigated the more bizarre things became.
The investigation was brought to a sudden stop when a group of men in hazmat suits stormed the university and confiscated all of the research and evidence, including the cadaver. Everyone involved with the find were harassed and threatened by men dressed in black suits ordering them to keep quiet.
Sadly, the young couple who made the discovery atop Sentinel Mountain fell victims to a rare and highly aggressive form of anemia. Both of their lives were extinguished by the very same protozoa found inhabiting the hellish mummy. The very act of disturbing the dirt with their bare hands allowed the invading microorganisms to access their bodies. One startling find revealed that the white blood cells of the deceased were mutating into the 'vampire protozoa'. Their very biology was being rewritten, even in death. Their remains were shipped off to the CDC for further study and containment. Inquiries from families and friends have gone unanswered.
The body that was discovered on the summit was that of an innocent child from a forgotten time. Little Crow was killed in an act of war. His lifeless body was brought to the top of Sentinel Mountain by his father accompanied by a shaman whom performed a forbidden ritual that called forth an ancient evil from beyond the stars. It never had a physical form of its own before. It stood up in the shape and characteristic of a human being. It became a profanity against the natural world.
Little Crow has haunted the mountains and surrounding landscape since time immemorial. The indigenous people were particularly aware, they constantly incorporated depictions of this creature into their carvings and statues. They believed that this iconography could ward off the spiritual and psychic circumstances that would precipitate in attacks by enemy tribes. They placed spiritually charged items at burial sites for protection and strength.
But what of the child himself, did any part of his true original self remain? Sadly yes. He was fully conscious of what was going on and the existence he was leading. But it was the will of something that emerged from an unknown gulf of night that was driving his body. He watched himself committing unspeakable acts upon human beings unable to resist and unable to prevent the death and destruction that he caused. Little Crow was being used as an avatar by this eldritch personification who invaded his mind and body turning him into a blood thirsty vampire.
Something happened. The lifeless husk of Little Crow was found buried on the summit of Sentinel Mountain. Vampires never die except through violent means. But that doesn't mean its the end of the vampire. According to eldritch tomes, the outside alien consciousness is able to disengage from the carcass to be carried off by the wind and desperately seek out a new vessel. My informant saw no obvious cause of death.
There is another way. A nameless ritual can be performed where the quantum vampire can transfer itself into a new host body of its choosing. The being saw something in Jacob that made him its next host body. Little Crow and Jacob Wingate, separated by nearly fifty centuries, both forever binded to the madness from beyond.
Summer 2018 was when I made a pilgrimage of my own to the summit of Sentinel Mountain located south-west of Karswell. I arrived safe and sound early in the day. I believe this was the site where Little Crow was taken to be revived by the forces of darkness thousands of years ago.
There was a slight stench in the air like charnel wafted about by the mountain breeze. There was also another odor that I could detect: it was ozone. That distinct smell detected during an electrical storm. I found it strange seeing as it was a clear and cloudless day. During my time on the summit, I couldn't help but feel an oppressive discomfort in my head. It was almost as if something was sifting through my thoughts.
I approached the entrance to the small cave where the remains of Little Crow were discovered. Before entering the cavern I put on a surgical mask, protective glasses and disposable gloves. I didn't want to risk being invaded by the mysterious vampire protozoa that may or may not have been present in the black soil during my visit.
I had to take a stooping posture in the mouth of the foreboding den due to the low ceiling of the cave. I switched on my flash light to illuminate the way. The darkness of the chamber became overwhelming as I neared the former grave site of the ancient vampire.
An eerie feeling began to invade my mind. It was the old saying that I felt like I was being watched. On the right side of the passage I caught sight of something on the wall. It caused me to instinctively jump back in fright. On the wall next to me was what appeared to be rock art.
The art was not ancient but very recent from the colour and freshness of the paint. It was a mural that depicted the face of a hooded man with light skin, blond hair, black eyes with burning red orbs for pupils. Its mouth was agape revealing rows of sharp teeth.
I stared into the eyes of the mural.
The face seemed very familiar to me. It bore a striking resemblance to the avatar of the thirteenth vampire.
There was no mention of the mural from the couple who found the ancient mummy, nor from the team of archaeologists who excavated the area. It must have been someone with a keen interest in the rising ghoulish myths in the area. Tales of a bogeyman who stalks the night questing for new horrors and determined to quench its infinite thirst. In this case, the truth is stranger than fiction. Nobody wants to admit that there has been something going on in these lands for a very long time. Mention the word 'vampire' and people will scoff. But that works in the favour of the vampire. Its power relies on darkness and obscurity.
It is a thing with no shape or form but it exists the same way that wind exists. You can see its effects. Once the quantum vampire takes a host you can also see its effects. It is alien. It is the other. It's very existence cannot be encompassed. It is said that Copernicus took Earth out of the centre of the universe. Darwin took humans out of the centre of the biological world. But it is the quantum vampire that takes humans and uses them for its own means. Humans who believe they are above everything and are at the top of the food chain. How wrong we are.
I became fixated on the mural. I carefully examined the details of the image. I began thinking aloud.
“Are you awake Jacob Wingate? Are you asleep Jacob Wingate?”
My mind was busy with so many intrusive thoughts. Once I brushed them aside I noticed the surrounding darkness became thicker. I became aware of that ozone smell from outside.
I must be very deliberate now and choose my words carefully.
Perhaps, it was cave acoustics. It started off as an indistinct pulse or rumble. It changed into a whisper. Imagine for a minute if somebody walked up right behind you and got right up close to your ear without your knowing.
What are you looking for, little one?
My skin began to crawl. A shiver ran down my spine like bony fingers. I spun around frantically shining the light. Nothing was there. I was alone. I listened carefully. My hearing sharpened by the silence of the cave. Not a footfall. Not even a peep. Satisfied that I didn't have unexpected company I pressed on.
A place like this can easily wreak havoc on a persons imagination.
At the end of the passage was a shallow depression in the cavern floor. It was the disinterred burial site. A ring of stones surrounded the hole with a stack of flat stones neatly piled in the shape and aspect of a human being.
I shined the light into the empty grave and spotted a layer of charcoal and partially burned items on the bottom. I gazed up at the roof and saw where the flames licked.
I carefully reached into the grave and pulled up the charred remnants of a photo album. I flipped it open and saw family photographs of a father and mother, a girl and two boys. The girl was named Samantha; she was the elder. David was the middle child. And Jacob was the youngest of the three.
A single photograph slipped out from the album onto the ground. I swiftly picked it up. It was another picture of Jacob. He was holding a large black cat with piercing green eyes. A Maine Coon to be exact. I turned the picture over. Written on the back was 'Jacob and Salem 2008.'
Little is known about Jacob. He was a very secretive individual. He was born February 14th in the year 1988 to Robert Wingate and Matilda Dombrowski. Jacob had a very happy childhood according to his parents. They gave him just about everything he wanted. He received good grades in school and was often described as a quiet and polite student.
He got along just fine with his older siblings. They would spend countless summer afternoons playing on the shores of Gemini Lake. Other times, he would go to the local arcade with them and sink coins into the machines.
He was deeply passionate about astronomy. He would often spend many nights gazing up at the cosmos. Jacob was bit of a loner. He seemed to live in a world of his own. He would go on long solitary walks or bicycle on the local trails. He was also a lover of all things ancient and strange. He was also said to possess a quirky sense of humor. Later in life, he earned a living working at a sawmill where his father was a respected foreman. Jacob was also a member of the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada. He was known to be proficient at finding people. Other members of his team joked that he had a sixth sense.
There was suspicion that he had a mental disorder of some type. It became even more pronounced after his horrifying encounter with Little Crow in (Redacted) National Park. He did seek treatment at the Zenith Centre for Mental Health.
Jacob felt the need to help others because of a childhood event.
Samantha, the oldest of the Wingate children, explained to me when Jacob was making his way home from school one day he decided to take a short cut through a nearby thicket. It was autumn and there were leaves everywhere. There just happened to be a nice pile of leaves waiting to be kicked. What little kid couldn't resist? Jacob went for it and as he did the sound of breaking sticks startled him. He found himself falling into an open drainage hole. Fortunately for him, he reacted fast and was able to catch onto the edge of the opening. Below him was darkness with the sound of flowing water. Jacob summoned all his strength and pulled himself up and out of the hole. Ever since that experience he felt compelled to help those in need.
But now he has become an abomination that preys on the weak and the wounded.
A profound feeling of sadness came over me.
The sound of crumbling rocks startled me. I forgot my bearings and swiftly stood up. I bashed my head against the low hanging roof of the cave. I collapsed to my knees. Jolts of pain radiated through my skull and down my spine.
I turned the flashlight to where the sound came from. It was the stack of flat stones. They had been knocked over. Just beyond the heap of crumbled rocks was something that I hadn't noticed before. There was a small hole in the wall. Another passageway. A stealthy rustling sound came from that opening.
That's when I saw it.
Two yellow eyes.
Have you ever seen the glowing eyes of an animal when you shine a light in their face while they're off in the distance? That is exactly what I saw. It emerged from the opening and approached me. I saw a spotted brown and silvery coat, a wide face and tufted ears. It was a medium-sized wildcat. A Lynx. A deep guttural growl emitted from its throat. It darted towards me. I instinctively brought my arms up in a defensive position in anticipation of a mauling.
To my relief, the wildcat bounded over me and sped off towards the outside world. Its hard to say how long I sat in that darkness but the throbbing agony in my skull and neck urged me to conclude my search. I slowly and painfully stood up careful not to bump my skull a second time.
I made haste out of the tomb and was greeted by welcoming sunlight where vampires cannot follow. To clarify, vampires are not harmed or killed by sunlight. It simply hinders their vision. It is more of an irritant to them. Although they can withstand the low light levels during dawn and dusk they very much prefer the dark of night.
I was alarmed by the sudden cawing and chirping of a solitary Magpie perched atop one of the standing stones. The curious black and white bird watched me intently. One for sorrow as the old nursery rhyme goes. A slow and cold horror grew within me.
Later, I found lodging at a nearby Inn.
I was sore and exhausted from my ordeal in the cave. I decided to eat a light dinner and go to bed early. It didn't take very long for me to doze off after my head hit the pillow.
Pictures come to the eyes of one trying to sleep. A dream. A nightmare. I was a disembodied observer slowly drifting through the gutted remains of an abandoned building surrounded by forest.
Next, I found myself moving through a gloomy tunnel. I was following a black cat with bright green eyes. A Maine Coon. It was carefully moving across a floor littered with countless human bones. I followed the cat until I reached a chamber where it darted into the shadows and out of my sight.
Smoke was rising and swirling from a semi circle of burning barrels. The orange glow from the flames danced on the cement walls. They were lined with rows of rusty steam pipes and valves.
A large mound of soil was in the middle of these burning barrels. A malevolent figure stood firmly on the top. It was something that had the appearance of a person. But it was not a person. It wore clothes. A red hood and blue jeans. Frayed and tattered. Caked with dirt and grime and gore. A necklace of bird skulls hung loosely around its neck.
I knew what was inhabiting the shape and form of that young man. It has many names: the Great Old One, the Otherness, the Dweller of the Gulf, the Demon from the Stars, the Wendigo.
The thing was not alone. A cowering shape was also at the top of the mound. A homeless woman. Her hair was wild and tangled. Tears and mucus dripped off of her face in the dim orange haze. The look on her face told me she was on the brink of insanity. The hooded figure loomed over her. Its burning red pupils dilated like a camera aperture. It was studying her. It got right into her face and said a single world.
It suddenly knocked the helpless woman down onto her backside and pulled her pants off. It examined a leg and with ferocious intensity bit down with razor sharp teeth. The woman howled in unimaginable agony. The creature ripped a huge chunk of tissue and spat it out. It went for another bite and this time bit directly into the femoral artery. It began drinking. I could see the life gradually slipping from the poor woman as her fluids were drained. Once she was extinguished, the fiend withdrew its dripping maw from her leg. It swiftly wrenched her neck.
The human abomination remained knelt next to its finished prey and stared into the darkness. A deep guttural clicking sound came from its throat content with the blood meal. It gently rolled the body down the mound. The hooded figure made a kissing noise. Like it was trying to get the attention of a pet.
A large mountain lion lumbered from the inky recess. Its coat glowed in the dim orange light from the nearby fire. There was something peculiar about this animal. It was immensely old. Its fur was faded and grey. The ancient panther sniffed the dead woman and started pawing at her remains. It clamped its powerful jaws around her head and yanked her away into the shadows.
The hooded figure shifted its gaze on me. It spoke with power and authority.
“Are you awake, little one? Are you asleep, little one?”
I opened my eyes. I remember staring up at the ceiling. Back at the Inn. Everything was basked in the orange glow from the setting sun beaming through the window. Eventually, I would return to my slumber.
My eyes would snap open once more. Darkness would greet me. I could sense that something was wrong. I tried to sit up but found that I could not move.
I was paralyzed.
There was a slight glow coming from the front of me. Something materialized on the dresser from across me.
There was some kind of distortion to it. Like the heat shimmer on a road during a hot summer day.
It was a small ivory statue: a vague human form, membranous wings jutting out from the shoulder blades, a panther head with a mouth stretched in a feral grin, a serpentine tail poised to strike, the right hand displaying some kind of gesture with the thumb and pinkie finger making contact while the remaining three remain straight.
Upon realization a sharp and intense burning pain in my chest began. The pain radiated into my jaw and my left arm. I was having difficulties breathing.
It was the accursed figurine carved from the ivory of a woolly mammoth ten thousand years ago, unearthed by archaeologists in (Redacted) National Park. It was the idol given to me for safekeeping by an elderly woman. The head archaeologist.
She made it clear to me not to touch the figurine with my bare hands just like she and her colleagues did. A 'curse' was transmitted to them allowing them to become entangled with the Quantum Vampire. It brutally killed each of them one by one. I had placed the object inside a heavy duty lock box made of lead for safekeeping. I then stored the lock box in a self-storage facility.
There was a whisper. A voice. Something was speaking to me in my head. It was singing.
Oh, what a night for sweethearts, stars in the sky above. This is our chance for sweet romance, lets make this a night of love.
The mechanical growling of a vehicle pulling into the parking lot caused my heart to flutter. The room was flooded by the blinding headlights of a car parking next to my rental. The engine was shut off and the glaring lights faded.
Dread and foreboding and fear began to manifest within me. I became overwhelmed by confusion.
A car door was opened and then shut.
I heard the room door being unlocked.
The door slowly creaked open. I became conscious of the earthy smell of soil and mold mixed with carrion.
Suddenly, I could feel the end of the mattress buckle under the weight of something. In my frozen state, I could see a hooded shape walking up on the bed. Next, came the crushing pressure of immense weight on me. The thing sat down on my chest like a gargoyle. Dry earth rattled down onto the bed sheets.
The situation was reminiscent of The Nightmare. The oil painting from 1781 by artist Henry Fuseli.
I could now see the identity of my guest.
Tendrils of blond hair stuck out from beneath the hood. A disk of flies angrily buzzed around its head picking at the sticky coagulated blood smeared around its mouth. The skin was pale and white like freshly fallen snow. Jet black eyes with blazing red pupils fixated on me with curiosity. It placed a clawed finger over it's lips.
I uttered his name.
The expression on its face was remote. It responded. A low cracked voice.
“Jacob is in here. And so is Little Crow. I am their master.”
It stared at me. Contemplating.
“You do good work, little one... write the new gospel!”
It playfully poked me on the nose with a forefinger.
The world went black.
I sat up gasping for air covered in cold sweat. Salty tears rolled down my face. My pulse pounded in my temples. My mind was wild with a tsunami of horrifying thoughts. I was trembling with uncontrollable fear.
I grabbed my keys and got into the rental car. I sped out of the parking lot. I was compelled to drive over to the self-storage facility. I accessed the storage unit and opened the lock box.
To my complete horror the statue was missing. It had been reclaimed.
On my way back to the car I saw something that startled me.
It was a large domestic cat. A Maine Coon. It was sitting on the hood of the car. Its black fur rippled in the gentle breeze. It stared at me with glowing eyes. Maybe a trick of the street lights. It watched me with intense curiosity as I cautiously approached.
Gracefully, it jumped off the car and disappeared into the moonless night.
I directed my gaze upwards to catch sight of the brilliant billowing Northern Lights dancing across the inky blackness of space.
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Written by Celephais1985