Linda and her friends were happy that Wolf had been vanquished. However, Mike and Todd knew that there was more to come. And it wasn’t going to be anything good for them.
Mike was upset. To this group, a party seemed to be a cure-all for whatever ails you—even vampires. David looked happy again, wagging his long bushy tail with his new lion girlfriend batting her long eyelashes at him. And still, all was not resolved.
Everyone returned to their cars and rode back to town, weary but happy that all the evil in town had been stamped out of their lives for good. They had no idea that they’d all conveniently forgotten about the one person who still remained to ruin their perfectly laid plans.
Reclining on a beach chair in the sand, with a newspaper lying open on his lap, Todd was observing everyone. Mike and David were busy grilling the meat while Shana, Louise, and Linda were setting the table. They were joking with each other. But he still had a uneasy feeling deep inside. Their enemies had been taken care of and everyone was safe and here with him; however, he felt like one piece of the puzzle was still missing.
During the meal, Todd remained lost in thought. He couldn’t figure out how Wolf had always been one step ahead of him. His informants had always been already dead when he arrived to meet them. In addition, Diane kept security very tight at the secret meetings at her house, meticulously employing different private security companies each time, but dark, lurking shadows were spotted at these events. Someone had to be leaking inside information to the followers of The Dead. He had told Linda and the others that their parties had never been infiltrated but unfortunately, they had been. In his defense, he had lied only because he didn’t want them to live in fear any longer of their own shadows.
Mike was still confused about the whole vampire situation in town. He confronted Todd. “What about the shadows that were spotted at the time of Diane’s exclusive parties, and each time there was a full moon? Who or what were they? How—?”
Todd said, “At the time of Diane’s parties, members of The Dead roamed the town at night to spy on the visiting vampires and our secret meetings. They were desperate to ferret out information that would help them destroy the peaceful vampires. But we were very careful and they never gained access to the private events.
“As for the shadows recently stalking all of you, they had to have been the turned human vampires from town who were attempting to terrify you. It was part of their grand plan of bringing murder and mayhem to town.”
Louise asked, “How did I end up on the beach after Shirley and her gang had tried to hang me?”
“You can thank Gregg, Ryan, and Judy. After they resuscitated you at the gazebo, they left you on the beach. They also saved David by pushing him down the flight of stairs leading from End House to the beach, so that he would be out of reach of the flying creatures. They were very busy that night, coming to everyone’s rescue. In addition, they led your group to the door in the basement that allowed you to escape from the wild animals.”
Louise ran over to the human vampires. “I owe you guys my life. I am forever in your debt.”
Gregg said, “It was our pleasure; it was just part of our job description.”
Mike sighed. “There are just too many players in this game; it’s much too hard to keep track of everyone.”
Shana and Linda couldn’t believe that some of their friends were vampires. How could they have been fooled all this time?
Shana asked Todd, “Do you mean that Minnie, Frank, Hank, and Shirley were true vampires? They looked and acted like everyone else in town. When did they turn into vampires?”
“Vampires don’t appear different on the outside from humans: what’s inside is what really matters. Humans and vampires could be good or bad—just like we’ve seen here. Each person has to choose his or her own path.
“As for the answer to your second question,” continued Todd, “they must have been vampires for a number of years already. I’ve always suspected them of some kind of duplicity, but I’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly what they’d been involved in.”
Linda said, “When I questioned Minnie and Frank about the End House party, Minnie quietly tried to warn me that things weren’t always what they seemed. Maybe she was feeling guilty and was trying to warn me. I feel so bad that I didn’t listen to her. It must have been Frank who attempted to drown me; the swimmer had his size and shape. He looked angry every time I visited their store. Maybe Minnie didn’t even know the full extent of the evil lurking inside of him.”
“It was Frank who tried to drown you. Minnie might have gotten herself involved in something that she couldn’t get out of,” said Todd.
“We’ll never know.”
“Maybe Minnie never transformed into an evil vampire like the others. She didn’t participate in the bonfire of Sam and Todd,” Shana said.
“Then she died a hero, who was valiantly trying to warn me. I’m going to remember her like that,” Linda said.
“Anything is possible. It’s very noble of you to believe in the good of people. That’s what makes you so special,” Todd said as he softly kissed her on the head.