In the blink of an eye, Wolf had Linda in his strong arms. She hadn’t realized that anyone so big could move so quickly. He was gazing down at her longingly, while she, in turn, was completely mesmerized by his black eyes and handsome face. He kissed her powerfully on the lips, causing her to experience so many deep and unsettled feelings that she felt like she was going to pass out. If he hadn’t been holding her, she was sure she would have fallen to the ground.
It felt as if there were only the two of them in the world: everyone else was disappearing in a soft, hazy mist; her friends were drifting far away; she could see their shadows fading in the distance. Where was Todd? Had he deserted her? Did she now belong to Wolf? A deep part of her still held on to Todd—refusing to leave him for a true vampire. But she couldn’t think: her mind was becoming too foggy. She wanted to yell out “Help me” but her mouth wouldn’t work. She was drifting off into a deep sleep that she feared could last forever.
“Come and see my little friends!” Wolf said while directing the rest of them to the edge of the clear glass floor that covered the tank of alligators. Waving his hand over the floor, the glass slowly dissolved into the water. The creatures were now right below them—without the protection of the glass floor—hungrily staring up at them.
“Be careful that you don’t fall in, or you’ll be dinner.” Wolf laughed at his own crude joke. “Come closer and get a better look at my sweet babies.”
The three humans remained close together.
“I can make you move against your will, but the consequences would be much direr for you,” said Wolf, enjoying their discomfort, while holding a semi-conscious Linda against his muscular body.
While Wolf was busy being enthralled by Linda, Todd made his appearance. He quickly took in the whole scene: Mike, David, and Shana huddled in fear at the edge of the floor, Linda lying limp and lifeless in Wolf’s arms. He was going to kill Wolf by ripping him apart, limb by limb, from his traitorous body. No one was going to hurt Linda on his watch. With a snarl, he ran at Wolf, knocking him to the ground and in doing so, successfully freed Linda from his strong grasp.
Anger had propelled him with superhuman strength; however, his victory was very short-lived. Wolf was swiftly up again and ready for battle. He roared, revealing his long sharp fangs. Todd found himself in a choke hold, his head hanging over the edge of the tanks, close to the jaws of the snapping alligators.
Linda and her three friends were beginning to realize that their town was under someone’s control–someone with super-human strength. They didn’t believe in vampires or witches, but events were becoming unexplainable and leaning towards the supernatural.
“You can’t tell their parents about what really happened to them: no one is going to believe the true story. People don’t exit through disappearing doorways—never to be seen again. You could just tell them that they closed their shop and then left town together,” said Shana.
“Great! Now I have to lie to the poor people!” replied David.
“I’ll call them today to tell them that their sons have left town together…without informing anyone where they were going. I agree that this way will be better for everyone,” said Mike.
“I’m sure that this is the best way,” said Linda. “Meanwhile, we can attend this party and find out why the hill residents meet in secret at Diane’s house twice a year. The more we find out, the better chance we have of finding Tom and Edward. We can’t give up!
“Oh! By the way, we haven’t had a chance to tell you about our visit to the village. At the diner, some of the villagers had related to us two strange legends—that their families actually believe in. One legend claims that the people living on the hill are vampires. The villagers have also noticed dark figures lurking around town at the time of Diane’s parties.”
“There’s also a second legend being told by the villagers,” added Shana, putting on a scary voice to enhance the tale. “The hill people are depicted as good vampires, who are combating a group of bad vampires called The Dead—who kill people just for sport. To me, it sounds like what happened at End House.”
David spoke up. “That party made no sense whatsoever: it may have been executed by real vampires, who were trying to kill us. This is beginning to sound a lot like those vampire movies that I’m usually too terrified to watch. That would explain everything—even the creatures that tried to knock us off the cliff!”
“And don’t forget the hooded figures I saw circling Louise in the gazebo,” added Mike.
“A lot of weird things have happened that still don’t make any sense,” said Shana.
“But why were the upstairs rooms controlled by a computer system, while the illusions in the basement seemed to be have been under some kind of supernatural force?” asked Linda. She wanted to hear what they thought about this, knowing that this inconsistency had also puzzled the great know-it-all Todd.
“Maybe this evil being wanted to appear human and therefore, rigged the fancy computer system to confuse us,” said Shana, “or on the other hand, he could be human and only created a trick basement to make us think that a demon was in control.”
Linda nodded her head in agreement: that was exactly what she had told Todd.
“Well, it definitely worked: I’m so confused and frightened that I can’t think straight anymore,” said David.
“Like you ever thought clearly,” said Mike.
“Since you guys seem back to normal…we’ll leave you now. Be ready at your store at 8:45 tonight. We’re also picking up Shirley—she offered to take us as her guests. Remember to wear tuxedos,” said Linda.
“I don’t own a tuxedo!” said David.
“I should have known. You can wear one of mine,” Mike said.
“Gee! Thanks! Yours will be much too short on me.”