Robin paced the deck of the airship, ignoring the recently recruited pirate slaves and even the occasional glance from Valerie. All she could think about was that they were rapidly approaching Toro, the place where she hoped she could liberate her parents from captivity.
A memory kept flashing through her mind, incessantly harassing her. That night when the vampires had come.
It had been a peaceful night, one spent listening to her dad go on about his plans for them.
“When we’re through this and we’ve settled down,” he had said, “we’ll have the biggest house this side of Chicago. That’s what I’ll build for you. There will be grand windows with a view of the mountains so you’ll always have something to inspire you when you’re painting, dear.”
At the time she had loved the idea, since she was always painting when not out gathering berries or helping her dad hunt. Now it was different; painting seemed like the stupidest waste of time.
“We don’t need a big house,” her mom had countered, lowering herself to the log he sat on and wrapping her arms around him. “Just one that keeps us together and warm.”
“As long as it will give you two some privacy,” Robin had joked, flicking a small twig at them. “Keep it clean.”
“Robin!” Her mom gave her a scolding look. “You should be happy your parents still love each other.”
“She should be happy we’re both alive, given this hellhole of a world,” her dad had said, voice raspy.
It was the first time she heard him talk so negatively, as well as the first time she’d seen that look in his eyes—terror.
Her mom had given her a glance that said, “Not now,” and soon they had gone to bed in their one-room shack. Robin laid there staring at the two of them, wondering what had spooked her dad so. She promised herself she would find out in the morning.
Except that morning had never come. Not really, anyway. Just as she was nodding off, the front door had been kicked in by a man with glowing red eyes and then two more had swept in with such speed and power she was sure they were demons.
It hadn’t taken long for her discover they were vampires. They had soon made her one of their own and sent her mom and dad off to be sold as slaves.
There had been so much screaming, shouting, and struggling that night. She remembered the smell of piss, though she didn’t think it came from her, and something gripping her arms so tightly she had thought it was all over.
But the image that really kept haunting her was the terror in her father’s eyes before they had gone to bed. That loss of hope.
She couldn’t shake it from her mind, no matter how hard she tried. No matter what sort of distractions she put in its place.
“Robin,” a voice called, and she looked up to see Valerie giving her a worried and caring smile. “We’re here. We’re landing right now. Are you ready?”
Without so much as a nod, she turned and looked at the blur of the city that was just starting to come into view. Was she ready to save her parents and bring a level of revenge to this city that they had likely never seen?
Hell, yes, she was! (more…)