I sat alone in the waiting room. The scant natural light coming through the dirty window panes behind the receptionist’s desk was casting grim shadows. I should have been grateful we were on the 6th floor, otherwise the windows likely would have been boarded up and there would be no light at all. There was a thick layer of dust covering every surface. Somehow it felt colder in the office than it did outside in the gentle falling snow. All of these things may have seemed strange not that long ago, but a lot had changed over the past few months.
The attacks started in October. Nobody saw it coming. How could they? Now life was a lot like those post-apocalyptic movies that everyone used to be so fond of. Pretty much everyone I knew was missing or dead. Except for Jody. She’s the reason why I was sitting there in the dark waiting for someone claiming to be the Queen of the vampires.
I was just starting to get impatient when I heard soft footsteps coming toward me from the darkened hallway to my left. Jody emerged first, followed by the Queen.
Expectations are a funny thing. I’d had ample opportunity to think about what Irina must look like. I had heard a few scattered stories, how she had been in hiding for almost two hundred years. I couldn’t even imagine how that related to her actual age. I pictured a frail, shriveled figure. Instead the person that walked from the shadows was vibrant, beautiful even.
Her Raven Black hair was long and straight. Emerald green eyes, deep as the ocean, watched me without emotion. Her flushed lips held tightly together. It seemed at first like a terrible stereotype that she was dressed all in Black, but there was no garish flowing cloak or tight leather. Instead she was wearing a simple blouse under an open button up sweater, straight leg pants and reasonable footwear.
“Hello Marshal. Thank you for coming.” Her voice had a depth that betrayed her centuries of existence. There was a hint of an accent but I couldn’t place it.
“I am told that you have information which will provide very useful to our cause.” She said, then looking towards Jody, “I have also been assured that you can be trusted.”
“I’ll tell you everything I can.” I said, “I don’t really understand what any of it means but Jody says it’s important.”
“Yes, you are very lucky that Peregrin’s people did not hear you speak openly about what you saw.” There was an uncomfortable pause, like I was silently being scolded.
“Follow me.” She said, “We have much to discuss.”