Thrillscarlet, p.1
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       Thrillscarlet, p.1

           Don Everett Smith, Jr
 
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Thrillscarlet


  THRILLSCARLET

  By

  Don Everett Smith Jr.

  SVT PUBLISHING

  ****

  PUBLISHED BY

  Don Everett Smith Jr. with SVT PUBLISHING

  THRILLSCARLET Copyright © 2014 Don Everett Smith Jr.

  This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.

  This story is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events

  or locales is purely coincidental.

  The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and

  used fictitiously.

  ******

  For more information about my writing, please visit https://donsmithwrites.wordpress.com. Also,

  please visit me on Facebook.com at https://www.facebook.com/donsmithwrites and on Twitter at

  https://twitter.com/donsmith1974.

  Illustrations

  by

  Nick Mockoviak

  https://www.facebook.com/TheArtOfNickMockoviak

  NOW

  It was an old sandstone church that at one time could only seat 100 parishioners. With no one to comfort her, Bobbi Adler sat inside on one of the whitewashed pews. She had been there for several minutes just trying to sort out her feelings.

  Why? She thought as her long red hair hung in her eyes. Her gray blouse was torn at the sleeve and her black pants were ripped. Why?

  Just then, the door in the back of the church swung wide open and she heard the sound of heavy boots beating the wooden floor boards. She quickly picked herself up and spun around to see him.

  He stopped at the pew she sat at. His scarlet cloak and hood were ripped and covered with black smudges.

  "Are you okay?" he said. His voice was deep and sonorous but carried an element of control that she needed to hear at the moment.

  God, she thought. Am I really one of those stereotypical femmes in distress you see in the movies? She sighed and thought, Bullshit.

  "Yeah," she said reaching for his hand and standing up.

  "Good," he said. "Antiochus is marshaling his forces and this is our best place to make a stand," he said. "The church - I hope - still has a bit of holiness here and it will keep Antiochus back for a while."

  "You think this will work?" Bobbi asked.

  The man who had been referred to as "Thrillscarlet" by the local e-news agencies shrugged. "It's the best we got," he said. "Let's get to work."

  Thanks to three boxes of nails found in a cabinet, along with two hammers, the next several minutes were spent barricading windows and setting up make-shift defenses.

  Finally, he poked an eye through one of the cracks.

  "That will hold until the morning," he said.

  "How many...um...things do you think Antiochus can raise?" she asked.

  Thrillscarlet turned around and thought for a moment.

  "I am unsure,” he said.

  Her already broken heart sank even more.

  "And when is sun up?"

  "I believe I saw earlier on the internet, that sun up is about 6 a.m.," he said. "And to answer your next question, it is currently 2:37 a.m."

  And Just then a loud thud hit the back of the church's wooden door, and Bobbi shook with a start. The man in scarlet reached for his side and pulled a long saber from the scabbard.

  "Now the fun begins," he said, turning to her. He stepped forward.

  "Are you smiling?" She asked.

  The man with the red cloak shrugged.

  He stood at the back of the door and shouted, "What do you want?"

  "We will make this very simple," said a calm, steely voice – not unlike the blade held in the unusual man's hand. The voice echoed from all parts of the structure and it made Bobbi’s skin stand up on end.

  "Oh god," she said quietly with a sob.

  "Please give us Miss Adler and we will depart."

  Bobbi gripped the back of the pew tightly and her glance met Thrillscarlet's.

  He cleared his throat.

  "No," he said.

  She looked at the door.

  "That is most unfortunate," said the voice.

  Then the back of the door ripped off the church and a swirl of wind rocked the inside of the church, sending Thrillscarlet backwards into the wall.

  The wind solidified into three forms that began showing a distinct feminine appearance.

  Thrillscarlet groaned as he pulled himself up, but before he could stand, two of the three women were on him.

  Two had long dark hair that swirled about in an unusual and unnatural way. Their eyes glowed a ghastly yellow and their canine teeth extended two inches.

  The third one, who wore her hair short and blond, lunged for Bobbi Adler.

  Bobbi leapt from the pew and headed towards a window and dove as the blonde slammed into the wall.

  She looked over her shoulder to see Thrillscarlet jam a blade into the center of one of his attackers. He then backhanded the second, leaving her with a scar under her eye.

  Bobbi’s vision was blocked out by the blond. With a hiss her jaw opened and her two canine teeth dropped.

  "You belong to Antiochus!" she hissed.

  Miss Adler felt the cold hands of her blond attacker on her throat and she began to shiver.

  As she felt the squeeze, and before she could pass out, she saw a blade protrude from the throat of the blond. With a GAAAK! she pulled from Miss Adler and flung into a pew in the front row.

  "Rest well in hell," Thrillscarlet said with a snort and brought his blade down, decapitating her. Then with a quick spin and one quick step across the front of the church, he slammed his blade into the chest of the third.

  Then with another quick step, he ran to the back of the church and bolted the door closed.

  “There," he said. "We repelled the first round."

  Bobbi sat back in the pew and sighed.

  "Thank you," she said.

  Thrillscarlet just nodded.

  SIX HOURS AGO:

  Earlier that night, real estate agent Bobbi Adler had been driving to the home of a man who simply called himself Antiochus.

  She first got wind of the property at a local rotary get together that she attended the previous week.

  “You should contact him, I know he’s been talking about selling,” said Charles York. York was only in his mid-30s and he had one of the wealthiest realty companies in the county. “I only deal with commercial properties and he wants to sell his house. Here’s his card.”

  She took the card. The following day, she made a phone call and left a message. The next day, Antiochus called her back.

  He explained he was interested in selling his home in the rustic Rockland County town of Graveraverton which was just two miles from the Hudson River on a hill that overlooked acres and acres of the Antiochus home.

  According to Antiochus, it had been the home of Israel Crane, a former captain in George Washington's army. It was Crane who had the large brick structure built with great columns in the front and at least three pointed gables on either side of the home and one on the front.

  When she arrived, the sun was just about set. She had figured, "I'll just meet with him and head home and then it’s off to the movies with the gal-pals," as they did every other Tuesday.

  But when she arrived, she was shocked to see that the house was offset by a 10-foot tall sandstone fence that stretched for an acre and beyond. She was able to see the house up the long driveway and the three pointed gables stuck out like thorns.

  The windows on the top floor were wide and looked like eyes; the columns just added to the creepy decor.

  She felt a shudder as she drove her car up to the intercom. With a quick press of the button the gi
ant iron gates opened and she drove up the long driveway.

  When she made it to the top of the driveway, the sun had set and two great porch lamps, which hung from iron chains from the large overhang, slowly began to glow an eerie white and yellow.

  As she stepped out of the car, the large wooden doors slowly opened and standing in the middle of the doorway was a tall thin man wearing a black business suit, a black shirt and a black tie. He took several steps forward holding a black walking stick with a round gold handle.

  His hair was brown and combed back.

  When Bobbi Adler stepped up to the stairs, he stepped down and offered his hand.

  "Good evening, Miss Adler," he said, his accent clearly longtime Hudson Valley. "Welcome to my home."

  She found herself smiling as he took her hand, overwhelmed by his handsomeness.

  "And should I call you...?" she asked, leaving it hanging.

  "Antiochus," he said. "That is all."

  She smiled again as he led her inside still holding her hand. "Please," he said. "Let me show you around."

  When she stepped in, she felt a cold shiver up her spine. She couldn't figure out why. She looked up at Antiochus hoping that she would see something that would make sense but he did not.

  Yet despite the unease, she took notes as she walked with Antiochus around his home. The hours slipped by and the highlight of the tour was seeing a large portrait of man painted on a wide canvas.

  "This," said Antiochus. "Is a portrait of the first Antiochus that settled in the Hudson Valley area of New York."

  "I can’t believe you are looking to sell this," Adler asked. "There’s so much history here!”

  Antiochus nodded.

  "I am," he said. "At some point it is important to move on."

  She smiled.

  "I understand," she said. "At some point you have to just pick up and move on and..."

  She was interrupted by a howl that pierced the night.

  Antiochus went straight to the window. He smiled a wide sickening smile.

  With the sun having set and the moon cresting to its zenith, he explained the night was his playground.

  "The night is where I live," he said with a smile. "I sleep in the day and my nocturnal activities keep me active."

  She stood up unexpectedly.

  She couldn't explain it but something shifted in his gaze at her. It was almost a hunger.

  But before she could do anything, he walked over to her and she looked deep into his eyes. They were cold and gray and there was something about him that made her touch the collar of her shirt and open it.

  As he walked to her, his eyes became even more focused as two long teeth protruded from his. She was overwhelmed with the desire to have her neck pierced by those teeth.

  She wanted him to enter her.

  "My dear," he hissed.

  "Yes, my ma-" she said but before she could go on, a large hairy form slammed through the stain glass window.

  She looked down to see a large canine like creature covered in blood lying in a pile of broken glass.

  She watched Antiochus spin around with his teeth bared and his hands contorted into talons with a hiss.

  "You!" he snarled.

  Standing in the window was a man holding a simple saber pointed at the end. The hilt was red and matched the color of his hood and cape. She could see his eyes, but his nose and mouth were also covered with a red cloth.

  His arms and legs were clad in white save for the black gloves and black boots.

  "Hello, Antiochus," he said almost mocking. "Step away from the woman!"

  Antiochus snarled and with one great leap the man in red dove underneath him and sliced his blade up, slicing open Antiochus's shirt with a crimson streak.

  Antiochus slammed to the floor in pain, making an unearthly noise that frightened Adler even more. It was like a chorus of cat screeches mixed with a demon's howl.

  "Come on," the man with the red hood said. He grabbed Ms. Adler by the hand and bolted towards the door.

  "Do you have a vehicle?" he asked.

  "Yeah," she said. "The Toyota out front..."

  The man in red grabbed the handle of the front door and practically yanked it off its hinges, but when they made it past the great columns of the porch, to her horror, her car had been trashed.

  Three great other demonically sized looking wolves – similar to the one having crashed through the window - "things" was the only term her brain could comprehend - were over her car ripping it apart.

  "What the - ?" was all she could get out.

  "This way," he said grabbing her hand.

  The two ran into the direction of the wooded areas on the mansion grounds. She slowed and took one last turn to see the things that were tearing her car apart.

  "Don't look back!" he said. "They'll be tending to Antiochus because my blade is laced with holy water, silver and garlic."

  For several moments, they ran further into the woods and kept going.

  "Where are we going?" she called.

  "There's an old church about two miles into the farmland here," he said. "I want to stay away from the main roads because Antiochus has people paid off and they'll be looking for us!"

  They continued on through the woods.

  He would jump, dive and duck and every so often she would catch glances of him wearing a pair of night goggles over of his eyes.

  This is not the first time she had heard of this unusual man with the red cape and blade.

  Several weeks ago she first heard that such a man had seriously injured three men who had been running a prostitution ring with Asian women who had been trafficked into the U.S. illegally and into the Hudson Valley area.

  She wanted to know who he was but considering they were running for their lives, she figured now was not the best time.

  She turned back around and saw one of the "things" that had been destroying her vehicle quickly coming up behind them.

  "Uhh..."

  Thrillscarlet turned around and pointed his blade out in front of him.

  "Behind that tree!" he said. "Now!"

  The thing ran and flung itself into the air at the two of them.

  "YAH!" Thrillscarlet shouted as he chopped the air bring the demonic looking beast down to the ground. The beast was still and dead.

  Thrillscarlet turned around and kicked it in what would have been its ribs.

  "Piece of garbage," he hissed. He then looked to Bobbi Adler and grabbed her again. "C'mon!"

  Bobbi was able to use the moments to catch her breath.

  "Wh-what is that?"

  "No time," he said. "Let's go!" And they were off once again.

  It took them a half hour by foot, but they finally made it to the stone church where their tale began.

  ***

  She looked up at him.

  "Okay first, who are you?" she asked. "And how did you know to find me?"

  Thrillscarlet nodded. He sat down on one of the old pews and let out a sigh.

  "For about seven months now I have been dressing like this to right many wrongs that were not being addressed," he said. "The cape, the hood, the blade all come from amazing and unusual sources and someone had to take a stand – especially against Antiochus."

  He looked down at the blade and then back at her.

  "And for the last several weeks I have been working on dismantling Antiochus’s network,” he said. "He portrays himself to be your basic rich snob with eccentric tastes but then I heard stories of prostitutes and exotic dancers going missing and it all led me back here."

  He leaned back in the pew and put one arm up on the back.

  "I was going to make my move tonight and then I saw your car," he said. "I kept an eye out and when things got crazy, I acted."

  She nodded, but his eyes were not looking at her face. She almost felt like he was holding something back.

  “Um…” she said. “Are you lying t
o me?”

  He stood up and looked away. “Right,” he said. “I risked my life from a nasty vampire and demonic looking dogs to bring you here to have my way with you.”

  "That’s not what I meant,” she said regretting her words. “First - thank you!" she said. "It’s just that this is just...well..."

  "Surreal?" he asked.

  "Yeah," she said. "That’s it! I mean this is something out of an old Hammer movie."

  He nodded and she thought she heard a smirk in his voice.

  "It is," he said.

  "So what's his story?" she asked. "Was I just his next victim?"

  "Yeah," he said. He stood and reached into his belt and pulled out what looked like a smart phone and tapped it with his finger. "Here," he said handing it to her.

  "What's this?"

  "Where Antiochus came from," he said.

  She took the device from him and began reading:

  ***

  SUBJECT: Antiochus

  ORIGIN: Unknown

  BACKGROUND:

  In 1756, Hudson Valley, New York was just a collection of sandstone Dutch houses with the gabled roofs and acres and acres of farmland. Down the center of the small village of Blarcom, a road stretched from one end of town to the outer limits and the small sandstone house that had belonged to the Ryersons. However, both the Ryersons were found gutted and murdered in their house.

  While a posse was formed to chase the Lenape and Mohicans Tribes, nothing turned up. However, out of nowhere a man named Nathaniel Antiochus appeared one evening.

  According to several historical sources, he was described as a "handsome man" who kept a brown beard trimmed, a mustache greased up and his brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail and tied with a white ribbon. He would regularly be seen wearing a white frock coat, white waist coat, white breeches and black boots. In his hand he carried a broad white hat with a single red feather.

  It was several nights later when he appeared in a nearby tavern.

  "My friends," he said with a smile. "The next round is on me!"

  The men cheered as the tavern keeper poured out drinks for everyone and Antiochus just smiled as they each drank. He would just smile and smile as they drank. As they continued to drink he watched.

 
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