Nick hugged himself as he followed AJ through the muddy graveyard in the coldness of the night. It felt particularly colder in the graveyard as they made their way through. There were tombstones lined along the crest of a small hill against the eerie violet sky. The two of them reached the row of tombstones and found one made out of a marble statue of a beautiful woman.
Isabella K. Hyde
May 13, 1780–May 14, 1808
Here lies my beloved Isabella who died a tragic death; she will be forever loved.
“She died the day after her 28th birthday,” AJ said, after reading her headstone engraving.
They stared down at the grave for a minute.
“We only have a few minutes left. We can’t waste anymore time,” Nick urged, looking at his watch and saw that it was twenty minutes until 3 o’clock.
He and AJ searched the grounds for a shovel or anything they could use to dig up the grave. They saw a small shack and found some shovels inside and they started digging up the grave.
They finally dug out a wooden coffin and opened it. They both stood back as the odorous stench of Isabella’s rotting body hit their nostrils.
“Do you see the key anywhere?” AJ asked, plugging his nose.
“I’m not sure. Do you have an idea what it might look like?” Nick asked, when a blood-hurtling howl tore through the silent night air.
They looked up to see Werewolf Brian standing at a close distance to them snarling and howling at them.
“Oh great, the wolf-man is back,” AJ said. “Keep looking, Nick. I’ll try to…fight him off for a while.”
AJ noticed the look Nick was giving him.
“Don’t worry, I’ll try not to hurt him. You open the book and find a cure for this curse. I’ll go keep Wolf-man busy for a while.” AJ handed Nick the Libri Vitae as he faced off with Brian. Nick watched for a minute at his two brothers facing off. He’s gotta break this curse.
Nick covered his face with his sleeve to block the stench as he looked inside the coffin for the key. A silver amulet lay on Isabella’s chest; it was in the shape of a star. He reached down and grabbed it and matched it up to the book. Relief ran through him as the amulet fit perfectly in the engraving on the book.
“I found the key, AJ!” Nick called out in excitement.
“Good, now open the book and find a spell to reverse this curse!” AJ yelled as he struggled with Werewolf Brian, who had him pinned down to the ground snarling. Nick could hear AJ trying to reason with him to see if he could get through to Brian.
Nick quickly twisted the amulet in the keyhole and opened the book. He flipped madly through the pages until he found a spell or incantation to break the curse; like the Book of the Dead, there was an English translation included with the Latin inscriptions.
As Nick began to read an incantation that he thought might break the curse, he heard AJ call out, “Nick, watch out!”
He felt someone pounce on top of him from behind, knocking the book and the key out of his hands. The book lay shut a few feet away from him and the key lay buried in the mud.
Vampire Howie had pinned Nick down on the ground and hissing maddeningly at him, as Nick kept Howie from biting into his neck. He continued struggling with Howie when he finally was able to fight him off.
Nick scrambled to grab the book lying on the ground next to the key. He reached for the book but Howie kicked the book out of Nick’s reach. Howie grabbed Nick by the collar and pulled him up.
“Nick, you have to get that book!” AJ yelled who was still struggling with Brian.
“I’m kind of busy here!” Nick shot back as he kicked Howie who was trying to bite into his neck again.
Vampire Howie hissed in pain as he let go of Nick and fell to the ground. Nick finally grabbed the book and the key. He stood up and started flipping through the pages while running from Howie who chased him around the graveyard.
With the clock ticking and a minute to spare, Nick finally found the page and started reading aloud.
“Now at this hour, I call upon the ancient magic of the high priest. Reverse the curse brought upon us and instill the light of goodness into the darkness of evil.”
Nick’s watch beeped indicating that it was 3 o’ clock. He sighed with relief; he just about made it…or so he thought.
A chilling Transylvanian voice whispered in his ear, “Time’s up.”
Darkness began to envelope him as he heard the menacing, almost maniacal laughter of Howie, who clearly was still a vampire. Nick couldn’t see anything as if the moon itself had stopped illuminating; he felt as though his eyes were closed but he knew they were wide open. Confused and now frustrated he called out to AJ, hoping he was there to help him.
“AJ, the spell didn’t work!”
Nick’s blood ran cold when he heard two different howls in response.
Brian had turned AJ into a werewolf and now Nick was all alone.
“We must turn him,” Howie hissed to AJ and Brian.
Nick still couldn’t see anything but could hear they were closing in on him.
“No! I read the spell! It should have broken the curse!” Nick cried out in frustration.
“I must feed from him now,” Nick heard Howie hiss.
Nick felt Brian and AJ grab his arms as they dragged him to Howie.
“NO!” Nick screamed as he struggled against their grip but they were too strong despite how tall Nick was still compared to them. Nick was thrown on the ground in front of Howie’s feet.
He was able to break free from them until he stumbled and fell to the ground. He felt them grab him once again but this time they began to shake him furiously and chanting his name.
“Nick… Nick… Nick.”
He fought them off with his arms as he shut his eyes preparing for the worst. They continued shaking him and chanting his name.
“No! You can’t turn me!” Nick shouted still fighting them off.
Nick suddenly felt something hit him on the head, but it wasn’t hard. It strangely felt soft.
It felt like a pillow.
“Damn, that kid is a heavy sleeper!” he heard AJ say. He sounded normal.
Someone shook him. “You’ll never turn me!” Nick declared bravely.
“Nick, wake up!” he heard Brian say. He also sounded normal.
“Nick, sleepy time is over,” he heard Howie say, his Transylvanian accent had disappeared.
Sleepy time? Was he dreaming?
Nick finally opened his eyes and saw the guys staring down at him. Brian and AJ no longer had a snout and long fangs with hairy faces, and Howie no longer looked pale and had no fangs.
Nick sat up from where he was and looked around. He was in the back of their tour bus on the couch. He looked back at the guys with a bewildered look on his face.
“You alright, man?” AJ asked concerned, though it seemed he was trying to hold in laughter at the look on Nick’s face.
“Yeah, you were yelling and it woke us all up,” Howie said.
“I was?” Nick finally spoke. Was it all a dream? That was one hell of a dream; it seemed way too real.
“Yeah, you were screaming and panting like you were going to die or something,” Brian said in concern.
“What were you dreaming about anyway?” AJ asked. “Or do I even want to know?”
Nick told them the whole story about how their tour bus broke down and they stayed at this mansion in the middle of nowhere because they were stormed in, and Howie turned into a vampire and Brian a werewolf, which he found out was his fault when he accidentally cursed them by reading from the Book of the Dead that belonged to an ancient priest that had his wife buried in the backyard. He told them how he and AJ found a way to break the curse in the study room that led to a secret laboratory, but the spell didn’t work and AJ was turned into a werewolf too and they were all about to feed on him when he was “supposedly” woken up.
The other guys exchanged amused glances despite Nick’s disorientated state.
“That sounds just like our video, Nick. Did you watch it before you went to bed?” Howie asked.
“No, I’m telling you guys. It was so real,” Nick insisted.
“You’ve been watching too many horror movies, Nick,” Brian said, shaking his head.
“Yeah, you do have a very active imagination, man,” AJ said.
Nick studied all three of them. There was something peculiar about them but he just couldn’t figure it out. He sighed. They were probably right; this was all in his head.
“I guess it was all a dream,” Nick said, defeated.
“Well, now that we’re all up we should get our stuff together. We’re almost at the hotel,” Brian announced.
The guys began to gather their belongings to get it ready for when they reach their hotel.
Nick finished dressing and was putting his belongings together. He opened his backpack and began to shove things inside it. He felt something brush against his hand as he reached inside his backpack. It felt like a book.
He didn’t remember bringing a book with him on this leg of the tour. He reached in and pulled out a ratty thin, hard-covered book and read the title: The Kama Sutra: Secrets in the Art of Lovemaking from the East.