Benny the Night Hunter

 

Benny suddenly opened his eyes. There was no slow wake from his daily slumber. When the sun set, everything inside of him became alert.

 

He sat up and walked to the window.

 

The glaring light hurt his eyes, and heated his face, but this was the only time he could safely see the sun. After only a couple of minutes, it rescinded out of sight.

 

He put the corner of the paper he had peeled off back into place, let out sigh, and went to the bathroom to shower.

 

Fully dressed, he threw on his black leather trench coat, grabbed his keys, and walked out of the apartment.

 

“Benny!” the bartender shouted as he walked into his regular early evening hangout.

 

“Hey, Tony,” he said, making his way to the bar counter.

Tony slid him his usual. Benny held it up in thanks and sat at his favorite table in the corner.

 

As it got darker, more people started to arrive, and it wasn’t long before the bar was packed.

 

Being a Saturday night, Benny wasn’t surprised. Nothing ever surprised him anymore.

 

He had been alive for over a hundred years, and having traveled the world, he’d seen every variation of crowds there could be.

 

The clothing might change, but the people themselves never did.

 

He watched from his corner as more people arrived and formed into different size groups.

 

“Can I sit here?” a girl asked, pointing to an empty chair at his table.

 

Benny berated himself for missing the extra chair. He normally moved all of them to other tables, so no one would interrupt him, like this girl was doing now.

 

He didn’t know what to say. Normally, he would tell the person to piss off, but there was something in her eyes that attracted him.

 

All he could do was point his hand at the chair and nod.

She sat down.

 

“Thank you,” she said. “It’s packed in here tonight.”

He only nodded sheepishly.

 

“Why are you sitting here all by yourself?” she asked.

 

“Um,” he started. “I usually prefer to be alone.”

 

Disappointed, she asked, “Would you like me to leave?”

 

“No, please stay,” he answered, sincerely.

 

“I’m Jill,” she said.

 

“I’m Benny,” he replied.

 

They talked late into the night, when Benny looked at his watch and said he had to leave.

 

“Oh, an appointment?” she asked.

 

“Yes,” he answered.

 

“Will I see you again?” she asked.

 

“I’d like that,” he replied. “I’m here almost every evening until around this time, when I have to go to work.”

 

She smiled and said, “What job lets you drink before you go in?”

 

“I’m a programmer,” he lied. “I work from home.”

 

“Oh, cool,” she said. “Well, I hope I get to see you again soon.”

 

“I’d like that,” he said again.

 

“Me too,” she said, smiling.

 

He got up, said a final goodbye, and walked out into the darkness.

 

As he walked down one alley after another, he couldn’t stop thinking about her.

 

He wasn’t sure how long he could keep up the charade of who he pretended to be. He could never go out with her during the day, and he had responsibilities to perform every night.

 

But he was also attracted to her and wanted to keep seeing her as long as he was able.

 

He took a quick glance around to ensure no one was watching him, and then quickly climbed up a fire escape ladder to the roof of the building.

 

He pulled a ski mask from his pocket and put it on.

 

Once his face was covered, he walked to the ledge, squatted, and waited until he heard what he was waiting for.

 

It wasn’t long before the sound came. He stood up and began running in the direction of the commotion.

 

When he arrived, he found a couple surrounded by half a dozen men, who were taking turns shoving and hitting them.

 

Benny pulled out a piece of metal with a handle. He pushed the button, and the metal expanded into a short sword.

 

The men laughed as the couple fell to the ground. They preferred their meat tender.

 

As soon as the couple hit the pavement, three of the men’s heads flew off their body, as Benny decapitated them with one swing, jumping passed them.

 

As their bodies collapsed, Benny turned to face the three men that were left.

 

“Benny, you little shit!” one of them spat at him. “You’re really becoming a pain in our asses!”

 

Benny only smiled.

 

The men opened their mouths to reveal fangs.

 

“I’m going to enjoy this,” the main man said as he charged.

 

The couple ran off screaming as Benny took out each man, one by one, with little effort.

 

It was his policy to ensure there were none of the men alive that could report what had happened.

 

Each time Benny was eventually discovered, he would have to move cities.

 

He wiped off his short sword, and collapsed it, putting it back into his jacket pocket.

 

He hated what he had been turned into. What his father turned him into.

 

His father had been a mob boss, when he was turned into one of those things.

 

When Benny had come of age, his father invited him to one of his secret meetings, and without even asking him if he wanted to become a blood sucker, his father turned him.

 

At first, Benny played ball. He ran with the crew, looting, killing, and stealing, but as time went, he grew sick of what he had become.

 

One night while running with a pack, as they were about to kill a group of teenagers, he turned on them and killed them all.

 

Realizing what he had done, he left the city to find his own way. He learned martial arts from master after master, and when he had perfected his form, he decided to take the fight to them.

 

What he hadn’t realized, was that his father’s crew was only a small part of a much larger network. He soon found himself traveling the country hunting until he was discovered, and then fleeing to somewhere else.

 

After a series of turns down different streets and alleys, he climbed a fire escape to a roof. He jumped from rooftop to rooftop, until he reached a building close to where he lived and climbed down to the ground level again.

 

He could easily jump down from buildings without injuring himself, but he didn’t want to draw unnecessary attention. He could always explain away him climbing down fire escapes.

 

As he passed his local watering hole, he saw the girl, Jill, standing outside the front door, smoking.

 

He was torn between getting home, or crossing the street to talk to her, when the decision was made for him when she saw him and waved.

 

Reflexively, he waved back.

 

She threw down her cigarette and jogged across the street to him.

 

“Hi, Benny,” she said, jumping onto the sidewalk. “I thought you had to work?”

 

“I did,” he stammered. “I mean I do. I just took a short break. I’m about to get back into it.”

 

He could see the disappointment in her eyes.

 

“But I can take a little longer break,” he said, which made her smile.

 

They walked along the street, Jill telling him everything about herself. Whenever she asked him questions about himself, he only gave vague, but believable answers.

 

Before he knew it, they were standing in front of her apartment building.

 

Shyly, she asked, “Would you like to come up?”

 

Benny was unsure. It had been a very long time since he had been with a woman. He had been so focused on his mission, that he hadn’t even thought about being intimate with anyone before.

 

“Sure,” he replied, with an embarrassed cough.

 

Making love to Jill was much more natural than he thought it would be, and it wasn’t until she finally fell asleep in his arms, did the sadness overcome him, as he realized that he had to leave before the sun came up.

 

He wrote her a small note, ending with that he hoped to see her the next night, and then slipped out the door.

 

He barely made it back into his apartment before the sun began to rise.

 

The next night, he woke up with a smile on his face. In the note he had left Jill, he had asked her to meet him at their table at the same time they had met the first night.

 

He quickly showered, got dressed, and ran out the door.

 

“Benny!” Tony called out to him as he walked in. “You look especially happy tonight.”

 

Benny was smiling when he grabbed his usual drink and went to sit at his table.

 

As the time she was supposed to be there came and passed, Benny became depressed.

 

‘Could I have been wrong about our connection?’ he asked himself. ‘Maybe for her, it was just a one-night stand.’

 

He finished his drink and was about to get up to leave, when a large, burly man grabbed a chair and sat down across from him.

 

Benny knew immediately that he was a vampire, though he knew he couldn’t do anything to him while there were so many witnesses.

 

“What do you want?” Benny hissed.

 

“Calmed down,” the man said. “I only come to deliver a message.”

 

Benny only scowled at him.

 

“You’ve been very busy over the years, killing your own kind,” the man said. “Your time is up. You are to turn yourself over to us or your little human girlfriend will be our late-night snack tonight.”

 

Benny’s scowl vanished as he completely understood what the man was implying.

 

Knowing there was nothing he could do while they were in the bar, and not until he knew where they were keeping Jill, he stood up to follow the man out into the night.

 

He knew that he could kill this man now and disappear, but he was unable to leave Jill to them to do with as they please.

 

They approached an SUV where he was shoved into the back seat and a hood thrown over his head. He felt someone’s hand pat him down, find his weapon, and take it out of his pocket.

 

Thirty minutes later, he heard the vehicle turn onto some gravel and come to a stop.

 

His hood was torn off his head, and he was shoved back out of the vehicle, where he fell to the ground.

 

He looked around and saw that there were around twenty men that he could see, and they all looked pissed.

 

Out of the shadows came a familiar face. His father.

 

“Benny, my boy,” he started. “You’ve put me in a very bad spot. After you turned on us, I was tasked to find you, or die because of you. As you can see, I chose the former.”

 

Benny only stared at him, his eyes filled with hatred.

 

His father raised his hand, and a couple of goons brought Jill into the light for Benny to see.

 

“You have me, so let her go,” Benny spit at them.

 

“You’re right,” his father said. “We do have you and have no need for her.”

 

Before Benny could react, his father reached over and tore out Jill’s throat, spraying blood all over himself and the floor.

 

As her body fell to the floor, Benny fell to his knees, holding back his tears.

 

His father took two steps forward and said, “Now it’s your turn, my boy.”

 

Staring at Jill’s lifeless body, he didn’t even feel all of the punches and kicks they were landing on him.

 

And then a glimmer of light caught his attention. One of the men that was striking him was holding his weapon.

 

Benny took a deep breath and when the man came down with another blow. Benny grabbed his arm, head butted him, and pulled his weapon free.

 

He pushed the button and extended his short sword.

As the blows continued, his eyes turned blood red as adrenaline and hate began to fill him.

 

With one swing, he took off a man’s head.

 

They all stopped their attack in surprise, but once they realized what had happened, they all growled and charged at him.

 

Benny took blows as he slashed, but his attackers were younger than him, and didn’t have the training he had, so he began to cut through them, one by one.

 

Blood covered the walls. Blood splattered the windows, and the bodies began to fill the floor.

 

In the end, Benny was covered in blood. Some his, but mostly theirs.

 

He limped to Jill’s lifeless body and said his apologies. He stayed over her body as long as he could, but he knew the sun would be up soon.

 

Off to his side, he heard a slight groan.

 

When he turned and looked, he saw that it was his father bleeding out nearby.

 

Benny stood up and limped to where his father lay.

 

His father’s eyes widened when he saw Benny standing over him.

 

Benny dropped to one knee, looking up and down his father’s body at his injuries.

 

“You’re going to die,” Benny said.

 

His father only looked at him, blood spilling out of him.

 

“All you did was remind me why I will spend the rest of my life hunting you monsters down,” he continued. “I want you to know father, that in the end, it was me who beat you. I want you to know that from this day forward, every beast will know of your failure. You are my message to them.”

 

As his father looked up at him, Benny took his short sword and shoved into his father’s eye and watched as he gurgled his last breaths.

 

He pulled the sword back out, wiped it on his father’s chest, collapsed it, and put it back into his jacket pocket.

Without looking back, he limped out of the warehouse and into the darkness.