“Vampire? Sure, you call it whatever you want to. Parasite, really. Sentient virus or whatever. Sunlight scorches it a little, weakens it, but it won’t burst into flames or turn to ash. Crucifixes? Garlic? I don’t know who came up with that shit. Stakes through the heart? Makes a mess, but it doesn’t need a heart. It’s infectious biological material. Nothing supernatural about it.” Hector Van Helsing explained to the crying woman who was curled in the corner of the basement.

He closed the chamber on his Smith & Wesson .500 magnum revolver, five special purpose high explosive rounds reloaded inside. He holstered the heavy weapon and began dousing the shredded remains of the woman’s attacker with lye. Some of the parts, particularly a mangled hand, crept away from Hector on the concrete floor. A few splashes of his canteen on each lye covered hunk set them to a corrosive sizzle. The girl violently puked across the wall.

“It’s okay, ma’am.” Hector said, producing a gas can and match. “It won’t hurt you now.”

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