“Oh, what a chill evening it is,” said Miss Henderson, “and me a poor flower girl alone on the street. Will no-one buy my flowers?”
From across the street, in an alleyway, someone made a downward waving motion. From further down and round a corner, three figures looked at the girl.
“Do you think anyone will believe she’s a flower girl,” said Sir John. “She’s been standing on an empty street for hours. Won’t the Fiend get suspicious?”
“Don’t ask me!” said Phlebotomous, “I’m not that kind of vampire.”
Sir John unwrapped a device from the bag he had been carrying.
“What’s that?” asked Phlebotomous.
“You should be careful of this,” said Sir John, “ it’s a Soluminescinator. It fires off a bright light at the same wavelength of sunlight, but ten times the intensity. Just in case.”
“Fascinating,” said Phlebotomous. “You must show me …”
“Quiet!” said Marie, “Something is happening.”
The door of the building opposite the flower girl was opening and a tall, dark, hooded figure with a pale face emerged.
“Is that him?” said Phlebotomous.
“Well, unless it’s a boarding house for undead gentlemen who’ve fallen on hard times, I would say so,” said Sir John.
The Fiend gazed along the street before looking across at Miss Henderson. He started to walk towards her.
“Will you buy a lily sir?” said Miss Henderson as the figure crossed towards her silently.
“I said, WOULD YOU BUY A LILY SIR?” said Miss Henderson emphatically. Suddenly policemen came running from two alleyways beside the ’s building. Directed by Dawlish and Symonds, and with whistles blaring, they attacked the Fiend. The left flank arrived first, three policeman grabbing the Fiend’s arm. The Fiend flung out his arm and the three fell backwards. He turned to face three on the other side along with the two detectives. The policemen drew truncheons and hit the Fiend but he seemed impervious to the blows. In return, he punched out at the men. They fell to the floor unconscious.
The three policemen who attacked first got up from the floor and ran at the Fiend’s back. Dawlish and Symonds, more adept fighters, were trading blows at the front, but they were getting the worse of the deal. Symonds fell first and an impressive backhand sent Dawlish to the ground. The Fiend turned his attention to the police on his back, pulling two over his head and adding them to the pile of unconscious constabulary. Then, the Fiend turned and grabbed the last policeman’s hand, holding it fast for a moment. The man instantly stopped hitting the Fiend and wandered drunkenly away. The Fiend turned back to Miss Henderson and walked forward
“Good lord!” said Sir John. He ran forward with the Soluminescinator and pointed it at the Fiend.
“Hey! I say!” said Sir John, “Excuse me!”
The Fiend turned to look at Sir John and there was a violent burst of light from Sir John’s hand. When it passed the Fiend still stood there. He took a few steps to Sir John and swept him aside with one hand. Sir John fell to the floor.
There was a sound then like a strangled cat. It came from Phlebotomous as a sort of roar as he ran full speed at the Fiend, his teeth bared. Phlebotomous jumped up at the taller creature and sank his fangs into its neck. There was an unpleasant clang and Phlebotomous grabbed his teeth with one hand. One blow from the Fiend sent him flying.
Marie stepped forward and shouted “ARRETER!”. The Fiend stopped, then looked at Marie. It picked up one of the constables truncheons and threw it at her. Marie tried to avoid the truncheon, but it caught her in the stomach, winding her.
The Fiend turned again to Miss Henderson. He walked lazily toward her. The maid screamed.