A couple of weeks had passed since the hostage-taking of Hannah’s English class. The school had slowly returned to what most would consider routine. The focus now would be on homecoming season. Hannah hadn’t planned on attending the dance, but her friends talked her into it.
Hannah was nervous and unsure while she got ready for the dance. Standing in front of the mirror in the simple navy-blue dress, she attempted a few things to dress it up. Though it was a simple dress, on her, it resembled one of those seen at an awards show.
Her girlfriend’s car horn broke into her thoughts. She put the last touches on her outfit and rushed out the door.
The ride to school seemed longer than normal. They arrived to find the students sitting around with friends. A type of ritual at school dances.
A DJ announced the first slow song. Hannah noticed as a young man walked toward her. He had one of those faces that easily blended into a crowd. Dressed in a black and navy-blue suit with a tie that matched Hannah’s dress. Hannah silently swore she felt a familiar energy emanating from him as he got closer.
She realized why when he asked in a quiet, deep voice, “May I have this dance?”
Hannah, in a trance, replied, “Yes, of course.”
The familiar stranger held out his hand, and Hannah took it smoothly. They walked to the center of the gym as an old song titled ‘Despacito’ played.
Unsure of how to dance to it, Hannah froze as the stranger whispered, “Just follow my lead, and you’ll do fine.”
Hannah blushed as she felt the music and a strange energy flow through her. Within the first verse, the floor opened wider to them as they danced a hybrid Salsa. The rest of the dancers looked on. They appeared to flow as one, their dancing and the music, two parts fused into one. In awe, the crowd was aware of the strange energy in the air. As Hannah danced, she felt like she was floating in the air. She smiled, letting herself enjoy the moment. This brought a warm smile to the stranger’s face, and Hannah wished it would never end.
When the song ended, the rest of the dancers applauded the handsome couple. He walked her back to her friends, with the crowd parting for them. Suddenly, a roar could be heard from outside the building, followed by Billy, a student Hannah recognized. He crashed through the doors. Behind him walked a sharply dressed human-looking figure with visible canines that oozed evil as he smiled.
“You’ll have to excuse me,” the stranger said softly to Hannah, and he disappeared into the crowd.
The vampiric figure stood over Billy, snarling, “Did you think you could stop me, weakling?”
Before Billy could reply, unnatural darkness swallowed the gym, followed by an ominous bell tone. As the lights came up, the unknown guardian, clad in all black, stood between Billy and the immortal. He looked the same as he had in the English class weeks before. His eyes glowed blue with lightning as he stared at the intruder.
“Now try me.” The stranger spoke in the same low tone
The intruder bared his canines fanatically as he snarled at the stranger. “What gives you the right to interfere?”
“You seem to think I care what you think. But regardless, someone has to stand between you and the innocent.” The stranger replied.
“What makes you so special?” the vampire fired back.
“I’m the one both life and death chose to stand between the light and the darkness; between good and evil. You can simply call me Camparius,” the stranger answered without pause or expression.
“You lie! Camparius is an old wives’ tale, meant to keep us at bay!” the immortal yelled, trying to sound confident.
“You’re about to find out I am no bedtime tale,” Camparius replied coldly.
The vampire snorted dismissively and tried to move past him. Instead of Camparius giving ground, he grabbed the vampire by the shoulder and threw him at the ruined gym doors. Causing a look of shock to cross the invader’s face. As he stalked his foe, the guardian betrayed nothing.
Camparius advanced. The vampire regained his footing and charged the advancing stalker, snarling and flailing, as the guardian blocked the assault, and countered with an open palm to the chest. It sent the intruder hurling back through the doors he had come through moments ago.
“This is your last chance to leave alive,” the guardian ominously decreed as he stood unwaveringly in the doorway to the dance.
“We don’t take orders from you; you are nothing to us!” snarled the vampire as he prepared to charge again.
“You were warned, but so be it,” Camparius responded, still unmoving.
This brought forth a louder roar from the vampire as he charged again. The guardian’s hand moved without showing it in response. In the blink of an eye, a flash of steel and light was unleashed as if a miniature sun was being swung. The vampire vanished, leaving only a cloud of ashes. Camparius stood over Billy momentarily as he mumbled something before the room plunged into darkness.
Hannah sighed at seeing Billy standing unharmed by the gym doors with a puzzled look as the light returned to the gym. All trace of what happened was gone, along with the stranger now known as Camparius. The crowd disapproved as the DJ announced the rest of the dance was canceled. As Hannah followed her friends out, she looked up, wondering if she would see the stranger again.