The Arcadia Falls Chronicles Omnibus (books 1-6)
by Jennifer Malone Wright
Publication Date: October 29, 2015
A war is brewing between the hunters and the vampires and Chloe is determined to strike against the vampires before they have a chance to attack. Unfortunately, her plan goes all wrong and results in a massive takeover by the undead. This group of unlikely heroes have the power of elements, magic and strength on their side. They have even recruited one of the original vampires to help aid in their mission. But will it be enough? Will society ever go back to normal now that the world knows that vampires truly exist? The Arcadia Falls Chronicles is the continuation of The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter. Following the format of The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter, The Arcadia Falls Chronicles is serialized into several novella-length stories.
I was on autopilot now.
Open the door, get out, fight, kill … survive.
I stepped out of the car and a blast of hot, muggy, Louisiana air hit me, causing a sheen of sweat to instantly appear on my skin. The breeze didn’t do anything to help matters, it only made things worse by catching my hair and making it flutter around into my eyes.
My guns were both drawn as I moved out from behind the car door to face the men who awaited us at the bridge. They had blocked the entrance into New Orleans with their trucks and stood in front of the vehicles with their assault rifles aimed at us.
The men were in military uniforms, right down to the Kevlar and flack vests. Dark sunglasses covered their eyes, but the dragon tattoos on their right cheeks stood out, prominently displaying their loyalty to the Vampire Council. I counted eight men in uniforms. There were six of us, but that didn’t mean anything when we were up against assault rifles. It looked like Alice was going to have to do a lot of the heavy lifting for us to get out of this one.
“Set your weapons down and put your hands in the air!” The loudspeaker guy repeated.
I knew better than to look at my comrades, a good Hunter always kept her attention on the target. We had known this was coming long before we arrived, so we were somewhat prepared.
I felt more than saw the shimmering bubble of Alice’s shield silently slip around me. I knew without looking that the shield was large enough to cover the whole group.
Drew and Luke stood to my left and Gavin was directly behind me. Alice, Oscar, Zander and Christina were to our right, having pulled Zander’s truck up on that side of the Escalade. It had been decided ahead of time that none of us were going to part with our weapons. We couldn’t chance losing our only guns since there was no way for us to get any more at the moment.
“Now!” the loudspeaker guy demanded.
None of us complied with his repeated order, so the next order was to his soldiers. “Fire!”
The noise was unbelievable, I’d never in my life heard anything like it except for in the movies. The soldiers pulled the triggers on their weapons and I wanted to cower, but I forced myself to stay put and not to move. I knew everyone else was doing the exact same thing. We had to trust Alice’s shield.
Milliseconds later the rounds silently lodged themselves into the invisible barrier, then dropped down, ending their assault with the pinging sound of metal against pavement.
I stood behind our protective shield, watching the bullets stop mere inches from me and then fall to the ground. Holy crapola, of all the crazy stuff I’d seen and done in my short lifetime, that was the scariest.
“What the hell!” one of the soldiers shouted, obviously confused as to why we were all still standing.
Again, we’d anticipated their moves. We knew that there would be a stall when they realized that their guns couldn’t harm us. Gavin took that as a cue and stretched out his arms, palms facing upward. He closed his eyes and tilted his face to the sky.
Mistaking Gavin’s pose as a gesture of surrender, the soldiers resumed their shooting. These guys were making it blatantly clear that they didn’t want prisoners, they wanted death.
What Gavin was doing, however, was far from surrender. The gently moving waters of the river suddenly began to quake and shift, rising into waves as Gavin’s power took hold.
The soldiers were too intent on us, their targets, to look around them and see what was happening. So they didn’t see the giant waves growing high into air on each side of the bridge.
They continued to shoot at us despite their confusion. “Keep firing,” the loudspeaker guy ordered. The other soldiers glanced at each other, but followed direction.
The shield held, withstanding the force of all the gunfire. I watched the waters rise up into the air and hoped to God that it would continue to hold. I glanced over at Alice and found her standing calmly with her eyes closed, blocking out the world around her so that her concentration wouldn’t be disrupted. If her concentration fell, so would the shield.
The waters around the bridge had finally reached about thirty feet high when Gavin lifted his arms straight up, reaching to the heavens. The huge waves of water suspended there, waiting for Gavin to tell them what to do. Then, grunting like he had been holding all the weight of the water, Gavin swung his arms downward, his whole body lowering into a kneeling position as he did so.
The water crashed down onto the bridge like a tsunami. The soldiers in front of us didn’t suspect a thing as the river water fell onto them with its full weight of thousands of pounds.
A cry of triumph resounded from our small group, myself included. I raised my guns into the air and yelled right along with them as we watched the soldiers disappear into the murky water.
Nothing so magical had ever happened to me as watching all that water hit the shield. It was like being inside of a fish tank. The entire world vanished, aside from what we could see in the bubble. Thank goodness, Alice had included the vehicles within the protection of the shield.
We waited for the area to clear, watching the water slide down the outside of the barrier. The time it took was probably less than one minute in real time, but it felt like freaking forever to me.
Gavin had returned to his normal stance, but was gently moving his hands and forcing the water over the bridge to clear the way.
When the majority of the water was gone, I visually searched every inch of space I could see, hoping that the wave had taken most of the soldiers with it. But, the first sign of life that I saw was an angry soldier trudging toward us. He had no weapon, most likely having lost it when the wave hit.
“Drop the shield,” I ordered.
I heard a sigh of relief as Alice let the shimmering bubble fall, exposing us to the soldier and any others who happened to be out there. For me, there was always a decision when it came to weapons. I had my fire, which was a constant inner force begging to be let out. So, as this man steamrolled toward me, I felt the urge to roast his ass. Instead, I pushed back the fire and raised one of my guns. He was in full military gear with the flack vest and Kevlar helmet, so I aimed for the neck.
Again, the remorse of killing a human being and not a vampire sat heavy in my stomach. I didn’t like this at all, not one little bit. But, like before, this guy was going to kill us if I didn’t do something. Kill … or be killed. That was the bottom line.
Jennifer Malone Wright
is best known for her short story series, The Vampire Hunter's Daughter. Other works include the follow up to The Vampire Hunter's Daughter series called The Arcadia Falls Chronicles, The Graveyard Guardians series, and her vampire novel called Savior. Jennifer also co-authors a series called Once Upon A Zombie Apocalypse as well the Beary Tales series. She resides in the beautiful mountains of northern Idaho with her husband and five children where she practices preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Just kidding! But seriously, between the craziness of taking care of her children, Jennifer has little time left for herself. The time she does have left, usually leading far into the night, is spent working on her beloved fiction or chatting with her equally crazy friends. Jennifer also loves coffee, has a passionate affair with red bull, wishes the sushi were better where she lives and dances while she cleans.
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