Chapter 13

Finally, after teleporting to the right place, Walter announced that it was time to relax for the night and to have a little chat. I plopped down on a little wooden stool as he began to put out the fire in the room. So, naturally, in the silence, my curious mind got the best of me.
" So, Walter, who is this Valkyrie?" I inquired staring at an unusual stone on the dirt floor.
" Valkyrie and Marcus...," he muttered staring into the dying flame, " those are just other names that I go by. One for The Pack and the other for the vampires."
"But when did you get close to the vampires?" I asked, disgusted, remembering the thing that now called herself Amanda. "I thought they were.."
"They were what?" He asked angrily, whirling around from the fire to glare at me. " Monsters? Evil, disgusting, creatures that didn't deserve to live? Is that what you thought?"
I shrank back into my chair, " Well..not exactly. I just."
But his anger didn't cease, "Well then, Sara. What if I had been close to the vampires? Maybe to close! How about this, Sara?" He angrily asked, reaching for his shirt collar.
As I stared in horror, Walter, Valkyrie, Marcus? Whoever he was, he slowly pulled away his tattered shirt collar to reveal two small red indentations on his neck.
"Wait! I've seen those before!" As exclaimed as my mind flashed back to a dead cow that had been found years ago in my old village. In the morning that it was found dead, the farmer who examined it couldn't determine to cause of death, except for the fact that it ha two small red holes in its neck. The same marks that I now saw on Walter.
Finally, after revealing this, Walter realized how horrible he was behaving and he cooled down. Flinging himself down in the chair next to me, the large one with the bearskin, and he buried his head into his hands.
From under his hands he said, "Forgive me again.but these marks are the sign of the feeding of a vampire. You see, the only life, or death in their case, sustenance is the blood of living things. Yeah, I know.gross, eh?"
"Yeah, but how did they feed off of you?"
"It's a long story, but seeing as we are now. I've got plenty of time to tell it. So here goes. It all began in the year 1493."
"Wait 1493? That can't be right! That was 200 years ago! That would make you.."
" One hundred, eighty seven years old next month."
I laughed as if this was some kind of a joke, "But that's impossible!"
" Believe me," he said soberly, " I am truly that age. Creatures like us can live to be.. well, they can live forever."
Still, I didn't believe him, but then I remembered something. My mind flashed back to my first time in The Pack when I met Ivory or Susanna. She said, "You can tell that we

werewolves age slowly. I am much older than I appear.." Then he really must be telling the truth!
"You must be true." I stuttered. Susanna..she said the same thing.
"Yes, well anyway, it was the year 1493 and I had just arrived to this New World on an expedition under an explorer for Spain named Christopher Columbus.."
"Oh! I know him! He's the man that discovered the islands south of here!" I piped up, instantly covering my mouth in embarrassment. "Erm, sorry."
He shrugged, " Don't worry, it's quite alright.but you're correct. Columbus discovered the Indies in 1492 but after that excursion, he returned. This time, he came with more ships and an even larger crew. One of which was I."
I sat up, " You traveled with Columbus?"
He nodded with a smile and continued, "Anyway, we landed in another area south of here, which is now still Spanish land. Immediately after landing, we sent out scout parties. I, a healthy, lusty young man at the age of 18, immediately volunteered to be in one of the first groups to set out. Ha, it made me feel so big to be out exploring with the older men. What a fool I was.
" So my scout party loaded up a jolly boat and set out into this strange new land. Right after we came ashore, we felt the sticky, humid air of the land hit our faces. We had arrived in a place that resembled a jungle and the air swam with mosquitoes."
" It took many hours of hard labor and the use of our heavy swords to even make a dent in the large growth of tall, spiky trees that lined the coast. When we finally broke through, the group agreed to stay together to be safe. We didn't know what we would encounter in this strange forest. But I didn't stay with the group."
" Upon entering the forest, our group stumbled upon a set of tracks that resembled those of a deer. "Ha! I've seen deer before!" I crowed arrogantly, sitting myself on a log. For minutes, the footprints that may provide a hint to what kind of animals resided there enraptured all of the men in the group, besides me. Those common marks in the dirt were of no interest to me, so I took off for some exploration of my own. I came here to fight savages and to discover new lands! Not to just waste my time staring at the dirt! So, I happily trekked on my own into the forest, just for a moment...which became a minute...which became several minutes...which turned into an hour....and finally, what became half a day."
" I was lost! Stumbling, exhausted through the forest, I searched for something familiar. But nothing was! Being the proud boy-man that I was, I refused to give up! I would find my way back to the ship and show them how skilled I was in exploring! For hours, I listened for them to call my name after they realized that I was gone: They never did.. Finally, when the sun set and the full moon lit my path, the forest began to lighten as I wandered forward. Within minutes, a full nine hours after we had landed, I found my way to where the ship..WAS ANCHORED!!!!! But it wasn't anchored anymore! My ticket home to England was pulling away! "Noooooo! Wait!" I called after the ship. "Don't leave without me!!!"
"Try as I might, the ship didn't hear me. Her crew seemed to be too busy, partying over their findings in the lower quarters. I ran into the water and continued screaming for them to stop, but soon the ship was only a dot in the horizon. Defeated, I walked back up the beach, towards the forest and turned around to stare as the boat disappeared with my last plea for them to turn around."
" Finally, I gave up and began to turn around to head back to the shelter of the forest as storm clouds began to gather