Father Murphy held an umbrella over both he and Bishop Donahue’s heads as they dashed through the downpour and into the parking lot. When the bishop was back inside his Cadillac, he bade him farewell and then ran across the yard to the rectory. Even though he held the umbrella securely and positioned it into the wind, the storm managed to flip the canopy upside-down, rendering it useless. He rushed inside and shook the water off both he and the damaged ribs and fabric he still held in his hand. He sat it in the umbrella stand inside the vestibule next to a cane that had been left by the previous priest and then walked to his office.
He unlocked the office door and went inside. He sat at his desk and began looking through the unfiled papers in the top tier of the desk tray. Underneath the receipts was the letter that he was sure the relic had somehow placed itself atop. He looked at the envelope; it was handwritten to him and there was no return address. It was postmarked by the Maryville post office and dated a month earlier.
“So whoever mailed this did so from the island and for some reason, it has only now reached me,” he said to himself as he used a letter opener to slit the envelope’s side. He took out what appeared to be a piece of a ripped paper sack. He unfolded it and read the handwritten note.
Dear Father, you do not know me but I have information that you may be interested in. It is about the disappearances. I don’t want to use my name because this letter could be intercepted.
You may already be aware of most of what I am about to tell you, but I have found evidence that the people who live in the old Monastery of the Holy Ghost are planning on invading the island. There is plans underway where these gruesome people will infest Maryville and continue their devastation all the way to Traders Point. From what I have discovered, these vampires, yes I said vampires, are doing this because a prominent one of their kind, a count of sorts, will be arriving on the island soon, and this so-called ‘celebration’ will be underway in full force when that happens.
I only have time to write one letter, so I am writing it to you rather than the police because you can do more to save the people on the island and to stop the destruction that will soon begin. I am not sure exactly what you can do, but it will take the power of God to save us all.
I hope this letter finds you. I hear someone. I have to go.
Father read the letter three times before setting it down. It was looking like one of his first major duties as a young priest, newly appointed to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, was going to be saving the lives and souls of the people on Fish Island. While he did not know much, if anything, about vampires, he believed in the power of God. But what could he do? Go to the police with the letter? Yes, that would be the least of what he could do at that moment.
Father put the letter aside and picked up the phone to dial the bishop to let him know what the letter said. However, the static on the line interfered with the connection to the bishop’s mobile phone.
He tapped a finger nervously on the desktop. “Well, then I’ll go to the police. No, that won’t work, the station office would be closed.”
Then he took out the phone book in the bottom desk drawer and looked up the entry for the Maryville police station. He found an after-hours county dispatch phone number, but Fish Island was part of the mainland’s county and would probably ring in to the Black Water station. He would much rather talk to local Chief Jordan who knows the situation on the island. His other option was to call 911, but it was not an emergency; in reality, it could wait until the office opened in the morning.
He took the letter and walked over to the copy machine. He made three copies: one for him because the police would likely keep the original letter for their investigation, one to mail to the police just in case something happened before morning, and one to keep in his file as a backup.
The supernatural was real, but was the anonymous person who wrote the letter real? It could be a hoax to incite hysteria among the already anxious residents of Maryville. But what if it was not a hoax? He would not take any chances. For now, he would believe that vampires are invading the island and that he would need to take the appropriate actions needed, whatever the actions were for fighting vampires.