Darkness, I woke in its cold yet comforting embrace. The mind gets active when sensory-deprived and mine had been afire. Every sound, every scent has a story. I could still smell her, a light scent of a fine perfume. The smell brought back the hunger.
A hunger once quenched by a small dog as I stared at her from between the branches of a large elm outside her house. I guess even the dead can be obsessed. I've never been voyeuristic, but she stole into the blackness of my soul and was burning there like an ember. I envisioned her dancing in that upstairs room; in reality she just sat at her desk, running a brush through her long red hair. Her aroma filled the air, and I was a puppet to my yearnings. I needed her.
I myself had not been "this way" for long. I call it that because I'm so reluctant to call it anything else. I have no special powers. Well, none that I had noticed as of yet. Except the hunger and death … death, that's a sure thing. The hunger compelled me. It truly was a driving force. And a heightened sense of smell. The smells of the city were too numerous and sickening, so I relocated. To the suburbs. My home was now an old strip-mall grocery store, long abandoned. The meat-freezer doors closed tight and gave me the total darkness that I craved … that I needed. Oh yeah, that sunlight thing is true. Burns like a bitch.
I had no idea how I became cursed. I just found myself walking totally in a daze. Kind of like when you first awaken in the morning and can't get your bearings. Yes, that’s it! I had lost my bearings, as well as my mind. But then there was the hunger. I saw a lady standing by the corner. She looked alone, smelled like hell but looked alone. Damn I was hungry. I walked by her and stared into her eyes as I entered the alley. She took the clue and fell in behind me. I thought she was alone. He had followed behind us, pushing a pistol into my ribs. I looked back at him as he fired. Son of a bitch! The pain was excruciating. I lay on the ground while she dug into my pocket and took my wallet with all of my I.D. When she handed him my wallet, I reached out and sank my teeth into her leg. Ahhh, there has never been a taste; there has never been an orgasm as sweet! I believe I had been smiling when he kicked my face.
There I woke, covered with trash. The fools, in attempt to hide the body they saved me. Still hurt, but not as bad. I stayed still. The smell was wretched, but somehow I knew I had to remain concealed until the shadows lengthened on the wall. I managed to dine on a cat and two rats that day as they rummaged through the rubbish for food. It was delicious but nothing compared to the sweet taste of human blood. I had been careless. I vowed to myself to never let that happen again.
The city has no shortage of vagrants, and I discovered it was quite easy to fill my needs on these unfortunate people. I'm still in awe of how people "mind their own business" and ignore even loud cries for help.
Once I had slipped into a public library and dined on a college student who was working on a term paper. Followed him into a bathroom and strangled him in a stall. I had no real hunger at that point; he just had a nice jacket I thought would fit me. I don't play with my food. I found this notion humorous. I removed a mason jar from my backpack and filled it with his blood. Sure, it coagulates, but it's still delicious. As I was leaving I found a book on vampires. I stole it away in the small of my back and left.
The book was amazing! It seemed the author must have genuine insight into vampirism. According to John C. Bytes (can this actually be his true name?), the modern vampire's bloodline has been so diluted over the millennia that his powers are minimal. The shape-shifting and inhuman strength have all but disappeared. The "Old Ones" once had total power but have been hunted to extinction. I guess the Seventeen and Eighteen Hundreds were a vampire’s nightmare. Another idiotic notion I found myself amused by. In 1913, all the homes in an Ireland town were burned to the ground and the townspeople were made to stand out in the street till after dawn. The book was unclear how many turned out to be vampires. If any. The older myths and superstitions kept most people safe back then; now doubt opens my buffet.
The suburbs brought on a new challenge … Anonymity is gone. It's not so easy to blend into the crowd. There is no crowd, but there are always eyes looking out the windows. And if a person disappears here, well, let's say you need to dispose of your leftovers. I would generally slip into the city if the hunger bit too much into me. It was on one of these trips I met another.
He had been watching me from a motorcycle. As I entered the side street, he followed. I turned and was staring directly into his eyes. Cold dead things, but his smirk lightened up his face.
"You're giving me a bad time, my friend,” he stated, though his smirk never left his face. "These are my grounds, and I feel you should move on."
Then he was gone. Damn he was fast. I stood astonished with my jaw agape for a moment. Then looked at my hand and realized that in it he had placed a key. The motorcycle, forgotten, was still parked a few feet from me. A going-away gift, I was sure, and I didn't want to offend. I rode home with the wind in my hair, blowing all the stink of the city from my head. When I arrived, I noticed my door was opened, only a crack, but definitely ajar. Inside I found a young lady bound to a pallet with a note pinned through her skin. GOOD BOY was all it said. I slit her throat and dined. I don't play with my food.
I saw her standing outside the bar one night. A person in my "condition" has no need for food constantly, so I could wait between the feedings my new benefactor seemed to bring at least once a month; always when I was out. I had a feeling that if I went to the city again, the meals would stop and I'd have a different type of visit. So most nights I'd sit outside the local bar and watch people. They're pretty ridiculous. Tripping and laughing as they come and go, but she was different. The scent of smoke and beer filled the air while the door was open, but when it closed the smell was all hers. My head was spinning. She looked around and returned to the bar. I waited until closing and followed her home. I find it truly odd she was alone. Truly.
Being forward was never one of my strengths, so I watched and made mental notes of her night’s routines. It was perfect; her home was at the end of a cul-de-sac with most houses vacant due to foreclosures. I could easily climb a tree and watch her nightly. The curves of her body played upon my mind. Yes, I was obsessed. I tried to stay away, and I did for two whole days, but the next night I was scrambling back up the limbs of the elm. When I reached my branch, she was looking out the window. Not looking at me yet looking. Was she smiling as she turned? Gave me quite a start. But she turned and slipped out of her robe, ready for a shower I presumed. It was then I saw it. A key hanging on a ribbon from a branch right in front of me. An open invite, damn.
For the first time I approached the house. I tried the door and it was already unlocked … symbolic key, I guess. I let myself in. I had never looked downstairs before, and it was sparsely furnished. The light from the room upstairs lit my way to … what? It was much too perfect. I turned to leave but I couldn't. Her smell filled my head as she appeared at the top of the staircase, and her smile set my mind at ease. She did not fear, she did not laugh. Just smiled, and it was everything to me.
She reached out and grasped my hand as I came close, then led me into the bedroom. She undressed me and didn't recoil in horror at my cold touch. Quite the opposite. Her touch seemed to warm my skin. Long red hair contrasted so nicely the white curves of her form. I was surprised that I was ready for the act. We made love. Her lips tasted of the sweetest wine, and her body moved rhythmically to the sounds of light Jazz playing. Total ecstasy.
Lying with her head on my chest, I stroked her shoulder. Damn, what time was it? Fool, the sun might be coming up! I lifted her to leave, and she pressed me back down. Hard.
“Sorry, I really need to go," I stammered
Then she smiled at me, a grotesquely toothy smile with cold dead eyes. “Hope you liked the motorcycle." She laughed.
I learned that the "Old Ones" do play with their food.
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The twin girls were dead. This was a fact. The bodies were placed in a grotesque fashion with their arms and legs intertwined in an embrace held together with hanger wire. They faced each other, their heads held back by their long, dark brown hair twisted around the wire that secured their feet, mouths opened wide in a scream; a scream that was never heard
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These accursed things haven’t stopped me from thinking. My mind burns in hatred of myself, of these creatures. I’d hoped I could have been stronger, could have pushed away and fought the paralysis of free will. My stomach churns as they feed, releasing their hold on me. My stomach warm with blood, my movements become my own again. They are still in there waiting. I can feel them moving.