Another Vampire Story

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

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Chapter One

Somewhere, deep in the lighter crevices of my mind, I knew this was wrong, but I refused to admit it. My conscious now knew better than to remind me of this, now knew that it was pointless trying to convince me to stop, now knew that even if I wanted to, I couldn’t, and sometimes I really wanted to. Sometimes, I even tried, but tonight was just not one of those nights. It had been one of those weeks when I tried to convince myself that I could go back to normal, and I deprived myself of my unnatural needs only to end up where I am right now. Sometimes, I wished that there was a support group for this sort of thing. I mean, it wasn’t much different from being addicted to food. Deprivation led to binging which led to guilt only in my case, binging led to death which led to guilt and more deprivation so I could repeat the cycle.

“I’m sorry.” I whispered as I wiped away the last savory drops of blood from my lips. “So sorry.”

It was a pointless apology. The man in front of me was now nothing more than a corpse, and even if somehow he had survived the draining of his life source, I doubted my apology would mean anything to him. I had drained much more forgiving people than this low-life in front of me, but even they haunted my nightmares.

I stood up, and dusted the damp dirt from my jeans before evaluating my surroundings. A murky fog hovered above the dense forest floor, a fog that would easily blind a person’s vision for several miles. I would be safe and out of sight until morning, perfect conditions for burying yet another body.

I knelt down and began to undress the unlucky victim. Clothing made it easier for dogs to find the body, and just because the murder could never be traced back to me didn’t mean I wanted anyone to find the body. Murders were a big deal to people. Details were splashed across papers, displayed for all to see on the news, and researched for years. I was a firm believer that law enforcement and journalists could find much better things to fuss about than the death of a lonely man who spent his every waking moment drowning his sorrows in a sea of whiskey at the local bar. A couple more months and he would have offed himself anyway. I actually probably did him a favor.

Tossing the clothes and morbid thoughts aside, I continued the task at hand, using a large and hollow chunk of tree to dig a grave deep enough for him to decompose before anyone could have the chance to find him. I tossed him into his eternal home and then adjusted him gently like a twisted serial killer would, making sure that even though I killed him, I showed him at least a teensy bit of kindness by tucking him into his place of eternal rest soothingly.

“May you rest in peace. Even if God locks you out of heaven. I don’t think you were a bad man, but you definitely weren’t a good one. I’m sorry I didn’t get to know you better before I killed you. Maybe if you hadn’t been smart enough to catch my lie I would have been able to give a better speech than this one. Usually I’m able to do that. Yes, you’re not the only one. So don’t feel too bad. This wasn’t entirely your fault either, and I really am sorry. Anyway, rest in peace. If that’s even possible.” I relayed before covering the soon-to-be rotting corpse with the surrounding Earth.

Perhaps it was because the guilt was starting to set in which always tampered with my concentration or maybe it was just that I had already convinced myself that I was the only one awake in the middle of a foggy forest, but something had severely caused my extraordinarily heightened senses to shrink because I was suddenly jumping to the sound of a one-man applause followed by a sarcastic laugh.

“Bravo. Your sympathy is truly inspiring. It almost seemed real.”

I recognized Milo immediately as he stepped out from the haze of the fog. The recognition came not from knowing him, but from the fact that I was convinced he had been stalking me for the past couple of weeks. A conversation between us had never existed. Mrs. Fields, my landlady and boss, had briefly introduced us at the beginning of one of my late-night shifts at the bar she owned.

“This is Milo.” She had introduced. “He’ll be helping out with the inventory and such.”

Then, in classic Mrs. Fields fashion, she had vanished to tend to what I’m sure she considered to be more important matters. Milo had just stood there for a moment, staring at me with an awkward intensity that I couldn’t explain, and I thought that maybe he was waiting for me to provide the introduction that Mrs. Fields hadn’t.

“I’m Annie,” I had said, “the bartender.”

“I know.” Was all Milo had said before immediately beginning to work.

After that, I saw Milo everywhere. I would always feel the intensity of his stare before I would finally see him, and by then he would no longer be looking in my direction. It could have been coincidence that he would show up wherever I happened to be, and I could have just been plagued with paranoia. I could have imagined his eyes on me, his stare vehemently penetrating through my skin. He definitely made it seem that way when his presence was finally brought to my attention. The way I could sense his presence, so convinced that he was staring at me, definitely made me feel like a paranoid moron when finally I caught sight of him and he didn’t even seem to notice my existence. He would go about on his own, always alone and never speaking with anyone, seeming to pay no mind to whatever was going on around him, especially me. However, while I might have been paranoid to assume he was stalking me at the grocery store, the medical clinic, the gas station or any other place I frequented, I was sure that his sudden presence right now was hardly a coincidence.

“It’s not what you think.” I claimed, and he laughed.

“Yes, I’m sure you didn’t just drink a man’s blood to death and then bury him underneath a forest. I’m sure I just imagined you doing so. What kind of person would do such a thing, right? I’d have to be out of my mind to actually believe you’d do something like that.”

I didn’t know what to do. Should I own up to it? Should I confess what I had done, what I had become, and why? That probably would have been a good idea, but I didn’t even know what I had become or why. All I knew was what I had done, and there wasn’t a single excuse I could give that would justify it or even one that would make any sense. My safest bet was probably to flee the scene, maybe even the entire city, and hope to never run into Milo again. I knew I could do it. Drinking blood gave me the strength and the speed to vanish before Milo could take his next breath. However, Milo had seen too much. What if he went to the police? No matter how crazy his story would sound, it would be hard for the local authorities to dismiss his accusations when he could lead them right to the crime scene. I couldn’t risk it. My only other option, though, was to kill him, and I could sense Milo wouldn’t make it easy. I suppose I could have also attempted to erase his memory, but past experiences had taught me that I hadn’t yet mastered the special power. The victims of my mind-erasing powers either ended up dead or insane, and it took deep concentration and intense closeness for it to even work. I was completely helpless.

“What do you want?” I questioned Milo, trying to appear calm under the scrutiny of his unwavering gaze.

“What makes you think I want something?”

“Why don’t you go to the police?”

“You think they’d believe me?”

“Why are you answering all my questions with questions?”

“Why are you?”

He looked amused, but he also looked dismissive. Like he was both interested and bored at the same time. I couldn’t figure out what he wanted. He had to know I was completely broke. Not even my family was wealthy. Or talking to me for that matter. I didn’t have any particularly special skills either. At least not to the outside viewer such as he. I looked just as ordinary and normal as any other college-age girl. I wasn’t even that pretty. So what could he possibly want from me?

“What do you want?” I repeated.

“Didn’t you just ask that?” He shook his head as if annoyed, but then he smiled at me. “What makes you think I want something? Honestly, I would like to know. Because I seriously doubt you have anything I would want.”

“If you don’t want anything, then why are you here? You just saw me murder someone like a crazy person! Shouldn’t you be screaming or running away or calling for help or in shock or...or doing anything besides standing here talking to me as if nothing happened!”

“Hmm. I’m not sure what good it would do. I could scream or call for help, but who’s going to hear me, right? We’re in a forest. It’s dark. It’s rather late. Isn’t that why you chose to murder him here? You can drain his blood and bury his body, and nobody will ever know. Running away wouldn’t do much good either. Where would I go? To get help? Who would believe me? I’m sure you’d be smart enough to move the body and get rid of any evidence as soon as I left. What else could I do?” 

He took one step before, in a blur of sudden motion, stopping himself inches away from me. He was so close I could smell the sweet coppery scent of blood in his breath and see the glittery gold flecks in his blue eyes. I gasped. He was like me! He drank blood! He roamed the night! He possessed whatever supernaturalness that had taken over my life! Finally, I realized I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t the only freak. Maybe he even had a name for us! And a history to tell! My fear was instantly replaced by excitement.

“Do you know what I am? What are you? Can you tell me? How long have you known? Are there others? Can I meet them? Or is it just us? Tell me everything!” I pleaded.

“What a world we live in!” He exclaimed with a chuckle. “Always so eager to learn you’re not alone. Why not enjoy it?” He sighed, a faraway look taking over his expression before his attention settled on me again. “Are you sure you want to know the answers to your questions? Knowing the answers could change your life. For better or for worse. I’m afraid it’s usually for worse, though. It’s your decision. You can either know or not know. It doesn’t usually make a difference to me.” He used his thumb to wipe away a dribble of blood from the corner of my mouth, and I watched a streak of solemnity cross his unusual mix of features when his hand touched my face. “Usually.” 

He licked the blood off his thumb, and the streak of solemnity disappeared. I was so confused. I didn’t know what to think. There was something about his expression and the tone of his voice that made me think he was trying to warn me of something dangerous or bad, but at the same time, there was a sense of dutiful boredom about him that contradicted any warning. It was like he cared about my decision yet didn’t care at the same time, and I didn’t know what to think or feel. However, I had spent too much of my life convinced I was alone in my abnormalities, and there was no way I could pass up the chance to learn that I wasn’t so alone after all.

“Why don’t you want me to know?” I asked.

“Know what?”

“The answers. To my questions.”

“I don’t believe I told you what I want or don’t want. I said it doesn’t make a difference whether you know or not.”

“Then why won’t you tell me what I want to know?”

“So you want to know?” He asked, and I nodded. “Well, then, follow me. If it’s really what you want.”

He didn’t wait for a response. He took off in a flash of movement, and I had no choice except to follow. I wanted answers more than anything. I didn’t care how crazy it was for me to be chasing after a guy I had met only briefly weeks before. He seemed to have the answers I was looking for.

So, matching his accelerated speed, I followed him, leaving the forest and the remaining evidence of my monstrous crime behind.

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