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Re: My short stories


TO BE A VAMPIRE


What is it to be a vampire? That night was a good lesson about that.

   He was just about to knock on the door of the little ancient hut when it opened before him. He was not surprised, nor when it closed behind him with latch falling in place.
   There was a single lit candle on table and a man sitting by it.
   "So, which is it?" When he didn't answer, the man continued: "You know what I am, coming here. It's just a matter of what do you want. Do you want to destroy my kind... or become one of us?"
   He still stood there without a word, eyes on the floor.
   "I suspect the hour answers my question. Anyone coming to attack me would've come daytime." He studied the guest who was still standing quietly. "You don't seem like the fools who have come before you. Perhaps you already realize that this was a mistake and it is too late to do anything about that." As the other man remained silent and motionless, the vampire turned to watch darkness of an empty corner instead of the light between them. He was starting to regret doing his guest the courtesy of having the candle. But he had hoped this encounter would amuse him for a moment and he had to admit this person was acting more interestingly than most who wanted the so-called eternal life.
   "In my long years I've had many come to me to ask for what you want... or at least thought you wanted." He snarled a bitter laughter. "Like all of them, you have no idea what it's like! You think of the power, but not its price. You imagine this... existence to be eternal life. It is nothing but the moment of your death stretched to years!"
   He lowered his head further. "Is it really worse than mortal life?"
   The vampire laughed, but it was again bitter laugh. This one was no wiser than the rest, only more afraid. "I'll tell you. I'll tell you what it is to be a vampire.
   You feel your heart beating and the warmth of blood inside you. I get a brief reminder of those in the moments I take someone's blood and life! You can taste and smell and feel. All my senses show me are emptiness, pain and blood! Cold dead emptiness, everything that is not pain. Except blood. Blood...
   I've been like this so long that I only get the thirst if I don't feed for months, and I never let that happen. But I do remember how it was when I was young - so to speak. You would be the same if I gave you what you came for. One who has just become a vampire thinks of nothing but blood. Nothing else exists. And you must get as much as possible, by any means. Some are so mad with the thirst that they get burned by sun within days as they can't stop hunting. Even those who are particularly strong-minded - or helped by their maker - will kill anyone they encounter. And they seek the easiest prey: their family, loved ones, friends... and children. Children have so much life force, they glow among crowds."
   The vampire hadn't intentionally lied about no longer feeling the thirst, but the thoughts of children, of all he'd devoured and all who were out there, made the desire in him stronger than for months. Damn this visitor! Would've been better to drink him empty the second he stepped in.
   "But you could help me" the man said suddenly. "You could take me far from anyone I know and teach me to control it?"
   He couldn't believe this madman! He had told him and he still wanted... "It's not about living forever for you, is it? You want to die. Do you even care if I give you complete death or this extended one? Was it just curiosity about mysteries of my kind that brought you here instead of jumping in a lake?"
   "Perhaps I do want to die. But don't you? If your existence is more horrifying than mine, why do you not choose to die? Just wait outside for sunrise and it's all over, end of your pain and blood-thirst."
   Was I wrong, thought the vampire. Has this man come to kill me? Is he trying to talk me to letting him do it? "There are... rules. The powers that enable this make it impossible for us to purposely self-destruct. Even for one as old, powerful and self-controlled as I."
   "Almost sounds like you're asking for my help" said the man.
   "So... I was mistaken. You have come to destroy me - though you may also be prepared to die trying. Oh well, none of that matters, because you have no hope of surviving. Show me then, what have you brought? What do you believe to kill me? Garlic, crosses, holy water or something else blessed? None of those can save you."
   "Then it's good I didn't bring any of those."
   It did not happen often that the vampire raised his eye brows. He took closer look of visitor's outfit. "Is there a sword or axe behind your back that you mean to behead me with? Brave to attempt, but no mortal warrior can overcome my powers."
   "I have no need for weapons."
   "Then what are you?! A monk, a priest? Do you imagine your faith is all you need, that God will for some reason save you from what I've done to thousand other people?"
   "God has nothing to do with this."
   The vampire had almost forgotten what fear felt like. It had taken some time for him to recognize it, but he now realized that was the feeling which had been nagging him a moment. He almost welcomed such rare and unusual moment. But why was he afraid? What could possibly be the danger? He smelled and listened and sensed, but there was nobody outside, there were no humans for miles.
   No humans...
   "You really have controlled your thirst. Pushed it aside so totally, you completely ignore it. That is rare and admirable. And I'm glad for that, because otherwise this pleasant conversation would have been much shorter, as you would've noticed the lack of it."
   "What do you want?!"
   "Didn't we already settle that? To put you out of your misery."
   "This... this is impossible! We can not harm one another!"
   "It is very difficult, far beyond ignoring the thirst. But not impossible."
   "But... why?!"
   "You said it yourself. You told the sufferings of our being. I am doing you a favor... or be destroyed trying, which would end my own pains."
   The younger vampire sighed in resignation. "I see." He knew the other must be superior, much stronger and more powerful. He blew the candle, perhaps to get a good look of the guest or maybe as his way of saying goodbye to this world. "Come, then."
   The man finally revealed his fangs, sunk them in the other vampire's neck in a blink, simultaneously tearing chest open to pull out heart. It was far from drinking living blood, like nourishment someone had already eaten once. But he had learned to stand it.
   He was determined to remain on this path. To create a new way. To redefine what it is to be a vampire.

Last edited by Kaunisto, Sep/16/2015, 14:56


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