The room was dark, darker than normal, even for me, a lost soul in a sea of humanity where mine was stolen 300 years before. Darkness was the only friend I had left but this blackness was pervasive allowing for no shadow or hint of the light that used to be my friend. My eyes habitually focused on the grays between the darkness but there was no gray, no light at all only the eternal night that waited inexorably for us all.
Without the use of my eyes my senses tuned into the sounds, the smells telling me something was wrong and my mind telling me to run but my nature telling me to fight, there was nothing better than a good fight. Then it hit, like the proverbial ton of bricks but to me that ton meant nothing as I withstood the attack, clawing with hardened nails as sharp as a scalpel cutting deep into something.
I smelled the blood but it wasn’t human, it’s taste oily and saturated with a mud like flavor that reminded me of a kill years ago, a man, a grave digger, burying the dead from a previous kill but this man tasted foul, dirty. I never finished the job leaving him gutted but still alive.
That same muddiness, rancid water mixed with corps infected dirt creating a vulgar mix, a mix not tolerable to even the most hungry of our kind. Again the attack, from behind this time, I only had time to react, swinging my arms wide my nails extended, slashing, my teeth savoring the moment of the kill but repulsed again by the smell and taste as the air whipped though my nostrils and caused a short but intense gagging sensation. Vampires don’t gag, they engorge, feast, kill and mutilate but never reflex.
Everything tastes differently, even identical twins have a distinctive order and taste and it’s these differences that are savored and enjoyed. It takes decades to start to appreciate the subtle differences beyond the overpowering metallic compounds of blood but after a few centuries the ambiance of a life time can be discerned and appreciated, just like the a great wine, the years of fermentation stores the entire history of the grape, from where it originated, encompassing every facet of its journey toward perfection, so is the blood of a human. Every meal shared, every fear contracted, every joy experienced leaves a flavor and scent.
Not this blood, this blood had no history, no ambiance, no quality but the stench of death. That may sound funny but death to a vampire is just as frightening and maybe more so than to humans. The longer one lives the more he values existence, not life but the being, the survival the reality that immortality brings. With that immortality comes the heightened fear of eternal death and total nothingness.
A misnomer about vampires is that we are godless, animals only, existing only to drain the life of the living. The truth is we fear god and the eventual punishments that we so clearly understand. We are servants, like all who exist but our service has been prescribed and indentured to the Master of lies and deceit. We really have no choice, the addiction is too pervasive to ignore and existence is more precious than nobility.
There have been some who never let their conscience laps and died never tasting the goodness of humanity, believing that their choice to follow that god would grant them absolution but they never learned that being turned was and is an act of god and the very existence of our kind is a measure of the true nature of humanity. We are called of god to give up our souls to him that lies and deceives so that the balance of power stays equal as it has always been and must always be.
Where there is good there is evil, where there is pain there is joy and all things opposite must be in constant balance in order to maintain the universal plan of mankind. Some are born, some have to die. When too many are born, wars are started, plagues are unleashed and vampires are the fine tuning element that keeps that balance perfectly. It is our calling to take a soul or two when needed that is our only reason for existence.
I wasn’t ready for the next attack; it came head on and slashed my face, my arms and my upper body leaving large gashes in my skin shredding my garments, my black fluids oozing to the floor. My left hand connected as the entity sailed past, my nails digging deep into the mist of blackness. Even before I could taste the smell told me and warned me again to run, but now it was too late.
Even vampires can bleed to death, even if death is not the end result. The loss of existence is a death to my kind and that existence was coming to an end. Slashes to my back, my neck and my legs caused me to fall, leaving me exposed to more brutality. I was defenseless and weak, struggling to raise my arms in defense but with each attempt the cuts were more sever.
And then they stopped. My eyes were cloudy with the pain, the intense pain of a life time of killing was heaped upon me, each past exploit, each brutal act, every life taken was extracted through the slashes that occurred but then nothing, quit and calm the entity breathed a slow relaxed breath standing still. Inhaling the last of my life I could hear it say, “Thank you my son”.
It was then that I understood. I had indeed been called by god and now it was time to pay for what I had done. I was a sacrificial lamb, I had performed my task and given my life to keep that balance and now I was being called home. I had to think I served the evil one in order to make him believe I was serving him but it was in god’s service that I was called.
Each cut; each slash of my dying skin, each drop of blood cleansed me for all I’d done. I was the angel of death, one of them, there are many of us, but today there is one less, one of Satan’s minions must have crossed over, things have to balance after all.