Enter the Night - Michael

It was half past 3 o’clock in the morning when Sarah left my apartment. She was always adamant about how she can bring herself home after staying the night. As usual, she would take a shower while I would gaze out into the night sky. Once done, she’d pick up her uniform, dress up in her spare clothes from her gym bag, and exit the room with a kiss. No words, no long goodbyes. She would not even let me walk her down to the lobby. She asked no questions, or asked for promises. I made none.

With my thoughts I would follow her home. In my mind’s eye I see her. The driver from the car service made no fuss about picking a young lady up from the condominium at this hour. He was kind and proper. The ride took her about 20 minutes at this time before she arrived at her home. The mind-eye vanished when her thoughts wandered from me to getting home and getting some sleep. I pressed no further and disconnected the vision.

I was hungry. Again.

Beings like me are far removed from the book, the shows, and the movies of this era. We are portrayed as mysterious beings with uncontrollable bloodlusts. On the other hand, it’s nice to know that modern cinema has painted us as beautiful creatures with humanity and kindness. Gone are the days when we were only seen as horrendous grotesques hiding in castles and sleeping in coffins while the townsfolk raise torches and pitchforks to burn us down. Humanity rarely gets anything right in the folk tales. But in the two hundred years that I have walked the Earth, this is probably the closest thing to a realistic view as I can get.

One thing they still get wrong though, is the hunger. Stories always tell how vampires become uncontrollable bloodlust monsters when vampires become hungry. Eyes red with blood, sharp fangs out in terror, and howling and growling in pain. I mean, do humans go all bat-crazy like that when they’re hungry? Why in the world would we freak out like that? Most of the time I get grumpy when I’m hungry. That’s it! And one other thing, I actually do eat real food. One of the perks of completely digesting food is that I can have as many of it as I want without worrying about the mortal side-effects. Pork, chicken, tons of bacon, you name it. I could gobble it all down in an instant. Ah bacon, one of the more wonderful creations of mankind. Then a large cup of coffee afterwards would do the trick. Black, with two sugars please. But unlike humans, food like this do not give sustenance. Yes, they taste good and I truly enjoy the experience, but to actually be filled, we must go straight to the source. The same thing as my kind has always fed on since our mysterious origins, the blood.

From the top of my building, I get a wonderful aerial view of this part of the city. A long stretch of road flanked by buildings and shops and stores lie in front of me. The area is bustling at any given time. Makes it quite a task to hunt unsuspecting prey. Another thing humans got wrong are our abilities. I mean just look at the list of our supposed ‘superpowers’ these days. Mind-control, looking into the future, turning into bats (why would anybody ever want to be a bat?), summoning wolves, and flying! Flying! Now that would be quite a skill to have. It would be very handy to be able to fly. But I’m afraid our abilities don’t quite match-up to the hype. Vampire blood only transfers from one being to the other. Unlike the movies, we don’t go around ‘infecting’ humans to create hordes of bloodthirsty monsters. Once a vampire chooses an individual, the process of transference effectively ends the life of the previous vampiric host, creating a completely new vampire individual in the selected person. In my knowledge, transference only happens in the dire circumstances when a vampire is near death, as such when it happened to me, or when an ancient one chooses to fade from the world and transfers their life force, complete with their wisdom and strengths, to another. The process is unlike anything shown in the movies or printed on books. It not at all the messy and gruesome practice that humans have come to know and imagine. The ritual is sacred, pristine, and deeply personal. At least, in my case it was. In all my time here in the country, I must have met only a handful of other beings like me. And there must be not more than a thousand of us all over the world. We are, at best, an endangered species. We cannot propagate, and we are not nearly as immortal as we would like to think.

The wind picked up and the scent of a lone individual walking along one of the side streets caught my senses. I may not be able to fly. But the strength in my blood allows me to become far more than a normal mortal. I leap from the top of the tower and with a few quick strides along the side of the building, I land at the far end of the street like a cat. The man ahead of me still unaware of my presence.

I tell myself to only prey on the guilty, the wicked, and the hopeless. Thieves, kidnappers, rapists, these are all fair game. Addicts, beggars near death, consider them prey as well. The deep thirst does not come often. I feed twice a month at most. Normal human food makes me enjoy the taste and the warmth, but it can only satisfy so much. To exist, to live, I still need the blood. A curse as much as anything. And after going three straight weeks without feeding, this poor soul is in the wrong place at the wrong time. In a quick blur, I grab him by the neck and lift him off the ground. The man weighs around 175 pounds, it takes little effort for me to subdue him. It takes only one deep bite into the jugular. As usual, I am careful not to make a mess and waste a single drop. Sometimes, rarely sometimes, I take tastes from different people. Without killing them, I take sips from their blood and gain access into their thoughts and memories. I use this technique when I need to gather information, or when I give in to my more distinct urges. But for this poor man, a taste will not suffice. There is true hunger tonight, and he is my prey.

It is over in less than a minute. As what I often do, I take the body to a nearby ‘clean’ site as I would like to call it. I keep several of these in the areas where I frequently hunt. Here I dispose of the bodies cleanly and efficiently away from the prying eyes of the public and the law. But then again, this man will not be missed.

It is almost dawn. And although unlike the movies, we do not actually burn in the sun, being exposed to it directly is unbearably painful. Time for me to retire and head back home. I still have to prepare for class. And for Sarah.

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