Monday, March 21, 2011

Blood and Hunger

A continuation of A Vampire's Soul

Blood And Hunger
by Lisa McCourt Hollar

When we arrived back at my new home, the girl was laying in the middle of the floor, he throat ripped open. Surrounding her, chewing at her skin and ripping pieces of her flesh from the bone were other children. They looked feral, snarling at each other if one of them got a little too close to another’s meal. They reminded me of rabid dogs.

“They are human,” I said, incredulously.

“Servants and blood donors,” Linda said. “When they get older they will be mated and produce more offspring to keep us going.”

I looked at Lucas, who had just entered the room. “You force them to live like this?” I was furious.

“They are nothing more than cattle,” Lucas said, a smile playing at his mouth. “You will get used to it. I am sorry I didn’t save her for you, but I wasn’t about to let a meal go to waste and the others were hungry.”

“They always do this?” I choked on bile and looked away from the scene before me. All the children were filthy, smelling of shit and urine. One boy, around 13 years bit the finger off a girl whose hand got in his way. She screamed in pain before being set on by the others, who were eager for more food.

“It is that or die,” Lucas, said. I will not waste resources on feeding them.

“It’s unconscionable!” I reached out to grab Lucas by his collar, ready to give him a serious thrashing and found myself on the ground. I hadn’t even seen him move.

“It is almost dawn,” Lucas said, “we do not have time for this nonsense. You are a vampire now and you will learn to behave as one. Maybe tonight, after you have suffered through the day without sustenance you will have a different heart. Linda, show your father to the sleep chamber.”

Reluctantly I followed Linda. She led me through a ball room, then down a series of passageways, through the kitchen and into the cellar. At least I thought it was a cellar. Once at the bottom of the stairs we went through a doorway and I found myself in a series of tunnels, catacombs leading throughout the town. As mentioned earlier they opened into several homes and businesses, including town hall. I didn’t know this at the time, so it came as great surprise to me to find the mayors assistant waiting for us in one of the chambers. She was sitting up in a coffin and stretching her arms. When she saw me she looked startled and then laughed at her jumpiness.

“I forgot that you would be here today,” she laughed, winking at me. Climbing out of her coffin she pointed to one that I recognized as the one I had woken in. It had been cleaned of dirt and looked freshly polished. “Looks like Daniel and Drake have been busy. Rest comfortably, then she gave Linda a peck on the cheek and took off down the tunnels.

“Veronica,” I asked dumbly, “I don’t understand. I’ve seen her out during the day.”

“She’s a Daywalker,” Linda said, a vampire that can move about during the day and a crucial member of our coven. Think of it like this,” Linda said, “Lucas is our King and he represents the moon, Veronica is our Queen, she is the sun. She sees to it that we remain safe during the day.”

As I soon learned, most of us in the coven, myself included, were unable to venture into daylight, an affliction that left us open to dangers during the day. Daywalkers, who at that time were considered rare, were a necessity and many covens went to great lengths to find one. Now it is known that they were more common than once thought and that being confined to the dark is an affliction that few vampires suffer from. The problem is, if you become a vampire, who would be brave enough to venture into the light and find out if you would burn or not. In that day, only those that were suicidal discovered that they were Daywalkers. I carry a burn on my face to show that I am not one of them.

There are others that watched over us during the day. Daniel and Drake, I discovered, were humans that had been born in the manor. They did what their ‘Master’ ordered them to do in the hopes that when they were old enough he would turn them. They were mentally ill, that much was apparent to me, and disfigured, a result of their upbringing and general lack of cleanliness. I found myself praying that Lucas would deny them their wish to join us on this side of hell and let them go to God in peace to answer for their own sins. I could not imagine the kind of horror they would visit on the town if given the chance.

I spent my first full day as a vampire in a coffin and for nigh on a hundred years after. I despised every moment of it, especially since I knew it was unnecessary. I recalled my first meeting with Lucas, just two days after Linda’s suicide attempt. It had been mid day, when the sun was at its highest. I remember commenting on the heavy drapes in his office and how it kept the sunlight out and how he had explained that he had sensitive skin.

As I said, I was an unwelcome member of the coven, My faith in God ran deep and despite the fact that He seemed to have abandoned me and left me to live in darkness with demons, I refused to abandon Him, nor would I hand my soul over to the evil that surrounded me. I know that by all standards I am considered dead. However I have concluded that my body is in an in between state, neither dead nor alive. If I had died, my body would rot, like a zombie that is summoned forth by the witches that practice their black magic. My soul would be gone, my body mindless. I would act on instinct. The very fact that I don’t gives me hope and that hope bolstered me, even in my early days as a vampire, to resist evil. I just wish the same could be said for my daughter, I fear Linda will realize she has a soul far too late to save it.

Besides Lucas, Veronica, Linda and myself there were four other vampire members of our coven as well as five human members, including Daniel and Drake along with an assortment of human slaves. Those that weren’t allowed to walk around the manor, performing various tasks were chained in the catacombs and fed on by the other vampires, They were generally careful not to drink so much that their host died, but every now and then someone would get careless. When that happened the humans among us would consume what was left, including to my dismay, their feces, It goes without saying that the catacombs stank.

When I woke the next night Lucas was waiting for me with another child, this one a boy around four years of age. The boy was wailing, begging for forgiveness.

“What did he do?” I asked.

“He tried to sneak into town. He made it all the way down the hill before Drake caught up to him.” Lucas shook the child as he said this and yelled for him to stop as the boy’s head lolled back and forth. I could imagine his brain crashing against his skull. Lucas dropped him at my feet. “Feed.”

“No,” I said, refusing to surrender my morals, despite the burning in my throat.

“”Daddy, please,” Linda begged. “Starvation won’t kill you, but it’s painful.” Somehow I doubted she knew that first hand, the blood on the corner of her mouth giving away her weakness. She saw me staring and licked the corner of her mouth, cleaning crimson blotch.

Veronica had come up behind me and looked at the boy at my feet. He stared up at her, his eyes unfocused and I knew that brain damage had occurred.

“Oh no,” Veronica said, “Not Bradley. I had hopes for him.”

“Why do you insist on naming them,” Lucas asked. “It makes it that much harder on you when they are killed.”

“Wouldn’t be so hard on me if you would show a little restraint,” Veronica snapped back. “We have a visitor in town looking for his wife. The description fits the woman brought here last week. Please tell me she is still alive.”

Lucas looked towards a young, filthy woman who had been sitting on the ground at Daniel’s feet. With disgust I realized she had been rubbing herself with her hand while performing an oral act on him. “Tamara,” Lucas asked, “where is the woman that was brought here last month?” The woman didn’t even answer, just pointed in a general direction. Following her finger I saw her, a thin red head, lying on the ground. The ragged breathing that rasped out of her lungs indicated she was alive, though barely.

“Take her upstairs and clean her up,” Lucas said. “Veronica will work on her mind so all she remembers are the nightmares of a delusional woman.” Then he turned his attention back towards me and nudged the boy’s body towards me. “Eat.”

“I told you I won’t. Starvation would be better.” I looked at Linda then and said, “Even if it is painful.” She hung her head, avoiding my gaze.

Veronica looked at me and sighed. “I guess I won’t be getting any rest tonight. Tamara, take your mouth off of Daniel and clean the woman up. When you are done put her in restraints in the East room. Make the bed up fresh. I want it to look clean for her husband. I’ll take care of her mind when I get back.”

“Where are you going,” Lucas asked.

“I’m taking James hunting. If he won’t drink from a human, perhaps he will an animal,” I started to protest but she shushed me. “I know you ate meat when you were alive so you should have no qualms at drinking a cow’s blood.” Then she took me by the hand and firmly led me out into the night.

Continued in Blind Revelations

copyright © 2011 Lisa McCourt Hollae

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