PART ONE: THE BOY LOCUST
It's quite some time after midnight.
The winter sun won't be surfacing for some hours yet.
Blackness; the opaque blanket of sky, thousands of tiny pinpoint holes twinkling down at me. Snow is covering and surrounding me, filling the shallow craters in this almost dilapidated school roof. There's probably a frozen chill in the air but my cheeks melt the snow that falls on them. My limbs and other places still feel hot after... The Kill? The Feed? Let's just say dinner. He was young, maybe nineteen or so; fresh and staggering from a bright disco club, pink shirt sparkling, popped collar, tight black jeans. I bit in to him just as he was releasing. That's the best time to do it. Blood pumping freely through the extremities, making the last few minutes of life perhaps a pleasure. I shut my eyes. Blackness.
I rise abruptly like an iced zombie, as if awoken by someone shaking me, and snow falls to my crotch. How long have I been lying here, slowly being buried? I check my watch: 7.36AM. I run, leaping off the roof, and land perfectly on a gargoyle statue 'guarding' the school. Young males, fifteen to nineteen years old, will soon be pouring in the school gates, ready to attend mass before class starts, and I want a good view before they dissipate across the grounds. I head towards the church just opposite, the one where all the boys have their afternoon mass. My secret home.
I say secret. I've been performing my own 'services'. It's a bit like holding Confession - on my knees in a booth, witnessing sin. The priest always tells me he loves eighteen-year-old boys the best. I avoid telling him I'm actually a hundred and ninety-nine.
Two nights later.
I've been killing an awful lot more recently. I'm not especially hungry either. Whether it's boredom or loneliness it's becoming quite the hassle to cover my tracks so much. It's been near a hundred and fifty years since I've had proper company of the same kind as me.
I'll converse with the men before I suck from them. Sometimes I'll even fool around with the same one for a few nights, then feast on him. Am I trying to find The One? Perhaps. Perhaps part of me would like the company, the relief from the loneliness of hunting alone. But really, I enjoy the chase too much to give it up. Besides, how would I know what to do with The One anyway? Never have I let someone take blood from me. A virgin, after all these years. What a hopeless romantic I must be.
I gaze through my window, the kind of stained glass that you can see out of but can't really see in to. It's my only escape. From the top of the steeple I can see the school perfectly. I have a few minutes yet. I pull out a book at random and sit down. The Picture of Dorian Gray. Very apt. A heavy sigh escapes my pale throat as I stare at the room. Forever eighteen.
The space is incredibly modest; bare board floors, plain brick walls. My only luxuries are my overstuffed chair and my bookcase. A dirty mirror hangs above the small chest holding my few items of clothing and keepsakes. And there in the corner, my coffin, stolen from the morgue. The priest even boarded over the door so no one could find me. What a sick Father-son relationship we have.
The school bell rings and, rising, I watch delightedly as the older boys tower above the younger. This is the same as always, but today I see something new. Today I see a chestnut-brown mop of hair, and I feel a sudden jolt in my chest. He's tall but no more so than many of the others. Why is he standing out? He turns to look at his friend and I see his wonderful peachy-skinned face. His hazel eyes strike me as incredibly beautiful and his heavy brows make him look a little younger than he actually is. My senses come to life and I know his wonderful name, I hear those three syllables that roll off my tongue and feel delicious to say.
The clouds shift and rays of hot sunlight tease me over the tall buildings. I recoil from the window, pulling the curtains, and launch myself in to my coffin.