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Rise of the Fallen

Novel By: zer0
Literary fiction

The sequel to my previous novel Made of Shadow. View table of contents...


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Submitted:Oct 29, 2010    Reads: 34    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

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Fresh blood surged through Seth's immortal veins with the countenance of electricity, breathing borrowed life and renewed strength into every cell in his formerly weakened body. He tore away the restraints that held him bound to the unaccommodating contours of the pristine white hospital bed. Sheer panic bade Arthur to tense and rise involuntarily from his chair on room's far side. Astonishment and volatile confusion twisted the features of his face and lagged his bottom jaw, making of his mouth a vacant, wordless cavity. Seth could smell the rich aroma of fear coursing through his veins, writhing through tensed muscle and seeping from his every pore. Just as Arthur began forcing his idle lips to form the words of a distress call Seth in a blur of movement shifted instantly across the room and covered his mouth with one hand, effectively muting him. Arthur's shallow ocean blue eyes widen further as Seth listened to the erratic yet inviting thud of his warm human heart. Seth leaned in closely and whispered calmly in his ear

"I suggest you don't call for help or I may have to silence you permanently". Seth impiously snatched from the psychologist's grip the notepad that contained a word for word transcript of the story he had just finished recounting. Instinctively Arthur retracted back into his chair, its padded arms cushioning his quick descent. His bottom lip trembled with terror and his body froze, too stunned to dare the smallest movement. Seth forcefully dismissed the alluring resonance of mortal trepidation as it thickened the stale air. Since the light blue cotton hospital gown was unflattering on even him Seth made a point to collect his clothing from the draw beside the bed where it sat neatly folded. "Thank you for your time my dear Arthur, you have been most accommodating" he said in closing as he exited the room and emerged into the vast expanse of the ward's hallway.

The entire hospital was filled with the potent odour of bleach and other cleaning agents amidst the vague scents of sick humans. The intensity of synthetic fluorescent lighting that reflected of the white wash walls provided a minor annoyance to his vision as he casually made his way towards the stair well, flashing a charming smile to anyone who passed him by. An array of ethereal shadows spanned out from his form and danced excitedly upon every surface, composing an elegant recital of broken light but no one present seemed to take any note of this oddity. When he reached his destination he silently ascended the stairs to the roof and dropped in excess of twenty stories onto the dusty pavement of an alley behind the hospital.

He was quite pleased to be rid of that place and back on the city's tarmac veins. These were his streets; ones that he had thought to haunt to for decades now; hunting and feeding from their surging life as though they were unholy founts titled to stream their contents into his welcoming mouth. He would even call them home where it not for the chaos of their diverse, high populous exuding a sense of deep, unshakable dislocation. Seth took a moment to breathe in heavily and immerse himself in a thousand familiar scents of human living that were born on the wind of an ensuing storm. He could smell the sweat and blood; the pungent odour of bodily fluids masked by expensive perfumes; cigarette smoke and strong liquor from nearby bars; the subtle hint of newly planted pine trees, flower beds and disturbed earth; the metallic aroma of warm steel and rising smog from the industrial sector; the excitement, the regret, the joy and sadness, all of it fell within his scope of perception.

The cloud smeared sky began to weep lightly. Each drop that fell on Seth's exposed skin provided a cold, refreshing splash. Leaves and trash flickered about the place, each offering a desperate, erratic dance that would hold the attention of no one. He smiled briefly as the remains of warm yellow sunlight retreated behind the horizon, laying out the cool evening before him.

Seth remained the only known blood drinker in all of history, recorded and not, who could withstand prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light without contorting, melting, igniting and burning like a wax candle soaked in napalm. "The day lighter", his distant kin had playfully labelled him before he murdered them in the name of revenge and retribution. Concealed behind the cover of an industrial size waste bin Seth gladly discarded his loathsome hospital gown and dressed himself in his usual raiment of all black. His prized leather trench coat blew up behind him and flapped capriciously in the wind like the tattered wings of a fallen angel.

At some point he would rendezvous with his beloved Alice as they had much to discuss but before that he needed to feed. The cold, filtered donor blood pushed into his veins through the hospital IV was enough to renew some of his strength but it did not satisfy his ever pressing thirst and now he was in the thralls of it. His muscles and tendons tingled with a desire that billowed through his organs and caused him to involuntarily shake. His mouth lustfully watered as he unconsciously bit down on his lower lip, drawing a small trickle of luminescent blood that his tongue instinctively lapped up. The searing headaches began as his mind was flooded with images of flowing, delicious, warm, crimson, mortal life. But of course no matter how over whelming the thirst was he was still adhered to a moral code that made the killing of innocents impermissible. His distorted conscience was the final ghostly imprint of his humanity that he was glad to be forever haunted by.

Therefore he hunted those degraded city streets like he had done countless times before, carefully observing and evaluating everyone he passed until he found two potential victims. They were suspiciously loitering near an ATM and everything from their awkward demeanour to their unseemly, filthy appearance fitted the profile for common predator. Seth made a point to withdraw a few thousand dollars in cash from his coat pocket directly in front of them before slowly making his way into a nearby vacant alley. The two shot each other a brief glance of silent agreement as they watched the plastic currency file through Seth's cold fingers. Unable to pass up the opportunity they followed dutifully and corned him at a dead end. Seth could smell the adrenaline in their blood and his ears were filled with quickened thumping of their anxious hearts. One after another they each drew a weapon; one a flick knife and the other a sharpened screwdriver. The one brandishing the knife spouted some barely literate demand for Seth's money. Seth politely declined as the left corner of his lips curled upwards into a warped half smile. This of course did not sit well with the attacker and seemed to completely exhaust what little patience he possessed. Like a cornered animal he emitted a growl between gritted teeth and mumbled some inaudible curse. He viscously stabbed Seth in the stomach before his accomplice thrust the screwdriver into Seth's shoulder blade, both submitting to a frenzy of unprecedented violence. That was all Seth needed; adequate evidence that they were murders; predators; monsters; victimizers and soon to be victims.

The first assailant's neck made a sickeningly sharp crack that echoed down the hallway like a prodigy of war as Seth effortlessly snapped it with his right hand. The man immediately dropped to the ground; reduced to a lifeless heap upon the worn asphalt. The other assailant impulsively lunged at him with the screwdriver. Seth caught his wrist in mid flight and broke it. The man moaned in agony. Seth pulled him close and routinely covered his mouth with one hand to inhibit any cries for help. He sunk his razor sharp eye teeth into the carotid artery pulsing in his victim's throat. Hot, soothing, sticky, irresistible red blood poured into Seth's mouth, morphing into a symphony of textures upon his tongue and flowing smoothly down his throat. He felt every inch of its path as it surged through his veins, enlivening formerly dead tissue with every rhythmic thump of his immortal heart. Every cell and molecule in his entire body seemed to silently howl in ecstasy. Seth became lost in the blood lust as he allowed his entire being to indulge itself in the indescribable pleasure and passion of this dark embrace. He quickly drained his first victim of every ounce of malignant, detestable life before moving on to corpse beneath his feet.

Much to his approval the blood was still warm but without the pulse of an active heart to push it into his mouth Seth had to work much harder to draw it from the arteries and veins in which it lingered idly. He eventually finished with this victim too. His ever present and demanding thirst was well quenched and for the time being satisfied enough to resign its role to an inactive passenger; its sharp screams fading to a soft whisper. Not so long ago Seth would have gone to great, meticulous lengths to erase all evidence of the atrocities he committed. He once believed it advisable to conceal the existence of his breed from humanity; maintaining that vampires belonged to the realms of mythology and fiction but never to mortal perceptions of reality. However, after disclosing his life story and then revealing himself to the hospital's resident psychologist, Arthur Ssentiw, concealment seemed much less important than it once had. And Arthur was not the only one; Alice too knew what he was, having cleverly discerned it herself from subtle flaws in his daylight masquerade.

Therefore instead of going to the trouble of obtaining a suitable accelerant to burn the bodies to barely identifiable ash and bone he simply disposed of them in a nearby soak well beneath a mesh grate that would be adequate to temporarily conceal them from the wandering eyes of any passing mortal. In the end it made little difference if they were found and examined anyway as the majority of modern mainstream human society would never believe that it was the work of a vampire. They so eagerly dismissed the existence of such creatures as the fanciful flights of fiction writers. Even if they were given concrete evidence to support, they would either simply ignore it or twist it to suit a more agreeable and easy to digest explanation. Given this mass disbelief no mortal authority on earth would be courageous enough to formally insinuate it was the work of a blood drinker even if their investigation pointed to nothing else. As these topics absently flickered through Seth's sharp mind he suddenly realized how absurd it was that humanity will unquestioningly believe in an all powerful, omniscient god and yet not believe in the existence of an entity as material and corporeal as him.

As he gazed down at the now repulsive empty receptacles of meat and bone he felt a sensation that seemed thoughtlessly betrothed to guilt and remorse. However, it was not these two emotional responses in themselves since his distorted conscience was entirely appeased by the notion that decimating these two monsters would spare countless innocent victims from their un-agreeable affliction. It was more like a vague feeling; a rising simmer in his mind, pressing pointless against the towering walls of present thought; a memory too distorted to be recognized, faded and worn like the borders of a sepia photograph. It was the vague notion, raised from some obscured bank of forgotten wisdom, that guilt and remorse were what he should have felt; they were the emotions most suited and called for. But they were definably absent. Instead he was plagued by a widely stretching numbness; an emptiness in his heart; another vacant tunnel in his labyrinth of a soul; an entirely apathetic and careless detachment that was both monstrous and quaintly human.

Seth returned to the teeming city streets and weaved through them at a casual pace towards Alice's apartment, only slightly faster than was indicative of human restriction. On route he happened to pass through a well tended park and stopped there to take in the various intricacies of this scenery. He found the scent of newly planted lilac, jasmine and recently cut grass very pleasing to his senses and became immersed in it, allowing the delicate perfume to flood his nostrils and swallow him beneath the receding light. He also found the careful placement and colour coordination of flower beds and trees as well as the long stretches of green grass a very visually appealing backdrop. He briefly indulged himself in this burst of meticulously ordered wilderness; this carefully tempered expression of nature which he, by temperance of his very existence, defied.


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