Rogue Vampire

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - An Unexpected Encounter

Submitted: June 02, 2019

Reads: 366

Comments: 1

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Submitted: June 02, 2019

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I have spent decades traveling distant lands, among them Egypt and Turkey. Although each of the countries I lived in had amazing sights, I did not go there for the culture. I observed customs and traditions, but learned only what I needed to survive before moving to the next place. I was simply a shadow in the night, fueling rumors of blood-drinking demons wherever I went.

The rumors are all true. I am a monster. A vampire. Some vampires have knowledge of how to feed without killing. Most seem to know how to create another vampire. I know none of that. I killed my creator, accidently being turned in the process. The details of that night are still vivid all these years later. I was late traveling from town to home, when another man approached in the opposite direction. He stared at me as we passed each other, making me uneasy. Moments later, he was directly behind me, biting my neck. I struggled to break free, but he didn’t let go. Panicked, I swung my right fist back into his face. The man released me and stumbled back. I felt dizzy, but struck him again and decided to retaliate in kind. I grabbed him and bit down on his neck. He flailed about, trying to dislodge me. Desperately, I bit harder and ripped his throat open. Blood gushed into my mouth. I backed away and hurriedly put a hand to the side of my neck, worried about how serious the wound was. My fingers touched warm sticky blood, but it seemed the wound wasn’t as bad as I thought. I hadn’t realized at the time how much blood I had really lost, nor what getting his blood into me meant.

 A few weeks after, I found a group of vampires who took me in, but they were all young and only killed when feeding. None of them bothered trying to save anyone. They either didn’t know how, or didn’t care.

 I still don’t understand why, but my friends were murdered by a group of vampires loyal to the king of our kind, Valentino. I killed a couple of our attackers before they captured me and brought me to him. Valentino sentenced me to death for killing his followers. I escaped by hypnotizing the vampires guarding me. I hadn’t realized what I was doing when I succeeded. Locked in Valentino’s dungeon, my thoughts were only of escape. I pushed those thoughts into the minds of the vampires that came for me later that night. As I fled, I seemed to be unnoticed by anyone I passed. It took me awhile longer to understand it was something I caused; something I could repeat.

Now I am an outcast, feared and hated by humans and vampires alike. Apparently, no other vampire can hypnotize others of our kind. Also, I have never met a vampire who can hide their presence as well as I can. I think that scares Valentino.

I added to that fear once I realized that feeding off other vampires was viable. Since becoming a vampire, I have mostly fed on criminals and murderers, however, a fair share of innocent humans have died by my hand because I don’t know how to keep them alive. But why should they die when I could feed off other monsters? That’s when other vampires really started to fear me.

Valentino put out an execution order on me after I started feeding off other vampires. He sent assassin after assassin to kill me, all of which I evaded or killed. Last I heard, he was offering some sort of reward for any vampire who killed me. And many other vampires have tried to claim that price over the years.

Which brings me back to why I have been in such distant lands. I wanted to disappear and Valentino’s reach isn’t as far in those places. I was able to live, relatively unnoticed, for many years. But finally I grew homesick for Ireland, the home I was forced to abandon.

After so long, I had hoped that Valentino and other vampires would have thought I was dead. I made my way back to the Continent to an area I thought would be far away from Valentino’s supporters. I needed time off a ship to feed. Sailors die all the time on ships, but too many disappearances would arouse suspicion I did not want.

I arrived in Rome about three months ago. It turned out I couldn’t have chosen a worse place to go, except maybe Paris, Valentino’s stronghold. The city is controlled by a group of twenty vampires. One of them recognized me within a few days.

I’m sure it was the damn coat. I suppose it doesn’t help with anonymity, but I can’t bear to part with it. It had belonged to the leader of the group who murdered my friends, a bit of fashion that appeared and disappeared so quickly in that part of Ireland that it is considered peculiar. I had hunted the group for weeks, picking off their members, building on their fear before finally killing the leader and taking it as a trophy and a tribute to the only friends I ever had. 

Rome’s group has attempted to claim the price on my head several times now. The last time they attacked, I killed their leader. I had hoped that would have made the group flee or leave me alone at least. It’s worked in the past. Instead, two members of Valentino’s Council showed up to take over the group and lead the hunt for me. It was a development I had not foreseen. He has sent vampires after me before, but they were never a part of his Council. These vampires were much older and stronger.

Tonight I had spent the first part of the night evading their search parties, wanting a place where I could feed without being ambushed. A section of western Rome provided me with an area with no other vampires nearby. As I searched for someone to feed off, I considered what I should do next. Staying in Rome was becoming more trouble than what it was worth. Florence and Milan were both cities to the north, but that would also bring me closer to France and Valentino. If Rome was controlled by him, the chances were those cities were as well. I could go south to Naples and leave from there to continue my journey to Ireland.

I was startled out of my thoughts by a slender hand on my shoulder. I sensed the vampire behind me abruptly through the telepathy. Instinctively, I snarled and knocked their hand off, even as I wondered how the hell another vampire managed to sneak up on me without my noticing. I hadn’t been that deep in thought, had I?

That was stupid, Lane, I thought as I seized up the vampire. It was a woman with coloring I hadn’t seen in many years. Red hair, blue eyes. Just looking at her, she could have passed for an Irish cailín.  Before I could move to draw my sword, she stepped back with a curse. A runner then, I thought. Not all vampires attack me. Some run away from me instead.

I blinked as the woman said, “Pray pardon.” 

Did she just apologize to me?  I stared at her in disbelief. I never had anyone apologize for nearly attacking me. Was she a young vampire? She looked around twenty years old, but that’s an illusion most vampires have. No, the power I sensed through the telepathy told me she had been a vampire about as long as I have, maybe a little longer. Theoretically she should know who I am. It was hard to sense her age at first, she was good at shielding herself. Not as good I was, but better than most. She also seemed stronger than most vampires I’ve seen around our age.

 I let my arm drop to my side. She didn’t appear to be a threat, at least at the moment. Bewilderment filled her eyes, but she still didn’t run. For the first time in ages, I felt amusement. I couldn’t remember the last time I dealt with a vampire who wasn’t trying to kill or flee from me.

“Why the hell couldn’t I sense you?” she demanded. I remained silent, as I noted her accent was wrong. She wasn’t Irish. English, perhaps? I searched the area telepathically for other vampires, but the woman was alone. That was another oddity. Most vampires I’d encountered tended to hunt and live in groups. I had met a couple who were alone, but they were even more mad than I was. I couldn’t make sense of what they said most of the time. This vampire sounded too normal to be a loner. So why was she by herself?

 “Are you a part of Rome’s group?” she questioned with a slight frown.

Interesting. She was worried I was a part of Rome’s group which meant she obviously was not. And it also meant she really had no idea who I am. This was a question I could answer. “No, I am not,” I replied.

Surprise crossed her face for a moment, and I guessed she thought I didn’t understand the language. “Thank the Lord for small favors. What are you doing here?”

I frowned at her. That was the stupidest question I heard her ask. “Tryin’ to feed,” I replied crossly.

She closed her eyes, as a faint blush reddened her pale skin. Apparently she realized how stupid a question that was as well. When she reopened them, she rephrased her earlier question. “For the sake of clarity, you have no connection at all with the group who lives here?”

She seemed awfully curious about my allegiances. Was she a spy, acting like she didn’t know who I was? I narrowed my eyes and replied, “No, why?”

I didn’t know what reaction I expected, but the smile that suddenly lit her face was not it. “Good. Please do not tell them you saw me. I am trying to avoid a confrontation while I am here. Good hunting,” she said and turned back the way she came.

I stared after her as she walked down the street, out of sight. What the hell just happened? A vampire just interacted with me as if I wasn’t the insane loner most think I am. I replayed our encounter in my mind, trying to figure out an explanation. How did I not sense her approach? Rome’s group had been after me all night. I couldn’t have possibly let my guard down that much. Was it possible she really hid her presence as well as I do, but her shielding simply slipped? It was possible, but I have never seen it.

I frowned and scanned the area. I was alone again. I resumed my search for a meal, going the opposite way the woman disappeared in. A couple of streets down, I found a man standing over another. He was stuffing the money of the fallen man into a pocket. Smiling, I sauntered up to the man. I never said a word. I didn’t have to. As soon as my eyes met his, the human was entranced. I bit his neck and drank until there was very little blood left. As I let the man drop, I slit his throat, ensuring the blade went through my teeth marks. A little blood seeped out of the wound and mingled with the blood of the man already dead on the ground.

I was no idiot. I had learned to conceal my kills so stories of blood-sucking demons did not follow me as much as they used to. I had no desire to attract the attention of humans who hunted vampires, although they tended to ignore me if we knowingly cross paths. They saw no reason to attack me if I was killing others of my kind. All the same, if they discovered I was killing humans, their attitude might change. It was better if they didn’t know. It was nice not to worry about them hunting me as well.

The night was growing short. I headed for my resting place in the woods, a small structure reclaimed by the trees. As I laid down to rest, the woman’s last words replayed in my mind. “Please do not tell them you saw me. I am trying to avoid a confrontation while I am here.”

I had heard rumors of opposition to Valentino, but if I encountered any of those vampires, they always treated me the same as his followers. It made the encounter with her all the more puzzling.

 


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