Saturday, April 12, 2008

Crimson Promise by Sapphire Phelan

Victor noticed in the reflection of a window in one of the buildings he passed how the alabaster light from the twin moons above illuminated his blanched features, bringing up shadows in every contour. The only color on him came from his lips and eyes; both a blood-red hue.

He grinned, running his tongue over large, sharp canines, then slipped down the town's only street, really a dirt road. Darting in and out of alleys, he kept to the darkness, as he wanted to make sure no one saw him. Fortunately, there was no one out tonight; it was too cold for that. If he was alive and breathing, he could have seen his breath in the freezing air. But he wasn't alive or dead. Instead he was in-between: undead.

He melded with the deepening shadows of the alley, where he waited as the door to the bar nearby slid open. A lock of hair as black as a raven's wing fell over his brow as he stared at the glaring light spilling from the doorway. Without a hint of arrogance, he knew that if someone did come out and catch sight of him, he would think an extremely pale, but good-looking man stood there.

Good-looking as an undead, he had been even more so as a mortal. The face of a dark angel--that's what women had said over three hundred years ago, in Germany. Then one night at a debutante ball, he met an attractive woman with russet curls that flowed over her shoulders and down her back. He was bored with all the mincing virgins simpering around him, and when he saw the newcomer he became fascinated. Her white face lacked innocence and her eyes seemed worldly beyond what he thought at the time was her young years. She convinced him to leave the ball with her, and took him to her home where she enticed him into her bed.

In the throes of passion, just as he was about to cum, her eyes glowed blood-red and sharp fangs burst from her mouth. She sunk them into his neck, draining him almost to the point of death. She hadn't, though, and forced him to drink some of her blood, making him a Nosferatu like her. After that, he stayed with her, until a vampire hunter staked her in the heart, ending her undead existence.

He grimaced at the memories. Now, his bad boy looks fit his eternal life in a more meaningful way.

Sounds of revelry erupted from the bar, so loud it seemed as if the walls of the place couldn't contain it at all. Drunken yelling from the miners, women's laughter, and screeches of a badly played piano filled the area like fingernails on a chalkboard, stretching out disjointed fingers toward him. He hated the noise just as he hated the dirty, threadbare town of the humans. In fact, Victor hated everything about this alien world.

Every night, he wondered why he had come to this misbegotten hellhole on the other end of the universe.

Images of a ravaged Earth would come into his mind in answer, and he resigned himself to his new world, hunting in its darkness for the blood he craved. He was alone--the last vampire left in the universe.

That was the real reason he couldn't stand this world--the loneliness. Even if vampires weren't the most social of creatures, at least males and females came together once in a while to fuck, to feast off the ambrosia of one another's vampiric blood, heightened by the frenzy of sex. The tantalizing odor of blood, sprinkled with alcohol, wafted toward his nostrils. Flaring them wide, he took in the scent and appreciated the heady flavor of the lifeblood, though not the cheap beer that laced it. It came from two figures that stumbled out of the bar and almost passed the alley in which he hid. One halted, and his vampire hearing took in the sound of liquid hitting the side of the building. The stench of piss drifted his way and he wrinkled his nose in distaste. Unfortunately, he couldn't be choosy for a meal, and quickly he flew from there, leaping upon his intended victims.

Suddenly, another shadow darted across his path and ripped the neck of one man, while clasping the other tightly against its front. Neither had time to cry out, the other creature had been that quick. The man with the torn throat fell to the ground, precious blood spilling and seeping into the dirt, turning it to mud.

Starved for blood for a long time now, Victor fell to his knees in the wetness and fastened his mouth over the opening, sucking out what remained of the red liquid in the body that had gone cold with death. He ignored the other sucking sounds above him. Ordinarily, he would have taken the body away and hid to feed upon it, as he would have been wary of whatever kind of creature feasted on the other victim. Nothing of it felt undead to him, just some strange alien essence. But, it had been a long time since he last fed, and the hunger forced him to finish off every last, precious drop.