There’s nothing like a sunrise. The way it lights up the sky and burns my eyes. I feel like I should go to sleep, I’ve been up all night. I still like to see the sunrise. I pull the shade and all light from the sun vanishes. All I have now to light my room is the fire in the fireplace and a warm lighted lamp on the table next to my chair. I look around the tiny space I call my home. There’s a chair, a tiny kitchen and a bed. The toilet is out back in a little hut, indoor plumbing not being a thing when this house was built. There’s also a well nearby, in case you were wondering.
Modern conveniences aren’t a top priority for me. I’ve stopped needing them long ago. All I need is my solitude.
I read a lot. I have several small bookshelves that line my four walls. Every now and then I’ll venture out into the world to get new ones. I haven’t gone out in a few days. I’m starting to get hungry.
If you’re wondering about what I do for food well I’ll tell you: I hunt. But I hunt an unusual kind of prey.
First let me tell you about how I came to this cabin and why I seldom leave it. Many years ago, sixty to be exact, I came upon this ramshackle abode. There wasn’t much to it, the walls were barely standing. I took it upon myself to show it some kindness and rebuild to a version of its former glory. At least I wanted to make it livable again. So over the span of ten years I made it into what it is now. I was really happy I found it because I was ready to get away. Away from all the noise and the smells and the interruption of human life. Humans are so selfish, they take all they can get and they complain about everything. They create things then destroy them, they pine for more and more money and they waste their lives focusing on what’s not important.
So I came here and have never been happier in all the years I’ve been alive. How long is that you ask? If I remember correctly it’s been about one hundred and sixty-five years. I guess I should explain that as well.
When I was only twenty-eight years old I decided to go for a walk alone at night, in the woods outside my house no less. I found the quiet of the forest calming and the perfect thing to hear right before I went to sleep. I had had a very stressful day and I needed to be alone to clear my head and unwind. If only I knew the long quiet nights I had ahead of me to think, maybe I wouldn’t be here now. Anyhow, it was on this particular night that I came across the strangest thing I had ever seen in my life and I will never forget it for as long as I live.
I first saw the woman’s head, the expression on her face had the look of all consuming pleasure, he even moaned a little. She was sprawled on the ground and her body was covered by someone kneeling over her. I thought I had stumbled onto a couple who were in the middle of some forbidden passion. She never showed any signs of noticing my presence and I knew that I should have looked away but there was something odd about her eyes. The person kneeling over her was making a very odd noise, almost like a slurping noise. As I watched I could see that the woman was completely limp and was no longer making noise. I crept closer, hoping to catch the kneeling person’s attention. I did. He spun around quickly and there was blood dripping from his mouth. What was even more alarming were his eyes. The irises were pale blue, almost white and they seemed to almost bulge out of his head. He dropped the woman and stood up so fast it was as if there was no movement, one second he was kneeling then the next he was standing. He was very tall, at least six inches taller than me and I’m 6’ 2’’. He started to grin and walked slowly towards me. The woman lay dead on the ground. I was stuck to the spot, I couldn’t move.
“Good evening. Bet you didn’t expect to see this, eh?” He asked me with the raspiest voice I had ever heard.
“I-I-I-I…” I stammered. I just couldn’t move. He came closer, so close I could smell the blood on his chin. He came within two inches of me.
“I very well can’t let you go back and tell the others I’m here. Nothing personal.” and before I could even think about dodging it, his fist slammed against my head and all that I saw was darkness.
I awoke several hours later in what appeared to be a cellar. There were packed stones all around me with wooden boards above. A bit of moonlight was shining through the boards. There was straw all over the floor and my head was throbbing. The space wasn’t very big and I wondered how long I had left to live. I stood up as much as I could and started pushing on the board looking for an escape. Nothing yielded, the boards we stuck in place. I twisted straw in my hands for hours, alternating between fits of crying and feeling completely numb, just waiting for my inevitable death. It wasn’t until the next night that I would finally meet my maker.
The maker, I am of course referring to is my sire, the one who made me what I am. He tore the boards apart without much preamble and pulled me from my cell by my throat. He dragged me a ways then dropped me at his feet. I finally found my voice: “Please, please don’t kill me! I’ll do anything, anything! Just please don’t kill me!” I wailed and wailed. He looked down on me with disgust, then he smiled.
“If only you knew how sweet the release of death will be. You, with the power to still accomplish death. You do not know what you ask.” His voice was no longer raspy, it was smooth and deep.
“I do not want to die,” I cried. “I have so many plans.” I started weeping uncontrollably.
“Do you now? It must be nice to have plans. And so little time to do it all. It gives your life meaning, does it not? Why not rush to do all the things you plan when you know there will come a time when you can no longer do these things. When you have all the time in the world there is no pressure. No need to be rash or passionate or excitable.” He had a far off look in his eyes, with a tinge of sorrow. I wasn’t quite sure what he was on about. He looked down at me and smiled. “If it’s life you want, I can give you that. Unending life.”
I stopped crying and looked him in the eyes. He was serious. Before I could say anything he lunged, his mouth open wide. His eyes had turned white and his teeth became sharp. He bit down on my neck with such force I thought it had broken. My whole body went numb. I went limp. I couldn’t have run if I tried. The world went black.
When I woke I was laying on the ground, my attacker was gone. my hand went to my neck but there wasn’t any indication that he had bit me, just a fine scar running horizontally along my neck. I heard a sound to the right of me but when I looked nothing was there. The forest was so still, not a sound. I stood up and instantly there was a horrible pain in my stomach. It felt so infinitely empty I thought the pain would kill me. I started walking in search of food. I had never killed an animal for sustenance before but I assumed there was a first time for everything. I walked what felt like miles until I came upon a deer. The pain in my stomach grew stronger as I ran towards it. The deer took off and I groaned with dread. It ran faster. To my amazement I was gaining on the creature. I caught up to it and grabbed it by the ear. I yanked it to the ground where I straddled it and held its head down. The thing flailed wildly but I was able to keep it pinned. It gave me the most frightened look I had ever seen. To this day I will never forget it. The hunger pangs sang the loudest they had and I couldn’t stop myself when I bit into the deer’s neck and ripped it’s flesh as easily as a loaf of bread. Its movements began to slow as blood poured out of the hole I made. I saw the blood and instantly started lapping it up. It tasted so sweet, I had never known such relief. Once I drank my fill I fell over beside the carcass and breathed heavily. My head was spinning in the most delightful way and a warmth radiated through my body. I no longer needed to eat. It was then that I realized what I had become.
Since that time I have come to terms with my affliction. I set out to do the things I had planned and no one I knew was any the wiser. One thing that has been misunderstood about my kind is that we cannot walk in sunlight. I was just as surprised as you were when I found out. It must be startling to learn we could be walking among you undetected. I of course had to move away from my family once they started to notice I hadn’t aged, that was the hardest part. I now live in this cabin not only to avoid suspicion from those I could come in contact with but also to avoid people all together. Like I’ve said before I don’t like people, they’re just too much. I get nervous in their company and avoiding mirrors is much too bothersome. In case you’re wondering I’m not invisible in mirrors, it’s quite the opposite really. You would see me as my body would really be if I were dead like I should be, all decay and rot. It tends to startle people.
I mainly survive on animal blood or the occasional lost hiker. I’m sorry if that offends you but it is necessary for me to have human blood every now and then, much like the human body needs iron. Speaking of which there seems to be a lost someone knocking on my door now.