It’s hard to reconcile the feelings that being a new vampyr inspired in me with the fact that for all of my supernatural strength and indestructability, I don’t even have the power to free myself from this watery prison; and the indestructability is just a joke.
Destruction would be a welcome relief.
I drift in the cold hole that has become my own personal hell and have grown accustomed to the pain of drowning, so much so that I breathe in deep of the water to speed the now tedious process along.
It’s good to think on that time of my life… a time when I had found a small piece of freedom and let go of everything that mattered.
I feel my heart sink as I remember that there was no freedom, not even then. No, I was bound to my maker, like all vampyrs are.
There’s no real way to describe the conviction, love, loyalty, and slave-like devotion that is bound up in the blood-ties of immortal hearts… it just is.
I did whatever she wanted, but that sort of slavery was so different from any that I had known. I didn’t do it just because I had to; I did it willingly… joyfully. I was devoted to Lilith like no other; well, that’s not entirely true either…
Lilith and I had gone on a tear through Georgia, following the glorious destruction that was war. I sponged knowledge from her greedily – imitating her, reveling in the chaos that so fully surrounded us.
Death, blood… they were in abundant supply.
It was the time of my life, and she was a gracious and loving host. War was a past-time of hers. When one sprang up, she was there to greet it with an open mouth and sharpened teeth. And the reasons were simple enough to understand.
War was a time of heavy casualties. Soldiers rarely noticed two extra killers amongst the chaos. And if one of them saw us, they wouldn’t live to tell the tale.
It afforded us a smorgasbord of blood as we unleashed our baser instincts. But, what made it so special for us was killing without worry.
It was, in a word, phenomenal; but most importantly, it kept our secret while we ravaged. That was imperative. We were to remain anonymous, hidden away in a world of unsuspecting prey. This not only ensured the survival of our kind, but limited the creation of new vampyrs.
Lilith had made it clear very early in our exploits that my life would be different from now on. With privilege came responsibility, and with perks came disadvantages as well.
I could no longer roam during the day. It was in a vampyr’s nature to walk at night and night alone. But, given time and proof of loyalty and usefulness, she might one day feel inclined to teach me the rituals that afforded her free roam of the earth without worry – the same rituals that no other vampyr beside her possessed.
It would take a tremendous amount of trust for her to do so, but I was determined to be pleasing to her, and it wasn’t entirely because of what she could give me.
I was in love with her, as much as I knew how to love. She was my maker, my savior, the person who had freed me out of nothing but kindness. She gave me this incredible gift and I would owe her for the rest of my life… essentially, eternity.
But more importantly, I wanted to give myself to her. And I did, so many times. I never knew that sex could be rife with pleasure and untold delights, but the things that she did to my hypersensitive body… I felt alive, truly alive, and she was the very reason.
We continued this way for nearly a year: pillaging, drinking, and satisfying each other’s bodies amidst the bloody carnage of life that we had so joyously spilled. Until one day, we came across a skirmish where I heard the name Wentworth fall from a distant soldiers lips.
That name… it sent dark pleasures threading through my heart. They were going to attack the plantation, and I would have my just desserts.
Lilith wasn’t just supportive of my vested interest in damning the souls there; she was intent that we visit Tina so that I could have that last piece of justice. But we’d agreed to follow in the gloriously bloody footsteps of the fallen and take in as much of the chaos as we could before heading in that direction.
War was as certain as death. It would always happen, but there would be times of peace in-between, and these moments of frivolous murder were to be savored like a fine wine. Tina, Mama, Deke, his family… they could wait; but that didn’t stop me from delighting in the lucky happenstance of this venture.
Soon I would satiate the anger that burned hotly in my veins, and it would be Tina’s traitorous blood that would quench it.
Lilith stirred next to me, her body tensing as an anxious calm settled over the soldiers in the clearing where they prepared to attack.
It was early evening and we’d caught up to the war party quickly, using the trees as cover. The unnatural quiet pulled me from my thoughts as Lilith turned to me in the silence and leant forward to kiss me.
Her lips were soft yet forceful against my own, and I gloried as a sharp fang sank into my bottom lip and pulled greedily at the blood pooling there.
Feeding… there was nothing like it. Being fed on… it was like an aphrodisiac. Drinking from one another was pointless, but something about it, the primal aspects, the sharp prick and surging rush under the skin, it was intensely erotic. I almost forgot all of the other prospects that surrounded me as she devoured me from the inside out, at least until the raging shouts of the charge echoed through the tense calm.
She released me and laughed darkly before she shot out from the trees and jumped into the tangle of bodies that had just collided heavily against one other. Guns went off, swords sliced at delicious limbs, and blood spurted like a thick fountain memorializing the beauty of what I’d become.
I watched her charge in and brutally take her quarry, her insane laughter curling my toes and twitching low between my hips.
I grinned as the short, piercing sting of conversion shot through my gums, and my eyes took on a crystal sharp edge, pulling in every detail of the pandemonium around us with startlingly graphic definition.
And then, I raced in and joined her, easily dismembering several men and taking in the rich stew that spilled from their bodies. We destroyed and disemboweled and reveled in the joy of our task as the Union soldiers pushed forward, oblivious and relentless in their pursuits.
Other slaves had taken up the cause, but I wasn’t discriminate, finding their lives just as intoxicatingly sweet to drink from. We followed on the edges, taking lives in secret, disemboweling Confederates for the sheer thrill of it. We were so covered in frivolous spoils that we appeared to have been flayed alive by the time that we’d reached the plantation proper.
It was utter mayhem as we surveyed the area, and Lilith took my hand in her own.
Her voice was sweet, child-like, and girlish as she purred, “It’s time…”
The dark notes of even darker intentions mingled with the happiness of a full stomach as she laughed menacingly and pulled me after her. I watched her stunted and quick movements with awe. She had a precise grace, dispatching all in our path in the most hideous of ways for the pure enjoyment of it.
I joined her, as was my intent. I would have become her if I could. She was mine as much as I was hers, and I felt a tremendous connection to her, just as she did to me. I was proud that she’d chosen me above all others in her two millennia on this earth, and my love for her swelled within me.
No, I would never be loyal to anyone but her.
We tore an angry, bleeding scar across the plantation, heading towards the mansion proper. I remembered this place with perfect clarity, and it was momentous – this feeling of insane relief with what I was about to do, this piece of my recompense that was about to fall into place.
Tina, Deke, Mama… theirs would be a fate worse than death, at least until I grew bored with their suffering. I grinned as I sunk my teeth into a running slave and crushed his skull in my hands. The matter all over me felt like a fine lotion, one that Mistress Kennard would never know again. I couldn’t help the cackle that welled up in my chest and burst out into the crisp, chaotic air.
Lilith joined me as she dispatched yet another slave, and my ears pricked as a low undercurrent of sound reached me from… my eyes searched in the direction of the sound and landed on the barn which was settled back on the edge of the innermost field.
Pain and grunting and screaming were coming from within its seemingly untouched depths, and Lilith turned to me with a knowing gleam in her dark and sinister eyes.
We changed directions and worked our way towards the barn. Pain and screaming were our domains and as such we were drawn to the sounds. The trek was much less encumbered because the route wasn’t nearly as littered with deliciously terrified and bleeding distractions. Lilith grinned at me as we approached, and it was as if I could hear her very thoughts.
A surprise attack always made a victim’s blood taste sweeter, and so we would toy with these unsuspecting victims before drinking our fill. I returned her smile and she pushed gently on the doors, but they had been barred from the inside.
Lilith pouted at me and I stroked a blood-soaked finger across her distended lip, painting a tell-tale trail of my violence in its wake.
She pulled my finger into her mouth and swirled her tongue around it. My eyes closed of their own volition and a low groan rumbled in my chest.
I couldn’t tell what I wanted more: to kill those in the barn or to take Lilith where she stood.
She released my digit and I opened my eyes to see her grinning. That predatory and disconcerting grin shot through me, and I knew that all of my appetites would be satisfied this night.
We didn’t waste a moment before busting through the simple wooden beam that had been holding the door shut, and taking to the shadows.
The scene as we entered was grisly, not because of the dead and beaten bodies that littered the place, but because there was so little fun to be had, and because I could smell the sweat and sex hanging thickly in the air.
There were few cruelties I would refrain from visiting upon humans, but even as a vampyr, there were some that crossed lines that ought not to be crossed; they were abhorrent, and rape was one of them.
My eyes landed on the man towards the back as he stood clumsily, his member still erect as he pulled it from the dying woman beneath him. Her heart was slowly pumping as she tried unsuccessfully to move, and I could smell the fresh blood oozing from various parts of her body.
He gazed at the open doors in shock and asked, “Who-who’s there?”
I studied his face from the shadows. His features were dark, and his eyes so much like my own. And I knew who he was without a single doubt. This man was my half-brother, Deke Wentworth. And I was the unholy abomination that his father, my father, had made.
He was fully white though, and thus spared the cruelty that my mixed blood had brought down upon me. But more importantly, he was about to die a vicious death at my hands and he didn’t even know it.
I took a step towards him and stopped as I spotted twin girls huddling in the corner behind him. They were young, very young – four years at most – white, towheaded, and I felt my heart lurch as I thought of Tina.
They almost looked like her, like she would at their age. I could smell the sour tinge of his semen on them, in them, but he hadn’t beaten them as badly as his most current victim.
Little did he know, but he had unwittingly crossed a most egregious line. We never hurt children or turned them. We weren’t savages, but this… this is why we are so distinct from humanity: we may revel in the instincts that are in our nature, but we use common sense and control.
Their young hearts were fluttering with frightened shock, their eyes glazed over as the dark tendrils of intense trauma shut them down. I knew it when I saw it, and I almost felt sorry for them.
Curious… I hadn’t felt compassion in so long that I wasn’t sure if it were possible. But these children, they tugged at something in me, though I wasn’t even sure of what it was. I decided that I could be compassionate, albeit in a very different way.
The echoing thud of a failing heart slowed even more, and I was pulled from my thoughts to the woman at his feet. I would make her death quick as well, but for now, all I could do was focus in on him… the representation of all things wrong, sick, and disdainful in this world.
He would suffer… oh, how he would suffer.
Lilith was quick as she appeared from the shadows behind him and knelt down over the children. There was no way to salvage their minds, and I knew that only death would free them. It would be more than I had been afforded as relief. Their deaths would be quick and painless, a kindness amidst all of this malice, but Deke’s… his death would be violent and painful and soul-stirringly bloody.
His voice was shaky but arrogant as he stepped away from Lilith with a startled stumble. “W-well now… you want a turn too, girl?”
I supposed I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, to him, she was just a small woman, possibly a girl, and the faint light filtering in through the opened doors wasn’t enough for him to see just what he was dealing with in the shadows.
I stepped into the muted glow of the moon streaming in through the opening, pulling his startled gaze onto me and grinning broadly.
The light glinted off of my teeth as they shifted through my gums with a now tolerable and almost pleasurable sting. His eyes widened and his member wilted when he saw my eyes – black, foreboding eyes that swathed over in a shimmering black to give prelude to his destruction.
He was stunned already, but when he followed the trails of wet, crimson gore that covered me, he gulped and stuttered as no words could be found.
His arrogance drained away along with his pathetic erection as he tripped back away from me and finally found his whining voice.
“W-what… do you w-want?”
My grin widened. I couldn’t help it.
What did I want?
My evolved mind played through thousands of depraved scenes in the fraction of an instant, but when I realized what my plan would be, I stepped closer to him.
His blood was rich from the flow of endorphins that laced it, and rightly so. He wouldn’t die easily, and I wouldn’t taint myself with his cursed blood.
But he was scared to the point that his heart was galloping loudly, calling me like a warrior’s song, and I could see the pulse point thump in his throat. It excited me to know that I could have this moment with him.
The heartbeat at my feet stuttered and slowed again, and I glanced down at the woman, closer to her this time. Blonde, blood-soaked hair was matted and clumped all over her face… her face… even while bruised, mutilated, and puffy to the point of being indistinguishable, I could see her.
I felt a jolt of something, just something, pass through me. What I had imagined for his death just wouldn’t do. No, he would suffer so greatly that no one would even dare speak of what they had seen when they’d found him.
Tina… I hated her, but I couldn’t seem to realize it, and I was taken completely off guard.
Wasn’t this what I wanted, to see her die brutally, to inflict it?
I heard the heavy falls of frantic footsteps as Deke charged past me and made his way for the destroyed doors. Foolish human… Lilith caught him by his throat and held him as she scrutinized me with her eyes. She cocked her head and I could tell that I had perplexed her somehow. I wondered idly if she had heard my very thoughts.
She voiced her concern. “Darling, she’s dead and you will have your fun with this one.”
She shook the dangling and clawing man in her hand. “Whatever is the matter?”
She’s dead… Tina’s dead… no, that couldn’t be. My throat felt dry and if my heart could beat it would have broken through my chest. No… not Tina… But I couldn’t tell Lilith that. She wouldn’t understand. I didn’t even understand.
I had to… I had to lie to my mother, my maker, the love of my life. No one would ever replace her, but… what is this?
It couldn’t be. I no longer had a soul.
I gazed down on Tina, knowing that I didn’t have any time. She was slipping away and I had to do something to stop it.
I looked up to Lilith and lied through my pointed teeth, hoping that she would believe me. “Ain’t nothin’ the matter. I just wanna’ be here to watch before I deal with…” I gestured to Deke who struggled harder, but to no avail. “…that.”
Lilith grinned at me before hitting Deke into the nearby wall just hard enough to knock him out and dropped him in a heap on the ground.
She was gracious as she said, “I’ll take care of the young ones just outside then, and let you enjoy this moment for yourself.”
She sped up to me and stroked my face lovingly. “I’m a jealous lover, Bette. For a moment there, I was worried that you might be reluctant to end her, like you were hiding something from me.”
She gestured to Tina and beamed up at me. “But I’m the one you love, the only one, am I not?”
My still heart fell into my toes but my words held conviction as I said, “Only you…”
It was true. I knew it; I could feel it. I loved her, only her. How was it then that I couldn’t bring myself to honor her by killing the only other person I’d ever cared about? Lilith hadn’t betrayed me and she never would. But Tina, she deserved this; and Lilith deserved Tina’s life as a small token of my love and gratitude.
But… but what?
Lilith sighed in satisfaction as she leaned up to kiss me sweetly, almost reverently. If I had a soul, it would have cried out at my betrayal of her.
She leaned away and reassured me, making my betrayal all that much worse. “This is only the beginning, my dark angel. I can show you the world, educate you, and love you.”
I smiled at her, though I hated myself in that moment. She scooped the catatonic girls up into her arms and made her way to the door, stopping at the threshold and calling out over her shoulder.
“Bette, enjoy yourself but be quick. I want you all to myself, you understand?”
She looked back to me, her eyes hard and I knew what she was saying: she didn’t fully trust me and I had to prove myself to her.
We would have an eternity together, but as much as we loved one another, she was still my maker, and her word was as God’s.
What more could I do but nod?
She left the barn and I didn’t waste a moment dropping to my knees and placing a hand beneath Tina’s neck to lift her head. She was limp, her heart stuttering to a stop and I quickly tore open the flesh at my wrist before placing the wound to her mouth.
Blood was sacred. It gave life. It was life, and as such, a vampyr’s blood could heal. If I could get this into her fast enough, she would be okay.
She had to be okay.
She struggled and moaned, but it was so weak that I felt something deep within me writhe with worried agony. She had to be okay. She just had to.
Come on, Tina. Come on, drink… live.
Her swollen lids cracked open as my vein emptied into her mouth, and I saw the fright in her eyes as she recognized me. I wanted to smile at her, but I knew that I’d only terrify her further, and that’s when it happened: her heart stopped completely; the light in her eyes snuffed out and she saw nothing even as her empty gaze pierced through me.
I wanted to cry out, but I couldn’t. I laid her down and sat still, just staring at her for a moment. My betrayal, my confusion, my desire to save her was for nothing. And as much as I hurt over it, I envied her.
I heard a low moan and looked to Deke just as he started to stir. I allowed my anguish to burn as anger and was grabbing him by the back of his neck before he even braced his arms under himself. He struggled as I pulled him up and gazed into his eyes, a frighteningly primal bellow escaping my lips and stunning him into silence.
Hate… so much of it was charging through me that my preternatural dexterity was nowhere to be found. I shook violently with it.
No, I couldn’t kill him. I had to take some time and do this right. Tina… he… those girls… they deserved no less.
I gazed deeply into his eyes, coaxing his soul to the front of the brown depths so that I could instruct it fully. “You won’t move. You’ll feel everything that’s about to happen, but’ya won’t fight. Do y’understand?”
He went still in my hand so I released him. He swayed a bit but didn’t move his eyes from my own as he nodded.
I smiled and gave my first real command. “Good, now don’tcha move. You can scream… but that’s all.”
I looked around the barn and a smirk tugged at my mouth as I found what I was looking for. I pulled the hand plow out into the center of the room, where the moonlight was streaking in the brightest, and stomped hard onto the wheel, breaking the shafts that connected it in half. I set it up on the now-broken stumps and drove them hard into the dirt floor to secure them.
Deke still hadn’t moved, but he was whimpering with heaving breaths as I pulled him roughly over to the plow.
I met his gaze, hoping that he could feel just how much I was going to enjoy this as I said, “Ya like to rape little girls?”
He didn’t move, even as I boomed out. “Answer me, ya’ bastard!”
He sneered out a quavering, “Yes…”
I grabbed his throat and held him tightly as I turned his head to see the thick blunt handle of the plow.
“Y’see that handle?”
He nodded reluctantly, as if he was fighting the compulsion, and I grinned at him.
“Good, now take a seat…”
I felt an intense satisfaction as he plead, ”Please… don’t make me-”
I cut him off with another command. ”Shut up! No words… just do it.”
His eyes widened and his body shook with his struggle, but his limited mind just wasn’t strong enough.
I watched engrossed as he pulled himself up and began to impale himself on blunt wood, blood oozing from him and running down the splintered handle as it was swallowed up and he was stretched and pulled and penetrated to an unnatural size.
He was screaming, but he didn’t stop until I instructed him to. “That’s enough…”
He shook and I watched as the blood drained from his face with joy.
“Ain’t done yet, boy.”
I didn’t want to fully impale him. No, a quick but painful death would be too good for him. I wanted him just deep enough to show him the folly of his choices, to show him what it felt like to be raped, so show him what it felt like to survive.
His eyes were angry as he stared at me and I spit in his face. His breaths started coming out as grunts before he screamed in rage. I laughed. There was just nothing that he could do and I had plenty in mind.
I felt my lip twitch as I reached forward and dug my fingers into the flesh of his abdomen, tearing the skin and muscle away, but leaving the loosely threading yards of his intestines intact as they unraveled from him onto the floor with deliciously wet plopping sounds.
His screams washed over me but he didn’t move, like a good little dog. I closed my eyes as it resounded through me.
No, I had no soul, and I knew it this day. I had Lilith and together we had no use for human notions like compassion.
Deke had killed anything left of my soul when he’d killed Tina and raped her children.
His screams became short and frantic, as if he were blacking out between them only to wake and realize what was happening before repeating the process all over again. I gathered up a few feet of his slimy innards and placed them in his hands. He could barely hold them, but he’d have to, because it was about to get worse for him.
I gestured to the grotesque pile and demanded, “Eat… and don’t stop til’ you’re dead.”
He tried one last valiant time to stop himself, but his hands were still rising to his mouth and he still had to bite into the fatty tissue. I laughed as he pulled hard to tear a piece away, the pain stopping him.
I sighed. Apparently, I could only have half of my fun.
He looked up and when I met his eyes, I knew that I was right. He was going to black out from shock, and that just wouldn’t do.
“Deke, listen… you ain’t scared no more.”
His shivering stopped and I smiled as I nodded. “I’s your friend, Deke.”
He frowned but nodded. I gestured to the slop cupped in his hands. “It hurts, but you gonna’ be fine iffin’ you keep eatin’.”
He released a heavy breath before smiling somewhat shyly at me. “Now g’wan, eat your suppa’.”
He grinned fully as he raised the innards to his mouth and began to tear and chew slowly. I could see the grimace of pain roll through him with each hearty tug of his teeth, but he kept going.
He looked up again, a piece of chewy flesh hanging out of the corner of his mouth.
I smiled soothingly at him. “Where’s your ma and pa?”
He looked to the back corner, and swallowed before answering. “I already killed them. They’re over there in that mess somewhere.”
He took another bite and I was inclined to leave him to his meal, but I had one more question: “Did you know Mama Porter, the house slave?”
He nodded and looked to the back again. I took a deep breath and patted him on the shoulder before turning to leave.
I wasn’t sure how to feel about that, but I knew that I was above feeling anything anyway. I stopped just outside of the doors to look back in on him one last time. He was happily eating himself and shuddering in pain in the alabaster light of the moon, and I a bittersweet satisfaction rolled through me.
I was an artist, and this was my finest work, my living sculpture.
I heard Lilith approach me and she gazed in on the beauty that I had created for her, for me, for Tina.
She giggled and covered her mouth with her hand before turning and gazing up at me with love and awe.
“It’s… it’s… beautiful, darling.”
I smiled at her excitement as she pulled my arm to turn me. She held a hand out at her own creation resting against the base of the nearest tree.
“See, I’ve done something similar.”
There on the ground, the twin girls sat side-by-side. They were oddly still, but you’d never know that they weren’t just enjoying a late, fall evening together. I could see that their death had been quick by the slightly contorted angle of their necks. But, aside from that, they were almost beautiful, like two small cherubs resting in a meadow.
It reminded me if the post mortem pictures of the victorian era.
Something strange inside of me tried to stir, but I drowned it in lust as I pulled Lilith closer and kissed her with abandon.
She gave into my passion for several long minutes before breaking away and leaning her head back to laugh into the wind. The motion exposed the silky, gore covered expanse of her delicate neck and made my mouth warer. The delicious sound of her delight mingled with the distant cacophony of the war that had moved past us, and I bit into the soft swell of her breast to drink from her.
Her hands tangled in my hair, pulling tightly to force me to look up at her. I released her reluctantly and met her dark gaze as she trailed a finger over the small dribble of blood at the corner of my mouth.
“You have pleased me so fully this night. You are cruel, talented, and loyal.”
A low moan rumbled in my throat as her hand rand down my chest and snaked beneath my skirt to begin a steady stroke on my overwrought nerves. Her touch was sure, the wind warm against my skin, and her blood excited me as it sunk down into my stomach.
“You would never disappoint me, would you?”
And I knew it, as I quickly collapsed over the edge of ecstasy for the first of many that night, that I would never disappoint her again… for anything or anyone.
And she would never know that I had fully intended to. I also knew that this was the start of my life, a new life, where I would leave everything behind and look forward to a dark future… with her and only her.
She cleaned my spilled passion from her fingers before taking my hand, and we sped off towards the sounds of welcome violence.