It had been a very long wait. Out in that frosted night air, my breath appearing in the winter breeze like small clouds of smoke. But the patience I maintained that evening was definitely worth it. More than worth it. As I had finally found the very thing that I was looking for.
I stooped down on that ledge like a hawk, ready to strike. Even with the gentle crackle of ice breaking beneath my feet on the rooftop’s edge, I didn’t slip. I remained stationary as the skies fluttered with a few last minute snowflakes for the evening. Perched atop the four story building like a gargoyle, built to ward off evil forces….only to bring evil forces of my own. Even with frozen lips and a nose that had turned numb with the chill in the air, I could feel a wicked grin push its way past my hatred and spread out across my face as I saw him walk out of the Chicago nightclub and enter the alley. My newly acquired informant told me he would be here…and he was. I will have to remember to repay him later for his accuracy.
I felt a twitch inside of me. A gentle twisting of my senses as I saw this vagrant son of a bitch smile and laugh with a few of his friends in the narrow passage way. He was enjoying his existence, making friends and acquaintences, conducting his ‘business’ the way he always had. Embracing the darkness in a way that I, myself, could not. Nor would I want to. My fists balled themselves up as a surge of anger flowed through me. A homicidal burst of righteousness, mixed with the bitter tang of regret. And as that rage warped and transformed itself into the much more vague form of insanity, I felt my grin grow wide. Proud. Perhaps even divine. As I felt that justice would finally begin its ride tonight, on the backs of a hundred furious horses…guiding my hand in the blood soaked acts of vengence that I was about to become a part of.
I was not supposed to be here. I, Lucas Finley, was going to go on to live a long and successful life. Using those good grades to really create a bright future for myself. He’s dead now. Dead, but not buried. Call me ‘Cylance’, as ‘silence’ is all they left behind the night they slaughtered me. Back then, I wasn’t ready. Back then I was weak. But now that I am one of them…now that I have joined the ranks of their disgusting species…I will not live in vain. I will not let this deed go unpunished. There are demons out there in the world who I need to purge from my system once and for all…and it all begins tonight….with this gutter rat of a spice dealing vampire. Duffy.
I walked along the edge of the rooftop, occassionally kicking some snow over the side, wondering if the falling flakes would alert him to my presence. He was too unaware to give a shit. Too bad…I wanted him to see me coming. I wanted him to feel the fear that I felt the night that group of bloodsuckers first preyed upon me in that alley, just two years ago from today. I was just a boy of 16…coming home from a party at some abandoned donut factory. I had friends. I had a family. I had a LIFE. And now it was all gone. Gone in the blink of an eye. All because they were hungry. Looking to make a late night snack of me, like they had done to countless others all those nights before.
I had vague memories of that moment. The panic…the fear….the desperation. When they jumped on me, I had no way to defend myself. No way to fight back. They needed blood, and my body supplied it. There was no other thought or emotion involved in the process than that. No level of compassion or mercy. I was to be drained and destroyed like the rest of their unwilling victims. Left to die and rot in this very alley without a second thought given to the life I lived…or the people who cared about me. I had become another anonymous victim in their deadly game of survival. A strange boy’s face on the side of a milk carton. One that people would look at for a brief moment, noticing my long blond hair and green eyes for a few seconds, before shrugging their shoulders and mentally writing me off as some kinda poverty case. A runaway. A homosexual deviot that had lost his way and wasn’t wise enough to know not to talk to strangers. Oh, I’m sure people would have seen my ‘missing’ poster and made up all sorts of kinky queer stories as to why I didn’t come home that night. But none of them would be the truth. My parents knew I was gay. My friends knew I was gay. Life was a struggle for a while, but it moved forward. I had something to anticipate past the point of being free from my secret sexual interests. But….just as life was becoming ‘life’ again…those dark figures cornered me in an alley one cold winter night and snatched away everything that I was. Everything that I had worked for. They objectified me, my very essence, and saw me only as sustenance for their sick desire to drink blood. I was their victim. Their feedbag. Their living, walking, breathing, mana from Heaven. And they made a sacrificial lamb of me.
But I didn’t just disappear like so many pieces of trash…did I? I didn’t just lay down and accept the fate they had chosen for me. No. They made a deadly mistake by leaving me alive. An accidental amount of their vampire toxin mixing with the remaining blood that I had left in my system. As I gasped and fought to survive on that cold winter night, my body held tight to the venom coursing through my veins. And instead of becoming the corpse they wanted me to be….I crossed over. The traces of their vampire disease healing my wounds as I slept. I was once standing at death’s door, but I have been given breath again. And my only purpose now…is to see to it that the ones who did this to me are made to pay dearly. Their very existence defies God and all that is natural. By making me one of them, they have damned me as well. But I don’t intend to drown in Satan’s lake of fire without some well deserved company. Tonight…I will make things right.
Tonight…I will have my revenge.
I followed their slightly off balanced swagger through the alley. Them leaving footprints in the snow on the pavement…and me at my elevated position, six floors up on the roof. I can’t describe the feeling I had tumbling excitedly in my stomach at that moment. It was the first time that I had fully laid eyes on Duffy since the night I was attacked. And now that he had officially crossed my vision again, my fury had finally been given its focus again. My stare locked onto him as he took his two associates to the middle of the alley and reached in his backpack for the small sample packets of spice that he was carrying with him. The fluid would be genetically combined with all sorts of illegal narcotics, giving the vampires buying it from him a high that would last for days on end. A highly illegal business here…and thus…a very profitable one.
I silently made my way down the far side of the building, landing quietly on the iron fire escape, and creeping down to the ground level. By the time I had begun to approach, Duffy had already finished his transaction. Money had exchanged hands, and the other two were going off to get ‘twisted’ somewhere private where they might be left with enough sense to find shelter before dawn. As the two vampires rounded the corner, I quickened my pace, heading in Duffy’s direction as he reorganized his samples and zipped up his bag. I was so close…..sooooo close. I could smell him from here.
It was time for my little project to begin. The wheels were in motion now. Destiny can guide my vengeful hand from here, with karma as its willing accomplice.
“Are you holding?” I asked in a deep whisper.
He jumped, startled that even his sensitive hearing didn’t alert him to my presence until I was right up on him. “Christ! What the hell are you trying to do, give me a heart attack!” He said, slinging his backpack over his shoulder. I kept my head down, not looking him directly in the eye. Not yet. And he slipped right into ‘business-mode’. “Look, if you’re looking for a hook up, forget it. Money first, product later…the cheapest I’ll go is 50 bucks a sack, so don’t bother trying to bargain with me on anything smaller.” He said, and I kept my head down still. Just smelling his scent, hearing his voice, feeling the low levels of body heat being broadcasted through the pores in his flesh…it kept the anger burning red hot inside of me. It caused me to gnash my teeth as my stomach tightened, and the muscles in my neck strained to keep my ‘sane’ appearance. “You got cash on you? I only take cash, you know?” He said.
“Actually…I’m not interested in your drugs…” I said calmly.
“No? Well then you’ll have to excuse me while I find someone who is.” He stepped forward, but I moved to stand in his way, my eyes being lifted to greet his for the first time in two years.
“I was looking for one of your clients. A regular. He looks about 17 years old, but he’s been in darkness for at least 5 to 10 years now. He goes by the name of ‘Spaz’. Do you know him?”
“It’s really not in my best interest to discuss my client list with a stranger. Ok? Now if you’ll please step aside, it’s getting a bit chilly out here.”
“Not for me.” I told him. “Spaz….where can I find him?”
He gave me a strange look, “Listen, I don’t know who the fuck you are, spice head, and I really don’t give a shit. But I strongly suggest you step to the left and let me be on my way before you find yourself in some serious trouble.”
“Is that a fact?” I said with a grin.
“Do you know who I am? Huh? I’ve got ten guys in that bar who will bash your head in for little of nothing! Two more who will have no trouble cutting your heart out of your chest and showing it to you while they set it on fire. Trust me, they’re not the kind of people you want to be dealing with.”
“Very true.” I replied. “Lucky for me…you won’t reach them in time.” It was at that moment that he took a closer look at me, and slightly squinted his eyes. As if some vague sense of recognition had finally washed over him, and he saw a familiarity in my face that he hadn’t noticed before. A reminder of a dark deed that he believed he would never have to answer for.
“Wait a second…..who are you?”
“It’s funny…I would think that a man with your list of repeat customers would have a much better memory, Duffy.”
“How do you know my name?” He said, taking a step back.
“Come now, Duffy…it’s not like I’ve changed at all in the past few years. Then again, maybe you never thought it necessary to committ me to memory.” As our eyes connected, I remembered the details of that night all over again. When I was lured out in the open, then brought into that alley. There were six of them in total, Duffy included. He was the only vampire of the whole bunch who didn’t drink from my helpless body. Instead, as they took their turns with me, he played the role of a lookout. Making sure that no one would come along to save me. He was the accomplice who assissted in taking my life from me…and I was eager to return the favor. “Spaz…where is he?” I asked again.
“I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about!” He shouted, but I cut him short as I reached into my belt and removed the 17 inch long saber from its resting place. I pointed the tip of the blade at his throat as he backed up against the brick wall behind him. “WHAT IS THIS?!?!” He shouted.
“QUIET!!!” I whispered loudly. “I’m only going to ask you this one last time, and if you don’t start giving me some quality answers, I’m going to make the next few minutes of your existence a very painful experience. Do you understand?” I said. “You often sell spice to a vampire, right here at this very club. His name is Spaz. I KNOW you know who I’m talking about. Tell me where to find him, or I swear to God…I’m going to spill your intestines out at your feet!”
While Duffy attempted to maintain a tough guy appeal in his attitude, he couldn’t hide his squirming. He couldn’t stop his hands from shaking. Even in this winter cold, I could see the perspiration running down the folds in his worried expression. He knew I meant business. “Look, I don’t KNOW where he is! Ok? Spaz…he…he just comes out and finds me whenever he needs a fix! He doesn’t like to share a bunch of information, you know?”
I pressed the blade tighter to his skin until it pierced through, and a small trickle of blood ran down the side of his neck. I followed the thin crimson river downward with the blade dragging across the surface of his flesh…and continued lower still until stopping it at the softest part of his belly. “That doesn’t exactly answer my question, now does it, Duffy?”
“NO! WAIT!!! WAIT!!! Just…chill the fuck out, ok?!?” He shrieked, feeling the saber press harder into his gut as I took a hold of his shirt collar. “Alright…alright…look, last I heard, Spaz was getting twisted on the regular at some spice shack on the edge of town. South West side. Mangy neighborhood, but he likes his privacy. It’s just him and about 10 or 15 of his junkie friends, nobody else. If he’s anywhere, he’ll be there.”
“Address! Now! Write it down!” I hissed through gritted teeth, and I watched him as he nervously scrawled out the numbers on a ripped piece of paper he got out of his pocket. “And the others?”
“I don’t know about any of the others! I swear! They’re party people! All of them, they could be anywhere!” He said, reducing himself to a sniveling worm right in front of me.
“Why don’t you narrow it down for me, Duffy?” I said softly.
He thought for a moment, his eyes darting around from one end of the alley to another. I pressed the blade against him again to let him know that lies weren’t going to be tolerated, and he spilled the beans on his ‘associates’. “DON’T!!! Ok…ok….look, Spaz….he can’t remember shit! Nada! The spice hits have got his brain all fried and fucked up beyond repair! He has to write everything down in this journal that he keeps in his inside coat pocket! Everything! He wouldn’t remember his own name without it! That’s why they nicknamed him Spaz in the first place! He can’t remember his human name for shit! Now….Vincent and the rest of them, those are his people! You get me? HIS friends! To keep track of them and where they hang out, he’s gonna have to have some kinda plan or schedule written down somewhere! And I’ll bet ya it’s gonna be in that damn book of his! That’s the only way he’ll know where to meet up with ‘em.”
“Then perhaps he can point me in the right direction. Thank you, Duffy. You’ve been very helpful.” I said, remembering what I could from that terrible night. He then handed me the address that he had written down on the piece of paper and handed it to me. “Good boy. Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”
“Alright kid! I told you what you wanted to know, now let me go!”
“I don’t think so. Our business isn’t finished yet.”
“What are you talking about? I TOLD where he is! That’s it! That’s all I know! What more do you want?”
“What do I want?” I asked. “I want to wake up tomorrow morning, and go back to my old high school like nothing happened. I want to see my mother and father at the dinner table again. I want to take my baby sister sledding in the park on the weekends.” As I talked, the saber’s blade pressed deeper and deeper into Duffy’s stomach, making him yelp from the discomfort. “I want my LIFE back, you bloodsucking piece of worthless shit! I want the years your ‘friends’ stole from me that night! And I’m going to take it back from each and every last one of you.”
It was at that moment that his memory clicked, and he recognized my face. I could tell from the horrified look in his eyes. “Wait a minute….I know you! I fucking remember you! But you were….you were GONE! There’s no way that you could be alive! There’s no way! They drained you! I watched them drain you!”
“They weren’t as thorough as they thought they were.” I said.
“Hey, listen, whatever you’re thinking, I didn’t have anything to DO with that! You hear me, kid? I told them, I didn’t want no parts of draining some teenager! I TOLD them that! You know I did!”
“You stood there….and you watched them murder me, Duffy.”
He began to panic a little as his body trembled and his knees went weak. “No no no no no…I didn’t…I mean….they MADE me look out! I didn’t…I didn’t DO nothin’ kid! I swear! THEY did it! They’re the ones you’re looking for! Not me! I didn’t even feed! THEY were feeding! It was all THEM! They made me do it, kid, I swear!”
“Shhhhhhhhh…..” I whispered, putting my finger to his lips. He began to cry, and I wiped the tears away with my thumb. “….It’s ok. Really…it’s alright. I’m going to see to it that you all get together again real soon, and you can argue it out then.” I gave him a smile, as my eyes began to glow dark red, and he braced himself as he thought I was getting ready to rip his belly open with the blade in my hand. But, just as closed his eyes…a sniveling sack of hellbound shit…I snatched the blade away and repositioned it on my belt. He slowly opened one eye, and then the other, relieved to see that I wasn’t going to slice him in half. “I want to thank you, Duffy. For the information….and for not biting me that cold night in this alley. I appreciate your ‘restraint’.” I told him, relaxing my hold on his shirt.
A nervous, but relieved, chuckle came to the surface. “Hehehe, Jesus, kid….you scared the living shit out of me.” I watched him closely, with a smile of my own as I removed the glove on my right hand. “So….you crossed over, huh? I guess that means that one of those suckers is your ‘daddy’.”
“I already know who it is. Don’t worry. I’m saving him for last.”
“Well if you scare them the way you scared me, I’m sure they’ll learn their lesson. Shit!” Duffy stood up straight from the wall. “If you ever need a job intimidating people, come see me. You got the gift, ya crazy son of a bitch!” He reached for his backpack. “Hey look…no hard feelings, right? I mean about…you know?”
I looked him directly in his eyes, my anguish mellowed out into a moment of bliss. “Sure thing, Duffy. No hard feelings at all.”
“Cool. You know, you’re lucky! From the way they had drained you that night, I thought you died.”
“Hehehe…” I started to giggle a bit, but cut them short instantly, as my rage made itself evident once again. “…I DID!” And with that, my uncovered hand shot forward and grabbed Duffy by the face, holding tightly! And my extra began to self activate.
They say a vampire’s extra is unique. That it is born from the soul of each individual to crossover into darkness. My last thoughts on this earth as a human being were of the life that was being stolen from me. Ripped from my grasp, to leave me empty inside. Somehow, during my transformation, that feeling manifested itself into an ability most vampires would consider unnatural. Even in their world. I watched with a sickening pleasure as my hand enveloped Duffy’s face and the dark energies within me poured into his mind. I saw it as a thick black aura that moved like a spiritual ‘tar’, seeping into him through his ears, his eyes, his mouth, his nose…anywhere it could find an opening. It sank deep into him, devouring his senses, his dreams, his thoughts, his emotions. Like an acid, it burned a hole through his life essence until there was nothing left but the basic awareness that he was now becoming a hollow shell inside. Alive, but unable to move. Unable to think. Unable to feel. A soul locked in the darkest prison imaginable, with no hope of ever finding its way out. He attempted to scream, but his open mouth only allowed the darkness to pour in even more rapidly, encasing every inch of his senses in a block of pitch black ice that allowed no further brain activity to affect it. As his ‘fully aware but completely lifeless’ body fell to the ground in a comatose heap of useless bone and muscle, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of pride in my heart for what I had done here tonight. Justice had been served. He was the one participant who had the least to do with my death…and that’s why I came for him first. The others will be much more sweet in comparison. I’m certain of it.
I stepped away from the body, saturated with the glow of satisfaction, and I noticed the blank stare in his eyes as they frosted over for the last time. They had turned pitch black from my energies, and his functional emotions were forever denied their return to the surface. I watched the final involuntary twitches of this living corpse as it struggled to fight the shadows as they overwhelmed him. It wasnt until the moment that I saw his head fall limply to the side that I walked away from his husk of an existence. I left him to spend what little time he had left as an unwilling hostage of his own mind. A waking death that I had, over time, eventually come to call…..nightfall.
I suppose that it would be ‘gracious’ of me to tell you that I later regretted my actions. That, on the train ride home from that dark alley where I had lost my life, I had reflected on the horror of revenge, and that my thoughts retreated into the hills where only guilt and remorse were there to embrace them. But I experienced no such awakening. That bastard DESERVED his punishment! They all did! And I was going to enjoy paying them back in kind for every second of agony that I’ve experienced in this souless hell. So if you’re looking for a hero’s speech about the value of life and not lowering myself to dwell in the same murky depths as my enemies…I suggest you look elsewhere. Because this is not one of those stories. This is a story of revenge…served cold, with all the trimmings. And when this is finished, you’re going to know just how sweet it is to find salvation in the death of all who caused you pain. I guarantee it.
When I finally got back out to the suburbs and made it back to the street where I ‘lived’, if you can call it that, it was almost 2 AM. I had been given a key, so getting into the house was no problem. But I hadn’t expected my ‘host’ to be up so late.
His name was Russel Talbot. A man in his late 30′s, a mentor, if you will. And a slag hunter.
When I entered the house, he was sitting on the couch in the living room, drinking a short glass of brandy in front of the fireplace. I made sure to lightly stomp the snow and slush off of my shoes, removing them so as not to track dirt and water into his home. I walked to the edge of the living room, but didn’t dare to step on the carpet. He took a light sip of his drink in silence, and barely lifted his eyes to look at me for the first few moments. But….after a long pause, he softly asked me, “So…it’s done?”
I cleared my throat slightly, feeling the heat from the fire on my skin, even from this distance. “Yeah….it’s done.”
“I suppose…that things are in motion now? Correct?” There was almost a hint of sadness in his voice. As if something about my actions was destined to pull me further away from him. Luring me into a life that he could no longer be a part of. It was his lessons that trained me to do this…why did he seem so sorrowful at my ability to put those lessons to use?
“Yes. In motion.” I said. Not saying anything more than I had to. He nodded quietly, the room too dark for me to really see his face, even with my enhanced night vision. He took another sip of his drink, and turned to stare into the flames of the fireplace again, not saying a word. After a minute or two of standing there with no response, I said, “I’m going to the basement now. I need time to plan my next move.” Again, he said nothing. Did he disapprove? I couldn’t tell. But I didn’t care. This is what I’ve been waiting for. And I’m going to make things right. I’m GOING to make things right.
I turned away from the living room, and started to walk towards the hallway so I could go down into the basement. The bowels of the old house provided me all of the sanctuary that I needed. Protection from sunlight, a guardian to watch over the place during the day, heat, running water, electricity. I should be thankful. Most vampires don’t have such luxuries in the habitats they call home. As I reached the door to the basement steps, I was aware of a presence above me. I looked up to see Russel’s son Patrick looking down on me. His bright blond mop of soft curls flopped over his eyes in a sleepy haze. He was my age. Well, two years past the age I was when I was murdered, actually. And he and I had shared many thoughts with one another…many feelings. But tonight, he watched me in silence. And he could tell from the look in my eyes that the process of eliminating my enemies had officially begun. I don’t think he took it very well.
Without saying a word, he moved away from the upstairs railing, and went back to his room…slamming his bedroom door. I was left there to be consumed by the hush he left behind. Maybe it was my own emotions that made the quiet so unbearable. Who knows? I just wated to be alone right now anyway. I needed time to think. Time to plan. I had a busy few days ahead of me. I can’t let anything get in the way of that. Not now. My life depends on getting this right.