Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Red Moon by Lillian Blackwood

A red moon rose over the city that evening and painted the shadows with a dusky hue. No one noticed apart from a lone figure that walked along the disused railway bridge which stretched unhindered, directly into the heart of the seediest district. This moon spoke of death and new beginnings, of which none too subtle forces held sway.

Isaiah glanced up appreciatively at the moon and smiled grimly, he knew its warning; but it was Friday night and that only meant one thing; that he must once again feed his hunger.
Lust coursed through his veins at the sight of a group of teenagers, dressed to impress, in hardly anything at all. They stood huddled together shivering in the winter’s air; they slurred some incomprehensible greeting to him; that alone made him quicken his step. No, they weren’t right for him, well at least not for tonight.
The man continued his now well-worn route into the city center; he felt briefly saddened, knowing that it would be his time to move on very soon, this place had served him well for the few brief months he had made it his home.

The club was already busy, even though many of the bars in the area would still be open for many more hours. Isaiah pushed past the casual riff-raff, the hangers-on and made his way into the back room.
The music there was louder and the corners darker; the true outcast children of the new millennium called to him with their painted eyes and subtle smiles. Some of these beautiful creatures he had tasted before, but tonight he wanted someone new, something different.
Isaiah looked a little older than most of the clubs other occupants, but most were used to his presence now. He had the kind of aura that if you stared at him too long, your eyes would water and you’d have to look away, only those he had touched could keep his gaze for long.
Scanning the room Isaiah found a pair of purple eyes staring back at him, but they quickly looked away; the boy was young, maybe sixteen, he was tall and pretty but wearing too much makeup. Isaiah stalked over quickly, before the link severed, knowing it was now or never.
The boy opened his mouth to talk, but swiftly lost his voice when the unusually confident stranger, unashamedly reached up and gently stroked an ice cold hand, across his jaw line. “Don’t move…” whispered Isaiah, before he leaned in and pressed the now trembling boy’s lips to his own. He tasted sweet… of honey.
Isaiah led the teenager over to the back of the room and out onto the fire escape.
“My names Louis…” muttered the honeyed lips.
“Of course it is…” whispered back Isaiah.
They had now made their way onto the roof of the building; other couples lurked in darkened corners, so they did not seem out of place. Isaiah took the teenager in his arms, kissed him once again, and then pressed his lips to his delicate pale throat.
As the boy's heartbeat slowed, Isaiah wished he could hold on for just a little longer, lust and greed in liquid form. Energy coursed through him. He slowly lifted his mouth from the boy’s neck, he looked into the teenager’s ages; they were content and smiling. Isaiah could not help it, he pressed his teeth once against the smooth flesh; one more taste couldn’t hurt.
Isaiah should have known better.

As he made his way back over the railway bridge to the sleepy suburb where he spent his days, Isaiah briefly thought back to the boy... Louis… “No, it will be fine… I am always careful… I have to be careful…” he muttered under his breath. Complacency was one sin that not even his kind could indulge in.

Two days later at the brink of dusk, Isaiah had just finished packing the few belongings he really couldn’t imagine ever leaving behind, when he heard a car pull up outside. At first, he thought it was the taxi, unexpectedly early to take him to the airport. Then he heard a slight tap on the front door, followed by a larger bang.
Isaiah ran to the window and stared out, shading his eyes from the setting sun. In the fading light, he saw the figure of the boy… Louis… slumped against his front door.
“How did he find me…how?” thought Isaiah, panicked.
Without thinking, Isaiah dashed to the door, threw it open and dragged the now startled looking teenager in the small house.
As soon as Isaiah’ hands touched the boy, his worst fears were confirmed. Anger and disgust roared through his brain, at first for himself; for he never made mistakes, never… never…
“Help me please…” whispered Louis haplessly. “It hurts…”
Isaiah let the boy fall to the ground, anger still seething inside of him. In some flash back of human emotion, he hit the teenager squarely in the jaw. Of course, the boy’s new frame easily withstood the blow.
Louis looked up pleadingly, but expertly dodged the next punch and managed to scramble towards the still open door, then made his escape into the street.
Isaiah shocked, simply let the boy run away. After a few minutes he had just about regained his senses and then amusedly noted the boy had left his car behind, he wouldn’t get very far.
Driving cars was something Isaiah tried to avoid doing and he hadn’t been behind the wheel for many years. After a few false starts, he managed to get it moving. He tracked Louis’ karmic trail back into the city center. He had to follow, this was his fault, he had to solve it and fast before the others found out.
Luckily it was a weeknight so the streets were fairly quiet and the pathway was easy to trail due to the teenager's anxious thoughts.

Isaiah parked up the car outside the nightclub and let an hour pass. He was happy to allow the boy time to relax a little, confident in the thought, that he was young and inexperienced and too scared to do anything too foolish.
At least that is what he hoped…

Louis had made his way back to the nightclub because he really couldn’t think of anywhere else to go. He had never been there during the week and was surprised it was open at all. The dance floor was empty and the music quieter, it seemed almost painfully mournful to him now.
Isaiah entered and silently watched his one time prey sit talking with a small group of gothic wannabes. He masked his thoughts so the boy was unaware of his approach.
The teenager looked up and finally realized he had been followed, but rather than run, he stood up defiantly, glaring at the creature that had made him as he was now. Those around him slowly backed away into the shadows, but Isaiah recognized them as what they were, vampires, the same as himself, but younger, weaker, he could smell their fear.
“Even his mistake was stronger.” thought Isaiah, faintly amused.
“If you don’t want me, I’ll stay with them…” shouted Louis insolently.
“Yes, he’s ours now…” hissed one of the weak bloods.
“Never!” whispered Isaiah, suddenly jealous of these petty creatures. “He shall never serve your Master… Never share your stock…”
“Come, Louis…” ordered Isaiah.
The teenager flinched, he was strong, but no one so newly wrought could disobey an order direct from its master.
“So you want me…” muttered Louis, unrestrained joy flashing through his eyes.
“They will not have you!” was the simple reply. “They must be dealt with, they must not remember my mistake.”
The weak ones felt the threat even before they heard it spoken aloud. Isaiah flexed his mind and the other vampires collapsed on the ground before they had a chance to react.
“Feed…” ordered Isaiah.
“Won’t they see?” asked Louis, glancing around at the few others frequenting the nightclub.
“They never see what is truly in front of them.” replied Isaiah, as if that explained it all.

Isaiah walked the weak bloods out into the alleyway behind the building. He hated having to touch them; even if it was to solve his problem, so Isaiah once again reached his senses beyond this layer of fickle reality and snapped the link that held these petty creatures in their place. Some may survive, but probably not; he didn’t care, they at least they wouldn’t remember now.
The boy followed behind anxiously, but he was stronger now, full of fresh blood. Isaiah smiled back at him and briefly wondered why he hadn’t sort out a new companion for so long, but he knew the rules…
“Come… you have a lot to learn. They will be looking for us, they will have many questions and you will need to learn the answers.”
“Where are we going?” asked Louis.
“Home, unfortunately.” whispered Isaiah, as the Red Moon, bathed the city in her glow once more.