Blood Parched.
Copyright 2015, 2018 by Raymond Johnson. Third edition.
Cover photo provided by Zametalov. (www.iStockphoto.com).

Dedicated to everyone at the Kindle forums for all the mutual encouragement even whilst not discussing book related matters.

"Red is one of the strongest colours, it has a power with the eye. That's why traffic lights are red, and stop signs. In fact I use red in all of my paintings." - Keith Haring.

A vampire in her prime, with powerful magnificent wings, fails to feed and is seriously injured unsure if she'll survive the night let alone the winter. She is forced to hibernate on an empty stomach and for the first time in her life fears death. The cold rain soon turns to snowfall while she contemplates the meaning of existence.

 

 

Chapter 1 - A Fat Meal

I couldn't help but smile as I hovered from above keeping an eye on my chosen meal below. My stare was firm, with my eyes dilated, as I dared not blink. My hunger teased me, begging me to make my attack, but kills needed both care and patience. I moistened my mouth at the ready, making sure my fangs were well lubricated before licking my lips imagining the taste of the warm fresh blood I was about to feast upon.

The vast crowd below had already dispersed in panic knowing they were being hunted from above, but the majority need not fear, for I had already selected my target. A raggedy man hobbled on his feet trying to run but unable due to his large fat frame. I was already salivating as I circled overhead, toying with him, wondering which direction he would attempt to take next. He was growing increasingly exhausted while trying to get away on his shaky legs but there was no way his unfit body could out manoeuvre a healthy vampire like me in her prime.

"Ha, ha, ha, ha!" I let out an exaggerated cackle as I zigzagged above his head causing him to change direction, taunting him in an ever increasing state of terror.

Swiftly I flew down, not for the attack but just to toy with him, kicking him flat on his face whilst laughing ecstatically. He tried to lift himself but was too exhausted to raise his swollen body, instead having to roll from side to side like an upturned tortoise. I couldn't help but stare with pleasure as a wide grin grew across my face.

He was pathetic, an absurd buffoon, if he had been a horse he'd have been sent to the knacker's yard long ago. He was my ideal prey, feeble and fat, with lots of warm precious blood pumping through his veins. My tummy ached further with hungry anticipation yet I still felt the urge to play with my meal for a while longer. Unlike other vampires I preferred my prey to give up and welcome death rather than a long drawn out struggle where I could potentially get hurt.

Circling above him like a vulture I swiftly flew down, hovering above while he cowered in a ball daring not to set eyes upon me, his shiny bald head glistening in the dim winter sunlight.

Opening up my wings revealing my full naked body I released the tension in my bladder, urinating down from above, with the stench of my previous liquid meal raining onto the man's head, down his back and soaking his ragged clothing. He couldn't see what was happening but he sure felt it as he crawled away practically dragging his exhausted legs behind him.

I was losing height due to my position so swiftly dropped to the ground, intentionally landing very near his head, only just avoiding the chance of crushing his skull. He froze to the spot looking at my the blue veins within my feet. Clenching my toes, letting my terrified victim get a good look at my talon-like nails I taunted him further. He knew exactly what I was and what awaited him.

"Ha, ha, ha, hahaha!" I let out another overly exaggerated laugh before leaning forward and tilting my head letting my victim get a good view of my fangs within my wide grin.

The cold air revealed the warm vapour of my breath that carried the smell of blood from my previous meals. Soon that stale odour would be replaced by something far more fresh.

"Spare me!" The man pleaded cowering at my feet practically pressing his unshaven cheek against my ankle, "I beg of thee, please spare my life. I have a family."

I couldn't tell if he mentioned his family to prove his life had importance or whether he wanted me to take one of them in exchange. Whatever the case his fate was already sealed and there was no going back.

Placing my arms behind my body I leant forward with a straight back as to still appear dominant whilst bending. My magnificent wings in full bloom behind me occasionally flapped of their own accord.

"Don't resist and I'll make this quick," I said softly albeit with a playful tone.

His cheeks were flushed and his eyes filled with dread as we exchanged glances for the merest of moments before he continued to stare at the ground in front of my feet. His breath felt warm against my sensitive skin.

"I beg thee, I beg, I, I... beg," he mumbled trying to force out his words before sobbing pathetically.

With all my concentration focused upon my victim I had neglected to take in my surroundings and was genuinely startled as I heard footsteps hurrying in my direction. As I turned I was surprised to see an adolescent boy, a pitchfork in hand, trying his best to intimidate me. His face showed fear while his eyes were illuminated with rage. I wondered as to his intentions and if he was going to plead for the man's life.

"Leave my daddy alone!" He screeched at the top of his voice.

There was no time to respond, no time to threaten or taunt the boy, not even time to grab my prey and fly, for I was already upon the ground with the pitchfork protruding from my lower abdomen practically within my groin. The shock of such a predicament far outweighed the pain and for the first time in my life I screamed with fear.

The boy darted towards his father then back at me, torn with indecision, before kicking me repeatedly in the face. Raising my hands to block his blows I then felt the pitchfork slide deeper into my belly then begin to wriggle as someone attempted to retrieve it once more. My insides were being ripped to shreds. An unmistakable taste then filled my mouth as warm liquid formed within my gullet and passed its way out as bloody vomit.

There were cheers intermixed within overlapping sounds of panic. In my peripheral vision I could see a multitude of villagers rushing in my direction holding pickaxes, more pitchforks and the like, intent on fighting back, intent on murdering me. How could the situation have changed so drastically? I thought to myself whilst not truly believing what was happening to me. It had only been moments ago that I was about to feast upon my meal.

My body began to feel numb as I stared up at the sky. The parting clouds allowed more of the winter sunshine to beam down as though the weather itself was joining the attack. My already sensitive skin felt tender as my body quickly warmed. Within my position resting upon my back I couldn't even use my wings to shade myself.

It was a surreal moment to witness with the boy continuing to kick and kick at my body, with joyful bloodlust plastered upon his young face, and his worn leather boots encrusted with my blood. In many ways he reminded me of my own kind, enjoying the act of killing.

There was then a sharp pain deep within my body, as though my backbone itself was being pierced by the prongs of the pitchfork that still protruded from my belly. My victim was plunging it further leaning his ample weight against it getting his revenge. I wondered as to his reaction if I begged clemency.

I was not long for this world and I contemplated giving up the struggle as I continued to lay back, staring at the parting clouds above, in a pool of my own blood. It won't be long, I consoled myself, the pain will soon be at an end. Just endure a little longer.

The boy changed his attack and ceased kicking my body only to then kick my face once more. His heavy leather boot hit against my mouth causing the sound of a loud crack as one of my precious fangs dislodged. I wasn't prepared to allow that and decided to end this nightmare once and for all, for damaging a vampire's teeth was beyond the pale.

Within a flash I jumped to my feet, grabbing the boy, lifting him from the ground and instantly snapping his neck in two before throwing his lifeless body at his father's feet. I then broke the handle of the pitchfork, leaving its metal head imbedded within my abdomen, throwing the handle down with defiance.

Everything appeared to spin around while I stared at the villagers who were running in every direction, shouting and screaming their rage. They were no longer intimidated by me with their anger far stronger than their fear. Then gentle warmth of the winter sun tingled my tender skin causing my entire body to writhe in pain.

Blood was also haemorrhaging from my belly which was distressing for a vampire. Blood was a form of nourishment, a form of food, its shiny red velvet texture filled my mind with hunger, but to see it pouring from my own body was filling my thoughts with conflicting emotions. I was disoriented, I needed to get away.

Flying up into the air as fast as my powerful wings could take me I flew into the direction of the forest and the safety of the trees. I had lost my meal and a lot of my own blood in the process but most of all I had lost the respect of fear from the villagers. Successful hunts in the future from that location were unlikely.

 

Chapter 2 - Despair

The rain poured down while the bare winter trees offered no protection against the elements. I precariously balanced myself on one thick branch while trying to lean against another behind me, but I still oozed blood from my abdomen while my tummy ached with hunger teased by the sight of the delicious warm red liquid. I only wished I had been capable of consuming my own blood but alas vampire blood was inedible even if it was only to be a temporary measure to stem the feeling of hunger.

The metal remains of the pitchfork still protruded from my body but I knew to remove it would only cause more damage, but leaving it in place wasn't an option either as each prong jabbed at my insides with even the slightest movement of my body.

"Urgh, ahh, grrr!" I moaned letting out my emotions of pain, frustration and self-pity.

Closing my eyes I focused my attention on controlling the pain within my belly. The sun was no longer shining at least but my delicate skin was already burnt and throbbed like a thousand bee stings. Shedding my skin wasn't a problem but I was certain I wouldn't have the opportunity.

"Ohh, ohh," I whimpered like a frightened puppy.

I could feel my dislodged fang pushing against my cheek while I gritted my teeth in agonising pain. How could have I let a pathetic child inflict such damage upon my body? Why did I allow pathetic feeble human beings get the better of me? Why did I hunt within daylight? Questions span around my head. I had grown too cocky over the years, taunting my victims instead of going directly for the kill. It was my own arrogance that had caused my current predicament, my own stupidity. I cursed out loud swearing at myself.

I wasn't long for this world and knew it. My wet naked burnt skin formed a glossy reflection within the dim light of the day as the rain continued to pour in an everlasting cold shower. My blue veins were beginning to lighten due to blood loss while the forest floor below me oozed red with the tree trunk saturated. The rain intermixed with the red puddles making them larger causing an ever increasing gruesome sight. Even my magnificent powerful wings had grown a weary and limp offering no protection against the cold and I wasn't sure if I could even make another attempt on single flight. The branch upon which I perched was likely to be my final resting place, I only wished I had time to find a location more pleasing.

With my eyes still firmly closed I awaited the inevitable as blood continued to haemorrhage from between the prongs of the pitchfork in my lower abdomen. It was only when I dared to open my eyes and look down between my legs that I noticed an implement protruding from my orifice. I leant forward for a better view, touching the object poking out of me, and discovered it was a piece of blood stained leather. The boy must have kicked my feminine purse, with his heavy boot scraping its rough material against my insides in the process, no doubt as some kind of degenerate sexual act against me. I tugged at the material ever so slightly testing to see how imbedded it was. It appeared to dislodge a little so taking a deep breath first I pulled it out in one swift action.

"Argh!" I howled causing the forest to echo my cry before leaning forward and vomiting saliva laced with my own blood.

The sound of distant birds flew out of the trees in fear. This wasn't the way I expected my life to end. I sought dignity not this painful and humiliating defeat to such a clumsy hunt. The only comfort was that I wasn't witnessed by others of my kind, but news would likely spread from village gossip and once the villagers discovered my remains they'd likely desecrate my body by parading it like some kind of trophy.

Positioning myself on all fours, imbedding my talon-like nails into the wide branch, I tried to balance myself in the hope I would soon pass away before the eventual falling to the ground. Vampire flesh was poison to wild animals so I'd likely decompose gradually, but even a skeleton possessed fangs and bony wings so my remains would still be recognised.

Focusing my mind I tried to will my own demise telling myself it was time to pass. It wasn't long before I felt my body go limp and my mind drift away. I was pleased.

 

Chapter 3 - Icicle

Vapour wafted from my mouth as I remained on all fours, with hunched shoulders, using my limp wings as a makeshift blanket. The thick branch of the oak tree was more than stable and easily took my weight, it was just a matter of keeping balance. I was annoyed as it dawned on me that I had awoken from nothing more than a very brief sleep causing me to curse my vampiric body for fighting the inevitable. It was at times like those that I wished vampires, and other living things for that matter, had an off switch.

The rain had stopped, the forest silent, while I shivered atop the tree in a temperature vastly below anything I had experienced before. I wondered if I was being punished by fate for past indiscretions. I couldn't help what species I was, it was a curse of birth, but maybe I enjoyed the act of feeding far more than was natural.

"I'm sorry!" I screamed out into the forest.

I wasn't sure what I was saying. There was no reason to say that word. I didn't even know who I was directing the words at or what I was sorry for. Perhaps if I felt remorse I would be spared this indignity but I didn't feel sorry for my victims at all. I only felt sorry for myself.

I was now suffering a new pain on top of my other pains. The biting cold compressed against my bare skin as though tearing inside trying to gnaw at my bones beneath. A film of ice had coated my skin yet the mere action of trying to wipe it away filled my mind with dread as attempting to move would cause more discomfort. There was also the fact that I didn't want the ice removed as it would only tease my body into clinging onto life just a little longer which I desperately no longer desired.

Whilst as still as possible I focused all my will on preventing my body from shivering and to allow the full biting cold to penetrate further. I was even tempted to raise my wings but didn't want to risk breaking the surface of the ice coating. I stared out, at the bare canopy overlooking the forest, eyes and mouth fully open, taking deep breaths, waiting patiently. Nature sorted the weak from the strong during winter and I was allowing her to take me, begging her in fact, I just wished she wasn't taking so long.

My head nodded as I grew increasingly tired. Nightfall was soon to approach as the dim winter sun sank over the treeline. I could hear distant animals stir in the forest and the occasional scamper as they sniffed vampiric blood within the air.

The film of ice on my skin grew thicker, crystallising around my naked body, squeezing my breasts and stemming the flow of blood that still dripped from my abdomen. The cocoon of ice shielded me from the snow that began to gently fall, settling upon my body, if only to aid my comfort a little. My insides grew accustomed to the surrounding temperature allowing me not to feel the biting cold, while the ice itself formed a seal between my body and the tree branch on which I knelt making it impossible to fall.

I forced closed my eyes, leaving trails of icicle tears, willing myself to sleep, hoping from which I would never wake. My fate fully accepted.

 

Chapter 4 - Another Day

A dreary feeling of grogginess filled my tired head as I hobbled to my feet stretching out my arms and wings. The slight ache within my tight muscles and back needed to be stretched away before I could continue with my day. Letting out a yawn I looked around at the lush forest of blossom while the birds sang a happy song. I smiled brightly, something deep inside my subconscious told me all was right with the world, and my future was to be a happy one.

It was only when I looked down at my body, particularly the pitchfork prongs still protruding from my abdomen, that I remembered the horrors of what had taken place. I shook myself wondering if I was dreaming and took a few moments to realise I wasn't. I had survived and hibernated the entire winter. The fates had taken pity upon me after all.

Looking down at the forest floor that was previously coated with my blood I saw a series of blooming spring flowers including sprigs of upcoming crocuses. The thought of life feeding from my blood gave me a warm feeling within my body. Thinking of blood reminded me of my hunger and it was time to hunt once more, however this time I intended to do nothing but consume my meal and to not toy with my food.

THE END.

 

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