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True Nature.
Copyright 2012, 2018 by Raymond Johnson. Fifth edition.
Cover art provided by Jesse-lee Lang. (iStock Photo).

Dedicated to everyone at the Gorezone forums.

“A scorpion was walking along the bank of a river, wondering how to get to the other side. Suddenly he saw a fox. He asked the fox to take him on his back across the river. The fox said, “No. If I do that, you’ll sting me, and I’ll drown.” The scorpion assured him, “If I did that, we’d both drown.” So the fox thought about it, finally agreed. So the scorpion climbed up on his back, and the fox began to swim. But halfway across the river, the scorpion stung him. As the poison filled his veins, the fox turned to the scorpion and said, “Why did you do that? Now you’ll drown too.” “I couldn’t help it,” said the scorpion. “It’s my nature.” They both perished.” Commander Chakotay, Star Trek Voyager, Attributed to Aesop.

In the middle of the night when the full moon shines a creature emerges from the shadows. It swoops down like a bat taking a victim at will then silently returns back into the forest ready to feast upon its live prey. If sixteen vampires were about to feast upon your flesh what would you do? Run away and hide? Stand and fight? Beg for mercy? Or try to make friends with them? Told from the point of view of the vampire this story tells the tale of how a victim tries to save herself by befriending the very creature that wants to devour her.


Chapter 1 – Reminisce

Things were certainly not what they used to be but that was just the way of the world, things inevitably changed no matter how hard we tried to fight against it. Even the most subtle changes would eventually increase their effect over the years until things were completely different to how they once were. It was the curse of a long life and something I had to get used to. I spent most of my time reminiscing in the bliss of nostalgia daydreaming about the life I used to have wishing that I could wind back the clock and relive past glories. I wouldn’t do anything different, my life was perfect back then, it was due to circumstances beyond our control that led to the downfall of my people.

I was born in a magnificent castle overlooking the vast, lush, evergreen forest of Vrancea. The six huge towers and white stone walls were a feast for the eyes filling visitors with awe and residents with pride. Surrounding the castle was a stream that was fed by a spring that gently trickled down from the high hills. Looking somewhat like a moat the sparkling clear freshwater gave us a natural defence for the castle as well as a constant supply of drinking water.

We were the envy of everyone living in the surrounding villages and respected as dignitaries carrying out our duties for the prince. My parents and I were directly related to Prince Alexander who once ruled the entire country with a fist of iron until a war ensued replacing his regency with a new royal family leaving my own clan and future bloodline impoverished.

With internal strife and self hatred my family tore itself apart plunging my people into civil war. The chaos and carnage ripped away at the very fabric of what our people represented and we became nothing more than savages. The castle was set ablaze destroying most of its contents as well as a large proportion of the forest itself. My husband was killed outright in the fire while my son was left horribly disfigured only to pass away at a later date.

We tried desperately to rebuild our lives but to no avail. Over the many years that passed more and more of our people left the sect with the intention of living among the lesser classes. The ones that remained held no grudge against them for we fully understood their reasoning, but there was a sense of betrayal in the back of our minds and a fear that our entire way of life would soon be lost. On many occasions, especially when times were particularly hard, I too found myself tempted to leave. It was only the thought of leaving my grandfather behind that was stopping me.

The forest eventually replenished itself and provided plenty of wood for the restoration of the castle. We particularly favoured ash wood and chopped down as many ash trees we could find. Traditionally we had a distaste for that particular wood knowing that it could be lethal to us but it was ideal for making furniture and doors. It was only dangerous when fashioned into a weapon such as a spear or stake. The more ash wood we used the less there was left in the forest available for a potential enemy.

The winter months were the most difficult to cope with. In the past I had never given a moment’s thought about the difficulties associated with winter but with our castle being in such a bad state of disrepair and with our food supply diminishing we found ourselves practically having to hibernate through the entire season. The cold ate through our bones, and our stomachs ached with hunger, while we forced ourselves to sleep until spring. On some occasions it proved unsuccessful and we had lost many family members due to starvation my twin sister among them.

With attempts to increase our numbers we changed our rules on mixed marriage and actively encouraged polygamy with people outside our sect, however this proved to be insubstantial and only watered our blood further. Those born of mixed parentage who in turn had offspring of mixed parentage were essentially fully human with all the human weaknesses that go with it. Low intelligence, short lifespan, violent emotions to name just a few. They were completely unsuitable for our sect and had to be disposed of. I felt an uneasy shame about some of the grotesque practices we had performed in order to survive. We had sunk into the depths of depravity betraying our own customs as well as nature herself, and I knew it would only be a matter of time before she caught up with us.

Our numbers had dwindled to a mere sixteen adults consisting of twelve pure breed vampires and four dhampirs. We all shared just one of the towers in our vast near empty castle which despite constant repairs was falling into ruin.

I still had hopes for the future knowing we would one day be great again. Our castle would be looked upon with envy and people would pay us the respect we deserved. It was just be a matter of time, I just needed to be patient.


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