________Lost Souls_______
Blood-Bound Gift

Stephanie Simpson-Woods

I lie here awake in bed listening to the crickets grind their legs. Over and over again I hear them, a symphony of blood calling my name. They go off like an alarm clock, ringing in my ears until I'm forced to make way to my small bathroom. It is there where I look in the mirror hoping to find a sleepy, cream-colored face. Instead I find nothing. All I see is a reflection of the stale, white bath towel hanging on the rack behind me.

Torn, jean jacket in hand I leave my apartment. To where? I guess wherever the night takes me. It's never planned. I no longer sit on my couch wondering what greasy franchise I will hit that night for my once typical feast of a double cheese burger, a small fry and one large, refreshing cherry coke. No. Instead I stare at the menu, not the one above me glowing with florescent lights, but the one directly in front of me, asking me what I'd like to eat.

One time I replied, "you," but the poor excuse for a teenager just laughed at me like I was kidding. I wasn't. I left the fast-food establishment that night thinking, Oh well, my fangs would have had to cut through the 2 inch slab of grease that had formed on his neck to get to my dinner anyways.

This night seemed odd for some reason. A crescent moon cast a weary glow across the small city and not many people were out. I guess because there was some murderer running about. I know what you are thinking, but no. It wasn't me. Okay maybe some of it was me, but not all of them.

Someone other than myself was creeping about the city, slashing mortals. Whoever it was, was carving strange symbols into their victims foreheads and cutting them wide open, leaving their guts hanging out everywhere. I simply pierce the skin of my prey, sometimes on the neck, maybe the thigh, or in more personal areas when I'm feeling frisky.

And this killer was picky. I mean really picky. Well, I can be picky at times, like when I see an attractive blonde walking down the street in a short skirt and heels. I can't help but to let my lust take hold and sweep her off her feet to an agonizing, yet pleasurable death. 97% of the time I just snatch whoever is convenient. I never liked cooking eggs when I first woke up. I preferred something easier like a toaster pastry or a bowl of cereal with 2% milk. I miss milk. Anyway, the killer only likes his victims young and brunette. It doesn't matter whether or not they are male or female.

Whoever or whatever this weirdo is, they are scaring away my food supply, so now I continue to walk the streets, looking for my first in a long night of drinking. For me, blood is like what beer used to be. Once you have one it's hard to stop.

I decide to go over by Jacks Bar and Pool Hall. This is where all of the drunks hang out. Easy kill. It's funny how they waddle out, a couple at a time, stumbling to their cars to drive home. I usually don't feel so bad about killing them. They would end up killing themselves or someone else anyway, sooner or later.

Patiently I wait. The southern rock music blares from inside so I know there is some kind of activity going on. Shortly, a man and a woman walk out. The term bingo crosses my mind. They are both very drunk and by the looks of it, about to do some serious necking. Necking. Ha! I'll show them necking.

As they approach the car I sneak up behind them. They are both struggling to keep on their feet so I know they won't run and if one of them did they wouldn't run far.

First, I wrap my arm around the neck of the male suitor and drag him to the ground. This ugly bastard is drunk as hell. He thinks it's some kind of joke and laughs in my face. This pisses me off. Not only because it insults me, but his breath smells like rotten beer and undigested hot wings. At least it wasn't garlic. I open my mouth and expose my two, perfectly sharpened sabers and bite right into his bottom lip. Not showing any mercy I rip it off and spit it onto the pavement below me. He wasn't laughing anymore. Without hesitation, I pull his head to the side and slip my teeth into his neck. His breath may be ghastly but his blood is divine. The first meal of the night is always the best.

When I finish, I let his corpse fall to the ground and I eye the female. She just stands there watching me in awe. She doesn't run, she doesn't yell. She just stands there. She must be pretty hammered. I walk up to her and give her the same devilish grin I give all of the ladies. It is the type of grin that would have been transparent to her, if I were just a regular Joe. She would have more than likely told me to go fuck myself. But the mind of a vampire is an amazing thing. I draw her in, making her walk up to me and stare into my fiery eyes. She lifts a hand to my nose and I go blank.

* * * * * * * *

I wake up on a couch, or is it a bed? My thoughts are pretty scrambled at this moment. This beautiful woman stands above me giving me the same devilish grin I had given her. I look down and my stomach is resting upon my cold, white flesh and my intestines are scattered about the bed, not that I used them, but it is still a bit shocking. As I further inspect myself, I feel blood oozing down my forehead. I touch a finger to the carvings she had created above my eyes. I look up at her and smile. "I've been wondering when we would meet."

The womans smile fades and she backs away from the bed. I just lay here, letting my body slowly pull itself back together. Gradually, my body mends itself and I jump off the bed and take her into my arms.

"So, you like to kill, do you?" I ask, rubbing a single finger against her cheek.

She says not a word.

"Why don't we kill together," I suggest. "You kill without purpose and without appreciation. I could make it so you could kill and be truly fulfilled."

Her eyes glare into mine, I have her right where I want her, or so I believe. Before I can get my lips to her neck, the feisty, little creature brakes from my grasp and lunges for the long piece of cutlery she had used to dislodge my organs.

"Don't be like that," I beg. "I can either let you continue your work and make it easier for you, or I can just eat you. And trust me, when I eat you it won't be very pleasant. I mean, you did slice me open."

I notice the fire in her eyes growing dim. I know she wants it.

I waltz up to her and gently slide my tongue across her lovely neck. Once it's nicely saturated, I bite into her, sucking her precious blood into my thirsty mouth. I then put out my wrist and motion for her to slice it open. She does as is requested and drinks from my wilted veins.

It is such bliss. I have finally found someone to share my death with, someone who has the same passion for killing as I. This moment had to be the happiest moment I had ever experienced as the walking dead.

Blood dripping from her ruby-red lips, she lets go of my wrist and smiles. My body is a bit weak from her feeding, but my numbness is nothing but pure joy. When I sit down on the bed I rest my head against a pillow and look over my gorgeous partner. I fail to notice the knife that she used to pierce my slowly dieing heart, sticking out from my chest.

"I kill alone, but thanks for the gift," she mumbled. Then she grabs her purse and leaves me alone to expire.

Copyright Stephanie Simpson-Woods 2003

Stephanie Simpson-Woods is a freelance writer and the author of the new-age Vampire tale, 'I.M. Internet Message'. For more information on this author, please visit her website at www.stephaniesimpsonwoods.com
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