Dusk. The first star appears in a sky rapidly deepening from silver to indigo. The roaring fire does little to warm the cold that has settled in over the centuries of existence. I’m hungry, she thinks, staring in to the night sky, the last vestiges of daylight in hurried retreat. A lone bat flies overhead, searching for its mate, its next meal perhaps.
The bitter taste of copper lingers long after her last repose. It quickens her senses, heightens her awareness and both thrills and sickens her. I could hunt, she muses, and then shoves that thought violently away. She thinks a visit to the butcher may be in order. His supplies are fresh for the right amount of gold, and their business does little to invoke the suspicions of the ignorant town folk. If they only knew, she laughs quietly to herself, absently wiping the tears that come.
A soul, a soul, my kingdom for eternal life that blessed soul, she mutters to herself. That Seraphim. How in the name of all the gods did that Seraphim find her? Why did she have to be so greedy, so bloodthirsty, when she had already fed so well before that holy creature arrived? How did her senses fail her and lead her to this? Hunting, killing, feeding; these were never an issue. She was a skilled hunter, even prior to Mhurag Nur. I was the best, the most ruthless…my prowess on the battlefield was legendary, she tells herself. It mattered little who was in my way, for they were cut down swiftly, and without mercy.
Mercy. What a strange and painful ideal. Mercy saved me, she laughs, and mercy damned me at once. Mercy thrusts her painful memories upon me and burns through me. As the sky further darkens into blackness, a wolf howls in the distance. She shudders and groans, vainly attempting to push away the ghosts of her past and the dying screams pulsating in her mind.
How long has it been since I last saw my mother’s face, she wonders. How long did she mourn when she was told how I was found? Hadn’t she already given me up long before? And when my grave was empty, did she follow the villagers in their idiotic ritual to rid them of my curse? Mother was a stout, hardworking woman with little time for nonsense, she remembers. And I believed the sadness and fear in her eyes as I walked away from that dying farm to join the noble cause of Aarmun so many centuries ago was the most pain I would ever have to bear.
The old house beside the cemetery had most likely used up its charm decades before her arrival, but it is far enough from the village to discourage prying eyes. That being so close to a graveyard is what has kept her safe she finds ludicrous. It wasn’t long ago that graves were disinterred and corpses mutilated and burned in an ignorant attempt to prevent the dead from rising and returning home. I may be the only one of my kind left, she sighs, and decides that’s one too many.
She loves the night and the symphony playing in the darkness. So much life abounds in the darkness, and she feels her pulse quicken. The air is alive and fragrant. Her hunger grows. And then abates abruptly as yet another image of her feeding on the lifeless body of her long dead lover lingers before her once again.
The eastern sky begins to lighten, dawn begins her dazzling approach. And though the sun no longer burns her physically, she abhors the joy of new life on the horizon. Except for the occasional night creature to pass her way, she is alone and has been for decades. She reviles her solitude and yet finds solace in her loneliness, accepting this will never change. I am a monster with a soul, she cries, and I am hungry. Oh gods, I am so very hungry.