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Syndel's Spire
Syndel's Spire

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Diary of a vampire, entry 8

Added:March 02nd 2008, 03:57:49
Series:[ Diary of a vampire. ]
Rating:5/5 (Votes: 1)

Long time coming at 5500 words. I had a lot of trouble writing this one but I'm happy at how it turned out.

Some people have shown curiousity at how certain powers work so I hope this clears some of that up. Other than that what more can I say than "enjoy"?


This evening I woke to a loud ringing in my ears, pounding my dreams into nothingness. On the bedside table lay a battered old alarm clock, ringing loud enough to wake the dead. Groaning I reached over and turned it off but in doing so felt a rough texture meet my hands. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes I sat up and examined the clock. The clocks time was set for 7pm, it was almost still light outside and my skin prickled from the dull light seeping through the heavy blinds. Attached to the clock was a small piece of paper marked “Vampire.” On the opposite side in a tiny scrawl was a message.

Good evening, vampire. I hope you enjoyed the early wake up and I hope you didn't catch too much sun. Anyway, I'm afraid I couldn't get a meeting with the prince, there was recently an attempt on his life and he's not seeing anyone without pedigree, and you hardly have the clearest lineage. Regardless I've had some errands to run so I'm not in right now – I want you to meet me at Four Statues at about 7pm. This means that if you've just woken up by the clock and are reading this letter you're already late. Get moving.

P.S. Make sure you lock the door on your way out.


Four Statues was the local name for the town's main park. It's true name was something immensely complicated and related to the founders of the town but everyone just called it Four Statues because the fountain that was the centrepiece was topped by four almost identical statues. Grudgingly I dressed and left. The streets were still fairly dim lit, the street lights only just turning on as I made my way quickly towards the park. Somehow the daylight blinded me, even indirectly. I felt feeble as I travelled, my limbs weak against the strain of movement and my thoughts dull as if viewed through a thick fog.
As I walked the same surge of clarity I had felt before bore through me like a relentless tide of conciousness. I stopped, staggering under the wealth of perception that suddenly met me, the darkness suddenly illuminated, sounds sharp and no longer dulled, smells strong as blows hit me. Suddenly I was aware to everything around me, the cool breeze that weaved the darkness like silk, carrying with it the scent of freshly mown grass and telling me of the times it whistled through the trees.
For the first time I understood just how much my body had changed, it was as if the daylight cast a shadow on me, as if even reflected or dim light blinded me and clouded me. My instinct almost forces me to seek the darkness. My body woke but then my vampire wakes, with all the power that entails.
The streets were still quite busy, with many people still out with their friends walking and laughing. I wondered curiously if any of them had any idea vampires truly exist, that walking among them was a person, similar to them in appearance but far, far worse in his crimes. I kept my head down and avoided them, suddenly guilty and resentful again. Every sound irritated me. The giggling of party goers as I passed them on the streets, the intense arguments of drunken teenage rebels – I was angry. I was angry with those innocents, completely naïve and vulnerable to attack. I wanted to shout that they could so very easily become just a late-night snack to a hungry vampire, I was angry with myself for being unable to tell them of the horrors that roamed the night, probably viewing them as little more than a mediocre food source, but above all this I was angry with Hail. He had taken me, shown me this world, given me this power but at the costs of my friends, family and life.
I knew then I'd never be the same as those people, blissful in their ignorance and innocent to my crimes. I wondered briefly what they would say if they knew my truth but shook the thoughts from my mind as I continued on. My mind threw up one last rebellious thought as I tried to distract myself: “I hope they enjoy the sunrise.” I whispered subconsciously.

The park was relatively small, mainly aimed at young children or the elderly, to this end a large portion of the park had been converted into a children's play area, which lay on the opposite side of the fountain. The park by night had taken a darker tone. The park was actually officially closed this late at night but the gates were rarely shut and hadn't been locked in years. As I passed between the large iron gates I glanced upwards towards the great stone gargoyles which perched over the arch, their features twisted and somehow more alive in the darkness. I shook myself nervously and continued on. The park was coated in a cape of darkness, even during the day, as the tall trees lining the sides and pathways blocked most light, leaving behind a second-hand daylight. By night it was also evident that the few street lamps which had been placed in the park had been vandalised and no longer worked.
Using only my unnatural night-vision I gradually made my way to the centre, all traces of light from street lamps hidden behind the dense wall of foliage. Eventually the fountain came in sight, lit from above by a bright half-moon, giving it an eerie light grey/blue tone. I looked around, my ears trained in the silence to any nearby sound. The fountain had been broken for years, no one could ever seem to figure out why so it had been left non-operational. Unable to locate Benolt I resolved to wait and hope he would come to find me. The fountain itself was lined with pocket holes from the years of erosion, the base of the fountain covered in thick lines from where the water flowed. Atop the fountain were five statues, each defined by a single difference, which was detailed in plaques below them. The first was holding a large broadsword, an image of power or strength; the second, a large shield symbolising protection and community; the third, a set of scales, symbolising justice and balance. The fourth held a pitchfork and a handful of grains, symbolising work and achievement. After a moment I realized there had been no fifth plaque, yet counting the statues again I counted five. Somehow in counting I had completely missed a statue in between the second and third. Then it hit me. There were only four statues in the 'Four Statues'. “Benolt?” I said, approaching the odd statue.
“Damn, what gave me away?” he said, suddenly unfreezing and becoming part of the world.
“Four statues...” I muttered, mind racing. I simply could not understand how I'd missed him. One minute he had been almost a background part of the world, unimportant and simply part of the ambience, the next he was in my face looking bright and grinning madly.
“Hah! I like how your mind works, kid.” he said, still grinning his inane smile. “Fact is,” he continued “you're not the only one who can practice invisibility.”
“But you're not a vampire.” I said.
“Hey, what you've got the remember is that not all vampire abilities are magic, in fact – most simply require a certain way of interacting with the world – you'll understand what I mean if you ever meet an elder.” he replied.
“So how did you do it?” I asked. “The only time I've ever managed to be invisible was when I was really worried.”
“Invisibility of the sort you vampires use is much more direct and primal, you channel your blood into energy in order to conceal yourself, but even the most experienced vampires can fail at this if they don't understand the fundamentals. The majority of vampires are selfish, powerful and brash. Vampires as a rule don't go in for stealth, they don't appreciate how stealth can be effective when sheer persuasion or magical abilities to invade the mind can trick people into believing things which make no sense. What they fail to realize is that stealth is just another part of this.” Benolt motioned towards a line of trees opposite us. “Take those trees for example. How many trees do you reckon are in that line?”
I stared and counted slowly, it was hard to see even with my vampire abilities. “I'd guess about 10 or twelve” I said eventually.
“Wrong!” said Benolt simply. “Guess again.”
“What? Higher or lower?” I said frustrated. “Fine... 13? 14?”
“No, no, no.” said Benolt
“This is impossible – I simply cannot see from here” I stated simply.
“That's because the trees all blend together and there is no focal point for distance. There are actually only four trees over there.” said Benolt, switching to a patient tone of voice. “The principles of stealth are fairly simple – look like your surroundings. Here we have trees with dark leaves, covered by a dark background and shielded from the bright moon which is reflecting into your eyes from the fountain. Look, come over here.”
I approached Benolt and sure enough, as I left the glow of the fountain four outlines became clearly visible. “You see?” he said. “Stealth is just away of making people see you in the right light.”
I nodded slowly, thinking as to how this related to Benolt's trick. “But you were in the light.” I said slowly.
“Yes, and?” he said.
“And...” I said. “And the light was lighting you from above so I could only really see the outlines of the statues.” I decided.
“Well done!” said Benolt, grinning that same smile. Being taught in this manner was almost condescending but I had to admit I was learning something that could prove very useful.
“So how does it work for vampires?” I asked.
“Well you see it's slightly different for vampires, you have to combine your natural ability for convincing the world you're not there with your blood. Blood magic, you're kind call it. It's fairly simple and since you've done it once you should have no trouble doing it again, but that's about all I can say to help you since blood magic is strictly a vampire thing. I will try to help if I can but first you look like you could do with a top-up.” Suddenly Benolt pulled a small, rectangular device out of one of his pockets, it looked vaguely like a television remote as he pressed a button on the top side. Suddenly a floodlight, previously unseen, resting against the foot of the fountain switched on, illuminating a large part of the park. “I need to see you hunt, boy.” said Benolt.
In the centre of the floodlight was a man, slightly shorter than me and swaying slightly. The empty bottle he cradled to his side was evidence enough to assume he had been drinking quite heavily.
“Well kid?” said Benolt, motioning the man.
“What is this?” I asked, suddenly apprehensive, remembering how my last hunting trip had gone. “Who is this man?”
“Oh just some guy,” said Benolt “owes me money, figure I can kill two birds in one stone.”
“You're using me to get revenge on this guy?” I fixated on his steady, drunken gaze. He seemed so helpless.
“Hey, it's either do this or I leave you to die.” said Benolt, suddenly serious. “I need to know you can do this, kid.” Immediately I was reminded of Benolt's words last night. 'I told her she must feed, for it was the price to continue living but she could not.' and 'She was not even recognisable, just a monster.'
I nodded slowly, seeing the pain in Benolt's face.

As I approached the man he, eyed me hazily. “Wh'dyu wn't 'guv? I aint gots no mon'h punk, leave m'h alon'h.” The speech wasn't the worst part, the smell he gave off reeked of miscellaneous vegetables and heavy whiskey. As I reached within a few feet from him I felt it, a sudden change in my awareness. I stopped and examined the air, sniffing a few times. Underneath the thick, strong coat of smell was something else. I could almost taste it. Blood. Suddenly I realized just how thirsty I was, and had to physically stop myself from leaping right onto him and tearing his throat open to get at it. I could almost feel the beast, suddenly awake from it's dormant state, staring out from my eyes and crying, pleading and demanding I charge him now. Suddenly this wasn't a poor drunken man but a irresistible meal just waiting to be devoured. I knew I couldn't withstand the pull for long, glancing back I saw Benolt watching intently, then, out of the blue, came the thought of my parents.

With my parents I realized I had always been in the control of the beast. I had feed for necessity, for if I hadn't I would have died. I recognised now the cold nature of the beast, a dark thought which annihilates all sense of prohibition. With my parents I had justified my humanity by necessity, regaining my sanity as a matter of sheer will, but the next time had been different. When you lose control all of it goes: prohibition, morals, restraint. None of it matters, and when it boils right down to it it had saved my life. Benolt's words concerning if it had been a human rang evermore true through my mind. I remembered the cat, and throwing it's lifeless body aside in shame of my actions as the beast in my heart was temporarily sated and returned to it's dormant state. Every time I had fed so far in this vampire form I had been in the control of the beast, every time responding to some primal need. No longer. This time it would be for my own mind.
Delicately I grabbed the man around the neck, dragging the rough fabric of the overcoat aside to reveal his neck.
“'Ey? Wh't? G'it 'ur 'ands offa me!” the drunk man said but I ignored him, gingerly bringing my head to his neck with my fangs fully exposed and ready to puncture the skin. In one swift movement I clenched my jaw around his neck, puncturing his skin like a knife stabbed through a sheet of paper. For a moment the man struggled but he could not escape the iron hold of a vampire's grip. A feeling of power was rising within me and I realized with dead certainty that there was no chance of his escape. The punctures had immediately brought forth the sweet scarlet liquid and I drank heavily, realizing with some amazement I was actually enjoying the sensation. I imagine that the feeling would be similar to that of a glass of water to a man dying of thirst in a desert, only magnified with a feeling of power. It was all I could do not to get lost in the moment, but I forced myself to focus on remaining in control.
After a minute or so I felt the blood flow begin to slow and carefully removed my fangs, determined to keep the man alive. As I drew back I examined the man critically. When the beast had taken me before I had never had the chance or inclination to examine the aftermath of my actions. With my parents it had been a case of horror and fear which drove me to hide from my actions and with the cat I had known with dread that there was no way it could still have been alive.
The man, however, looked almost peaceful, the only mark of my passage being two faint punctures, already healing and no longer leaking blood. It struck me that the way my fangs were shaped there was little to no chance of the blood escaping and thus the man was clean save for a few specks of blood around the wound.
I moved away, gently releasing the man from my grip and mildly surprised seeing that he was still able to stand. I caught his expression and was shocked to see a slightly stunned grin spread across his face. I wondered briefly whether someone could actually enjoy being attacked by a vampire.
“Impressive,” said Benolt, materialising at my shoulder. In the time it had taken for me to feed he had acquired a a cigarette and was puffing away like a steam engine. I note you also managed to keep him alive, and bonus points for still standing.
“What now?” I asked.
“Now we learn a bit about blood magic, both of us that is,” said Benolt. “Now I want you to try to go invisible, remember what I've already told you and try to harness your vampire abilities to achieve it.”
I nodded and tried to focus. The first time I had been invisible it had been simple, instinctive and felt almost as if my life had depended on it. Benolt's principles of stealth had not even come into it, as I couldn't have been move conspicuous if I tried. First I decided I would try my method and see if I could invoke the same power I had done before.
I closed my eyes, focusing on power which I knew I contained, like an odd feeling or emotion which you can't quite replicate. It had been a primal reaction, an almost automatic response to the threat of danger. I had performed it without thinking. I concentrated as much as I could on trying to remember the feeling, like some long lost memory, evasive to my mind, and just when I believed I had obtained that same feeling it was gone.
“Benolt, would you mind not looking?” I said, struck by a sudden idea.
“Turn my back on a vampire?” he said, almost dismissing the idea outright, but then shrugged and said “Fine, but if you try and bite me you'll be stuck wondering where the big hole in your chest came from.”
As Benolt turned I immediately felt the feeling again, that I could become hidden from the world yet again. I crouched down and immediately my vision flickered into a strange, slightly blurry sight, almost like looking at the world through lightly frosted glass.
“Well, did it work?” Benolt said, still facing away. I didn't reply, afraid to lose this ability again. “You still there kid?” he said, turning towards me. “Ah, so it did work.” Benolt was looking in my general direction, unable to see me. “Stay hidden a minute, I'll see if I can find you,” he said, looking practically right through me. For a minute he stood there examining the patch of ground that was around me, blinking at an outline, a shape or some indication that I was there.
Eventually he laughed gently and landed a hand on my forehead, pushing me backwards on to my back. For a moment I was stunned, unable to move as my vision shock unsteadily between the frosted view and normal. After a few seconds my body seemed to decide what state it wanted to be in and I let out a sigh.
“Pretty impressive, vampire,” said Benolt, offering a hand to pull me back to my feet.
“Feel groggy,” I mumbled in reply, taking his hand and standing up.
“I'm not surprised.” said Benolt. “From what I've heard invisibility is a very complex discipline and hard to maintain over time. From your ability here I'd guess you're a natural.”
Nodding dizzily and checking for any minor scrapes I replied “A natural supernatural, huh?”
“If you stick to what I tell you there's no need for anyone to know that last bit, kid,” replied Benolt. “There's a couple more things I'd like to see if you can do tonight then the night's your own.”

Benolts other experiments largely included seeing if I could be invisible in different situations and whether I could move while invisible. Every half-hour or so he would ask me whether I was feeling tired or thirsty or whether I felt one activity was more draining than another. Every time I tried to go invisible I felt noticeably different, as if drawing on an inner reserve of strength. At first it came forth as a gushing flow of power, feeling heightened senses and more physical strength but as the night wore on I noticed these feelings became less and less, while I was still able to maintain my invisibility.
Asking Benolt about this he replied “Well, vampires are very complex creatures. Perhaps young vampires simply don't have the experience to separate their respective abilities, maybe you're putting far too much energy into becoming invisible and the excess is feeding your other senses and powers. Try to regulate how much you draw on that power if you can, chances are this ability to ration only comes with experience.”
Later he told me of elder vampires and how it was rumoured a drop of blood could sustain them for years and that a single vial could restore their bodies from near-death.
Eventually Benolt called a stop to the experiment. By this time he could see me perfectly almost every single time I went invisible. About the only thing I'd established for myself was that to become invisible there must be no one focusing on me and that moving while invisible was possible but required great focus and energy. There was also a slight cool down period where my mind seemed unable to re-adjust coming out of the focus.

“Are you still okay, vampire?” Benolt asked me.
“Yes,” I replied. It was remarkable really. Between the time I'd first become invisible and now I had needed litres of blood simply to sustain myself, now I hardly felt fatigued.
“Good, if you need a drink our friend is still sleeping off his drink,” Benolt said, motioning my earlier victim who had since collapsed into a drunken stupor by the edge of the fountain.
I shook my head. I was a vampire, I could accept that, but I didn't want to think of the human being lying there as simply a blood pump point.
“Well, we're done here,” Benolt continued. “It's time for your final exam.” Benolt removed his shotgun from a hidden recess in his coat and pointed it at the man at the fountain. Before I could react his finger had pulled the trigger and a loud bang ripped through the air. Looking back I saw the man's remains. There was no way he could still be alive.
I looked around, stunned at the sudden switch to violence and noticed Benolt was gone. I looked back on the shattered husk that was the corpse of the man who no more than a few hours ago had been swaying drunkenly home from the pub, lured here by Benolt to be an unwitting victim and then shot dead, and I had played a part in it all.
Suddenly panic hit me. The man was dead, Benolt was gone and I was alone in a large, empty space with only a couple of exits. In the distance there were already sirens and in my mind's eye I could see the reports of a loud gunshot to the police in this serene neighbourhood. Surely even the dense walls of trees couldn't hide that noise. Finally a thought which had been fighting it's way to the forefront of my mind broke through and wrote in red hot words against my conciousness Benolt is gone, why are you still here? Run! and so I did.

I ran to the first exit I laid eyes upon, fear giving me speed. Less than a few metres from the gate I stopped hurriedly, narrowly missing entering the torchlight of a policeman. He had just entered from the well lit street outside the park exit and was squinting in the darkness, seemingly not noticing me. Behind him I could see the flashing of lights, red and blue lighting up the ground outside, beyond which lay escape, unreachable. A few seconds later more policemen arrived, some armed with torches but many had their hands ready on their holsters, already undone, revealing the cold black of a police issue side arm at their waist.
None of them had seen me yet but with their torches searching the entrance, just out of range of me, it seemed inevitable I would be discovered. For the final time that night I ducked down, felt the world pulled around me and opened my eyes into a veil of frosted vision.
Benolt had seen me and the way the police were fanning out suggested that sooner or later one of them would trip over me, I needed to escape and staying invisible and still wasn't an option. For a moment I thought back bitterly to Benolts “Final exam.” comment and cursed him under my breath. It still hadn't sunken in that he had gone from tutor to murderer in just a few seconds. I took a deep breath, focusing my power into sustaining my invisibility and started a slow half-crouch away from the approaching line of people. A couple of times a torch beam passed over me, once or twice pausing on me for a second before continuing on. Moving with distorted vision and trying to funnel my remaining energy was immensely difficult and every second that passed felt like an eternity.
Soon I realized with an almost crushing certainty that I was being funnelled back to the middle of the park, I had to look for another way out, some way to evade the encroaching force but as I turned I saw similar lights coming from other areas. There must have been at least thirty or forty men, split between each entrance and exit to the park, fanning their way gently and purposefully towards the centre. Eventually I felt the cool green grass turn to the coarse gravel of the path surrounding the fountain and the smell of blood met my nostrils again. Soon it would be impossible to focus. I had to find my escape route now.
Fortunately as the policemen approached they focused their lights on the fountains edge. The man's remains were scattered across the edge of the fountain. In the torchlight I could see the horrific details of the crime Benolt had committed. The man had been struck from the chest upwards, with half his skull simply shattered into many pieces with bits of brain, bone and flesh scattered around the fountains edge. I felt a compulsion to vomit, seeing this corpse horribly torn apart and left in a pool of darkening blood. Thankfully I managed to control myself, unlike many of the police officers. Some ran to alert the rest scouting the park and others drew their guns and whispered hurried phrases into their radios. In the horror the formation had broken and I saw my chance to escape. Crawling as fast as I dared I sneaked past the policemen who had remained at the fountain and headed back towards the exit. Away from the light of the torches it was somehow easier to maintain my invisibility and I made it quickly to the nearest gate.
As I passed under the great iron gates and moved invisibly under the eyes of the great stone gargoyles and decided what to do. The smartest thing to do would be to get as far away as possible. Looking around I saw the empty police cars lining the street. The gunshot must've been heard quite some way for the police to have summoned this much force, however, they all had abandoned their cars. Deciding the coast was clear I stood up and examined my surroundings. The crystalised view of stealth left me and I looked upon the world back through my natural eyes. I immediately began scanning for any landmarks to tell me which entrance I had come out of when I realized this was where I had come in originally. I thought briefly about a destination but realized bitterly the only place I could go was back to Benolt, after all, where would a vampire go? I could feel sunrise was probably a few hours away and I knew of no other safe havens. For a moment I considered seeking sanctuary in the church a few blocks away but then laughed at the irony.
“Hey, you!” Came a voice. Evidently the street hadn't been as empty as I had believed. It was the voice of a policewoman who had emerged from one of the cars with the car radio in hand. Immediately I ran, back through the streets I had travelled through that evening. I glanced back to see the woman was following me at a surprising speed. Struggling, I forced every ounce of my remaining strength into speed and ran as fast as I could, dodging slow-witted evening pedestrians and overtaking a casual cyclist who barely seemed to acknowledge me as a sped past. I took a left, went right and straight on over a crossing, noticing that the traffic was moving slow enough to dodge easily, despite the lack of cars on the road. Eventually I glanced back but the policewoman who had been hot on my heals before was no longer behind me. I broke into a gentle backwards trot, scanning the road behind me, expecting any second to see her pounding round the corner or a police car come screaming around the bend. I was so focused on these thoughts I collided with someone else on the street and pushed them over. I quickly turned forwards and noticed something wasn't right. The person I had collided with seemed to be a woman, wrapped in a scarf and woolly coat which screamed Grandmother at a glance but as I turned it was evident she hadn't actually stopped falling yet. In fact it was as if she was falling in slow-motion.
“Err?” I said, and immediately the world seemed to flood back. Sounds which I hadn't noticed were missing suddenly almost deafened me with shock and the woman in front of me hit the pavement with a thud. “Are you alright?” I said.
“Wh't? Where'd you come from you little blighter! Knocking over old ladies! No respect,” came the outraged cry of the elderly.
“I'm sorry, I didn't see you, surely you must've seen me coming?” I replied.
“My eyesight is as good as the day I was born and you just appeared out of nowhere,” she said, getting to her feet. “Hey, I know you,” she continued, “You're that kid on the news! The one that ran away from home! You ought 'ta see the state of your parents! What kind of a kid are you, leaving 'em like that without no message!”
It was obvious that there were no lasting injuries and I didn't particularly wish to be recognised fleeing from the scene of the crime so I quickly ran past her shouting desperately “It's not me, you must be thinking of someone else!”
“Naow I've known you since you were a boy!” came the loud abrasive response “Melv-, Mi-, Matt! Yeah, you're name is Matt!” she said, triumphantly.

A few streets later I stopped to catch my breath and asked myself what all that had been about. First I'd ran but the policewoman had been catching up to me and was almost at my heels, then suddenly I had put on an extra burst of speed and... everything was filtered out. I didn't hear any sound, or maybe I did, just very slow and dull tones, and then I had hit that lady, who had seemed to take an eternity to fall down, somehow defying gravity. I decided I'd think about that incident later, grudgingly resigning myself to the fact I had been recognised. However, the mention of my parents had struck a chord. How were they hoping without me? I had never been a notable presence, mainly locked up in my room, only venturing down for food or freedom in nocturnal hours, but I couldn't have imagined life without my parents before now.

Eventually I reached Benolts house, now thoroughly exhausted from the night. At the door I hesitated. Could I really rely on Benolt after I had seen him murder a man in front of my eyes? Did he want me to come back? As I stood there the door opened and Benolt appeared, nursing a cup of tea. “You survived. Don't say a word and take this,” he said, handing me a vial of blood. “You're still welcome to stay upstairs if you want to, we'll talk about what happened this evening, tomorrow. You should be happy,” he continued, his face breaking into a grin. “You passed.”

March 03rd 2008, 08:33:46
This would be a page-turner, if it actually had pages... ^^

Just do a quick "you're != your" check every once in a while and the world will be a better place. (;

March 03rd 2008, 08:54:08
Nice, nice...can't translate...

March 03rd 2008, 14:53:28
Argh, thanks muddasheep - can't beleive I missed so many of them, I'll edit and fix later.

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