A vampire struggles with his own demons, continued from chapter one. A work in progress.
The Approaching Storm
Rystyk’s scream fills his head. The sound of his voice echoing off the walls wakes him up. As his voice fades into silence, the sound of the wind fills the room. He recalls the dream that had filled him with such terror only moments ago.
“Ginger!” Escapes on his breath,, in a barely audible whisper.
He stares into the darkness as visions of Ginger invaded his mind. Memories of agony, torment, and pain tormented his mind. Sympathy took the place of fear. This experience is completely new to him.
“Why is he tormenting me?” he thought as he gazed into the night.
The sky lights up with a growl, rolling across the sky, slicing through the clouds releasing all the water stored there. Only his vampiric vision permits him to see into the wall of water. A shadow moves across the lawn and vanishes behind the tree. It
moves so fast the he is not sure that he saw it at all.
Making a note to increase is security he leaves to go hunting. Hunger is driving him into the storm. Every cell is screaming out for blood. The thirst is so strong, that he can nearly taste the salty, metallic taste fill his mouth.
The rain-washing down him also washes away his apprehension of the day’s dream. Seeking his next meal was occupying his thoughts, keeping his mind of Ginger. He catches only a glimpse of a spot in an alley, just a little darker then the area around it. When he looks again, it looks like it should.
“I must be hungrier then I thought, “ he thinks as he shakes his head to clear it.
The wind carries the blood scent of his next victim. He sends out his mental tendrils in search of his meal. He spots what he is looking for in a dark, rough bar. The victim’s scent is strong, even in the rain, making Rystyk’s thirst grow even stronger. A flash of lightning captures his lunge up to the rooftops.
After just a few moments of traveling across the skyline, he arrives at the run-down bar. Inside, there are drunken singing and arguments. He is not interested in these tonight; he is focused on his victim. This one is a particularly delicious killer. Angry at the world, his thoughts turn to a woman that he feels wronged him in a store earlier that day. A smile so faint that is is unnoticeable to others appears on his face as he thinks of ways to even the score with her.
Rystyk watches from the darkest corner waiting for the hunt to begin. A jukebox belts out a rowdy country tune at a volume that drowns out the drone of
conversation. The smoke in the room breaks the light into hazy beams. After hours of waiting, his quarry rises slowly from the table. After throwing a dirty wad of money he walks outside without a word.
Rystyk waits a few more minutes before following him out. He moves up to the rooftops and follows the degenerate. The moon lighting his way, he follows his prey to a dark street. He silently appears in front of his victim. He keeps walking lost in his bloody world and does not even notice Rystyk watching him from the shadow. Rystyk falls silently into step with him and walks beside him for a few steps before letting his footfall heard. The victim lets out a gasp of surprise, mumbles some curse under his breath and attempts to continue on his way.
Rystyk clears his throat to get his attention.
“What do you want!?” He snaps at Rystyk, unaware that this will. Be one of the last few things he will say.
“I just want to know where I can find a decent glass of beer?” He asks innocently.
The victim gives him the name and directions to the bar he just left. Just as they walked by an entrance to an unlit alley Rystyk quickly grabs him, dragging him into the alley before he can protest. Before he can even utter a sound, Rystyk effortlessly sinks his fangs into his throat.
As he savors the feeling of the warm blood flowing down his throat, giving him an illusion of warmth, of life. The victim’s life begins to show itself to him in a series of short scenes. Rystyk always enjoyed this part of the feed, it allowed him to become one with his victim and truly know them. Mental illness was always the hardest. When the mind breaks, the life is soon to follow. Until his mind broke, his life was a loving family and being active in school, overall a good life.
One of the dangers of getting absorbed in a life is not paying attention to the weakening of the heart. The warmth from the blood making him feel alive, the bond between him and the victim makes him feel even more alive. Suddenly, nothing is going into his mouth and the thread is broken.
Rystyk absently wipes the back of his hand across his mouth. Picking up the corpse of his latest meal in his blood-smeared hands. Moving silently. He makes his way to the deep woods to bury him. As he was covering him up, he realizes that he failed to get his name. He always likes to get his victims’ names. It was puzzling him why he failed to get it this time.
A scent carried on the evening breeze caught his attention. He follows the scent to the source. A diminutive house long fallen into disrepair on a lonely street. A soft yellow light finds its way out of a small dingy window, giving a faint glow to the darkness outside.
He stops before the window to peer inside to find the source of the scent. After just a few moments of waiting, he spies a young woman, brushing her long brown hair in front of a foggy mirror. Droplets of water drip off her skin. He is entranced by the image of the long hair cascading down her back ending at her waist. As she dries herself off, he decides that he must meet her. He feels a need to speak to her.
He feels the dawn approaching and he must get to the safety of his lair before the vengeful sun finds him. With one last look at the woman, he leaves. She only notices a movement in the shadows and thinks it only her imagination playing tricks on her again.
As he lays his head down, he feels an unexplainable draw to the woman and decides that when he awakens, that he will go to her again. After the decision is made he falls asleep. His sleep this night was dreamless, no haunted images of Ginger. As he awakes, he finds his mind returning to Ginger. Out of the corner of his eye he notices a piece of shadow that is darker then the rest. Wondering if there is a connection between Ginger and these strange visions, he prepares to go to the woman’s house.
While he is still wondering if he should reveal himself to her yet, and what he will say to her, he arrives at her house. He searches the house with his vampiric senses and discovers she is not home. He decides he should feed before meeting her and goes in search of his meal. He quickly finds a suitable meal in the seedy part of town, one that will not be missed by anyone. He feeds so quickly, that he is sloppy and leaves the body to be found later.
Upon his return to her house, he finds a place behind a tree to wait for her arrival. He does not have to wait long. Arriving home from working the swing shift in a diner, where she has to put up with greasy customers leering at her and pinching her on the bottom. She was in deep thought, thinking of why she is sticking with this job. She hears a rustling in the bushes, as a man walks towards her.
She does not know this man and is afraid, but he is so handsome and well dressed that she figures he must be just lost.
“May I help you?” She asks.
“My name is Rystyk and I have been waiting for you.” He says with just the faintest of smiles on his lips.
She feels a calming in her mind, as if she was seeing an old and dear friend. She does not understand why this stranger would have such an effect on her but does not become afraid.
“My name is Ryanne.” She replies.
“It looks like you could use a coffee.” He says.
“A coffee would be nice, thank you.” She replies.
“I know a place that has the best coffee.” He tells her.
They walk in silence for what seems like hours he was enjoying just being near her. She seemed to be in another place, lost in her thoughts. They continue to walk like this for several blocks.
“Where is that coffee place you mentioned? “ She finally asks him.
“We are nearly there Ryanne.” He tells her.
After pulling a mental blanket over her, she goes into a trance-like state. He picks her up and moves with his vampirc speed, they arrive at a small, dimly lit and quiet coffee house in a town over 100 miles away. He lifts the blanket off her mind.
Ryanne looks around, taking in the atmosphere. After a few moments, Rystyk gently nudges her to their corner table. She looks at him with a faint smile and goes to the table. She leans in real close to Rystyk.
“ What do you recommend?” She asks huskily in his ear.
“ I think you would like their Midnight Mocha” He replies with a grin.
After giving them a few minutes to decide, the barrista approached and just looked at Rystyk, clearly taken by his eyes, such a dark brown they appear black. She raises her ticket book expectantly.
“She will have the double Midnight Mocha and I will have the White Night.” He orders as he pushes a handful of bills and tells her to keep the change.
It only took a few minutes for them to get their drinks. He inhales the sweet smelling steam deeply. He notices that she has a dreamy look when he looks at her through the steam. She takes a sip and her face cannot disguise the pleasure.
“This has got to be the best coffee I have ever had.” She tells him.
“I thought you would like it.” He tells her.
He is sipping on his, so no one will notice anything unusual. After he gets her another one. Her suspicion begins to grow.
“Why did you ask me to coffee, what do you really want?” She asks him.
He thinks of how to answer for a moment. He notices her getting very nervous at his hesitation.
“I wanted to talk to you, “ He says.
“ Talk about what?” She asks
“I just want to get to know you.” He said in a soothing voice to calm her fears.
They sit in silence while she decides whether she can trust him or not. After gazing into his dark eyes, she decides to trust him, just a little.
“Well, thank you for the coffee.” She says, embarrassed about taking so long.
“ Glad to do it.” He says with a casualness that belies his excitement.
She just gives him a small, wordless smile in response. They settle into a comfortable silence. As she gazes into his eyes, she feels her worries begin to fade into the distant past.
Light from the tiny candle struggling to stay lit in the small glass holder gave a dim light between them. He was glad of the soft light, to soften his strikingly white skin.
Ryanne’s silent gazing lets him know that she in entranced. Frustrated by his inability to control this power, he looks for the server, just to momentarily break eye contact.
“It is getting late, I will take you home now, if you want.” Rystyk says.
“ Sure.” She says, barely stifling a yawn.
They walk into the night and he entrances her to take her home. He leaps effortlessly into the sky, using his jacket to shield her from the cold. Feeling the thin air biting his cheeks, he smiles secretly to himself, enjoying the solitude of soaring in the clouds. In just a few minutes, he arrives in the shadow of a Birch tree and brings her out of her trance, as they walk down the sidewalk.
“Thanks for the coffee,” Ryanne says.
“Anytime, I would like to do it again sometime.” Rystyk says.
“Well. I have to work tonight, but if you meet me after work,” She says with a shy smile.
“ I will be there.” He said.
Realizing that he has only a few hours left to feed tonight, he begins searching his next victim. After a short time searching the seediest bars, he finds his next meal.
This particular morsel was not your everyday killer. He was impeccably groomed. He was very muscular, his arms barely contained by the sleeve of his shirt. His intelligent eyes scanned the room, in search of his next victim. He finally decided on a shy looking woman sitting alone at the end of the bar, never looking up from her glass. Straightening up his shirt and hair, he approaches her.
“ Can I buy you a drink?” He asks her.
She looks up slowly and looks at his smiling face and simply nods and says, “Thanks.”
As Rystyk watches the masterfully woven drama unfold, he notices a movement of shadow. An image of Ginger danced across the floor.
“Impossible!” He thinks, “ I fed on Ginger weeks ago.”
Blinking in disbelief, the image vanishes before he opens his eyes again. When he looks around the room again, his attention returns to the killer. He catches the name, “Devon” on the air, and connects it to his killer.
His attention returns to Devon just in time, he was walking out the door with his victim on his arm. Devon looks down on her with the lupine smile of a wolf about to cut the prey from the herd.
Rystyk follows them out the door and walks in the opposite direction. He knows where he is taking her, and circles around ending ahead of them. While he was waiting, he was deciding whether to save the girl or wait until he was done to take him.
His quarry turned the corner, not seeing Rystyk hiding in the shadow of the building. He clears his throat, enjoying seeing his prey startle. The killer does not disappoint as he lightly grabs the girl, as if he is protecting her from danger.
“ We have no,” Devon said.
“That is not what I want.” Rystyk says before Devon could finish his denial.
“She’s with me!” Devon replies possessively.
“That’s not what I want,” Rystyk says patiently.
“What do you want then?” Devon asks.
“Dinner.” Rystyk says simply.
“I need to go home, thank you for the offer,” She tells Devon in a weak voice.
“What?” He asks.
He looks to where she was, but too late, she had already left.
“I had plans!” He growls at Rystyk.
Rystyk moves closer and puts him in an embrace. He closes his mouth on his neck and lets the salty, warm liquid fills his mouth. Memories of murder trickled down his throat in the blood. The more the delectable fluid filled him with warmth and life, the more the pleasure approached pure ecstasy. The heart squeezes out the last drop of blood as Rystyk picked him up and vanished into the night.
He feels the approaching dawn and returns to his lair. As he enters his lair, he feels that he is not alone. He searches the room, even in the darkest corners. A shadow seems to get a shade darker for just an instant. Ginger’s voice calls his name. He looks for the source, but can find nothing.
“Must be my imagination.” He thinks to himself.
Shaking the creeping suspicion that he is not alone, he reluctantly falls asleep. Even in the sanctuary of sleep, Ginger invades his dreams. He dreams of the torment Ginger suffered through life. It was a relief to awaken as soon as the sun is over the horizon. After such a fitful night, he begins hunting immediately.
After a very brief search, he finds his next meal leaving a movie theater. She had her long brown hair up in a neat braid. Her make-up was done expertly. Her form fitting dress left little to the imagination. The click of her heels was easy to follow as she walked down the sidewalk.
She was on her way to meet a man she just met online. She was already planning the wedding. She had life insurance pamphlets in her purse. She has big dreams. Rystyk was dressed in a tailored suit and his brown, wavy hair sat nearly to his shoulders. His brown eyes were already locked on his victim.
“ Excuse me, ma’am,” He says in his smoothest voice.
“Uh, yes?” She replies, unsure of his motives.
“ I am looking for Mike’s Place, can you tell me where to find it?” He asks.
“ I am going that way, why don’t I just show you, it’s not far.” She says.
“Thank you very much,” He replies.
He walks with her and she tells him that she is going to there to meet someone.
He listens as she tells him how she met him online and was very excited about meeting him. She cryptically tells him that she has plans. A secret, knowing smile plays across her lips as she plans how to spend the insurance money.
She continues to chatter on while they walk. He notices how her eyes sparkle when she thinks about how a tragic accident would befall her new husband.
Rystyk picks up the thoughts of her intended. Marriage was the furthest thing from his mind. He was relishing his own plans for Charity. Rystyk cannot help but enjoy the irony of it all. Two killers destined to clash in the shadows. Out of nowhere a familiar scent brings memories of a victim.
“Ginger,” he whispers.
“What?” She asks.
He replies, “Oh, nothing.”
She gives him a weak, nervous smile.
“ I would like to thank you for escorting me to Mike’s Place.” Rystyk adds in a deliberately friendly voice. “ I don’t even know your name…”
“Charity” she offers her hand.
He takes it with exaggerated finesse and kisses it lightly.
She blushes at the feel of his lips brushing her hand.
As they approach Mike’s Place, he decides to watch the meeting before feeding. Rystyk thanks Charity for showing him to Mike’s Place. And quietly takes a seat in a dark corner of the bar. He figures it is a good place to watch the show.
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