A true form of Halloween is a vampire. Don’t you think?”
The Demon’s Lust
A chilling breeze curled around the autumnal trees. Leaves of brown and orange rustled, whispered as if brushed by the invisible fingers of a lonely spirit.
The haunting rays of silvery moonlight played upon a single leaf as it was torn from the mother oak tree. It fluttered and fell upon the head of a solitary figure.
He was born, Athan — immortal in the Greek language. Yet he was a mortal – once. His dark jeans and long leather coat left him almost invisible beneath the trees. A close look at his pale, sunken features and the unnatural coldness emanating from him, would leave most glad they never saw him.
Athan, turned his gaze to the glass and concrete tesseracts rising from the ground beyond the park. Those were the brutalist structures of the college apartments. Brick buildings stretched out across the five colleges of the University from that point. The city University held great esteem for its teaching of the arts and drama.
Gazing upon the place, caused Athan to shake his head. What felt a lifetime ago, he was a student walking the campus with the confidence of a handsome man about to become a great actor. Of all the possible ways his life could go, he never imagined this would be his fate. Every night, he came here and wallowed in the melancholy of his lost existence. Almost drowning in the hole left in his heart by his lost life.
There was something, someone in this place who could make him whole again.
Striding forward with a steely purpose, he let himself into the shadows of the buildings. He was near soundless, aside from the gentle slap of his coat at his thighs. Careful to avoid the stark light of the street lights, he crept through the campus.
He could wait no longer. Tonight, he would make contact and pray that she’d let him into her life.
Like a wraith, he passed into an alley passed between bins. Ignoring the hiss of a cat, he came upon the far end and lent to watch.
Across the tarmac were the windows of the Drama and Dance College. Here was the perfect place to watch the evening class within the brightly lit studio.
Elegant classical music floated on the breeze from the open windows. Athan smiled as he began to hum the familiar tune. It was Bartók’s Transylvanian Dance. Of course, Halloween was in two days. They were preparing to enchant the parties of the Pumpkin Ball Sunday night, with their vampiric routine.
Athan gazed upon the dancers, each wearing a black leotard with a little pink skirt attached. His eyes moved from face to face until he found her. None of the dancers moved with the grace and elegance, she possessed. Soon now, he hoped to possess her.
Her sultry hair, the colours of rich earth, had come loose from its bindings. Those tresses flowed with an entrancing grace about her strong shoulders as she moved through hypnotic spins and poses. With every flow and twist, she set her watchers’ desires spiking to unhealthy levels. She was, Lucine, the moon by name. The star at the centre of his universe by lust.
“You! Why are you prowling the campus after dark!” Yelled the man close at hand. “Oh, I see. Hoping to pray on the dancing ladies, are you? We’ll see what the police have to say about that.”
Athan sighed and turned his attention to the security guard. Shooting out his right hand, he seized him by the scruff. Lifted him off the floor.
“Argh, put me down!” The guard swung his baton.
Athan took the blow to the neck and barely flinched. Without a word, he flexed his inhuman muscles and hurled the pitiful man high into the alley. The sound of his body crashing through the bins and slumping to the concrete was just that little bit satisfying.
Turning his gaze to the window, Athan saw the dance was over.
Lucine was slipping on her pretty red peacoat. She smiled and talked with her batchmates as if she had no care in the world. Then she was leaving the dance studio.
Athan watched her emerge from the building. He knew she lived in the tesseracts and so slipped back into the alley to await her appearance on the other side.
Passing the unconscious guard, he moved into the shadows of the next street.
Lucine flowed into view with her dancer’s grace and an aura of contentment acting like a magical enchantment upon anyone who would see her.
Athan was glad his heart couldn’t react to the adrenaline that should be coursing through his veins. He felt sure the hammering in his chest would betray him if it were not absent.
Like a bat in the shadows, he crept closer. Soon, he could smell her. The lavender, vanilla and passionflower of her perfume – intoxicating. Then there was the almost tasty cherry blossom of her lip glass too. He allowed his tongue to play over his lips as he imagined kissing her.
Lucine wrapped her coat tighter about her as she made the turn toward her home. Could she sense him watching her?
Athan could hear her heart rate increasing. Could smell her fear rising a notch. She knew he was drawing closer all —
A figure lunged from a darkened doorway, snatching Lucine off her feet.
She writhed and screamed but couldn’t break free of her attacker’s powerful grip.
Athan snarled with fury and leapt forward with tremendous speed. He tore the man from his beautiful muse with the ease of a lion tearing flesh from a fetid carcass.
The man caught him in the nose with an elbow and wrenched free. “Ha! I just grab the beauty you wanted tonight, didn’t I?” he said with an amorous scowl.
Athan glanced at Lucine cowering on the ground. His ire welled like lava boiling from a caldera of hell. His eyes took on the colour of fire and flashed with fury. His actions would speak his words. Flexing his wiry muscles, he lunged. To anyone watching, he would be a blur of violent snapshots. A fist connected with the attacker’s stomach. An uppercut separating teeth from jaw.
The man screamed in pain as he was pummelled.
Athan roared as he lifted him above his head and sent him flying through the air.
A window shattered. The attacker crashed through the double-glazing and thundered into a classroom. Silence fell, apart from the occasional tinkle of falling glass and Lucine’s quiet sobs. Then the alarm shattered the quiet with its ear-splitting peal.
Expelling his fury with a long air-less breath, Athan cursed his luck.
A car and footsteps could be heard drawing near.
Athan scooped Lucine into his arms and fled the street. He’d longed to hold and feel her body touching his. Every day he dreamed of feeling her heartbeat as she breathed with beautiful life against him. Damn that filthy man, this was not how it was supposed to happen.
She shrieked but didn’t fight him.
Without breaking his sprinting step, he gazed into her tear-reddened eyes of smoky quartz. With a smile he telepathed his wishes to her soul – Trust me –
Lucine managed a nod as she pressed her head against his chest.
Athan arrived at the Tesseract buildings. Darting into the shadows, he set her down beside a brown front door, he knew led to her apartment. With a respectful nod, he stepped back.
“Thank you,” she managed in a quaking voice while taking in the appearance of her saviour.
Athan bowed his head with a slow blink. She was more welcome than she knew.
Lucine’s eyes clouded with a mixture of mystery and concern. “You’re not human, are you. I – I mean, you’re too strong and you felt so cold when you were holding me. I don’t think you were breathing. I couldn’t hear your heart – heartbeat.” Lucine stopped and hugged herself. “Now, I see your handsome face is sunken.”
Athan dropped to a knee and lowered his gaze to the concrete. “Do not be afraid,” he said in his soft and enthralling, yet well-spoken voice.
“I – I think you’ve been watching me every night, haven’t you?”
Athen did not deny it, “I’m sorry.”
“Thank you for being truthful. Are – are you a vampire?” Lucine glanced at her door and withdrew her keys from her pocket.
“I will not stop you going inside if you wish.” Athan rose and backed up another step.
“That’s kind. I’m right, aren’t I? You are a vampire. Do you have a name?”
He took a breath, “I am, Athen. And, yes, I am a demon of the night. The scorn of the sun. A drinker of blood.” He grinned, “Trust me when I tell you I will never turn into a virulent, ugly bat though.”
Lucine chuckled, “I don’t blame you.” Smoothing a hand over her supple neck she allowed her smile to fade. “Why haven’t you bitten me yet? You saved me when you could have let him kill me before drinking me dry.”
“I prefer the claret of sheep and goats.”
“Liar!” Lucine folded her arms.
“Fine,” Athan kept his distance as he leaned against the wall. “I was a dance and drama student like you once. A Halloween weekend not unlike this one, saw me and my friends go on a ghost hunt. We like doing things for scares. Something went wrong — there was a lot of screaming. Three of my friends were dead within minutes.”
“That’s awful, I’m sorry.”
“Thank you,” Athan shook off the memory of all the blood. “I tasted metal in my mouth and looked to see a figure of death standing over me. Darkness stole my soul. I woke up in the coffin, having been buried by my family. With my newfound strength and speed, I broke free and began my new life as a nightwalker.”
“You, poor thing.” Lucine was no longer scared, her body softening toward him. “So, where did I come in?”
Had I lived to see Monday, 1 November, you would have met the human me. As my dance classes ended, yours always began. We passed in the hall three nights a week. Each time I became more entranced and enthralled by you. I was going to ask you to dine with me the day that never came. When I awoke in the coffin, my human form was gone and yet my heart still belonged to you.”
“I don’t know what to say. You have such a terrible yet romantic story,” Lucine sighed, “What happens now?”
Athan looked away.
“If I refuse to have anything more to do with you, will your bloodlust return? Will you kill me before the moon goes down?”
“No,” Athan returned his gaze to her. “If you wish me gone, I will vanish into the night and you will never see me again. Every fibre of my being wants you. However, I will never let my dark soul harm you.”
“Thank you.” Lucine step forward and put herself in his arms. She smoothed her fingers over his sunken face.
He sighed and closed his eyes as her touch graced his cold skin like a live wire. He felt her fingers play over his fangs and he kissed her soft digits.
“Look at me,” she requested.
Athan did with a smile.
Lucine unbuttoned her peacoat and let it fall to the ground. Tilting her head, she smoothed her hair aside. “I don’t know if I can love a vampire, but —”
“You don’t have …”
She placed a finger over his lips silencing him. “You could have murdered and gorged on me many times but you didn’t. Instead, you saved my life tonight. I permit you to taste me. To satiate your lust for my blood. Please, promise not to drink me up, though. I have a lot of life to live.”
“I understand, thank you,” Athan allowed his fingers the caress her spine as he smoothed his hand down her back and held her against him.
She sighed and tensed a little as he lowered his head past her face.
He opened his mouth and placed his lips against her soft skin. He felt invigorated by her scent as he worshipped her perfect neck. He imparted his kiss without drawing a drop of blood. “Thank you,” he said as he turned away.
“You didn’t bite me.”
“I have no regrets.”
“Will I see you again,” she asked.
“Do you want to, Lucine?”
“I do.” She gave a sultry smile.
“Then when a new moon rises, we shall meet again.” Athan vanished into the night and return to his home in a derelict house. He knew then death could be as good as life.
Thanks for reading my friends.
Have a great day!