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Daytimer by Tasha

Part of a longer work


The shadows were long and eerie as huge pillars and rich fittings cast pools of liquid blackness where the diffuse yellow candle light could not penetrate giving the room an air that matched it's twisted purpose. This was a rich den of the purest evil and the glinting gold of the gruesome plaques on the walls only went to underline the fact as they pictured death in varied and terrible forms. The boy knelt between the twisted, black monstrosities of two huge black candle sticks that had been expertly carved to represent naked women in the thrall of some sadistic sexual pleasure but his surroundings did not make an impression on his mind. This was a familiar ritual, repeated every night since the goddess had taken him from the trainers and been pleased by his quiet submission. Maybe she would come tonight and take him or maybe she would be satisfied by some unfortunate who had happened on the temple deep in the ancient hills, but he no-longer had the strength or the thoughts to care.

To call him a boy was not strictly true , he was actually a tall ,dark twenty year old, in most eyes already an adult but to look in his eyes was to see a child. He had a mind, a very strong mind that understood all that went on here and was appalled by it but it was locked away deep in his soul where his consciousness couldn't find it. His will had been taken and sealed beyond his reach for five long years ever since his mistress decided not to kill him like his compatriots in their fifteenth year. The religion of the blood stained temple that had been his prison for nearly all his life had rules and customs but they could be broken especially by one of the deities that ruled there. The local people lived in fear of the twisted priests who only left the temple at night and who stole their children to take back with them into its echoing halls. A child that reached its sixth year was safe , only those below that age were ever taken and here parents hid their offspring saying they had died or already been "called to worship" but there were spies who sold the secrets for gold.

The boy remembered vaguely that once he had had a name, a long time ago he had been a person not an object but it was only a dim memory in the recesses of his mind that the horror had not touched. His mother had cried when they took him but she had older children and to resist would have seen them slaughtered so even his father had stood by. They had brought him to the temple that night and that was the last time he had seen the outside world. The harsh black robed creature that could barely be called human had handed him over to two tall , strange eyed men dressed all in red who carried evil looking leather whips. They in their turn stripped and washed him, cutting his hair and scrubbing his body until no trace of the normal world remained. The robe they'd put him in was exactly his size , white with a gold coloured belt and with his black hair and blue eyes he'd looked like an angel. There had been three of them in the small candle lit chamber , three white clad children, two boys and a girl all with dark hair and blue eyes. The girl had stopped crying after a thrashing , voiceless in her terror , and then the mistress had come. The woman was tall and exquisitely beautiful and her veil like dress left nothing to the imagination as she glided into the room. The red robes had cowered before her and she had laughed as she saw the three pathetic little offerings.

"They are truly beautiful," she had said , her voice instilling fear even in quiet tones, "but I will only keep one."

She was a bewitching creature, but even at such a delicate age all three children felt her evil within that silent chamber. It was a sudden realisation that they should not have had until they were much older but in that moment their minds were invaded and innocence was lost forever.

"Bring me the girl later," she had commanded coldly. "and the smaller boy tomorrow. Train the other and when he knows obedience present him to me again."

That had been it, the sentence that had prolonged his life beyond those days and kept him a prisoner. The creature who was to be his mistress was the Goddess Carmelione, one of three deities at the temple , the other two being both male, but all having a taste for human blood. She had chosen him to be her slave in all things and the training had truly taught him to obey. He learnt rituals and how to behave in every situation, the threat of torment keeping him from failure. Any wrong move was rewarded by pain, -pain so skilfully inflicted that it left no scar and so he and those that followed became proficient in not even blinking out of turn. Three years after he had been dragged into the temple he was given to Carmelione, cowed and as obedient as a lamb. That night he had been left between the candles but he had known she would come for him. The first bite had left him weak and disorientated ;yet she had been well pleased by his ritual submission as she bent to drink. Since that time he had never been far from her ,sleeping with her other three slaves at the side of her altar during the day. The deities of the temple were immortal but they needed the blood to stay that way and each night they would choose either one of their slaves or some other unfortunate. The only perversions the deities did not inflict on their slaves were sexual in nature although sometimes the children were made to witness such acts. Each slave had taken a vow of celibacy as soon as they were presented to their respective owner that meant little to a small child but was another aspect of the total submission. The gods and goddess of the temple had a taste for virgin blood which their helpless minions gave them in plentiful supply. However even the bodies of children could not sustain the continued renewal of blood that was needed to feed their deities and so each one's service ended at the age of fifteen. Death was given by all three who ruled and the unfortunate would be taken to the central chamber without hope of redemption. Since none ever returned what went on behind those tall ,sculptured , bronze doors was a mystery, but all knew it was cold and unmerciful death. For some reason, he had never been called to that room, she had merely taken him to her own place and there she had taken from him the last vestiges of self that were left to him. Part of his mind had cried out in horror since that night, but his body and his consciousness belonged to Carmelione and there was no way to change that. Most of the time there were no original thoughts ,he did not even have the capacity for terror anymore; he was a shell that for some reason fascinated one of the deities enough to keep him alive,.

He knelt, his legs slightly apart, his head bowed and his arms crossed in front of him : a position of total obedience. He had been waiting two hours before Carmelione finally arrived and the dimming of the candles announced her presence. Her face was somewhere between hunger and sadness as she walked up to him and ran her fingers through his hair.

"I liked you," she said quietly, the coldness almost driven from her voice, "you have never been quite the same as the others. In all my centuries I have never had another close to you. Your blood is sweet and your mind is a challenge but you are growing too old. Tradition demands that you die and these fools who call themselves priests must be kept happy. One day maybe we'll become bored and turn their insignificant beliefs against them, but for now they serve their purpose."

She spoke to him as if he understood and maybe part of him did, but he showed no sign.

"Come," she said and without waiting turned to leave.

He followed; his bare feet padded quietly on the stone floor whilst she glided in front of him on his final walk this side of death's dark curtain. The bronze doors opened slowly as they approached and red light flooded into the corridor edging everything in scarlet.

"Welcome ,sister dear, " a voice that seemed a mixture of greed and sneering said raspingly, " we are glad you chose to obey us."

" I do as I wish," she replied haughtily and continued into the red lit room, "he has amused me for a while and now I grow bored. "

There was obviously no love lost between the three beings in the chamber but they came together in mutual need and perverse pleasure.

All three figures could be called good looking , both men were as handsome as their sister was beautiful but the evil was there for all to see. Their eyes were cold and hard without even a touch of human kindness, it was as if gentle emotions had long since been burned out of them.

"Come, boy," the female instructed coldly and beckoned the slave offhandedly, but even then there was a light in her eyes that spoke of an inhuman hunger.

An altar resided at the centre of the chamber and seemed to be lit from within; even in the red light it showed its true white luminescence. Without being told the slave knew exactly where he was supposed to be and he moved to his place without hesitation. As he lay down the silk cloth on the platform was soft next to his skin and the three deities gathered around him.

Carmelione stood at his head since he was her slave and her brothers positioned themselves at either side. There was no real ceremony this time, in this chamber these creatures ceased to be what the ignorant peasants worshipped and became their true selves. These beings were vampires, creatures that walked the night and took their victims without care, monsters, not even close to gods. Once these carnivores killed they could pass on their curse but these three had ways of disposing of their get with very little effort to themselves.

Sometimes Carmelione could be attractive when she fed, but when she killed she was a monster. Since this was her slave she changed first and her delicate features were lost in a hideous mask. The straight almost perfect teeth became a mouthful of viscous fangs, as her forehead bulged her eyes became cold, lizard like slits and her hands became an animal's claws. Carmelione's needle like incisors dug into her vassal's neck without mercy , the other two each took a wrist and blood flowed to stain the silk sheet. They were not exactly tidy eaters and neither were they silent, even their black priests would have been horrified as they let themselves go. The monsters who had killed the slave would have turned on anything in the room at the same time, lost in animal desires, at least in their own chambers they maintained a semblance of control.

Just before death came the slave's mind fought free of its bondage and he screamed, probably the only voluntary sound he had made in sixteen years and then his life was over. The whole thing had taken only a few minutes and then he was dead, the feast was over and they left the room for the black robes to clean.

The servants of the deities knew how to dispose of the body, they had had long years of practice. The slave was dead now but they knew that the following night it would rise again "re-animated by demons that plotted the downfall of the faithful". As with all fanatics they did not question they merely obeyed and the body was chained out on the hillside and then dismissed from their minds.

The day passed and the body lay untouched by scavengers or the elements as if nature herself had abandoned it. The evil wounds that had taken the slaves life faded until only pale unmarked skin remained . Another body was chained out on the hillside next to the first. The second unfortunate was a young woman and by the look of her clothes she had been a traveller and had probably just chanced across the place of her death by accident. The two looked almost serene in the light with their white skin and calm faces, it was only as the sun dipped over the horizon that anything changed. The sky turned blood red as the last rays of light fled the countryside and as the great ball of fire disappeared so the young woman moved. Her re-entry into he world seemed almost violent ; her body convulsed angrily and then she opened her eyes onto the twilight shattering the illusion that this was a living human being , there was nothing that remotely resembled humanity in those orbs. All vestiges of her previous self were gone , no memories , no feelings and what was left was a monster that existed beyond the confines of mankind's understanding. She sat up her instinct for violence telling her how to feed the unnatural hunger which burned inside the inhuman shell. It was only as she tried to get up that she found the chains : one on each limb , looking as if they would not hold a child let alone a creature of the night. She pulled at one, gently at first and then a little harder, until finally she pulled with all her supernatural strength but it would not break. The silver wrought links were not going to give as back-country witchery held them impenetrable to a vampire. Realisation dawned slowly, for there was an intelligence inside the nightbreed; then came complete fury. As the stars began to appear she howled and for the first time showed the monster that lurked just below the surface. Her fangs were long and white, her eyes glowed red .This time that was as far as she turned, it was nothing to the creature she could become if allowed to feed but that did not look likely. It was her loud remonstrations which woke her companion.

His eyes snapped open as his mind shied away from the noise that surrounded him. Confusion was the first , completely overwhelming emotion that ran through him as life returned. Then memory came back with shocking suddenness that robbed him of the ability to react to it. For some reason , unlike his companion he had not been deprived of his former life and, even as his existence passed his mind's eye, he knew that he had died. At first there was amazement and then horror, as with complete certainty he knew he was no-longer even close to human, and yet, to look at no-one would have known the difference.

By the time he decided to sit up the noise from close by had subsided and he glanced over cautiously. The creature sitting there repelled him beyond imagining as all those years with his mistress came to the forefront of his mind with undeniable clarity. His unthinking obedience chilled him and anger began in his soul, for the first time his being rebelled and he knew freedom. Then the reality of his situation began to sink in as he finally understood that his whole life had been a lie. The creatures in the temple were not gods, they were monsters, like the pathetic animal beside him, like himself. They were all the same , the only thing the others had was age, and he could sense them like a bad smell nearby. At first he welled up with self-loathing and a desire to destroy himself took over his consciousness, but slowly it turned to hatred of the things that had done this. For one moment all he wanted to do was kill them, tear them apart with the strength he could feel in his body and he strained against his bonds. His fury grew until he completely lost control and he screamed almost as loudly as the female vampire had done , joining her in the change. His whole perception altered and the night which had been as an overcast day leapt out at him as if the sun was shining brightly. He could smell the animals of darkness as they moved around and other unnatural senses called out for him to test them. His eyes glowed fiercely , but not red with hunger, they shone with the blue they already were, like a searing fire. His fangs were not as long as his companions and they were almost elegant, he seemed more like a god than any the temple could offer. Yet, his anger lasted only a moment and as it faded so did the supernatural acquisitions, and he came back to himself with painful loss. He had played through all the emotion he had in him and now he was quiet , washed out for the time being and the chains would not give to feeble pulling. With no idea what the next hour, let alone the next day, held for him he lay down and waited, whilst his mind explored parts of itself he had not known for too many years. At first his companion struggled and complained loudly , animalistic in her manner but soon she realised the hopelessness of it as well. The vampire in her faded and she returned to the parody of humanity that had woken up. She spent most of the night watching he companion warily, the only time she didn't was when a passing owl dropped its bloody prey and she pounced on it ravenously. The slave watched in fascinated horror, even as his own hunger beat inside him like a drum but before and after that the night was quiet as everything natural kept well away.

The sun had started the whole set of affairs by setting and so it was that it rekindled things when it decided to rise. As the sky in the east began to turn from grey to pink so the slave sat up. He hadn't seen a sunrise in sixteen years and knowing this could be his last chance he wanted to watch it. Yet even as he sat calmly, so his companion became frantic, and she began to struggle with her bonds. Some instinct told her that she must hide , must find some place out of the sun and so she fought the inevitable. She began to mew in complete terror as the sky started to brighten and it was this that drew the slave's attention. Even now the light was becoming too bright for what were sensitive eyes but he watched anyway and as the first rays of dawn reached over the horizon the female began to scramble away from them. Her companion was transfixed as he watched, and as the day was born she began to die. Her skin smouldered in the suns light and slowly she began to scream : a horrendous sound that could have chilled the warmest heart. As the light became stronger she began to burn and with agonising slowness the flesh began to melt off her body. This death was terrible , the worst way for a vampire to die and, as he awaited his own death the slave felt the fury rise up in him a second time. His anger was so complete he did not realise that the sun was having no effect on him and the vampire within him reached for the surface changing man into beast. His howl of denial was louder than any before and it echoed across the valley as the chains snapped at the pull of a creature that was neither truly vampire nor human. He rose to his feet in one swift move and stared at the growing dawn as it coloured the temple roof tops.

"They will all be revenged," he told the empty air and set his eyes on the sleeping place of worship.

Its guards would be unprepared for a vampire that could walk the day, the world of men had an avenging angel at last.

The End ...