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
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
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
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
The End ...