Vampire in the Shadows.

This is for the 24 Hours in the City of Bones competition.

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3. After the Change

My eyes fluttered open and panic set in at the unfamiliarity of my settings. The walls were a dull grey – evidently some sort of metal – and was entirely bare aside from the thin mattress I was currently lying on. That wasn't my only cause for panic though. I immediately recognised the change in me. My every sense was heightened. I could see the individual stains on the metallic walls and could feel every thread in my coarse mattress. I could also distinguish voices from a room that I could sense was not close to me, and that I should not be able to hear them. But I could. Dso what did that make me?

 

That's when I felt them. My teeth were not like they once were. They were pointed and ripped my tongue when I ran it over them. What had happened? I shuddered with terror. I was no longer human, that much was evident. I fought the urge to scream and cry, and also the urge to roll into a ball and avoid everything for a while longer. I was stronger than that.

 

I moved to the door and realised that my every action was now fluent and soundless. I moved like a stealthy predator stalking its prey. I slipped through the (surprisingly) unlocked door and moved towards the voices I had heard before, their volume and intensity increasing with every silent step.

 

I eventually entered a room that was much more lavish than the one I had left. My feet sank into crimson carpet on which rested mahogany furniture, and on that several people, each looking at me with both curiosity and wariness.

“Where am I? What am I?” I asked boldly, shocking myself with my confidence despite the sudden intimidation that had crept up on me when I entered the room. The people exchanged looks before one of them stood up. I recognised him as the man who had approached me in the club, although that memory was vague and cloudy. How long had I been out for?

“Why, you're in the heart of our lair. You're a vampire now, kid. Had the teeth not given it away?” He winked at me while I stood, frozen. I'd guessed I wasn't human but the cold, hard confirmation of it took my breath away. I ran my tongue over my teeth again, piercing it once more. I didn't bleed, just like I hadn't before, I realised with a start.

“How long have I been gone? Who are you? Am I still in London?” The questions tumbled out of my mouth like a waterfall.

“The name's Lucas. And relax, kid. It's been no more than a couple of hours since I took you from the club.” He smiled at me, baring his fangs. I shivered. I opened my mouth when he cut me short. “You're still in London, too.” I felt my shoulders slump in relief.

“But why take me from the club?” I queried, dreading and curiously anticipating the answer simultaneously

“You were alone. Your neck was entirely bare. And you're pretty.” Lucas winked at me while I tried to recollect the evening. My neck had been bare – I'd decided against the necklace. I closed my eyes in anger at myself. Then a new thought hit me, one much more petrifying than any others.]

“Will I have to...will I have to drink blood?” I whispered. The room burst into raucous laughter and I suddenly remembered that we had company. I looked around at them all. Lucas was the first to stop. He looked me dead in the eye.

“Sure you will, kid. But we drink animal blood only. Kill too many in the capital city of the United Kingdom and you draw attention to yourself.” He smirked and handed me a plastic pouch from the table behind him, thrusting it under my nose. The blood was a rich scarlet, emanating a scent so delicious that I realised a thirst I hadn't before. I also realised my desperation – my need – to quench it. I grabbed the pouch from Lucas and downed the blood, its sweet taste coating my throat and giving me strength instantly. I looked up at him, and he smiled down at me.

“You're gonna do well in this life, kid. Now let's begin.”

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