I ‘love’ this time of the year! All Hallows Eve… or All Saints’ Eve or… what we call it today, Halloween. I mark my calendar ever year for October thirty first, as it’s the only night of the year that I can be truly myself among normal people.
Who am I? I’ll start with who I was…
My name was William Smith and I was born near London on the eleventh of January 1666, during the Great Plague of London. My mother Constance had contracted the virus before I was born and fought it with all of her might, for the sake of her unborn baby. People would generally perish within three weeks of contracting the virus, but she exceeded her doctor’s expectations.
Constance had made it to almost three weeks of my expected due date, before she succumbed to the illness, which was horrifying for my father to watch. His name was Charles Smith, a wealthy man who lived in a country estate and had the means to have at least one doctor on call during the last few days of my mother’s life.
When she died, they performed a cesarean to save me and although the doctor noticed that I was slightly smaller than a full-term baby (which was expected, as I was premature) I seemed a little heavier than average. Otherwise, I looked like a regular baby.
My father was in his fifties and was married once before but his first wife and child, died during childbirth. His second wife’s death seemed like a cruel turn of fate but as much as he mourned her, he had a son. His only child and heir to all that he possessed.
Charles hired the services of two wet-nurses, just in case one was ill or wasn’t sufficient for his son’s needs and although I fed often, I always seemed hungry and cried constantly. Doctors thought it was colic and after a while, the symptoms settled down. I proceeded to develop as any other child would but while most toddlers had a look of wonder on their faces, I seemed… predatory.
I had black hair, very fair skin, steel grey eyes and was very strong and smart from a young age. Smart enough that I knew I was different and that I had to hide what I was - whatever I was, until I was ready.
I only dropped my guard once when I was ten years old, while walking the streets of London with my father. He loved me, even though he knew I was different, and I loved him, in my own way. We were lost and tried to find our way back to our trusty driver and our horse and carriage.
My father and I were very well-groomed, elegantly dressed and had stumbled onto the poorer part of London. We were about to double back to where we had come, when we were stopped by three men.
Said one of the men. All three men’s clothes were shades of grey and brown - threadbare and covered in patches. Their faces and hands were covered in soot and I had never seen men like them, as I had lived a very sheltered life.
The man in the middle approached my father and asked,
“Are you lost my kind sir?”
His two friends chuckled behind him and I knew something was wrong.
“Ahh… Yes. We were trying to get to The Strand. Would you mind showing us the way?”
My father seemed a little concerned but hoped that they would help us.
“It would be my bloomin’ pleasure…”
My father said in reply.
“We’ll just take your money and your jacket then escort you there.”
Our new friend pulled out an old and rusty blade and demanded,
My father grabbed my hand and tried to run in the opposite direction, but he was old, and frail. He stopped running, once the-would be robber plunged his dagger into his shoulder.
He let out a scream of pain and I was pushed to the ground, while the three men man handled him, took his wallet and overcoat. Laughing as they did. I became enraged… angrier than I thought could be possible and, in my anger, I unleashed a part of myself that I had hidden for as long as I could remember.
First, I jumped onto the back on the man that stabbed my father and broke his neck, then grabbed the dagger that he still held and threw into the skull of a second man. Finally, I jumped onto the third man, then bit his neck and drank from his jugular. I didn’t realize that I was doing, but it seemed instinctive.
The taste of the warm blood in my mouth was amazing and when I stopped, I felt it nourish and elevate me. I could smell, hear and see things that I had never perceived before but the other thing I realized, was that it had all happened very… very quickly. In fact, the first man that I had killed, was still falling to the ground, when I turned to look at him.
I covered my father with his overcoat, then helped him walk toward what sounded like a busy road. For a brief moment, I caught a glimpse of my face in an old mirror and saw my eyes were completely black and I had fangs protruding from my mouth. Like sharp canines.
Fortunately, it was The Strand and I saw our driver, who helped my father to his carriage. I asked the driver to take us to a hospital, where they tended the wound but the infection from the rusty old blade, would be his undoing.
He asked to be released, as he wanted to die in his home, but he almost didn’t make it, as it was a long journey. He sent for his lawyer to ensure that his will was in order and entrusted my care to his faithful butler.
My father died two days later.
The years seemed to pass quickly and by the age of twenty-one, I had become a successful businessman and… killer. I was always discreet, never left any evidence behind and always targeted evil men. I knew it was still murder but I thought that if someone was going to die, it may as well be someone bad.
A few more decades went by and while my servant showed the passage of time, I didn’t. Apparently, I was either growing old very slowly or not at all. My butler died of old age a few years later and I decided to sell the estate and assume a different identity. The first of many.
During the next hundred or so years, I harnessed my gifts and while speed and strength were my first weapons, they were accompanied by a very subtle but effective mind control. Which proved even deadlier to my prey.
However, the world was changing, and it became harder to hide who I was, so I didn’t stay in one place for more than twenty years. By my third or fourth identity, I made it to the United States of America. A few decades went by and I was reading a book in the town library, written by a chap named of Bram Stoker.
Vampire? Is that what I was? Then I started thinking that maybe I wasn’t the only person… or creature like me.
Over the years, more books were written and then came the movies. Most of them made me laugh but I did get insulted by a few and I couldn’t believe the different genre’s! First of all, I can’t fly, or shape-shift and I do have a reflection. The sun can’t kill me, but I do have to wear a lot of sunscreen, because I have fair skin and the stake through the heart? I won’t try it myself thank you very much and am happy to accept it as a given.
The other differences between myself and my fictitious brethren, is that I didn’t cling to the past and seem… old fashioned. In fact, I’d become quite the chameleon – embracing technology and pop culture but I had to, in order to blend in and hide in plain sight.
I also had to become a… vegetarian. A term that I used for myself, as I fed on animals, in order to reduce the exposure of being caught. There were just too many smart phones and CCTVs around these days and in order to maintain a low profile, I bought a cattle farm in Texas. I then hired a number of ‘cowboys’ to help me raise them and as I had so many, it never raised any suspicion if one or two disappeared. I still ate regular food but to me it was like… tofu.
My current name was Max Nero and the story was that I was recently divorced and just moved here from Nebraska. I was able to mimic my neighbors, as far as posture, accent and character. Loved my guns… hated democrats. I had created a number of layers of identity and protection, in order to appear, disappear and re-emerge, without creating any suspicion but… there was one night of the year when I would allow myself to become the real me.
October thirty first, when it was OK to go out into public wearing a mask and be scary, or in my case, ‘not’ wear a mask. I couldn’t believe how an ancient Celtic festival, could be twisted into a commercially driven holiday, but it was perfect for what I needed.
I jumped into my black Escalade then drove to Amarillo and found a seedy little bar, that I had frequented in the past. The bar had a mix of college kids and locals – most dressed in Halloween attire and were getting well and truly inebriated.
I myself, was dressed as Blade from the movie series made popular by Wesley Snipes and I sat alone at a booth, drinking vodka and cranberry juice. I even wore sunglasses to complete the outfit and hide who my attention was on at any given time.
I narrowed my choice to a couple of yokels in overalls, who were going around and harassing the other bar patrons. Especially the ladies. They groped one girl and punched her date, then were forcibly ejected from the bar. Perfect.
It was now about one in the morning and very dark, with no sign of the moon, thanks to the cloud cover. The streets were quiet with only the rare car rolling by. I followed my prey down a dark alley, as they tried to find a short cut to where they had parked their truck. But, while they bumped into trash cans and the like, I could almost see as clear as day. Little did I know that I wasn’t the only creature following my victims.
My two victims stopped, as they discovered that the alley led to a dead end and when they turned around, they saw me for the first time. Light shone from a nearby window and they saw that my eyes were completely black, and fangs extended from my mouth. They were just about to panic when I mentally subdued them, then I told them to turn around and face the wall.
Suddenly, I heard rapid movement from behind, so I instantly spun around and stepped to the side. I saw a woman with bright red hair and wearing a cat woman outfit, running almost impossibly fast toward me then I saw… black eyes and fangs.
The red head took a swipe at me with her sharpened fingernails, but I moved out of the way in a nick of time. She then tried again but with a punch and I again evaded her, just before I threw a right hook, hitting nothing but air.
I was finally able to grab my attacker and threw her to the ground but as fast as she went down, she got right back up leaped toward me. The next thing I knew, we held each other by our shoulders and our mouths were open in the attempt to bight the other.
Within thirty seconds of our struggle, we both realized that were in a stale mate. So, we released each other at the same time, then she asked me,
“Who are you you?!”
“I’m… Max. Who are you?!”
Our confrontation started to deescalate – so much so, that I ‘defanged’ myself and reverted to my human form. Raven did the same and I saw she had the same steel grey eyes that I had.
“What are you, Raven?”
“Vampire… Like you.”
She said evenly. We were both still on high alert, but my curiosity was out of control.
“Have… have you met other’s like us, Raven?”
“No. Where are you from, Max?”
I saw a brief reaction from Raven and as much as we didn’t really know ‘what’ we were, we felt that we weren’t adversaries. So, I stated,
“There’s two of us and two of them. Ladies first?”
She hesitated for a second, then went in for the kill. I then proceeded to feed on the remaining prey. Afterward, we just stood there in silence, allowing the blood to fulfill us, then Raven asked,
“What’s your real name, Max?”
I thought about whether or not I should be truthful with her and break every rule that I had made for myself, but I went for it.
“My name is William Smith, born in London in the year of our lord 1666 and you?”
Which I divulged in my native British accent. Raven didn’t respond straight away but eventually she smiled, cocked her head to one side and said with a charming Irish lilt,
“Clare… Clare Doyle. Ennis… County Clare, Ireland. 1667.”
“Well, Clare… May I buy you a drink?”
I said with a smile on my face, to which she answered,
“I might let you buy me two.”
We walked back to the bar that I had recently left then sat at a booth and it was then when I discovered that Raven / Clare was quite pretty. Sexy would be a better word to describe her, with her skin-tight latex cat woman outfit. We spoke using our Texan accent’s, to keep under the radar and we were both surprised about how similar our stories were but where I had a life of luxury, Clare did not.
She currently lived in a trailer that she towed with an old Ford F100 pickup and would feed on humans about six times a year. Clare would travel from town to town and work as a waitress or whatever job she could get.
“Wow… Y’all were able to live your fake life with ease, huh?”
“It seems so… Are you in town for a while? I’d like to invite you to my ranch.”
I seemed to like her more and more, but I didn’t want to overplay my hand.
“Hmm… I don’t know. Y’all might try to take advantage of li’l ol’ me.”
Clare said with a sly smile, then she went into ‘V-mode’ but I wasn’t sure if she meant to. It did, however, elicit an unexpected response from me and I also changed.
“Tell me, William, have you… been with a woman, before?”
I leaned forward myself and quietly responded,
“A few times but it didn’t end well… for them.”
“I… uhm… had similar experiences.”
Before we knew it, we were in my Escalade heading back to the ranch, which was set in the middle of nowhere. I invited Clare to sample one of my cows, then we went inside. I showed her around my home, which included a number of valuable antiques. Well… I bought them when they were new and the became antiques, with the passage of time.
I then showed her my bedroom and she remarked on the size of my bed.
“You live here alone but you have a king-sized bed?”
“Well… there’s always the dream.”
We regarded each other for a few moments then Clare ‘turned’ and walked toward me.
The next few hours were a blur of gnashing teeth, breaking furniture and sex. Sex so spirited that it was almost violent, as was evident by the damaged drywall on all four-bedroom walls.
We decided to spend some time together and would start with a few decades, so the next morning, I drove Clare to her truck, then she hitched her trailer and towed it back to my place. She agreed to be a vegetarian while we were together, and we had a carpenter remove the broken drywall and replace it with concrete blocks.
Having partners, helped our cover stories and Clare and I became very close over the years. I never thought I would have so much happiness and dark delights in my life. Halloween had become our anniversary as well as the night that we revealed our true selves. Next year, we’re going as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, as they appeared in Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
So, if you’re in Amarillo and see a man and a woman, with black eyes and fangs walk toward you, don’t bother trying to scream or run.
You’re already dead.
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Nice story. Perhaps a prequel can be written, explaining how Max and Clare came to be who they are.
That was a really fun and interesting story. I enjoyed it!