Saroe looked up. The night sky was upon her. Stars twinkled like light reflections in an ocean of darkness. The moon was full, staring down at her with an eye devoid of an iris. A thin haze of a cloud passed over the white eye, wrapping it in a thin shroud of gauze, protecting it. The thin cloud passed the moon, casting its veil over the stars once more, marring the natural beauty of light.
Saroe sighted. She was a lover and a dweller of the night. It was her favorite time of the day, the only time of the day she could be herself without any worries. She was free to roam the world when the sun fell. Darkness was always on her side. Shadows were her friends, though not literally, but she liked them, nevertheless.
Sitting by a still lakeside in the middle of a vacant, dense forest, Saroe looked at her reflection from her position on the rocks over looking the lake. She saw a girl, who was no older than seventeen years old. She had pure white, flawless skin. It was as smooth as silk to eye and to touch. Bright cerulean eyes stared back at her. They were eyes full of life, ones that have seen their share of death. Hair the color of auburn framed her face in soft waves, hanging down to her waist. Thin, dark auburn eyebrows furrowed on her forehead in a deep frown. Her nose was too small for her liking. It was like a droplet in a puddle of rain. Her mouth, on the other hand, was too large, from her perspective. Almost like a great pale pink rosebud.
The girl sighed, rearranging herself more comfortably on the hard rock seat. She sat with one leg straight out in front of her and the other bent, level with her chest. Her arm rested on her bent knee. Saroe tilted her head back, closing her eyes. The wind howled and gently plucked at her long hair.
The air smelled fresh. It smelled of the night, the cold and the sunless hour. Along with the cool, welcoming breeze came a faint hint of pinewood that filled her senses. It reminded her of her home, before she came to these woods. It was small manor up north, where the snow fell heavily. It blanketed the land, burying it in several feet of snow. During those wintry times, she and her young brother played in the snow, making men of snow. He was only five to her seventeen years. And her parents would watch through the windows, smiling. She would wave to her mother and father, showing them her newly built snowman. They would smile back and wave. It was too bad she couldn't remember much about her parents, or even what they looked like. They had been wiped from her memory the day she was born into darkness. But she did remember that once she had built a fort made of snow for her younger brother. He giggled and poked at the snow packed walls with gloved fingers. But that was before the accident happened twelve years ago. The accident that took both of her parents lives. She couldn't remember much about it but she could remember clips of it. She was seventeen that year, the same year she died. There was a break-in at her manor, a man dressed in all black. He drained her parents dead. Then he came to her and drained her of her life. But he gave Saroe a new life, a life of darkness. He made her like him, a dead spawn of darkness. She became a daughter of the shadows. And as for her young brother? She never knew what became of him. He probably died the night she died, but he wasn't given a new life. He would've been too young anyways.
There was something air that suddenly caught her attention, whipping back cruelly to reality. It was a sweet aroma, wafting its way through the wind. Saroe snapped open her eyes, her brows furrowed. Please not tonight, she thought. But the desire in her was strong. She needed to feed. It had been several nights since she last had any nourishment. The thirst was too strong now to be quenched by will.
Saroe jumped to her feet, delirious with desire. She didn't want to feed, but something inside her awoke with the sweet smell. It cried out in huger. It demanded a sacrifice. And it demanded to be tended now.
Stalking the woods with quick, light feet, Saroe found herself near the edge of the forest. In the distance, maybe a couple hundred feet, was the city. She could see the silhouette of buildings and the rather short homes. The buildings there were never tall, never rising than a few stories. Any higher and they would become a safety hazard. Tall buildings had a tendency to topple over, killing everyone inside.
Even from a distance, Saroe could see the torches that lit the city streets, burning brightly over the cobblestone. They lighted the way of lost stragglers just coming into the city during the time of slumber. Locals knew better than to loiter in the city streets once night rose. They knew of the blood thriving terrors, the terrors like her. But in a few of the windows of the Victorian houses, she saw candles burning in the windows. They were thought to keep away the night dwellers. Fire and sunlight killed blood thrivers, and were likely to kill her too, if she wasn't careful. But the candle light would die soon. The short wicks rarely last through the night. No one would miss their luminosity. The city was asleep, save for a few drunks in the taverns, who were likely to start brawls, or in the streets, swaying and wobbling before they finally collapsed in the gutter in some alley way. Their rude and slurred words could be heard in several of the streets all night or until they dropped down on a side walk, unconscious. And there they would lay until sunrise, where law enforcers came and threw them into the slammers, or the jail, until they were sober once more. By that time, it would be dusk and the drunkards would walk into another tavern and so on. The cycle of the city life continued.
But it wasn't the city life that drew her to the edge of Saroe from her home. No, it was something else. Something closer. She scanned the vicinity around herself. She had no worries that someone might spot her first. The black shirt and pants blended well with the darkness of the night. But she was still cautious. There was always a possibility that that one of her kind might be about in her territory. Saroe searched the low shrubs and plant life with her eyes. The smell tantalized her. It was so close, yet hidden from her transcending sight. it began to irate her as she turned in circles, trying to spot her prey. Saroe could almost taste the blood on the tip of her tongue, feeling that warmth gush down her throat.
Suddenly there was a snap of a branch and a crackle of underbrush to her right, not five feet from her current position. Saroe surged in the direction of the sound. The wind rushed passed her, whipping her hair back from her face. The thirst in her burned and the fire of desire threatened to spread if it wasn't doused with the red life liquid of her intended victim. Saroe bared her teeth. She couldn't bare this fire anymore. She need to feed now.
In front of her, she was the slouch posture of a person with her supernatural sight. With an incalculable speed, she gripped the person as she drove him into the trunk of the tree behind it. The person cried out in pain. It was the that belonged to a boy no older than she was, when she died.
Moonlight spilled onto the boy's face and partially on her own. Indeed, her victim was no more than eighteen years old, maybe nineteen. His eyes were like a dying night sky, wide with fear with an underlying current of agony. There was a light splash of freckles across his high-bridged, narrow nose. His large mouth was much like her own as it lay open in an incredulous gape with thin lips. His face was completely drained of color. His russet hair was disheveled and was in the style of a 17th century man. Like wise, his clothes was that of a 17th century commoner or a wealthy merchant's son. He was tall for a young man though. On his leg, Saroe smelled the reek of blood from a nasty gash he may have gotten on a fall.
It was all Saroe needed, a quick glance of life before death. Unfortunately, that was all the boy needed, a quick glance, to see his doom. Saroe could only guess what he saw, given she never drained blood from herself. She pulled his neck toward her mouth, wondering what this boy saw. His death, maybe? Or perhaps he saw the cold cerulean eyes with irises rimmed with red from hunger, brightened with delirium? Or maybe he saw the cold specter of white skin, death's pawn? She could only wonder since she could hardly remember the last time she was drained by a dweller of the night.
Saroe opened her mouth, exposing her two, razor-sharp fangs. Tilting her head, she pulled him close and bit the delicate flesh of the neck, piercing the artery. Then came the warm awaiting hot rush of life into her mouth. She closed her eyes, letting the blood fill her mouth before she swallowed it, savoring the tasted and the feeling of hot blood running down her throat. She love the feeling of life surging into her in great gushes, the warmth of the blood circulating through her. She drew blood from the boy in large draughts, hearing his heart pound with every sip she took. It was like a giant's heavy footsteps coming closer and closer, pounding in her ears. She longed for this moment to come. The moment of bliss where all of her troubles and worries dissipated with the draining of life. Her mind was in a state of oblivion, nothing came to her mind. It was a haven from the pain she felt everyday.
And then flood of memories came. His memories. Through his eyes.
There was a woman, leaning over the her. Through the boy's eyes, Saroe watched the woman pick up her toddler son who couldn't have been any older than three. She was in her mid thirties, with gracious curling russet hair pinned up and away from her cream colored face. Apparently the boy received his beautiful russet hair from his mother. She wore a simple dress made of comfort rather than style and fashion. She picked up the boy and held him high over her head. The boy giggled, full of joy. His mother smiled and laughed along with her son. Saroe watched as his mother lowered him so she was eye level with him. The boy squealed and clapped his chubby hands together. The woman leaned towards him and kissed the boy on the cheek lovingly. Then the memory began to fade, but Saroe wanted to know more about his mother, who looked so familiar to her. She wanted to know why that woman looked familiar.
Then the memory changed. The boy was still young, maybe five years old. He was running around his home, crying. He didn't remember why he was weeping, but he was and that was all that mattered. It was dark in the home and there was traces of havoc everywhere. Tables were over turned and vases were shattered. The boy stepped on a stray piece of glass. It pierced his unprotected small toe. He cried out again, in pain. Using his tiny fingers, he plucked the shard from his toe and found began to crawl on all fours to find his mommy and daddy. He climbed up the stairs and found red water on the ground. Nearby the red water he saw his mommy lying there. Her eyes were closed and her mouth was open, slacked. From her neck was a thin trickle of red water. Over in the distance, he saw his daddy lying on the floor like his mommy was. The boy sat on his knees and shook mommy's shoulder. "Mommy, wake up," he whispered, crying. He shook her harder. She never woke up.
The boy was older now, at the age of twelve. In his hands was a bow, strung tightly and ready to be used. Across his back was a quiver of arrows. He was excited today. He was walking through the woods with a man beside him. The man was in his forties, or somewhere around there. He had taken the boy in and raised him as his own with his wife. The couple found the boy years ago. The man, walking beside his foster son, held a bow in his hand as well. They walked quietly through the woods, looking for game during this fall season. Suddenly a deer crossed their path, oblivious to the hunters. It bent its head to nibble at a straw of grass that it had chanced upon. The boy reached back and grabbed an arrow. This was his moment to shine, to prove to his father that he was a hunter at heart. The boy notched the arrow, pulled the arrow back, aiming with the arrow level with his eye. Then he released it, feeling a rush of adrenalin. He hoped with all his heart that he would do his father well. The arrow flew straight and true. It pierced the animal in the neck, an instant kill. No pain, no torture, no agony. Just simple and clean. The boy stood horrified for a second before he regianed his wits and grinned as if to say See Dad, I'm a natural born hunter.
The memory changed. The boy was sixteen now. He sat next to a girl. She was beautiful with long, straight, white blond hair and bright big hazel eyes. She smiled with her full lips and leaned over and kissed the boy on the lips. He kissed her back, feeling exhilarated. He was beside himself with joy. He loved the girl next to him, he would do anything for her. He kissed her over and over again. She kissed him back with the same passion he gave. A young couple in love. He made love to the girl under the night sky. It was all so new and different to the boy. He loved the girl and he loved what he was doing with her. But he made a vow to himself that he would never do it again, unless it was with her and only her. This was his one and only lover. He would give up his life for her.
And now the boy was dying. More than two thirds of his blood was in her and she was draining more of it. Saroe opened her eyes for a second and looked up at his ashen face. The boy's eyes were closed, deep in his memories. He didn't feel any pain, or if he did, it was from the memories. He would probably remain this way until she drained him dead or if she pulled away and stopped drinking. His eye fluttered suddenly. He fought to keep alive. His heart pounded like that of a humming bird, quick and shallow. His breathing quickened, shallow still. A bad memory probably. His will battled to flash just one more memory.
The boy was young again, just five years old. He giggled as his sister came into view. He clapped his hands. He was happy his sister had come. He rarely saw his sister, but he loved her so. He never forgot her. She was no more than seventeen with waist-length auburn hair and cerulean eyes. She smiled at her brother lovingly, and picked him up, kissing him on the cheek. "Louis," she said with Saroe's voice. She smiled with Saroe's abnormally large mouth. She was Saroe, twelve years ago.
Saroe cried out, ripping herself away from her victim and shoved him away from her, backing away as she did so. Her eyes were wide with horror. The boy slouched down, weakened from the lack of blood. His face was deathly white, drained of blood. Saroe stared at the boy. Why didn't she see it before? The hair was the same as hers, as was his blue eyes. He had the same mouth and everything. He was of her blood! And if she couldn't see it in him, then why couldn't she see it in his memories. Those weren't just his parents, they were her parents too. That was why they had seem so damn familiar. And the accident, Louis survived the accident! He never died that night. He was five and a half when the accident happened to her seventeen.
Saroe fell into a fit tears. Louis opened his eyes at the sound of her sobs. He winced. Then weakly, he touch a pair of shaking fingers to his neck. It came away covered with his blood. He stared at the blood, incredulous. Then he looked up at Saroe. Horror and pain filled his dying eyes. Did he see her long auburn hair and cerulean eyes that nearly matched his own?
"Saroe?" His voice was weak and choked. He was bemused and hurt.
Saroe knelt in front of her brother, tears blurring her vision. This was her brother, her beloved brother. It was his blood that pumped through her veins now. It was his life spilling away at the puncture wound at his neck. And she, the beloved sister, was the cause of this.
"Louis, I'm sorry, I'm sorry…" she whispered through the tears.
Then she kneeled, gently picking him up as if he was as light as a child was. He was still the young and innocent child to her, and always was. Louis closed his eyes. Saroe rose with her brother in her arms. She could still save his life if she got him into the city. If she got him to a doctor in time, maybe they could give him a blood transfusion. He could be saved. He had to be saved. He was her only family she had.
Saroe ran for the city, her feet flying over the land, barely touching the ground. Her transcending stamina and strength enabled her to cross the distance in half the time it took for a mortal human to run unburdened. It gave her an advantage over Death. She would make it in time, wouldn't she?
Her thoughts kept turning to the boy who lay prone in her arms. He was slipping away, like water through her fingers. The blood that was being stopped by a makeshift bandage refused to be stopped. His heart pounded, making the blood flow through the wound quicker. Saroe wanted to lick at the blood, the desire still burned hot in her. But it was that very desire that drove her to kill. That blinded her from the truth. And now his blood was on her hands.
When Saroe arrived in the city, she ran straight for the hospital. The doors were closed. She shouted at the windows for help and kicked at the door. No one answered her calls. Saroe sobbed and sank to her knees under the torch light. She looked down at her brother. His eyes were still closed and his breath was slow and shallow. The bandage on his neck was drenched with blood that would only stop flowing when the heart stopped pounding.
"Louis," she whispered, hoping he wasn't dead. She shook the upped half of his body with her arm.
Louis's eyes fluttered and opened. He saw his sister looking down at him, watching over him. "Saroe, they said you lived here," he said weakly. His voice was barely audible, even with her supernatural hearing.
Tears spilled down her cheek. He had come looking for his beloved sister that he had not seen since he was five. He still loved her as much as she loved him. She wouldn't bring Louis into the life in the shadows. She couldn't make him a son of darkness, even if it was the only way he would survive. A child of shadows was no more than a killer of the night.
"Don't die on me, Louis," she whispered, holding him close to her as if she could protect him from Death's cold grasp. "Don't leave me alone here in the darkness."
Louis looked up at his sister, his eyes glittering with love and tears. He smiled weakly up at her. He heaved one last breath, his smile rueful. "Love you, Saroe," he whispered.
Louis closed his eyes, his breath stopped and his heart ceased to beat. Death squeezed life from him in one last heave. He was forever caught in Death's cold and cruel grip forever. Death left Saroe alone in life, forever.
Saroe looked up at the world above, tears spilling down her cheeks more relentlessly than ever. The street was vacant, devoid of all life. The wind howled and whistled as it blew down the empty street, throwing debris at Saroe as it ran on its way. It whistled the only song it knew. It tore coldly at her hair while the torchlight above hissed before it was blown out. Darkness covered her vision. Darkness was all she had now. No one had come. No doctor had arrived. And no help would save her brother now. The world was as empty as he heart was now. The wind blew one more time, whistleing the only song it knew. Sorrow's Song.