"Please, I don't want to do this. She's so young." I pleaded under nervous breath that plumed into the dark air.

You have to. Or we'll die.

"I can't stand another one."

You don't have a choice. You know that you crave it.

I shivered, and chose not to argue with the bloodthirsty voice that snarled inside my body. The damp, sodden ground I crouched on was cold and unfriendly, and the bush I hid in pricked my pale, taut skin with sharp points. There were small berries hanging on the branches around. I plucked one, and crushed it in my hand out of frustration. When I opened my palm again, it was smeared with red juice. I trembled to see that terrible colour on my hand, and I briskly wiped it on a thorny branch, trying to drive sorrow away.

Footsteps resounded in the air like drum beats. I jerked my head up, and sniffed the air: my oblivious prey approached. My heart increased its pace very slightly, but steadily.

The girl would unwittingly walk past my hiding place very soon. The surprise that ambush brought and the mask of the silent, companionable darkness would assist me in the job.

I had stalked the girl from the air, determining the way of her path, singling her out in the calculating way that a careful predator senses vulnerability and opportunity. This area was quiet and the people sparse. I had made sure that my chosen prey had no one to rescue her, that she was truly alone when I struck.

My hearing detected the delicate tapping of buttons on a mobile phone, and then the humming as she contacted someone far away.

"Hi, Mum. We just finished watching the film, so I'll be home in about…ten minutes."

There was a quiet pause, and it was all I needed to sense the tenseness in the air. It was my tenseness though, and the oblivious girl had no idea that the conversation she had now with her mother would be her last conversation ever. I felt a terrible guilt, and it was so intense that it hurt. But at this time hunger overruled every other emotion I could possibly invoke, and so I obeyed the frightening creature that I could not escape from, nor fight.

"No, I don't need picking up."

There was another silent, unbearable pause. This could be a perfect moment to strike, but I feared that the commotion would be heard on the phone. My mind twitched, and snarled in anticipation.

"Oh, for God's sake, this place is as dangerous as a newborn kitten. I'll see you later."

I felt a small pang in my heart as her aggravated tone slipped into the phone and out to her mother. It would be the last time ever either of them would hear the comfort of the other's voices. She executed her call, just as I would execute her life very soon. I crept closer to the pavement, peering through a tangled maze of branches and leaves. The foliage gave tiny groaning noises as I pushed against it, though too quiet to betray me. The dark green curtain before me was not strong, and at the chosen moment it would take little effort to burst through. My eyes did not break their avid, watchful gaze at any time, and as the girl stepped closer, they began to morph from their calm, innocuous grey to burning vortexes of flame, rings of fire surrounding the black abyss' of my pupils. The creature inside me had finally been freed with the temptation of bloodlust, and defeated, I let it rage and course along my whole body, envisioning a roaring fist of energy stampeding through my tissues. My skin became colder, but I no longer shivered; not when I felt like a thing wrought of fire myself. In my mouth, two smooth, fat needles of fangs drove out past my normal incisors and halted, half protruding below my lip. I began to salivate, phantom tastes already haunting my mind. Like a deadly, coordinating snake I uncoiled myself steadily, and with the prowess of a lioness leapt from my hiding place.

The girl had not seen her doom; they never did. She had been spared no time to shriek in alarm, or command her muscles to save her, before I had hurtled forwards and pinned her to the hard, unwelcoming pavement.

She screamed; her limbs flailing in mindless panic, but the strength my inner creature wielded overpowered her. I tried so hard to make this unsavory process as quick and painless as possible, but how to quell the fear of a stricken victim without suffering, and when the very likeness of Evil was driving your deepest desires with unstoppable lust?

"I'm so sorry." I uttered, the inner creature controlling me receding for a moment, but like a surging river it took hold again, and I bent forward to drink her life away.

The moment my glistening fangs pierced her warm, innocent flesh, she calmed. Her muscles relaxed, her body fast becoming limp. Her life ebbed away with a fading pulse that had before been so strong. I fed for two minutes; no longer. While the creature inside me gorged itself on the girl's suffering and revelled in the crimson liquid that streamed into my mouth and down the girl's curved neck, a distant part of me wept for forgiveness, for it was always when I took a victim's life that I felt the heart twisting guilt and pain that I had never experienced before my Change, that perhaps no human was capable of bearing.

As my feed ended, a single tear filled with all the bitterness and sorrow of my life fell from my cheek and onto the dying girl, a single drop of salty water lost in an ocean of blood.

"I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry…" I trembled in grief, chanting words as meaningless as my own existence.

Finally, I pulled away the hand that had been supporting the girl's head. With revulsion I felt slicked fangs retreat to their dwellings, eager and ready for their next duty in four week's time.

Sobbing uncontrollably, I placed a bloodstained hand on the girl's still chest. I counted her last heartbeats, and after five they stopped. She was dead. Her soul had departed like the fleeting wind.

I wiped my mouth with a sodden sleeve, and could not look at my hands. The girl's colour had drained to a ghostly white, her long auburn hair spilling onto the road. Her limbs were splayed out awkwardly, and they betrayed the struggle she had made before I had delivered the stroke of death. She was young, so young…my age, perhaps.

Ignore those petty feelings, female human.

No, not a human. A vampire.