Part II: Feeding
Never Knows Best
Kitty awoke in a small, dirty room. She was lying on a bed with stained sheets and piles of dirty laundry on either side of her. Clothes were strewn about the fake wood flooring and there were dishes and garbage on almost every surface. She heard a scratching noise in the corner but didn't bother to look to see what it was.
At first she was confused. She was sure she could distinctly remember dying. She recalled having been attacked and then fading into darkness. If she focussed she could almost remember feeling what it was like to stop breathing.
Come to think of it, she wasn't sure she was breathing now. She held her fingers to her nose... nothing. 'Is this hell?' she wondered. It certainly wasn't heaven. Groaning slightly, Kitty sat up and was surprised that, despite probably being dead, she felt pretty great. Looking down at herself, she nearly jumped out of the bed when she noticed that her cast was gone. She flexed her hand experimentally; it wasn't broken anymore. Touching her face, she noticed that her bruises were gone as well. Her knuckles had healed up, and so had her knees. She was healed, and maybe a bit more than that. She hadn't felt stronger in her life.
"Well, good morning sunshine,"
Kitty snapped her head up and stared. The man was standing in the doorway, smiling softly. Dimly, she recalled what he had done to her.
"You," She hissed, "What have you done to me?" She knew, of course. But she didn't want to admit what she was. She still didn't quite believe.
"I killed you," He replied, "And then I brought you back. As a vampire."
"How?" She snapped, "Why?" She could feel her rage and fear building up in her. She'd never felt anger so intense. Her muscles tightened as she got to her feet, about ready to tear his smirking face off his head.
He frowned at her, stared at her hard, and suddenly her anger was slammed back, and it didn't seem to be of her own will. She was calm again. "What did you...?"
"Why don't you come into the living room and I'll explain?" He said.
Kitty couldn't come up with any reason not to, so she followed him. The living room was just as bad as the bedroom. Garbage and dirty dishes everywhere, crud on the floor. Mice along the walls. The man sat down in a chair, Kitty chose the couch, although she sat near the edge. She didn't want to know what was crawling inside it.
"What's going on?" She seethed as the man pulled a cigarette from his pocket and lit it. Although she was too far away to even feel the heat from the lighter, she jerked back from it, afraid.
"I'll explain why you did that," The man said. She jumped again, she wasn't aware that he'd noticed.
"You're a vampire now. Sorry, I've given you a curse,"
"Why?" She snapped.
The man shrugged, "It seemed like the thing to do at the time. I wasn't intending on it when I saw you. You were just an easy target."
"So you were just going to kill me and leave me there?"
"Nah," He said, "I wasn't hungry enough for that. I was just going to take a bit of blood and go on my way but you..." He chuckled, "I've been thinking about making a childe for a while now. Might be dead soon, the real kind of dead, and I figured I might as well get someone to carry on my legacy. I dunno, maybe I'm just getting to that age?" He trailed off and sucked at his cigarette.
"I didn't know that vampires smoked." She said stiffly.
"They don't, most don't anyway. Nicotine doesn't do shit anymore. I suppose I do it because it's a habit I've carried over from my mortal days. Plus, I like having something to suck on."
She scowled at him and he laughed. "Who are you?" She demanded.
"Really?" He chuckled, "I'm your new daddy."
"Don't be a smart-ass," She hissed.
"I shouldn't tell you," He sighed, "Better if you don't know. Some people are trying ta kill me, and some of our kind have this nasty trick of reading through your brain or getting you to say things you never intended. Last thing you want is the people chasin' me to kill you just because you're my childe."
Kitty's eyes widened, "They would do that?"
"Sure they would. But my problems aren't for you. You've got your own now. What's your name, anyway?"
"Kitty," She replied. She didn't know why she told him. He didn't tell her his, it would have been fair.
He just nodded, "Let's not get into my life, Kitty. I have to be out of the city by sunrise and I've still got a lot of things to teach you."
"You're just going to leave me here?" Kitty gaped.
"What am I supposed to do?" She cried anxiously.
"Calm down and I'll tell you," He growled. Kitty shut up. Something about him told her that he wasn't one to be messed with. No matter how easygoing he seemed now, he had been completely unaffected by her attempts to fight him off earlier.
The man stood and stuffed his lighter back into his pocket. "Come on, Kitty. Let's go for a hunt, shall we? You must be starving."
Kitty scowled when she realized he was right. And scowled even deeper when she realized just what it was they would likely be hunting.
Kitty trailed after her sire silently. To her surprise they walked down the street in full view. People who passed by could see them clearly, and she wondered why none of them were screaming in terror. Of course, it was a silly assumption since they looked just as human as everyone else. Although, up close her sire did look a bit more dead than most people.
They passed by dozens of people strolling through the streets. The apartment was close to downtown so there were still lots of people around, catching busses, hanging out with their friends or going to one of the many bars in the area. Kitty stared at them, drooling in hunger. She knew her strength was so much greater than their's now. It would be so easy to lure one into a dark alley and...
"Not them, Kitty." Her sire interrupted her thoughts. "You have to be careful. Don't let anyone know what you are. No one can ever know." He sounded very firm on this. "Vampire hunters would be the least of your worries is people found out what you are now. The Masquerade must be upheld."
Kitty didn't ask what the Masquerade was. It sounded important anyway. Still, she focussed her eyes on her sire's back and tried no to stare at the humans like a hungry wolf.
They stopped downtown and took a bus out to the outskirts of town. Somehow it seemed absurd to be a vampire on a bus. It was such a normal thing to do for such an abnormal creature.
They stopped at the end of the bus line and got off. They were deep in the west end, barely in the city at all anymore, and not far off she could see the forest, deep and dark.
"In there," Said her sire. He stepped towards the trees and Kitty followed.
She'd been to these woods before, as a child. But she's always stayed on the path back then. She hadn't realized just how far it stretched, and how many creatures stalked the darkness.
Her sire stopped a significant distance from the path and looked around. He seemed to focus for a moment and then seemed to make a call. There was no real noise, just a sense of it, and words. 'Come to me,'.
They waited nearly ten minutes before they got an answer. A pretty doe stepped out of the forest and stared right up at them.
"Well," Her sire said, "Take a drink."
Kitty didn't hesitate. She was going mad with hunger. She lunged at the beast, hissing. The doe toppled, Kitty on top of it, and she sunk her fangs into the deer's soft shoulder. Blood poured into her mouth and she drank it greedily, feeling the life of the creature empty into her, sustaining her. It was the best feeling she'd ever had. It was more than just sating her hunger. It was restoring her life. The mystical thing that held her dead body together was restored through the blood, and it was pure ecstasy. She resisted the urge to moan as she finished, letting the deer's dead body slump to the ground, drained.
She wiped her mouth clean and stared at the lifeless deer. She felt a little sad. The sadness was somehow removed from her though, as if she knew she should be sad about the deer, and would be if she were still alive. But now the deer was just food, and if she felt an echo of sadness for it, that's all it was, an echo.
Finally she looked back up at her sire, except he wasn't there.
Cursing, she jumped to her feet and searched the woods for him. He was nowhere to be found. She heard the chirp of a bat and looked up. She saw the creature easily. It tipped it's wings at her and started to fly off. Somehow, she knew it was him. "Bastard," She scowled. He wouldn't get away that easily. Willing herself to go after him, using the fresh blood in her body was easy. Learning how to fly once she'd changed her form to match his was kind of hard. It took several desperate attempts to get off the ground in her new form as a bat but soon she was soaring after him.
Her sire turned and seemed to smirk at her, and then suddenly he was a blur in the sky, moving so fast all she could see was a black streak that soon vanished over the horizon. There was no way she could keep up with that. Her sire had officially abandoned her to figure out how to survive on her own.
'Well fine, then,' She thought, 'If he wants to leave me all alone, that's his problem. I'll be just fine.' She wheeled around and flew back towards the city lights. If she was going to be going it alone, there were a few things she would have to retrieve from her home first.
No one was there when she arrived back home, which wasn't surprising. Her mother worked nights and her father was often at the bar, drinking to avoid coming home. She nodded at the neighbour and let herself in. The first thing she did was check herself in the mirror. She was still there. 'At least that vampire myth isn't true,' she thought with a shrug.
Kitty slunk into her bedroom and glanced around for her duffle bag. Once she found it she started stuffing it full of clothes and toiletries and other odds and ends she thought she might need. "At least as a vampire I won't have to pack food" She mumbled to herself. And probably wouldn't need to worry much about keeping warm either. She'd noticed earlier that the frigid January weather didn't bother her at all.
In the corner there was a rustle of her pet ferret scampering about his cage. "Hey Shibby," She stuck her fingers in the cage and stroked his head. "I have to leave now, maybe mom will remember to feed you."
Kitty froze and looked at the ferret. "Shibby, you didn't just..."
'Mom, play with me!'
It wasn't quite talking, the rodent didn't make any noise, just looked at her and twitched it's head and somehow what he meant was translated in her mind. "There's one I wasn't expecting," Apparently her new Vampire powers allowed her to talk to animals. "Ok Shib, you can come with me, but only because it will be nice to have a familiar face around." She took the creature in her hands and stuffed him in her pocket. Shibby continued to make demands to be played with until she stopped concentrating on him, and then he was silent.
Finally she left a note telling her parents that she had run away and this time she wasn't coming back . It wasn't the first time she'd left home without a word, and usually without a note. Her parent's had never called the police before, she expected this time wouldn't be any different. She finished collecting her things and was out the door again. The entire stop had taken less than 20 minutes and she was out the door before anyone came back.
She took the bus back out to the woods and hiked deep into the trees. "Now there's just the matter of avoiding the sun" It was possible that one wasn't true either, but she didn't want to risk it. "Maybe I can change back into a bat and burrow underground or something.
As she pondered going underground she felt her blood stir. Without a thought she gave into it and found herself melting into the ground, becoming one with it. 'Well, this should do it,' She thought to herself. It was nearly sunrise now and she could feel the weight of daylight making her sleepy. She forced herself to stay awake long enough to come out of the ground and stash her things and tell Shibby not to wander too far, then she sank back in and settled down to sleep through her first day as a vampire.