Realm of Shadows

Eyelids snap open, and my hand clumsily reaches out for the nearest object and clasps at another hand. Both cold, dead and pale, holding together in the moonlight. Night time. Their time, my time.

Forever destined to walk the night, we claim it as our own.

Forever destined to walk in the sun, alone, without them and among mortals.

My life is divided between two worlds. The split is constantly growing wider, and I feel further away from mortals than ever before.

Two nights ago I was killed, brought back to life by one who had previously drunk my blood.

Because of this, I didn't fully turn. The process was disturbed, leaving me what they kindly refer to as a half. Sunlight, as long as it is not strong, will not kill me. Holy water will wound me, but unlike them I will not die from the wound. Blood…I need blood. Not as much as them, but I crave it. Like a smoker craves cigarettes, like an alcoholic craves a drink.

I need blood, I sleep in a coffin, I am vulnerable yet strong at the same time.

I am one of them, yet one of you at the same time.

I am half Vampire, half mortal.

My name is Shadow; I belong to neither world yet own both.

I live in my own realm, and my story is a complicated one that starts at the end.

For now, life, as they say, is too short, and the present is more important than the past.

I have always felt like a loner, outcast from others for reasons I myself did not understand. My brother – older than me – was the only person I felt I could confide in. But he is dead now, long gone, and I should not dwell on him.

Now I have a place, a reason to live and fight, and Poison – my Poison – is a major part of that.

He saved me, brought me back from the dead, and there is nothing I would not do to repay that debt.

I crouch on this dingy rooftop in New Jersey, moonlight illuminating the page before me as I think of all that has happened since I left home, and try to focus on what is soon to happen. I lick my lips in anticipation of the blood I will soon be drinking. Phoenix, a mind reader, is my companion, keeping a watch on the alley, waiting for the Vampire Hunter.

It is early evening, sun is two hours from setting and the hunter, who we must seek and destroy to stop him and his kind doing the same to those I live with, those I love, does not expect to see any kind of Vampire now.

He will be surprised.

As Nix and myself leap from the rooftop, landing nimbly and gracefully on the floor of the alley, the fear on the hunter's face is evident. We have been watching him for a few days now, and I know he is jumpy, constantly alert. He properly checked the alley before entering, and now he is faced with two teenagers. I watch as he checks his watch, then the sky before relaxing.

I know what he is thinking, as much as Nix does, and, as if on cue, my friend speaks, holding up his hands in defence.

"I am no Vampire." He states it slowly, and I watch as the hunter's frown deepens, confusion etching in as he wonders who the hell we are.

"Truer words were never spoken." I laugh, my eyes focused on the face of the hunter. He snaps his eyes towards me, trying to figure out this oh so confusing situation as I shake my head, pouting my lips as I pretend to think. "But, as I am no liar, I can not repeat my friend's words."

Harsh, nervous laughter tears from the man's throat, and I know he doesn't know what to think, he is confused, scared.

A vampire? In daylight? Surely not!

But oh monsieur I kid you not, for here I am, part of the undead and just as sure as you are reading this I can stand in sunlight.

"What are you?" He asks, a swallow, a gulp betraying the fear that echoes itself in his beating heart that rings in my ears.

I decide to put him out of his misery, before he confuses himself too much. I explain that I am a half Vampire, and I relish the look of pure fear on his face for the split second before he turns to run.

My legs are quicker than any mortal's pair, and they pump fiercely as I give chance, as the beating of his heart rings in my ears, making me hungry and forcing myself to speed up, to catch him.

I lunge.

My body collides with his and we crash to the floor.

I hold him there, my legs straddling him as I grin. With a laugh I sink my teeth in, and drink deeply, enjoying the taste of the crimson liquid as it sinks into my mouth and slips down my throat, leaving behind it's salty sweet taste.

I know, without looking, that Nix has turned his handsome head away. This is the part he hates, when he sees his precious Shadow turn into a bloodthirsty animal. No, not animal. Monster.

I draw my mouth away after I have drunk every last drop.

Hunters are so easy to pick off, you all are really, and every mortal is easy to take down, one by one.

My name is Shadow, and you're in my realm now.