The shouts coming from behind me gradually drifted in the dark nothingness as I slowed my pace. I had only been running for about fifteen minutes before they gave up all hope of catching me. Of course, they had more evidence than ever now that I had outrun them. Evidence that could lead them to the conclusion that I wasn't human. I chuckled to myself as I thought aloud, "They're simply human. Not one of them will ever find out what I am."

I had no idea why they were even chasing me until one of the humans shouted something about a murder. Then I remembered that a few days ago there had been a murder. A very macabre murder at that. The pitiful human had had her throat practically ripped out. It did seem like something that we would do. But, as vampires, we are intelligent enough to know the consequences of our actions. Some vampires have lived for centuries and never been caught for killing a human.

There are two reasons why we kill humans. The first, obviously, is because vampires crave blood. Especially human blood. The second is to get another vampire into trouble. Some of us kill, and leave a trail that leads directly to our enemy. That was exactly what happened here. Another vampire simply decided to let the entire town of Clarksburg, Massachusetts believe that I was the one who had killed that stupid girl.

Most vampires, such as myself, drink animal blood. The few of us who do, are young vampires. I wouldn't exactly consider myself young, being that I was born in the year 1904. As a vampire, I am only eighty-five years old. I was turned when I was nineteen, in 1923.

I shuddered as I remembered the night that my human life was taken away, and I was forced to live in secrecy for all eternity. But instead of living a secluded life as a vampire, I pretended to be human and lived peacefully in Clarksburg, and whenever an overly curious human noticed that I didn't age, I would arrange for them to have an accident of sorts. I was too civilized to kill them myself, so I had a few friends who were willing to get the job done.

I focused my attention back to the matter at hand. Only minutes ago, I had outrun dozens of crazed humans that thought I was a murderer, although I don't know who the actual murderer is.

Right now, I had bigger problems. Like where I am going to stay. I had been run out of my estate in Massachusetts, and I had nowhere else to go. Suddenly I remembered a house that I had visited frequently when I was friends with its owner. I had spoken with the owner since I was human in the early 1900's.

After I was turned, I purposely lost touch with her. She had become obsessed with me the moment we met, a fact that I didn't learn until I after I became a vampire. As a matter of fact, she was so infatuated with me, she had herself turned as well. All because she wanted to spend her entire life and afterlife with me. Her words, not mine. About a week ago, I heard that she had left to vacation in Ireland, or somewhere in that area. I hoped she was still gone so I could borrow her house for a while. If she was there when I arrived, she might get the wrong impression.

I stopped all of a sudden. Thinking about Darcy was beginning to make me sick. I had no intention of being friends, or more than friends, with her. But then again, I could always kill her…

Sighing, I began to run again, only to notice that I had come out of the forests long ago, and was now standing on an empty sidewalk. I couldn't remember the exact name of the street that Darcy's house was near, but looking at the street sign on the corner of the sidewalk, I could tell I was headed the wrong way. The sign was labeled Darlington Ave. I wondered how I could possibly get lost in a town as small as Ramsey, New Jersey. It suprised me that it had only taken less than twenty minutes to get from Massachusetts to New Jersey. It would have taken me at least thirty, but I was being chased, so I had sped up a lot.

I decided that if I continued walking this way, I would eventually come to the house. Time passed slowly as I strolled down the sidewalk, and I thought about how the impact of running of away would bruise my ego. It probably wouldn't. I had more confidence than Darcy did. She would walk into a room and strut around like she owned the place. The confidence probably came with the fact that we are predators.

Before I turned off of Darlington Ave., I passed a house that was decorated with colored lights and I suddenly recalled that today was Christmas Day. Of course, it was now after midnight, so it wasn't exactly Christmas anymore.

Through the thick snowfall, I could see a woman in her early thirties open the door. She stepped back as a few other people walked by her and thanked her for letting them spend Christmas with her, then they got into a car that was parked in the driveway and drove slowly down the road. For a moment, I was reminded of the times that I had spent holidays with my family. I quickly straightened up and pushed the thought to the back of my mind.

Thanks to my extraordinary hearing, I learned that the woman was Kelsey Rowe. She walked back inside and said something to someone that she called Kali. I tried to remember those names as I continued walking in what I was now sure was the right direction. I could have run, but I decided to save my energy, just in case I did have to kill Darcy.

Eventually, I made it to the house. Its front door was locked, and to avoid suspicion, I didn't bust out the windows. Instead, I walked to the back door and found that it was unlocked. I could hear the water rushing in the creek off to side of the house. Upon noticing the garden in the backyard, I grimaced. I would have to do something about the flowers. I opened the door to the large, white house and prayed that Darcy wasn't on the other side.

I stepped into a room that would have been frigid, had I not been naturally cold. I flipped on a switch beside the door and tried to adjust my eyes to the bright lights. Trying to remember where the bathroom was, I walked up the staircase and opened the first door I found, which happened to be the bathroom.

I splashed cold water onto my face to try not to fall asleep. Sadly, vampires have to sleep too. But only for about an hour or two. Unfortunately, I hadn't slept for a few days, and I reminded myself to sleep tonight so I could begin the process of fitting into this new town tomorrow.

I stood up straight and stared at my reflection in the mirror. Yes, vampires have reflections, but we can control when people can see them. If I felt like scaring some kid by not having a reflection, I could. It was one of many abilities that we vampires have acquired over the past few thousands of years.

My reflection startled me when I saw it. Not because I had never seen it, because I had. But because I looked tired. I hadn't fed or slept in days, and you could tell. My jet-black hair was messier than usual and my navy blue eyes had turned black with thirst. I quickly attempted to fix my hair and then walked back downstairs.

I found what I was looking for as soon as I entered the living room. Beside the gray sofa was an end table with a phone on it. I sat down on the couch and picked up the phone. I listened to the message that Darcy had programmed into it before she left. It said that she was on vacation for another month, and wouldn't be back until early February at the latest. Perfect. I dialed a number that I had become familiar with over the past few years.

I interrupted the man before he could even ask what I wanted,"Hello, Gabriel. It's me, Viktor. I was wondering if you knew anything about a girl named Kali Rowe."