I enjoy grave yards. I must admit, I find the very essence of the eternity they hold intoxicating. Weathered
stones, denying time, ensuring the lonely wanderer like me will see the names of those who have passed on,
and somehow bring their spirits back to life. I consider each name as I pass by, look at the dates and studying
their life spans. Unlike most, I wonder at the full lives rather than the ones which have been cut short. In the
existence of every man, at least one of life's mysterious will be shown in a new light. How bright must that
light have become for one who lived until eighty instead of till ten.
Every where you look, you see stone cold words, such as "A loving wife," or, "she died so young".
These stones mourn the most, because they offer nothing to a soul the guilt of grief, and bid it stay until the
words can be washed from the marble face. Other's are a celebration of the life force the soul carried, they
give it a farewell and offer it finality. Then, there are the unmarked stones, set as centennials of unclean
beasts that did not deserve a Christian burial, or as a guardian for those who could not afford one.
I was placed in such a grave. My soul escaped through the lack of words, but the body remained,
encroached in the ethereal beauty of the damned. My skin was soft when the last of the decaying flesh rubbed
off, my hands long and slender. My vision became enhanced like that of the starving, and that is the creature
that I have become. No longer a being, but rather a sensation, I am the hunter, the wolf, the death of
starvation for eternity, an unsatiated thirst as I part from God, spiritual hell inside physical man. As I feed, I
succumb to the momentary joy, but the instant jowl's part from flesh, I once more I am alone. I feel the
lacking of myself deep within me, every part stripped except my conscience. The knowledge of that which I
do is wrong coupled with the inability to do what is right. If I ever this flesh and bone where ever to turn to
dust, there would be no loss, no pain within me, for I am this body, this shell which fills it's cracked clay with
wine, only to thirst for more, and I would cease to exist. For without himself, man is nothing, so I am no
man, but an animal. I lack the ability to love, or to recall the sensation, but unlike a dog, I am capable of
dreams. And there's the rub, that I can envy the life which evades me with every vein I suck, every heart I
force myself inside of. What remains here is not the evil in me, for that was part of my soul as well as the
good. What remains is the desperation, the eternal hunger of which I speak.

I was born in the village of the damned, child of gypsy clowns. Spirituality put on display, a parade of
misfits the authorities called them. I say them, because although I was part of my family, I did not consider
myself to be a side show freak. I was an ugly child, this is true, hairless, withered skin. An old man before
my time. Thin tongued and knobby kneed, they told others I was their serpent, but within the bonds of family
I was loved and called Child. If I was born with a real name, if I came into this world as a normal child, I
don't know. Perhaps, having received no Christian name, I was doomed from the start. My family has
always believed that a mans life is set in stone before he is born. If so, I was born the nameless, hairless
wonder. Disgusting and damned for sins I did not yet know existed before I learned to walk.
I never really did walk, though, instead, I slithered. My left leg was stiff, and followed me along the
ground, pet servant to my right and it's chain. I once tried to sever that foot from my body. I thought that if
the disjointed member were gone, I would fly away home on my right leg. I would soar away from the circus
in the valley and back to the mountains of Ireland where They found me.
Beyond the time I tried to sever my foot, I remember nothing. I recall only the desire to return to the
life and family I never knew. At the time I had created for a myself a world that I came from, with people
cripled like me, who lived with out fear, where one could carry strength in the weakness of another. Now I
am certain there was no life before that. I feel now as if I may have always been a demon.
On the day I tried to release myself from my own flesh, an experience I would soon and successfully
repeat, my older brother followed me out to the woods. He was a handsome man, fit in his youth, now radiant
in middle age, a father of three aspiring fortune tellers, the picture of gypsy traditional values, if such exists
withing this world. Seth found me in the out by the hole we'd dug for the latrine together. My useless leg lay
propped upon the wood chopper, my torso on a tree for balance. Haphazardly I yielded a saw over my
shaking muscles. He watched me for sometime, I certain trying not to laugh. I could not physically lay down
the weight needed to complete the operation, and so he knew I was in no danger. Only when my body began
to buckle under the strain of my failed attempts did he emerge from his hiding place.
Without saying a word, Seth gently took the blade from me and laid it out of my reach. I bit my lip,
shaking more from the embarrassment of being caught then the actual attempt at mutilation itself. With a
hand from Seth, I sat upon the slightly bloodied tree stump. Still working silently, he bound my wounds with
my torn pants, taking greet care not to jolt me. When the job was done, he removed the long jacket he wore
and placed it upon my shoulders, and gesture which commonly meant he would spare my pride by allowing
me to hide my wounds. Gratefully, I watched the strong man of the broad back moving away through the
shadows, back along the trail towards camp. Although it was mid December, what I then felt was the
warmest moment of my life. To this day, I remember what a heart feels like from that experience alone,
watching the one kind moment I've ever known walking away, leaving me in an aura of safety.
I'll never forgiven fate for what happened.
The warmth was broken by the blast of a cold scream echoing across the foothills of the valley. The
sound rose in pitch, from dull surprise to screeching agony, then dropped into a bloody gurgle. A snarl and
the gnash of teeth, the sound of bodies crashing, of flesh being torn from the bone. Enveloped in a fear that
would have motivated a strong man, I pushed myself up and moved towards the noise in the agonizing
slowness of a nightmare. It is what I don't miss, the lethargy, the helplessness of a form gone terribly wrong.
Death was only a few feet away, so close I could smell it, so near I could touch, perhaps send it away again, if
I were but a strong man.
I was not, however, but weakness. Weakness, and shooting pain up my left side, and confusion, and
black hatred for myself as well as this death. Fear I could have conquered, but not this. An emotion as raw as
hatred, despair filled my marrow and drove bile to my throat.
"Seth?" I croaked, pushing through the foliage, foot catching on branches, slowing me further. Fear
made my face numb, pain turned my voice to a cracked whisper.
"Seth!" I cried hoarsely, not nearly enough to be heard over the ensuing battle.
It was then I heard a loud pop, the snapping of a thing bent too far the wrong way. A series of howls
rose into the night air. I knew these wolves. They'd hunted about our encampment for days, feeding upon
our scraps of meat. This act of contrition had apparently not been enough to satiate them. Little did I know,
as the anger filled my bones, that these same beasts would one day be my brothers. The wails of the creatures
came closer, moving me forward as I came to meet them. The sounds dispersed, traveled around me through
the foliage, then back into the depths of the forest. I did not understood until much later why they did not
take me as well. With our sense of smell, we shadows of the night can taste another. Knowing they'd
broached my territory, the animals whimpered in cowardice behind me.
As quickly as my leg and anxiety would allow, I pushed my way through to the thinning trees, out to
where the edge of the forest met our camping grounds. In the dusk of the evening, the colors of world were
muted to deep browns and grayed crimson, but the lack of vitality in the vision couldn't mask it's horror. I
see each detail even now, as I close my eyes I find it imprinted upon the lids, a picture I bought with my
uselessness that I never can take down. The green canopy of the trees reflected in shadows, the wind playing
the leaves, shifting the lighting so that I saw the body in pieces, disjointed as if through a camera shutter, the
picture flickering, as if the body were writhing. As if Seth were still alive. To this day I wonder if he was,
although logically I know this could not but true, for there was blood all around, black blood and clumps of
hair, wolf hair, his hair, stuck to my trousers, stuck to my shoes. Bones, gleaming white bones in black and
gray backing, a stark contrast to the dark night, white except for the flesh which lung there. My golden
brother's flesh.
All the while the earth began to move faster, too quickly for my death muddled brain. Death clung to
my mind, attacking my spirit. Only once since then have I felt death so strongly, so vivid that I could not let it
go. It began to drag me under, all though my heart still beat at a frenzied pace. Slowly, despite the worlds
swiftness, I sank to the ground, not falling, but flying. Flying down the hill and into the camp, blood on my
hands and face, but I don't recall touching the body. The bandage had fallen from my leg and my clothes were
torn, irreparable, I thought, foolishly.
The others sat about the fire, watching me approach, staring like dumb animals as I called to them, as
I told them to take Seth from the mountain, take what was left before the wolves could finish him. Still they
stared, all dumb animals. 'Why are you watching me?!' I shouted. Then I was ten feet away, then next to
Lillian. Lillian, the other one who wasn't part of They. Lillian, she'd know what to do. I started for her, and
she rose to meet me, took my hand and led me to the tent, all the while I blubbered and screamed and
demanded the men destroy the pack, demanded they avenge our brothers' death. Lilian sat me on her bed, a
mat stuffed with fine down, one she'd made herself. In my state of shock, I could feel each satin stitch, could
admire the strength of her handiwork. I found it oddly comforting. Still, I tried to rise, had to tell the others,
had to make them go. The tiny hand she placed on my forehead might have been a brick, for all I could move
away from it. Two warm fingers brushed the bridge of my nose, brushed my eye lids down. Try as I may,
could move these neither.
Useless. Weak. Useless. These words drove in my mind, drove in a beat like a horses hooves,
screamed like an angry mob. Then the screaming was audible, and I could sense torch light. The men were
rising to fight.
"They move," Lilian assured me softly, inches from my face, "do not fear. Sleep, young one. I will
tend your wounds. These wolves teeth cut deep. Sleep."
Wolves teeth? I had not been attacked. Surely I would know if I had, but shock had been known to
kill a man before he knew he'd been injured. Confusion set in deeper then before, dragging my mind further
into the myself, melding it further within me, calling it again to become part of me, but not removing it from
the death completely before I fell into black.

An awareness of good an evil. A strength of the beautiful pairing so strong it divides the mind and
burns the soul. That is what it is like to become a vampire. When the breath is gone from the body, the last
waft of air passes out and the eyes dilate to allow the passage of the soul, when the body is cold but is filled
with a wondrous sense of 'hollow', a glorious guiltlessness that is one step below Gods' salvation; eternal
damnation. Then the body collapses in upon itself, crushes the glory and turns to death, and all you want, for
eternity, is to be filled with that emptiness, like a bubble that expands the shell and allows for clarity. The
eyes of the hungry are yellow as a wolves, yellow as an animals because they too have no soul. A thirst for
human death, to live the death again, to feel that moment of purity through another, through the taking of that
life, the drinking of their blood. It is a love shared, one greater than that of man and perfect God, one born
of sin in the Garden, is the love of man and perfect man. Perfection born in the instant of soullessness, but
lost directly after, when the body begins to die and there is no hope. No hope but for the eternal to find the
next kill, to share the next love and to experience perfection again, like a drug.

I watched the rain sigh its way through the whispering leaves on the day they burried Seth. There was
not much left to bury, really. A few bones, some scraps of clothing, all fit into small wooden box very much
resembling a hope chest. I found it difficult to pay attention to the funeral, my mind seemed detached from
the experience. It was rather like a memory, or a dream, floating about me but insubstantial, unfeeling.