Prologue

The Hunt

Night.

The perfect time for me. The distant smell of blood in the air, the rising Need inside of me, the sensitivity to every sound, sight, and smell. Everything has become real.

I waited for months for this night, when I shall enjoy, finally, what I must enjoy. Must enjoy to live. To be. This ancient hunger must be satisfied, or else, what shall I become? I'm already a monster. Maybe I'll become human.

Humans. I spent most of my life believing myself to be one of them, surrounded by them every single day. Perhaps I even was. But like I am now, there were the ones who wished me to become more.

Their hungers were just as strong, maybe stronger.

When I was twenty three years, five months, two days, five hours, 57 minutes and 20 seconds old, it happened. I was stolen away from the alley which I was walking through. For days, they kept me inside a cave, blindfolded. There were four of them, but the only one that drank my blood was rather tall – I got a look at him for a few seconds while I was being dragged away, and he spoke while doing it. He looked around thirty years old. He had short black hair. He drank blood from my neck. It was horrible, not because of the pain or loss of blood but because I knew what was happening.

Then, I was forced to drink his. I resisted. They didn't like this. One of them pinched my nose shut, and when I tried to breathe, the tall one poured his blood in to my mouth. I hated it.

It's all about satisfying a hunger. A hunger they needed to satisfy as much as I need to now.

So they did, and I can't blame them for that. They made me in to something more. Christopher 2.0.

It changed me. Now, the moon will sing. Quietly, at first. A mere annoyance. But she gets louder and I start to agree; wouldn't it be just wonderful to hunt tonight?

But it's too soon. I'm addicted, certainly; a monster, definitely. But I don't need to feed right away.

She gets louder every night, and senses slowly become sharper. They have to.

My hunger becomes so strong. And finally, it brings me here.

I'm here because I have a hunger, and I have to satisfy it, just as you have to drink and eat. It's essential, inescapable. Without this hunger, who would I be?

I've come too far.

But caution. Always caution. There are the police, the angry civilians, and who knows what else, all lurking out there, wanting to hurt poor Chris just because he occasionally breaks in to people's houses and drink their blood.

So I plan, and I wait, and I never rush in without some idea of how I'm going to escape afterwards, even when the voice of the moon is screaming at me to drink the warm blood and the only thing I should be able to focus on is the Act. The simple act of draining the blood out of my next victim.

And I want the blood so badly now. I'm on the hunt. It's a good night to feed, don't you think?

It's 1.00 AM in Detroit, where I am right now, driving through the streets, to where my victim sleeps.

Her name is Emily Williams, a 27 year old woman. She lives in a two story house. No pets, family or romantic partners, just her. For three weeks, I've done my best to find out where she will be and when. Turns out she's a bartender. I'll get her around 2.00 AM, when she's asleep. I'll arrive by 1.30 AM. She won't be home yet, but it doesn't hurt to be early, does it?

The light rain pattering against my car is relaxing. By the time I'm at her house it will probably have cleared up.

She won't die. I'm not that kind of monster. Not yet, at least, but who knows where my urges will take me? One day, perhaps. I hope not. I was human once, like I said.

No, I'll just drink her blood. It'll be painful in the morning, maybe she'll get some infection, but nothing too serious.

When I arrive, it is 1.20 AM. She'll be home in ten minutes, then she'll fall asleep. And I'll drink that sticky, hot blood that I need right now.

I open her gate, and climb up to her window. I open it, climb in to her bedroom, and close the window. I start looking for a hiding place.

Wardrobes are too risky. Underneath her bed is similarly dangerous. I finally find a hiding place downstairs, behind the television which is flat against the wall. I move it away, get behind it, and pull it back to the wall, merging with the shadows. I'm crouched.

My sharp senses detect her footsteps near th-

The gate. I left it open. Most people don't become too suspicious at this, but who knows? I could be in some serious trouble. I hear her stop. She has noticed.

It starts again and she opens the door with a baseball bat in her hands. She must have had it hidden outside in case she came home to a robbery.

For a second, there is nothing. Then, in a scared voice, she calls out. Turns on the light. Looks around. She looks in the kitchen, upstairs, everywhere. She returns.

If she sees me here, she'll scream. I've transformed in to something physically horrifying. My fangs are sharp, my skin is pale, and my fingernails have turned in to sharp, deadly claws. If she sees me, she'll scream, and the neighbours will hear. The police will be called. I'll have to kill her – there are still details about me, even in this form, that I don't want released – and then they'll hunt me because I will be a murderer. Eventually, I'll probably get caught. I'll fight back, soon be killed, and that will be the end of Christopher Green. A tragic loss.

She is there, so close to me, but she turns after what seems like an hour.

Soon, she is asleep on her bed. I creep upstairs, silently open the door, and lower my mouth until it touches the skin. My fangs break the skin and a taste a drop of delicious blood.

This is where I really become a monster. I suck much of it out, albeit quietly. I drink the delicious fluid as my eyes change colour.

About a minute of blood-drinking later, I lift my mouth. There's blood all over it, but I didn't actually drink too much; the cut is small.

I lick my lips, and let out a sigh of relief. It's been three months since I've fed this hunger, and once again I feel the satisfaction.

My eyes, normally blue, are now red. When a vampire feeds, our eyes change colour to distinguish who has had a meal recently. Long ago, when we were in tribes, if there was a dead human we had make sure everyone had their fair share. So, as a whole, we benefited from this, being able to all enjoy some blood.

Next, I take her left hand and cut it with one of my claws. I drink again, and then leave as silently as I had come.