Thank you for opening my first posted story! I hope that someone likes this enough to read it.
I've been writing for a while, but this is the first thing I've had courage enough to share.
Quick background: I find that most "vampire slave" stories are terrible, so I decided to try my own hand at it. I hope it's better than the stuff I see everywhere.
Please review and tell me how to improve!
So it's been three or four months since this was first posted, and I'd like to share some of what I've learned in that time:
First of all, I've realized that I'm writing this on a whim. It's been on hiatus for months now, but I am not really stressing because I've decided that it's not my top priority. Sorry, everyone, but as much as I want to improve, it's not going to be so much on this story as on others. I don't care about my vampires and their slaves as much as I care about other ideas, so this is still just a back-burner story.
Second, I'm really grateful to everyone who's read and reviewed. Really, I am - you make my day so much brighter every time I see that email. I'm quite literally addicted to reviews now, I think.
Third, I am working on chapter 12 currently, after a long break. It's coming along, and I have a rough sketch of the plot now (as opposed to going in blind like I was at the beginning).
Thank you all for opening the story! (and sorry to everyone who got this as an update email and found just a stupid AN. I promise, chapter 12's going to be out soon.)
Name: Erane. Belonged to Irrin Sivol d'Stira of the Meadowlands, two years. Multiple previous owners. Eighteen years old, human. Lived in Sagris for seven years, from Fallen Trading Company. Born November 12, United States of America. No living relatives. Blood type: O negative. No diseases, no allergies. Vaccinations received last two years ago. Sterilized seven years ago. Quick learner, but with a history of slight defiance.
The picture in my file shows a frightened little girl of eleven, with wide grey eyes and chestnut hair. The auction house has not bothered to update it since my first year, since no vampire looks past the personality characteristics and healing statistics in the file when bidding on a slave.
Standing at the end of the line, awaiting my turn to step onto the auction stage, I run through my entire file in a technique to calm myself with what the bidders will be seeing. Of course, most will just be seeing the large percentage of skin I am showing, but the recitation steadies me.
I hear the girl in front of me sold for a paltry bid of 600, and I cringe for her. She is one of those who has been abused so much that she is now only good for feeding. She will not last long after this night.
Then I wipe my mind of her fate because in this world, we can only care about ourselves, and I step up onto the stage with a slight grace in my step. First impressions are everything if I do not wish to be sent to a bloodhouse, so I use every second to my advantage. I do not flounce or sway or stalk – I simply walk confidently, surely, up to the stand and look out over the red-eyed crowd with unreadable burning eyes.
My game is a dangerous game. I can never know if the challenge I offer will get me a better master or a terrible one, but it is all I can do in order to keep myself from the dregs. Lower vampires will not bother with something they have to train and unravel, and in general the lower ones are lower for a reason. Most slaves are better off with a higher vampire, if only because they usually have more slaves and can afford to spend less attention on any one of them. Of course, it is always a gamble. I may get stuck with the worst master in the history of Sagris, but I am just doing the best I can to survive.
I keep the confidence and intensity in my bearing as the auctioneer begins to introduce me.
"This darling is just back from the Meadowlands, but she's been with us off and on for seven years, originally from Terra. She's a feisty one, I can tell you, but I have a feeling that she'll be well worth the effort." As he goes on, his words are painting my picture for me, but I can only hope that the throng is right for this game tonight.
"She's a healthy O negative, and a delicious one at that," here he winks because everyone knows that low vampires like him do not get to taste the merchandise, "so we are going to start the bidding at 10,000."
Immediately, the bidding starts, and I do not even bother keeping track of the numbers until it is down to two bidders. My price is reaching the seventh digit now, the highest it has ever gone, which generally means that my life is now either pretty good or really, really bad. One of the vampires is small and elderly, a third tier by his silver hair, looking quite wealthy but extravagant. I can tell that he would be one of those old leches who would care only for my body and my blood and leave me generally to my own devices as long as I stayed out of his way. With him, I may have three or four other slaves for company, which is the general situation with most of my masters. If I go with him, I will probably be back here within two years.
The other man is calling numbers almost lazily, contrasting harshly with the desperate thirder. He is tall and dressed in soft blacks, but the red tattoo around his throat shows that he is a human, so I cannot judge my new master based on the bidder. All I can guess is that he is either too lazy or too powerful to be bothered with such a thing as slave auctions. To have a red human, however, means that he must be either second or first tier, and this means that I will either be just a worker slave bought under the red's discretion, or a special human sent for specifically by the master. I can only hope that it will be the former.
As I run my eyes over the two options for my life, the bidding escalates to desperate shouts from the elderly thirder, finally shut down by a calm pronouncement by the human:
The entire auditorium goes silent. Even I am shocked – that is above and beyond the record for any slave ever bought, and the third tier vampire had only been bidding in the 40,000,000s.
The auctioneer nervously closes the auction, everyone still too shocked to say a word, and I walk off the stage and into the holding area. I wait there for just about two minutes for him to pay the exorbitant amount to the auction house, thinking that based on that number, I am probably not just going to be a worker. I feel dread wash over me.
The man who comes to retrieve me, upon closer inspection, is not as young as he had seemed under the lights. Wrinkles creep around his face, and silver encroaches on his hairline. He nods at me to follow him, and I obediently step behind him as he leads me down the hallway to his transportation – a small black covered wagon, not uncommon for colored humans and lower vampires to ride around in. I sit on the floor against the wall, knowing that now is not a good time to be defiant of authority.
I look at my knees, holding them against my chest in the fetal position, doing the best I can to cover the dreadful amount of skin I have been showing. Even though I have been doing this for years, I have never truly gotten used to it.
I wait patiently for the man to tell me who my master is, just barely holding my tongue in case this human is one of the stuffy, vampire-emulating ones who hates slaves despite being one himself.
Finally, my patience pays off and he begins to speak in a clipped voice that expresses that haste and stress only known in head slaves, so different from the apparently forced languor that dominated his voice in the auction.
"Master asked for you specifically, notwithstanding price, and I would advise you to be on your best behaviour around him. He is not a very –" he stops himself, considering what word he can safely choose, "stable," he tries, "master."
I raise my head, filing that word 'stable' away for now to make sense of later, watching the man for any indication I may not speak. Finding none, I ask softly and emotionlessly,
"Who is my master?"
He glances sharply at me, silently warning me not to speak unless spoken to, but he does not answer my question.
"I have been told that you are not to know. Do not speak again, and get some sleep. The journey will be a long one." The unexpected not-quite-kindness-but-definitely-not-coolness in his words surprises me, and as I force myself under unconsciousness, I think that it might be concealed pity.
Thanks for reading! Again, please review and tell me what you thought.
I've been working on this for a while, so I would love for someone to tell me if it's just as cliche as most everything else I've seen.
Please review! (but if you don't, thanks again for reading!)