A rock cried dust as five fingernails scraped across its surface. The hand attached to those fingernails grasped the rock as its owner nearly collapsed beside it.
Venule leaned against the wall of a cave opening. Heavy breaths escaped his weary lungs while his muscles pulsed painfully through his body.
He'd been driven from the village which had served his thirst for nearly a decade. Venule had placed confidence in loyalty through fear. Somehow quiet words from an outsider had spread across the village like ivy along a pillar. Those words became the seeds of that village's rebellion against him. Sheer will alone had carried him out of that mob's clutches and up to the seclusion of this cave.
Another tone began to intrude on the sound of Venule's own breathing. His ears perked up as they caught the grinding sound. Snoring – there was an animal somewhere in this cave!
"Dinner," the vampire hoarsely chuckled.
Venule willed himself to rise. Lack of nourishment made his limbs ache with every movement. But they trudged deeper into the cave.
Although animal blood was never as satisfying as human blood, it worked when needed. Right now, it was sorely needed. Venule hoped that he was about to drink the feast of a bear. But he'd gladly bite a porcupine at this point. Anything would help restore his strength. Once his power returned, he'd show that wretched village the true price of defiance.
He just hoped that he'd remember to check his rage enough to allow a few morsels to survive to breed. Vengeance wasn't worth much when a food source was wiped out completely.
The pathway soon divided into a choice for Venule. A tunnel as darkly hallow as a crypt faced Venule to the right. On the left, Venule caught some signs of glittering. Perhaps there was a hole in the cave roof allowing light to pass through. That meant an animal had easy access there.
Venule immediately followed the curving path to the left. More and more light greeted his eyes as he walked along the tunnel.
Suddenly the vampire found himself faced with a large cavern full of the light source. Piles and piles of shimmering coins covered the floor! Gold of every shape and size from rectangles to shields to a statue or two added their glowing worth to the spectacle. Sharing this space were various gems which sparkled in all colors of the spectrum.
None of that mattered to Venule. Instead his treasure lay snoring upon that cold metal. As many humans dismiss the likelihood of the supernatural so do the supernatural dismiss the existence of the mythic. Yet here it was; a windmill sized dragon right in front of Venule's eyes.
Ember-red scales rose and fell with every snore of the creature's lungs. But it was hardly that thick snouted face that Venule was thinking of.
Small droplets of moisture fell from the vampire's lips as he struggled to keep his tongue in his head. Here was a succulent bloody banquet laid out before him. True that immense liquid nourishment flowed through the body of a dragon. His tongue quietly stole a lap around his parched lips.
He was a vampire – a king of the night! No one, not even a not-so-mythical dragon, could stop Venule. He would simply scale this dragon's hide, have his drink and be gone long before this dozing beast could muster the energy to even wonder what had happened.
With one deep breath, his undead veins screamed in a hungry agony. He gritted his teeth and forced every ounce of his essence to focus.
Very quickly, Venule dashed up the dragon's forearm. He found a likely spot on the creature's back. He gulped hard to keep saliva from drenching his prey's scales. With a wide-jawed hiss, the vampire sunk his fangs deep into the dragon's scaly exterior.
But something wasn't right. No blood spurted onto his waiting tongue. Had he not gone deep enough? Venule wasn't exactly an expert in dragon vein location. Perhaps he needed to go deeper. He tried pushing his fangs down harder. Still the blood did not flow.
Venule decided that he'd try another spot. He pulled backwards. His fangs didn't move. He pulled again. Still, his fangs remained firmly staked to the spot. Venule yanked his jaw as hard as he dared. He tried wiggling his mouth around in his attempts to free himself. There was a twinge of pain as his gums began to lose their grip on his fangs. He pulled his head this way and that slowly becoming more panicked with every strain of his muscles.
Suddenly, he felt something grasp both sides of his torso. One quick yank freed Venule from the dragon's backside. Unfortunately, the vampire's teeth did not come with him. He let out a yelp as his fangs tore free of their roots.
As he writhed in pain, Venule found himself staring into the face of a disgruntled dragon.
A groggy voice flowed from the dragon's lips. "Ugh, just another pest."
Before Venule could respond, he was flicked away like a common housefly. He barely had time to ponder what'd just happened when he slammed into the cave wall. Thick rocky terrain stunned the vampire into unconsciousness as the wall embraced him in a perfectly shaped indent.
This so called "king of the night" had become another simple wall decoration among a pattern of vampires. Every one of them had come with the same hopes of a quick drink only to be plastered into the cave wall. Now they looked more like mere stencils within the rocks.
The dragon took a set of tweezers and carefully plucked the vampire's fangs from his back. Each one was gently deposited into a large jar already half filled with fangs. The jar's label indicated that it was for vampire's teeth specifically.
He yawned widely as he opened the door of a nearby cabinet. The jar was placed on a shelf next to a rack of werewolf pelts and a large group of knight's armor.
Then the dragon made himself comfortable on his treasure hoard and returned to a snoring dreamland.