Love At Sunset
LOVE AT SUNSET
BY EDWARD DRAKE
When a person, their soul, their body, their mind is changed, a demonic hunger overwhelming all, will the bond with their loved one still remain.
I get into the building just as the sun is rising and chastise myself for leaving it so late. The winter was coming to an end, the days becoming longer and the mornings starting ever earlier. I should know better by now. It is stupid of me.
Hurrying up the stairs I trip and almost drop the parcel which is so vital. I pass one of my neighbours, an old lass who greets me kindly, but I merely say ‘Hi’ before continuing up. She is lucky. The blood in her is so aged that it does not tempt. I can barely even hear her heart beating.
As I reach the door to my home I fumble with the keys in my haste and drop them. Through the stairwell window I can see the orange horizon in the distance, foretelling that the first rays of sun will emerge at any moment. I grab the keys from the floor and again try to open the door as fast as I can. At the last moment, seconds before it is too late, the lock clicks and the latch opens. I barge through the door and slam it shut behind me, breathing deeply, steadying myself. I swear that I will not leave it so late to return next time I go out for food.
I pass the bedroom as I head towards the kitchen and am glad to see my return has not stirred its single occupant. All the windows in the flat are covered with curtains or shutters, not a single bit of outdoor light intruding into my home. Although it is barely lit I can see my way perfectly, not ever needing a light to guide my way. No decorations, framed photographs of family, mirrors, or even a television fill the apartment, the walls a simple plain white. A basic, round clock ticks upon the wall and really it is redundant, the only important time being when the sun rises and when it will next fall.
Pulling open the door to the empty fridge the dim bulb flickers on, revealing it to be as empty as the rest of the flat. I place the parcel on the highest shelf, against the block of slowly growing ice at the back. The parcel remains unopened, knowing that it would be too much of a temptation if what is inside is in revealed.
Slumping down on the sofa I hiss in pain. A small gap in the curtains had allowed the rising sunlight to pour in. It falls upon my arm, which burns a deep red before I can quickly pull it back into the shadows. Reaching out, but with utmost care, I pull the curtain across so that it covers the entire window. Again I curse myself as lucky. If I had been bathed in light completely my existence would be over, only a pile of ash where I had sat remaining. My legacy would live on in her though.
We have been together for years, meeting as children, long before my change. When it happened I tried to stay away, but love has an even tighter hold than the strongest addiction. I was petrified that when I saw her I would not be able to control myself. That thought scared me more than anything else. I had to see her though. Staying in the shadows like some perverted stalker I followed her. I was young then though and inexperienced. I judged the timing completely wrong and was nearly incinerated as the new day began.
She found me huddling in a shaded corner, pale, shaking and clutching my cloak over my head. Pity took her, thinking that I was an addict, hooked on cocaine or some form of narcotic, and that was why I had disappeared those months ago. Helping me home, she tried to care for me, but my love came too close and I showed myself for what I had become. She recoiled in terror and that utter look of fear shook me to my corrupted core.
Calming, we talked. It was the first time since it happened that I had talked to anyone. I could hear her heart beat and the blood pump in her veins so loudly that it felt like a drumming in my head, but I did not thirst for it. My love for her and that terrified look she had given me had formed a barrier which could not be penetrated. She did not believe my story at first, the tale of how I had been jumped whilst walking home, how the madman had bitten me and how I had awoken alone and in my flat. She did not believe that my kind really existed. I could not blame her. I had thought the same before. The more I told her the more she could see that my words were true. Although tears did not come, she knew when I was hurting.
Through her own constant tears she told me how devastated she had been when I had disappeared. How she had searched high and low for me and the police had appealed on television for anyone with information. She told me how alone and abandoned she had felt and how much she still loved me. Even as days became weeks became months, she never gave up on me. It was heart-breaking to hear.
Despite my warnings to stay away, she pleaded to know where I was staying and for her to be able to visit. Looking into her beautiful eyes, I could not deny it. She visited every day, always after sunset when she knew I would be awake. In all that time I was never tempted.
On the night bus merely hours ago there was a drunken girl with a bandaged hand on her way home. She was returning from the hospital, having received cuts from a broken glass at a club she told me as she still swayed. I did not listen to her words though, I was only able to hear her blood pump and see the slowing spreading crimson patch on her bandages. I would have taken her then and there if it had not been for a homeless guy begging change from me, shifting my attention. The one who slumbered on my bed though, I could never harm her, let alone…
After two months she had a request that I could not understand. She wanted me to take her, to change her, to make her like me. I had furiously argued that I could not unleash this curse on anyone, let alone her. Over time she wore me down though. She was aging before my very eyes whilst I still remained as I was. I loved her more than anything and always would. It was another month before I finally agreed.
The fiction and the films have it wrong. It’s not about having numerous brides in breast enhancing bodices that tend to your every whim. Besides, most of the others of my kind that I have met are loners, hiding in societies shadows. They feed upon what dregs they can find, never feeling safe enough to go after what they crave most. The last time I did, it was reported as a ritual sacrifice and I had felt dirty ever since. We are a plague, nothing more. We are not terrifying villains or Hollywood pin-ups who struggle with our strife but still get the girl. We are monsters in the darkness, but mainly to ourselves.
For me, life is not about the kill or the seduction of anything you want. It is about having someone with you that no matter what happens, what you go through or what changes you have undergone, will always love you. I care for her more than my own survival. If it came to a choice, I would die for her. To be able to live on together for eternity, it was something neither of us could turn down.
The change was hard on her at first, as it was for me, but day by day she became stronger and recovered. She will awake soon and need to feed. That was why I could not touch the package in the fridge. Its contents are needed for her and the little one.
My love and the soul growing inside her will live on together with me.
Copyright. Edward Drake. 2011