Friday, 16 December 2011

Friday Flash Fiction - Patience

When people think of vampires, they think Hollywood. Who can blame them? They think Ann Rice. They think Buffy. Some of them even think of Twilight. The truth is, we're more literally cold-blooded than that. We live in the darkness, below ground; sewers, storm water drainage, caves and basements. We're like snakes, nesting in one place, using little energy, waiting for the next kill to come by and then BAM! The energy lasts months, sometimes years. Meanwhile we hibernate in the dark, warm places. You think it's life and youth everlasting, but it's more like prolonged stasis and timelessness. In that waiting state, time seems to fly past like nothing gets in its way. You have no idea what it's like to watch, unblinking, for days on end. Patience is a virtue for you. For us, it's necessity. And then that moment of the kill, the seconds can stretch out to feel like years.

I've seen would-be slayers before. Headstrong young men trying to prove themselves. Bold teenage girls with home-carved stakes and gloves with crosses sewn onto the knuckles, as if either of those things would help. When you can move faster than sound, what chance does an ordinary human have? That was why the old man gave me pause. He didn't walk like the drunks that usually find their way into my drainpipe, and he didn't smell drunk either. He stopped at the entrance, muscles loose and ready. I waited. It's what I do.

When he made his move, my metabolism kicked into hyperdrive, and the world stood still. His right hand brought up a pistol crossbow and fired, but I had hours to move out of the way. Around then I started noticing something odd about his movements. They were quicker than I expected, and maybe they were even speeding up. His left hand was swinging around holding a tranquiliser syringe, and it was obviously going faster than it should. Before it arrived at my neck, I started seeing stars, my fingertips started to tingle and I got dizzy. I fell to the floor of the tunnel, face up, and just had time to see the second man standing over me, wearing the gas mask.

That was maybe three years ago. An eyeblink in my time. I woke up in a cage, on display in some dark pit, where people come to see the real, live vampire. They tried feeding me every day - vermin, of course. As much as they want the spectacle, the people don't want to see me drain a rabbit, a cat, a puppy ... or a human. I don't need nearly as much as that, so the rats just piled up. I could leave at any time, but I am waiting. I wait to see those two faces again, close enough to strike. I am patient. I can wait.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - The plot-free first paragraph was all I had of this for a long time.
PPS - Hope you like it.

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