The Warmth

Sniffing out the scent of the living is easy… my mind is foggy, a faint echo of what I was once. I knew this, and could feel it deep in my core. I didn’t care. I wanted the warmth of the living. I didn’t just want it, I needed it. Racing across the dark yard up to the edges of the wooden home, I drift up to peer through the darkened window. Three flickering life forces, one dwindling and weak with two vibrant flames of youth that made my very frame shake with desire.

No, I chastise myself. Hold it in… control yourself.

I drift up to the second story, sliding through the half open window like smoke. A rasping cough draws my attention, bringing a smile to my face. I see an old woman sitting in her bed, a thin cloth wrapped around her frame. Crooked and face heavy with lines from years of worry, she moves away from the bed toward the chamber pot. Her flickering life force dwindles even further as I slowly creep closer, her body seizing up as I drift around her, my trailing mist sifting into her legs.

“Hello Gracie,” I whisper in her ear, crooning like a long forgotten lover. “It’s time for you to move on.”

She seems surprised at first, before a small smile graces her wrinkled features. She closes her eyes as my smoky hand pierces her chest, reaching in to wrap my chilling finger around her heart. Pulling on it slightly, I feel her body quiver uncontrollably, a sickening rasping coming from her throat as I drain the warmth from her beating heart, slowing it down. She loses control of her legs and falls, and I drift to the floor, squeezing the heat from her ancient heart as best I could, until her body fell limp, her eyes glazed over and her last breath rattled past her yellowed teeth.

Looking up, I see her silver shrouded spirit staring down at me, the light coming off of her blinding, stinging my shadowy form as I hissed at her presence.

“I’m dead?” She said, sounding confused, her tone watery.

“Yes,” I growl, knowing what happens next. “Now move on!”

A funnel of brilliant light forms behind her, allowing her to be drawn into the swirling vortex of prismatic rays to be pulled to the other side. I sneer at her as her eyes widen in awe of what is happening, and I push down the bile of jealousy that comes every time I kill someone with a “pure” soul. There is no light for me, no end to the misery and the dark. I slither over the dead old woman, slinking through the open window and back into the darkened world of the night. I soar through the air, scowling as the warmth I drained seems to be seeping out of me at an alarming rate already. At this rate, I’ll have to kill again in another few days.

Letting out a cold breath past my bare teeth, I double my efforts as I fly off into the darkness seeking more warmth to collect until I can finally go into that golden tunnel myself.


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