Gluttony Be Thy Vice, Part One
“You have the right to remain silent. Should you show any resistance, we are authorized to use lethal force to maintain peace within the states. Do you understand?” The gruff tone of the heavily armored SWAT officer, his automatic weapon pressed firmly against my left temple, his boot on my back pinning me to the ground, made me truly believe he wanted me to resist, just so he could put me down.
I hold out my arms, pale hands palm down, and spread out on the cool stone floor of my lair. I knew one day they would catch me, dragging me from the bowels of my playroom. I just wish they hadn’t caught me so soon.
I still had four children left, after all.
The officer grunts, pressing harder on my back with his boot as another two come up to my sides, each taking an arm in a firm grip. Carefully, they hoist me up, another four officers aiming their rifles at me the entire time. I smile widely for them, the smear of red blood dribbling from my mouth making the one on the left quiver with rage.
The two officers wrestle my arms behind my back, shackling me with a set of heavy silver manacles. The metal stings as it sears into my flesh, but I’m old enough that it doesn’t send me screaming in agony. The officer who’d pinned me to the floor, a heavyset man with weathered features, looks almost disappointed by my lack of a reaction. I turn my smile to him, my neck popping several times as my muscles unlock my interlinking vertebrae to allow me to spin my head owlishly.
“Knock that off,” he ordered, shouldering his rifle and aiming it directly in my face. “Don’t give me a reason.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it, officer,” I replied around a mouthful of sharpened teeth, triangular saws somewhat set in rows, one after the other. I maintain my staring contest with him, my grin growing wider as I force him to look away from my red orbs.
There’s still the rumor that we can entrance someone with but a glance.
I love that rumor.
No, we Nocturnis Sapiens only have a few distinct advantages over the rest of our mouth-breathing cousins. We have much longer life spans, for one. I myself, am well over two-hundred years old, and I’ve met a few of my kind that claim they can remember the Roman Empire.
I don’t know about that, but they certainly did appear to be as ancient as the ruins in Italy, so who could say?
We can also survive solely on blood, but can draw sustenance from meat so long as it’s fresh. Our organs, for a lack of a better term, draw sustenance from blood and tissue so long as it’s raw and warm. Our hearts pump only when we have fluids to do so; without feeding every few weeks, we start to slow down, to go into hibernation.
Not a pleasant feeling.
Some, like me, tend to feed more than is required. This is where the vampire myth evolved from. Pale figures that move in the darkness and feed on the blood of the living. Mostly true, save for the fact that while not dead, I am not biologically alive either. My heart pumps blood stolen from others, and I have no reproductive urges to speak of.
I simply exist.
Since we were finally outed in the early sixties, many laws were enacted to monitor us. The good little vampires go to clinics to feed on donated blood twice a month and go about their nights as normally as any human would their days. The naughty vampires like me, better known as Fangs, get hunted for sport and safety for the public.
I’ve had hunters come knocking with everything: garlic, crucifixes, bibles, even crossbows. But those are just myths, all with a shred of truth in them. Garlic does bother our sense of smell, which we use to sniff out blood in the air. Crucifixes, when held by the pious, can harm us and even make us flee. Bibles are just books, and crossbows with silver arrowheads are a certain death to an overconfident Fang.
Oh yeah, and the stories about sunlight? Not so true… we enter a death state during the sunlight hours. For all intents and purposes, we’re corpses bloated with blood. We start to undergo rigor mortis and gather flies and everything. By the time we wake back up at dusk, we have an “earthy” smell about us and one helluva back-ache.
The second set of manacles, these ones linking to the ones on my wrists to a metal belt they are fastening to me, makes me wince. Silver is something that we’re all allergic to… though the older we are, the more we can tolerate.
I guess that’s another myth that’s true: the older vampires are stronger than the younger ones.
The younger ones being the ones we infect with our lovely condition by transmitting our blood into them through a fun little method that, due to its nature, has been called the Kiss of Death.
Yeah, we must lock lips while we bite off a piece of our own tongue, and pump the stolen blood into you, which you must swallow. Takes about three or four pints, so not many can stomach the process.
Heh… stomach it…
I snickered, causing all the officers to flinch, steadying their rifles with the sights set on my heart and my face. I hold my hands up as best I can, palms spread wide.
“I’m good and caught gentleman, no need to worry,” I say, smiling with a lopsided grin as I tilt my head, my curtain of silky black hair swishing over my face. “The big, bad vampire is in chains… you’ve won.”
“Where are the children?” One of them, a black man with a mustache, demanded, jostling his weapon closer to me.
“Well, I have four left if that’s what you’re asking,” I replied, watching as the men all look at me in horror. “What?”
“You took an entire kindergarten class!” One of the men growled, stepping forward. His beady eyes study me with an unhealthy amount of rage.
“I got hungry,” I replied.
He lunged forward, bringing the butt of his rifle into play as he bashed me in the side of the head, sending me toppling to the ground. The blood-slickened stone allowed me to slide a few feet as I laughed, both at how miserable his little punch is and how infuriated the men must be.
I mean, they stormed my little cave with twenty or so men. There’s only seven left.
Between snorts of laughter, I turn to smile at the beady-eyed officer. “You best behave, officer, lest I charge you with assault!”
He growled but, predictably, backed off to allow two other officers the chance to scoop me back up. I’m caked in congealed blood, the blood of the men who’d come charging down into my nest in hopes of rescuing twenty-eight kids from their fate. I was so gorged on blood and meat that their bullets had little effect on me, my body quickly knitting itself back together as they tore into me, allowing me to tear into them.
Now, having been bled almost dry from the number of rounds spent to take me down, I finally relax and let them have their way. One thing I can say about this great nation I live (kind of) in is that the justice system will do what it does best.
It’ll mess up.
They drag me from the depths of my home, tugging at me as I allow myself to fall dead in their hands.
Why make it easier for them?