Requiem for a Vampire

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Ex Machina, Dec 2, 2015.

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  1. Requiem for a Vampire
    by @Ex Machina and @La Reina

    THIS WAS A NIGHTMARE, yet it was impossible to wake up or get out. It went on and on, and every time Cleopas open his eyes from the long sleep he felt sad. He felt afraid. He felt a misery, for which he didn’t know the name, a dread that made the scheme of things devoid of reason.

    He awoke every night as if jerked by a chain, hungry, staring blankly into the black darkness of his coffin — His coffin? — he felt an anger mingling in him. It was not possible that this was happening to him, that he was in this low-ceiling crypt beneath the floor of a burial vault, that this had been done to him.

    And then he saw the gaunt, rotting corpse on the edge of the coffin. He did not know this man, only that this was his grave. And he had invaded the sanctuary out of need, out of safety from the sun. For this unfathomable life he lived now was indeed a curse. He knew peace only when he slept, and when he satisfied the hunger that was constant.

    He knew he must leave this grave. He knew he must feed.

    The night was warm as it had been every night this summer, and as he stepped out into the grass, he saw countless stars overhead, uneven, some so clear they were faintly yellow or even pink, others merely tiny points of white light. And the fleeting clouds made him rock for a moment on the balls of his feet with his head back, for the whole earth seemed to move. Outside, staring out into the black sky with its wealth of stars drifting slowly down into the sea, he felt alive, and for a moment there was that ineffable beauty of life that permeated all around him. He craved so much to be part of it again, it tormented him.

    He moved from shadow to shadow undetected, too fast for mortal eyes to grasp. For if they did see they would see death staring back. And like a shadow he climb to the roof tops of the edifices, prowling the arches and dynamic rhythm of columns and pilasters, and external facades and embellishments of form, light and shadow that painted a picturesque city of Naples.

    It was the year 1715. Louis XIV, le roi soleil of France, had just died. Peter the Great was the czar of Russia. In the far-off North American colony of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin was nine years old. George I had just taken the throne of England. African slaves tilled the fields of the New World on both sides of the equator. A man could be hanged in London for the theft of a loaf of bread. He could be burned alive in Portugal for heresy. Gentlemen covered their heads with great white wigs when they went out; they carried swords, and pinched snuff from small jeweled boxes. They wore breeches buckled at the knee, stockings, shoes with high heels; their coats had enormous pockets. Ladies in ruffled corsets fixed beauty marks to their cheeks. They danced the minuet in hooped skirts; they held salons, fell in love, committed adultery. On the sunny Italian peninsula, foreign domination had made great inroads. The Archduke of Austria ruled the northern city of Milan and the southern Kingdom of Naples.

    Naples was more wondrous at night than anything he had ever beheld; overlooking town and sea, he searched for his first kill. He picked up the scent of blood. And he heard again the enchanting familiar thunder of blood in mortal veins. Blood. He was thirsty for blood. His insides cried for it, his tongued craved its honeyed-bitterness.

    In the pockets of light his skin looked like porcelain, and he had a little cleft to his chin that suggested a man, lacking the slightest roughness of a man’s beard. He was fair, a white-skinned youngman with a face chiseled out of the purest marble. His dark eyelashes and pink lips had such a sheen to them they appeared to have been painted. His dark hair curled naturally at his shoulders; it was just a little too long. He was all done up in a frivolous coat of gold-threaded brocade which gave him the tawdry look of one of those marble statues in a church which is dressed in real cloth garments by the faithful.

    With little ease yet a spurt of speed he took to the lower roofs. The scent of mortals was stronger for him, sweeter. And the gentle roar of excited voices, the natural sound of people beguiled him. He jumped and hit the pavements of the street below, so swiftly he seemed to simply appear. A blur to the mortals, but nobody was looking.

    Within minutes he was before the prey he had picked, it was his scent that lured Cleopas to him. He was bleeding — resting against the wall from a stabbed wound, head lolling to one side in pain. Before he could cry out, Cleopas had him in his arms — He was starving, starving for the blood of mortals, as he had been every night for the last six-months.

    The sweaty stench of the young man rose in his nostrils, mingle with that smell of his blood, that flooded his mind. He could hear it pulsing through ventricles and valves and painfully constricted vessels. His heart was laboring and nearly bursting. Cleopas lifted him to his hungry mouth and clamp his fangs down on the tender red flesh of the neck, and the boy stiffen as if his fangs were dipped in poison. And the fountain opened; it was rich, it was good.

    The boy’s life floated in the current; his childhood, his loves, his enemies, the memories tumbled against each other without meaning. A vague look of outraged, blind desperation, and perhaps with tragic realization, he pushed at Cleopas but it was fruitless. Draught after draught flooded Cleopas’s brain, he felt it electrify the tiny veins in his face, he felt it pulse even into his fingers, and a hot prickling warmth slide down his spine. And he felt his member stiffen beneath his breeches, deliciously pressing against the warmth body in his arms. Succulent, heavy creature — he heaved a euphoric sigh of relief — and let him go, the body tumbling soundlessly out of his grip.

    In a daze, Cleopas saw the boy tumbled over. He picked him up and tore his throat. The spark of life left the boy’s eyes. It was done.

    He stared at what he had done, letting his mortal feelings torment him, he ran as if creating a distance would help ease the guilt he felt.

    Outrage and with some regret he cursed his maker, he despised what he was. He wanted to be human and feel human, and this blood, this radiant living blood, with all the vibrations and memories of the kill pulsed through all his limbs, threaded all through him, and it wasn’t enough. It was never enough.

    On and on he ran, with no destination in particular. He meandered through the many cobblestoned streets, the narrow and treacherous roads, admiring the dense and darkly colors, the rank of lovely decay that he found had an eerie little charm.

    It was not long before he tracked down the rich scent of mortal blood again.

    He hid. For long moments he stood there, staring at the distant figures in the dark alleyway, a man and his victim, but it was not a mortal man he saw but another vampire. And when the creature finished feeding, without meaning to, Cleopas was following him.
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  2. Darkness. It was the first greeting of the night, every night. Utter darkness.

    Ice blue eyes snapped open and for a moment the feeling of despair wanted to creep its way in but he didn't allow it. As each night came and went, living in the shadows became more and more bearable or at least that was what he told himself before every sun rise. Pale fingertips passed over the top of the once cream-colored lining of his coffin. The ruffles were losing their form and the color was fading and becoming more of a grey. He took in a breath he didn't actually need any longer and pushed against the lid, hints of dust sprinkling into the atmosphere. He felt as though he should cough but he didn't have to. This new form was still something to get used to.

    Once the lid was opened, Salvatore sat up. His eyes scanned the empty stone mausoleum. His safe haven, his home. It was the oldest mausoleum in the cemetery and hadn't been opened in decades. Salvatore knew the last member of the family had passed long before and knew no one would come to visit the crypt or its inhabitants. It was the perfect hiding place and perfect place to rest during the day without risk of being discovered. Climbing out of the coffin, he stretched wide and carefully opened the crypt door. He still didn't know who might be lingering in the dark and didn't want to risk being seen.

    When he was sure the night was clear, he exited, shutting the door of his home behind him. He dusted off his coat and breeches ensuring he could blend in as he once did. He pulled the ribbon from his hair and did his best to smooth out the tangles and tame his dark brown hair back into a small ponytail at the base of his neck. When he was content with himself, he sped through the cemetery, avoiding the eyes of the grounds keeper and any other mortal who may be nearby.

    A good distance away from the cemetery, Salvatore slowed down and walked at normal human pace. He stood to the shadows to avoid many nosey glances. His skin was unnaturally pale when he didn't feed and humans caught on to it rather quickly. He needed to find a satisfying morsel soon so he could blend in once again as he once did. He refused to completely renounce his mortal life. He refused to isolate himself from all company. He just needed to feed on a different type of life that would be unacceptable to mortals.

    Taverns were one of the best places to find something to eat. Drunkenness seemed to be the cause of quite a few "disappearances" in the area lately or at least that was what the humans told one another. Salvatore waited by the back alley, where the humans would stumble through on their way home. He waited for the right one. He was still learning how to read thoughts but he could grab glances of memories if he really tried hard enough. Finally he caught the thought of a man whom had beat another man within an inch of his life only days before. Salvatore had convinced himself that taking human life wasn't so terrible if he drank from those that deserved death.

    He watched the man stumble down the alley way, holding to the sides of the brick buildings as he did his best to maneuver his way home. Salvatore followed silently behind him, sticking to the shadows until he knew for sure he had his moment. Within seconds he had grabbed him from behind, placed a hand over his victim's mouth, jerked his head to the side and sank his fangs into the exposed flesh. Immediately his mouth filled with the copper tasting liquid sustenance. It was thick and heavy in his mouth, he could even taste a hint of the bourbon the man had drank. It reminded him of his old life and he longed for it for a moment. His eyes instinctively shut as he relished in the relief he instantly felt as the hunger was gratified. He pulled hard against the man, drinking until he heard the heart stop.

    Immediately he dropped the body. He had learned early on never to drink dead blood. He had been sick almost to the point of death the one time he did. He cursed his maker many times then for abandoning him, for leaving him to learn everything on his own. He had many so many mistakes in the past year alone but he knew better now. He was still a newborn but he knew better, he knew what was best for him, how to hide, how to feed, effective ways of avoiding the sun, all self-taught. He could still use improvement but he wasn't the newborn vampire he was when he was first turned. He wasn't afraid anymore or didn't hate himself as much. He had accepted his fate, at least for the most part and was willing to embrace his new nature.

    Salvatore bent over the body, pricked a finger against one of his fangs until his blood drew forth. He placed the drops over the puncture wounds and watched as they healed. It was another lesson he had learned. He had almost been hunted within the first month of turning because he wasn't careful with the way he fed. It wouldn't happen again. Doing his best to wipe the excess blood from his mouth and beard, he left the body in the alley and began walking away. The night was still young and the summer provided many to feed from.

    As he walked however he began to sense that something wasn't right. He could feel a presence close to him. He smelled the air but their was no real scent. He listened carefully and heard light foot steps against the cobblestones that barely touched the ground, very un-humanlike. He was being followed and whomever it was, wasn't human.

    Suddenly and without giving the other creature much time to reach, Salvatore turned sharply in its direction. "Why are you following me?!" he demanded as he locked eyes with the other creature that followed him, another vampire. "What do you want?!"
    #2 La Reina, Dec 3, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
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  3. He stalked behind Salvatore. It was ludicrous, following such a creature so like him yet so unlike him — followed him down a back alley and out into the garish light of the streets. Cleopas skirted the lights, fearing their effect upon his highly reflective face. There was something abandoned and uncaring about the man. And he found himself intrigued, marveled by the vampire that walked past the dismal crowds of the early evening and seemed to hold no fear of discovery.

    No fear. And why in God’s name should he be afraid of them!

    And who might he be, this deceptively human man, wandering carelessly towards the inevitable and yet unchosen object of his desire? Who made him? He pondered. And suddenly the memory of his maker returned to him, he remember her vividly — the beautiful oval portrait of her porcelain face, the dark hair that look as if dipped in black ink, the mesmerizing blue eyes — she who bewitched him only to elevate him to the nightmare of this cursed existence. ‘I will make you immortal,’ she told him. Immortality, it was seductive the prospect of it. And she offered it as if it were a gift. How gullible he was then, unwary of what was truly being offered. And when he realized what he had become he could not bear it, and She could not bear his melancholia.

    ‘What would you think of me now? Would you despise still what you’ve made, or accept the filthy angel of death I’d become? Would that you see the desperate loneliness that emanates in me. Zenobia, Zenobia, how I need you, Zenobia. Come back to me…’ He craved her now more than blood itself, he was wrong to have wished her away.

    Suddenly, Salvatore turned, staring in his direction and Cleopas shuddered. Instinctively, and with the ease and power that only a vampire can possess, he moved and hid in the shadows. And it seemed a trick of magic the way he vanished into the void of the darkness.

    He spoke! He demanded reason and questioned Cleopas’ actions.

    ‘Oh, Lord God! What have I been thinking?’ He realized that even over the thin darkness Salvatore can indeed see him. How foolish he felt, to think the darkness could conceal him from vampire eyes.

    “I meant no disrespect, my lord,” Cleopas said apologetically. “I had given up hope. And here you are.” He stepped out from the dark. He was indeed an image to fear, filthy, his clothes creased with dirt and dry blood, and the stench of cemeteries cling to him still. “Surely God has put you on my path.”

    Six months ago he’d been a mere castrati — he knew real happiness then. He never knew hunger and cruelty, all of his mortal life, Cleopas remember he had been loved and protected by those who made him a eunuch.

    He was castrated when he was six years old and ever since he became the progeny of the finest castrati masters in Naples. When the soft-spoken men who had purchased him from his mother asked him to sing for them, he did. Music came naturally. He had a soprano voice that could shatter glass; he scribbled melodies every time he was given a pen, learning to compose before he could read and write; his teachers loved him. And in the little world of the conservatori Cleopas was part of an elect, a privileged group who were better fed, better dressed, and given warmer rooms as their singular talent was nourished. His rewards were more than he would ever have asked, and now and then he was taken to sing for delighted company in the dazzle of real palazzo. In the lifespan of twelve-summers he grew narrow, elegant, almost feline figure. His bones never harden like those of men who could father children. He was fair. He was so exquisitely beautiful that both men and woman found him irresistible. Cleopas knew very well he was beautiful but he was beyond vanity. Instead he focused on the one thing he loved. And he only knew the joy that singing had always given him. He only knew that music is so beautiful and so powerful that at moments he felt like he was swept to the heavens. And it was his destiny to be one of history’s most renowned castrato. He believed this with all his heart. But this was never meant to take place, someone else sealed his fate.

    And it came to be that one epochal night he found himself before this creature. He’d seen her before, this demon of a brava opposite him, and he realized that all the times he’d seen her, in any place no matter how crowded, she’d been perpetually watching him. But her loveliness was all the more palpable that night, he saw in her a little simpering sweetness which he associated with innocence. And it was very fine. She came closer and closer, so slowly and so soundlessly that she appeared to drift rather than to move, until he could see her face clearly, and her eyes were full of mystery, and as she gazed into his eyes, her forehead creased with a little frown; she was speaking to him without words. He was not thinking anymore. He was not seeing her for what she was. Rather he was seeing the whole of her, the pulsing thing she was beneath the garments: the body inside it, with its inevitable heat and damp and this fragrance so like a flower bed of sweet alyssums.

    He wanted her so badly it was an agony, as if all of him were starving for her and sharpened for her and paralyzed at the same time. It was a nightmare in which one cannot scream; one cannot move. It horrified him.

    Instinct told him he must get gone from her as quickly as he could. But he didn’t stir. He only watched her and something about her deliberation began to terrify him. He was trembling; he could hear his own breath. And then helplessly, he saw the truth of it, he saw what she was, and it seemed she was some hideous thing and not the most lovely and delicate creature he’d ever seen.

    “Ooooh, no.” Cleopas shook his head. A terrible violence rose in him suddenly; he wanted to hurt her.

    He felt himself drawn up as if he were weightless, his body struggling against her as she sank her prickly fangs right into the carotid artery. He gulped for air. He could feel pain in his chest, he could feel his heart muscle pumping vigorously through numbness as his body gave up the struggled. Then it was clattering on the ground in a state of inanimate stillness, between the cold threshold of death and the warm light of life. And his mouth was being wrenched open while she held him. He convulsed his body against this with little strength. Then gagging, struggling for breath as her wrist was forced between his teeth, he felt the first draft of blood.

    Once he threw it back up with a convulsion that encircled his ribs with pain. But then it came again. And all of a sudden, without reason he closed his mouth on her wrist and drank the vital blood. He felt his senses returned, he felt his body grew warm, he felt reenergized with might and will, and suddenly it all stop — oh, too soon. That vital fountain that sprung from her veins, that left him warm, indeed hot, all over, licking his lips.

    And then her voice came, and she said:

    “Now, get up. You must. Get up. Immortal man. You are strong. Come on, do as I tell you…”

    He was startled. The moment she started to speak he felt a sudden warmth in him, such reassuring warmth that he found so fleetingly in the Blood, and he begun to hear as if for the first time. She sounded different, that intimate tone, so soft, so utterly tender, like fingers touching him, caressing his head. And he did as she commanded.

    The memory of all this never left him.

    And he shook away the memory of Zenobia with bitter agony, buckled under the weight of a loneliness so terrible he would soon choose death if only he’d have such a choice.​
  4. Salvatore stared at the man, waiting for a response but was surprised when the other man vanished into the darkness, hiding from him. Of course with Salvatore's increased visibility he could see in total darkness. Did this man think of him as some sort of idiot? The thought angered him more. "Do you think I'm some sort of ignorant fool?!" he shouted into the darkness. "I can see you!" He glared in the direction of the other vampire, daring him to come forward before he went after him. He didn't have to move however as the other man stepped out of the shadows and approached him. Salvatore raised a brow as the other vampire began to speak and scuffed at his words.

    "Hope? Hope? There is no hope for us," he spat back. He went to turn to leave but looked towards the man again at the mention of God. "God?? God put me on your path?!" Salvatore couldn't contain a hint of laughter that formed as he looked to the disheveled man. "Look at yourself. You're a vampire, a creature of darkness. God wants nothing to do with us! Perhaps it would be best to say that it was the devil himself that altered our destinies." Salvatore's eyes scanned over the man from top to bottom. He took in every detail of him from the tattered clothing to the dried blood that stained him. He was a mess and Salvatore saw a hint of himself in the other vampire as memories of when he first turned flooded his thoughts at once.

    He shook his head quickly, dismissing the flood of thoughts from his mind and turned around to walk away from the other man. "I don't know what you were expecting by stopping me boy but I want nothing to do with you. I don't have anything you may want or need." Salvatore adjusted his waist cost and began to take steps away from the man. "Go find a human to cast your burdens upon for clearly God wants nothing more to do with you or I. I am not what you are seeking." Salvatore's heart was suddenly burdened by this other vampire. Memories of how he first looked and spoke returned to him but he continued to push them back. He didn't want to continue to feel as though there was any hope for him. There wasn't. God did not exist and if he did, he had renounced his kind long ago. He had let go of all those hopes and feelings long before. He didn't hope anymore, he didn't wish anymore, he just existed. Zenobia had made sure of that when she had left him to fend for himself over a year before.

    There was no one who could restrain Zenobia, no one who could convince her of anything. Salvatore remembered begging her not to leave him but all she did was caress his face and disappear into the night. Memories of his sire pained him and he cursed the boy for reminding him of her. Everything he had learned about being a vampire he had learned on his own. He wouldn't have another creature ruining whatever bit of progress he was making with himself.

    "Enjoy your existence whomever you are!" he called behind him as he continued forward in search of his next prey.
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  5. “No, wait?” Cleopas clamor. He was shocked by all this. He’d provoked Salvatore, he knew this now. But he was not ready to let him go so easily. “Cleopas, my name is Cleopas.”

    He sprang after Salvatore. There was desperation in his voice. “There are things I must confide in you, because I don’t know where else to go or what to do.” He was suffering in his resolve, and general doubts about his own existence. “I’m afraid as a mortal might be, but I am not human, we are not human,” said Cleopas, embarrassed by how obvious and foolish it sounded.

    He raised his arms in the air and motion Salvatore to stop; He was staring directly at Salvatore with the most anxious expression on his face. “Oh, come now, don’t be so fastidious,” he said. “There has to be something to all this. There has to be! God or Devil, discovering you is such a stroke of luck. I accept it—” He stopped.

    He pointed a finger at Salvatore. “You say we are creatures of darkness? I do not argue that. If it was the will of the Devil that put us here tonight, then surely he has a purpose for us." Again he paused, eyes widening again with wonder, and then he said:

    "Imagine, a vampire never learning anything, never changing his mind about being human. He disapproves of vampires, of the entire anatomic vampiric conditioning. It goes against every principle he holds dear. Yet, every night he rises from the dark-dirt with such uncontrollable hunger, and roams the night preying on the sick and the wounded. Man and woman so near death, that when they cast their eyes upon him, they think him the grim reaper. For surely Death has finally come for them. And just when he starts to believe himself to be death, he comes across another vampire. Suddenly, he is no longer the grim reaper.”

    He was scanning Salvatore’s face, desperately trying to think of something more to say. ‘How can he redeem himself?’ he asked himself. “—Look, give me a matter of a few nights only. Just that much. Can you give me those few hours? And then if you must go, I won’t try to stop you.”​
    #5 Ex Machina, Dec 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  6. Salvatore grunted from the frustration as the other vampire called out to him and sprang in front of him. "Get away from me! I want nothing to do with you. Nothing. What part of nothing do you not understand?!" He tried to step around the other vampire but the fledgling was insistent and quite persistent. "I don't care what you call yourself. I don't care! You are not to confide anything in me!" This time he used his vampire abilities to get around Cleopas. The other vampire was really getting on Salvatore's nerves. All Sal wanted to do was finish feeding and go back to his crypt. Why was that such an impossible task on this one night?

    Somehow the other vampire was before him again. Salvatore raised his hands in frustration, rolling his eyes at the insistence of the pest that was now following him. "How can I rid myself of you?!" But as Cleopas began to speak, something struck Salvatore. The words of the young Cleopas rang familiar and in that moment, Salvatore saw a bit of himself in the other vampire. He couldn't help it. It just happened.

    Salvatore sighed deeply and kicked a nonexistent pebble along the cobblestones. "I don't have to imagine anything. I know what that is like first hand. I was there. There is no redemption Cleopas. Only acceptance. You accept your nature and who you are now or you drive yourself insane and walk out into the sun. There is no other way. We are creatures of the night now."

    He could see the desperation in Cleopas' eyes, the need, the hint of insanity that was looming near him. Cleopas was Salvatore but six months before, before Salvatore had accepted his nature and learned to cope with his new existence. He had no one to help him then but he remembered wanting to step out into the sun many a morning. Damn you Zenobia. Damn you to hell for what you have done to me.

    Salvatore sighed in resignation. "Fine! If it will get you to leave me alone, then fine. Three nights. Three. That's it. No more. Do you understand me? After the third night you move on and that's final. If you don't I will end you myself. Are we clear?" He pointed his finger in Cleopas' face and when he was content with the answer, he lowered it, adjusting his waist coat as he did.

    "I'm Salvatore by the way," Salvatore said, finally introducing himself. "What exactly do you want Cleopas? What do you want from me? Or what do you hope I can help you with?"
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