I sense the sun setting. How I wish I could see it one last time. I wait until the moon rules and slowly I uncross my arms, open the lid and sit up. Thirst suffocates me. Just like it does every time I wake. My eyes focus and I see the moon shining through the broken window. Not long now. Only 10 more days and they will join. Then the hunt will begin. I swing my legs round and stand. The mirror across the room reminds me of my curse. The reflection stares right through me and watches the coffin behind. "I should really move that," I think. I have been told of my appearance. Grey piercing eyes, olive skin and short dark hair. We must all be attractive. It is to trick our prey. The room is dark. Just how I like it. Outside I hear the cars passing by. The city never sleeps. I live by myself in an abandoned 1bedroom house. My lover used to live here but she was killed in battle. I only use it as a place to sleep. I never stay long while I'm awake. Grabbing my trench coat I set out towards the warehouse. We are all meeting to discuss the hunt. It happens every fortnight but this time it's different. More serious. Our race against theirs.
We call ourselves The Drained. Most humans have heard of us. Most don't know we exist but those who do, like to pretend we don't. Vampires they call us. They have their own little images of us. Most are true. Some however are myths. For example, they think that we can't stand the smell of garlic. The fact is we can't smell anything. Except the obvious… blood. Most of our senses don't work unless there is blood involved. The one thing that keeps us going. Like a drug we are addicted to its taste. The feeling of our teeth digging into the flesh and feeling the blood rush past our mouths and run through our empty veins. 6 hours later the blood has left our hungry bodies and we crave more.
Our most despised enemy are The Wolves, A.K.A Werewolves. We have been enemies for centuries. Ever since the Empress of The Drained was killed by the chief wolf 10,000 years ago. She was the best ruler we've ever had. The chief was deeply in love with her. She would not return his love and so he murdered her. Then killed himself. The Wolves said that she had put him under her spell. We told them we were not witches. We can't preform spells. They knew we could seduce our prey so believed we could make people fall in love. We cannot do this. Even the most powerful witches can't. The Wolves know this but refuse to admit. We declared war. The hunt has now been going on every fortnight since. No one was going to win. It turned into more of a tradition. Until we heard the prophecy. On the 2nd fortnight of the millennium each side would find a way to destroy the other. Did we ever. Each found a necklace. The one we found could destroy us if it entered the others hand. The one The Wolves discovered would eliminate them if we got hold of it. We've been trying to get hold of their necklace ever since… and keep ours hidden.
I walk towards the train station. O yeah. That's another myth. We cannot turn into bats or fly. No, we have to walk too. When I arrive, there are about 10 people waiting patiently for the train. I look at the clock above the ticket machine. 7.53pm. Still early enough to get something to eat before I go to the gathering.
The train arrives 3 minutes later and 4 people get on. I settle myself on the seat near the door. A young boy and his mother sit near me. The boy notices I don't have a reflection in the window.
"Mum! Mum! Look at the window! That man doesn't have a…"
"Shut your mouth!"
She stands up, grabs his hand and drags the boy to the next carriage. She knows.
I am alone in the carriage apart from a middle-aged man. He stands up from his seat and parks himself next to me.
"You have any idea why they're calling us so early?"
I look into his eyes. They are piercing, but grey and empty. He is one of us.
"No clue," I lie.
"I heard they found out where The Wolves are hiding it."
He heard right.
"Yeah, but they've said it before. Remember when Kadof said he thought he had seen them hide it in the dam house? The Wolves aren't stupid, there not gunna hide it somewhere we can easily get too. What with all this technology, they've probably got some big safe underground. Then they've probably paid a couple of witches to put some curses on it."
"No way they are finding ours. They'll never think of the…"
I look fiercely at him.
"Oh come on! There's no one here!"
I grab his jacket and push him against the door. His face inches from mine.
"Do you wish for our whole race to be wiped out?" I whisper with clenched teeth. "Do you wish to dishonour The Drained? You have been told not to mutter the secrets of the necklace; still you sit here and casually talk of them. Perhaps you are a traitor?"
"No! No! I swear I will not talk of it again!"
"I hope not, for your sake."
The doors from the next carriage open and the ticket collector walks in. I let go of the man.
"Everything alright here gentlemen?" He asks eyeing at us.
"Yes," I say, sitting down and showing him my ticket.
We sit silently for the rest of the journey. As the train slows at our stop I get up and turn to the man.
"Remember what I've said. The Rulers do not show mercy to traitors."
He looks away and nods.
I step off the train and start looking for my next victim. I climb the stairs, walk swiftly along the bridge and come out the other side. I'm next to a busy road with shops either side. There are a few restaurants and I can here people laughing. Being Saturday it's one of the busiest nights and means I can quickly get my next meal. I look around for a simple target and spot her. She is with a big group of friends and is standing outside one of the nightclubs. Her friends are laughing loudly but she looks like she would rather be anywhere else but there.
"Perfect," I whisper.
I move over to the line and stand behind her. She leans against the wall and sighs. I watch her breath dance in the cold air. Her beauty is one that few hold. She has long golden hair, high cheekbones and fair skin. Her eyes shine blue as the flashing lights reflect off them. I'm sure she would smell like strong perfume. All I can smell is the strong scent of blood. I look at her neck and spy the pulse beating the deep red liquid round her body. She looks at me and I watch her melt. She looks away. I already have her hooked. I move towards her and whisper in her ear.
"Come with me. This place is not worthy of your beauty."
I feel her shiver. I can see her fighting over her options. Slowly she moves towards me. I grab her hand and start walking with her. I find a large porch and lead her into it. She kisses me and I kiss her back. We lock. I break away and start kissing down her face towards her neck. I push her to the wall. The smell of the blood is over whelming. I reach her neck and can't hold back. I dig my teeth in her flesh. She gasps and sobs but doesn't move. I gulp down the blood like I have never been fed. The taste and feeling of my body filling up is blissful. As she empties she sinks down the wall and sits there. When I finish I remove my teeth and breath heavily. I feel whole. I thank her and close her eyes. Soon she will wake and be one of us. Cursed. Drained. Hungry. I sit with her a while and rest. Then, when I'm ready I get up and walk towards the warehouse.
It is not far from where I am. A 5minute walk from the train station. I ask someone the time and they tell me it's 8.45. The meeting starts at 9.00. I briskly walk through the cold night air and pass the nightclub. I see the girl's friends calling for her and ringing her phone. They will never see her again. As I walk towards the building I find other members of The Drained making their way towards the same place. I spot one of my good friends walking by himself. He senses me staring at him, turns and nods. I wink back. It is forbidden to talk to each other while being close to the meeting place. We do not want The Wolves to know where we discuss our plans. As we reach the most deserted part of the city the Warehouse comes into view. We can hear people talking inside already. It's huge body and roof; made from metal, stand miserably in the empty carcass that used to be the main trading area. There is a weak light coming from the centre. We walk past the broken gates and towards the huge doors. We can already see people in there. I enter and make my way towards my friend.
"Hey Redan. How are you?" I ask.
"Yeah alright, Thanks Dranor. You look good."
"Ahhh I see."
I hear screaming.
"They brought snacks for us?"
"Nah. There're for the Rulers. Stingey bastards."
"You want to get something to eat with me after this is over?" asks Redan hopefully.
"Yeah alright. Why not? We haven't done that for ages."
"Nice one. Is it alright if Serina comes?"
Serina. One of the most beautiful Drained there is. Also one of the most cold.
We sit on one of the tables and watch the crowd. About 300 Drained all packed into the dusty, broken building. I look up to the balcony. I see a room with a dim light skipping with the moving shadows that belong to the Rulers. When the Empress of The Drained died she had no heir to take her place on the throne. A group of her advisors took over and named themselves the Rulers. They are the ones who have reigned for 10,000 years.
The bell rings. A deep and meaningful sound that makes the assembly fall silent. We all look up to the balcony and watch the Rulers enter the hall. The 6 of them stand against the bars looking down on their followers. They are all male. They are older than most of The Drained and look tired and weary. The largest of them all (Immas) calls for silence even though there isn't a sound. His voice booms and echoes through the hall.
"Welcome my friends. You join me once again to plan another battle. As you all have noticed we have called upon you earlier than usual. We have news. This information is extremely valuable and will, by all means, help us defeat The Wolves." His voice sounds cunning and devious. "We have located the hiding place of their necklace."
Everyone stiffens but does not speak.
"We have been given this information by Saras. She has given us detailed directions."
Saras: The witch that told us the prophecy of the millennium. She is known for her accurate readings and prophecies.
"She has also informed us who must collect the necklace. We do not know the exact person but we have clues of who it may be. The one who must retrieve it is sitting in this room." He pauses for effect. "The one who must seek out and gather the necklace is The son of the Empress of The Drained."
People look puzzled and whisper.
"The Empress did not have a child," he protests.
"That, Redan is where you are wrong. We have found out that she had a child to her secret lover Fedan who was killed in the hunt. She was murdered shortly after giving birth. Her nurses were also murdered. The child was mistaken for one of the nurses and was adopted by another family."
"Who is the son?" Redan asks.
We all know we will not get an answer to this question but look up hopefully.
"That, even we do not know."
After the meeting, we found out that they were going to keep looking into who the child was. They could not tell us who it was once they found them however. For there own safety. We begin to walk out.
"I told Serina I'd meet her by the doors."
" So what do you think?"
"Well it's big news. Lets just hope Saras hasn't told The Wolves where we're hiding ours."
"Yes I thought that too. So what about you?"
"What about me?"
"Imagine if it was you Dranor. You know the son."
I pause. Me, the son of the Empress? I brush the thought out of my mind as quickly as it came.
"I don't think so friend." We stop by the doors.
"Well, you didn't know who your mother and father were and you were born cursed."
"No, my parents were killed by slayers."
"How do you know? You weren't there."
I glare at him.
"Listen, it is not me so remove it from your mind as I have done."
"Okay whatever you say, but I wouldn't be surprised."
"Are you ready?" A chilling voice behind me says. I turn and Serina stands there like an angel with no wings, expelled from heaven.
"Hey Serina! Yep. Lets go I'm starving!" Redan replies.