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•Chapter Two•

I was on the back of a dragon. Soaring over cities that were burning to the ground. I rode atop the horrific sight and did something that ultimately surprised me. I laughed...hysterically. Then the dragon ended up flying over a field filled with vampires and vampeneze. They looked up at me in disgust and I only smile. "All must fall to The Lord of Shadows!" I said and my voice boomed across the field. The creatures of the night all screamed insults and battle cries as they charged at me. I laughed again because their feeble attempt to destroy an unstoppable force was futile. I raised my hand and they all fell to their knees and turned into blood. The whole field was covered in blood and I laughed. Always laughing.
Rough hands gripped my shoulders and furiously shook me awake. I opened my eyes to see Harkat. His eyes are stretched out wide with worry and he was shouting my name.
"Darren wake up! Darren! Darren! Dar..."
"Alright! I'm awake!" I interrupted him annoyed. "Was I screaming?" I questioned.
" were laughing. It lasted for five minutes before you snapped out of it." Harkat declared in a worried tone. "You were creeping me out." Harkat's eyes were still widened with concern, but there was a hint of fear. "Are you alright, Darren?"
"Yes, it was ...just...uh...just a weird dream." I stuttered as I lied to Harkat. I looked around and noticed I was in a tent back at the Cirque Du Freak. The familiarity of the place put me in comfort and I realized that I felt...fantastic. I turned my attention to my wounds and saw that everything was healed. The purge must be over. I looked at Harkat and his nod confirmed it. I was a full vampire. "So I'm guessing I've been out long?"
"Two weeks to be exact. Vancha carried you back after you killed Steve. You've been under ever since. We were beginning to think you would never wake up until you started your laughing episode." Harkat stated and he handed me a mirror. "Take a look at your new self. I'm sure you'll be shocked." I took the mirror from him and looked at myself. I recognized the scars that I have received over the years, but I didn't recognize the person I saw in the mirror. He looked like a warrior who has seen many wars. His jaw structure was defined and strong. His features around his face were hardened and mature. The mans eyes looked like they had seen many more years of war than your average soldier. His build was that of a Spartan warrior. He was muscular and firm in every inch of his body and he had a very broad chest with arms the size of bowling balls. The man stood seven feet tall from the looks of it! He was foreign to me, but he did everything that I did. This man was me!
"Incredible!" I gasped. The changes in my appearance were shocking. I honesty never imagined myself this way. It was all short lived though when I thought back to my encounter with Steve.
He was dead.
I was alive. So that made me The Lord of Shadows. If that was true then I wondered why I did not feel like an evil monster? I thought back to what Evanna said to me just a couple weeks ago. "Monsters are not born fully developed. They grow, They mature, They become." This sent chills running down my back. -I will never become that- I contradicted myself. No matter what! There was a part of me, a voice, in the back of my head that denied with my previous thoughts. It ominously said, -Its only a matter of time before your mine! Remember, all must fall to The Lord of Shadows. Fall to us!- I shook my head and told the voice to shut up. I won't turn into a monster.
"Darren?" Harkat said again and this angered me. Couldn't he see I was thinking?
"What?!" I shouted loudly while glaring at Harkat. Then I realized that I had been staring at nothing for a while.

Why did I snap like that?

"I'm sorry Harkat." I said apologetically.
"It's fine Darren you've been under stress for awhile. Even though you were unconscious. Maybe you should get some rest? "Harkat questioned thoughtfully, but there was something he seemed to be hiding from me.
"No, I think I should go out and see everyone." Harkat flinched when I said that and I was immediately concerned. Something was wrong. Why would Harkat have reason to be upset? The Lord of the Vampeneze was dead and he has no idea that I'm The Lord of Shadows? Unless. "Did we lose anyone else during the fight?" Harkat flinched again and I was instantly dreading his next words. Who could it have been? I said a prayer to the vampire gods and hoped that it wasn't someone that I truly loved.
"Darren it's..."
"Well, spit it out!" I said impatiently, but something was building in my chest. The way Harkat stuttered over his words made me jump to conclusions. I felt the feeling in my heart grow stronger. I began to see red, and what Harkat said next caused my whole world to collapse.
"It's Debbie," He said in a dead tone and it all came crashing down. "Darren she...didn't make it. It was the vampets. They surrounded and killed her before...I could get to her. I...I'm sorry Darren." Harkat said this apologetically, but I saw it as a failure to me as a friend. The rage in heart spread and filled my every being. It happened fast. I stood at a speed not even a creature of the shadows could match. I extended my right arm, and grasped Harkat by the top of his head. I lifted him up with my new found strength. My hand was much bigger than my former body's hand so it was easy to hold Harkat in place. He jerked around violently and tried to pry my hand off his skull, but I wouldn't budge. Tears filled my eyes as I looked at Harkat. Then I said through my teeth.

"How? Could? You? Betray? Me? Harkat? Why didn't you save her? You knew how much I cared for her! I thought you were my brother?!" I shouted at the Little Person. His face was scrunched together and he was shocked by my reaction. He looked at me horrified and then spoke.
"Please...Darren I tried my best...let go! Darren I'm your friend! Don't become Steve!" Harkat screeched his words and once they came out all of the rage that controlled my heart went away. I could think straight and see what I was doing. I was about to kill my best friend over something that he couldn't control. I immediately released Harkat.
"Harkat, I don't know what came over me...I'm sorry!" Harkat looked at me fiercely and he studied my face.
"Darren." He said, but cut his words off short. He seemed be pondering something. Then he spoke in a more calm tone. "It's alright Darren...I understand. You loved her. Just remember this...I will never betray you, but...would you betray me? Would you my friend?" He said this as though he were talking to an enemy. Then he exited the tent.
"Harkat wait!" I tried to get his attention but he kept walking. I sunk down in a chair and put my face in my hands. "Why?" I questioned myself. How was I capable of that? Capable of hurting my friend? Was I really becoming the monster I was destined to be? A part of me, the voice, said Yes.