Flashes of thunder could be heard from a distance. The promise of rain was in the heavens as the clouds crashed across the sky like raging seas.
A man was standing by his window as he looked outside. A look of familiarity in his sun-gold eyes.
He was standing there perfectly erect, the silhouette of his strong figure gently caressed by the dim sunlight that was sinking in grey cotton.
His fingers were lightly touching the emrald-green silk draperies. His mind lost in some deep corner of the past.
The hum of the rain began as the intricate droplets began sliding on the window pane one by one. He watched as the infinitesimal drop of water slide down and dissipate on the window sill; he was staring at it as if he had seen a thousand moments like this, and was waiting for a thousand more to unfold before his eyes.
There was something esoterically mysterious about this man. His eyes carried in them that look of deep reverie - as if he had already lived a hundred lives and was merely awaiting for a hundred more. Watching the world as it evolves itself, and he looks on unchanged and unscathed by time. Like he was some sort of reincarnation of himself. Like a phoenix dying in the ashes only to be reborn again.
He was clutching a black fountain pen as he walked back towards his oak-wood desk. He sat in the leather chair and stared at an empty page of his diary. The crisp white page was staring right back at him; somehow awaiting the secrets his pen would reveal. The white paper would become his confidant, his friend, his witness.
The year was 1663.
The life I came to know was different. The air was fresh and pure, a far cry from the future I have learned to live in.
The world was young, and time even younger. Even the sun's rays shoned a different light.
The dark seemed to be a million years away. It was a time steeped in rich history.
Things were simple and austere. And during those years as I remember them, my eyes were once the colour of the sky.
From what the remnants of my human memory shows me, it was a sunny day in May.
But despite the jovial rays of the sun and the sweet enticement of summer; inside the manor it was morose and as sombre as ice.
My father had scolded me the night before that I needed to be more firmer in my resolve with the tasks he now placed under my care.
Despite the absence of a more warmer father figure in my life, I knew he was right.
"This is no frivolous game child. The stakes are life or death, and damnation awaits you if you are ever bitten by those evil creatures. They are the hounds from hell, they must be wiped out completely." He would say.
My father was slowly becoming weak over time. And the heavy responsibilty of his duty fell into my hands. It was a divine task that I needed to proceed with the utmost care.
"Must I tell you again William the dangers of leaving certain locations unsearched?" My father exclaimed as he let out a coughing spell.
We were in his bed chambers.
The familiar fragile figure in white that rested in the four-poster bed with the maroon eiderdown was there to greet me with an impassive glance. The look in his eyes told me things were far more graver than they seem.
The afternoon sun was shining away with the shade of burnt tangerine, a significant sign that dusk would soon take its place.
"Yes father. But I assure you, I did make certain that-"
"No you did not!" His voice echoed throughout the room as he raised the brass goblet from his nightstand.
"We cannot afford such mistakes son. Tis' not your life that will be in danger but all of us here will be at the mercy of those bloodthirsty demons!" He screamed aloud as he slammed the goblet back in its place. The water spilling haphazardly from its mouth, sending little droplets of moisture on the floor.
"You will have to do it once more tonight and be thorough with it!"
I stood there as I watched his wan countenance wrinkle with anger and vexation. "I wouldn't have made the mistakes you have done."
I lowered my eyes to the wooden floor - somehow feeling as If I had been struck.
His face softened for a moment only as he looked at me, "I swear you grow to be like your mother everyday." He exasperated wearily.
Despite the morbidity of the impending situation. I had to do it.
I desperately wanted to be the son he deserved. And somehow deep inside I was hoping by some miracle if it was a sucsses he would be proud of me.
And he would look upon my triumph rather than my failures.
I did not pretend to be blind to some of his frustrations towards me. There was some inadequacy unknown to me that he kept only to himself.
My only prayer for him was that he would become the father I so longed for. The father who speaks to his son with a gentle voice and a benevolent heart.
I hoped that this was the chance to break down the barriers between us. To truly know him as not only a man but, as my father. I wanted to know his thoughts of life; his dreams, his ideals and ambitions for me as his son were.
The good Lord knows he was the only parent I had left. He was indeed my father but yet I felt as if I had only merely scratched the surface of his true being.
My father as I remember him was as enigmatic as a puzzle. The more you tried to solve its conundrum, the more the riddle grew. There were still many facets about him that still remained beyond my comprehension as I grew up under his care. He was the leading Pastor in our Church; a charming man of grace and intelligence, and a man of strong faith. He was gracious and well respected. Yet still a side of him was kept hidden in secrecy.
Perhaps my mother's passing caused him to become bitter in a way. Somehow deep inside I could feel he wanted to shun away from the misery of her death and to become numb. Hoping it was a means of escape till he no longer felt the pain of having to lose somone he loved so dearly.
There were indeed countless of times when I wanted to know more about her, to know more about the woman who bore me. But I never challenged the fates by asking him such a deep and personal question. I was more fearful of his bark rather than his bite.
I still remember that evening clearly. The night of my third raid. The first two had been unsuccessful.
I was merely a young lad at that time. No older than approximately the age of 23. The bloom of youth upon my cheeks and the sun in my hair.
The dusk had finally descended upon the land. I had spent a large amount of time down in the stables organizing a more proper approach to the raids. The plan needed to be executed with extreme cautiousness and there had to be no fatalities - at least.
I had managed to discover a coven of vampires hidden in the city sewers several nights ago. They would have had to come in from the River Thames, and then made their way underneath the city through the canals so no one would ever suspect. They needed the dark, an underground fortress to call their own.
And the London sewers was their home.
I sat there on the wooden bench by the dim candlelight as I drew a custom-map on a bit of parchment. Carefully and strategically I marked out the danger zones that needed to be searched. I had no intention of allowing a man to enter those marked places unaccompanied.
I had spent a good deal of two hours working on that single piece of parchment. Agonizing over the plan multiple times till I was pleased with it.
The sound of silverwear being placed on the old wooden table interrupted my thoughts as I watched our servant retreat back inside the kitchen door. I took a sideways glance and could see there was roasted ham and a large loaf of bread, and next to it was goblet of red wine. I hadn't eaten yet, but the thought of food made me feel sick with anxiety.
I took in a deep breath and exhaled softly. The scent of hay and moist earth in the air.
Just then I felt something breathing onto my neck like hot air. I turned and laughed fondly.
I stood from where I sat and patted the large creature. It was my loyal white steed I had named Kaye.
He was frightfully large for his age, but had the softest of hearts. I walked over to the table and tore a piece of my bread then gave it to him. He seemed to have nodded in gratitude as he ate it all from my palm in one swift motion.
From a distance I could hear the faint roar of horses drawing nearer.
They would be coming soon. The men who would assist me in the raid. Two of them my boyhood friends. Dilion and Edgar.
Without wasting any moment, I grabbed my saddle that hung on a great iron hook that was located next to the door.
I then walked over back to my horse as I began strapping it onto his back. I ajusted the girth and found my fingers were slightly trembling in trepidation at the evening beforehand.
The sound of the horses in the distance grew louder.
I ajusted my jerkin before donning on my thick cloak over my shoulders; then I placed a chaste kiss on my mother's golden cross before tucking the pendant beneath my clothing. Then finally I slipped on my scabbard that carried my sword.
I was ready.
The 6 men on their horses were nearing my stable. I could feel the light echo of the concrete beneath my heels as I lead Kaye and myself out to meet them. I watched them coming to a halt as they lined themseleves in front of me.
The pale moon was glistening above us as the night city air entered my olfactory.
"Where to tonight Carlisle?"
The speaker to the left who rode on a brown gelding was a red-headed young man named Thomas.
"Tonight we go to the sewers."
"The sewers?" The man at the center of our group interrupted. He was the largest one among us and rode on a great black beast almost twice the size of any of our horses. He was very tall and had a beard that covered half his callous face, there was almost a perpetual furrow in his thick brows as he would speak. And his voice was of a giant. "Have you gone mad Carlisle? We're not going there, do you have any idea how many of those things could be hiding underneath the town? do you know how bloody dangerous it is down there-"
I stepped forward raising a hand, "I know what the risks are Allcott. In fact we all do."
"If we die Carlisle I swear-"
"Enough Allcott!" Snapped a man my age with wavy brown hair to the right. He was riding a female gelding as he rode his horse in front of Allcott, somehow trying to placate him. "Enough, I'm sure our young man Carlisle here has a plan."
"You're one to talk Clive. If we become like those fiends, I'll be torturing you for the rest of eternity."
Before Clive could even respond, I watched as Alcott manuvered his horse back and abbraisively rode himself past the other memebers a few meters out - turning a sharp corner into the street before disappearing.
"Don't mind him Carlisle. The man has lost his marbles completely." Said a soft voice by the name of Delton, who had unruly black hair and an easy manner.
"As if he ever was normal to begin with." Dilion chided as he stifled a hearty laugh.
"Lads, I don't mean to interrupt this amusing moment of jesting," Said Edgar as he broke into our group, "But I do believe we have a very important matter we have to attend to, so I think it's best we be on our way with it before night sets in any further."
"He's right." I said as I took out my map and opened it, "We ride to the main entrance."
"All of you ride ahead. I'll be riding behind. Wait for me at the entrance. Remember no noise and don't light your torches till it's time."
I watched them ride off into the distance as I stood there. The sound of hooves pounding against the ground as they began fading away into the darkness.
I scanned the skies and was somehow baffled at the rainclouds that were starting to engulf the moon.
An omnious sign of a tempest heading in our path.
The night was going to be long.
I climbed atop my horse and with a flick of the reins we darted off together into the night.
Our destination was to a district of Central London. A part of the London Borough of Southwark. It was situated 1.5 miles east of Charing Cross. And it fronts the River Thames to the north.
Our mission would start there.
Even during those earlier times of my human life, the thought of destroying wasn't something I could easily stomach.
I am a pacifist. And pillage was sacriligious to me.
My comrades and I rode our way well into the dark of night. And when we arrived there was not a single soul to greet us.
The streets were barren and the old buildings stood there like foreboding statues.
Everything was closed and all the houses were locked and boarded up, not even a single candle was in sight. As if all signs of life were now hidden. There was no tounges to disturb the silence. The only sound we heard came from the hooves of our horses against the cobblestones, and even they dared not neigh or sigh.
Something was there, lurking in the shadows.
We had gotten off our horses and I watched Thomas lead them to a nearby post as he tied their reins firmly.
We stood in a circle as we ignited our torches. We were ready to begin.
I took a deep breath as we walked towards the manhole that was situated at the center of the the main road, not far from a local pub.
The manhole was rather larger than I expected and obviously it would take more than one man to lift it.
"So gentlemen, Shall we?" Edgar motioned, giving Delton his torch to hold as he walked forward and crouched low to clasp the wrought iron handle.
"You can't lift that by yourself, you demented bloke." Barked Allcott, as he emerged from the shadows with his black stallion. A growl in his voice."
"Ah, my dear man. So you've decided to rejoin us?" Edgar mused cordially as he waved Allcott over to him.
I watched as the burly man descend from his horse and head towards the latter.
"I must say Edgar that your bits of good cheer repulses me." Allcott retorts with a sneer, as he crouches low next to him.
"Oh, come now lovebirds. Why don't you try to play nice?" Dilion said in a patronizing tone, placing a hand on Allcott's beefy shoulder.
"Get your bloody hand off of me before I cut it off myself."
"Alright mate, no need to get malevolent about it." Dilion said as he backed away in defeat.
"Alright then chaps," I said stepping up front, "On the count of three, lift."
Allcott and Edgar poised themselves on either side as they prepared to haul.
"1, 2, 3, and lift!"
The lid came off easily as they dragged the enormous cover to the side.
"Heaven have mercy," Delton exclaimed as he stepped away from the dark hole, "What is that stench?"
"That my friend is the stench of guts, glory and victory!" Dilion said in jest as he stood next to Delton, a condsiderable sound of mirth escaping from his lips.
Dilion's smile faded as the foul stench from the black hole wafted into the air around us.
"The stench from hell." He exclaimed.
We were all silent for a moment as we stood there. Somehow the gravity of our quest dawning upon each of us suddenly. The warm light from our torches illuminating on our faces.
There was a flash of lightning as I stared at that black hole. A cold shiver went through me.
"Carlisle," Thomas said, fear written in his phsiognomy. "Were not really going in there are we?"
"You're out of luck mate. We are." Dilion replied as he patted the red-head's quivering shoulder.
"It isn't exactly a bed of roses isn't it?" Allcott scoffed.
"Don't be impertinent." Edgar quelled.
"You accursed brute. Keep your bussiness to yourself." He retorted.
"Alright lads, let's keep calm now." Clive said as he tried calming a very petulant Allcott.
I watched as he and Egar stand on either side of the hole, their gazes as sharp as daggers.
I cleared my throat and unfolded the map in my gloved hands.
"This is where we are," I pointed to an X on a portion of the parchment as I continued, "These circles are the parts of the sewers that have never been searched before. Delton and Edgar you take the left hand side as we enter. Clive and Allcott you both to the right. Thomas and Dilion will take the opposite route facing West."
There was an audible murmur of acknoledgement.
"What about you?" Thomas asked, puzzled.
"I'll be fine." I replied waving a hand.
And I prayed to God I was right.
We started our descent on a make-shift rackety wooden ladder, and slowly one by one we plunged ourselves into the awaiting darkness with our lighted torches.
We were sorrounded by nothing but concrete. Our torches barely shedding light into the infinite darkness.
The splash of murky brown water beneath our boots as we tread past sodden rats and roaches. The putrid scent of mud, dirt and filth in the air. The smell was so incredulous that the scent burned my nostrils. Part of the walls were covered in molds in shades of gray and green. Scattered parcels of decayed food could be found everywhere.
We made a stop as we came to the center of the sewer. There were several passages leading into seperate parts of the interconnected sewers. This was were we would part. I watched as my fellow men paired groups of twos and go off into their appointed destinations.
"You sure, you will be alright Carlisle?" Thomas asked, his words muffled by the cloak he covered over his mouth.
"Yes, I'm sure." I replied. And I watched him disappear together with Dilion. The light from their torches slowly fading away. A bated smile on his lips as he waved goodbye.
I never even knew as I stood there - that would be the last I would see any of them alive again.
I turned on my heel and continued on the task ahead. I was alone this time. Nothing but the sound of scurrying rats passing by me as they came to chew on bits of rotten fruit; insects crawling on the damp walls as they fluttered about - only to be devoured by ravenous lizards.
I was walking in silence for a few long minutes. The sound of rodents slowly disappearing in the distance. The only thing I could hear was a dripping noise from the ceiling. I stopped for a moment as I listened, above me I could faintly hear the masked outcry of thunder in the skies followed by the downpour of rain. Then I heard something else. A scream perhaps but I wasn't sure.
I continued to move on, It was not till much later that I didn't realize I was walking in unfamiliar territory.
I pulled out my map and scanned all areas that I've marked.
There was an unknown area that I've managed to leave out unmarked.
And I was already in it.
Suddenly everything had gone silent.
Then I hear screams. Violent screams.
Almost like the screech of a banshee in my ears as I run out of the unmarked territory. The stench in the water was already unbearable as I continued to run in the direction of the voices - never even realizing I had dropped my map whilst I ran.
I stopped halfway and listened. The screaming stopped.
An eerie gust of wind was in the air. A chill that ran so deep it went straight to my bones as I stood there.
"Edgar? Dilion?" I called out, hoping desperately to be comforted by their voices. But there was none.
In the deep silence I could hear something trickling into the water. I shoned my torch down to my boots and could see a stream of blood.
A vivid shade of velvet crimson against the brown water.
I quickly followed the trail of blood and once I found it's source, I stood frozen.
There lying to the side, limp and lifeless was Allcott. His head was turned to the side in a horrible rictus, his eyes closed. His throat was bloodied and cut open.
I felt as if I was falling from where I stood. Before I could even reach him I felt a movement past the corner of my eye followed by a scream that echoed throughout the whole sewer.
"Carlisle! Carlisle help me!" I looked to my right and saw Thomas being carried by something that was hiding in the shadows.
"Thomas!" I screamed as I ran towards him, "I'm coming, hang on!" The creature was incredibly fast and I could barely keep up with them.
"Carlisle please, I don't want to die. . ." Thomas cried out, his eyes filled with cold fear.
I felt helpless as I chased after them, but I knew I had to save my friend. I drawed out my sword as I gained speed.
After a minute of running they suddenly disappeared.
I was standing in another part of the sewers. The air was colder there. The air stagnated. There was moss growing on the walls and black molds.
"Thomas?" I softly called out. I was gripping my sword tightly as I scanned the walls and ceilings.
I stopped. I could hear whimpering.
There was a turn at the corner and I took in a breath.
"Thomas are you alright?" I called out.
As I made my turn I could see a shrouded figure in gray - It's back facing towards me. My heart skipped a beat.
"Thomas is that you?" I could see the figure nodding. I couldn't see its face, I walked closer, "Are you alright?"
I halted in mid-step. Approximately 5 feet away from the figure. I could see blood stains on its cloth, I swallowed hard and raised my sword.
"Carlisle. . ." A voice so weak and fragile spoke from the darkness. I veered the torch to the left.
I could barely see his face. But I knew from that red hair it was Thomas. He was lying in a pool of his own blood.
"Thomas-" I could barely recognize my own voice as panic slowly crept it's way onto my spine.
He raised a bloody hand and before he could even point, I knew.
I didn't even get a chance to turn and take a glance when the torch fell from my hands, its light submerging in the stale water.
Everything was pitch black.
I could feel a strong pair of hands lifting me off the ground. The stench of blood on its breath.
I tried valiantly to escape it's clutches but I failed.
In a flash of a second I was being pinned against the wall. I remember screaming as I tried to raise my sword, trying in desperation to wound it with my weapon to no avail. I screamed so hard I thought my head was going to burst. And before I could take a breath I remember it's teeth sinking into my skin, digging deeper and deeper before the burning sensation started. It's teeth like blades as it bit down firmly - tearing my neck open.
Somehow my breath was leaving me. I was no longer sure wether the darkness had made me blind or the pain. I could feel my blood gushing onto my clothes.
I was writhing in pain. In my mind I was begging for it to stop. For the pain to leave me. But it didn't.
I was choking, gasping for air.
When it was finished, I remember sliding down from the wall and onto the wet ground. I laid there in huddled spasms for what felt like an eternity. It was not long till I could feel the rodents starting to gather at my feet, the stench from the canals still in my nose. Somehow I wondered why I was still alive.
The burning in my neck was starting to worsen as I crawled, inches at a time. I Found my way through the darkness - slowly leaning against the wall and slowly stood up. I then dragged myself forward, my mind in a daze.
I was walking for what seemed like an hour till I stumbled upon something.
I could remember seeing flashes of lightning. I looked up and saw the hole from which we entered.
Somehow my heart lightened at the sight of freedom, but then. . .
As I looked down, Dilion was lying there. Dead like all the others.
"Oh God no. Dilion, no." I cried as I knelt beside him. Through the flashes of thunder I could see his eyes were open, "Forgive me, please forgive me." I took off my cloak as I covered his body in it, gently closing his eyes with my thumb.
I climbed the ladder and began my ascent. Once I was outside the raging storm was out to greet me, I was drenched within minutes. My clothing was ripped, stained with my blood.
The ground was spinning and I stumbled towards an old bakery shop and began pounding on the door for help. But no matter how hard I shouted, no matter how hard I pounded no one would answer - my words were being whipped away by the wind.
I was stumbling through the streets like a lost child in the dark. Frightened by the elements.
I fell to the ground once more. The weight of the tragedy was still in my mind, but then the pain retruned with a tenacious grip; as if my body was on fire yet I could no longer feel the warmth in my hands.
I propped myself up with my elbow, somehow trying to gather my sanity - and something caught my eye. It was a window of some sort, a window to a cellar.
I quickly dragged myself towards it and broke the window with my fist. I can still remember how the glass broke into my skin as I dove in feet first before falling to the ground.
My vision was blurring as I looked around the darkened room. There seemed to be sacks of some sort, potatoes most probably.
I sunk further onto the ground. I could no longer think as I sat there shaking. All I could think about was the burning, the pain, I couldn't escape it. . .
And before I could cry out for help, darkness took over. . .
A/N: Hey guys! I'm back with a new fanfic! :) I hope you guys enjoyed this first Chapter. :)This story will be inspired by different aspects of Carlisle's life. And this also will be my first time writing in multiple-oneshots so I hope you guys will like it. :)
Please read and review, I LOVE to hear your thoughts and comments. And it makes me insane with happiness to hear from you guys. :D And story suggestions are always welcome!