Her heart was pounding in my head like a bass drum. The concussion began at my temples and reverberated down my body as I drew nearer. She jogged along the small dirt path in the woods that I have hunted for over a hundred years, and would for hundreds more. Silently, I scampered up a tall tree and watched her as she ran through a clearing. I could have taken her a dozen times by then, but there is something about the wait, the stalking, that made the hunt so enjoyable.
I could smell the sweet sweat pouring out of her body; almost feel the dampening of her clothes. This is the best part about being what I am – not the eternal life – but the heightened senses that allow me to enjoy it better. Before the change, I never knew how many scents were present in the air at any given time. I never knew how a person’s scent will change completely when they transition from a calm state, to one of fear or desperation. The taste is noticeably different as well. To take blood from a subdued person takes longer and the taste is less, well it’s less energizing. The boost of adrenaline from frightened prey carries over, it is invigorating.
I don’t consider them victims – all of the prey I have taken. They are a part of the natural world and we are all natural creatures. Some of us are just a tad bit higher on the food chain. Just as the man with the rifle considers a deer, or the person at a restaurant considers a hamburger or a juicy steak, so too do I consider my prey. Right time and place for my grasp means that they are mine, and mine alone. I own them and hold their insignificant little lives in the palm of my hands.
I must feed or I will die. I would gladly live off of the blood of common animals if I could, but unfortunately for this jogging woman down along the path, common animal blood does nothing for me. It must be human blood.
The night jogger turned off onto an even more secluded path. I followed her, jumping from tree to tree with an uncanny ease that would make a chimp Jealous. She stopped suddenly and began looking around. The trees offer good cover, so I wasn’t concerned about being seen, but she obviously heard my rustling around so I decided to take flight. I lifted soundlessly over the top of the tree. Seeing nothing, the girl began to jog along the path again. I sensed that her heart rate was faster, as was her pace, hyper-vigilant.
I followed her, keeping pace with her until I couldn’t resist it anymore, then I struck. I swooped down on her from the front. The sudden horror of seeing my outstretched claws and jagged fangs sent her heart rate into turbo mode. She barely had time to fight. I quickly carried her upward into a tall tree and pinned her against the trunk, hand covering her mouth. She let loose a muffled scream as I sank my teeth into her. The fast heart rate worked in my favor here as she emptied out so very fast. When I was done draining her, I let her drop to the ground.
I didn’t just fly off after my meal. That is something that you would see in a movie, and it is stupid as hell. Can you imagine the looks on the police’s faces if they found a drained female body with her throat bit into? They would assume that some Vampire wannabe was stalking the woods of course, but in the back of their minds…. So, I did as I always did after a kill, I cleaned up my tracks. I returned to the ground and collected the woman’s remains. Once I had her, I launched into the sky and flew toward the harbor, where I have dumped a good portion of my leftovers for years. I will spare you the details of what I have to do to the bodies in order to make it small enough for fish to consume, but let me assure you that none of them have ever been found.
I have a small black back-pack that I wear on these special monthly occasions. Inside it, I keep a change of clothes, soap and a wash cloth. If you have never bathed blood off of yourself in the ocean, then you are missing out. Once I was fully cleaned, I changed into the new clothes, placed the old clothes in a plastic bag that I also carry along on these special occasions, and got rid of the bag in much the same fashion that I got rid of the body. Clad in my running clothes, I began a steady yet brisk pace back into the city.
There weren’t too many other runners out that night, but I did recognize a few of the ones I did see as fellow travelers and hunters. When we do see other, the acknowledgement is subtle. The last one I passed gave me a small wink as she ran by. I checked my watch as I came to the fist tall building that outlined the down-town area of the city. 3:45 AM. Good, I thought. It’s still early. I may still be able to cuddle with my hubby before he gets up for work. He is a human by the way, and very supportive.
©2012 R.M. Duchene