Author's Note: This was a character study from a writing journal I kept years ago. It's crammed with similar bits and pieces, oddments written from the perspective of potential characters. Some of these characters reappear in later works, but some, like the brooding narrator in this piece, remain undeveloped and unnamed.  

Masquerade

Fall. The rising wind that skirls the leaves round the bases of the trees makes me hungry. The dark and the cold feelingly remind me what I am.

I want to hold someone down and pull the life from them, feel it seeping into my bones until my whole body thrums. I want to feed until the shrieking husk quivers empty in my hand. I want to feed until I cannot take any more.

But these are kinder days, and I cannot indulge such passions. My hunger swells with each passing night, and there is no respite for the likes of me. I can go among the milling crowds and sip a little here, a little there. But it is nothing compared to the old days, and it cannot be. The first offense would be to reveal what we truly are. For now, even those that know about us are unafraid. We have played the charade until we can hide even here. Vampires in plain sight, because it’s all pretend: cunning contacts, acrylic teeth. Nothing’s real to people in this age of CGI.

The few who might suspect that there is more to the tale are shouted down from their Internet soap boxes and called mad. Only what we want to put forth about our natures is ever truly heard.

But still I long for what we once could have. I want to take a mortal on the street – any of them, any one I please. To feel that power once again. To fully, completely indulge.

In days long past, I could place my hand upon a chest and crush the living heart within. No fear, no terror, no ecstasy, nor any other passion could release so much delicious life as that incandescent moment of death.

It’s been so long since I’ve supped on the last breath of a lover. And nights like this, I miss it the most.

-- M. Belanger

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