"Come now my child, if we were planning to harm you, do you think we'd be lurking here beside the path in the very darkest part of the forest..." - Kenneth Patchen, "Even So."

THIS IS A BLOG ABOUT STORIES AND STORYTELLING; some are true, some are false, and some are a matter of perspective. Herein the brave traveller shall find dark musings on horror, explorations of the occult, and wild flights of fantasy.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


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“Father forgive me, for I have sinned.”

The confessional reeked of lemon wood polish, the smell so strong in the enclosed space it burned inside my nose. Under this, nearly undetectable, there was the undercurrent of something sickly and sweet, like roadkill on a hot August day.  I wanted to gag, but couldn’t even breathe.  The walls seemed to close in around me.


There was still no reply.  I tried to shift around, to peer through the screen to see if I could make out the silhouette of the priest beside me.  But my limbs wouldn’t move. My entire body felt numb and cold, deadweight encasing my brain.  Panic started to grip me.

“Father, please…are you there?”

I tried to force myself to think.  Why had I come to confession?  I hadn’t been since the Church and I parted ways back in high school.  My memory refused to answer, my head filled with a wet, cloying fog.  There was a prickling at the back of my scalp, the dizzying uncertainty of waking in a strange place after a night of being spectacularly drunk.  But I could never remember feeling this disoriented before.  Jesus Christ, I thought.  What was I drinking last night?  Paint thinner?

Then, through the wood of the confessional, muffled voices reached my ears.  I heard movement, one said.  He is awake.  Fetch the Mistress.

Suddenly, through the thick sludge in my brain, I became aware of a presence there with me, mere inches away it seemed.  It had to be the priest.  I could feel him there, watching me, though he didn’t speak.  I wondered what was wrong, why he wouldn’t answer me.


I waited, but still my companion remained silent.  I had the sudden image of a black tunnel, of rats scurrying through the filth and rot littering an earthen floor.  I felt drawn towards an open sarcophagus, the ancient corpse lying within it calling out to me.  

Come home young Master Draegonne.  I am waiting for you.

My eyes snapped open.

Not a confessional.  I was in a box.  Terror gripped me, and my hands flew to the wooden lid near my face, shoving with all my might.  There was the sound of screaming wood and snapping metal, and the lid shattered in two.  Holding back a scream in my throat, I sat upright in the coffin, my eyes darting wildly around the room.  Where?  Am I dead?

The boy stared at me in shock.  I had seen him somewhere before.  He stood across the darkened room, holding his hands up as if in surrender.  One moment I was there, looking at him from several yards away, and the blink of an eye later I had him by the throat, pressed against the wall.  With a single hand I lifted him off his feet, baring my teeth.

“Damien.  Put him down.”

He was whimpering, shivering in terror.  I could smell the acidic tang of urine as it ran down his leg.


She did not raise her voice.  She did not need to.  I obeyed instinctively.  

Setting the boy on his feet again, I backed away from him slowly, shaking my head to clear it.  “I don’t remember where I am.”  I told her.  My voice sounded frightened in my own ears.  Then I clutched my throat.  It felt so dry.  There was a writhing hunger in my gut, twisting like a live animal.  I almost doubled over.  “What is wrong with me?”

Athena moved towards me, calmly.  Her presence seemed to fill the room.  “You have been dead for three days, Damien, while the Change came over you.  What you are feeling now is the Hunger.”

“I don’t understand.”

She didn’t reply, gesturing towards the boy instead.  Swallowing, he came across the room towards us, standing just inches away from me.  I could feel his body heat like I was standing near a furnace.  I wanted to tear him open like and orange and feast on his insides.

“Drink, but be gentle.  There is less waste the more gentle you are.”

The boy closed his eyes, offering his throat to me.  His eyelids fluttered, like a virgin waiting with expectation and terror for that first joining of flesh.  With a sound like a moan, or a hiss, my head shot forward, striking like a snake.  I was guided by some newfound instinct, blind and unthinking.  My fangs broke his skin and he exploded into my mouth.

And then I was in him, and he was bleeding into me.  Thousands of his own memories flashed through my own brain, as if in that one second I was leading both my life and his.  I saw his drunken whore of a mother, a different man in her bed night after night.  I saw him run away, living on the streets.  I felt his raw terror the first time he sold himself to a man for sex, on his knees in an alleyway sucking the cock of a fat father of four.  I felt the high, the escape, as he buried the needle into his flesh.  I shared in the agony of addictive need as he burned for another score.  I saw Athena through his eyes, the first time he was brought to her.  I felt his absolute love and devotion as she broke him of his addiction and offered him a new life serving as a Familiar to the Clan.  And I felt, through him, the rock hard erection in his pants in response to my fangs in his throat.  This was his new drug.

“Damien, stop.”

And all these images were carried to me on a red tide, a flow of hot fire that sang to me as it poured down my throat.  It didn’t just fill my belly, it rushed through all my veins, lighting up my entire body.  This was unlike anything I had ever experienced, anything I had ever dreamed.  I was flying, I was soaring, my spirit shooting like a comet through infinity.  I’d give anything for this, anything.  Nothing I had ever felt came close to it.

“Damien, enough.”

…but the boy was falling.  I could feel that now.  He had been up there, flying with me, but now his hard cock was going limp and his brilliant, flashing thoughts were going dark.  He seemed to be melting, all the life and light in him fading, turning to ash.  No!  NO!  He had to come back.  I wanted more.  I needed…


She did not touch me.  She didn’t need to.  Instead she reached right into my head and jerked me back, gasping, blood oozing down my chin.  The other Familiars rushed forward to grab the boy, and Athena nodded to them.  “He will need a transfusion.  See to it.”  Then she turned her attention back to me.

“This is your first Feeding, Damien, so this time I will be lenient.  But you must remember never to drink that deeply again.  Especially not of a Familiar.  It is a waste to kill.  Take enough to live and leave them to restore themselves.  This keeps the blood supply flowing and the Hunters away from the door.”

I stared at her, echoes of the boy ringing in my body.  “Is it always like that?”

Athena smiled faintly, and nodded.  “Come.  There are many things I have to tell you.”

We withdrew to a study, and she gestured for me to sit by the fire.  Again, I had the image of her as a lioness as she settled into her chair.  She watched me for a long while, without speaking, but I found I could not return her stare.  I lowered my eyes and let my gaze trace the patterns in the oriental carpet instead.

“It will take awhile for you to adjust, Damien.  The transition is not an easy one.  You need to take my instructions to heart.  They are the key to your continued survival.”

I nodded, feeling a sense of shame for drinking so deeply of the boy.

“It may be more difficult for you than some,” she continued.  “I am of the First Generation.  That means the one who made me was a Patriarch, the founder of our Blood Line.  As such, the blood in my veins is extremely powerful.  You, my Get, are therefore Second Generation, and if and when you ever make Get they will be Third Generation.  The blood looses some potency each step away from the Founder, though age and other factors play a role as well.  Regardless, the blood I have given you is ancient and potent.  You need to control it, or it will control you.”

I wanted to ask her why, why she had agreed to Sire me.  Instead, I simply nodded that I understood.  

“You are far stronger than you were before, and you must be careful of that.  You can move with great speed and tear people apart with your bare hands.  But you must Feed.  You will not need to feed every day, but it is wise to drink a little on a daily basis, to control the Hunger.”


Athena smiled faintly, staring into the flames.  “All of us, the Progeny of Lachiel, have the gift to cloud the minds of the Quick.  All you need do is seduce a mortal, and lead them away to a place where you may feed in private.  You will be able to wipe their minds of the event.  If you do not take too much, all they will have is some fatigue.”

I nodded again.  “Are there…other powers?”

She looked at me.  “Very likely.  Especially with my blood flowing through your veins.  As I have said, it is very close to the Source.  But you must understand, Lachiel’s Gift is different for us all.  Some traits and powers run in Blood Lines, but we all manifest certain abilities of our own.  You might be able to shape shift, or fly, or pass through walls.  You might be able to control the elements.  Likewise, you might have a weakness for silver, or garlic, or running water.  The sun might burn your flesh or simply fatigue you.  Only experience can teach you.  In many ways we are all unique.”

I thought, suddenly, of Harot, and of the voice I heard with me in the casket.  “Is telepathy a common power?”

She stared at me, and if she knew what was in my thoughts, she had an excellent poker face.  “It is known to occur.”

I nodded.  Even as we sat there, in the back of my head I thought I could feel him calling out to me from a distance.  But why?

“Something is troubling you.”

“No.  Not exactly.  But I feel like I must return home soon.  To my birthplace, I mean.”

Athena narrowed her eyes.  “It is important for you to learn first, and to meet more of your family.  I would also like to present you to the Patriarch.”

I nodded to this, trying to close the door against Harot’s call in my head.  Athena was right…it would be foolish for me to rush off now, especially towards an Outcast.  All the same the pull was strong.  It took an act of will to resist.

“We can talk again later,” she told me, rising to her feet.  “Feel free to explore the Hall, and take measure of your new existence.”

I thanked her again, and stood.  The image of a stone sarcophagus, of blood spattered cages and candles, flashed across my mind.  Focusing, I squeezed it out and went to seek my new Clan mates.

See Part Five here. 

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