Blood soaked the front of her shirt. Her chest heaved with vain efforts to take a breath. The gaping hole in her windpipe whistled through bubbles of blood. Dark splotches filled her vision; Death had finally come. He loomed over her, the shadows concealing all but a few strands of reddish brown hair. She tried to thank her mystery savior. Tried to express how much she needed to be released from her miserable life, but could only manage a blood filled gurgle. Giving up she smiled and welcomed death with open arms.
Her attacker stood back and watched his handy-work. He enjoyed how peaceful the tormented looked when they finally succumbed to death. A wave of relief crept through his chest as the girl took her last breath.
“What a waste, that one could have been something special,” he sighed, looking down at the damaged veins peeking out from the sleeve of her t-shirt.
Drug addicts proved to be the most willing to die. Their entire existence revolved around toeing the fine line between life and death.
Quickly the stench of bodily fluids filled the air, signaling time for the master hunter to depart. He had better things to do than sit and watch over a corpse.
Licking the last drop of cooling blood on the side of his mouth, the hunter walked away from his meal in search of the hotel where he was to meet an important member of the vampire community. Supposedly the female could see into the future, and something very bad would happen to him if he didn’t seek her advice at once.
He pulled out the crumpled note that had been shoved under his door earlier in the evening and looked over it one last time before throwing it in the trashcan. The motel was a dive out on Fifth St. Why would some higher up in the council want to meet at a place like that? Hell if he knew. They are all so warped that they didn’t even know what they would do next.
Walking along Blackstone to Fifth Elias had a lot of time to think about why a member of the council would want to contact him. He’d done nothing but stay to himself and pay his monthly tribute to them via money order. Sure the last payment was late, but was that cause to send this witch all the way out here? Surely not. It had to be something else, but nothing was coming to mind.
Suddenly he remembered the weird dreams he’d been having for the last few weeks. Vampires usually dreamed while suffering from the effects of bloodlust. These new nightmares were nothing like his normal blood-soaked dreams. In the dreams he was witness to other vampire’s deaths. Elias saw every detail of their capture and hours of torture. Finally the vampires were chained to a stone wall and left for the sun. With every dream he woke just as the sun broke over the horizon. At first he saw them as a sign to stop watching those cheesy vampire flicks he was so fond of, nothing to get too worked up about. Then this whole counsel thing happened and he was forced to question the meaning of the strange visions again.
Elias sighed and turned onto Fifth St. All he wanted to do was live as normal of an existence as he could. Obviously everyone else had another idea about what he was to do with his immortal life. Damn them. How much is it to ask that he be left alone? The last thing he wanted was to get involved with the counsel and their billion problems that never seemed to be resolved. Once you got involved with them, there was no getting out. They owned your ass until you finally gave up and walked off into the sunrise.
The motel started to come into view. He slowed down his pace a little, unaware that he was nearly sprinting. Nervous energy carried his feet faster than a human could dream of. Sheer luck found the sidewalks of Motel Drive clear of mundane eyes to witness his mistake.
“Stupid fledgling move,” he muttered as he looked down the row of motels.
Weak neon lights cut through the thin layer of fog hugging the valley like an old friend. Since choosing the city for his hunting ground he’d rediscovered a love for the fog. It allowed him to walk in a bubble alone; free to pretend the humans couldn’t see through and discover his true nature.
Elias jogged over a set of railroad tracks and paused at the edge of the street. Glancing both ways, he realized that he was the only being out. Even the homeless had hunkered down to sleep away the cold night. The solitude tugged at what remained of his heart. Vampires were solitary creatures. Those who lived in nests, as the council did, eventually turned mad and began to slaughter each other.
The true mystery of their kind was not in the magics that kept their bodies functional after death. No, it was trying to figure out how the council fought the urge to slaughter the vampires invading their territory.
“Pack of sociopaths,” he informed the empty street.
The Sands Motel sat on the corner, looking like a bloated old burlesque star in neon and pink. Paint peeled from the stucco walls, revealing cracks and shoddy craftsmanship used to put her together. Roof shingles flapped in the wind, unruly tufts of hair gone wild just waiting for an ember to set them ablaze. A wire fence cut off a section of the nearest building from the rest of the property. As Elias walked he saw torn up booths and tables inside the closed-off room. It had to of been a hopping place at some point in its past in order to have a restaurant. Now it was nothing more than a shell of its former self.
“Where the hell is 9B?” Elias looked at the rows of doors all lined up like coffee-stained teeth.
The rooms that jetted off from the closed restaurant all had a small “A” on the doors. Across the narrow parking lot his keen eyes caught “C” on the doors of the second building. He looked down at the final building that formed the large horseshoe shape. It had to be the “B” block.
Elias walked past the drained, weed-filled pool. It sat there, a tiny oasis in a vast asphalt desert. He couldn’t help but wonder why the owners didn’t simply fill it in, surely more parking spaces would be a lot less depressing. The entire city was like that, though. Delusional people clinging to the glory days while reality swept in and turned the world around them to dilapidated shit. He was no better than the humans in that regard. It was why the city screamed to become his home.
Tucked off in the far right corner of the furthest building was room 9B. He nearly walked past it, thinking the bare door a utility closet. The brass number on it had fallen off, leaving a faint shadow to mark the room as the one he searched for. The door was beat to shit. Poorly patched holes dotted the fragile wood and it was in desperate need of fresh paint.
Once again Elias was forced to wonder why a council representative was holed up in such a dive. The council wasn’t exactly known for being a thrifty bunch. As a matter of fact, the extravagant lifestyle of the vampire council was the main reason all the lesser undead paid tributes on a monthly basis. It didn’t cost a dime for them to sit around and create new laws to govern them. But each ass in attendance refused to participate unless it was covered in ten thousand dollars worth of silk.
He felt sick just thinking about it.
“What could it hurt? Just go in, meet the broad and get on with your life.” Nothing was ever that simple for a vampire, but he had hope.
Curiosity finally overcame disgust at his surroundings and Elias knocked on the door. If nothing came of the trip, at least he might learn why the council allowed their witch to slum in the waste bin called The Sands Motel.
“Come in, child.” A frail voice called from within. “Quickly now before anyone catches sight of you.”
(Note: Malfeasance will be updated on an almost weekly basis. Enjoy this serial story. I’m having fun with it so far.)