I wake up early even though it's Sunday, and I'm at my great-great-granduncle's mansion, and in my own crypt, and he has already gone hunting for the day. Its probably the way the cold moonlight sends its mist across my legs, the way the room is still full of afternoon refracted sunlight but I'm protected by my heavy coffin, the way I can howl and turn over and howl again.

I walk to the bathroom, and sit underneath the rusted showerhead, aware that there is a possibility that water can dissolve my undead flesh, spirits, I've missed the feeling of water, blessed holy but melting water. I can not feel it on my face, on my back, on my legs, I can not repeat the sensation. A cape (with a cowl to be precise), chill from the crypt.

Breakfast, rustle something up from the peasant village below. I open the shutters of the windows and let the white moon pour in, the balcony and misshapen trees glowing with winter's unnatural moonlight. The neck is warm beneath my fangs, blood, ichor and the peasant's last dying breath. Coming home always makes me feel like an old fashioned-breakfast. The mansion creaks as I open the shutters, letting in the moonlight and the chill.

I have my wings, I'm going to go SOMEWHERE, no way I am staying inside on a glorious october night, crisp and clear and cold in the moonlight and chilled in the shade, black and sky and darkness. Fly a little aimlessly, find myself at one of the dismal forests nearby, deserted at 10:00 p.m. in Autumn.

I'm not dressed for this, flying; in fact, I'm not really dressed for any mortal activities, I only have my ancestral cape and the old boots but the rocks! and trees! and the air and the way the stream moves swift and clear as blood in a jugular vein near the hiking trail and oh! I'm off and moving.

I've climbed this trail once before, lifetimes ago, when I was a mortal. It's less recognizable through my paranormal eyes, when I get to the halfway mark the cold ichor is pounding underneath my alabaster skin. I stand on the rocky outcrop and take in the sight of my castles, the villages, the countryside spread out beneath me. Moments, really, then I feel the need to move up and on, leaping with unholy precision from crag to crag, I left the trail somewhere and I'm climbing up the side of the hill like some type of common fleshy animal.

I could fall and hurt myself, no one would know, since the eldritch energies in my body would repair me in minutes. I could get lost (but not really, since my eyes see like the eyes of a wolf) and no one would know where I was, unless they traced the trail of brimstone stench that my infernal passing had left from my castle. I could reach the top of the world and share the triumph with myself, alone in clear moonlight and darkness.

I do, and stand there without breathing, face pale from the effortless of my undead muscles and cold with unlife, tingling with a cursed and lifeless existence and thrill and power and me. Just me, the great cursed vampire.

I take my time going back down.

Necronodecon: The 2008 Halloween Horrorquest

Dominic carefully stitched his wound closed with fishing line, making small, precise stitches that bound the flesh together neatly. He tied of the last one and reached over for the liquid latex on the counter. He smoothed the area over gently and watched it as it dried. The can was a batch that matched his skin tone very closely.

He flexed his arm to test the stitches and makeup. They held.

Dominic had no idea why, of all the ghouls he had run across, he was the only one who wasn't a drooling, ravenous beast.  At first he thought that he'd been spared the affliction when the acrid black smoke cleared and he woke up on the floor of the supermarket among so many other corpses.  When they shuffled and shambled past him he didn't know what to do other than hide.  He drove home that night, watched the reports of zombies on the news, locked his doors, and lay down with a shotgun until morning.

This was no zombie movie, though.  The hordes never came.  Instead of running for the nearest shopping mall they all disappeared into the mountains.  He thought he was spared at first, but it was only a matter of hours on the second day when he realized that he had not been so lucky.  His first clue was that when he got hungry it just didn't go away, no matter how much he ate, and subsequently vomited.  Raw beef helped a little, but not much, and when he drove cautiously back to the store, where armed police posted at the doors nodded sternly at him as he passed, he knew immediately that he was in big trouble.  He went to the butcher at the back, but it was the other, fearful, paranoid customers that caught his real attention.

So he craved human flesh.  That wasn't so bad.  He was expecting that, really.  What he was not expecting is how different everything else would be.  One big inconvenience was that, now that he was dead, he didn't benefit from that delicious feeling of life that comes with excitement, terror, or surprise.  Indeed, when hunting his prey, if they suspected him and ran, it was difficult to catch them without the benefit that adrenaline brings.  Instead he had to run them down patiently, waiting for them to tire.

No superhuman speed.  No superhuman hearing.  He was thankful that he didn't need glasses, because he couldn't imagine getting an optometrist to examine him in his state.

The real bitch, though, was that he didn't heal anymore.  He had to be very careful going about his daily business because every cut, scrape, bump, added up.  The other ghouls came down from the mountains from time to time, normally in packs.  Their flesh clung lazily to their bones, bloated and oozing, or dry and gaunt.  Dominic realized then that his sanity was a limited resource.  He couldn't even rely on his body to preserve itself.  A little research, a humidifier, a dehumidifier, and a slurry of anti-fungal and antibiotic ointment later and he was suddenly in the business of preserving his own soft tissues.  It helped, but he could see the deterioration continuing.

Night after night he went out to feed.  He tried at first to limit his prey to criminals or the homeless, or anyone he though he was doing a favor to.  That lasted a week.  Soon he stopped caring altogether.  The most important thing about prey was they it wouldn't struggle too much, or scratch him, or pull out any hair.  He couldn't get those things back.

Maybe he could embalm himself, or inject himself with glue or plastic like that exhibit he once saw.

One night would his limbs and senses finally fail him?  Might he rot away completely to bones lying in the dust, but still not meet the comforting oblivion of death?

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