Standing there alone and cold, I had a feeling that I was being watched. The wind howled all around me, and my skin prickled from the chill. I had been walking in the woods for what seemed like hours. I was incredibly, indelibly lost.
Somehow my hiking group and I had gotten separated. The idea of exploring the campgrounds on Hallow’s Eve sounded like a good idea at the time but now, as I listened to the hoots of a distant owl, I was rethinking my decision.
“Shit,” I cursed looking down at my phone, “I’ve got zero reception out here.” I stuck the useless phone back into my pocket, when I heard the leaves rustle. I looked around, but it was pitch black under the thicket of dark trees, growing more and more ominous by the minute. I started to walk faster, suddenly conscious of all the scary movies I had seen over the years. The damsel in distress, running from her attacker, only to trip over a fallen log or over her own sheer stupidity.
The branches crackled behind me and my pace quickened. Sweat started to bead and slide down my cheek, sending a fresh wave of dread down my spine. I saw an opening in the trees, and before me lay a clearing. “Safety,” I thought. If someone was following me, I’d lure them out into the open, and confront them. I started to run to it, carefully watching my foot placement, when something whooshed down in front of me. Or should I say someone.
A young blonde man stood before me, smiling. His eyes impossibly blue under the moonlight. His features were sharp and angled, his pale skin, almost translucent, seemed to gleam. “What are you doing out here all alone, pretty girl?” His voice was silky smooth, but with a hint of danger.
“You shouldn’t be out here, there’s far too many monsters out here in the big bad woods, you know,” he purred as he closed the distance between the two of us.
The shadows of the trees above, playing on the angles of his face made him look menacing, evil even. I noticed that his impeccable clothing was unbelievably spotless, as I looked down at my own scuffed boots and dirty pants. “Where did you come from?” I croaked. “Oh, that way,” he pointed to the deep woods behind me. “Where? I’ve been out here for hours and haven’t seen anyone,” I questioned.
His smile brightened as he got closer, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up in response. “You’re not human,” he sniffed “I’m intrigued. What are you? A witch?” He reached out to grab my hand. When I turned my back to him, he said in a low voice,”You can’t run from me.”
“Oh, I’m not running from you, Vampire.” I relaxed and flexed my fingers, feeling the tingle of power begin to grow.
I was always afraid of using it, for fear that I’d be discovered. Even amongst my own kind, I was an outcast. A witch so rare, that we were hunted down and killed. But now, seemed like a better time than any to use again. I closed my eyes and let it surge through me, until I was humming with magic.
The last of my line, I was more powerful than they had ever been, but I was untrained and untested. I had no teacher and so learning on my own meant that there were “casualties” along the way. Unexplained deaths, comas, etc. I had to move each time it happened, afraid that I would be found out.
“Ah, I see,” he said from behind me, “This will make your death even more satisfying.” He came at me in an instant and I thrust my power at him, shielding myself and throwing him backward. “What the fuck?” he bellowed. He stood up and shook himself off, glaring at me under his heavy eyebrows.
“You really shouldn’t make this hard for yourself. It won’t hurt at all. In fact, you might even like it,” he said. A wide smile spreading across his beautiful face. Sharp teeth beamed in the light and his features became more angular, more terrifying.
I stood tall, shoulders back, head held high, “You have no hold over me, Vampire. But I…” I glided over to him, “I can make you do anything I want.” His face screwed up in confusion, “I’ve bled witches before, I’m not afraid of you.”
I sighed as I turned to face him, shaking my head, “Darling, you’ve never met a creature like me, trust me.” I touched his arm, freezing his body into place.
I dragged a finger down his cheek, and his eyes narrowed at me, overcome with anger. “What have you done to me?” he asked through clenched teeth. “Oh, just a little spell to keep you still for now, that’s all. Now,” I paused, my sharp fingernail grazing his throat, “what was it exactly that you were going to do to me? Maybe, enthrall me? Have your way with me? Then kill me, right?”
His lip curled in disgust,“No,” he muttered, “I’ve already had my fill tonight. Your friends were very tasty.” My smile spread wider across my face, “Does the idea of that excite you?” he asked rigidly.
“Yes, as a matter of fact it does.” I paused, “Now tell me, is it really just you and I out here in the woods, all alone? And would you look at that, it’s almost dawn.” His eyes darted up to the sky and I could hear his heart thump once, loudly against his chest. “If you let me go, I promise I won’t come after you and kill you,” he seethed. I smiled at him, “Yes, I think I will let you go, but not for the reason you just so eloquently explained.” I kissed him on his lips and his body dropped to the ground.
He lay there, fangs bared, eyes turned to slits, anger and confusion coming off of him in waves. I placed myself on top of him, straddling him, holding him down with one hand, and stroking his hair with the other. “Now, let me show you why I’m so special, Vampire.”
I licked my lips in anticipation, it had been along time since I had fed, and my blood stirred deep in my bones at the thought of it.
I closed my eyes and kissed his neck, then lazily I flicked my tongue gently across his jaw and finally settling at his lips.
We stared into each other’s eyes for a long moment, a dark emotion flickered across his face. I found myself mesmerized by the tiny flecks of green that dotted around his iris, when he finally spoke. “You’re perfect,” he whispered to me, voice thick. “And I’m hungry,” I snarled.
I crushed my lips to his, my tongue flitting across his fangs, piercing it in the process. The taste of my blood in his mouth, jolted him with excitement and he groaned underneath me.
As we kissed, I could feel the sensation of his life force, flowing through me, like a glass of cold water on a hot day. Humans were dull and bland, but him? I could feel and taste everything he experienced over the course of his long life and I needed more.
His body shuddered and convulsed, opening itself up to me. At some point, I let him open the vein over my heart and allowed him to take from me over and over.
As we drank each other in, my body became invigorated, it felt lighter, I felt free. When I opened my eyes, I saw that we were floating, suspended in the air, glowing brightly under the thick blanket of trees.
The sun began to rise in the horizon, and I felt him stiffen. I could feel the anxiety rising in him, but I wasn’t finished yet, I needed more. After awhile, my body shook and trembled against him, filled with all I could take from him.
I lay my head on his chest and another loud thump from his heart sounding against my ear. “And to think, I was going to chase you down and kill you,” he sighed, whispering into my hair. I sat up and cocked my head to the side, “And what makes you think that I won’t kill you now instead?” He folded his arms underneath his tousled blonde head, and smiled a smug smile, “Because you’re a succubus and I’m a vampire. We’re perfect for each other.” He touched my hair and watched me for a few moments, “You can’t be who you need to be around them, because you could kill them. But with me…” he trailed off.
The sun had finally risen, and his eyes widened in fear. He sat up sharply and began examining his arms, touching his legs and hands. “I don’t understand, I’ m not burning.” he said. I cupped his face in my hands, “My blood will allow you to walk in the daylight, that’s one of the reasons why we’re so rare.” He stared at me in confusion, “The witches killed us because we can take anyone’s power, and the Vampires wanted us because our blood could let them live in the sun,” I explained. “Because of that, we’ve all died off and for now, it’s just me.”
Later as we walked to the edge of the woods, he tentatively grabbed my shoulder and turned me to face him. “I haven’t felt the sunlight in 200 years, and here you come, giving me a gift that I can never repay, and we don’t even know each other’s names.” I held out my hand to him and said, “My name is Cassandra, I’m pleased to meet you.” The cold touch of his palm sent a shock of arousal through me as he took my hand in his and shook it, “My name is Damian, and I’m definitely happy to meet you,” he smiled, flashing those brilliant white teeth of his.
“What do we do now?” he asked. I laughed, “Don’t you know what today is, silly? He shook his head.“Why, it’s Halloween, lots of tricks and certainly a few treats ahead.” I replied.
One thought on “Before Dawn”
This was brilliant! I loved the twists and surprises.
One suggestion I do have is to separate the dialogue into paragraphs, so that each time the speaker switches, you begin a new paragraph. It would make it a lot easier to figure out who is saying what. It’s well written otherwise 🙂