"Setting Dusk"
a short story by F.<話して~!!>

I wrote this for Complete the Stories. I used Vampire Bites as the template, and then changed it up more.

Just in the edges of his peripheral vision, Alastair could see that the sun was setting. Twilight was upon him, and if he didn’t get home or someplace marginally safe, he’d probably be beaten. The little town of Tweed, Ontario really was no hot spot for danger, but there was the odd chance...

Alastair tried to stand. But the moment he tried to lift himself, unbearably strong waves of pain shot through every extremity of his body. It kept him chained down to his spot on...wherever he was. Alastair could barely make out his surroundings, but he could see a bench nearby. A lamppost was flickering on and off over it, badly in disrepair.

Grudgingly, he decided this was the only way to go. He extended his arm, and felt a little bit of pain shoot through him. Alastair winced, but pulled himself more toward the bench. More pain. He extended his other arm, felt more pain, and pulled himself closer to the bench. It seemed like a million years away.

Eventually he dragged himself to the foot of the bench. Alastair was crying and sweating now, wondering fearfully what was causing so much pain. His body was almost numb to it, but every time he thought he was, a stronger magnitude of pain rippled throughout his body. But the real challenge was going to be actually putting himself on the bench.

Slowly, surely, he tried it. As he dragged himself up, an intense blaze of pain wracked him. He felt like each bone in his body—from his femurs right down to his stirrups in his ears—were being slowly, methodically broken, and being placed back in his raw flesh. It was an excruciating challenge; it was a Herculean effort just to do something so simple.

And suddenly, Alastair found himself sitting barely upright on the bench. He was panting, furiously sweating, and tears had flooded out his eyes of their own accord. His face was red from effort and his chest heaved in and out with exhaustion. What had happened?

He examined his arms first. Nothing had been broken in them. He checked his legs next. They were in working condition, too—they were just triggers for excruciating pain to overload his system. He hadn’t been stabbed or anything of the sort. And he felt nothing inside of him to elicit such pain! What happened? It was maddening!

Alastair then realized he was parched. His dry throat screamed and sang in demand. Water...water...water...! It screamed at him from the inside of his mind. He needed something to drink. But what? As far as he could tell, he was far from any convenience store, and it was much too early in the morning for any to be open. He certainly was in no shape to walk to one.

And so he sat there, not-so-silently suffering. The pain became dull flickers as the minutes and maybe even hours passed. Time seemed not to care or notice him in her stately march toward nothing.

And then suddenly, again in his peripheral vision, he saw a figure looming in the distance. It seemed tall, wide, and most of all, menacing. Alastair feared for his life at that moment, scolding himself for letting himself get something. He didn’t even know if he was drunk or not.

And then the figure emerged from the gloom. It was simply a woman in a long, billowing coat with an open umbrella, trying to fend off the storm. She was carrying many bags. Alastair had only noticed then that it was raining; the steady drips were angled by the westerly wind.

The woman stopped in front of him. In an desperate voice, she asked if he could walk her to her car. She was desperate, pleading with him that it was not far at all. She pointed down the lonely path, at the end of which a parking lot was, to emphasize her point. She asked him again.

Alastair turned her down without reason. How could he explain to her that should he try to move, unbearable pain would suddenly take over his whole body until he was incapacitated?

The woman gave him a cross look, and he looked up at her. It was then that he noticed that the woman was rather the plain sort. Mousy brown hair with the same color eyes; nothing special at all. And she was pale too. But it was not that which truly caught his attention—it was underneath her translucent skin that he saw the force of life pulsing through her. Her blood, her hot, beautiful blood coursing through her was in front of her, ready for the taking.

But what was he thinking? Blood? No sane person would ever want to resort to drinking another’s blood. Alastair’s throat screamed more at him, his unbearable thirst begging to be quenched. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to try. Blood only was just a little thicker than water, after all...

The woman gave him another cross look, wrinkling her nose. More blood rushed across her face. It called to Alastair, screaming at him to just take it. Take it and never speak of it again. He could imagine it; the hot, red fluid that gave life to these lowly beings quenching his screeching thirst and satisfying his hunger. He didn’t quite know he had developed a taste for blood—but he needed it, now.

The woman started to walk away, obviously irritated with him. As she turned her back, the storm winds billowed in her hair. It wafted her scent across the current and flung it full force right at him. It hit Alastair like a brick wall.

Suddenly, the pain was gone. There was no inhibiting waves of torture rolling through him anytime he tried to move a muscle. It was replaced by a strange feeling—of completion; of strength. He felt like he could run across a galaxy and back and not be the least bit tired, and he would have completed it in a minute. What was with this strange glorified feeling?

Alastair stood, much more silently than he would have any other day. The woman didn’t seem to notice as he ran at her at nearly the speed of light, and grabbed her from behind. He clawed once at her jugular, and snapped her neck in the same fraction of a second. Her head swung back, and graciously lapped up as much of the sweet, red blood that gushed from her neck. There was so much of it. It made the yearning flames in his throat vanish into nothingness. What had once given that woman life was now giving him satisfaction. It was amazing.

And finally the blood flow stopped. His shirt was bathed completely in red, and in his desperation, he tore that off and sucked the blood out of it like a sponge. And then he noticed the widening lake of sweet red nourishment at his feet. Greedily he slurped at it.

And it was over. He had taken the blood out of that woman, and it was in him now. It filled him with a warm sense of accomplishment, that in a corner of his mind, made him go cold and sick with hate. Hate toward himself. What had happened? Since when did he become such a...blood-drinker?

Such a vampire?

He felt it. The rain poured down over him. The winds tore around him. It was coming in heavy now, washing away the blood on the lonely, long path. Slowly but surely, the fresh air was cleansing his mind, erasing the seductive scent of that woman’s blood. They pieced themselves together, slowly, slowly.

It was only yesterday. Alastair was at a bar.

There was a woman, and she was absolutely beautiful. Her short skirt, animal print top—everything about her smoldered.

Alastair walked over to her.




A dark alleyway outside the bar. He and the woman were engaged in an exchange of bodily fluids.



And then she bit him.

It was her. That woman. That woman was a vampire.

Alastair sunk to his knees on the cold path, slick with blood, rain and shamefulness. Abrasive shame and self-hate washed over Alastair in thick, heavy windrows, the next more reprimanding than the last. How could have let himself get so out of control? He’d never been aware of some strange mystical world full of vampires co-existing with his own.

Co-existing. One uses the other as food.

And suddenly, he was back where he started. Lying on the ground, crying and heaving in pain. The pain had returned, with more vengeance than before. It made him curl into as small as a ball he could manage, but it found a way in. It toyed with his nerves, playing them like a marionette over hot coals. And the thirst, the thirst was worse than ever.

Blood. He needed more blood.

But he couldn’t even get up.

He wanted to die. But he couldn’t. Vampires don’t die.

And so he suffered, in thirst and in silence, waiting for the next passerby to walk into a deadly trap.

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