I haven’t done a snippet in a while. Here you go – the opening to my next WIP, Notte. Notte.
My friend, I ask that you pardon my strange manner of storytelling. It is not my intention to speak with lascivious detail, or to repulse you in any way with strange gore. You have asked me how I came to be. This is the manner of my birth: in joy, tears, and blood.
My memories are not what they should be. I am aware that I was a young man once, human, a simple scholar, reading the stars and raising a family barely younger than I. That is, after all, how it was done in those days. Once one could create children, one did.
All that remains of them are single images, still shots, viewed in sepia as if from a great distance, and these memories came to me at great price. I do know this much: I was born, and later, I was made.
The ones who made me took me from my young family. They took me from my studies, from the protected city which I knew, and they changed me. They gave me to the stars I loved in a way no one had been given before. There are times I have wondered what difference it makes to be born through pain. My sepia dreams of the changes done to me are accompanied by pain, such pain – but of course, I did not at first remember them, and so my question is likely moot.
My first real memory – real, in color, with all senses engaged – was waking in the woods and finding that I lay under stars I loved but could not name. Waking and finding that the night was not dark. Waking and finding that all I knew was thirst.
The hunger is beautiful. Delicious; intoxicating, like the finest aged and herb-touched wine of ancient priests, but far more potent. I woke, and I hungered. The Beast became me. The Beast became all that I was.
I ran through the woods. The trees, the shadows, the darkness – every sound in the air, every heartbeat and pulse from the tiniest spider to the largest bear – I heard and felt and craved. I wanted to drink them all, to feel them beating inside me without conflict because I no longer had a pulse. I caught some bugs and a few small, furry things, experiencing more gristle and goo than blood as I crushed them. They were not enough. I wanted what I could not name – human blood – but all I found at first were animals. So, after a time of searching and whining in wordless frustration, I pursued the largest animal I saw.
The deer fled from me. My Beast was not yet stealthy. Finesse was a silly concept, not even considered in order to be discarded. I was faster, that was all. She could not flee. Ah, my friend, my friend, the blood! Glory, bliss! Sweet, tangy, powerful, every cell filled with something I could not even identify, and yet as I drank, for the briefest of moments, I knew myself to be strange. Blood did not taste like this. I had tasted blood in the past. I knew I had, although my past was lost to me, and this glory was not blood – but then, the blood became all, and I recalled nothing more.
But this! The Beast tasted blood, and it became his one true love. His beloved, to be caressed, and treasured, embraced and savored until ever became evermore and always! The blood was all!
Then came the cold, strange shock of dead blood as the deer’s heart stopped, and I – the Beast – knew the horror of rejection. Inglorious cold, the harshness of blood that no longer spoke or sang, thickened perceptibly to sludge, tasting of foulness and the grave. I turned away from the corpse with a cry and vomited some of what I had taken. The memory of bliss hurt. I wept.
Why had it left me? I did not know. There was more blood in the woods. I could hear and feel it, all the heartbeats in the world, moving together in a canto of love, promise, and desire. The deer was quite destroyed, but it was true that there were others, and besides – did not all men experience the loss of love at some time in their lives?
Strange that I knew this, and yet knew no name for myself. However, I did not question. Reason was uninteresting to me. The Beast needs no reason, no subtlety; why would he? I was stronger and faster than any creature I desired. I needed nothing except that which would sate my hunger.
I continued on through the woods, but blood’s betrayal devastated me more than I’d thought, and I could not bring myself to feed again that night. When the sun rose at last, I felt hot, and sleepy. Responding to my Beast in the simplest way, I dug through the soft, rich loam of my new birthplace, pulled it in after me to bury myself, and hid beneath the ground.