These are the journal entries of a centuries old vampire, Nicolas Rider. Welcome to his world...

Monday, December 23, 2013

September 1, 1631 - Jamestown

     Disease and famine riddle this town, covering the traces of my existence. The humans here prepare of another crippling winter. Their bellies will cry with hunger while mine laps in the luxury of an ample supply of disposal morsels. Blonde hair draped over my leg reminds me of the plethora of opportunities I have to satisfy my inner demon.
     I run my fingers through her locks, breaking up the dried masses of crimson. She was someone’s mother, someone’s wife, someone’s mistress, but she didn’t fight it when she became my meal. None of them did. The air is growing colder each passing day as winter rolls toward us. But even the stillness that the shorter days of winter brings does not compare to the peace of being surrounded by silent bodies.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

August 6, 1861 - Mobile

     The hot air sticks to my skin uncomfortably. While I am concerned with trying to blend in despite my lack of sweat, the heat keeps the humans miserable. The beating sun tugs at their inner darkness. Irrational, unscrupulous behaviors scratch the surface of every man I meet. Broken by the heat, they look for any easy pleasure to replace the happiness seeping from their pores. 
I am awakened by one such man. I hear his heavy steps shuffling across the floor above me. The silver clangs as he shoves it into a rough burlap bag. A thief who chose the wrong home. A solitary mistake that he will not make again. He doesn’t see me until my hand is on his throat and his back is slammed into the wall. He begs, pleading that his family is hungry. I let my eyes go black and my voice grows cold as I tell him that mine is too.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

October 8, 1591 – Ajaccio

     Their screams pierce the night and for once I am not the cause of them. Women running in fear, hiding their children while tears stream down their dirt covered faces. Fires scar the buildings and rip through homes, driving people into the open. Blood pulls in the dips of the street as a man drops, sliding a dagger from his stomach. Another unsuccessful attempt to stop this raid. But the Barbary pirates aren’t here for death, they want slaves. After all, there is gold to be had in such a lucrative business.
     I have made it a point not to become involved in the troubles of humans and as I watch the mayhem unfolding before me, I do not intend for this time to be different. That is until a fragile family is chased past me. The pirates slam the father to ground as the mother cradles her baby, protecting him even as she is shoved to her knees and her tight grip on her young daughter’s hand is broken. Before I could think of my actions, I leap between the woman and the pirates. Not hearing the pleas and death around me, I kill the pirates in mere seconds. The woman voices her praise, thanking me for my actions but she misunderstands me. I do intend to be repaid for my kindness and she quickly realizes that when I sink my fangs into her husband’s throat. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

June 19, 1828 – Boracay

     The waves lap onto the beach and retreat back into the bay. The clear water lures the humans here even in the darkness of night. The sand warms their toes as their laughter fills the air. I see them just over a hundred yards away. It’s an easy distance to clear. There would be blood staining the white sand before a scream could even escape their lips but tonight I am sitting on the beach, trying to feel human in my cold skin.
     Blocked by the clouds, the moon strains to cast its light on me and warn the humans of the nearby danger that is me but like most humans, they are distracted, missing the most obvious things to see. I try to focus on the waves pushing onto the beach but the young woman’s playfully scream grabs my attention in an instant. I watch the man she is with spin her around, baiting me and my mouth waters at just the thought. Tonight, I wanted to feel human but in this moment, I just want to feel a human between my fangs. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

March 24, 1615 – Madrid

     The warm wood hugs my chin as the rich tones pull my eyes closed. Lost in the pleasantly spacious sweet highs, I find the man I once was. No more thirst for blood, no burning deep inside my throat. No greed, no hunger. I slide the bow over the strings feeling only peace with the reverberation at low frequencies. The tones caress my ears, whispering sweet nothings in the night. 
     But a divine scent brings me back to my reality. I open my eyes once more to see the bodies scattered across the room. A mother protecting her child with her blood soaked carcass lies, curled into a ball in the corner. A father leans over the table, his face smothered in a pool of crimson. The haunting pallor of their bodies should bring me guilt but the fluttering pace of a tiny heart wrapped in cold arms gives me a glimpse of the humanity I still possess.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

October 11, 1601 – Seljalandsfoss

     Sitting behind the falls, I watch the water cascade down and ripple away, disappearing into the night. I long for the same escape, to hide from my thirst, to find the human buried inside. My heart still beats but I am not alive. My breath still fogs the air but it is as faint as my soul. Humans trust me but I miss being worthy of it. I crave feeling human almost as much I as crave tasting their blood. 
     As I watch a young girl walk to the edge of the water, I make my choice, to be what I am or who I am. Kneeling down, she gathers the water, her fingers grazing the coolness of it. I could taste her blood, let the crimson stain the ambiance, let it warm me as it streams over my lips. I could let her walk away, never knowing how near her death was. It’s a sin to kill something so beautiful but I’m not that innocuous. I watch her closely and make my choice. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

September 6, 1664 - Paris

     My hands do not catch every tear as tap the cold floor. I lean my head against my knees, letting my tears stain my shirt. Quietly, I let my sorrow wrap its arms around me in a pained embrace. I let my memories of her course from my eyes. A sweet local with the face of an angel and a talent for cooking that I would swear she sold her soul to possess. One month is all I had with her. One month on my own, without any other vampires living with me. 
     Full of life, she taught me the best parts of all things French, cooking and… well. Never once did she ask why I didn’t taste any of the food. Perhaps, she knew my secret. Either way, she was doomed when she agreed to stay with me, night and day. Once my family returned, our hiatus was over and the reality of my fate was restored. The scent of her blood still lingers on my hands, despite how much I’ve scrubbed them. Not even my tears can wash it away. I should have realized that vampires and humans cannot be friends.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

August 2, 1441 – Limerick

     I watch her naked body until the color leaves her cheeks and her eyes haze over. Her fingers grow cold and rigid. Her clothes are scattered across the room, hanging from the dresser and laying about the floor. The sun will be up soon, shining its light on the bodies and attempting to give warmth where I have stolen it. 
     I should feel bad. I should feel the monster inside is consuming me. I should see the way the darkness has changed me. This wasn’t a vampire looking for a meal. I didn’t bite her. I didn’t taste her blood. I wrapped my hands around her neck, felt her struggle against my unmovable grip, and watched her life leave her eyes. I’ve never thought of my actions as murder because they’re not. Death is merely a product of life. But this does not feel the same because it isn’t.        

Monday, July 15, 2013

February 18, 1985 – Los Angeles

     The rain drips from his wide brimmed hat, pounding against the ground. Standing under a lamppost, he soaks up the only light the cold night allows. Calling into the darkness, his words of doom and despair reach out, grasping at the passersby, who reject his message. Humans have thought these same thoughts, feared the same terrors, and are still haunted by the same judgments. His sign reads, ‘THE END IS NEAR’ but the others ignore him, distracted by their repetitive lives.  
     Some will not notice his absence tomorrow. Some will be happy that another fanatic has been removed from the limited view of reality. Some, but only a few, will wonder where he is, if he is alright, but they will not lose sleep over him. He sees me approaching, the only one in the crowd that can feel my inner demon. As I step into the light, I let my eyes change to black and he looks into them, knowing just how near his end really is. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

December 15, 1442 - Strasbourg

      Humans really do trust us too much. I suppose our charismatic appeal makes them overlook their own instincts and natural fear of us. Tonight, however, my neighbor’s confidence in me may be detrimental. He asked me to care for his friend who is ill while he fetches the doctor. A sick friend? One that is ill enough to die... unexplainably? Yes, this could very well be a mistake.
     However, as I step in the bedroom where the ill man sleeps restlessly, I notice a book lying near the bed. The room smells of sweat and infection, only slightly masking his blood but still, I pick up the book. After all, I do not see one often. As I flip through the pages, I am mesmerized. This man will not be killed by me. Not tonight. Not ever. This man, this book, they are important. Rubbing my fingers over the title, Aventur und Kunst, I look at the man that can change the world, Johannes Gutenberg.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

August 22, 1409 - London

     The past two nights have been a blur, everything painted red, screams and pain all around me, and the strange pleasure I find in that. Crouching in the shadows, I listen to the people walking in the streets, trying to convince myself to stay hidden. I have tried to satisfy the fire in my throat, attempted to bribe it with crimson payments but to no avail. It rips through me, worsening with the passing of each human. With my hands trembling from the pain, I step into the street, searching for my next victim. 
     The person I see should stop me but my mouth waters despite his  importance. Reflexively, I step toward him when I feel a cold hand wrap around my mouth. Hoping death is the one that has me; I do not struggle and let it pull me into the alley. As more distance grows between the humans and me, my thoughts become clearer and I realize it is not death that has me. This person saved me. Saved me from the pain and regret I was about to endure. And as my own father passes the alley, I look back at the blond woman holding me and I see my savior.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

May 3, 1820 - Mérida

     Walking along Paseo de Montejo, I glide my fingers over the city gates. The walls here were meant to keep out the revolts of the Mayans but they do not keep out the real dangers. They do not stop me from strolling the city streets, seducing the naïve and young women, or preying on the precocious men. Even at night the wealth and charm in this city is easily seen.     
     As I meander along, a dark-skinned beauty approaches. Her skin is moist from the heat, a bead of sweat rolls down her neck, tracing her vein. My throat burns with hunger and greed. Her eyes meet mine as she passes, stopping me in my tracks. I watch her for a moment until she glances back at me with a coy smile and my thirst surrenders to a much more persuasive need. I start toward her; after all, I am still a man.

Monday, June 10, 2013

February 2, 1521 – Athens

     I can smell his musky wolf scent from the shadows but the temptation of her human blood outweighs the risks. Hand in hand, they watch the Aegean Sea tumble into the cliffs below. My mouth waters, making my fingers dig gouges into the tree I am peering from. I charge quickly but his superb hearing tips him off and in a flash, he throws her like a doll into the nearby Temple of Poseidon. As she skids on the cold stone floor, I abruptly stop in front of the columns. Unable to enter a place of worship, even an ancient one, my glare turns to him.
    Wondering why he makes no effort to phase into his wolf form, I expose my fangs in an angry hiss. He urges her to stay where she is despite what happens to him but I tell by the panic in her eyes, she will run. Then it hits me, he hasn’t changed because she doesn’t know what kind of beast he really is. He is willing to die to keep it from her. A cruel smile spreads across my face, I am willing to oblige him with that and fear will chase her out of the safety of the temple.   

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

September 25, 1605 – Kurashiki

     My feet pound against the ground, leaving impressions in the soft dirt but they are not the only feet I hear. The padding of heavy paws closes in as I speed through the trees. The branches pull and tear at my shirt like claws, digging into my skin. Before my blood can hit the ground, creating a light tap on the leaves beneath me, I am fighting my way through the thick undergrowth several yards away.
     The panting of the wolves is close enough for my heart to pick up its pace. I am not normally afraid of werewolves but I also don’t normally kill off a pack’s families while the wolves are hunting. Closing in on a cliff, I make a choice, die or jump. The rocks below will not be forgiving but the wolves will be even less. As my feet leave the ground, my only thought is ‘This is going to hurt’.

Monday, May 20, 2013

August 14, 1772 – Bengal

     Dust whips around me. The ground succumbs to desiccation. Cracked and crumbling, the earth longs for rain that will not come. Many people have deserted this place in search of food and water but countless others waited too long. The stench of their bodies baking in the summer heat is revolting and despairing for the ones who still call this home.
     I do not come into town often these days. The humans’ thin frames pulling their skin tight against their bones while they stumble weakly through the streets aren’t exactly the enticing meals I prefer. However, there are a few who seem to be healthier than most, the ones who, undoubtedly, are responsible for all of the thefts and brutal beatings recently. Trying to save themselves, they steal from others but it only makes them tastier prey. And they are easy to track.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

July 28, 1518 – Strasbourg

     Our feeder humans, or sheep as we call them, are mindless, vacant drones. A shadow of life in a human shell. They feed on our words as much as we do on their blood. With a sole purpose of pleasing us, they follow any command, even ones that cause their own demise. The sheep here are not mine, nor did I give these orders but I do admit, watching them dance in the square until the streets are painted crimson with the blood from their feet is entertaining.
     Dancing endlessly for days, most of the sheep have already died of exhaustion. I have watched them every night for weeks and I am not alone. Tonight is different, however; tonight a young boy is pulling at a sheep’s dress, begging her to stop dancing. With tears rolling down his cheeks, he calls to his mother but she cannot answer. She’s no longer present in her own body. Moving gracefully on weary legs, she knocks him to the ground without realizing he is even there. His hopelessness holds him down, keeping him from standing. And for the first time in a long time, I cannot look upon the human pain we cause. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

March 18, 1698 – Venice

     The sounds of beating hearts and light dancing steps flood my ears, only stifled by the impeccable rendition of Carlo Farina being played by a delicate looking man. It should be enough to sit in the corner listening to such a wonderful piece but there are too many humans here to quiet my thirst for long. The humans may hide behind their beautiful masks and refined dancing but I know their desires for this night are just as carnal and basic as my own.   
     I walk across the floor toward a young beauty, a woman full of life for mere hours longer. I raise my hand and she places her palm against mine, her glove protecting her from feeling the coolness of my skin. We dance around the room, never speaking, but never needing to. Her eyes, peeking out from behind her mask, expose her lust to me. I am sure she can see desire in mine as well but if she would only look closer, she would see the hunger and greed that fuels it. The same hunger and greed that will take her life and appease my own.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

June 1, 1952 - Rampur

     With her face buried in my chest, Kate paints my shirt with her tears. I hold her against me whispering sweet assurance in her ear and stroking her hair with my hand softly. The night had started off as a simple surprise for her latest boyfriend but it soured quickly when she found him in bed and not alone. The thing about vampires is, we tend to overreact, probably because nobody can really stop us when we do.
     One phone call to me and her problem was solved. It did take longer than I intended but only because I didn’t want to end his pain and so now due to the fleeting darkness, we are obligated to spend the day lying in some neighbor’s crawl space, listening to the sounds of a real life above us. I hold her as the blood on my hands blends with the dirt, making a sticky paste on my fingers, because holding her is what she needs me to do. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

July 14, 1664 – Paris

     The immense room holds one of the most pleasing smells that I have ever come across. The heavy scent of leather caresses my nose as my eyes dance over the spines of the loosely bound books and scrolls.  Like a great hall, the Mazarine Library boasts rows of tables for those few patrons that are capable of reading well to enjoy the vast selection. There are many hours of darkness left tonight and I will spend every one of them here, perusing the literature.
      I will spend my time alone, carefully avoiding the attention of the humans. They would surely suspect my abnormality when I leap across the room to sit on stacks of books comprehending the writings faster than a human’s eyes can move. Luckily, this is not a popular place at this hour but there was one human, the librarian. I lick my lower lip, tasting his blood as I trail my fingers along the books, streaking them with crimson.  What a beautiful sight. My two favorite things.

Monday, April 8, 2013

October 9, 1520 - Athens

     I miss the sun. I miss the way it warms my skin. I miss the way the rays danced across everything I loved, making them brighter, better, and more beautiful. But the moon is often forgotten by the day-dwellers. They overlook its simplicity, its gentle pull on the world and the ones in it. Unlike the sun, it is a beckon of light to a dark species. It casts shadows of the trees around me, covering the forest floor. I stare at its nearly perfect circle, listening to the howls in the distance.
     Werewolves are oblivious to the effect the moon has on me. While it calls to them, caressing their wolf form with its gentle glow and they howl in loyalty to it, they call to me. The sounds of their pleas are easy to track and they lure me to them with the promise of a massacre. There is an unexplainable pleasure in bringing down a pack single-handedly. Watching their blood spill across the grass as their bodies shake and shift into the human they pretend to be and silence left by their last breathes bring me peace.  

Monday, April 1, 2013

February 24, 1890 – Rio de Janeiro

     Lent begins tomorrow. For the humans here, it means giving up their biggest pleasures. Forty days of prayer and fasting. Every year, I struggle. Forty days without blood. My skin grows ice cold, pale, and appears sunken. My throat burns until my body trembles from the pain. Crying silently as the monster inside claws at my will, I find myself muttering the same unheard prayers for death to take me.    
     Our newest vampire wonders why I suffer through it at all. And as I watch the humans dancing in their brightly colored clothes, celebrating only the way humans can, I explain it to him. Forty days worth of blood will spill on Easter, quenching an insatiable thirst. I will bask in crimson, letting it wash away my pain, and I gorge like a glutton until exorbitant strength seeps from every pore.   

Monday, March 25, 2013

September 21, 1974 – LaFayette

     I waited outside, never looking at the church. I could have lured the priest into the alley. I could have knocked over the trash, or caused someone to scream in pain. That would have bought out of his protective chapel. But I waited. For hours. Until finally, he appeared.
     I stayed in the shadows to keep him from seeing my face. He only needed to hear my voice. My confession. It took longer than it should have to list all of my sins. But then again, I haven’t attempted this in a while. I watched as he tried desperately to hide the way my words troubled him. Before I left him, he told me all was not lost. There was hope. But he is wrong.    

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

October 18, 1441 - Limerick

     Humans are panicky, predictable creatures. They are afraid of the unknown and their responses have changed very little in all these years. I heard the angry chanting, the pounding of a hundred feet nearby, and smelled an unmistakable scent. Burning flesh, but not from a vampire like the humans had intended.
     As I watch the glow in the night sky from the fire consuming my neighbor’s home, husband, and children, I realize who their real target was. The fact that it is her home burning instead of mine proves that she protected my secret, didn’t tell them where to find me, and traded her life for mine. It’s a debt that must be repaid in blood. Those humans want me but they should be careful what they wish for.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

April 3, 1618 – Cairo

     I grab the nomad by the hair and drive his face into a rock. Blood trickles from his nose as he pulls himself out of my grasp, ripping his hair off in my hand. He flips up into a tree and I leap after him. Swinging from the branches, I wrap my legs around his waist and slam his body into the trunk hard enough to hear his ribs snap. He claws at my arms, scratching deep gouges into my skin. Crying out, I let him drop to the ground. As he starts to run, I jump at him. With my fist, I pound him into dirt.
     From the impact, the ground begins to shift and open. As I start to fall into an underground cavern, my fingers dig at the loose soil. Grabbing the root of the tree, I stop with him clutching my ankle. The growls beneath us tell me this cave is not empty. I look down at the den werewolves we have awaken and the scared nomad clinging to me. With a smile, I kick him off and watch him fall to the wolves. They pounce quickly, devouring him as I climb out and save myself.           

Monday, February 25, 2013

September 21, 1413 - Wiltshire

     I will be leaving England soon. Only a few more months and I will have control of my cravings enough to travel. I am ready too, ready to be rid of the memories this land holds for me. I rub my fingers over the cold rocks as I walk along one of the only places I will miss here. I once thought Stonehenge was a mystery like some many other humans but now I know better. The circle of stones hides its real use from the unsuspecting, keeping its deadly secrets.
     Designed by the vampires, it was used as a trap. Once vampires would drag an injured werewolf here, let him whine and howl in pain, luring the pack. Then when they rushed into the circle, vampires would close in on them, tear the limbs from their bodies, spill their blood across the grass, and bury the bodies under the night sky. As I move through the dark, part of me, a big part, wishes we still used this trap and that I could orchestrate it. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

December 2, 1414 – Budapest

     Sneaking out to spend a night away from Marcella’s watchful eye was one of the best ideas I’ve had in a long time. Sure, she will be angry, but if I manage not to kill anyone tonight, she will also be impressed. Killing is not on my mind as I continue to a beauty. A vampire like me, she begged me to join her in the alley. Who could say no as she raised her dress in an invitation?
     Pressing her back against the building, I feel her body tense around me. Her moans and sharp gasps make my grip on her tighten as her fangs puncture my neck. My warm blood runs over my clavicle, staining my shirt. But something’s not right. She’s taking too much. I have heard of vampire’s like her, the nomads. I push away from her but am too weak to fight. With blurred vision, I see Marcella approach quickly, hear the woman’s screams cut short suddenly, then everything goes black.   

Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11, 1792 – Sydney

     My eyes open but there is nothing to see, only the boards of a not very well crafted coffin. Someone must have been in a hurry to finish it. The smell of dirt and rot caress my nostrils as I lie still, thinking of the humans that put me here. They were fools to think a box like this could contain a monster like me for long. They will think differently when I take my revenge.
     I feel the night covering the six feet of earth above me and press against the chains that are wrapped around me. The metal snaps and separates easily enough. My fingers graze the rough wood above my abdomen, feeling the fibers prick at my skin. Then in one quick motion, I slam my fist through the boards and dirt pours in on me. I let it fill the coffin for a moment before I rip the opening larger. I crawl out, through the loosely-packed soil until my hand bursts through the grass and I feel the breeze on my fingers. I pull myself out of the ground and brush off the dirt from my shoulders. Looking over, I see the grave digger staring with wide eyes. Giving him a twisted smile, I walk away into the night.

Monday, February 4, 2013

November 17, 1421 - Beijing

     I am sure that Marcella can see her mistake. I can. To let me, a creature with so much resentment and hatred for the world, train with a former Mongol solider, who craves death as much as I do, is surely an oversight on her part. In the two years we have spent here, I have learned very little about him.
     I thought that when he took me out alone, I would find answers to the many questions he has left me with but instead we slaughtered our way across the city. He said very little that wasn’t about war, tactics, and survival. But I must admit the way his smile twisted when he tore that villager’s limbs from his body was unnerving. It made me wonder if I looked that frightening, if I was, in fact, watching the future me. Part of me was concerned but a bigger part was intrigued.

Monday, January 28, 2013

April 8, 1515 - Congo

     As I pull my fangs from another tribesman’s throat, I look around the decimated village. Bodies strewn across the ground. Blood boiling in the fire. But that is not what my eyes rest on. Looking down at me with its hollow eyes, sharp teeth, and claws like knives, I see the statue of this tribe’s guardian and I get the feeling that it is not merely an idol. Perhaps, I shouldn’t have come here.
     Feeling the deadly gaze, I look over my shoulder and see the eyes from the statue staring back at me. Only this time, they are real, black and cold, but still piercing. How strange that a vampire would protect humans but then again, people do all sorts of things to be treated as a god. I turn to face the nameless vampire. I suppose it’s time someone shows him just how moral he really is.      

Monday, January 21, 2013

June 5, 1952 – Rampur

     The wind whips through our hair, throwing Kate’s long locks in my face. The roar of the engine begs for me to let off of the gas but that is the last thing on my mind. As I shift through the gears, the car spits rocks and dirt behind us, clouding the air. Kate’s wild laughter only makes me drive that much faster. We hit a bump that sends us into the air. Slamming the bottom of the car on the road when we land, I watch Kate bouncing in the seat and smiling widely the whole time.
     Seeing her enjoying herself makes me happy too. After all, I may not be able to bring back her most recent boyfriend and have him un-break her heart, but she isn’t thinking about him right now. That’s what I can do for her.  

Sunday, January 6, 2013

October 27, 1965 - Baltimore

     As I walk down the sidewalk, I can not help but replay my night in my thoughts. In the lighting of the library, she was beautiful, reserved, and mine for the taking. She was biting her lower lip as she read quietly. All I could think about was how much I wanted to take her home. I only wanted sex. I might not have killed her though I probably would have. What can I say, sometimes I’m rough.
     She noticed me staring and didn’t shy away. We talked only briefly before she succumbed to my charm. But as I stepped inside her home, I see the letters from Vietnam on the counter with the same last name as hers scrolled from the sender. I put it together quickly. Married to a soldier. Lonely and needing to be held. I could have still killed her. That wouldn’t have bothered me but then I smelled the baby powder in the air. I could hear a heart beating too fast to be an adult just in the other room. I faked a sudden migraine and left her alone with her child. Alive.