Content Warning

Greetings and Salutations.
Because my stories have bite, they can contain content that isn't suitable for work or children. Not a lot of truly graphic sex or violence, but there are some questionable or heated posts. F-bombs are not uncommon, so watch your footing.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rite of the Sanguine gets 3rd place

I'm rather proud of my horror story. Third place is quite respectable. Especially sinc it's one of the few horror stories I've ever written.

So, don't forget to check out IndieHorror.Org if you like horror.



“You said a small gathering.” I tensed, clinging to Vladilen’s arm as the multitude of voices reached my ears. My vision blurred, making it impossible to count heads in the dim lighting. More than enough to make me want to flee.
“Nichole, relax. Deep breaths.” The vampire could have used telepathy, but his faint accent was more soothing. Cold fingers gripped my chin, forcing me to look into his onyx eyes. “Considering my status in the clan, this is small.” He kissed the tip of my nose. “Soon it will be your status.”

I let the scent of blood and roses envelope me, let Vladilen’s touch calm me. When he completed my change, I’d become his daughter and wife, a princess of the Moldovi clan. Being stared at and conspired against would become my life.

But I’d have the power to invoke fear and the strength to command respect. I could excise my demons, could allay my insecurities, could make people do my bidding. No longer would I have to cower or hide the dark desires of my heart. Already, Vladilen indulged my more violent needs, gave me an actual outlet. Once a full member of the clan, I’d wouldn’t need him to share his victims.

My heart slowed, and the vampire knew I was ready. I kept tight to his side, unwilling to be alone in the pit of vipers. Vipers that would soon be my family, vipers that I would become with relish.

We circulated through the expansive ballroom, greeting everyone in attendance. I fought my anxieties, willing myself to be the strong woman Vladilen loved so much. So many faces, vampire and protégé and human. So many names that fled as soon as we left their presence. So many varied ages and costumes and accents.

Instead of allowing myself to be overwhelmed, I studied my surroundings, attention on the elaborate soiree put on just for me.

Moldovi clan vampires knew how to party. The candlelit ballroom could have fit a couple hundred people. Between vampire, protégés, servers, and entertainers, less than seventy-five were here. I’d have thought a dozen too many, with my issues about crowds, but Vladilen was right. He was second in command of the clan, and could do nothing without a crowd. All I could do was relax and try to enjoy myself.

Naked humans carried trays with flutes of blood. Some even had bite marks on their soft flesh. They wore masks, anonymous to the clan members. Fat, skinny, young, old, male, female, they were a broad sampling of flesh.

The entertainers were exclusively vampires and their protégés. Piercing and tattoo demonstrations, a contortionist, a fire dancer, and even a poetry reading. Peering around the crowd, I saw a couple other performers, but not what they were doing.

Vladilen guided us toward one of those I couldn’t see, squeezing my trembling hand. ~You’re doing well.~ We arrived, and I gasped, drawing deep the blood scent.

On a raised platform, a woman was tied with her arms above her head, a young-looking vampire slicing her with a knife. I drew a deep breath, relishing the heady scent of her blood and fear, and watched the leather-clad vampire flay the human alive. She squirmed and moaned, unable to scream past sewn up lips. Her teary eyes met mine, and I merely licked my lips at the blood running along her tattered skin.

“Will there always be gatherings like this?” The bond between Vladilen and I allowed only one-way communication. Even in my protégé state, half-vampire from constant infusions of his blood, I couldn’t send my thoughts to him. If tonight went well, that would all change.

My vampire stroked my back through my velvet dress, as intent on the slow torture as I. Perhaps more so, since I wasn’t a thrall to the hunger yet. ~Yes and no, my sweetling.~ Vladilen’s need crossed our bond, infecting me. He wanted to bite and rend the woman, so I came to want to bite and rend. Heat grew inside, and I pressed myself against his lean torso. Oh that we could be alone to indulge ourselves. My newest scars were nearly healed.

The youthful vampire had gained a crowd. He made more of a show, peeling the human’s skin slowly, then dancing with the strips. Hunger was aroused in all watchers. Protégé’s even nipped at their masters. Vampires stared, enrapt, fangs exposed and pupils dilated.

He was an artist, and I wished to have his talent. Even If I never gained his skill with a knife, I would settle for a bound victim. Vladilen had shared some of his meals with me, let me drink the sultry flow of life, allowed me to abuse them, but he’d always made the killing move.

Stepping closer, I was lost in the flow and action. The woman sobbed, tears mingling with blood. Her lips tugged against the heavy thread closing them. Would she rip the sutures if pressed enough? What levels of torment could I bring the human to if given the chance?

I could handle crowds if there was something so delicious to watch.

How the vampire artist fought his own hunger, I couldn’t understand. His eyes glowed silver, his fangs prominent against full lips. Smiling at me, he cut loose a piece of muscle. The woman shrieked anew, pulling against her bonds, throat throbbing with the muffled sound. Bending down, the vampire offered me the fresh gobbet.

I took it with trembling fingers. All eyes were on me, lustful and heavy. Vladilen’s stroking increased in pace and pressure. None of them mattered. Not their stares, or lusts, or hungers. All that mattered was the dark piece of meat still oozing blood.

My pulse leapt, and my mouth watered in anticipation. Crimson stains covered my fingers as I lifted it to my nose, closing my eyes as I inhaled deeply. The rest of the gathering slipped away, and I was alone in the moment. My first taste of human flesh.

The first bite was divine. Hot, rich, heady, muscle tissue shredded easily between my teeth. I chewed with relish, blood running down my lips. Delicious and pink like pork, human meat had its own unique flavor.

How could I have gone so long without trying this? Not like I hadn’t contemplated murder before. From a young age, I’d imagined slipping poison into my stepmother’s coffee, or shoving my sister down the stairs. In my mind, I bludgeoned the neighbor kids, and ran over mothers and babies with my Impala.

There had been cravings for flesh as well, not just the blood and violence. Someone butchered and in the freezer, or even bound to the table as I gnawed straight from the bone.

Only Vladilen knew this about me. The vampire encouraged it, extolling my inner killer. The lusty way I drank his blood, and helped him feed on his victims turned him on. We both looked forward to hunting together.

Until then, I had this visceral moment. I had the life of the nameless woman. She’d become mine to conquer, to take into myself. The best food I’d ever had, I couldn’t get enough. Swallowing hard, my pulse quickened.

My next bite was quicker, more violent. I opened my eyes, returning the vampire artist’s gaze with passion. I growled faintly, finishing my chunk, wanting more. So very much more.

Vladilen grabbed my wrists, yanking my hands to his mouth. The vampires around us sighed as he licked up the blood, tongue laving every inch of my fingers. I moaned, and he growled, lust flaring between us.

I wasn’t one for public affection, but I had no complaint when my lover dove for my neck. Pain lanced through my body, and I stiffened. Vladilen growled, gripping me fiercely, lingering before puncturing the vein.

He finally bit through, blood bursting into his mouth, and we groaned in unison. Pain gave way to pleasure. Pleasure escalated to ecstasy. The intensity robbed me of thought, left me with only sensation.

Vladilen ended the bite too soon, and I cried out in disappointment. He cradled me against his chest, blood dripping onto the dark silk. I whimpered and writhed, wanting him to continue.

“I have something much better, my sweet.” The vampire’s voice was husky, his hand trembling as he stroked my hair. “It’s time to start your Rite.”

The Rite of the Sanguine, where I proved I was ready and capable of being a vampire. I’d been looking forward to this part for a while. Leaning back to meet Vladilen’s sparkling eyes, I grinned like a little girl. “Not at the end of the night?”

Love and wonder and pride filled his expression. He ran a hand through my hair, pulling it free of the bobby pins. “You’re more than ready. The clan just needs to know it.”

His eyes were vacant for a moment as he sent a telepathic command out. Curtains drew back at the stage end of the room, and the crowd grew silent. Vladilen smiled, then led me to the stage, and the blond woman bound and kneeling.

As we approached, I recognized my half-sister Becky. My stomach roiled.

Perfect Becky. Daddy’s Little Princess. Two years younger than me, but more beloved. She could do nothing wrong, and ruled every boy by batting her big blue eyes.

Blue eyes that were now red from crying, mascara streaked across her cheeks. Her hair was ratty, clothes ripped, her fingernails bleeding, a gag cutting into her mouth. Her wrists were tied together, chafed and raw from attempts to escape, the rope lashed to a bolt in the floor. There was no escape for Becky.

Vladilen led me onto the stage, a hand in the small of my back. Everyone was gathering below us, watching me, but I had no room for anxiety. There was only Becky and her pleading eyes.

“Esteemed members of the Moldovi clan,” Vladilen began. I stared at Becky, anger slowly boiling in my heart. Was she trying to overshadow me even amongst my new people? “Tonight we stand witness to Protégé Nichole’s Rite of the Sanguine.”

I turned to the crowd, their faces blurred by tears of frustration. The last three years had all been an effort to distance myself from my mundane family, to forget about my little sister and her bitter mother, to erase memories of my father’s disappointment. A new life, a new city. An undead lover, and a chance to leave the human race.

My lover had continued speaking, extolling my virtues and outlining why he’d chosen me. I trembled with suppressed rage, not really hearing him. He caught my attention when he drew a kris dagger. Our eyes met, and I was suffused with his pride in me. “Tonight, Nichole shows her readiness to be one of us.”

I took the dagger with numb hands, still enraged by Becky’s presence. Vladilen had been purposely vague on the details of the Rite, saying I could not be prepared before hand. I had to prove myself impromptu.

~Kill her, my sweetling. Drink her blood. Make her suffer.~ Vladilen caressed my cheek, then turned me to face Becky.

She whimpered, staring at me, the gag muffling her words. Tears started anew, and she tugged at her restraint. Had she pled with her captors, promised them sexual favors if she were released? Was Father missing her, calling the police, offering a reward for her safe return?

Becky kept crying as I stalked toward her. A few steps seemed to take forever. The knife was heavy in my grip. Time slowed, the crowd pushed away. Vladilen had faith that I could do this, and I couldn’t let him down.

Kneeling before my sister, I wondered if I could really do this. Drinking Vladilen’s blood was fine. Eating the flesh of an anonymous woman was fine. Imagining my family dead by my hand was fine.

But could I do the real act? Becky was related by blood, spawned by a shared sire. We had our differences, but did that mean she deserved death?

I removed her gag, holding her teary gaze. “Hello, Becky.” Did she know me with my elaborate dress and intricate makeup? I was confident and assured, beautiful in my gothic attire, so different than the twenty-two year old she’d last seen.

“What the fuck is this?” she spat, voice hoarse from her repeated screams. “Where’s Daddy?”

All grown up, and still calling him Daddy. “He won’t be coming,” I whispered. Her lower lip quivered, and I remembered how she’d always gotten her way through the ages. Our father, wrapped around her slender little pinky. “He doesn’t even know you’re here.”

Becky sobbed, face crumpling. “Why couldn’t you stay gone, you selfish bitch?”

My nostrils flared, my cheeks heating. I was the selfish bitch? Anger finally boiled over, and I lashed out. Becky screamed when the blade bit into her cheek. Blood spilled, and the vampires behind me sighed.

I didn’t need my relations. I had a new family that didn’t compare me to others or frown on my homicidal urges. They loved me for my violence, and I loved them back.

Years of frustration fueled me, suppressed violence surfacing. I growled low under my breath, grabbing a handful of Becky’s hair. She jerked away and cried out, but I was relentless. I sawed at her scalp, blood flowing down her face as I removed great hanks of hair and skin.

She kept screaming and fighting, trying to escape, brought up short by the rope around her wrists. Blood blinded her, the scent filling my nostrils. Wicked wanton Becky smelled so delicious.

Tired of her squirming, I delivered a vicious punch to her nose. Cartilage snapped, and Becky slumped to her side. Her blood coated my hand, and I laughed maliciously as I loomed over her from my knees.

Silly girl thought she was better than me because her body influenced men. I was smarter than her, worked harder than her, and was plenty more vicious than her. She was helpless and weak.

She was prey.

I gutted her then, a deep cut just below her diaphragm. Blood gushed, pooling beneath her, soaking into my dress. Becky’s scream escalated to wails, quickly cut off as I plunged my hand into her torso.

Her insides were hot, sticky and pleasant. Using my half-vampire strength, I forced past diaphragm and membranes and lung. Becky twitched, her eyes rolled into her head, and her screams ended.

Becky’s heart throbbed against my fingers, and I groaned in pleasure. Here was her life, ready for me to take it. Clutching, I yanked, tearing blood vessels. Blood soaked my arm, searing hot against my skin.

The organ came free with one last yank, and I turned with a triumphant shout. Showing her still-beating heart to the crowd, I focused on the organ. The seat of her soul, the source of her life, so easily claimed. Closing my eyes to savor the moment, I took a deep bite.

Richer than anything I had ever tasted before, I lost myself to the flavor, thick with blood, rich with life, it gushed into my mouth. The scent was strong, flooding my senses, transporting me far away. I chewed slowly, moaning and rocking. Animal hearts had nothing on a human one.

I should never have taken this long to claim a life. Elation filled me, made my head spin. I had decided Becky’s fate, had snipped her line because I wanted to. The entire world waited for my whim, for me to decide who next to take.

Vladilen was at my side them, licking blood from my face, growling in pleasure. He kissed me, tongue diving far into my mouth, fangs pricking my lower lips. I kissed him back, offering him my sister’s life.

“One of us now,” the vampire whispered, breaking the kiss. His eyes glittered, lips parted and stained.

“Then I am worthy?” His only answer was to ravage me in the pool of Becky’s blood.