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Chapter 1 – Hunger
The wind howls and shrieks angrily, chilling the very bones of anyone who is still outside at this hour. The lights of the houses are going out, one by one. Soon, the neighborhood will be asleep. And soon, people's biggest fears will turn to reality. They have no idea what's about to strike them. They have no idea, that the ones they truly trust and love, will soon be nothing but decaying bodies underneath the dirt. The streets are dark and empty now, a perfect opportunity to come out of the shadows. But I will wait.
My patience it eternal. The hunger is growing with every minute, scratching at my insides. Only terror and destruction can satisfy this hunger. After all, I was born to feed on misery and misfortune of others. I was meant to bring death and pain to the land I once held so dearly in my heart. But first, I visit the house I grew up in. It looks so much different now. All the rose bushes and flowers are gone now, since they withered and died away. The beautiful oak tree that cast a shadow over the house with its enormous, blooming branches was cut down, too. As a child, I would climb that tree whenever I got a chance to. I would pretend I was a hawk, scanning for prey. The yard now looked empty, lonely. The artificial grass they planted gave an unnatural green look to the building. The house itself was repainted dark gray, and the broken windows have been replaced with new ones. The roof had black shingles, which matched the night sky. There was no liveliness or color to be seen, except the grass that gave it an unrealistic touch. A 'FOR SALE' sign was stuck in the ground. It looked old and battered.
I remember the boy that lived there once, who everyday wished the lightning would strike him dead. I was a miserable child. My family didn't have much. My father, Daniel Darthraki, a respected watchmaker, lost his job after being accused of raping one of his customer's 7-year-old daughter. No matter how many times he denied the charges or plead his innocence in court, his reputation had remained a “dangerous pedophile”. My mother, Wanda, stayed home all day, arguing that she couldn’t leave the house when it was such a mess. There was always something for her to do, or at least she claimed so. She told everyone a woman belongs in the kitchen, and that's where she will be. Many people think she spent too much time in the kitchen, as she was a heavy-set woman. No matter, her pride was too strong to take on a job to help pay for the necessities. “I don't need nobody paying me. I work enough as it is. But none of you goddamn sons of b****es appreciate anything, anyway.” She would complain. My dad, of course, wouldn't agree with her. He never agreed with anything she said, that's probably why they always fought and wanted to get a divorce. “For f***'s sake, Wanda. Stop yapping and go make yourself useful for once. Can't you see there's nothing for supper?” He would respond. Most nights, the screaming would turn physical. My mother would curse at him and throw things at him – dishes, pans and almost anything she could get her hands on. My father would beat her and then walk out of the house. He would be gone for couple days, sometimes weeks. When he did come back, he was drunk out of his mind. Some nights, police had to be called by the neighbors because the noise and chaos was disturbing their sleep. On most occasion, the police officers had to pry my mother's hands off of my dad's neck before, God forbid, she strangled him to death. I would sit in the closet, rocking softly, with my eyes squeezed shut and my hands over my ears. “Make it stop, make it stop,” I would repeat to myself. No matter how hard I tried to shut them out, I could not get the images of my mom sobbing on the kitchen floor, blood covering her face and hands. In the morning, when I would wake up, still in the closet, I would carefully go downstairs, afraid that my father would be still there. I'd see my mother sitting at the table, her face black and purple with bruises and cuts. She would just stare ahead at nothing, her lip slightly quivering, like she was going to burst into tears any second. She never did.
My sister, Kelly, was born on my 18th birthday. Like the usual, I didn't expect any gifts. My parents couldn't afford it. They also probably forgot, like every year. The only thing I wished for is that the new baby would bring our family closer. I had noticed the heavy belly my mother was carrying, almost like a trophy. She would walk into a grocery store, and tell random shoppers she was going to have a baby. Most just shook their heads, and walked on. One woman told her “No, no dear. You just got fat, that's all.” The same day the woman had to be driven to the E.R. for a broken nose and split lip. I knew my mother had a short temper, yet I was surprised to see her go that far.
During those nine months, she did not work at all. She laid on the couch most days, eating more than me and my father combined. He was unusually sweet to her, always asking if she needed anything. I wasn't fooled, though. It seemed too good to be true. One night, I woke up to my mother screaming “The baby is coming!” My father drove her to the nearest hospital. I came along with them. I didn't have a choice. They didn't want to leave me alone in the house. Not because they thought I was going to hurt myself but because they didn't trust me. My mama always blamed me when money disappeared from her purse. (She never had a clue it was Pops who used the money for beer.) The newborn was a girl. They named her Kelly. A sweet, innocent thing, she was. Kind of ugly at first. She looked like an alien with her huge head and blue veins everywhere. But, as an older brother, I always felt responsible of protecting her.
Most of the time, she didn't understand what was going on. Yet she could always pick on the bad mood in the house. She was a big crier, and when she started, it was really hard to get her to stop. Nights were long and exhausting, as she would wake up every three hours and just cry and cry until someone would pick her up. At first, things were going pretty well. After about five months of non-stop interruption of sleep and no leisure time, my father had had enough. He loved the baby, but he could not function with her around. Now that we needed him more than ever, he decided to leave us. As if the fact that he was abandoning his duty as a father and husband wasn't enough, he also took a lot of our income money.
Once Kelly got big enough, my mother would leave her with me. She would leave the house, telling them me she's going to get groceries, or try to find a job. She would come back really late and just fall onto the couch and sleep until noon next day. After a couple times of the same pattern, I knew she was lying and I planned to confront her about it. I suspected she was drinking all night, and my theories were confirmed when I smelled the booze on her breath. Once, she forgot to cook any meals, all day. I decided I was going to make supper but to my dismay, there was no food in the fridge. That is the last straw, I thought. My mother was still sleeping when I burst into her room. Seeing her all dirty and smelly from last night, I marched by her bed and shook her by the shoulders. “What the f*** are you doing?! You have kids to feed and you lay here like a drunken prostitute!” I screamed, the anger boiling inside of me. Wide awake, she pushed me off forcefully. “What the hell -” She hissed. Pointing a finger at me, her words slurred as she yelled back “You - You better stay the hell away from me! I swear, I will call the cops on you.” I laughed mockingly. “Call the cops on me? For what? For trying to make you do your f***ing role as a mother? You pathetic little whore. You don't give a s*** about us, just admit it.” For a second, I thought she was going to lash out but instead, her body went limp. She curled into a ball and wept, mumbling “I'm sorry.” A feeling of guilt washed over me, but as soon as it came, it was gone. I had to do something. “Mother, you need help. Until you get that help, we will not be part of your life, you hear me? I'm taking Kelly with me. She doesn't deserve to see you destroy your life and lives around you,” I said. With that, I left her bawling in the room. Packing some clothes and hygiene stuff for both of us, I told Kelly that we're going on a trip. I closed the door to the house, but I never knew I wasn't going to come back here again. At least, not as a human.
Now, I can picture the better days: My mom swearing and toiling in the kitchen, my dad reading a newspaper in the living room, and Kelly playing by herself. It was my little sister, that gave me a dull ache in my chest whenever I thought about her. She was so young, and she had her whole life in front of her. How long has it been? I thought. Five years. She would've been eleven years old. The house has still not been sold, as if people knew there was a type of curse set on it. I understood, though. Nobody wanted to live where a whole family was murdered in cold blood. And worst of all, history was going to repeat itself. This time, there will be more graves to be dug, more coffins to be lowered in the six-feet-deep hole.
It was full moon tonight, not a single cloud to obscure it. The timing was perfect. Whistling to myself, I stroll casually down the road. I have to pick the perfect house. As I pass the street lights, they each flicker and go out. One house caught my eye – it reminded me a little of the house my family owned. But I sensed there were two dogs sleeping in the children's bedroom. I wasn't in the mood waking up the whole neighborhood. I probably could just snap their neck before they even let out a bark, but killing animals wasn't as thrilling as killing humans. Moving on, my eyes fell on a beautiful Victorian-style mansion. Instantly, my heart filled with hatred for the ones who lived there. I knew the type. Snotty, ungrateful, rich bastards. This was the house.
As silent as an owl, and agile as a cat, I'm in the house in a blink of an eye. I admire the fancy furniture and painted ceilings. I recognize the work of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. I see every little detail, even in pitch dark. I climb the stairs to the second story without hurry. I open the door to the owner's bedroom. A king-sized bed took up most of the room's space. There was a nightstand with a bottle of expensive Cheval Blanc, 1947, and a picture of their wedding day. I hear the distinctive beating of both their hearts. Thump-thump, thump-thump. The rhythm of their heart was exciting. I lean over their bed, admiring the beauty of the woman. She's in her early thirties, with dark, long hair spread on the pillow and a pale, ivory skin that just started to show a few wrinkles. She's one of those people that gets finer with age. “Like wine,” I murmur in her ear. She stirs in her bed, grunting softly from her dreams. “May your dreams be pleasant, for it is the last time you will have any.” I kiss her neck gently. She wakes up then, her eyes wide with terror, as she sees me hovering over her. Before she can scream, with a swift motion of my hand, I slice open her throat, severing her artery. The blood is spurting out. Her body is thrashing violently, and I hear the gurgling, sucking sound, as she is choking on her own blood. After a while, her body stops moving. The sweet smell of death gives my body tingles.
Her husband wakes up with a start, covered in her red, thick blood. He cannot even make out a sound, as he stares in disbelief. Realization hits him like a wave, and he's screaming now. Loud, bellowing wails. Repeating “No, no!”, he lay by his lover's side. He knows she can't be saved. Two minutes pass by. To him, seems like eternity. Only then he notices, there I was, in the room. Although he can't see exactly who I am, he can see my shape across the bed. Terror seizes him, and he is paralyzed for few seconds. Then, with a quick jump off the bed, he starts running for the door. But I was quicker. “Where do you think you're going?” I say. My tone is cold, my lips twisted in a grin.
“P-please..” the poor man begs as he drops to his knees. “What do you want... I'll give you anything!” I chuckle, and kneel down next to him. “Don't you see? You have nothing to offer me. All your life, you took advantage of the weaker, more vulnerable people. You don't care about anything but yourself. And your money. That is why, I have come for you. This has to stop.” My eyes are drilling a hole into the man's skull. “It will be quick, I promise,” I add. I stand up and look down at the weeping soon-to-be corpse. He doesn't even make an attempt to escape, which annoys me. I love a little challenge. This isn't as fun as I thought it would be. “You're pathetic. Actually, I changed my mind. It will be long and painful.” I snarl, exposing my fangs. Taken back, the man barely whispers “Who are you?”
“I am your worst nightmare.” I smile, as I sink my teeth onto the man's neck.