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and lover for a long time. At last, after centuries of struggle and searching, she finds him, but even knowing that he is insane from centuries of confinement, she must risk the shelter of anonymity and darkness to release him. But will he survive freedom or become another statistic of vampiric mental illness? What is worse is that the group that confined him is still out there, and just as immortal, but only with Samuel’s help can she defeat them. By S. Lei Pyke Sample—this teaser is part of a larger work in progress. City of Sorrows is a working title for a potential series of vampire novels and novellas. If you want to see more, please PM me about it. I would like lots of feedback. For four nights Samuel sat at her side, not taking any sustenance other than what he could draw from the constant fear that Hummingbird Feather gave off as she tended Medricia. She was growing ill, succumbing to one of the poisons in Medricia’s blood that was not covered by the small protection she had as a Union-marked servant. On the third day, one of the Civatateo came to him. She was one of the younger ones, though “young” by their standards was at least three hundred years older than him. “Two servants, you fool? I don’t believe it! You can’t be that powerful yet!” She shrieked. Samuel hissed, displaying his blunt fangs. “I don’t ever intend to mark Hummingbird Feather any further. She is safe from me. As for Medricia, I would have her be my wife. I love her.” The Civatateo tossed her head and laughed. “You are never going to be more than a pitiful white man. Love? If you loved her, you would have made her one of your clan! You young, stupid fool. You have ruined her; made her a slave.” “No! I just could not bear to deny her the sun.” Carefully, he reached out and stroked her pallid cheek. “She would be so beautiful in the light. More than I ever deserved. I wanted her for all eternity, just like this.” “You took her as a creation-marked servant you fool. Well, I cannot help you there. But know this white man: she can never become one of Night’s Children now.” “I don’t intend to mark her further. I will never treat her like a slave. If she dies, I will walk into death with her.” he growled. This seemed to shock the shriveled hag. She stared, confused.
“You would walk into death after her?” She whispered, coming to the only conclusion, however illogical. He looked at her sternly. “Yes.” She stepped fully into the room and inspected the scene. Samuel moved to guard his servants, feeling a great sense of dread. He thought he had made a mistake. In fact, by the look on the Civatateo’s face, he knew he should have warded the entrance. The hag smiled wickedly. “Then, you are stupid as well as foolish. You do not even know what you have done.” With speed that Samuel did not have the age to match, the witch plunged her hand into Medricia’s chest and ripped out her heart. Samuel roared in grief and anger and attacked; his fingers steely and his fangs fully extended. With a calm word, the Civatateo spoke as she dodged his charge, and Samuel fell to the ground, immobile. “You bitch! You—“ the Civatateo crouched over him, drowning out his words by shoving the heart into his mouth. Medricia’s blood gushed down his throat, slaking his hunger. It was no longer as sweet as it had once been. He knew that it was because of his marks. Calmly she repeated her action, slipping her hand into Medricia’s chest and pulling out yet another heart. This one, she threw at him. Again and again, she
performed the obscene act, until Samuel’s desperation overcame his shock. He spat out the heart. “Stop, please!” he cried out. “What are you doing to her? Please.” “Oh no, little boy. It is not what I have done; it is what you have done. You see, it is quite the other way around. She will never face the long journey. It is you that will take her soul upon your death. You will take it with you into the oblivion reserved for us.” She ripped out yet another heart from Medricia, holding it in her hand as if it were a diseased item. “Even if she is burned to ash, as long as you still exist she will reform. You wanted to save her, and you have doomed her. Don’t you know that it is for the long journey that the light of humanity is created?” “I know that.” He said quietly. “But I did not want to lose her.” “So you took her light for yourself.” She said, amused. “Oh, we are pleased with you. Yes, lord Necocyautl is always pleased when one of his children creates a slave
from a lover. You will regret this choice. I do not know of a single one of Night’s Children that does not eventually regret.” “I will undo it.” “You cannot.” She put the last heart in his mouth, silencing him again, and wiped her arms on his clothes. She disdainfully looked at her arms, now clean of not just the blood, but the chalk that had covered them from fingertips to elbows. “Her damnation is quite permanent, my sweet boy. Now just stay there until I am finished.” Samuel could not break her spell. Though he could talk, he could not move his limbs. The smell of blood in the room was intoxicating. He wanted to feed so badly. He could sense Hummingbird Feather’s soul resting in the corner. The Civatateo looked at him as she drew out more chalk from her bag to cover her arms. Satisfied that they were covered, she brought out a kit of dyes and needles. Her face became stern and official; her sadistic glee immediately gone. “Our laws still stand, white man. None of us may consume the blood of another’s creation-marked servant, but you must brand her even as we brand our own. She will be known to the humans so that they do not choose her for sacrifice.” Samuel shuddered. To forbid it would be to usurp laws that he could not break without being destroyed. The Civatateo checked Medricia over as she patiently applied the mark. Samuel watched with desperate hunger as Hummingbird Feather woke. When she saw the scene she quickly fell prostrate, trembling. The Civatateo paused, looking from Samuel to Hummingbird Feather. She clicked her tongue and returned to her work, chuckling. Finally, with a satisfied grunt, she stood. On Medricia’s upper arm the glyphs depicting the skull and crossbones were followed by Samuel’s name and the number of marks he had placed on her. With a few more words, she yanked Medricia to a sitting position. Immediately, Samuel’s mind was filled with Medricia’s confusion and terror. Casually, the Civatateo dragged her to his side. She choked up blood as she cried, the pain in her chest finally reaching Samuel. “You gave her almost too much blood. Just a bit more and we would be marking her as one of your clan.” “Thank you.” Said Samuel. The hag sneered.
“Do not thank me.” She sighed. Samuel knew that she could smell the love-thatis-lust, and the love-that-is-truth as distinctly as any of Night’s Children. “I did not come here to aid you; merely to enforce the law. We know your intentions with her cousin Ricardo and his nasty white friends. Do not draw attention to the Civatateo. We will not stop your vengeance, but if you expose any but yourself in this sacrifice, we will destroy you.” “I hear you.” Samuel muttered, as she released him from the spell. Without another word, the witch was gone as if the night had swallowed her up.