Servants of the Night A novel by Chris Canning

All material © Christine Canning 2011 Servants of the Night is registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office All Characters created by Chris Canning, any resemblance to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Visit Chris at http://bleakestnights.com

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Part One Alexander the Vampire and Poor Matthew

Chapter One

I know she can feel me presence. She has always had a sixth sense when it came to me. She‟s always known when she was being watched but she could never tell just who was watching her or why. For years now she has simply shrugged it off as nothing more than paranoia. Lately however she has begun to realize that it‟s not just bad nerves or any such thing but that she truly is being watched. She‟s actually reached the point where she barely leaves her apartment except to go to work and I wouldn‟t be surprised if she becomes a full blown agoraphobic before long. Ah well, I suppose that tonight is as good a night as any to introduce myself. I‟m going to have to get this over with eventually. I remember when I first laid eyes on her over twenty-two years ago. She was three years old and had been playing on the swing in her backyard. I could sense her before I could see her, an old familiar feeling as if there was someone I knew very close by. I followed this feeling of mine (you know how you do) until the feeling was so strong that I knew I had to be in the right place. When I saw her I was almost positive I knew who she was and I could hardly contain me laughter! I must have let out a chuckle because she looked up in me direction. She stared straight at

me and smiled. She waved and so I waved back. When I saw those dark-green eyes of hers there was little doubt of who she was. It was seven-thirty in the evening when her mother called her from the back door telling her that it was time for bed. She climbed off her swing and scampered off inside the house. When I left her that night I was in a fit of hysterics! As the years passed I watched her from outside her bedroom window, never letting her know I was there. Some nights I even dared to venture into her room to watch her sleep. If ever she stirred I disappeared just as quickly as I came. I was there through all of the good times and all of the bad. I was there when she first learned to ride a bicycle and on her first day of school. True, I was not there during the day but I relished every one of her dreams. She hated school. I could tell because she had so many nightmares about the place. Sometimes she even woke up screaming. Even to this day she still has horrible nightmares. For the past few years they have been of things her mind could not possibly remember but her soul could never forget. I was there as she reached adolescence and oh god how she hated it. I was the only one who knew why. She was such a… how do you say? A tomboy isn‟t it? Aye, that‟s it. To everyone else she seemed quite strange but to me it seemed all too natural. I knew more about her than she knew about herself and as the years passed I watched as she struggled between the person she was and the person that she longed to be. She is now twenty-five and lives in an apartment in the city of London (the one in Ontario Canada, not England). I have been watching her for a few hours this evening and as I‟ve mentioned I have decided that tonight shall be the night that I will introduce myself to her. Who

am I you ask? Well, you dear reader are about to find out. She is on her way home from her job at a used bookstore that specializes in science fiction and horror called The Dark Planet. She loves it there surrounded by all those old books. Her favorite authors include Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, Stephen King, J.R.R Tolkien, Anne Rice and Terry Pratchett to name but a few. She also has a taste for the classics such as Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde. In fact she was actually named after the title character from the Wilde novel „The Picture of Dorian Gray‟. She can sense me presence as I follow her. I know this because her thoughts are practically screaming out at me. „Go away, go away, go away‟ is repeated in her mind like a mantra. She is almost as intuitive as I am, even if she doesn‟t realize it. She knows that I am following her even before I make me presence known. “Who‟s there?” She asks, her voice trailing off into the darkness. She has become particularly wary of walking alone at night. I can‟t say I blame her though; this city just isn‟t safe anymore. I say nothing as she continues on her way. I decide to have a little fun at her expense so I begin to walk slowly behind her, mimicking her footsteps the way Santiago did to Louis in the novel „Interview with the Vampire‟ by Anne Rice. If she notices she does not let on. I decide to get a bit closer and then begin to mimic her footsteps again. This time she does take notice and I can hear her heart skip a beat. She takes a deep breath and begins to walk faster. I continue following her, keeping at her exact pace. I even mimic the slight shuffle of her right foot. She begins to walk faster still so I decide it‟s time to make me move. I swiftly walk up beside her and gently bump her shoulder, making her drop the pile of books in her arms.

“Oh, I am terribly sorry, luv.” I apologize as I kneel down to help her pick up the scattered books. Today she has a battered copy of „The Old Curiosity Shop‟ by Charles Dickens, a couple of graphic novels by Alan Moore and one of the new Star Wars paperbacks. I can‟t help but chuckle inwardly at what a nerd she‟s become. “Here, let me help you with that.” I smile as I hand her the books, staring deep into her eyes. “Thanks.” She says so softly that it is almost a whisper. “Nice accent there. Irish, right?” “Aye, Belfast.” I confirm. I notice as a faint sense of recognition flashes across her face but she still cannot seem to place me. She shrugs, gives me a faint smile and prepares to go on her way. Without a doubt this is indeed the very same person I knew so long ago. With a slight nod and a returned smile I let her pass off into the cold, windy night. A few hours later I let myself into her apartment through the balcony. I take a seat on the couch and stare at the telly. An episode of House is playing but I‟ve already seen it so I don‟t pay it much attention. I can hear her rustling around in the bedroom so I just sit back and wait for her to come out. When the door opens and she heads towards the living room she glances up, seeing me instantly. “Hey!” She cries out, startled to see a strange man sitting on her sofa. “What the fuck are you doing in here?” “Whatever is the matter?” I ask, a sly grin rising across me lips. “Don‟t you remember me?” “Yeah, you‟re the guy who bumped into me earlier.” She answers. “So just what the fuck do you think you‟re doing in my apartment?”

I watch as she nonchalantly slips a hand behind her back, trying not to look as if she‟s reaching into the bedroom. It‟s all too obvious that she is reaching for the baseball bat she has leaning against the door frame. “You really don‟t remember me do you, Alexander?” I sigh. “That is such a pity.” She stares at me blankly for a few seconds as if trying to grasp onto a distant memory. She gives her head a quick shake, the memory fleeing just as quickly as it came. “You‟ve got to lay off the pipe buddy, in case you haven‟t noticed I‟m not exactly an Alexander. You‟ve clearly broken into the wrong apartment.” “No, I am definitely in the right place.” I assure her. “Oh, I know you go by a different name now. As far as you know your name is Dorian Raider. You‟re from a small town called Kincardine, about a two-hour drive from here. You are twenty-five years old and work at a secondhand bookstore called The Dark Planet. Your parents have been divorced since you were sixteen and you are estranged from your father. You have a brother named Patrick and a sister named Jane, blah, blah, blah, so on and so forth. Do I need to go on?” “How in the hell did you know all of that?” She asks in disbelief. The shock is quite apparent on her face. “When you saw me earlier you recognized me, why?” I ask. “I don‟t know. You just look like someone I‟ve seen before I guess.” She tries to be subtle as she brings the bat closer to her. “Maybe we went to high school together.” I leap from the couch and stand before her. “Look at me, damn it!” I sneer. “You know who I am!” In one fluid motion she swings the bat and even though I know full well what she intends to do I just stand there and let her crack me upside the head with it. The bat splinters in two on

impact, slips from her hands and falls to the floor. “What the fuck?” She whispers, staring at both me and the broken bat in disbelief. “No one should stay standing after that.” I rub me cheek with the back of me hand and smile. She‟s right of course, a hit like that would have knocked out a normal person. If I where human I would probably be dead. I guess it‟s a good thing that I‟m no human. “You‟re not human.” She replies as if echoing me thoughts. “You really don‟t remember me do you, Alexander?” I grumble as I brush splinters from me jacket. “What an utterly disappointing turn of events.” “Who the hell are you?” She manages to blurt out, her face turning ashen. “Oh please, you of all people should know exactly who I am. After all Alexander, you are the one who made me.” “Made you what?” She asks as her fear is quickly replaced by confusion. “Oh, this is so rich!” I laugh. “Why, made me a vampire of course!” I curl me lips, showing her the razor sharp fangs that are me teeth. “What, so you have porcelain fangs.” She scoffs. “Big deal, all that proves is you‟re a horror geek with internet access and a credit card. I‟ve got a pair of fangs sitting on my bedside table.” She leans in a tad to get a closer look. “I do admit yours are much more realistic than mine though.” Just as impudent as ever I realize without much surprise. I decide to make a more dramatic presentation and float casually towards the ceiling. “Well, how do you like me now?” I hiss hovering above her. She quickly jumps backwards, stumbling over her own feet. She manages to just barely

regain her balance before tumbling over all together. “Jesus, you really are a vampire aren‟t you!” She stares up at me in awe. This time me laughter turns into a fit of hysterics and I have to practically keep myself from falling and rolling around on the floor. “Oh this is truly an act of poetic justice this is!” I laugh as I float back down to the floor beside her. “Imagine you a human of all things and a wee lass at that! Oh this is truly wondrous!” “I don‟t know what you‟re talking about.” She takes a few steps backwards trying to create some distance between us. “I don‟t even know you!” “Well of course you do! I‟ve been keeping an eye on you since you were a wee child. I am the reason you always feel like you‟re being watched. My dear, I‟m the one who‟s been watching you!” Dumbfounded, she walks uneasily past me into the living room and slumps into a chair. “So you mean to tell me that I‟m not just some paranoid freak?” “Oh, you have always been a paranoid freak, luv. But hey, at least now you know there‟s a very good reason why.” She just sits in the chair silently and stares at me. After a few moments she finally manages to ask, “You said I made you a vampire. How could I? I‟m not a vampire.” I finally get me laughter under control and sit in a chair opposite her. “Let me tell you a story Alexander, and let‟s see if it stirs your memory just a bit.”

Chapter Two

It was the year of Our Lord 1916 and the place was Belfast Ireland. For over two years practically every country in the world had been involved in the First World War and all of Europe was in total chaos. Meanwhile in Ireland, Irish nationalists rose up against the British rule on April 24th 1916. This would later be known as the Easter Rising and is the backdrop of me little tale. Picture it, if you will. A young lad walks home one dark, dreary night after an evening with his mates at a local pub. The young man‟s name is Matthew O‟Doolen (that‟s me by the way) and he had had a bit too much to drink that night and was, needless to say, a bit unsteady on his feet. On his way home the young lad stumbles and falls to the ground but luckily for poor Matthew a man dressed all in black from his dusty bowler hat to his weathered Blücher shoes happens across him. The man, who appears to be somewhere between thirty and forty, with pale skin and fierce eyes, is kind enough to stop and help poor Matthew to his feet and walk him home. Upon reaching poor Matthew‟s house the man dressed in black reveals to poor Matthew that he is not a man at all but is in fact actually a vampire! The vampire, speaking with a thin but still quite noticeable German accent calls himself Alexander Wagner (pronounced with a V, of course). Alexander the vampire then asks poor Matthew if he would like to be a vampire as well and poor Matthew in his drunken stupor figures why the hell not? The choice made, Alexander the vampire then grabs poor Matthew and sinks his sharp

fangs into the young lad‟s neck. Once Alexander the vampire is finished draining poor Matthew dry he slits his own wrist and presses it too poor Matthew‟s lips. “Drink.” Alexander the vampire commands so poor Matthew obeys. Weak from the attack poor Matthew crumples to the ground, writhing in pain as his body begins to die. After the most painful moments of his life (which by the way feels like an eternity) poor Matthew becomes Matthew the vampire. Upon regaining his senses and sobering up at lightning speed poor Matthew the newly awakened vampire realizes what had just been done to him. “Why did you do this to me?” Poor Matthew sobs in disgust but Alexander the vampire does not reply. In a state of grief and shock poor Matthew runs off into the night with the ringing of Alexander the vampire‟s words in his ears. “Run if you have to Matthew but you will be back. You won‟t be able to survive on your own!” Sure enough less than a month later poor Matthew went crawling back to Alexander the vampire, half starved and exhausted because he was too weak to survive on his own. Just as Alexander the vampire had warned. For the next twelve years Alexander the vampire and poor Matthew traveled across Europe, feeding off the aftermath of the war. When Alexander the vampire was finally bored with Europe he took poor Matthew on a trip around the world. Together the two vampires traveled to such places as Japan, Russia, China, Turkey and other counties damaged by war and where blood was plentiful. They also traveled to such far off places as the Americas and even Australia and Africa. On the surface things seemed fine between the two vampires but one day, poor Matthew

vowed, one day he would get his revenge and make Alexander the vampire pay for what he had done. Eventually Alexander the vampire and poor Matthew settled in Vancouver, Canada during the mid 1950‟s. It was there early one morning just before dawn that poor Matthew found his chance at vengeance. He waited patiently until dawn and as his sire entered his coffin for the day poor Matthew seized his opportunity. As Alexander the vampire lay there unsuspecting and vulnerable poor Matthew was able to use the element of surprise to overpower the elder vampire, binding him in chains. Within seconds Alexander the vampire realized what was happening and tried desperately to break free. His struggles were futile however as unbeknownst to him poor Matthew had managed to acquire a chain made from Titanium, one of the strongest metals known to man. As powerful as Alexander the vampire was he had absolutely no hope of breaking free. Barely moments before sunrise poor Matthew took hold of the struggling body of his companion of almost forty years and dragged it, bound in chains, to the beach outside the ocean view property that the two shared. He left the body there alone on the beach to wait for the first rays of the morning sun. The next night when poor Matthew rose from his slumber he found that the charred corpse of his longtime tormenter had been washed away into the ocean never to be seen again. All that was left was the Titanium chain and a few bones from Alexander the vampire‟s hands that had managed to escape the sun‟s rays by burrowing into the sand. Poor Matthew picked up the bones, crushing them into fragments. He then threw the fragments into the ocean and walked away. He was finally free.

Chapter Three

After I finish me tale Dorian just sits there in stunned silence. She has her head in her hands and after a few moments finally manages to speak. “Okay. Okay. So let me get this straight. What you are trying to tell me is that I was some kind of vampire in a past life and that I made you into a vampire as well. Am I right?” “Aye!” I cry as I throw me hands into the air in exasperation. “Don‟t you see? I can look deep into your soul and read thoughts in your mind that you don‟t even know are buried there. We have a connection the two of us. The blood of your former self flows through me veins.” “I think that you are totally out of your mind, you know that?” She shakes her head in disbelief. “Okay, so you are a vampire. That much is obvious. But if you‟ve come here looking for a guy who died what… over fifty years ago? You have definitely come to the wrong place, buddy.” A rage I thought long dead stirs within me as I listen to her and I can‟t help but snap. Just staring at this mortal sitting before me fills me with a torment I have not experienced since that morning so long ago. Without thinking I grab Dorian by the shoulders, lift her to her feet and plunge me fangs deep into her throat. She struggles, trying to push me away but I hold fast. Soon her body goes limp as I drain the blood from her veins. She continues to breathe but only in shallow gasps. She would die soon but I have other plans for her. After I finish feeding I take me mouth from her neck and let her limp body fall to the floor. I watch as she tries in vain to rise but she is far too weak and can barely move. I know what I intend to do but for a few moments I contemplate simply letting her die and be done with her.

“You‟re not going to die tonight.” I growl, biting into me own wrist. “I‟ve got plans for you.” Kneeling over her limp form I place the bloody wrist over her mouth forcing her to drink. At first she tries to pull away but like most of us once she tastes the blood she begins to drink on her own. Eventually I push her away and stand before her watching as her body dies. “What the hell did you do that for?” She coughs, choking on me blood. “For the same reason you did it to me almost a hundred years ago.” I watch as me blood takes over and begins to change her. “It‟s payback time, Alexander!” Once the transformation is complete her features begin to change ever so slightly and I just stand there looking at her in awe. There, lying at me feet is a young, female version of the man I knew so long ago. “My god, you look just like him.” I gasp, slumping backward into the chair that she had been sitting in before I attacked her. She rises to a seated position on the floor and looks up at me smiling the very same cold, razor blade grin that used to haunt me dreams. “Of course I do Matthew,” she answers as she wipes me blood from her lips with the back of her hand. “After all I am Alexander Wagner reborn am I not?” She rises to her feet and walks into the bathroom to look at her reflection in the mirror. At first she seems to just stand there staring blankly but then a sense of recognition comes over her face and she begins to laugh. She returns to the living room and takes a seat on the couch across from me. “Well Matthew, it is nice to see you again after all these years. It‟s been a long time.” “Not long enough.” I jump out of the chair and anxiously begin to pace the room.

“Whatever is the matter, Matthew? Are you not glad to see your old sire again? What‟s wrong with you? You seem awfully unhappy all of a sudden.” “What‟s wrong with me?” I sneer as I wring me hands through me hair, overwhelmed by the rage building inside me. “What‟s wrong with you? I just turned you into a fucking vampire against your will and you just sit there like it‟s no big deal! I have been waiting twenty-two years for the opportunity to get me revenge on you and you just sit there!” Me voice reaches a fever pitch. “Oh, and by the way Alexander, you are no longer me sire, I am yours now. You are best to remember that!” In one fluid motion Dorian/Alexander rises to her feet and glides across the room to where I am standing by the window. Before I realize what she intends to do she punches me square in the jaw, this time with enough force to knock me to the floor. “What the bloody hell did you do that for you fucking bastard?” I holler wiping me own blood from me mouth. “That was for leaving me as a mortal for twenty-two years!” She yells back looking down at me with cold, murderous rage. “You knew who I was and you just left me there to rot! I remember that night when I was a child, you knew who I was and you just left me there!” I pick myself up off the ground, rubbing the pain from me cheek for the second time tonight. “What the hell was I supposed to do?” I growl as I stand towering over her. “I wasn‟t even sure it was you.” I lie. “I‟ve only heard of stories of reincarnation and even then only the reincarnation of human souls. Fucking hell, I always thought that when a vampire knocked off we just… went to hell or something.”

Exasperated, I begin to pace the room again. “Shit, Alexander. I wasn‟t even totally positive that you were you until you were around ten and then what the fuck was I supposed to do with you? Should I have turned you into a vampire right then and there? Yeah, like that would work. Could you imagine yourself as a ten-year-old vampire? Or should I have just kidnapped you and raised you as a human child until you reached adulthood? I don‟t fucking think so! Damn it, I knew I should have simply killed you again and gotten it over with.” “Well, why didn‟t you?” She asks, a puzzled expression crossing her face. “Why didn‟t you simply kill me when you had the chance?” “Why?” I laugh humorlessly. “Do you really want to know why I didn‟t kill you? I‟ll tell you why I didn‟t kill you, you bloody bastard. I want you to know what it feels like to be robbed of your humanity. I want you to know what it‟s like to be the fledgling of a sire that couldn‟t give a damn about you. I want you to suffer the way you made me suffer you fucking asshole, but most of all I want you to be the fledgling and I your master!” “Oh please, Matthew.” She scoffs with a wave of her hand. “You have never been the master of anything let alone yourself. You should be thankful I came across you when I did, the way you where carrying on you would have been dead in a matter of weeks. Besides, I asked you if you wanted to become a vampire and you said yes. Remember that? You said yes.” “I was drunk! I couldn‟t even walk straight. I was completely shite-faced. I thought you where kidding. Fuck, I thought you were drunk too. I didn‟t mean it! How could I?” “How was I supposed to know that you weren‟t serious?” She asks coldly. “I took you at your word. I saw something in you that I liked. I thought that you would make a good vampire and I was right.”

“Oh well thank you very much, I guess that changes everything! What do you take me for Alexander, a complete moron? You had no right to take me life into your own hands or hold me to a decision I made when I could not possibly understand the consequences!” “Well, what‟s done is done.” She shrugs. “Besides, that was almost a hundred years ago.” “What difference does it make when it happened?” I scream at her. “You stole me life you son of a bitch!” “Please.” She whispers as she places a finger to her lips. “I do have neighbours and we don‟t need someone overhearing our little conversation and calling the police. And let‟s not forget, you‟ve taken my life twice now so I figure that makes us even.” “Oh no old man, we are not even.” I hiss in disgust. “Not by a long shot. You made me fucking existence a living hell. I intend to see you pay for it.” “You want to know about hell?” She snaps as she glares at me with eyes full of contempt. “Try surviving as a disembodied spirit for over twenty years, stuck between the realms of the living and the dead. It was only by chance that I was even reborn…” She trails off as her rage leaves her and she just stands before me in quiet contemplation for a few moments. “I still don‟t have a clue how it happened, Matthew. I guess my spirit must have possessed this body in some way, causing my soul to take over only to spend the last twenty-five years as a fucked up nut job.” She sighs solemnly as she stares down at her hands. “So, I guess this is reincarnation. You know it‟s really kind of disappointing actually. Not that I was expecting anything special mind you. Well I guess it beats some of the alternatives, huh? ” She shrugs nonchalantly. “Personally, I assumed you‟d be burning in hell for all of eternity.” I mutter under me breath. “Imagine me disappointment.”

She stares at me, shooting daggers. “Well, now that you‟re back to your old self so to speak, what are you going to do about it?” I ask as me fury drains out of me as well. “I don‟t know about you my friend but I am starving.” She answers as she grabs a black leather jacket from the closet. “It‟s been a long time since I‟ve enjoyed the taste of human blood.” “You‟re not going to let me get one moment of satisfaction from this are you, Alexander?” I sigh. “Nope, not even a second. Just be thankful that I haven‟t decided to kill you, Matthew. Oh and from now on please, call me Dorian. You calling me Alexander may seem odd to anyone we encounter who might happen to know me.” “You haven‟t fully comprehended the predicament that you are in have you, Dorian?” I sneer. “You couldn‟t kill me now if you tried. You‟re not that powerful anymore.” “Perhaps you‟re right Matthew, for now.” “Now exactly what do you mean by that?” “Oh, I‟ll tell you later.” She shrugs. “For now let‟s just grab someone to eat.” Dorian walks to the patio door, slides it open and walks out to the balcony. She goes to the edge of the balcony and without so much as a second thought she leaps across the railing. “Shit!” I hear her cry out as she proceeds to plummet thirteen stories towards the parking lot. “I just know I‟m going to regret this.” I sigh as I jump off the balcony after her. I grab her arm as she falls past the fifth floor and gently lower the both of us towards the ground.

“It‟s been so long since I‟ve flown I guess I just haven‟t got the hang of it back yet.” She shrugs as she casually dusts herself off making an effort not to appear as if she is trying to regain her composure and doing a piss poor job of it too I might add. “Maybe you should try starting from the ground.” I offer sarcastically. She stares daggers at me again and then closes her eyes to concentrate. After a few moments she begins to lift herself back up into the air. “Yes, that‟s much better.” She laughs, reopening her eyes. “Well, are you coming?” Reluctantly I follow her into the cold November night. We stop downtown and Dorian lands in the dirtiest part of the city. I know what she is looking for, the brutes and the killers. The types of humans that most of our kind has hunted since the beginning of time. Alexander had always been that way, refusing to believe that a creature such as he could be so vile as to take an innocent life. Despite his proclamations to the contrary Alexander Wagner was pure evil. Well, at least he was evil as far as I was concerned. I must admit however that whenever I‟ve watched him with humans he was usually rather decent to them. Sometimes he would even spare the lives of those he believed could be redeemed. I always thought this was Alexander‟s way of doing pennants for being a vampire, or maybe it was just the remnants of his mortal life refusing to leave him. Either way, whenever Alexander did find a suitable victim he became terribly brutal. When he killed he was so bloodthirsty that he sometimes sickened even me. After a brief search Dorian finds what she is looking for. In the dark alley across the street I can see an argument between what appears to be a drug dealer and a terrified junkie. I can hear the junkie as he begs the dealer for his life, promising that he will get the money he owes by tomorrow. The dealer laughs stating that he knows all too well that a two bit junkie is never

going to be able to come up with five hundred bucks. He then pulls out a switch blade and proceeds to stab the junkie in the gut as a warning to any customers who might think that they can avoid paying off their debts. For his crime Dorian has decided that the dealer is not going to live to see another sunrise. I watch as she swoops down on him like the proverbial bat out of hell. She gets close enough to the dealer to grab him and digs her newly sharpened fangs deep into his throat with the very same ferocity she possessed in her past life. Once Dorian is finished draining the dealer dry his head is left barely hanging to his shoulders. Believe me, feeding is never as nice and tidy as they portray in the movies. Rarely will a vampire finish a meal leaving only two pretty little holes. Mind you we actually can feed without killing though and many vampires do use willing donors. Feeding without killing however is a skill that can take a long time to master and therefore is a skill that many vampires simply cannot be bothered to learn. Dorian tosses what‟s left of the dealer‟s corpse to the ground and flies off, leaving the junkie gasping in pain and terror. I know that even if the junkie survived long enough to tell anybody about what happened to the drug dealer no one would believe him but I can‟t afford to take that chance. His heart struggles as the blood gushes from the open wound in his stomach. I take him into me arms, making his death as quick and painless as possible. I then look around at the bloodbath left behind and notice that the dealer still has his head partially attached to his body. “Careless,” I groan, “so fucking careless.”

Rule number one: If you are going to be a vampire, do not, I repeat DO NOT leave your victims in one piece. People who are killed by a vampire without being fed vampire blood become what we refer to as „mindless ones‟. Mindless ones are those victims who rise three nights after their death. They are not master vampires like Dorian and I for these pathetic creatures have no souls. They are really no more than reanimated corpses lurching about in the search for blood. These creatures are the vampires of European folklore. Once a mindless one rises all it can do is follow an ingrained need to find blood. They have a few memories of their lives left in their dead brains and that is why they usually go home and feed off their families and loved ones. Most of the old superstitions about vampires are true for these creatures but not for the reasons that people assume. A mindless one does indeed have to be invited into a home. Not because of some magical barrier protecting the house but simply because their brains are so addled that they cannot remember simple tasks such as turning a doorknob. It‟s just so much easier to enter a home if somebody opens the door for them. Mindless ones are afraid of crosses and holy objects. This is also true however it has nothing to do with the power of God, well not in the biblical sense anyway. It‟s actually because of the fact that thousands of years of religious dogma has taught people that evil fears representations of the divine. It all basically comes down to the power of superstition. The seed of religion planted in life continues to flourish well after someone has died. Mindless ones fear garlic. Actually this is true for all vampires but not in the way it is portrayed in old wives tales. Garlic on its own is not a problem, however when mixed with

certain other ingredients and used in a spell it is quite powerful at warding us off. (What, you didn‟t think witches and magic were real either?) Mindless ones have no reflection. This one is not true. All vampires have reflections but mindless ones possess no aura since they haven‟t a soul. The aura is the reflection that is referred to but like most things about vampires it can become hard to tell where the reality stops and the myth takes over. Mindless ones can be killed with a stake through the heart. This one is also true of all vampires. Truth be told I don‟t know many creatures that can survive the destruction of their heart although there are a few. You don‟t actually need a wooden stake though, in fact any sharp object will do. The heart is one of the few parts of a vampire‟s anatomy that cannot be regenerated and indeed it is our life source. Another part of a vampire that cannot be regenerated is the brain and so beheading is also common practice when destroying a vampire. Mindless ones cannot pass flowing water. This is true because the stupid things can‟t swim. If they try to cross a river or any other large body of water they are just going to sink to the bottom and stay there till they die. They can however walk across a bridge or cross using a boat. That is if one even thinks to do so. Mindless ones can be killed by sunlight. This one is true of all vampires as well. Well, most vampires anyway. All vampires have a flaw in our DNA that makes us vulnerable to sunlight. In fact some humans even have this „allergy‟. Well, it‟s not exactly an allergy per se, it‟s actually a disease known as porphyria. I remember seeing a story on a talk show once about some children who can‟t go out into the sun without wearing special suits created by NASA. Some master vampires however are so old and powerful that they can go out into the sun for hours at a time and only end up with a tan to show for it.

Mindless ones are immortal. This is not true. Master vampires are immortal. We have the potential to live forever if we are not murdered or commit suicide. Mindless ones rise three days after their mortal death and stay animated for forty nights. That is if the stupid things don‟t accidentally kill themselves beforehand. Most mindless ones don‟t have enough sense to stay out of the sun and simply burn to a crisp on their first sunrise. Basically mindless ones are an unpleasant side effect of the vampire gene. This gene can be passed through saliva as well as blood but is weaker and produces a defective vampire. This is why it is common practice to behead or tear the heart from a victim thus preventing them from rising. Let‟s face it, the last thing our kind needs is another vampire scare like the one a few centuries back.