“It wasn’t me, why can’t they understand, why won’t anyone listen…? I didn’t kill Yoshua, I loved Yoshua. It was the man with the sharp teeth…. The teeth and the blood, it sings…. I wasn’t behind the murders….They think themselves safe now, or maybe they think I am safe…. The blood, oh it sings too me…”
Devin Larisel placed his pen down looking away from his journal, and touched his neck, rubbing it slightly, before looking out the bared windows of the asylum. The teenager shuddered as he heard a distant scream then turned back to his writing.
“If only I had not gone to the basketball game that day…. If only I had not decided to walk the long way home…. But I had to watch Yoshua…”
Devin sat watching the tall basketball player with blond hair make the best jump shot of the game, his pale skin sweating, drenching the School Uniform of the Frediksburg Muskrats.
Devin cheered with the rush of the crowd around him, his green eyes glittering with a shared enthusiasm.
As the game progressed, the black-haired teenager watched his favorite player on the team dodging and weaving through the other players like a dolphin in the sea. Which was one of the things Devin liked about Yoshua, the blond boy could have been a swimmer.
The blond boy smiled up at the stands and just like that the game was over. The Muskrats winning by a mere five points over the Galewood Tigers and those being the ones that Yoshua gave them.
The dark-haired teen smiled one last time before standing from his bench and making his way through the crowd toward the exit of the stadium. There was a brief moment when Devin thought he saw a pale man in a hoodie looking at him but the second time he looked the man wasn’t there.
The kid walked out towards the parking lot a smile plastered on his face, and his cheeks red from the chill. It was February, and there was a layer of snow upon the ground, that squished almost like slush under the boy’s feet. The air was chilly and filled with a frost but hardly cold. In fact Devin actually enjoyed it and his coat was partially open as he walked.
The teenager had plenty of time to be home, so he decided to look around the Boardwalk Club first, knowing full well that Yoshua would be there partying with his teammates.
The sixteen year old male began walking leisurely down the streets towards his goal, humming a happy tune as he trudged along watching cars pass him by with little care.
Devin strode past an alleyway and unexpectedly an icy chill passed through him to his very bones. The boy stopped and turned looking around and there in the alleyway was a hooded man leaning against the wall of the building.
The man looked up at Devin, and the boy could see that the man’s eyes almost seemed to shimmer in the moonlight. The man grinned at the teen, his white teeth almost shining in the lamp light.
Devin shuddered again; fear tickling up his spine as he slowly backed away from the alley and began moving a bit faster down the street. After half a block he looked back nervously only to see the guy following him.
The boy rounded the corner and came upon main street half running he made his way towards the Boardwalk, and he began to feel a little safer as he got within a block of the building. But just then the man walked almost casually out of an alleyway in front of Devin, giving the teen an evil sneer.
Devin came to an abrupt stop and turning, he crossed through traffic to the opposing side of the street.
“How’d he do that…?” He turned back to see if the guy was following him only to find that the man was again nowhere to be seen. Devin let out a breath of relief and made his way back towards the club, and letting out a confused sigh, the pale teenager mumbled. “Can this night get any weirder?”
The boy was about to cross the street again, when he saw the guy in the hoodie leaning against the club wall looking at him.
The man touched his nose and shook his head grinning at the teenager, as if to say “Nice try kid.” The hooded man stood away from the wall and began walking towards Devin.
Devin at that point decided to call the police, even though he wasn’t sure whether they would believe him. As the boy placed his phone to his ear, his hand began to tremble uncontrollably causing him to drop the phone, just as the operator was introducing herself.
Devin gasped cursing under his breath as he watched the phone hit the ground and shatter into plastic shards. The teenager looked up and down the street confused and seeking a way out of his predicament, his green eyes filled with uncertainty. The boy’s pale skin was beaded with sweat that even matted down his hair, even though he felt unnaturally cold from fear.
The boy turned and ran down a darkened street looking for a weapon. Devin was sure the guy was coming for him and if the guy caught up with him again, the pale teenager wanted to be ready. After a few moments the boy gasped, realizing his right hand felt kind of wet and was going numb. Devin pulled his hand up to his face in the dim light to see a long almost spider web shaped gash in the palm, dripping blood blackly into the frosty snow.
Devin frowned, “What the hell? How’d that happen?” He rubbed the blood off on his shirt quickly before he continued his search for a weapon.
Devin saw a metal bar sitting partially broken off of an old building, and took hold of it wrenching the bar off with the loud screech of tearing metal. The black-haired boy turned a corner going into a long narrow street. Devin was now within the eldest part of the town, the street had turned to cobblestone, and the buildings had entirely closed him in vertically on both sides. The boy calmed down looking down the street which intersected another in a T form that in the dim night he could barely make it out.
Frost and snow was glittering around him as Devin began making his way towards the other side.
Then the boy saw him at the other end, the man in the hoodie, his eyes glowing blue, before turning a blood red color as the man started walking down the street towards the frightened teen.
Devin spun around to only to see another teenager in rages walking towards him from the way he had come. But there was something not right about the raggedy teenager; it was almost as if he seemed like the man in the hood, psychotic and evil.
Devin raised his makeshift weapon as the frost fell like tears to the ground. Then out of nowhere there three more thuds around him. The boy turned his head slightly, looked around to see three others standing near him. One looking like the hooded man, another a woman in a dress, but it was the third one that caught his attention. This man was bald middle-aged man, dressed in a dinner jacket, and trench coat, and an air of cruel authority worn almost like a mantle. There were intricate black tattoos covering the top of the man’s head, and the man’s eyes glowed a searing blue as he sneered evilly down at Devin.
The Devin seeing the obvious leader, spun around swinging his makeshift weapon to hit the bald man across the head.
The tattooed man grinned, his hand snapping out lightning fast to take hold of the weapon even as Devin swung it at him. He held the weapon against the boy’s movements while he made eye contact with the frightened teenager. The man’s eyes turning into a fierce red boring strait into the kids mind and heart.
Devin’s mind and body quickly became paralyzed with fear and dread. The green-eyed teen dropped the weapon with a loud clatter onto the street. The Man grinned and Devin was barely able to hear the man’s words from his shattered mind. “Well done Neto you manipulated him very well.”
Devin shuddered subconsciously as the young hooded man almost squirming with pleasure, “Thank you Master….”
The cruel being smirked then pulled Devin close to him leaning over the boy he saw a strange metal and black necklace, with a flame imprinted in the metal. The tattooed man reached his claw-like hand up and ripped the necklace of the boy’s neck, tossing it down the street. He grinned for a moment soaking in Devin’s fear before leaning in and sinking his fangs into the teenager’s neck.
There was nothing gentle or kind about the bite, this man was a monster, and nothing in the movies of vampiric seduction was on this man’s palate.
Devin for a moment woke up and tried fighting the monster trying to push the thing latched onto his shoulder away, only to feel his arms being grappled with and bit on.
Devin’s feet were now barely holding him up much less trying to kick at the monsters around him. They say when your blood-pumps and adrenaline rushes through your body you notice more things than you would otherwise. Even the simplest things stand out. It was this way with the details of his last two attackers.
He saw the man in the hoodie bite into his injured hand, almost as to claim Devin’s previous injury as his property. The hoodie fell backwards revealing that Neto wasn’t a man but a teenager whom couldn’t have been much older than Devin, except he looked more like a gang member, with short blond-brown hair. Three earrings pierced his left ear, and two necklaces dangled limply around the vampire’s neck. The boy looked up to Devin’s eyes almost out of curiosity of what he was consuming more than anything else, but there was something else there almost pity.
Then another slender hand almost tenderly gripped Devin’s left. Devin turned his head to see the boy whom had been behind him only moments ago. He had wavy reddish golden hair making Devin think of marigolds or Dandelions when he looked at the kid. The boy was young at least two years younger than Devin’s sixteen summers, and he looked underfed anorexic even. The boy gave Devin a tender smile. But the kid’s face filled with a kind of sorrow and deep pain as he bit into the teenager’s hand.
Devin’s heart went out his last attacker even if the later was helping to kill him, and his hand caressed that face as Devin’s green eyes rolled back in his head and he lost consciousness.
In seconds Devin’s mind too began to go dark. They say when you die, that the entirety of your life flashes before your eyes, and perhaps beyond. However Devin’s mind did not see his life, but something else. A Light seemed to be growing behind his eyes as the rest of his world was fading, and from it a woman walked casually towards the boy.
She wore a long purple dress, almost looking like a ball-gown from the movies about the 1800’s. The Woman smiled to him gently. She had long raven colored hair, pale skin, and green eyes similar to the boy’s own, and in fact she could have been his fraternal twin. To Devin it almost seemed like he was seeing a far older more graceful female version of himself.
Devin gasped slightly mumbling dully aloud, “Who are…you…”
The Woman just smiled walking forward slowly, her green eyes glowing as she looked down at him. The lady bent forward and he could swear he felt her lips touch his forehead. She whispered into his ear, her voice gentle as a song, “You are worthy of Manessah my son…”
Devin’s eyes fluttered open and glowed a fierce blue as he took in the scene once more. His blood that had been dripping into the snow turned black as what could only be described as onyx feathers seemed to lift up from the ground around him.
The bald man was the first to notice something wrong, opening his eyes to see Devin’s eyes shining in the night in reverse of his own. The man’s eyes, perhaps for the first time in centuries, showed actual fear.
The bald man lifted up his fangs only to be propelled down the street from Devin the moment he did so, flying into the gate of a courtyard bending it fierce crash.
Devin, not really knowing what he was doing, looked at one of the vampires latched his upper arm. The being was a rather hansom man of Latino decent perhaps in his twenties. Though the man looked much like Neto only more so a gangster by nature, his cheek and neck filled with tattoos describing his former membership in a prominent gang.
Suddenly the vampire let go of him gasping his face looking as if it was beginning to burn. The creature was unable to speak as his face started to melt then fire shot out of his eyes as he began to light on fire from within. The man did not turn into ash like they showed into the movies but into a burnt corpse falling to the cobble-stoned street, truly dead.
Another being let go of Devin immediately and attempted to take hold of Devin’s neck in order to stop what was going on. This was a woman, beautiful as she was evil with long curled blond hair. She looked to only be 30 at most, and was dressed in a pale white gown that looked more fitting on an actress of the 1940’s then on a modern woman.
Devin smiled almost in a dream-like state not even realizing that the lady had taken ahold of his neck. While the boy was quite bad off, his body drained of much of his blood, there was something else, he felt calm, and almost as if something powerful was filling him up giving a confident peace of mind
The young vampire Neto felt something strange touch his lips, it was powerful, filled with both young energy and something ancient and elder in nature, and much stronger in nature then his master. The boy continued drinking almost greedily from their intended victim because as a young vampire he knew nothing of caution.
The teenage vampire continued to quench his thirst and need until his master’s eldest yanked him fiercely away from their prey. The teen scrambled away from the scene looking back to see the youngest of their pack, Alexander still drinking from the prey and Carole holding the human’s neck in an attempt rip out his throat.
Neto’s hand touched something small and metallic taking hold of it as he looked up again to see his master, the Elder Vampire Franz Merkel, stalking down the street slowly toward their victim.
The boy had only seen the look currently on Merkel’s face once before. It was when his master killed one of their own for revealing their presence in the last town; it was a look that meant death. Neto scrambled to stand up and ran out of the alleyway as his master passed him. The clamae was barely more than a fledgling vampire; his master couldn’t expect him to fight something that could kill one of his lieutenants.
Even as the boy ran down the street back to where the group hid themselves, he could hear whispers of something not his master singing within his blood, and it confused him even more than what was taking place behind him.
Back on the old cobblestone street, Devin smiled dreamily up the female vampire not even realizing at that moment that she was trying to kill him. The teenager’s hand was still stroking the fledgling named Alexander, even as the boy sucked on it with a death grip.
Devin did not know how he knew young vampire’s name, or why the vampire was called a fledgling. He looked down at the boy and Alexander looked back, however the young vampire’s eyes betraying his intent, the fledgling’s own death. Devin almost growled yanking his hand away from the boy, tossing the kid off onto the ground in a heap beside him.
The fledgling immediately started to scream his face turning white as he clutched his stomach and began coughing up blood harshly. His mouth moved back and forth not even able to pronounce a word after the second scream. Finally the boy laid still his eyes vacant with drool flowing out of his mouth onto the snow.
This act snapped Devin’s mind back into reality and he could actually feel the woman trying to tear out his throat. Throwing his hands in front of himself, he pushed against her body.
Carole was only able to hold on for a second before she was quite literally thrown backwards towards her master.
Merkel easily dodged his minion, his body a blur as he moved out of the way. His eyes glowing angry red, “What is your name boy so that I may remember your death and grin.”
Devin looked at him, and for some reason was compelled by some unknown pride to say his name, “Devin Larisel….” He paused for a moment before pronouncing words not his own, “The Raven of House Manessah.”
There was a flicker of surprise in Merkel’s eyes at the pronouncement of those words. The vampire master growled angrily before half-flying across the alley at Devin, the boy’s hands coming up to shield himself from the monster’s attack.
The old piece of pipe the boy had discarded earlier flew up into his hand. The onyx feathers that had been floating haphazardly around Devin shot up and gathered around the rusty pipe at the boy’s feet. Black and shinning blue energy seemed to flow around them for a brief second as the pipe and feathers transformed into an onyx black-bladed sword catching the elder vampire’s outstretched hand.
Devin pushed on the blade glaring at his elder, a grim look of determination spread upon his face. “If I die, I will take you with me…”
Merkel hissed pulling back from the boy before him, his eyes showing actual fear. The bloodied vampire backed away slowly, “We’ll meet again Devin Larisel.” With that the man turned and walked down the alleyway pulling his lady friend back to her feet and disappeared into the night.
Devin slowly pulled the black-bladed weapon down as he watched them go. He was breathing heavily, his face shallow and exhausted. Soon after the two disappeared the boy placed a step forward. Then his eyes rolled back in his head and he fell to the ground, his last thoughts were of Yoshua and home.
Neto watched his master stalk angrily around the old warehouse, half-screaming in frustration. The teenage vampire climbed onto some machinery, sitting down while his master continued ranting to his first born.
“I want him dead Carole! Dead, ashes…”
The female vampire frowned, her face calm mask. Something she was used to do from years of acting. “But my love, I do not believe it is wise… he is obviously than a mere human…”
Merkel glared coming around to swing his hand at her face for having the arrogance to even talk back to him.
The woman stood coolly at him not even flinching, her emotions seemingly at a deadpan.
Neto wished he was as brave as she. He would be though, if he asked it of him. An image flashing in Neto’s mind of the boy in the alleyway standing tall and brave. He shook his head to clear it his blond hair moving a little on his head. He didn’t really understand what was going on in his mind and it confused the young vampire.
Merkel stopped suddenly his hand caressing her cheek rather than striking it, “No my love, you know I can never harm you, my greatest creation and my greatest flaw.” He placed his hand on her neck gently, “You are right, he is not. Being only 64, you are not old enough to know what he is. You were not there when we burned Antrim, and slaughtered the House Manessah. None of them should be alive, much less someone calling themself the Raven.”
Merkel looked up as if not seeing the room before him, “I remember as it was yesterday, when the Raven Queen of the North, the Mistress of Manessah stood before lord Drac. Her purple dress glittered in the cool lights of her castle. She laughed at the lord of House Ephraim, calling the Red Lion a puppy, and a dabbler. Lord Drac stabbed her right in the heart for her arrogance.”
Neto arched his eyebrow as he listened to the story. He knew as most vampires did that stabbing a vampire in the heart would only paralyze them and not kill them, contrary to modern opinion.
Merkel laughed bitterly, “The woman should have been paralyzed and unable to do anything, but she exploded into a pile of those accursed feathers her house is so known for. Soon afterwards the building caught fire…. None of the House Manessah survived we saw to that…” He turned looking at Neto with a glare, “You boy, bring us something… we will rebuild, and this… Pup will die.”
Neto scampered off the top of the machine to find the Merkel a likely candidate for recruitment. The teenager didn’t notice the fact that he didn’t think of Merkel as Master even as he barely heard the elder vampire speaking to his chosen wife. “Hmm… I think Lord Drac would find this…. Very interesting, a second chance perhaps to take Manessah’s blood… Leave me Carole. I need to contact him.”
Neto left the old building, slinking into the shadows of the early morning hours. It was getting late and would soon be day light; however there was something that bothered the young vampire. It was in his mind, a blond headed basketball player named Yoshua. That boy would be his first child, and something within him demanded it. Something told him, that he needed him, that…. His master needed him.