Valentine’s Day. A day for love. A day for romance. A day to let that special person know exactly how you feel about them. That is exactly what they wanted to do. A young pair, best friends since childhood, yet never taking that next step. Both always wanting more, both too afraid to tell the other in fear of what it might do to their friendship. Until tonight. They had spent most Valentine’s Days together anyway as neither had ever managed to hook their feelings onto another, but this time was different from the rest, and they could both feel it. They laid down together under a blanket in the middle of a field that Valentine’s night, watching the stars above. The air was cold, biting ferociously at any exposed flesh, forcing the pair to cuddle closer to stay warm. The sky was beyond perfect. No clouds as far as the eye could see, the stars pulsating brightly, and the moon bathing all in a sea of silver. Everything was exactly as they both desired. This was the perfect backdrop for them to finally admit their feelings for one another. Perfect in every way, aside from one.
“What a lovely sight…” purred a strange, feminine voice softly from behind them.
The couple, frightened, clambered up to their feet, both struggling not to trip up on their blanket. They turned around to see who had spoken, only to find that there was nobody there at all. They were alone in the vast field, with the only sound accompanying them being the soft breeze gently caressing the grass around them.
“Did you…” started the man, turning to look at the woman.
Fear had enveloped her eyes. She looked as if she wanted to scream, wanted to run, wanted to be anywhere that wasn’t where she was, yet she couldn’t move. Something was holding her completely still. Something invisible, intangible, inhuman. At least she could give away its location with her shaking gaze. The man turned to attack the entity that stood behind him, only to become paralyzed himself.
“Hush now, this will be easier for you both if you just relax”, purred the voice again.
The stranger, a woman whose blood-red eyes and paper-white skin shone brightly under the moonlight, crept around the pair, eyeing them up as if they were a bountiful feast. She stopped. She smiled. She looked deeply into the eyes of the woman as she clasped her arms around the waist of her friend, intensifying the electrical sensation that was running through her every muscle as she struggled vainly to break free.
“Two lovers who never had the courage to tell each other their true feelings. How delicious”, laughed the stranger, opening her mouth to reveal two extremely sharp fangs. “Oh, don’t you worry. When you’re both a part of me, you will be together forever, just like you always wanted”.
The stranger dug her teeth into the neck of the man. His skin slowly turned paler and his body became thinner, both his blood and his life draining away, while the one who loved him most was forced to watch. Every last second. No matter how much she screamed on the inside, how hard she struggled to be free of the vampire’s spell, how desperately she prayed that this was all just a terrible nightmare, there was nothing she could do aside from wait for her turn. When all was done and what remained of the body flopped lifelessly to the floor, the vampire looked up to the woman, blood dripping from her chin. Again, she smiled that haunting smile that sent shivers down the spines of even the toughest warriors. She slowly crept towards the woman until she was close enough that the woman could feel her
breath on her face.
“He was to be your first kiss, wasn’t he?” asked the vampire, almost sounding empathetic. “No matter. I still have his blood on my tongue. Just close your eyes and pretend I am him”.
The woman’s eyes suddenly shut tightly, though not to her own whim. With her sight removed, her sense of touch and taste rose. As the lips interlocked, she became overwhelmed by the disgusting metallic sensation that wrapped its way around her tongue like a snake strangling its prey. She struggled with all of her strength to escape, only succeeding in fuelling the vampire’s delight, as well as strengthening the force that bound her. Then she felt pain in her chest, sudden and sharp, worse than anything she had felt before. The vampire’s spell on her broken, the woman dropped to the ground and coughed up her own blood. She looked up. The vampire had a hole in its chest too. Somebody had shot through her just to get to it. Though in the end, it was all for naught. With a furious screech, the vampire shrunk into the form of a bat and flew off into the night sky. That was the last thing the woman would see before passing out from the blood loss her wound had caused. The creature who killed her lover, flying to where it would surely never be found again.
Emily woke up surrounded by strange men in white robes, her body aching all over. She tried to sit up, sending an intense shock all along her spine that convinced her to lie back down immediately.
“Rest now. Your body is not yet recovered”, said the oldest looking man, who seemed to be preparing some kind of soup. “What is your name, child?”
“I’m… Emily… Emily Smith!” grunted the girl, struggling to remember anything that had happened before she woke up. “Where… Where am I? Who are you?”
The old man simply put a finger on his lips to quieten Emily. She looked around at the other men who surrounded her. All of them had closed eyes and were repeating the same words over and over again under their breaths, as if trying to perform some kind of spell on her. As the old man finished his brewing and walked over to Emily, their chanting progressively grew louder and deeper, becoming increasingly unsettling. Though as the old man forced the liquid down Emily’s throat, the chanting stopped immediately. She felt the warmth of the soup spreading throughout her entire body, alleviating her of all of her aches and pains. She was finally free to move again without intense pain. The old man spoke before she had the chance to ask questions again.
“We are the Brotherhood of Righteous Sin. We protect the world from the creatures of evil, such as Mistress Venguine, the vampire who attacked you the other night”.
“Vampire?” asked Emily, rubbing her forehead. “John!”
“I’m afraid he’s a part of her now. All we can do is take out that monster so that his soul may be free to move on”.
The old man walked over to a chest in the middle of the room and opened it, revealing several weapons within. Two pistols, a silver dagger, a stake, a cross, and enough ammunition to completely disintegrate any opponent, all of which had been blessed by the brotherhood to make it more potent against creatures of sin.
“You may join our brotherhood if you’d like. If you fight by our side, the monster who took your beloved will be turned to dust by your hand within a fortnight”.
“You said… He’s a part of her now”, Emily choked through her tears. “What did you mean by that?”
“When a vampire drains a victim of their blood, the victim’s soul fuses with that of the vampire. This grants the vampire additional strength and allows it to summon that victim to do their bidding whenever they want. Mistress Venguine in particular enjoys hunting those who are in love. When she steals the soul of one, she can feel its love for the other. The sinful energy she gains from devouring the second is beyond euphoric for her”.
“So… If I became like her… I could get him back…”
The men all looked at each other in shock, terrified by what Emily was implying.
“To do what you are thinking of would mean sacrificing your humanity. Is that really what you desire!?” asked the old man, discretely reaching for the gun in his back pocket.
“All I want is John!” cried Emily, slowly rising to her feet. “And I will do anything to get him back”.
Emily ran at the man, he fired his gun. Her shoulder bleeding, she grabbed his gun with her other hand and kicked the old man in a place that shouldn’t be kicked, forcing him to release his grip. The other men tried to come towards her, all backing away as she pointed the gun towards them.
“You will help me get my love back”, demanded Emily. “Tell me, now. How do I become a vampire?”
“It’s an ancient and dark ritual. We have neither the means nor the knowledge to perform it!”
“Then you will lead me to those who can”.
The old man thought for a moment. He wasn’t really in much position to try bargaining right now. He sighed and lowered his head shamefully. He opened the draw of a nearby cabinet and handed Emily a map.
“The Coven of the Chiroptera island. Find them on the night of the next blood moon. They will perform the ritual on you”.
Emily took the map, loaded as much of the weaponry as she could carry into a bag, then turned to leave the brotherhood.
“Know this, Emily”, started the man as Emily opened the door. “If you succeed in becoming a vampire, you will become a target. We will not hesitate to destroy you if our paths cross again”.
Emily left without saying a word.
A dark and cold night, much like the one in which lovers were separated. The salty sea air nipping at her face, Emily was almost at her destination. A small island far away from civilization, inhabited by only five ancient beings. As Emily tied her boat to the rotting pier and walked towards them, the wrinkled crones dropped to their knees and bowed towards her. Though she spoke not a word, they all knew exactly why she was here, and they all wanted to grant her desires. It had become exceedingly rare for them to be able to perform their ritual, and they always revelled in the devastation that followed. Using the blood of a goat, they stained the grass around Emily’s feet in the shape of a pentagram, making sure to place a lit candle on top of each point and each intersection. Using a dagger that was handed to her by one of the crones, Emily slit her own wrist and let her blood drip into the
pentagram. Her vision slowly faded to black as her legs lost the strength to hold up her body. Having lost too much blood to survive as a human, she collapsed limply to the floor. There it was that she died. And there it was that she would be reborn. The moon transformed into a dark red, bleeding its energy out to cover the dark sky in a blanket of blood. The crones chanted aggressively, summoning every ounce of their dark magic and channelling it into the pentagram. Slowly, Emily’s body rose into the air, as if it were a puppet being carried on a string. Her skin colour faded until it was paper white, her eyes darkened from a vibrant green into a bloody red. All semblance of purity and innocence in her soul died. As she gained her new consciousness, she felt a great power filling her body. She felt strength, determination, but above all, she felt rage. It was time for her beloved to be avenged. It was time for his killer to meet her end.
Months of hopeless searching, thousands of fellow creatures of sin killed and devoured to satiate her hunger and fuel her power, several attempts to take her life by priests and bounty hunters. So many lonely nights spent wishing that she could be with her beloved even just one last time. After so much disappointment and misery, Emily had finally found what she was looking for. She found the one chance she needed to regain the soul that was lost to her so long ago. She stood outside of the vampire’s lair, bracing herself for what might be inside. She would likely only get one shot at this, and it had to be perfect. She took a deep breath to calm her nerves, then she entered the cave. She walked on for what seemed like an eternity, finding nothing but darkness and bats. The silence surrounding her made everything else seem deafening. The echoes of her footsteps sounded like earthquakes, her heartbeat sounded like drums, even her breath came out in hurricanes. Every step slowly pushed her further towards madness, just as was intended. The further into the cave she went, the more bodies she saw on the ground with her vampiric night vision, all of whom had fallen too far into insanity to function. But not her. She had a mission. She had to keep going until it was done. She gritted her teeth, she clenched her fists, she carried on. Finally, she heard some noise. The peaceful sound of water droplets falling into a lake. And there she was. Sitting on a throne, surrounded by a massive opening in the cave that was filled ankle-deep with crystal-clear water, was Mistress Venguine, smiling seductively at Emily.
“Ahh, I knew there was something different about you”, purred Venguine. “Tell me. What is it that drives you? Every other widow I let live found a new man within a year, yet you alone felt the need to track me down”.
“I seek vengeance”, growled Emily. “If you can, you will give me my beloved back. If you can’t. Well. I have a collection of vampiric skulls in my basement that has a space set aside for yours”.
Venguine slowly rose to her feet, clearly intrigued by Emily. It had been many years since anybody had challenged her to a fair fight, and even more years since that opponent was a fellow vampire. Her grin widened. This was an opportunity she didn’t want to waste.
“How exciting”, she purred. “Do tell me. Have any of the vampires you’ve fought been on my level?”
Emily remained silent.
“As I suspected. Well then, how about I give you a little demonstration of my power?”
Venguine clapped her hands, releasing from them a wispy, red energy that moulded into five humans, each of which she had killed and could now control. The five men slowly walked towards Emily, all with rage and lust in their eyes. They wanted to destroy this being for the mistress they all loved so dearly, following the misguided belief that such a thing would make her love them above all of her other souls. Such a shame that they underestimated their opponent. Emily instantly ripped the leg off of one man and used it as a bat to knock the head off of another. One death by crushed heart, one kicked into a stalagmite, one taking a hand through the eye, and the one who lost its leg had its skull crushed with that very same appendage. Emily turned to face Venguine again, only to find that she had already summoned one hundred more lustful warriors to replace the five who had fallen. It didn’t matter. Emily took down every last one with not a hint of mercy or remorse. Limbs torn, bones shattered, the clear water quickly becoming thick with blood. One by one the men fell, and one by one Emily feasted on their flesh, growing stronger and more bestial with every bite. Yet Venguine still appeared to be having fun. There wasn’t a single hint of fear staining her ashen-white face or her blood-red eyes. There was only excitement. She watched intently as Emily licked the blood of her last foe off of her fingers, overjoyed by the fact she could finally fight someone who might be as deranged as herself. She slowly walked forwards. It was time for battle. She turned into her bat form to fly behind Emily, returned to her humanoid form, then kicked as hard as she could to the side of Emily’s head. Her gaze still on her bloodied fingers, Emily casually blocked the kick with one hand, a jet of water erupting on her other side from the force of the attack. Her face contorting into one of pure rage, Emily grabbed onto Venguine’s leg and slammed her face-first into the ground, before picking her up by her raven-black hair and punching her as hard as she could in the stomach, pushing her to the other side of the cave. Venguine looked down in shock, seeing the hole that Emily had carved with her punch slowly regenerating. This wasn’t an opponent she could play around with like all the rest. For the first time in centuries, she would have to fight seriously. A blood-red, mist-like energy emerging from her body, a cruel smile spreading across her face, Venguine rocketed through the air at a speed few could comprehend, the bloody water parting behind her. Casually dodging Emily’s punch, she grabbed her waist from behind, then threw Emily head-first over her back and into the ground. From there, she punched with fists of stone and slashed with claws of steel, soon realising that Emily wasn’t actually on the ground. She had been attacking an illusion this whole time. The real Emily’s fist met with the side of Venguine’s jaw, shattering it and forcing blood to fly out of her mouth. Quickly regaining her composure, Venguine slashed across Emily’s face, cutting through her left eye. Both stared hatefully at the other as their wounds slowly recovered. The moment they were both whole again, the battle ramped up to a whole new level. Reaching speeds that even the fastest planes couldn’t reach, punching with enough strength to disintegrate the hardest stones, the two fought with a level of ferocity that few had ever seen. Limbs broken, flesh ripped from bones, both sustaining countless injuries that no normal human would ever survive, only to be healed again within seconds. Water exploded ever more violently in all directions as the power of the collisions continued reaching greater heights, blood made the lake ever darker as both fighters lost more than an entire army would lose at war. Yet still, they both fought on. An explosion from the impact of their fists pushed them apart, allowing them
both a moment to catch their breath. Emily continued to stare hatefully at her foe, whereas Venguine simply smiled. She had been holding back a secret weapon this whole time. One that she would now unleash. She held out her hand to release a red mist in front of Emily. Emily’s face dropped as she realised what was happening. The mist transformed into the one person she wanted to see most, yet the one she wanted to fight least. It transformed into her lost love, only, now he loved another. Compelled by Venguine’s vampiric magic, John began attacking Emily. She merely dodged his attacks, too shocked to fight back. But while she was distracted, Venguine flew behind her, impaling her with a silver sword to halt her regeneration, as well as giving John an opportunity to punch her to the ground. Emily quickly leapt back up to her feet and tried to remove the sword, only for Venguine to start attacking her again. A punch to the face, a kick to the knee, and a leg sweep from John, and Emily was back on the ground again, the sword pushing further through her body as she fell onto her back. She let out a scream of pain and agony, silencing as John kicked her across the jaw. He rolled her over and pulled the sword out of her back. He raised it above his head. It was time to destroy the girl he once loved.
“Oh, how delightful”, purred Venguine. “Go on, my pet. Show her where your true love resides”.
As Emily rolled onto her back to face him, John looked into her pained eyes. She knew that she had the strength to stop him, yet she couldn’t do it. This was the man she came here to save. The man for whom she had sacrificed everything, just for the chance to see him again. She closed her eyes and braced herself for death. At least she would no longer have to live with the pain of missing him. John raised the sword further. He hesitated. His entire body shook, as if he were trying to resist Venguine’s magic.
“DO IT!” screamed Venguine. “I CONSUMED YOUR BLOOD! YOU ARE MINE ALONE TO COMMAND! END HER!”
Emily opened her eyes in shock, realising the mistake that Venguine had made. The kiss they shared that night. The blood that was on Venguine’s tongue. A part of John lived within Emily, meaning he wasn’t fully under Venguine’s control. She stood up and smiled at him. She wrapped her arms around his waist. She finally did what she had wanted to do for so many years. She kissed him. And he kissed back. For a few endless moments of beautiful passion, nothing else existed in the universe. It was just the two of them, together at last. All of the pain and hatred evaporated from Emily’s body, being replaced by joy and love. And now that she had him, she would never let him go. Her fangs extending, she bit into his neck, covering her own face with his blood. She drained him of every last drop, only stopping when there was nothing left. She looked at Venguine. She smiled an evil smile that sent a shiver down Venguine’s spine. Now Venguine didn’t have her secret weapon. She was alone, while Emily was reunited with her soulmate.
“How… How can you be this strong!?” screamed Venguine, stumbling backwards.
Emily didn’t answer. She simply walked forwards slowly, the intent of murder etching itself firmly into her eyes. She raised a fist to punch, Venguine raised her arms to block. Blood splatted into the water as a reformed John stabbed Venguine’s own sword through her stomach, forcing her to drop to her knees.
“I missed you”, sighed Emily.
“I love you”, smiled John.
The two kissed once more, while Venguine vainly tried to pull the sword out of her stomach.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” asked Emily.
“Of course. After you”, smiled John.
After ripping out the sword and decapitating Venguine with one swipe, the reunited couple devoured her body until she was nothing more than a pile of bones floating in the blood of her former lovers. Finally freed from her grasp, John could devote himself fully to Emily, just like he had always wanted to. The couple would go on to live a long and happy life together, sowing carnage and devastation wherever they went. Though through all the fun and excitement they had together in their rampages, they never noticed the dark close behind. For although Venguine may have been killed by the couple she inspired to become monsters, her influence and her malevolence still lived on within them. Her blood and her malevolence still thrived within their bodies, and perhaps one day… Well… That’s a story for another time…
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