It gnaws mercilessly at the hollow pit of my stomach. Ravenous and wild, it churns inside of me with cataclysmic fervor. It is more than mere hunger, more than wanton desire. The need to feed on not only sustenance, but on the very essence of life, causes within my tormented soul an upheaval so monumental as to be beyond human comprehension. Raging like an inferno, within my pain-wracked body a storm engulfs me.
I can hear the heartbeat of the man in the next room, it thumps not unlike a distant wind-up alarm clock. Spending another night in a cheap hotel, I am surrounded by smells and sounds that sicken, yet tantalize me. Sweat and body odor permeate the air. Try as I might, I can't seem to shut out the loud and boisterous bumping and crashing in the rooms above me. A crew of workers from some oilfield company is blowing off steam and their noise invades my mind and disrupts my thoughts. Now and then a beer bottle falls from above and crashes against the ground outside of my room. Prostitutes climb the stairs to the jeering catcalls of men lost in the moment and oblivious to those around them.
I can feel the raw and chaotic energy being pumped into the night by the testosterone driven partiers. I feel their excitement, their animal desire and their reckless abandon. The energy they are emitting combines with my own and the furnace within me rages even hotter. Fear. I smell fear from the shifty-eyed salesman cowering in the room next to me. I smell the stale cigarettes and whiskey of the man passed out in alcoholic stupor in the room on the other side of me. I stand in my doorway and try to breath in the night air and allow my mind time to settle and as I do so, a young girl walks by and smiles at me in a somewhat brazen manner. She glances up at me, eyes bleary, dim and blurred. "Wan some cumpny darlin'?" Her voice is raspy and rattles, I can't help but wonder if she is aware of the cancer slowly devouring her throat and lungs. I don't speak to her, but look at her in a way that cause her to avert her eyes and shuffle quickly away.
Though it is tempting, I won't feed on any of these imbeciles. Their alcohol laden blood gives me a headache the next morning and the drugs that flow through them so freely make my mind swirl and loose control. Loosing control for one gifted with my powers is not a good thing. It isn't good for me and it certainly isn't good for the humans that I shelter myself amongst. Their is an odd stewardship sort of responsibility between an immortal such as I and the humans he dwells among. It sounds cruel and unjust, but in many ways they are a crop to be tended and cared for. Yes, crops are harvested, but great care must be taken not to destroy the seed upon which my survival depends in the long run. To put it in human terms, a hunter can't go out into the woods and murder every deer in the forest, he must exercise control and cultivate certain ones, leaving the breeding population to grow and prosper. A prosperous herd is well worth the extra care and restraint that goes in being a good steward. It also insures your own survival and maximizes the benefits you reap.
Stewardship. That is the reason I can not simply give in to every urge I have and pillage everything around me. It is what keeps me from climbing those stairs and causing mayhem and destruction, much as the idea appeals to me. I must be honest though, it is more than just self control and restraint. The sickness that tends to run rampant in the sort of people I am speaking of turns me stomach. Just as a human would shy away from rancid meat or soured milk, I avoid feeding on the dregs of human society as much as possible. A pity, in all actuality. Were I to feed more on the lower life forms and forgotten souls, I might provide a better service to "the crop". I do, in quite a few situations, tend my herd and cull undesirables, but that is another matter. I perform that service for the good of all, for the welfare of my crop and largely because they simply piss me off.
Nothing tastes sweeter in my throat than the torrential gush of blood pouring from the ragged gash ripped into the neck of a pedophile or a rapist. I am not particularly fond of humans, but there are those among them that are not even worthy of being referred to as a person. They are subhuman. Even their blood is tainted, I don't drink it, but spit it back upon the ground after draining it from them. There is no sweetness in their blood. Rather it is the sweetness of righting a wrong, avenging the innocent and stopping the horror from happening again. That sweetness is intoxicating and I indulge in it, time to time.
For the most part, I am much like any other hunter. I seek the perfect prey. I seek the perfect setting. I am after not only fulfillment, but am also mindful of my immediate and long term welfare. When I feed, I must admit I prefer to dine on the fine and delicate bouquet of a woman. Men will do and I suppose I take that route most of the time, but for a truly "tasty" treat, I hunt the streets in search of a woman. There is food and there is food, and then there are delicacies. Drinking the blood from some dockworker or truck driver will keep me alive and most times I am satisfied with them, but there are times...
Sometimes it is the joy of toying with my meal that pleases me more then the sustenance itself. Sometimes it is the rarity of it.
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