tagSci-Fi & FantasyBlack Vampire King

Black Vampire King


When the night has come, it's time for me to truly live. For I am a Vampire. One of the few men and women whom fate chose to make different from the rest. Contrarily to the creatures of mythmaking and bad movies, real Vampires aren't made. We're born. My name is Stark Sharok. I hail from the motherland of Africa, birthplace of mortal and immortal alike, where I've lived for centuries. I was born in what is today called Tunisia, formerly known as the Carthaginian Empire. One of the great powers of the ancient world. I am twenty eight hundred years old, and I cannot die.

Anyone looking at me would see a six-foot-three, lean and muscular Black man in his early thirties with light brown skin, curly black hair and pale gray eyes. My father was a Carthaginian soldier, and my mother hailed from the Kingdom of Ethiopia. Both of them were members of royal houses in the Vampire world. For as long as I can remember, my kind have been at war with a race of preternatural monsters known only as the Nameless Ones. They're older than mankind and older than Vampires. They look like ordinary people, but they're not. Really, they're ageless monsters. They feed on the life force of human beings. By draining a person's life force, they gain physical strength, speed and health. This process almost always results in death for the person they drain. The Nameless Ones are parasites. It's how they keep living indefinitely.

The Nameless Ones thrive on chaos. They love to pit man against his brother. Wife against husband. Friend against friend. Nation against nation. It allows them to move about unnoticed. These days, they're everywhere. They effectively rule the world. Behind every major corporation, every important political party and every ruling body, that's where you will find the Nameless Ones. They are on Wall Street and Main Street. They're in the Vatican, the White House and the British Parliament. They're in the Middle East, in Africa and the Caribbean. They're on every continent. They're people of every race and ethnicity you can think of. Adaptation is something these monsters do well. For an eternity, we've been at war with them. Now, their numbers have swelled to the point that they form a large percentage of the so-called human population of the world. By contrast, Vampires numbers have dwindled.

When I was young, millennia ago, there were millions of us prowling the planet Earth. We were the true powers in many nations around the world. The shot callers. The decision makers. Then the Nameless Ones came along, and threatened our supremacy. Like us, they're another human-like species fighting for its share of the world. Unlike us, they only know greed. They have no respect for anyone or anything. They have mankind subjugated and the humans don't even know it. During those rare times that humans have battled the Nameless Ones, they called them by terms such as psychopath or serial killer. The truth is that these monsters are much worse than that. As long as a Nameless One has a supply of human beings on whose life force he or she can feed, they'll never die.

As I said before, the world's Vampire population is quite small these days. We still hold sway over the island nations of the Republic of Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and a few others. The Nameless Ones rule the modern world, particularly Europe and America, and they make life very hard for those few human populations which still remember the time when Vampires protected them from the true monsters. Africans of all sort remember the Vampires. They know we're not the monsters western literature makes us out to be. Some of the world's greatest scientists, thinkers and philosophers were Vampires. In ancient Egypt, Vampires were the founders of human civilization.

Today, I am a Professor of African Literature at Sanctus Marcus College in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It's a small private Catholic school with a student body of five thousand. An institution which prides itself on its commitment to diversity. Around forty two percent of the students are of African-American, Hispanic or Asian descent. The presence of so many students of color on campus appealed to me greatly. It's part of the reason why I chose to become a professor at this school. I wanted to enlighten the minds of young men and women from America's fastest growing communities. In tomorrow's America, minorities will be the majority. It's an inescapable fact. I wanted to mentor youth of color and prepare them for the world of tomorrow.

There is so much that today's young people don't know about. Everybody and their mama know about the deeds of the Romans and ancient Greeks. Few realize the contributions that people from the Land of Egypt, the Realm of Mesopotamia and the African Empires of Axoum and Carthage have done for the world. Civilization began in Africa, not Europe. At a time when Europeans were crawling around in caves, men and women from Carthage, Mesopotamia and Assyria were making great strides in matters of technology and history. Building magnificent cities and fearsome citadels. Traveling between continents. Mapping the stars. I actually lived in those times, and remembered these great men and women. I wanted to share my knowledge with the young men and women of color who would become the leaders of the world of tomorrow.

Today's history teachers paint a grim and biased picture which is Euro-centric and deeply racist and imperialistic. The accomplishments of men and women from African, Asian, Native American and Middle Eastern civilizations in ancient times aren't known to the modern students of history. And that is such a shame. Human history as a whole involves men and women of all races and backgrounds, in this time and throughout time. The actions of Europeans matter, but they're not the whole story, only a small part of it. As America and the rest of the world become a more multicultural place, Euro centric views will hopefully give way to more inclusive and multicultural views being espoused.

I love being a college professor. Enlightening the minds of young men and women from diverse communities is one of the few pleasures I allow myself in this life. It's part of the reason why I retired from the endless war between Vampires and the Nameless Ones. I live a pretty normal life these days. I am dating a beautiful young woman named Sharita LeRoc. She's a six-foot-tall, voluptuous and very lovely Black woman from Atlanta, Georgia. A recent graduate of Georgia Tech, she works as an executive for one of Boston's top civil engineering companies. We met when she came to visit her younger brother James, a business major at Sanctus Marcus College. James is a brilliant young man who's become my protégé on campus. He's captain of the swim team, and one of only three non-white students on it. How about that? I do love to serve as mentor for Black college men. They're in dire need of capable mentors.

I've grown fond of Sharita and her brother James. I recently met their parents, Leander and Juanita LeRoc of Savannah, Georgia. Leander is a coach at Savannah State University and Juanita is a schoolteacher at one of the public schools down there. I was moved beyond words by the way these ordinary humans accepted me into their family. Immortality has robbed me of so much. I lost my family to the war against the Nameless Ones. These monsters descended upon the fortress where my clan lived for centuries and stormed it. Being immortal doesn't shield one from pain or heartbreak. A Vampire can live forever. As long as he or she doesn't get beheaded, burned to ash or staked through the heart. We walk in daylight just as comfortably as humans do, by the way. My family perished thousands of years ago, yet their loss still affects me today. Amazingly, it seems that I've found a new family of my own.

I have grown fond of the LeRocs, my new human family, and strove to protect them from the dangers of this world. There are around sixty thousand Vampires left on the planet Earth. And about two million Nameless Ones. We steer clear of each other for the most part. American Vampires such as myself stay in Vampire strongholds like the cities of Atlanta, the District of Columbia, Detroit, Oakland, Miami, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Houston and others. Boston is ruled by a sturdy bunch of Irish, African-American, Asian and Italian Vampires, and my dealings with them have been cordial, though tense at times. They're wary of other Vampires because some of us have turned against our own kind by working for the Nameless Ones. I'd sooner perish rather than to betray my own kind. In the old days, it was every Vampire's oath. Now, we couldn't even trust our own people anymore. How times have changed.

In the city of Boston, I've recently encountered an anomaly. One of the Nameless Ones who stands apart from the rest because he doesn't feed on humans. His name is Patrick Wilson Chang. A Chinese-American businessman who's the multi-millionaire CEO of one of Boston's biggest shipping companies. I've watched this man for ages, and he is doing something none of the Nameless do. He's growing old, because he won't take any human life force. I've been watching him for a long time. He's the strangest creature I've ever seen. One day, out of curiosity I cautiously approached him at his residence. I was ready to slay him if he threatened me. Whether he was on a diet or not, he was still one of them and I was still a Vampire. Immortal enemies.

The strangest thing happened that day. Rather than fight, Patrick Wilson Chang and I talked. Like I said, I couldn't believe it, and I was there. I learned a lot about that creature, what he was and what he'd become. Patrick Wilson Chang, nee Jong Li in Imperial China, around 275 B.C. He'd been many things in his time. A warlord, an emperor, a wealthy merchant, a sorcerer, a pirate and a rogue ninja. Always he'd been a powerful individual who commanded the fear and respect of many. In twenty-first century America, he was a reclusive multi-millionaire. One of the pillars of Boston's fast-growing and decidedly affluent Chinese-American community. Officially, he was one of the city's good guys. He'd donated a lot of money to the University of Massachusetts-Boston, which found itself financially strapped during the recession. He was good friends with the Mayor, the Governor and the city's Asian, African-American, Irish and Italian power elites. A respected businessman and philanthropist. Yet he was also a monster who fed on the life force of human beings in order to live forever. What led him to stop feeding?

Patrick Wilson Chang explained to me how his life changed one day. During the early 1970s, he was ruthlessly climbing the American corporate ladder and met a beautiful Jamaican-American executive named Jessica Glory. One of the first Black female students to graduate with a Boston College MBA, she took the corporate world by storm. Jessica fascinated Patrick Wilson Chang like no other human ever had. They began dating, and to his amazement, he found himself falling in love with her. To the point of trusting her with his secret. When he told me this, I was stunned. As a rule, we immortals don't tell humans about our immortality. Vampires don't tell humans about themselves, and neither did the Nameless Ones. Patrick broke a fundamental rule of his kind by sharing the secret of his immortality with the lively young Black woman he'd fallen in love with. Amazingly, Jessica Glory understood. She kept Patrick's secret, and became his wife.

If lightning could have struck me when Patrick said that, I wouldn't have been more shocked. I couldn't believe that a monster, one of the Nameless Ones, had done what I couldn't. He shared the secret of his immortality with the human female he'd come to love, and she loved him back. I love Sharita LeRoc with all of my undying heart. She brings this ageless wanderer to life. She's the light of my life. A day without her is like a day without sunlight. Or a starless, moonless night. Yet I didn't trust her with my secret. Vampires are forbidden from telling humans about themselves. Those Vampires who break that rule find the endlessness of immortality a lot shorter...because they're executed for breaking the rules. I looked at Patrick Wilson Chang with surprise, and a newfound respect.

The old monster continued with his story. He loved his wife Jessica dearly, and because of her, he was at war with his true nature. He stopped feeding on humans, and instead drained the life force of animals. I stared at Chang, stunned once more. Vampires like myself can survive on animal blood, though most of us prefer human blood. As a rule, we only fed on society's wretches. In ancient Egypt, the worst criminals such as murderers and rapists often became our meal. I mostly adhere to that rule, though I haven't tasted human blood from a living victim in over a century. I restrict my feeding to blood banks. When that's not possible, I feed on animals. I didn't think any of the Nameless Ones could do the same.

Chang laughed, and said I didn't know so much about his kind. In recent years, many of the Nameless Ones had taken to occasionally feeding on animals life force because of advances in human technology, particularly forensic science. They were afraid of being discovered, and thus many of them only fed on humans when they were absolutely sure they wouldn't get caught. All they had to do was lay their bare hand against a human's chest, and thus they drained him or her of all life. Within minutes, the parasitic touch of a Nameless One could cause a heart attack in an otherwise healthy person. Instant death. When Nameless Ones go on the prowl in an area, the heart attack rate goes up among humans. It's basic math. Still, I didn't know they could survive by draining animal life force. Apparently they could. Chang explained to me how he adapted to this new feeding cycle because he feared he would one day hurt his wife Jessica without meaning to. Amazing. Women really can cause men to do strange things. Even immortal men like Chang and myself.

Yes, I was learning a lot. The old guy went on with his story. He rose within the ranks among the Nameless Ones in the halls of power in Massachusetts. They found his choice of mate, a human female, to be peculiar. Like Vampires, the Nameless Ones aren't made. They're born. Our respective societies aren't like clubs or religions which accept joiners or converts. You have to be born into us. Chang turned his back on his people, and chose to associate exclusively with humans. The other Nameless Ones didn't take too kindly to that. So they stormed his mansion one evening and attacked him and his wife. Chang, being several thousands of years old and quite adept at armed and unarmed combat, managed to fight them off. But not before one of them attempted to drain his wife of her life force. Chang's face darkened as he went on with this tale. I could tell it pained him. I asked him if he needed a minute to compose himself. He shook his head, and continued.

Like any husband worthy of the name, Chang leapt to his wife's defense. He killed those of his parasitic brethren who attacked his household, but not before one of them stole years off his wife's life. Jessica Glory Chang aged over ten years in mere minutes. The twenty-something young Black woman found herself in her mid-thirties all of a sudden, and in poor health. Chang took her to the hospital, and the doctors were able to save her life. She was never the same, though. Like a stroke victim in recovery, she needed constant care and a lot of therapy. Eventually, she became mobile again. Able to walk and talk, though she was a shell of her former self. That day, Chang declared war against his own kind. He forged an alliance with the Houses of Jackson, Castillo and O'Connor, the clan of powerful African-American, Irish and Italian Vampires who ruled Boston. Together, they took on the mostly divided hordes of Nameless Ones who formed Boston's underworld. Thus, they drove the bulk of them out of the city.

I looked at Chang with newfound respect. The guy was amazing. He remained with his wife Jessica until she passed away due to cancer, an ailment which he became an outspoken activist against. He donated millions to cancer research over the next few decades. Hell, he even named a branch of the city's library system after his dearly departed wife. Chang smiled at me, and told me he walked away from the war of my kind versus his because of the love of a mortal woman. He stopped feeding on humans life force even after she was dead. I understood why he did what he did. Feeding on humans life force allows the Nameless Ones to live forever, eternally young and healthy. Forever shielded from disease and old age. The eternal rulers of the world. Feeding on animals life force didn't have the same benefits. It slowed down their aging process, but didn't stop it like human life force would. Basically, a Nameless One who fed exclusively on animals would eventually lose his or her superhuman strength, speed and regenerative powers. They would age like a normal person, and eventually wither and die. I asked Chang why he wanted to die, even though I already knew the answer.

The wizened Chinese warrior masquerading as a millionaire business looked at me sternly, and told me that his beloved Jessica was the only thing he loved in the thousands of years he spent on this Earth. She was his reason for living. The sun and the stars to him. A life without her seemed an empty existence. Even an eternal life. Chang told me that although his kind didn't believe in an afterlife, he sincerely hoped there was one, and that he'd be reunited with his beloved Jessica in Heaven, Valhalla, Nirvana or wherever souls went. I nodded gravely. For a moment, neither of us said anything. Chang looked at me and told me he smelled the scent of a human female on me. I grinned wryly, in spite of myself. Like Vampires, the Nameless Ones have a sharp sense of smell. Hell, our respective species shared many attributes, such as superior strength, speed, keen senses and extreme longevity. This morning, Sharita and I made love before going to work. Twice. The old monster's senses apparently picked up on it. Oh, well. I wasn't the least bit ashamed.

Chang asked me who the woman was, and I told him she was my mate. My companion in this life. He smiled sadly, and told me to treasure her. I nodded. I loved my Sharita more than life itself. She was my Black Queen, my Ebony goddess and my future wife. The lady whose presence in my life brought joy and happiness to my previously dreary and gloomy world. Chang smiled at me and I smiled at him. How deeply affected we were by the women we loved, even though they weren't present in that moment. We shook hands and without another word, I left the premises. I returned to my townhouse on the Back Bay, and sat on my couch while thinking about the day's events.

I got more than I bargained for when I went to Chang's house. It's nice to know that even a 2800-year-old man like myself can still be surprised. I looked at the picture of my lovely Sharita. My six-foot-tall, busty, wide-hipped and deliciously big-bottomed Black goddess. To me, she was the most beautiful woman in the world. Black women are a really beautiful bunch but Sharita was something more. She reminded me of the gorgeous Black ladies I'd seen in the African Kingdom of Axoum and the Empire of Carthage while I was a young Vampire. A true Black princess. I decided to surprise her by preparing a candelight dinner, and playing some soft music. Soon she'd come from work, and be delighted to see her man. I love her, and I cherish her whole family. Someday, I will tell her about myself. I only hope she can understand. Life is short, even when you're immortal. You have to treasure the people you care about. Because you can blink one day and find them gone forever. I learned that the hard way, folks. Peace.

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