The Vampire Challenges
The vampire sat with her for the better part of an hour, hardly speaking she actually dozed off. He was consumed with pity for the young woman. Humans who tried to help captured vampires escape were forced to work side by side with them around the clock as part of a slave trade. Some vampires would make a meal of these humans, but he did not. He respected these humans, and he would protect them.
Her eyes opened and lingered on him for a moment. Struck by his gift of strength. That made him feel even worse. He was able to continue the hard labor without the need for rest. She wasn’t as fortunate. Her body cried for rest.
He wanted to make sure she got through the night without becoming a meal, or succumbing to exhaustion. He owed her that much for trying to help him escape.
The conditions were intolerable and hostile, but he knew she wanted no part in the exploits of his kind. In the past, she had helped hundreds of vampires escape, that made her practically legendary. However, some of the older vampires did not care for what she did at all. She wasn’t a vampire, and she got no sympathy from them. They just considered her a human meal, and they were aiming to make that a reality.
She squirmed up to bring her lips closer to his ears. "Thank you," she whispered.
"Your welcome," he replied, his voice cracking at her sudden closeness.
She nodded, leaning her head back against his shoulder. It was so intimate, yet they were sitting in a slave hole.
He cleared his throat and allowed her to rest, comfortably.
"I’ll understand, if you get hungry," she said softly.
"I will not," he replied evenly.
She nodded gently, thinking about how most of her family were slaughtered by the vampires when they raided her village. The older vampires led the attack that left her alone.
The sad thing about the attack was that they killed for entertainment and not to feed. Her tiny chin quivered and her tired eyes filling with tears at the memory.
"I’m so sorry for everything that has happened," said the vampire, fumbling for something to wipe her eyes.
Suddenly there was a violent jerk. Then a hand grabbed her feet and pulled her into one of the slave holes. The vampire tried to save her, but the chains did not permit it. He couldn’t go after her. He struggled to free himself, but there was nothing he could do. He heard her screams and it echoed through his head. He failed her and he had to live with that. Shuddering in sympathy, he closed his eyes.
© 2011 Frank Atanacio
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