The Gift: (Flash Fiction)
Charleston, South Carolina, mid-eighteenth century
The two creatures stood back-to-back, dueling pistols poised.
One of them, the human, said to his back, "If I thought you would die, I would kill you."
The other, the vampire, said to his back, "If I thought you would live, I would grant you Life."
A signal was given and the two creatures marched forward twenty paces.
The human turned, raised his pistol, aimed it, but did not pull the trigger.
The vampire turned, discarded his own pistol, and instead closed the distance between himself and the man at the speed of thought.
He used his fangs to puncture the throat of the man, whom he let fall to the ground.
The human that had been, could not even bring himself to injure the vampire, formerly a man whom he had once loved.
In his failure to do what was necessary, the human had shown himself to be utterly unworthy of the Gift.
The vampire picked up the fallen one's pistol and examined it. He had never seen its like before: a specially constructed, repeating-action weapon filled with the garlic-soaked bullets that might have killed him.
The immortal walked away, leaving the stranger to bleed to death on the ground.