Amble was on his way to a nightly meeting above the surface with a few human dealers. They bought blood from Amble to use for whatever means they wanted. Amble walked down the hall straightening his cuffs. He heard a noise that made him stop. He looked at a door and grabbed the handle. He slowly opened it to find a tracer. Amble was pulled into the room by the female tracer. She looked famished. Her gills had been completely flattened as she turned more and more into a vampire.
“Why do you always look so hungry?” Amble asked removing his trench coat. He unbuttoned the cuff of his sleeve and slit his wrist with his nail. She rushed up to him. “Wait,” Amble said as she stopped. She looked nervous. “Say, p-l-e-a-s-e,” he spelled to her as she thought. He could tell she was really trying. He had been trying to teach the new tracers to talk and he used any opportunity to get them to learn.
“P. Pl. Plea. Plea,” she said as Amble looked at her, his black blood was running down his arm.
“Please,” he said as she looked from him to his bleeding arm. “Say, please,” he said again.
“P-please,” she stammered as he smiled and offered his arm to her. She gripped it and sucked the blood roughly.
“Mmm!” Amble grunted dropping fang. He let her feed for about a minute or so before prying his arm from her mouth. She looked up to him. She looked so adorable with her big orange eyes. Amble stared down at her and pressed his body on hers.
“Th. Thank,” she stuttered as he pulled his head back. He smiled at her as she tried to thank him for allowing her to feed.
“You’re welcome,” he said. He walked away from her and out of the room. He ran into one of the other new tracer vampires. His gills were completely gone.
“My Lord?” he asked as Amble stared at him. He was amazed that he could talk. It had only been a week.
“Yes Fletcher?” Amble answered.
“Is there anything that I can assist you with?” he asked as Amble continued staring at him. He had short sandy blonde hair shaved in the back but the rest hung in his face. He flicked his head to the side whipping the hair out of his eyes. He wore a sleeveless shirt that had been ripped at the bottom. He got into fights with the other vampires over food. It was easy to tell who won them.
“Actually there is,” Amble said leading him down the hallway. “I need you to hold down the fort here while I attend to a meeting. I’m already late and I don’t like keeping the ethízo waiting,” he said as he volexed out of sight. It was a cool fall night. The wind gently blew the trees. The moon was high in the sky, shrouded with clouds. Two men waited by an alley entrance. One of them paced, his body completely shaking.
“He’s gonna come right? You said he would come,” the man said rubbing his arm. He was a jittery fellow. His hair was long and stringy from not being washed. He was strung out on the brew from the cruor. Cruor was the blood that came directly from a vampire. It contained brew (high levels of ironed acid) which, if ingested enough times, lead to dependency. Cruor was sold around the world and in some parts it was illegal.
“Just relax alright. He’ll be here,” the other guy said putting his hands in his hoodie pocket. His friend paced back and forth. He was nervous; he hadn’t had cruor in so long he felt like he was going to freak out.
“God where is he!?” he shouted as Amble leaned against the wall. He watched the man twitch and freak out. It made him laugh when the people became so dependent on the brew that they literally couldn’t function without. It was obvious that this man had very high levels of brew in his system.
“I’ve been here the whole time,” Amble said as the man rushed up to him. He held a syringe ready to take the blood from Amble and the other guy pulled him back.
“Where are your manners? Cool it!” he hissed as he bowed to Amble. “King Julian. It’s so good to see you again,” he said as Amble nodded.
“Trust me, it’s no pleasure to supply you guys. But I do need supporters,” Amble growled as they led him down the dark path to a door. The man knocked three times and the eye hatch opened.
“Password?” they asked. The man glared at the blue pair of eyes.
“Open the door you ass hat,” he said as the eyes blinked.
“That’s not it, but come on in Mack,” he said opening the door. Amble stepped into the room and covered his nose. The place looked like a pig sty. There was hay everywhere and mud covered the floor. There were men sitting around bar tables. Quiet music was playing in the background. There were a couple of women in the room but a majority of the patrons were men. When Amble passed by, they all stood up and bowed. Amble was giving them quite a gift. He scoped out his surroundings making sure there was an exit in case things went rogue. The women batted their eyelashes at him as he went by. Amble hadn’t been into this place before and it made him defensive. He had to volex there so it was quite a ways away from home. Mack opened a hatch that led downstairs. Amble hesitated before going down. He didn’t know they would be leading him downstairs. The last time he went downstairs with these kinds of people, he had to rescue someone.
“What...are... you doing?” the vampire asked weakly. He sat in a chair with a harness on his head that had a bar over his mouth. A man walked in front of him with a needle. There was a tube hooked to the vampire’s arm that stopped the blood from running out. The man cut the tube. The blood rushed down and dripped into a glass jar. The man walked around organizing his shop.
“It’s not your business to know what I’m doing. You just sit there and look pretty,” he said dipping his finger into the jar. He put the blood to his mouth and licked it. He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. The vampire stirred painfully. “No. Don’t move,” he said as the vampire groaned. His eyes slightly opened. There were many test tubes, jars, and bags containing his blood. “Your blood has such a high level of brew that my customers will be breaking down my door,” a knock came on the door. “Well speaking of breaking down doors,” he said wiping his hands on his pants and went to look.
“I need a fix man,” the guy said. His hood shadowed his face and his teeth were chattering. He kept his hands in his tattered jacket.
“It’s going to cost you more. This is pure cruor. Straight from the source. Black. The concentration of brew is incredible,” he said as the hooded man nodded. The guy opened the door for him to come in and he stepped under the opening. The man went over to the vampire he had strapped down. He slowly turned his head and breathed painfully as the man unhooked the tube. He tied a twist in it to stop the blood from dripping. He couldn’t afford to lose a drop. He went back to the man who was waiting by the door. He pulled out $200.
“This is all that I have,” he said as the dealer laughed.
“That’s too damn bad. It’s gonna cost more than that. Like I said it has a high level of brew and it’s pure,” he said as the man put his money back in his pocket. The dealer carried around a small wooden stake in case his investors wanted to go rogue. “Get outta here if you can’t pay. I don’t have time for chumps,” he said as the man didn’t budge. “I said get outta here,” the man repeated lifting the stake. The hooded man slowly lifted his head. His grey eyes made contact with the dealers green ones. He dropped the stake.
“Give me that jar of blood,” he said as the dealer gave him the jar he held. He had a dreamy handle when he stared at the man. The man placed the jar on a table next to where they stood. He removed his hood. Amble dropped fang. “You want to give me your blood don’t you?” he asked as the man nodded.
“Yes I do,” he said dreamily as Amble approached him. He took his shirt and moved it down from his neck. Amble licked his fangs and bit into the man. He screamed because Amble was so forceful. Amble dropped his duress as the man grabbed him and tried to push him off. Amble kept sucking as the man started hitting him. The blows became softer and softer as he lost more blood. Soon there was no movement at all. The man went limp in Amble’s arms. Amble ripped the man’s shirt open and jabbed his hand into his chest. He pulled out the heart that slowly beat in his hand. The body on the floor jerked a little. Amble took the heart over to the vampire who was tied up. He placed it to his mouth.
“Drink this. You’ll feel better,” he said as the vampire moved his head away from the heart. Amble squeezed it so the blood would run. “Prez... Please, drink this,” Amble said as Prezton moaned. He put his lips to the artery leading out of the heart. He sucked the blood out like using a straw. Amble looked around and found a knife lying on the table next to Prezton’s arm. He grabbed it and cut through the straps. He removed the harness from Prezton’s head and it slumped to the side. Amble grabbed Prezton’s arm and put it around his shoulder. He hoisted Prezton to his feet. Prezton stumbled and gripped Amble’s shirt for support. He limped to the opening.
“A...Am...Amble... I’m sorry,” Prezton muttered painfully. Amble looked at his brother who finally slumped to the floor. Amble tried catching him, but his whole body was like jelly. He was complete dead weight. Amble quickly grabbed him off the ground. He wrapped an arm under Prezton’s legs and hoisted him close to his chest.
“No one will drink from you ever. Do you understand me?” Amble said as he went to the stairs. He looked up to the hatch he came from. “You’re gonna be OK. I’ll protect you,” Amble said walking up the stairs. “I knew you should have never gotten involved with these people,” Amble said as Prezton’s head hung over Amble’s right forearm and his legs dangled over Amble’s left arm.
“My lord? My lord are you coming?” the man asked as Amble snapped back into reality. He flicked his coat behind him and placed his hands in his pockets not wanting to touch anything. They went down the stairs and the hatch was closed just in case the police decided they wanted to show up. There was an old rusty chair with straps on it. Amble stayed far away from it.
“Ha-Have a seat,” the man stammered rubbing his arm as Amble shook his head.
“No thank you. I’ll stand,” Amble said as Mack looked at him and nodded.
“Y-You have to...,” Jitters stammered as Amble glared at him baring his fangs defensively.
“I’m not a stupid fool. I will not sit in that chair for you to drain me and strap me for a ride,” Amble growled as Mack looked at his jittery friend.
“We never have him sit in a chair you moron,” he hissed as Amble took off his coat. Amble unbuttoned his shirt and removed it. Amble’s left arm was covered in red and black tattoos that went from his shoulder to his wrist. The word “JULIAN” was tattooed on his upper back in bold calligraphy. A leafless red maple family tree was in the middle with his father, King Barnes, at the top and Prezton and his name towards the trunk. Each male vampire that was a part of Vampira had the same tattoo, different trees, symbolizing their family, allegiance and loyalty. Amble extended his arm to the addicts and the jittery one rushed him. Mack grabbed him and strapped him in the chair.
“Wha-What are you doing?” Jitters stuttered as the man glared at him.
“You can’t control yourself,” Mack said returning his attention to Amble. “I never realized how muscular you were,” he said as Amble stared at him blankly.
“Mackenzie Harris, flattery will get you nowhere cupcake. Take what blood you need and hurry up. I have other things to do,” Amble grumbled as Mack smiled. He grabbed the needle and hooked it to a tube which led to a tan bag. Amble winced when he was pricked. He squeezed a red ball to keep the flow going. Mack filled up four bags before Amble gripped the tube stopping blood flow. He felt light headed.
“I’m not done yet,” Mack said as Amble pulled the needle out of his arm. He healed the wound so it would no longer bleed.
“Well I’m done. You only need a few drops per person. I’ll be back next month,” he said as Mack looked at him. Amble turned to get his trench coat when he was hit in the back with a box. Amble hit the ground. He turned, enraged at Mack who stood shaking with the box. He looked like he had seen death and he might as well have. Amble grabbed him and viciously bit into his neck. Mack screamed causing Amble to cover his mouth with his hands quickly. Mack felt the cold and painful touch of Amble’s long fingers. He could feel Amble’s nails digging into his cheek. Amble’s hand was so big it covered Mack’s mouth and nose. Mack’s eyes bulged as he gasped for air. Amble kept a tight grip on him and did not release. Mack grabbed Amble’s wrist and tried to pull it down. Amble was suffocating him. He looked wildly around to his friend who was struggling against the straps.
“SOMEBODY HELP!” he screamed as Amble’s head whipped up. He snapped Mack’s neck and volexed to Jitters. He screamed as Amble bit into his neck. A few of the patrons from upstairs heard the scream and they had rushed down into the room. Amble snapped the man’s neck as well. Amble turned to see the men blocking his only way out. He would not be tied down like his brother was. They would not control him. They rushed at him and Amble bared his fangs more his incisors growing larger. That didn’t intimidate them as they all carried black stakes.
“Those little slivers of wood won’t hurt me,” Amble said as one of the men stabbed him in the chest on the left side. Amble continued standing before them and smiled. “See?” he said as the man who stabbed him turned to run, Amble grabbed him quickly and dislocated his arms. He screamed and Amble snapped his neck as well. Amble grabbed the stake with both hands and slowly pulled it out. He tossed it at one of the ethízo̱ who instantly hit the ground. They ran towards him. Amble shoved a few of the ethízo̱ against the wall. He needed to get out. They kept coming in multitudes. If he killed one, five more came through the door. One of the ethízo̱ stood by the door. He didn’t look like the rest of them. He was much beefier. He stood with a dagger in his hand. Amble slammed a man through a table. Amble got hit in the back with a chair that broke.
“You will not keep me here!” Amble shouted viciously biting into another ethízo̱. He tried killing as many as he could. His fear coursed through him as he killed a few more. They kept coming and for the first time, Amble was actually frightened because there was no way for him to get out if they kept coming in. Amble’s eyes were dilated making them completely black instead of their usual grey. He stood with the ethízo̱ that was guarding the door. The others had stopped coming in finally and Amble was covered in ethízo̱ blood. He licked it from his fingers. He was shaking no longer from fear but from the mass intake of blood. All the ethízo̱ that he killed had high levels of brew in their blood. Amble slowly walked up to him and the guard shifted.
“I can’t let you leave until the boss shows up,” he said calmly as Amble smiled. His mouth was surrounded with blood. It dripped down from his chin to his falling and rising chest. Amble stared right into the man’s eyes.
“You want to let me go. You don’t remember me coming down here,” Amble said softly as the man nodded dreamily. “Give me that dagger,” Amble smiled sticking out his hand, but it disappeared as a sharp pain fell over him. He looked down to see that the man had stabbed him in the fattier part of his side. How did his duress not work? It always worked on humans. Unless...this man wasn’t human.
“Don’t you know anything about your own kind? Your duress doesn’t work if you’ve got more levels of brew in your body than you produce,” the ethízo̱ laughed as Amble fought through the pain and reached through into the man’s lower abdomen. He pulled out the man’s intestines and wrapped it around his neck. Amble hollered as the man stabbed him again in the same spot but harder. Man did diálysi̱ daggers hurt. Amble tightened the organ and bit into the man’s jugular. It spewed into Amble’s face and he clenched his eyes shut. He dropped the man and watched him twitch until he stopped moving. Amble lifted his shirt and looked at the wound. It looked like a black rash with a gash in the middle. He was bleeding and the wound wasn’t healing. “How was this possible?” he thought as he grabbed his trench coat and went out of the bar. He changed sign from “open” to “closed.”