Hustling footsteps scraped over the wet streets of a dreary London night. The moon, just a crescent in the sky, fell victim to the clouds that accompanied an eerie fog over the city's midnight hour. Small collections of torch light provided the only illumination, as crowds made their way through the night in search of what their imaginations dreamed up.
"Kill them all!" an abstract voice called from the shelter of some back alleyway. The words were cold and determined that stung highly of fear and apathy.
The proud city had fallen victim to violence and a desperate dismay of the unknown. It was hard to tell the difference between the victims and the perpetrators anymore. Regardless of status, or being, there was one word that rung through the air with a constant repetition more powerful than church prayers. Kill.
Carlisle held his torch before him in the darkness. A small group of adamant followers of his father stood beside him in similar stances. They obeyed every command he had given, though he never demanded, nor expected their loyalty. Unlike him, the men were closed-minded and brutal. They were seekers of evil and found it in places it didn’t exist.
“This is where you saw them?” a man’s voice asked with a willing, ready enthusiasm. He turned to face Carlisle.
The flames that danced along their faces, creating dark shadows seemed far more than fitting for the occasion. It gave the men a Hellish appearance, and that was exactly what London had become. Hell on earth, ironically lead by a pastor and his son.
“I’m certain,” Carlisle answered, knowing full well that this time they were, indeed, hunting monsters that preyed on human flesh. He shined his light on the sewer that lingered only a few yards from their feet, “I’ve witnessed them come in and out of here. They’re unlike anything I’ve seen; remarkably fast and relentless.”
“How many of them are there?” another man asked.
“I can’t give you an accurate number,” Carlisle went on, “But they’re here.” He looked around the fog-ridden skies and the darkness that lingered above them. “They’ll surface before dawn. I’m almost certain, and if not tonight, then we’ll return tomorrow.”
“There will be bloodshed tonight,” an enthusiast cried from the back of the group, “Come out you bastards! You’re cowards! You’re all cowardly! Let’s see you face a pack of real men!”
Carlisle glanced over his shoulder at the rowdy antagonist. He couldn’t help but frown at what the men beside him had become. They were no better than the monsters living in the sewers, and perhaps more cowardly. The number of innocent people put to the death in the name of fear and the unknown was anything but deserving of merit. It was wrong; evil.
The men continue to shout profanities and taunt whatever lurked in the hole in the ground. Their words stung with sin, hate and judgment. It wasn’t until a torch was launched into the pit that their group got an overwhelming, demonizing surprise.
A low growl rippled through the underground London street where their self-proclaiming righteous mob stood. It was an ungodly sound that accompanied the fiery, glowing pit that resembled a world for the damned.
Silence fell over the crowd, and Carlisle took a step back, though reached his arm out as far as it could go to continue shedding light over the sewer. A few men behind him raised their clubs and homemade spears; though let their heels scrape against the sand on the road as they subconsciously shuffled backward.
For a moment, the only sound in the midnight, London air was that of the huffing, anxious breaths of the mob as they waited. Up until that night, their jobs had been easy. The most evil of the men found pleasure in putting humans to death with accusatory claims that they were demonized, or products of the devil. Their motivation was power, not justice. What they were facing now was a being far superior to their fragile, human flesh.
“Come out!” a man called. His voice was still hard and he stepped up beside Carlisle, drawing his weapon. An instant later the arrogant sadist was pinned on his back with a savage far greater on top of him.
Screams filled the air, and blood lined the street, before the human brain had time to process the series of events that had taken place.
In a matter milliseconds, a man had gone from being a demanding, live force to a food supply for the creature that was currently draining him of his blood in the most ferocious of ways.
Carlisle couldn’t take his eyes off of what was happening. Although he was the one to discover the clan in the sewers, he could not believe what he was seeing. The attacker looked fundamentally human, but he very obviously wasn’t. His eyes were red; he moved at rates unable to track with the naked eye and struck with the reflexes of a lion.
The group, finally drawn out of their initial shock, split into two. Half of the men ran, fearing for their lives as the true cowards they were. Others stayed and attempted to attack the savage, all unsuccessful in their efforts.
Whether in groups of two, three or solo, the counter attackers were knocked viciously to the side with sickening cracks as their bones broke from the force of their landings. These men were the lucky ones.
The savage rose from his crouched position, bare-chested and in a pair of ragged pants and no shoes. His hair was as wild as his eyes and he bared his teeth. Blood ran from his mouth and clung to his torso and limbs.
Carlisle stood face to face with the creature, bewildered by its abilities. His mouth hung open and he thought, surely, he would meet his maker sooner than planned.
Without warning, the vampire lunged, puncturing Carlisle’s skin with his teeth. He snarled and growled as the torch fell from Carlisle’s hand in the process.
“You demon!” a voice called from above.
Carlisle’s eyes opened partway from the tightly closed position they’d been in during the attack. He saw the immortal’s attention being drifted elsewhere and so he took the opportunity to try to escape, looking back as one of the mob members was taken to the ground.
More high pitched screams rung through the night air and bounced off the stone walls around them as Carlisle ran desperately for shelter, gripped the place he was bitten with his hand.
The pain had sunk in the moment the venom was first introduced to his veins. It was an excruciating feeling and had begun to feel paralyzing.
Carlisle stumbled into an unlocked building. He had no idea if it was abandoned or not. In the moment, he couldn’t contemplate the consequences of entering. The only thing he knew for certain was that he had been bitten, which meant he could let no one know of his whereabouts. Shelter was his only savior and so he took refuge in the first secure place he could find, burying himself under a batch of old food and potatoes.
The room was dark and vacant, aside from a few boxes. It smelled musty, like a combination of mold and garbage. Compared to the pain that was beginning to take over his entire body, it could have been lavender, or the smell of freshly picked apples.
His fists clenched and he lifted his head, wanting to cry out from the intense burning that almost lead him to believe he was actually on fire. Carlisle looked down at the tensed up veins in his arms and balled his hands into tight fists. He hissed through his teeth and clenched his jaw to remain quiet as his human life drained completely from his body.