Isaac Castro awoke screaming into the dark, contained space of his prison. He gulped for air as panic settled into his chest. His skin felt like dried hide against his malnourished bones, his body loosely clothed and stuffed into the stone box.
His eyes, though wide open, saw nothing through the darkness, as his hands felt the walls of his tomb.
Isaac sucked in several breaths, calming himself.
Countless times did he wake up like this: screaming, starving, lurching from the brink of torpor as his immortality jolted life into him once more. Then he would calm down and stare into the darkness that held him until the hunger would render him unconscious. For years, this went on.
But this time was different. A noise several yards away from his coffin caused him to shift uneasily. He turned to the side, narrowing his eyes, and sniffed.
Blood. Human blood. Pumping through multiple bodies. There had to be three…no four. Four humans, drawing closer to his coffin.
Isaac howled at the scent, nearing a frenzied state of mind as he imagined the blood dripping down his throat.
A human boy’s voice echoed through Isaac’s chamber. “Did you hear that?”
Isaac froze in his coffin, drooling all over himself in anticipation. His stomach quenched and twisted as another wave of their blood’s scents wafted through the chamber and into the small cracks of his coffin. He hissed through his clenched teeth, agonizing over the hunger.
“Probably was an animal,” another boy’s voice chimed in.
Those boys were two of the four heartbeats that now iterated their footsteps. The other two were females. The boys’ scents, though duller, were woodsy and lined with sweat. The girls, on the other hand, were floral, mixed with perfumes. All four were young; teenagers, filled with hormones and dangerous curiosity.
“Should we look inside?” The other boy asked.
“Don’t do it, Colby,” a girl said.
Colby ignored the warning and came closer to the coffin and muttered, “I’ll do what I want.”
That boy’s scent overwhelmed Isaac. He had to remind himself not to move, for fear of scaring the humans off. Isaac bit his tongue, holding in another growl, and dug his nails into his palm. The pain distracted him as the top of the coffin began to shift.
A ray of light shined through a crack as the boys continued to shove the top off.
Isaac could hardly control himself.
As soon as the human boys opened the stone top enough, Isaac’s hand shot forward and locked around one’s neck. Isaac ignored the screams of shock, pulled the boy over him, and sliced his fangs through his flesh, taking long gulps from the boy until there was no blood left.
Then Isaac shoved the boy off of him.
The body thudded to the concrete floor beside the rock coffin, limp and lifeless.
Isaac rose from the depths of his coffin, surveying the room with hooded eyes.
The other boy tripped over his feet as he rushed away from the coffin. He stumbled onto his ass, hissing in pain through his teeth, then scuttled on the floor toward the wall.
Two girls hovered by the doorway, trembling with fear and sobbing as they clutched each other.
Isaac knew what he must look like: a corpse, with ashen skin drawn over every dip and curve of his bones, eyes like black holes within their sockets, and blood dribbling from his lips, down his chin, to his century-old, dusty attire.
Fear wafted through the chamber. It was like a room full of bakery goods, invigorating and downright delicious.
Isaac inhaled all the smells, then moved.
Unnaturally quick, Isaac grabbed the second boy and tore his fangs into his throat. As the second body ran dry, Isaac flung it aside and straightened, then turned to the last two humans. He sneered; his tongue flicked out to swipe the escaped blood from his lips.
“Please don’t hurt us,” the sniveling blonde girl on the left said. The other girl, a brunette, clung to her friend’s side and quivered with intense fear.
Isaac flashed a grin full of fangs in reply.
He moved forward and with each step, the girls stumbled backward. They bumped into the wall behind them, missing the entire doorway of the chamber.
Isaac lunged, catching the left one by the neck and slamming her into the wall. A bone broke from the impact somewhere in her body and she jerked, gasping in pain.
The other girl lost her grip on her friend and fell aside. She sobbed in her hands, terrified to move.
Isaac brought his gaping mouth, full of fangs, over the captive girl’s neck, and tore into the soft, silky flesh, moaning at the taste of her blood as it flooded down his throat.
He almost forgot that young females tasted the best.
Isaac gorged on the girl, downing mouthfuls of her blood. Once drained, he tossed the girl’s body to the side and turned to the last living human in the room.
The girl stared at her friend’s body, which laid limp at Isaac’s feet, then turned her wide, crazed gaze to Isaac. With glossy, horrified eyes, the girl fell dumb with shock and her mind blanked.
In a fluid movement, Isaac took the girl by the cuff of her collar and hauled her to her feet. The jerk knocked some sense back into her.
The girl fought against his hands, slamming her fists into his arms and his chest. Her efforts to escape were pointless as Isaac hauled her down the hallways of the mausoleum.
They approached an open threshold, where moonlight lit the area around it like a heavenly beacon. Enchanted sigils decorated the chiseled stone frame of the gothic iron-gated entrance, trapping Isaac within the mausoleum. Only incantations could break the seal that held the vampire in; luckily, Isaac knew these.
Isaac buzzed with excitement as they stopped in front of the threshold and shoved the girl away from him.
She stumbled against the stone wall of the tomb’s hallway, crying out in pain as her ankle twisted. The girl pulled herself upright against the wall and glared at Isaac through the stray strands of her hair.
He sucked in a deep breath and exhaled through his teeth. “Girl—”
She jumped in surprise at his voice and stumbled into the iron gate.
Isaac clenched his teeth in irritation and hissed, “Girl. Recite after me—”
He was interrupted when the girl sobbed, “W-wh-why?”
His blood boiled with rage as he shook the girl. Her head whipped with each shake.
“Listen to me,” he snarled.
Her bottom lip quivered, but she nodded, protesting no more. A sour smell of urine filled the air, mixing with the scent of fear.
Isaac took another deep breath to calm himself. “Recite after me: ‘Isaac Castro, I release you from this prison.’”
The girl choked through the words. Once said, Isaac grabbed her and dove for the door, passing through the threshold only a second before the entrance caved in on itself.
Isaac and the girl rolled a few feet before a tombstone halted their momentum. He shoved himself to his feet, looking at the catacomb. There was no way anyone could get through that entrance ever again.
He then turned to the girl, who trembled under his stare and averted her eyes.
The last thing the girl saw was Isaac’s arms as they wrapped around her torso and the flash of white fangs as they bore down on her body.