Tides of Sorrow

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1.6 - BLOOD-RAGE

Cain hurried along, taking the downward slope of Brunswick Street in bold, easy strides. The man followed suit, trying to match the vampire’s gait, although his path was often hindered by the weird and wonderful music lovers. Droves climbed the hill in their lines of linked arms, giggling groups and doting couples.

He grumbled as he watched Cain pass effortlessly through them all. It was as if they parted, opening the way when the tall, gaunt male approached; just like the Red Sea did for Moses. He scoffed. Where that homology sprang from, he knew not, he was not a religious man in the slightest, and this was hardly a weekend for promoting the bible. But, in the same vein, it was quickly followed by the realisation the monster-medley must have therefore seen him as the vengeful Egyptian hounding the Israelite, for they closed ranks once Cain safely passed.

He cursed under his breath a few times as he darted to the side or with some ill-natured grunts, nudged his way through the pedestrians.

As they emerged onto Victoria Square, the human traffic lessened and he could follow Cain much easier. “Where the hell are you taking me?” he asked.

Cain looked askance, a grin toying on his lips. “Almost there,” he replied, enjoying his guest’s growing irritation.

“We fucking better be, pal.”

The year was indeed turning and winter’s chill made its presence known as the wind picked up, hurtling across from the harbour towards the train station. The man pulled his jacket tighter around himself, pulling the zip up halfway. “We’re not having to get a train are we?” he moaned looking at the station as they crossed the street.

“No. But, it is near to where we are going. Follow me.” Cain knew the next train wasn’t due for another 40 minutes. Ample time to take a shortcut. He entered the station and out along the parallel platform. It was a small station and at that time it was quiet, the festival revellers having arrived earlier in the day or some possibly still coming in on the next train.

He glanced behind to check the man was keeping up. Once clear of the lights he vaulted over the wall into a car park which served the supermarket next door. He looked up to see the man glaring down at him. “You’re having a laugh, aren’t you?”

“Not at all, it’s just the quickest way. Over there.” Cain pointed to the marina.

At that, the man’s eyes brightened. “Oh. A boat? They’re on a boat? Well, why didn’t you say so?”

Cain simply smiled at the man’s gullibility. He waited until he’d jumped down and made the first few steps towards the exit.

With speed and strength which knocked the wind out of the man, Cain had him pinned against the refuse units which were lined up at the rear of the private car park. Careful, as he always was to avoid any CCTV, he pressed the bewildered man in between the metal canisters and the brick wall.

“What the...?” Recovering a little, the man tried to push Cain back, lashing out with his fists. “Fuck! I should have known you were one of them faggots.” He swiped at the figure in front of him. “Fucking strong faggot as well. Bastard!”

Cain slammed him back against the wall but still, the man fought. He kicked, punched, tried to headbutt his attacker but all to no avail. With a bestial snarl, Cain finally grabbed the man’s undivided attention.

Only faint shards of light reached their location, but it was enough for the man to see Cain’s pupils had dilated to the point no whites remained. Thread veins pulsed and spread from around his eyes over his cheeks, his skin almost rippling from the effect. His lips parted, exposing canines, not particularly long but looking deadly sharp.

“Thi-this is a joke, right? You’re just acting. Special effects, yeah?” The man’s voice could not deflect the tremor it possessed.

“You shall pay for your sins,” Cain said, guttural, fierce. “No more women shall be defiled by you, or suffer your brutality.”

“How-how do you know I...?” His body sagged. He had as good as confessed his crimes to a maniac. A stain slowly spread down his jeans, a small pool forming around his feet. His chin trembled, fear and humiliation side by side.

Cain leaned in closer, menacing. “You stink of rape and buggery. You are putrid and vile.”

Putting up his hands as if to appease his judge and jury, the man pleaded for a chance to right his wrongs. “Look! I’ll confess all,” he blubbed. “I’ll go to jail! Get therapy! Anything! Just don’t...don’t do whatever it is your going to...”

Cain’s teeth sank into the man’s throat before he’d finished speaking. He clamped his jaw tight around the windpipe, feral, preventing him from crying out. Before his victim stopped breathing, Cain ripped the skin away, spitting the flesh out onto the tarmac.

Blood-rage engulfed him. Having evolved over the centuries, his body had adjusted to his dietary needs. With a blunt click, his jaw dislocated allowing his mouth to envelope the open wound in its entirety. Such was his expertise, even in a blood frenzy, his table manners were exemplary, barely ever spilling a drop.

As he felt the first rivulets of blood slide over his throat, his eyes rolled back in their sockets, the ecstasy almost too much to bear.

Hungrily he drank, the fluid now gushing into his mouth. Its coppery flavour was lost to dead taste buds, but its effects were visibly taking hold.

Attuned to the regenerative properties of such sustenance, he stepped back allowing the phenomenon to escalate.

He could see the veins in his hands plumping, filling out; something akin to a glow developed as a hint of his natural skin hue returned. Beneath his clothes, although he could not actually feel the transformation any more, his memory had oddly encapsulated the sensation experienced umpteen millennia ago. He knew his capillaries, arteries and veins now thrived from the feast he had just consumed. He was as close to living as his curse allowed.

The body of the rapist twitched, shuddered and finally caved as rogue droplets from the gaping wound fell to the ground. All that remained of him now was a mere husk. Cain cast it aside with a small satisfied grin.

Detained.

Dismissed.

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