A Shadow In Twilight

It is so glorious to feed.

I wish I could put it in terms you mortals could understand. It is like drinking the finest wine times eating the most sumptuous of meals raisef to the power of the best sex you have ever had. To feed is to tap into a river of golden, honeyed light that fills you with such joy and vitality that you feel like you are living a thousand lives all at once.

It is the best of all possible highs, and every vampire is addicted to it.

That is all we truly are, in the end : blood junkies. It is Mister Jones, not any inherent need, that drives us to feed. All our theatrics, all our menace, all our talk of The Hunger… it is all the desperate deception of dirty little addicts trying to romanticize their weakness.

After all, we are immortal. Why would we need anything at all to sustain us?

So if you are junkies, I hear you ask, does that mean you can quit? Kick the habit, as the junkies say?

The answer is yes. Of course we can. One of my oldest and dearest friends did so over one hundred years ago. She traveled to a cave deep in the driest of deserts, collapsed the entrance, and spend two months of blazing hot madness in there. She quickly lost all sense of time in a darkness deep enough to foil even a vampire’s eyes. She had cleared out all the rocks and such from the cave before closing it off, so there was nothing there but sand. She says she spent so long in tortured dreams of rivers of blood and beings made of sunlight chasing her through Hell that she forgot she had ever known any other kind of life.

But after those two months of insanity, the fire in her mind began to cool, and eventually, she returned to her senses. She says that, on that first day of lucidity, she felt better than she had ever felt before in her long, long life. The fever was gone, the hunger was gone, and she was at peace.

She still stays well away from humanity as much as she can, because as any junkie will tell you, getting the junk out of your system does not erase the memory of how good it made you feel. And she claims that when she does deal with human beings, she is increasingly able to open her heart to them and see them as noble and good, if not exactly equals.

Myself, I am not nearly so noble.

Which reminds me. Some of you have been asking, quite insistently, what I think of human beings and, for a long time now, I have evaded the question because I did not know how to phrase my response in sufficiently diplomatic terms suitable to a lady such as I, gentle of mien and tender of soul.

But I will no longer evade. I understand why this is an important question for you, my readers, and I feel the relationship we have developed will be put in serious jeopardy if I do not resolve this.

And you have to believe me when I say that our relationship is the most precious thing in my unlife right now.

So here is the story : I love humanity. I truly do. But not the way humans love humanity. And not, as you might suppose, how a predator loves their prey either.

It most closely resembles the affection an animal lover has for their pets. I am sorry if that offends you, but it is the best way I have to describe it. You might very well love your cat like it’s a member of the family. But it’s still a cat and you are still a human. The relationship simply cannot be equal.

And as with pets, the difference is more than a simple one of intellect. I would say that, on average, my fellow vampires are only a little more intelligent than the average human. We have our savants and our idiots (and our idiot savants) just like human beings do, but overall, our intellectual advantage is moderate at best.

But you must understand that, once we cross over from your world to ours, we awake to a world so vast and deep that it is like waking from a dream. All our senses are heightened. Living things shine with golden light. Moonlight is like sunlight and stars shine like little moons in the sky. You are faster, stronger, have better reflexes, and can think more clearly than any human has ever done, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

This is why we cannot ever see you as equals, and for that I apologize. But for those of us not yet too ancient to remember our human life, the difference between then and now is like the difference between adulthood and infancy.

Or like the difference between you and your cat. I find that to be a less distasteful and more accurate analogy.

In fact, the comparison with animals is very apt. Humanity views some animals as friends, some as food, and the rest as unimportant except for the occasional hunter.

That is how my people view humanity. Some of us hunt, although by no means the majority. Some of us are “vegetarians” who get our fix from nonhuman animals. Some of us are even “vegans”, who do not partake of blood at all.

But most of us are somewhere in between. We have almost as many ways of acquiring blood as humans have of acquiring food, and for the most part, they are financial, and not lethal. In the large cities with well established vampire communities, acquiring enough blood to fill your needs as a vampire is about as dramatic and dark as a trip to the liquor store.

I hope that answers the question, dear readers. Know that I love you all, and the fact that I do not consider us equals does not, in any way, keep me from considering you my friends.

Your Friend In The Shadows,
Nadia Delilah

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