“We were hounded into hiding, fearing for the continued survival of the bloodline. Still, the cursed men hunted us, trying to wipe us from the face of this earth. We, the masters of darkness, of fear, of immortality itself! We lived through the centuries by feeding on cattle and other livestock, our blood becoming thinner with the passing centuries, those brought into the fold weaker, until only 5 of the original Elders were left.
The council convened, and the decision was made… We would hide, crawl into the pitiful depths of depravation… Forced to hide in the shadows by those that had once served us upon bended knee. Until we had sufficient numbers to strike back… Then, the filthy mongrels would pay. They would serve us again like the beasts they were. There would be a price paid in blood...
And then we would rule the night again!”
Extract from The Book of Night,
Konrad skulked through the shadows, his red eyes glowing balefully. He was in a dank alleyway, strewn with mounds of rotting vegetables, brick buildings, a deep grey in the night, looming over him, a thin strip was all that was visible of the sky, but clouds shrouded the starlight. Water rushed noisily in the darkness below, streaming down the gentle incline. Rain poured from the blue-purple sky, the moon light glinting off the water as it fell, showing his pale face as he made his way between piles of discarded food stuffs. A body was laying fifteen feet away, chest raising and falling gently. Even this far away, Konrad could smell the stench he was giving off. Human waste and decomposing food. He grimaced, his face distorting. He hated this life. Being forced to hide in the shadows. He crept up to the body, taking in the grey pallor of the skin, the scraggly grey-white hair, the uncombed beard and ragged clothes. Face contorted, mouth opened wide, his canines growing, becoming thicker, sharper, until they were easily six centimetres long. He clamped his mouth around the neck of his chosen victim, pale hands covering the mouth of the beggar.
Then a growling behind him raised the hairs on the back of his neck. Konrad lifted his lifeless victim as he turned. Facing him was a mongrel, poised ready to pounce, hackles raised. The dog was ash grey, shot through with silver grey hairs, with upper lips pulled back to reveal yellowing teeth. Bloodshot eyes gave the beast a crazed look. Konrad dropped the body, having finally drained it of blood. It landed on the floor with a sickening thwack. Then the dog jumped, and Konrad ducked low out of the way, grabbing the mongrel around the neck. He pulled it down to the ground and wrung its neck, his veins unnaturally taut, straining to burst through his skin. Then he set about them with an iron dagger, slashing them to make it look like a common murder.
After that, he wiped the congealing blood from around his mouth, fangs returning to normal, blinked his blue-grey eyes quickly a few times, and hid the bodies under piles of rubbish. Disgusted at what he had been reduced to in the last 50 years, he ran from the alleyway, ran to his house in the north of the city. He entered from the back, keeping his night-time outing from the attentions of his neighbours; although he knew the chances of him being connected with the murder of a beggar in the poor outskirts of the city, he still liked to try and maintain as normal a life as possible.