Konrad thought of his night with Isabella as he strode home. She wasn’t her usual self. Yes, her blood was fine, although tainted with that man. Yes, she was still as beautiful as before. But… Her mind was different. She didn’t radiate pleasure in the usual way. More fear. She’d known what he was since he’d met her. He couldn’t lie to her. She had always accepted it. Never before had she been afraid of him, never before had she been glad to have him leave her abode. That had been before he’d shown her what it was truly like to be him. The violence. The blood. The hatred. He wasn’t disgusted at himself. It was his true self. He’d been holding it back for her. He had been like that for 950 years. Although the first two decades had been more like a bloody orgy than a life, and then he managed to control himself, and found his true power. He needed to exercise it. He hadn’t changed to an animal form in over two hundred years, for fear of a Hunter learning of it. His skin itched as he thought of it.
And then, without meaning to, he’d changed. He was flying over the city, fluttering wings keeping him alight. He was a crow, as black as coal, beady eyes glinting in the moonlight. He alighted onto a gas lamppost, watching the last few carriages of the night trundle down the street. He took off and flew down the road a bit until he came to an alley. He changed again, back to his human form. He started off down the vegetable littered alley way, until, suddenly, he smelt something. Something he remembered faintly.
“No,” he muttered, immortal heart beating faster as he realised what is was. He scrabbled through the rubbish on the floor, following the smell. Suddenly, he wasn’t clawing at rubbish, or rotting food. It was human flesh. Flesh that had been hacked at with a knife or other blade. But the smell. That was the key to it. Konrad remembered it. This was the body of the man he had killed not a week ago. Backing away quickly, he changed again, this time into a powerful stallion, coal black and perfect, 17 hands high with muscles straining beneath his glossy fur, and he turned and galloped through the streets, hearing people yell out in surprise and anger.
Hearing the sound of horse shoes on the cobbles, and smelling sweating horses and the exhilaration of their riders chasing him, he knew he couldn’t keep up this pace for much longer; the experience of changing having taken it out of him after so long without doing it. Turning suddenly, he disappeared into another alley which ended in a dead end. Perfect, he thought as he changed into a human form again. Smiling grimly, he changed quickly into a crow again; flew to the roof of the building next to the alley. The next thing he knew, five men rode their horses into the alley. They were confused. He could smell it.
“Where’s it gone?”
“What’s happened? I didn’t even see it come down here!” Konrad could see he was lying, his scent gave it away. He had probably been the one who told them to come into the alley.
“Ed, stop lying! We didn’t see it turn. You told us it did!” and the bickering continued until the wind changed, and the horses caught his scent.
“What’s wrong? Shh! Come on, calm down, you idiot beast.” How ironic. He’s calling it stupid, yet he’s walked straight into a trap, was the only thing that went through Konrad’s mind as he jumped off the roof and changed mid-fall into his human form. He landed, knees crouched and right hand in front of, stopping the force from rolling him. Standing up slowly, he heard the men gasping. His teeth grew and face contorted again. This time, though, he made his nails grow, forming claws. This was his true form, and he revelled in the power of it. His appearance drew horrified yells from the men. Darting forward, he sidestepped and danced his way through the men, spilling their precious life-blood over the cobbles. Two men dead, three, four! And then the alley was devoid of human life. He closed his mouth around the wounds on the bodies, draining them of the little blood left in them.
Eventually, his lust sated, he turned to the three horses that had survived his rampage through the alley, gathered together. He returned to his normal form, and approached one of the horses. He grasped it’s reins tightly, making sure it didn’t bolt, and with his free hand he rummaged through the pockets that hung off the side of it’s saddle. His fingers brushed rope and he grinned. Drawing it out, he tied it around the reins of the horse he held and then through the reins of the second, linking them. He then mounted the third and, holding the other end of the rope in his iron grip, he started them off to the edge of the city, to people who would buy the horses and rid him of any connection to them. He’d get plenty of gold for three well-groomed and bred horses.