#flashfiction #picturefiction #vampire
Nosferatu, creature of darkness, undead, bloodsucker; these were the names they called him, these sniveling, daylight loving, bags of blood who were his prey. Little did they know his truth; he was a prince of his kind, and was no more an animated corpse slinking through the night than this vessel whose depths he hid within was an undead whale.
The Nosferatu – that word at least was truth, supplied by one of his own kind to the humans – were living beings who came from deep beneath the crust of the world. Light was painful but not fatal; the Nosferatu only emerged during the daylight hours into the upper world in the most dire of circumstances. True, they fed on human blood, but the humans also fed on the flesh of lesser beings.
The old continent was no longer hospitable to his kind; humans had learned to hunt the Nosferatu and had even become so bold as to penetrate into their warrens below the ground. Vlad’s own brother had been staked through the heart while languishing in post-feeding torpor. His people were solitary creatures never gathering in large numbers; they were like the lions of the upper world, small predatory groups jealously guarding their territory. Their solitary nature made the Nosferatu vulnerable to the human hunters.
Vlad felt his fangs extend in anger as he thought of mere humans hunting apex predators such as the Nosferatu. The New World was rumored to be full of strange savages who would know nothing of the Nosferatu. Vlad had sneaked aboard this vessel and hidden deep below the deck. It required all his willpower to ignore the lure of the warm blood coursing through the humans aboard. He could not risk his presence being discovered while at sea. Once the ship reached the New World he could feed with impunity and then set forth to conquer this new land for his people.
“Land ho,” a distant shout from the deck above.
Vlad smiled and began his preparations; when night fell he would feed on the crew and then move ashore to conquer this new land.
Nosferatu could sense the descent of night upon the world. Millennia of evolution had honed their senses so that even hidden in the bowels of the ship, Vlad felt night steal aboard; it was time.
As silent as a shadow he crept to the deck where the crew lay sleeping. One fool was stationed on the poop deck keeping watch; Vlad would deal with him first.
Vlad approached the sailor from behind and cleared his throat. The man turned and was instantly paralyzed by the Nosferatu’s hypnotic stare. Fear stretched the man’s features but he could neither move nor speak. Vlad reveled in terrifying his prey, the blood tasted so much sweeter when terror quickened the heart. In seconds the man’s throat was torn and his blood rushed into the Nosferatu’s mouth. The rest of the crew, now unguarded, fell to Vlad’s fangs in a matter of minutes. Vlad watched the moon rise over the New World from the forecastle.
“What manner of man are you?”
Vlad spun to face the voice. How had he missed one of the crew; more importantly how had a mere human crept up unnoticed? A tall, bone thin, man stood at the edge of the forecastle. He was unlike any human Vlad had ever seen. His skin was a dark brown and long black hair shrouded him all the way to his knees. The man’s eyes were as black as night and Vlad could see needle teeth filling his mouth.
“You smell different than the white men.” The man’s voice was rough and his words strangely accented as if he were unused to speaking Vlad’s language.
“Ah, one of the savages,” Vlad said. “I am Nosferatu, and you are to be my prey.”
Vlad rushed forward as swift as lightning, striking with all the power and speed of a Nosferatu prince. The dark man moved faster; his right hand lashed out and grasped Vlad by the throat. Vlad felt himself lifted from the deck and turned from side to side by the immensely strong hand as the dark man examined him.
“You smell delicious,” the man said. “I am Wendigo; I am no man’s prey.”
The Wendigo pulled Vlad close and sank his needle teeth into Vlad’s neck. Vlad cried out as his precious lifeblood burst from his body and into the creature’s mouth. The Wendigo pulled back and lifted his face to the sky and sighed with pleasure. Blood drooled from the corners of his mouth and ran down his chest.
“Far tastier than the white men; I must have more. I shall take your boat and return to your lands; I hope there are many more of you Nosferatu.”
The Wendigo resumed feeding and Vlad, prince of the Nosferatu, felt tears for himself and his people start down his face as the world began to dim around him.
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