Blood Tastes Like Honey
The moon that night sat high on her perch, her chariot of clouds carrying her full, round form across the navy sky. Tonight, she had slipped free of her cold silver robe and donned the jacket of a blue jay. Bathed in its light below was a field of purple wildflowers. A place where the fireflies loved to gather. Through the hundreds of pale yellow lights flashing and dancing like embers scattered on the wind, a young girl and the men pursuing her ran.
The girl is barely a woman. She’s no older than sixteen. Her hair is short and dark brown, uninspiring. The dress she wears, weathered by age and the elements, is secondhand. The wrappings covering her feet and thin and made of animal hide. They too bear the signs of much use. Unable to endure the pounding of the girl’s flight, the stitching in the sides are splitting open second by second. It is unlikely she could be anything more than a peasant. It would not be surprising at all to mistake her for a vagrant youth. There is nothing of value about her, save her youth. For slavers or marauding thugs, youth is valuable, but the men chasing her are not thugs or slavers. That much can be seen at a glance. Three silver soldiers. The one at the front with the biggest muscles wields a spear. The smallest one at the back, a sword. The tall one in the center brings a mace.
Their target is not the girl, but the item she carries. In her right hand is a sword with a golden hilt. It’s naked blade shone and gleamed like fire. To anyone who sets eyes upon it, it is clear the sword is far superior to the soldier’s weapons. It is an anti-freak weapon, built sharper and sturdier to bring swift death to demons and monsters. In trained hands, it can even cut through stone like water. In her left hand, the girl clutches the sword’s scabbard. Adorned with delicate, exquisite patterns of gold and black, it is a unique work of art. Neither the sword nor its scabbard are things to be found in the hands of peasant youth. But a thief? A scavenger of battlefields? Perhaps.
Her muscles burn. Her lungs and heart are in overdrive, delivering oxygen to her legs. But the girl is not built for the long haul. Her legs and arms are as thin as reeds. Desperation brought her this far, and no further. At the same time her left shoe tears apart, the exhausted girl collapses. The largest silver knight advances, his spear raised high aims as the girl’s heart. She braces herself.
… But her execution doesn’t come. The knight freezes with his arm still up. His expressionless helmet is looking not at her, but past her. The others behind him have frozen as well, looking in the same direction. She turns her head—
“Could you please take your mating somewhere else? You are ruining my evening.” Standing mere feet away, an ivory-skinned princess. Her hair, touched by moonlight, is smooth platinum. A silk dress is all she wears. Through it peeked bountiful curves of naked perfection and limbs whiter than the snow. Draped around her shoulders is a purple mantle, made of some rich material lined with jade stones.
The soldiers and the girl stared, spellbound at the pale-skinned beauty. Her visage and sudden appearance, the way she stood in the moonbeams, she seemed an illusion. A dream. A nightmare. The illusion is that of a pretty, young lady. The nightmare is that of a monster. No, it is even worse than that. An immortal creature that sustains itself by drinking human blood: a Vampire. Affixing them with an annoyed look are eyes the shade of blood-crimson like spurting blood. Her body tempts even those with the strongest spirit, inviting all to drown in an abyss of sin.
“Go slaughter yourselves elsewhere.” The vampire waved her arm. None missed the delicate points of fangs behind her thin lips. She flickered and the girl thought she might disappear. “Wait!” Whatever hold held the girl silent until then broke. She crawled away from the statues towards the woman. “Save me! They’re going to kill—”
The vampire turned its gaze upon her. That was all it did and terror so ineffable stopped the girl dead in her tracks. Her arms and legs trembled feebly. Pitiful sounds escaped her throat. The vampire approached. She feared the worst. Tortured and drained of her blood. Bitten, taken to a keep to be feasted on by her clan until the end of her days, tortured all the while. An unseen pressure squeezed her heart and for a split second, she believed it was the vampire’s hand. It was adoration. From afar, she is beautiful in the same way a mountain is from the valley. Something to be marveled at in awe. From up close, that word is an insult worthy of death. Cold, overwhelming, it’s hard to breathe and inhospitable to life.
The vampire stops in front of her. The girl dares not look up and keeps her sight trained on the vampire’s bare feet. Something tugs at her hand. It’s her sword being pulled free. Her eyes fearfully look up to see the ivory woman appraising the weapon. “A marvelous piece of equipment. This sword has cleaved the heads of numerous vampires. You,” she kneels in front of the girl, lifting her gently by the chin onto her knees. The young girl blushes scarlet forced to meet eye to eye. “Where did you get this weapon?” the vampire demands.
The girl is happy to answer. “The sword is Dendrick’s. My brother’s!” she says with a drunk smile.
“Liar!” shouts the man farthest away. His gaze is fixed on the wide back of his silver brother, avoiding the paralyzing stare. “She’s a thief who pilfers from the dead. A grave robber! Corpse defiler. And she deserves death.”
“Fool!” The vampire hisses and draws to her feet. Annoyance has turned into ire and her patience, like their time left on earth, is running out. “The girl speaks the truth. She can not lie to me. And,” she adds. “I am the one who determines who is worthy of death and who is not here.”
“… Not anymore you’re not.” The man speaks in a low growl and steps from behind the shadow of his brothers. Instantly his joints lock and his muscles seize from the vampire’s gaze. He grips his sword tight, however, and advances. His will is firm. And his hatred for vampires is stronger than his fear. His bravery—or what is interpreted as bravery—inspires his comrades to overpower their fear. They’d moved back when the vampire advanced, now they advance once again, shambling, clanging soldiers of metal with arms raised.
“Girl, you wanted me to save you?” It takes a moment for the girl to realize she’s the one being addressed. “My assistance comes at a steep price. If I am to waste my time and energy, sacrificing my garden to the blood of these fools, I require payment.” A red tongue wets her lips. “Pay it or accept your fate.”
… There is only one thing of value to a vampire. There is only one thing of value the girl has to offer.
—My body. My...blood. She comes to that understanding quickly. The thought of being savored and sampled by a vampire as though she were an expensive wine sickens her. Yet, she is resolved enough to ask a vampire for help. Hell, she was resolved to die in attempting to steal that weapon right under the soldier’s nose. To keep it, she’ll pay the price to stay alive. There’s nothing left to go back to, her brother is dead and so is the rest of her family. So be it. She nods in agreement.
The vampire’s feet vanish. Displaced wind and dust cause the girl to turn her head and close her eyes. When she opens them, only a second later, what she sees makes her blood run cold. Three men, three bodies, spray geysers of blood into the air. Their heads, eyes, brain, and skull are turned into fine red mist and blown away in the wind. The next second, the bodies collapse, staining the purple field red from their neck stumps.
Revulsion. Horror. Terror. Did humans have so much blood? “Moving that fast always makes my ears ring.” The monster in white is at her side even before the men collapse. The sword in hand is stained red, but her clothes and skin are untouched by the red rain. She slaughtered them. With nary a scream or groan, three people die, without even knowing it. The girl can only stare, wide-eyed, at the massacre then at the vampire when a soft, ice-cold hand, turns her cheek. “Not here,” whispers the vampire.
Nearby, there is a white blanket stretching a rectangle over a patch of low grass. The girl is made to lay on it. The vampire stabs the bloody sword into the earth like a grave marker then strips her dress off and lays it, neatly folded, next to the blanket. Her slender, nude body absorbs the moon’s blue rays and reflects a pale light. For a moment, she stands over the girl as if to bask in her glow. There’s not an ounce of shame in her. There is, however, practicality in spades. She doesn’t want to get her dress dirty. She straddles the supine human.
“What’s your name?” the vampire asks, staring into the girl’s unblinking gaze. Feeding is an intimate experience for vampires. Yet the Kiss of Blood is so rarely a thing willingly offered or given. The least she could do is ask for the girl’s name.
“… Tomei” the girl answers. Her consciousness is being suppressed. When she wakes up, if she wakes up, she will not remember any of this.
“Tomei…” The vampire whispers the name of the girl. The girl’s heartbeat rings in her ears tempting an unquenchable thirst. She brings her face closer to Tomei’s neck and extends her tongue. She can sense where the blood vessels and arteries are. “Have you known a man before?” she breathes into the girl’s ear. The answer is a truthful “No.” She’s inexperienced with men and vampires. It was right to put her under hypnosis. The Kiss of Blood has shattered the souls of kings and defiled children until they broke. The bite of a Pureblood is even worse. If she’s not careful, the same fate awaits this human, the first she’ll ever give her Kiss to.
“My name is Goëtia.” Tomei will never remember her name. Nor the pain of her delicate neck being pierced by Goëtia’s fangs. Nor of the immeasurable pleasure of having her lifeblood partaken. The vampire moves in shadow, always under the cloak of night.
In the dead of night, blood tastes like honey.