"Streaks of moonlight come down from holes in the ceiling of the barn; clouds of dust rise from his steps. He has been tracking the beast for weeks... In unfamiliar country, he had found himself trapped without shelter as the sunset, rode for miles before finding the dilapidated barn.
The forest outside is dense with black trees; winter bare of leaves, the branches are outlined by a dusting of brilliant white snow. He is keeping watch on the road . . . waiting for the . . . when he hears boards creaking behind him, up in the loft . . . and he realizes the creature has found the same sanctuary.
He walks into the middle of the barn and looks up into the darkness above him. The lofts are cloaked in opaque blackness. The warmth of the torch brings stinging sweat down his forehead, into his eyes. He starts to wipe it away and the beast streaks down from the rafters, a huge blur of black leather slapping down on top of him. He feels the bite in his neck and swoons as the blood flows away from his brain...
Two nights later, shivering deep inside from the cold, he awakens . . . draws in a deep gasp, becomes aware of his parched throat and dry, cracked lips... His tongue feels thick, like it's covered in fuzz.
He remembers the bite; his swoon... knows what he has become. He had always expected that vampires felt different, inhuman... a sort of animalistic, hedonistic something that would make murder come easy. There was no change, none that he could tell... other than the thirst.
He resolved to end it before it came to that.
Evil begets evil. The phrase begins playing over and over in his mind. Evil begets evil. Evil . . .
No . . . he tells himself . . . no. He takes the stake from his bag, tucks it in his belt and crawls up a wooden ladder to the loft, intent on throwing himself down and stabbing the wood through his heart. He gets to the top, swings around and sits down, lets his feet dangle over the side, takes in a deep breath and wonders if he will go to hell? He expected when he was a vampire that he would not give a damn about god and here he was, a vampire, and none of the questions were anymore answered than before. It really was beginning to strike him that he had more or less been infected with something that effected his body, and not his mind . . .
He didn't want to die; that came to him sitting there; even if he was a vampire -- that which he had hated and solemnly vowed to spend his short, brutal life hunting -- he still wanted to live. He isn't sure why?
He had lived to destroy evil . . . Now, he was evil . . . though he didn't feel evil at all, and had done nothing evil . . . he was still a vampire, and they were evil . . . he was sure of that when he was hunting them!!
Had he been hunting down and killing creatures like himself?
A sinking vertigo seems to spin his head around a bit as he realizes that he must have killed vampires who felt just like he did. They never stopped to talk to the creatures... the moment they met, the battle was on."
They were sitting around a fire by the lake on the shores of Chicago, an illegal thing they did once in awhile after digging out a hole in the dunes to hide the flames from the cops patrolling the park, listening to Hamms squeaky voice spinning what he called the vampire tale. A tale he had just finished, though Cracks was none-the-wiser, and was indeed waiting for something more to come... as they all were.
After a long minute, it dawned on him that the story was over, and Cracks was once again just confused. Like he always was when Hams got to telling stories. Hams loved to trick people into coming to the end of stories, and finding someone was in a coma, or an alternative reality, or was really a ghost, or whatever -- something out of nowhere.
'This story,' Cracks thought, 'is his worst ever. A vampire story? What was he trying to say? What does a vampire represent? Is this some stupid 'love king kong' kind of things?'
Cracks was tempted to kill Hamms, as he usually was after one of his stories.
He knew that Hamms would be so easily to kill. The
small, grey mouse would fit into the palm of his hand. And it wasn't like he was even a fierce rodent. No, Hamms had the hesitant air of someone who hung out with a lot of drunken stoners who will step on him if he is not careful.
His tail had been broken no less than six times in his short life.
Hamms isn't sure why he tells the tales he does? The ends just come to him, like the stories, and if he thinks about them too much, they became like all the other stories he has heard, and they had begun to bore him deep in his soul. He shouldn't have expected the humans to understand this.
Hamms was only a mouse in appearance, obviously, or he could not have told the tale. He was from a planet that was as dissimilar from earth as could be -- so dissimilar that eventual space traveling humans wouldn't even bother looking for life there.
He was on earth trying to learn about humans stories. He called them lies, in his mind. Tricks, more or less.
Most creatures who had developed in the cosmos were interested in the truths of the universe, and while some humans were this way, and all were capable, there were others . . . a mental subspecies that wanted to believe lies -- thinking the truth hurt too much. They were living virtual lives, basically, based on soap operas and drugs and bad novels and movies and a myriad of symptomologies rich and intriguing... at least to Hamms, and a handful of other scientists who specialized in primitive cultures.
The humans under Hamms mental microscope were literally going to the carnival while their planet died. He was going to start his paper for the inter-galactic news feed with a line about that.
rite 2006 john scott ridgway