I wrote this first blurb of a story idea due to a passing thought I had about how cool it would be to write about a vampire detective. As quite often happens, before I could get to present day scenarios, I wound up doing a deep dive into Ethan’s past. While the main story is on the shelf until after this year’s NaNoWriMo adventure, I figured it couldn’t hurt to share a little taste of what I’ve cooked up so far for my poor protagonist. The image picture above is from a unrelated manga/anime series called Vampire Knight that I think looks intriguing but that I haven’t yet had the opportunity to watch. At any rate, without further ado, my rambles…
* * * * *
The life before his religious transformation only came to him in rare flashes. Brief moments remembered such as the expressions of people he could only assume were his parents and siblings. The younger of two sons, he was overshadowed by his older brother, the rightful heir to their father’s estate. Enlisting as a church knight had seemed the logical choice for a fruitful life filled with the honor and prestige he had no hope of earning at home. Monastic life wasn’t something he was well-suited for, but he managed as well as could be required of a noble. Thankfully leeway was given to the knights. After all, charged with protecting the very lives of God’s chosen from barbarians meant that one had to get one’s hands dirty.
His first day of training was still the most vivid memory he had of life before the pledge that had stolen his soul. Though his father had been a strong believer in training for his sons, the weapons master at their keep had had nothing on Raidon. Built like a blacksmith, Raidon put the fear of the Lord in his recruits from the very first meeting and even the war-hardened veterans jumped at his command.
* * * * *
He’d never felt such an exquisite pain. As the blood was forced from his body, he felt himself go rigid, straining to keep from losing any more of the precious fluid. Tears streamed down his face as he looked into the cold, impassive eyes that belonged to the greedy mouth suctioning the very life from his veins.
It hadn’t begun this way. He’d met with Cardinal Sandor one last time to confess any last sins before he stepped into madness. A gentleman had joined them, introduced himself as the man of the hour and had then proceeded to tell him how the rest of the evening would be spent.
“You will feel like I’m tormenting you. You’ll be in the worst kind of pain and unable to end it. Unable to pull away. For some, it is the knowing beforehand that kills them…drives them insane. For others, it is the knowledge that they have crossed a forbidden line so that salvation no longer exists for them. Some feel faint about having to live off the blood of others. Others want to know the pleasure of the hunt. Of the kill.”
“Which of these will I be?”
The year of special training seemed for naught now. His life was at an end. He could feel his soul starting to lose its grasp on his corporeal form.
How could he have been so foolish as to think a plan as desperate as this could have worked. At least none of his comrades would have to face this foolishness. They would witness what would become of him and insist that this descent into madness be stopped. “Avenge me,” he thought silently to his men. “Don’t let your lives be spent on a fool’s errand. Let my life serve as your lesson.” He spent the last of his strength on one final attempt to pull free from his murderer. But was it murder if he had volunteered?
His breath was coming in ragged pants, each taking an inordinate amount of effort while providing minimal air.
* * * * *
If he had not already forfeit his soul to become this, he would have forfeited it now to forgo the endless agony. Each labored breath sent the fiery pain through his veins again as his life’s force was roughly drained. For months he had been trained for just this very moment, but it was as though his training had never taken. As he slipped closer to death, the more he fought to regain the life that he had foolishly given away.
“Lord, what have I done.” he moaned softly.
“Given yourself over to his service, my son.” came the soft rebuke.
“It hurts, father.”
“Aye child, I’m sure that it does. But with privilege comes responsibility and sacrifice. You knew what it was we were asking when you first came forward to volunteer. Are you regretting your decision?”
“No, father. I just wasn’t prepared for this pain. I thought that I would be. I thought I might grow accustomed to the pain and tune it out, but I fear I am to feel every nerve’s death.”
“The Lord appreciates your sacrifice. Your ordeal will not last much longer. Rest now.”
Ethan felt himself losing his battle to live. As the act of breathing became more difficult, his ability to reason was numb with pain and lack of oxygen. Though he’d been avoiding the cause of his suffering until now, he felt that as the last vestiges of life coursed through him that he should satisfy his curiosity before he went.
Cold, impassive eyes stared calmly up at him as the shrouded figure made short work of his few remaining drops of life. The figure drew back from his wound slowly and watched as tears continued to trickle slowly down Ethan’s face.
“At least I can say that at the very end, I was kissed by an angel, even if he happened to be the Angel of Death.” he whispered softly.
“Don’t surrender to me yet. Our work is not yet over.” the shade replied.
“I’m hardly in a position to argue,” Ethan gasped. “What does our Lord require of me next?”