Crimson Shadow

Table Of Contents

Preface


It was the year 2030.


I had been alive for over 600 years. Over six centuries of feeding off of humans, killing any vampires that got in my way.


That day, the day the asteroid hit, every vampire's existence had changed. We could no longer take the humans for granted, since almost 95% of the population was killed.


The rest had underground hideouts, ones that they wouldn't come out of for hundreds of years.


Willingly.


Vampires have always been the superior species, at the top of the food chain. Now, however, there was no food chain. We were the only sentient beings alive on Earth.


Along with the other 5% of the human population.

Now, we have to survive on that 5%, while at the same time continue our species. There is nowhere near enough blood to feed every vampire. Sacrifices must be made.


And many will die, both human and vampire.





Chapter I


June 19, 2030


Night had fallen.


I had fed over an hour ago, enough to sate my thirst until the next day. I had a storage of blood packs in my apartment, for the morning.


I walked through the streets of New York, my true identity hidden from the citizens. When it was discovered, I would move to another state, or another country.


Now, however, it was harder for anyone to believe a lone human claiming that someone was a vampire, thanks to many vampire novels within the past century.


As I was walking, I felt something grip my wrist. It was the same temperature as my skin. I sighed with irritation.


"Yes?" I asked, turning around, knowing full well who it was.


"Mireya." Dominic said quietly.


"What do you want?" I growled.


"I haven't seen you for over a century, and this is how you greet me?" He smirked.


"I don't have time for this, Dominic." I took my arm out of his grip and continued walking.


"Wait." He stopped me again, turning me to face him as we stood by a large fountain at the edge of the park next to the street.


"There's something that will happen tonight," he began, his tone now serious. "Do you know where your brother is?"


"Alec? We separated years ago, I haven't seen him since."


"When?"


you


"Do you have any idea where he is?" Dominic avoided the question.


"No. Even if I had seen him, I wouldn't tell you. Really, I don't even know why-"


My words were cut off by a distant rumbling. Dominic tried to hold me closer to him, and I tried to break free from his grasp.


"It's coming." he said quietly, looking up. I followed his gaze, up to the sky, the source of the distant sound.


It was a meteor of some kind, heading straight towards us. Everyone around us noticed it too, and started panicking, screaming.


No, this is impossible. I would've known.


The sound became louder, and Dominic and I covered our ears. It was louder for us than anyone else.


People were running in all directions, as though simply running would save them from their imminent death.


The screams became louder as the asteroid neared, and Dominic said my name as a loud crash sounded in the distance. Smoke covered my vision as it surrounded us, almost nothing was visible.


And then, silence.


Nothing but deadly silence had filled the world, and as the smoke started to clear and the shaking stopped, Dominic and I looked around.


Buildings that were once skyscrapers were destroyed, and the fountain in the park was now broken, spilled water already evaporated. All the humans that were walking in the streets were obliterated by the blast.


I looked up at the dark sky, the full moon hardly visible. The sun would only be more unbearable in the morning, I knew, if there was any radiation left from the meteor.


I looked to Dominic once again, our dark, crimson eyes meeting.


"What are we going to do now?" I asked him. "More importantly, where are we going to find blood? The entire population is-"


"I heard of some humans that established hideouts underground," Dominic said, cutting me off. "There may be other vampires here as well. I assume we will be seeing them soon."


"What about Lucian?"


"I trust our leader will appear sooner rather than later. It won't do well to have thousands of vampires killing the rest of the human population before they can reproduce."


I looked back at the skyscrapers that were now rubble. My apartment.


"I kept a storage of blood in there." I said, gesturing towards the broken building. "From the hospital."


"Do you think some of it may still be in there?"


"If you're asking me if I kept it in an asteroid-safe container, no, the thought had never occurred to me."


Dominic scoffed.


"Do you know where any of those underground hideouts are?" I asked, changing the subject. "We can't stay out here forever."


I looked at the full moon again, which was still shrouded in darkness. We only had a few more hours before the sun came out again. I had never fully experienced the feeling of being burned alive, but I had no interest of knowing it.


"I believe there is one north of here. I heard it from one of the humans that lived near this area." he responded.


"How many knew about it?"


"Only about a hundred. All members of the government in some way or another. There were only a few civilians included, family members."


"You seem to know a lot about this." I noted suspiciously.


"I kill a lot of people. They tend to give away a lot of information when their heart is close to being ripped out."


"You threatened them?" I asked, not surprised at all.


"Of course I did, I'm a vampire. I also knew I wouldn't be able to kill humans left and right for a while, so I figured I might as well enjoy it while it lasts."


I smirked. "You said that one of the hideouts is north of here?"


He nodded. "Near Lower Manhattan."


"We should go there, then. Now, before the sun rises." I looked up at the dark, foreboding sky once again, then back to Dominic. He nodded again.


"Follow me."


He sped off, and I followed him at the same speed. Everything else was blurred as we both ran to the destination.


Around half a minute later, we stopped in front of another destroyed building.


"It's through here." Dominic said, walking into the rubble of the former skyscraper. I noticed that a part of it was still intact, it was almost as though we were in an actual building when we walked inside.


There was a vent on the floor a few feet away from us, leading down to which I assumed would be the hideout.


Before we could go in, however, I noticed that there was someone else here, someone without a heartbeat. I turned around, recognizing the familiar vampire almost instantly.


Alec.


"Mireya." he said my name in recognition.


"Hello, brother." I responded in greeting. "It's been a while."



Chapter II


I walked closer to him, Dominic following close beside me.


"Dominic?" Alec asked. "It's been far too long. I see you and my sister have been reacquainted."


"Unfortunately, yes, we have." I said quietly.


Dominic ignored me. "We were just about to enter the hideout."


'"Assuming there is a reliable food source in there," I cut in again. "Even then, we will need to be sparing with the amount of blood we drink. We no longer have an indefinite supply."


"We should go now, then, before other vampires get here."


We entered the hideout, jumping straight down after opening the vent, not bothering to use the ladder. 


I heard the sound of frantic heartbeats once we were inside, though I didn't see any humans in sight. They had hid in fear once they heard us talking. I didn't know of very many humans that knew about vampires, but our presence alone was enough for them to know at least subconsciously. 


"They'll come out soon enough," Alec said. "They can't hide forever."


I took the indefinite time we had to study his appearance. He hadn't changed from when I last saw him, considering it was only 11 years ago. His light brown hair was different from mine, which was jet black, similar to Dominic's, and his eyes were crimson, as all vampires' were. I remembered that they were green when he was a human, but I quickly decided not to think more about the past, especially not our human lives.


Another vampire, female, I noticed, had jumped inside. She had long, auburn hair that fell down past her shoulders. I didn't recognize her at first, since I had only seen her once, briefly, multiple centuries ago.


"Christabel." Alec greeted her with a nod. She looked to me, eyeing both of us carefully. 


"The famous Calvaire twins." she said with a knowing, sly smile. "Of course you survived."


"We're hard to kill." I responded.


"Believe me, I know. The humans are hiding, I assume?" She gestured towards the closed door on the other side of the room. I nodded.


"Let's break in there, then."


"No, not yet," Alec interrupted. "It will be easier when they come out on their own, that way they won't panic and hide again in some other room here. They know this place better than we do."


"Just one drink." she said with false innocence, attempting to convince him.


"I know you, Christabel. You'll murder all of them before they even have a chance to blink."


She glared at him. "Whatever you say. But I get the first one that comes out of there."


"Alright, fine."


I had noticed their interaction with each other was different, closer than I had expected. It reminded me of the way Dominic and I talked. I could tell that Alec knew her much more, and much longer, than I did, though I wasn't sure if I wanted to know how.



About an hour had passed, and by that point, over 75 vampires had entered. The humans still hadn't come out, and the other vampires - specifically the ones that hadn't fed since the beginning of the night or the day before - were starting to get increasingly impatient. 


There were a few that, like Christabel, wanted to break in, but we had stopped them just as we had before.


"I'm starving." one of the vampires muttered under his breath. 


"We can't go in yet." I repeated for what seemed like the hundredth time. 


"Why not?"


"The humans would simply just hide again," Dominic explained, and I could tell by the tone of his voice that his patience was also waning. "There would be no point to it if we decided to break in, if we even knew where they were."


"What makes you think you'rethe leaders here?" another vampire asked. "We have just as much power as the three of you."


"Do you want to test that theory?" Alec asked him threateningly.


"Maybe I do."


Before either of them could do or say anything else, another male vampire asked: "Are there any animals near this area?"


I stared at him with a blank expression, confused. "What?"


"I don't drink human blood." he said.


"What?"


"I survive on animal blood-"


In an instant, his words were cut off by the sound of his choking when I gripped his heart.


"Weakling." I whispered to him.


I ripped it out a few seconds later, turning back towards the now shocked group.


"Is there anyone else who would like to admit that they aren't a truevampire?" I asked. Everyone else was silent.


"Good." I walked back over towards Alec and Dominic, dropping the bleeding heart on the cold, cement floor.


The one who had previously questioned our leadership was now looking down, also silent.


"I don't think that there's any question as to who should be the leaders now." I said boldly, looking over to the vampire. "Don't you agree?"


I could feel his agitation at my question. "Yes, I agree." he murmured.


"Perhaps you should die anyway." I said, and he looked up at me with a combination of anger and confusion.


"What? Why?"


I shrugged. "You annoy me, and there are far too many vampires in this hideout. I doubt anyone would miss you."


He still looked at me with shock.


"Your death is a necessary loss, believe me." I said as I went over to him instantly, already gripping his heart. "Have fun in Hell."


I ripped it out, his body falling down to the floor like the weakling vampire before him.


I walked back towards Alec and Dominic again, dropping the heart next to the other one as the rest of the vampires stared at the scene with alarm.


"If they weren't scared of you before," Alec began quietly. "then they definitely are now."


Before I could respond, a door opened on the other side of the room. I could already sense it: the sweet scent of blood, the sound of a hundred heartbeats on the other side of the door, the panicked breathing that I took complete pleasure in. If only I were able to taste that sweet, forbidden blood....


Before I could finish my thoughts, a man stepped out cautiously, his heart beating quickly. His eyes met mine, then looked around at the rest of the vampires.


A woman stepped out behind him, and it looked like the man was about to stop her.


"You shouldn't be here right now," he was saying to her. "Go back to the main room, Sandra-"


"No, stay with us, Sandra." I interrupted their conversation, reaching into the woman's mind. She stared back at me, then nodded almost robotically.


"I should stay here." she repeated in a monotone, still looking directly at me.


"Come closer." I said to them. They obeyed, both of them looking confused as they realized they were no longer in complete control of themselves anymore.


Their heartbeats were louder now, and it was in that moment that I noticed there weren't just two of them. 


There were three.


"She's pregnant." I said quietly. The man stepped closer to Sandra in a defensive position. 


"The more the better." another vampire said, ready to attack before I stopped her.


"We may be vampires, but we're not savages. We're notgoing to murder children. Just because Lucian's not here doesn't mean that his rules have been disqualified."


Before she could protest, I ripped her throat out, taking away her ability to say any more.


The couple stumbled back upon seeing the vampire's quick death.


"Bring the others out." I told them. The man obeyed, his steps forced as he opened the door against his will. 


There was the sound of panicked, frantic clamoring as the door opened, revealing close to a hundred humans on the other side.


"What are you doing?!" one of them asked him, panicked, and the man shook his head in confusion.


"I have no idea." he whispered helplessly, though it sounded like the other human couldn't hear him. "You need to come with me." he said, his voice changing back to a monotone.


The rest of them followed as he walked back towards us. They were extremely wary of us, and if they weren't wary, they were terrified. I smiled at their utter hopelessness. 


I scanned through the group quickly. They were mostly adult men and women, with a few in their late teens. There were also a couple more pregnant women, something I knew they had done purposely in order to continue their species at a faster rate.


I noticed Alec was much more perceptive of them than Dominic and I were, his eyes nearly glowing crimson.


"When was the last time you fed, Alec?" I asked him quietly. He sighed, looking over to me.


"Yesterday. In the morning."


"You can take one of them, then. But we need to be careful, we can't kill them all off yet until we find a way to prolong the blood supply-"


Christabel interrupted me, her voice a loud whisper. "I thought you said I could take the first one out of here!"


"Fine." I replied, annoyed by her already. "But only one."


The other vampires looked indignant also, but still seemed too fearful to say anything.


"What do you want from us?" one of the women in the group asked. 


Alec flashed towards her an instant. "Isn't it obvious?" he asked her before lowering his head down to her neck. 


She screamed as he drank her blood, and as one of the other humans was about to try to stop him, Christabel attacked them and drank their blood as well.


"Subtle." Dominic said quietly beside me. 


"They need to figure out their place somehow, don't they?" I responded.


Once the bodies had dropped down to the floor, the collective horror of the humans filled the rest of us with elation, though I also felt a small hint of envy at my brother's kill. I had forgotten briefly about that feeling.... being able to kill innocent humans, and, more importantly, being able to taste their blood without fear of having such a limited supply.


I quickly stopped thinking about it, not wanting to venture further. It only made my steadily increasing thirst all the more stronger.


"You can't do this!" a woman shouted, staring at her fellow humans' drained corpses in horror before looking back up at me.


"You're not at the top of the food chain anymore," I said to her quietly, walking closer to her. "You never were. We have been and always willbe superior to you."

 


She shifted uncomfortably once I had gotten closer to her, and I could hear her heartbeat thudding against her ribcage. I closed my eyes for a brief moment, before opening them again. The feeling was almost intoxicating, yet torturous at the same time.


Dominic interrupted my dangerous train of thought, speaking to the woman.


"Do you have any medical equipment here?" he asked her. She nodded slowly.


"Where is it?" 


"I'm not telling you anything!"


"You will tell me." he said in an attempt to convince her. She only responded with a stubborn glare.


Alec walked over to her, staring directly into her eyes as he spoke.


"Tell us where it is."


She looked up at him, her eyes seeming to lose their spirit for a few seconds. "In the back room." she responded automatically, with the same robotic tone that the humans I had previously compelled used. 


"What exactly are you planning on using it for?" Alec asked Dominic, who only responded with a sadistic smirk before leaving through the door that the humans had entered in. 


He entered the room again shortly with an IV. Grabbing one of the humans, he forced them onto the bed attached to the IV, hooking them up to it. I smiled.


"We're going to bleed them out?" I asked. 


"Not completely." Dominic responded. "We'll drain enough blood out of each human into blood bags, but not so much that would cause them to die."


"How long will it take?"


"For one vampire to be able to feed? 8 to 10 minutes. But for the entire hideout.... multiple days, possibly weeks. That is, if none of them ever feed before the supply is large enough, which I highly doubt."


"It would take years for it to be consistent." Alec said. "We used to have 7 billion humans to feed off of, but now we only have 100, that we're aware of. There are almost as many vampires in the hideout, not to mention the others that will soon find this place. We wouldn't be able take enough blood from them at once to fully satisfy our thirst."


"We'll establish a limit, then." I responded. "Would only one bag a day work?"


"It couldn't be less than two. Besides, most of these vampires have probably been having the equivalent of 5 to 10 a day, it would take them a while to get used to it."


"They'll just have to get used to it, then."


Hearing my words, the other vampires had the same hopelessly indignant look in their eyes, and, just as before, none of them had dared to act on it.


"What if the-" Alec began, but was interrupted by the sound of the human attached to the IV screaming.


The small tubes connected to her arms were now red as blood slowly emptied from her system. I heard her breathing grow shallow as she began to lose consciousness, and she passed out a few seconds later.


The rest of her fellow humans were outraged, some fearful of their possible fate. Yelling ensued shortly after, and a few that I assumed were family members were crying. 


"Weak humans." I muttered under my breath. 


One of them attempted to attack Dominic, who only shoved them aside, and even more yelling filled the room.


"Silence!" I yelled, my voice surpassing theirs. They quickly obeyed, their hearts beating quicker now. "Your efforts are as meaningless as the Coronavirus 10 years ago. We will be your rulers whether you choose to accept it or not."


"What about Madelyn?!" one of them demanded, pointing to the unconscious woman attached to the IV.


"Your companion will awaken soon, but I fail to see why such an insignificant human like her is your concern."


"She was my-"


"I don't care what your relation was with her. What you should be worried about is that Madelyn's fate is the same as yours. You will all be bled, with the exception of pregnant women and those under the age of 17. So if you thought that you were safe here, you are sadly mistaken.

Weare the leaders here, not you. The world may have been yours before the asteroid, but it is ours now. You will learn to obey us, or you will die. And I can assure you that you won't do it quickly."


Now deadly silent, the crowd stared at me with as much fear as the vampires did, as they should have. I was the only one truly meant to be either side's leader. 


Looking back to the IV, I noticed that the bag was only halfway full. Sighing, I tried not to think about my growing thirst as I left the room.