Description: For Tommy, there is only one thing he needs to do: survive.
Only surviving isn’t that easy. The hunt for blood can be tricky when humans know to fear the night. Desire sits on the edge of his mind, urging him to become the monster humans think he is. Vampire Forces, a special branch of police, is determined to turn every vampire to ash. Tommy included.
The only human Tommy can trust is his twin brother. A bond connects them, and with Danny’s help, Tommy starts to understand the human world he struggles to survive in. He’ll learn what friendships means and feel the sting of betrayal, find that sometimes the worst monsters are very human, and come to understand that family means more than blood.
Tommy just wants to survive and he knows what he needs to do. But with the number of humans that mean more to him than a meal growing, he’ll learn there’s more to life than simple survival. He’ll discover being human doesn’t mean being a human.
Part One: Brothers
It is said vampires forget their human lives. As soon as they are turned, the memories start fading. One theory is because of need. The need to sate the hunger and thirst overtakes their senses. It consumes their thoughts and washes every little bit of humanity away until they no longer remember their human life. Another theory is that their mind changes too much. They no longer know how to think, move, talk or feel like a human. The final theory is that they simply let it go. They aren’t human anymore, so what’s the point of remembering?
Maybe it’s a combination of the three.
What I do know is that vampires forget being human. I forgot being human. Can’t even remember the biggest details. Did I get along with my parents or was I a bad seed? Was I good in school? Did I enjoy sports? Did I have lots of friends? Or maybe even a girlfriend?
I don’t know any more or care. Why should I? That human life is behind me, forgotten with the first taste of blood.
Guess the first theory is accurate. Wake up in the evening with thirst burning in my throat and lay down at dawn with it simmering in my stomach. Sometimes I feel like a junkie, always looking for my next hit, my next meal – a victim, according to humans.
There are some things from my human life that matter a lot. Events, places and one human in particular I can’t forget. I know these things because they happened after I was turned.
The first thing that came to me, when I woke in a small clearing in the woods, was the darkness. It was dark, but at the same time… not. I could see everything, every tiny detail was clear as if illuminated by light. But there was no light, not even moonlight. I stumbled around the small clearing, disoriented as the world bombarded me with sensations.
A gentle breeze howled in my ears and felt like talons ripping across my cheeks. The world beneath me felt unstable, as if it slowly rotated. When I reached to touch the ground, the grass beneath my fingers felt uneven and sharp, biting into my skin. I jerked my hand away, drawing a breath, and the smells hit me like a hammer. Dirt, grass, rocks, trees and animals that were no longer there. Hundreds of scents hung in the air; my nose twitching as it took every scent in and my mind distinguished everything.
As I stood in this familiar – yet alien – world, I felt my memories start to fade away. What had happened in the clearing was the first to disappear. I didn’t try to hold onto it. Just a dream, I told myself. That couldn’t have happened to me. I needed to get home before I was grounded.
Maybe I had been a bad seed.
The journey home felt like it took forever, but in reality, took a matter of minutes. I stopped often. First because my new sight had me stumbling, but, as I grew accustomed to it, my stops became ones of confusion. Where was I going? The answer was home, but I grasped for a reason why. Did I need something there? A drink? Could it be that simple? After all, my throat burned as if I had swallowed a mouthful of hot coals. A need to quench that fire burned in my mind, driving me forward.
When I reached home, only a sliver of human denial persisted. It’s a bad dream, get a glass of water and go to bed, it whispered. But a much more insistent part of me screamed, Get inside and satisfy your thirst!
Welcomed home, my parents fussed over me. My mother sighed I needed to get to bed and my father scowled and scolded me for being irresponsible. Why had I disappeared without telling them where I was going? Didn’t I know vampires were waiting in the shadows to feed on the unsuspecting?
Humans knew that vampires existed. It had been an accident, an unintentional slip on the old vampire’s part. Tired of existing, she sat outside to wait for the sun. The rays washed over her and her body burst into flame while a tourist bus witnessed the event. The tourist company called the news stations, a few reporters investigated and found all that remained of the vampire – a pile of ashes. The ashes were sent to some scientists for testing. The scientists discovered the ashes used to be human, but there was something not quite right – not quite human – about them. Then a video taken by one of tourists surfaced on the Internet, next national news and it became open season on vampires.
After that, any vampire discovered was caught, bound and left to greet the morning sun. Or set on fire. Anything to make the vampire burn until nothing remained but a pile of ash. Scientists gathered the ashes to study and figure out how to best destroy a vampire. It was, of course, an approved genocide. Who would protest the killing of a creature so evil?
Now comes the part in the story where I’m expected to say everything turned out okay. My family was horrified I had been turned, but accepted me as a vampire and we hid it well.
That’s not what happened. What happened was I hid in my room, huddled in the corner, as the overwhelming vampiric instinct washed away the last remnants of my human life. There was only one thought and it consumed me: Hunger.
The hunger devoured every thought, dominating my mind with its heat. It drove me out of my room and into the dark hallway. Rhythms echoed in my ears, sounding like a drum set that beat just for me. Maybe the rhythm was instinct, telling me what to do and where to go. At the time, all that mattered was the overwhelming hunger and how I knew exactly what would quench it.
When I opened the door to the room that contained the loudest rhythms, it didn’t make a sound.
The next few moments were the best of my new vampire life. Blood and heat, life slipping into death, all flowing into me like a river I couldn’t get enough of. I wasn’t aware of who I was feeding on, only that I was quenching the hunger and need. It was the most blissful thing I could do. No longer did I care about the humans who had been my parents. They meant only one thing to me now: sustenance.
With my fangs deep in the human’s neck, something came to me. A warm hand touched my shoulder and a rhythm behind me beckoned. I abandoned the dead woman in my arms, letting her fall to the beige carpet next to the lifeless male. Both were already forgotten as I turned to face the human behind me.
The rhythm halted and the noises stopped. Not a single creak or chirp was heard. Every breath stopped as the world paused. This human…
He looked just like me!
I wasn’t sure how I knew that. The human memory of what I looked like had faded away, but I felt deep down, where my heart lay, I looked like him. Dark brown hair, fair skin, rosy cheeks and eyes as blue as the sky. He was skinny too, sinewy and lanky. His voice would be mine as well; we were identical. Or used to be.
He looked like a healthy human boy and I knew that I didn’t. My skin had to be pale with a permanent sheen of death on it. Where my eyes still that blue?
A tormented look shone in his blue eyes. His fingers grazed my cheek like he was afraid I wasn’t real. Then he whispered one word and everything changed.
My brother said my name.
A weight slammed into me, crushing me with ugly realization. The humans behind me were more than blood. They had been my parents and I had murdered them. Worse than that, I had been planning murdering my brother as well. The thought ripped through me like a tornado. My eyes twitched and my throat tightened like I was going to cry. Tears never came; my eyes stayed dry and I whispered, “Danny, what have I done?”