I should be flattered. Am, I am flattered. To have such a knowledgeable critic show such interest in my work, it was a great thrill. “A little rough around the edges,” you said, “but with a little polishing, a fine work of art.” I thought you were referring to my portrait, now I know better.
You invited me back to your room. I did not expect that! I was uncomfortable, more than I’d have expected. Not every day an attractive, distinguished yet somehow ageless client asks you to a hotel room. Not that I am naïve, I understand that there is an appeal to a young artist. Still, you unsettle me, place me outside my comfort zone. Yet curiosity drove me to accept, I desired more of your company.
Desire, we spoke a lot of desire this night. And of the nature of time, the purpose of life and the inevitability of death. If only I had known how you taunted me, everything you said tinged with irony I only grasp now. Would I have acted differently? Begged my leave sooner? Perhaps not…you led me deftly along this path, manipulating my emotions as easily as if they were chess pieces.
Your subtle suggestions and hints were made sense of, when you showed me your fangs. I did not expect that! Ivory canines, wickedly pointed, yet somehow inviting. When your teeth finally sank into my neck, splitting the skin and piercing my vein, I actually welcomed it. With the last of my blood leaving my body, I received the looming darkness and felt it embrace me.
Now I have awoken again. I did not expect that! I accepted oblivion, and it spurned me. Thrust me into this new existence. No heartbeat. No breath. I feel empty…yet focused somehow. All the trivial concerns have faded into the background, and I am free to dedicate myself to my art and to the pursuit of wisdom and…
But this hunger! You didn’t tell me this was part of the bargain. The drive to do terrible things, to feed and kill and maim. I would weep for my lost innocence, if I could think of anything but the taste of your blood, and what I would do for more of that elixir. In time, perhaps I will be able to control this feeling. Or lose myself to it entirely. I have so much to learn!