First Taste

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This was a writer's challenge to do a short story in 2nd person. I'd never written anything in that POV before, and "challenge" was certainly the right word for it. I know a few novels have been written this way, but I have no idea how the writers were able to maintain the momentum to do it.

By now, I'm sure you've noticed I like vampires. The topic here was a new turn's fist taste. Enjoy!

First Taste

Technically, your first taste of blood will be the one that took you over the threshold - your sire's blood - but that doesn't count. You won't even remember what that one was like. You were dead at the time, and the dead don't taste much.

No, your first taste will be real, live flesh and blood. The blood's the important part.

You see them, but you don't see them as human. Not yet. Not anymore. Whatever piece of meat your sire dredged up for you to cut your teeth on is food. They could be a stranger, a criminal, your best friend or your brother. You won't care... not 'til after. They're prey. Plain and simple.

Even if your sire's one of the good ones who paid for the meal rather than hunting it, the mortal's going to be scared. Feeding a new vamp is dangerous business - accidents happen - and after all, food never gets a vote. And if your "donor" is of the unwilling variety? He's going to be flat out terrified.

You're going to love it.

All that adrenaline pouring into his blood, the sound of his heart trying to beat out of his chest - it gets faster the closer you get to him, like there's a better than even chance it'll just wear out and stop by the time you actually touch him. It may seem like a good idea at the time, maybe even a fun game, but don't let it happen. If he dies first, you go hungry, and hungry fledglings are no fun for anyone.

You'll hear your sire's voice in the back of your mind, telling you what to do. Telling you to stay calm as he gives you step by step instructions on how to leech the life out of your snack without killing him.


The prey'll squirm, trying to get away - though there's no way he's getting out of a vampire's grip. The more he wriggles, the more you'll want him.

Everything else, all of those superhuman senses, fades to grey. You smell only fear. You hear only the song of rushing blood with the percussion of thundering beats. You see only the leaping pulses along the body before you, and the crisscross of red lines beneath the surface of his skin. You taste anticipation as your mouth waters. You feel what you truly are for the first time as your teeth shift in your mouth allowing your fangs to drop. You're ready to strike.

So you do.

Your hands replace your sire's restraining the mortal, and your sire's hands are now on you. Reassuring. Encouraging. The sweat slicked skin on the throat below your mouth is a jolt of unexpected salt. A final cue as to where, exactly, to enter the vein... and you're there. Your fangs don't slide through like a needle - though they're at least as sharp. No, you hear them enter his flesh. There's a faint "pop" as the skin gives way and folds into the wound.

Your dinner doesn't hear it, but he feels it. His eyes fly open, and your ears pick up the gurgles of a strangled scream - first time out, you don't know how to make it not hurt. You don't even try. You're in total sensory overload. Those first drops welling around your fangs to your tongue are all it takes.

Liquid life.

Your sire reminds you to retract your fangs. They've done their job, and now they only plugging the holes they made. Once they're gone, you lose it. Hot, fresh blood pours into your mouth, spurred on by a frantic pulse. There are no words to describe the taste, but you like it. You need it. There's no way you can keep up with the flow... but that doesn't stop you from sucking in for all you're worth trying to get more. A trail of red escapes - the overflow you can't contain - and you mourn the loss.

It's a rush beyond any drug - more than narcotic. Power. Strength. Flashes of images... memories... fill your mind as the blood fills your body - secondhand experience of someone else's past. You don't want to stop, though somehow you know you have to.

You feel your sire's hand on the back of your neck. You hear his voice, trying to calm you. He tells you to slow down and take your time - like he's talking to a baby. His hand rests between your shoulders, soothing the beast and warning you not to draw in so hard lest you collapse the donor's veins. Eventually it does the trick and you slack off. The red curtain veiling your eyes recedes and you start to think like your old self again.

But you're not the same. Not even close. You never will be.

You step away and wipe your mouth, relishing the last clinging drops from your fingers. You listen for the weakened pulse as your sire retakes possession of the prey. You bite your lip like a child, not sure if you pleased the one who made you. You want to know you did good, and you wait for some sign of approval. Your sire checks the donor - maybe he lived, maybe he didn't - either way... you did good as far your sire's concerned. He doesn't berate you or critique your performance. He just tells you it'll be easier next time... and that thought almost scares you. He squeezes your shoulder and you feel a ridiculous - almost embarrassing - swell of pride that you didn't disappoint him.

He does what's necessary to deal with your donor, then the two of you leave. You know now that you're a real vampire, and you just took your first step into an eternity of night.

2 Chiming In:

dolorah said...

Wow; I think you have a knack for 2nd POV. I hope you're shopping this out in contests and e-zines at least.


Josin L. McQuein said...


Maybe I should take it down and try that route.

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