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FistfulOfSky
May 11th, 2005, 05:20 PM
In the Patches of Grey
Chapter 1

I sit here. A blank thought scatters across my mind. A non-existent idea trickles down into my brain. There are no little slices of wisdom floating around in my head because if there were, I would express them to you. I am alone at this hour. No humans walk the alleys this cold night. Most would never attempt it even on a warm summers evening…only a few on an occasional. Most fear what awaits them in the murky darkness. But I know what awaits them…me…

I lean against a brick wall across from a restaurant that had closed hours before. I peer through its empty windows. I imagine the city people sitting there at lunch hour with their business partners discussing the next person they should sue. I chuckle at their meaningless lives day after day. How often they waste it. If only they realized how precious life truly was. If I had one more day to live as one of them…

I linger near the decrepit wall that had been touched by many hands over the years. I, myself, had placed my hands on it numerous times. The wall had soaked up my tears, my sweat and even my blood. One of my first memories came from this wall. I guess if I thought about it I could connect to any solid object in this city, my first home run as a boy, my first carnival, my first kiss and my first kill… just memories. I could neither change them nor forget them. Some of my more painful memories cling to me like a stain.

A Street light flickers to the right of me. I see a homeless man across the road setting up his cardboard box for the long night ahead of him. Another night of unexplainable murders, drug deals, prostitution, and late night beatings against wives from their drunken husbands. It is a forever-continuing circle of anguish and havoc. But unlike the people who rotate along the circle’s circumference, millions of others will sleep soundly tonight never giving thought to the horrors most will wake up to in the morning. I pity those who will wake up to this destruction but I have more pity for the people who will not wake up at all.
I step out of the alley and make my way towards an old, abandoned warehouse. It had been left empty for years now after its company folded up. I am the only one who walks through it now.

I gracefully move through the building. Crumbled pieces of paper litter the floor, dust collects among its very surface, cobwebs cling to every inch. It had once been an old shoe factory. Now all that lay left is dormant equipment and leftover shoes that were never completed.
I finger the old pieces of machinery. Dirt stains my pale hands. My lifeless blue eyes gaze over this place I call my home. It has been abandoned and so have I. I have been left without life, with out blood or any means of love. All I have left is a hunger that will never ease.

I walk over to a broken window and slide to the cold floor. I put my long, straight black hair into a loose ponytail. I tilt my head to the ground. I take my forefinger and write in the dirt, Maverick. My name stares back at me as if I owe it for the shame I have brought to it. The shame of being a vampire. The shame of draining the blood of the innocent. Some would see immortality and youth as a blessing. I see it as a curse that can never be lifted. Vampirism is the cross I bear. Living forever, ageless means nothing to me if I am to remain alone. All the women I have wooed on warm summer nights and only to drink their sweet nectar. None of them will ever look upon me in compassion. I am a monster. I only can watch from a distance as couples hold each other promising eternal love. A love I will never claim. I am startled from my thoughts by a noise coming from below. I peer out the window into the night. A girl with dark red, long hair shuffles slowly along the dirt path. Her head is bent down towards the ground as if her head is to tilt forever that way in an angle of emotional pain. Compassion flows through my empty veins. I notice that she’s dressed in Goth attire. My Lord. The way styles and stereotypes change. The same way the youth has changed. Disgusting. What I knew of Goth was not this sad excuse for their recreation of it. Goth was great pieces of art and majestic structures of architect. Slowly as time went on it transcended into music, religion, clothes, and now a repulsing stereotype that smarter, more athletic kids prey upon. I never understood the way children teased and taunted each other over meaningless fashions. I guess times hasn’t really changed that much.
Just by watching her and noticing her stance and posture I can already tell she’s a loner, an outcast. Once I had that stance and that distinguished posture. That specific posture screams I am a victim to be teased and ridiculed for my differences. A long lost memory of myself standing alone in the park as the other boys that I went to school with played baseball at a distance. I shake my head and return to the present. Yet I remember that I know the feeling of loneliness all too well. It is clearly visible upon our faces. Her hand fumbles with her stringy hair. She’s perfect. A girl who will not be missed and still with the taste of freshness. I lick my blue-tented lips. Then drift outside to meet my next kill.

I quietly approach the girl. Her eyes, such lovely sea green eyes, drift to mine in a childlike way of hesitance. I can sense her newfound fear. It provokes me. She slowly bites her bottom lip. Almost mauling at it like a wild animal. Her slightly shredded lips curve so perfectly to form her beautiful mouth. The crease in her mouth swells with tiny droplets of blood. I can almost taste it. Something in me stirs and the craving to feed grows. I need her blood now. Right now. I concentrate harder to work my way inside her mind. It should not take too long. She does not have a strong will, yet her defenses are up which could cause delay. She gives a whimper and mumbles unknown words. I can feel her body tense. Her body is petite and frail but carries a stunning beauty. I see within her thoughts images of rejection, scorn from her peers, graffiti covered lockers and hurtful words thrown towards her. But among all her thoughts and memories a dark, shadowy figure hovers over them like a plague she cannot cure. Maybe I can do the very least to rid her of this cancer…

I have always been able to see into the minds of my victims before feeding and during feeding. In fact while feeding upon them, along with their blood you almost capture tiny pieces of your victims, their memories, emotions, and instincts. Therefore vampires basically own their living meals. Some of their thoughts were so hard to witness. Or other times it just made it harder to take their lives. At times when I was almost tempted to walk away and leave their bodies undrained I would tell myself that I was saving them. I was helping them escape their nightmares that this world brought forth.

I give her a sly smile and stare deeper into her green eyes. This is way too easy. She’s mine. I crawl into her mind and bend it at my will. Her eyes become clouded over and she falls into a trance. I place my hands on her shoulders to keep her from collapsing to the ground. Her body slumps into mine. I stand steady against her. I watch her breathing slow. I move her hair out of my way and lean over. My lips are almost to her tender neck but something prevents me and I draw back. The craving suddenly lessens. I find the need for blood drifting away. I wish it were this easy all the times I had ever held an innocent human in my hands. Questions start leaking into my brain. What am I doing? This has never occurred before. In a sense I had always felt remorse and even guilt but it had never prevented me from surviving the only way I could. Feeding off humans was my only option. Many ruthless humans deserved to die any way. When I had first become a vampire I had chosen to go after those who caused pain to others but there are not enough evil mortals in this world to sustain my hunger. My eyes scan her body from top to bottom. She’s so beautiful. I stare back into her distant face. I pull her body into my arms and carry her towards the dark yet welcoming factory, which will be her shelter tonight. She is almost weightless. Her body almost floats in my arms. This girl is not skin and bone but her angelic features make her appear this way or maybe it’s the simple fact she looks so hollow and fragile. A simple vision of me kissing away her tears materializes into my mind. I can see her glassy eyes looking up at me so clearly. My hand is placed on her tender cheek. I move closer to her until my mouth grazes on her lips…

Reality comes back into view when I hear her give a silent moan. I wonder what she’s dreaming. Maybe she’s dreaming of fields filled with flowers where she can run to and escape the cruelties of this world. A distant place she could hide in. or maybe those were only my dreams. I had longed to disappear into a world with no shadows to hover over me. And now as I am looking down on her I hope that in some way she had walked in that world beside me without me ever knowing.


NOTE: this is ONLY a small portion of my chapter. it won't all fit. lol. thank u!

Michael2000
May 17th, 2005, 02:57 AM
Although I'm not much for vamp stories, I like the descriptiveness, the character's expression, and the way prose flows.

However, I am a bit curious. Is this character the protagonist? If so, I'd be interested to know how he is developed throughout the story. Whether he is or not, do you intend to write the whole book in first person, or only selected chapters?

In any case, I think this is pretty good work.

Expendable
May 17th, 2005, 04:16 PM
A vampire who can't feed from one innocent girl. Very touching.


A long lost memory of myself standing alone in the park as the other boys that I went to school with played baseball at a distance. I'm not sure about this line. You might want to at least think about rewriting it. And this one too...

And now as I am looking down on her I hope that in some way she had walked in that world beside me without me ever knowing.

Interesting imagery. Looks like a good start.

choppy
May 17th, 2005, 05:39 PM
Hi FistfulofSky,

First of all, I see a lot of potential here. As others have pointed out, the imagery is vivid. It's always hard to give a critique on a small piece of writing. The beginning of a story is always really important, because that's where you really hit the reader with the rest of the story.

I'm curious why you chose to use the present tense. I wonder if this would work better in past tense.

You open with:

I sit here. A blank thought scatters across my mind. A non-existent idea trickles down into my brain. There are no little slices of wisdom floating around in my head because if there were, I would express them to you.
This struck me as slow and even counter-productive. If you don't have any wisdom to impart. If you're just sitting there, alone, in some kind of dead meditation - why am I going to read on? The fact of the matter is, you do have something to show me, even if its just a glimpse into this supernatural world.

Look at the next sentence though.
No humans walk the alleys this cold night. That's a great point of intrigue. (Although I think it's somewhat contradicted when the narrator sees the red-haired goth girl.)

There's a lot of generalizations - talk of people in their meaningless lives, murders, prostitutions, etc. You zoom in for a sentence or two on a homeless man, which I liked better. One skill in writing that I've come to really appreciate is the ability to draw out the general through the specific.

Towards the end you write
I wonder what she’s dreaming.
Did I miss something? I thought the narrator could read her mind. (Sometimes I do miss things - so don't hold it against me.)

Overall, this strikes me as a pretty standard vampire story opening, which is a good thing. I think this kind of writing is as much a staple of that genre as a swordsman and an old wizard are to classical fantasy. I think I'm willing to wait for an immediate problem to surface because of your skill in prose.

Cheers!

Expendable
May 17th, 2005, 10:44 PM
FistfulOfSky, you might want to try the Community. Click on the Stories/Poems link at the top. Just remember to post a link to your submission ;)

-- Ex.

queenmegumi
May 17th, 2005, 11:20 PM
Fists......LOVE your imagery. It's very original and enjoyable to read. However, I thought your vampire was not original at all (I'm sorry I hate being harsh!
:(

His angst and his "ultra sexy/coolness" are too cliche for a vamp. At one point while I was reading all I could think of was "Luis...Luis...Luis...still WHINING." lol! (BTW if your character hates being a vampire why is he so condecending towards "humans?").

You know what I'd love to see? An overweight, nerdy nerotic vampire for once. Seriously. I'm tired of the goth, mysterious ultra-cool vamp. Let's have a real underdog! However, that may not be your cup of tea. ;) At any rate we need your vampire to really stand out from other ones. Try to think of something nobody else has done with a vampire. It's hard I'm sure (lots of vampire stories out there) but if you can do that, combined with your great descriptions, you'll have a real winning story :D

FistfulOfSky
May 25th, 2005, 07:04 PM
okay people hold on i'm getting there as fast as i can. lol.
remember you just started. ok is response to some of your questions.

i like it in present tense because in later parts of the story i want him to look back, that is where his regret comes into play. as for him hating being a vampire and being harsh towards humans i want this vampire to be unfigured out. i don't want you to know if hes good, bad, hating, loving.
i want you to pick him apart as the story goes on.
maybe he doesn't dipise the humans at all, maybe hes jealous of them. maybe he hates being a vampire but still enjoys it at the same time just because he still can't let go of his mortality. he wants it but he can't have it.
my character as you are beginning to tell is very confused.
also as for how i'm setting up the point of view on the chapters. every other chapter will be either from the vampire dude or the goth girl.
the next chapter is from the girl's point of view.

and i am trying to think of how to make my vampire really different. i make him appear like he is because it appeals to me. i guess it appeals to many cuz most write their vampires like that.
i hope he will develop later on his own sense of individualty. i hope.

thank you sooooooooooooooo much for taking the time to read this and giving me suggestions. they are helping me A LOT. cuz i'm just writing this as i go. in fact, i think it was Choppy who pointed this out, yes the beginning is quite...uniteresting? that is because when i originally started this novel it wasn't a novel at all. i was just typing. and at the time that is what i was feeling. no thoughts in my head. and then out of no where that sentence hit me, no humans walking....and i just left the story that way.
o and as for the goth girl in relation to that part its cuz he leaves the city and goes to his little haven which is sorta in the woods. you'll get more of a feel for that as the story goes on. o and the mind reading thing, shes not thinking shes dreaming which to me in this case is different, its like your dreams are your solace, they belong to you, they are private, i just didn't think it was fair to give the vampire that advantage. i want there to be places where he can never go, because that is what you later learn is what the goth girl prizes most. her safe havens.

well people thank you again. i will post the rest of this chapter. thanks!

FistfulOfSky
May 25th, 2005, 07:12 PM
I entered the factory out of the damp night air. I hope the cold will not bring illness to her. I clutch her body tighter to my chest as if my own body held warmth. But remembering that I had no blood surging through my veins I released my hold on her. I can only add to her coldness. An icy tear trickles down my face knowing I will never be able to warm anyone. And what endears more pain is that no one will ask it of me. I block the thoughts from my head and lay her to rest on the floor by my window. The same window I sleep by every passing day when the sun cast its heavenly glow over the earth and all who deserves its radiant light.

I know within an hour’s time she will awaken and she cannot know who I am or what I am. I don’t wan t to bring any harm to her if possible and the only way to insure her safety is to hope that she will forget and go on with her life without any memory of me at all. There is an elderly couple not too far from here. That is where I shall leave her sleeping body. I know she will be safe there and they will be able to return her to her rightful home. I can speculate that she does not live too far from here and she will shortly be home after the elders have discovered her at first light.
I had spent many lonesome nights watching the elderly couple. They were a lovely, and affectionate pair. The old man’s hair was gray and thinned on his head; all the hair that remained was the short wooly beard growing from his chin. His smile was big and cheery and he had creased wrinkles in the corners of his eyes. He was thin and pale but underneath his decrepit flesh laid a life force so strong and beautiful that it radiated light. And his eternal lover was a sweet, kindly, old woman with white thick hair and bright, glowing eyes. She always had a warm smile plastered on her face and offered it to anyone that came her way. She could make a sour day turn sweet. Their love and undying devotion for each other is what kept me interested in them. I had first picked the old man off on a cold winters night coming out of an open all night grocery store. I had figured he was alone in the world, had no one to come home to and he would not be missed. So I followed him a long ways to a cozy little neighborhood where he walked upon a vacant sidewalk dispersed with lonely streetlights that pulsed an orange glow. He soon approached a driveway parked with a hunter green Honda Civic. I began to quicken my pace and advance on my prey but before I reached him a woman wrapped in a dark purple robe leaped off a small, concrete porch and ran towards him with a worried expression on her face. She hurried down the driveway to where the man stood grinning; he seemed pleased to see her. I dived behind some bushes and a white picket fence as I watched them embrace.

Then she stepped back and put her wrinkled hands to his face. I listened as they talked amongst themselves.

“Are you ok? Where have you been at such an hour? I was worried sick!”

The old man gazed at her with love in his eyes and answered, “You didn’t really think I had forgotten your birthday, did you?”

With this said the old man pulled out a box of chocolates and a gold, diamond-studded bracelet. The woman gushed and let her husband put it around her wrist. She twirled and modeled it for him, waving her hand slowly in the air as the light shined off the diamonds. A glint of something sparkled in her eyes. She kissed him softly on the mouth and he put his hands in her soft hair.

He whispered softly but loud enough to hear. “You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.” They kissed under the moonlight and he draped his arm around her tiny body. She snuggled into his chest as they walked back up the driveway and into the snug house.

Ever since that evening not so long ago I had kept an eye on the old couple watching their love for each other grow day by day. I guess perhaps because I craved for a love, just as warm and secure as theirs.

So with the intention of returning the girl I waited until just before daybreak and watched her restful sleep as I waited for time to pass. I sat there in the cold dark wondering what she was dreaming. She was so…innocent and vulnerable. Maybe for this reason I had spared her. I saw parts of me embedded in her and hoped that she would not meet the same fate I had come to know. I couldn’t help but hope that she would remember me and maybe…No! I would not let my mind wander there for fear that it would dwell there and waste away on dreams that could never be fulfilled. I longed for a love or just a companion but I know it would never come to be.

Finally the hour had come upon me to return the girl or at least to a safe place where they could care for her until she was returned safely home. From the looks of her I speculated that no one was missing her, maybe no one even noticed that she hadn’t returned. I didn’t think she was the type of girl to run off. She seems too weak and fragile for that. I approached her softly so as not to wake her with any sudden movements, I’m not terribly worried about that considering I put her in a trance so deep a pistol firing near by wouldn’t wake her. But I’m not taking any chances. I smoothed my hands gently over her head and kissed her lips ever so slightly. Then with care I shifted her into my arms and stood still staring in wonder at her beauty. Her neck was bare and naked. The urge to feed is humming under my pale skin but I cannot puncture an angel of this delicacy. I carry her outside into the early night with my eyes still wavering on her bare throat and I curse myself for being what I am, a blood sucking leech. She does not stir except to make small groans in her deep sleep. The pale moonlight reveals the shadows under her eyes and I imagine what kind of life she leads that could bring her so much suffering. The memory of her tears comes into focus and I am once again lost in her beauty that unfolds inside my mind.

I walk on the dirt path to the main road. The path is veiled by low tree limbs from deadening maples and covered with old and recent soda cans advertising fast food products. Hopefully being this early in the morning no one will be traveling at this hour, for it would be quite strange to come across a pale stranger in the middle of no where carrying what appears to be a lifeless girl in his arms. In that situation I do not think I could come up with an excuse. Let alone a believable one. I kick a sandy brown pebble into the brush that’s outlining the dirt road and wonder if it will stay there for an eternity before someone else discovers this little nothing object. I hold the girl tightly to my chest as I walk along the road until I finally descend upon the suburbs of the city where the elderly couple live. I move through the old couple’s neighborhood like a shadow, swift and silent. I walk very briskly up to the couple’s front stoop so as not to be seen by nosey neighbors peeking out of their windows as they are preparing for work. I lay the girl down gently. She will be waking soon. I hope she is not alone when she wakes, for fear dwells in loneliness. And I wish fear upon no one. Especially her, a girl so vulnerable and unprotected. It is a dreadful emotion that I have felt for far too long. And I know its hollowness all too well. I run my fingers through her hair one last time before taking a step away. I never even knew her name…I think with remorse. But perhaps it’s better that way that I don’t know. A name makes it harder to let go and letting go is what I need to do. With that notion pushing at me I turn and leave without turning back. As I disperse from the sidewalk I let a sigh of release escape from my stale lungs. Human habits die-hard. There is still a part of us that wish to live again. So with that thought gnawing at me I flee the suburbs and the red headed girl.

FistfulOfSky
May 25th, 2005, 07:17 PM
okay sorry about this but this is the rest of it. it didn't all fit on that post and i didn't wanna create a whole new thread just for a junk of it. SO READ THE REST OF THIS!!!! thank you.





When I return to the abandoned factory it is nearing the brink of dawn. I stand in the doorway of the factory waiting until the last possible moment. It is a myth however that vampires cannot live in sunlight many can function relativity well but those vampires are opposed to the feeding of humans and have a low supply of human blood in their bodies. They feed on animals such as livestock and horses. Unfortunately animal blood does not sustain the vampires as well as human blood so their other option is too take very small amounts of blood donated by humans that wish to help them. The people that choose to help these vampires do it out of one or two reasons A) they are what I like to call vampire groupies, sort of similar to ridiculous fans being obsessed with their favorite rock groups, but instead they are crazed mortals with the pure hope they can gain immortality by befriending a vampire. Or either that they are obsessed simply because they are one of those teenagers that never quiet fit in at school and always searched for acceptance in all the wrong places. These individuals feel they can find acceptance among the vampire race. Reason B) other mortals help vampires in their need for blood because they belong to groups or organizations that feel they need to unite and bring peace to vampires and humans alike. I have stumbled upon many of these gatherings where humans offer themselves freely for the sake of peace being gained. Of course in these free buffets only small amounts of blood are sacrificed and the human endures neither harm nor immortality. I have never participated in these no-hassle meals and I’m not about to start now. The vampires that let humans offer themselves to them as snacks do this because they are ashamed of the vampire blood that course through their veins. Yes I am also ashamed but the difference is they can admit it. I can’t. I have neither grudges nor hatred towards humans yet I need them to survive without connection occurring. I can stand to lose strangers but I cannot stand to lose someone I grow to love. Not anymore. And the best way to do this is to avoid all contact human and vampire alike unless they are prey. Therefore I live completely isolated from the world.

The vampires that do not come out in daylight do not because of the pure annoyance of its brightness and the happiness it represents. Sunlight also symbolizes mortals and the only reminder that a vampire desires to know humans exist is the taste of human blood on their lips and a lifeless body lying on the floor with a pleasurable smile still frozen on their face. These vampires are the feared hunters written about in novels and viewed in horror flicks. They are the predators and everything else is prey. Someone once told me though I don’t remember whom…if you choose not to be the predator you choose to be hunted.

I stand leaning against the open doorway as the sun breaks upon the horizon and sweeps across my face. I look away from its brightness but do not step out of its light. I fear the light yet welcome it. So what does that a make me, a vindictive predator slaying mortals or an animal blood-sucking peacemaker? Will I ever belong? Acceptance does not exist where there are shades of gray between good and evil. There is only isolation.

I slide back into the darkness of the factory and disappear into the shadows of its metal boundaries.

FistfulOfSky
May 25th, 2005, 07:21 PM
this is in reply to the questions asked in the first half of my chapter.


okay people hold on i'm getting there as fast as i can. lol.
remember you just started. ok is response to some of your questions.

i like it in present tense because in later parts of the story i want him to look back, that is where his regret comes into play. as for him hating being a vampire and being harsh towards humans i want this vampire to be unfigured out. i don't want you to know if hes good, bad, hating, loving.
i want you to pick him apart as the story goes on.
maybe he doesn't dipise the humans at all, maybe hes jealous of them. maybe he hates being a vampire but still enjoys it at the same time just because he still can't let go of his mortality. he wants it but he can't have it.
my character as you are beginning to tell is very confused.
also as for how i'm setting up the point of view on the chapters. every other chapter will be either from the vampire dude or the goth girl.
the next chapter is from the girl's point of view.

and i am trying to think of how to make my vampire really different. i make him appear like he is because it appeals to me. i guess it appeals to many cuz most write their vampires like that.
i hope he will develop later on his own sense of individualty. i hope.

thank you sooooooooooooooo much for taking the time to read this and giving me suggestions. they are helping me A LOT. cuz i'm just writing this as i go. in fact, i think it was Choppy who pointed this out, yes the beginning is quite...uniteresting? that is because when i originally started this novel it wasn't a novel at all. i was just typing. and at the time that is what i was feeling. no thoughts in my head. and then out of no where that sentence hit me, no humans walking....and i just left the story that way.
o and as for the goth girl in relation to that part its cuz he leaves the city and goes to his little haven which is sorta in the woods. you'll get more of a feel for that as the story goes on. o and the mind reading thing, shes not thinking shes dreaming which to me in this case is different, its like your dreams are your solace, they belong to you, they are private, i just didn't think it was fair to give the vampire that advantage. i want there to be places where he can never go, because that is what you later learn is what the goth girl prizes most. her safe havens.

well people thank you again. i will post the rest of this chapter. thanks!