The Shadows

Gray’s shoes resonated along the dark corridor like the rapping of impatient fingers upon a wooden desk. The smart, rapid click of his highly polished shoes gave off the demeanour of a man in a hurry. The dawn was just beginning to think about peaking over the horizon and the sky was tea stained with a smart pink that hinted at the bright day to come. To anyone watching him from the shadows they wouldn’t have seen anything out of the ordinary, simply a man clothed in black trench coat stretching to his highly polished formal shoes.  One lace flapped idly in the breeze that scuttled over the bare floorboards, barely catching the attention of its impatient owner. The shoulder length black hair curled lightly around Gray’s shoulders framing the pale face that was barely visible in the shroud of his upturned collar.

The door to Gray’s bedroom slid open as silently as a breath of wind. Throwing off his trench coat and prying off the tight shoes, he gazed around the room with keen eyes. At first glance there was nothing irregular about the place; from the dark, oak desk littered with papers and financial documents to the strong backed arm chair that stood proud next to the large fireplace on the southern wall. The only startling thing about the place was the lack of light, even at this late hour the vague waxy shine of the moon light should have been creeping through the slits in the curtains that remained hurriedly pulled to did not penetrate the thick darkness. He shifted his presence over to the window and took one last longing look at the rising dawn before dragging the curtains together to completely envelope the room in darkness. He reached up and using the index finger of his right hand gently wiped away the winding tendril of blood seeping from the corner of his mouth before lifting the lid of his coffin, the satin as inviting as the softest pillows. Lowering himself in the vampire closed up the lid and settled down for the day.

The footsteps of someone approaching the heavy door of his bedroom could only have been heard by his keen vampire ears. The sound of padded feet crept their way up the winding staircase of the stately English home. Shifting his position in the chair slightly Gray hurried his face into the deep shadows cast on his left hand side as the door gently swung open a crack on the hinges. The light from an oil lamp spilled into the room, creeping its way around the doorframe and pooled around a delicate pair of bare feet that appeared in the doorway. The petite toes stopped short of the carpet, tentatively bending over the wooden instep that separated Gray’s inner sanctum from the outside world. A small, brunette head peaked around the doorframe, nervousness showing through the haze of fascination in her eyes. Amelia; young, sweet, fresh and pulsing with a life so strong it made his heart pound with longing to drain it from her.

As she stood in the doorway; her hair coiling around her pale pink cheeks and a dusting of the ends falling prettily on her chest; he praised himself for his impeccable choice. A desperate silence fell upon the room as the pair took in each other, unsure of the first move that should be made; Gray, nonchalant in his uncaring fashion and Amelia, mindful of his difficult moods and brooding stupors. The silence dominated and all but swallowed them until one dared to break it.

“You required my company Master Gray?” The vampire sat forwards, his elbows now resting, poised on his knees; his flawless white complexion falling into the light available for his scrutiny. Her sharp intake of breath was the only indication she had seen the vampire light in his steady eyes. He shouldn’t really have asked her here, she was too lovely to be playing his usual games of cat and mouse with, but it was that beauty in the face of his unnatural evil that drew him to her. Still he said nothing as he beckoned her into the room with one long, pale finger that curled enticingly with each new gesture. From the moment her delicate feet touched the carpet she was destined to die.

The Hum

            It was back.

That noise, that penetrating hum.

                                                  The dark pressed in from all sides, her sleep

                                                           addled mind unable to make sense of

                                      the familiar surroundings. She touched her fingertips to her

                           rapidly pulsing temples. Trying to shake the noise away; her ear drums

                   tickled with the distant drone. It wasn’t an ear-splitting noise, but persistent

                                                                                    and un-changing; enough to

                   make her head spin. It filled her mind and senses, the vibrations crowding into her lithe

         body; teeth chattering behind her lips. Lurching forward she pitched towards the window, ripping off a nail as she wrenched the catch open and flung it wide. Her questioning and wild    

           eyes lifted to the far-flung                 

                    landscape of Taos, she was desperate for an answer. It grew in volume, pushed into her            

                                                           psyche and crushed her senses.  Her breathing

                                   quickened with her pulse, chest thrusting in and out,

                                                 heaving with the strain. She was not mad, not mad, not mad,

                                                      not mad! Pushing her hands against the sill she searched the darkness,

                     trying to ignore the buzzing, the devil’s ringing. Pushing around and around and around

       and around in her mind. Changing in pitch, clanging and banging and moving and bashing and       

              sloshing and pushing and swirling about in her head. It was more than she could possibly take. Her eyes filled with tears of pain and frustration. She looked up, fixing the horizon with her   

                                      stare. In that 

                    gloom she saw a figure of white, a swirling night dress and dirty feet, straggled hair and    

                                                              the mirrored eyes of desperation.

                                                   Her breath caught in her throat.

They could hear it too.

She was not alone.