"You're Mary, right?" Sandra asked.
"Yes, child, I am." Mary sat on the bed and offered Sandra a glass filled with a red liquid, "Drink this, it will make you feel better."
"Thank you." Sandra said, taking the glass. As she drank, her hunger subsided significantly. "Oh, I'm sorry, I've been so rude. My name is Sandra. Could you, please, tell me what happened?"
Mary sighed, clearly uncomfortable, "You were shot, you know."
"Yes, but it's healed now. Was I out that long?"
"You were out for...less than a day"
"Please--let me finish. Your wound was...fatal. We had no choice but to make you like ourselves...a vampire."
"A vampire?" Sandra's eyes opened wide in shock, "But that means what I just drank..."
"Oh, God!" Sandra retched, trying to throw up, but her new body had already absorbed the blood, resulting in nothing but dry heaves. In the process, however, her tongue was forced against her teeth, and she could feel her oversize canines.
"I'm sorry." Mary said, "We normally would never turn anyone without her permission, but in your case, had we not turned you, you would have died. Now, you will need more blood. Please, get up and dress, so I can teach you to hunt."
Still in shock, Sandra obediently walked to the closet. When she opened the door, however, she shot a questioning glance at Mary.
"Sorry about the limited choice in clothing," said Mary, sheepishly, "I've found black leather to have the best combination of comfort, cleanability and camouflage. We can buy you a wardrobe later tonight."
"These are your clothes? But they'll never fit--you're so much thinner!"
"Really? Perhaps you should look in the mirror."
Mary laughed, "Oh, don't worry about the superstitions. It's only the ancient silver-backed mirrors that we can't be seen in."
As she saw herself in the full-length mirror, Sandra gasped, "My God! I've gotten thin!"
"The change does that to you."
"But that's not all...I...I...I don't know how to describe it...I'm..."
"Beautiful." Mary moved behind Sandra and put her hands on the fledgling's shoulders, "It is another result of the turning. You are witnessing first-hand the truth about beauty--it comes as a result of confidence and inner strength, not from the flesh. Men utilize this fact, though few of them are aware of it. Women rarely even get that far. As a vampire, your new power has subconsciously manifested itself physically. As you get more comfortable and confident, your beauty will grow." Mary brushed back Sandra's hair and gave her a quick kiss on the neck, then moved towards the door, "Now, hurry and get dressed. It is time to hunt."
The two vampires stood on the roof of a two-story building, overlooking one of the seedier parts of the city.
"Well, here we are," Mary announced, "the red-light district, our hunting grounds. Actually, hunting is pretty simple--find a solitary target and when nobody is around, pull it into an ally and drink. Just try and avoid the diseased ones."
"We can still catch normal diseases?" Sandra asked.
"No, not even diseases like the plague or AIDS affect us, but the blood tastes horrid. Ah, here comes a likely prospect now." Mary pointed out a single white male in a business suit coming out of an Adult Arcade. Nobody else was around. "Let's go." Mary whispered, and she and Sandra jumped down into the alley.
As the man passed the alley, Mary grabbed him and pulled him in, her hand stifling any screams. Forcing his head to one side, she motioned for Sandra to drink.
Part of Sandra's mind, still refusing to believe in her change, caused her to hesitate for a second. But the hunger took over, and she tore into the man's throat. A few seconds later, the man's lifeless body slumped to the ground.
"Oh my God!" Sandra gasped, "I killed him!"
"No shit!" Mary chided, "That's what we do. This isn't some romance novel."
"But...but what if..."
"What? What if he's 'innocent?' What if he didn't deserve to die? That's why we hunt here--nobody but cocks and cocksuckers. Now, let's clean this one up for the cops."
Mary pulled out a switchblade and sliced the dead man's throat wide open, took his wallet, then threw the body into a nearby dumpster. "There. Now, the cops will just assume some druggie killed the guy for his money, and dragged the body elsewhere."
"All these deaths, and they don't investigate?"
"Ha! They're too tied up trying to keep the gangs out of the rich white neighborhoods to care about this dump. Besides, it's not that many. We only need to feed once a week or so. Now, let's go get you some clothes."
Go to Part 3
Go back to Stories Page
Go Back to The Institute's Home Page