This is an excerpt from The Animal. I had posted the first few pages from this piece before which you can see by clicking this link – The Animal. Since that original post on May 7th I have extended the piece to 81 pages, just with character development…
… & that’s all I have to say about that.
Matt sat in the most secluded corner of the caves, propped up on the stone wall edge of a unsettled pond. It was fed by a waterfall that rushed from the ceiling and down the wall, leaving green moss and pearly flowers drenched in crystal drop of water. The sound of the water was enough to put a silence between him and the rest of the cave. It was the perfect place to imagine he was no longer trapped below the surface of Earth. He was reading one of the few books in the cave tunnel’s libraries. While its selection was quite worn with age, as it had not been restocked in over a hundred years, it reminded Matt of his less complicated upbringing as a young vampire. The pages were thin with age, and he turned them gently leaning back against the wall.
A soft smile came onto his face, he was no longer alone. He could sense her pulsing warmth before she came around the corner, before she even knew she was no longer alone. Matt was no longer focused on the words, as he turned the page again without reading. He pulled a knee up, leaving the other to dangle over the edge of the wall. At this height, his foot could not touch the ground.
She stumbled around the corner, face tight. Matt watched him from the corner of his eyes, but she had yet to notice him. The girl tensed, freezing with one hand on the wall as she looked at the waterfall. Matt turned a page. Her head snapped up towards where he rested. Even in this relaxed state, he could move faster then she could imagine. “Oh,” she breathed, and Matt recognized her as the teen that he had tranced as she was introduced to the caves. “It’s you,” she seemed uncertain what direction to head.
Matt turned another page, and nodded in silence. She looked at the ground, “I’m Emma.” Matt did not react to the comment, only pretended to skim the words of his book. “You are,” she began, looking at him with wonder, but stopped. “What’s your name?” Emma looked back at the stone floor, biting her lip. Matt turned another page, listening to the speed of her heart increase. Taking a brave step into the room, Emma waited for him to answer. Matt had no intention to do so, and he turned a page.
“What are you reading,” she took another step towards him. The blood that was rushing hard through her body, began flooding into her cheeks. Matt slowed his breathing, as she walked closer. The smell of her young blood was sweet and her blushing was like the soft frosting of a cupcake. “It looks very old,” her voice was lower as she took another step. Emma was feet away from the wall where Matt still pretended to read.
“Are you very old,” Emma looked up at him. She was still tranced from their first meeting, and her instincts of fear and danger were very distant in her mind. It was as if Matt had lassoed her soul as was pulling it as if it was her own decision. Emma was scarcely aware of the danger, only entranced by Matt. He turned the page. “I’m Emma,” she repeated as she looked up at him with wide eyes.
She could not look away. There was more to him, she felt, than the paleness in his face. Emma watched as his fingers were delicate towards the pages in the book. His brown hair, and brown eyes made the length in his face softer. She knew, she could feel that he was not dangerous, it was not his choice to be a vampire. Perhaps, he was even one of those who did not eat humans on principal. Emma put her hand on the wall just by his dangling leg. She wanted to touch his leg, force his attention on her, but she was afraid to scare him aware. He was so, she watched him turn a page, delicate.
Smiling, Emma made to speak again, but Matt leaped from the wall. He now stood between her and the door. Still he did not look at her, as he leaned around Emma to place the book on the wall. Emma was uncertain what to do, and leaned against the high wall, still smiling. Matt was almost as uncertain. Emma laughed, a puff of air that broke Matt’s silence. He leapt forward, closing the space between them. Emma found herself face to face with a vampire, his hands pushing against the wall on either side of her head. There is nothing she wanted more. This is all she thought about sense she laid eyes on Matt all those days ago.
In this close proximity, Matt struggled, his breathing quickened. Emma bit her lip and smiled widely, finally lost for words and trying to make conversation. “Is this good for you,” Matt struggled with the question. “This is what you want, right,” he could smell her blood, so sweet. “Tell me,” he whispered, coming even closer towards her face. Emma did not even move, Matt had locked her in his eyes and she could go no where. She did not want to go anywhere. Matt put a hand on her neck, her pulse beat against his dead palm. As far as he was concerned, blood had never throbbed in his dead body this way.
He hissed, “What would you like me to do for you?” His eyes never moved from Emma’s, but she did not answer. With practiced moves, though she would never know, Matt stroked her neck with his thumb, lulling her in to security. People always asked how he could kill a human, here was the proof it was not so hard. With one look he could have anyone put themselves against a wall, begging him to drain their bodies of life to feed his own. Matt’s victims would do anything for him. He stepped closer.
Emma breathed in hard. Matt was inches from her now, his hand on her neck. While his body had no warmth, her skin burned where he touched her. She could not focus on the questions. Without cause, she bent her head back, exposing her neck. Matt breath, cold, was on her face, her ear, her shoulder. She breathed again as Matt closed the little distance between them and his hand dropped.
“Run,” he said in her ear. “I’ve told you before, trust no one here.” Matt wanted nothing but to sink his teeth into her tender body, but these humans could not be his prey. They would never be his equal, but there was a new code in the world and these 35 humans had the protection of its claim. Emma blinked, “Do not even trust me, I will not hesitate again.” Matt’s own body was groaning at the tease of a near feast, “On the surface you would be dead by now, do not tempt me again.”
Emma blinked again. There was something in Matt’s eyes and her brain slammed into focus like a clap of thunder. The trance was broken, and fear tensed the muscles in her legs. “Run,” Matt commanded again, moving aside. He watched mournfully as she bolted from his corner. He leaned against the wall where Emma had just been and crossed his arms. He could hear Emma’s footfalls beating the stone as she fled to the human’s quarters, hopefully to never leave them again.