I have always been a mild, caring and compassionate person, and have always disliked seeing anyone in pain. Watching someone bleed has always been a distressing experience for me – I am filled with a swell of pity for them, you see. Being a Vampyre and blood drinker certainly provides challenges to this statement, but life is not without its challenges, is it?
Sure. Go ahead and laugh. It’s easy to dismiss those who self-identify as Vampyres as a bunch of loons who have been reading “too much” Vampire Academy, or watching Vampire Diaries. Most people who criticize never stop to think that people who identify as Vampyres may actually have good reason to do so – and that the reason might not involve mental illness at all – but a very real and very personal need which manifests as a hunger that is almost never satisfied, a hunger which gnaws away at us forever, stripping us of our own independence and sense of self-sufficiency – and indeed, our very perception of what it is to be like everybody else.
Contrary to how fiction portrays us, we do not lurk in dark alleys waiting for some hapless victim to come waltzing towards us, to their doom. Nor are there discreet blood bars set up as part of the Vampyre underground. Sure – would be nice, wouldn’t it? Probably easier as well.
But it’s not.
No. We engage donors, those angels of mercy who consent to help us by letting blood and allowing us to feed on it. Those caring individuals who allow us to draw on their life essence, in order to sustain us and make us feel better, to satisfy our hunger.
We make arrangements with these people, friends and allies – arrangements of a dark and personal nature. These arrangements are not without mishaps or incident however.
During my first meet-up with a new regular Donor, we met at her home. It was a nice pleasant drive out to where she stays, a quiet upmarket neighborhood, very private. We were alone together, and after a nice chat, we held Communion. She had told me she was a former cutter, and that she knew some vamps in the last city she lived in, and so when she told me she preferred to use a razor blade to a lancet, I expected that she knew what she was doing. She flourished it with a smile, giving the impression that she was quite familiar with the implement – and I watched her quickly slice into her left wrist. The blood bubbled up quickly and she offered it to me. I descended on it, and drank her in.
In just moments I had taken in more blood in one sitting than I remember having in… what felt like forever. The blood streamed from the wound, and didn’t seem to be slowing – and suddenly we both realised we were in trouble. She had managed to hit a minor artery – and within moments, before I realized something was wrong, my face, hands and the towel on her lap, were covered red.
In an instant my concern for her well-being took over – I found a pressure point in her arm, applied pressure, and placed her right hand there, telling her to keep it down. I rushed to the bathroom to find anything to stem the flow – a bandage, something to use as a tourniquet… nothing. I was facing a Vampyre’s worst nightmare – being with a Donor who might bleed themselves into an emergency room situation – and at the time, even the awkward explanations that would follow seemed minor.
I had washed my hands and face, just in case I had to rush her to the ER… imagine trying to explain to the medics how my friend had injured her wrist with a straight face – covered in her blood? That probably wouldn’t end well.
Luckily she is a fast healer… after about a half-hour, with the pressure applied to the wound, it finally stopped bleeding and was pretty much closed. We relaxed, continuing the jibes and jokes we had been making during the tense time. The whole time she had been telling me to relax. Me – the person she had cut herself for.
Looking back, almost nothing had gone to waste – I had licked pretty much all of it away, part of me thrilled, part of me disgusted with myself – but both parts recognizing that I needed it – and that it had been six long weeks since my last feed. The fact that she was relaxed the whole time and smiling at me just made it even stranger.
The problem with being a Vampyre is that – well, you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. Sooner or later, somehow, somewhere, someone is going to have to bleed for you.
It changes us, feeding on human blood. It feeds us, yes – and we need it – but the act of watching someone cut themselves for you, producing the crimson essence of life – for you – well, let’s just say that it stirs something inside that won’t ever sleep again.
The dreams experienced after a feed are exotic and strange, the feelings otherworldy, and the knowledge that you have not just consumed human blood – but also taken into your very spirit, a part of someone else’s – and that right now, at this very moment, the blood-bond is forming between you – and your dreams turn red.
The more you get, the more you want. In your dreams, people slice themselves open far more carelessly for you to drink than in real life, and you indulge in a red vampire fantasy, drinking it all in. And you awake thirsty. And oddly enough, the longer you wait between feeds, the more desperate your dreams become.
Guilt? Yes, a lot of us do experience that. Even if we do feed consensually. Let’s just say I cling to my guilt, even when I look at the raw redness of the wound inflicted by my donor upon herself, and even when I thirst for it. I cling to it – because I know that if I ever let it go – I will lose the thing that still makes me human.