When the hunger hits, I must feed



I smell his blood, even before I see his shadowy shape making its way down the dark street.

When the hunger comes upon me, I turn into a beast, each sense heightened in a way no drug ever could produce.

I hate not feeling human, hate my inability to control my urges.

But ever since the plague struck, food has been hard to come by, making my life even more miserable.

So when I see the man I know I must feed or I will go even crazier later, taking greater and greater risks.

Even now, this man walks with a quick step, the echo of his heals like pistol shots off the boarded up windows.

He has survived long. He knows to keep to the more populated streets the police patrol regularly, and people like me usually avoid.

The police hate my kind -- although I think they hunt us down out of some perverted sport, the more sadistic personally hammering the wooden stakes into our hearts rather than using the silver bullets.

I am grateful that I need to feed infrequently. A single victim can last me months, if I conserve my energy and fight my impulses.

The less I am on the prowl, the more unlikely I will get found out, though I can barely stand the twilight or early dawn, and never full sunlight, choosing those times to come and go and thus fooling the police into believing I am normal.

Perhaps even fooling myself.

Dusk is a recent memory tonight, allowing me to stick to my victimís trail and perhaps fool him into thinking I am something other than what I am.

†Yet his step hurries when he notices my shadow behind him, his animal instincts kicking in in defense of mine.

We might both be creatures other than we are, a wolf trailing behind a doe, each of us relying on the most fundamental and savage roots for our survival, his fear pitted against my starvation.

Before I contracted this foul need, I thought of myself as extremely civilized, a man of education and means, someone who would leave a mark on the world other than two puncture marks in my victimís neck.

I was, too, a law abiding citizens, someone who looked with admiration of police officers and respected the role they played.

I never thought I would ever find a reason to be on their wrong side.

I never thought I would prowl through dark and dismal neighborhoods like a wild dog, sniffing not at the trash others disregarded, but for the blood surging through others veins.

I tell myself to stop, my civilized mind struggling to control the urges my savage body feels.

I tell myself to let this victim go, to suffer through the inevitable starvation for the mercy of extinction.

I would not fear the police then. I would not need to spend my life sneaking through these deplorable streets.

But the hunger is more powerful than I am, just as the savage mind is over the civilized mind.

I crave this man as if he was a lover, knowing I have to have him, and will have him, focusing my whole being upon hunting him down.

I grow reckless, and expose myself to pools of light as I hurry my step, so that even the police will know who and what I am if they stumble into the area now.

The man ahead of me starts to run.

I run after him.

His fear is great, but not great enough to overcome my need.

His mind does not revert to the beast as my does, so that he still retains some sense of fearing other things.

When he runs, he stumbles over things, steers himself clear of minor dangers, losing steps to my unbridled charge.

I am careless of everything, feeling my clothing tear and my flesh as I come into contact with the rusted ruins of a car or the shards of broken windows through which he and I plunge.

I no longer care about the world, or its dangers, only the smell of blood that grows stronger in my nostrils the closer I get.

I hear the siren as a vague background sound, alarmed only in that small civilized voice that tells me I have risked too much and will soon be the hunted instead of the hunter.

My victim squeals as I bite his neck, kicking me with his feet while trying to disconnect my mouth with his hands.

The blood spills down my chest as I am jerked away, and though I bite again, and again, I lose as much as a drink, and when I am done, I am covered with blood -- so much more the beast, and so much more obvious.

Sedated, I look around at the ruins of the alley, the trash and the decay, the rats scurrying at my feet unable to resist their urge to feed on the remains of what I no longer need.

As the police come, it is not the savage in me that screams for me to run and forces myself to flee, but the civilized person, who has become as fearful of pursuit as my victim

I run and the police follow. But unlike my victim, I move quickly-- energized by the fresh blood upon which I have just fed.

I slip back into the shadows, rushing away, thinking to myself that this will be my last victim. I will surrender myself to starvation next time.

But this is my civilized mind talking.

I know when the hunger comes again, I will kill, and keep killing until someone stops me.



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