I walk out of the cafe and turn into the alleyway next to it. Dead end. Fitting. Everything so far has been a dead end. The summons, the ghosts, no one knows who this guy is dealing with, and no one seems able to find out. Or wants to. I can’t tell which. So, time to bust out the walking shoes and tail him. This looks like the place he usually gets his coffee, but I think I was made since he came in, didn’t get anything and left, I decide this is as good a break as any and I get myself something to eat. After a few cardboard-tasting bites, I throw it away in favor of the burnt coffee. At least its warm. I set it down outside, in the cold of the city, by the wall I’m leaning up against and close my eyes. I breath outward, extending myself, pushing, feeling, arcing over and under the doorways in the building, saturating the alley, the street, the building, feeling everything.
Bellow me, in a basement, I can feel a need so strong it startles me, and I have to refocus. Its a need for life that I haven’t felt before, and wouldn’t mind ever feeling again. I draw myself down, a ghostly specter into the basement, feeling the doorway and hallways, the locks on every one, planning the route out, planning on keeping everyone safe. This need is dangerous, deadly, a hunger so keen it will cut you if you’re not careful.
In the room there is no light, but I see through being everything, all awash in the strength of that need. I can feel the cages, the strength of high-grade steel and old magics deep within them, keeping me out. Chains built to withstand the strength of the elements, but certainly not the strength of this need. I see everything lit up in the reflector glow a red so deep it doesn’t project, a red that isn’t human. The thing in the cage turns to look at me. Long legs in a torn dress, hips and waist curvy and beautiful, strong, but still supple. Breasts to complement the figure without overpowering, one of which is free to the air since the dress stops existing at the waist for half her body, no bra. A slender neck, and then the face kills it. The need has contorted it, made it its own. Pretty eyes though, but the bulging upper jaw and incredible muscles look like they could bite through steel; the extra-long, sharp canines are bulging out, dying for flesh to rend and blood to drink.
“I always thought vampires would be prettier.”
The voice is sweet, incongruous with the distorted jaw in the way that possessed people talk: disembodied. Just like me right now. “We are, on our good days.”
“This then, is not a good day?”
“Are you here to help or mock me?”
“Depends. Who put you here?”
“Some ass-hat in a bowler hat. Ugh, god-awful thing that I thought had died long ago.”
“No, the hat.” She describes my mark.