Name: Byron Ajan Cormac
Ethnicity: British/Indian (mixed parentage)
Date of birth (mortal): 1888
Undead date of birth: 1920
Age at time of Change: 32
Weight: 180 lbs (athletic, wellbuilt)
Affiliation: Cruor Corp
The Sheep always have words to describe people like me.
Words that they throw about with abandonment to mask their true thoughts and feelings. Quivering in fear from their lost humanity found only when confronted by the reality found in those precious last moments of life.
There are words… but now is not the time for them.
You see, when you look at me your eyes tell you that I am immaculately dressed. Not a strand of my long dark hair strays out of place. My nails, though slightly long are neatly manicured; their crystalline glimmer may throw you off a bit. My seductive brown eyes a shade lighter than my olive skin reels you into their depths. Luring you into a daze while your thoughts whirl about you as if caught adrift in a storm. This is normal, your mind is illequipped to contend with my preternatural will.
For the moment, you are safe.
Your fate is delayed because I want to tell you something; a story. Yes, it is unconventional timing but
I have never been good at following the rules. I find it only proper for you to know me before you die; It is the least I could do. After all we are so intimately bound that I owe you this much closure. Your thoughts betray you; How so you might ask? Well allow me to illuminate you my dear.
In my world, ‘born into darkness’ is a popular colloquial phrase among the upstarts of my kind. It is literal rather than metaphorical. This slang has manifested itself over the long years to be used as a rallying cry for the perpetually melancholic. I was born into this darkness at the ripe old age of 32, in the year 1920. But my birth year arguably was a far darker time than all the nights I have endured since then.
1888 was the year that London was a veritable engine of industry; It was a dark time. Though the machine of capitalism ran rampant, it did so on the backs of the huddled masses of the impoverished. Lost souls that eked out a living in the dank, rat infested alleys and slums of the country. The perpetual smog, a sign of progress, killed as many people as the sexual diseases of the day.
The year 1888 was known for many things. It was the year T.E Lawrence was born, though he was better known to the later world as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. Though it was more infamously known as the year that the enigmatic butcher of prostitutes, Jack the Ripper, ran roughshod on Whitechapel’s working women. Much of Jack’s tale was deliberately obscured by the authorities, him being after all, a high level Freemason committing ritual sacrifices. The brotherhood came first above all things. How do I know this? There are few things that hold much mystery to me any longer.
In that time, the British India Empire still retained some form of power over the land. My mother was a second generation British citizen, though her ancestry originated from India. Her parents were loyal British subjects in the Indian subcontinent and had moved to London where my mother was born as a naturalized citizen. There she met my father, a Londoner of Scottish descent when she was eighteen and a year later, I was born.
My parents weren’t close, their dalliance was a result of lust more than love. My mother was considered pretty by our rather shoddy standards back then when colonialism ran rampant. When a blond haired, blueeyed man of stature came calling, her parents practically shoved her out the door and into his arms. They would have spread her legs too, if they could. It would have mattered little anyway. She was a working girl, unbeknownst to her parents. Her exotic caramel skin kept her firmly in the favors of her gentleman callers. She faced much competition and racism from her competitors but somehow survived both them and the later murders. But the person she was then was not the person I grew up knowing, or perhaps she was, merely more maligned.
What I did know was, she was so successful at her occupation that she became a sort of accessory for the high and mighty. She was regularly invited to parties despite the norm a woman of her stature, class and race would ordinarily be turned away from. Each night different from the last, as she graced the arm of whomever the lucky fellow at the moment, might be. Men well above her station vied and fought for her attention as she played the role of the starlet. She captivated them, charmed them until she had them dancing to her tunes like a master puppeteer overseeing his stage.
It was at one of these high society secret parties where she met my father – still a soldier then; but of a rank high enough to be invited to such private affairs. For one reason or another, she chose him over all others and the rest as they say, is history.
Much of their story is unimportant, this story is about me. You see, when I turned fourteen in 1902, my parents were estranged. The popular assumption here would be that my father was an alcoholic and he would hit my mother. She being the strong woman that she was, would tough it up in defiance for the betterment of her young son.
I could tell you that if it would make you feel better but such stories are only ever told by the media to perpetuate a stereotype to sell papers. The truths are rarely ever disclosed, especially if they have a tendency to shake the status quo out of marketable ability.
But I will tell you the truth.
It was my mother who was abusive. Even with her new status as a Lady, she took to the streets to shag up with strange men nightly while my father spent long days and nights slaving away at the British Secret Service to put food on our table.
I imagine he knew; What is the point of being in Intelligence if you’re not wise to the corruption in your own home? But dear ol’ dad was a proud man, how he did not see this side of the woman before he married her I could not know. Perhaps the vigor of youth overwhelmed cold hard logic.
The pain was apparent, this I could see clearly but there was little he could do. Mother had control of the household’s finances and she grew rich like a well fed sow in my father’s absence. Her girth and attitude were horrifying to me. I would see her stuffing her face with food and she would beat me brutally when she thought I was watching; judging as she would say.
The days pass where I was left to fester my hatred in my soul. Gluttony, greed and obesity were sins that I had associated with that belligerent cow for a mother. I abhor all those things in others as I did in her.
When she was not out whoring and making a fool of my father’s good status she would take out her imagined slights on me. The scars may be healed on my body now, but they are still etched vividly in my mind. I fear that they are mine to wear for all eternity. They are my badges of honor, a horrid reminder that family can often do you the most harm.
I endured her tyranny for many years, running away from home became a regular practice. Sadly, I would be hauled back kicking and screaming by the police every time. My father understood why though, in those nights where it was just us, he would confide in me. He was a good man; Astute, brave and loyal. A normal man would have left my mother but my father had become a devout Catholic. He adopted his faith quite suddenly in his middle years, holding the sacrament of marriage to heart. But, it was also killing him like cancer..this alone gave birth to my disdain for the dogma of organized religions. That a man so strong as he to be cowed into being a whimpering dog too afraid to break free of this invisible shackle mother burdened him with. Sadly, this was a revelation that only dawned on me much later in my life.
He would not break his vows no matter how much mother pushed him. In a sort of morbid irony this resulted in her hating him. Though it was his money that sustained her, she had siphoned much into a private account that all she desired now was her freedom. What made her this way, I could not tell you. Considering how she’s been dead in the ground for over a century, I cannot say I care either.
My reprieve came at the beginning of the first war in 1914. I was eager to enlist, partly to make my father proud but mostly to escape the insanity of living under my mother’s boot. She had grown bitter and vile in her later years so little was needed to encourage me to enlist first in the military at the age of eighteen and then shipped off to war at 26.
I hardly saw my father, though that had much to do with me being deployed in Africa while he went wherever he was tasked. When the war ended four years later, I was 30. Single and without any qualifications other than how to kill, I did what any selfrespecting army youth would do. I joined the Police.
It was not long in that service before my nightly patrols would lead me into the arms of the one that changed my life irrevocably. It was the year 1920 when I was as they say, ‘born into darkness.’ Of course, these slangs would only fill the popular lexicon of our kind soon after the movies lit up the screens sometime after 1922. That was our doing, you know? It is always easier to hide in plain sight. With the Sheep firmly believing we do not exist, we are then free to revel in their ignorance. The movies execute their purpose splendidly, but they always fail to adequately capture the euphoria of the Change justice. How could they? To them, we are literary creatures that exist in the pages of Bram Stoker or later on, Anne Rice. We are creatures of fiction that have no place in their stagnant reality.
I see your eyes widen, yes…you are beginning to realize the truth. There are words to describe people like me, but only one stands out in your mind even if you are not ready yet to accept it.
In the ever present darkness, we have stalked the shadows, moving behind the scenes. In the many centuries we have learned to adapt, to blend in and to control. In those earlier days, or at least, in my day, we were more carefree. The older ones of course, owned corporations and ruled like feudal lords in their domain but many of us prowled the streets dressed as gentlemen and ladies. The dark gift imbues us with a layer of beauty that is hard to shake. With our abilities to usurp the minds of others, we can appear charming and horrifying in an instant if we so desire. I am considered young by our standards but my experiences have aged me.
But before I digress further, let us reach the conclusion of one tale before beginning another. I visited my mother the night after I was changed and she recognized me instantly. I think she could see that her son was different and for a brief moment I allowed her to witness just how much. I let the thoughts of her death swim in my mind for days on end in deliberation. Should it be slow and torturous or quick for instant gratification? Sadly when the time came all the pent up emotions poured forth like a torrent of water consuming all in its path. She was a cruel woman, made crueler by time. I afforded her a mercy she did not deserve. All those years as mother’s verbal and physical punching bag, all the scars inflicted… when I was transformed, it was a sublime moment.
The walls of my mortality crumbled and the unbridled power that coursed through my very veins awoke in me. It was a sensation so pronounced it left me staggered to maintain my composure. For years I was tainted by her blood coursing through me but now, I was purified!
All the emotions I had bottled came free but instead of obliterating me as they would a lesser man, they strengthened me. I wrapped myself in the cloak of my misery and saw for the first time, through eyes no longer burdened by human emotions.
Thus concludes my rather uninspiring tale. Such a shame–It is not as riveting as the fantastical gothic yarn of Count Dracula but what did you expect? I am flesh and blood, not a literary figure. My story would not make waves, nor would anyone care to write a book about it. If I had not encountered this twist of fate, I would have died and no one would have missed me.
But that is not my fate, it is yours.
What’s that? I’m sorry, I won’t allow you to speak. While I do enjoy the screams, and trust me, blood rituals such as these are empowered when fear and misery are given a voice, I’ve had enough of the screaming for now. So you will remain silent but please, continue struggling. I enjoy watching that; Food for my eyes if you will.
I wanted to tell you my story because I think it is important to know how and why I chose you. There is a method to my…madness. Others of my kind have similar criteria, but many would use the enhanced beauty this existence affords us to beguile their way into the pants of beautiful creatures. This is not my way, as evident by your presence here. I do enjoy the beautiful women; please do not misread me. But these women are largely safe from me since they delight the eyes and soothe the soul. I would not hurt them unless I had no other choice. I would keep them as my thralls, my dolls.
I’d much rather liberate the world from creatures that resemble my mother both physically and emotionally. Such people are vitriol to the narrative of our existence. Many would gorge themselves stupidly with no control and yet, expect to be treated like valued members of society. I see it in the news, I read it in the papers. I witness it on the streets; mass consumption is a disease. I imagine you’d find it ironic should you know the status I possess among my kind but the devil is in the details.
I look to my vocation as if it were a crucible and I am the sword. My mother was a worm that crawled her way out of the drudge she deserved to die in. Even with everything she had been gifted, she could not appreciate her life. I will never forget that face of hers the moment before she died, the face dawning upon the true realization of fear. I savor this moment as though it were a recording on repeat in my mind. She was the first life I had taken to hold any meaning to me.
I hated so much about her and I see so much of you in her.
Yes, there are many words to describe me and of the things I will do to you. Warlock, fiend, monster, masochist, even chauvinist.
But the word that screams at you now is the truth that will be covered up along with your body after our ritual is done.
Yes, you do not need to speak it, I can hear it in your thoughts. I can hear the word screaming for release in your mind. So before I kill you, I need you to understand that you are not crazy. What you think is true, is. I am that thing that goes bump in the night. I am the gentleman fiend that stalks the shadow.
I am…a Vampire.