Uncommon Vices

Punish vice and reward virtue.

We all have our vices, whether they are chocolate, alcohol or drugs.

Every single one of us has that voice in the back of our minds, the one that you don't notice at first, a small niggling at the back, just out of reach. But as you get more hooked, as the vices start to take control so does that voice; it moves forward, becomes stronger and stronger until it has control.

And from then on, you can't think of anything, that voice, and the vices have control. It's a vicious circle of trying to give it up. But the happiness and freedom that vice brings is too strong; and you're back to listening to everything that the little voice tells you to do.

I called mine the Grey Lady, that voice in the back of my mind, the one that controls me. But my vice wasn't normal, it wasn't for chocolate, alcohol, or even drugs.

My vice wasn't normal. I wasn't normal.

Ladies and gentlemen I bring to you my story as the young girl Roxanne, and how I try to fight the vice that controls me, whether I succeed or fail is for you to find out.

Let the games begin.

My breath was coming out ragged now, how long had I been running? I couldn't even remember; it felt like hours. The monotonous thumping of my heart, along with the clumping of my battered old trainers along the pavement were the only sounds that were coming to my sensitive ears.

I didn't even know where I was, how was I supposed to hide if I didn't know where I was? So I stopped running for a minute, hiding myself slightly behind a building.

Shit, they were still after me. There was only so much more of this that I could take. God, these police just don't give up do they?

Okay, yes I am running from the police, but I really don't think you want to know why. I just made a little slip up if you will, overstayed my welcome. I calmed down a bit when I saw them all go straight past where I was.

Free to roam for another night then. Now, where to go from here?

I looked around a bit, analysing where I was. Let me get out of these clothes, and I may tell you a bit more about why exactly I was running from the cops, but for now...

Hmmmmmmmm, this looks like a good target, no lights on. I press my ear to the door. I can't hear any heartbeats or alarm systems for that matter, people these days are so careless.

I found some clothes which were a bit more respectful than mine, nice shoes and everything. Anyway, I make my way down the street, what was the time now, 1.30 in the morning, not too bad for a night's hunting.

I made my way into my apartment, chucking my keys to the side and making my way into the bedroom, taking off my shoes and jumper as I go. All I needed now was sleep, so I collapsed on the bed, and was out within seconds.

Okay, so I suppose you're thinking now, what is her vice? I mean, this story about it, is it not? Well, I'm getting to that bit, but to understand and see what I have become you have to understand me first.

I woke up at 8 on the dot, like I always do no matter what time I go to bed, since I don't really need the sleep, but it makes me feel more normal, more human.

And here I am, wondering exactly what normal is, because I am definitely not it. Is it having a mother, father, a daughter and son with a dog called Bryce, who knows? I know many people who believe themselves to be normal; try to kid themselves that they are the same as all of those around them.

Getting dressed I headed off to another boring day at the office. As an accountant all I have do is sit in an office with papers in front of me, looking important.

But it's at night that my life becomes interesting, so we'll skip to that. After getting changed into more fitting clothes back at my apartment, for the activities I would be doing, I locked up my apartment and headed out onto the town.

I'm running again, what is it with me getting caught lately? It's her again isn't it, the Grey Lady, that voice in the back of my mind, the one that comes with my vice. She's making me careless; she's telling me what to do. I can feel it deep inside me.

She enjoys it you know, making me run, making me face my fears. I can't, and won't be accepted among this world and she knows it. The Grey Lady, that voice, the whisper in the back of your mind. Close your eyes and just listen, she'll be there. And she'll always be there. She's reading your nightmares, and deepest fears, the ones locked away with the key lost long ago.

My deepest fear, the one she now controls, is to be found; for my true existence to be uncovered. And she knows that. The Grey Lady is making me careless; she wishes to fulfil my fear, my worst nightmare. And she'll do that to you, she's there in the back of your mind, but she doesn't have control of me yet. You don't have to let her have control. You can't let her have control.

Control your vice, control your wanting for that small piece of freedom that comes with it, you control that and you control her, you give in and she reigns over you, and everything you do and the thoughts that you have.

I told you that my vice wasn't normal, mine is one that cannot be controlled, cannot be stopped. I die without my vice, I am haunted by this fact, and my vice is a necessity to my survival.

The girl in the alley is proof of that.

Although, I know I didn't do anything to her, I mean, she was just led there, and that's how I'd found her, but if it wasn't me who was it, I never thought there was someone else, like me, who was around, but what if there is, do I know them. All of these possibilities of what happened. I mean, I hide my targets, hide my identity, but this person, they seem to parade them in front of the cops, like a common monster.

Heading back to my apartment again I open up my door and head to the fridge. Damn it I knew I meant to stock up tonight, and I'm too lazy to go out again. Plus, who knows, I might not be so lucky with the cops next time. My stomach gives a slight growl, I'm not completely satisfied but my stomach will have to wait until tomorrow night. I'm sure the Grey Lady can cope till then. She will have to.

Maybe she'll let me have control for a bit, I would like my mind back, it might stop me from going completely insane, and she hasn't had her full fill tonight. I controlled my vice a bit, an improvement on my behalf, I have to say.

So after my normal night's sleep, and normal day job, we reach evening again, and it's time for me to head out. It's time to fulfil the Grey Lady's wish once again, her wish to have control. When she occupies my mind, it almost heightens my senses even more, and I always feel, when I'm hunting there's someone watching me.

I've seen a glimpse of him before, just a reflection, the man in red, that's what I see, just in that split second, always somewhere, just watching me, waiting, who knows, he's always gone a split second later, maybe he's like me too, but then, probably not.

It's funny what death can do to a person, a random thought, I know. But you see the grief in a person when a loved one has died. But what of a murder, a homicide, slaughter, or killing, whether carefully planned or just a spur of the moment, what does the victim feel?

Do they feel the pain before they die, or does it completely depend on how they died? If one is bitten by a creature said to be mythical such as a Nosferatu or Lycan, does the victim feel the pain of being drained of their life? Or do they feel pain if the killer so much as chooses to turn them, the beginning of a new life, and if so, do they hold onto that life or fight it?

And what about the killer, what is it to them? Just another body, a horrific accident, or satisfaction, what can the glassy stare of a murdered person do to them? We never know, because no one ever asks. Of course, asking a dead person is pretty hard, and no one would believe you if you said you were bitten.

So what about the killers, what do they truly feel in their hearts about what they have done. Take me for example, Roxanne, just a simple woman; do I do it for fun, or for survival? Do I take pleasure in what I am forced to do?

No, I don't but my vice, like I have told you, controls me.

I was 19 when it happened, my first taste, my first vice. She took control then, the Grey Lady, and has since. I tried to stop, tried to control it, and in a way I did, but not in the way that I wished. I'm 23 now, four years of this, this foreign essence in my body, my mind, because that's what she is.

I see her sometimes, in my sleep; she invades my dreams, reaching out for me to take her hand, to join her. She can be very persuasive, and it's taken me these years to resist. But she is still there. I will never be free, as long as I want to survive; she will be there, taunting me, persuading me with that hand reached towards mine.

If I die will she leave? I ask myself that question every time I wake up. But I don't know how to die; I don't know what kills me. I've tried to drown myself, hang myself, jump off a cliff, but starvation, that's the worst. I'm drained, weak, and yet I still don't die. I bet it's her, stopping me from going, after all, she made me this in the first place.

I don't have a boyfriend, husband, or family of any kind for that matter, never had since I was little, as you see, they don't seem to understand me, not like the Grey Lady does, she understands everything about me, and why I need my vice.

It's hunting night again, like every night because I can't survive if I don't hunt. You know I didn't have as much as I usually do yesterday, so I have to pick my target tonight well. I always try to pick the hopeless, not very successful types, the ones that won't be missed. A horrible choice I know, but it's for the best.

No police tonight, I'm guessing she's satisfied; after all, I did pick a good target tonight, so she obviously does not feel the need to punish me for my bad hunting. And this is the kind of life I lead, normal during the day, but at night I have to obey her, make her happy, and in turn she gives me a small bit of freedom from her control, as a reward.

I don't want to do this, I really don't, but there comes a time when the addiction and longing is just too much, the hunger you feel for just a small bit of your vice. I suppose in a way I feel I'm doing the world a favour. My targets are always the worthless ones, like I told you.

I always wonder, back to my previous thought, is this what a killer does, picking particular people, is that truly what I have become, because of what I am, and how I need to survive, it's not even the Grey Lady really, it's me, and always has been.

Sure, I wasn't born to do this, but I didn't fight it when it happened either. I have a new lease on life, and I have accepted it, coped with it, and with the Grey Lady since my first taste, my first and only vice. It's part of me now, and will be for the rest of my life, however long that is going to be.

As you see, unlike drugs and alcohol, and chocolate to an extent, my vice doesn't kill me, but rather makes me stronger. You see these people, stoned to within an inch of their lives, having to be hooked up to breathing equipment in a hospital as they could not resist their own vice.

I see nothing wrong with drinking or drugs unless someone goes too far, but you see with my vice, that can't happen. I can kill, and take as much as I like. For it's only them, my victims, that die from my vice. That's why I choose less important people, or criminals if I can find them, they are ones that truly deserve what I do to them. I sentence them without a trial.

I wonder now, what you think of me as I tell you this, I mean, I'm not quite sure what I am myself. Whether I deserve to live as what I am, or for what I do. Do these people deserve to die for my own survival? I suppose the selfish part of me thinks so, but then there's a part of me that thinks, though I am different I am as bad, if not worse, than those I kill.

There is a thought in my head that says I should have died that night four years ago, that those wounds should have killed me, but they didn't, and I've never fully understood why. I have flashes of it now and then. The shine of a knife as it caused the sharp pains in my gut. It didn't register in my brain what was happening, what I had done to deserve this.

I had staggered away from my house, away from him, my 'dad'. I only got a few blocks until I started to fall, I'd lost a lot of blood, but someone caught me, and I felt their breath on my neck, and two pin pricks, and then a wrist in front of me, offering me their blood, before I passed out.

I woke up, 3 days later, completely healthy, but without a heartbeat. So I panicked, I didn't understand what had happened to me, where was I, what was I. I ran, but then the hunger got too much, nothing would quench it, no food that I scavenged or anything. I didn't understand until I heard a shot and running footsteps a few streets down. It was a man, a criminal I'm guessing, who had gotten shot, and was bleeding.

That smell, that sweet coppery smell, I needed it, craved it, lived for it. And then I knew what I had become, knew what had happened to me that night, and knew that I had to feed. And that's when the Grey Lady came. The moment my teeth sunk into that man's neck she came, from the back of my mind, grasping control of me.

I never found out who turned me, not after I ran away, and no one ever tried to find me. I found out who I was on my own and it's stayed like that ever since. I hunt every night, draining whoever I can find. The police find the bodies, but have never found me, and for that I am grateful, though it will happen one day, for now I am content with how things are going.

You may see me as a killer, as a monster, but I see myself as a survivor, a survivor of my vice, much stronger and more powerful than anything you humans will ever be able to comprehend. For that, be grateful, as you can give up your vice, just try.

My vice will be with me forever. I will learn to control it, harness its strength but that is all I can do. The Grey Lady will always have that hold on me, and there is nothing I can do about it, however much I try. I cannot die, but I cannot live either, there is no heart that pumps inside me, it is only my soul that keeps me alive now.

I am a Vampire, and my vice is blood, much worse and more addictive than any other substance. I have learnt to accept what I must do to survive, and have learnt to control my hunger. For that you should be grateful, as I prowl these streets for those I deem acceptable as targets, and who's to say I don't see you as one.

I am Roxanne; a girl unlike any other, a woman who could not succeed in controlling her vice, whether you can control yours is your own choice.

The game goes on.

AN: Okay, so this is my first story, and I'm hoping that you enjoyed reading it, though any constructive criticism is welcomed.

There will be a few more stories to come in this series, all from different points of view. Latros Lunae is Latin, and in English means Moon Hunters, which I thought was kind of cool.

This story was beta'd by jenjen-O, so I thank her very much indeed, and Cornoholic for all his ideas.

Review please; I hope to be able to reply back.