Copyright © 2013-2016 under pen name Tatiana Knight
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
Lillian was a simple girl living a quiet life as a family girl in rural Chicago when a serious of events changes her life for eternity.
This story follows her struggles to adjust to what she has become, delves into the depths of her inner struggle to retain her humanity and the inevitable moments that she loses that battle.
Paranormal, Romance, Horror, Historical, Contemporary
This story contains graphic sexual content, language and violence that may not be suitable for all readers.
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When Night Falls
Written by: Tatiana Knight
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The scream of a man pierced the quiet, chilly night of downtown Chicago as he ran to escape the monster chasing him. His breaths came out in puffs of white fog as his legs—short and fat as they were—carried him at an impressive pace through the empty back alleys.
He looked over his shoulder as he rounded the corner of one of the many vacant buildings. He was no longer being chased, but he still hurried to hide himself in the darkness and collapsed against the brick wall. His hands clawed at his neck tie, loosening it to make his deep breaths easier.
The following moments were tense as he listened for the footfalls of whatever was chasing him—of whatever tried to grab him as he was walking through Lincoln Park on his way home from the pub. They had struggled for several heart-stopping moments until he was able to wrestle his way out of the iron grasp and shove the person away.
He had tried to see who the culprit was but in the dark, unlit park he had only been able to see the silhouette of a person much shorter than himself before he had taken off running. Now that he was at a standstill, his mind drifted back to the scuffle; he couldn't help but swear that his hand had pressed against a woman's breast when he had pushed the person away. Quickly though, he discredited what he thought he had felt. There was no way a woman could have been strong enough to subdue him for as long as his assailant had done.
Several more quiet moments passed—no footfalls or breathing from anyone but himself. He allowed himself to relax even more against the wall, his body unused to anything that wasn't a brisk walk. With a deep breath, he pushed himself off the wall and headed towards the end of the alleyway, deciding to go the opposite way he had entered just in case the lunatic was waiting for him near the entrance.
It wasn't until he was getting ready to turn behind the building and exit onto a side street that he heard a viscous snarl from behind him. Slowly, his heart catching in his throat, he turned to face the beast standing at the mouth of the dingy alleyway.
To his shock he saw that it was a woman, her gown in tatters. The hem was frayed and dirty beyond repair, barely covering her feet, which were completely bare. The left sleeve of the plain gown was torn off entirely and the bodice ripped down the middle, revealing much more of her breasts than was proper.
Only when he took in the crouched woman's clothing did he dare look at her face. Brown hair was knotted around her shoulders and falling into her glowing red eyes, her mouth open to reveal sharp teeth dripping with saliva.
His breath caught in his throat at the sight of the crazy woman. His heart was now beating so fast that he was sure it would pound right out of his chest. Stammering, he asked, "What do you want?"
Nothing that could be considered words came out of her mouth, just another long, drawn out growl as she opened her mouth wider and crouched lower on her haunches.
He screamed as she jumped at him, moving so fast he was unable to avoid her. He shrieked again when her body collided with him, successfully knocking him onto the wet ground. She reared back and slashed at him with her elongated nails, tearing the skin on the side of his face like a hot knife through butter. As he struggled beneath her he continued to scream for help, shoving at the impossibly strong woman as she leaned down and tore into his neck with her razor sharp teeth.
His screams soon became strangled gurgles as blood filled his airways. His struggling gradually lessened as the feral woman continued to bite into him, ripping off pieces of muscle and flesh as she gnawed until he had stilled completely, lifeless beneath her.
Lost in the euphoria of the blood and her kill, she didn't hear the footsteps approaching from behind her until a soft feminine voice said, "He is dead, dear. There is not much more you can get from him now."
Quickly releasing her kill, she turned and growled, flashing her blood-drenched teeth at the unknown intruders.
There were two; one man and one woman, both wearing matching cloaks with the hoods down to reveal their regal features. Both wore expensive clothing: the woman, a ground length gown that swished ever so gently in the chilled night breeze and a matching wide-brimmed hat over her golden hair; the man wore clothes almost the same as the dead man she now crouched over; the trousers and overcoat a coal black, his vest a deep red that matched the ascot around his neck.
Growling again, the blood-soaked woman looked between the two of them, trying to decide which to go after first. "Oh my," the female intruder gasped, her hand going to rest against her sternum, "I do believe she is rabid, my love."
Leaning on his cane with one hand and clutching a hat in the other, he looked upon the bloody girl with disapproval. "I do believe you are right." With a disgusted sneer he asked, "What is your name, girl?"
Again she growled, loud enough this time to echo through the alley, her body shifting forward and her legs straightening. Ready to charge. Her eyes were focused on the stronger of the two. It would be easier to take down the man and then the woman, ridding herself of the only threat.
Without another second's thought, she lunged forward, charging towards the man. Just as she swung her arm at him, fully intending to rip his side completely open and gutting him, he stepped to his left, swinging his cane and hitting her in the back with it. The hard impact caused her to stumble in surprise but she quickly regained herself, turning with a vicious snarl and charging again, only to be met with the same cane to her back.
"Come, now, girl. Is that the best you can do?" he taunted, pointing the end of his cane in her direction, this time with an arrogant smirk on his face before continuing. "You may try again if you wish."
Grinding her teeth together, she examined him, quickly determining that he was indeed stronger than she'd originally thought he was. He wasn't even close to the normal nobleman she first thought him, possessing skill unlike nothing she'd encountered with the other privileged gentlemen she had easily overcome.
"Oh Marcus, do not hurt the poor girl," the woman called from the side of the alley, her pale hands clutched in front of her, twisting them uneasily.
"Quiet, Isabel. The girl will either learn to act more civilized or learn who her betters are," he growled, his gray eyes locked on her. "Try again, girl. You will surely regret it."
With a frustrated yell, she charged at him full force, this time using one of her new found tricks to aid her. Just as she would have reached out to grab him, she sifted her body through the air; her form became non-corporeal and floated towards him in a cloud of dust. When she solidified directly in front of him, he was prepared, his hand immediately wrapping around her thin neck and shoving her backwards until her back met with the brick wall. With an uncivilized yell she struggled, snarling and snapping her teeth as she used her claws to try to tear into him. The man only snarled back at her, using his free hand to grab and yank the arm that was doing the most damage to him above her head and pin it against the wall, the rough grip cutting into the delicate flesh of her wrist.
"Did you think your petty Newling tricks would work on me?" He bared his razor sharp canines, just like her own. "How will you fight me now that I have you trapped, you filthy gutter rat?"
"That is enough, Marcus!" Isabel growled, stepping up to them and grabbing the arm that gripped the young girl's neck. The woman was completely different from the flighty and fainthearted lady that had stood to the side just moments before. "Release her now."
With a disgruntled growl, the man did as he was told by the tiny woman. He released the Newling before grudgingly taking a step back from her. His eyes were locked on her, prepared to deter her in case she tried to attack again.
Isabel stepped to her with a gentle smile, causing her to lift her lip in a snarl, shirking back farther into the wall at her approach. "Calm down, my dear. I intend no harm," she soothed. "Marcus is just a bit of a brute underneath all his silk and lace. He looks for any excuse to flex his muscles. He did not mean to frighten you more than you already were."
The refined woman then reached out and touched the arm of the less civilized one, rubbing her arm soothingly in gentle strokes. "Now, Dear, what is your name?" The Newling looked at her suspiciously, her eyes darting between the two intruders and the closest means of escape at the end of the alleyway, before looking back to the woman without a word. "Come, now, none of that. What harm can giving me your name cause?"
With another suspicious glance, she cleared her throat before saying quietly, "Lillian."
She smiled brightly. "Such a beautiful name," Isabel mused. She continued to caress the younger woman's arm as she asked, "What are you doing all alone, sweet girl?"
Lillian couldn't help but lean into the woman and her gentle hand, taking a deep breath and allowing herself to relax just a bit. She had spent the last few days flighty and on edge, unsure of anyone and everyone. She had been so scared that she could barely even sleep. Thankfully, she had found somewhere to rest when the uncontrollable urge to sleep overtook her. "I…" Lillian thought a moment.
She didn't even know why she was alone, only that she wasn't able to go back home to her family.
Smiling gently at Lillian, Isabel glanced over to her companion before asking, "How about an easier question: how did you come about being as you are?"
"I was attacked," Lillian said quietly. "I do not remember much of it."
"Tell me what you do know," Isabel urged. "Marcus and I will be able to offer you greater help if we understand your circumstance."
Frowning, the younger girl began with a quiet voice. "The horses were making noise in the stables, and my pa sent me to out to check on them, to make sure there wasn't a fire or a thief. I was grabbed from behind and he… ripped the sleeve of my gown." She paused to touch her bare arm before continuing. "He… the gentleman who attacked me— and he was a gentleman. He was dressed like you," Lillian growled looking towards Marcus. "—like all the other privileged gents in the area who thought to take advantage of a hapless farm girl." Raising her head, trying to show her pride she added, "I would not allow him to ruin me and I fought him, but like you he was far stronger than any man. He ripped my bodice as he tried to pull the fabric away from my neck."
Closing her eyes, she remembered the pain as he had tossed her body to the ground among the dirt and hay and laid his body over hers, the weight suffocating her as she struggled against him. The horrible burning pain as he tore into her delicate flesh with his fangs. "I fought him even as he tried to kill me but he held my hands to the ground so I… I bit him back until his blood filled my mouth and it was flowing down my throat." She paused, and pursed her lips in thought. "I remember naught much else after my first swallow of his blood, just brief flashes in my mind that could be dreams."
Isabel's caressing hand moved to wrap around her whole body, the older woman holding the younger one against her comfortingly. "And of when you woke? Where have you been passing your days?"
"The son of a whore had buried me," Lillian snarled fiercely, so angry at the revelation when she had awoken. "I had to claw my way out of the dirt and mud to gain my freedom. When I reached the surface I was not even certain of where I was; it was dark and I did not recognize the area… or myself. It did not take me long to reach the city on foot, but by that time the sun was rising…" Her thoughts drifted as she thought of that first day in the city; fighting the urge to sleep with all her might as she wandered through the slums as even the poor eyed her like she was the dirt beneath their feet. It wasn't until mid-morning that she realized the farther the sun rose, the more her skin burned. She had sought refuge beneath a bridge, inside a half-broken wooden crate. "I have been sleeping underneath Hemingway Pass. It is the only place I have found with enough darkness that is not commonly traveled."
With a look of pity, Isabel clutched Lillian against her breast. "Oh, you poor thing." She glanced at Marcus, who had remained completely silent and stoic during the retelling. "We must keep her, Marcus. The dear girl does not even know what has become of her."
"And what will you plan on doing with a Newling, Isabel? What could we possibly need with her?" Marcus questioned scornfully as he leaned on his cane once again.
Cutting the male a sharp glance she said, "I plan to teach her how to act like a lady of breeding and not the filthy gutter rat you accused her of being. The girl has no one to possibly care for her or any idea how to care for herself, for that matter."
With a sigh, Marcus just turned from the two women and waved his hand in their direction, frustrated. "Your motherly heart is now set on the pitiful creature so I care not, Isabel. You intend to do it, regardless of my wants and concerns."
"What concerns, Marcus?" Isabel asked, getting his attention enough to make him turn to look at them again. "My only concern is the girl drawing unwanted attention of The Whole to all of us with her… unconscious killing. The last thing we need in this dreadful city is for them to come down on our heads for not maintaining our streets." She paused before snapping, "And yes, my motherly heart yearns to care for her, to show her how to be as we are, to avoid attention and fulfill all our needs and desires without making a scene as shocking as this." Then, in a practiced look that had clearly gotten the woman everything she had ever desired, she looked upon her companion and asked, "Did you not ever think of making a Newling of your own with me?"
Sighing, he said, "Of course I have, Isa, but this will not be ours. She belongs to someone else. Someone will sense their common bonds one day and wish to take her for himself."
"I dare the fool try to take her from me," Isabel snarled fiercely, keeping her arms around the young girl. "She has been abandoned, left to her own devices and not taught anything about how to fend for herself. She does not have to be made by us to belong to us in the end."
Marcus was thoughtful for a moment as he looked at his pleading companion and the Newling she held in her arms before saying, "You may keep her, Isabel. I will not say another word against the matter, though if we are to make it home at a decent hour we must get back to the carriage."
Suddenly smiling, Isabel turned towards Lillian and said, "Would you wish to come with us, dear? We could get you a nice bath once we return home." Reaching up to touch the girls hair she added, "And comb out this hair. I am certain you have such beautiful hair underneath the blood and dirt."
Wordless, Lillian just nodded, not sure of what else to say. She did not dare turn down the offer because it had been so long since the last time she had bathed and slept in an actual bed, since she had felt the warmth of a fire.
Isabel continued to smile brightly. "Good! I am very happy to hear it. Now, let us get back to the carriage, it isn't very far from here." Lillian was shuffled towards the mouth of the alleyway and the main pathway, the two women following only a few steps behind Marcus's massive form until they reached the road. Turning, he looked back at them.
When his eyes passed over Lillian's form he sighed and unbuttoned his cloak. Slowly, revealing his fine evening clothing, he removed it and handed it to her. "Cover yourself. You are hardly dressed proper."
Quickly taking the cloak from his hands, she wrapped it around herself, regaining a semblance of modesty when she pushed her arms through the billowy sleeves. Buttoning only enough buttons to hold it closed, she lifted the hem so it would not drag on the ground and fray. She looked back to Marcus. "Thank you," she told him quietly.
He said nothing as he turned and continued down the sidewalk, Isabel and Lillian following closely behind him.