Authors note: This is a story I wrote for English back in 2007 before the vampire trend started. One of my favourite pieces.

Tears of Blood

To be a vampire is to be like one dead. Alone, friendless, isolated, cast out, always in hiding. So that humans will never know of our existence. There is a whole world which lives in the night; vampires, werewolves, witches, demons, ghouls, zombies and shapeshifters. All of those things which people think are stories to frighten children are real, but most of us are not evil. We spend our lives quietly hiding in the shadows, longing for friendship and family, yet few ever find them. I am one of the lucky ones, this is my story.

The night is dark. The moon is veiled by dark storm clouds. The air is still and chilly. The city almost empty as people hurried about their business. Except for me, a dark figure outlined across the tallest skyscraper in Melbourne. I am crouching as still as a gargoyle to avoid attention from below. It is unlikely anyone will look up, even if they did all they would see is an eighteen year old boy crouching on the parapet, but it is better not to take chances. I have been watching the stars but the accursed clouds have now obscured all vision and I am deciding on whether to call it a night.

Dawn is not far off and I haven't fed for two days. I have been dreading it. The idea of drinking blood still repulses me. I can already feel the thirst building though, my muscles stiffening, my breathing becoming more laboured. I must make a decision soon.

I shift slightly on my perch and glance down at the dark alley. With my enhanced vision I can pick up tiny details. I can see rats hunting through the dumpster. A fading poster stuck on the brick wall and empty cardboard boxes stacked in a corner. I hear something. A muffled scream, at the end of the alley. I can see a bald man dragging along a young girl. Slowly I stand up. I have to do something to help. I cannot stand by while some innocent girl is raped or murdered.

In one flowing movement I stand up and step off the building. I can feel the wind whipping through my hair as my cloak sprawls out behind me. The ground rushes towards my feet as dark windows shoot past. I feel a sudden urge to laugh at the exhilaration of dropping a hundred stories in an instant. I touch the ground gently and walk forward towards the man.

Now that I am closer I can see his dark brown eyes, alight with sadistic pleasure. He looks like he hasn't shaved for a week and by his smell he hasn't bathed in a year. A common thug. He is manhandling the girl with a lewd grin.

"Stop!" I shout. He turns and looks at me with surprise. He probably thought the alley was empty.

"Who are you?" the thug grunts. I smile.

"You had better leave. Now!" I reply quietly.

"Why would I want to do that?" the thug snarls. He reaches into his jacket and draws a small revolver and points it towards me.

"I got a gun. See. Now get lost, creep."

I don't even flinch, I stride forwards purposefully, my silvery green eyes boring into his. I can see a flicker of doubt and fear pass through him. Foolishly though he stands his ground and waves the firearm around trying to look menacing.

"Not another step!" he screams. I step forward and he pulls the trigger.

Instantly there is a thundering crash and the world turns white. The rats squeak and vanish. I can feel a stinging pain in my chest. It burns like fire. I look down. My chest is covered in blood. I hear the girl scream. Already though my body is repairing itself. I can feel the muscles pulling back together and my skin stitching itself up. The bullet falls out and I catch it in my hand. It is brass with a pointed end, covered in blood. So small and deadly. I drop it to the ground.

The thug looks dumbfounded.

"Wrong choice," I say. I grab his arm. He desperately pulls the trigger but it doesn't hit me. I easily lift him up and throw him against the wall. He lands with a sickening thud. He tries to get up but he is dizzy. I can see he has at least a broken leg and a couple of broken ribs.

I can smell his blood. My heart beats faster. I have gone without for too long and being shot lost me a lot of blood. I can hardly breathe, I feel like I am suffocating. I feel my incisors growing, becoming fangs. My mind screams at me to turn, to leave him. I can see his white neck, his veins pulsing. The thirst is overpowering. The desire to drain him dry is too strong. I can't help it. I lean down and sink my quivering fangs into his flesh.

I can taste his blood, so hot, rich and salty. I can also taste drugs and alcohol coursing through his body. It feels like life is coming back into me. My head begins to clear. I can hear his heart beating out of time with my own. I hear it start to slow as he weakens. With a great pull I tear myself away so that he will live. I lean back against the cold brick wall and shudder. I feel disgusted, not just because I nearly killed a human being but because I know I enjoyed it and that I will do it again. I can feel tears rolling down my face. Tears of blood. I am terrified that one day I won't even feel that. That one day I will lose control and kill someone. Then I will be a true monster of the night.

I manage to get control of myself and turn around to look for the girl. She is crouching behind a dumpster. Shivering from the cold and pure terror.

I walk towards her and she backs up against the wall.

"It's okay, I won't hurt you," I say softly. She doesn't respond, but she does relax her grip on the wall. Slowly and carefully I reach out and touch her. Her skin feels cold and clammy.

"You must be freezing," I say kindly. I take off my cloak and drape it over her shoulders. At first she flinches but then almost imperceptibly begins to relax.

"Come on, we must get you home. Your family must be worried." She nods and holds out her hand. I take it in my own. It is so small and cold but surprisingly there is strength and something I have never felt before, trust. I turn around and walk out of the dark alley and into the night.