Beneath the discomfort, I felt a new strength. A man of only twenty-three years and a warrior among my people, I was accustomed to being stronger than my brethren. This however was different, an animal strength, summoned up from the dark recesses of my soul, a possession of my muscles by an unseen force. But was it the power of the Hebrew God, or something else?
Quickly surveying the area, I found no sign of Kane. I also found that I no longer cared, I was overcome with grief for the price I sensed I would pay for my action of self-preservation. The brightness of the day becoming increasingly unbearable, I sought shelter in a nearby grove of trees, and collapsed into unconsciousness.
* * *
I awoke again, this time greeted by the comforting soft light of the moon and stars. For the second time in my new existence I felt the mind altering hunger, not in the pit of my stomach, but an aching in my entire body. I somehow knew immediately that which was needed to ease my pain. It was only through the death of others that I could continue to live.
Seeing the firelight of the Hebrew camp glowing like a precious stone in the distance, my inhibitions and fear gave way to my incredible hunger.
In the distance I saw a lone woman wandering in the darkness. As I drew near to her I felt her heartbeat as if it wear throbbing within my own chest. With my newly discovered agility, I was upon her immediately. Her body went rigid in my arms, paralyzed with fear, which I could smell mingled with the scent of her blood. She never had a chance to cry out as my fangs pierced her neck.
As I drained her veins, I was overcome by a new sensation. My mind was instantly flooded with a barrage of memories. I saw Dina's entire life, as if it were an extension of my own. The smell of fresh bread made with my sister's help. I lived all of Dina's memories as if they were my own until she went limp in my grasp.
I fell to the ground as my vision blurred and I saw a new vision. I entered a state not unlike the opium-induced trance I had seen Kane enter sometimes before battle.
Before me stood an endless field of wheat. The sky was shrouded in the heavy cloak of black clouds full of rain. Lightning danced between the anvil clouds preparing for the coming fury.
In the center of the field, standing amongst the waist high grain, beneath the gathering storm, stood a man who was not a man. He was clothed in darkness; he projected darkness as the sun projects light. His cape billowed with a hypnotic motion as if blow by a non-existent wind. His head turned with the same non-motion as his attention focused on a second being.
The second was clothed in brilliant white yet only emitting the muted radiance of pale moonlight. In his right hand this wraith carried a long curved sword held out away from his body severing the tops from the stalks of grain with its razor edge as he walked with a ghost's rhythm towards the first's position.
The white wraith's eyes blazed like the fire that sprung up from his footsteps and I saw the wheat burning in a smokeless fire that marked the trail of his passage to the horizon's edge.
The creature stopped several meters from the dark wraith and plunged his sword into the ground. Emanating from his outstretched arms a circle of fire encompassed the two spirits.
The dark wraith drew his sword in response and held it towards the sky. A bolt of lightning struck the ground between the two and the resounding thunder flattened the wheat to the edge of the circle.
Both wraiths readied their weapons and charged towards each other, and as the world collapsed around them, their bodies dissolved into two separate flocks of brilliant red birds.
I awoke with the taste of blood on my lips cradling Dina's body in my arms, smitten with grief for the beautiful life that I had taken, and awed by the vision I had seen.
* * *
Three faces, each illuminated by an unseen source of light while their bodies remained covered by the thick blackness permeating the room, sat facing each other around a circular table.
The first face to speak was that of the white wraith, "The balancing ritual is in danger."
The face of the dark wraith matched his serious tone, "There are random elements in play which endanger our existence,"
The third face remained silent, as his right hand grasped the knife lying at the table's center and handed it to the white wraith.
The white wraith placed his left hand on the table, then plunged the knife through the back of his hand pinning it in place.
The crimson blood flowed across the table's surface dripping into the mouths of the demons gathered at its edges.