Late Night,
Lonely Streets

by

Jaxon Renick

We've all taken that long walk home, late at night, alone with our broken hearts. It happens to everyone, young and old. For some they walk them more often than others; and then there are the lucky few who rarely know the sound of their heavy footsteps upon the worn sidewalk. But be they infrequent visitor or steady regular, they all come to walk down the dark street. Emotions raw, thoughts in turmoil, they wander towards some destination, whether known to them or not.

Furtively, their eyes dart around as they walk through the lonely darkness, but it's only occasionally done as a conscious effort towards safety. Most of the time it's due to the internal conflict battling it out in their heads. Seeing and unseeing, they continue to walk.

These are my prey, the emotionally lost, broken-hearted souls that visit these streets.

Succulent are their hurt and pain, juicy their torment and vivid the memories of their lost love as I drain their psychic energy.

Some of my brethren, the more sadistic, will feed on a lost one for weeks or even months. Using their influence while feeding to urge the prey to debase and defile themselves in such manners to ensure that they remain in an almost constant state of mental turmoil, just like stirring a boiling pot of hearty stew. Personally, I view it as more an act of laziness or selfish gluttony, but each prey has a unique flavour, and there are those whose special combination of turmoil can be so intoxicating that I can understand why they do it. But there are dangers to engage in such behavior.

The intoxication can become an addiction, and in the midst of feeding one can become lost. If the prey should become too drained they could pass and the feeder be trapped, their two beings bound to share death for eternity. Or the prey becomes so despondent and lost that suicide is seemingly their only answer in ending their torment, leaving the feeder without the fix; and a feeder going through withdrawals is indeed a sad sight!

I would be a hypocrite if I said that I didn't use my powers of influence on my prey. I just don't do it to keep my prey in their depressed, tormented state. Instead of cultivating and securing a supply of one or two estranged souls, I feed only what I need and drain some of the hurt and pain that they are feeling. Usually, they'll get back to their homes and sleep. Their torment lessened by that which I've siphoned off and a few key mental prompts while in their head to help guide them through and recover from their pain.

A vampyre with a heart; ironic isn't it?

I know what the myths and legends say about us, but I'll let you in on a little secret: they're all lies! Some are based on a bit of truth, but the lore was created long ago, designed to misdirect the prey. Blood sucking is a farce. We don't change shape. No bats, no wolves or rats. Crosses, wooden stakes through the heart and garlic are powerless against us. For in truth, we have no bodies. No actual form. We exist like the wind, unseen, but felt.

We are everywhere, yet nowhere. Some, like my twisted brethren, specialize in what types of prey they hunt. They'll go after only specific age groups, gender, age or even torment. Go to a funeral or a wedding and we're there. Hell, even prom night has its vampyre groupies lurking about in the shadows, waiting to cull from the herd the freshly popped cheerleader disillusioned by her first experience with sex or the ditched date who's discovered his escort in the arms of another. Their highs and their lows all add to each individual's unique flavour.

But I prefer the lonely, lost walkers on the dark streets. It's far more intimate when it's just the two of us swimming the swirling tides in their head with no distractions. That's when I can concentrate on their memories, reliving the parts of their lives that are at the most forefront of their thoughts as I absorb the highly charged chaos in their minds. With practice, I've learned how to delve deeper, see further into their lives.

At times, it can become difficult to separate that which is your own and that which is not. With the loneliness that is our ethereal existence, any diversion is a welcome change.

How this came to be, how 'we' came to be is an arguable subject. There are those who believe we are the damned, those who believe that we are the victims, and still those who believe that we are the lost. On the occasions that we do gather together, you can see the various groups gather in their own little like-minded groups.

Each eyeing the other with disdain, disgust and even revulsion, much like political or religious groups. All because of some shadowy concept of creationistic ideology. Ah, how much things can change and yet remain the same, eh?

At least to me, the why's and wherefores of how we came to be are inconsequential. We are what we are, but that doesn't mean that it has to define 'who' we are. Guess that would explain my penchant for helping relieve some of the torment of my prey instead of exasperating it for my own needs. Then again, maybe I am truly unique among my own kind. Yet I don't view myself above any of my brethren, just different. No better, no worse, just myself among the many like me.

Waiting in the shadows of the lonely streets.

   

About the Author/Artist

Jaxon Renick is a multi-talented artist of Native American descent with a long history in the comics field. (Besides reading them!) He has worked on projects with DC, Marvel, and a number of independent lines, and has done artwork for published articles. He studied various media and styles at the Kansas City Art Institute. Renick is many things to many many people beloved by millions in Thailand, despised by several in the U.S., and (so far) ignored by billions elsewhere. He is also known to be a bit of a smartass, but with a heart of plated gold. Jaxon may be reached at: renegadelizard@ev1.net.

Late Night, Lonely Street © Jaxon Renick

Artwork © Jaxon Renick

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