Blood Oath

My Sire had once made me the promise that She would never take a second human lover, that She would have no contact with those She drank from beyond their sustaining Her unlife.

But, in time, it seemed that vow did not exist to Her, nor had it ever; it was a misremembering on my part, perhaps, or else a lie.

Whatever the case, Her lovers were many, and She soon made few pains even to conceal it from me. On the contrary, She wore Her thralls, laughing, upon Her arm like bangles, a silvery exertion of wealth, and when—at last—Her eyes would fall upon me they were always quite hard, glassy and gelid in their disinterest.

Of me Her mortal flock knew almost nothing. They thought me a mere Familiar to their regent God, a forgettable face, a nameless name.

“Must the world comprehend our relation?” my Sire would ask coldly in response to my lightest complaint. “Be satisfied that I hold you in this regard rather than slake my thirst with your dire flesh. Is this not care enough, you who demands so much?”

It seemed my Sire had forgotten that it was She who had first come to me, with lips vermillion, to wind me into Her velvet web. That it was She who had first confessed Her attachment, which I had felt at once.

But then, of course I had loved Her, compelled in mind, in blood, in matter.
Where or when we met I will not detail, for amidst the mirrored labyrinths of time only She bears relevance to what we later became.

She appeared to me a night-blushed angel, Her hair the black of a November forest, Her eyes slim shards of ocean glass in their depthless green. Her body was all pale voluptuousness, and about Her always was the scent of a clementine darkness.

All else was forgotten there in the saccharine moisture of Her shadow. Had my Sire not possessed the skill to charm through chords of deathly magic I would still have cleaved to Her, such was my awe of Her existence.

Yet even in the golden beginnings of our shared life I knew Her as an evil-doer, which She Herself did not, to my knowledge, ever deny. I had only believed myself Her miracle exception, the one that She would keep, that She would not harm me.

Forgive me: I was human, then, and had, in my youth, the earthy potential for mistakes.

“All life is foul,” my Sire would say, reclining on some chaise lounge with blood anointing her jawline, “all foul, and worthy of derision. So many are the beasts that writhe in the reeking beds of their own doing. What care have I for their senses and emotion, I, who have lived so long, I, who have outlasted the taint of my earthly start, to rise—a queen of desiccation—and make such beauty of it all?

I take from them as once their emperors did from feasts, or women, or boys in unrelenting greed, glad of that freedom. I take them to my breast and allow them their belief—in such trite hopefulness—that they have earned my love, and that I do not see in them alone the porcine spirit of the human scourge.

And then— oh, I dispense of them, and always there is another, for none have seen me yet that have not known the sickness of desire, nor would refuse to lay their willing form down under my heel to die for the cause of my happiness.

Those that I keep truly close are others of my kind with whom I share this doctrine, or else those who presume, from my facade, that I am good.
Perhaps I am so, for certainly I am never wrong.

And if what I do is evil then this world is all softness and rot. If my handling of the lice a Lord once scratched upon the earth is to be condemned, then I am the devil they make me, but what do I care? There are worse than I, in this land, and truly we are all foul, in our conflicts and our harm.

There are those of us who scrape, and kneel, and make apologies, and those who step on the bared necks of the weak, and rise to bear our mantels. Stake your side, sweeting, or else life will choose it for you.”

All this I heard, and merely thought Her a jesting cynic. I had tricked myself to see a kindness, somewhere, a hidden grain of it that I, alone, was privy too. But as my blood lost its freshness to Her so, too, did my clinging love, and I quickly became an irritation, a commitment for which She held a scarcely concealed regret.

I do not know what it was in me that She was first drawn to, if any feeling She confessed was any more than a wandering whim. My vulnerability, perhaps, was a mere hurt to exploit and entertain, and then deflect from Her when, at last, I found in me bravery enough to name that She was cruel.

“I mislike this paranoia,” She then announced, withdrawing from me as though my blood was rank as piss, my scent repulsive where it had once inspired the scorch of lust. “What of this envy? Did you not say that I might do as I liked, that our union required no title?”

I had, but then I’d truly believed that She would keep her word. In those days I had supposed that She concealed me through fear of condemnation from such kin that might not gladly favour our union. But with the quickness of autumn turning to frost the falseness of this excuse came to light, and I was left grasping and mumbling like some lunatic stranger in the eyes of those who witnessed my tumble from grace.

What would have become of me if, quietly, I had merely endured this treatment? Would I grasp at Her shadow, still, scarcely touched, looking on in helpless cuckoldry as my mistress, in shrouding black, engulfed the moaning figures that so bore my jealousy?

I hated Her other mortals, although nothing I suffered was their crime. This, too, my lady criticised through grinded teeth.

“Take fault not with them, fool, but me.”

Yet when I dared answer this command She would turn harsh and unrepentant, and nothing would change except the vastening of that fell distance between us.

At last She parted from me, so sickened by my voice—my need, my essence—that my ejection came by written correspondence alone. By then She could not be argued with, never convinced. Ruthless and repulsed, she moved on to other lovers with an agony of quickness, caring not a whit for the judgement of Her fellows, if such would ever have come about.

I questioned, then, why She had hidden me. I thought that I must bear a canker, that all the flaws that She had lined about my character were unworthy of Her association.

Yet, once, at some event at which we were both present I felt the playful latch of teeth in some black corner and turned, aghast, to find Her over me, those perilous eyes quenching my will to deny. We talked of surface things, so estranged from one another since our parting that little was left to discuss but vapid gossip, quite beneath us and our history.

Then She was gone, and after this returned to Her loathing of me again, the familiar guise. A test, I think it was, to dowse my yearning for Her; I confess that my heart did beat with wild rapidity, yet I had also felt Her falseness. I questioned what but the lures of sensuality had kept me so loyal to Her side, lapping the minimum of love that She had deigned to give.

Three years have passed, and I have suffered since, sometimes of my accord, sometimes at the mercy of others, for I have made, in a drought of self-awareness, a victim of myself, apt to fall for the same play as I have seen stepped out on the boards so often before.

I perceived, in one low month of crisis, that as much as my Sire had wrought me bloodless I, too, was at fault for my hurt. I dashed too quickly into the arms of those ill-suited to our coupling, reacted to things that needed not so ready a heat as I so often gave.

And so I withdrew from that society, and from the night, nursing myself beneath the sun.

Only when I had outgrown my wounds did I again make my descent into that world, for in my long repose I had learned much of my true purpose and desires. At the heels of such wants I went into the chambers and warrens of evening, baring my throat only to those with whom I felt safe.

In this way, at last, I became of Her particular kind, treader of moonlight, taker of the substance ichorous and rich, but I have vowed to do so within my code, and never that of others.

When I take blood it is from the deserving, the willing, and without a promise I cannot keep. Although I am not without fault or failure this vow unto myself has kept me on a prouder path. Where once was shame and insignificance I rise in my dark power—yet I must own that dreams in daylight vex me, still, the memories of myself as Igor to a genius that did not want me.

Such servitude, uninvited, left a canyon in the soul as I cannot seal with blood, and so I wear it upon me, the brooch of my weakest hours.

None of us stride into this red night all-knowing, nor can we always veer the shades of ourselves, no matter the shape we take when, from our boxes, we rise. And so I say in parting moment: my inner work is not yet done, but I am armed for this battle to the very teeth.

Published by (Not actually a Lady) Ruthless

I'm a Manchester based horror writer! Non binary. Stuck with this domain because I'm lazy

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