Back To The World Of Dorin Thornhill
Exes, Hexes, And Vexes, Or A Short Look At The Life Of Kale Myluke
By Derek Hawkins

Kale Myluke turned the body -no he couldn’t call it a body; this one was still alive but just barely- over and checked the peasant’s neck. He found exactly what he’d expected when he saw the pasty skin coloration the peasant had. Two crimson welts on the neck, just about the major vein. Fresh marks. Myluke knew from experience that this poor peasant was the victim of a light feeding. Just a snack, nothing more. Poor aptly described the peasant boy Myluke held in his arms. Ragged homespun cloth covered the boy’s body, patched and re-sown in more places that Kale cared to take the time to count. He turned the peasant’s face away form his own and looked at the back of the boy’s head. Reaching through the grimy dirty hair to the scalp, Myluke searched with his fingertips, looking for a tale-tell mark that would confirm what he‘d suspected was happening.

There were the marks of the first bite, but none for the second bite. Myluke relaxed when he saw this missing bite mark, but only just slightly. This boy hadn’t been harvested yet. Harvesting was the worst form of torment a soul could go through. He knew from experience, as he himself had been half reaped when he was no more than a handful or so years older than this boy.

That was over seven centuries ago.

The whole thing started out innocently, secretive and naughty. Seductively. The raven haired Lorelei and he had been in the hayloft above the carriage house on her father’s estate. He remembered that Lorelei had the most succulent breasts he’d had the privilege to ever experience in his short life up to that point. They had spent many wonderful afternoons in that hayloft kissing and hugging. Myluke always knew when he could expect to see her breasts, for she always wore a simple dress with a drawstring top on those days. This particular day she was dressed exactly that way, or rather she had been dress that way. Her top was opened, exposing her breasts to his willing and eager hands and mouth.

There had been many days like this one over the course of that summer. This one in midsummer would end very differently from the rest, however.

Lorelei pulled Kale’s head from her chest. His expert tongue and mouth had stirred up desires in her, given rise to her hunger. She had to have him, and now. “Come kiss me,” she said. Myluke willingly obeyed her, kissing her soft lips deeply. She kissed him back just as deeply, sucking his bottom lip into her mouth. She bit down gently on his lip, scraping it with her teeth. She broke off the kiss and tilted Myluke’s head up, and began to kiss his chin and down to the side of his neck. She kissed his neck, and licked him. “Oh yes,” she murmured. She hugged him tightly to her.

Myluke was a bit surprised at her brazen take charge attitude this afternoon. And he reveled in it. He was kissing her bare shoulder when she hugged him tightly to her. He hugged her back, enjoying the closeness and the feel of her breasts against his bare chest when he felt her bite his neck. He could feel her fangs sink into his flesh at the exact moment his old life ended and his new one began. That the worst part of it was, Myluke would come to realize years later, was that he’d allowed it to happen, allowed her to gain power over him.

She bit him, beginning his transformation into the unknown. Transforming him into a creature that was wholly unlike anything else he’d ever imagined. Over the rest of the summer, Lorelei taught Kale about the life of the vampire. She made it very clear to him the difference between themselves and ‘regular’ vampires. “We are not the average scary story variety vampire, Kale. We are different. We are special. We can walk the day like humans and suffer no ill effects. Sunlight does not hurt us, other than to tan our skins like it does every other human. That is what we are, a higher level of human being.”

“How so?”

“We are a higher level of human being because we have the power. We hold the power of eternal life and death. It is ours to do with as we please. We are the chosen ones, the ones who decide who shall live or die. We are the rulers of the world.”

Kale learned that Lorelei had been living this life as a vampire for over two centuries, well beyond the memory of any living man, and beyond the life times of most of the eldest Elves in the Tanusila Woods. “I’ve lived in all of the seven kingdoms of man, and outside them as well,” She told him. “I stayed in one place for only so long before moving again every few decades, spending time away in another kingdom before returning again to an old hunting ground as the grand daughter or great grand daughter of my past self.”

She taught Kale how to hunt for prey, and how to feed not only on the blood, but on the soul as well.

“We feed on the soul? I thought we bit people and sucked their blood out.”

“We don’t just bite people, Kale,” she said one day. “There are different kinds of bites for different reasons. There is the bite of conversion, to bring someone into our world. This bite forms a unique bond between two vampires, a connection. We are able to call and respond to each other over vast distances.” She smiled at him slightly, seductively. “Then there is feeding bite, for blood.

“The trick is to drink slowly, just a sip from a wine glass, and you can keep drinking from the same ‘bottle’ for a long time. Drink too deeply, too fast, and you will drain the bottle empty and kill it, though that too has its advantages.”

“And the third bite?”

“That is the bite of reaping. To reap a victim is to steal their soul, their very essence of humanity. A fully reaped victim becomes a mindless creature for you to control. A lesser reaping bite will leave you in partial control of a victim, able to generally bend their will around to your own.” Lorelei explained to him about the connection that was forged between vampires and the reaped. “The more powerful a Vampire is when reaping, the stronger the connection is to the reaped. The strongest of our kind can reap and control dozens at a time. Each vampire that is brought over to our world has the power to reap others to his will. The more reaps that occur, the larger an army of vampires that can be controlled by anyone above them.”

“How far does this control go to? What level in the vampire hierarchy?”

Lorelei smiled. “All the way to the top, my dear Kale. All the way to the Eldest. The head of our kind.”

Kale thought for a minute. “But what happens to someone who’s had their converter killed? You converted me, what happens to me if you were to die?”

“You would then be free of my control, and the head of whatever size of vampire chain you and your converts had reaped. It has happened before. The New heads of the chains are often offered a choice, to become part of another chain by becoming reaped again by a more powerful elder, or they are encouraged to leave and form a new vampire kingdom somewhere far off.” She looked slightly sad for a moment. “Or else, the new chains begin a vampire war with each other and with the chain of the Eldest.”

He often wondered what became of Lorelei over the centuries. She’ made no contact with him at all. The last he’d seen her was just before the forging of a great and terrible weapon, and the vampire uprising that followed. Chaos and slaughter were waged on the humans, massacre upon massacre. Many vampires were lost in the uprising, but Kale had found himself again. Somewhere within him, his conscience awoke. The needless slaughtering of the humans by both sides of the uprising gave him a new purpose in his eternal life, as guardian of the humans.

Kale shrugged off the reverie and picked up the boy. The boy lay limply in his arms, carried like a sack of grain. Myluke followed the road a league or so, and came around to a slightly less worn cart path that lead to a dilapidated farm house set back near the tree line. Rock strewn fields bordered the cart path, mute testimony to the poor farming conditions this family tried to eek out a living on.

The house was made of ill fitted stone with a straw and mud daub used as mortar. It’s thatched roof clearly needed repairing. Some simple farming tools leaned against the side of the house. He pushed the door open, not bothering to knock or announce himself.

Inside was a woman who bore a family resemblance to the boy. She looked up from the kettle she was stirring in, a thin broth with few chunks of meat or vegetable in it. She startled at the sudden intrusion into her house. Her cry of protest rose in her throat and died there unspoken as she saw the limp form of her son in the stranger’s arms.

“He is very weak,” Kale told her. “”He needs to rest and eat plenty of food to regain his strength. He’s lost a fair amount of blood.”

“What happened?” she asked, setting the boy’s bed up in the corner, near the fire. “He was attacked. Given enough time, he will recover fully. He needs rest now, at least three days, and plenty of food.”

“What did this to my son?”

“An ancient evil that walks among us again.”

Myluke left the peasant family and began walking. This was the fifth attack he’d seen evidence of in the past two months. His gut told him it was happening again, and that it must be stopped. Permanently. Three thoughts were on his mind. Informing the King of the impending danger, meeting up with his friend Thornhill, and the location of Silisantorius, The Blood Drinkers Bane.