Hail to you, progeny! Most often, it is the work of my own hand and merry grin that does stain this marble hall with such crimson despair. I’ve left you here for but a moment, and you have already sought to change this landscape with such vigor.
With your own blood, no less.
I do admit your current disposition confounds me. When last I left, you were savoring a kiss with the alluring morsel I had presented to you earlier this very night. She was a fitting gift for my newest fledgling: a young artist herself, with flowing red tresses that fell loosely across her delicate form. It was these vibrant locks that first caught your eye, but it was her azure gaze that would soon ensnare your attention and seal her fate.
You began to speak to her of artistic virtue, praising her work and skill with a paint brush. All the while, you approached her calmly, and with purpose. As she answered your questions and explained her methods, your attention slowly moved from the sound of her voice… to the soft breath released with every word… to the steady beat of her young heart. You did not realize that your gaze had travelled away from those bright orbs, to the pale flesh of her nubile neck. I saw your amazement when you realized that you could now sense the rhythmic pulse of her veins under the surface of those delicate features. You became enamoured by its gentle throbbing, as desire welled within you.
Your fangs revealed themselves, then, and fear began to enter your prey. I took hold of her, and gently held her trembling form, as you pierced the soft flesh and released her precious vitae to sate your growing hunger.
It is a sight I never tire of, the terrible beauty inherent in one’s first feeding. I left you there, to bask in it’s euphoric delight, as I went to seek my own nourishment. I have now returned to something most unexpected.
What. Have. You. Done.
You have squandered my gift, fledgling. Not the gift of the young delicacy, which you did thoroughly enjoy, but that of the new life I have given you. My Own Blood, tenderly offered during our embrace just last evening, now calmly seeps from a self-inflicted wound in your chest.
I see you have found my cherished blade, bestowed upon me by royalty, long ago. It is made of the finest Damascus steel, with a crossbar and hilt made of gold, enameled with diamonds and rubies. This is the same hilt that now protrudes from your forlorn frame.
Did you think yourself an Antony to my Cleopatra, falling on your sword when despair takes hold? Was I gone so long for you to think I had abandoned you forever? Or are your motives more distressing?
My blood has not yet been given the required time to complete your change. Within the next fortnight, it will consume every part of you, dissolving your organs and altering your appearance. You feel this transformation, and though it is not wholly unpleasant, I see it has frightened you – enough to commit this unfortunate act.
I would bid you speak, but that is all but impossible in this moment. The blade has pierced your flesh with the same exactness of purpose that you displayed earlier with your prey. It has cleaved through what remains of your lungs, as well as your heart, creating a ravaged path, left to fill with your own blood, and drown you in it. The pain you feel must be exquisite.
Fear not to be misconceived. Your eyes alone declare your story to me now, and of the remorse for the life you devoured this evening. The more pleasure you culled from her veins, the more distraught you became. Your distress reached its peak when you eyed my sharpened blade and sought its embrace to cure you of this supposed affliction.
But you are not the master of this blade. Even now, it refuses to take your life, and awaits my command. Your will may be strong, but my blood coursing within, and presently gushing out of you, is stronger. And it demands resignation. But first…
Do you know why you were chosen, childe?
Your gift with oil and canvas is undeniable. Your ability to evoke the solace felt from a fleeting sunset through a seemingly simple combination of brush strokes astounds me. When first I gazed upon your mural, I stood facing it for hours, enchanted. Soon after, when I witnessed you in the midst of your craft, I instantly desired to preserve your skill for the ages through my embrace.
And now I am beset by a new revelation, as I behold your broken form before me. Even now, the blood still flows mercilessly from your wound, continuing to compose its own impressions upon the hardened floor. Some has pooled beneath your frame, while other adventurous trails have snaked across the tiles to welcome me here. It is artistry formed in agony and sorrow. This scene has allowed me to peer into your very essence, unabashed and pure, and to witness the meaningless – but heartfelt – struggle to retain what has already been lost: Your Mortal Self. Through this, your transcendent beauty has been enhanced a hundred fold.
Now, be of good cheer, for I will reclaim my stolen steel and mend the shambles of your brash heart. Though I freely admit this tableau has me so enthralled, that I must first enjoy it a while longer.