Of Darkness Born - Prologue
The fair elven maiden ran as fast as she could through the thick under brush, an attempt that failed dismally due to her bulging abdomen. She had been running for three hours now, and still she heard the sounds of pursuit, ever nearing. She stumbled over a protruding tree root on the unfamiliar path and fell heavily, barely managing to twist to the side to protect the unborn child in her belly. A strangled sob escaped her throat; she should not have left a child of such an unholy unison live, but when the moment came, she had found that she could not kill such a fragile new life. But she had never thought that day would come back to haunt her so.
A vivid memory invaded her mind, blinding all of her senses with its intensity. All day long a storm of ferocious qualities had been brewing, and when she was on her way back from her family's home it had erupted. Sometime in that blinding maelstrom she had drifted from her path, and strayed far into the Ered Mithrin, the Grey Mountains. When the skies had finally cleared and she had realized where she was, it was late into the night. She had tried to get back among the familiar trees of Mirkwood; it had seemed to her that she was going in circles. When at last she collapsed, faint from exhaustion and ready to give into her weakness, he had come, bat-wings blocking out the stairs, mesmerizing pale golden eyes fixed on her, his perfect lips, his-
No! She shoved the memory away and tried to stand, but a wave of pain racked her body and forced her to the ground. Again she tried to stand, but another convulsion racked her body, then another, and another one, stronger than the last- her child! The young mother moaned; no, she thought, not now, I cannot go into labor now!
But nature would not be denied, and when she the child was finally born the new mother found the strength to open her eyes- To see, holding her newborn girl, him. Wordlessly, he pointed down to her child, and unable to do anything else, she obeyed. To see that the black blood had run true. She gave a strangled sob. For on the newborns back, spread apart to avoid hitting him, were two small, bat-like vampire wings.
The vision of her twisted child remained engraved in her mind as she died, blood spurting out from the cavity where her throat had been. Silently he stood, tasting her blood on his fangs, holding the equally silent child in his pale arms, contemplating the death of his chosen host. Then, acting on a perverted impulse, he placed the child in the stream of blood. The small girl began to cry as her mother's blood washed over her, and watching her, he frowned. The wings. They were too obvious, if a nice touch. He would have to get rid of them. But now, now he would eat; he had not eaten in too many days.
Placing the wailing child aside, he fixed it with a sharp glare of his strange pale golden eyes. She fell silent, and he stooped down, drinking in the remains of the blood. When he was finished, the vampire rose and gathered up the child in his arms, pleased to see that she was licking the blood off herself with a pale tongue. The vampire laughed; his blood had carried through. Spreading bat-wings of his own, he took to the air, the half elf, half vampire child sleeping restlessly in his arms. She would serve his needs well.
* * *