Authors: Jaliza Burwell
Tags: #fiction, #urban fantasy, #eternity, #immortal being, #female protagtonist
A Toiling Darkness
Jaliza A Burwell
By Jaliza A Burwell
2015 by Jaliza A
All Rights Reserved
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters,
businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of
the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any
resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is
Reyna's Blood Book Two in March 2016
To Jonathan for loving this story so much.
The woman caught my attention the moment she
entered the alley. And not because her ass was hanging out of her
short leather skirt or her breasts were nearly tumbling out of her
blouse. It wasn’t even because she was stumbling around, completely
plastered at two in the morning. I mean, she should know better by
now. Don’t go into dark scary alleyways. Nothing good ever
No, none of that got my attention. What did
was the fact that she just became part of a scheme. A bloodborn
down there has his sights on a soon-to-be mugger and the mugger now
had his sights on the woman. The mugger-to-be was going to attack
the woman and then when he was busy focusing on her, the bloodborn
in the dark corner was going to take him down and call him dinner.
It was a classic attack-while-they’re-distracted method.
Help them. They’re young and weak, and don’t
deserve to be killed like this.
I snorted as El’s words from long past as
they came to the forefront of my mind. Sorry El, but if they wanted
to spend their nights sleuthing around in alleyways, then they got
what was coming. Besides bloodborns have to eat too. Who was I to
deny them a dinner?
Correction, vampires. Bloodborns were called
vampires now. When one particular vampire made himself well known
and coined the term vampire, creating legends about his kind, the
other pires supported him. I thought he was just an attention
seeking idiot and my opinion wasn’t going to change anytime soon—if
ever. They are still bloodborns to me and will always be, but the
humans knew them only as vampires and only as legends now, nothing
real. They were only something fun to create movies and stories
about to romanticize their existence. I wonder what would happen if
they realize their vampires were real. Would they still want to
have a romance with them?
I mean, I’m sure there are all kinds of fun
for those who liked to toe the line between life and death. And I’m
sure making out with a being who could only think about the blood
pulsing through your veins is on the top ten lists of all
line-poking enthusiasts. It definitely doesn’t make it on my list
of things to do.
I looked back down into the alley, deciding
to stay and watch. Why not? I got front row seats to the whole
show, just the way I liked it. I sat on top of a building, my feet
dangling and just waited patiently.
My body vibrated with unshed laughter. The
bloodborn was still crouched down as the mugger tried to hide
deeper into the darkness. He wasn’t doing a good job of it, at
least to my eyes. The drunk woman stumbled to the wall and dug
through her purse, cursing as she tried to find something. If she
was smart enough, it was her phone to call for a ride. If she
wasn’t then it was probably for a cigarette. She didn’t find
whatever it was and cursed some more. The mugger had to be less
than ten feet away and she still didn’t notice him, too focused on
her little misfortune.
It was too damn funny. So evident that he
was right there. Humans were so blind to their surroundings.
I felt a little generous and manipulated the
darkness to wrap around the bloodborn who waited even deeper in the
shadows than the mugger. This was the kind of night I needed—a
night out in a city full of unsuspecting humans.
The bloodborn stiffened as he became alert.
Though he didn’t fully understand what the moving darkness meant,
the dangers I kept hidden in them, he knew they meant someone bad
was nearby. Me to be exact. He looked up slowly and blanched when
he spotted me. I smiled and jerked my head towards the humans.
You. Humans. Go for it.
I thought supportive thoughts, wanting a
nice show out of it. I needed a good memory of the city before I
left for a while.
Getting the message, the bloodborn smiled.
He held a vile smile on vile lips that showed off his long pointy
teeth. I wiggled my fingers at him in a childish acknowledgement
and enjoyed myself as the scene was about to unfold. He turned back
to his prey, feeling more confident now that he was so well
It was a simple scenario for tonight. A
woman being stalked by a mugger who was being stalked by a
bloodborn. I could already tell the scene was going to be quick,
the script only a page long, if that. Still, a lot could happen in
a very short amount of time, and I sat here, too curious about how
it was all going to play out.
I was always curious about something. It
could range to watching children playing in a park so innocently to
beings preying on humans or my personal favorite, humans preying on
humans. More times than I can count, it has been humans preying on
And they like to call us the monsters.
She’s the devil’s child! A monster!
Kill her! Burn her alive!
I snorted at the jumbled memories.
I wasn’t any more a monster than the
bloodborn. We all just want to survive in a shitty world. Eat when
we needed to, sleep in peace, and just live. Instead we hide
because humans will always out populate us and we don’t need
another witch-hunt going global.
I watched patiently, nearly holding my
breath in anticipation. One thing I learned, being alive for so
damn long, was to wait. It’s all I ever do, especially now. Wait.
Maybe I’ll figure out what it is exactly that I’m waiting for.
The scene began when the mugger finally
decided his best chance was now, so he attacked. He grabbed the
woman by her high ponytail and yanked her back, pressing his knife
against her neck. The woman screamed and tried to fight back, but
like I mentioned—she was too intoxicated. The struggle only caused
her to throw up all over the front of the mugger when she managed
to face him and tried to push him away. Instead, her weak attempt
to fight turned into a grasp for an anchor as she bent over and
hurled. She just wasn’t able to take the sudden movements.
Surprise, surprise. Not really.
The mugger cursed with disgust as he shoved
her away. The woman’s little purse was in his hands, so he got what
he really wanted. Instead of leaving, like he should have, he stood
there for a few moments, his chest heaving with adrenaline as he
stared down at his victim. His mind worked through an idea that
fluttered around, his adrenaline pumping a little too much for him
to be able to completely grasp it. When he finally did catch it,
his body broadcasted those thoughts loud and clear and they weren’t
pretty. He was considering raping the woman, even after she threw
up all over his jeans and shoes.
Disgustingness at its finest.
One of my little talents is reading
people—no thanks to endless years of experiences. I can look at
someone and easily get into their heads and figure out what they
were thinking, especially if they were filled with pessimism.
Pessimism called to the darkness and I was the one who
Even now, I could feel his thoughts knocking
at my psych, demanding attention. It made me hate my little talent,
even if it saved my neck time and time again. There was nothing
more uncomfortable than seeing into the mind of someone like his.
His mind wasn’t dark; if it were, I would enjoy it. No, his mind
was desperate, just plain desperate for things he wanted and
couldn’t have. Pure greed.
Ugh, his thoughts were making me feel
At this point, the woman was nearly passed
out on the ground, her cheek pressing against the dark asphalt,
probably in something vile like piss or whatever else accumulates
in alleyways. I was about to leave, not interested in seeing
someone raped, but the mugger never made it passed his
consideration. The bloodborn finally made his move and attacked. It
was a completely boring and one-sided fight. The man didn’t even
have a chance to scream. His mouth gaped open and before the scream
ever left his throat, his neck was broken. The being buried his
face into his neck and fed, his mouth feeding off the mugger’s
. A very quick script.
Kind of disappointing really. I liked my shows with a little more
action. A little more blood and fighting.
I stood up, dusting off my frilly dress, and
wavered on the ledge of the building as I balanced my way back to
This city was everything I needed. It was
simple to hide here, with an endless supply of old abandoned
buildings built hundred of years ago and enough tall buildings to
create all the darkness I needed to enjoy myself.
Yeah, Rheems was just the kind of city I
needed. This place was definitely better than New York City, with
all its glass buildings and too many lights. Rheems worked hard to
keep its history, and travelers from all over came here to see what
kind of history it held so close to its chest. There was the
tourist-attracting harbor that wedged itself into the city. The
transit system was simple and easy, and contributed to the
unnatural loss of tourists. If someone wanted to disappear, all
they had to do was come here and throw themselves into the arms of
strangers. Especially when more than thirty percent of the city’s
occupants were beings like the bloodborn and me. A lot of them
didn’t mind the extra snacks the unsuspecting tourists provided,
especially when they practically delivered themselves into the arms
of a hungry being.
I’ll have to thank Lord Kay later for
finally convincing me to try out this city—if I ever see him again,
and I’d rather not. Though it seems that lately, I’ve been seeing
him more than I cared to, which is not at all.
A noise broke my thoughts. The sound was a
mixture of a scream and a moan, followed by nothing but the sounds
of cabs honking and people laughing as they went about their night.
Something else had happened in the alley. I turned around and
squinted, hoping to see anything that would give me a clue of what
that noise was. Nothing. My curiosity got the best of me and I
turned to go back.
What could have gone wrong in such a short
I was in a world where anything was
possible. Maybe another hunter showed up. How fitting that would be
too, to have a hunter turning into the hunted, falling prey to
I took all of five steps when a man jumped
up onto the building, using strength that would give pause to any
human—if they weren’t already running away. The newcomer was tall,
a little over six feet. Then again, everything seemed tall to me.
My form was of a preteen, a pale little girl with curly blonde hair
held back with a black bow and big blue eyes. I enjoyed being
small. Others looked down at me and knew I was better than them,
that they couldn’t kill me even if they wanted to. And if they
dared, they died trying.
The man dropped the body of the bloodborn.
His chest was torn out, eyes open and blank. There was nothing vile
about the bloodborn any longer. He was just dead. The man turned,
using the shadows to keep his features hidden. I flicked my hand
and removed them with a simple thought.
If Darkness commands, darkness concedes.
Hence my name, Darkness. At least my current name.
The shadows receded and the man stood in
front of me in all his glory. He was amazing. His eyes were a
radiating dark brown, filled with a power that hummed through his
entire body unchecked. His shoulders were broad, his waist narrow
and his hair a shimmering black. The dimple in his chin added a
sense of boyishness to him. There was this soft glow around him, as
if while it was nighttime, it couldn’t quite touch him. And he
wasn’t rejecting the darkness either. There was this edge of
compatibility to his soft glow and the night. I tried to tear my
eyes away from him with difficulty and eventually just gave up.