Read Fledgling (The Vampire Manifesto, Book Two) Online

Authors: Rashaad Bell

Tags: #teen, #young adult, #Fantasy, #horror, #werewolf, #paranormal, #vampire, #Romance, #science fiction, #manifesto, #adult, #rashaad

Fledgling (The Vampire Manifesto, Book Two)

BOOK: Fledgling (The Vampire Manifesto, Book Two)
4.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Fledgling (Vampire Manifesto Book Two)

Other Books by Rashaad Bell

Alphabetical Genocide

Forgotten Future Anthology

The Vampire Manifesto

Copyright © 2012 Rashaad Bell

“Sunnydale. Towns got quaint and the people, he called me “Sir”, don’t you just miss that? I mean, admittedly, it’s not a haven for the brothers. You know, strictly the Caucasian persuasion here in the Dale. But you know you just gotta stand up and salute that death rate. I ran a statistical analysis and Hello Darkness. Makes D.C. look like Mayberry. And ain’t nobody saying boo about it. We could fit right in here. Have us some fun.”

~Mr. Trick~

Dedicated to Ted Smith

We miss you

Chapter 1


Out of the frying pan…


My name is Madison Amber Rose and I am a Vampire. Presently I am in an alleyway in Palm Coast, Florida, my teeth buried deep into the neck of a man I don’t know, draining the lifeblood from his body. There was no scuffle, no effort to fight me off, as if there was a way he could contend with the strength that I possess. I approached him, keeping his eyes locked in my gaze, focusing the totality of my mind until his iris glossed over and he was in my thrall.

I am feeding off this man, drinking his blood and yet I do not consider myself a monster.

I could sense that it was time to release him from my grasp, I could feel his soul slipping down my throat, yet I only craved more. Just a little bit more, that’s all I ask. The thirst burns so much, the pounding of his heart so loud in my ears it was the only sound I could hear. His body was beginning to go limp in my embrace, yet I still yearned for more. The taste of blood was so spellbinding, intoxicating to the point that it had overcome all the senses I possessed.

His body was immobilized against mine, the kiss of death on my lips as it pressed against his flesh, my teeth in his throat, yet I could sense him being pulled away. I struggled to keep him close, to prolong my feast, yet Connor seemed to have different plans.

“Now doesn’t that make you feel just a little bit better?” The Vampire Connor was crouched on the top of a dumpster, noiselessly observing as everything unfolded before intervening altogether, separating myself from this ill-fated little man. “I always find that a murder in the early morning clears the mind state, albeit that was not the lesson being imparted here tonight.”

Connor released his clutch on my victim, the young body collapsing to the ground, appearing as if he were merely asleep, just another random boy who had too much to wine and passed out in a backstreet.

Yet sleep is the cousin of death.

We had only landed in Palm Coast less than an hour ago, the plane touching down on Connors private airstrip. My intention was to head directly to my residence after learning the grim news of my parents untimely demise. Connor had other plans in mind. There was a disagreement on what to do next, followed by a brief altercation. He is infinitely more powerful than I am. So now, instead of being home where I’m needed, I am here, in this alley, taking instructions from a murderous Vampire on how not to commit murder.

Welcome to my life.

“I need to go home.” I hissed, no longer in the disposition to play the games that Vampires play. “They’re expecting me to be there.”

“Then home we shall go.” He countered, appearing next to me, his eyes taking on an emerald incandescent.

“It’s about time.” I said, turning to leave, yet I could feel his hand clamping down on my shoulder keeping me in place, his grip so resilient that try as I might, I was powerless to pull myself free.

“After one more.” He assured, a smirk playing across that devilishly handsome face of his.

“I told you, I’m fine. I feel okay.” I professed. “Nothing is going to happen.”

Connor refused to back down. “In the face of all that you’ve been through Madison, you're still a Fledgling. You have no inkling what it means to be a Vampire. You cannot fathom how your actuality will change once you attempt to pick up the pieces of your previous life and put yourself back into the everyday routine of existence.”

I turned to face him, expecting to see the same old smug Connor that I encountered back in the bookstore, yet there was nothing but apprehension in his eyes. Apprehension and a despondency to his soul.

“Madison, you couldn’t stop.” He continued.

Connor pointed towards the comatose young man slumped against the wall. “There is no coming back for him; he’s lost too much blood. The only thing left for him now is death.”

Connor turned to me, rather exasperated. “The objective of the lesson was that you don’t have to kill in order to endure. That you can safely appropriate from three what would customarily eradicate one. They live. You live. Everybody wins.”

I understood what he was doing; that he was just trying to protect his protégé from things that I couldn’t comprehend until they were upon me, yet at the moment, all I could contemplate was getting home to Aiden. He was all alone, dealing with the demise of our parents by himself. I should be there, consoling him...

“Do you know what will transpire if you go there, if you go home to be with your brother and you become blood drunk from his scent?” Connor probed.

“That wouldn’t happen.” I whispered.

“You would kill him.” He finished. “You would lose control and you would kill him and anyone else in that house. You would devour their blood down to the very last drop, all of it, just to sedate your own insatiable appetite. That is the way of the Vampire.”

“No…” I couldn’t believe what he was saying. That I would do anything to harm my brother…

I would die first.

“You wouldn’t have a choice.” He continued. “You are Vampire. It is in your character to slaughter for survival and you have not yet survived long enough to comprehend exactly what that statement means to you. As a Fledgling, a newborn, you are powerless to control yourself. Your body will act on its own accord, seeking out the blood that it needs to persevere and endure. It doesn’t have an ethical compass. It will just strike out instinctively, zeroing in on the closest person available and consume them. It’s what human scientists call an involuntary reflex. Like breathing.”

Connor drew me close, one hand wrapped securely around my waist, the other caressing the back of my head, his fingers entangled with my hair. “I recognize that you wish to leave, to rush to your brother’s support, but what I do now, I do to protect you both.”

He leaned forward, gradually, giving me the chance to pull away from him if I so chose and yet I didn’t and as his lips touched mine, I closed my eyes and let it happen. It was the second time that he’s kissed me, yet after each one I always found myself longing for more.

Connor stepped away abruptly, as if he was fighting some internal battle that I wasn’t privy to. “The first two months are the hardest as a Vampire. You are naive to your capabilities; you do not yet comprehend what the blood does to one such as us, the influence it holds, the seduction it contains. There will be intervals, however brief, that you are incapable of governing your own body.”

“You asked me to educate you, to tutor you to all things Nosferatu; well this is one of them. You claim you don’t want to be an executioner, but that is what you are. What you’ve just demonstrated yourself to be tonight.”

Connor bent closer to the young man, sliding down next to him, taking a seat on the grimy blacktop. “What do you want to do about this?”

I was confused. “What do you mean?”

“He has, three, maybe four minutes before he dies. Are you okay with that?” Connor asked.

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

Of course I’m not okay with that. I can’t go on just killing. I can’t live out my life as some cavalier Vampiric maniac that has become accustomed to murder. I’m just not built that way…

“No.” I whispered. “I’m not okay with that.”

“Then what do you want to do?” Connor asked again. “We can turn him…”

“No!” I yelled out.

I couldn’t…

I would never sentence another soul to the life that stands before me. Violence and death, that would be my legacy, my black gift and with every person they killed, every single drop of blood they shed, that would be on my hands.

“Then he dies.” The body next to Connor went up in a blistering flame, a searing white-hot inferno, burning even the memory of the man from existence.

“We’ll attempt again and again and then again if need be Madison.” In one effortless motion, Connor rose to his feet. “And we won’t sojourn until you get it right. Only then will we see your brother. Furthermore, you’ll be safe with the knowledge that at least for tonight, he will be secure in your presence. You will have sufficient blood in your system that no matter how close he comes to you, should he cry on your shoulder or pursue a comforting hug, he will remain unharmed. At least for tonight. Tomorrow is another night and we will concern ourselves about that when it comes.”

As much as I loathed agreeing with him, I knew he was right. The evening I awakened on that bench in the Bart Station in Oakland, the first night I spent as a Vampire, I slaughtered a man, murdered him in cold blood, right there on the steps. It wasn’t something that I premeditated and yet, it still transpired, my body acting on its own, lunging for his throat, my teeth in his neck, his blood in my mouth. It was my first kill. The first time that I appropriated a person’s life and I wasn’t even in control of what I was doing. It was like I was just a passenger in my own body as it acted on its own accord.

What if that was Aiden?

I pulled myself away from the alley, taking to the sidewalk, traveling among the crowd as if I belonged, Connor stalking me silently from a distance, waiting for me to make my move and select my next victim. As bad as I wanted to return home, to find out what horrors awaited me there, I wouldn’t put my brother in jeopardy.

I would preferably die first.

The thoroughfares were crowded with people, the air sweltering and sticky to the flesh. Even though it was dark, the beach was still energetic; people were relishing the sea breeze and the coolness of the water. I felt displaced somehow, as if the world around me was not of me. That even though I moved through it, I no longer belonged. I could smell blood everywhere, yet I found that after my feeding, I was able to maintain control and not let the blood control me.

I couldn’t resolve whom I should bleed next, knowing that in my choice, death was the most likely outcome. Yet even that choice appeared slightly inconsequential. A part of me didn’t care what happened to my prey and even as I thought this, I could hear my conscious screaming, telling me that my life was not worth the life of an innocent. That I was a monster and monsters don’t deserve to live. Just the fact that I continued the hunt meant that I was beginning to accept the certainty of what I was, some devious conception of ruin and decay.

Yet even as these contemplations raced through my mind…

“Hello, my names Madison.” I declared unexpectedly.

There was this attractive, scarlet haired adolescent about to cross the street. She sported a black bikini and held a surfboard underneath her arm with a professional’s expertise. Something about this girl called out to me. Her blood scent was strong in the air, stronger then all those around and as she looked up and caught my gaze, she was almost fully in my rapture.

“Do I know you?” She enquired. “You… look familiar.”

I advanced adjacent to her, my fingers trailing across the edge of her surfboard. “What’s your name?”

“Dakota.” She answered. “Dakota Theia.”

My fingers stroked the back of her neck fleetingly, sensually. “Such a beautiful name.”

I could sense she was fascinated with me, yet I wasn’t certain if it was because I was a Vampire or if she just genuinely enjoyed the way I looked. Even as a human, I was considered attractive and now with my…transformation, I was beyond the word.

BOOK: Fledgling (The Vampire Manifesto, Book Two)
4.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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