A black silhouette circles above the deserted streets, invisible against a dark, winter’s sky.


My eyes dart from left to right, looking and listening for anything; a movement, laughter, a cry. It’s the same thing night after night. I must feed. My strength is waning, the treacherous weather conditions keeping the streets deserted. Livestock doesn’t do the same to my bloodlust as humans do.

Then suddenly, a faint pattering of rushing footsteps echoes in my sensitive ears. I tilt my head in the direction of the noise, following it through the night air. There, on her own, scurrying down the path and trying to keep to the shadows is a woman of incredible beauty.

The woman has long, dark, hair that bounces gently with each step. Her skin is pale, yet when the light from the street lamp catches her it glows, accentuating her features. I swoop down, getting closer, but still out of sight. The woman is a vision, but there is something wrong. Her eyes are wet and her make up smudged.

Then, more noise, more footsteps running down the street. I catch sight of the owner. A man is chasing her. An aura of menace surrounds him and he is moving fast, his feet steady as they land on the icy pavement. The woman quickens her step but is no match for his speed and he soon catches up, roughly grabbing her and pushing her into a darkened doorway.

“Get your hands off me. Get….off….me.”

A scream followed by silence. The man raises his hand and is about to strike again but I cannot allow that to happen. I swoop down with dazzling speed, grabbing his right hand with my left. He turns to look at me, letting the woman fall to the floor. As he does so, I lunge at his throat, my teeth sinking into the flesh. I suck furiously, drinking down his crimson fluid. The man tries to fight back but my strength is rekindled, victorious over his. I bite down harder, his windpipe restricted against my powerful jaws. Blood is running freely now, staining into his shirt and jacket. I am in a frenzy, my eyes rolling as I try to drink the man dry.

The woman begins to stir on the floor. She cannot see this. Still feeding, I drag the weakening man away from the doorway and in an instant take off into the night. I fly towards the edge of the village. The man is now dead in my arms, his veins almost depleted of blood. In the near distance I can see the dense woodland.

Slowing, as I near the trees, I spot an opening within the branches and come to rest on the forest floor. In an instant, I tear the man’s throat out with my teeth, spitting his ravaged trachea onto the rotting leaves. Tonight the woodland creatures will have a feast.

I return to the street, coming to a stop on the slate roof of the building across from the darkened doorway. The woman is now on her feet, dusting herself down and trying to straighten her soiled clothing. There is a cut on her cheek, a small trickle of blood running down her face, mingling with her tears. I reach out to her, wanting to touch her face, wanting to taste her blood, but her beauty will not allow me.

I will need to feed again, though.

Copyright: © 2010 David Barber

David Barber is from Manchester, England but now lives in Crieff, Scotland with his wife and two daughters. He wrote some years ago but had his writing spirit rekindled in 2009 buy an old friend and the beauty that surrounds him. He has had his work published at Thrillers, Killers ‘n’ Chillers, A Twist Of Noir, Blink Ink and on his own site davidbarberfiction.blogspot.com. He has a piece of writing which is going to appear in an upcoming anthology from Pill Hill Press.


  1. Every woman needs her own feeder!
    Great suspense, David.

  2. A taut storyline and a most interesting 'hero.'

  3. A nice riff on the genre David. I like how you keep the narrator somewhat ambiguous, and all you know is the hunger.

    Good job.

  4. felt like a noir at points... which is awesome that you can blend the two genres...

  5. A agree with Anthony, it had a sort of noir feel. I could see it as a graphic novel as I read. Really great job.

  6. Like Laurita, I saw this as a graphic novel too. A sort of super hero torn between two desires. You held my attention through the hold story. Good job!

  7. Good one, David. Like a couple people have mentioned, this would make a great little graphic novel. Very noir, black and white, shadows and splashes of crimson.

  8. WOW!!!!! This is my first real go at this genre and your comments have really blown me away. I left the ending open, as I do that with a lot of my stories, but I liked this character and I may go down the graphic novel path. Thanks again to all of you.

    Matt - The scene for this in my head was the main street in Crieff.

  9. Powerful story, David! It flows well and I like the open end.

  10. Thanks Laura. I'm working on a follow up.

  11. Good Crieff!!

    I can picture it even more now.

  12. David, you just sent me a link to this and I'm sorry I missed it before. It is so beautifully written and, yes - absolutely needs to be extended to novel length.

    Loved the lines "...spitting his ravaged trachea onto the rotting leaves. Tonight the woodland creatures will have a feast." and I adored the imagery of the woman's blood diluted by her tears.

  13. Lily, thanks so much. I really love this story and do intend to revisit it soon.