‹ Prequel: Revenant

The Sanguisuge and the Eidolon.


“How’d she taste? Like sunscreen? That’s all I could smell when I was in her.”

Morris released a deep sigh, closing his eyes to the sight of the drained corpse under him. Normally, he would spare a few moments to take in the joyous afterglow of a full stomach, and the temporarily subdued need for nourishment. But that voice… that voice whisked away any trace of temporary pleasure he would have felt. Once again, he hadn’t quite been fast enough; she was still there, like a shadow. He momentarily thought of Peter Pan losing his own and how distraught the ageless boy had been; Morris couldn’t quite relate. He would gladly relinquish this shade of humanity that insisted on clinging to him almost like a second skin.

Really, it had been his own fault in the first place for acknowledging the pest. He should have let her finish off the girl back then without a word, but his hunger had been too great and the flavor that… what was his victim’s name? Christine? Crystal? Had exuded was too tempting. He remembered that night he had unintentionally set things in motion so well; from the corner of his eye he had seen the specter hovering close to his eventual meal. She may have lost a tangible existence but my god; to his eyes she was pure spirit and soul, vivid and distinct in a dark bar filled with fading lights and smoky haze.

Her hair had been a mess of light golden brown curls, spilling over her shoulders as she caressed the arms of the woman she so closely shadowed, and initially he had found himself fascinated, subtly watching as she leaned in to the dark haired beauty she had latched herself onto, whispering words he was unable to hear. Her well-manicured mauve nails had dug into the woman’s skin as she finished; her target losing all color as she suddenly stood in a haste, retreating to the confines of the bar’s bathroom. A grin had grown on the spirit’s face, leaning against that faintly lit table in the corner as she waited for the return what he could only assume she thought was her victim at that point. He had seen spirits haunt, and follow, typically keeping a safe distance even when the humans they eclipsed seemed so precious to them. There was nothing even remotely adoring about the way this one looked at the woman he’d had his eyes on for a few weeks. He’d been waiting for the prime opportunity, for her desire to finish steeping just a bit longer, but it seemed this brat had an agenda of her own with the woman. He had frowned, pushing away from the bar as he made his way towards the corner by the restrooms and staff doors were. Pausing by the table he had adjusted his sleeves, casting a side eye at the dead girl.

“I’m going to politely request you cease with whatever little scheme you’ve got up your sleeve, dear. This one is mine, are we clear?”

The look on her face had morphed to something less charmingly devious in that instant, for the only time he could recall since he’d first taken notice of her; it had been a slow shock, a dawning realization of being seen. She had been almost all wide grey eyes in those moments, looking more like a deer in headlights than anything. It crossed his mind briefly that had she been alive, she would have absolutely been a beautiful target. But one couldn’t feed on those who didn’t have their own physical existence. A warm body ripe full of fresh, pounding blood was essential for his survival.

That had been the start though, one little statement directed at what was left of a girl stuck between life and death.

He had of course noticed the ghost before their first communication in the dingy bar; she had taken to hovering behind the woman he had been on two dates with, and immediately after began offering excuses as to why he couldn’t see her again quite yet; this was typical for him. It created the proper atmosphere to prep his future meal and unsurprisingly, the shady dodging had set of the reaction he had hoped for. His charming behavior had been the typical hook line and sinker that he had utilized so effectively throughout the years, baiting the woman to develop an obsession of sorts, one that led him to see her out of the corner of his eye at various functions our even brief outings. She had begun stalking him; that was around the time the spirit had taken up her vigil as well. The stalking was part of the process, though. It had been for years. The longer their fixation marinated; the better the flavor would be once he finally took his meal.

What had prompted him to speak up and confront the revenant that night was the scent his prey had exuded had begun to… wane with the appearance of the dead girl. Fear was distracting her; fear was fouling up the aroma and thereby the flavor of the unbridled fascination she had with him. All thanks to one little ghost. Morris had no choice but to put a stop to it. And in a way, he had succeeded. The dead had still followed the living, but Christine—ah yes, it was definitely Christine—her… condition had improved. Whatever the ghost had been doing to her apparently stopped, and the obsession revved up to its fullest potential in no time.

The night Christine had broken into his residence, she hadn’t been alone. The ghost had been there, looking on in fascination as his primal instincts had taken over and he fell on his prey, burying his teeth into the pulsing vein of his stalker’s neck. The woman had clawed at him and cried out. His hand had stifled her screams as he drank the deliciously hot and fresh blood he had waited for without pause, until her figure hung limply in his arms. The body cooled quickly, the tanned skin of his victim at that point was nothing short of ashen in color. Then, all at once, the dead girl’s laugh had cut through the stagnant silence and pulled his gaze. She held her hands in front of her mouth, figure eerily vivid even in the near pitch-black room. After a few moments her hands fell, revealing a wide, almost concerning smile. That moment had seemed to be the nail in the coffin that cemented her presence in his life. As she had so eloquently put it,

“It has nothing to do with what you are; but it’s what you do. You’re like me.”

As far as Morris was concerned, that was absolutely not the case. But the ghost could not be swayed otherwise, and despite nearly two centuries of successfully avoiding companionship, he suddenly found himself unable to stray too far from the sight of the dead girl. That was how it had been ever since.

When he opened his eyes again, she was lying on the ground before him; her body was poised like the short needle of a clock, directly opposite at 12 if the body of his victim was pointing to 6, her head was even with that of the corpse which was crumpled under his own figure, and those bright grey eyes felt as though they were boring holes into him. Her chaotic curls were strewn around her head, almost like a halo. She gave him what easily could have been an adoring smile.

“I actually hope she didn’t really taste like sunscreen. She had been stalking this poor girl for a few weeks, apparently. One less hazard on the street, and one more meal for you. You’re very welcome,” she said. There had always been something almost melodious about her voice, as much as he tried to avoid even admitting it to himself. He watched as she reached up, gently patting his cheek before she pushed a few dark strands of his hair back with a touch that always felt cold, even to him. That never ceased to be unsettling on some level. In as long as he had been entangled in the coils of vampirism, absolutely nothing—living or dead—had ever left him with a true chill from a mere touch. Until she came along.

“You’re very hard to kill, you know,” he muttered, holding her gaze.

“Aha. I’d say tell that to my murderer if I hadn’t ended his pathetic life. Maybe you’re just bad at it.”

His eyes flickered briefly to the bruises on her neck that would never fade; a residual gift that death had left her with. She had never openly admitted that it was the cause of her demise, but then again, she had no need to. The marks made it more than apparent. Morris finally pushed himself away from the drained corpse, and the ghost who had so generously brought yet another victim right to him. He wiped at his mouth with his sleeve, and managed his way off of the floor of the half-built home.

“I don’t need some spirit bringing me a hot meal every week, you know. I’m quite capable of functioning on my own. I was doing it long before your existence was even thought of, after all.” Morris wouldn’t admit that despite his displays of irritation at her persistence, and how sometimes he did wish he could end her—suck the life out of the host she inhabited before she had a chance to escape the confines of their body—he found that the taste of every meal she had brought him (essentially gift wrapped and begging to be drained) was freshly addicting. It wasn’t the flavor of obsession he had become accustomed to; that had been rich, but sometimes too much so. This was… softer; there was a sweetness in the blood of those she had provided, something that left him wanting more to a point where when she did show up with a new body in tow, he didn’t so much as consider turning it down. It was almost as though he had developed a sweet tooth, and her offerings supplied the relief while also fueling the craving.

“Too convenient for your taste?” She was at his side, stretching her sweater-clad arms over her head as they exited the structure. Her knowledge of housing developments had also proven useful for a place to drain and dump the body. While he slept through the days, she roamed; not just in search of possible victims, but inconspicuous places to leave the remains as well. He didn’t want to admit that since she’d shown up there seemed to be a fair number of perks, even if his existence as a solitary creature of the night had been ended.

“I like to pick my own food.” Not a lie, but not also the whole truth. He wasn’t going to admit her taste had proved to be oddly impeccable.

“I mean, you seem to enjoy it well enough,” she replied nonchalantly. “Oh, ew. Morris, stop for a second.”

He did, giving her a curious glance as he felt the cool grip of her small hand on his arm. She reached up with her other one, the chilling touch once again coming in contact with his skin as she wiped just beside his mouth. Her nose was wrinkled, a slight look of disgust on her face.

“Why the hell don’t you carry a handkerchief or something, missed some blood, you absolute Neanderthal.”

“I’m fairly certain no one would have gotten close enough to notice; I’d have seen it once I arrived back home,” his voice came out defensively irritated, mostly due to the name-calling. She rolled her eyes.

“Right, when it was dry and crusty and… eugh.” She wiped the hand that had touched his face on the black sleeve of his shirt. It was his turn to study her for a moment. For some reason it seemed as though after she brought him a kill she was more rooted in some traces of her humanity. Her expressions were more varied; and she seemed in some ways a bit more… alive. Teasing was normal for her; but little things like catching traces of disgust on her face? Rare.

“…I have a question or two I’d like to ask you.”

The ghost looked up with a furrowed brow from her focus on her fingertips; she had been rubbing them together yet again.. That was a habit he’d picked up on. Sometimes when she was quiet he would catch that little tick, her fingers rubbing against each other; he wasn’t quite sure why.

“You never ask me anything.”

He nodded. “Until now, at least. But yes, I’m aware of that.”

“I mean…” she trailed off. Was that hesitance he was sensing? “I guess that’s fine.”

His car was tucked behind the trees near the front of the development. The headlights flashed briefly as he unlocked it and climbed in. She followed, per usual with no open and close of the passenger side door needed.

“Every single person you bring me seems to be a stalker of some sort; the girl you were targeting when we first met was my stalker, mind you, that was by design, but all the same. What’s the reason for that?” He started the car, but didn’t turn the lights on until they hit the main road, just outside of the development.

She didn’t speak for a few minutes; and for a change he looked over to make sure she was still there. Much to some odd sense of relief, she was. One of her hands was at her throat; fingers lightly touching the handprints that hovered there. Her eyes though, her eyes seemed distant, staring blankly at the road ahead as an unusually genuine and heavy frown tugged at her lips. He could put two and two together; and perhaps he should have left it instead of directly asking. But he wanted to hear it from her. Assuming makes an ass of you and I, wasn’t that the saying? He wasn’t quite sure.

“I died ah, quite literally at the hands of someone who stalked me; they felt entitled to my attention and… love?” Her brow furrowed again, but she shook her head. “And while I’m partially to blame for constantly downplaying just how bad his obsession was, I… I also lost someone because of his actions. I don’t want to see anyone else suffer a similar fate, and the entitlement some people think they have over others because of how they feel is—“

There was a rough rap against the glass as her fist made contact with it; that surprised him a little. If she touched something instead of going through it, he’d learned it was entirely intentional. Calm typically seemed to be her forte; yet that was anything but a calm reaction.

He cleared his throat. “Unforgivable?”

“…Yes. That. And dangerous. Sometimes deadly.” She pulled her hand back, stretching her fingers as she studied her knuckles. “Its unsurprising I didn’t feel that. I miss feeling things. Maybe that’s part of the reason I enjoy slipping into the bodies of people and bringing them to you. Everything is so vivid; every touch, every emotion, every little sensation and its so—exhilarating. This existence is void of any of that. I kind of hate it; but I’m stuck, so, if an opportunity to prevent what happened to me from happening to someone else rears it’s head, I’ll take it. And if I get to feel a bit more human for a while in the process, that’s a nice bonus, I suppose.”

For as much as she had been around the last few months, this was the most he had heard that was directly about… her.

“Is that why you seem to linger the bodies of those you bring me until the last possible second? Because it lets you feel?” That was where his genuine curiosity hovered the most strongly. He could feel it—and taste it the moment she separated from her hosts; and those last drops of blood were always bitter in contrast. The last few times, she had only pulled away right on the cusp of their deaths.

“Honestly? Yes. There’s nothing quite as invigorating, terrifying, and just… ripe with feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally as those very last seconds. They leave me feeling so alive, even for a short period after I leave them.”

Morris gave her a long, hard stare as they reached a stoplight. It was only two more blocks to his place, and the faintest hint of lilac fade was just beginning to color the horizon. She stared back with ease. In all of his years on earth he had never encountered another soul as oddly frustrating as she was.

“One of these days you’re going to miss your opportunity to get out, and when the host dies with you in it, there will be no coming back.” It was meant as a warning for her; spoken in a low tone. Somehow, though, he couldn’t help but feel it was also a warning to himself as well. Somehow, the mere idea prickled uncomfortably in his gut.

She leaned over the console between them, and he felt her cold, ethereal hands cup either side of his face. He didn’t pull away, even as the traffic light filled his car with a green glow; she smiled. “I know. And the sooner you do it, the better. I’ve got a feeling we might both regret those last moments if you let me linger too long. I’ve accepted that you’re probably going to be the death of me, darling. Perhaps you should, too.”

Headlights from behind filtered into the car at a distance; he found it was hard to swallow for the first time he could recall in ages. The ghost at his side was a disaster; and she was going to take him down with her when she went. Some part of him knew it was already too late to avoid that.

“I wish I had never acknowledged your presence in that bar, Greer.”

“I know you do.” She leaned over, brushing a pair of lips that reminded him of an autumn breeze against his. “But I’m so very glad you did.”
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A ghost who wants a release from a hollow existence and a vampire who's comfort in isolation was shattered completely by her, only to know that one day he's going to end up alone again. They're absolutely going to destroy each other.

Greer is a character that after years, just won't leave me alone. I'm unconvinced that she didn't lose a part of her mind in death. God help the poor soul she latches onto; especially Morris.