A spiritual horror story

She had been joyous when she saw her first vampire.

This was not the usual reaction; certainly not the reaction of her boyfriend. But then again he hadn't really believed; she knew there were monsters just as sure as there were angels, Satan just as sure as there was God.

In her joyous state she had pushed him aside, told the creature, all fangs and fresh blood, off in the name of the Lamb and the Book and all the other holy words --- and before she had blinked, he had been down, bleeding, screaming, the thing tearing him to shreds.

Her words turned to panic, that to petrified terror, that to concern for him, that to a yawning, gaping feeling when she saw his cross necklace gleaming, red and silver, tangled in the creature's tangled red-flecked hair. No burning hiss, no cowed flinch, no brilliant light.

She had been unable to explain his demise, but the brutality had convinced all she couldn't be the one to blame; and the state of his remains was as good an excuse for her shock as could be desired.

She had found the answers, though it had taken a long time. Much to her luck she had found the Gallant Hunters before the Ravenous Monsters; an ancient sisterhood dedicated to exterminating the foul things, the "vampires" and the "ghouls" and all other things with ill-fitting names out of young myths. Labels to hide their terrible age, their terrible inhumanity.

Much to her luck; the luck of her body, that is. Her physical survival. Her peace of mind was quite a different thing. She had walked away three times from the Hunters, unable to believe their tales.

The fourth time coming to them she had... well, believed and un-believed.

Yes, there were monsters. The monsters were real; their talons and eyes and hungers were real. And the Hunters were the only force that could destroy them, the Hunters and their crescent-shaped swords, the Hunters and their five gods of blood and fire.

No, the monsters were not demons. Not her demons. And the Hunters were no angels. Not her angels. The demons feared no crosses, no holy waters, no names of Jesus and the saints. The Hunters knew much: they were good, they were magic, but their gods were alien and cold and they had never seen souls, or angels, or heavens or hells or even her God and Jesus His son.

She had sneaked to the holy city of her faith; stood in the night watching the old man sleep and seen nothing but an old man in a palace of gold; she had stood atop the highest pinnacle of the city within a city, atop the whole structure of hope and redemption, and cried, and received no answers.

Only silence, distant cries, and the stench of the monsters she was growing to recognize wherever she went: hiding in the shadows, in the tall houses, in the churches, in the flocks... even in the priesthood, even in the holiest of holies. Leaving, she had left behind the last tatters of her faith.

And so with a tear-stained face she threw her cross away and took up the crescent sword of the Moon, and became one with the memory of Inanna against the beasts of Tiamat, the scourge of mankind ever since the dim pagan days of Sumer when they came down from the stars and were first named.

* * *

Was titled "Supernatural, just not your supernatural", but what's the use of 600 words if you're going to use the first five to tell the whole thing?

One thing that occasionally pisses me off (when I'm having a bad day, or a good story-logic-critical one) is how all the stories of vampires and demons tiptoe around the theological part of it. The thing that un-pisses me is remembering the reason: certain real-world sensitivities trump the smoothness of storytelling now and then. Theological considerations might do a story a lot of good, but that's a bum choice if they render it an unpublishable grief magnet. (And from time to time this drives me onto a wholly different tangent of pissetitude, but that's a different subject for a different time.)

last updated: (Mar 15 2011)