Dark Man in the Light

Lazere stood in the darkest area of the street, waiting and reminiscing. His memory spanned an enormous spread of history, almost a thousand years of continuous life. A mellow mood spread through him like warmth from a fire permeating flesh. Through all those years he had seen himself as a powerful influence in people’s life and faith. It was a role he played with all the skill he had cultivated in his longevity. He smiled, revealing his beautiful teeth, smiling with the pleasure of his memories.

A movement along the street suddenly caught his attention. Without pause his mood had changed to intense awareness, every sense alive and thrilling, hungry, alert. Passion and craving filled him with controlled excitement. His body stiffened and relaxed at the same moment, like a sleek animal crouching to spring, intent and focused. But it was a cat at a dustbin, and Lazere smiled and made a slight rumbling sound in his throat that caused the cat to stiffen in fear and then run hissing and spitting.

He waited a few moments then moved away from his dark place and walked along the street, avoiding the lights as much as possible. Darkness had always been his ally and territory, and he thought of electric street lighting as a curse of the times. There was no fear in him of being seen. A thousand years of life had proved there was little that could harm him. Darkness was an environment he lived in, as a bird lives in the air. It was a setting in which men and women felt the most vulnerable and fearful. It heightened passions and terrors – all of which were more than food to him. The gas lighting of a past century had at least a certain romance, a certain magical uncertainty in its half-light. As Lazere walked he recognised feelings of loss within him that the world had become as it had. How much better when people had lived in superstitious dread even in daylight, and night had been filled with terror, making his relationship with people so exciting and satisfying. Despite being no stranger to many countries and many languages, Lazere thought of himself as a European, and felt the birthplace of his soul was the dark times of Europe when religion had fanned fear, and Lazere’s actions could send whole villages rushing to the church, crying and praying, their faith completely renewed.

Pausing in his reveries and his walking, Lazere sensed a change but could not yet see it with his eyes or hear it with his ears. Nevertheless he trusted the subtle organs of feeling that were reaching out into the environment, tasting, smelling, hearing and feeling the most delicate impressions. Without any conscious intention, but as part of his subtle sensing, he moved his head to the left and suddenly saw the cause of his intuitions. A woman was walking along the pavement in his direction. The road was in a suburban neighbourhood of a small country town. The houses were set back from the pavement, distanced from the road by the lawns and trees. The lights in the road were not intense but matched the sense of wealth and comfortable ease apparent in the style of the houses and orderliness of the gardens. The woman was a living part of the ease and confidence of the neighbourhood. He could feel the touch of anxiety she experienced from being out alone so late. But her full, well shaped body still expressed a relaxed pleasure, intensified by what he knew from his perceptions of her, to be the afterglow of a loving relationship just left.

Lazere’s emotions intensified. The woman’s inner heat of passion and physical pleasure opened up his hunger. He wanted this brown haired, oval faced woman. He longed for her to experience the wonderful awful passion he could give her. She was twenty-five metres away from him now, still unaware of his presence in the shadows of a tree filled garden. The woman had very evident hips, and the wonderful movement of her legs flowing from obvious sexual awareness of her pelvis emphasised the small waist, and her healthy torso and breasts.

From a millennium of experience, from his hunger, and from complete boldness, Lazere wept. At least sounds of vulnerable weeping came from him. They were not loud, but loud enough to touch the approaching woman’s feelings. The weeping had in it the powerful suggestion of someone who has been hurt. Someone who, because of their pain, is helpless and no threat. Someone who feels desperately alone and in need of a human presence and warmth.

The woman stopped. Her breathing changed. The quality of the weeping moved her emotionally, but her anxiety made her cautious. Nevertheless, her own recent pleasure and act of love made her open and responsive. Lazere knew all this. His weeping continued.

The woman stepped forward a pace or so and called out. “Who is there?”

Lazere moved slightly to become apparent to the woman, enabling her to see him in the shadows and gain an impression of him. There was light behind him, so the shape of the tree trunk and his own form now slightly away from it were easy to see. To her gaze his clothes were reassuringly clean and smart. His posture suggested he was not drunk, but certainly hurting inside, his hand on his lower chest as if nursing some deep aching. In fact as he lifted his head to look at her with sad wonderful eyes, he was aching – for her – passionately, burningly wanting her. In fact he moved his hand toward her as if to reach and hold someone who constantly evaded him, and so his hand dropped back hopelessly, helplessly. There was no malice in the movement. How could there be when he could see so well the gentleness in the woman gradually dispel any anxiety she had felt. The rich store of love in her body began to make her bold. Without having a name for it she felt how sweet it would be to give love to a man who was so broken by his emotions. Her own emotions began to rise into her chest and throat, making her voice husky when she asked, “Why do you cry?”

Words, Lazere knew, often lead to unexpected responses, assuming so many meanings in the mind of the listener. So he spoke nothing. But moving slowly more into the light, and with tears rolling down his pale well shaped face, he shook his head in the negative, and put his arms around his body as if he were someone separate holding himself compassionately. His movement did not take him nearer to the woman, but she could see his features more clearly now. He had dark hair and striking eyebrows, contrasting with his pale skin. His face, with its firm muscular jaw and his strong neck, suggested an equally beautiful angular and athletic body. He did not at first confront her with his eyes, allowing her time to gaze at him without interference. Then slowly, still openly weeping with his passion and hunger for her, he lifted his eyes to meet hers. As they met he sobbed with the intensity of his feelings and held out a hand toward her, with a look upon him that he would collapse if she did not hold his arm.

She moved to him and took his hand supportively. The strength and yet gentle contact surprised her. She had unconsciously expected limpness, and instead received an exciting response. His head dropped upon her shoulder and an exquisite sigh and sound came out of him rousing in her the passion a woman feels when she has led her lover to experience a surrender of himself to the shared wonder of mutual blending – to loss of himself in her. She held him tentatively with her head slightly back in order to see him. He lifted his head again and looked back at her, the expression of ache and longing still obvious on his features. Then he held and engulfed her in his extraordinary need and pleasure.

Lazere watched her intensely. He could almost feel her own emotions, so apparent were they in the way she held herself, even despite the darkness. As Lazere held her he knew he must now act quickly. The close intimacy they felt for each other at the moment could not last long. Gently but surely he moved his right hand to her back and his left-hand to hold her arm. With both hands he could feel the rapid beating of her heart in her excitement and apprehension of the moment. This is what Lazere needed. Her heart should push her crimson blood with all the urgency it could muster.

Now, tightening his grasp he pulled her firmly and closely to him. In doing so his posture and attitude shifted. His head lifted to look her full in the face. He felt her body tighten for action, but strangely she did not struggle or attempt to pull away. Lazere was now too fully into his own hunger to ponder this. Regarding her lovely face, head now pulled back slightly from him, he smiled as he turned his head to feed from her exposed neck. It was a leisurely movement. He knew he was strong enough to quieten her if she screamed. So it surprised him, as his head bent to her neck, to feel her right hand reached up to his back and with great strength pull him hard against her. At that same moment something awful pierced his back paralysing him utterly. Then, as she lowered him slowly to the ground, fully alert but paralysed, he heard her shout almost as a cry of triumph, “Contact!”

Within 20 seconds a group of people came running toward them. Unable even to blink Lazere could only see parts of what was happening. The people were obviously a team, dressed in official looking overalls and gloves. He could hear the vehicles arriving also, but could not see them. The woman, called Jan by members of the team, knelt beside him with an overalled man who she referred to as Dominic. She took one of Lazere’s hands quite tenderly, and positioning her head in a place he could see her she said, “I know this is a shock for you, but we mean you no harm, and have no intention of hurting you. But we need something you have. We will explain this when we have you in a safer situation. That is, safer for us.”

Tears were running across Lazere’s face. This time they were not tears of hungry passion but of painful sadness and of terrible loss. Jan wiped them away with a tissue as members of the team wrapped him in some sort of material that held him fast. His silent tears became audible sobbing as the object that had pierced his back was removed. He gathered, from comments made, and questions they asked Jan, that it was an electronic device that acted upon his spinal nervous system, paralysing all his voluntary muscles. He wept at this indignity, at the terrible reversal of roles, from being the one who preyed upon others to becoming the helpless victim.

The transition from a dark road to a brightly lit room was fast. Lazere was placed on a hospital bed in what was obviously a special unit. He was still cocooned in the wrapping that prevented his movement. Jan and Dominic stood nearby looking at him with an expression of mixed triumph and sympathy.  As soon as he was placed on the bed a female nurse came and took several blood samples from one of his hands.  When that was done Jan placed a pillow under his head and Dominic left.

Touching Lazere’s head tenderly Jan said to him, “God, you’re a beautiful looking man.  Do you know why we have brought you here?”

Lazere didn’t speak.  He looked Jan fully in the face then closed his eyes and shook his head in the negative.

“Haven’t you ever wondered what happened to make you live so long, to make you need people’s blood? Didn’t you ever wonder why your body is so resistant to disease, why it is in fact so perfect?”

Lazere opened his eyes again and once more looked at Jan, meeting her gaze for long silent seconds. “Of course,” he replied.  “But don’t forget my age.  Or perhaps you do not know it. A thousand years separates my birth and education from your world of today. When you have lived so long, the 50 or 100 years of your present theories seem as the blinking of an eye. So I can only see you through the vision of my past experience, wondering if you fear me, or if you plan to kill me as so many of my fellow creatures have been killed.”

Jan smiled and moved to sit where Lazere could see her. “No, we don’t plan to kill you.  Unlike our kind in the past, we are no longer afraid of you. In fact we need you very much. We want some of the things you have – the long life, the disease free body, your prolonged positive and motivated state of mind through countless years, your fearlessness.”

Lazere struggled to free himself, but could not and sank back onto the bed.  “But I could have given you that if you had not felled me to the ground.  You would have that now if you would have let me feed.”

“True,” Jan said.  “But then I too would have to feed from my fellows.  I too would have to be a creature of the night, outcast as if diseased from all those I now love. No. What we want to do is to find a way of separating the positive effects from the negative side of your sickness.”

Lazere’s face showed shock. “Sickness?”

“That’s how we see it,” Jan said quietly. “What we have learned about your kind suggests that sometime in prehistory a virus entered the earth’s atmosphere, perhaps from a comet or meteorite. Luckily the virus gained a foothold in a host.  Luckily because, although the virus drives the host to infect others by drinking their blood, it also carries with it enormous benefits. Fortunately, what were called vampires, were not entirely killed out.  But it has taken us ages to find you. We want to modify the virus genetically to rid it of its negative effects.  We will then infect our children and ourselves with it to gain your strength and longevity. Then we will give it to you to cure you.”

A terrible scream arose from the bed.  Lazere convulsed in his efforts to escape as the scream became words – “I don’t want to the cured!!!”


The night before last I had a couple of interesting dreams. In one I was a vampire or werewolf – actually the word lycanthrope was one I was using in the dream – and I was also a group of people who were going to catch or deal with this werewolf. As the werewolf I was very traditional and bent on bringing gloom and terror into people’s lives, injecting them with my ‘venom’. But as the group of people I was completely opposite, very modern and technological. We had no fear of the ‘lycanthrope’ at all, surrounded it and despite it trying to do its evil thing with us, we paralysed it with electronic gadgets that affected its nervous system. We weren’t bent on destroying it, just catching it.

Now back to being the werewolf. When these people didn’t flee in terror at my evil posturing and snarling I was really upset. I wept as I recalled my thousand years of creating havoc in communities and in the lives of individuals. My tears were because it was sad to see the passing of such wonderful superstition and its attendant fears and terrors. I had loved the dark ages. I guess I was/am a traditionalist.

As the group of people we wanted to use the ‘venom’ of the lycanthrope. It was as if it had some genetic effect upon people. So we injected some of it into adults and children. The result of this was mostly seen in children in the dream. Small children were now safe to allow to roam the streets of violent cities at night – after all, who is going to attack a vampire or werewolf, even if it’s a nipper? So the one-sidedness of the werewolf was now balanced by human qualities, and vice versa.

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