One last breath

She runs through the night, heavy footsteps are following her. Eating up the space between her and her predator. Her lungs are burning and her legs are slowing down; her muscles are tired and shaking from the unusual exertion. Her breath puffs out between her lips in visible clouds. Panic is all she can feel. And cold. Icy cold that spreads inside her bones and infests her entire body. The footsteps behind her come closer. She keeps running. At least she tries to keep running. Panting. She is trying to fill her lungs with oxygen, but she doesn’t succeed. Her breathing is too shallow. It’s quiet in the dark. Lonely. She can only hear his steps. Her own steps. The blood in her ears. Please, please. Please! She whispers. She prays that someone will stop the demon behind her, but the cold in her heart lets her know that she will not be saved. Her soul is lost. Rotting. Decaying. Turning to dust. She will be forgotten. Erased from this earth. And no one will remember that she ever existed. She never left a trace. She rounds a corner, losing foot on the slippery pavement. She struggles to get her feet under her body again. In her back, she tries to crawl away from the creature that has been following her. Eyes wide, she finally sees him up close. He isn’t running anymore. Like the predator he is, he comes closer. And closer. One last attempt to get up and run away, but her body doesn’t belong to her anymore. It doesn’t follow her orders, and when he kneels in front of her, with his long cold fingers touching her throat she looks in his dark eyes for the first and the last time. Like obsidian. A dark abyss. Beautiful. Beguiling. Pleading. As if they were asking for forgiveness and permission, all at the same moment. But then he blinks and the gentleness she thinks she has seen a is gone. It made room for something cruel and soulless. The hand around her throat closes and the breathing air becomes less. And less. She tries to gulp in some air, but the hand on her throat prevents it. Her body spasms. “Please, don’t let me die like this” are her final thoughts before she feels a strange and uninvited sense of lust. Her eyes keep staring at him but her soul is on its way out of her body. The horror and confusion she felt will be forever painted on her face. In rivulets, blood runs down her throat from where his sharp claws had held on to her. The demon lets go of her empty vessel and pushes angry tears off his face with the back of his blood stained hand.
I have to do it. He bares his fangs and with gusto, he buries them where his claws have left a bloody wound on her throat.
The heat leaves her body as one last breath, one last puff of air, is pushed past her lips. He stills his hunger. His thirst. And he feels the energy of the young woman setting in his veins. He sighs satisfied, but he wants more. He needs more. It is the nature of things. He lets go of the limp, pale body and gets up. He looks at her. Desperate. He is desperate for a companion, a mate. But who could ever love what he is? Who he is? She was his first for this night. A good start. Growling, he pulls his fangs in again. A tortured sigh escapes his lips again as he turns to leave. One last look at his prey and the peaceful way she looks. All dead people have this look. If he could only feel some serenity. If his tormented soul could only find peace. His hands turn to fists in his pockets as he pushes weak and romantic thoughts aside. This is his life. His hunt continues. It has to. It will never stop. Because if it does, he will cease to exist. And the tiny fragments of the souls of the people he has had the privilege to empty would be gone too. He can’t let that happen. They all are part of him now. Some of them is in his bloodstream and nurturing his body. Squaring his shoulders, he walks into the dark moonless night. He was a man of honour and principles. At least he has been before he turned into this… The taker of the last breath.