Beyond gorgeous chapter image by !nkblot @ TDA!
The queue of people snaked through the entire town square, seemingly having no end. The people lined up were dressed as if they had been wearing the exact same clothes for years—and they had. It had been six years since rations including clothing had been passed around, but the people didn’t even seem to notice. They might have cared, once upon a time, but now they ignored everything. They worried about one thing only; how to avoid being next.
Every week at three o’clock exactly, the same people lined up, waiting—dreading the fate that awaited them. Their names were drawn out of the round ball every Saturday and most waited with baited breath until it was over. You were safe if you were older than fifty or younger than fourteen, but otherwise your name could be pulled out any day and there would be no getting out of it. Not unless you had someone stand in your place.
It was the true test of love, if you stood in another’s place. There was absolutely nobody who wanted the fate awaiting them if their name was called, except for perhaps the crazies. The crazies enjoyed it. They claimed to love the rush and the pain alike, when the oppressors broke their skin and the first trickle of blood was released from their necks. They would say they’d feel a high after that, and instead of feeling weak from the loss of blood, they felt empowered. Those people were shunned inside the community, out of the watchful eye of the vampires. In public, however, the humans were forced to take on the behaviour of the crazies, as if everyone was supposed to want it like they did. It was a sick game, but yet one more the humans willingly played if it meant living a little bit longer.
There was one particular girl in the crowd, and she was limping. She was sick, but there was no reprieve for those that were not completely healthy. They didn’t prefer blood like hers, because it tasted of death. And though the un-dead glorified in death, they had never found pleasure in the taste of it. Perhaps in a larger town she would have been passed over for richer blood, but not in this desolate place. They needed every candidate they could get.
Fortunately for the humans, they didn’t drain their blood, but they took enough to incapacitate a person for months. They were excused from the drawing until they recovered, after all, humans were a precious commodity as it was and they needed every person they had, but the bite usually made them burn with fever and shake with the chills until they convalesced. However, if previously ill people were chosen, they usually didn’t recover from the bite at all.
It had been this way for many years, the world having been taking over by the subspecies two hundred years ago. Now, with the wizards gone, there was nobody to stop them. Two hundred years ago, there had been a vampire who learned the secret of why his race was always shunned from society and had used it to his advantage. After a couple of experiments, most resulting in deaths of many witches and wizards, he’d grouped together the entire vampire community, and they’d slowly but surely taken over everything.
Now, the humans feared them. At first, they tried their best to fight back, but how were they supposed to fight back against a threat that had never existed in their reality? And when they began to fight back it was hopeless because their human weapons were useless as a defence mechanism against the vampires. They were immortal for a reason, and by the time the humans realised they should start believing in the myths and stories on how to kill a vampire, it was too late. The vampires had already recruited their own personal bodyguards. They’d bonded with the other subspecies that had been discriminated against in the Lost Years, the werewolves.
And with the loss of humanity and magic, the sun too, was also lost. It was rumoured that the vampires had a personal Nimbimagus, hidden deep with the central core. Some even said there were two, but nobody knew for sure. All that was known was somehow every day blurred into the next, and the sun never shined anymore.
Today was no different, and the grey clouds blanketed the sky, but it usually never rained. The ailing girl limped forward in the queue, and though the townspeople sympathised for her, nobody dared touch her. They feared her. They feared being associated with the weak. Though there was a roll call to make sure the top leaders were fed (for they should not have to hunt for food), the lesser vampires still roamed the streets, and they preyed on the feeble.
“I’m delighted you all have decided to join us today,” a man spoke out into the crowd. His voice conveyed that they were supposedly given a choice, but attendance at these meetings was compulsory. If you didn’t go, you were usually never heard from again. There were only a few excuses for being absent and even then people did their best to attend, in case the vampires didn’t understand. The townspeople stiffened and looked towards the stage, but they didn’t speak or cry out. They had ceased to do so long ago.
A woman on his left came to the front of the stage. She opened her mouth, fangs showing, and stuck her hand into a clear bowl, reading off the number on it.
It was a crude way of doing things, but with the destruction of the Wizarding race, there was no magic anymore. The vampires didn’t have anything but their immortality and strength, but it was enough to be superior.
There was an involuntary hiss throughout the crowd. They knew exactly who that number belonged to. Hundreds of eyes were on her as she heard them call her number. She set her shoulders and began to walk, dragging her left foot slowly behind her as she did.
A/N- So this is quite a new genre for me to write, and one I found that I rather enjoy! I've wanted to write an action/adventure story for awhile now and I decided to throw this little bit out as a simple prologue, to feel out the interest for a fic like this. It's definitely new territory, but hopefully you all like it. There will be romance, so have no fear (as that is probably my forte), but we'll have to see where this takes me! Reviews & CC are always more than welcome, and so appreciated, so please, tell me what you think!
Disclaimer: Anything you recognize belongs to JKR, and credit for the word Nimbimagus (or the ability to control/change weather) belongs to my dear friend MrsJaydeMalfoy (: She graciously has allowed me to use the word for the purpose of this story.