Born Into Darkness

by Thomas David Lake

A tale of one man’s embrace by Francisco Del Moreno.

It was a cold bleak day when I was born into darkness.

The old man came to me in the early hours of the dawn, minutes after he and his wife had found their daughter dumped on their front door step mutilated and raped. She had been the bright spot in a life lived in the slums of Medellin, not only for her immediate family but also her neighbors and friends. Now she was broken in body and mind, all at the whim of one man. The old man had come to me to seek redress. He knew as I did that there was no way the police would do anything; and if they did it would only lead to more misery for his daughter. So he had sought me out, seeking a way of getting justice of a more traditional kind.

“Senor take this as a down payment,” he handed me an old and worn leather pouch.
I took the pouch and looked inside – there were several old gold coins as well as a roll of US dollars probably a couple of hundred worth. I pulled the pouch shut and handed it back to him.
“There is no need old man. I’ll do the job for free. Just answer me this, do you know Father Ramirez?”
“The priest of the Church of Our Lady of Tears?”
“That’s him. I want you to go to him and tell him what you have done. He can protect you should there be any complications as well as help your daughter.”
“How can a priest help us?”
“He wasn’t always a priest old man. And he has a lot of friends from when he wasn’t a priest.”

The conversation was over and the old man left to return to his home and deal with matters there. As he left I felt a shiver run down my spine as if someone was walking over my grave or it just might have been the draft blowing through the dump that was my home.

Don Gabriel Ortega was a well-known figure in the social circles of Medellin; he was the son of Don Pedro Miguel Ortega, a major player in the Cartel, as well as being connected with a host of political and business figures. Don Gabriel had a hobby that involved him and his friends cruising the poor quarter and kidnapping girls for their fun and games. This was the individual the old man wanted me to kill in revenge for the rape of his daughter. There was a part of me that felt a dark thrill at the prospect of flat lining such a ‘respected’ figure. And as I took the job I knew that this hit was going to be the most reckless of my career and that I didn’t give a fuck about the outcome to me.

Several hours later I sat in a rented car watching a high-class brothel in downtown Medellin. It had taken most of my cash to get the various ingredients together to pull off the hit. Don Gabriel was fond of this particular establishment when he wasn’t out cruising with the boys. What he didn’t know was that the owner and the girls of said establishment didn’t think all that highly of him; despite who he was, and after some suitable persuasion they were more than happy to sell him out. Thus when midday rolled around and everyone was taking a siesta the discrete side entrance to the building was left open. I got out from the car, crossed the street and wandered in.

I had been told that the door to Ortega’s room would be left open and as I stepped inside I saw the door in question and moved towards it. Once inside I silently shut the door and moved to sit on a chair opposite the bed. Ortega was sprawled on the bed buck naked and covered with a thin sheen of perspiration. He smelt bad and was definitely not a pretty sight. He moaned then gradually woke up; as he did I eased my Para-Ordnance P14 from the holster and pointed it at his head.

“Who the fuck are you? How did you get in here?”
There was a glint of fear in his beady eyes.
“Don’t bother calling out for help Don Gabriel, you’re well and truly beyond that now, “ I said.
“You motherfucking son of a bitch I’ll have my men cut off your dick and shove it down your throat for this fucker.” He was shouting now, no doubt hoping that his outburst would bring in the brothels goons.
“Has anyone ever told you that you have a foul mouth Don Gabriel?”
“You fucking crazy shithead. You’re going to pay for this.”
I shook my head. It was time to dispel Don Gabriel’s notion that he was going to survive this little encounter.
“Hasta la vista arsehole.”
I squeezed the trigger and plastered what little brains Don Gabriel had all over the wall of the bedroom. Then I got up from the chair and left, leaving behind some extra cash to deal with the mess, and walked out the way I had come in. Half an hour later I was back in my hovel waiting for the hammer to fall.

It was early evening when the reprisal took place. When I’d gone about making my preparations I hadn’t bothered to take the usual precautions of making sure that I wasn’t sold out to the allies of the man I’d killed. For some reason it just didn’t bother me. It was if there was something in the back of my mind that was telling me that this day would be my last and I should go out with a bit of a bang. The goons beat seven shades of hell out of me, and I gave a few good blows in return for their trouble. Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned that Don Gabriel was a dickhead that the world was better off without and that Don Pedro was an even bigger dickhead for fathering such a sad excuse for a human being. That only served to make them angrier and eager to hurt me. After a while they just left me in the ruins of my home to slowly bleed to death.

When the last car had driven off I lay contemplating my impending demise. Then there was the sound of footsteps entering my home. At first I thought that it was someone coming back to get in a few more extra hits because they could, but it was something entirely different. A woman in a short black evening dress and a leather trench coat stood their looking at me; her eyes were golden and had a mischievous glint. She clicked her tongue disapprovingly then swiftly hauled me up from the floor, pulled me to her and sunk her teeth into my throat. It was the last straw; my mind couldn’t handle the shock of this on top of the beating. I fell into darkness in that instant, with the fleeting thought that this was a bit fast for a first date.

It was dark when I eventually came to; my surroundings were a candlelit bedroom with dark red curtains on the windows. A warm gentle breeze caused the curtains to flutter and looking out the window I could see the lights of Medellin twinkling in the darkness of the evening. I felt fine and looking down at my body could see that there were no bruises or scars, but I did notice that my throat felt dry and raspy, I had a raging thirst. Something moved in the shadows, then from their depths emerged the golden-eyed woman who had put the bite on me.

I was a bit taken aback but swiftly regained my composure. Seeing her in a more lucid moment I noticed that she had long dark red hair, I then took note of the fact that I was standing in front of her naked. She laughed and said something under her breath in English.

“Where are my clothes?” I said in flawless English and noticed that my comment prompted a look of brief surprise to cross her face.
“I had my maid dispose of them. They were covered in your blood after that beating you took.”
“So am I going to stand around naked for your amusement?”
She looked at me in an appraising way as if she felt that such an arrangement wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
“There should be a dressing gown in the closet over there,” she said pointing.
As I wandered over to the closet I noticed that in the window I could not see any reflection of myself or for that matter my hostess. I opened the closet, putting the lack of a reflection to the back of my mind; inside I swiftly found a dressing gown and pulled it on.
“Do you often prowl the byways of the barrio looking for people to bite?”
She was now stretched out on the four-poster bed watching me. It had only been a brief moment as I went to the closet and grabbed the dressing gown and I didn’t hear her move let alone see her out of the corner of my eye.
“No usually I go to nightclubs or bars to do that, but you were just to irresistible to pass up regardless of where you were. I’ve been watching you for some time now.”
“I don’t know whether to feel complimented by that remark or mildly disturbed.”
“Regardless of how you feel there is much for you to learn about your new life.”
I looked her straight in the eyes.
“And let’s get one thing clear, I am not some pet for your amusement.”
Her eyes narrowed slightly at this remark and her lips pursed in a smirk.
“Such fire, such determination. Truly you are a wonderful find. Can you take orders or do you feel that taking orders from a woman demeans you?”
“Nope. I’ve no problems on that score.”
She rose from the bed.
“Good. Now sit down, shut the fuck up and listen to what I have to say because I hate having to repeat myself. It annoys me and you don’t want to see me annoyed.”

For the rest of the evening I listened to Dona Juana Michaela Alvarez and her story. She was a vampire of the Clan Lasombra and she had embraced me when she put the bite on me after my beating. As my sire it was her duty to ‘raise’ me and instruct me in the ways of the clan and vampire society and I as her childe was expected to provide some measure of service and loyalty in return for the gift of being born into darkness. It was an honor to be chosen as a candidate for the embrace by a Lasombra, only the best were given the gift and apparently there had been another who had had their eye on me. Dona Juana got to me first.

So that is how I, Francisco Del Moreno, a child of the slums of Medellin, was born into darkness and became a member of the Lasombra clan. That was twenty years ago, my sire and I parted ways ten years after my embrace. She sought to establish herself as prince of Mallorca whilst I caught a plane to London and then to North America working as a gun for hire for various factions in those cities ruled by the Camarilla or the Anarchs. I never heard from my sire again, though in my travels and exploits since our parting there has always been a feeling, a sensation that she is still watching my progress in the world of darkness.

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