Marcus Avitus, part 4

Had I been sired millennia later, I might have checked my headlong flight into the supposed oblivion of sunlight, but all I had heard of vampires were those ghost stories of things that fed on men in the dark that have followed us from plain to cave to hut to house to skyscraper. At that point I had not even a name for myself. Even in my flight I realised this lack, realised that I was fleeing from the one creature that knew what I now was. But I fled still, in my fury preferring ignorance to any enlightenment garnered from that fiend. In time these delusions of morality and distinction left me; such things are hard to keep in the knowledge that one is as fiendish as any other.

In the bald light of day, wild in my fury, chin caked with dried blood, bleeding baby girl under my arm, I must have looked a horror loosed from Hades. Certainly there were screams. Footsteps fled from my passage. I saw none of it. I was blind from the moment the sun hit my eyes. Not the blindness of midnight, soft and almost comforting, but the blindness of cold steel thrust through the eyesocket, grating on bone with its passage. I ran regardless, bouncing off beggars, fruit stalls and walls of stone. With ears and nose and hands I found my way to a back alley and an empty cellar. The cellar of an old colleague, gone for months on the trade routes at this time of year. There, still blind, I sat in the dirt to take stock. My daughter began to cry.

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