Meet Arturo de Rosa, vampire

Arturo de Rosa was born in the year 965, Cordoba, Spain. He currently resides in Potes, Spain, but is visiting Boston on the urging of his human blood prostitute, Stephen. In this scene he’s walking the street of the vampire community’s leader, envisioning Alec Marshall, whom he knew in those early years in Cordoba.

Arturo strummed the cool wrought-iron rails, and sniffed at the row of potted flowers that sat stiff and brown. The lamplight blurred in the descending fog. He paused, closed his eyes, then looked up at the house.

“Alexandros,” he whispered.

His vision broke at the sound of footsteps.

“If you’re looking for Alec Marshall, he’s at the State House gala tonight.”

Arturo remained staring at the house. “Not at all. I’m looking for something sweet to suit my fastidious palette. Not one human … not one has walked this street tonight.”

The vampire stepped forward. “No. You see …”

As Arturo turned, the vampire stopped, marking a distance between them.

“Simple hunger,” Arturo said.

“Yes … you see … Le Cauchemar isn’t far. You’ll find bank blood there. Or livebloods.”

“Livebloods? Ah, blood prostitutes, you mean. But I have one already.”

This vampire was young, his skin still somewhat porous, not the white sheen that he and Alexandros now had, and his heart beat with erratic weakness. Four humans with torches could overpower and easily kill these community fledglings.

Still, he seemed to be making an attempt here, this staunch community supporter. And in that he resembled Alexandros. “At some of the clubs, you’ll find humans who give blood freely,” the vampire continued, “or for a price, but the bank blood is available …”

Ignoring him, Arturo stroked the iron rail and gazed back at Alec Marshall’s redbrick home.

“Sir, if you haven’t registered at the department …”

The fence was built with perfectly spaced iron spears, the tips wet but gritty to Arturo’s touch. “Comprende, I sculpt with subtle, sloping lines, nothing as sharp as he’s chosen. Nor anything as refined as the symmetry his house commands.” Arturo sighed dramatically and finally turned to the vampire. “It has made me pause to consider.” He then brushed his hands down his coat. “But mostly, I’m famished. There are humans here, no? In this fine habitat you made?”

The vampire backed up farther. “You’ll need to register. You’ll need to …”

Laughing, Arturo pulled off his long coat, and draped it over the railing before Alec’s home.

“Nine hundred years. That’s how long I’ve battled your careful and conscientious Alexandros Mersecal. I know his many names. Is he still as beautiful?” Smiling, Arturo held up his hand. “Shhh…. Say nothing. My imagination conjures better.”

Then leaving the coat, Arturo disregarded the vampire and headed back down Bethany Street under thin lamplight, a pale yellow gauze that roused his taste for skin.

At the corner, he turned back. “South, would you say? Will I find your humans if I go, say … this way?”

The young vampire turned and, quickening his pace, headed back where he’d come from.

Arturo watched bemused. “City of proselytes, Marshall belongs only to me.”

— from Beside the Darker Shore

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