Writing Group: Fueled By Blood (PRIVATE)

Hello, Blood Benders and Sanguineers!

Oh yes. Your blood is such a lovely shade of red, my dear. Oh you mustn’t run! There’s nowhere to run anyways, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Fueled By Blood

Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

This is a perfect prompt to start off the spooky season. Many stories tell of a cycle of blood, or else a thirst for blood—be it the motives of the villain, a cycle of revenge, or a war a corrupt ruler refuses to stop waging. 

Vampires are likely where most people’s minds will first go. They are very literally fueled by blood as their food source. But there are lots of other creatures, living and undead, who require—or simply desire—blood. You could write about one such creature looking for its next meal, or about what happens when they’re deprived of that necessary fuel. 

Many rituals and experiments require blood. Perhaps you could write about a college student trying to discreetly buy blood for the ritual they’re doing in their dorm room. Or perhaps a necromancer needs blood to power their reanimated corpses. The Black Butler manga has a good example of the latter; one of the characters reanimates corpses, but the corpses require a constant supply of blood in order to keep walking around. It can be difficult to procure the rarer types of blood—and require sinister means.

You could take the prompt more literally. Perhaps you could write about some sort of machine that runs on blood. Maybe a sword can only use its magic abilities when it is drenched in blood. Maybe a special type of car runs on blood instead of gasoline. Perhaps someone’s blood could be put into a gemstone, carrying their life force inside it. 

You could write about some sort of fuel that looks like blood upon first glance. Like how in Crimson Peak the red clay Thomas uses to fuel his machine looks like blood. You could write about how someone is horrified to see another character using blood as fuel…only to realize it’s not blood at all. 

You may be surprised to find that this prompt doesn’t have to be purely gruesome, or negative. One character might sacrifice their life for another, and the second character might keep fighting in order to honor their sacrifice—fueled in their heart by this selfless act. Blood could also refer to a familial bond; someone could be motivated by the blood bond they share with a sibling, parent, child, or other relative.  

Now hold still. And stop screaming. This’ll only hurt a bit.


Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Saturday at 3:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.

Rules and Guidelines

We read at least five stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!

  1. Text and Formatting

    1. English only.
    2. Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
    3. Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
    4. Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
    5. Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
    6. Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
    7. No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
  2. What to Submit

    1. Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
    2. Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
    3. Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
    4. No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
    5. Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
  3. Submission Rules

    1. One submission per participant.
    2. Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
    3. Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
    4. You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
    5. Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
    6. Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
    7. You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
    8. Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.

Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.

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1 year ago

The Bloodworks
By Exce, edited by Luna

A faint stink of burned lacquer hung in the air, and wisps of smoke curled from an almost melon sized sphere of banded metal.

Johanson had his head in his hands, dirty blond hair sticking up between the fingers in all directions whilst tools lay scattered about the table.

Everything had been going so well. The Soulcrystal had worked as intended, the machine-beast had come to life, and he felt himself at the cusp of success. And then everything had blown up in his face.

Between all the working parts, it had been the tried and tested wires that gave up the service. Even with all the usual reinforcements and failsaves, the sheer size and energy demand from the beast burned them out.

So that had meant a return to the drawing board, and Johanson had built himself a testing device that could simulate the strain the beast placed upon the wiring.

So far, it seemed like a very expensive smoke-machine.

All his ideas, all his experiments and workarounds had led to nothing.

Frustration worked its way through his chest, spreading as a suffocating heat. With force, he swung his arm down on the table.

His tools jumped, the sphere swayed and the much tested and scratched table top met his hand with unimpressed solidness.

A sharp pain jolted up his arm, and Johanson gave another grunt through his thick mustache. The skin on the side of his hand had burst in a nasty web of bloody lines. Red rivulets rolled down into the white sleeve of his coat, and dribbled down across the workshop.

Cursing all the while, the Chief-Engineer got up and walked across to the red painted box affixed to the wall. Relieving it of a bandage and disinfecting salve, he turned back around.

The still smoking Sphere had risen off the table, emitting a faint hum and glowing with a static sort of energy. No sign of any burning out or damaging itself.

Slack jawed, Johanson looked down on his damaged hand connecting the wound to the faint red stains covering the functional sphere.

Last edited 1 year ago by Revisis
jesse fisher
jesse fisher
1 year ago

Feed the Machine
by Jesse Fisher

The sound of metal on metal was about as ambient as the moans and screams that filled this section of the factory. The staff looked humanoid, the faceless look would have been a shock to any that might have run into them. They seemed to be made up to be a fauximile to medical professionals, scrubs and equipment included.

“I never understood why they thought this was an efficient use of the facility.” One of the staff asked aloud.

This one broke the dress code in the most subtle way. A simple hat that gave it a thing that made it different from the rest of the crowd. That and the fact that the blue scrubs are stained while the rest of the place was clean.

“I mean we grow them up to the point that they can be thrown into a setup that is nothing short of an old horror story.” Still none of the other staff responded as they moved about.

A pager went off causing the hat to shift and gave a sigh motion.

“That is the third one today, they are pushing the chairs too hard.”

The door slid open to a grated floor and a chair with a once moving mass of an organic being. The hat staff saw the many needles into the organic’s body that now drew nothing but air. Given the medical readout on the monitors was all that was needed for a confirmation.

“Youngest I’ve seen today, granted this has been happening more and more.”

The staff began to unhook the corpse before it caused issues.

“I do wonder if this was a part of the replacement group before being sent here. I hear those that come from there last much longer then the ones we just fatten up. Maybe I should look for a way out of this place?”

1 year ago

A Pinch and a Dash
by vellichorian

The kitchen was in shambles. Bowls and spoons filled the sink, flour dusted the counters, and the drawer handles were sticky. Elsie perched on her stool, feet dangling, and Kurt knelt on his, leaning over the worktable, inspecting an oversized cookie on a baking sheet.

“I don’t understand,” he mumbled. “It should have worked. Did you mix up the runes again?” He squinted and pointed at the intricate lines and dots they had carved into the dough before it went in the oven.

Elsie rolled her eyes. “No. They’re perfect. At least they were. Did you put in too much powder? Maybe it puffed up too much and smudged them?”

“No. I triple checked. Could it be too much candy? Or frosting?” They stared at the candy-coated chocolate buttons, licorice suspenders, and lopsided royal icing bow tie.

Elsie conceded. “Maybe. We should check the book.”

She hopped off her stool and retrieved a heavy leather-bound volume with an eye inside a pentagram embossed on the cover. She hurried back, she slipped on a puddle of milk and skidded into the table, heaving the book on top with a thump. The table shuddered, and a paring knife fell off the edge. Without thinking, Kurt caught the knife but grabbed the blade instead of the handle. It sliced into his palm, and he dropped it, crying out. The blade clattered on the floor, and Elsie ran to get a clean towel.

“Let me see it,” she reached across the table. Sniffling and holding back tears, Kurt stretched his arm toward her. As he leaned over the pan, a bit of blood dripped from his cut onto the cookie. The gingerbread man jumped up, and sugar-crystal horns sprouted out of its rainbow sprinkle hair.

“Look at me! I’m a great Demon Lord! I can go hunt more food with this great gleaming sword!” the cookie shouted as it snatched the knife from the floor and ran into the street.

Elsie and Kurt looked first at each other, then out the door. “What did we do?” she whispered, and they ran after it.

1 year ago

“The Bloodeater’s Curse” (Garoloch)
By Hemming Sebastian Bane (CW: encouragement of suicide, intrusive thoughts, mentions of gore)

BLOOD. MEAT. KILL. EAT. The words repeated in Shiloh’s head like an ecstatic prayer of a faithful congregation. His face burned like fever, sweat dotting his brow. His knees were numb from kneeling for hours at the altar of the goddess he failed. His hands were still red and tears flowed down his cheeks.

“I’m sorry,” he whimpered. “I’m so sorry.”

“You better be sorry.” The sharp female voice sent a shiver down his spine. Shiloh kept his gaze forward. If he couldn’t see it, the specter wasn’t there. There were no ribbons of flesh. No crimson stained clothes. He could just ignore it.

“He’s been struck mad, I tells ya! Mad!” Shiloh’s sobs increased as an angry voice chimed in. “An’ you know wha’ ya gots to do with a mad dog.”

“No. Please no,” the penitent said, trying to regain his composure.

“Sorry, young man,” a third voice came. This one was much older than the other two, sweet as molasses. “I have to agree. It’s time for you to die.”

“I can change. I can change!” Shiloh’s throat ached. Was… was he yelling?

“If you’re going to plead,” the first voice replied. “Look at us.”

His sobs became heavier and he dug his palms into his temples. “I can’t! I-I just can’t!”

“Then die, an’ quick!” replied the male specter. “You know tha’ wolves that eat human flesh are no good!”

Those words seemed to amplify the mantra in Shiloh’s head: KILL. EAT. BLOOD. MEAT.

“Please,” the older specter said. “Die. Die and free us!”


“Hurry up an’ do it, boy! The more you wait the more of us there are!”


“Kill yourself, Shiloh.”


“Enough!” Shiloh bellowed, the primal rage in his voice echoing around the cave. “I cannot die yet. I have a lot to do!”

“Yer tainted, boy. Even if ya ken fend i’ off, it’ll eat ya from the inside.”

“Shut up, you shrivelled old miserable crow! I just need my affairs in order before that.”

“How?” the first ghost asked. “You’re a walking shibboleth.”

Shiloh gritted his teeth. “Watch me.”

1 year ago

A Final Stand on Borrowed Strength
by Gerrit (Rattus)

The metallic taste washed over her mouth, salty and acrid. She had been warned against it. The dangers of ingesting blood had been drilled into her brain so thoroughly that she felt sure she could recite them in her sleep.

But what other choice did she have?

The vial of blood had been given to her as a last resort, an emergency measure for when times got desperate. How much more desperate could things get than now, with enemies closing in on all sides?

The urge to retch strengthened as she swallowed hard, forcing the blood into her system. She felt herself growing stronger almost immediately, her muscles filling with the strength of the ape the blood had come from.

“This blood granted you a long life,” she muttered to herself. “May it grant me strength now, after your passing.”

The hair on her arms grew thicker, her skin now tougher. She was nearing the point of no return, she knew. If there had been even a few more drops in that vial, she may have lost herself. Instead, it granted her all the strength she would need.

At least, that was her hope.

Enemies crept ever closer, shields raised and spears pointed forward. Her grip on her club tightened. If her God was truly on her side, this strength would be enough. And if these new Gods were right—that the world was theirs to rule—then she would rather die.

She broke the enemy formation like a ferocious gale, swinging her club wildly, sending soldiers flying in her wake. Their shields were no match for her newfound strength. Splinters of wood scattered across the ground, broken arms hanging loose at their owner’s sides.

“That’s enough.” A deep, commanding voice stopped her in the middle of her onslaught. “If me and my siblings are your problem, then you can take this matter up with us directly.”

She looked at the new arrival and smiled. “You Gods can take human forms, I wonder if you die like humans, too.”

1 year ago

Terror of Dalbourgh
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

“And how does that make you feel?”

“I… do not think you are fully listening to what I’m saying?”

“I am. That’s why I’m asking: how does that make you feel?”

“Killing people and drinking their blood?”


Marcellus the vampire and Dr. Clara Gash the therapist had been in this session for ten minutes of pure confusion on Marcellus’s end about the utter lack of confusion on Clara’s. Since when did vampires go to therapy?

(When they lost bets. Stupid centuries-long gambling addiction.)

This familiar-looking lady shouldn’t be taking this all in stride. Humans didn’t think vampires were real. He’d have to eat her afterward, obviously. But he’d play along for the rest of the hour. For the memories.

“Well…” Marcellus rubbed his long, bony hands together, “I feel hassled. I used to break into that blood bank, north of Dalbourgh City Hall. Hypnotize someone to invite me in, then I’d be set for a month or so. But then they got shut down! So now I’m back to eating people. It’s a hassle. So many blood stains.”

“Hm…” Clara wrote something down on her clipboard. “It sounds like your view on life is pretty skewered—sorry, skewed. When was the last time you, say, went for a walk? Out in the sun, maybe?”

“No!” Marcellus hissed. “No sunlight! I am a vampire! Obviously! We’re having this session at nine at night! I have giant fangs! I drink blood!”

“And why do you do that?”

Unfazed. Completely unfazed. Marcellus felt an urge to cave his head in with the armrest of the therapy couch.

“I drink blood because I have to! Or I die! Do you know anything about vampires?”

“Why, yes, I do.”

She reached for a nearby lamp, then chucked it at his face.

This didn’t damage Marcellus, just startle him. Startled him long enough to find himself shoved to the floor, a wooden stake sticking out of his chest.

“But… what…?” he whispered with his dying breath.

Clara laughed. “Marcellus, Terror of Dalbourgh, you’ve had this coming for seven Gash generations. Good night, foul beast.”


[Dm me on discord for details!]

Last edited 11 months ago by Tale Foundry
Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
1 year ago

by Lee Strangely

The weather was brutal, with Brant struggling to get inside the house with the box before the door slammed behind him. Once inside, the sound of the howling wind was overshadowed by a raucous clickity-clack; it echoed throughout the house and grew furiously louder the closer he got.

At its origin, the darkness was pierced by the bright white of a screen, and the shadow of a man whose hands frantically abused every key on the keyboard. Onscreen, words, sentences, and even entire paragraphs repeatedly appeared and disappeared in the blink of an eye.

“So… How’s the writing?” Brant muttered.

“It’s the perfect prompt,” the author griped, “that I can’t seem to write anything for!”

Brant tried to comfort him, “If you can’t write, then don’t. What’s it called… Tale Foundry? You said they have a prompt like every week. There’s nothing wrong with skip-”

“I’ve only ever skipped a prompt once, and I don’t plan to do it again,” he snapped, “What kind of a writer am I if a skipped a challenge simply because I didn’t like it.”

“It’s past midnight!”


Brant sighed, placing the antique on the table.

“Another typewriter?” the author groaned.

“It’s special. The seller said it… guarantees results… Just try it.”

“Alright.” He reluctantly pressed a key.

“OW! W-what was that!?” he shouted, seeing a mark on his finger start to bleed.

“Trust me!” Brant insisted as he then thrusted both of the author’s hands into the keyboard. The author gasped in pain.

“What did you…” he tried pulling away, but the machine held him as it typed away; his hands painfully dragged about by the keys bouncing up and down.

After a shrill ding, it finally let go of the exhausted author. He looked in shock at his bloody fingers as Brant pulled the paper from the machine.

Brant gazed upon the complete story written in red, “Final word count: three hundred fifty. Hmm… ‘Blood-Type.’ Odd title…”

The author glanced over, “It used my real name…”

“Yeah. Probably should change that… How about something, mysterious, that evokes intrigue… something strange… yeah… strange.”

Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
1 year ago

The Difference Between Life And Living (Nyx’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis

I get judged by people a lot.

I mean sure, everyone gets judged by everyone else, but when someone sees a girl with deathly pale skin, hands like claws, and the fangs within her mouth…well, people tend to decide what kind of person I am pretty quick.

And I understand. Hell, they’re probably correct.

But there is one little assumption that grinds my gears. It’s not even a common one – most people just see me as a vampire, and think that I can consume nothing but blood. That belief, I can deal with.

It’s the opposite assumption that I hate. The assumption from the educated, the intellectuals, the occultists. The ones that know what Dhampirs are.

They assume that I don’t really need blood. I don’t need it to survive, and I can eat and drink regular food, so I should be fine. That I could be a good little normal citizen, and not a parasitic leech, if only I could just CONTROL myself.

But they don’t know me.

They don’t know what it is like to bite into an apple and taste fucking nothing. To force down a meal that might as well be grey flavourless sludge, just to get through another day. To live through life feeling dulled and slow and stupid, and trying to forget the neverending gnaw of hunger in your mind.

And when I taste-! When I give in! The taste yes, the taste is beyond any other pleasure, but it’s more than that!

When I taste blood, my tongue wakes up, and I can taste the apple! I can eat, and I can savour it, indulge in it, love it! My mind awakens, and suddenly I feel so smart, so fast, so strong and so wise, it all comes back! For a minute, a glorious, precious minute, I feel like I can do ANYTHING.

But then it fades. Then, things grow dull again. And I want nothing else but just one more minute…

That’s why I hate that assumption.

Because yes, I don’t need blood to survive.

But I need it to live.

1 year ago

Fear, fueled by Blood

The heart of the City of Meat is a necropolis. Those few inhabitants, cut off from the resources of the city, are ghastly folk, suspicious and given to superstition.

Osteo entered the heart through a minor entrance. All streams led to the heart and these streams went dry from time to time. Periodically, seismic events would cause the streams to refill and become impassable, the necropolis would swamp and drown. He figured he had a week before the next one.

He walked down interstitial streets that more than looked abandoned, their telltale lumps long-since silenced. It reminded him, in an absurd way, of a child’s nightmare. The city in all its glory and no one to experience it. There are subtle differences. The edges of the city were gray like old callouses, not the blistering red of constant wear. Portals inside private spaces were overgrown and sealed. Scattered and uncared for relics lay mired in the city’s flesh.

Nature reclaims, he thought. But this isn’t why he is here. He is here to draw, to record those aspects of the most terrifying, even if the only terror is because humans cannot survive here. It’s a place with memories but no soul. Not hostile, simply no longer caring or cared about.

Osteo was drawing a child’s toy, a bone doll imbedded in a wet wall, when the first tremor tightened the road beneath him. He shuddered, both instinctual and as a result. It was too soon, he needed to leave. He hastily gathered his things; inks, paints and bone-white paper.

The lumps underfoot shiver as he runs for his exit. The walls bruise purple then red as another tremor shakes them wetly. The city begins to flood. His feet slip as he clambered into his exit. An eye blinked at him, sleep dust wafting down into the oncoming red.

Osteo fell into the stream as much as climbed. Another tremor. The stream sucked at his knees and hands, clinging to his once-white shirt, dragging him down. He splutters as the final tremor in the sequence floods his escape and drowns him.

1 year ago

Logbook: Vampris Leech (The Will)
By Skeleton

Magus Mysteries #869 – Vampris Leech

Author: Remianna D. MgM.

When one thinks of monsters, they think of the hulking monstrosities that tear people asunder and leave children afraid to go near the tree line. However, in my tenure as a mage of the bastion, I have learned that it is the monsters people don’t think of that truly deserve the fear of the people. At least large, predatory monsters at least give people a quick death.

The Vampris Leech (Sanguisuga acidum) is a parasite that lurks in and around bogs that infiltrates its host’s stomach. Its lifecycle is strange to say the least: starting off as an egg borne inside the flesh of the parental host, the leech awaits to be ingested by other omnivores and carnivores. Adolescence is achieved when the stomach acid burns away the protective chitin—only protective against mechanical dangers such as chewing—and reveals its true skin: a glass-based coating that protects against the stomach acid. From there, the leech attached itself to the stomach near the vagus nerve and begins to draw blood from nearby arteries.

Symptoms in the host are minor at this stage: drowsiness, minor appetite loss, lethargy. Most individuals chock this up to fatigue from working, or from some other activity they’re participating in. However, things get much, much worse when the leech reaches adulthood.

When it has gained enough nutrients from the blood, it grows in size dramatically and beings stimulating the vagus nerve in such a way that in compels its host to drink blood. It is theorized that this behaviour is because the needs of the leech now outweigh the nutrients the host can provide, so they look to outsource their needs to another in order to spare the host for longer. Those afflicted by this phenomenon are commonly deemed “vampires” by common folk, but I assure you they are not monsters.

Nearing the end of their life, the leech then detaches from the host’s stomach, shedding its protective skin as it burrows into the stomach, laying eggs as the shock and the internal bleeding kills the host.

John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)
John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)
1 year ago

The Destruction of Balaam
John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)

The chamber was in shambles. A haze of acrid smoke smelling of brimstone and ozone hung in the air. Sean looked around. The tapestries along the wall were smoldering. One showed a burn mark that looked like a series of chrysanthemum fireworks, which could only be a mixed force elemental strike. His teacher and lover, Izorpo, was gone, but she had put up a mighty fight.

Sean looked at the residue of the containment spells drawn on the summoning dais in the chamber’s center. He imagined how the fight must have gone as the Arch-Demon broke them and ultimately consumed her. He glanced around and saw her grimoire and phylactery, the crystal vial holding her blood which tethered her soul to the prime material plane, on a table.

Sean thought of the pact they had made, he, Apprentice to her, Master. They had both agreed to kill the other if a summoned infernal entity overwhelmed them. But this was more than just death; this was the complete elimination of her soul.

Sean would re-summon the Arch-Demon. He only needed to bind and contain it long enough to destroy Izorpo’s phylactery, then he would banish the Arch-Demon. Izorpo’s soul would diffuse, and she would cease to exist. The demon couldn’t hold her, but neither could she make the passage to the afterlife. Because of his love for her, he knew he must do this duty.

“I must release her.”

Tears streamed down his face and Sean’s anger flared. As a Priest of Wot, he knew how to destroy the Arch-Demon. The technical problem was binding him long enough, creating a strong enough containment. He had an idea looking at Izorpo’s phylactery; with her gone, what use was his own soul?

“I will avenge her!”

Sean expertly opened a large vein on his leg with a bloodletting lance. He mixed alcohol, his collected blood and quicksilver into a tincture. Sean used a fine calligraphy brush and painted a summoning circle and surrounded it with the containment sigils on the dais.

Sean stood, Izorpo’s phylactery in hand. “King Balaam, I summon thee.”

1 year ago

I Prefer The Movie, Personally
By Marx (CW: Suicidal Thoughts)

Murphy stared at the knife in his hand, transfixed on its sharp edge as if it held the answers to all of life’s questions.

“What were you planning on doing with that?” Nisha asked, walking in with her usual smile.

“Do you ever think about… what you’d be doing if you didn’t have to protect me?”

Nisha cocked her head to the side. “Why would I ever think of something silly like that?”

“Well… if I were… gone…, then you wouldn’t be stuck in this limbo of protecting me while also fighting the urge to hurt me yourself.”

“You’re being so peculiar today. I’d never hurt you to begin with.” Nisha’s smile turned slightly into a frown when she saw Murphy unconsciously looking at his newest teeth-shaped scar. “That was an accident. And… accidents don’t count… I forget how delicate and human you are sometimes. You know that I love you and that I’d die to protect you from the demons who WOULD hurt you.”

“Yeah… you ever think that maybe… you don’t love me and you’re being driven crazy by the incubus blood I have in me? And that regardless, falling for the equivalent of your food is a disaster waiting to happen? Theoretically speaking, of course.”

“…what do you think?” Nisha asked ominously.

“I think… it would be easier for everyone if I were gone.”

“Well, I think…” Nisha became a blur and Murphy’s knife was immediately gone. “…that fighting my desire to eat you is romantic.”

“How do you figure that?” Murphy sighed, acknowledging his empty hand.

“Love is about sacrifice! And I’ve been reading this amazing book lately about a very similar situation, so humans must think the same.”

Murphy paused. “What? What book?”

Nisha blurred again and returned, presenting her evidence. “It’s this WONDERFUL love story about a vampire who-…”

Murphy had never laughed so hard in his life.

He laughed so hard it hurt. It was like an out of body experience. But when he stopped, he felt marginally better. His life was insane. He could keep fighting it or embrace the absurdity.