You sprint through the darkness. Moonlight glinting silver off of your blond hair is the only marker of your movement, but you know enough to shield even that telltale glint from knowing eyes.
You are used to keeping to the shadows. Used to walking swift and low and beneath the notice of others. Used to consigning yourself to corners and curves and columns that can both conceal and be pushed off from during a fight.
Clad in black from head to throat, you blend in with the night...you are the perfect stalker. And the perfect killer. Death is in your veins. On your tongue. And, most of all, on your mind.
And that is the way you like it. That is what you crave.
How many times have you been out this week? Tasting ash and blood? How many times have you stalked soft footsteps among the tombstones and pounced? The pain that rips through you, the regret, the trace of humanity, is nothing compared to the victory of skin flaking off in your hands. The victory of blood against your heel as you crush a throat beneath your boot and drink the submission of those weaker than you.
You can say you know how to love. You can say you feel, you ache, you hurt. You can chase down a person and try to make them stay, try to force them to love you back. But, inside, you are still alone. Incapable of truly caring for something more than you care for death, for the feel of it on your fingertips and your lips.
You can change your name. You can hide. You can run. You can call yourself whatever you like and pretend you can change everything about you...everything that makes you who you are. You can try and deny everything that makes you strong, makes you fast, makes you something *more*. But, inside, you are what you are. A killer.
And you know it.
Vampires are demons, like animals...motivated by hunger, by thirst, by survival instinct that some can call evil...and others can excuse as simple natural selection. A stronger species thinning out the weaker.
A textbook could confirm that theory for you.
And reality could confirm that serial killers are, most assuredly, human.
Their hunger, their thirst, their instinct, is not for survival, but for carnage...for total destruction. For power over life and death. For the ability to choose what will scramble up from beneath your fists and into the night...and who will fall beneath your stake.
Vampires are made...are evolved.
But Slayers are natural born killers.
And I see you, Slayer.
Too clearly. Blindingly bright pictures that make me wish I could still breathe so that you could take that breath away.
But I also see myself.
I can look in a cracked mirror, at the splinters of empty glass, and still remember who I used to be.
And that's why you're running, aren't you? Why you're leaping over graves and you can't stop to count the bodies, to count the piles of ash.
Well, you can't escape your own shadow, your own reflection, forever.
It will catch up.
Trust me, it always does.
Won't do you any good to run.
The truth is always faster.
Here endeth the lesson.
February 19, 2001.
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