Darkness. Darkness fills your thoughts, your mind, and surrounds you within and without. Cloying, deafening, suffocating darkness. You were not fighting just a little while ago, your were welcoming the darkness, welcoming the safety of the dampness. Damp? Dirty. Earth. You are surrounded by the earth, it is sinking into your pores, your eyes, your mouth, your ears, filling every open hole and crevice within your body. Panic sets in. You are awake in this darkness, this moist, musty darkness. You would open your mouth to scream, but it is already open, frozen in a rigor mortise scream of horror and filled with dirt. You swear you can feel a worm crawling around on your tongue, looping the once useful flesh, now left inert by your death.
Death. You can’t be dead. You had so much more to live for. There must be a mistake, a grave, grave mistake. Were you not panicking, you would have laughed at the pun you just made. But no, they put you here by mistake. You have to get out. You wiggle your fingers, you move and kick your feet, you can’t be dead, you can still move, still succeed. There is so much more to life than this for you. Swimming now, swimming through the dirt and the decomposing plants and animals around you, swimming with your fingers and your toes, moving at the pace of a snail you climb, and climb, and dig your way. Until, cold. You can feel cold on your fingertips. You had grown tired, but this was something new, something exciting, something to reach for, to gain. A place to live! To Live! You want to live!
As you claw and growl and swim your way to the surface, one hand then the other, an arm and now two. Your head crowning through the long channel of dirt that had surrounded you, keeping you safe and warm in the darkness, you thrust yourself outward into the cold air, the cold night air. Spitting and sputtering and choking upon the dirt and the worms within your mouth, vomiting bile black as pitch and tasting just as bad with crawling beetles and squirming maggots galore. You pull your feet free from the earth, free to pull them to your chest, only just not noticing that you are unclothed, naked and brought fresh into the world, covered in grime and dirt and filthy beasts, you look up with your dirt covered eyes, and through the haze of brown mist, there is a face. Several faces. A gentle hand touches your cheek, brushing off the dirt. And a voice, crinkled and old as the stars above, a voice greets you into this new world.
“Welcome to The Confines.”
And as you try to smile, you think that is the expression on your face, the hand returns to your cheek, but not to stroke, but a slap, and punch, and as you growl out in pain and anger and frustration, you fall back to the cold hard ground. Unconscious.
“Welcome to The Confines. No no, don’t panic. You’re amongst family. We’re all family here. Relax, relax, The hunger will go away soon. Yes. We know you’re hungry. We all are. It’s been ages since we’ve had anything real to eat. But that’s not important at the moment.
What is important, is that you’re here now, we have you, we’ll take care of you. That’s what family does, right? We don’t have a lot of time for your teaching, or to do much of anything but run and hide. We almost left you behind, young one. But the Council couldn’t see taking that risk. Now come on, we’ll explain along the way.”
You stand, although your body still feels so foreign to you, and you run along with those around you, they half dragging you as you try to keep up. You notice that you are clothed now, you remember being naked before vaguely, but you have clothing and shoes as well, although they don’t fit as well as you had hoped. There were a few of you running, and as you took off deeper into the wooded area up ahead, you take a moment to look around at your surroundings and those with you. A well dressed man, the voice you have heard since waking up, a woman who’s hair is long and blond and seemingly flowing around behind her tangled with her equally flowing clothes. A rather large dog, no it’s a wolf, bounding on all four legs with… is that a fedora?... on its head. And, well you’re not entirely sure exactly what that is over there, but you think it has a tail. And maybe horns. What the hell did you get yourself into?
You ran for what seemed an eternity until you were brought stumbling into a cabin deep within the woods. You collapsed to the floor, panting, and you look up at those around you, gathering to look at this newborn. And each other. The man who had been speaking with you, he wore a suit of the finest tailored burgundy velvet, held out a young squealing rabbit to you and without even realizing what you were doing, you sunk your teeth into the flesh of the young mammal, it’s screams falling upon your deaf ears as you sucked the life blood from it’s veins, the warm liquid soothing your throat and sliding into your stomach and then into your own vascular system. This is what life is. This. Causing death to the innocent in order to survive. You look up at those that are watching you, human and freaks alike, licking your lips with your tongue, only miniscule bits of blood dripping from your chin to the floor. “Now What?”
The man in the velvet suit looked at you in disgust, frowned, waved his hand in your direction, and then started to speak while you were still recovering from the shock of there being no more blood on your chin and the pretty sparkly swirls in the air.
“There is no time to properly train you in the history of where you are, so you will need to pay attention as we go over the brief notes. I believe I have heard some of your friends refer to them as Cliff’s Notes, although I have no unearthly idea who Cliff is, or why he took so many notes.
“You are a vampire. Danava is a demon. Ilona is a Banshee. Jacques is a werewolf. I am a Sorcerer, my name is Donovan. We are in the confines. Centuries and centuries ago we were put here by the human population as they expanded and demanded more and more territory. Territory that used to belong to our kind. All of our kind. We signed a treaty with the humans, Newly Come as they used to be called, many and many a years ago, with the promise to stay within the Confines and to never leave. One of the younger vampires, or several actually, broke that promise last week. They broke the Treaty! And now we have Hunters here, aiming to show us the errors of our ways and make certain we understand that we are allowed to exist only at their mercy and benevolence. You getting all of this so far? Too bad if not. Our mission, as part of whatever elite squad somebody thinks we can become, is to get rid of the Hunters before they wipe us all out. You up for a little hunting? Excellent. We join the others shortly. Here, have another snack.”
Donovan, a proper name for a guy as slimy appearing as he was, tossed you another live rabbit and you bit into it while standing up and following your fellow creatures of nightmare into the Romanian woods, noticing that the female had a backpack with a notebook stuffed into it. You’d be learning your new family and fighting alongside them at the same time. Hope you’re prepared.
"Yeah. Now the Hunters are the Hunted. Yeah man."
"Kid, just shut up and eat your rabbit."