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by Dawn Harshaw

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Copyright 2012 Dawn Harshaw
Smashwords Edition


Love broadens your identity and expands who you are. Empathy is the ability to feel as one, but compassion is the choice to do so with Love.

- Dreamer's Handbook

Elise put her hands on the cage. "Oh no, what has he done to you?"

The kitten inside meowed pleadingly. Decay marred deep into its flesh, and fur has fallen off around the patches of diseased skin.

Elise wanted to cradle and console the kitten, but a sense of caution overruled the protective impulse. Vampires had great natural resistance to disease, but it was drilled into her mind to stay away from zombies - be they human or animal.

She examined the large table upon which the small cage stood: rusty knives and dirty spoons, bottles, vials, and several disemboweled rat corpses.

So, Bron, this is what you do in your spare time... She poked one of the rat cadavers with a stick.

They all autopsied rats in class - after all, knowledge of anatomy is important for young vampires - but all the splattered blood suggested the rats were still alive during the dissection. The thought crossed Elise's mind that Bron was actually a budding genius dedicated to learning and scientific exploration, but the crude, jagged nature of the cuts suggested torture as a motive. You're not just a fat bully, but a deranged psycho.

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