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Samuel Foulley


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Samuel Foulley was a lover of many things: Art, music, dancing, women, blood... Most especially blood. So it was no surprise at all that the young duke’s coming of age party contained every single one of those things. Expensive and rare paintings from all over the world were hung up on the walls of the ballroom and sculptures were placed at the ends of each rose tablecloth covered table. Where his mother had gotten these pieces he was told was a secret, and whenever a guest got up the courage to ask about them he was told to reply vaguely with a smile and a change of subject. The music was played by a large live orchestra placed along the upper balcony and conducted by a man standing on a raised platform in the center of the dance floor. They played only what Samuel told them to, he’d given them a large list of classical and party music that would last them through the night, and they received many praises for being so talented and many. The art and the orchestra along with the food and the servants had no doubt cost Samuel’s mother a pretty penny but the money meant nothing to her, after all she’d always told Samuel he deserved everything and anything.

Guests flowed in through the giant wooden ballroom doors as Samuel sat at the head of a large table at the other end of the hall. The birthday party had been going on for only minutes, but everyone acted as if it had started a long time ago new guests seamlessly joining other guests who were already on the dance floor. It was customary for the Foulley’s to start their parties at the exact moment stated on their invitations, so as soon as the clock struck midnight the orchestra started playing, the doors were opened, and the guests fell into place on the dance floor. There was no need for loud introductions or explanations, everyone knew what it was they were at and who they were there for. Samuel watched his guests with feigned interest, checking the giant clock that hung on the wall behind him every so often. He wouldn’t really be interested in them until it was witching hour, 3AM, that’s when his real birthday party would begin.

"Samuel dear," a sophisticated and falsely sweet woman’s voice said from beside him. Unmistakably his mother’s voice. "Why don’t you go say hello to some of our guests. Make some friends, have a dance. It is your birthday after all, they shouldn’t get to have all the fun," his mother told him, sipping something thicker than wine from her crystal wine glass.

"Yes mother," Samuel answered, getting up without any complaints and moving to walk along the edge of the dance floor. Once out of ear shot of her he let out a sigh. He’d rather be observing and enjoying a drink like his mother was, but he knew all too well that there was never any use arguing with his her, she always got her way. Besides that, he wasn’t allowed to drink until after the celebration.

The clock on the back wall sung that it was 1AM and the last of the stragglers slipped into the ballroom as the doors closed everyone in. On cue, with the slam of the door’s lock, the previously idle servants that stood on the edge of the room picked up silver trays from the tables and began to pass out food and drink to the guests. Only a few guests seemed worried about the locking of the doors, but once they looked around and saw that a majority of the people didn’t seemed fazed by being locked in a room full of strangers most of them got over their worry and began to go about the party. Most of them.

Two girls who stood off in a corner by the doors, glancing between the doors and the other guests, caught Samuel’s eye. It wasn’t their beautifully done up hair and faces or the fact that their poufy purple and blue ball gowns seemed so much more unique than the rest of the women’s attending the party, it was the fact that they seemed unsure of themselves and the people around them that caught his eye. That and they’d turned down three servants already who’d tried to offer them food.

"Something the matter ladies?" Samuel asked, gliding gracefully towards them. The girls looked at him with uncertainty, as if gauging whether or not speaking with him was a safe option. "Is my birthday party not up to your standards?" It was obvious to him that up until now the girls had had no idea who he was, because as he asked his second question both their eyes went wide and the girl in the purple dress hid herself behind the one in the blue; obviously out of embarrassment since her cheeks began to fill in red with blood.

"No, of course not Your Grace, everything about your party is absolutely stunning," the girl in the purple dress squeaked out from behind her friend.

"Ah, I see now," he responded with a smile. "My apologies, I would never had guess that this was your first time at one of these high class affairs. Your dresses are absolutely stunning, however did you afford them?" Rather than respond to his question the girl in blue gave her friend a scolding look, as if she had just given away some huge secret. The girl in purple responded by stepping away from her and giving her a look of apology. "Now girls, there’s no need to look so unhappy. This is a party after all, we’re supposed to be enjoying ourselves," Samuel gave them a wink and they both blushed. "So, I won’t tell anyone that you somehow stole those dresses and snuck in here from the village, if you agree to partake in some of our generously provided food and each allow me a dance later?"

As if on cue two servants showed up, one with tiny sandwiches and one with golden bubbling drinks, each extended their platter to the girls. Hesitantly the girls took a sandwich and a drink each from the platters. Samuel looked at them expectantly as the servants moved away, and they both took bites of their finger sandwiches. Samuel smiled.

"We actually didn’t steal the dresses Your Grace," the girl in blue said, once she’d swallowed her first bite. The other girl nodded and Samuel raised an eyebrow.

"I made them," the girl in purple told him, looking more excited now. "I make all my clothing. I apprentice for a popular seamstress in the village. She’s been getting requests for gowns for this party for three months now, that’s how we found out about it. It took me ages to make both of these, and I’m still not quite happy with them. But we just had to come to this party. It’s not often something this extravagant happens so nearby to us, practically on our doorstep, we just wanted so much to experience it."

"As you should, especially if it may be your one and only chance to attend one...The fabric for these dress, you had to of stolen that, surely. It seems quite expensive," Samuel said, reaching out to touch the sleeve of the purple dress. The girl wearing it jumped closer to the girl in blue and clung onto her arm, almost spilling both their drinks, and Samuel pulled his hand away without touching the dress. "What are your names?" he added as an afterthought.

"My name is Bailey Lan, sir," the girl in purple responded. "And this is Darcy Pyke. And I didn’t steal the fabric, they were both Christmas gifts from the seamstress."

Samuel nodded, he knew the girl wasn’t lying. After all, the side effect for eating or drinking anything at the parties his mother hosted was loose lips and telling the truth. Not that it mattered, no one who ate or drank at them ever had time enough to regret telling any secrets they ended up sharing. "And you two are...sisters?" Samuel guessed, though they didn’t look much alike.
Darcy shook her head. "Companions, sir," she corrected.
"Companions? So you two...travel together? Forgive me for asking, but why would you make such a beautiful dress for someone you merely see once in a while when you’re on the road?"
Darcy shook her head again. "We call ourselves companions, sir, because some people aren’t accustom to what we really are and don’t normally question it when we respond with that. You see, I prefer the company of women and Bailey, well, she doesn’t really have a preference to whom she romances. So It’s not a lie we are companions, but companions on the road of life."

Samuel stared at the two girls for a moment before responding. "Well, I supposed that means I’ll only be taking a dance from one of you this evening," he said, looking at Darcy disappointedly and then smiling at Bailey. "Now, since you’ve both so graciously allowed me your time and given me a secret, I’ll let you in on a secret that pertains to me. The wine isn’t exactly wine, so I wouldn’t drink it if I were you. But please, do have some more of the other drinks, and the food as well." As if on cue again a servant showed up with another platter and extended it to the girls, who took some of the cheese from it. "Also, it would please me greatly if you two dropped the ’sir’ and the ’Your Grace’ and honored me by becoming my friends instead of my inferiors. So next time I come around you may call me by my name, Samuel, as for now I must go mingle with the rest of my guests." He turned away from the girls, who were being approached by yet another platter of food, and walked off into the crowed of guests.

The clocked chimed for 3AM, and that’s when the party really got started. Samuel’s family stood up from where they’d been sitting at the main table all night and took to the dance floor. Some of the guests looked on them excitedly, the ones that had been to Foulley parties before and knew exactly what the time and the family rising meant. The rest of the guests continued on with their dancing and socializing, oblivious to the others around them and the excitement to come. Samuel slid his way through the crowed, excitement building inside of him now. This was what he’d been waiting for all night. And to a larger extent what he’d been waiting for since he was a twelve, when his mother had thought him old enough to be told about his family, his heritage, and what she hoped he would become.

He saw the girls he was looking for at the edge of the room. They’d moved away from their corner to stand by a table with a chocolate fountain and assorted fruits. They were staring at the fountain apprehensively, though Samuel didn’t understand why. If they’d been eating enough of the food the servants had been offering then the special ingredient in the chocolate mix shouldn’t have fazed them. Samuel approached them quietly, sliding up behind Bailey. "Something wrong with my choice in dessert now too?" he asked in a low voice right next to her ear.

Bailey yelped and jumped, and then spun around tripping over the hem of her dress. Before Samuel could react Darcy was already there, catching Bailey and helping her to stand upright again. "No sir," Bailey started, catching her breath. "I mean, Samuel...There’s nothing wrong with the choice of dessert. It’s just that the chocolate tastes a little...off..."
"Ah, well, it is very expensive chocolate made for people with a much finer pallet than yours. Maybe you’d prefer the shortcake?" Samuel suggested. A servant came up beside him with a platter of bite sized pieces of cake and extended it to the girls. They each took one and stared at it. Samuel raised an eyebrow at them and the girls gave each other a look before popping the cake into their mouths.
"This is delicious!" Bailey exclaimed once she’d swallowed.
"I’ll have him leave the platter here for you, there is lots of food to go around after all." Samuel glanced at the servant who placed the platter on the table, bowed to him and the girls, and walked away.

"How do they do that?" Darcy asked, she’d picked up a second piece of cake and was picking at it rather than eating it. Bailey on the other hand was on her third piece.
"They’re trained to serve the guests quickly and efficiently, but have also been told that at least two of them must be within earshot of me at all times just in case I need something," Samuel answered with a shrug, and then added, "Please don’t be shy, eat as much as you’d like."
Darcy stopped picking at her piece of cake and bit into it. From the looks of it, it was more so not to be rude than it was because she actually wanted it. "What are all the drains on the floor for?" she asked suddenly. "Bailey and I have been wondering about them all night. They seem like they could become a hazard to dancers."
"They make it easier to clean up spills," Samuel walked over to the next table and picked up two glasses of wine. He made a show of dumping them on the floor. Slowly the thicker than usual wine made its way towards the nearest drain. "I’m sure you know how clumsy people can get after a few drinks." He watched as Darcy eyes fixated on the wine, following it as it moved to and entered the drain. Samuel cleared his throat and Darcy’s eyes snapped back up to him. "Have another cake," he told her. "And why don’t you two ladies share a dance together, join in on the dancing mood everyone seems to be in." He gestured to the other guests and tuned to watch them.

The dance floor was absolutely crammed full. Everyone but the servants and the orchestra seemed to be dancing now. It was enchanting to watch. The colours of the women’s dresses swirled about and drifted around each other. Everyone seemed to be moving at once and as one big unit, perfectly in sync. The rhythm and tone of the music had changed too, before it had been more upbeat and fun, now it seemed trance like. Servants were moving effortlessly through the dancers still with their platters, and as they walked by guests would seamlessly grab a food item or drink, pop it into their mouths, and continue on dancing. It was chilling and beautiful all at the same time.

He turned back to the two girls. Bailey was watching everyone in wide-eyed amazement, but Darcy seemed to be put off by the beautiful and talented show the dancers were putting on. Obviously she hadn’t had enough to eat. "It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed a ball would be like!" Bailey spoke up excitedly, grabbing Darcy’s arm and pulling her towards the dancers. "Just one dance, please?"
"Yes Darcy, why don’t you give your girl a dance before I steal her for the rest of the night?" Samuel agreed, putting a bit of teasing into his tone. Darcy looked between Samuel and the dance, and Bailey. She let out a sigh, but nodded in agreement and let Bailey drag her off onto the dance floor.

One song, one dance, that was more than enough time needed for Samuel to prepare. He waited until the girls were swallowed up by the crowed, and then began his walk around the edge of the dance floor back to his table. Already the big finally of his party had begun. Dancers, both men and women, were dropping like flies. Throats slit, chests pierced, skulls cracked, but no one seemed to care or take notice. The dancing went on, guests instinctively dancing around the fallen bodies until they were cleared off to the side by the servants. As time went on the music became more eerie and the orchestra started to make mistakes. At every mistake a body would come falling down from the balcony and dancers would drift out of its way, but no one ever stopped their dancing. Samuel watched as one women took a knife to her dance partners throat. He fell to the floor and the woman flashed Samuel a smile before taking the arm of a man who’s partner had somehow gotten a knife stuck in her chest. Parts of the floor were soon slick with blood, all of it flowing slowly towards the drains. Samuels shoes slid slightly on the floor as he approached his table where the blood was thickets but he remained upright. He reached his seat and grabbed the knife that was waiting for him, his mother looked up from where she was dancing with his grandfather in front of the table and smiled at him. "You’ve made a friend I see," she said happily, looking at the knife. Samuel nodded and headed back on to the dance floor.

He found his way back to the girls easily. They hadn’t ventured far and the crowed had thinned out considerably. Bailey seemed completely lost in the music and the dancing like the rest of the guests, but Darcy obviously was not. She was looking panicked, grabbing Bailey and shaking her and trying to talk her to her senses while Bailey tried to twirl away from her to find a new dance partner. Samuel made his way towards them, quietly up behind Darcy who was shouting at Bailey now. Bailey continued to pay no attention to her companion, but she did stop trying to spin away once Samuel caught her eye. "Samuel! Have you come to dance with me?" Bailey asked excitedly. Darcy turned around at that, but before she could do or say anything Samuel slashed his knife across her throat and she crumpled to the floor.
"Of course," he told Bailey with a smile, dropping his knife and taking her by the hand and waist, moving her away from Darcy’s body like nothing had happened.

The two of them spun and drifted around on the dance floor with the rest of the dancers. The music was getting quieter as more and more of the orchestra members fell. Of course not all of them would bleed tonight, only the ones who were not a part of the family. Samuel looked down at Bailey as they danced and sighed at her. It was a shame she couldn’t be a part of his family, she was beautiful and he would have loved to have her as a bride one day. Not only that but his mother would no doubted have enjoyed having her own personal seamstress, especially one that could make dresses as beautiful as the ones Bailey had made herself and Darcy. But it was impossible for Bailey to join them. Samuel wouldn’t let someone as innocent and kind as her join their ranks, even if she’d wanted to. But of course that meant that she would have to die by the end of the night.

The entire ballroom floor was thick with blood now, and the music changed back to its original party melodies. Samuel looked up from Bailey and watched the few remaining dancers. The men’s shoes and pant hems were splattered with blood, and the women’s dresses were soaking up the blood on the floor from their hems scrapping across it. Some of the dresses had soaked up so much blood that it weighing the dresses down, while others, like Bailey’s, had only begun to drink up the blood. Samuel moved himself and his dance partner deeper onto the dance floor, where the blood was thicker, and licked his lips while he watched the blood crawl slowly up the bottom of Bailey’s purple dress. "You know today will be the first time I get to try human blood, up until now it has only been the blood of animals," Samuel told Bailey, who didn’t respond. "I’m supposed to wait until they’ve finished preparing the feast with the blood we’ve collected tonight. But they’ve been starving me of blood since this morning and the smell in this room is absolute torture." He spun Bailey, her ball gown’s skirt puffed out and blood flew from it back onto the floor and onto Samuel’s dress pants, then he pulled her in close to him. "I don’t think I can wait even another minute to have it. Ever since I snuck a drink of my mother’s wine when I was twelve I’ve been craving it, and now that I’m so close to being able to have as much of it as I want my mouth is watering. Can you feel me trembling?" Samuel asked. He moved his head down so that his mouth was beside Bailey’s ear. "But you know, I remember the wine I tried being rather stale," he whispered like her was telling her a secret. "I bet it would taste a lot better coming from the source. Mother says we’re not allowed to take it that way because it makes us seems too much like cannibals, and the family thinks cannibalism to be wrong. Cannibals are savages after all, and we’re not savages." Samuel lowered his head some more and scrapped his teeth along the girl’s neck. He felt her body respond with a shiver. "But it is my birthday, and mother always said I deserved anything I wanted. Besides, if I ingest just your blood I’m not really stooping to the levels of the savages...It would taste so incredibly fresh too..."

Samuel couldn’t hold back anymore. He was starving and wanted another taste of human blood so bad that at this point he would have even stooped to licking at the floor. But why should he lower himself to that level of embarrassment? He had a perfectly good, fresh, blood source right in his arms.

Without even trying to talk himself out of it, Samuel opened his mouth and clamped his teeth onto Bailey’s neck. Fresh blood poured into his mouth and she let out a scream. The music stopped. Samuel tore at the girl’s flesh like she was a piece of steak, and then spit the contents of his mouth out over her shoulder. She collapsed into, and the sudden extra weight took Samuel off guard. The two of them crumpled to the ground, but that didn’t stop Samuel. He kneeled over the girl and put his mouth back over the gushing wound, taking large gulps. He got in three swallows before he felt a sharp pain in his back. But he couldn’t stop now, he wouldn’t. He knew he’d never get a chance to taste blood this good ever again.

"You disgrace me," his mother’s voice said bitterly.