I was losing strength very fast indeed. I knew that if I didn’t feed really soon it would be all over for me. Already, looking around me, I could tell that most of the people passing by in the street would be too much for me to take on. They would brush me aside without even noticing my attack. That’s how weak and feeble I was. I was in a bad state.
I didn’t look as if I was terminally weak – on the outside I reckon I still looked pretty much the same as usual but on the inside, where it counts, I felt painfully hollow and insubstantial. As if someone only needed to come up to me and tap me on the chest for me to cave in completely, collapse in on myself like a rotten melon. Not a pleasant image.
I knew very well that things could only get worse from now on if I didn’t feed. Before very long the thin illusion of my apparent outward stability would start to give way. It would become frayed at the edges. I would start to decay, decompose, disintegrate. I would come apart at the seams.
Carrying out a quick scan of myself I could already see the very first signs of fraying, of coming undone. I looked somewhat tattered and faded – not quite my usual robust self. I knew now that very quickly my last little bit of strength would flow out of me, to be snapped up by whoever wanted it, to be snapped up greedily by any passing scavenger. The scavenger scavenged, I thought to myself.
And then I would be nothing but a ghostly presence – an echo of something long since forgotten about. A residual disturbance that would itself fade away before too long. A dirty thumb print on the psychic ether. A mere psychic imprint.
Sure, I might persist as a shade, an insubstantial shimmering pattern in the air, for a few hundred years but there was zero satisfaction in this. The life of a shade is a protracted exercise in futility, frustration and utterly enfeebled decrepitude. In a word, complete gruelling agonizing impotence.
If I wanted to avoid this not very pleasant fate I had to feed, and very soon. I looked around me again, looking for a target, looking for someone who would not be strong enough to repel my advances, and this time my gaze fell upon a man who seemed to fit the bill – a man with the unmistakeable signs of inner weakness. I approached carefully, making sure that I made no mistakes this time. I couldn’t afford to lose this one. This was my last chance.
He was sitting alone on a bench on the high street, near the entrance to Barclays Bank, and I could see that he was thinking about getting up to go. I could also see that he was lonely, dispirited and unhappy. I walked up to the bench, caught his eye and then asked if he minded me sitting down beside him. Naturally enough, he didn’t. Timing it so that I didn’t seem so much in a rush, giving it a few minutes, I spoke again.
“I hope you don’t mind me asking,” I said, pulling a copy of the Bible out of my jacket pocket, “But I wonder if you’d like to hear about the Good News that the Bible holds for mankind, and about what God’s plan is for us in this wonderful Creation of His?”
Later on – after I had finished with the target – I felt good again. Saying that I felt good was an understatement – I felt fantastic. I felt ten feet tall. I felt like I was walking on air. I felt like a god. I felt invulnerable. I felt solid, clear-headed and powerful. I had fed.
As I walked down the street I promised myself that I would never let myself get that far gone again. Never again.