| Chapter 1 |

3001 Words

    Blood has become a way of life. It’s used for currency as well as food for a select group. Vampires. When they revealed themselves a century ago, most of the world’s governments were hesitant to give into to their demands. They had believed that these vampires were evil creatures that were only out to destroy the world. But slowly, the vamps had integrated themselves into our everyday lives. They became our neighbors, our doctors, our soldiers. But when the first vampire was elected into a government position, the world saw a change unlike any other.

    The vampire successfully ended the tension held between many of the world’s politicians. They also ended several terrorist groups. People believed that these vampires were our saviors. They started taking over government positions slowly. Almost too slowly for us to see what they were really planning. Because, if nothing else, vampires are patient. Governments slowly merged until it was only a council of a select few that ruled the world.

    They changed the laws and currency. Blood was the main currency that was easily accepted anywhere in the world. But the thing is. The blood type that you had determined your worth. AB blood was the least desirable. A-positive blood and B-positive blood was the most common, but it was O blood that was the most expensive and the rarest. It was also the most desirable for vampires. People with O-negative blood were usually bought and sold to vampires just because they were so desirable.

    If a family produces an offspring with O-negative blood, they are heavily compensated for the child being bought off of them. But if they hide the fact that someone in their family has O blood, they can be charged with treason. Why, no one knows, but no one questions it either. From the rumors off the streets, O-negative people are treated like royalty in Vampiric homes. My father, before I was born, turned out to have O-negative blood. When it was found out that he was an adult that didn’t live in a vampire’s home, the vampiric version of the police found him and took him in. Since it was believed that my mother didn’t know what my father blood type, she was not in trouble for hiding him. Though, she didn’t receive compensation for them taking my father.

    My mother never knew what happened to my father after that. But since she didn’t know that she was pregnant at the time, she was forced to raise me all on her own. We never really lived in one spot for very long. She paid for everything with her own blood, since as it turns out, I was much like my father in the fact that I had O blood running through my vein. She didn’t want to lose the rest of her family to those bloodsuckers. And I sure as hell didn’t want to be some blood bag to some vampire prick.

     But my mom ended up getting sick. I ended up losing her to a sickness that not even the vamps could cure. She lied and said I had AB blood. They let her die so that I didn't end up caught. All because I "couldn't afford the treatments." But, as I said, AB blood is the least desired of all the blood types.

     I ended up living on the streets, surviving on the pity of strangers, digging through trash, and even sleeping in the strangest places so I don't get caught after curfew. Right now I was sitting in my makeshift home that was close to the shopping district. It was in the alleyway between two apartment building. Several large shipping boxes were haphazardly duct-taped together to shelter me from the wind. Sadly it did nothing for the oncoming winter. My thin blazer was not nearly enough for the nipping winds of late autumn. I pulled my arms around me after I took a ratty blanket I found to wrap it around me.

     No one ever finds me here. None of those bloodsuckers that became our police force want to get their hands dirty in the filth of humanities trash. But I didn't care. Nope, not one f*****g bit did I care that my stomach was eating itself from the inside out or that I was slowly freezing to death near the dumpster of two apartments. I didn't care that I was dirty and greasy and that I was in a serious need of a toothbrush and a hairbrush. No, I didn't care as long as I still had my freedom from the life of a blood bag.

     "Sawyer, you out there, sweety?" A kind old lady called from her window. "Why don't you come up for a nice glass of tea and a freshly made bed for the night." I smiled up at the woman but said nothing. I hadn't spoken a word since I had to bury my mother six feet under. I headed to the fire escape since I didn't want to be seen going in through any doors. I know how security camera's work, thank you very much!

     I nodded to the woman as I climbed in through her bedroom window. It was far too pink for my liking, but at least it got me out of the cold for the night. Not that it mattered since I would be gone before she woke up.

     "Here you are, deary. I have a nice bowl of soup too. Easier on the stomach, I hear." I gave her a grateful nod and smile before heading into her living room s***h dining room. The cup of tea was still steeping and steaming as I sat down in front of it. My mouth watered at the delicious scent of freshly brewed tea. A bowl of chicken noodle soup was set in front of me and my eyes widened. I never got to eat this much on the street. 

     "Are you sure you would not like to stay here, Sawyer?" I scrunched up my nose in disgust. That would mean that I would risk my freedom and I didn't want that. I shook my head no, before digging into my bowl of soup. It tasted divine. Well, not really. It was the kind that just had those gross looking one and a half inch noodles, square chunks of chicken in a too greasy broth that you got from a can with a red and white label. But when you haven't eaten in nearly a week and a half, you don't become picky. You just be grateful you have something warm in your stomach. 

     I ate the entire bowl in record time, slurping down the broth with a satisfying ache to my stomach after so long being empty. The woman set out beside me on the table a thicker coat than I've had in a decade or more, new shoes, a winter hat, and gloves. I nearly cried. But I did jump up and hug the woman. She was a few inches shorter than me due to her hunched back, but she was still surprisingly strong for her age.

     "Well, you're very welcome, sweety. You can stay here as often as you would like. I hardly ever get visitors nowadays." I looked around the room to find a pen and paper. Though my handwriting was absolute chicken scratch, which is what happens when you have never gotten a formal education and had to learn to read and write when you're not running, but I knew the basics of what grammar and spelling was.

     thank yu so much butt i cant i dont want yu geting hert

     I gave her the note before grabbing my new things. I just pulled everything, except my new shoes, over my old stuff and climbed back out the window and back into my little box that was now much warmer than when I left it. I was finally full, warm, and now very, very sleepy. I closed the makeshift door to my home and crawled under the blanket once again. 

     Yeah, I didn't need anything more than the kindness and pity of others, along with my makeshift cardboard home to keep safe. This is what true freedom from the oppressive vampires looks like. It's not much, but this is my life.

                                 ~^-^~

     The next morning, I actually felt almost well rested. The cardboard blocked most of the wind, the doubled up layers of my new attire kept the worst of the cold at bay, and my fingers weren't numb in the first time in since summer. The morning was much warmer than the night now that the sun was actually shining. I crawled out of my box to go look for a public restroom that I could use.

     Whenever somebody saw me on the street, they just figured that I was one of the unlucky ones to have AB blood. I'm not saying that AB blood is useless or anything and that it can't bye something if needed. I'm just saying that it's not as wanted as other things. It would be like paying for anything in only change. They'll take it, but they won't like it unless it is a large ass purchase like my mother's chemotherapy treatments. 

     So, I claim to be AB blood. People just look at me as someone to help, not someone that they could get a s**t ton of Vamp credit from. I walked the half a mile it was to the library to use their bathrooms. I stuck around for a while, struggling to read. I may have had a large mouth when I was talking, I didn't have a large vocabulary. A word that I actually just recently learned. I felt so behind in some areas. Schooling mostly, but I figured that my freedom was worth more than some experiences inside a brick building that feeds you at around 12 o'clock every day until the weekends.

     Besides, schools are just another tool that vamps use to brainwash their society into thinking they are the greatest thing to ever happen to this world.

     The Council of Twelve, aka the twelve strongest vampires in the world that rule it, have claimed to have reformed everything from school systems to health care, world hunger to global warming. I don't think they have, but then again, I wasn't alive when the vampires revealed themselves to the world.

     "Dude, check her out, I bet a girl like that has the sweetest blood around."

     "Ew, gross, she is clearly some hobo girl that just uses the library as her own personal toilet. Let's get out of here." I heard the laughter of teen boys as they left the library. From their words, I could tell that they were vampires. A young generation of them. They sounded to have been only about 15 years old. In human years. I don't know how long vampires live for.

     I just ignored their echoing taunts as I continued my reading lesson. 

     I stayed at the library for a few hours until my ass started to hurt from sitting in those chairs for that long. I left the library in hopes that I could beg for some food. I went back to my alleyway to grab my cardboard sign and bag that only had the dried crumb of whatever meal I had before last nights soup.

     I always like to sit where there are no direct cameras pointing at me. It was not always the best spots since it had less traffic and fewer people wondering about the city. If I'm lucky, I would get the pity of someone who takes me to a fast food restaurant and they let me get anything off the menu. But I haven't had such luck is quite a while.

     I sat on the grass next to a stop sign on the corner of fifth and main. It was a busier street than I usually begged, but there weren't many cameras. The ones that this intersection did have were all traffic cams that look for people who break the laws while driving. Not sitting around next to stop signs. 

     But, while many people walked past me, and no matter how big I made my puppy eyes, no one stopped to help me. I didn't want to risk touching anyone either in case they were a vampire. 

     Usually, you can tell since they were very pale, carried umbrella's with them to block the rays of the sun, and had strange color eyes, but recently there has been a boom in that sort of fashion trend.

     "Oh honey, she's just a child. And she's hungry. Might we help her?" A woman asked as she stepped in front of me. She was inhumanly beautiful with golden eyes and hair with the palest skin I have ever seen. She was obviously a vampire. That was the one difference in the real ones and the fashion trenders. Humans were always so dull looking compared to vampires.

     "What is your name sweety?" She asked the light glinted off her sharp fangs as she smiled.

     I grabbed my sign, trying not to be disturbed by how sharp her teeth looked. I wanted food. Even if it was from a dirty leech.

     My sign read: hello my name is sawyer i have ab blud and am very hungery plees help

     Usually, vampires didn't want to deal with beggars who had AB blood, but I didn't care. my stomach growled loudly as if to prove my sign correct. The vampire woman cooed at me before she grabbed her man's elbow, walking him over to me. I noticed they were dressed in old fashioned clothes, like the ones in the old paintings of people looking over the rivers where they were just painted using lots of little dots. 

     "Her name is Sawyer. Isn't she just a doll?" The woman asked.

     "Yes darling, but she has AB blood."

     The woman pouted, her fangs poking out beyond her jutted bottom lip. "But, honeybuns, she's hungry." The man sighed. 

     I just gave him puppy dog eyes, which seemed to work. He ran a hand down his pale face before adjusting his umbrella. 

     "Come on then, uh, Sawyer," he said, looking to my sign for my name. I stood up and scrambled after the couple. Their high collars hid the backs of their necks. I didn't know if it was just their fashion choice or if it was practical. They took me to a small little 50s style diner. I had seen it before, couples sitting by the windows sharing a milkshake and a plate of French fries. 

     That's what I wanted. I pulled or my small note pad that I grabbed from the library a few days ago. 

     thank yu

     I handed the slip of paper to the woman since she seemed far more sympathetic to my situation. 

     "Of course, darling Sawyer. If my husband and I didn't already have donors, then I would snatch you up in an instant, but sadly we already have more than enough to keep us nice and fed," she said, not realizing that she was actually proving my point on why I didn't want to be a blood bag. But I smiled and nodded, looking as though I was hurt that she didn't need any more human blood sacks. 

     "Here, write what you want to eat and I'll buy it for you." The woman pulled out a small cooler bag from her purse. Inside there were small viles of dark red liquid, thicker than water, labeled on the blood type. The small symbol of Omega was all that was on it. That's what vampires call they're O-negative "donors." I tried to hide my disgust behind a wide, happy looking smile before writing down a milkshake, fried, and a cheeseburger no mustard on my slip of paper. I wiggled into my chair as the waitress took my order. The vile was passed from the vampire lady to the waitress to the hostess behind the counter. She saw everything. 

     The lady beyond the counter giggled and took the vile and put it into the freezer for her vampire tax collectors to pick up later. I got my order shortly after, and liked my dinner the previous night, I wolfed it down before the waitress could walk away completely. 

     "We need to go, Darling, let's leave Sally to her meal," the man said.

     "Sawyer, sweetheart. Her name is Sawyer," she said as they both stood up to walk away. "Sawyer sweety. If you want, I could find a nice vampiric family who will be willing to take you in." I shook my head. I slowed down as I slowly sipped the thick milkshake. It was vanilla with some kind of hard candy covered in chocolate. I only knew it was a guys name. 

     "Okay, just stay safe out there, sweet child." She kissed my forehead, causing me to tear up. Why did this vampire have to be so sweet to me as if she was a mother to me? 

     I started to cry in the middle of the diner, the noise I made caused a few people to stare at me, but I ignored them as I tried to finish my food between sobs. My stomach ached from crying and eating not even half of the burger, milkshake, and a few fries. The lady gave me a box to put the rest in and a to-go cup for my milkshake. 

     I didn't have anything to tip the waitress with, so I put my food into its box and left, tears still running down my face, only now it caused my face to sting when I walked into the cold. I didn't bother doing anything else as I walked to my cardboard home. 

     Yeah, this is what I have to do for my freedom.

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