Part 1, The Demon's Tales
Part 2, The First Sinner's Story
It should be mentioned that when a demon rips out your lungs and larynx, these do not come back, nor does it ever heal. The damage is permanent, the pain forever, and there is no hope of release from the torment, not even from passing out or sleep. To avoid this fate kept those who could tell stories frantically trying to think of new ones. Frantic that the possible moment that the demon got bored of them would come and the real pain would begin.
The second sinner whose stories the demon liked was a woman, and not just any woman. The woman had been a vampire before she died, though the demon would not let her call herself a vampire. More of a "vamplet," the demon said. Her kind doesn't deserve the full name of "vampire" even if they do drink blood to live.
Real vampires are nothing like the ones we see on tv and in movies. If I were to ever tell you about real vampires you wouldn't sleep for weeks and after that only in snatches. Believe me when I tell you, YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW.
But there is a creature much like the one on television and in movies. It is stronger and faster than humans, but for true vampires and demons, weak and vulnerable. After all, they can be easily killed with a stake to the heart or decapitation or sunlight. They are immortal-ish. And therefore fear humans because there are more of us than them. Just as there are many more worms than there are birds. More mice than snakes. But these mice can group up and fight back. The vamplets know this. They live in the shadows and fear humans, knowing that their safety is in that we don't know they exist. It is getting harder and harder for them to hide.
In the old days death was more common than it is now, and often unexplained. Children died in droves, taken by disease and heat. Before antibiotics. Before vaccines. When a thousand children died every week in cities in the summer and villages lost half the population under ten to diptheria. Back then the vamplets could eat and eat just on the scavenged dead. They could drink the blood of a baby every day and tear into small roasted limbs like chicken legs. (The skin is the best part.)
In modern times, fewer than one baby in a hundred dies and the vamplets must make do with adults whose blood is dirty and who roast up gamy and tough. Even so, they make do and there can only be so many deaths and body snatches before there are suspicions and authorities get called in. So modern vamplets control their numbers carefully. In all of New York City the acceptable limit of vamplets is five. Where there had been friendly clans of ten and fifteen there was now only one lone, paranoid vamplet. They are a dying species. They know this. They are only trying to stave off the inevitable.
The woman who tells the story is a vamplet who died in a recent fire. All of them go to hell. There is no salvation for them. She had no choice in being turned and then no amount of praying or forgiveness could ever be enough to save her from eternal torment. But she told wonderful stories and this is the one she told the demon in order to save her lungs and tongue.
Part 4, The Second Sinner's Story
Part 5, The Last Sinner's Story
Part 6, The Demon and the Bookstore