And when the darkness comes around

by Cackling Moron

I come alive 'cause for your sweet blood I am bound

Eric, local human, was sitting around in his little house on the outskirts of Ponyville one evening, feeling pretty good about things. It had been alright day, and looked to be a quiet night. All was well in the world.

Then out of nowhere came a knock at the door. Eric frowned.

“Who on earth could that be,” he said to himself, glancing over. He quickly ran through a list of possible candidates in his mind but none of them jumped out. Certainly, he didn’t know anyone who’d just pop by unannounced.

What a mystery.

Rising from his sofa with a grunt he sauntered on over and the cautiously opened the door. Or as cautiously as he felt was necessary in Ponyville. The door hadn’t even been locked.

And there, standing just outside, was a pony he did not recognise, eyes down, one hoof rubbing the other leg, mane a curtain with which to hide.

At first he took her for a pegasus, but only for a split-second or so. Then the immediate differences leapt out at him. Ears? Longer and pointier. Teeth? Also longer and pointier, at least the two he could see. Wings? Not feathered, but leathery. Coat? Fluffier.

She looked unlike any pony he had thus far encountered. He was getting strong overtones of bat. But this wasn’t that big of a deal. Equestria was a weird place. It’d take more than this to ruffle him. There’d probably be scorpion-ponies somewhere, knowing his luck. He bet they’d respond to ear scratches, too.

The universal language!

Besides, this stranger looked adorable. Kind of downcast - which was sad - but adorable all the same. But then Eric would think that.

“Evening,” Eric said, leaning on the doorframe.

The visitor said nothing, or at least nothing he could hear, and continued to just rub her hoof against her leg in what was obviously a nervous tick. Maybe she was shy?

“Nice night for a walk, eh? Or a flap, for you I suppose,” he ventured, even trying a light chuckle.

Nothing, no response.

Was he missing something here? Some pony nuance he was unfamiliar with? Some etiquette not covered in that acclimatization leaflet he’d been given? He was drawing a blank.

“Are you okay?” He asked.

At long last she looked up. Aside from what difference Eric had already noticed - fluffiness and pointiness - she looked about as he might expect a pony to look, which is to say cute. Though sad, as he’d also noticed. He started to feel the gnawings of concern.

“C-can I come in?” She asked, voice small.

Bit late in the day for that sort of thing and kind of out of the blue but Eric couldn’t really see any reason why not. She was out in the cold on her own, after all - what sort of cad would he be to refuse her? She already looked so sad!

“Sure, why not,” he said, stepping aside and sweeping an arm to indicate she could neter.

Instead she stood rooted to the spot.

“Really?” She asked.

“Sure, why not,” he repeated. “Wasn’t expecting company so the place is probably a bit of a mess but you’re more than welcome. Come on in.”

She gave him the look of someone expecting there to be a punchline and that punchline to be her having the door slammed in her face the instant she tried to enter.

“Really?” She asked again, gingerly inching closer, eyeing the threshold.

“Would you prefer I say no?”


“Well alright then, in you come, come on.”

Eric took proactive action at this point, sliding past her and actively ushering her in. She had not expected this and squeaked in alarm, fololloping forward as Eric brought up the rear and shut the door behind him.

Once in and upright and stable she stood in Eric’s living room - into which the front door opened - as still as a statue. Clearly if she’d had a plan she had thought it through no further than the asking-to-be-let-in part.

Eric had never seen a pony act like this before, but everyone was different and who was he to judge? Whistling to himself he sauntered on past, heading for the kitchen, stooping to avoid cracking his head on the doorframe.

“So there any reason you’re out this late? Not that I’m judging, course, just curious. Most ponies would be in bed by now,” he called from the kitchen as he sorted through mugs.

“I - I’m a batpony,” the visitor said, by way of explanation.

Eric paused midway through mug sorting to raise his eyebrows. Really were such things as batponies. Scorpion ponies still a possibility? Only time would tell. Still, learnt something new every day. What a world!

“Ah, so nocturnal and stuff, right?” He asked, resuming activity.

By now she’d found the wherewithal to move and was now loitering around the kitchen doorway, watching him nervously.

“Right,” she said.

“Cunning, I get ya. Now here’s an important question: would you like a cup of tea?” Eric asked, turning around and holding two of his cleanest mugs. She looked shocked, eyes dropping to the mugs, going back to his face, dropping again then again rising.

“I do not drink...tea,” she said.

A pause.

“Okay. No tea then.”

He put her mug back and flicked the magical kettle on. Just because she wasn’t having tea didn’t mean he couldn’t.

“What would you prefer, uh, sorry I don’t think I caught your name?” He asked.

“Lamia.” Lamia said.

“Lamia? Huh, s’different. I’m Eric. Not from round here, yada yada. Not sure what else I got for you, really. Think there’s some juice, still. Is there beer? No, no, drank that…”

“I don’t - I - do you know anything about batponies?”

“Until I met you, Lamia, I did not even know they existed. So no.”

Lamia was doing the nervous rubbing-her-leg-with-a-hoof thing again and failing to meet his eye.
“Batponies don’t eat the same food normal ponies do.”

“Right,” said Eric, fishing around for a teabag in the bottom of a mostly-empty box.

“Batponies...drink blood…”

Eric, who’d had the teabag on the ropes, accidentally let it slip through his fingers.

He then turned around and looked back down at her.

“Blood?” He asked, to confirm. Lamia just nodded, face still hidden by her unruly mane.

“Yes, blood,” she said, to confirm.

Eric made an impressed expression before returning to trying to nab his teabag.

“That’s surprisingly hardcore for this place. Surprised I hadn’t heard that before. Equestria has vampires! Who knew,” he said.

“We’re not vampires, we’re batponies,” Lamia grumbled, pouting at him adorably, fangs protruding. Eric wasn’t clear on the distinction but it seemed important to Lamia so he made a mental note.

“Right, right, sorry. Never heard you mentioned, though.”

“Most ponies don’t really like to talk about us,” she said, shrugging.

“Because of the blood thing?”

“Because of the blood thing…”

Eric tossed the teabag into his mug of choice and then poured the kettle - which had boiled - into it. Stirring it briefly he then gestured that Lamia should head towards the seat area of the lounge.

“Just going to let that sit a few minutes, let’s chat over here,” he said, leading the way. He returned to his sofa, Lamia settled herself right on the very edge of the overstuffed armchair.

Conversation did not resume flow. Eric, clearing his throat, decided to get things going again:

“So how does it work, usually? Like, normal day - well, night - for you, you’re hungry, what do you do?” He asked.

Lamia could now properly rub her two hooves together nervously since she was sitting down but paused long enough in doing this to tuck at least some of her mane back behind one of her ears, exposing enough face to make continued chatting at least a little less awkward.

“Uh, when I wake up it’s usually turning dark and I go out and I look to see if anypony is still out on the streets,” she said.

“And you swoop in and suck their blood?” Eric asked, filling in what seemed like a natural blank.

Lamia looked horrified.

“No! I approach them directly and politely and ask them if they wouldn’t mind me sucking some of their blood.”

Eric was genuinely amazed. He couldn’t tell if she was joking at first, but then it became abundantly clear to him that she was deadly serious.

What a place! Even the bloodsuckers were nice!

“And they say yes?” He asked, surprised. Lamia, who had been busy looking offended by his previous suggestion, now looked downcast again, shoulders slumping.

“Not usually, no…so I keep trying…”

“That doesn’t sound very efficient.”

“It’s not, not really.”

As to highlight this Lamia’s stomach chose that moment to rumble and she blushed with embarrassment.

“Sorry…” she said, but Eric waved her off.

“Don’t apologise for being hungry, that’s not your fault. So what’s with the door-to-door routine?”

“I overslept so when I went to look today there wasn’t anypony around. So I just started going house to house but no-one would let me in until, well…”

She trailed off there, but then again she didn’t really need to say anything else.

“Ah, muggins here, I get ya. Gimme a second, I’ll be right back.”

He then hopped up to deal with his tea, returning mug in hand a moment or two later.

“So I guess the idea was to find someone who’d say yes to your, ah, blood-drinking proposition, eh? You’re not going to ask me, are you?” He asked, jovially enough.

Lamia looked incredibly crestfallen by this.

“O-oh. Are you - do you want me to go?” She asked, already starting to slide off the chair. Eric, steaming mug poised before him where he was blowing on it, did a double-take.

“Wait, what. You were?”

She went quiet and looked down but nodded all the same, inches away now from just sliding off onto the floor.

“It was kind of the idea,” she said, voice now tiny instead of just small.

“Oh. Huh.”

Well this wasn’t how he’d seen his night going.

On the one hand was his innate, burning desire to be a good host, crossed with what he’d quickly learnt on arriving in Equestria was a soft spot a mile wide for ponies, on account of their enormous cuteness and general pleasantness.

On the other, being a good host in this instance involved him letting someone he’d just met suck his blood. With their fangs. Directly from his person.

This was an unusual set of circumstances.. He had no precedence for this.

The deciding factor in all this was just how bloody sad Lamia looked. Eric couldn’t help himself.

Swallowing, he shifted on the sofa and asked:

“If I, uh, did agree - hypothetically - it’s not going to leave me an emaciated husk or anything, is it?”

Being an emaciated husk was never fun.

Lamia gave him a look that was somewhere between pity and exasperation.

“No. Most ponies don’t even notice afterwards, and you’re twice the size.”

“I’m at least three times the size, thank you.”

“It’s okay, I can go,” she said, finally landing on the floor and moving sadly, slowly towards the door. Eric stuck a hand out to bar her path.

“Hey hey ho, hold on a minute. I can’t in good conscience let you go back out there hungry. Especially now I know it’s likely that you’ll be staying hungry! That doesn’t sit right with me.”

It really didn’t. Even if the alternative was, well…

“Does that mean - do you - ?” She asked, ears now pricking up hopefully. Eric swallowed and set his mug down. As relaxed as he was - and he was very, very relaxed - even he had to admit to some trepidation. Were it not for his enormous, aforementioned soft spot for ponies he likely wouldn’t even be entertaining the idea.

“Consider it a tentative and polite yes,” he said.

Lamia literally jumped for joy, flapping at the apex and then gliding the minimal intervening distance between herself and Eric. Unnecessary, but she’d rather given up hope of eating that night and her excitement was difficult to contain.

She landed on the unoccupied end of the sofa, beside Eric, who shifted up a little unconsciously. She made up the distance, looking up at him with huge eyes, though it was the fangs that Eric was concentrating on mostly.

Unbidden, thoughts of vampires returned, and Eric felt a little flutter of skittishness.

“This isn’t going to do anything weird to me, is it?” He asked.

“It shouldn’t,” Lamia said, practically on top of him now.

“That’s reassuring. Not going to do anything weird to you, either? Bizzaro-alien blood from another dimension?”

That gave her pause.

“Um...I don’t think so?”

Neither one of them really knew what to do after that. Eric coughed again.

“Guess we’ll find out. You want a wrist or - ?” He asked.

“Neck works best,” Lamia said, clambering up onto his lap and rearing up unsteadily onto her hind legs, bringing her face level with his. Or, rather, bringing her mouth level with his neck.


Eric could see how from the outside this might seem like a terrible idea. He could hear the arguments now. But it was far too late to back out, and how rude would he be? And besides, the way he ickle face had lit up on learning she’d have a meal!

If the worst came to the worst he could always just throw her across the room, right? She was only little.

Kind of a dick move if it came to it, yeah, but he could probably be excused. Probably.

“And oh yeah, this isn’t going to hurt, is it?” He asked while Lamia licked her lips.

“You won’t feel a thing,” she said, and then she struck.

Eric did indeed not feel a thing. Or at least he felt no pain, just a distant numbness. He felt a kind of warm, sucking feeling both on his neck and a little deeper, but it was a feeling without much distinction. Just a vague awareness.

It felt really weird. Not unpleasant, just weird.

Lamia got on with it. Eric just sat there and let her.

It went on for some minutes with no apparent sign of stopping. If Eric had had a watch he would have checked it, but he didn’t, and his clock was in the kitchen.

“Uh, out of curiosity why do batponies have this kind of bad rap given the whole feeding process is so harmless and painless?” He asked, at some point.

Lamia pulled back, gasping, long enough to reply:

“Sometimes - ah, mmm - sometimes we get greedy.”

This was not what you wanted to hear someone with fangs say to you.

“Define greedy,” Eric said but Lamia was already back to it.

As it went on, the more Lamia started sagging and resting on Eric, who ended up having to use his arms to support her. Turned out, what with it having been something of a lean and hungry week for her, greedy was what she was, though with Eric being at least three times the size (if not more) of what she was used to this was nowhere near a problem.

He was also very different tasting. Hard to put a hoof on it at first, and the more she drank the more she needed just to be sure what exactly it was about his blood that seemed so different.

And in that way she gorged herself stupid, and fell asleep. It was only when Eric heard her snoring that he realised the numb sucking feeling had stopped, and she’d nodded off in his arms.

“Hey. Hey Lamia,” he said, giving her a little bounce but to no avail - she was out of it.

Shifting her weight about and sighing Eric raised a hand to his neck and pulled it away. Not a whole lot of blood, but still blood. He looked at his fingers and frowned.

“Well at least I got an anecdote out of tonight, I guess,” he said.

Then he yawned. Big lad though he was, getting your blood sucked was still getting your blood sucked.

Issues like waking Lamia up and turfing her out seemed like issues that could wait to be dealt with by future Eric, now. Present Eric kind of thought a nap seemed like a good idea, and a priority.

Twisting on the sofa and slinging his legs over one end Eric snuggled down, the deeply, deeply asleep curled-up lump that was Lamia now resting comfortably and happily on top of him, dead to the world.

Instinctively he gave her mane a ruffle and then let that transmute to a scratch behind the ears, a sense of delight building in his gut at the sleepy smile that spread across her face. Cute. Always so fucking cute.

“Just going to have a little snooze, I think,” he said, yawning again and closing his eyes. “I feel quite drained.”

A few seconds passed, then he twigged what he’d said.

“Heh, eheheh…heh...”

A few more seconds after that, he was snoring, too.