A/N - This story is written for a short end-of-unit project in my English IV class. It's really quite short, not really very good or well planned out, and for that I apologize. However, at the end of the time allotted to us for completion of the project, I found myself wanting to continue the story. SO, this is it for now, and maybe forever (hopefully not, but you know me), but I do have a few ideas scrambling around in my mind right now. I want to say though that this story won't come before any of my other ongoing stories, so this might have to sit unfinished for a while. BUT IT'S HERE. And that's what matters. Unless of course there's (for some reason) a high demand for more, I might consider returning to it early. But for now, here you go. Hope you like it! :)

The roads of Venice are always so rickety, thought Iago absently, slouching in the barred cart as it was pulled slowly through the street. In one direction, a riot of citizens had formed, blaming him for the death of their precious Othello and his lady. On the other side, the pulling horse's fly-infested bum. But Iago didn't care, not really. He felt numb to the world around him, all that he had done. His mind was blank, and all he could think about was that he was leaving the daylight for the last time and he couldn't even be spared a more comfortable ride.

He didn't regret a thing. That blasted Moor got what he deserved, and so did all the people who'd wronged him. Cassio, Emilia, all of them. The only one he felt anything for was Roderigo. Oh, Roderigo. If only the poor man had been a tad brighter, he might have lived. Iago would never had succeeded, but in hindsight, it didn't really matter much. He was doomed anyway. And he had killed his only friend.

Sighing, Iago shifted against the splintering boards. Thinking of it would do nothing for him now. He broke off a splinter of the wood below him, absently twiddling it between his fingers. He looked at it curiously, admiring its sharpness. He pricked his finger with the end, and marveled at the small drop of blood that formed in its wake. How soft and breakable the human body was. How easy it was, just to make it bleed.

Frowning again at his train of thought, he threw the splinter across the cage and out through the bars. He took note of his current location and rolled his eyes. He would be able to walk faster than this! Grumbling to himself, Iago finally gave in and let his eyes slip shut, knowing this would be his last bit of rest. I am no longer in your favor, I realize now. But allow me this, please. Allow me sleep, prayed Iago as his consciousness slipped away.

Iago was startled awake by loud screaming, coming from all directions. He shot up, quickly scrambling to the bars and peaking outside. There was still an angry mob - but this time, it wasn't for him. He tried with all that he had to see who was the subject of their anger, but he could not. But then he realized his cart was no longer moving. His head whipped around to see the horse lying dead on the ground, blood everywhere. It looked like an animal had attacked it. How had he not woken up?

Seeing this as a perfect opportunity to escape, Iago started to brainstorm. He couldn't bend the bars, they were much too thick. The top of the cage had been weighed down for the very reason of lessening escapees. The bottom, however… It was quite thin. And with a stationary cart, there was no harm in breaking it out.

Iago stepped as far back from the edge as he could, crouched down, and then kicked at the bottom with all of his strength. Nothing. Another kick, and a couple of loud, splintering sounds echoed through his ears. Another. Another. And another. Then finally… a break! Iago kicked again, and the wood around his feet came tumbling down. He pried at the planks near the barred sides, unleashing the metal from their restraints. The bars came loose with nothing to hold them together, and soon, Iago was free.

Crawling out of the small cage, Iago was finally outside. He was able to stretch! Being tucked into a cage only half your height for a whole day really gets your limbs stiff. He had been packed in last night, and it was evening now. The dark blue sky turned purple at the edges, signifying the far setting of the sun.

The city was alight with fire, however. Townsfolk held out torches and lanterns in the dark night, crowding around something terrifying. Iago could tell from the amount of shouting that it was an unpleasant thing. Maybe a beast? A criminal worse than himself? It was hard to imagine, but Iago wasn't going to waste time. He needed to leave, and quickly. But… maybe just… one look couldn't hurt, could it?

Iago stepped around the outskirts of the illuminated crowd, hoping to be as unseen as possible. It would be no good to escape only to have been caught lollygagging about. He stepped around the dead horse, walking near a far building - looked to be a corner pub. He edged to the doorway of it, then walked alongside the still dark brick wall. When he finally reached the edge of the mob, he still couldn't see what the subject was. Cursing, he got even closer. Still nothing. Well, he was close enough as it was. Why not go on in? Curiosity killed the cat, his conscious told him wearily. "Satisfaction brought him back," he countered, finally stepping into the crowd.

Iago moved his way through the crowd, shoving bodies out of his way left and right. He was determined now. He had to see what this was all about, what was so important as to detract from his own spotlight. When he finally reached the front of the crowd, however, he paused. No. There was no possible way this could be happening.

It was Roderigo! His old friend was cornered against a building wall, still wearing his earlier clothing and covered in blood. But it didn't look like old blood from his wound, no. It was new blood, everywhere. From his abdomen to his neck, shoulders, and even on his chin! It looked as if he had been consuming a bloody feast! His eyes were wide, shocked. His hands trembled. His face was white as snow. How was this possible? What was happening?

The crowd moved in, and Roderigo hissed loudly, bearing sharp, dagger-like teeth. He crouched to the ground, steadying himself. A loud yell sounded through the crowd. "Roderigo! Roderigo, my brother, run!" A woman, also dressed in fine clothing and covered in dark, fresh blood, ran towards him and grabbed him by the shoulder. "Oh, Roderigo. Roderigo. We must move!" She pulled him up and out around the edge of the crowd as it sparked to life and started chasing them.

Iago ran alongside the crowd, caught up in the excitement and adrenaline of seeing his dead friend risen. He desperately tried to beat the crowd, pushing against the ground with all his might. He had always been a sprightly lad. He finally caught up to them, peeking around the very edges of the mob and inching his way forward. "Roderigo!" he shouted, twisting around a corner and trying to catch his friend's attention. The woman looked first, and noticed Iago's beckoning arms. She grabbed Roderigo's elbow and tugged him along with her, following Iago. Iago saw this and started to lead the way.

The trio ducked around corners, ran through streets, and hid behind buildings for what seemed like hours. In actuality, it took only a few minutes for them to lose the mob, falling into an abandoned boarding house. Iago's breath was rapid and painful, and he clutched at his abdomen in an attempt to steady himself. Roderigo and the woman, however, seemed perfectly well. Besides their sullied clothing, that is.

Roderigo, finally calming down from the flight, looked at his savior for the first time. His eyes widened the moment he glanced at the man. "Iago, you foul beast! How dare you approach me after what you did!" Roderigo shouted, his dagger-toothed snarl reappeared. "I should kill you where you lie," he ground out, his voice lower than Iago had ever heard it before. A chill swept through his spine as he looked at the bloodied man he once called a friend.

The woman beside Roderigo, however, looked appalled at his behavior. "Roderigo! What language do you use on our savior? Were it not for his timely arrival, we would both surely be dead!" She grabbed his shoulder, pulling him away from the defenseless Iago.

"Sister! This is the man that killed me!" Roderigo shouts, pointing his finger accusingly at Iago.

The woman, Roderigo's sister, pauses, her hand still landed gently on her brother's shoulder. She pursed her lips, her brow furrowed. A long look at Iago, crumpled and gasping for breath on the floor, was all she needed. She sighed, and looked up into Roderigo's eyes. "Brother, he is also the man that saved your life." Roderigo looked like he was about to start shouting once again, but his sister stopped him. "Need I remind you that you are not dead?" she said sternly, her eyes glaring into his pointedly.

Iago was at a loss for words. Roderigo had a sister? She was allowing him to stay alive, after this new knowledge? Why was Roderigo alive? Iago pondered mentioning this line of questioning, but she filled in for him without prompting.

The woman bent down, grasping Iago's hand and pulling him up with surprising strength. Now at eye level - or, slightly shorter - her striking green eyes looked dead into Iago's brown ones, pulling his full attention in. "Hello, dear Iago." She held her hand out once again for a graceful shake. "My name is Lavinia. I am a vampyress. My dear brother, is now a fledgling vampyre, and unfortunately was not very secretive with his newfound appetite. Hence the angry mob. I give you my sincerest thanks for freeing us from such a situation." She curtsied gracefully, smiling.

However Iago was still shocked. "Vampyress? You mean to say - "

"Yes," she cut him off, smirking at his confusion. "And now that you are aware of my brother and I's situation, I'm afraid I cannot let you live."

And with that, Iago's world went black.