As she began shifting her shape into the forms of various creatures, she found that she was able to think as the creatures themselves, and came to find that the things she might have found repulsive, such as eating raw meat, were not so when she was in the form of a carnivorous beast.
“This is why I do not take the form of a vulture,” she said to Sauron one day. “Besides the fact that they are hideous. I would most definitely draw the line at feeding on carrion.”
Sauron began sending her on missions to places such as Angband, the fortress of Melkor, better known as Morgoth. She instilled fear in all who saw her, darkly resplendent in her ink-black cloak, and in the beginning she was pleased and filled with a sense of power. Eventually she would take the form of a great bird, for her own protection, after some silly soldiers fired arrows at her. She flew as a black swan usually, incurring admiration and excitement, and sometimes a mild fear, but no arrows.
And one night, at Melkor’s behest, she did try the form of a bat, a large one indeed, and much to her dismay, found she could not see. She began emitting a tiny shrill cry, and that way she could find her way through the sky without encountering any obstacles. Yet by and by she found herself growing hungry, and unlike the bats in her garden, which fed on insects, she became aware of a need to drink blood.
Lower and lower she flew, until a familiar smell reached her nostrils—that of cattle. A herd of them lay about a partially fenced pasture, sleeping on their bellies, their young snuggled up beside them. Unable to see the beasts themselves, she had to rely on her sense of smell to find one on which to feed. The cry she emitted woke some of them, and they rose to their feet with their rumps in the air and mooing to the calves to come away with them, but she managed to catch up to them quickly enough, a small one it seemed, and listened beneath its hide for the sound of a throbbing vein. Her fangs pierced through and she sucked urgently, ignoring its piteous bawling as she drank her fill, then she went away, leaving the calf to the comfort of its mother.
After she reassumed her human form, she remembered the taste of the blood in her mouth, and thereafter she quite often shifted into bat shape when flying by night. Somehow the blood seemed far more satisfying to her than live fish, insects or small rodents.
For a time Sauron delighted in flying with her. But by and by, he seemed to tire of it, and went on her flights with her less and less, preoccupied with the business of breeding orcs and trolls and wolves and suchlike, which no longer interested her.
She began to feel jealous and resentful, and to wonder how to get his attention, and then how she might go him one better. Orcs and trolls! Werewolves! Revolting creatures! Let him have them. Surely she could do better. Melkor himself told her as much, chuckling to himself.
Then one evening she came upon a scene of great horror.
A battle had taken place. The bodies of soldiers and horses lay scattered about the field, some lacking heads, some with severed limbs, others with hideous wounds oozing blood and pus. She was about to fly up higher so as not to see, when a movement caught her eye.
One of them was alive!
He moved a leg, then an arm, and she could see a gaping wound in his side where his armor did not quite extend. She heard an agonized groan, and as he writhed his helmet fell off, showing a head of fair hair.
She paused in her flight, then swooped down lower to get a better look. She was in her swan-form, so she figured he would not be overly alarmed.
He was very young. Surely not much more than eighteen, and fair, very fair. She could see by the down of gold fuzz on his cheeks that he was a mortal Man, and no Elf. His face was grimaced in great pain, as she could see, wet with sweat and tears and blood, yet she could see how fair it could be, as was his entire form, beautifully wrought, so very beautiful he was, a shame he should die alone on a battlefield… And she thought of her own son.
She landed lightly near the wounded young man, and reassumed her human form with little thought as to how startled he would be, and went closer, tossing back her cloak lest its blackness and iron claws alarm him. Stooping low, she peered into his face, and he looked up at her with what she could see even in the dimness were very blue eyes. He was young indeed, with perfect cheekbones and luscious full lips. Those lips spoke now, in a language she did not know, but she did not have to cudgel her brain to realize he was asking for help.
She had some healing arts, but had brought along nothing that could be any use in that wise. There was a stirring in her of a strange emotion, something she had rarely felt before. She recognized it as pity, a feeling that always created in her a sense of distaste. Yet now she thought of her own son, and the wish to help the young man nearly unnerved her.
And she knelt before him and looked into his eyes, laying her fingertips to his cheek. She knew the mesmerizing power of her eyes; having used it many a time to lure Elves into Sauron’s clutches, and now she used it on this young man, gazing steadily into his eyes, which were now riveted on hers, and by and by she felt him begin to relax, and the anguished expression depart from his face, and she could see that yes, he was as fair a youth as one could imagine, likely he did have Elven blood. His breathing grew less ragged and more regular, until he seemed fairly entranced, as she stroked his cheek and sweaty hair, and wiped away a dribble of blood from his chin. Then she bent down and kissed him full on the lips. She kissed him again, and yet again, and then he began returning the kiss, shyly, not feverishly, but he was most definitely not recoiling. She tasted the blood in his mouth, on his teeth and tongue, and groaned a little, until unable to restrain herself she began sucking at the wound in his side. She drank and drank, moaning a little, and she heard him make the same sound. Then she looked up at him, wiping her lips with the back of her hand in a rather childish manner, and was alarmed at his expression. The life was leaving him. No, this could not be, she had not meant to kill him! Well, he would have died anyway, but still…
On an impulse, she grabbed her cloak, seized one of the claws on it and cut a gash in her own arm, then held it to his mouth, saying softly, “Drink, my love. Drink my blood.”
And he drank. Deeply. And the color began returning to his cheeks in the dimness of the dying day.
She smiled. He looked at her in absolute horror, at her mouth mostly. She touched it, and felt something sticking in her lower lip on both sides of her mouth.
She had fangs!
Pressing her lips together, she held one hand to the young soldier to help him up, and glancing at his wound, she saw it had already begun to heal.
She took him home with her, holding him in her arms as she flew, and when she reached the house, he was as a dead weight in her arms. She laid him down cellar with a sigh and covered him with a sheet, then went back upstairs to her own bedroom, undressed, and lay down staring up at the ceiling, her mind blank.
Suddenly she felt a great tearing pain, as if she were being rent asunder, not unlike what she had experienced while giving birth. There was a horrible burning sensation, and she shrieked as something ripped from her gut—yes, it was coming out of her belly, a great shape. Then as she opened her eyes once more she could have sworn she saw a woman with long black hair like her own run from the room. She called out to it to help her, but the pain was mercifully receding, and she felt as though she were losing consciousness.
And so she did, and when the rays of the morning sun pierced her window, where they touched her it was as if she had been burnt with living fire. But her scream was not so much one of pain as of horror, as she caught sight of the mirror before her.
No reflection was there.
She had to take to sleeping by day, after that, down in the cellar where no sun could reach, and she flew no more missions, but she did meet with her young soldier again, late in the night. One night she went to Sauron saying she had lost her cloak and could he get her another? He did so, scarcely bestowing a glance on her, and she gave the new cloak to her young lover, who had awakened the night after she had brought him home, and they soared high in the night, and she gave no more thought to the woman who had come out of her in the night..
They fed on the blood of beasts, at the first, until it occurred to her that there was something she could accomplish that Sauron had not done: she could create more beings like her soldier-lover and herself.
How jealous and furious Sauron would be! But she did not care. Let him have his nasty orcs, she would create beings that were beautiful, mesmerizing to look upon, suave and mannerly, and lethal beneath it all, creatively so, children of the night, her Children…and such pleasure she had turning them! And perhaps she might even lure some of his orcs into her clutches, give them back their beauty and make them her slaves….