In a few days, I am going to die. I know it sounds quite ridiculous. How can I state something so morbid as though I am not afraid? As though the thought of death doesn’t frighten me just a little? Death cannot hurt, can it? Death is just a part of life. Everyone dies whether they want to or not. It just happens – there is nothing that the human race can do to stop from eventually meeting the fate they are destined for the moment they are born. Everyone’s heart is meant to stop – that is why I cannot trust the feelings in my heart because it always betrays you in the end.
In my world, things are not what you think. And I may speak of “death” as though I am not at all nervous about it but truthfully, I am terrified. I am petrified, edgy and excited all rolled into one. No, I am not planning to attempt suicide if that’s what you think. Suicide is a coward’s way out, and above all things I am not a coward. I am just choosing a different path, a path paved with blood and gold, a path that was not exactly laid out for me, but one that I have flagged for myself. One thing is for sure – I am not planning to die anytime soon. I want to live – to be able to walk this world and watch it grow. To educate myself in all matters possible. To travel and see far out places that I wouldn’t have dreamed visiting if I were normal. I am tired of living a boring, mundane and ghastly life where there is nothing for me but medicine and a caretaker, parents who don’t love me – furthermore forever struggling to breathe, dealing with all kinds of agony riddling my stomach and the rest of my body… and last but not least, listening to everyone whispering about me when they think I can’t hear, saying that I probably won’t make it, that I will die before my time for there is no cure, no reprieve… believing every word that others say because the outcome of my life is so clear it is as though it was planned out for me, as though it was written in a book that I should suffer and writhe till the end of my time, wrinkling away like a raisin in the sun…
I know what I plan on doing is going to be excruciatingly painful. I am a little nervous about that. Sometimes to get what you want or need means that you have to go through pain of all forms. No one likes pain, but I am not afraid of it. I lived through pain and weakness enough that I taught myself to not be fearful of it.
This is going to shock you, avid reader : the night I turn eighteen, I am going to become a vampire. Vampire? Yes, Vampire. Blood consuming, soul sucking vampire. I will not necessarily be dead, but I won’t exactly be living. I will be the bloodthirsty undead. It is something that must happen. Before I get sicker. Before I really die, wiped off from the very face of this planet.
I have been sick practically all of my life. I was born with chronic asthma – as my mother once said, “Born as a useless sack of bad lungs.” I lived with not being able to breathe until I was eleven years old, but when the asthma seemed to be going away, sharp horrible pains began in my lower abdomen. It was nothing like I was used to – at that very moment when the pains had started I couldn’t help but think: when is it all going to end? Will it be one thing after the other until I die? When my parents arranged for me to visit the local doctor –for the fifth time that month may I add- he diagnosed me with stomach cancer.
That is when I figured that there was no way out of an early death, one that I did not want. It was saddening to know that I probably won’t even have developed gray hairs by the time I am laid to rest, forever remembered as a living ghost.
When I become a vampire, I wouldn’t have to bear this disease anymore. And the way I see it, it’s either I become a vampire, or be buried underground until my body disintegrates with the earth, because the cancer would surely take my life. I don’t plan on the latter. I don’t want to die. I feel as though I have lived with enough suffering to perish now. I have fought for my life with every breath I took when I was human. If I cannot be healthy as a human, I will be a perfect being as a vampire.
It is not unethical. Sure, some humans believe that vampires were never meant to be created, that vampires were products of the devil. Blood-drinking was thought to be a form of art created by the darkness of Hell, a favorite food that the evilest of demons enjoyed. The way I see if, blood is a form of life, and its just a food. It is the same way I eat bread and soup and fish –since I need it as a human to survive, vampires need their blood to survive. All creatures from the Night Clan are considered to be the evil. Vampires, Werewolves, Druids, Shape Shifters, etc. They are all wicked in my family’s eyes, ungodly and sinful. I was raised with these beliefs. My family is devout Christians.
If you haven’t lived with cancer, I rightfully implore you not to judge my decision as foolish.
Besides, there are certain good things on becoming a vampire. I will be immortal. I will never die, unless someone kills me. That fact happens to be the main attraction on my decision on becoming a vampire. I will live for as long as the very earth survives. I will be beautiful forever. I will be suave and debonair. I will be elegant yet fierce. I will never get old. I will be strong and fast and smart, with animal like instincts no human will ever have. I will be extraordinary. I will be everything that I am not now. I will no longer be considered human, but I will be far greater than one.
“Did you take your pills yet, Morgan dear?” Sue said. I watched her as she bustled around making me one of those putrid potions that helped clear my lungs.
“No ma’am.” I answered her. Sue was my nanny. She was a stout, portly woman with a face that looked like black pudding and hands that were strong and calloused –in short, she was absolutely lovely. She has taken care of me since I was very young. She had spent most of her life caring for cancer-sick children. She had always told me that she has never seen a child like me fight so hard for my life. She never saw someone so determined to live, even when an early death was surely to be anticipated. I loved her because she believed in me, unlike my mother and father. My mother and father are waiting for me to die. It’s actually quite wrong and cruel to say that they actually have no love for me, but they cannot suffer the burden of having a very sick child much longer.
They have seen nothing yet.
I was sick in bed today. I am most of the time I am too weak to go outside my room, especially during the day (maybe I am supposed to be a vampire)and today was one of those absolutely horrid days. My room was a tad bit too cold and the sheets that covered me felt itchy. I was coming down with a fever and I was not breathing well. My skin was ashen and sweaty. I was probably reeking of illness. I was used to this.
Even when Sue came around with that blasted tin pillbox and her yellow bubbly concoction, it did not ruin my lovely mood. The prospect of me living happily healthy, human or not, made me pleased. I could not wait for the time to come.
Sue popped two little white pills in my mouth and then forced that disgusting brew down my throat. I coughed. I only coughed because the liquid was terrible, but Sue naturally thought it was something else. She looked at me with worry, sitting me up so that she could rub my back. I did not like when she worried like this. She was an old woman that did not need her heart to be troubled so. She had enough trouble taking care of me; that’s the problem when you care sick children. Sue will be heartbroken when I die because I was always like her own child.
Good moods really don’t last forever. It vanished like a wisp of smoke.
“Morgan, you cannot go outside today. There is a chill in the air and you are as ill as it is.”
“But Sue! Fannie needs exercising .”
“You’ve been exercising that horse every day of this week. No wonder you are
sick today. Give that poor horse some rest. You both need it.”
“Please, please! Riding Fannie is such a joy! She keeps my mind off things.”
Sue stopped rubbing my back. Her eyes narrowed on her portly face. She crossed her arms and her jowl quivered. I knew this look. I have seen it plenty of times throughout my life. It was one of those, “Morgan Helen Blackwood! What on earth you have been up to as of late?”
I bit my lower lip as Sue glared at me. I could never tell her. Though I love Sue dearly, I could never let her know what’s going to happen –what I planned to do to myself. No one should know, considering a vampire’s social status was very much written along the lines of pure evil. I can damn myself to hell by changing into a vampire, but I could never let my family and Sue know such a thing. What would they think? That their daughter decided to turn into a “monster” rather than stay human, stay normal?
What’s the necessity of being normal, when I can be immortal?
“You are not to go outside today. Promise me Morgan.” She said sternly. I hated when Sue was cross with me. Sue was like my mother and she can exert all the power she wanted to, just because she can. But still, Sue was everything to me, more to me than my own mother was.
“I promise Sue.” I sighed in defeat.
“Good. I’ll go make you some soup. Stay in your bed dear.” She said, getting up from my bed and gathering my sick things, “Drink your potion.”
I groaned. But as she left, I uncrossed my fingers from underneath my bed sheets. So help me God, but I fully intended to disobey her.
I was bloody fucked. There was no doubt about it. The shit hit the fan. Not to mention it slapped me right in the face.
If I don’t get out of this place soon, I’m surely going to go crazy. Insane. Loca. Those iron bars shut me in hell and there was no way out of it. I never thought I was claustrophobic until now. I can feel the prison walls constricting all around me, compressing me as though I was an old used car in a recycling center. The other girls in here with me mostly paid no notice to me, but I caught a few of them eyeing hungrily, as though they were famished for days and I’m fresh meat. I was scared more than anything else in my life, scared of this place, and the people that was thrown in itTheir eyes were like stone-cold marbles in merciless statues. They mirrored all the horrible things they’ve done. Milky eyes filmed over with the hardships of life. They were people like me, and I wondered if my eyes were like that –dull and insensible. I could say that I was once a lively lass. But like I said before, everything had just gone down the drain like a nice hard turd in a toilet.
I had a sickening feeling those other girls were going to beat me up. It happened all the time in movies and TV shows. Someone gets picked up by the police for doing something bad, gets thrown in the slammer. I would be the timid one, (I am the timid one, I’m fucking scared shitless) the one who tries desperately not to make eye contact with anybody. Then some tough bitch decides to pick a fight. If she’s a bloody dyke then maybe something worse would happen to me. But horrible things happened to me before. I was made to be someone’s puppet. Slave. Punching bag. Whatever tickles your peach.
I am only in this place because I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Bullshit, that little annoying voice said in my head. I know what I was doing. I should have not let the Lady tempt me. But she was calling my sweet name with her siren’s song. Just one more hit. And then another. The need for it made me hungry. It made my blood ravenous for some more of it. I will melt all your problems away, She said tauntingly, the promise of the sweet white sugar underneath my nose. The spoon and fire. The needle. Those were my tools for survival. I wanted to pop my skin. I wanted to get high. I would have done anything in the fucking world to forget. To fill my head with euphoria, starting with my veins. Rushing up …up, up! to my head. Lean my head back and ride the tide until eventually the heroin shuts down and shuts up whatever’s left of my brain.
Desperate people do desperately stupid things. I should have known that bastard Lorenzo was a cop. I was always fishy about that man and damn it I should have listened to my instincts. Even more so, I should have not tasseled him the way I did. Hooking my bare legs over his, offering more than money (that I didn’t have). What in the bloody fuck was I thinking? When he flashed his Scotland Yard’s badge, it was as though I couldn’t even see the shiny gold emblem, clearly spelling trouble. All that seemed to register to me at the moment was the fact that it wasn’t a little plastic baggie filled with crumbly white stuff or solid black rock, let alone that it was a Scotland Yard badge. My heroin hungry brain actually took a while to figure out what was happening. It felt like a dream almost, and everything solid in front of me was swirling, like smoke. I couldn’t properly recollect my thoughts. I was lost in my own head for that terrible second. I wasn’t getting a hit. The Lady turned her back on me, that fucking bitch. Yeah she was supposedly going to drown away all of my problems –she was more like feeding them to me with her own hand. If I can bite the hand that feeds me, I would. Only problem was, it was me being bitten.
What did I do wrong? I thought like a pathetic wimp. When Lorenzo yanked my hands behind my back as gently as he could and handcuffed me, it hit me. It really hit me, what was happening to me. I have known that I wasn’t going to get any heroin, but now it hit me that I was going to jail. To jail. I started crying, begging him to let me go. I even offered to suck his dick if he took the handcuffs off me. But when he shoved me in his unmarked police car, his face was full of pity. I knew he wasn’t going to let me go. I knew he wasn’t going to change his mind. He was just doing his job, doing his best to get another lowlife whore like me out of the streets.
“Sorry Whitney, darling. It’s for your own good you know.” He told me, shrugging. And from there he got in his car and drove me to the correction facility, trapping me with the hungry wolves.
I did not stop crying. I don’t think I ever cried as much as I did that day in my whole life.
I had no one to bail me out. I was sixteen and practically homeless, living with my pimp, George, in a dingy roach infested flat. At night I went out to the street and did tricks for money, booze and drugs. I took in anybody that would give me the time of day. Sex was nothing. I can have sex any day, so why not get paid for it? I learned to tune it out –let those sick bastards do what they want to me, hoping the entire time that it would be over quickly. Thankfully, most of the time it is. Sex was just a vocation. I made pretty good money, but most of it regretfully went up my arm, rushing into my body and feeling like a million little fingers gently massaging me from the inside out…
The Scotland Yard knew I was a prostitute because Lorenzo told them I was offering sexual favors for the heroin and also using them to bribe him to let me go. Boo freaking hoo, another charge on my fucked up juvenile record. They asked me if I had a pimp; I told them about George. Tall, gangly, kind-of-cute George –who seemed so nice and fresh on the outside unless you just happened to get under his skin and that, could be for any reason at all. George was wicked, inside and out, and stupid me didn’t realize what he was, what he had the potential of becoming once he removed his mask. I didn’t mind ratting on him, mainly because he treated me like shit. He was forever striking me, hurting me both physically and emotionally, and breaking down the obscure wall of stone I have built over my frozen heart little by little as though it was no effort at all. All George had to do was look at me to have his way with me, and then snap his fingers so that I can let someone else had their way with me. It was the relationship we had, and I was afraid that I was never going to get out of it. But they pressed charges on him as far as I know. Maybe they even locked them up, and if they did, it would sure as hell make my day. George out of my life and out of my mind? I would have given anything for that, even if I ruined his lovely money making world, one where I was definitely not the only stupid lass that had the misfortune to cross paths with him. I told them everything in hopes I would get out of this damn place. I made it seem like I was the victim.
I ran away from home because my mother was abusive and her boyfriend was a fucking creep, which was the truth. Generally. Frankly, my mother never really hit me. She just did not care for me, at all. When I would fall down and hurt myself as a child, she never ran to me, picked me up and kissed my boo boo so that I can feel better. Whenever I brought home a good report card she took a mere glance at it and then threw it away. She never saved the cute little pictures I drew for her, or even remembered to feed me at times. Whenever I did something bad she didn’t even thought of punishing me. Maybe if I was taught some fucking discipline, some love, I would have turned out better, but she never learned how to be a mother. Maybe it was because she got knocked up around my age. Being a teenage mother can sometimes keep you frozen in your adolescents for the rest of your life. I wouldn’t really know and I couldn’t prove that for the life of me; it’s just a theory. And her boyfriend Ralph –oh, I wasn’t lying about that. He was a weedy, filthy bloke that constantly smelled of meth and beer and sweat. I remember his beady little eyes always following me when I walked around, full of wicked lust. I swear they were attached with needles or something because I always felt them on my ass everywhere I moved, everywhere I turned. Did my mother not notice that he was a sick and twisted? No. Double N-O. But the greasy fuck never had to balls to really do what I knew he always wanted to do to me.
I mean, once he tried. My mother went off to work and when I got home from school, he asked me if I could fix him something to eat. I complied because I was being nice. I was making him grilled cheese and refried beans when he came in to kitchen with his pink, stubby dick out of his fly. I remember he said with a sickening, timid leer, “How bought I fix you something to eat too?”
I stared at his ugly penis with disdain. A lot of things ran through my mind, fear infecting it the most. Damn, was this really happening to me? Did I look like a poster child of teenage sexual abuse? Should I run and call the cops? Hurt him really bad? Yell at him till I made him feel like shit and possibly making him think twice about dreaming of screwing the shit out of me? I hoped that he didn’t decide to rape me or anything like that. I didn’t need that shit.
“Really Ralph?” I commented, rolling my eyes (I tried to look brave and unafraid, but really my heart was beating like a rabbits). I took the pot of hot refried beans and threw it at him. He bellowed in pain as the spicy sauce stung his eyes and the heavy pot gave him a nice lump in the head. But I was out that door before he completely wiped the bean sauce from his face.
I was fed up then. I decided to leave. Who would miss me? My mother is in her own self-centered fantasy land and I doubt she will come out. I just wounded Ralph’s ego; he’ll find some other sweet-assed lass to hound after. I had no other legitimate family out there; I was a lone rat in this world now, and I didn’t want to rely on friends. I didn’t have any real friends anyway.
I was just wandering the streets of Cumbernauld, hitting bar after bar and getting shit drunk, but I returned home later on at night. My overweight loser of a mother was there though, chain smoking and watching something on the boob tube. She didn’t notice that I was drunk. She didn’t even bother looking up when I got in the house. Thankfully, Ralph was no where to be seen, and I couldn’t help but wonder if my mother even cared what he was doing right at the moment. I went right upstairs, packed some stuff, and then went rifling through my mother’s things for some money. It didn’t bother me, stealing from my mother. I had no mother.
I used the four hundred pounds and a full can of pence’s I found inside my mothers underwear drawer and took a bus to Basingstoke. There I rented a begrimed room and for a few days wondered what I could do to get my life back in order.
I took a maid job at that hotel for the time being. But that was all I had.
There was nothing much that I can do to look better. The cancer has made my beauty a ghost of myself. My once bright gray eyes are dull with sickness. My pallor is insipid, my eyes sunken. My lips were chapped and dreary, a horrible purplish color. How have I survived this cancer for that long? How was it possible? Most people that I know have cancer never last more than three years! The doctors told me that it was a medical miracle that I am still alive.
There was nothing I could do to look good now next to Liam Gogh, the vampire that I persuaded to change me. But I looked at my calendar: May 13, 1918. I only had three more days until the night of my birthday. The thought made my heart beat uncontrollably. Was my heart beating like this because it was determined to gallop until the last beat? I must not worry. Soon, I would be an elegant creature. My beauty will be mine again. I would match Liam Gogh, finally.
Liam Gogh and I have a very unusual relationship. Besides Sue, I had to admit he was my best friend. Though the man could be highly supercilious and frustrating, there were times that he did things that made me adore him. Despite the fact he had too much pride to admit it, I knew that he felt the same way about me. I value him the same way, maybe a little more so. He would arrive sometimes at our meeting places with a beautiful bouquet of flowers or a slice of my favorite cherry cheesecake. He sometimes brought me amazing little trinkets from the world outside of my own, such as a forehead gem from India, a gondola necklace from Venice, and once even a battered, worn out Torah from Israel –an object so old and so full of grand mystery that I enclosed it forever in a wooden box under my bed. He also brought me things from his world; ornaments and artifacts of the Night Clan –like powdered werewolf teeth, a picture of Liam and his Shape Shifter double, or a Druid’s ring of magic. He often says I am nothing but a sharp thorn up his arse but I know he values me as a good friend –if not, how can a creature such as Liam spend so much of his time with me? Why would he shower me with gifts and more to keep me happy, using that as a reason to always see me?
I put on a nice red dress that was clingy, yet flowing. It flattered my figure. And I knew that Liam loved the color red. He often said it looked nice with my chocolate brown locks and my milky white skin. I thought I was ugly, but he frequently told me I was not. It was the sickness that made me unsightly, but he swore he still sees the loveliness in me. I picked my hair up with a tassel and let my brown curls fall around the framing of my bony face. I could not wait until I was what I always deserved to be. I could not wait to turn into a vampire.
It was certainly not easy sneaking out after Sue told me not to go. So I had to go out at night. I have seen Liam out in the sunlight before and I could tell he is always very uncomfortable. And more so, he looks completely horrible, more of a dead thing than he’s supposed to look. His eyes turn completely white, his tall, straight frame slumps like an old man –and it is as though the sun sucks out the very flesh from his bones, literally. In short, sunlight makes Liam weaker, and Liam is that type of creature that wants his defense up no matter the cost. I never knew why, but all he mentioned was that a vampire has many enemies.
I wasn’t particularly looking forward to that. But with everything that has numerous quirks, there are also consequences.
I opened the door of my room cautiously, looking right to left. There was no sound but the house settling and the slightest sound of the wind gently moaning. I tiptoed downstairs, and as soon as I managed to escape through the front door, I practically ran to the stables with the skirt of my dress hiked up by both hands.
Fannie, my banana white mare, whinnied when I approached her. I gave her a small piece of apple and she quieted down.
“I hope you’ve had a nice restful day, Fannie darling. Because we are going out tonight.” I whispered to her, kissing her muzzle. She snorted and nibbled at a lock of my hair.
I mounted Fannie and we rode off with a light jog. Thankfully, Fannie did not make much noise. I led her straight into the forest, taking her from a jog to a walk as we hit the dirt road. It was a little cold and the wind lifted my dress from my calves to my knees, baring some of my legs and chilling me to the bone.
Fannie was uneasy today. The moon was full tonight, so I had to be careful. In the full moon the werewolves were out. There were no werewolves as of late in Stoke, but they did travel. They don’t really attack humans, but if they see Fannie they just might attack me. Werewolves are not like vampires because have to actually eat whole organs in order to survive. No creature form the Night Clan can kill humans, so werewolves have to settle for animal organs. Vampires on the other hand don’t need to kill to feed. I know that in experience, because Liam has bitten me several times in my life. He never took too much of my blood because I was sick, but I always let him when he asked, mainly because it felt good. When I mention good, I mean in a way that would make any decent young lady blush. My heart races, I sweat a little. I can never help but to moan in absolute pleasure.
While Fannies hooves clapped titter totter on the fern, crunching hard dirt and leaves, I blushed. I have always loved the feeling of Liam’s cold lips on my neck. I will have no more mundane human needs. I will no longer need to eat food, to drink anything other than blood, I will not need to rest or sleep. I will no longer even need to breathe. I will even have the body temperature of a dead body, and I don’t care at all. Honestly, I would love being immortal, because more than anything else I want, I want life.
I will no longer be able to please Liam with my blood. The thought made me a little sad. But I have convinced him to save my life. That should mean that he cares for me a little more than he says he does. I know that Liam can care for a person. Since meeting Liam Gogh, I have never believed the man to be evil.
Liam and I met when I was about nine years old. I was not yet sick with cancer, but my asthma was at full blast at the time. I was barely able to go outside because I was always confined to my bed, sick, not being able to move or even breathe. The day I met Liam I was actually feeling excellent. I had decided to go and pick blackberries for my mother in the woods. And so I gathered my wicker basket and set off.
I found the blackberry bush. I was having a better time eating them than actually picking them. I bent down to grab the lower parts of the blackberry bush so I can fill at least half of the basket, and then I went into an elliptic shock. My lungs squeezed in my chest, rendering completely unable to breathe. I fell on the forest ground, convulsing in pain and suffocation. All I could do was gasp for the air that refused to register to my contracting lungs. I tried to call for help, but the effort made my chest burn horribly.
I had a sickening feeling then that I was going to die. I mustered what I could and screamed. I did not say anything intelligible in that scream. It was just an exert of sound ripping from my throat, and it exhausted the last bit of air left in my lungs. It felt like the last thing that I was ever going to do, with my heart beating faster than a running gazelle, and little black spots popping up in my vision. I was getting weaker and weaker. Tears squeezed from my eyes.
Through the little vision I had left pertaining in my eyes, I was suddenly looking face to face at a shocking pair of red eyes in a pale face, framed by a dark mass of hair. This thing’s eyes were so amazingly vivid that to a little girl I could not help but find them horrifying, monstrous. They were the last thing I remembered before all I saw was black. But the pain in my chest was gone, and that was good.
When I woke up, God knows how long later, I was back in my bed. At first I thought that it was all some horrific dream, until I realized my mouth was wrapped shut and I could not breathe through the reeking cloth. The cloth tasted like Sue’s potion. I was breathing through a straw, inserted inside a slit made in my throat.
When I told my mother a man with red eyes saved my life, she was appalled.
After I was able to breathe normally again, I sneaked out of the house at night, like I am doing now. I went to the forest, gingerly walking the path, afraid. At night, the woods seemed so scary. The trees looked ridiculously large, with their black leaves swaying in a disturbing manner that made me want to run back from the woods and to my bed. I was trembling.
“You should be in bed little girl.” Said a voice. It was chillingly calm, and the low, deep, cunning pitch made me squeak.
He was in the shadows of a large oak tree. Only the frame of his long, strongly-built body and his red eyes were visible. To a little girl like me then, he was massive. Frightening. But I could not turn my eyes away from him. He entranced me like an Indian cobra charmer. I have once heard that the cobra was more afraid of the man than the man afraid of it, I don’t believe this was the case. He stepped out of the shadows in a blur of speed, and suddenly he was by my side. I was much too shocked to speak or move.
I was suddenly serene and composed when he took hold of my hand. His hand was icy and smooth, much like my mother’s cold glass statues she keeps aligned on the fireplace mantelpiece. His hand was comforting. I was no longer afraid of the big bad forest as he led me back to my house and put me to bed, planting a wintry kiss on my forehead before I closed my eyes and slept. I dreamed of the mysterious man with red eyes all that night.
For about a month, I was living quite decently in the hotel. I wasn’t making much money, but I did work for the roof over my head. I was saving up my money for a reason I never really knew. Those four hundred pounds I took from my mother turned into five hundred, then after a few months, it was made into seven hundred. I stashed all my earnings in my hotel room, split up in different places in case I got robbed, that way I wont lose all my money. It was just in case money.
I made several friends there. Other maids. That was something I wasn’t quite expecting. They were all friendly, hard-working women. Women with bunions on their feet and calluses on their hands. Women with three or four children at home, children that they really cared for to be slaving their asses in order to put something on their plate and clothes on their backs. I adored them all and I looked up to them. I was happier here, more at peace. There was no uncaring mother in my life, no pervert hounding my heels
I made especially good friends with a Druid girl named Sasha. She’s a tall, reed-thin girl with short blonde hair, huge cow brown eyes and a tired, lack-luster face. Druids are still considered human, but with magical abilities no human possesses. The old term for Druids were Witches or Wizard, but they have been condemned as prejudicial terms, taboo, like the “n” word. Sasha could do a lot of crazy things I never knew could happen. Why she is working as a bloody maid, I don’t know, but she is certainly one cool bitch.
I never made friends with anybody from the Night Clan. I don’t think I have ever even made acquaintances with those people. I was once face-to-face with a werewolf, which was pretty fucking scary. But the werewolf just looked at me and snorted, walking away and twitching his big furry tail. And a vampire once came to school to talk about his recollections on World War 2. He was super-hot. I mean like oh my god if only the school recruited him for a strip tease that would really make eight hours of wasted time worth it. But the fanged asshole was so bloody conceited he came across his reflection in my professors’ desk mirror and actually became so immersed in it that he forgot about his speech.
A lot people have things against any non-human thing in the Night Clan, especially religious nuts. But not me. What should I have anything against them? I am quite unreligious. I cannot call myself Atheist, because I do believe in God to an extent, but I’m not completely sold on the notion on a higher power. When times are bad, I pray to whatever is out there. I don’t say “Dear God” or whatever. But I talked to Him or Her like they were my buddy. I would ask me to help me out please. Do something God, if you were really out there. Anything.
Sasha was the one who introduced me to George. Accidentally of course. She intended on only taking me to what she called a party, meaning, a Druid ritual. The Druids were chanting some freaky hubaloo to their Sun Goddess or whatever the bloody hell it was. I didn’t participate, (I had plenty fun eating the hor de vours and drinking the wine), but to enter the ritual I had to wear Druid “guest” garb. It was nothing but a red partially see-through slip that was black underwear was visible through.
I had no idea until I caught George’s attention.
“You know, these Druids should really think about a different fabric when making those guest slips.” He said as he came up to me. He was wearing a red slip too but he was smart enough to wear shorts underneath. I saw his hairy belly though. “But they use these fabrics as a symbol of self-love. All humans should love one another, Druids should love one another. Humans should love Druids, and Druids should love humans, no matter how either one looks.”
I took a good look at him and realized I was probably showing a little more than I certainly wanted to. He laughed when he saw my reaction, and then crawled in a little closer to me. His aura kind of made me shiver.
“Don’t worry.” He breathed into my ear, “It doesn’t look bad on you at all.”
George, obviously, was no Druid. But some of his family was married to them. Sasha was supposed to be cousin-in-law, which is why he was at that party. He loved the art of magic, and was fascinated as the Druids conjured it over and over again. He always wanted to be one, but if you don’t have the magic in your blood, there was no way you could try. I noted that some of the Druid women eyed him with dirty looks, but at that time I simply chose to ignore it. I didn’t particularly enjoy George’s company, because I had a bad feeling about him, but I could not deny that I was attracted to him. Sometimes, even women think with their groin instead of their heads.
He was pretty cute, in a nerdy kind of way. He was tall and thin with reddish brown hair and nice blue eyes. He wore stylish Prada eyeglasses and the watch on his wrist looked very expensive. He was clean cut and he smelled good, and all of the above attracted me. Shallow much? Don’t even mention it. I am young and quite retarded.
He asked me for my name. I told him. He asked me where I come from. I told him. He asked me about my life. I told him everything. There was something about him that made me talk too much. I simply could not shut the fuck up. Or maybe it wasn’t him at all, maybe it was just the wine, but I knew I shouldn’t tell him such things. Who would want to know that I was almost raped by my mother’s sleazy boyfriend? Who would want to know that I ran away from home to escape that abuse and neglect? Who would want to know that my life in Cumberland was shit?
George did. George wanted to know everything about me. All for the wrong reasons.
I stopped Fannie at the spot of the forest where I first met Liam. I tied her reign to a low branch, giving her another piece of apple to soothe her nerves. I had to admit I was a little nervous also. The prospect of meeting Liam always made me jittery.
The wind died down. The leaves on the very same oak tree where I have first seen Liam stilled. The moonlight cast a milky glow on the hearth beneath my feet, making it appear as a beautiful dark emerald color. I waited for him a little impatiently, my heart beating ever so quickly. I always wondered if he could hear my heartbeat. Vampires do have an extraordinary sense of hearing. Liam once told me that he could hear my normal heartbeat if he concentrated on that and that only. Could he hear my ridiculously rapid one now?
I heard a twig snap and nearly leaped out of my skin. I gripped Fannie’s reign tighter in an effort not to scream out. There’s a number of things in these woods that could harm me, not only werewolves and vampires. I only come out here alone, at night, because I am always quick to believe that Liam, my crimson eyed savior, would find me and keep me safe. But I was doubting my beliefs now, when the bushes started to rustle and the creaking sound of something formidable and large came closer and closer…
“You look lovely tonight, Morgan.” Said a deep, affluent voice, rich with that cool shrewdness that I have become so accustomed to these past years. The cobra charming the human, I thought.
Liam lurked out of the bushes looking more put together than I did. He daintily brushed off a piece of fern from his shoulder and straightened out his breeches. He looked up, smiling widely as he took me in, his sharp, long fangs gleaming in the moonlight. He came closer and every one of his perfect, handsome features were thrown into the light.
I cannot say enough how frighteningly red his eyes are. They are his most dominate feature. They were evenly set in his chiseled, angular face, almond-shaped and slightly double-lidded, but framed with beautifully thick eyelashes. His brow was strong and furrowed, his forehead high and topped with an elegant widow’s peak hairline. His dark chestnut colored hair fell past his dimpled chin and was tied at the nape of his neck. His nose was perfect, with small nostrils and a smooth bridge. His mouth was flawlessly full. His skin was pale, as white as the very moon. As white as a dead corpse, but smooth and spotless, not a blemish on it. He was simply a beautiful thing, so handsome that it was hard to think of anything other than that when I was around him.
He rushed to me with blinding speed. How could he perform such a feat I will never truly know, but it was remarkable. How was it that humans seemed so shamefully feeble compared to these wonderful creatures?
He bowed to me and kissed my hand, making me blush. His blood red eyes never left mines, and the very action sent a series of chills up my spine.
“I’m going to miss that.” He whispered, stroking a cold finger along my reddened cheeks. I could not help but feel that area of skin burn where his icy finger touched me. He let his hand drop, and then stuffed them in the pockets of his breeches. He was staring at me now, his expression a little pained.
“What’s wrong Liam?” I accidentally blurted out. I did not mean to say it, because I knew I should not ask of his wellbeing. A human has no business trying to pry into a vampire’s mind. At least, that’s how Liam felt. When we met on occasions like this, it was always about me, how I was fairing, if I were feeling well, if I were happy. On a rarity Liam talked of himself, but truthfully I hardly knew anything about him.
However, I did know that Liam is more than two centuries old. When he was human, he worked as a mercenary, taking some goods to his family back home and was ambushed by a gang of thieves. They stabbed him in the stomach and took all of his merchandise, leaving him to die. A vampire named Arthur found him and saved him by siring him. He had a wife and three little babes, all whom he outlived. He told me that he let his family believe he was dead because he could not bear the idea of them knowing he turned into a bloodsucking monster. Two centuries ago vampires were much less socially accepted than they are now, and if they had a way to kill him, they certainly would have.
Unfortunately that’s all he told me. When I tried breaking down the wall of obscurity around him that protected him from the pain and guilt he bore upon the fate of his family, all he did was shut me out. And since then I have learned never to bring up his family. I have learned not even to ask how he was doing, his life being a worser misery than mine. I was scared when I let that slip from my lips, but he looked at me from the corner of his red eyes with no contempt. In fact, there was a hardness there that did not spell scorn, but it looked more like determination.
“Morgan, I wish you did not want to become a vampire.” He replied stoutly, straightening up to his full height, which towered well above me.
His words were a little blow to me.
“Why?” I breathed. I was suddenly afraid that he had changed his mind. I was afraid that he decided that he was not going to grant me the gift of changing me. I felt my heart race and I put a hand on my chest as though I can still it.
“No, darling,” he said quickly as he assessed my reaction, “I will change you, I swore I will. I will be your sire, just as we planned. I just wish there was some other way.”
He paused for a second, closing his eyes for a moment.
“There is no other way.” I said through gritted teeth. We had this conversation quite a few times before.
“I said wish there was.” He said a little coldly, not looking at me.
“Well Liam, I am afraid that…”
“…there is nothing else that we can do to keep you from dying. Yes, I know. Your cancer is killing you slowly. We talked of this before.” His voice was emotionless, arrogant, and his words came out in a long drawl as though he were mocking me. That was just a mere taste of the Liam I have known for so long.
“Yes.” I shot back. He opened his eyes again and came closer to me. Fannie snorted uncomfortably. My breathing hitched. He was so close now that I could touch my nose to the buttons of his overcoat. I could smell his wonderful scent. It was nothing I could describe. He smelled of a vibrant musk only a good, strong, worthwhile male can give off. He smelled rich and superb, like the beautiful full moon would if I knew how it smelled like. Like honeydew melon or cucumbers, like healthy soil freshly turned. Like the coppery, salty scent of blood.
He put both hands on my shoulders. I shivered, though I tried to hide it. I could tell that I did not fool him, but he did not move his hands away.
“I give you one month of living as a vampire before you decide that you were better off dying with dignity.” He murmured. His tone of voice was deathly serious, and it sent tremors rollicking down my spine.
“Do you want to bet on that?” I challenged him. He smiled coyly, chuckling softly. His icy hands skimmed down my arms, caressing my arms. His actions made it a little hard for me to breathe.
“I have told you that the vampire life is not what it seems, haven’t I? Well, you had better keep that in mind.” He said, his voice nearly a demure, menacing growl. But the wicked grin that came afterwards unsettled me. His lips parted over his pearly white teeth, and I saw his fangs up close. They were much more menacing as close as he was. He looked a little demented smiling as so.
“Well, sick and dying is worse.” I commented. I shuffled away from his embrace and took a step back, wrapping my arms around myself. I got cold from his touch. He didn’t say a thing, but I could tell he wanted to. I did not know if he wanted to comfort me or if he wanted to scold me.
“I am not saying this because I am being selfish Morgan. I am saying this because I have lived long enough to know what it’s like. I don’t like being a monster. No matter how you look at me, whether your image of me is the same of what I see of myself… bottom line is I’m a bloodsucking beast.” His voice was soft. “I have no reason to live. I understand if you think you do, because you are young and had just had a taste of it.”
He closed the space between us that I had made moments earlier, and I felt his fingers underneath my chin, making me look at him. I gazed directly into his solemn, striking face and for a moment I believe my heart forgot to beat. Or he stole my breath. Whichever one it was, it was direly effective. He took my hand and placed it across his strong chest, where his heart should have been. I felt nothing but the silence of an unbeating heart, dead, and I imagined it to be, cobwebbed in the cavity of his chest.
“Stay human, Morgan. It’s no joy living for eternity. Trust me, believe in me. There are many times when I wish I was dead.” He said softly. His voice was like sweet buttermilk, dropping gently in my ears like a dew of temptation. Liam had that power over me. He knew it and was not afraid to use it.
He did not ask me for it like he usually did. Something dire churned in his scarlet eyes. The priceless red rubies that held all of his civility suddenly shattered. The icy cold hands on my shoulders became a terrible vice-like grip hurting me. He bared his fangs –not in the smile I most often sighed in pleasure seeing it, but in an awful, monster like grimace. A low growl ripped from his clenched teeth, and for that nanosecond I saw Liam’s true nature, the real, leech-like fiend he is. He no longer looked handsome, he did not look human –not that he ever really did, for he was far too heavenly to be considered human- but somehow he even look less than that. Less than anything that walked this earth, or even worse, more than anything. He was a hungry monster full of power. He was unstoppable.
I shrieked when he grabbed my head and twisted it to expose my neck. But when he closed his fangs over my throat and pierced my flesh, it stifled the next scream coming. I felt as though I was gagged, and I was in pain. He was not gentle and smooth like he usually was. I felt his greediness suck the life out of me. I tried to fight against him. But it simply was no use.
There was absolutely nothing I could think at that moment to convince myself that I did not like Liam forcefully drinking my blood like this. Truthfully, I wanted more. I wanted him to drain every last drop of my blood if it meant to experience the arousing sensation for a longer time. When he removed his fangs from my neck, breathing heavily, when he whispered, “You see the monstrosity I am?” I could not help but feel amazed, star struck. My own blood covered the paleness of his lips, staining his pearly white fangs. The moonlight reflected off his teeth and for a moment I was blinded. I did not see the atrocity he spoke of. I only saw the being I was meant to be. I saw my destiny in his terrifyingly handsome face.
He leaned in and forcefully kissed me. I felt as though fire was pulsing throughout my body, starting from my lips, where his touched mine. Liam never kissed me on the lips before. Never. The act literally stole the words form my mouth. I felt as though I was to never speak again. He left me speechless.
He stepped back, the expression on his face hard. Liam turned his back to me and rushed into the dark branches, vanishing completely from sight, leaving me in the woods with my heart racing uncontrollably.
I got to know George for the time coming. Since the Druid ceremony, I have often found George hanging around the hotel. I have heard that he is constantly talking to Sasha, asking about me all the time. I have seen them talking quietly in the kitchen. I have always wondered why Sasha never looked particularly pleased to see him. I wondered why women in general didn’t seem to like him. I didn’t mind him, even though there was always that tad little thing about his air that made me wonder once or twice whether he was a good guy. People wear masks, don’t they? I had a mask myself, hiding my true face, acting like everything was okay. That wasn’t true. I was still broken inside, still ripped apart with my pieces gone missing. I was slowly putting myself back together again, but the prospect was easier to think about than to actually do.
Once or twice I bumped into George, and he always gave me a pleasant hug and kiss, like we were the best of friends. It was nice to have a man like him interested in me, not a dirty older one with a pink penis. He was so clean cut and neat that whenever he passed I was reminded of some type of suit model, maybe modeling Burberry or some shit like that. I could see George as one. He had that nice, high-class look about him. He made money, I could very much tell.
One day he simply came up to me and handed me a card. It was one of those fancy business cards that very important people hand out in movies. He pressed the card to my hand and whispered in my ear: “Call me.” He walked past me after that with a wink of his nice eyes, his shiny polished loafers clapping on the floor. The rhythm of his step stood in my mind all day after that. I did not call him for a few days. That nagging feeling of foreboding kept tugging at my insides. He looked very well off, much more so than I ever was. What if he was just one of those fucking frat boys simply looking for a good lay? It was easy for a girl like me to think she was about to fall in some Cinderella story. I wanted to believe this man was suddenly thrust in my life because he was meant to be my Prince Charming. Wouldn’t that be beautiful?
I deserve it. After all the shit I’ve been through, I thought that I deserved that.
Sasha was not thrilled when I told her. I ran to the kitchens delightful and a little flustered, holding the card in my hand like I found a hundred pence-pound. She eyed it mistrustfully when I showed it to her, and told her what happened. When I was done babbling. She set down her mop, smoothed her hair, and then stated point-blank, “Whitney , he is way too old for you. He is like what? Nearly thirty?”
“I know, Sasha, but age doesn’t matter. He is so well-groomed and sharp and he’s cute…”
“He’s older than you. That makes him a pedophile. You are only fifteen.”
I pouted, disappointed that my best friend was not happy for me. A little voice in my head told me that she was being a better friend than the one that would be jumping and squealing and giggling with me, just because she pointed out the obvious. But instead, like a fucking idiot, I replied, “George is no goddamn pedophile. George is into me. I know it.”
I could tell that what I said got her agitated. Her eyes suddenly flashed a strange silver color, that same color I see happen to them whenever she was about to do magic. For a second, I jumped, frightened that she was going to put some nasty hex on me, but she seemed to keep her cool. Her long blonde hair on the other hand, was curling and uncurling on its own, like Medusa’s snakes. I was afraid that she was going to turn locks of her hair into snakes and have them bite me. But she didn’t.
“He is not the type of man you might think he is. Don’t be a teenage fool. Believe me.” She said. At ‘believe me’ her voice turned a little somber, and I instantly wondered if something went on between them that I should know about. But then she turned her back to me and continued mopping the floor, sweeping it left and right, slowly walking away from me. Her footsteps left a morbid imprint in my mind, an imprint that warned me, a warning I refused to accept.
Okay, to sum it all up instead of making it into one long sad sob story, which I don’t fucking need right now, I should have listened to Sasha. George won my heart, pretended he loved me, got me hooked on heroin, and then used my addiction to heroin as a basis so I can go out and whore myself. George controlled my fucking life. And like some fucking dog that rolled in mud, he treated me like shit. At first it was lovey dopey. Oh, believe me, it was as though for a moment I was actually Cinderella. He sugar-daddied me. He got me out that damned hotel and let me move in his flat. His flat wasn’t much better than the hotel, with all the fucking roaches and stuff, but he did manage bought me nice things and gave me good food to eat. He treated me like a queen. I gave myself to him willingly, like a mopey little dog obeying her master. Isn’t that a bloody fairy tale?
My first taste of heroin was like nothing I have ever done before. I have smoked a dud of weed every now and then with some acquaintances behind the school gym and actually liked the high, but taking a kiss of the lady was nothing I have ever experienced. It felt like fire pulsing through my body, burning every single fucking cell in me. It was more than a high. I was soaring out of this world. I felt like the heroin grabbed me by my feet and lifted me out to the atmosphere. I was abandoning all of my problems for that time when I was high. All my past problems, because when I was with George, I felt like I had none.
Until one day he brought a web cam and logged on to some naughty internet site that depicts live sex. I was so high I didn’t quite register what he was doing. He positioned me right in front of the camera and fucked me doggy style, meanwhile I stared at the lab top screen. I saw me, high as hell. I saw a very stupid, stupid girl, exposed and exploited for all the horny fuckers and perverted, twisted minds out there to see.
That accelerated into a horrible situation. Other men saw us having sex and then decided they wanted a piece of me too. Could I say no? Every time one came over and I acted uncomfortable, George who shake a bag of heroin under my nose and say, “You would do it because you love me.”
What’s love got to do with it? I just wanted the goddamn heroin.
I could try to describe all I wanted what it felt like to shoot up. But I would fail.
Its not a pretty thing. I would poke myself endlessly to find a good vein. Bleed all over the damn place. When I find a good, which could be anywhere, I would pop my skin. Continue popping it, to get the lady into my bloodstream quicker. Sometimes the trip wouldn’t be like midday stroll I aim for. Sometimes, it goes straight to my head and destroys everything. I would feel like world war three is happening inside my skull. I would weep and cry or rage and break things. Or curl up in the corner, feeling like every single thought that has ever swam through my mind is recollecting itself, buzzing like a swarm of bees.
I knew I never really loved George. I only loved the heroin. And I did anything for it. I let George become abusive towards me. I let him use me as a punching bag when things just went wrong. I let him bring john after john to the crib. I would go outside when he wanted me to go out and pick up guys on the street. I would give him sixty percent of my pay and use the other forty to ruin myself with drugs, drugs, and more drugs.
Because I was so fucking insecure. I lacked self-confidence. I did not control myself, so I let others control me. Because I was everything I told myself long ago that I would not be in the future.
So its kind of a good thing that I am here now, in jail. Maybe they will help me get myself back together again. I briefly wondered if I would get that job back at the hotel. I was doing pretty good there, wasn’t I? I had all that money- no wait, that money was long gone, spent on heroin. So I would have to start over again somewhere else. I was definitely not going back home. There was no place for me to go. I hoped that Sasha would forgive me, my only friend. I betrayed her, I realized now. I haven’t even talked to her since that day I told her that George seemed to be interested in me. It could have been the other way around too –she hasn’t talked to me. We simply did not look for each other like we used too. After I left that hotel, my life has been nothing but heroin. The lady did not let me think of anything else.
I could not help but think: Sasha must have known. She must have known he was a bastard pimp. She must have known the things that he did to girls, or else she would have not tried to warn me what he was.
Sasha must have been me once upon a time.
I did not go to jail, like I have thought I would be. Nor did they let me out. The Scotland Yard told me that I was going to spend some time in a Child Youth Help center. They contacted my mother, and told her everything. She was investigated informally. Why has she not filed a missing person’s report since I ran away? Why did she not care? They gathered a warrant to search her flat and found bags of meth and cocaine, and they are charging her for child neglect and unlawful possession of narcotics. Like mother like daughter. She has to be in court to hear her sentence the same day I will be shoved in rehab. They put Ralph in jail for the endangerment of a child’s welfare, no court, no bloody questions asked.
The Child Youth Help center was jail. It felt no different to me. Shitty food, dirty bathrooms, hard beds, endless chores, tough bitches who all went through similar problems like me. I was no calmer here than I was in the holding cell. I was to stay for a few days until I am to go to rehab for my heroin addiction, but a few days felt like months.
A day before I went to jail, I had a surprise visitor. It was someone that I was not prepared to see after all this time. I could not do it, stare at her across the table like this, pity and guilt on her face. I could not even be in her presence. I felt like I was going to explode right there, like some goddamned ticking time bomb. Explode into a million pieces and spray all my blood and brain and guts all over her.
It was Sasha. She cut her blonde hair even shorter, making her eyes look bigger and her cheekbones more pronounced. She was dressed in cargo shorts and a small white tee-shirt. With her ambiguous looks and her skinny long body, I could not help but notice that she looked like a boy.
“I told you so.” She murmured. There was no emotion to that voice. Just reason. And truth. Nothing but it. I did not say anything. I just stared at her. I stared at her for so long and hard that my eyes started to water. She glared back, but it did not seem she needed to blink the way my eyes did.
She grabbed my arm. I did not fight it when she trailed her long thin finger up the white of my flesh, where all the needle scars were. There were tears in her eyes. She then pulled up her sleeve too. There was nothing on her skin. Her skin was a pale as a baby’s bottom. Perfect. Untainted by the lady. But she bent low and kissed my arm, dripping her tears on me.
When she looked up, her eyes were silver. Not tainted with silver, but completely silver. Shining, like a full moon. She did not wipe the tears off. She left them there. She got up, her entire bony frame shuddering with grief.
She left me here, with her tears on my arm. I did not clean them off either. I left them there until it dried up.
Today was my birthday. I was eighteen now. When I woke up in the morning, I opened my eyes, and the pale morning sunlight shined through my tinted windows. I did not feel like my soul was in my body. The fingers that I moved did not feel like it was from my hand. The skin on my face could not have been mines. The breast that rose up and down gently with every gulp of air I took could not have been happening to me. I could not help but feel vaguely confused. Everything felt oddly different, like the air I breathed was tainted. Could it be tainted with the idea that today was the last day that I was going to be human? Today was the last day that I was going to be sick with cancer. After tomorrow, I was going to be a vampire. I just hoped that Liam remembered his promise. I hoped that he would not turn his word against me. I put everything that was ever dear to me in the line so that he can keep his word and transform me into a vampire.
I would die today. I will not see the morning after tomorrow. My family would find me dead in my bed and wail over me. I wonder what my dead body would look like. I wondered what a dead body, settling into vampire form, would look like. Would they notice? Would I twitch or convulse because I wasn’t really truly dead? Would I scream when they bury me in a coffin? Will I shriek in terror when I wake up to the smells of rotted earth and flesh, and total complete darkness? Will Liam hear my cries?
Lying in this bed made me suppose that this was probably the next to last time I will ever have the chance to sleep on my comfortable Egyptian silk covers, the one that Sue had sown me a long time ago. They smelled of her, her motherly scent, of the only mother that I could have possibly known. I would miss Sue dearly. The thought made me feel remorseful. I will be leaving her. Her every effort to help me stay strong and alive will be for nothing. She would believe that I was dead. I was betraying her.
And my parents. I have once believed that they did not care for me. I strongly believed that in fact. I was naught but a ghost to them as I roamed the halls, sick and specter-like. They paid me little attention. For a long time I had craved that dearly. Surely I had enough love from Sue, but was it so much to ask that I needed some love once in a while from my mother and father, or were they so prim and busy that they had no time for their little sick daughter? No, I promised them, I would not feel any harsh feelings towards them. Before I leave them today, I will tell them that I love them, that I always understood the pressure laid on their shoulders, being parents of a child that was doomed to die before their time.
In fact, I was going to do that right now. I got up from the pillows of my bed and stretched. All my brittle bones cracked and popped. I was so pathetic it was frightening, but I soothed myself with the notion that soon, I will be stronger than steel.
There was a light knock on the door. “Come in.” I answered, and then the door opened. Sue came rolling in with my breakfast tray and a steaming mug of her potion. Her round, wrinkled face was tired and pudgy, her hands sore, knobby and red. When I die, will she have work to do besides this? How was her life before she met me, a constant worry? Why did she have to grow so attached to me? Why must I have grown so attached to her? This was not helping the process of so many weeks of preparing me to live without my family!
She set the breakfast table on my lap and then without a word, proceeded with her morning duties of checking my temperature and then giving me my medicine. I stared at her the whole time. I could not help it. Sue was so beautiful in her own way. Everyone had to be, in one way or the other.
“I love you, Sue.” I said suddenly, unable to contain the feeling inside of me. She stopped, pausing midway upon pouring some brown syrup into a spoon. The spoon overflowed and the liquid dripped onto my bed sheet covers. Hastily, she scrambled to clean up her mess meanwhile I watched her. I knew that I have taken her breath away. I knew that I have flustered her. But I did what I did because I must. I cannot die and then never leave her with anything to hold on to when time passes on.
“Why, Morgan,” she said finally, sounding quite teary, “I love you too.”
She fed me the syrup and kissed me on the forehead, afterwards imploring me to eat my breakfast and drink that hated potion. My heart was racing with sorrow. I was going to miss her, my pedantic little Sue.
I dressed for the day. I put on a nice blue taffeta dress that my mother had given me a while back. Maybe this would turn her to my favor. Maybe this little act would help her take me seriously. After all, how could I tell her that I was planning on dying? How would that make me look like? I was not particularly close to her and she knew that too.
To warm himself to my father, who was a tad deal more docile than my mother, I put on my sweet sixteen crown. I like how the tiny diamonds on it shone and accentuated all the prettier areas of my face. My father would like that. My quiet, morose father. How I would miss him.
I exited my dressing room. I will be leaving this house behind. All of its forlorn riches, its despondent childhood memories. This was to be the very last day that I would ever walk these hallways, decorated with the portraits of my ancestors, its high Victorian windows festooned with rich maroon curtains, gamble trim, Italianate decorations and exterior. The smell of ancient dust and old things and death clung to my nostrils, a smell I was so accustomed to. It was the scent of my death, soon coming. It will be my memories that would inhabit these halls. Will they haunt those who loved me, as they walk in my very same footsteps the next day?
The idea was presentiment. What I will do in due time will hurt everyone. If they ever find out that I became a vampire, or my mother would say, gave my soul to the devil, they would see me as a traitor to our Christian family.
They cannot find out. They won’t. I will make sure of it. I will run with Liam in the dead of the night, and leave my family behind. It was a selfish thing to do, but they had no idea…
They never really did.
I found my mother and father in the tea room as I thought I would. They were not facing the entrance to the door, and so I found myself looking at their backs. I approached them quietly, my heart thumping louder than anything else in the room to a point that I would not b surprised if they heard it with their unremarkable human ears, I cleared my throat, announcing my presence. My mother was the first to look around with a calm, welcoming expression, but was it because that the morning was so lovely outside that it was practically impossible to be forlorn like she usually was. She usually looked upon me with a disapproving grimace, but not today? Was it the dress? Maybe it was.
“Good morning Morgan. Happy Birthday.” She commented in her velvety, throaty voice, eyeing my garb thoughtfully. My mother was a beautiful woman, with soft, dainty hands, a slender white throat, and a pretty, peachy face set with large gray eyes, the same as mine, and a tiny, pedantic mouth. Her long ginger hair was tied back in a tight chignon, making her look serious, not a person to mess with. She wore a red hobble skirt and a mid-collar ruffled shirt coat tied at the neck with an ivory cameo. On that cameo was a picture of a face, but I could not see who it was. When my mother caught me looking at it, her little elegant hand flew up to her throat, covering it.
My father had since turned around to look at me. I looked more like my father, for we both possessed brown locks and a fuller, plum-colored mouth. I also had my father’s cleft chin and dimples, and slightly darker skin. His eyes were mysteriously black. My father was a very handsome man, though he has lived a lifetime in the face of abuse despite his wealth. My father’s mother was a Gypsy, and his father was a Scot, both races who were not very accredited in Britain. His large green eyes pierced mine in a way that made me look away.
“Happy birthday Morgan.” He said. He rose from his seat and approached me with his arms extended. I fell into his arms and embraced him. I breathed in his musky scent, the strong aroma of his favorite velvet undercoat, the slightly burnt odor of gunpowder, probably from his usual early morning hunt. The smell made my eyes sting with tears, and I did my best to keep them from falling.
“Morgan, look at you. Eighteen already. You are a woman now.” Mother said. She rose from her seat, pouring me a small cup of tea and handed it to me. I took it gingerly. Her beautiful hands were warm. “You look so beautiful.” She added, curling a lock of my hair around her finger, pulling it gently, and then letting it go again like it was a spring. I wanted to say that I was nowhere near as beautiful as she. My mother was an elegant woman.
“Mother…” said quietly, unsure how the next words would come from my mouth. What I had thought about saying before in my room seemed to easy then. It was too hard now.
“Yes?” she urged me to go on. Her gray eyes, smoky and pretty, pierced into mines. Mines were not smoky like hers. Mines were dull and steely. I waited for a bit, and then brought the cup of tea to my lips and drank to buy me some time.
“I love you. Both of you. And I understand. I understand everything.” I said so quietly that it felt like I was barely breathing. I finished my cup of tea quickly, quite un-ladylike, and then gave the cup back to her. She was staring at me with confusion. So was my father. But what else can I say to them expect that, without giving myself away? I had a sickening feeling that if I were to say anything else; the truth would spill from my mouth like an overturned sack of beans.
When I left, I did not mind when neither of them repeated my heartfelt annotations. I knew, deep in my heart, they were wanted to say the same thing, but went for so long without actually saying they no longer knew how.
Release Date: 05-10-2010
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