writers unite!!!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Elvenwriter, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. Elvenwriter

    Elvenwriter Mmmm, Spam

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Disappeared in the Music
    Ratings:
    +30 / 0 / -0


    Elda was meditating in the forest, typical of elven. She was not just meditating, though. She was wishing that fate would take her and whisk her into an exciting world of fighting, magic, and maybe even love. She willed fate to obey her commands, and soon, she could feel it. Creeping upon her like a shadow creepeth at twilight.

    You see, her birth-given talent had been the ability to bend fate at her will. She was the one and only that she knew that had this talent, and so she knew of it's powers. She did not wish to tempt fate, only to create a new life for her. She knew how risky this could be, but she could not resist.

    Elven are not know to be this impatient! was her thought. Why should I be this way? She had come from a poor family, and the only thing she owned worth value was he glowing mark upon the back of her neck. Wheat did it mean? She was aching to know.

    (please, do not get too violent or lusty. and no cursing please!!!)
     
  2. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Messages:
    15,018
    Likes Received:
    306
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In the hearts and minds of us all
    Ratings:
    +306 / 0 / -0
    Hah, i'll try not to curse :D

    it looks very good so far, i just corrected some mistakes i saw.

    right now it's kind of early to talk about plot to drastically, but I'll look forward to further chapters.
     
  3. Elvenwriter

    Elvenwriter Mmmm, Spam

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Disappeared in the Music
    Ratings:
    +30 / 0 / -0
    haha, well, i don't think you really got the point, but thats okay, obviously your "TFF Nobility"?? you are supposed to Continue the story =) and thanks for the tips
     
  4. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Messages:
    15,018
    Likes Received:
    306
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In the hearts and minds of us all
    Ratings:
    +306 / 0 / -0
    opp... my apologies =0




    It was then that Elda heard a slight brush within the bushes. She did not react- such was a normal sound of the forest. She did react, though, when a tall human broke through the treeline and into the meadow.

    The man was wearing some sort of armor... it looked to be of the Northern Kingdoms- furs paired with thick leathers. His skin was pale and his hair a deep black, reassuring her suspicion.

    He had no horse- meaning that he must have a camp nearby- she thought it foolish to think that he would walk here from the North. His voice was deep and bottomless as he spoke, "Elf! Where is it?"

    Her face, filled with disbelief caused him to continue without an answer, "The Mark of Holden! The mark upon your skin!"

    Before she answered, she thought to herself- was this what fate had in mind for her?
     
  5. Elvenwriter

    Elvenwriter Mmmm, Spam

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Disappeared in the Music
    Ratings:
    +30 / 0 / -0
    She fingered the mark cautiously and felt that it radiated warmth whenever he got closer... curious... very curious indeed. She wondered if he was there to harm or help. how would she possible find out

    "Mark of Holden? What is this you call my blessing?"she did not know if this was reasonable but she took the leap,"how do you dare approach me in such a hostile manner, Northerner??" maybe if he thought she held importance then he would fear her. he seemed to not know what to make of her at first, but then he recovered.
    "Come, I will take you to my camp and show you to my fellow brethren!" Elda hesitated,"I said COME!" he drug her by her arm down the path. (feel free to continue without me, i shall not be able to cont. till morning)
     
  6. Elvenwriter

    Elvenwriter Mmmm, Spam

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Disappeared in the Music
    Ratings:
    +30 / 0 / -0
    (and if you could be so gracious, give me a teensy bit of good rep, thanks))
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Warlock Lord

    Warlock Lord I am a Fashion Statement

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    3,207
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    The Drunken Isle
    Ratings:
    +94 / 0 / -0
    Still being dragged along like a wild animal caught in the firm grip of the battle hardened northener, she soon became aware of voices in the distance. The voices seemed to be in the middle of a heated argument, as she drew nearer she could make out the same deep and bottomless voice of several northener men. upon arriving at the camp, she was able to confirm a total of five other men with similar armour and features as her captor.
    thrown roughly against a nearby tree, she noticed that all eyes were upon her. she tried desperately to return their cold stares, but ended up staring at her bare feet.

    "Wise twould be ta shivey er back up north"

    with a hit to the back of her head, she heard nor saw anything until she awoke.


    (I am falling asleep at the wheel here elvenwriter! sorry i couldnt do better! ;))
     
  8. Elvenwriter

    Elvenwriter Mmmm, Spam

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Disappeared in the Music
    Ratings:
    +30 / 0 / -0
    (last post of the day, i pinky swear)

    Elda's eyes fluttered open and she could feel the ground rushing underneath her. She startled awake and realized she was in a wagon! She cried out when she also saw her hands and feet were tied. The first Northerner was there in an instant.
    "What do you go screamin' about?"
    "Unhand me, you...you... filth!"that was the best she could do. When she was small, she had been able to practice insults with the neighbors, but now her mind was clouded with uncertainty and what seemed like the remnants of a good dose of ether!!!

    "What foul liquid have you forced on me to make me feel so??"Elda demanded
    "Ether"her suspicions were affirmed by another northerner in her midst. She finally got ahold of her surroundings and saw that the wagon was full of nothing but supplies and northerners!
    "Okay, I admit, i have absolutley NO idea what is going on! Will SOMEONE please explain?"
    (goodnight!)
     
  9. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Messages:
    15,018
    Likes Received:
    306
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In the hearts and minds of us all
    Ratings:
    +306 / 0 / -0
    "Explain to ye? An Elven dog?" shouted the original solider from the clearing.

    "Aye! I don't think you're keeping me alive just out of the goodness in your hearts, so out with it!"

    "I won't tell ye a-."

    The solider was interrupted by a larger man, with white, icy hair coming down in clumps upon his face, "Enogh, Asgad. I shall handle this from here."

    "Elf, you are here because your presence has been ordered by the highest authority. Your mark means something- something important. Something was not told of- no one but the High-mage and a few others were told."
     
  10. Elvenwriter

    Elvenwriter Mmmm, Spam

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Disappeared in the Music
    Ratings:
    +30 / 0 / -0
    "So I'm guessing that you are not of the few others?"asked Elda hopefully. She was just dying to know what it meant.
    "'Fraid not lassie!"he answered.Dangit, she thought.
    "What about the others, do any of them know?"she could tell she was starting to sound desperate.
    "Nope, not them either,"he grumbled as she looked about to tear up. He did not like crying, it made him uncomfortable...
    "Who is this 'High-mage' then, what is he like? Do you know if wants to harm me, use me, or help me? What wou YOU do if he wanted to harm a lady like me? Would you let him do it?"she looked into his pudgy face as the questions came spilling out. The tears were flowing freely now. What had she done! This was all her fault! They were carrying her away to the north to a leader that could be the most evil man in Middle-Earth! She waited for answers as this went on in her head. She needed to know!
     
  11. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Messages:
    15,018
    Likes Received:
    306
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In the hearts and minds of us all
    Ratings:
    +306 / 0 / -0
    He looked into her eyes, a harsh look in his eyes. He pretended like he didn't see her crying- "Elf, if there's one thing i know about the High Mage, its this. No one crosses him. If he chooses to kill you- i'll watch without a second thought. Your life means less to me that the life of livestock."

    Well, if there was one thing she wanted to hear- this was not it. She wanted to lash out at him- do SOMETHING to him. But she could not. Her muscles remained locked, whether because of the drug or because of her fear. She simply continued to cry, falling deep into a haze.
     
  12. Elvenwriter

    Elvenwriter Mmmm, Spam

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Disappeared in the Music
    Ratings:
    +30 / 0 / -0
    She decided there was only one thing to do... call on fate again. She did NOT want to, she asked for an adventure and it gave her THIS? She just wanted to have a little fun! But fate had gotten her into this (could fate be blamed) and she hoped it could get her out.

    Here goes...she thought. She pretended to faint. It seemed to work.

    "Humph, there she goes, at least I don't have to deal with her anymore, lets just hope that she lasts for the king. If we came back empty-handed, he would kill us! He said she could manipulate fate just like the Elf-Queen. The reason we never invade Elftown is because of her power, all she has to do when we try to invade is cause lighting to strike over and over till we are all dead!"the others gasped here,"He thinks that if we have another with the Mark of Holden then we will be even.

    "If you ask me(which no one does nowadays, mind you) we wouldn't do any good anyways! The Elven race are swift runners, extremely accurate archers, and powerful warriors. We wouldn't stand a chance!"

    Meanwhile Elda's mind was racing. The Queen had the same power as her. She thought back to her family... Sun Elves.... and she was a Moon Elf. Just like the Queen. It couldn't be possible.... no. It just couldnt
     
  13. Elvenwriter

    Elvenwriter Mmmm, Spam

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Disappeared in the Music
    Ratings:
    +30 / 0 / -0
    feel free to contuinue the sory w/out me, but imma leavin and i hope you dont care if i take the story i started.
     
  14. Elvenwriter

    Elvenwriter Mmmm, Spam

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Disappeared in the Music
    Ratings:
    +30 / 0 / -0
    okay, so you probably don't remember me... oh well. but i'm back. not to socialize. just to share my sroy with the world, so here it is. it's VERY long. don't feel obligated to read (not that you would)


    Eve of Vampires
    Invitation

    How was I supposed to friggin know that vampires shine in the sun, huh? Why would something so disgusting glitter so appealingly? So, obviously I didn’t know this, right? Or else there would be no reason for me to get so upset. It’s not my fault that I had no idea about what…. um, what we… what my… kind…were like. I had no reason to think about it. Me, a middle-class baker’s daughter? Well, sometimes we did supply the prince with bread. It is still surprising to me that the prince, of all people was connected to my vampirization. That man was just like a thief, the little brute. He came into our shop, which was the closest to the castle, and just took whatever he wanted. Sometimes he would take half of my father’s supply for that day.
    And then, when Mrs. O’Flaherty would come near the end of the day looking for a small loaf of grainy bread as a treat to go with her little children’s thin soup, we would have nothing left to offer. I could just imagine her youngest daughter Marie looking up at me with sad eyes when all they had for supper was broth seasoned with last year’s chicken leg.
    Yes, the prince WAS a thief. Taking and never giving back just because he was going to rule our country some day.
    So when he came into the store one day, asking for me, I was stunned into my place. It must have looked like I was surprised in a delighted way. But, I was not, never in a million years would I have anything to do with that prissy boy.
    I had no say about it though. When I heard him asking my father while I was cleaning in the back room, I could feel my father’s aura of pride.
    “Yes, yes, of course, Prince Edward! Let me go ‘n fetch ‘er me self!” Papa came into the back room then and his face turned grim.
    “Evelyn, I know how you dislike that boy, but you mus’ go out there and see ‘em, he wants ter ask you a question.”
    Evelyn. He only called me that name when he was especially serious about something. My name is Eve, I thought.
    “But, Papa” I whined profusely
    “Don’ you ‘But, Papa’ me, young lady! You go out there and see ‘em NOW! I don’ have time fer this. If I wan’ ter make up for ANY of the bread that he jus’ took, then I mus’ get bakin’ right now!” His tone was never scolding, but this was the worst it usually got.
    When he used that tone, I knew then and there that I must do what he said. Not because he would punish me. No, after my mother died, he couldn’t bear to lay a hand on anyone. But, I knew it would hurt him badly if I forced him to keep yelling.
    “Oh, fine then, if I absolutely must!” I stalked out into the store and stood with my hands on my hips in front of the counter. I was fuming.
    “What could you possibly want with me?” I asked him fiercely. He responded like I was flirting with him.
    “Oh, do come now” he chuckled “ I am not so royal that I wouldn’t stoop so low and talk to commoners” it looked like the mere idea of commoners actually disgusted him. Ha! The mere idea of royalty disgusts me! How ironic!
    “That was NOT supposed to sound inviting!” I snarled. To my surprise, he laughed out loud.
    “They said you were a girl with a beastly attitude, but, I didn’t know that they were NOT exaggerating one bit!” he laughed again like it was some kind of extremely funny joke. I pursed my lips even farther, if that was possible.
    “Well then, out with it! I need to go help my father restore our supply of baked goods that YOU took from us without paying one CENT! I hope you know that there are GOOD people out there that actually CAN’T afford it, and here YOU are and you’re the FOULEST person AND the WEALTHIEST person I ever met, and you don’t pay ANYTHING! Mrs. O’Flaherty’s children are going to HUNGRY tonight because we won’t be able to sell her ANYTHING. Much less GIVE it to her for FREE!!!” Once I was finished I was breathing very hard from my rant.
    “Well, then! Are you finished now?”
    “No! You are foul brute who should have to live in conditions like the kind you act like! And you should have to pay! And you don’t deserve to be king! And if you arrest me for saying this I will be GLAD because I won’t have to see your perfect washed and fed little face ANYMORE!” I paused dramatically, “NOW, I am finished!”

    “Well, then, I guess I should tell you what I came here to say; I am expecting you at the palace a six p.m. for dinner tonight with my family. You are to be washed and in your finest clothes.” He said that part in a funny way… like he expected my finest clothes to be rags, or something.
    “And, what if I don’t come?” I countered.
    “If you DO come, then I won’t take from your father’s bakery any longer and I will pay for all the food I have taken in the past” How would I know that he was telling the truth? I asked this question aloud.
    “I signed a contract, it’s right here.” He pulled a piece of parchment out of his pocket and unrolled it. Too bad I didn’t know how to read! I always wanted to learn, but never had the materials to do it. The most I could do was read the rich lady’s market lists when they accidentally dropped them. That little bit would not help me now, and I would rather die than admit to him that he was smarter than me.
    “Okay, then.” I said regretfully and signed the paper above the marked line after I pretended to read it. “I’ll be there,”

    * * * * *












    Apparel

    Little did he know that my finest clothes were actually very fine indeed. Especially for a commoner!
    That night, after trying our best to replenish the bread supplies, my father sent me upstairs to the apartment above the shop so that I could get ready. He gave me permission to wear my mother’s things, since she was my size, when she was still alive.
    When my mother was young, she lived in a grand mansion with her beloved Uncle William. He was a wealthy nobleman who loved her very much. But, when he died, his brother took the will that he had written before it could be read by Ma. Ma was positive that the will had handed everything down to her, because Great Uncle William was very much like a father to her and he had said before that she would get all his things.
    Like I said, Great Uncle Vladimir had gotten all of the money and the estate. Mother was only allowed to keep her personal things that Great Uncle William had given her. Over the years, mother had sold dresses and gems every so often to keep our family going. And now, even though we still had a few gems and dresses left, we were getting poorer and poorer.
    The reason was, Papa could not bring himself to sell ANYTHING that was Ma’s before she died. He tried once, and had taken the beautiful jade silk and velvet gown to the fanciest dress boutique in town and the tailor there was going to pay a hundred gold coins, just for the one dress, but right when he was about to hand it over, Pa jerked back and said,
    “I can’t do it, I just cannot!” and he ran out of the shop with the dress in hand but no gold coins and also with the owner yelling after him, no doubt, concerned for the loss of the fine dress he wanted to own so badly.
    So, back to the story of my… well, my death, so to speak;
    That night, I chose a sleeveless gown of the palest of pinks. It was made of a silk corset and skirt with a chiffon layer over the skirt that flowed into a gentle train behind me. I added a chiffon shawl since the night was a bit chilly (and I had never worn anything without sleeves my whole life).
    My dark black curls were piled on top of my head with a matching velvet ribbon woven through it all intricately. I pinned it up with the last two diamond set hair combs that my mother hadn’t sold.
    For jewelry, I wore my mother’s amethyst ring and pearl necklace. With a final touch, I slipped on two ivory satin slippers, and headed towards the castle. Little did I know that I was dressing up for my death rather than a better life for my father and I.
    The palace was very close to our apartment, so it only took me a few minutes to reach the gates. I walked through the dark night and tried to not worry much about the silly tales of creatures that sucked all of the blood out from you. I told myself that people were just looking to scare little children, and why should I worry about a juvenile bedtime story?
    Believe me, I got plenty of stares from the people in the street. But, the closer I got to the palace, the less people found my apparel odd. It was like they figured that if I was dressed like that, then I MUST have been going to the palace.
    The palace was a truly beautiful place. It was made out of the whitest of stones that shone mystically in the light of the moon. The turrets reached up into the sky in graceful spirals and ended with golden flags that rippled in the breeze.
    The gates were made of shiny silver metal that reflected prettily. I tried to relax as approached the guards that stood at attention there. I cleared my throat as I prepared to speak, but the guards in their entire silver-clad splendor did not even flinch. I cleared my voice even louder.
    “Um, hello? I am Eve, the baker’s daughter. I’m here to have dinner with the royal family.” The guards didn’t move, but one of them seemed to chuckle a bit, and then hide it with a small cough.
    “What is so funny, if I may ask? Prince Edward asked me to come; if you could please go and retrieve him, I’m sure that he could explain it all to you. Do you really want that to happen? I’m sure you will both get rewarded very nicely when he finds that you didn’t let his guest into the gate, thus postponing his beloved meal!” The last part was said very sarcastically. They did not respond by saying anything, but I saw them shift nervously from foot to foot.
    Finally, the guard on the right stepped forward and said, “Ma’am, if you please, he would also be very upset if we called him to the front gate on false pretenses.” His voice was muffled through the thick, fancy helmet he was wearing. I snorted,
    “So, which will you choose, sir? Either way you have a fifty-fifty chance of getting thrown into the dungeon!” I retorted.
    “Well… I’m not sure, I will have to confer with my partner.” He stepped over towards the other guard and they started a whispered argument. This lasted around five minutes, but finally, they reached a decision.
    “Fine, we will take you, but if you are lying, we will personally make sure that neither you nor your father will ever make a decent living ever again.” He paused to let that sink in, “Are you sure you still want us to take you to the palace?”
    “Yes, I am sure! Why else do you think that a baker’s daughter would be dressed like this on a dark and dangerous night, standing in front a the Royal palace?” I was getting impatient now.
    “Well, I guess that is about right, then isn’t it?” He admitted. The second guard finally spoke up,
    “Can we get this over with, please?” He looked extremely impatient and nervous and it seemed he was thinking that if he was going to get fired tonight, then he wanted to do it now, so that he would get home for supper.
    “Yes, please, I am late for my dinner!” I had just looked at one of the high tower clocks in town and saw that it was already ten after six! That was sure not to please the royal family.

    * * * * *







    Royal Palace

    It took quite a long time to get up to the palace. I would have asked the guards how long it was going to take exactly, but I knew that their patience had already been tried quite enough this evening.
    The path to the palace was just as beautiful as the rest of what I had seen. The ivory tiles had been set in intricate patterns and they glistened in the starlight. I watched them closely as we walked towards the next set of pearly white gates. If you were extremely attentive, on could see that the tiles were actually pictures of past wars, treaties, kings, and other major historical events. None of the pictures repeated, and I wondered aloud how long it had taken for the man who had set the tiles to achieve such a wonderful piece of art. The guard that had spoken to me before grunted,
    “It took well over a decade for the whole path up to the palace to be set to the path. Don’t you commoners learn your history? I suppose you folk don’t teach your children how to read, much less the history of this kingdom!”
    I did not like his tone, but even more, I didn’t like the truth of his words. The pictures interested me greatly, and right then and there, I knew that before I died (ha!) I would learn how to read and study the world as best as I could. At the time I didn’t know that I would have much longer than just one lifetime. I could never guess that starting that night, I would have eternity to do whatever I would like.
    Finally, we reached the second set of gates. The night had gotten darker and the next set of guards fidgeted nervously,
    “Who goes there?” the one on the left demanded.
    “Just us, Robert, now don’t get your knickers in a twist! This young lady here says she is expected for dinner at the palace. Do you know anything of this?” it seemed that this was the senior guard, because any time on of the first sets of guards spoke, he was usually it.
    “Yes, actually, but she is a bit late, ain’t she? She was expected at six o’clock, and now it’s already six twenty! What’s your excuse girl?” I had been paying more attention to the nice sturdy carriage and the beautiful horses that were attached, so I didn’t hear the question the first time.
    “Um, I’m sorry, what was that?” I felt stupid as I asked this.
    “Pay attention lass! I said, ‘What is your excuse for bein’ so late?’”
    “Oh! It twasn’t my fault, the guards held me up! Said that they didn’t think that a commoner like me would be expected at the palace! And now I’m late for dinner, and I simply don’t know what to do!!” I tried to sound like a damsel in distress, since I knew that men like these were more likely to help me if they thought that I couldn’t do a thing on my own, which I most definitely could.
    “George! Adrian! Why don’t you ever listen in the meetings each mornin’? If you hadn’t been sleepin’ off your breakfast, then you would’ve heard the Head Guard tell you that this lass was expected tonight!” he scolded.
    “Well… let’s see, umm--” George didn’t sound so senior anymore.
    “Never mind, we have to get her up there quickly, or the blame will be on our backs!” He cut off the other guard, “Fred, can you please get the carriage ready, quickly? She needs to get to the palace as soon as possible.” He said urgently.
    “But, Robert, you know that the carriage is only here for nobles and nobles only!” Fred sounded worried at breaking the rules.
    “Never mind, that! We will get in even more trouble if she is late for supper, haven’t you seen how King Terrance gets when he hasn’t had his sup?” he retorted. I must have looked like I was watching a tennis match, the way I looked from person to person, following them as they argued. They acted as if I wasn’t there, that I was only a thing to be discussed, rather than an actual person.
    “Fine,” Fred muttered quietly, “Whatever you say, boss,”
    He ushered me over to the carriage and opened the door for me.
    “In you go!” he mumbled, not unkindly. I followed his lead and stepped lightly into the cabin and sat down on the padded seats. He checked all of the ropes on the horses, then jumped onto the driver’s seat, took the reigns and shouted,
    “Yip, yip! Let’s go Middy, Tarn! Giddy up!” he yelled these direction pretty much the whole way to the castle. The trip was a whole lot faster now that the two horses were driving us down the path.
    The only downside was that I couldn’t study the road’s tiles at this speed. I tried to watch the road out of the small side window, but all I saw was a white blur as the horses galloped down the path.
    I could watch the landscape as it flew by, though. We weren’t going so fast as that I couldn’t make out perfectly groomed trees, bushes, and gardens. In the light of the moon, it all looked like the strange fairy-world that I was about to enter both unwillingly and unknowingly.
    As we moved, I had a short time to wonder about the queen and king and the rest of the palace. I knew that their son was a foul person, but would they be the same as well? Maybe, with this visit they would pay more attention to my father’s bakery, and promote his business! That would do so much for my family.
    Hope ebbed at me, even though I knew deep down that this was a far cry from possible. Still, a girl’s got to dream something, doesn’t she? Even though all I dreamed about was how to improve Papa’s bakery. And, not beautiful dresses and parties and fancy ball, like all the other sixteen year-old girls my age would.
    We approached the castle very swiftly now, and I could see the turrets and flags and towers grow bigger by the minute. As we got closer, I could see the detail in all of the stone. Each one was carved in a different and beautiful way. I couldn’t help but wonder how such a crude person could live here his whole life, and not be able to be a good man!
    The castle was now looming above me. I could only now realize the vastness of it all. It was a whole five stories tall! Most definitely the tallest building I had seen thus far. There was a curved drive in front of the castle and Fred drove the horses up the path slowly, as if to make up for all the speed that we had used before.
    He came around and opened my door for me. I eased myself slowly out of the door and stared in shocked awe at the building in front of my.

    “Yeah, yeah, I know, ‘It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in my life!’” I did not like his mocking tone as he quoted my exact thoughts, “That’s how anybody who has seen this place for the first time says, so just shush up and follow me.” He proceeded towards the shiny wood front double-doors and eased them open.
    “You comin’ ain’t ye?” he asked.
    “Of course, I am!” I replied stiffly. And with that, I stalked past him into to palace. Once again, I was shocked into place, and I didn’t make it more that a few steps into the entryway.
    Once one entered the palace, there was a wide, grand staircase right in the center. It doubled back on it’s self as far as I could see, while many hallways branched off on each landing. The hallway right in front of me was identical to the ones above. Wide, with a astonishing amount of smaller but still large hallways that branched off.
    I could feel the plush carpet beneath my slippers as I tried out my legs again. I paid more attention to the detail now. The high walls were covered with fancy wallpaper in a deep red design. There were beautiful molds on the corners were the wall met the floors and ceilings. Fred brought me out of my stunned silence as he cleared his voice.
    “Ma’am, we really must be going now, we don’t want to keep the royal family waiting, now, do we?” I cleared my shaky voice,
    “Uh, yes, we should,” I tried to hide how amazed I was at my lush surroundings, but failed incredibly.
    He led me down the hall on the left and through the third door on the right. Left, third door, right. I tried to memorize, in case I needed to find my way out on my own.
    As we entered the room, I was yet stunned again! The high ceilings arched into a graceful dome with pictures depicting angels with bows and trumpets. I was brought out of my shock by a loud and impatient booming voice.
    “Where have you been!?” King Terrance’s voice echoed around the dining hall in all its nobility and robustness.

    * * * * *
    Dinner For Me

    “I apologize, Your Majesty. It was rude of me to be so terribly late, but the guards held me up at the gates, I hope that you can find the mercy in your great heart to forgive me,” I said dramatically.
    “If that is the case, than you are forgiven, my daughter!” the king replied, much calmer now.
    “So, Miss, I heard you came to strike a deal with my son?” the Queen said, not unkindly.
    “Yes, Your Grace, and I was also hoping that you could promote my father’s business?”
    “That would be very fine indeed, we could use your father to supply all of the baked goods at our parties and balls, and pay him double what he earns now! You could even come to live at the castle if you would like!” the Queen sounded delighted with the prospect.
    As much as I would like the last few paragraphs to be what happened, they are not. The dinner went far, far worse. Instead of the delightful and cheerful conversation above, the meeting was filled with snide comments from them and timid muttering from me. This, is more what it was like:
    “Um… uh… Sir… well what had happened was… and there wasn’t much I could really do… the guards wouldn’t let me…” I mumbled and then trailed off into little muttered half-explanations.
    “What is this? Can you not even speak? Do you normally stutter like this?”
    “Well, uh, yes Sir, I can, but, uh, well… I’m sorry I was late!” I blurted the last part.
    “Do you think a King lives to wait on other people?! No!!” he slammed his knife into the table and it stuck there when he withdrew his hand, “We rule our kingdoms, not the other way around!!!” the King scolded me.
    “I truly am sorry, but the guards held me up at the front gate!” I was exasperated at the way things had taken a sudden turn for the worse.
    “So now it’s the guards fault, is it? Full of excuses aren’t you? Are you really that stupid that you would talk about my guards that way in front of me? Are you saying that my staff are inadequate?” He was putting words into my mouth.
    “I said none of those things, My Lord!” I knew that I was fighting a losing argument, so I continued, “You are right, Your Majesty, and if we could continue with dinner, I’m sure you would be grateful, no?” I needed to try to start over, before things got to out of hand.
    “Yes, yes, I am very hungry! Bring out the meat!” He called to an unseen being. Immediately, four butlers came out with swan, boar, cow, and some kind of very large fish that I had no name for. Fish was a delicacy in our kingdom, since we were far from the sea. It was almost impossible for the tradesmen to get the meat out here before it spoiled. But they truly got their money’s worth when nobleman bought it for fifty gold pieces per package!
    “Good, good! This looks very appetizing!” and to my utter horror, he took an ENTIRE boar’s, held it in both hands like a club, and took a ravenous bite. I tasted bile in the back of my throat and lost a little bit of my appetite, but the food was like nothing I had ever tasted before, and I could ate till my belly burst, then I put some in a thick cloth napkin and hid it in my hidden dress pocket. I knew my father would most likely be hungry when I got home, and he would love some of this wonderful meat.
    The Queen seemed to not notice her husband and ate very politely and daintily, like a small kitten. She seemed to notice my eating habits and with a sneer said,
    “Well, you could deplete our entire food store in one night, I think!” My hopes were dashed in that moment, and I just knew that this woman was just as unkind and snobby as her son and husband. I swallowed the food quickly and ran my tongue over my teeth to make sure nothing was stuck in them before I spoke,
    “I’m sorry, but the food is very scrumptious. May I thank you formally for your hospitality.” I tried to sound polite even though she was not.
    “Well! You seem to think that a Queen would put herself into the lowly kitchens just to make you food! I find that very insulting!” She stressed almost every other word to notify me of her full displeasure.
    “I- I’m sorry if it came out that way, but I can tell you honestly that that was not my intent! I’m so sorry!” These people were extremely hard to please!
    “Well, it did, and if you hadn’t apologized, then you would be out the door now, but it seems that I need you for a very important purpose.” The prince spoke this rudely, but I did not notice much.
    “A purpose?” I asked, incredulously. What could he possibly want with me??
    “Yes… but we will not tell you quite yet. I will let you enjoy your meal, while you can.” That did not sound very good to me. I wanted to know what was going on… now.
    “Do you need me in the kitchens, I could work as a baker there, for a reasonable wage, that is.” I knew that his was the purpose they needed me for but I was grasping for anything that wasn’t too bad, instead of the inevitable truth I faced, that I knew must be very bad, indeed.
    “No, it’s not that,” He sounded amused, “but, like I said, I will wait to tell you what it is when you are finished with the meal! Second course!” and with those simple two words, many more butlers came out with dishes of green beans, mashed potatoes, carrots, asparagus, yams, and many others that I couldn’t name.
    “Thank you again, for your great hospitality,” I mumbled, trying desperately to sound sincere, even though I really was far from that.
    “You should be thankful, that we are so merciful to your damned soul.” The King said. I was frozen to my seat as my cheeks flushed in anger. How dare he say something so awful when all I had done was be late for a small dinner?? I just wanted to jump up and smack him on the face so hard that his already red, bloated cheeks would swell like balloons. Later, I found out that he knew something I didn’t and that was he said was going to be true quite soon.
    “I’m very sorry that you think such things of me,” I forced through my clenched teeth. I tried to breath deeply and stay calm. I barely succeeded, as it was very difficult for me to not lose my temper. I could not even swat a mosquito without feeling pain for the death of a once-living creature of God, and this man was calling me “damned”?
    I only ever lost my temper, but never acted on any of the urges that I felt. Like, earlier today, I had wanted so badly to shove the prince out of the bakery, but I knew that that would be unkind (and I would be in very big trouble).
    More and more courses were brought out. Extravagant dishes of fruit, and then bread, (which wasn’t nearly as good as Papa’s) and finally the desert, which I thought was last, but I was wrong. The very last dish was a mixture of lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, and red onions. This was topped with an odd creamy sauce that I had never tasted before, but liked very much. They called it salad when I asked, and answered like I was an idiot not to know.
    I realized that the ingredients for the salad were not expensive at all, and if I could just figure out how to make the sauce, then the bakery could make a fortune by selling it on the side in the shop! Just the thing we needed was a new innovative idea to set our bakery aside from the rest! I could not wait to share this news with Papa. It is too bad that I never got to.
    Finally when we had finished the salad and I had thanked them one final time for their “great hospitality”, the prince cleared his voice. At this signal, ten guards gathered close to my seat on the right side of the long, mahogany table.
    “It is time to share with you the ‘great purpose’ you will serve tonight for me and my family” he said the words deliberately, as to let them sink in.

    * * * * *



    Purpose

    What could they possibly need ten guards for? Was the “purpose” I was to serve to the royal family really that bad that I might try to hurt them? What if it was?
    “I have been secretly courting a beautiful Lady that lives in the neighboring kingdom. I love her more than anything in world,” Yeah? So? What does this have to do with me? I thought. “Recently, we had a little… incident, and this very noble lady has recently been found to be with child.
    “She is a woman of very good stature, and to not marry her would be fatal to both of our reputations. So, I proposed, naturally, and the wedding has been set. The doctors believe that the child is a boy. This could be my only chance to have an heir to my throne. And, I love this woman dearly, as I explained before,” He paused to see if I was getting the gist. I wasn’t. I still didn’t know what they were getting at, and why this concerned me. Also, this would be a highly protected secret, and they were telling a random girl off the street? It just didn’t make any sense.
    “I’m sure you have heard the rumors of dark creatures that haunt the night, searching for victims to suck all the blood out of?” I nodded. This was starting to creep me out. A lot.
    “Let’s call the woman Renee, just for the stories purpose. Renee and I were out on the town one night, at a local noble’s masquerade ball. We left early, for purposes obvious to you now, and walked back up the long passage to the carriage that awaited.”
    Out of the dark, a tall man, seemingly made of stone, with blood-red eyes, deepest of black hair and translucent skin!”
    The man hissed in the most menacing voice I have ever heard and demanded,
    ‘Hand over the girl’, of course, I would do no such thing, under the circumstances.
    ‘No!’ I said, ‘There must be some other way!’, to which he replied that only could I keep the girl if I brought another healthy girl to the back garden of the palace three nights from then, which just happens to be tonight.” I could only stare back at him in utter horror. The most fear that I have ever felt in my entire, short life.
    “No!” I managed to squeak.
    “Oh, yes!” he laughed a purely evil, menacing laugh, “Don’t you see how beautifully this will work out? At the expense of one, miniscule life, an entire Royal Legacy will be borne. Don’t you see? You will die for a great and honorable purpose! You should be thanking me!” Thanking him? I mixed my current, terrorized expression with incredulity.
    I finally realized why the guards were there. The family knew that I would try to escape. And now there was no hope. My entire life flashed before my tear-stained eyes.
    Standing on a wooden stool so I could help my father bake biscuits. Sitting on my mother’s lap while she showed me drawings that depicted a happy story. Me, at nine years old, and I am holding Ma’s limp hand, sobbing unintelligibly. Asking my mother to come back to me. I am standing on the staircase, listening to Pa cry only because he thought I was asleep in bed. Later on, me working in the shop to help us earn the extra money we so desperately need.
    The thing was, I had already had a hard life, why couldn’t they let me keep living it?!
    I then started to accept. I was going to die tonight. I would not see Pa again. I would not share the secrets of salad with him. I would not comfort him in his times of grief. I would not get to marry, or have five children like Mrs. O’Flaherty.
    At least I could try to run… maybe? At that moment I had my head in my hands, sobbing uncontrollably. If I surprised them, maybe, just maybe I could get past!
    At that exact moment, I got up my courage and bolted for the door. I repeated the directions I had memorized before in my head.
    “Get her!!! ALIVE, NOT DEAD! GET HER NOW!!!! NOW, OR I WILL FEED YOU TO THE VAMPIRES, TOO!!!!!” King Terrance was bellowing at the top of his lungs. I ran so fast my legs felt like they had burst into fire. My lungs were about to explode with over-use. But, I knew that my life was at stake.
    I just realized that we would never be safe in the kingdom, or any kingdom close to it. My father’s business that he AND his father had worked so hard for would be ruined. I could not do that to him.
    So, I just sat down. Right there on the ground. And the guards rushed up to me with puzzled faces attached and I knew that they thought that I had admitted defeat. Though, I really hadn’t. I had sacrificed myself for my father. Otherwise, I would have kept running until I got home, gathered up all of our things and left.
    What was that the king had called them? Vampires? Well, I was about to die for my father, as a meal to evil, demonized, bloodsuckers. Called vampires. The simple word made my whole frame shake with violent tremors. My blood ran cold in fear.
    I tried to get back to my feet and walk, but I could not due to terror, so one of the guards carried me in his arms. I tried to imagine that it was my mother, carrying me home, to Heaven.
    That was when it hit me. I wasn’t going to Heaven! I was going to be infected by Vampires and would never - ever see my father or mother again in Heaven. I laughed maniacally, full with hysteria. I laughed and laughed, although there was truly nothing at all funny. I had gone crazy. I had gone crazy and the king had been right all along. I, Evelyn Bakersdaughter, was going to Hell at eleven PM tonight. How fitting. Evelyn dies at eleven. The air was even thicker with my hysterical outbreak of bitter humor.

    * * * * *




    Dinner for Them

    I couldn’t do anything now. Now that I was in the unknown soldiers arms, I was trapped. There was no going back. No saving myself. My newfound insanity died down a bit and I thought about what was going on.
    I was in the dining hall again. The guard was now putting me down on my feat, but gripping my wrists so that I faced outward from him.
    “Feisty one, aren’t you?” The guard growled into my ear. I turned my head towards his face and acted like I was going to lean in to kiss him. He looked astonished but horribly pleased, and he leaned in to react. Suddenly, I turned my head and bit down on his cheek. Hard. I laughed maniacally again as he grasped for his bleeding face. I didn’t run, but I felt satisfaction in letting them know I was NOT weak. Also, I knew that they couldn’t do anything to me, because of the king’s orders.
    The guard called me a name that I had never heard before but I won’t repeat, because I am sure it was NOT a very good thing to say. I turned and screamed shrilly,
    “You can do nor say anything that can hurt me now!!! I will DIE soon anyways!!! But, consider this; I will not die unknowingly!!! I WILL be remembered for as long as this Earth exists!!!” I knew this was probably not true, but to believe it gave me comfort.
    “Shut your dang mouth, girl! You do not belong here, it is best you go quickly and quietly!” One of the guards yelled across to me.
    “Let me take her alone to them,” Edward said. I would not state his title any longer, even if that wasn’t a very long time. He did not deserve to be called Prince.
    “Tie her up tight, I will not have her trying to get away again.” Did he not know that I had already given up? He should have known that I could not do that to Papa!
    “I will not run, and I will not force my father to run away with me!” my voice was still shrill and maniacal. Edward laughed loud and heartily.
    “Silly girl! Did you think your father would be spared? Anyone who would question your disappearance too much is going to be killed. We will tell them that you have come to live with us at the castle, your father, too. And we will tell anyone that asks about them that your beloved neighbors, the… what was it… the O’Flaherty’s? They will have ‘moved to the neighboring kingdom to make a better life for themselves’. All of you will suddenly disappear and no one will know that you were actually killed.” He explained in a singsong voice. “Again, I ask, beautifully planned isn’t it? All of us survive at the expense of just a few small, unimportant lives!” How would he sleep at night? Was all I could think, and as if he could read my mind he said,
    “And the worst I will grieve for you is a light bit of hunger when I have to go the extra two blocks to the next bakery!” Oh. So, my death really won’t mean anything? No one will remember me? I will have vanished off the face of the Earth. Leaving nothing but an empty house and bakery that will undoubtedly be cleaned out. Just like we picked up and left to live a wonderful life in a luxurious palace.
    “What are you waiting for? Tie her up!” The King commanded impatiently, and the guards followed his demeand immediately. I didn’t struggle as they tied my arms and then legs with thick, course rope. I didn’t even move an inch as Edward slung me over his shoulder lightly and carried me off like a sack of potatoes. My silent tears ran down my face, then his back, and finally to the ground with a tiny plop. I whimpered only once, but then covered it up with a cough. I would not show weakness. Even in death, I would be strong.
    He took me down the length of the hallway and out of stained glass double doors at the very end of it. Outside, I was met by the strange fairy-world again. Moonlight reflecting on flowers piled on top of more flowers. The thick perfume reached my nose and I sneezed. In case you didn’t know, it is very unpleasant to sneeze while hanging upside down. My head felt shock and blur for a split-second and then the feeling went away. The tears made a different sound on this path that wound through the thick perfume of roses, lilies, lilacs, and many more foreign ones I could not name.
    We finally reached a parting in the path where it widened into a perfect circle. Three people were waiting there for us. Two men and a woman stood without moving at all, not even to blink. I felt disbelief as I was watching. They were utterly beautiful, and I knew Edward had left this out because he didn’t want to feel shame for lusting after the woman that stood before me.
    She had golden blonde hair too gorgeous even for a Queen. Her body made tight, but soft curves into an appealing shape. The only thing that was disgusting to me was her blood-red eyes glowing faintly in the dark. I knew that any man who saw her would still want her, though. I didn’t want to look at the men, for fear of a much worse result on me. They were about to KILL me for, goodness sake! Why wouldn’t they at LEAST let me hate them?
    Edward dropped me on the floor, leaving blood on my elbows and knees. He ran back to the castle as fast as his legs would carry him. Go, I thought. Save your foul soul!
    Finally, my eyes drifted reluctantly to the men. I gasped lightly. One was just like the prince described. Long midnight colored hair that fell over a heart-shaped face. Infamous red eyes, skin looking hard as stone. His fit muscles showed through his tight canvas shirt.
    But I was not expecting what I saw when I slowly turned to look at the other man. I was immediately intoxicated. I could smell sweet perfume rippling off of his body in small waves. His dark dirty blonde medium-length hair was ruffled in the wind. His ivory skin glowed slightly as he stood just right in the moonlight. His muscles were not as large as the black-haired man, but they most definitely were still there. What was this feeling? I had never felt it in my life before! I could not quite catch my breath. My heart was fluttering like a humming bird’s. I was shaking, but not in fear. I felt, oddly… safe! How could that be? He was going to help KILL me!!! It was insane, but I still felt it. I wanted him. I wanted to rush up to him and wrap my arms around his stone neck. I wanted him to kiss me. I would have tried to shake the thoughts out of my head, but I could not take my eyes away from his frame to do just that.
    He was actually the one who brought me out of my trance. He tried to meet my eyes, and I followed his lead.
    There was instant horror, and I was back. How could I have ever loved those eyes? He had red eyes, the color of blood. I HATED him. He was going to take me away from my Pa. He was going to take my father away from his business. My lusty stare quickly morphed into a glare of the utmost hate. I snarl ripped from the deepest part of my vocals that I didn’t even know was there. I gritted my teeth until I thought they would grind to dust under the pure pressure.
    The blonde man sauntered up to me, like a mountain lion. He stood in front of me for a whole entire minute.
    I tried to snarl like I did before, but it seemed that that was a thing that I could not control. And now I was afraid. He was going to do it now. I saw it his bloody eyes.
    He sauntered the next two steps and did something that surprised me most of all the things that had put me into shock that day. I didn’t expect it to end like this. I thought that it would end with them all wrestling me down to the stone path, tearing me to shreds and sucking the blood out of me. That is not how it happened.
    “Follow the plan, Tristan” The woman’s voice trilled lightly like harpist’s quick fingers, “We need this!” she warned.
    He put one cold arm around my waist slowly, and I was back to breathing hard and a stuttering heart. My eyes nearly rolled back into my head from his smell alone. I tried to make myself fight it, but I could not.
    He saw that I was not going to react, and he slowly slipped the other arm around my waist and pulled my body toward his. I think I actually went with him on my own accord, but those last moments aren’t so clear now.
    He leaned over slowly into my neck and breathed in my… scent? That is only thing I could think of to explain it. He kissed my jaw lightly (this did not help the situation with my heart) and nuzzled my neck with his cold forehead. He then whimpered like he was about to do something that he was being forced to do. Didn’t he want to kill me? I couldn’t believe that the monster was whimpering over me.
    Then finally, he whispered the last words I heard as a human,
    “I’m sorry,” and then he opened his jaw around my neck and inserted his perfectly pointed, venomous teeth. He sucked gently, as if it would help my situation. His cold hands pulling me in on the small of my back were the last things I felt before I was vampire.

    * * * * *












    Burning

    At first, all I could feel was my senses sharpening. Except that it would come and go one by one. First, each of my nerve endings intensified. I could feel every pore on Tristan’s skin as he took his teeth from my neck and swept me into his arms like a baby. And it was gone.
    Then, I could see each individual petal on each flower in the garden… all at once. I could see a caterpillar wrapping itself in its cocoon on one side of the garden and a tiny mouse peek out from the bushes at the other end. I could still see every detail even though he was sprinting very fast now. And it was gone.
    I could taste every course that I’d eaten before on my tongue, and realized the thought of food made me want to vomit. So I did, all over the smooth path. I felt much better once there was no food left in my stomach. And it was gone.
    I could smell each small scent in the garden, and immediately felt very overpowered. I could smell Tristan’s odd perfume and finally name all of the scents that made his particular smell. He smelled like sun and rain at the same time. That’s because he smelled like heat and warmth, while he smelled fresh and new. I breathed it in and immediately relaxed. And it was gone. I wanted it back!
    “Don’t do that!” He warned gently. I was shocked at his spoken word.
    “Do what?” I asked, shocked.
    “Don’t fall asleep. It will only make things much, much worse” His mumble of a voice broke. I didn’t know why, but I know now that he was concerned with my well being.
    “Why didn’t you kill me?” I asked, suddenly angry, “You KNEW I was going to be in pain! Why would you leave me alive just so that I could lie in agony! Who would be so cruel as to suck almost all the blood out of a person, just to let them die with venom in their veins! YOU are a cruel, hateful, WORM!” worm? I guess it was the only thing I could think of.
    I could see the pain in his features and it looked like he wanted to CRY! Could vampires cry? I thought not, or else, with his expression, he would be sobbing huge, wet tears.
    “I know,” he screamed. Just one phrase! Whatever, I don’t care if he thought that that could cover the pain. And then I realized that his mouth and expression did not match the volume of his voice.
    It had sounded like a boom of thunder. But, his lips barely moved, and his expression hadn’t changed. I concluded that my ears must have been taking their turn with the odd intensity.
    I knew immediately after I had thought about it that I was right. The wind sounded like a tornado in the trees and his quick footsteps sounded like angry stomps against the pavement. I covered my ears to block the sound, but it barely muted it. And it was over.
    That was when the pain finally started. My neck felt hot like I had a fever. I could feel the dull heat spread to my toes and scalp like when you drink something hot.
    “Um, I think I’m getting sick…” and then I realized how stupid that sounded. Vampire venom must be like having the Black Death that had killed my great-grandfather.
    “That’s part of what happens, it’s normal,” I laughed at his word: normal! Nothing was normal anymore. His voice still sounded pained, though. So, maybe it wasn’t normal.
    “Oh.” That was all I could say in response. The heat was making me sleepy, and I drooped my body against him and laid my head against his cold, stone chest.
    “I said DON’T relax!!!” His voice was fierce and it jerked me awake, “I’m sorry, but TRUST me, it will be better that way!”
    “Ha! Trust YOU?” I laughed. Why should I trust HIM?
    “I know you have don’t have any reason to do anything I say right now, but just try, for mine and your sake,” He said, very convincingly, so I stayed awake, even though it must be extremely stupid to do anything he said.
    “Alright,” and I tensed my muscles for the extreme pain I was supposedly going to feel soon. All I felt was heat like I was lying on the grass on a very sunny day.
    “Hold in there, we will get there soon,” He said, trying to stall me from falling asleep again.
    “Sure, sure,” I yawned. I expected him to yawn too, just as a human instinct, and when he didn’t even flinch, I reminded my self that he wasn’t human. I just had to look into his eyes to show myself that.
    The landscape changed, and turned into rolling hills. There was an abandoned barn in the distance, and it was getting closer fast.
    I felt hotter and hotter, and it was starting to get uncomfortable. I squirmed, and he noticed,
    “I know, I know, try to stay still,” His voice sounded like it was trying to calm a child. But, I couldn’t. It was getting extremely hot.
    “Ahh, ow! That hurts!” I flinched as a flame of heat licked my throat.
    “ARGH!” I shrieked. It was getting alarmingly hot now. My whole neck seemed to be under extremely hot fire. I screamed even louder as the fire spread down to my chest.
    It had reached my heart, and I wanted to die.
    “Kill me! Please! I KNOW you can! PLEASE!!!!! KILL ME NOW! DO it NOW! AAAARRRGGHH!” I shrieked and squirmed out of control now. I kicked and thrashed at his stone body. It didn’t phase him in the slightest.
    “KILL! ME! NOW! PLEASE” I shrieked words of suicide over and over again. “N-O-W! NOW! DO IT!” I could feel my heart turn to ash underneath the heat. But, it still burned. I closed my eyes and gritted my teeth. My sight went black, but I could still feel the pain. I could feel the fire finally finish burning my heart all the way through. But, it did not dull at all when my heart was gone. It kept going, and going, and going.
    The pain was now around my belly-button area. I jerked back and forth in… whose arms? I couldn’t remember anything! I didn’t know who I was!!! I wanted to know what was going on and I wanted to know my name!
    “WHAT is my NAME?” My words came out in shrieks every so often because of the pain. No answer. I could feel his cold, hard chest against me. Why wouldn’t he tell me my NAME! I needed to know! I deserve to know. After all, it WAS my NAME!
    “Who ARE YOU?!” I shrieked. Still there was no answer. A feral snarl ripped out from my chest like it was the most normal thing in the world.
    The fire was spreading again. It was eating my legs!
    “CAN’T YOU SEE THAT I AM ON FIRE???? PUT ME OUT!!!” I couldn’t remember how I had gotten this way, either. I thrashed my arms around till they found my neck. It was the source of all the pain, after all. I felt two deep, precise incisions. I scratched at them as hard as I could. I needed to get the venom out! NOW! It was eating my body away in pain. I scratched till I could feel a hot, wet substance on my fingers. I still was blinded by fire, so I couldn’t se it.
    My mind told me the liquid was blood, but I knew that was wrong. I tried to search deeper into my own mind. VENOM. That was what it is. I quickly tried to wipe the disgusting stuff onto my dress. My beautiful dress! It was most likely ruined by now, and that made me sorry. My mother’s last gift to me was most likely ripped to shreds.
    I couldn’t think of anything else to do to help the pain, so I kept tearing at the skin around the two bites. Suddenly, to cold hands pulled my own away from the holes.
    “Don’t do that!” The voice said, scolding, “I have to put you in here!” he explained as he laid me down into a shallow pit and closed the doors.
    “I will come back to get you in ten years. When you have cooled down and become one of us.” He told me in a comforting, muffled voice from the outside. It was VERY far from comforting.
    “TEN YEARS??!?!?!” I shrieked in the loudest voice of all.
    “Yes.” For the first time today, his voice sounded cold and hard, “If I hadn’t inserted the venom JUST right, then it would be on hundred. Like the rest of us had to endure” Wait. I had just caught on. BE one of THEM? I finally understood their intention.
    “NO!!! KILL ME!!!” I sobbed through the blackness and fire, two things that don’t naturally go together, “PLEASE...KILL… ME!!!!” I did not WANT to be a vampire.
    The pain had finally engulfed my whole body.
    “ARGH!!!!” I thrashed as much as possible in the small space. It HURT. BAD.
    “Goodbye, Eve. I will let you out in ten years. Trust me, okay? Please?” His voice sounded like a weak beg.
    “Never!” I couldn’t trust THAT! A deep, grim sigh seeped through the cracks of the tiny cellar.
    “I’m truly sorry. Goodbye.” And he left. Just like that, and right then, I couldn’t even car, because of the excruciating pain. My body was slowly hardening, and my throat ached with everlasting thirst. I did not know how I could possibly last through this fire for TEN YEARS.
    And the purpose behind the pain made it even worse. I was going through all that stuff so I could change into a full-fledged MONSTER.
    “No!” I groaned weakly, “Kill me!” My voice croaked from over-use, “I don’t want to live anymore!” I still thrashed involuntarily. I was so tired. And I was so HOT! And most of all, I knew that I had not gone through one hour of this extreme pain. And I had eighty-seven thousand MORE hours of this.
    His footsteps were gone, though, and I knew he was not coming back for a long time.
    The pain never died down, or dulled until he said it would. And, I never got used to it, either. The fire raged for another nine years and three hundred and sixty-four days before it begun to do what I had hoped for. I knew it was time, because every day, I scratched the numbers in the dirt floor with a rusty nail that had fallen from the boards. I had to leave the nail in, because I still couldn’t see, and I needed to know where to make the last mark.
    I never counted the marks after the first seven months. I knew it was useless. And, now, the only thing I had enough mental and physical span for was writing the tally mark down, rolling over away from the nail, and seizing up in the pain again.
    The thing that surprised me, was that I didn’t feel a need for food in the whole time I was in there. I didn’t ever REALLY want water, even though the fire only got stronger each day. If I did not want water, then what was it that my scorched throat was craving for? I knew the answer, but didn’t want to say it out loud.
    The answer was blood. I wanted blood SO bad, but I couldn’t have it! I was stuck in here, and couldn’t bust open the door, because I was to busy being in pain.
    Finally, when the second to last day came, I didn’t even know that it was time, because I had given up on counting the days I marked. But, then, I could feel a slight part of my toes that let up the heat. It wasn’t much, but I could feel it there. Then, the pain in my entire feet started to fade away the next hour. I scrambled to feel the marks. There were many, and it took my two hours of extreme concentration in which my lower calves got a tiny bit better.
    I finally finished counting a long time later. Three thousand, five hundred and forty-nine tally marks. Tomorrow was the last day! I banged my head against the shallow ceiling when I looked up in surprise. It was FINALLY over.
    I KNEW that it was ending when I began to see the place I was in with very blurry vision. Then it just got better. My legs were now almost better as I sat up. My eye-sight was better than it was before already. I could look at the nail farthest from me and see all of the tiny grains in the wood.
    Then, when my body finally reduced to a dull ache all over, I reached up to test the cellar door. It was locked. I was BETTER now! I wanted out! I didn’t have to be locked up in here anymore! I was finished transforming into a monster now. In my utter fury, I banged my hand against the door. To my surprise, the whole door was reduced to sawdust with a single shove with my new hand. I had a new hand, but now it was time to start a new life.
    I lifted my aching body out of the cramped whole and stood in the old, abandoned barn.
    “Hello, Eve, I see you have finally come around,” It was Tristan.

    (Emma and Lauren, the beginning is for you, hope you’re happy) =)
    One Clan Left
    “Why couldn’t I fall asleep? In the beginning” My voice tinkled like a silver wind chime. I was lying of the ground of the barn, and it was the only question out of many that I could think of at the moment. I wished that I could be thinking clearer to ask a better one, but that was it.
    “You choose THAT one first? Out of all of them that could be swimming around in your head right now?” He echoed my thoughts. He was leaned the back of his head against the wall and smiled at me. I glared back.
    He may seem to have some odd infatuation with me, but I hated him to the core. I detested the fact that he was the only one that I could ask my questions of.
    “Yes, it is,” I declared boldly, “Do you have a problem with that?”
    “No, I just thought you would think of something more interesting.” He paused, “Did you notice how all during the whole transformation, not including the beginning, you weren’t able to slip in and out of consciousness?”
    “Yes,” This had been the worst part. I couldn’t even dream to get away from the fire and pain while I was in the cellar.
    “That’s because, something deep inside of you knows that if you were to fall asleep, then you would die. When you sleep during the process, the venom loses control and goes overboard. It keeps multiplying at an extremely fast rate, because your immune system is not as alert to the infection so that it can slow the venom down just enough. Finally, once your veins are fit to burst with venom, your brain terminates itself in confusion. You would have immediately died if you had fallen asleep.
    “But, in the beginning, before your body realizes what is happening to it, you get tired from fighting the invisible war of identities underneath your skin. Did you feel yourself wanting to slip into a nice warm bed and fall asleep?”
    “Yes…” I said slowly. This made so much sense I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before.
    “Well, if I hadn’t made sure that you didn’t go to sleep a decade ago on the way here, then your body would be an empty shell, buried in some graveyard back at your old home.” he paused… and I could feel an ‘I told you so’ coming on. He seemed to contemplate it, and then decide against it.
    “Do you understand that part now?” He asked me.
    “Yeah, but why did it take ten whole years?” I asked, and I said the words, the excruciation came back to my memory and I flinched.
    “That one we don’t know. We are trying to understand the anatomy of vampires, but the work is going very slowly because of the lack of proper technology and knowledge.”, he looked thoughtful, “But, my theory is that the vampire venom is intelligent. I think that it is actually an extremely small, but still living thing. It wants to infect people, but only those it thinks has ‘proved themselves’, you see? Because if it were like old legends say, ‘three days’ then anyone would want to become a vampire! Even though the pain is horrible, three days wouldn’t be nearly as bad as ten whole years.” That made sense, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was one hundred percent right. At least, I wouldn’t bet on it being wrong.
    “That leads to my next question. Can anyone become a vampire?” I had wondered why they had chosen me. If it was because I was the only one in the area that could even become one of them, then that would make a lot more sense, right?
    “No. Only a few in million people have the right make-up to become a vampire. That is the only reason you are here. We need anyone to join us that can. As you see, there are only three of us existing on the Earth today, well, now four. So, when we find someone who has the ability to, we need him or her to join us. We are close to extinction, and Gwendolyn will not let that happen. Oh, right, you don’t know the members of our… clan.” He hesitated, “Did I answer your last question well enough?”
    “Yes.” It wasn’t completely sufficient, but I really wanted to know about the rest of them. After all, I was going to spend the rest of my life with them. That made me wonder. How long would my life be? I wanted to ask, but I let him go on.
    “Okay, so there is Gwendolyn. She doesn’t have a surname. We just call her Gwen… or sometimes, I also call her Control Freak. Just a whole bunch of variations of her name, because its sort of a mouthful isn’t it” He waited for me to answer, so I gave a stiff nod, and he continued, “She was born around one hundred years ago. She was a wife of one of the knights in King Arthur’s court. When he went away on a mission one day, Jay- that’s the other vampire with us- came and transformed her. He had watched her for a long time, and wanted her with him. At that time, he didn’t know about the limitations of vampirization. He says it was fate that brought Gwen to us. Gwen and Jay are mates, by the way.” He was talking very fast and I didn’t even know whom King Arthur was.
    “So, now onto Jayaditya. We just call him Jay for short, though. Jay was born in a large Ancient Indian empire called the Mauryan Empire. He lived under the rule of a blood-thirsty (not literally) king named Ashoka.
    “Ashoka started a brutal war with the neighboring kingdom, Orissa. Jay had been in the battle and had been struck down by a fierce warrior. There was a vampire flocking around them, flitting from person to person lying on the ground, and sucking a bit of the fresh blood that was left out of each person. This vampire we later researched and found was named Arian. Arian was a large-built man that was infected at the beginning of time, but was shredded and burned by beings I will tell you about later in 100 BC. Arian had not ever knowingly infected a person, and so he didn’t know the effects he had on Jay. Jay was buried in a large pit with many other soldiers because he was thought to be dead. One hundred years later, Jay dug himself out and began his work on researching vampires.
    “It took him many years to try to find all the small details we know today about vampires. He had to infect three people to finally discover that sleep is fatal during the change to vampire. It took him many MORE years to find that only about one in every million could be infected and changed.
    “Jay’s dream is to one day be able to live among humans without killing them on contact. He wants to find a cure for the thirst of blood. Mainly though, he wants to be a scientist and share his knowledge with the world. He wants to help other people live better.
    “The could be no better man for the job. To prove my point, I ask you to look at your skin as closely as you can possibly look.” He implored. I did.
    I gasped out loud. My vision just kept zooming in further on one spot on my forearm. Now I could see extremely small squares that made up my entire arm. I zoomed in farther. The little squares had even smaller parts to them. There was a center hub that seemed to be sending information and signals to the other ones. I looked closer, and saw tiny strands of… I didn’t know the name. I told myself that I would learn it someday.
    I finally zoomed back out to regular view. I expected to feel dizzy, or at least… something. But, it felt just as normal as changing from walking to running to walking again.
    “Wow!” I gasped. I couldn’t comprehend how much I had been missing of my OWN body before.
    “That is exactly why Jay wants to be a scientist, because he can tell what is wrong with a person just by looking at a sample of the infected body part.”
    “I can see why he would like to go into that profession” I admitted.
    “You know, he knew the cure for the Black Death, but he couldn’t get near enough to the humans at that time to tell them the secret? At that time in his life, he wanted to cure the disease for it more than anything in the world. He wanted it even more than he loves Gwen. And that is MOST definitely saying something.”
    “What is the cure?” I asked. I could have made a lot of money if I had known the answer to that back when I was human.
    “It’s something called sulphanimide, or something like that. I wouldn’t know. Science doesn’t interest me nearly as much as it does Jay. He says it is the first of a series of antimicrobial drugs that he concocted,” I was surprised how little he knew about someone’s work hat he had been around his whole vampire life… which I was guessing was a very long time.” But now, I didn’t care so much about his roommates, but a different person entirely. Himself.
    “So, what DOES interest you? Tell me about yourself!” I asked him. He looked grim.
    “You don’t want to know about me.” He didn’t leave it open for questioning. I opened the subject, and he slammed it closed.
    “Alright…” I trailed off. This was a little bit awkward.
    “So… are you ready to meet them?” That took me completely off guard and I had to recuperate my mind.
    “Uh… sure, I guess, let’s go” I sounded dumb.
    “Alright, just follow me, then,” and then he sprinted gracefully toward the door in one lithe movement.

    * * * * *










    Sea Woman

    It felt good to race along the beautiful landscape. I could feel every blade of grass with my new body. I could see things that I hadn’t seen before. There was a new species that I saw floating along in the air. It was just like a little insect that let the wind carry it away. That made me wish that I could transform into the bug and fly away in the wind. Then maybe I could hope to get away from my body. I was a vampire, and I was NOT happy about it.
    Although, being a vampire DID feel kind of nice. I liked the feeling of my strong skin flexing over my rock-hard muscles as I ran. I knew that I could run forever and not feel tired. I could run so fast that water would not even stop me. I discovered this as we crossed a lake that was smack-dab in the middle of the path to Tristan’s “family” (and now mine, I tried to remind myself half-heartedly).
    I did not know how I had not noticed Tristan running over the water before. I guess I was in too much pain to notice much of anything around me. When I saw the lake in front of us, I started to veer towards the easier path. But he just kept going straight. When he noticed me stop, he took a sharp turn, ran back to me and stopped right in front of me.
    “You okay?” he asked.
    “I –I think so… but we have to go that way,” I pointed, “to get around the lake,” I said.
    “No we don’t. Follow me!” he took my hand and pulled me towards the water. He ran as fast as we could go, which was pretty fast. And when we came upon the water, I could feel it breaking on my heels, but when my feet first contacted with the water, it was like it was trying to realize that my feet were there before it could let physics take over.
    We were like those little “water skeeters” as Papa would call them. That slid across the water without breaking through. They are so light that they didn’t even break through water. I was speechless when Tristan looked back at me and smiled,
    “So, what do ya think?” His voice was loose, like a countryman. Like Papa’s. I tried to push the thought to the back of my mind. I didn’t want to add my worries for him on top of my other ones that currently existed.
    I ran forward as fast as I could to him, which meant that I could run faster than him by a long shot, and pushed him playfully. To my surprise he fell over on the water and broke the surface. I couldn’t help it, so I laughed out loud. It was so comical to see him with his hair all wet, bobbing up and down in the middle of a lake.
    “Hey!” He yelled at me, not unkindly.
    “Hey, what?” I asked through my bursts of laughs. I had forgotten to stop running (backwards, so I could watch him) and so I ran back to him. I had forgotten that the only reason I was on top of the water was because of my speed, so when I stopped right beside his head, my feet broke the surface and I fell into the water. I expected to meet cold, frigid water, but instead, the water felt just the same temperature as the air: breezy warm, with a tiny chill. This was my favorite temperature.
    I had just realized all of the things that I could discover now that I was a vampire. I could travel the world! I could do whatever I wanted to, and never worry about anything, except the slight problem that I had to suck human blood to sustain myself. And then the idea hit me. Right in the middle of a lake with Tristan now laughing at me. Did it have to be human blood? I had seen an animal bleed before, hadn’t I? When a wolf had gotten into Farmer Todd’s sheep pen, it had killed two sheep before Todd could get the wolf out of the pen by clanging a bunch of pots with metal spoons. It had bled into the ground and soaked it through with red stain. Just like humans!!! Tristan must have noticed the look of epiphany on my face, because he stopped laughing.
    “What is it?” he sounded a little bit worried. I decided that I could trust him with my new idea. Animals wouldn’t be nearly as bad as fellow humans!
    “I’ve got it!” I said.
    “Got what??” He asked, eager now.
    “I solution to all of our problems! Instead of human blood, we can drink the blood of animals! Jay could be a scientist. Gwen could marry a kind, wealthy man. I could travel the world!!” I was getting really excited. Tristan had a dumb look on his face,
    “What… is it not good?” I asked, disappointed now.
    “No! No, that’s not it. It’s just… how come I hadn’t thought of it before?” Now he was excited, too. My face lit up again.
    “We have to get to Gwen and Jay so that we can tell them the good news!” I immediately started grasping the water, trying to get back up on top again. Tristan laughed at me. I frowned and asked,
    “What is so funny?”
    “Silly, the only reason you can run on water is that you started out that way!” he burst out laughing again.
    “So how do you do it, O Mighty Intelligent One?” I asked sarcastically.
    “Easy, you will just have to swim!” he talked like I was so stupid for not knowing this.
    “Well, you HAVE had like a century or two to get this right, haven’t you? I’ve had less than a day!” I whined. I did not like the idea that he was so much older than me. If a regular person were that old, they would crumble to dust on the floor!
    “That certainly is true. But we need to get going so that we can tell Gwen and Jay what we know!” he started swimming off into the distance.
    “But I don’t know how to swi…” my voice trailed off as he kept going,
    “I want you to try and figure this one out by yourself,” his voice gurgled from the distance. He was barely talking out loud, but I could still hear him with my new more-than-perfect ears.
    “Easy for you to say,” I mumbled and his booming laughed echoed from his spot on the shore. I didn’t know how to swim, because I had never had a reason to learn. There wasn’t any body of water large enough to learn where I lived. I tried to doggy-paddle, but I just felt ridiculous and stopped immediately. Then I had the idea to go under water and see how the fish did it. Sounded good enough to me!
    So, I ducked my head under and focused my vision on the bottom of the clear lake (my new eyes did were not bothered by the water). There were hundreds of them, swimming around, big fish eating smaller ones. Then I tried to pull my mind away from shock and awe and watched their technique.
    The fish waved their tails and bodies back and forth and flipped little fins on their sides. I tried this and failed miserably. I knew that I looked insane from their view. To them, I was a perfect “human” that was trying to swim like them, waving back and forth ridiculously, trying to propel her body forward. I gave up, and was about to call desperately for help, when I saw a green thing flick through the water, I watched him more closely, and my eyes caught each small movement it made. I tried to pull it’s name out of my head, and I finally got “frog”. It was a name a few merchants used for disgusting slimy meats they sold to vendors on the streets.
    It curled its back legs in and flicked them out far, pushing the water and streaking forward. Also, it swept its front legs out in a curved motion and brought them back in towards its head. It repeated this motion over and over to go extremely fast through the water.
    I tried to duplicate THIS motion and was ten times more successful than trying to imitate the fish. My new body adapted this form of movement very well and I streaked through the water at a thrilling pace. I swam all the way to the bottom of the lake and discovered what was there. There were long seaweed plants that bound my legs together as if I was wearing an extremely tight skirt. That didn’t stop me, though. I flicked my legs, getting a little closer to the fish-like movement. I pushed my arms back against my sides, my long, curly hair flowing behind me. I swam to a far end of the lake and found a connecting stream. I swam down far until I reached the sea about an hour later. I just kept going!
    I reached a large rock in the foggy ocean and sat on it, basking in the delight of my new capability. I had always wondered about the mysteries of water and swimming. Now I knew!
    Then, all of the sudden, I humongous fishing ship came out of the fog and topped next to the rock. A man jumped out and started towards me on the small rock island.
    “Are you okay Missy? I saw from the…” his voice trailed off when he saw me. I realized in horror that my top had fallen off in the water! I immediately covered my chest as well as I could with my arms.
    “Go away!” I shrieked in embarrassment. Also, my throat was burning horribly from the faint smell of his blood. I did not want to kill anyone just yet.
    “You… you… you got a tail!!! Like a FISH!” He looked at me in wonderment. I realized that my seaweed “tail” must look slimy and fish-like to him.
    “Go. Away.” I ordered. I still didn’t have a top on, and I knew that I must have a new beauty about me like the rest of the vampires. My throat was burning horrifically, but I could not jump back into the water until I was sure that he was not there to watch me go.
    “You are a Sea Woman!!!” He screamed, and then jumped back on his boat. Later I would find that the stories of me had traveled far and wide. The turned the name Sea Woman into Mermaid, and said that Mermaids were strangely beautiful women who were half fish, half human. Later I would laugh at this, but then, I was horrified. I jumped off my rock when I was sure that they weren’t watching and swam quickly to the river.
    I had to steal a thick fishing jacket from a small boat that had crashed on the shore. I could NOT go back and see Tristan like that!! I also took a pair of light pants for when I got unstuck from the seaweed. Then I swam as fast as I could until I reached Tristan, waiting impatiently on the shore,
    “Where have you BEEN? We have to get going!” He scolded.
    “I just went for a little swim…” I replied lightly.

    * * * * *








    Meeting

    We picked up running immediately, and I couldn’t help but wonder what Papa was going through right then. I finally decided to voice my problems out loud, in desperate search of answers.
    “Do you have any idea what happened to my father?” I asked.
    “Well, what did Edward, or whatever his name is, say he was going to do?” I knew that he knew full well what Edward said. I could hear from a mile away if I wanted to, and I was almost positive that Tristan could too!
    Then that gave me the idea. I could listen for Papa, and try to hear what was going on with him. I stretched my hearing as far as it could go, and waded through all the different noises. First I could just hear the town muttering as one, and then I filtered through each conversation.
    I could hear Mr. Byron talking with his ‘friend’ Priscilla (the dancer at the local bar) while his wife Elizabeth was gone. And then the understood that Priscilla was his wife now… and they had had five children. Elizabeth had died.
    Just the last time I was in town… oh. Right then I realized that I had forgotten that even when I wasn’t in town to live with my tight-knit community, life still went on with everyone else.
    A while later, I followed the voices to my old home and Papa’s old bakery. Two people were talking right next to the door.
    “Oh, don’t you wish that the Marlin and his daughter…what’s-her-name, were here?” A middle-age woman asked.

    “Evelyn. Jessie, Eve was her nick-name,” Another woman replied.
    “Well, I was just going to say that I sure do miss their baked goods! They really left in a hurry didn’t they?”
    “Yes, they did! And so did the O’Flaherty family! I guess they both decided to take up residence somewhere else. The least they could have done was fix up the place first! They must have had a wild goodbye party before they left. Their house was left with windows broken and furniture smashed!” The woman gossiped on.
    “Yes, surely they did. I mean, look at it now, everything boarded up like that. The guards that were walking by yesterday ten years ago told me that the house and shop couldn’t be used again due to the harsh conditions that it was left in.”
    “Wow!” the lady gasped. Soon after, the two women moved on to a different topic and I tuned out. The town must be desperate for something exciting to happen if all they had to talk about was last decade’s news!
    I bitterly thought about how their next news could be a man or woman who was violently murdered by a rabid animal. Possibly an animal with pointy teeth, and maybe black hair. I could hear them now:
    “Did you hear?! Sammy was killed last night!” one of the women would say horrifically.
    “What?? He was my cousin’s son!” Then the second lady would start crying. The first woman would hug her and let her cry on her shoulder. The more I thought about it the more I was intent on finding an alternative to human blood. Another image flashed in front of me:
    A small boy with plump, rosy cheeks. His eyes are wide with fear as he tries to get the lump out of his throat to scream. Just like I did. His mother calls from the distance,
    “Sammy!? Where are you? Come back here now!” and then the child would look over his shoulder quickly and then back at me. I knew his fear like the back of my hand. I remembered so vividly the day when Tristan changed me. I knew that I could never forgive myself for doing that to a fellow human being. Ah, but I wasn’t human anymore, was I? I had to keep reminding myself of this fact.
    I noticed that I could think very deeply even when I was running. I remembered back to the day that I was changed. When I had run my legs and lungs burned with effort. Now, I could flit effortlessly anywhere I liked.
    I thought about the extents of this body. Could it be killed? I felt no immediate danger, but I knew that I needed to know this, just in case Gwen and Jay didn’t agree with my being in their new family.
    “Tristan?” I asked, tentatively, though I wasn’t sure why I was so hesitant.
    “Yes?” He responded. I paused.
    “How do you kill one of our kind?” I finally asked.
    “I’m not really sure of all the ways, since Jay can’t exactly test that without killing one of us. And what would be the point to knowing how we are killed if we aren’t alive to know, right?” yes, this did make sense. Every answer he gave me so far had made complete sense. He continued,
    “We know that if another vampire shreds and burns another vampire, it will kill them. But, that is only because that is how Jay’s infector was killed. Jay’s theory is that if you only shred another vampire and don’t burn them, then they will morph back together again.” Tristan stopped and looked at me for a response,
    “Um…” I tried to think of what to say, “How in the world did you figure that out?” I asked, very dumbly.
    “It was simple, really. One day, when the styles changed, Gwen wanted to cut her hair in a more fashionable way. But, when she tried to cut it, every time she made a snip, two minutes later it would just grow back to the way that it was before she changed. So Jay concluded that if we tried to change anything in our bodies, it would just go back to the way it was before. That’s why we would have to incinerate another vampire if we had to kill them. So that they wouldn’t form again and come back for revenge.” I must have had a frightened face on, because he hurried the next part, “not that we would have any reason to kill any existing vampire.” That made me feel much, much better.
    We were coming upon a large forest now. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to dodge the tress effectively.
    “This will amaze you,” Tristan said. I wondered what he was talking about until we came upon the forest and entered it.
    The trees moved past quickly, I knew, but it was like I had a automatic reflex to the trees. I flitted fairy-like through the trees. When a tree came up in front of me, I automatically danced out of the way and continued running. In fact, that’s exactly was like; a very complicated dance. I loved the way that this new body moved with ease, and beautifully, too.
    It must not have been another ten minutes (of very fast running) when the trees got even thicker. The effort did not increase though, I could still weave in and out of the trees with extremely little effort. I just had to think, “I don’t want to hit a tree and make a fool of myself,” and I moved even easier, with one fluid, continuing movement.
    I noticed the trees here, and they were frightening. The tops of the braches were entangled with each other, and the bark was rough and knobby. I saw an owl with glaring yellow eyes staring back at me as I searched the branches for predators. Then I realized what I was doing. I, of all people, was afraid of a panther or two when I was most likely the fiercest predator of all? I laughed aloud, and Tristan turned to me and tilted his head.
    “Never mind,” I shrugged. He nodded, still curious, but not willing to pry. I wondered again what his life had been like. I wondered how he had become a vampire. I would find out some day, I pledged to myself.
    Then, abruptly, out of nowhere, the trees ended. I was standing stiffly in a very large oval clearing. Looming above me was a gargantuan mansion. It was made of deep red bricks that I had never seen the likes of before. There was intricate black molding along the windows and doors. Speaking of windows, all the shades were shut on them, and the shades were also black. How depressing, I thought. Why would anyone want a house of all black?
    Tristan looked at me appraisingly, most likely trying to guess what I thought.
    “Interesting…” I muttered, even in that tone my voice sounded like tinkering bells.
    “Yes…” Tristan replied, seemingly to himself. I did not answer, I mean, how could anyone answer that? Tristan started walking toward the back of the mansion, and he motioned for me to follow him. I obliged and walked toward where he was going.
    When we reached the back, we were in a large field occupied with flowers.
    “Some are used in Jay’s experiments, and others are just for Gwen’s enjoyment. At the mention of Gwen, I spotted her, fifty yards from us. She was bending down with a watering can, letting the drops sprinkle down onto the leaves and petals. When she spotted us out of her peripheral vision, she snapped up gracefully. Her full lips pulled us into a breathtaking smile. I smiled timidly back, knowing even with my new upgrade in beauty, I could not compare to Gwen.
    She started towards us, almost running, sort of skipping, and not quite walking… all at the same time.
    “Hello!” she called, her voice not nearly as menacing as the night I changed. Now her voice was… well, the only way to explain it was preppy, but that does no quite explain. She sounded like… a girl.
    “Hello,” I whispered, knowing she could hear me, especially since she was not a few short lithe steps away, even after just a few moments to cross the distance between us. She closed the distance and stuck out her hand for me to shake
    “I am Gwen! Well, actually my name is Gwendolyn, but that is soo old-fashion. Please, call me Gwen. I am also thinking about going by Wendy. It’s a lot more modern, don’t you think?” She said all of this very quickly.
    “Um… yes, I guess,” I mumbled, and she frowned slightly.
    “That’s a lot to take in, isn’t it? I’m sorry, I try not to talk so fast and everything, but when I get excited,” she raced on, “I just can’t help talking! And I haven’t had any change in the past…” she counted on her fingers, “around ninety years.” I just stared at her for a moment before I got a grip.
    “That’s okay, Gwen” I said, trying out her name on my tongue.
    “Just so you know, you really turned out great. Since the transformation, you know,” She complimented.
    “Uh, thanks…” I mumbled. I hadn’t really seen myself yet, so I didn’t know if she was being polite, or if she really meant it.
    “Oooh! Can I be the first to let you see yourself in a mirror?!” she inquired, at a pinnacle of excitement now, talking a mile a minute.
    “Uh… sure, I don’t care,” I answered, really not caring. If it made her happy, why not? At my answer, she immediately grabbed my hand, starting to pull me toward the mansion.
    “Uh, Gwen?” Tristan interjected.
    “What is it Tris? I wanna show her what she looks like!” she answered, impatiently. I remembered the idea I’d had in the lake.
    “I have something that I need to tell you, and Jay. Where is he? Right after we talk, then you can go show Eve the mirror, ‘kay?” Gwen groaned.
    “I gue-ess,” she complained. I smiled in amusement at her child-like, girlish qualities, “He’s in the lab,” she told Tristan grudgingly. Then, she grabbed hold of my hand again and pulled me toward the mansion. Oddly, I felt safe. I ran with her willingly.
    We entered the house, and I didn’t pause in awe at the house, like I would have before, but just kept going. I knew that ten years ago, like I had at the castle, I would have stopped and stared at my luxurious surroundings. We rushed onward down a flight of stairs into a basement (something I had not seen before at that point).
    We went through silver swinging-doors and entered a room filled with glass tubes, flasks, and Petri dishes. I noticed Jay sitting at a desk with papers scattered around him. He was mumbling to himself and jotting down numbers and words extremely fast.
    “A plus B squared equals ten plus c. And the equilibrium of the two numbers is thirty-three…” his muttering was continuous. He looked up when he noticed us.
    “Ah, Eve! I see you have finally made it to us! And the theory I discovered was true! You don’t have to wait the full hundred years if the venom enters the body correctly! Fantastic! I am Jay, by the way.” His speech was extremely slow and laid back compared to Gwen’s.
    “Hello, Jay,” I responded, feeling more comfortable by the moment. Tristan interrupted our greeting with the new possible lead we had.
    “Jay, while we were on the way here, Eve had a wonderful idea I thought you might want to know about…” and he began to explain what I had thought of at the lake.

    * * * * *


    Gambling New Love

    “Okay… go on,” Jay answered anxiously. Tristan turned to me.
    “Did you want to explain it? You’re the one that had the idea… and I don’t know if I can do it right…” he offered. I did NOT want to explain my in front of these new people. I was truly shy, especially in front of extremely beautiful people.
    “Can you just go already?” Gwen asked impatiently. Tristan nodded at me, and I knew he was going to make me explain.
    “Uh… well, I guess it sort of just came to me while I was in the lake with Tristan. I just got this sort of good idea, it’s really no big deal…” I mumbled self-consciously.
    “- Are you KIDDING me?” Tristan asked incredulously, “It’s a wonderful idea, now just explain it already! Don’t be nervous.”
    “Wait, what? What would she have to be nervous about?” Gwen asked. Tristan gave her a look and zipped her lips.
    “Well, what I was trying to say, is that I got a pretty good,” Tristan gave me a look here, “Okay, okay! So maybe it was an extraordinary idea! But it will only be a good idea if it works!”
    “What works!?” this was the first time that Jay had gotten impatient in front of me. I had the feeling that he didn’t loose his cool very often. This made pursue faster so that I could avoid anything bad happening.
    “Wellll,” I said, “I thought that maybe, just maybe, we could live off of animal blood instead of human blood? Then we wouldn’t have to kill anybody.” Once I finished, Gwen yelped and Jay jumped up in surprise. I got the wrong impression and braced to run. The way they had reacted made me think that I had said something terribly, horribly wrong.
    “Huh? What’s the matter?” I asked. They all froze and turned to me.
    “The matter, what do you mean the matter? I think you have just figured out the solution to all of our problems. I can’t for the life of me think of why I didn’t think of it before!” Jay told me.
    “If this works, then it will make us all SO much happier!” Gwen exclaimed. She lifted me into a hug and swung me around gleefully. I was stunned, to say the least.
    “IF, it works…” I grumbled. Everyone calmed down at these words and sat back in their seats across from Jay’s marble lab desk.
    “That is very true. I wonder, if there is a way to test this before we actually risk anything.” He pondered on this for a moment.
    “I will do it!” I exclaimed, glad to help. Not only that, but it was also the fact that I didn’t think that anything worse could happen to me.
    “NO!” Tristan growled and crouched in between Jay and me. I back up a few steps, and then moved forward again.
    “Why? I’m sure that it will do no harm, if it doesn’t do good.” I reasoned, not actually knowing if what I said was true.
    “No, Tristan is right, one of us should do it…” he let the end of that statement just hang there. It was like a question “who will do it” instead of a statement.
    “I want to,” Tristan firmly replied, and the way he said it, no one dared to argue with him.
    “Fine. I don’t think there is really any preparation that we can have for this. I will go and bring the animal.” Jay said.
    “Be back soon!” Gwen replied, as if he were just going to walk down the street and back. I guess she knew that he was pretty much invincible to anything that he could find out there. Truth be told, I was still a little bit worried for both of them. If Tristan died in this little experiment, then I knew that I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself. And, also, I knew that Gwen and Jay just might chase me out of their little coven if I damaged their family by inadvertently killing “Tris”. If he died, I would have to run away before they could get to me.
    “Can I see myself in the mirror now?” I asked with false cheerfulness.
    “Oh! Of course! Come this way!” Gwen pulled me along like I was a fascinating new toy. She led me into a beautiful bedroom bedecked all around in raw gold silk. The carpets, drapes, bed cover, and pretty much everything else were covered in it. I gasped suddenly, but the room was not the reason. I had caught glimpse of my new body in the full-length mirror across from me in the room. I slowly approached the stranger in the reflection.
    My skin was extremely fair, and it looked soft as the silk in the room, and hard as a rock, all at the same time. Gwen stood behind me and pulled the damaged combs out of my hair, and my black hair fell gracefully down my back in perfect curls. My body curved in a perfect, yet edgy shape, even underneath the baggy fisherman’s coat and pants. My full lips formed a perfect innocent “o” on my face in surprise.
    What surprised me most though, were my eyes. They weren’t red! I didn’t understand this, since I was a vampire and all the vampires I’d seen had red eyes. Right then, my eyes were a cold and hard grey, with flecks of reflective green. The green parts sparkled in the light. Before, green had been my regular eye color, but I guessed being a cold and hard person turned everything green.
    “My eyes…” I trailed off, not quite either a question or a statement.
    “Oh, yes, I bet you’re real glad they’re not red. But that will change, once you’ve tasted blood, they will probably be neon red, with an extremely slight bit of green in them.” She explained in her fast, excited way, “So… what do you think?” she asked, jumping up and down slightly now.
    “Wow,” I said, “Beautiful. In a scary way, like someone you would avoid coming in contact with the streets.”
    “Well, yes. That’s true, but this is how we get our food. We reel in the people fascinated with our beauty in the night and then feed!” She said this with out falter, which surprised me. She did have about a hundred years on her, but even after another century, I don’t think that I could be so… forgiving to myself. She must’ve seen my look because she quickly added,
    “I don’t like it, but eventually you just have to see past it. There’s nothing we can do to change it. Well, until now.” It made me feel a little better that she wasn’t completely comfortable with it yet either. I looked back to the mirror and tried to imagine myself with blood-red eyes. It didn’t work with my new face getting in the way. I wondered at how the transformation had made my already babyish face look even more towards thirteen years old instead of my current sixteen. I looked like a cherubic angel, even though I was the kind that got people close enough to kill them, instead of shooting love arrows.
    “We’ll get you some new clothes!” Gwen said delightedly. She pulled me (yet again) into an adjacent room. She fitted me in a jade-colored velvet gown. I gasped when I looked closer.
    “Yes,” she answered my thoughts, “That was your mother’s gown. I thought you might like it, since you were so close to her!” She said proudly.
    “Thank you,” I choked out, “you have no idea how much I appreciate it.” I slipped it on and looked in the mirror. It fit perfectly and complimented my curves. The color brought out the green in my eyes.
    “Let’s show Tris! He will love it.” She grabbed my arm and led me down the stairs.
    “Gwen,” Tristan shook his head, “I’m sure that she can walk fine by herself.”
    “What?” she looked down at her arm pulling on mine lightly, “Oh, yes, I’m sorry,” I’m sure that if she could’ve blushed that she would.
    “No, it’s really okay,” and it was, it made me feel safe, the way she treated me like her own sister already after so little time. Tristan looked at me and smiled.
    “Beautiful,” he appraised.
    Just then, Jay called from outside. I guess he didn’t want to stain the carpets with whatever animal he had brought back. I grabbed the door handle and flitted outside. I gasped at the size of the animal he had brought back. It was a white bear, and it must have come from very far away, because I had never seen anything like it before. There were two neat holes in it’s neck, dripping with blood.
    “This was the best I could find in a thousand-mile radius.” He said. A thousand miles! How could he possibly travel that fast? I looked at his corded muscled and amended my thoughts.
    “It will do fine,” Tristan said. He turned to me, got this funny look in his eyes and surprised me yet again. He grabbed me at the waist and kissed me. Another thing that surprised me, was that I kissed him back. My hands knotted in his hair, and just as I wanted more, he stopped. Immediately after he’d stopped I felt very embarrassed, just like Gwen had, I felt like if I could have blushed, I would. He had kissed me in front of Gwen and Jay. Gwen giggled delightedly. He leaned into my ear and said,
    “I hope this works, because I wouldn’t want to leave you behind,” I didn’t understand his words. I didn’t understand any of this. Why did he love me? He didn’t even know me! He had only watched me from a distance, planning my death. I took back that thought, because from what I had observed he didn’t want me to have to be like him at all. He had wanted me to have a chance at a normal life.
    I wanted to pull him back as he sauntered forebodingly toward the bear lying on the grass. He had thrust me into these brand-new feelings, and they just might be taken away from me very suddenly. My worried face crumpled as he crouched down and put his mouth to the animal. He drew blood slowly, and then stood.
    “I feel somewhat sustained,” he said. I could see it, too. Already his eyes were growing slightly blue-grey. I rushed up to him, but a second before I got there he collapsed on the floor. I raced up beside him and held him as he writhed in agony.
    “Ah! It’s- it doesn’t – the human blood- animal,” he raved. I looked up, and saw Jay and Gwen’s faces. They were in shock, so I knew I still had time. I kissed Tristan one last time and whispered,
    “I love you, too, Tris,” and then I sprung to my feet. I raced as fast as I could – and that was extremely fast – to the safety of the trees. I heard Jay,
    “Stop, Eve,” I also heard Gwen crying without tears behind me. I blocked them out and just ran.

    * * * * *






    The East

    I ran east as far and fast as I could. I had to skirt around towns and cities. I knew if I went in them that I would kill someone. I felt my throat parch even as I passed a mile around the last building in the smallest town. I ran so far I didn’t know if it ended. The sun set in the sky, but I didn’t feel any need to sleep. When I finally reached a wall of water at the east, I didn’t know where to go next. I sat on a cliff in the beach and stared over the side. I wondered for the millionth time how much my body could withstand before it would give into death or at least injury. I pictured my body lying among the sharp rocks in the sea, and liked the picture.
    I mean, look at it through my eyes. I had just lost who then I thought was my new found love of my life. I didn’t have any family left, or friends for that matter. And to top it all off, I knew I was only postponing the fact that eventually I would have to feed off a not-so-much-fellow human being. As if to emphasize the fact, my throat flamed up in hunger. I suppressed it and thought again about suicidal thoughts.
    I decided, and stood up on the highest part of the cliff, with the sharpest rocks below. I positioned myself directly above the pointiest spike and spread my arms like an eagle. I let my weight fall forward, and suddenly I was gliding through the air. My dress rippled in the wind and I dove swiftly toward the water. It started to sob-without-tears halfway through my potential suicide and rain emptied from the sky. The rocks seemed to sharpen with my want to die. Finally, my body hit the rocks.
    I screamed, but not because of pain. I was angry that it did not hurt. I thrashed against the rocks and sobbed harder. The rain got harder (if that was possible). I screamed hysterically amid hiccupping sobs. I banged my head as hard as I could against the cliff-face.
    “NO! LET ME DIE!” I yelled at the sky. Thunder rumbled and lightning struck right down on my head, but stopped there. It did not harm me a bit! I hit the cliff-face in my anger and the whole thing started to crumble to bits. I stayed where I was, hoping to be crushed by the rocks. As dirt fell on top me, an air bubble formed around me and none of the rocks touched me.
    “AH!” I screamed, so frustrated that I could do whatever I wanted considering strength except the one thing that I wanted to do the most; kill myself! I sat there in my bubble amidst the dirt and sobbed for almost the whole entire night. When I gave up, I just sat there, lying on my side staring into the rocks below me. My throat flamed.
    I was so delusional that I thought that I had heard Tristan’s voice calling my name,
    “Eve, Eve honey! You can come back now! I’m still alive. The animal blood only made me…” I blocked the voice in my head. I had wanted him back so bad that I was forcing myself to hear him calling my name.
    Eventually, I got up and climbed out of my rock hole, which wasn’t very hard, because my bubble of air just moved with me. I got to the ocean and swam. That just made it worse, because it made me think of Tristan and how he had made me teach myself to swim. But, I forced myself to push the thoughts aside and keep swimming. I figured that I could swim to the edge of the world, and when I fell off, the monsters down there would eat me up and kill me. Maybe vampires were over the edge of the world, and then they could kill me! I swam faster.
    I swam day after day for a four days straight. When I swam, I just got faster and faster, never getting tired, needing sleep or food. What happened next surprised me more than anything else yet. As the sun rose on the first day, I saw a blur on the horizon. I focused my vision further and saw… land! Had I came to a new land? Vegetation grew along the beach in a lush green color.
    I sped up to as fast as I could go and climbed onto the beach quickly. I explored the land and found a creek gurgling through the woods. My throat burned again, and I finally realized how I could kill myself. How had Tristan died?
    “Ha!” my voice echoed triumphantly. I willed animals to be on this new land as I searched for one. Almost immediately, I heard a growling noise from deeper in the trees. A beautiful grey wolf’s head popped out from around a tree, and I pounced at once. I grabbed for it’s neck and sucked.
    Warm fluid rushed into my mouth. It tasted wonderful, nothing like as if I had bitten my tongue. It tasted like sweet nectar on a spring honeysuckle. I drew even more. I quickly drained the whole animal and felt much, much better. Wait! I thought, I wasn’t supposed to feel better! I was supposed to be dying on the ground. I was supposed to die! I kept repeating in my head.
    I suddenly remembered what Tris had been saying when he died.
    “Ah! It’s- it doesn’t – the human blood- animal,” I finally understood. He was trying to say that the animal blood didn’t work co-existing with human blood! And… I hadn’t had human blood before! What a cruel trick! Vampires could only depend on the source of animal blood if they had never tasted human blood.
    The more I thought about it, the more it didn’t seem as bad. I may not have my love, or my friends and family, but I didn’t have to live off of human blood! I could co-exist with humans!
    Then I caught my self. I laughed bitterly as I realized that there probably weren’t humans in this new place. As if in answer to my question, I heard drums beating in the distance and interesting sounding voices carrying over the trees.
    * * * * *
     
  15. Elvenwriter

    Elvenwriter Mmmm, Spam

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Disappeared in the Music
    Ratings:
    +30 / 0 / -0
    okay, so you probably don't remember me... oh well. but i'm back. not to socialize. just to share my sroy with the world, so here it is. it's VERY long. don't feel obligated to read (not that you would)


    Eve of Vampires
    Invitation

    How was I supposed to friggin know that vampires shine in the sun, huh? Why would something so disgusting glitter so appealingly? So, obviously I didn’t know this, right? Or else there would be no reason for me to get so upset. It’s not my fault that I had no idea about what…. um, what we… what my… kind…were like. I had no reason to think about it. Me, a middle-class baker’s daughter? Well, sometimes we did supply the prince with bread. It is still surprising to me that the prince, of all people was connected to my vampirization. That man was just like a thief, the little brute. He came into our shop, which was the closest to the castle, and just took whatever he wanted. Sometimes he would take half of my father’s supply for that day.
    And then, when Mrs. O’Flaherty would come near the end of the day looking for a small loaf of grainy bread as a treat to go with her little children’s thin soup, we would have nothing left to offer. I could just imagine her youngest daughter Marie looking up at me with sad eyes when all they had for supper was broth seasoned with last year’s chicken leg.
    Yes, the prince WAS a thief. Taking and never giving back just because he was going to rule our country some day.
    So when he came into the store one day, asking for me, I was stunned into my place. It must have looked like I was surprised in a delighted way. But, I was not, never in a million years would I have anything to do with that prissy boy.
    I had no say about it though. When I heard him asking my father while I was cleaning in the back room, I could feel my father’s aura of pride.
    “Yes, yes, of course, Prince Edward! Let me go ‘n fetch ‘er me self!” Papa came into the back room then and his face turned grim.
    “Evelyn, I know how you dislike that boy, but you mus’ go out there and see ‘em, he wants ter ask you a question.”
    Evelyn. He only called me that name when he was especially serious about something. My name is Eve, I thought.
    “But, Papa” I whined profusely
    “Don’ you ‘But, Papa’ me, young lady! You go out there and see ‘em NOW! I don’ have time fer this. If I wan’ ter make up for ANY of the bread that he jus’ took, then I mus’ get bakin’ right now!” His tone was never scolding, but this was the worst it usually got.
    When he used that tone, I knew then and there that I must do what he said. Not because he would punish me. No, after my mother died, he couldn’t bear to lay a hand on anyone. But, I knew it would hurt him badly if I forced him to keep yelling.
    “Oh, fine then, if I absolutely must!” I stalked out into the store and stood with my hands on my hips in front of the counter. I was fuming.
    “What could you possibly want with me?” I asked him fiercely. He responded like I was flirting with him.
    “Oh, do come now” he chuckled “ I am not so royal that I wouldn’t stoop so low and talk to commoners” it looked like the mere idea of commoners actually disgusted him. Ha! The mere idea of royalty disgusts me! How ironic!
    “That was NOT supposed to sound inviting!” I snarled. To my surprise, he laughed out loud.
    “They said you were a girl with a beastly attitude, but, I didn’t know that they were NOT exaggerating one bit!” he laughed again like it was some kind of extremely funny joke. I pursed my lips even farther, if that was possible.
    “Well then, out with it! I need to go help my father restore our supply of baked goods that YOU took from us without paying one CENT! I hope you know that there are GOOD people out there that actually CAN’T afford it, and here YOU are and you’re the FOULEST person AND the WEALTHIEST person I ever met, and you don’t pay ANYTHING! Mrs. O’Flaherty’s children are going to HUNGRY tonight because we won’t be able to sell her ANYTHING. Much less GIVE it to her for FREE!!!” Once I was finished I was breathing very hard from my rant.
    “Well, then! Are you finished now?”
    “No! You are foul brute who should have to live in conditions like the kind you act like! And you should have to pay! And you don’t deserve to be king! And if you arrest me for saying this I will be GLAD because I won’t have to see your perfect washed and fed little face ANYMORE!” I paused dramatically, “NOW, I am finished!”

    “Well, then, I guess I should tell you what I came here to say; I am expecting you at the palace a six p.m. for dinner tonight with my family. You are to be washed and in your finest clothes.” He said that part in a funny way… like he expected my finest clothes to be rags, or something.
    “And, what if I don’t come?” I countered.
    “If you DO come, then I won’t take from your father’s bakery any longer and I will pay for all the food I have taken in the past” How would I know that he was telling the truth? I asked this question aloud.
    “I signed a contract, it’s right here.” He pulled a piece of parchment out of his pocket and unrolled it. Too bad I didn’t know how to read! I always wanted to learn, but never had the materials to do it. The most I could do was read the rich lady’s market lists when they accidentally dropped them. That little bit would not help me now, and I would rather die than admit to him that he was smarter than me.
    “Okay, then.” I said regretfully and signed the paper above the marked line after I pretended to read it. “I’ll be there,”

    * * * * *












    Apparel

    Little did he know that my finest clothes were actually very fine indeed. Especially for a commoner!
    That night, after trying our best to replenish the bread supplies, my father sent me upstairs to the apartment above the shop so that I could get ready. He gave me permission to wear my mother’s things, since she was my size, when she was still alive.
    When my mother was young, she lived in a grand mansion with her beloved Uncle William. He was a wealthy nobleman who loved her very much. But, when he died, his brother took the will that he had written before it could be read by Ma. Ma was positive that the will had handed everything down to her, because Great Uncle William was very much like a father to her and he had said before that she would get all his things.
    Like I said, Great Uncle Vladimir had gotten all of the money and the estate. Mother was only allowed to keep her personal things that Great Uncle William had given her. Over the years, mother had sold dresses and gems every so often to keep our family going. And now, even though we still had a few gems and dresses left, we were getting poorer and poorer.
    The reason was, Papa could not bring himself to sell ANYTHING that was Ma’s before she died. He tried once, and had taken the beautiful jade silk and velvet gown to the fanciest dress boutique in town and the tailor there was going to pay a hundred gold coins, just for the one dress, but right when he was about to hand it over, Pa jerked back and said,
    “I can’t do it, I just cannot!” and he ran out of the shop with the dress in hand but no gold coins and also with the owner yelling after him, no doubt, concerned for the loss of the fine dress he wanted to own so badly.
    So, back to the story of my… well, my death, so to speak;
    That night, I chose a sleeveless gown of the palest of pinks. It was made of a silk corset and skirt with a chiffon layer over the skirt that flowed into a gentle train behind me. I added a chiffon shawl since the night was a bit chilly (and I had never worn anything without sleeves my whole life).
    My dark black curls were piled on top of my head with a matching velvet ribbon woven through it all intricately. I pinned it up with the last two diamond set hair combs that my mother hadn’t sold.
    For jewelry, I wore my mother’s amethyst ring and pearl necklace. With a final touch, I slipped on two ivory satin slippers, and headed towards the castle. Little did I know that I was dressing up for my death rather than a better life for my father and I.
    The palace was very close to our apartment, so it only took me a few minutes to reach the gates. I walked through the dark night and tried to not worry much about the silly tales of creatures that sucked all of the blood out from you. I told myself that people were just looking to scare little children, and why should I worry about a juvenile bedtime story?
    Believe me, I got plenty of stares from the people in the street. But, the closer I got to the palace, the less people found my apparel odd. It was like they figured that if I was dressed like that, then I MUST have been going to the palace.
    The palace was a truly beautiful place. It was made out of the whitest of stones that shone mystically in the light of the moon. The turrets reached up into the sky in graceful spirals and ended with golden flags that rippled in the breeze.
    The gates were made of shiny silver metal that reflected prettily. I tried to relax as approached the guards that stood at attention there. I cleared my throat as I prepared to speak, but the guards in their entire silver-clad splendor did not even flinch. I cleared my voice even louder.
    “Um, hello? I am Eve, the baker’s daughter. I’m here to have dinner with the royal family.” The guards didn’t move, but one of them seemed to chuckle a bit, and then hide it with a small cough.
    “What is so funny, if I may ask? Prince Edward asked me to come; if you could please go and retrieve him, I’m sure that he could explain it all to you. Do you really want that to happen? I’m sure you will both get rewarded very nicely when he finds that you didn’t let his guest into the gate, thus postponing his beloved meal!” The last part was said very sarcastically. They did not respond by saying anything, but I saw them shift nervously from foot to foot.
    Finally, the guard on the right stepped forward and said, “Ma’am, if you please, he would also be very upset if we called him to the front gate on false pretenses.” His voice was muffled through the thick, fancy helmet he was wearing. I snorted,
    “So, which will you choose, sir? Either way you have a fifty-fifty chance of getting thrown into the dungeon!” I retorted.
    “Well… I’m not sure, I will have to confer with my partner.” He stepped over towards the other guard and they started a whispered argument. This lasted around five minutes, but finally, they reached a decision.
    “Fine, we will take you, but if you are lying, we will personally make sure that neither you nor your father will ever make a decent living ever again.” He paused to let that sink in, “Are you sure you still want us to take you to the palace?”
    “Yes, I am sure! Why else do you think that a baker’s daughter would be dressed like this on a dark and dangerous night, standing in front a the Royal palace?” I was getting impatient now.
    “Well, I guess that is about right, then isn’t it?” He admitted. The second guard finally spoke up,
    “Can we get this over with, please?” He looked extremely impatient and nervous and it seemed he was thinking that if he was going to get fired tonight, then he wanted to do it now, so that he would get home for supper.
    “Yes, please, I am late for my dinner!” I had just looked at one of the high tower clocks in town and saw that it was already ten after six! That was sure not to please the royal family.

    * * * * *







    Royal Palace

    It took quite a long time to get up to the palace. I would have asked the guards how long it was going to take exactly, but I knew that their patience had already been tried quite enough this evening.
    The path to the palace was just as beautiful as the rest of what I had seen. The ivory tiles had been set in intricate patterns and they glistened in the starlight. I watched them closely as we walked towards the next set of pearly white gates. If you were extremely attentive, on could see that the tiles were actually pictures of past wars, treaties, kings, and other major historical events. None of the pictures repeated, and I wondered aloud how long it had taken for the man who had set the tiles to achieve such a wonderful piece of art. The guard that had spoken to me before grunted,
    “It took well over a decade for the whole path up to the palace to be set to the path. Don’t you commoners learn your history? I suppose you folk don’t teach your children how to read, much less the history of this kingdom!”
    I did not like his tone, but even more, I didn’t like the truth of his words. The pictures interested me greatly, and right then and there, I knew that before I died (ha!) I would learn how to read and study the world as best as I could. At the time I didn’t know that I would have much longer than just one lifetime. I could never guess that starting that night, I would have eternity to do whatever I would like.
    Finally, we reached the second set of gates. The night had gotten darker and the next set of guards fidgeted nervously,
    “Who goes there?” the one on the left demanded.
    “Just us, Robert, now don’t get your knickers in a twist! This young lady here says she is expected for dinner at the palace. Do you know anything of this?” it seemed that this was the senior guard, because any time on of the first sets of guards spoke, he was usually it.
    “Yes, actually, but she is a bit late, ain’t she? She was expected at six o’clock, and now it’s already six twenty! What’s your excuse girl?” I had been paying more attention to the nice sturdy carriage and the beautiful horses that were attached, so I didn’t hear the question the first time.
    “Um, I’m sorry, what was that?” I felt stupid as I asked this.
    “Pay attention lass! I said, ‘What is your excuse for bein’ so late?’”
    “Oh! It twasn’t my fault, the guards held me up! Said that they didn’t think that a commoner like me would be expected at the palace! And now I’m late for dinner, and I simply don’t know what to do!!” I tried to sound like a damsel in distress, since I knew that men like these were more likely to help me if they thought that I couldn’t do a thing on my own, which I most definitely could.
    “George! Adrian! Why don’t you ever listen in the meetings each mornin’? If you hadn’t been sleepin’ off your breakfast, then you would’ve heard the Head Guard tell you that this lass was expected tonight!” he scolded.
    “Well… let’s see, umm--” George didn’t sound so senior anymore.
    “Never mind, we have to get her up there quickly, or the blame will be on our backs!” He cut off the other guard, “Fred, can you please get the carriage ready, quickly? She needs to get to the palace as soon as possible.” He said urgently.
    “But, Robert, you know that the carriage is only here for nobles and nobles only!” Fred sounded worried at breaking the rules.
    “Never mind, that! We will get in even more trouble if she is late for supper, haven’t you seen how King Terrance gets when he hasn’t had his sup?” he retorted. I must have looked like I was watching a tennis match, the way I looked from person to person, following them as they argued. They acted as if I wasn’t there, that I was only a thing to be discussed, rather than an actual person.
    “Fine,” Fred muttered quietly, “Whatever you say, boss,”
    He ushered me over to the carriage and opened the door for me.
    “In you go!” he mumbled, not unkindly. I followed his lead and stepped lightly into the cabin and sat down on the padded seats. He checked all of the ropes on the horses, then jumped onto the driver’s seat, took the reigns and shouted,
    “Yip, yip! Let’s go Middy, Tarn! Giddy up!” he yelled these direction pretty much the whole way to the castle. The trip was a whole lot faster now that the two horses were driving us down the path.
    The only downside was that I couldn’t study the road’s tiles at this speed. I tried to watch the road out of the small side window, but all I saw was a white blur as the horses galloped down the path.
    I could watch the landscape as it flew by, though. We weren’t going so fast as that I couldn’t make out perfectly groomed trees, bushes, and gardens. In the light of the moon, it all looked like the strange fairy-world that I was about to enter both unwillingly and unknowingly.
    As we moved, I had a short time to wonder about the queen and king and the rest of the palace. I knew that their son was a foul person, but would they be the same as well? Maybe, with this visit they would pay more attention to my father’s bakery, and promote his business! That would do so much for my family.
    Hope ebbed at me, even though I knew deep down that this was a far cry from possible. Still, a girl’s got to dream something, doesn’t she? Even though all I dreamed about was how to improve Papa’s bakery. And, not beautiful dresses and parties and fancy ball, like all the other sixteen year-old girls my age would.
    We approached the castle very swiftly now, and I could see the turrets and flags and towers grow bigger by the minute. As we got closer, I could see the detail in all of the stone. Each one was carved in a different and beautiful way. I couldn’t help but wonder how such a crude person could live here his whole life, and not be able to be a good man!
    The castle was now looming above me. I could only now realize the vastness of it all. It was a whole five stories tall! Most definitely the tallest building I had seen thus far. There was a curved drive in front of the castle and Fred drove the horses up the path slowly, as if to make up for all the speed that we had used before.
    He came around and opened my door for me. I eased myself slowly out of the door and stared in shocked awe at the building in front of my.

    “Yeah, yeah, I know, ‘It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in my life!’” I did not like his mocking tone as he quoted my exact thoughts, “That’s how anybody who has seen this place for the first time says, so just shush up and follow me.” He proceeded towards the shiny wood front double-doors and eased them open.
    “You comin’ ain’t ye?” he asked.
    “Of course, I am!” I replied stiffly. And with that, I stalked past him into to palace. Once again, I was shocked into place, and I didn’t make it more that a few steps into the entryway.
    Once one entered the palace, there was a wide, grand staircase right in the center. It doubled back on it’s self as far as I could see, while many hallways branched off on each landing. The hallway right in front of me was identical to the ones above. Wide, with a astonishing amount of smaller but still large hallways that branched off.
    I could feel the plush carpet beneath my slippers as I tried out my legs again. I paid more attention to the detail now. The high walls were covered with fancy wallpaper in a deep red design. There were beautiful molds on the corners were the wall met the floors and ceilings. Fred brought me out of my stunned silence as he cleared his voice.
    “Ma’am, we really must be going now, we don’t want to keep the royal family waiting, now, do we?” I cleared my shaky voice,
    “Uh, yes, we should,” I tried to hide how amazed I was at my lush surroundings, but failed incredibly.
    He led me down the hall on the left and through the third door on the right. Left, third door, right. I tried to memorize, in case I needed to find my way out on my own.
    As we entered the room, I was yet stunned again! The high ceilings arched into a graceful dome with pictures depicting angels with bows and trumpets. I was brought out of my shock by a loud and impatient booming voice.
    “Where have you been!?” King Terrance’s voice echoed around the dining hall in all its nobility and robustness.

    * * * * *
    Dinner For Me

    “I apologize, Your Majesty. It was rude of me to be so terribly late, but the guards held me up at the gates, I hope that you can find the mercy in your great heart to forgive me,” I said dramatically.
    “If that is the case, than you are forgiven, my daughter!” the king replied, much calmer now.
    “So, Miss, I heard you came to strike a deal with my son?” the Queen said, not unkindly.
    “Yes, Your Grace, and I was also hoping that you could promote my father’s business?”
    “That would be very fine indeed, we could use your father to supply all of the baked goods at our parties and balls, and pay him double what he earns now! You could even come to live at the castle if you would like!” the Queen sounded delighted with the prospect.
    As much as I would like the last few paragraphs to be what happened, they are not. The dinner went far, far worse. Instead of the delightful and cheerful conversation above, the meeting was filled with snide comments from them and timid muttering from me. This, is more what it was like:
    “Um… uh… Sir… well what had happened was… and there wasn’t much I could really do… the guards wouldn’t let me…” I mumbled and then trailed off into little muttered half-explanations.
    “What is this? Can you not even speak? Do you normally stutter like this?”
    “Well, uh, yes Sir, I can, but, uh, well… I’m sorry I was late!” I blurted the last part.
    “Do you think a King lives to wait on other people?! No!!” he slammed his knife into the table and it stuck there when he withdrew his hand, “We rule our kingdoms, not the other way around!!!” the King scolded me.
    “I truly am sorry, but the guards held me up at the front gate!” I was exasperated at the way things had taken a sudden turn for the worse.
    “So now it’s the guards fault, is it? Full of excuses aren’t you? Are you really that stupid that you would talk about my guards that way in front of me? Are you saying that my staff are inadequate?” He was putting words into my mouth.
    “I said none of those things, My Lord!” I knew that I was fighting a losing argument, so I continued, “You are right, Your Majesty, and if we could continue with dinner, I’m sure you would be grateful, no?” I needed to try to start over, before things got to out of hand.
    “Yes, yes, I am very hungry! Bring out the meat!” He called to an unseen being. Immediately, four butlers came out with swan, boar, cow, and some kind of very large fish that I had no name for. Fish was a delicacy in our kingdom, since we were far from the sea. It was almost impossible for the tradesmen to get the meat out here before it spoiled. But they truly got their money’s worth when nobleman bought it for fifty gold pieces per package!
    “Good, good! This looks very appetizing!” and to my utter horror, he took an ENTIRE boar’s, held it in both hands like a club, and took a ravenous bite. I tasted bile in the back of my throat and lost a little bit of my appetite, but the food was like nothing I had ever tasted before, and I could ate till my belly burst, then I put some in a thick cloth napkin and hid it in my hidden dress pocket. I knew my father would most likely be hungry when I got home, and he would love some of this wonderful meat.
    The Queen seemed to not notice her husband and ate very politely and daintily, like a small kitten. She seemed to notice my eating habits and with a sneer said,
    “Well, you could deplete our entire food store in one night, I think!” My hopes were dashed in that moment, and I just knew that this woman was just as unkind and snobby as her son and husband. I swallowed the food quickly and ran my tongue over my teeth to make sure nothing was stuck in them before I spoke,
    “I’m sorry, but the food is very scrumptious. May I thank you formally for your hospitality.” I tried to sound polite even though she was not.
    “Well! You seem to think that a Queen would put herself into the lowly kitchens just to make you food! I find that very insulting!” She stressed almost every other word to notify me of her full displeasure.
    “I- I’m sorry if it came out that way, but I can tell you honestly that that was not my intent! I’m so sorry!” These people were extremely hard to please!
    “Well, it did, and if you hadn’t apologized, then you would be out the door now, but it seems that I need you for a very important purpose.” The prince spoke this rudely, but I did not notice much.
    “A purpose?” I asked, incredulously. What could he possibly want with me??
    “Yes… but we will not tell you quite yet. I will let you enjoy your meal, while you can.” That did not sound very good to me. I wanted to know what was going on… now.
    “Do you need me in the kitchens, I could work as a baker there, for a reasonable wage, that is.” I knew that his was the purpose they needed me for but I was grasping for anything that wasn’t too bad, instead of the inevitable truth I faced, that I knew must be very bad, indeed.
    “No, it’s not that,” He sounded amused, “but, like I said, I will wait to tell you what it is when you are finished with the meal! Second course!” and with those simple two words, many more butlers came out with dishes of green beans, mashed potatoes, carrots, asparagus, yams, and many others that I couldn’t name.
    “Thank you again, for your great hospitality,” I mumbled, trying desperately to sound sincere, even though I really was far from that.
    “You should be thankful, that we are so merciful to your damned soul.” The King said. I was frozen to my seat as my cheeks flushed in anger. How dare he say something so awful when all I had done was be late for a small dinner?? I just wanted to jump up and smack him on the face so hard that his already red, bloated cheeks would swell like balloons. Later, I found out that he knew something I didn’t and that was he said was going to be true quite soon.
    “I’m very sorry that you think such things of me,” I forced through my clenched teeth. I tried to breath deeply and stay calm. I barely succeeded, as it was very difficult for me to not lose my temper. I could not even swat a mosquito without feeling pain for the death of a once-living creature of God, and this man was calling me “damned”?
    I only ever lost my temper, but never acted on any of the urges that I felt. Like, earlier today, I had wanted so badly to shove the prince out of the bakery, but I knew that that would be unkind (and I would be in very big trouble).
    More and more courses were brought out. Extravagant dishes of fruit, and then bread, (which wasn’t nearly as good as Papa’s) and finally the desert, which I thought was last, but I was wrong. The very last dish was a mixture of lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, and red onions. This was topped with an odd creamy sauce that I had never tasted before, but liked very much. They called it salad when I asked, and answered like I was an idiot not to know.
    I realized that the ingredients for the salad were not expensive at all, and if I could just figure out how to make the sauce, then the bakery could make a fortune by selling it on the side in the shop! Just the thing we needed was a new innovative idea to set our bakery aside from the rest! I could not wait to share this news with Papa. It is too bad that I never got to.
    Finally when we had finished the salad and I had thanked them one final time for their “great hospitality”, the prince cleared his voice. At this signal, ten guards gathered close to my seat on the right side of the long, mahogany table.
    “It is time to share with you the ‘great purpose’ you will serve tonight for me and my family” he said the words deliberately, as to let them sink in.

    * * * * *



    Purpose

    What could they possibly need ten guards for? Was the “purpose” I was to serve to the royal family really that bad that I might try to hurt them? What if it was?
    “I have been secretly courting a beautiful Lady that lives in the neighboring kingdom. I love her more than anything in world,” Yeah? So? What does this have to do with me? I thought. “Recently, we had a little… incident, and this very noble lady has recently been found to be with child.
    “She is a woman of very good stature, and to not marry her would be fatal to both of our reputations. So, I proposed, naturally, and the wedding has been set. The doctors believe that the child is a boy. This could be my only chance to have an heir to my throne. And, I love this woman dearly, as I explained before,” He paused to see if I was getting the gist. I wasn’t. I still didn’t know what they were getting at, and why this concerned me. Also, this would be a highly protected secret, and they were telling a random girl off the street? It just didn’t make any sense.
    “I’m sure you have heard the rumors of dark creatures that haunt the night, searching for victims to suck all the blood out of?” I nodded. This was starting to creep me out. A lot.
    “Let’s call the woman Renee, just for the stories purpose. Renee and I were out on the town one night, at a local noble’s masquerade ball. We left early, for purposes obvious to you now, and walked back up the long passage to the carriage that awaited.”
    Out of the dark, a tall man, seemingly made of stone, with blood-red eyes, deepest of black hair and translucent skin!”
    The man hissed in the most menacing voice I have ever heard and demanded,
    ‘Hand over the girl’, of course, I would do no such thing, under the circumstances.
    ‘No!’ I said, ‘There must be some other way!’, to which he replied that only could I keep the girl if I brought another healthy girl to the back garden of the palace three nights from then, which just happens to be tonight.” I could only stare back at him in utter horror. The most fear that I have ever felt in my entire, short life.
    “No!” I managed to squeak.
    “Oh, yes!” he laughed a purely evil, menacing laugh, “Don’t you see how beautifully this will work out? At the expense of one, miniscule life, an entire Royal Legacy will be borne. Don’t you see? You will die for a great and honorable purpose! You should be thanking me!” Thanking him? I mixed my current, terrorized expression with incredulity.
    I finally realized why the guards were there. The family knew that I would try to escape. And now there was no hope. My entire life flashed before my tear-stained eyes.
    Standing on a wooden stool so I could help my father bake biscuits. Sitting on my mother’s lap while she showed me drawings that depicted a happy story. Me, at nine years old, and I am holding Ma’s limp hand, sobbing unintelligibly. Asking my mother to come back to me. I am standing on the staircase, listening to Pa cry only because he thought I was asleep in bed. Later on, me working in the shop to help us earn the extra money we so desperately need.
    The thing was, I had already had a hard life, why couldn’t they let me keep living it?!
    I then started to accept. I was going to die tonight. I would not see Pa again. I would not share the secrets of salad with him. I would not comfort him in his times of grief. I would not get to marry, or have five children like Mrs. O’Flaherty.
    At least I could try to run… maybe? At that moment I had my head in my hands, sobbing uncontrollably. If I surprised them, maybe, just maybe I could get past!
    At that exact moment, I got up my courage and bolted for the door. I repeated the directions I had memorized before in my head.
    “Get her!!! ALIVE, NOT DEAD! GET HER NOW!!!! NOW, OR I WILL FEED YOU TO THE VAMPIRES, TOO!!!!!” King Terrance was bellowing at the top of his lungs. I ran so fast my legs felt like they had burst into fire. My lungs were about to explode with over-use. But, I knew that my life was at stake.
    I just realized that we would never be safe in the kingdom, or any kingdom close to it. My father’s business that he AND his father had worked so hard for would be ruined. I could not do that to him.
    So, I just sat down. Right there on the ground. And the guards rushed up to me with puzzled faces attached and I knew that they thought that I had admitted defeat. Though, I really hadn’t. I had sacrificed myself for my father. Otherwise, I would have kept running until I got home, gathered up all of our things and left.
    What was that the king had called them? Vampires? Well, I was about to die for my father, as a meal to evil, demonized, bloodsuckers. Called vampires. The simple word made my whole frame shake with violent tremors. My blood ran cold in fear.
    I tried to get back to my feet and walk, but I could not due to terror, so one of the guards carried me in his arms. I tried to imagine that it was my mother, carrying me home, to Heaven.
    That was when it hit me. I wasn’t going to Heaven! I was going to be infected by Vampires and would never - ever see my father or mother again in Heaven. I laughed maniacally, full with hysteria. I laughed and laughed, although there was truly nothing at all funny. I had gone crazy. I had gone crazy and the king had been right all along. I, Evelyn Bakersdaughter, was going to Hell at eleven PM tonight. How fitting. Evelyn dies at eleven. The air was even thicker with my hysterical outbreak of bitter humor.

    * * * * *




    Dinner for Them

    I couldn’t do anything now. Now that I was in the unknown soldiers arms, I was trapped. There was no going back. No saving myself. My newfound insanity died down a bit and I thought about what was going on.
    I was in the dining hall again. The guard was now putting me down on my feat, but gripping my wrists so that I faced outward from him.
    “Feisty one, aren’t you?” The guard growled into my ear. I turned my head towards his face and acted like I was going to lean in to kiss him. He looked astonished but horribly pleased, and he leaned in to react. Suddenly, I turned my head and bit down on his cheek. Hard. I laughed maniacally again as he grasped for his bleeding face. I didn’t run, but I felt satisfaction in letting them know I was NOT weak. Also, I knew that they couldn’t do anything to me, because of the king’s orders.
    The guard called me a name that I had never heard before but I won’t repeat, because I am sure it was NOT a very good thing to say. I turned and screamed shrilly,
    “You can do nor say anything that can hurt me now!!! I will DIE soon anyways!!! But, consider this; I will not die unknowingly!!! I WILL be remembered for as long as this Earth exists!!!” I knew this was probably not true, but to believe it gave me comfort.
    “Shut your dang mouth, girl! You do not belong here, it is best you go quickly and quietly!” One of the guards yelled across to me.
    “Let me take her alone to them,” Edward said. I would not state his title any longer, even if that wasn’t a very long time. He did not deserve to be called Prince.
    “Tie her up tight, I will not have her trying to get away again.” Did he not know that I had already given up? He should have known that I could not do that to Papa!
    “I will not run, and I will not force my father to run away with me!” my voice was still shrill and maniacal. Edward laughed loud and heartily.
    “Silly girl! Did you think your father would be spared? Anyone who would question your disappearance too much is going to be killed. We will tell them that you have come to live with us at the castle, your father, too. And we will tell anyone that asks about them that your beloved neighbors, the… what was it… the O’Flaherty’s? They will have ‘moved to the neighboring kingdom to make a better life for themselves’. All of you will suddenly disappear and no one will know that you were actually killed.” He explained in a singsong voice. “Again, I ask, beautifully planned isn’t it? All of us survive at the expense of just a few small, unimportant lives!” How would he sleep at night? Was all I could think, and as if he could read my mind he said,
    “And the worst I will grieve for you is a light bit of hunger when I have to go the extra two blocks to the next bakery!” Oh. So, my death really won’t mean anything? No one will remember me? I will have vanished off the face of the Earth. Leaving nothing but an empty house and bakery that will undoubtedly be cleaned out. Just like we picked up and left to live a wonderful life in a luxurious palace.
    “What are you waiting for? Tie her up!” The King commanded impatiently, and the guards followed his demeand immediately. I didn’t struggle as they tied my arms and then legs with thick, course rope. I didn’t even move an inch as Edward slung me over his shoulder lightly and carried me off like a sack of potatoes. My silent tears ran down my face, then his back, and finally to the ground with a tiny plop. I whimpered only once, but then covered it up with a cough. I would not show weakness. Even in death, I would be strong.
    He took me down the length of the hallway and out of stained glass double doors at the very end of it. Outside, I was met by the strange fairy-world again. Moonlight reflecting on flowers piled on top of more flowers. The thick perfume reached my nose and I sneezed. In case you didn’t know, it is very unpleasant to sneeze while hanging upside down. My head felt shock and blur for a split-second and then the feeling went away. The tears made a different sound on this path that wound through the thick perfume of roses, lilies, lilacs, and many more foreign ones I could not name.
    We finally reached a parting in the path where it widened into a perfect circle. Three people were waiting there for us. Two men and a woman stood without moving at all, not even to blink. I felt disbelief as I was watching. They were utterly beautiful, and I knew Edward had left this out because he didn’t want to feel shame for lusting after the woman that stood before me.
    She had golden blonde hair too gorgeous even for a Queen. Her body made tight, but soft curves into an appealing shape. The only thing that was disgusting to me was her blood-red eyes glowing faintly in the dark. I knew that any man who saw her would still want her, though. I didn’t want to look at the men, for fear of a much worse result on me. They were about to KILL me for, goodness sake! Why wouldn’t they at LEAST let me hate them?
    Edward dropped me on the floor, leaving blood on my elbows and knees. He ran back to the castle as fast as his legs would carry him. Go, I thought. Save your foul soul!
    Finally, my eyes drifted reluctantly to the men. I gasped lightly. One was just like the prince described. Long midnight colored hair that fell over a heart-shaped face. Infamous red eyes, skin looking hard as stone. His fit muscles showed through his tight canvas shirt.
    But I was not expecting what I saw when I slowly turned to look at the other man. I was immediately intoxicated. I could smell sweet perfume rippling off of his body in small waves. His dark dirty blonde medium-length hair was ruffled in the wind. His ivory skin glowed slightly as he stood just right in the moonlight. His muscles were not as large as the black-haired man, but they most definitely were still there. What was this feeling? I had never felt it in my life before! I could not quite catch my breath. My heart was fluttering like a humming bird’s. I was shaking, but not in fear. I felt, oddly… safe! How could that be? He was going to help KILL me!!! It was insane, but I still felt it. I wanted him. I wanted to rush up to him and wrap my arms around his stone neck. I wanted him to kiss me. I would have tried to shake the thoughts out of my head, but I could not take my eyes away from his frame to do just that.
    He was actually the one who brought me out of my trance. He tried to meet my eyes, and I followed his lead.
    There was instant horror, and I was back. How could I have ever loved those eyes? He had red eyes, the color of blood. I HATED him. He was going to take me away from my Pa. He was going to take my father away from his business. My lusty stare quickly morphed into a glare of the utmost hate. I snarl ripped from the deepest part of my vocals that I didn’t even know was there. I gritted my teeth until I thought they would grind to dust under the pure pressure.
    The blonde man sauntered up to me, like a mountain lion. He stood in front of me for a whole entire minute.
    I tried to snarl like I did before, but it seemed that that was a thing that I could not control. And now I was afraid. He was going to do it now. I saw it his bloody eyes.
    He sauntered the next two steps and did something that surprised me most of all the things that had put me into shock that day. I didn’t expect it to end like this. I thought that it would end with them all wrestling me down to the stone path, tearing me to shreds and sucking the blood out of me. That is not how it happened.
    “Follow the plan, Tristan” The woman’s voice trilled lightly like harpist’s quick fingers, “We need this!” she warned.
    He put one cold arm around my waist slowly, and I was back to breathing hard and a stuttering heart. My eyes nearly rolled back into my head from his smell alone. I tried to make myself fight it, but I could not.
    He saw that I was not going to react, and he slowly slipped the other arm around my waist and pulled my body toward his. I think I actually went with him on my own accord, but those last moments aren’t so clear now.
    He leaned over slowly into my neck and breathed in my… scent? That is only thing I could think of to explain it. He kissed my jaw lightly (this did not help the situation with my heart) and nuzzled my neck with his cold forehead. He then whimpered like he was about to do something that he was being forced to do. Didn’t he want to kill me? I couldn’t believe that the monster was whimpering over me.
    Then finally, he whispered the last words I heard as a human,
    “I’m sorry,” and then he opened his jaw around my neck and inserted his perfectly pointed, venomous teeth. He sucked gently, as if it would help my situation. His cold hands pulling me in on the small of my back were the last things I felt before I was vampire.

    * * * * *












    Burning

    At first, all I could feel was my senses sharpening. Except that it would come and go one by one. First, each of my nerve endings intensified. I could feel every pore on Tristan’s skin as he took his teeth from my neck and swept me into his arms like a baby. And it was gone.
    Then, I could see each individual petal on each flower in the garden… all at once. I could see a caterpillar wrapping itself in its cocoon on one side of the garden and a tiny mouse peek out from the bushes at the other end. I could still see every detail even though he was sprinting very fast now. And it was gone.
    I could taste every course that I’d eaten before on my tongue, and realized the thought of food made me want to vomit. So I did, all over the smooth path. I felt much better once there was no food left in my stomach. And it was gone.
    I could smell each small scent in the garden, and immediately felt very overpowered. I could smell Tristan’s odd perfume and finally name all of the scents that made his particular smell. He smelled like sun and rain at the same time. That’s because he smelled like heat and warmth, while he smelled fresh and new. I breathed it in and immediately relaxed. And it was gone. I wanted it back!
    “Don’t do that!” He warned gently. I was shocked at his spoken word.
    “Do what?” I asked, shocked.
    “Don’t fall asleep. It will only make things much, much worse” His mumble of a voice broke. I didn’t know why, but I know now that he was concerned with my well being.
    “Why didn’t you kill me?” I asked, suddenly angry, “You KNEW I was going to be in pain! Why would you leave me alive just so that I could lie in agony! Who would be so cruel as to suck almost all the blood out of a person, just to let them die with venom in their veins! YOU are a cruel, hateful, WORM!” worm? I guess it was the only thing I could think of.
    I could see the pain in his features and it looked like he wanted to CRY! Could vampires cry? I thought not, or else, with his expression, he would be sobbing huge, wet tears.
    “I know,” he screamed. Just one phrase! Whatever, I don’t care if he thought that that could cover the pain. And then I realized that his mouth and expression did not match the volume of his voice.
    It had sounded like a boom of thunder. But, his lips barely moved, and his expression hadn’t changed. I concluded that my ears must have been taking their turn with the odd intensity.
    I knew immediately after I had thought about it that I was right. The wind sounded like a tornado in the trees and his quick footsteps sounded like angry stomps against the pavement. I covered my ears to block the sound, but it barely muted it. And it was over.
    That was when the pain finally started. My neck felt hot like I had a fever. I could feel the dull heat spread to my toes and scalp like when you drink something hot.
    “Um, I think I’m getting sick…” and then I realized how stupid that sounded. Vampire venom must be like having the Black Death that had killed my great-grandfather.
    “That’s part of what happens, it’s normal,” I laughed at his word: normal! Nothing was normal anymore. His voice still sounded pained, though. So, maybe it wasn’t normal.
    “Oh.” That was all I could say in response. The heat was making me sleepy, and I drooped my body against him and laid my head against his cold, stone chest.
    “I said DON’T relax!!!” His voice was fierce and it jerked me awake, “I’m sorry, but TRUST me, it will be better that way!”
    “Ha! Trust YOU?” I laughed. Why should I trust HIM?
    “I know you have don’t have any reason to do anything I say right now, but just try, for mine and your sake,” He said, very convincingly, so I stayed awake, even though it must be extremely stupid to do anything he said.
    “Alright,” and I tensed my muscles for the extreme pain I was supposedly going to feel soon. All I felt was heat like I was lying on the grass on a very sunny day.
    “Hold in there, we will get there soon,” He said, trying to stall me from falling asleep again.
    “Sure, sure,” I yawned. I expected him to yawn too, just as a human instinct, and when he didn’t even flinch, I reminded my self that he wasn’t human. I just had to look into his eyes to show myself that.
    The landscape changed, and turned into rolling hills. There was an abandoned barn in the distance, and it was getting closer fast.
    I felt hotter and hotter, and it was starting to get uncomfortable. I squirmed, and he noticed,
    “I know, I know, try to stay still,” His voice sounded like it was trying to calm a child. But, I couldn’t. It was getting extremely hot.
    “Ahh, ow! That hurts!” I flinched as a flame of heat licked my throat.
    “ARGH!” I shrieked. It was getting alarmingly hot now. My whole neck seemed to be under extremely hot fire. I screamed even louder as the fire spread down to my chest.
    It had reached my heart, and I wanted to die.
    “Kill me! Please! I KNOW you can! PLEASE!!!!! KILL ME NOW! DO it NOW! AAAARRRGGHH!” I shrieked and squirmed out of control now. I kicked and thrashed at his stone body. It didn’t phase him in the slightest.
    “KILL! ME! NOW! PLEASE” I shrieked words of suicide over and over again. “N-O-W! NOW! DO IT!” I could feel my heart turn to ash underneath the heat. But, it still burned. I closed my eyes and gritted my teeth. My sight went black, but I could still feel the pain. I could feel the fire finally finish burning my heart all the way through. But, it did not dull at all when my heart was gone. It kept going, and going, and going.
    The pain was now around my belly-button area. I jerked back and forth in… whose arms? I couldn’t remember anything! I didn’t know who I was!!! I wanted to know what was going on and I wanted to know my name!
    “WHAT is my NAME?” My words came out in shrieks every so often because of the pain. No answer. I could feel his cold, hard chest against me. Why wouldn’t he tell me my NAME! I needed to know! I deserve to know. After all, it WAS my NAME!
    “Who ARE YOU?!” I shrieked. Still there was no answer. A feral snarl ripped out from my chest like it was the most normal thing in the world.
    The fire was spreading again. It was eating my legs!
    “CAN’T YOU SEE THAT I AM ON FIRE???? PUT ME OUT!!!” I couldn’t remember how I had gotten this way, either. I thrashed my arms around till they found my neck. It was the source of all the pain, after all. I felt two deep, precise incisions. I scratched at them as hard as I could. I needed to get the venom out! NOW! It was eating my body away in pain. I scratched till I could feel a hot, wet substance on my fingers. I still was blinded by fire, so I couldn’t se it.
    My mind told me the liquid was blood, but I knew that was wrong. I tried to search deeper into my own mind. VENOM. That was what it is. I quickly tried to wipe the disgusting stuff onto my dress. My beautiful dress! It was most likely ruined by now, and that made me sorry. My mother’s last gift to me was most likely ripped to shreds.
    I couldn’t think of anything else to do to help the pain, so I kept tearing at the skin around the two bites. Suddenly, to cold hands pulled my own away from the holes.
    “Don’t do that!” The voice said, scolding, “I have to put you in here!” he explained as he laid me down into a shallow pit and closed the doors.
    “I will come back to get you in ten years. When you have cooled down and become one of us.” He told me in a comforting, muffled voice from the outside. It was VERY far from comforting.
    “TEN YEARS??!?!?!” I shrieked in the loudest voice of all.
    “Yes.” For the first time today, his voice sounded cold and hard, “If I hadn’t inserted the venom JUST right, then it would be on hundred. Like the rest of us had to endure” Wait. I had just caught on. BE one of THEM? I finally understood their intention.
    “NO!!! KILL ME!!!” I sobbed through the blackness and fire, two things that don’t naturally go together, “PLEASE...KILL… ME!!!!” I did not WANT to be a vampire.
    The pain had finally engulfed my whole body.
    “ARGH!!!!” I thrashed as much as possible in the small space. It HURT. BAD.
    “Goodbye, Eve. I will let you out in ten years. Trust me, okay? Please?” His voice sounded like a weak beg.
    “Never!” I couldn’t trust THAT! A deep, grim sigh seeped through the cracks of the tiny cellar.
    “I’m truly sorry. Goodbye.” And he left. Just like that, and right then, I couldn’t even car, because of the excruciating pain. My body was slowly hardening, and my throat ached with everlasting thirst. I did not know how I could possibly last through this fire for TEN YEARS.
    And the purpose behind the pain made it even worse. I was going through all that stuff so I could change into a full-fledged MONSTER.
    “No!” I groaned weakly, “Kill me!” My voice croaked from over-use, “I don’t want to live anymore!” I still thrashed involuntarily. I was so tired. And I was so HOT! And most of all, I knew that I had not gone through one hour of this extreme pain. And I had eighty-seven thousand MORE hours of this.
    His footsteps were gone, though, and I knew he was not coming back for a long time.
    The pain never died down, or dulled until he said it would. And, I never got used to it, either. The fire raged for another nine years and three hundred and sixty-four days before it begun to do what I had hoped for. I knew it was time, because every day, I scratched the numbers in the dirt floor with a rusty nail that had fallen from the boards. I had to leave the nail in, because I still couldn’t see, and I needed to know where to make the last mark.
    I never counted the marks after the first seven months. I knew it was useless. And, now, the only thing I had enough mental and physical span for was writing the tally mark down, rolling over away from the nail, and seizing up in the pain again.
    The thing that surprised me, was that I didn’t feel a need for food in the whole time I was in there. I didn’t ever REALLY want water, even though the fire only got stronger each day. If I did not want water, then what was it that my scorched throat was craving for? I knew the answer, but didn’t want to say it out loud.
    The answer was blood. I wanted blood SO bad, but I couldn’t have it! I was stuck in here, and couldn’t bust open the door, because I was to busy being in pain.
    Finally, when the second to last day came, I didn’t even know that it was time, because I had given up on counting the days I marked. But, then, I could feel a slight part of my toes that let up the heat. It wasn’t much, but I could feel it there. Then, the pain in my entire feet started to fade away the next hour. I scrambled to feel the marks. There were many, and it took my two hours of extreme concentration in which my lower calves got a tiny bit better.
    I finally finished counting a long time later. Three thousand, five hundred and forty-nine tally marks. Tomorrow was the last day! I banged my head against the shallow ceiling when I looked up in surprise. It was FINALLY over.
    I KNEW that it was ending when I began to see the place I was in with very blurry vision. Then it just got better. My legs were now almost better as I sat up. My eye-sight was better than it was before already. I could look at the nail farthest from me and see all of the tiny grains in the wood.
    Then, when my body finally reduced to a dull ache all over, I reached up to test the cellar door. It was locked. I was BETTER now! I wanted out! I didn’t have to be locked up in here anymore! I was finished transforming into a monster now. In my utter fury, I banged my hand against the door. To my surprise, the whole door was reduced to sawdust with a single shove with my new hand. I had a new hand, but now it was time to start a new life.
    I lifted my aching body out of the cramped whole and stood in the old, abandoned barn.
    “Hello, Eve, I see you have finally come around,” It was Tristan.

    (Emma and Lauren, the beginning is for you, hope you’re happy) =)
    One Clan Left
    “Why couldn’t I fall asleep? In the beginning” My voice tinkled like a silver wind chime. I was lying of the ground of the barn, and it was the only question out of many that I could think of at the moment. I wished that I could be thinking clearer to ask a better one, but that was it.
    “You choose THAT one first? Out of all of them that could be swimming around in your head right now?” He echoed my thoughts. He was leaned the back of his head against the wall and smiled at me. I glared back.
    He may seem to have some odd infatuation with me, but I hated him to the core. I detested the fact that he was the only one that I could ask my questions of.
    “Yes, it is,” I declared boldly, “Do you have a problem with that?”
    “No, I just thought you would think of something more interesting.” He paused, “Did you notice how all during the whole transformation, not including the beginning, you weren’t able to slip in and out of consciousness?”
    “Yes,” This had been the worst part. I couldn’t even dream to get away from the fire and pain while I was in the cellar.
    “That’s because, something deep inside of you knows that if you were to fall asleep, then you would die. When you sleep during the process, the venom loses control and goes overboard. It keeps multiplying at an extremely fast rate, because your immune system is not as alert to the infection so that it can slow the venom down just enough. Finally, once your veins are fit to burst with venom, your brain terminates itself in confusion. You would have immediately died if you had fallen asleep.
    “But, in the beginning, before your body realizes what is happening to it, you get tired from fighting the invisible war of identities underneath your skin. Did you feel yourself wanting to slip into a nice warm bed and fall asleep?”
    “Yes…” I said slowly. This made so much sense I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before.
    “Well, if I hadn’t made sure that you didn’t go to sleep a decade ago on the way here, then your body would be an empty shell, buried in some graveyard back at your old home.” he paused… and I could feel an ‘I told you so’ coming on. He seemed to contemplate it, and then decide against it.
    “Do you understand that part now?” He asked me.
    “Yeah, but why did it take ten whole years?” I asked, and I said the words, the excruciation came back to my memory and I flinched.
    “That one we don’t know. We are trying to understand the anatomy of vampires, but the work is going very slowly because of the lack of proper technology and knowledge.”, he looked thoughtful, “But, my theory is that the vampire venom is intelligent. I think that it is actually an extremely small, but still living thing. It wants to infect people, but only those it thinks has ‘proved themselves’, you see? Because if it were like old legends say, ‘three days’ then anyone would want to become a vampire! Even though the pain is horrible, three days wouldn’t be nearly as bad as ten whole years.” That made sense, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was one hundred percent right. At least, I wouldn’t bet on it being wrong.
    “That leads to my next question. Can anyone become a vampire?” I had wondered why they had chosen me. If it was because I was the only one in the area that could even become one of them, then that would make a lot more sense, right?
    “No. Only a few in million people have the right make-up to become a vampire. That is the only reason you are here. We need anyone to join us that can. As you see, there are only three of us existing on the Earth today, well, now four. So, when we find someone who has the ability to, we need him or her to join us. We are close to extinction, and Gwendolyn will not let that happen. Oh, right, you don’t know the members of our… clan.” He hesitated, “Did I answer your last question well enough?”
    “Yes.” It wasn’t completely sufficient, but I really wanted to know about the rest of them. After all, I was going to spend the rest of my life with them. That made me wonder. How long would my life be? I wanted to ask, but I let him go on.
    “Okay, so there is Gwendolyn. She doesn’t have a surname. We just call her Gwen… or sometimes, I also call her Control Freak. Just a whole bunch of variations of her name, because its sort of a mouthful isn’t it” He waited for me to answer, so I gave a stiff nod, and he continued, “She was born around one hundred years ago. She was a wife of one of the knights in King Arthur’s court. When he went away on a mission one day, Jay- that’s the other vampire with us- came and transformed her. He had watched her for a long time, and wanted her with him. At that time, he didn’t know about the limitations of vampirization. He says it was fate that brought Gwen to us. Gwen and Jay are mates, by the way.” He was talking very fast and I didn’t even know whom King Arthur was.
    “So, now onto Jayaditya. We just call him Jay for short, though. Jay was born in a large Ancient Indian empire called the Mauryan Empire. He lived under the rule of a blood-thirsty (not literally) king named Ashoka.
    “Ashoka started a brutal war with the neighboring kingdom, Orissa. Jay had been in the battle and had been struck down by a fierce warrior. There was a vampire flocking around them, flitting from person to person lying on the ground, and sucking a bit of the fresh blood that was left out of each person. This vampire we later researched and found was named Arian. Arian was a large-built man that was infected at the beginning of time, but was shredded and burned by beings I will tell you about later in 100 BC. Arian had not ever knowingly infected a person, and so he didn’t know the effects he had on Jay. Jay was buried in a large pit with many other soldiers because he was thought to be dead. One hundred years later, Jay dug himself out and began his work on researching vampires.
    “It took him many years to try to find all the small details we know today about vampires. He had to infect three people to finally discover that sleep is fatal during the change to vampire. It took him many MORE years to find that only about one in every million could be infected and changed.
    “Jay’s dream is to one day be able to live among humans without killing them on contact. He wants to find a cure for the thirst of blood. Mainly though, he wants to be a scientist and share his knowledge with the world. He wants to help other people live better.
    “The could be no better man for the job. To prove my point, I ask you to look at your skin as closely as you can possibly look.” He implored. I did.
    I gasped out loud. My vision just kept zooming in further on one spot on my forearm. Now I could see extremely small squares that made up my entire arm. I zoomed in farther. The little squares had even smaller parts to them. There was a center hub that seemed to be sending information and signals to the other ones. I looked closer, and saw tiny strands of… I didn’t know the name. I told myself that I would learn it someday.
    I finally zoomed back out to regular view. I expected to feel dizzy, or at least… something. But, it felt just as normal as changing from walking to running to walking again.
    “Wow!” I gasped. I couldn’t comprehend how much I had been missing of my OWN body before.
    “That is exactly why Jay wants to be a scientist, because he can tell what is wrong with a person just by looking at a sample of the infected body part.”
    “I can see why he would like to go into that profession” I admitted.
    “You know, he knew the cure for the Black Death, but he couldn’t get near enough to the humans at that time to tell them the secret? At that time in his life, he wanted to cure the disease for it more than anything in the world. He wanted it even more than he loves Gwen. And that is MOST definitely saying something.”
    “What is the cure?” I asked. I could have made a lot of money if I had known the answer to that back when I was human.
    “It’s something called sulphanimide, or something like that. I wouldn’t know. Science doesn’t interest me nearly as much as it does Jay. He says it is the first of a series of antimicrobial drugs that he concocted,” I was surprised how little he knew about someone’s work hat he had been around his whole vampire life… which I was guessing was a very long time.” But now, I didn’t care so much about his roommates, but a different person entirely. Himself.
    “So, what DOES interest you? Tell me about yourself!” I asked him. He looked grim.
    “You don’t want to know about me.” He didn’t leave it open for questioning. I opened the subject, and he slammed it closed.
    “Alright…” I trailed off. This was a little bit awkward.
    “So… are you ready to meet them?” That took me completely off guard and I had to recuperate my mind.
    “Uh… sure, I guess, let’s go” I sounded dumb.
    “Alright, just follow me, then,” and then he sprinted gracefully toward the door in one lithe movement.

    * * * * *










    Sea Woman

    It felt good to race along the beautiful landscape. I could feel every blade of grass with my new body. I could see things that I hadn’t seen before. There was a new species that I saw floating along in the air. It was just like a little insect that let the wind carry it away. That made me wish that I could transform into the bug and fly away in the wind. Then maybe I could hope to get away from my body. I was a vampire, and I was NOT happy about it.
    Although, being a vampire DID feel kind of nice. I liked the feeling of my strong skin flexing over my rock-hard muscles as I ran. I knew that I could run forever and not feel tired. I could run so fast that water would not even stop me. I discovered this as we crossed a lake that was smack-dab in the middle of the path to Tristan’s “family” (and now mine, I tried to remind myself half-heartedly).
    I did not know how I had not noticed Tristan running over the water before. I guess I was in too much pain to notice much of anything around me. When I saw the lake in front of us, I started to veer towards the easier path. But he just kept going straight. When he noticed me stop, he took a sharp turn, ran back to me and stopped right in front of me.
    “You okay?” he asked.
    “I –I think so… but we have to go that way,” I pointed, “to get around the lake,” I said.
    “No we don’t. Follow me!” he took my hand and pulled me towards the water. He ran as fast as we could go, which was pretty fast. And when we came upon the water, I could feel it breaking on my heels, but when my feet first contacted with the water, it was like it was trying to realize that my feet were there before it could let physics take over.
    We were like those little “water skeeters” as Papa would call them. That slid across the water without breaking through. They are so light that they didn’t even break through water. I was speechless when Tristan looked back at me and smiled,
    “So, what do ya think?” His voice was loose, like a countryman. Like Papa’s. I tried to push the thought to the back of my mind. I didn’t want to add my worries for him on top of my other ones that currently existed.
    I ran forward as fast as I could to him, which meant that I could run faster than him by a long shot, and pushed him playfully. To my surprise he fell over on the water and broke the surface. I couldn’t help it, so I laughed out loud. It was so comical to see him with his hair all wet, bobbing up and down in the middle of a lake.
    “Hey!” He yelled at me, not unkindly.
    “Hey, what?” I asked through my bursts of laughs. I had forgotten to stop running (backwards, so I could watch him) and so I ran back to him. I had forgotten that the only reason I was on top of the water was because of my speed, so when I stopped right beside his head, my feet broke the surface and I fell into the water. I expected to meet cold, frigid water, but instead, the water felt just the same temperature as the air: breezy warm, with a tiny chill. This was my favorite temperature.
    I had just realized all of the things that I could discover now that I was a vampire. I could travel the world! I could do whatever I wanted to, and never worry about anything, except the slight problem that I had to suck human blood to sustain myself. And then the idea hit me. Right in the middle of a lake with Tristan now laughing at me. Did it have to be human blood? I had seen an animal bleed before, hadn’t I? When a wolf had gotten into Farmer Todd’s sheep pen, it had killed two sheep before Todd could get the wolf out of the pen by clanging a bunch of pots with metal spoons. It had bled into the ground and soaked it through with red stain. Just like humans!!! Tristan must have noticed the look of epiphany on my face, because he stopped laughing.
    “What is it?” he sounded a little bit worried. I decided that I could trust him with my new idea. Animals wouldn’t be nearly as bad as fellow humans!
    “I’ve got it!” I said.
    “Got what??” He asked, eager now.
    “I solution to all of our problems! Instead of human blood, we can drink the blood of animals! Jay could be a scientist. Gwen could marry a kind, wealthy man. I could travel the world!!” I was getting really excited. Tristan had a dumb look on his face,
    “What… is it not good?” I asked, disappointed now.
    “No! No, that’s not it. It’s just… how come I hadn’t thought of it before?” Now he was excited, too. My face lit up again.
    “We have to get to Gwen and Jay so that we can tell them the good news!” I immediately started grasping the water, trying to get back up on top again. Tristan laughed at me. I frowned and asked,
    “What is so funny?”
    “Silly, the only reason you can run on water is that you started out that way!” he burst out laughing again.
    “So how do you do it, O Mighty Intelligent One?” I asked sarcastically.
    “Easy, you will just have to swim!” he talked like I was so stupid for not knowing this.
    “Well, you HAVE had like a century or two to get this right, haven’t you? I’ve had less than a day!” I whined. I did not like the idea that he was so much older than me. If a regular person were that old, they would crumble to dust on the floor!
    “That certainly is true. But we need to get going so that we can tell Gwen and Jay what we know!” he started swimming off into the distance.
    “But I don’t know how to swi…” my voice trailed off as he kept going,
    “I want you to try and figure this one out by yourself,” his voice gurgled from the distance. He was barely talking out loud, but I could still hear him with my new more-than-perfect ears.
    “Easy for you to say,” I mumbled and his booming laughed echoed from his spot on the shore. I didn’t know how to swim, because I had never had a reason to learn. There wasn’t any body of water large enough to learn where I lived. I tried to doggy-paddle, but I just felt ridiculous and stopped immediately. Then I had the idea to go under water and see how the fish did it. Sounded good enough to me!
    So, I ducked my head under and focused my vision on the bottom of the clear lake (my new eyes did were not bothered by the water). There were hundreds of them, swimming around, big fish eating smaller ones. Then I tried to pull my mind away from shock and awe and watched their technique.
    The fish waved their tails and bodies back and forth and flipped little fins on their sides. I tried this and failed miserably. I knew that I looked insane from their view. To them, I was a perfect “human” that was trying to swim like them, waving back and forth ridiculously, trying to propel her body forward. I gave up, and was about to call desperately for help, when I saw a green thing flick through the water, I watched him more closely, and my eyes caught each small movement it made. I tried to pull it’s name out of my head, and I finally got “frog”. It was a name a few merchants used for disgusting slimy meats they sold to vendors on the streets.
    It curled its back legs in and flicked them out far, pushing the water and streaking forward. Also, it swept its front legs out in a curved motion and brought them back in towards its head. It repeated this motion over and over to go extremely fast through the water.
    I tried to duplicate THIS motion and was ten times more successful than trying to imitate the fish. My new body adapted this form of movement very well and I streaked through the water at a thrilling pace. I swam all the way to the bottom of the lake and discovered what was there. There were long seaweed plants that bound my legs together as if I was wearing an extremely tight skirt. That didn’t stop me, though. I flicked my legs, getting a little closer to the fish-like movement. I pushed my arms back against my sides, my long, curly hair flowing behind me. I swam to a far end of the lake and found a connecting stream. I swam down far until I reached the sea about an hour later. I just kept going!
    I reached a large rock in the foggy ocean and sat on it, basking in the delight of my new capability. I had always wondered about the mysteries of water and swimming. Now I knew!
    Then, all of the sudden, I humongous fishing ship came out of the fog and topped next to the rock. A man jumped out and started towards me on the small rock island.
    “Are you okay Missy? I saw from the…” his voice trailed off when he saw me. I realized in horror that my top had fallen off in the water! I immediately covered my chest as well as I could with my arms.
    “Go away!” I shrieked in embarrassment. Also, my throat was burning horribly from the faint smell of his blood. I did not want to kill anyone just yet.
    “You… you… you got a tail!!! Like a FISH!” He looked at me in wonderment. I realized that my seaweed “tail” must look slimy and fish-like to him.
    “Go. Away.” I ordered. I still didn’t have a top on, and I knew that I must have a new beauty about me like the rest of the vampires. My throat was burning horrifically, but I could not jump back into the water until I was sure that he was not there to watch me go.
    “You are a Sea Woman!!!” He screamed, and then jumped back on his boat. Later I would find that the stories of me had traveled far and wide. The turned the name Sea Woman into Mermaid, and said that Mermaids were strangely beautiful women who were half fish, half human. Later I would laugh at this, but then, I was horrified. I jumped off my rock when I was sure that they weren’t watching and swam quickly to the river.
    I had to steal a thick fishing jacket from a small boat that had crashed on the shore. I could NOT go back and see Tristan like that!! I also took a pair of light pants for when I got unstuck from the seaweed. Then I swam as fast as I could until I reached Tristan, waiting impatiently on the shore,
    “Where have you BEEN? We have to get going!” He scolded.
    “I just went for a little swim…” I replied lightly.

    * * * * *








    Meeting

    We picked up running immediately, and I couldn’t help but wonder what Papa was going through right then. I finally decided to voice my problems out loud, in desperate search of answers.
    “Do you have any idea what happened to my father?” I asked.
    “Well, what did Edward, or whatever his name is, say he was going to do?” I knew that he knew full well what Edward said. I could hear from a mile away if I wanted to, and I was almost positive that Tristan could too!
    Then that gave me the idea. I could listen for Papa, and try to hear what was going on with him. I stretched my hearing as far as it could go, and waded through all the different noises. First I could just hear the town muttering as one, and then I filtered through each conversation.
    I could hear Mr. Byron talking with his ‘friend’ Priscilla (the dancer at the local bar) while his wife Elizabeth was gone. And then the understood that Priscilla was his wife now… and they had had five children. Elizabeth had died.
    Just the last time I was in town… oh. Right then I realized that I had forgotten that even when I wasn’t in town to live with my tight-knit community, life still went on with everyone else.
    A while later, I followed the voices to my old home and Papa’s old bakery. Two people were talking right next to the door.
    “Oh, don’t you wish that the Marlin and his daughter…what’s-her-name, were here?” A middle-age woman asked.

    “Evelyn. Jessie, Eve was her nick-name,” Another woman replied.
    “Well, I was just going to say that I sure do miss their baked goods! They really left in a hurry didn’t they?”
    “Yes, they did! And so did the O’Flaherty family! I guess they both decided to take up residence somewhere else. The least they could have done was fix up the place first! They must have had a wild goodbye party before they left. Their house was left with windows broken and furniture smashed!” The woman gossiped on.
    “Yes, surely they did. I mean, look at it now, everything boarded up like that. The guards that were walking by yesterday ten years ago told me that the house and shop couldn’t be used again due to the harsh conditions that it was left in.”
    “Wow!” the lady gasped. Soon after, the two women moved on to a different topic and I tuned out. The town must be desperate for something exciting to happen if all they had to talk about was last decade’s news!
    I bitterly thought about how their next news could be a man or woman who was violently murdered by a rabid animal. Possibly an animal with pointy teeth, and maybe black hair. I could hear them now:
    “Did you hear?! Sammy was killed last night!” one of the women would say horrifically.
    “What?? He was my cousin’s son!” Then the second lady would start crying. The first woman would hug her and let her cry on her shoulder. The more I thought about it the more I was intent on finding an alternative to human blood. Another image flashed in front of me:
    A small boy with plump, rosy cheeks. His eyes are wide with fear as he tries to get the lump out of his throat to scream. Just like I did. His mother calls from the distance,
    “Sammy!? Where are you? Come back here now!” and then the child would look over his shoulder quickly and then back at me. I knew his fear like the back of my hand. I remembered so vividly the day when Tristan changed me. I knew that I could never forgive myself for doing that to a fellow human being. Ah, but I wasn’t human anymore, was I? I had to keep reminding myself of this fact.
    I noticed that I could think very deeply even when I was running. I remembered back to the day that I was changed. When I had run my legs and lungs burned with effort. Now, I could flit effortlessly anywhere I liked.
    I thought about the extents of this body. Could it be killed? I felt no immediate danger, but I knew that I needed to know this, just in case Gwen and Jay didn’t agree with my being in their new family.
    “Tristan?” I asked, tentatively, though I wasn’t sure why I was so hesitant.
    “Yes?” He responded. I paused.
    “How do you kill one of our kind?” I finally asked.
    “I’m not really sure of all the ways, since Jay can’t exactly test that without killing one of us. And what would be the point to knowing how we are killed if we aren’t alive to know, right?” yes, this did make sense. Every answer he gave me so far had made complete sense. He continued,
    “We know that if another vampire shreds and burns another vampire, it will kill them. But, that is only because that is how Jay’s infector was killed. Jay’s theory is that if you only shred another vampire and don’t burn them, then they will morph back together again.” Tristan stopped and looked at me for a response,
    “Um…” I tried to think of what to say, “How in the world did you figure that out?” I asked, very dumbly.
    “It was simple, really. One day, when the styles changed, Gwen wanted to cut her hair in a more fashionable way. But, when she tried to cut it, every time she made a snip, two minutes later it would just grow back to the way that it was before she changed. So Jay concluded that if we tried to change anything in our bodies, it would just go back to the way it was before. That’s why we would have to incinerate another vampire if we had to kill them. So that they wouldn’t form again and come back for revenge.” I must have had a frightened face on, because he hurried the next part, “not that we would have any reason to kill any existing vampire.” That made me feel much, much better.
    We were coming upon a large forest now. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to dodge the tress effectively.
    “This will amaze you,” Tristan said. I wondered what he was talking about until we came upon the forest and entered it.
    The trees moved past quickly, I knew, but it was like I had a automatic reflex to the trees. I flitted fairy-like through the trees. When a tree came up in front of me, I automatically danced out of the way and continued running. In fact, that’s exactly was like; a very complicated dance. I loved the way that this new body moved with ease, and beautifully, too.
    It must not have been another ten minutes (of very fast running) when the trees got even thicker. The effort did not increase though, I could still weave in and out of the trees with extremely little effort. I just had to think, “I don’t want to hit a tree and make a fool of myself,” and I moved even easier, with one fluid, continuing movement.
    I noticed the trees here, and they were frightening. The tops of the braches were entangled with each other, and the bark was rough and knobby. I saw an owl with glaring yellow eyes staring back at me as I searched the branches for predators. Then I realized what I was doing. I, of all people, was afraid of a panther or two when I was most likely the fiercest predator of all? I laughed aloud, and Tristan turned to me and tilted his head.
    “Never mind,” I shrugged. He nodded, still curious, but not willing to pry. I wondered again what his life had been like. I wondered how he had become a vampire. I would find out some day, I pledged to myself.
    Then, abruptly, out of nowhere, the trees ended. I was standing stiffly in a very large oval clearing. Looming above me was a gargantuan mansion. It was made of deep red bricks that I had never seen the likes of before. There was intricate black molding along the windows and doors. Speaking of windows, all the shades were shut on them, and the shades were also black. How depressing, I thought. Why would anyone want a house of all black?
    Tristan looked at me appraisingly, most likely trying to guess what I thought.
    “Interesting…” I muttered, even in that tone my voice sounded like tinkering bells.
    “Yes…” Tristan replied, seemingly to himself. I did not answer, I mean, how could anyone answer that? Tristan started walking toward the back of the mansion, and he motioned for me to follow him. I obliged and walked toward where he was going.
    When we reached the back, we were in a large field occupied with flowers.
    “Some are used in Jay’s experiments, and others are just for Gwen’s enjoyment. At the mention of Gwen, I spotted her, fifty yards from us. She was bending down with a watering can, letting the drops sprinkle down onto the leaves and petals. When she spotted us out of her peripheral vision, she snapped up gracefully. Her full lips pulled us into a breathtaking smile. I smiled timidly back, knowing even with my new upgrade in beauty, I could not compare to Gwen.
    She started towards us, almost running, sort of skipping, and not quite walking… all at the same time.
    “Hello!” she called, her voice not nearly as menacing as the night I changed. Now her voice was… well, the only way to explain it was preppy, but that does no quite explain. She sounded like… a girl.
    “Hello,” I whispered, knowing she could hear me, especially since she was not a few short lithe steps away, even after just a few moments to cross the distance between us. She closed the distance and stuck out her hand for me to shake
    “I am Gwen! Well, actually my name is Gwendolyn, but that is soo old-fashion. Please, call me Gwen. I am also thinking about going by Wendy. It’s a lot more modern, don’t you think?” She said all of this very quickly.
    “Um… yes, I guess,” I mumbled, and she frowned slightly.
    “That’s a lot to take in, isn’t it? I’m sorry, I try not to talk so fast and everything, but when I get excited,” she raced on, “I just can’t help talking! And I haven’t had any change in the past…” she counted on her fingers, “around ninety years.” I just stared at her for a moment before I got a grip.
    “That’s okay, Gwen” I said, trying out her name on my tongue.
    “Just so you know, you really turned out great. Since the transformation, you know,” She complimented.
    “Uh, thanks…” I mumbled. I hadn’t really seen myself yet, so I didn’t know if she was being polite, or if she really meant it.
    “Oooh! Can I be the first to let you see yourself in a mirror?!” she inquired, at a pinnacle of excitement now, talking a mile a minute.
    “Uh… sure, I don’t care,” I answered, really not caring. If it made her happy, why not? At my answer, she immediately grabbed my hand, starting to pull me toward the mansion.
    “Uh, Gwen?” Tristan interjected.
    “What is it Tris? I wanna show her what she looks like!” she answered, impatiently. I remembered the idea I’d had in the lake.
    “I have something that I need to tell you, and Jay. Where is he? Right after we talk, then you can go show Eve the mirror, ‘kay?” Gwen groaned.
    “I gue-ess,” she complained. I smiled in amusement at her child-like, girlish qualities, “He’s in the lab,” she told Tristan grudgingly. Then, she grabbed hold of my hand again and pulled me toward the mansion. Oddly, I felt safe. I ran with her willingly.
    We entered the house, and I didn’t pause in awe at the house, like I would have before, but just kept going. I knew that ten years ago, like I had at the castle, I would have stopped and stared at my luxurious surroundings. We rushed onward down a flight of stairs into a basement (something I had not seen before at that point).
    We went through silver swinging-doors and entered a room filled with glass tubes, flasks, and Petri dishes. I noticed Jay sitting at a desk with papers scattered around him. He was mumbling to himself and jotting down numbers and words extremely fast.
    “A plus B squared equals ten plus c. And the equilibrium of the two numbers is thirty-three…” his muttering was continuous. He looked up when he noticed us.
    “Ah, Eve! I see you have finally made it to us! And the theory I discovered was true! You don’t have to wait the full hundred years if the venom enters the body correctly! Fantastic! I am Jay, by the way.” His speech was extremely slow and laid back compared to Gwen’s.
    “Hello, Jay,” I responded, feeling more comfortable by the moment. Tristan interrupted our greeting with the new possible lead we had.
    “Jay, while we were on the way here, Eve had a wonderful idea I thought you might want to know about…” and he began to explain what I had thought of at the lake.

    * * * * *


    Gambling New Love

    “Okay… go on,” Jay answered anxiously. Tristan turned to me.
    “Did you want to explain it? You’re the one that had the idea… and I don’t know if I can do it right…” he offered. I did NOT want to explain my in front of these new people. I was truly shy, especially in front of extremely beautiful people.
    “Can you just go already?” Gwen asked impatiently. Tristan nodded at me, and I knew he was going to make me explain.
    “Uh… well, I guess it sort of just came to me while I was in the lake with Tristan. I just got this sort of good idea, it’s really no big deal…” I mumbled self-consciously.
    “- Are you KIDDING me?” Tristan asked incredulously, “It’s a wonderful idea, now just explain it already! Don’t be nervous.”
    “Wait, what? What would she have to be nervous about?” Gwen asked. Tristan gave her a look and zipped her lips.
    “Well, what I was trying to say, is that I got a pretty good,” Tristan gave me a look here, “Okay, okay! So maybe it was an extraordinary idea! But it will only be a good idea if it works!”
    “What works!?” this was the first time that Jay had gotten impatient in front of me. I had the feeling that he didn’t loose his cool very often. This made pursue faster so that I could avoid anything bad happening.
    “Wellll,” I said, “I thought that maybe, just maybe, we could live off of animal blood instead of human blood? Then we wouldn’t have to kill anybody.” Once I finished, Gwen yelped and Jay jumped up in surprise. I got the wrong impression and braced to run. The way they had reacted made me think that I had said something terribly, horribly wrong.
    “Huh? What’s the matter?” I asked. They all froze and turned to me.
    “The matter, what do you mean the matter? I think you have just figured out the solution to all of our problems. I can’t for the life of me think of why I didn’t think of it before!” Jay told me.
    “If this works, then it will make us all SO much happier!” Gwen exclaimed. She lifted me into a hug and swung me around gleefully. I was stunned, to say the least.
    “IF, it works…” I grumbled. Everyone calmed down at these words and sat back in their seats across from Jay’s marble lab desk.
    “That is very true. I wonder, if there is a way to test this before we actually risk anything.” He pondered on this for a moment.
    “I will do it!” I exclaimed, glad to help. Not only that, but it was also the fact that I didn’t think that anything worse could happen to me.
    “NO!” Tristan growled and crouched in between Jay and me. I back up a few steps, and then moved forward again.
    “Why? I’m sure that it will do no harm, if it doesn’t do good.” I reasoned, not actually knowing if what I said was true.
    “No, Tristan is right, one of us should do it…” he let the end of that statement just hang there. It was like a question “who will do it” instead of a statement.
    “I want to,” Tristan firmly replied, and the way he said it, no one dared to argue with him.
    “Fine. I don’t think there is really any preparation that we can have for this. I will go and bring the animal.” Jay said.
    “Be back soon!” Gwen replied, as if he were just going to walk down the street and back. I guess she knew that he was pretty much invincible to anything that he could find out there. Truth be told, I was still a little bit worried for both of them. If Tristan died in this little experiment, then I knew that I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself. And, also, I knew that Gwen and Jay just might chase me out of their little coven if I damaged their family by inadvertently killing “Tris”. If he died, I would have to run away before they could get to me.
    “Can I see myself in the mirror now?” I asked with false cheerfulness.
    “Oh! Of course! Come this way!” Gwen pulled me along like I was a fascinating new toy. She led me into a beautiful bedroom bedecked all around in raw gold silk. The carpets, drapes, bed cover, and pretty much everything else were covered in it. I gasped suddenly, but the room was not the reason. I had caught glimpse of my new body in the full-length mirror across from me in the room. I slowly approached the stranger in the reflection.
    My skin was extremely fair, and it looked soft as the silk in the room, and hard as a rock, all at the same time. Gwen stood behind me and pulled the damaged combs out of my hair, and my black hair fell gracefully down my back in perfect curls. My body curved in a perfect, yet edgy shape, even underneath the baggy fisherman’s coat and pants. My full lips formed a perfect innocent “o” on my face in surprise.
    What surprised me most though, were my eyes. They weren’t red! I didn’t understand this, since I was a vampire and all the vampires I’d seen had red eyes. Right then, my eyes were a cold and hard grey, with flecks of reflective green. The green parts sparkled in the light. Before, green had been my regular eye color, but I guessed being a cold and hard person turned everything green.
    “My eyes…” I trailed off, not quite either a question or a statement.
    “Oh, yes, I bet you’re real glad they’re not red. But that will change, once you’ve tasted blood, they will probably be neon red, with an extremely slight bit of green in them.” She explained in her fast, excited way, “So… what do you think?” she asked, jumping up and down slightly now.
    “Wow,” I said, “Beautiful. In a scary way, like someone you would avoid coming in contact with the streets.”
    “Well, yes. That’s true, but this is how we get our food. We reel in the people fascinated with our beauty in the night and then feed!” She said this with out falter, which surprised me. She did have about a hundred years on her, but even after another century, I don’t think that I could be so… forgiving to myself. She must’ve seen my look because she quickly added,
    “I don’t like it, but eventually you just have to see past it. There’s nothing we can do to change it. Well, until now.” It made me feel a little better that she wasn’t completely comfortable with it yet either. I looked back to the mirror and tried to imagine myself with blood-red eyes. It didn’t work with my new face getting in the way. I wondered at how the transformation had made my already babyish face look even more towards thirteen years old instead of my current sixteen. I looked like a cherubic angel, even though I was the kind that got people close enough to kill them, instead of shooting love arrows.
    “We’ll get you some new clothes!” Gwen said delightedly. She pulled me (yet again) into an adjacent room. She fitted me in a jade-colored velvet gown. I gasped when I looked closer.
    “Yes,” she answered my thoughts, “That was your mother’s gown. I thought you might like it, since you were so close to her!” She said proudly.
    “Thank you,” I choked out, “you have no idea how much I appreciate it.” I slipped it on and looked in the mirror. It fit perfectly and complimented my curves. The color brought out the green in my eyes.
    “Let’s show Tris! He will love it.” She grabbed my arm and led me down the stairs.
    “Gwen,” Tristan shook his head, “I’m sure that she can walk fine by herself.”
    “What?” she looked down at her arm pulling on mine lightly, “Oh, yes, I’m sorry,” I’m sure that if she could’ve blushed that she would.
    “No, it’s really okay,” and it was, it made me feel safe, the way she treated me like her own sister already after so little time. Tristan looked at me and smiled.
    “Beautiful,” he appraised.
    Just then, Jay called from outside. I guess he didn’t want to stain the carpets with whatever animal he had brought back. I grabbed the door handle and flitted outside. I gasped at the size of the animal he had brought back. It was a white bear, and it must have come from very far away, because I had never seen anything like it before. There were two neat holes in it’s neck, dripping with blood.
    “This was the best I could find in a thousand-mile radius.” He said. A thousand miles! How could he possibly travel that fast? I looked at his corded muscled and amended my thoughts.
    “It will do fine,” Tristan said. He turned to me, got this funny look in his eyes and surprised me yet again. He grabbed me at the waist and kissed me. Another thing that surprised me, was that I kissed him back. My hands knotted in his hair, and just as I wanted more, he stopped. Immediately after he’d stopped I felt very embarrassed, just like Gwen had, I felt like if I could have blushed, I would. He had kissed me in front of Gwen and Jay. Gwen giggled delightedly. He leaned into my ear and said,
    “I hope this works, because I wouldn’t want to leave you behind,” I didn’t understand his words. I didn’t understand any of this. Why did he love me? He didn’t even know me! He had only watched me from a distance, planning my death. I took back that thought, because from what I had observed he didn’t want me to have to be like him at all. He had wanted me to have a chance at a normal life.
    I wanted to pull him back as he sauntered forebodingly toward the bear lying on the grass. He had thrust me into these brand-new feelings, and they just might be taken away from me very suddenly. My worried face crumpled as he crouched down and put his mouth to the animal. He drew blood slowly, and then stood.
    “I feel somewhat sustained,” he said. I could see it, too. Already his eyes were growing slightly blue-grey. I rushed up to him, but a second before I got there he collapsed on the floor. I raced up beside him and held him as he writhed in agony.
    “Ah! It’s- it doesn’t – the human blood- animal,” he raved. I looked up, and saw Jay and Gwen’s faces. They were in shock, so I knew I still had time. I kissed Tristan one last time and whispered,
    “I love you, too, Tris,” and then I sprung to my feet. I raced as fast as I could – and that was extremely fast – to the safety of the trees. I heard Jay,
    “Stop, Eve,” I also heard Gwen crying without tears behind me. I blocked them out and just ran.

    * * * * *






    The East

    I ran east as far and fast as I could. I had to skirt around towns and cities. I knew if I went in them that I would kill someone. I felt my throat parch even as I passed a mile around the last building in the smallest town. I ran so far I didn’t know if it ended. The sun set in the sky, but I didn’t feel any need to sleep. When I finally reached a wall of water at the east, I didn’t know where to go next. I sat on a cliff in the beach and stared over the side. I wondered for the millionth time how much my body could withstand before it would give into death or at least injury. I pictured my body lying among the sharp rocks in the sea, and liked the picture.
    I mean, look at it through my eyes. I had just lost who then I thought was my new found love of my life. I didn’t have any family left, or friends for that matter. And to top it all off, I knew I was only postponing the fact that eventually I would have to feed off a not-so-much-fellow human being. As if to emphasize the fact, my throat flamed up in hunger. I suppressed it and thought again about suicidal thoughts.
    I decided, and stood up on the highest part of the cliff, with the sharpest rocks below. I positioned myself directly above the pointiest spike and spread my arms like an eagle. I let my weight fall forward, and suddenly I was gliding through the air. My dress rippled in the wind and I dove swiftly toward the water. It started to sob-without-tears halfway through my potential suicide and rain emptied from the sky. The rocks seemed to sharpen with my want to die. Finally, my body hit the rocks.
    I screamed, but not because of pain. I was angry that it did not hurt. I thrashed against the rocks and sobbed harder. The rain got harder (if that was possible). I screamed hysterically amid hiccupping sobs. I banged my head as hard as I could against the cliff-face.
    “NO! LET ME DIE!” I yelled at the sky. Thunder rumbled and lightning struck right down on my head, but stopped there. It did not harm me a bit! I hit the cliff-face in my anger and the whole thing started to crumble to bits. I stayed where I was, hoping to be crushed by the rocks. As dirt fell on top me, an air bubble formed around me and none of the rocks touched me.
    “AH!” I screamed, so frustrated that I could do whatever I wanted considering strength except the one thing that I wanted to do the most; kill myself! I sat there in my bubble amidst the dirt and sobbed for almost the whole entire night. When I gave up, I just sat there, lying on my side staring into the rocks below me. My throat flamed.
    I was so delusional that I thought that I had heard Tristan’s voice calling my name,
    “Eve, Eve honey! You can come back now! I’m still alive. The animal blood only made me…” I blocked the voice in my head. I had wanted him back so bad that I was forcing myself to hear him calling my name.
    Eventually, I got up and climbed out of my rock hole, which wasn’t very hard, because my bubble of air just moved with me. I got to the ocean and swam. That just made it worse, because it made me think of Tristan and how he had made me teach myself to swim. But, I forced myself to push the thoughts aside and keep swimming. I figured that I could swim to the edge of the world, and when I fell off, the monsters down there would eat me up and kill me. Maybe vampires were over the edge of the world, and then they could kill me! I swam faster.
    I swam day after day for a four days straight. When I swam, I just got faster and faster, never getting tired, needing sleep or food. What happened next surprised me more than anything else yet. As the sun rose on the first day, I saw a blur on the horizon. I focused my vision further and saw… land! Had I came to a new land? Vegetation grew along the beach in a lush green color.
    I sped up to as fast as I could go and climbed onto the beach quickly. I explored the land and found a creek gurgling through the woods. My throat burned again, and I finally realized how I could kill myself. How had Tristan died?
    “Ha!” my voice echoed triumphantly. I willed animals to be on this new land as I searched for one. Almost immediately, I heard a growling noise from deeper in the trees. A beautiful grey wolf’s head popped out from around a tree, and I pounced at once. I grabbed for it’s neck and sucked.
    Warm fluid rushed into my mouth. It tasted wonderful, nothing like as if I had bitten my tongue. It tasted like sweet nectar on a spring honeysuckle. I drew even more. I quickly drained the whole animal and felt much, much better. Wait! I thought, I wasn’t supposed to feel better! I was supposed to be dying on the ground. I was supposed to die! I kept repeating in my head.
    I suddenly remembered what Tris had been saying when he died.
    “Ah! It’s- it doesn’t – the human blood- animal,” I finally understood. He was trying to say that the animal blood didn’t work co-existing with human blood! And… I hadn’t had human blood before! What a cruel trick! Vampires could only depend on the source of animal blood if they had never tasted human blood.
    The more I thought about it, the more it didn’t seem as bad. I may not have my love, or my friends and family, but I didn’t have to live off of human blood! I could co-exist with humans!
    Then I caught my self. I laughed bitterly as I realized that there probably weren’t humans in this new place. As if in answer to my question, I heard drums beating in the distance and interesting sounding voices carrying over the trees.
    * * * * *
     
  16. Killbot608

    Killbot608 prototype killing machine

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,305
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    I'm Omnipresent
    Ratings:
    +24 / 0 / -0
    good stuff :)
     
  17. Elvenwriter

    Elvenwriter Mmmm, Spam

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Disappeared in the Music
    Ratings:
    +30 / 0 / -0
    thank you ^_^