The Vampire Night
� 1998 Rose Blackwood
"Are you sure꿢bsolutely sure you want this, Rebecca?" he asked.
"Yes," I answered firmly, looking around at the dark graveyard with interest. I could never have imagined that I뭗 have the nerve to come to a place like this at midnight, let alone in the daytime. But he was still looking at me, wanting some kind of assurance, and so I smiled, and focused my attention on him.
He was gorgeous really, his hair so black and sleek; his eyes so dark and enigmatic. And I had never seen such perfect, flawless flesh in all my days. It had the unblemished quality of a marble statue, yet appeared as soft and dewy as a baby뭩 flesh. I had to remind myself that he was every bit as dangerous as he was beautiful.
"But I must make absolutely sure," He said again. "Unlike the way my kind are portrayed in fiction, we really aren뭪 the blood thirsty killers people think we are, and if you have any doubts, any doubts at all, you must tell me now."
Yes, I had doubts, I thought. I questioned my own sanity in being here.
But as the anxiety surfaced once again, I forced it back down, remembering the dagger in my pocket.
"I뾋뭢 sure that this is what I want, but I do have a few questions that I want you to answer꿭ust out of curiosity뭩 sake."
"Ask away. We have until dawn."
"I thought vampires could read minds."
"Again, that뭩 just fiction. We really don뭪 have any qualities that are different from when we were mortal, except that we no longer age, and must have blood to replenish ourselves. Oh, and I뭢 definitely a night person now." He joked.
Obviously he sensed I was nervous and was trying to alleviate my fear. In response, I forced a smile, and he lead me to a stone bench that sat on a bit of an incline in the old cemetery. We sat, my eyes on the many angels, mausoleums, crosses, and assorted tombstones that made up the surroundings. They had a red-gray glow on one side from the mingling of moonlight and stars that made them appear all the more romantically sinister.
Something about cemeteries had always bothered me, but the only reason I was thinking about that now, was because I was struggling to find the words. My mind was full of questions. I had come with a single purpose, but I was curious nevertheless, and at present I was too nervous to proceed with my plan.
"Well it be painful?" I asked.
"Only a bit at first, but most people consider it pleasurable in a strange almost sensual way."
"And did you experience this 몆leasure� when you became an immortal?"
"Of course. The bite and the following pleasure are something that I뭠l never forget, and something that I still experience on my nightly sojourns. You see, the pleasure is reciprocated."
"Actually, I wasn뭪 referring to the bite. I meant dying. Did it hurt when you died?"
He took in a deep breath and stared off into nowhere for a few seconds. "That뭩 a difficult question to answer. In some ways, it뭩 very painful, but only at first, because all of your organs꿾ell꿻hey react to the shock of death somewhat violently as the normal functions suddenly cease.
Did it hurt my sister, I thought, but I concentrated on what he was saying.
"I guess I could say that it makes you feel as if every cell is suddenly being suffocated as the life force leaves your body. But this symptom doesn뭪 last long, no more than a few minutes, and then you뭠l go into this dark unconscious period that will last for about four or five days. Then you뭠l feel wonderful again as immortality enters your body. There will be a shocking sizzle through every one of your cells as they뭨e replenished, and you뭠l feel warm and alive as never before."
"And then, I뭠l immediately want blood?"
"That뭩 depends on whether or not you뭨e embalmed. If you are, you뭠l want blood immediately and plenty of it, and the embalming fluid will burn through your veins until it eventually works its way out of your system. However, if your family follows your will, and honors your last request, then you뭠l have plenty of your own blood in your veins. Though it will congeal, it will liquefy during your replenishment. A couple of days later, however, you뭠l crave it badly. You뭠l always crave it, and it will always be on your mind. Even now, as I sit here, I뭢 thinking about how very much I뭗 love to sample yours, even though I had just had a good measure of fresh blood about an hour ago. In life I smoked, and I guess I can say that the craving is similar, and grows even stronger the longer we are without that precious, life-giving fluid."
Were you craving it the night you came to my house? The night you killed my sister?
"One thing that bothers me is killing people! I don뭪 want to kill anyone! Is there no other way to satisfy this craving?"
"Unfortunately, only human blood will do! But, I understand what you뭨e saying! I felt much the same way when I was considering becoming an immortal, but I assure you that killing is rare. I don뭪 take too much blood, when I find a victim--only a small amount. The person will feel weak for a couple of days, but they will replenish the loss fully within a few days. But�"
"But?" I asked, hoping he뭗 confess. Hoping, for some strange reason, that he wasn뭪 a complete liar.
"But sometimes accidents occur that can뭪 be helped. Sometimes the person may have an illness we don뭪 know about, which makes any kind of bloodletting fatal. And sometimes we can get carried away and forget ourselves. At first, you don뭪 know how much blood you need and how much you can take without causing a fatal injury. But as you gain experience, you뭠l find that such accidents rarely happen."
"And when was your last 멹atal injury,� if I may be so bold?"
"Oh, I remember it well. And it뭩 something that I wholly regret. There was a beautiful girl living in a house only about two blocks from here. She had lovely long dark hair, and bright green eyes, much like yours," he said as he ran a finger slowly across my cheek.
Though I shivered at his touch, I said nothing as he continued his tale. In fact, I was so fascinated with what he was about to say that I scarcely breathed out of fear I뭗 miss a single word.
"She knew about me. She had come to the cemetery with some of her high school friends late one night, due to some outrageous bet about who had enough nerve to stay in the graveyard all night. Of course, they had encountered me when I arose from my crypt at nightfall, and most of them had been horrified, instantly fleeing in fear. But not her! She had remained behind, literally fascinated with my immortality and wanting a piece of it herself.
I refused her this, due to her age and immaturity, and forced her to go home. But, desperately craving her blood, to the point that I could think of little else, I went to her house a few nights later and entered her bedroom through the open window. She greeted me warmly, as if she'd been expecting me and was fully aware of what I was about�"
He paused, and I was ever more aware of the jagged dagger in my pocket. It was a special dagger made of pure gold, and I had paid a considerable sum to have it made. But it would be worth it to avenge my sister.
"And?" I urged.
"And I took her into my arms and feasted on her glorious blood. I swear that it was the best blood I뭗 ever tasted. Truly as sweet and as smooth as the finest wine from France. I tried to stop myself, but I couldn뭪. I drained her too much. Still, she would have lived had she been healthy꿣ut she꿺he wasn뭪."
That뭩 a lie. A downright lie. Christina was the healthiest, most vivacious person I뭭e ever known. She had a golden glow and sparkling eyes. She possessed all of the glories of youth. And she was always active. Always. She was a cheerleader and had practiced for several hours daily in the school gymnasium, something that just wouldn뭪 have been possible had she been ill!
"What do you mean? What was wrong with her?"
"She had leukemia."
Anger and terror ran rampant in my blood. Christina had not had leukemia. I was certain of that! I was going to pull that dagger out and run it through his wicked, black heart. Then I was going to cut off his head and burn his body in the tradition of European vampire slaying. He뭗 never harm another innocent victim again.
I had spent years trying to get over my sister뭩 death and my own horrors of what I뭗 seen that night.
I had been in a state of hysteria afterward, and my parents had taken me to a psychiatrist immediately after Christina뭩 demise, because I had refused to speak.
I had seen an endless number of such doctors since then, and they had all thought my vampire story some sort of anxiety produced psychosis due to Christina뭩 death. Even I had tried to convince myself of this diagnosis for a while, but I knew what I saw that night. My sister and I had shared a room, and I was in the other twin bed. Of course they had both thought I was asleep, but I wasn뭪: I saw him enter through the window; I saw him take her into his arms; and I saw him bite and drink her blood until she fell to the floor dead. Still, I had lain there, too afraid to scream, too afraid to move, and my mother had found me in a catatonic state the next morning...
"It was simply impossible to tell that she was ill!" he continued. "She had looked so healthy, so golden. I뭗 wager that even her parents didn뭪 know that she was terminally ill. Maybe she didn뭪 even know why she had been feeling so weak and under the weather. She probably figured that she had simply been working out too much and needed a rest."
What if he뭩 telling the truth? A little voice inside my head suddenly butted in, and I tried to fight it back down with my ire and my remorse and my memories, but it interfered yet again. What if Christina did have leukemia?
What if he didn뭪 know? No! It wasn뭪 possible. It just wasn뭪 possible! Christina had never been sick a day in her life. He뭩 simply making excuses for killing her!
"But I prefer to speak no more of it. That뭩 something that뭩 in the past now, and something that I can뭪 change. Now, I have a question for you. Have you made the arrangements I asked you to?"
"The arrangements. Have you done as I asked?"
"Yes뀂es! I purchased a coffin and made all of my burial arrangements, specifying that I was not to be embalmed and that I was to be interred in the mausoleums here. Also, I made sure my will was in order as you requested."
"Good!" he said. "It will make things easier for your family. You will need to go through the entire ritual, funeral and all. If I drain you tonight, your body will be found here in the graveyard tomorrow. For the entire world you뭠l look like you뭨e dead, and truly your temperature will drop and rigor mortis will sit in. You뭠l even decay, but this tissue will peel off and beneath it, your flesh will be as beautiful as ever. "
Now was the time. I was about to draw out the dagger, about to plunge it deep in his heart, when I heard a woman뭩 voice.
"Yes, your flesh will be beautiful, Rebecca. Like mine."
I turned on my seat to see a woman coming toward us, her long, fiery hair flowing about her, as her long, white gown was picked up by the wind. My heart beat fast with joy, for it was Christina.
She was quite a ways away, but I could tell it was her. She looked like more of a child than a woman, yet she was a woman now nevertheless.
I glanced at him, and realized that he'd known my intent all along.
She gave me a crooked grin, not a vicious grin, but a grin all the same.
"That뭩 right, Rebecca. Your sister is not truly dead, but shall live forevermore. I only regret that I뭭e not given her the choice to live this existence. You see, when a vampire drains more blood than a person can stand, that person becomes a vampire just as you would have had you let me continue. I know that you came here to destroy me, but I simply can뭪 allow you to do that. Normally, I뭗 kill anyone whom I see as a threat to me, but considering the circumstances and the fact that you're Christina뭩 sister, I뭠l allow you to go. Please leave here now, and never look back. Forget that you ever met me.
Again, I stared at my sister who was coming ever closer.
This was a miracle to me. She was alive, and would live forevermore, here, with him.
"Rebecca!" she said, more urgently.
I took the knife out of my pocket at last, and I stared at it, and then at him. Then I tossed it on the ground.
I stood and brushed back my hair from my neck and held myself firmly before them. "No," I said, "I뭭e decided to stay."
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