“Sam! Come and take this box!” Sam sighed; taking his gaze away from the new house he was soon to be calling home and turned back to his mother. She was stood by the open boot of a car, a large box obscuring most of her body from view, but Sam could see the mucky white trainers on her feet and the bottom of her denim skirt from behind the cardboard.
It was late August and, unsurprisingly, it was raining in Bristol. Twenty year old Sam was the oldest of the two Whale children, having lived most of his life with his mother and brother in Devon, only now it was time for Sam to move on, to live a new life, a life he was making for himself.
But in the same way that every house has it’s ghosts, every person has their shadows, and Sam Whale was no stranger to his shadow.
“Sam! Box!” his mother shouted again just as Sam grabbed onto the surprisingly heavy cardboard box. “Thank you” she said, placing her hands on her back and bending over backwards, her back clicking slightly.
It wasn’t a very big house, and it wasn’t the most elegant that Bristol had to offer, but if you were going to start a new life then you had to start somewhere.
The house was made of grey brick with a white front door, three windows visible from the front of the house, one on the first floor, two on the second.
“So how many of you are there?” His mother asked, indicting to the small house with her arms carrying another, significantly smaller box.
“There are only two of us” he replied, smiling down at his mother, the rain was splattering her blonde hair, plastering it to her temples.
“Best hurry up then” she replied, walking up the chipped stones of the driveway before nudging the already unlocked door. “Don’t want you getting the worst room” she said and disappeared. With a slight laugh, and a glance back at the car where his younger brother Daniel sat playing with his game-boy, Sam followed her into the house.
The inside of the house looked just as dingy as the exterior. The walls were a strange beige colour, the carpet only a few shades darker. The ceiling was white, cracking and peeling in some places. A stair case, covered by the same mangy carpet with a peeling white painted banister was against the right side in the doorway. Sam could easily see a cupboard beneath the stairs and two doors both of them open to reveal a kitchen and a living room.
Hearing the sounds of footfalls above him, Sam ventured up the stairs after his mum. At the top of the stairs was an open door leading into what Sam assumed to be the shared bathroom, next to that was a bedroom with boxes and suitcases already sat atop the bare bed. Across the hall were two more doors, one open, one not.
“This one’s nice, Sam” he heard his mum say. Following her voice, he found himself in the first of the two empty bedrooms, the one with the open door. When his mother said ‘nice’ Sam assumed she meant the small room was salvageable. The room itself was simple and plain, four walls, all of which looked the same length, a large window with mangy white blinds and light beige walls, the carpet matching and the only furniture in the room was a bare wooden bed frame with a plastic wrapped mattress and a wooden desk.
“Sure,” he replied, watching as a fly smacked into the glass window a few times before continuing it’s buzzing around the room. “I suppose it’s nice.” Dumping the large box on the bed, Sam turned, walking back the same route he came to explore the rest of the house while his mother continued to bring in boxes.
The living room was slightly more pleasant, with white-ish walls, beige carpet and a large fireplace, above which was a very clean patch of wall the size of a large picture frame, or a mirror. There were two sofas, both tucked away in one corner with a small coffee table in front of it.
“Sam?” his mother called from the hallway, clearly not sure of where in the house Sam was. “Where are you love?” she called again.
“Living room” He shouted back. A few seconds later his mum joined him, the two of them staring at the white oblong on the wall.
“Sam, are you sure you’re going to be okay?” she asked for what must be the thousandth time, not looking at her son, but at the empty wall space. “You know with your condition” she said, treading as carefully as she could.
“Mum, I’m going to be fine, just trust me” he said, looking at her with smiling eyes, a look she tried, and failed, to return.
“I know but there’s not going to be anyone to look out for you,” she said. Sam didn’t reply straight away, just wrapped his arms around his mothers slim shoulders, shaking her slightly as she hugged him back.
“It’s going to be fine mum, it’s been eight years.” he reasoned and he felt, rather than heard her defeated sigh against his chest, he was, after all, a full head taller then her now. “Plus we don’t really need to be worrying for another four weeks.
“Three.” She said almost sulkily as she pulled away from him, but the look on Sam’s face showed it was a lost cause. He was staying. “Well I’d best get going, Daniel’s probably getting bored” she said and with a quick kiss on Sam’s cheek, turned to leave.
Content with his new surroundings and the beginning of his new life, Sam fell back onto the sofa, reveling in how the cushions seemed to swallow him up as they sagged under his weight. If he ignored the high-pitched and strained creaking the springs made and how they dug into his bottom slightly he could almost say he was comfortable.
“Oh, you must be Sam’s house mate,” he heard his mothers voice say from the front door, he was on his feet immediately, reaching the door just in time to see his mother shaking hands with a girl who looked the same age as him, maybe slightly older, with dirty blonde hair falling below her shoulders in rather messy waves and blue eye’s that looked far to wise for her youth. She was beautiful, Sam supposed, in her own strange and unnerving way.
“Yes, I’m Hannah” the girl said, her smile bright until she laid eyes on Sam where it seemed to falter slightly.
“Well, I’ll let you two get to know one another” his mother said excitedly, waving slightly at Sam as she left, shutting the door behind her. There was a moment of awkward silence where by Sam looked curiously at Hannah, while she seemed to be looking anywhere and at everything else. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but there was something about this girl, something - off. He felt like he wanted to pick through her brain, learn everything about her, while also wanting to run far away and hide.
“I’m Sam,” he finally said after far too long a silence, holding a hand out to this girl. She stared at it, an almost disgusted look on her face.
“Of course, of the entire student-body at this university I get landed in a house with one of you,” she sneered slightly as she looked him up and down distastefully.
“One of me-” he began but she cut him off, holding up a dismissive hand.
“I’m not feeding you, I’m not walking you and don’t come into my room.” she turned to go then, but stopped with her foot on the first step, her hand gripping the barrier. “Oh, and you’d better be house trained” and with one last sarcastic smile, she climbed the stairs and Sam heard the distinctive slamming sound to signal Hannah shutting her door forcefully.
Maybe this new life wasn’t going to be as easy as Sam had first expected.
Hannah woke up the next morning- or afternoon - in her new room, the sun seeping through the gaps in the old worn blinds. She hadn’t bothered unpacking yesterday, she wasn’t in the mood, she was tired and frustrated and hungry. There was a suitcase still filled with clothes pushed into the far corner, four cardboard boxes, each labelled with black marker strewn across the floor.
Grumbling at her aching muscles, Hannah dragged herself from her bed, letting the covers fall wherever they wanted to. She trudged into the bathroom next door to her room wearing nothing but an overly large shirt.
The bathroom wasn’t that big, there was a bath and shower against one wall, a toilet and a sink against the other and just enough standing space for her to turn around in. She looked in the mirror above the sink, smirking slightly at what she saw. With one, brisk movement and a high shattering sound later, the glass cracked and lay strewn across the floor in sharp, reflective pieces.
Hopping in the shower, Hannah washed her hair, revelling in the hot water against her cold skin, the blood from her knuckles splashing against the off-white floor of the bath, turning the water pink before swirling down the drain.
Ten minutes later and smelling of citrus fruits, Hannah stepped out of the steamy bathroom, dodging the broken glass on the floor.
“What happened?” Sam asked from his doorway, his dark blonde hair mussed and in disarray, wearing nothing but comic strip pyjama trousers. “I heard glass break” his eyes looked alert, ready to save the day, or whatever it was he wanted to do.
“The mirror broke” Hannah replied casually with a shrug, trying to keep her eyes from lingering on his chest for too long. Not because she was enticed or attracted to him, Sam wasn’t her type - he wasn’t her species - it was more because of the four, raised scars that spanned the length of Sam’s chest, starting from his shoulder an ending at his navel, each one twice the width of a thumb. It was grotesquely beautiful, Hannah thought.
“How did the mirror break?” he asked, dumbfounded. Hannah shrugged, turning around and disappearing into her room, listening amusedly as Sam hurried down the stairs, returning a moment later to, by the sounds of it, sweep up the shattered glass.
Five minutes later, Hannah was ready and dressed, making her way into the kitchen. Once there she was greeted by Sam, an accusing look on his face, the shattered bits of the mirror strewn across the table.
“Is there any reason you’ve got mirror all over our table” she asked with a raised eyebrow “Or is this just the sort of thing to expect from living with you?”
“Why did you break it?” he asked, his arms crossed against his chest, his eyes watching her accusingly. Hannah ignored the question, moving instead towards the fridge that she soon learnt was empty.
“Who says it was me?” she asked innocently, shutting the fridge again and moving instead for a glass of water, only to see there were no glasses.
“Because we’re the only two people who live in this house, and it wasn’t me. Hannah why do you keep taking down all the mirrors?” he asked and Had Hannah not still felt incredibly tired, she may have even been impressed.
“Well, maybe I have a severe self esteem problem.” She said with a shrug, maneuvering her way past a still shocked and confused Sam to reach the kettle. “Do you drink tea?” she asked casually, but Sam just gaped at her.
“What?” he asked, abashed.
“Tea,” she enunciated patronisingly. “Do you drink it?”
“N-no, no I don’t like hot drinks,” he said still confused by the whole mirror scenario.
“And you call yourself a British man,” she said, shaking her head as she popped the kettle on, the sound of warming water filling the silence as Hannah looked at Sam a hungry look in her eyes.
“I’m off out,” Sam said, trying to avoid her gaze, looking instead past her through the kitchen window and out onto the weed infested patio they called a garden. “I’m going to meet with some of the people on my course.” But Hannah still watched him, a smirk gracing her lips.
“Do I look like I care where you’re going?” Hannah said, her voice veiled with nothing but hostility under a sickly sweet smile. Sam couldn’t help but wish he’d applied for actually student accommodation faster so he wouldn’t have been landed with such a peculiar roommate.
“No, I guess not,” he said, grabbing his large, comic book strip jumper from the back of the chair and leaving the room as quickly as he could, hoping that Hannah was the type of person that would eventually warm up to him.
It was dark when Hannah got back that night. Not long after Sam had left and she’d finished her tea, she’d headed out herself to explore the streets of Bristol she used to know so well.
Her first stop had been the student’s pub only a ten minute walk from her house, something she praised slightly. She’d been in there for a good few hours until she was approached by a man – a boy really – looking about eighteen years old, his pupils dilated as he slid onto the bar-stool next to her clumsily.
Drunk, this boy was very drunk. She looked over a the clock and couldn’t help the chuckle that rose in her throat when she saw it was only 11:36. Freshmen sure knew how to party.
After a few more drinks and the boys idle attempts at pick up lines, Hannah had suggest they find somewhere ‘more private’ to go. The boy had seemed more than enthusiastic to leave with her, a complete stranger. He didn’t seem to have come with any friends, so that was a plus.
That was how Hannah found herself outside her door, trying to unlock it while this boy kissed sloppily at her neck, making her cringe internally. She’d have thought with all the teen pregnancy nowadays that the youth would at least know what they were doing when it came to sex. She was very, very wrong.
The two stumbled up the stairs, Hannah only because he kept grabbing a hold of her. They finally bundled into her bedroom, Hannah starting to lose her patience with the boy. Shutting her door she pushed him against it, feeling the way his hands grabbed a hold of her, encircling her to the point she could hardly move. This was he part Hannah used to enjoy; the passion and the fire that ran would run through their veins, that was always her favourite.
Today was an exception. Hannah was impatient and she was hungry. Pulling back from the boy she led him towards the bed, pushing him down so he sat at the end of it, his legs planted firmly on the floor. She could just about make out the boy’s hazel eyes and appreciated the pattern that wove through them as his pupils dilated, watching as she removed her dress, letting It pool on the floor like a puddle of blue fabric. She stood now wearing nothing but her underwear, the boy looking at her with a look of shock and appreciation on his face. Rolling her eyes, Hannah pulled his white t-shirt off from his chest, throwing it carelessly onto the floor.
Slowly she climbed atop the boy so that she straddled his waist, her knee’s against the end of the mattress. From this moment she didn’t waste any time, she started to kiss his collar bone (Which was nicely defined – Hannah thought). She could hear the boys breathing in her ears and knew that any second now he’d try to take over, to reaffirm his dominance over the situation. Hannah had no intention of letting that happen. She slowly kissed her way up the boys neck until she landed at the spot just above his throat. Just as she felt the boy’s hand come up to the back of her neck, whether to hold her in that spot or to pull her back she didn’t know, and she didn’t wait to find out.
She heard the gasp from the boy as she bit down, his exclamations and protests loud in her ears, but it was too late, Hannah had latched on and like a leech, she had no intention of letting go without a fight. The boy screamed, his voice gurgling slightly, the more he struggled the bigger the wound at his neck became and the more blood began pouring out. This made it a lot easier for Hannah. It only took a few moments until he fell limp in her grasp.
Retracting herself Hannah relished in the feeling, climbing off of him she push him so he lay on his back, his hazel eye’s lifeless as he stared towards the window. Hannah could feel as the blood ran down her chin and licked her lips appreciatively, her hands stained red as well. She was giving into the high, letting it swallow her up, subduing her until she’d feed again.
“What have you done!” Came a horrified shout from the doorway. Turning slightly, her mind slightly foggy from the blood, but she made out Sam’s face perfectly in the darkness. “You’re a –You’re a-” but Sam didn’t finish, just stood appalled as he looked at the girl before, wearing nothing but a black bra and matching pants, blood covering her chin, face and even running down her chest. He could hardly recognise the girl from that morning, her eye’s were black, swallowing everything in their white-less and merciless depths, her teeth sharp and fanged, blood dripping from the tips where they touched her bottom look. She didn’t look at all ashamed of what she’d done, she just looked at him with her white-less eyes.
“You are home then?” she said casually and Sam’s face registered more than horror now, Sam looked horrified. “I’ll clean it up.” She said as thought that was the problem. Sam was gripping onto the door frame, feeling faint at the sight of all the blood and the lifeless body that lay on the bed.
“You’re a – a monster,” He said stumbling back slightly, terrified as Hannah began moving towards him, her footsteps silent on the old carpet floor. She was in front of him now; he had nowhere left to go. He could smell the blood on her; smell it on her skin and on her breath and he could feel as bile rose in his throat.
“I’m a vampire,” she said, her dark eyes reflecting Sam’s horror before she laughed, moving away, back into her room and shutting her door behind her, leaving Sam in the hallway, breathing heavily, tasting blood on his tongue. He was motionless for a second before he turned to his side a threw up the contents of his stomach onto the floor.
He doubted Hannah even knew the boys name.