My chest aches with many, many emotions as I watch him tip his hat and leave, walking toward the tent the performances were taking place in.
Being human means I can be killed.
I turn back to face the inside of the tent and grasp at my stomach. I haven’t felt a stomachache or butterflies since...
Since the last time I was human. Since before Dracula turned me...
He gave me the choice, and, of course, I immediately accepted, having grown up with seeing vampirism my entire life (of sixteen short years). But I’d never seen, or rather, had the thrill of being human. I was protected and cared for so much, and so strictly, it got to the point I didn’t even realize what it meant to be human when I was one. I didn’t see how special it was, to have a small amount of time to do something meaningful.
I think I might just like it here, I think to myself. Although my flesh and muscles are weak… but I could fix that somehow. Someway... the humans do it. So why can’t I?
I slowly walk to the vanity and sit on the little stool.
But the Ring Leader... there’s something about him... something I’ve known my entire life, that screams DANGER to me, but I don’t know what it is...
The mirror catches my attention, and I can see the human drenched like poison on me. My face is completely ordinary. It’s slightly chubby with baby fat, and freckles line my cheekbones. And my eyes…
They are bright green.
My heart races at this thought.
I’d always been used to red or black eyes when I looked in the mirror (which vampires can do for a certain amount of years, and then their reflection fades from view), and it’s amazing to see my original eye color. I’d forgotten…
I poke and prod at the skin and eyelashes around the green irises, trying to keep my mind off of the strange man that runs the entire carnival. I take my hair down. It was starting to give me a headache, also something human that had been stripped from me when I made my decision to change. With my fingers, I shake out the red mess and brush the tangles out with the brush and the comb in front of me. It falls to my back, red curls forming at the ends.
I touch the tips of my ears to find they are no longer pointy. My fangs are gone too, of course, and in their place are two smaller teeth, my human canines.
The face in the mirror is not the one I’m used to, but it’s the one that was made for me at first. The one I was supposed to have for the rest of my life, ever-changing, but never different.
I pick out every flaw, every wrinkle, and every fleck of blue in my eyes, everything that isn’t perfect, that girls my age despise and hate, and I fall in love with them. Being a vampire creates a perfect, symmetrical being that can hypnotize and entrance a sack of walking blood in a moment. But perfectness... it’s something that can get old.
Even though you never age...
I didn’t think that thought through.
“Rochelle,” I hear, the voice making me jump.
Speaking of aging, Hilda hobbles in and smiles forcefully.
“Are you doing okay? Harper was talking about your performance.”
“Um...” I say intelligently as I take another peek at the girl in the mirror. “Yeah. I think I’m going to walk around the carnival.”
I stand up, and she nods as she looked out the tent nervously.
“Okay, but don’t let the Ring Leader see you,” she warns shakily as I approached her. “He has too much power…”
She waddles out before I can question her.
Too much power? I think. What does he do to all of you, Hilda?
I exit my tent and watch as the people drain from the tent in the back where I’d performed just a little while ago.
Soon, I have children all around me asking me to do flips for them and for me to sign their tickets. I agree with a smile on my face as I kneel down and take a pen from one of their hands. Eventually, their needs are satisfied and they leave me to my own devices.
I have this strange feeling someone is watching me... I’d had it the whole time I was talking to the children and when I’d been showing off for them.
I try preoccupying my brain with the fascination of the children’s faces. They would look so different one day, unless they became a vampire or something.
I wonder if I’ve aged any over the time I’ve been away from the mirror. Would I find something different?
Having nothing change about your face is like having a tattoo. It just sits there, always the same and there’s never anything different. The ‘wow-factor’ fades, but besides that, it’s unchanging. It’s rather boring, actually, if you think about it. Why would you want to look the same every day in your life?
Why did I want that?
I shake it off and walk through the concessions, the men tipping their hats and the women congratulating me about tonight’s show.
I reach the outer parts of the carnival, and I still can’t shake the feeling of being watched. I sniff the air, only to remember that I’m human and don’t have super-senses like a vampire anymore.
I look around for someone, but I see nothing through the darkness.
I start to walk again, when I hear a loud thud behind me. A hand covers my moth and drags me between two tents, and I can’t help but feel like I’m going to die.