Run? Why was I running? How could he expect me to run after the high I felt? Who could come after us whom we couldn’t defeat? Alex always said to keep a low profile but now he wanted to run through town! It was a rash decision on his part – I could tell by looking at him.I could see he was uneasy with the possibility of people seeing two people running much faster than normal, with blood everywhere. It would be a terrifying shock. I hoped that nobody could see us anyway. What would they think if they did? Once the murder victims had been found, and the crime got on the news, people would remember seeing two – things – running through town, with blood everywhere.
“Why are we running? Who’s coming? Is it Daniel?” I questioned.
I was shocked at the way that name rolled out of my mouth. I never wanted to speak that name out loud. But there it was, clear as day: Daniel. Hearing it from my own ears was a wake up call. I realized he was real and he was somebody I had to find. Either that, or hide for the rest of my existence. Hiding didn’t seem like an option to Alex, and since I was going to be with him, I guess I wouldn’t be hiding either.
“No, it’s not Daniel. I don’t know who it is, but it’s another vampire. He wasn’t there by mistake. He’s looking for us. I just…” he tried to smell the air. “I can’t tell who it is.”
“What… How… How would you know who it is without looking at that person? How can you just smell and know?” I figured it was a reasonable question. But apparently he didn’t, because he became angry.
“Use your senses, Trinity. That’s why you have them! You’ll never survive in this world if you don’t!” His yell was loud and mean.
“Oh. I’m sorry.” I unlocked his grip and stopped. “You must have mistaken me for somebody who knew all these things about being a vampire. Did I disappoint you, my master?!”
He looked like he might have understood me, maybe even sympathized with me, but you can never tell what a vampire is thinking. They’ve got a twenty-four hour poker face. Or do they? It was another question that I didn’t have an answer to. But if I asked him, I might upset him even further. And who wanted that?
“What senses?” I said, irritated.
He walked back to where I was, lowering his head and letting out a sigh in defeat. Just by his body language I knew he didn’t want to talk, but he answered my question anyway.
“As a vampire you don’t need to breathe to stay alive. But if you’re in search of something or someone, the answers will be in the air around you. Human senses are dense; ours are magnified. We can distinguish differences in many things around us, especially a human versus a vampire. You can smell a human’s blood pulsing through his veins.” He lifted my arms by my wrists. “You can tell how far away they are and how many there are. You can smell a vampire by the blood they recently drank. It seeps through their skin. They all smell a different way. Just like one human smells different from another, even if they wear the same perfume. You have to open your senses to it.” He dropped my arms, almost tossing them, and smelled the air once more.
“You don’t have to be so rough you know.” I rubbed my wrists.
“I don’t smell him any longer. We’ve either lost him or he gave up.”
“I guess that’s a relief,” I said sarcastically. I looked down at the clothes I was wearing, now drenched in blood, and looked over at Alex. We were a matched pair. I thought to myself: There has to be a cleaner way of doing that. I couldn’t bring myself to say feeding or any other word remotely close to what just happened. The blood on our clothes made it evident that what we did was wrong on all levels. And no matter how many more times I did it, and regardless of Alex’s excuses that we have to, it wouldn’t be justified.
I looked around where we were standing. Not a human in sight; just trees and dirt and the road we stood on. I felt sad. I wanted to go home. My heart felt just as deserted as this town. I wanted to walk in the door and see my daughter on the bed coloring and my husband on the couch watching TV. I wanted all of this insanity to end and my perfect life to return.
“There’s a coven not far from here. We can take refuge there. There’s more you need to be taught and the ones there can help you.”
I was getting frustrated: more crap I needed to learn, more abilities I need to know – or, as Alex put it: ‘I would need to embrace it.’ It just seemed too hard for me to know or learn any of this, and so quickly. It always brought me back to the same question. Why was I so important? Who the hell was my family? Why couldn’t Alex tell me anything? He was there with my mother. Surely she had told him something. He was holding something from me that he thought might hurt me or anger me. I didn’t know which, but I needed to find out.
If Daniel was too strong and time proved that nobody could kill him, how the hell could I? How could somebody who had only been a vampire for what – forty eight hours? – do the impossible? Even after more training and learning, how could it be done? Who gave that prophecy to me? It was a joke!
I rolled my eyes at Alex as we continued walking slowly through the open lands that surrounded us. The sun was golden in the sky and I felt warm inside. I could feel my veins pulse, but it wasn’t because I was hungry or angry. It relaxed me. Maybe this was what Alex meant by the sun making me stronger. I felt like I could walk forever, never getting tired or needing a break. Just walking.
Further along, I noticed that the trees had all disappeared, and there were fields and fields of yellow grasses and snow-capped mountains in the far distance. It reminded me of a postcard picture. The label would read: Wish you were here. It was beautiful and quiet.
Alex and I didn’t say a word to each other. He looked like he was deep in thought, about something that he didn’t want to share. So I kept to myself. I thought about all the things I’d been through the last couple of days. I wondered what all my dreams could mean. I thought about what Alex told me about my senses and I tried to catch his scent. But all I could smell was blood. Nothing special or different. Just dead blood.
After hours of walking, we finally reached our destination. I was relieved when we reached an open farm. It was beautiful to see anything other than open land. There was no evidence of humans or vampires and the surrounding silence told us there were no animals either.
The sun was high in the sky and shone down on the property, making the distant mountains seem so close you could almost touch them. The scent of the snow covering the peaks was so strong that it was hard not to smell it. There was a slight chill in the air but neither of us could feel it.
As we got closer, I couldn’t see a house, but there was an old barn made out of rusted steel. What must have once been silver was now turning to a yellowing, reddish-orange due to the rain and age. It was larger than any other barn I’d seen. It was two stories tall with windows at the top. Next to the barn were two round water towers made out of steel, the top coming to a point. Behind them was an old, rotting, wooden look-out tower. There were no horses, no cows, and no animals to indicate that this was a farm. To anybody passing by, it just looked abandoned.
As we walked passed the decaying farm, we finally came upon a house. It was an old, cottage-style, two-story home made out of stone. It was completely out of its element. It bore two chimneys; one on each end. The top floor had three round windows, and all were blackened out. The house didn’t exhibit the abandonment of the farm. It looked like it was built years after the farm fell apart. The large, wooden door was embellished with an old, rustic, doorknocker, which we didn’t have to use. The door flew open, making me jump back behind Alex. A woman stood in the doorway, wearing an old maiden dress, with long flowing black hair and eyes as cold as ice. She was breathtaking.
“Alexander! We’ve been waiting for you.” Her voice was even more beautiful than she was. She stood in the doorway, impatiently tapping her foot against the ground and seeming to be very angry.
“I’m sorry, Mary. We were delayed. Somebody was tracking us.”
“Were you followed!?” Her tone had urgency. She looked me up and down like she had a grudge against me.
“No, and I couldn’t tell who it was. Daniel must have recruited more soldiers.”
“Get inside – the two of you. We have a lot of work to do!” She half shoved me through the door.
She moved to the side so we could get past and enter into the living room. It wasn’t very big. It had stone walls with nothing hanging on them, and wooden floors with a circular rug. There were four Lazy Boy chairs in a half circle with a torn-up brown couch against the wall completing the half circle. But before I could sit down, let alone look around any further, four men came walking down the stairs in front of me. They were all wearing blue combat gear and stood like a small army, with no expression on their faces.
“Is that her?” the taller of the four, obviously the leader, said to Alex while looking at me. His voice was deep and resonated with authority.
“Of course…” Alex said.
I tried looking over Alex’s shoulder to see, but he was taller than me. I moved to the right of him and saw four vampires. I couldn’t help but wonder, with the way they stood and the way they had no reaction, no reflexes to anything: Was this a trap? Was I being lied to only to be lured here? Was this my fate: to die at the hands of strangers?
The four men were strong in build; the shirts they wore seemed a little too tight; I could see the definition of their many muscles through the fabric. They all had dark brown hair to match their dark features and all had the famous vampire glowing blue eyes. The only feature that I could see that distinguished one from the other was their height.
“Is she rested…? Fed?” The leader walked down the stairs and rounded the banister to where Alex was standing.
“Yes Marcus. Do you think I don’t know my obligation and my duty?” Alex seemed confused and cross about how Marcus was talking to him.
Was I wrong? Was Alex the true leader? Both stood at the same height and both were fierce. I felt like I was caught in a rumble with the Outsiders.
“Watch your tone, Alexander. We’re all here for the same purpose.”
I started to get irritated. I don’t like when people ignore me and figure its okay not to talk to me personally. “Hi,” I said. I pushed my way through to the vampire they called Marcus. “Hi, I’m right here. Can we all talk as if I can hear, because I can assure you that I can, and as of a few days ago I can hear a hell of a lot better. I don’t like being talked around!”
Marcus gave me a half smile; as if my annoyance gave him pleasure. “Okay, Trinity, since you’re so eager to know, to… begin. Get changed.” He looked at my blood-stained clothes. “If you’re going to fight, those’ll never do.”
The others laughed. They knew what Marcus meant. But it was all a secret to me. I was nervous and I had to be alert. I didn’t know what Alex had brought me into. I had to be able to trust people that I didn’t know and believe that Alex had brought me here to train to do what was expected of me. But I was still scared that I wouldn’t see tomorrow.
Mary grabbed me by the hand and led me upstairs. She led me into one of the rooms closest to the stairs and virtually pushed me in. The room was almost bare. There was a mattress with no pillows or sheets, a mirror hanging on the wall, a closet with the door closed, and three windows that must have been the only ones in the whole house that let in the light. Obviously they didn’t need the room, since they didn’t sleep and they didn’t want to make it appear nice in anyway. Comfort was not what this house was here for. It was meant for some kind of training and soon I would find out what that training was.
I stood next to the door not wanting to enter any further. There was just something about Mary that didn’t sit well with me; she didn’t seem as genuine as the others. She seem mad that she was there helping me or whatever it was the rest of them were doing. She gave the impression that hers was an unwanted chore, not a survival mission and she could have been doing something that was more meaningful to her.
Mary walked to the closet and grabbed the clothes that were waiting for me. Maybe she would be open to a little conversation. Maybe she was so pissed off that she would tell me the secret that everybody else wanted to keep from me.
“’Mary,’ is it?” She nodded. “Can you tell me what’s going on? I mean, why am I here?”
She turned to look at me with an apprehensive look on her face, as if she didn’t want to talk to me. “You’re here to save us.” She smiled sarcastically.
“Huh?” I was taken aback just by the way she said ‘to save us.’
She crossed the floor and handed me the clothes. “I can’t say much, but you’re the one. The Almighty gift from God. You’re the last descendent and only you have the power to end this war. Hurry put these clothes on and meet the guys outside.”
“Yeah, but why?” And before I could turn around to look at her, she was already gone. I stood in the room for a moment, looking around. They really didn’t care much for the finer things, I guess. Everything was all basic, like I was at boot camp. Even the clothes they wanted me to wear.
Maybe I should just give up with the questions, I thought. They won’t be answered anyway, so it is just a waste of time. I decided to do what I was told and just deal with it. I was dressed in almost the same gear the men were wearing. Blue cargo pants with pockets on the legs, a blue tank top, and black combat boots. I put my hair back. Yes, they gave me a hair tie. They must have known I needed one. I looked at myself in the mirror. Is this what was in store for me, being a fighter? All I needed now was a big gun and green and black paint on my face. Is this who I am now?
I hurried downstairs and walked outside. I saw that the four vampires were waiting in the field in a half circle with their arms crossed as if they were getting mad that it was taking me so long. I didn’t care. They could wait longer if need be. Alex stood on the porch waiting for me.
“Don’t be scared, Trinity.” He walked in front of me. I felt the brush of his breath on my face. “They’ve been fighting for a long time, many alongside Daniel. They know what it takes to beat him; they know his moves and his strategies. But you’re going to need to concentrate harder than you do with me. Let them teach you. Don’t be intimidated by them and don’t let them see you get nervous. And whatever you do, don’t let them defeat you! If you get knocked down, get right back up with more determination. If you stay down, they will use that against you. Trust me. You’ll be taught well.”
He walked away before I could say anything. But oddly enough, I wasn’t scared. I wanted to learn. Whatever these men were doing had to be working. If they had fought beside Daniel and now they had nothing to do with him, wouldn’t he have killed them? Wouldn’t they be dead? But here they stood ready and willing to teach me everything they knew.
“Are you ready, Trinity? Are you ready to learn how to be undefeated?” Marcus yelled from the distance. And even though he seemed daunting from where I was standing, and the sound of his voice put a chill in the air, I found myself getting drawn in with interest.
As I approached, the other three men were starting to play-fight – laughing and high fiving – betting on who could throw me down first. I started to see past their soldier images. They reminded me of three children at play.
When I reached Marcus, the only word I could say was “…Yes…”
He smiled, almost a full smile this time. I must have just peaked his interest. “Then watch closely, they have a tendency to move quite… quickly.” He turned his head to look on. “BEGIN!” He yelled.
I was completely absorbed in what they were doing. Two of the vampires looked as if they where going to team up, as Marcus and the last vampire walked to the side. In a split second, the two pulled out swords, from where I have no idea, and started swinging them at each other. Their feet moved in rhythm; they could have been almost dancing. Sparks flew from how hard the metal clashed. The sound could be heard for miles away. It was no wonder we were out so far from civilization. One would slide to the ground while the other tried to step on him. Then the first one would jump to the back side of the other and kick him to the ground.
I looked over at Marcus; he was smiling and nodding his head in approval. I had to ask him. “Who are they? I mean, where did you guys come from?”
And without looking at me, he answered, his arms crossed and his feet firmly on the ground. “The taller one is Jessup.”
I looked over at the one he called Jessup. He was strong and handsome, but he was disfigured with what seemed to be a blade mark going down the right side of his face. Could it be from this type of training? He had a tattoo on his left forearm, but I couldn’t tell what it was. Some design that seemed ancient.
“He was one of Daniel’s captains before he conspired against him. That’s where he got that scar: Daniel’s mark of betrayal. Jessup, like Alex, couldn’t stand for the injustice that Daniel inflicted on others. One night, Daniel asked Jessup to kill a child of only three months because he thought she would make for a good snack. And that was it for Jessup. When he turned his back to Daniel, Daniel gave him something to always remind him of that night. And that’s why Jessup is here now. The other is Cyrus.”
Cyrus was slightly shorter than Jessup but just as well-built. I couldn’t see a tattoo on him, unless it was hidden and he was scar-free.
“I met Cyrus years ago when he was on the verge of death. His maker left him with no knowledge of how to hunt or how to survive or even who he was. I think he meant to kill him, but before he could do it, something happened and he wasn’t able to finish. We trained him and formed him into the soldier you see before you…”
“I’m Jimmie!” The last of the four vampires spoke, excited to even be heard. “I’m the newbie.”
“Ahh, yes. Jimmie. We just acquired him from Daniel’s army. He was a low-ranked soldier; a soldier to do Daniel’s bidding without question and to put it simply, he didn’t like his purpose and so he found us.”
Jimmie stepped to the side of Marcus and smiled at me. He was also well-built and beautiful just like the others, only shorter and more childlike. He seemed like he didn’t want to be caught in the middle of the chaos of this war and was trying to see the humor in it. He too had the tattoo, but it wasn’t on his forearm, it was on his neck.
“What’s with the tattoos? Are they from an initiation or something?” I was curious as I pointed to Jimmie’s neck. The sound of breath, harsh words and swords were heard from the distance. I knew I should be watching and studying, but my curiosity was stronger than the student in me.
“They’re to show rank. In Daniel’s world he needs to keep track of who are his best and worst. If you bear that symbol on your neck, you, as Jimmie, are low in rank and are basically the gophersfor everybody else. You do what you’re told when you’re told with no questions. You have no authority and no authorization. If you do not comply with your orders, the penalty is death.”
I studied the symbol. There were three snakes forming a circle, entangling themselves in a weird looking crown. This was no crown I had ever seen. It was majestic looking; it had no color but jewels everywhere. Even the snakes had jewels for eyes.
As I looked at Jessup’s arm thrashing around with his sword, I wondered about the meaning of forearm. “And if it’s on your forearm?” I kept my eyes on Jessup.
“Then you’re one of his captains. You do all his fighting with no question as to why you’re doing it. Your goal is to have Daniel live, and if that means you die then so be it. And if you fail and an assassination attempt happens on your watch, then the penalty is also death.
“And if you have one on your chest…” He lifted up his shirt. I could see every muscle and every line, not one impurity was visible. His chest was nothing less than beautiful. “…then you sit alongside his throne and those men that bow at your feet will die for you.”
I looked at the strange symbol that was in the middle of his chest. It looked familiar. I knew I had seen it somewhere before; I just couldn’t place it. Maybe it was something I saw in a dream? “What is it?” I asked curiously. I reached out to touch it but he brought down his shirt faster than my hand could reach. I could tell he was ashamed to have such a mark that followed him around.
“The symbol is his families’ crest.” He wasn’t able to finish his answer.
My concentration was interrupted when I heard something shatter loudly. Cyrus and Jessup had broken the swords. There was nothing left but broken metal at their feet and the grips in their hands.
“You broke another one, Jessup! Do you know how long it takes to make these freakin’ things!” Cyrus seemed angry but there was a hint of laughter in his voice.
“Well, maybe if you make them better they wouldn’t break so easily.” Jessup sounded arrogant.
It was hard watching them argue but funny just the same. They were loud but childish. They reminded me of two brothers fighting over food or something else just as stupid. It took all I had not to laugh at them.
Cyrus walked up to Jessup and pushed him. Jessup didn’t move an inch. “Maybe if you didn’t have to show off….”
“ENOUGH!” Marcus cut him off.
They both froze looking at their leader. The two men backed away from each other, lowering their heads like a dog that had just been scolded. They would have to fight each other another day. Apparently, when Marcus barked orders you needed to listen.
Jessup cracked his neck, stretched out his back muscles by rolling his arms and looked me. Cyrus didn’t stay. He walked over to where Marcus stood.
“Trinity, the sooner you learn to fight, the better off we’ll all be.” Marcus said looking over at me.
“Huh? Err, you mean I have to fight… him?” I pointed toward Jessup. “Why not, umm… Jimmie? He looks like he could use some exercise.” I pointed to the eager vampire standing next to Marcus. He was rocking back and forth waiting for the possibility that Marcus says yes. “I mean come on, look how eager he is.”
“Since Jessup has more experience fighting with Daniel’s army than Jimmie does, he knows what moves they’ll use and how they’ll attack. Jimmie’s never had the opportunity to fight with Daniel.”
“But…” I couldn’t get another word out.
“GO!” He yelled baring his teeth.
I mumbled under my breath and walked toward Jessup. He stood there motionless, like he was waiting for the hunt and I was his prey. I felt very intimidated and he didn’t care. How was I going to defend myself against him? I was actually shaking when I reached him: when I got closer to my doom.
My feet stood firmly on the ground waiting for him to do something. I wasn’t going to be the one to make the first move. He could forget that. Even if I had to stand there all day and wait, I wouldn’t make one move toward him. I tried to prepare my body for the worst. I tensed and let out a growl; where it came from I don’t know. He leaned in, right up close to my face. I pulled my head back just a bit in case he was going to try and hit me.
“This is going to hurt.” His lips curled as he spoke.
I wanted to say something mean or even tough, but before I could give him one of my sarcastic remarks he was right in front of me slamming both his hands into my chest. I flew across the field and landed on my butt. I was a little disoriented and I had to shake my head to bring back my focus. I really didn’t expect that to happen. But more than that, I didn’t expect what happened next, and honestly, I don’t think he could have imagined it either.
I felt a surge of energy and rage throughout my body, something like twenty cups of coffee would give you. I got up and saw that he was looking at Marcus and the others laughing at my expense. I remembered what Alex had said, not to let them knock me down, and so I got up with no hesitation and I ran over to where he was. I grabbed his arm then swung my leg under his feet and dropped him to the ground. I sat on top of him holding his one arm above his head and another around his neck.
He looked up at me. “Very good!” he said with approval.
“AGAIN!” Marcus yelled from the distance.
Jessup was my teacher and I was his student. I tried to mimic his gracefulness and authority. He showed me what moves to do and what moves they’d be expecting. He taught me moves that would trick my opponent, making them defenseless against me, even if I didn’t know what I was doing. I picked up his skill quickly, especially for somebody who never fought a day in her life. I had to say there was perfection, even flawlessness, to everything he did, from his arm work to the way he casually walked. I only hoped that I mimicked him well.
Night had fallen upon us without us realizing it. The stars were shining and looked yellow. Because we were so far out in the country, the moon seemed very close. It was bright and beautiful. It was silent and the trees were still. Blackness surrounded us and the only sounds we could hear were the shuffling of our feet as we moved across the ground.
“Tell me more about how to defeat a vampire… please. I mean does garlic do anything, does holy water melt our skin or do crosses scare us?” My voice was low and sincere, with a bit of humor. Trying to make him laugh was like trying to make it rain in the desert.
He let out a low laugh to my surprise and shook his head.
“You’ve been watching too many movies, Trinity. Garlic has no effect; in fact, some vampires use it as decoration. And many of us visit churches as much as we can. It’s really the only place for us to confess our sins and hopefully not be judged. Holy water is really just a myth. In regards to crosses: we hold them very close to our heart. We do believe in God and pretty much everything that goes along with Him. If we didn’t, then how would we explain you?
“Now, umm, things that will hurt us… Well, what you’ll need to know, and what everybody seems to forget to teach is that our skin is as easy to puncture as any mortal’s. But just because we can get stabbed or hurt doesn’t mean it’ll affect us. It will heal instantly. If you break a bone, hurry and put it back into place or it will heal wrong and you will suffer. Unless you break it again.”
I stared at the deep-voiced vampire, but he was looking away towards the darkness surrounding us. It sounded like he might be hiding something from me as he spoke. Or maybe it pained him to talk about these things, considering Daniel almost killed him.
“There are only a few ways to kill a vampire. Drive a sword or some sharp object through their heart and it’ll be an easy dying process. You can set them on fire. If you do, they will not be able to put it out. Our skin is very flammable. You can put out the flames of our burning clothes, but our skin, well, it is very hard to. It’s like kerosene. That’s the only way I can describe it. Some vampires are easy to kill in that respect because they smoke. I mean, it’s okay to smoke. Really, what is it going to do to our lungs, right? But some vampires are careless. If one burning ash hits our skin we could go up in flames. It is a slow and agonizing death.”
I cringed at the thought of watching a vampire burn; the smell alone must be horrible. “Yuck.”
“Also, you can tear their head off. Obviously, without a head, the body cannot work. But you will find it will be hard to do. Not only are we fast but our heads are pretty much well-attached.” He laughed. “If you’re able to, that is the fastest way to die. No pain will be felt. As for you….You can bite them in the neck…”
“Why ‘for me’?” I wondered.
“Your acid will kill us. Didn’t Alex tell you?”
“Well, yeah, he told me I had some kind of acid. But that’s about it.” I lied.
“The acid – the minute it hits our blood stream –starts to eat away at the veins, and continues all the way up through the skin. Then, once it travels through the body, it melts away what’s left. The only way for you to control that acid is through your anger…Acid is the only way for you or Daniel to die. That’s why all who’s tried to fight against Daniel have failed. Nobody seems to be able to kill him and trust me there have been many that have tried. That’s why he’s after you. He knows you are the only vampire that can and will kill him.” His voice got lower along with his head. He looked sad.
“Is that where your scar came from?” I asked, hoping it wouldn’t upset him.
“…Yes.” He paused. “I tried to leave and he got in my way. At the time I didn’t know objects were defenseless against him and I tired to throw a sword through his heart. It hit its mark alright but it didn’t puncture anything. He stood there laughing and slid it out of his chest like it was nothing. Then before I could get away, he ran to me and slit my face with my own sword. He could have finished me off right then and there. But he didn’t. For some reason he took mercy on me.”
I let out a long breath, as if I had just been defeated. “Who is he?” I needed somebody to tell me.
Jessup looked at me. “Only few know and I’m not one of them. You need to rest now.”
When we reached the porch, the lights were on in the house. Everything was quiet inside as far as I could tell but Jessup stopped me before I could reach the first step. He put his hand on my wrist.
“I hope you’re all you’re supposed to be, Trinity, for all our kind’s sake. You hold a lot of power – maybe power you don’t realize or maybe power you don’t want to realize. Either way you need to give this all you’ve got.” He let go slowly and then he disappeared in the darkness. His manner left an unexpected impression on me, one I tried to ignore but without success.
I stood on the porch for a couple of seconds trying to let all that happened and all that was just said to me sink in. That was a lot of pressure to put on somebody on their first night of training. When I walked into the house, Mary was sitting at the table, writing in some journal. Her hair covered the side of her face and her legs were crossed. She wouldn’t look at me or talk to me even after I said hi. I stared at her for a second, wondering what she was writing. Was she writing everything that was happening in case something happened to all of us? Maybe somebody would find it and want to finish what we started?
I turned to walk away and saw that Alex was waiting, sitting on the stairs. Every time I saw him, he seemed to get more and more beautiful. His head was down, pieces of hair were hanging over his face, and his hands were crossed. He seemed to be thinking intently. I wish I could have read his mind.
“Did you learn much today?” His voice was so welcoming.
“Yeah. Not to fall on my ass.”
He let out a faint laugh, but it was enough to make me unstable. I had to hold onto the banister to keep my balance. I loved to listen to him laugh. Just one word made me weak in the knees.
“Come. I’ll show you where we’re sleeping.” He put out his hand for me to grab a hold of it. I stood there for a moment and looked at his open hand. The thought of him walking me to a room gave me butterflies in my stomach, like I was a school girl and my crush said hi to me.
I took his hand, grabbing it tightly. “Where ‘we’ll’ be sleeping?” I made sure to emphasize the word ‘we’re’.
“They don’t sleep, remember? They only have the one room available. Yes, I’ll be sleeping with you, if you don’t mind? I can always sleep on the couch, but that might not be too comfortable.” I could tell from the sound in his voice that he really didn’t want to sleep out there with Jimmie and Cyrus hanging out. I really didn’t mind. In fact, I could use the company.
“No, Alex, it’s all right.” I tried to be reassuring but not too aggressive. I didn’t want him to hear in my voice how excited I was to sleep next to such a stunning vampire.
He led me back to the room I had changed in earlier. But this time the mattress was not bare. The bed was made with sheets and pillows; there were curtains on the windows and candles everywhere to light the way. Everything was shimmering. This time around, it actually looked like a room I could enjoy.
He walked to the closet, grabbed some clothes and handed them to me. “These are for you to sleep in. I thought they would be better than what you have on. I’m sorry if they’re not stylish but you’re just sleeping in them, right?”
He handed me a baggy white shirt and some grey sweats. Really not my style but he was right: I didn’t want to sleep in what I was fighting in. I was dirty and I smelled bad. I smiled and grabbed the clothes and went to take a shower. I wished I could feel the heat of the water on my skin. After the day, I thought it could actually feel good. That would be one thing I would always miss: letting the heat of the water loosen my muscles. As a vampire, my muscles are always tense, as if I have a stiff neck and want to crack it but I can’t. And now I would have to live with it that way.
I got out of the shower and almost slipped on the wooden floor. I wanted to dry off quickly and get back to Alex. I brushed my hair with my fingers and made sexy faces in the mirror. I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. I would never make those faces in front of Alex! I was so glad nobody could see how stupid I was acting.
When I returned to the room, Alex was already lying down in bed. He had taken his shirt off and was half covered with the blanket. He had more muscles than I thought. I had to stand back and stare. He had a look of romance, a masterpiece waiting to be discovered, not one scar or one impurity marked his chest. And I was going to sleep next to him.
I got into bed – almost jumping in next to him – but he didn’t move or even turn. I laid my head on the pillow next to him, my wet hair soaking it. I pulled the blanket up to my chin and closed my eyes slowly. Lying next to him, I hoped I could fall asleep peacefully.
I opened my eyes and I was standing by myself. It was bright, but there was no sun. Blinding white shone around me. The only sounds that could be heard were wind chimes, but there was no wind. I started walking slowly, but it didn’t seem like I was getting anywhere. Walking forward or backward: it was all the same, like I was using my feet for nothing. I couldn’t see anything in front of me or behind me. There was no ground and there was no sky – just white. I heard Michael’s voice somewhere in the distance, yelling at me, yelling for me to stop and walk the other direction. But there was no direction to go, there was nothing around me. I kept walking straight.
I didn’t know how long I was walking. It could have been minutes, maybe hours. Without being able to see what was in front of me, I reached a body of water. It wasn’t an ocean or a river, but a lake of red water. Large rocks covered in green moss circled the water, except for a small path that led you in.
All of a sudden, trees formed from beneath the ground, they were everywhere. I tried to steady myself but the ground was shaking. It felt like an earthquake. My bare feet were surrounded with grass and pebbles. There still was no sun, and when I looked up the white that was once blinding turned into nothing more than darkness, except for a faint white fog that spread across the field.
I turned and looked at the river and saw a woman standing ankle-deep in the water. She ran her hand up her arm with the water, than took a handful of it and splashed her face with it, as if she was bathing. Why would somebody want to bathe in red water? As I got closer, I saw children all around her. Some were lying in the water while others were lying on the rocks. They didn’t seem to be moving, just lying still. What did these children signify? All dreams mean something and the fact that the number of vivid dreams that I was having was increasing also meant something.
As I inched closer to her, I started to make out what she looked like. She had long, strawberry-blonde hair that went down to her knees. She had a beautiful body, but was very pale with freckles everywhere. She only wore a white slip, and although she looked beautiful, her demeanor was evil. I didn’t want to talk to her or get any closer but there was a force drawing me to her. My feet were moving without the consent of my mind. I don’t know if it was my curiosity or my fear of standing there alone that made me keep walk.
“You’ve come to destroy my people, Trinity.” My heart stopped when I heard her voice. I wanted to say something but as I opened my mouth, she continued. “You know you’ll fail. You’re not strong enough for him, not yet.” She ran her hand up her arm with the red water again.
There was something about her, something familiar; could it be that I dreamt of her before? Regardless, I couldn’t think, not with her speaking to me.
“Who are you?” I said in a trance, my eyes fixated on her. I couldn’t look away.
“Lilith.” She paused. “I am your creator.” She looked over her shoulder and smiled a malicious smile, one I was scared of.
‘My creator.’ I thought for a second. I know she couldn’t be my mother. There was no way that I was from this evil woman. So that only meant one thing – at least I thought so. “You mean you are the first?”
“Foolish child. I wouldn’t expect anything less than a question like that.” She let out a laugh that echoed. “No, I am the creator. I created vampires but I’m not one of them.”
She stopped with her arm extended and her other arm on her elbow and tilted her head to the side. Her features were finally fully revealed and she was nothing less than beautiful. No wrinkles or scars. Classic. But I knew it was only a disguise because underneath she all was malice.
“And you’re going to try and kill my pride creation, aren’t you?”
I inched closer to the red lake but she didn’t move. When I got closer, the children that I had seen around her were actually dead; she was bathing in blood water.
“What? No!” I said, horrified. I wasn’t going to kill someone I didn’t know. How could she say such a horrible thing? Who was I going to kill? Who was her pride creation?
“Foolish and a liar. Either that, or naïve. Don’t you know that’s why you were made?”
She turned her body to face me, and then paused for a moment, probably to look me over. She walked up the steps, stopping for a moment on each one, as she came out of the water. She walked slowly towards me, as if she hadn’t a care in the world. As if, in this place, nothing could harm her, including me. I wanted to move away but I couldn’t move.
She lifted her hand to my cheek. “Has anyone told you, my dear? Has anyone shown you the written words?”
“What?” I whispered.
She looked down on me. My body froze and I was scared of her but enticed at the same time. I wanted to know more. What written word?
She grabbed my arm. “My blood. It runs deep in your veins, my darling.” She squeezed my wrist tight. You could see the blood pulsing in my veins as if I had no skin covering them. “You’ll never defeat him!” She hissed. She threw my arm down, her smile sadistic and mean.
“Yeah, you said that already. But what you failed to tell me was who I’ll never defeat. Are you talking about Daniel?” I tried to sound arrogant. “Even if it was him, why am I meant to fight him? Why is it not somebody else from my family that was meant to do it? Why is it that somebody with no knowledge of all this history is meant to do something that obviously her family couldn’t or wasn’t willing to do?” I knew she wouldn’t answer my questions but I was hoping she might slip and tell me something worth hearing other than threats.
“So many questions and, surprise surprise, so many that I will not answer. But you already knew that, didn’t you? I’m not here to guide you, Trinity.” She crossed my path and the scenery around me changed.
A battle was taking place before me. Everything around me was blood red and the people were black, but as they fought, nobody knew I was there. Men walked through me and children ran in terror around me. There was no gun fire to be heard, no guns could even be seen. This battle was before my time. There where bows with fire arrows and shields for protection. The men that didn’t need protection flew to their enemies and killed them by biting them. I could see now that this was a battle for survival – against vampires and humans – and the humans were losing.
“If you’re not here to answer my questions, then why are you here? Why show me things I have no control over?” I demanded.
Her smile faded, she put up her hands and clapped away the battle and then she was gone, taking everything that was around me with her. I was left by myself again with only blackness and confusion to keep me company.I gasped for air as I woke and I threw myself forward. The name still stuck with me as I sat in the darkness of the room. Lilith. Who was she really? And why was I so important to her? Somebody needed to answer my questions and soon! I looked over at Alex but he was still asleep. I was hoping all the activity in my dream would awaken him but he was sleeping peacefully. I would have to wait until morning to ask my questions. But this time I would not be ignored. These dreams and images needed to stop.