Alicia approached my bed, where I was curled up, staring at the foot of the bed as my mind whirled. She held her hand out and looked at me with an adoring smile, “Come with us; we have something to show you.”
A day had passed since I was told I was no longer Hallie, the Witch of Willow Lake. Instead, I was Hallie, the transitioning Vampire. I had just shy of twenty hours to decide, but I still had no clue what to do. To add to it, it seemed the fact I was transitioning meant I no longer had my powers.
I tried to conjure up the smallest piece of energy, but there was nothing, not even the slightest spark of static. That left me confused and uncertain; I was unsure whether I felt relieved about no longer having them or saddened. That was on top of the impossible choice I had to make.
Just went I went to tell Alicia or Emmett to complete the change, I stopped myself. And the same thing happened when I tried to tell them I didn’t want to turn. My mind was a mess, a whirlwind of uncertainty and anxiety.
The aches, the pains, the headaches, loud noises, and all had dulled, although not by much.
I couldn’t bear to allow Emmett to remove the cloth from the windows because the sunlight was too prominent.
They had to keep their voices to a murmur and keep their moves light. Otherwise, it felt as if my head was being beaten with a mallet.
I also still felt starved and held a feeling of thirst that could not be satisfied, but the animal blood had helped make it tolerable.
“It’s dark out now, so you need not worry about the light.” Emmett gave me a small smile.
I took Alicia’s hand, and she helped pull me up, “Come on, pretty lady, hop on my back because we’re going to need to run to where we’re going. Also, keep your ears covered.”
I nodded as Alicia turned around and allowed me to piggyback her. I took a deep breath, holding my hands firm against my ears as I braced myself for the rush of pressure I knew I’d feel.
Everything moved past at warp speed as we ran through the forest. I wasn’t sure how fast we were going, but all the trees, plants, and bushes went by so fast they were nothing but blurs of shadows in the early night sky.
I glanced up at the clear sky above us. The speed made the stars look as if they were all shooting stars rocketing through the night sky, and a small smile tugged at my lips. I’d always loved the stars, but now, with speed, the darkened blue sky was lit with the white of the stars, which mesmerized me.
We finally came to a gentle stop, and Alicia set me down, pulling my hands softly from my ears.
“Emmett and I found this place a while back. We wanted to show you before, but then we started moving around. We figured if this was your last day, we wanted to share something beautiful with you.”
“And...” Emmett continued with a small, timid smile, “maybe help you see that living in the shadows isn’t all that bad. It’s just a little further up this way, and we can walk the rest.”
Emmett carefully took my hand in his while Alicia took the other, and slowly we walked up an incline.
As we stepped closer, a dull noise of rushing water began filling my ears until my eyes found the source. We were up a small mountain overlooking the vast forest below. A river of water flowed for as far as the eye could see, trickling down to the rocks beneath.
The stars shone in the crystal clear, silk-like water, so it looked like someone had laid delicate diamonds in the water as they shined under the moonlight. Around the edges, lilies, daisies, and bluebells nodded softly in the night breeze. Everything so was so calm; the only other noise was some distant animals going about their business.
Emmett took a seat on the edge of the cliff, his legs dangling freely over the significant drop. “What do you think, Hallie?”
Words escaped me as I looked at my surroundings; it was the most eloquent thing I’d ever seen. Everywhere my eyes could see, I fell in love with the sights. Even the trees’ view in the distance, under the cover of the shadows, was breathtaking.
Alicia took my hand with a small smile, “Come sit, don’t worry, I’ll keep hold of you if you’re worried you’ll fall.” and led me carefully to the ledge.
I dared to peek down at the waterfall and rocks below. It wasn’t a tall hill, maybe thirty feet, yet still, the drop would have hurt.
“See, living in the shadows? It doesn’t have to be all bad.” Alica looked at me with sincerity shining bright in her eyes. “You just got to know where to look to find the light in it. Sure, it’s been amazing to walk in the sun again, and it will be a shame when the spell wears off. However, in the night, a unique beauty can be found.”
“We were thinking.” Emmett continued, “If you turned, we could find somewhere like this place, build a new cabin, and settle there. We could develop it, so we were free to roam about it in the day, maybe even put some fabric up to supply us with shelter outside. Just because you’re isolated to live in the dark doesn’t mean you have to stay in the shadows.”
“But, what if I can’t control it? What if I kill someone? I’ve already...I don’t think I could live with myself if I killed someone again. Accident or otherwise.”
“We will not lie to you, Hallie.” Alicia shook her head, “You probably will kill someone, maybe even multiple people. The bloodlust is so overpowering, and human blood is addictive. Much like your magic was overwhelming and addictive, but you controlled that.”
Emmett sighed as his body slumped, “If I can learn to control it and move past the things I’d done. Then you can too. We won’t let you fall victim to that side of you.”
“We’ll stay in the cabin until you learn how to control your sense and desires.” Alicia continued, “It’s safe there. In the months we were there before you came, we only caught the scent of two lost hikers. Then, we’ll move somewhere a little more populated but stay at a distance. Help you gain a little more control, and once you’re ready, we’ll find our haven, like this place.”
“The choice is yours, though, Hallie.” Emmett sounded confident, “We will not force you. We just wanted to show you that if you stick around, it’s not all bad. Everything will be okay because you’ll have us, always.”
I looked at the two, sat either side of me before my eyes cast to the view below.
Maybe one reason I’d been so scared of becoming a Vampire was that I’d grown up in the light. Laughing, singing, and dancing in the sun’s rays and being told horror stories of the things that went bump in the night. The Vampires and the Wolves, our coven’s greatest enemies, and the terror they had caused.
I was always told evil lurked in the shadows made by the light of the moon. But sat here, with Emmett and Alicia, I saw no harm, only beauty. Being with them, I learned that not all Vampires were terrible.
They did not differ from anyone. Human or otherwise, any creature could be evil; it was down to the individual and their choices. And whether it was light or dark didn’t seem to make much of a difference either.
Maybe I needed to stop living in the light, being afraid of the dark, and find the beauty in the night. As I stared at the beauty of my surroundings, I recalled one thing Zachariah always told me.
There is always light to be found, even in the darkest of places. You need only look hard enough to find it.
I looked at Emmett once more, a broad smile on his face. I looked over to Alicia, sharing a smile just as happy as his. Their eyes full of life and love; they were my light. They’d been my light since I found them in my cabin three years ago.
Before them, I was confused, scared, and alone, afraid of myself and my powers. They helped me, and they guided me. They gave me a reason to smile and laugh again. They gave me a new family, one I didn’t have to hide from when I’d lost the family I was born into.
“I want to turn.”