A Mask Never Removed
Triss volunteered to take Kira to the mask maker. For every person within the Syndicate received a custom mask from this man, though he himself was not a member nor was Kira. Much to the new demi-human’s surprise Triss was two-faced. On the outside she was a kind and considerate bartender, but after closing she could be an aggressive, uncaring women who would rather kill someone then deal with the possibility of their exposure. Towards Kira she was still welcoming, though she did not treat Kira as anything special, the half-human was grateful for that. No more kid stuff, this was reality and reality is ugly. In a shop of old-town London the mask maker was a young Chinese, yet gothic-vampire.
“Its been a while since you’ve brought someone by Triss.” Instantly the demi-human received a peculiar vibe from him.
Kira walked around the shop, gazing at the different masks. Each one was a different material, style and shape no two were the same, but some came I’m pairs. The scent of blood forced Kira to clench her eye shut, the demon forced her to swallow three tablets.
“She’s actually not with us...” Triss said as she observed the new masks in his shop, “She’s a newblood testing the waters.”
‘Hei’ as he was called motioned for Kira to sit down and offered the same, though hesitated when seeing she continued to wear her sunglasses.
“Is there something wrong with your eyes?” Hei tilted is head quizzically.
He saw the stigma on her neck and leaned closer to observe. These are meant to tame vampires, but Kira looks like an ordinary human, even gives off a scent close to one.
“My eye changes on its own.”
Saying that made her sick to her stomach.
“Well if you drank enough then that wouldn’t be a problem and those tablets only help so much.” Triss elbowed Kira which began a small contest of the same between the two.
Kira gave a pitiful smile, she knew that and over time if it grew worse and the possibility of her body rejecting the tablets occurred then there was only way to stop herself. Hei pulled out his sketch pad and leaned back.
“If I may, why would someone not of Syndicate need a mask? Sounds more like you’re someone from the Nation or an independent.”
Kira scratched the back of her head, “I’m pretty much on my own.”
Her personality and dispossession reminded Hei much of the masked person from the queen’s ball. He had been to a ball before, last year closer to Christmas if he remembered correctly. Normally the queen held the ball at her castle in the north, but oddly enough she moved it to the States at a mansion in the mountains. As usual she politely rejected dancing with anyone and Hei noticed much of the time her gaze was fixated on the orchestra. She was watching someone in particular, but there was no way knowing who. Shortly after a masked figure came and asked for a dance. Many laughed at the person’s attempt seeing as they were a nobody. Hei himself thought the person to be a bit disturbing, even by his standards.
Something was not right with that person and further more the mask complemented the uneasiness he felt. In truth he would have loved making a mask for that woman, whoever she was. Surprisingly enough the queen accepted the invitation and portrayed a very different expression then any had seen before. Now that he thought about it, looking harder at Kira her aura resembles that person quite closely.
“So you were from that side.”
Kira’s eye looked away--a very painful feeling came to her chest.
“I don’t mean to pry, but when it comes to masks I like to get to know the person so it suits them better.”
The demi-human relaxed, regaining her composure, “Alright, but you only get three questions.”
Triss had to depart early and Hei and Kira were left alone to continue on. The demi-human continued to wonder the store and found a few that she related to those similar to history. Hei took notice of her curiosity and educated her on some of the masks previous owners. In the far back, a particularly curious headdress grabbed her interest--it seemed old Egyptian at first, but it held no similar characters or designs and its material was foreign. She looked further and saw a sun on a tattered cloth behind glass.
“That is a design based on an old immortal myth, care to hear?”
“In nine-thousand years one who stands on the boundary will be reborn. In nine hundred years they will regain their mind. In ninety years they will regain their power. In nine years they will regain their heart.” Hei pointed to the sun in the glass, “This is part of one of two books that was said to have the old times recorded in it. A vampire fairy tale if you will.”
Answering questions was the easy part, what came after was more difficult. Emily once told her that vampire’s emotions are amplified, but humans remain those who feel the deepest. Is this what she was going thru? Seeing Kira helpless, watching she as walked away from her--I was horrible to her. She understood what it means to hate, what it means to feel unimaginable pain, yet in her chest there lies this void. Where did this come from? She knows what she has to do, she has to make them pay; not for Emily, she would never want this, but for Kira herself. Was it what she wanted though? All these emotions mixing together, it was confusing, sorting out what was hers and whatever was left of feelings that were never be real.
Kira consumed tablets; more and more with each passing day. A mask huh? It seems she is better suited to the Syndicate then she thought--wearing a mask at all times, hiding behind a false persona. What does it mean to be a vampire? Constantly fighting, killing and for what? After she gets revenge against a single person what comes after--eternity alone?
Kira left the city every night for the woods far north where she tested this new body. Seeing in the dark, seeing the vessels of every creature; knocking trees down with her bear hands; running faster than a car--she could win.
Nightcore trained her to be able to defend against vampires and along the way, fighting them became second nature and that was now their mistake. It was hers as well because against them Kira could not use the same technique, therefore it was paramount to find her own technique or to adopt Syndicate’s. Then of course same the problem of the target itself--Kira doesn’t remember how she managed to fight--that’s it! Repeating that surge of power, but having it under control would mean the end of anyone who stood in her way!
A Ghoul is essentially a human that failed to become a vampire therefore what she is now is a permanent, living, version of that! Kira had the capacity to obtain that power, but at what cost? Was she not just as susceptible to becoming insane as back then? Mindless, flesh-eating, a beast in human form. Kira stood fast and looked up to the starry sky, contemplating what would come after--there is no such thing as a normal for her, but is it wrong to wish for it?
Kira leaned against the headstone and shut her eyes, feeling the snow touch her face, yet it was not cold.
It came to her, but she thought it should have been nothing more than a passing idea. From her pocket Kira held her cell phone--she did not know why she kept the number in her phone--a hope that maybe somewhere long down the road those feelings from the year before could fade. She wanted them to fade, not because there no longer existed, but it would be easier to face the source of her life as an adult and thank her one last time for the life she gave her; the chance to have another life. She wanted that--regardless of what happened then, Kira still kept the hope that one day the two could forgive another--humans don’t hold onto grudges as vampires do--their lives are much too short.
She stared at the number for a long while, the screen illuminated her face with its dim light. What does it hurt to try? Whats the worse that could happen? None from the house knew where she lived; Kira has already lost the last she loved--that would not be worth traveling across the world to kill just for a violation of the threat. This number was for a private phone: only two people in the world had this number and it was only to be used in case of emergency--this would be considered one of those.
Kira pressed her thumb on the screen over the camera and the sound of Facetime was heard when sending out a video call. Secretly, she didn't want the call to answer, but had a hope it would be.
The call connected.
Hearing her name leave those lips made a twist in her chest. There was no warmth, no kindness and it was the tone of annoyance that made it that much harder to speak. It hurts.
“I know you said you would kill me if you ever saw me again..." Kira said quietly, "But its not like you know where I am.”
Eona sat up from her bed, having been woken hours before her usual time, “Is that why you've called me: to test my patience?"
Kira shook her head slowly, averting her eyes, "Not exactly..."
The queen noticed something amiss, taking note of the stone Kira leaned against. It had been over a year since they had spoken, since they saw one another, but to be called out of the blue; using the private number only she and Wolfgang had--Kira had never used this number until now. The silence annoyed the queen further and she was the first to speak again, her voice snapping to a question:
"Where is the good doctor? Don't tell me she approved of this little phone call?" Eona asked accusingly, "Or have you found the nerve to ask for forgiveness?"
"You're still going to hold that over me?" Kira growled, "Something I don't even remember--forget it." Kira's head dropped, "Emily...is..."
She could not say it--rather Kira moved from the headstone and allowed Eona to see the answer to her question.
"Dead?" Eona said surprised, "Dr. Addy is dead? What happened?" She continued with an unexpected urgency.
"Then...it really wasn't you..." Kira's face came back into view, "I just needed to know...goodbye...Eona..."
The called was ended and the phone turned off. Kira dropped the phone beside her and pulled her legs to her chest. Eona was not responsible afterall--that made her happy.