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August 22nd

August 22, 3 a.m.

“And so you have discovered my secret!” Mr. Amherst roared, his face wet with rain and perspiration. He was drunk and stunk of gin, so that is seeped out of his pores. His face was swollen and red. “You who have her name…you who have been sent by the devil himself! What are you, a demon like her?” He smiled a wicked smile. “Did you know she was born with a tail? Yes a tail like the creature that she was! She almost killed her mother in childbirth! She made her the weakened shadow of a woman that she now is!” He wiped his face with his shirt, and turned towards the fireplace. Captain Amherst pressed his fingers to his eyes as if to dissipate the image. “She never loved me. If ever I tried to hold her or hug her she would become stiff… A completely unnatural child! She only ever had time for her mother.” He gritted his teeth at the remembrance, and then continued. “I was hurt, but I was glad that Isabella had a companion while I was away.” He took a deep swallow of gin, and then looked at the corpse on the floor as if he had just noticed it. He made a cruel face and poured some gin on the dead child’s face, and then kicked at her. I scooted backwards into the corner and pulled myself into a ball. I tried to control the sob threatening to break from my lips. “You think me a monster don’t you?” He raged. “Oh no, the monster in this room is not me. I came back unexpectedly from work one night. I knew that my horses were dying, and I decided to check on them… and do you know what I found? My own sweet daughter was clinging to that horse and draining his blood. Her mouth was latched to his neck. The horse looked relaxed, as though it were about to fall asleep. I startled her and she looked at me with those big unnatural lavender eyes… She had blood smeared all over her face. And do you know what she did?” He laughed then, a frightening laugh, the laugh of a maniac. His eyes were wild and he stepped towards me. I tried to bury my head in my nightdress. He crouched on the floor and got right in my face. The smell of gin and sweat made me want to vomit. “She hissed at me. My child hissed at me.” Captain Amherst drunkenly straightened himself into a standing position and lumbered back towards Emily’s corpse. With his back to me, he continued. “So what was she? A child with a disease? Or an abomination? I imprisoned her for her own good! I locked her in this room and told Madison to bring her food and drink. Although Emily drank blood, she also partook in food and drink. I forbade Isabella from visiting her!” He fell onto a chair and took another long swallow. “Then one day I went to check on her. I was her father after all, and it was hard for me to believe in something as unnatural as… well… a vampire. I found the door ajar. Furious, I kicked the door open. What I found chills me to this day.” He sighed and slumped over resignedly. “Emily was feeding off of her own mother. At that moment I knew that Isabella had been feeding her all along. Emily loved Isabella because Isabella fed Emily her own blood.” At this he rose up and smashed the chair he was sitting in like kindling. His hand began to bleed. He passed his hand through his hair leaving a grisly mark. I cowered and covered my ears, not wanting to hear this confession, wishing I was never born. At this he kicked at the fractured chair as a man possessed. A piece landed on Emily’s torso. I sent Isabella and the entire household to the seaside. I told them I wanted to spend some time with Emily alone. Isabella was frantic, but I promised her it was in Emily’s best interest. I said I was just going to talk to her. Help her get over her bizarre bloodlust. Captain Amherst smiled a thick and evil smile then. That day is one that will forever haunt my memories until the day that I die. I told Emily she had to stop drinking blood or I would send her away. She looked into my face and said “Father, you will never be rid of me. I will haunt you always. She laughed then. I felt my hands around her neck because she spoke the truth. I choked her.” He fell to the floor and curled up like a child. “I choked her until she vomited blood. I stuffed her up the chimney. All her playthings and dolls gazed at me mockingly. I pushed them up there as well! Then with energy I never possessed before I sealed her into her ungodly tomb. The job was done. I was rid of her. When the household returned I said that Emily had wandered off. I made a big show of it, calling the police, going on searches, releasing the hounds. I knew the hounds would never find her. Animals were terrified of Emily, and besides she had no scent. Isabella was beside herself at first, but then one day she got over it. It was very fast. Soon after we discovered she was pregnant again. I know now that Emily had returned, and Isabella was feeding her again. I underestimated her power. And I shall burn in hell for it!” With that he took the bottle of gin from the mantelpiece and dashed it against the fireplace. The fire licked at the flames and caught the tapestry on the wall. I managed to get up and stumble from the room. With a calm I had never witnessed before, Captain Amherst sat down in an armchair. I ran, as fast as I could from the room. As I ran I could hear Captain Amherst laughing. It was silenced with a huge crash and a gust of hot flames that overpowered me. The ceiling had collapsed.

I am sitting by the stable, watching the house burn. I am crying. The babies. Those sweet, sweet babies, lost in the flames. I am writing all of this down so that I don’t forget. I think with the morning will come sanity and the conviction that none of this is real. The heat from the house is overpowering. Everyone’s dead. Everyone but me. I hope the fire department comes soon. I hope they can see the flames. Something is there. Someone is coming towards me! Per haps it is Mrs. Amherst! No, it is a child. A child in a nightgown. God help me, it is Emily.

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