I GET DRESSED comfortably in black jeans and a black jumper. We will be leaving from our house and now we are waiting for Ethan to arrive.
Ethan has liked me for as long as I can remember, but there is something about him makes me feel uncomfortable – small, little things which get in the way of me liking him. At times, I would think, I could grow to like him, but then he would say or do something silly, insignificant, and that would change my mind. Shayne and Amanda always try to include Ethan in our hunts, because they are looking for a mate for me. In moments when they felt serious, they would wonder what would happen to me if something ever happened to them. According to them, Ethan would be the best replacement for them.
He is twenty-one years old and not a half-blood like me. He turned the same way as Amanda and Shayne, and they have skin like marble. They are rock hard and if you walked into them by accident, it actually could knock you backwards, it would be like walking into a brick wall. However, I have a certain degree of softness to me but I am not as squishy as humans are and to the uninformed, I would just seem well defined and muscle toned.
There is a knock at the door and I walk to it, calling into the house, “I’ll get it.”
I open the door and the porch light illuminates him. He has his dark hair coiffed up over his forehead and his dark hazel eyes look broodingly at me.
His eyes sparkle when he says, “Good Evening, beautiful Susanna.”
“Hi, Ethan.” He is utterly adorable and absolutely gorgeous, but I always feel awkward in his presence even though we have known each other forever. I know he likes me, but he has a new girlfriend almost every week, mortal or immortal, makes no difference to him. I am looking for a lasting relationship, not something fleeting. I want to experience the feeling of unconditional love, a feeling I have searched for forever. If I had a romance with Ethan, he would get bored with me too quickly and there are those little things which irritate me, things I would not be able to live with for the rest of forever-more.
“Come in, Ethan. Why are you just standing there?”
He smiles handsomely. “I thought we would be leaving as soon as I get here.”
I sigh exasperatedly. “You know Shayne. He has these little habits and rituals. Just come in, don’t just stand there.”
He walks past me as I stand aside.
I turn and close the door behind us. I walk into the house behind Ethan and I turn to him by the stairs. “Amanda and Shayne will be here now.” I point to the lounge. “You can go and sit down so long.”
I walk up the stairs to my room. I usually wait in my room, while the ‘grown-ups’ have an alcoholic beverage before we leave. I put a CD into my stereo, and while I am sitting on my bed, I page through a magazine.
My door opens softly and I turn my head to the sound. The words, “I am coming,” freeze on my lips when I see Ethan walking into my room.
He smiles and although I honestly do not want it to affect me, it does. Smiling seductively, he comes to a stop in front of me and he holds his hand out to me.
I take his hand while looking up at him and he pulls me up from the bed gently. Once I am standing in front of him, he does not move away. He drops his head closer to mine and with lightning speed, his hand is holding my head closer to his. He softly lets his lips glide over mine.
Holding his lips close to mine, he asks softly, “When will you be mine?”
I pull away from him, frowning. “Never.”
He laughs softly. “Why never?”
I turn away from him dismissively and walk to my cupboard to get my trench coat.
Staring at me thoughtfully, he asks, “Are you ready?”
I smile friendly, although I do not feel it. “I am coming. Do I have a choice?”
We walk out to the car together and Ethan sits with me in the back of Shayne’s car. We drive past Carmine’s house and I see the party which was supposed to have been at Andrew’s house is now at her house. I see all the kids, my age in appearance, and I feel despondent I could not join them after all. However, I feel the demon rise in me when I look at them and I can imagine sinking my teeth into their soft, young skins, so I look away.
As if Ethan can hear my thoughts, he folds his hand over mine on my leg. He squeezes my hand softly. I look at him sideways and a soft smile is playing on his lips. He whispers, “I do not know why you waste your time with them.” His eyes look over my shoulder at the group of teens standing on the pavement.
“They make me feel normal,” I reply defensively.
“But you aren’t normal, are you?”
“You don’t need to remind me.”
“Why do you have this need to feel normal? You are so much better than them.”
I do not want to tell him how I feel. It had nothing to do with him. I did not want to blurt out how I wanted to be like them. I wanted to grow old and move on, not forever stuck in one particular place, frozen forever in this body.
Sighing, I look out the window at the night sky.
Ethan whispers in my hair, “Don’t be so sad, beautiful Susanna.” He lightly kisses me on the top of my head.
I notice the night getting darker as we drive away from the suburbs and the city, and then not long after, shacks surround us. Little squares made from anything and everything in an attempt to keep the rain and wind out.
I can feel the despair and hopelessness in the air and suddenly I do not want to do it. These people already have such a crappy time of just finding something to eat, how can we still come here and feed on them, besides I suddenly realise something important. I ask Shayne as he brings the car to a stop, “What about AIDS? Have you considered it?”
Shayne laughs cruelly. “What do you suppose AIDS will do to you, Susie?”
Amanda confirms, “Blood is blood.”
Still, I am reluctant. “These people hardly ever eat. They would not fill us – at all!”
I can feel Ethan shake as he laughs and I turn to him abruptly. “What?”
“You are just like your father, William. He was also always worried about people and humanity. These people will be grateful to die when they no longer have to live in this total poverty and misery. Trust me.”
Amanda, Shayne, and Ethan open their doors, while I say, “I’ll stay here to look after the car. It might get stolen.”
Amanda says adamantly, “Susanna, get out now. You cannot go to school on Monday if you do not feed tonight.”
“I’ll find something else.”
“You will put us all in jeopardy. Get out of the car now. Shayne will keep an eye on it.”
Reluctantly I get out of the car and slam the door. We do not need to do this silently. Nobody would be able to outrun us anyway.
We walk in between the cardboard and corrugated iron houses next to each other. Four formidable figures walking side by side. I hear babies crying all around me, the night sounds of the squatter camps. I see rats scurry ahead of us and some rats are as large as small dogs. Jumping over the sewage overflow puddles in the pathway, I am reluctant to touch the foul, dark water. There is no moon, so it is dark and the orange hue from the high-mast light does not really provide any proper lighting. We walk further into the sad, hopelessness and at times, we have to turn sideways and walk one at a time between the shacks. In one of the houses, we notice the flicker of a candle and Shayne stops. He looks for somewhere to knock, but then he just pounds against the flimsy corrugated iron door. Quickly the light from the candle goes out, but nobody comes to the door. Shayne pulls the flimsy door off the little home. It happens so fast there is no screaming for help. The family of eight is asleep in a row on the ground, all of them in this little box. There is no toilet, no kitchen, and no furniture. The old man who is still awake look at Shayne surprised, his eyes are as big as saucers, but it is over for him quickly.
When I smell the irony, sweet smell of rich, burgundy blood in the air, I cannot control myself and against my resolve, I join them. I drink in a mad frenzy. There is no stopping me. I sink my razor sharp teeth into their soft necks. I feel the way their skin fold around my tongue as I suck the blood into my mouth. The blood, thick and warm slide down into my throat and then my entire body joins in. My every sense tingles and I drink and drink until I am so full, my eyes want to close from contentment.
Ethan finds me draped over an old woman. Her body is withered, not a drop in her any more. I wish I could turn her inside out and lick the sides clean. Ethan touches me on my shoulder and I am back. The mad raging overpowering feeling leaves me just as suddenly as it became a part of me.
I stand up and remorse fills me immediately when I look down at the lifeless body of the woman, but I convince myself I honestly had no choice. I was born this way.
Ethan takes me in his arms gently, but I push away from him and determinedly I say, “No.”
He moves away from me and I can see the angry humiliation in his eyes. He says firmly, “One day, you will give in.”
I turn away from him and walk to the car. We leave the bodies as they are. Nobody will ever find us and we do not even leave any DNA behind. If anyone ever bothered to investigate, they would be baffled. We must have an infinite number of DNA belonging to many other people coursing through our veins.
The car is silent when we drive home and when we drive past Carmine’s house again everything is dark.
I did not realise how long that took. It is almost dawn.