The unique teenage girl sits against the massive oak tree, shaking in fear as darkness surrounds her. The old and dirty dress she is wearing has holes and tears but it clings to her olive skin, wrapping around the large bump in her stomach. The girls' weak and thin arms hug her long and bony legs. Her untamed and wavy dark brown hair that reaches her waist hangs loosely dull in colour. Her beautiful hazel eyes have lost the light of excitement and adventure they had nine months ago. Now they are tired and yearning for freedom. She no longer has the defined jawline of a Gentile witch. All of her power has been transmitted to the one million dollar wonder in her womb. She rests patiently and quietly as the baby begins squirming around until all of a sudden, she feels a rush of water soaking her dress.
The young woman's screams travel for miles and tears stream down her face, fear encompassing her as she holds her stomach. Her heart has never beaten so fast and she has never endured such excruciating pain in her life. There is something mysterious about this unborn baby, it is as if it is sucking the power out of its mother. Of course, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. The girl cries out into the night as another contraction hits.
The troubled woman's shrieks are heard by newlyweds, who are travelling in a carriage and the wealthy young man directs the coachman to follow the sound of the hurting girl. As they near the distressed sobs, the draft horse snorts in anticipation. The coachman pulls the reins and the horse comes to a smooth halt as the young couple jumps out of the carriage running to the crying girl.
"Oh, my goodness!" the wealthy woman screeches. "Charles', we don't have much time!"
"Sweetheart, my name is Elizabeth, squeeze my hand now," the compassionate woman gestures towards her hand. "What is your name?" Elizabeth attempts to distract the scared girl.
"Mm-my name is Valentina," she manages to croak breathlessly in a rich Italian accent.
"How old are you Valentina?" Elizabeth asks sweetly, worry and concern lacing her tone.
"Eighteen!" Valentina screams out in pain again as another contraction attacks, ever the more severely.
"Gosh Charles, she's still a child!" Elizabeth gasps, cupping her mouth.
Finally, the carriage arrives at the posh aristocratic home and Charles quickly carries the girl into one of the spare bedrooms. The maids surround Valentina ready to assist in delivering the baby. It's too late to get a doctor, so Elizabeth continues to comfort Valentina stroking her rich, dark brown, wavy hair until finally, it is time.
"Keep going. You are nearly there, honey," Elizabeth coos. "Just a few more."
Time passes, and the agony only becomes worse. Seconds and minutes go by as the hands on the clock tick until the piercing sound of a crying baby enters the room. Sighs of relief erupt and the smell of blood filters the air.
"It's a girl," a maid announces completely awestruck. Valentina begins to weep, tears rolling down her cheeks again. This time they are not for pain and fear; they are for sadness, loneliness, and despair.
"I need to go. He is after me!" Valentina tries to sit up but winces in pain.
"No, you need to rest," Charles orders strictly.
"Who is after you, Valentina?" Elizabeth inquires, puzzled.
"Her father," Valentina cries gesturing towards the newborn baby. "Per favore ti prego!" she bows her head pleadingly towards Charles and Elizabeth. The young couple exchange a look.
"Grazie Signor!" Valentina cries gratefully.
Immediately, Elizabeth orders the maids to find a fresh dress so Valentina can travel comfortably and cleanly without the stains of blood on her old rugged clothes.
The baby girl is cleaned of the blood on her little body and then placed in an old fashioned pine rocker to sleep in with soft silk blankets wrapped around her. Valentina slowly and cautiously hobbles towards her daughter, a longing and far away look in her eyes.
She begins chanting softly in a foreign language placing her hands on the baby's petite head before softly kissing its small forehead. She stares longingly at the sleeping bundle before slowly making her way out the front door thanking the young couple over and over again.
"I never caught your maiden name," Elizabeth remarks out of curiosity.
"Gentile," the teenager responds before stepping into the carriage with a soft smile.
The coachman urges the big, gentle, Clydesdale into a trot and the girl is never seen again leaving the newlyweds with a gift. Maybe a metaphorical gift? All Charles and Elizabeth Dashwood know is to be unharmed they need to protect this child from evil at all costs. Even if it's the last thing they do.
5th November 2034, Florida, U.S.A
"Someone help me!" I beg on the side of the wet, slippery and quiet road. I see headlights through the wintry night and sigh in relief when the vehicle slowly comes to a halt. I'm hungry and that stupid car has run out of fuel.
Serves you right for what you did to get.
The sound of a car door slamming brings me out of my thoughts and I look to see a young man with light brown hair, a fringe covering his eyes. He looks to be in his early twenties and my insides churn with excitement.
Oh yes, this is going to be a treat.
I flick my wavy dark brown hair over my shoulders and pull my t-shirt down, showing as much cleavage as possible. I hear a familiar scoff not far behind me and roll my eyes. It's not like she could do any better.
"Is there anything I can help you with?" the man asks. I run my index finger down his chest and restrain a snicker as he shivers under my touch.
"Oh, I am so hungry and my car has broken down. Do you have anything for me?" I query, seductively. I can hear his heart pumping one hundred miles an hour and smirk to myself.
"L-let m-me check," he stutters.
"Never mind. I'm kind of in a hurry," I respond sweetly trying to hide my impatience. The veins on my cheeks grow and my eyes darken. I growl and his eyes widen as he tries to run, but I instantly grab his arm pulling him back and digging my fangs into the side of his neck. The taste of fresh blood excites me and just as I'm about to drain him I am pushed back by a blonde girl.
"Matilda, that wasn't the plan," she whines pathetically.
As if I give a fuck what the plan was.
"There are hundreds of blood bags in your bloody suitcase! How come you can have a snack but I can't? I yell frustrated.
"You were not just about to have a snack," she narrows her eyes.
"If you didn't always have vervain on you, I would compel you to shut the hell up and stop telling me what to do!"
Charlotte just rolls her eyes at my words not bothering to argue further. My parents had always said that silence is golden. I never agreed until everything was overbearingly heightened.
"Who are you, people?" The man breathes, scared for his life and on the verge of death.
"I'm Matilda Valentina fucking Dashwood. Thanks for asking."
"Wait what-" I cut him off, draining him of his blood completely. Before Charlotte can even think about healing him, I snap his neck for good measure and drag him to the driver's seat of our stolen car and arrange his flimsy arms on the steering wheel. I try to keep his head from falling off his neck but it's useless, so I give up and amble back to Charlotte. I can tell by her facial expression that she is not happy.
"That was completely unnecessary!"
"He knew who I was,” I shrug my shoulders, smirking at the deadly look she is giving me.
"You bloody told him who we were!" she yells exasperatedly.
Tell the entire world why don't you.
"Whatever. I'm driving by the way. My dead grandmother could drive faster than you."
"Bitch," she snarls.
"Just being honest."
We get into the car and I turn onto the surprisingly busy freeway. I only last ten minutes until my patience slips and I give up on following the road rules.
"Matilda! Slow down!"
"It's not like we are going to die," I roll my eyes as I hold my foot down on the accelerator. I continue passing other cars that begin road raging at me. "But everyone else might."
"The police will be here soon you idiot!" Charlotte lectures.
"Mmm... Another feast. I'm fine with that." I lick my lips and drive faster just to piss her off even more.
"How the hell did you pass your drivers test?" She then gasps, "Wait, did you pass it?"
"Yes and no. You see the examiner was being an annoying bitch and I was starving so I had a snack. You have no idea how delicious it was," I moan in pleasure remembering the taste of Miss Yappy's blood. "Oh, and then I signed all that stupid paperwork, while she was dying of blood loss."
"You what?" Charlotte yells.
Why is she always yelling at me?
"I said I ate-"
"Shut up!" she groans. After a minute of silence, she narrows her eyes at me and creases form on her forehead. "Where did you put the body?"
"I buried it somewhere along with the car. I took the paperwork with me otherwise I wouldn't have this," I reply proud, holding up my new driver's license.
"Someone could have seen you!" she shouts.
"It's called having fun. Get over it," I retort back. She just huffs and crosses her arms.
"We're here!" I yell, scaring the crap out of a sleeping Charlotte. She scowls at me, but her eyes light up when she notices the massive brick mansion in front of us.
The lights coming from it could light up an entire street. There are two balconies on either side with two staircases that curve around leading to the second level. In the middle, a pool with bright blue tiles and a lounging area set the look. Overall it looks like a princess lives in the mansion.
"How the hell did you find this?" Charlotte gasps.
"I have my ways," I wink. "Oh and we can burn this car now. There are ten better cars in that garage," I point to it as I park around at the front door and slide out of the car.
Charlotte squeals excitedly, and I roll my eyes. She is like a hyped cheerleader at times. Ironic considering she can be so uptight. Which is why she doesn't need to know that I forcefully kicked people out of this place so that we could live here until we have to flee for our lives again.
We walk up the stairs that lead to the front door and I grab the key that the dealer left under the doormat. I'm surprised when there is another set for Charlotte. We pull our bags holding the essentials through the door and I swing it closed with my hip.
"It's a lot bigger than you think by the way, but I'm getting the master bedroom!" I demand as she quickly runs up the stairs.
"I wasn’t even going to argue," she replies over her shoulder. We begin unpacking our suitcases, something we do so often that it just comes naturally. When we are finally done, Charlotte stumbles in chucking me a blood bag, which I purposely don't catch. She flops down on my bed and chugs it down like alcohol. Gross. That stuff is like off milk.
"I need a new identity," I say, trying not to internally gag.
"I think Matilda Valentina Dashwood, rich dark brown hair, hazel eyes, one hundred and ninety-nine-year-old woman in a twenty-year-old girl's body is perfect. Oh, but take out the middle name. It drives people bonkers," she says matter of factly.
"In other words, it drives you bonkers," I roll my eyes, but then realise what she just suggested. "Wait. No! He will find us in two minutes, you idiot. We didn't move here just to be found two weeks later, by that homicidal lunatic!" I start to panic pacing the room.
"Seems like you two have something in common," she replies sarcastically. I give her a pointed glare and she shrugs innocently but half a second later Charlotte is by my side. "You’re being dramatic. He is not going to find us. This time we will be ready. I promise," she tries to reassure me.
I give her an uneasy look, "You said that last time you know."
"Well, I'm saying it again," she mutters.
"Don't blame me when he is knocking on the door asking for permission to blow up the house," I mumble. We remain silent until I almost whisper. "You know you don't have to be involved in this drama, right?"
"Then what kind of friend would I be?" she smiles enthusiastically.
"You mean, the only friend," I deadpan.
"True," she chuckles. A silence; this time a comfortable one takes over. As usual, it doesn't last long as Charlotte inhales loudly.
"What is it?" I breathe out.
"So, please don't get mad, but I was thinking that maybe you could do a locator spell on-"
I interrupt her straight away. "Charlotte we have already been over this. No!" I storm out of the room not giving her another glance.
I hear her sigh in defeat, but I don’t have one ounce of guilt. She knows that I can't. He is the reason why I am a tribrid in the first place, all so he could mess with his father. Even though the bloody idiot has ruined my life, I sometimes thank him for making me so powerful. I now love the way people shake in fear at the sound of my name.
I head to the kitchen and open the fridge expecting some wine to be in there, but all there is are blood bags stacked to the brim on the shelves. They’re everywhere, some having even fallen onto the tile floor at my feet. I almost feel like pouring them down the sink; they smell so bad.
I prefer my meals straight from the source, but Charlotte, always being the good girl, just has to remind me that it is someone's life I'm taking away, someone's blood.
Groaning, I lean down to pick up the loose blood bags and chuck the thick plastic tubes back into the fridge then slamming the door closed for good measure. The sound that comes with it annoyingly doesn’t give me the satisfaction I was hoping for.
I’m slowly losing it.
This time I look through the cupboards to see if Charlotte brought any alcohol here and groan again, much louder this time. There is nothing, unless you want to count the ugly tube-like blood bags.
"Fuck it, I'm going out."