|“My, my. Don’t you look ravishing tonight?”
The delicate maiden turned to face me. Her dress, a finery of bright coloured pieces of taffeta making up its skirt, swished. She looked like candy. Delicious candy. Like lollipops…..
No. I stopped my thoughts from straying any further. No more humans. Not after the last disaster. I shuddered at the thought of my last date. She was a fine one. But there was an odd taste about her…..
No. No. No. Not thinking about it.
“Are you okay?” she asked. Bright eyes with a personality of its own sparkled at me, her concern written in its expression. I took a deep breath, and attempted to calm my natural instincts.
“I’m fine. Just fine. Been thinking too much, that’s all.”
Her head tilted to the left inquisitively, as though she was instinctively curious to know what I was thinking about.
I took her hand.
“Let’s just enjoy tonight.”
She smiled. Any previous thoughts of inquiry would have been forgotten.
There was a still on the street outside the window of my apartment. She kept her secrets sealed beneath a coy smile. I ached to taste her past, her present and what was to come. The fork in her hand simply coiled the strands of spaghetti, and her lips issued forth the typical small talk one would expect within the awkward confinements of a first date.
She was hiding something. I could smell it. Observing me as much as I was observing her. If I could only touch, just a little, of her hand, or any bare skin at all, I would know.
I restrained myself. Not now.
I did not want to know the truth just yet.
“So Jane told me you were a librarian?” she asked.
Ah yes, my job as a librarian. Good cover. No doubt Jane, my matchmaker and best friend made that up. Magical beings rarely find lovers. But the breed was dying out. We needed to pass on our gifts.
“Why yes. I must say this is a temporary job though. Only until the end of the month. I am actually a travel writer, and TLC has offered me a job offering.”
Her eyes widened in pleasant surprise. “TLC? That’s my favourite channel!”
She looked so adorable with that look on her face.
A soft but audible sound caught my attention. It was only audible to me of course, stopping me in mid-sentence.
Another date was going to be ruined.
I stood up from my seat. “Will you excuse me? I need to check on desert. Try the bread sticks; it’s my first time making these.” I mustered, attempting to sound unfazed by what seemed to be going on in the kitchen.
She looked completely oblivious. A small smile crept on her lips as she nodded.
Damn these powers. At a young age, I was already classified as a strong sensory empath. Whenever I touched, smelled, or tasted a living being, I would instantly know everything about a person, and in that second, be able to see and feel everything that person feels. My hearing powers were heightened as well; I could hear a pin drop a mile away.
Perhaps it was my royal lineage. My parents, King and Queen of their small little world, needed these powers to empathize with their subjects. Their powers were projected in different ways: my dad had persuasion powers, and mom simply felt emotion by just looking into a person’s eyes. Needless to say, they ruled their land in peace.
I stepped out of my cloaking device which hid my true body, giving the illusion of me being a mere mortal to human beings. Them and their insignificant devices. Their television and internet. And these laws of physics. How backward they were. Every rule of magic broke their laws. It was like saying the Earth is flat.
But magical beings were dying out. We needed to breed with these inferior beings in order to survive. And one of the reasons for our impending extinction was standing in my kitchen. Eating the crème Brule I painstakingly baked for my date.
“You.” I spat, every hint of malevolence in my voice intentional.
“Brother! Glad to see you made snacks for my visit.”
I took out my gun and aimed at him. “Get out. I showed you mercy before. If there wasn’t a humanling in my dining room, you will be dead by now. Out!”
“You don’t think I’m afraid of your human gun, are you? I bet it’s loaded with silver bullets, naïve little brother. Have you started believing in human myth after all?”
Garth proceeded to sit on the kitchen counter. “I just wanted to share the good news, little brother. I have succeeded.”
My breath stopped for a second. No. It can’t be.
“Your precious human beings adapt better to the drug. Less dying, easier mind control.”
No, it can’t be.
The fair folk were divided into three main races: Fairies, dwarves and elves. All three races lived on First Earth, one portal away from this blasted Second Earth filled with pollution. Garth was first in line to the throne of the Elven kingdom. But the people had loved me more. They wanted me as king.
I pitied Garth at that time. I couldn’t see what everyone saw, the power hungry maniac bent on destruction. He tried to buy affection. He and the alchemists created a drug that enabled those who could sustain it to live forever.
Fair folk could live for thousands of years, but even we couldn’t live forever. There was a huge commotion on First Earth. Everyone bought the drug. Thankfully, not everybody consumed it.
Those who drank it became dark. Their hearts as dark as night. Many couldn’t withstand the evil within them and died. Those survived, became what was known to human beings as….
“I brought a guest with me little brother. Jack my boy, say hello to Jill. I believe you both know each other.”
With a wave of his hand, she was summoned to his side. Of all the insignificant beings he could have chosen…..
He had to choose the last girl I went on a date with.
“Garth, keep her out of this.” My voice was dangerously low.
“But my boy! She was in this plan all along, you shall see. Kiss good old Jack, Jill. Let him taste my power!”
With the strength of no ordinary human being, she forced her lips upon mine. I tasted nothing. The kiss was devoid of emotion, memory, passion. I was used to feeling emotion, seeing people’s memories…. I felt the emptiness swallow me whole, bile rose at the back of my throat. My last incident of upchucking in the middle of a kiss was going to repeat itself.
“Excuse me lady. But I believe that is MY DATE you’re snogging.”
Viola appeared in the doorway, ball of fire in her hand. The demure attitude, the soft and sweet façade of her outer-self that I saw earlier disappeared. However, it was not only her personality that seemed different. She had two pointy-ended ears.
She was an elf.
“We meet again. Garth.” Her voice dripped with poison.
Slowly, but surely, my older brother backed away. He attempted to use his magic to get out of the room, it didn’t work.
“I used a holding spell dear, magic only works for me.”
That was when I noticed I couldn’t sense anything except her. Her rage was a tangible scent in the air, putrid and nauseating. I stuck out my tongue to taste the air. Hmmm burnt. She must have been furious. Even without touching her I knew, she was in the mood to kill.
I glanced at Jill who sat in a foetal position in a corner of the kitchen. There was nothing but emptiness in her expression. She watched the proceedings with a strange calmness, like this was an ordinary walk in the park. She rocked herself back and forth, but she was smiling. The movement was almost… mechanical.
She was a zombie.
There had been negative repercussions with using magic to create drugs. Magic was an unpredictable force. To harness control required an immense amount of inner strength. When magical beings died we simply burst into a big ball of light and turn to ashes.
The drug enabled fair folk to live forever by ensuring the magic in our bloodstreams does not overpower our bodies. Thus, those who took the drug would require continuous sustenance in the form of magical blood. Mass slaughter happened throughout our world. Those who did not take the drug, came to Second Earth. We were refugees.
Garth must have tried experimenting with human beings. Without magic in their bloodstreams, the drug must have overpowered their minds and souls. They became empty shells. Zombies.
The kitchen was swelteringly hot. Viola had surrounded the kitchen with fire. Even with magic, it would take me at least a week to repair the damage. Sigh… That was what you get for being rescued by a maiden.
“NO! Mistress! NO!” Garth shouted amidst the flames which were beginning to engulf him.
“But I must. You no longer serve me any purpose.”
And with that, he was reduced to a pile of ashes.
I was immensely grateful and relieved that I had been rescued. My senses were dulled by the extreme atmosphere of the previous scene, the annihilation of my brother and before that, the soul-less kiss from a mindless zombie. I was weak.
“Can we continue our dinner elsewhere? I’m not in the mood to clean up.”
She returned to her shy demeanour, and nodded.
We strolled hand in hand in the moonlight, wordlessly. Moonlight seemed to spilled everywhere on the side-walks. I couldn’t think. With each step, my footsteps grew increasingly sluggish. Soon my knees were on the ground, maybe I should just lie down……
“My, my. Don’t you look ravishing tonight?”
I turned to face him. My dress, a finery of bright coloured pieces of taffeta making up its skirt, swished. I must have looked like candy to him. He looked just as ravishing, delicious in fact. Like chocolate…..
No. I stopped my thoughts from straying any further. I must focus at the task at hand. I must not let this meal escape like the last one. He looked nervous. What if he knew?
“Are you okay?” I asked, widening my eyes a little, using magic to make them sparkle. I showed concern. He definitely couldn’t resist that.
“I’m fine. Just fine. Been thinking too much, that’s all.”
My head tilted to the left inquisitively, as though I was curious to know what he was thinking about.
He took my hand.
“Let’s just enjoy tonight.”
I smiled. He fell for my plan. Tonight I would feast on the strongest blood in the magical world.
After all, a vampire queen should deserve no less.