Chapter 3: The Queen of the Wild
In the first years following my mortal death, I became one with nature. I continued to feed on the inhabitants of the forest. I preferred hunting to be a challenge. I only tracked the strongest and smartest in the animal kingdom. I began to understand and commune with certain creatures of the night. When morning drew near and exhaustion gnawed at my bones, I learned to merge with the Earth. I had never felt more at peace with myself.
Except..there was a longing inside of me for human companionship. I knew I was no longer human, but I was still young enough to remember what it felt like. I had only had two real companions when I was alive. One was a monster and the other was my sister.
From time to time I could sense my sire watching me from afar. I was angry that he refused to show himself to me, and any feeling I had toward him diminished over time. Lydia replaced him as the one I thought of most. Memories of our childhood haunted my dreams. The secrets we shared; jokes and riddles we loved to recite to each other; clever games that we had invented. They all came together and created a fog in my mind that became so dense that I couldn’t see through it. I needed to see her.
Just one last goodbye.
The next night, I found myself hiding in a dark corner of her room. I watched her sleep for hours. I was deeply reconsidering my decision to see her. The woman in front of me was not the girl I had grown up with. I expected to feel a strong emotion when I finally saw her again. I didn’t know which emotion it would be, but I expected to feel something. Nothing came. I attempted to force myself into feeling something for her. It was all in vain.
There was a nightstand sitting next to the bed. A kerosene lamp sat on top of it, glowing like a beacon. Small brown moths danced around it in a deadly trance. I felt myself drawn to the area in much the same way. Though, I was not as concerned with the lamp as I was the Bible that was lying open next to it. I had not thought of God since that night. The night I learned to run.
I had been ashamed of what I was then, but now I was angry. I blamed him for what I had become. He had made our childhood miserable, and he had taken away the only good thing that had came from it. She was no longer my sister. I was truly alone now. God had forsaken me.
I picked up the lamp and smashed it into the Bible, setting it aflame. By the time the entirety of the table was crumbling into ash, Lydia was awake and standing beside the bed. Mouth agape, but no sound coming out of it. She must have thought I was a ghost, my skin glowing with the reflection of the flames.
I slid a large clothing chest in front of the door. Then I went to her. Her hands were shaking as they clenched the folds of her nightgown. Beads of sweat were forming around her hairline, where golden blonde wisps of hair peeked out from under her bonnet. Behind her, I watched the fire spread to the curtains. Fear came rushing in, but it was not strong enough to push out the pain and anger that were quickly consuming me.
“You..you..you're dead", she stuttered, shaking her head in disbelief.
“Do I look dead to you?”, I asked her. There was not a hint of sarcasm in my voice. She only stared at me, frozen with terror.
“I’m more alive then I’ve ever been,” I growled.
The animal inside me began to take over and I let out a guttural cry, exposing monstrous canine teeth.
“You’re a monster, a child of the devil!”, she screamed and fell to the ground. The room was filling with smoke and soon she was on the verge of suffocation.
I was not going to let her die. I knew there was no longer any bond between us, but she was not going to leave me alone again. I did not want to be alone!
I stood over her, fully aware of the heat creeping closer to us, but it was not as hot as the fire that blazed in my eyes as I looked at my sister.
“You chose to lock yourself up here. Cut off from the rest of the world. Alone. I did not choose to be alone. I was abandoned. All I wanted was someone to love, and now I do not even know what love is! You were the one who disobeyed God and continued to give yourself to that boy! Why am I the one being punished while you hold sanctuary here? Do you think this is fair?”
Tears welled in her eyes as she shook her head. It just made the fury in me greater.
“I will show you what real loneliness is!”
I killed her then, flames licking at the floor all around us. It was my first taste of human blood, and it was sickly sweet. I found it hard to tear myself away, but the heat pressed upon my skin until I could stand it no more. I picked up her body and fled as the fire spread to the rest of the building. I heard a chorus of screaming, and I looked over my shoulder to see that the building had turned into a towering inferno.
I carried her into the darkness of the forest. I laid her down on the soft grass under an oak tree and made her drink from me. Just the way I had been made to drink from him. When it was done, I felt regret creeping over me like a sickness. I wondered if this was how he felt, the one who had made me into a beast. I wanted to leave her, run in shame of what I had done. I looked at her lying there, weak and lethargic, and I knew she would die if I left her. I would have to force her to eat. So that’s what I did.
That was how our relationship remained for many years. I had someone to take care of again. I forced her to eat, and she lingered further away from her mind with every moonrise. She did not have enough sense to merge with the soil, so I hid her in a cave near the river.
It was guarded by a coyote that I called Clyde. You could say he was my pet, but I feel that term would be disrespectful to him. He was more there for keeping her in than keeping anything out.
She would have walked out in the middle of the day without thinking twice about it. She never slept. She was more like a zombie than a vampire. I spoke to her of my experiences, tried to teach her how to care for herself, but it fell on deaf ears.
She spoke in whispers at all times, but not to me. She seemed to have a posse of spirits that surrounded her. They must have been have been telling her grand jokes, because I noticed her laughing with an alarming frequency.
The night finally came when she told me she wanted to go hunting. I took her out into the night and she looked as if she had never seen the sky before. She took off the scraps of clothing she was wearing and jumped from tree to tree howling and laughing from the depths of her lungs. The tiny speck of hope that I had of us having any kind of relationship was completely destroyed.
The next night, I awoke to find her gone. Every trace of her had been erased from the cave. It was like she had never been there at all. I knew she was not coming back. I felt the sting of loneliness once more. Even Clyde had left his post, sensing that he was no longer needed. Not even a dog wanted my company.
I began to sink in the mire of self pity. I decided to take a walk by the river side to clear my head, ignoring my hunger. My attempt to empty my mind just made more room for the darkness to come seeping in. A cool breeze made my skin tense up, and it carried the scent of blood.
I approached a weathered gray boating dock. I weaved through the grass like a snake, stalking my prey. A couple sat on the end of a long pier. The girl was fresh faced, a teenager swelling with life and hormones. The boy was older. He had to be in his twenties, maybe even older than that. It was obvious he was smitten with the girl. He was nursing a wound on her leg.
I drew closer. They were whispering affectionate little nothings to each other like lovers always do. I tread so softly down the peer that they never heard me approaching as they sat there with their feet in the water. Arms twisted around each other. Lips pressed together in fierce passion. They were completely unaware of my presence.
“The stars are beautiful aren’t they?”
They turned their heads at the sound of my voice. The boy’s facial expression quickly changed from one of irritation to one of confusion. The girl squeezed the boy like a boa constrictor, and her eyes were like my sister’s had been, full of weakness and fear.
“I was killed on a night just like this one,” I told them. I gazed at the sky as I spoke.
“Don’t you think it’s romantic...to die on a night like this?”
Then I gave myself permission to suck them both dry to the bone, relishing every drop. As I held the girl's lifeless body in my hands I told myself I could get used to this. Stomping out the flame of love every time I happened across it. After all, if I couldn’t have it, why should anyone? Deep down though, I knew it was a lie. I could kill the entire population of the Earth, and it wouldn’t fix a damn thing. I could not go on like this!
So I ran, blood streaming down my face, back to the cave where I had kept my sister. There was a pit in the depths of the cave, a pit I had worried about her falling into many times. At the bottom of the pit were lots of sharp pointed rocks. The pit was deep too, very deep.
A fall into that pit would be certain death to any normal human being. I didn't know what it might do to me, but I was in a hurry to see. I was done with this sick mockery of life, I was desperate for an end.
When I reached the edge of the pit, I made a flying leap into the air and felt myself falling for only a moment. Then came the piercing pain that seemed to penetrate every inch of my body. My vision slowly faded into darkness.
***Go on to Chapter 4