Living in a divided society between humans and vampires, she struggles to find the truth.
|Night's New Moon
"Pity, your father isn't here to see this. I would have enjoyed the... pain in his eyes as he watched the life blood of his dear wife and daughters drain out before him."
His handsome face carried a cruel smile as he sat there staring at our family portrait. Slowly, with his raised hand, he began to scratch the face of my father out using his unnaturally sharp nails.
"Stop!" I couldn't bear to see what this beast was doing to the only picture we had left of our father, I looked away.
In our time, society has been divided into two distinct groups. These two groups don't mix, they never have... and they never will. Since back in the ancient times, one of these groups have always been feared and despised by the other. Wars have been waged against one another a countless times in history.
"Please," I whispered, "don't." I regretted speaking out and felt a shiver run down my back as I saw his shadow on the floor approach till it fell over me in cloak of darkness. A finger, that felt as cold as ice, lifted my chin so that I was facing him and I averted my gaze for I refused to look him in the eyes.
"Look at me." He commanded in soft voice. "Oh come now child, I won't bite," he said with a little chuckle at his own little joke; he spoke as if he weren't the monster that he was. As if he hadn't just committed these unforgivable crimes right before my eyes. And now here he was speaking to me as if he were a dear old uncle come to visit his dear little niece. It disgusted me, yet I shook with fear for I knew one wrong move could mean the difference between a quick and easy death and a slow and agonizing one.
When I still refused, he quickly broke out of his quiet little faĂ§ade and violently jerked my face upwards - squeezing the bottom half of my face so hard that I felt as if my jaw would break. I wimpered.
"Look at me you filthy child," he hissed between clenched teeth. I quickly looked into his eyes, his face was only a few inches from mine and I could feel his cold breath on my face. He stared for what seemed like forever and slowly his facial expression seemed to recompose itself into its calm self and his grip on me relaxed.
"Ah, such a pretty face and beautiful eyes too," he said quietly. "Such a waste; you know, a girl like you doesn't have to die in such...a slow... and painful..." His face was only an inch from mine, "way." He lowered his lips to my neck. "Too bad your father did the things he did; you can blame him for what's about to happen to you."
"Leave her alone! It's me you wanted, let them both go!" My mother screamed. He threw me away from him and my little sister crawled to me and held me in a death grip with her tiny hands as she cried. I covered my face with my hands, not wanting to see the horrors before me anymore, and felt wet tears streaming down my cheeks - I'd been unconsciously crying this entire time.
"Oh, would you rather me take you down first?" He crossed the room to her. "How kind of you," then he turned to me and my sister, "your mother has given you the kind favor of watching me devour her before you die - in very much the same manner." He smiled a sickly sweet smile, before turning to my mother who was staring straight at us.
"Run, both of you run! Go to ! NOW!" She yelled at us, right before crying out in pain as he pierced her veins with his fangs. We were frozen in a horrified trance as it turned to us with his face drenched in our mother's blood.
"You two might as well stay. After I'm done with her I'll find you sooner or later."
"Run now..."Our mother spoke to us with the last of her strength. "I... lo..." She passed out and we were gone, I got up and clutched my sister to my chest and bolted out the doors, I knew exactly where to go.
This house had been owned by my father's family for generations, and inside there was a secret place that very few people actually still knew about: my father, my mother and myself. My sister, of course had only been there a few times but was much too young to actually remember where it was located, at the age of two.
I ran there now as fast as I could, slipping on the cold marble floors... desperate. I never would have imagined that our special place would have been built for this purpose.
* * * ~ * * *
At an early age my parents would take me to this place, they told me that it was our special place, and that it was to be our little secret. My father and I even made up our own secret language that only we could understand. And in that language we named our place, We were close, my father and I, since the age of 4 I'd been home schooled. So never really had any real friends my own age, but that was okay because my father would always have been there for me.
I was not to tell a single soul of this place; they made me pinky swear and I was told that this place was very important. This had been my safe haven as a child growing up, whenever I was sad or upset I'd run to this place to cry in privacy. I used to play here, or hide whenever mother got mad because I'd worn my muddy boots inside.
As I got older I grew even more attached to this place. Then for my tenth birthday, right before my sister was born, my father gave me a key. He told me to keep this key with me at all times and to never ever lose it...
"Keep it safe and treasure it with your life. Do you understand Jade?" He'd asked. I remember being dazzled by the mere beauty of this key. It was made of pure silver with intricate designs etched over the entire surface and there were tiny letters in an elegant script which spelt out, 'Night's New Moon'.
"Yes father, I'll treasure it with all my heart," I had replied as I held it gently in a red silk cloth, almost afraid to break such a delicate looking thing. "Thank you!" I'd beamed as I gazed up into his kind face.
"Good, I'm glad you like it. Now, my Little Princess, did you know that this key has a special name?" I shook my head in reply. "Well its name is Twilight. Remember that sweety - Twilight." I smiled... twilight was a very fitting name for such an angelic key.
"I will father; promise," I'd said. He had chuckled at my reluctance to put the key down and had playfully ruffled my hair.
Then came the day of my sister's birth; only a few months after my tenth birthday. I'd been so excited to finally be able to have a real live brother or sister - that was way better than playing with our family's butler, John or my nanny, Ms. Hatsu. I'd been delighted to have a little baby sister and my parents and I would take her to this secret place, Our Special Place. About a year later my father left us again to go on one of his long business trips, or so I was told...
"Mother, what's wrong?" I'd heard the muffled sounds of someone crying and followed them, only to find my mother sobbing into a pillow. She looked up at me and I could tell she hadn't meant for me to see.
"Oh, nothing," she said hurriedly as she wiped away at the wet stains on her cheeks. When I didn't leave she looked at me and asked, "Did you need something Jade?" I ran to her and hugged her tight.
"Don't cry mother, I miss him too." I assumed she was crying because of father's unusually long business trip, he'd been gone almost six whole months. Mother started to cry all over again and clutched me to her. "Mother, when is he coming home?" At this she started crying even harder.
"Oh Jade, my dear Jade," she sobbed. "Don't you realize it yet? ... He's not... coming... home." I pulled away from her grasp, I didn't understand.
"Wha- what do you mean mother? Of course father's coming back." I could feel myself shaking.
"Jade, he's not coming back." She repeated more firmly.
"You're wrong! He is, he always does and this time he'll bring back and even better gift, just like he always does!" I was shaking. "Mother, what are you talking about?!" I was shouting now.
"Yuna, listen to me." She tried to pull me back into her arms but I resisted and stared her right in the eyes.
"Mother, father is coming back. Right?"
She looked to the ground, avoiding my gaze. "No...," she'd whispered. "I-I'm afraid he won't be coming back this time."
Starting from that day on I stayed clear of My Special Place.
* * * ~ * * *
I sprinted across the dark hallways, past the banisters and down the countless flights of stairs. My secret place was where 'Twilight' my key was hidden. I ran into my father's old library; placing my sister on the ground I told her to stay and I was off. This was a race against time, I knew that he would be finished soon and he'd be upon us in a flash. I might only be thirteen, but I wasn't stupid, I knew that their kind had special abilities. I could hear my heart pounding in my ears as I frantically pulled book after book out of the shelves. Where was it?! Where the hell was it?! Was the question racing through my mind. My frantic hands searched, I cursed myself for not remembering where it was, I cursed myself for not have realized what this room had actually been built for and last of all I cursed my father for abandoning me, my sister and my mother. Then I saw it, it was there! Right where it had always been, covered in a thick layer of dust that must have developed over the past few years of neglect. Just as I was about to lounge for the book, I heard him.
"Are you anticipating the end of your own life, I only hope that you'll be every bit as delicious as your mother was." His voice seemed to come from everywhere and I froze. My sister started to cry. NO! My mind exploded in a silent cry as I lounged at her clamping my hand over her mouth. She squirmed but I held. His laughter sounded from somewhere above, it sounded out of place, as if he were laughing at a joke someone made at a friendly get togehter, not hunting down two innocent children. Too late, no doubt he knew where we were now. I grabbed my sister and reached for the book, my reckless hands knocked it over and I heard the clink of metal on ground. Frantically I laid my sister aside and started to scramble across the floors searching - my head was pounding. Then I saw the familiar glint of bronze. I rushed over to the giant tapestry of my family tree, pushing it aside.
"God damn it!" I hissed as I tried to force the key into the rusty lock, my trembling fingers refusing to work properly - I dropped the key a few times.
Everything seemed to go by slowly as out of the corner of my eye I saw him standing in the doorway. I didn't look; I didn't want to look for fear of freezing up like a deer in headlights. Then with a flash of hope and relief I heard the click of the lock and the small doorway swung open. I threw my sister into the opening and for the first time glanced over my shoulder. My heart seemed to stop and I froze on spot, just as I'd feared. His face was no longer so calm and handsome - it was splattered in blood, the blood of my mother I realized in horror. I wanted to scream and run - run and run and run until I was far, far away. But my legs felt like lead and my voice was stuck somewhere between my mouth and my throat. And then in flash he was right there, his face inches from my own.
"Boo," he whispered, his sickeningly sweet breath sweeping over my face. I shut my mouth not even wanting to breathe the air around him - I could hear my sister crying, but it was strangely muffled as if she were meters away and not just the couple of feet that she was. "I enjoyed your mother. Brave of her, don't you think? To prolong your life as much as possible, even if it were by mere minutes." I could hear myself whimper at his touch, he gently slid a finger across my cheek - it came away wet from tears. I turned away when he licked it off his finger. "Pity, such a pity. I don't much like letting a pretty face go waste before taking the time to watch it blossom." He sighed. "Well I might as well get it over with, besides I'm sure you'll be just as delectable as your mother was," he smiled that sick, malicious smile again. "She was the best blood I'd tasted in years - very rich, with a certain little zest."
"No," I moaned, my body shaking all over.
"Oh, don't you worry my dear child," he said with a light chuckle. He sounded so sincere, so strange and out of place in this situation. "I'm sure you'll taste just as well, you won't disappoint me." The monster turned his head to look at my sister and I involuntarily shouted; which was a mistake for my reaction seemed to just make this all the more enjoyable for him. "Or maybe," he said, his disgusting grin getting even wider. "I'll start with a little appetizer." I was horrified.
"Stop!" And I lounged at her, maybe if I covered her with my body, I could somehow save her. But he grabbed me in an iron grip and pulled me back - clutching me to his chest. "Please... don't..." I whispered. "Take me, take me instead." I heard myself mumbling.
"Ahh, you get this stubbornness from your mother I see. Well I have to solute you in your bravery, my child, I can't argue with that." His breath was against my neck and I lay limp accepting my fate - I was going to die and for what the door to the room lay wide open, he would kill her soon after me. Their kind were never known to keep a promise. He laughed at my willingness to give up and his grip on me loosened.
"You humans are so pathetic." His voice no longer calm - it had taken on a savage tone. "You think you're all so great because you think sacrificing yourself to delay the inevitable makes you better," he spat, suddenly and violently throwing me to the floor - just beneath the entryway. He no longer made an effort to hide his emotions. "You're no different from us. We kill to survive, and you do it too - and more, it's the reason why your about to die this very sad day. Humans kill out of fear - not out of need. Fear runs through the blood of every single pathetic human being alive - fear of change and fear of the different. But most of all fear of being second place - fear that the more superior race will out live them. And your father was one of them." Now was my chance, I leapt up and slammed the door, the lock automatically latching into place.
This room, I'd realized had been built for this very exact purpose, to hide from creatures like him. I started to laugh in my relief and my insanity at this point - at least she had a chance now. He grabbed me, his nails digging into my flesh. I screamed. I squeezed my eyes shut just wanting to get this over with; feeling the warm liquid trickle down my arms. Maybe now I could join my mother in the afterlife... If there even was an afterlife, that is. Strangely I didn't feel any pain when he finally pressed his lips to my skin, piercing them. I felt cold, very cold until everything seemed to turn to a never ending darkness.
'I don't want to die.'
My name is Yuna Fini, with my parents and older sister I live in the quiet country side where we raise horses. This is my life and today is my sixteenth birthday.
"Hey, Yuna." I turned my head to see my sister, Hina, standing by the door frame. "Hurry up, we're all getting ready to go down into town."
"Tell them I'll only be another minute or two," I said. I wanted to finish recording my first journal entry.
"Okay, but if you're even a second late, we'll all leave without you." She teased - trips into town weren't frequent and my sister and I seized every chance we got to go shopping.
"I'll be down." I promised; with that she left and I scribbled in a few closing words and then shut the book. Putting it away, I walked over to my small wooden drawer that held most of my belongings. I briskly brushed my hair even though it was already smooth and stared hard at the mirror as I examined my face. I looked the same me- another whole year of my life has come and gone, yet I felt no different. I moved myself forward and closely examined my face looking for any signs of aging (maybe some pre-mature wrinkles had suddenly formed over night). Then I tossed and shifted through my hair for some, maybe, premature white hairs? - nope, nothing. It was still the same me. How strange, I thought to myself, that a whole year of my life had already passed me by. I absentmindedly fiddled with the silver key that hung around my neck.
"Yuna!" I jumped, startled out of my quiet reverie.
"Coming!" I called back as I quickly rushed out the room and down the stairs to find everyone already waiting by the front door.
"What took you so long?" Hina asked.
"Oh, um nothing just got distracted."
The city's bazaar was like a big giant square courtyard packed with people selling, buying, haggling - there were so many different stores too, their colorful windows casing a variety of different things. I found myself staring longingly through the window of a bookstore... I sighed, I would have to save up for another week or so.
"Yuna," my mother called. "Come over here." I walked over to where she was standing by a vendor with Hina. "Yuna, now that you've turned 16, I think you're old enough to have one of these." I gazed admiringly at the large selection of beautiful jewelry.
"Of course, after all, you're practically a woman now."
"How about this one?" My sister held up a golden necklace with a single pink stone - it was pretty, but not really me. I gazed over the table.
"Don't worry, take your time." The craftswoman smiled at us. There were just so many different things. After a few minutes I finally decided on a small silver pendant embroidered in stars with a tiny black gem embedded at its core - it was exquisite and the black stone gave it an edgy look, I held it up for my mother and sister to see.
"I like this one," I said, smiling. "It'll go with my key." My sister made a face; we've always had different tastes. My mother looked a little surprised at my choice.
"You're getting that one? Why?" Hina frowned.
"What's wrong with it," I countered back at her, and then turned to my mother. "Mom, I want this one."
"Well, if you're absolutely sure..."
"Absolutely," I said with finality.
"Then it's yours," she finished with a smile. "Happy birthday." I grinned and hugged her in thanks. While she paid for my gift, I asked Hina to help put it on and looked in the mirror - it fell right into place next to my key, as if I'd already had the pendant all my life.
"It looks great," Hina mumbled into my hair as she hugged me. "Happy Birthday... Wow - I can't believe you're already sixteen. You know, it feels like just yesterday that I, myself, turned sixteen..." She gazed off into the distance as if recalling some distant memory, and I rolled my eyes. "Back in my day we never got no fancy jewelry," she ranted like an old woman. "We had to make our own presents!" She said all this very seriously, but then broke into a laugh, and patted my head like I was still a baby. "Just joking. You know, you're getting to be a big kid now!" She laughed again.
I countered her with a mischievous grin. "Hmm, I guess that means I'm on the same level as you are then?"
"Hey, don't get too cocky now. I'm still two years your senior!" She playfully shoved me, and I shoved back harder - soon a full out shoving war had broken out.
"Hey you two, settle down, will you. Right now, you both look like a bunch of toddlers to me." I turned to see my dad walking over carrying a white box.
"Mmhm," he nodded. "Chocolate mouse - it's your favorite. And what's that there you're wearing?" He asked in mock surprise, I knew that he'd probably taken a part in the planning of this gift by the knowing glint in his eyes.
"It's my birthday gift, I chose it - see." I lifted it up for him to see.
"It sure is nice, happy birthday sweety." He bent over to give me a one-armed hug and I gave him a peck on the cheek. "Now where's your mother?"
"Um, over there I think," I pointed at a clothing store. "She said something about needing a new jacket."
"Okay, well I'm going to go see what she's up to, so you too can go browse around, alright?" I grabbed Hina's arm and started walking down the street. "And meet back here by the cafĂ© in two hours!"
"Hey Hina, let's go check out the bakery, I'm kind of hungry."
No answer... I turned to face her and found she was completely zoned in on staring at something on the other side of the street. "Hello?" I waved a hand in front of her face mockingly and she slapped at it.
"What?" I followed her gaze and started to smirk when I saw that it lead straight to a certain little somebody.
"Oh Kain, what a coincidence we happened to be on the same street," I cooed sarcastically. I'd always known that Hina was completely smitten by Kain, but that didn't mean I approved. Sure Kain was handsome... ok extremely blessed with good looks, but he was also a complete jerk and was known for getting around with the ladies - I never could see what exactly my sister saw in him. "Look at Alice falling all over herself. How pathetic, why does everyone seem to be so obsessed with him?"
"Could it be that Yuna has a crush on Kain too?" She smirked.
"What!? Hina, don't even go there," I started to protest. "You're the one standing there drooling."
"Don't worry Yuna, if things work out between me and Kain, I can always hook you up with one of Kain's buddies," she snickered. "I know you'd have no complaints about that, especially with Nate." I felt my face flush.
"Hey Hina!" Oh great, he was calling us over now. "What brings you two ladies here today?"
"Hi." The smile on Alice's face was falsely sweet and her jealousy was very apparent - I almost snorted, except for my sister who quickly nudged me (quite hard mind you) in the ribs and returned the smile.
"Oh nothing, just running a few errands and shopping for some things," Hina replied.
"Well what's in the bag?" He waggled his eyebrows at her. He reached over to grab her hand, pulling her closer and Hina started to giggle - a blush apparent on her face. She was clearly enjoying the attention and I felt myself go sick. If my sister was going to make a complete fool of herself flirting around in public, then fine do it, just not in front of me.
"About that bakery - I'll meet you there."
"Ya... um see you." She hadn't even looked at me
I stepped out of the bakery with a paper bag filled with pastries and feeling slightly put off - where was she? Apparently slime balls like Kain were more important than family. I'd been waiting about half and hour.
I felt a tugging at my skirt as I was about to start walking off and I peered down at sniffling little boy whose puffy little eyes appeared so helpless.
"Mommy?" He asked. I looked around hoping to see someone else looking around to find a lost child - nada.
"Umm, what's wrong? Are you lost?" I tried to sound comforting. He nodded and more tears seemed to well up in his eyes. "Don't worry," I murmured hurriedly, I was never good with kids and I hated it when they cried. "Umm, I'll help you, don't cry." I held his hand. "Do you know what your mommy looks like?" He nodded his tiny head.
"Um, well...What was she wearing?"
"Red." I groaned at that, some help that was going to be. This was sure turning out to be a fun birthday.
"Do you know where you came from?"
"There." He stated and simply pointed in the direction and started to pull me along. The boy led me down a side street to a more secluded area and we were now away from the bustling streets of the bazaar. He finally came to a stop in front of a large alley way and I let go of his hand.
"In there," he said pointing into the shadows - for an early afternoon, it was strangely very dark. I looked up to see the sky blanketed with grey clouds that I could've sworn hadn't been there two seconds ago. Something didn't feel right; it was deadly silent and the distant voices of the crowds I'd heard before were now strangely muted. But before I could say anything the boy ran into the now extremely dark alley way.
"Hey!" I called. "Come back!"
"Over here," his voice beckoned to me from the shadows and I took one hesitant step after the other, I couldn't just let a little kid like that wonder into a place like this alone. I shivered, it was eerily cold so I zipped up my sweater all the way.
"Where-?" But my sentence was cut short when I almost toppled over the little boy himself. He turned away to face into the back of the alleyway and pointed.
"There," he said. I squinted into the emptiness trying to make something out, but it was pitch black. I felt a shiver run down my back; the air had turned suddenly chilly. Something was definitely not right and I wanted to run, but strangely I felt myself frozen to the spot. The sudden change in temperature, the darkness, and this alley way it was wrong - this wasn't right.
"Well done my son," a soft voice called from somewhere ahead of me. Whoever had spoken now laughed musically, its voice was smooth like honey and I felt myself relax a bit.
"Is this your son?" It was like my fears had melted away.
"Yes, he was." And a beautiful woman stepped forward, her pale face seeming to almost glow in the darkness. "He was."
I was puzzled. "W- what?" The child ran into the woman's arms, and I smiled. But my smile was short lived as I watched in horror as the woman's hand, with an agility I didn't know possible, jerked the boys head back with a silent snap and cast his limp body aside.
A scream gathered up in my throat but before a sound could escape, with a gust of air she was there, her face inches from my own.
"Hello," she said; her voice matched her face - smooth like honey and soft and muted like velvet, seemingly unperturbed by her recent act of cold blood. "Thank you for bringing back my lost child." I was frozen to the spot gripped by fear. "Well... won't you introduce yourself?" She took a step back and I ran, ran like a never had before adrenaline pumping through my veins. Strangely though as I ran I thought of all those moments I'd complained in Physed Class. How I wished I could have tried harder and not taken all those laps around the field for granted. I promise to whoever would be listening that if I survived from this nightmare, I'd never take anything for granted or whine or nag ever again. I was never a very religious person, taking God as some big fake that desperate people could place their hopes on, but now I regretted not believing. I said a silent prayer to God for the first time, if he even existed, to please let me live. But before I'd even halfway out the alley she was suddenly there - a blur through the corner of my eye the standing there calmly blocking my only escape.
"My, my, my - what an utterly rude girl you are." I tried to turn around but my toe caught on a crack and I fell over backwards. A dozen question and thoughts screamed in my mind as I scrambled to get away. The woman was a towering figure glowing against the darkness - her immense beauty turned eerie rather than enchanting - as she slowly advanced.
"Who... who are you?" I sputtered and she laughed musically.
"I thought you would already have figured it out by now," she spoke softly as she bent over till her face was level with my own. "I'll give you a hint," she whispered in my ear before leaning away and smiling widely at me and I saw for the first time her teeth.
"A Vamp-." The word was cut off as she drew her hand back and struck me across the face with an impossible speed. The pain consumed me and my vision blurred as my eyes watered up.
"Never turn your back to your superior, you filthy Blood Bank," she hissed in my ear. "You must be reprimanded for such behavior. My eyes shut tight, I felt her pull me up to a standing position by my clothes. "Yuna... Ichizu." My eyes opened to stare into her bright green ones.
"How do you... how do you know my name?"
"How can I not - the crimes your family have done to me are unforgiveable!" She spat as she drew her hand back once more.
"Wait!" I shouted. "You've got the wrong person! My last name is Fini not Ichizu!" She dropped her hand to my relief and simply stared into my face with a thoughtful expression. Then to my surprise she started to laugh - this laugh was less restrained and loud and it frightened me even more.
"Fool," she spoke at last. "Fool! You were born of the Ichizu family - I guess your so called 'parents' forgot to mention that slight detail when they picked you up some fourteen years ago." Her face had lost that wild edge to it and she smiled at me. "Surprised?"
I blinked as I took this all in. My whole life has been a lie?... That is if indeed what she had just was true.
But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense! I felt light and my legs like jelly and I slumped down to the ground. No wonder I looked so different from my family, and my sister - we were like polar opposites. And the baby pictures, none of myself - ever; lost, my 'parents' had said.
"No!" I heard myself scream. "No... lies! You're a liar!"
"My name is Yuna Fini." I was surprised by the volume of my voice and found myself standing with my face level with hers. "I am Yuna Fini," I said softly - more to assure myself than her.
"Well now, there's one way to find out isn't there, your blood will tell me," she said smiling. I looked at her, a mix of emotions rushing through me: fear, curiosity, confusion and a want and need to know for sure. If there was a way, then I could finally prove that I really was who I was - Yuna Fini. But when I looked back into her eyes, my fear won out, they were a blood red, all traces of the vibrant green gone... I saw the intense lust glazed over them. "I've been waiting fourteen years for this," she spoke as she slid her cold hand across my cheek then down along the length of my neck - I shivered. My heart pounding, pulse racing - I grew both entranced and horrified as she lowered her head to my chest and pressed her ear there.
"Yes... yes," she murmured. "Succulent... your blood may have been worth the wait, my darling love I only hope you will be able to taste it through me. You will soon be avenged." There was a definite hunger on her face when she drew back, I heard my own faint whimpers slip from my lips.
"You'll soon join the rest of your family... in hell." She whispered the last bit in my ear as she lowered her lips to my neck. A scream was clawing it's way up my throat but before it escaped, I felt the pierce in my flesh and the brief bit of overwhelming pain. The warmth slowly leaving me; darkness taking over - I was numb.
How strange... a vampire is drinking my blood.
It felt oddly cold and I shivered slightly. Had I forgotten to close the windows? The area I lay upon felt hard, Had I fallen off my bed? Oh God! What time was it? School started at nine, and I had to be ready for the bus by eight. But I ignored the more practical side of myself and I stayed where I was without moving, waiting to see how long I could get away with until mother had to come drag me out. I heard a shuffling noise from somewhere near my head and I tried to open my mouth to yell at Hina to go away, but found I couldn't. My whole head felt heavy and when I tried to lift my eyelids they disobeyed as well. A slight bit of fear started to spread through me, what was wrong with me?! Hina! I tried to shout. Hina help me! I couldn't move a muscle. I was paralyzed. The small fear that had been seeded into my mind blossomed into a full blown panic attack.
"Can you hear me?" A distant voice seemed to ask, I so desperately wanted to reply. I heard the shuffling noises again but closer this time. I wanted to scream and cry and laugh manically, all at the same time. Why couldn't I move?! Something was beside me, I could feel it. I wanted to run. Then out of the blue, something seemed to pull me upwards to a sitting position and with the sudden movement came a surprising pain. Every ounce of my being seemed to pound with the growing waves of pain that now washed over me.
"Drink," said the voice. Something hot was pushed against my lips and I probably would have flinched away had it not been for my current condition. Whoever this was persisted against my shut lips until I felt the scalding hot liquid being forced down my throat. I sputtered and gasped as my eyes shot open. The excruciating pain was gone and in its place the heat of the liquid had subsided to a strange yet comfortable warmth that spread throughout my body. My muscles relaxed and I felt a gentle tingling sensation at my toes - it was like I'd just been placed into a nice hot bath. The warmth seeped through me and I was blanketed in a heavy sense of calm; my eyelids began to slowly shut...
"Wake up!" This voice startled me out of my short but peaceful reverie as a pair of hands grabbed me tightly around the shoulders. My eyes opened to find another pair of eyes staring straight back at me. Startled and disorientated I frantically took in my surroundings. Where the hell was I? First off, this wasn't my bedroom; second, who was this man? Thirdly, what the hell had just happened to me?!
"Can you stand?" The question brought me back from my moment of panic and I went back to facing the man who was still staring intently down at me. "Can you stand?" He asked again. I weakly nodded my head.
"Who... whe-... how..." I was finding it difficult to find my voice. "Where am I?" Was what I managed to whisper in my feeble voice. He didn't answer at first but gruffly lifted me to my feet as my legs wobbled a bit; I settled for leaning against the wall.
"You probably don't remember what happened to you, but it'll come back soon enough," he spoke. His voice was deep and raspy, it would have sounded very frightful to me had I not been so confused. "Here drink some more." He handed a small flask to me and I took it suspiciously. "Drink it." He must have sensed my hesitation. I choked as soon as the burning liquid entered my mouth and ended up spitting most of it out. I thought I saw the man smile, but it turned out to look more like a grimace.
"What is this?" I asked as I literally threw it back at him.
"It'll help with the process," he explained. "Is your memory coming back to you
now?" I was baffled by this and I glanced around me again. It seemed that I was in some kind of an alleyway when I looked up the sun was obscured by clouds. Then I noticed the dry stuff that coated my hands.
"Ugh!" I realized it was blood and some of the fear came back. "What happened?!" I cried as I desperately tried to wipe it away. "What the hell happened to me?"
"Don't over exert your self," the man said. He grasped my shoulders and held me in place so that I couldn't move. "Slow down... breathe." He was staring intently into my eyes. "Remember. Try to remember. What is the last thing that you remember?" I felt myself starting to shake involuntarily and my breaths were turning into shallow gasps.
"I... I don't... I don't remember," I whispered. My legs gave way unexpectedly and I slumped to the floor. He came down with me; his grasp tightening almost painfully.
"I... I can't remem-"
"Just try," he interrupted. I felt cold and sick; like I was going to vomit. Closing my eyes I tried to slow down my racing heart, breathing deeply through my nose. An image flashed across my mind, startling me and causing my eyes to shoot open.
"Did you see something?" I ignored him; my pulse was pounding through my temples as I tried to recollect what I'd just seen. But it was of no use, it had come and gone so quick and it had been so vague. I closed my eyes once more and waited...
Almost like lightning, pictures and images flashed through my mind. It was like watching a fast-forwarded slideshow with a strobe-light on. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I felt myself stumble forward and puke. I was breathing raggedly and shaking all over. Something grabbed me and pulled me back to my sitting position. The hot liquid was being shoved back against my lips, but I refused to let it in.
"I don't need it," I replied, opening my eyes with a new found clarity. I remembered exactly what had happened to me. "Who are you? What happened to me? I should be dead."
The man smiled down at me for real this time, though it still vaguely resembled a grimace. "You remember."
"Yes," I croaked, my throat was parched. "Now who the hell are you?"
He chuckled, "You're lucky I got here in time. She was very keen on sucking you dry."
"So... so you mean it really happened?" I was still unsure of everything. It all seemed fake and unreal, had I really been attacked by a vampire?
"I don't know what she was thinking, it was a female wasn't it?" He asked and I nodded in reply. "She took off at the last minute though... damn! And I'd been so close."
"Close to what? Who are you?" I almost shouted. The torrent of emotions raging through me causing my hands to shake ever so slightly. The vast empty feeling had crept back into my heart as her words replayed themselves in my mind.
"I'm one of the guardians; we keep the vampire attacks under control and we exterminate those of them who cross the line; or in other words protect people like you. Now I need to hurry and explain the situation to you and I need you to understand. You are not who used to be anymore. You must understand this. You are not human."
The words felt hollow to me, unreal. This was stupid, of course I was still me and of course I was definitely human. What else would I be? But still slowly his words sank in and reality began to set itself into my mind.
"Blood... she drank my blood," I said, feebly. "But that can't be... those are just rumors. I can't possibly be a...a -"
"A vampire." He cut me off bluntly, and it stung like a slap across the face. "Yes, those rumors are true. But no, you're not a vampire... yet. The process of change takes time, right now you're what we call newborn vamps. I came across you just as she was about to finish you off so you should consider yourself lucky. I -"
"Lucky?!" I said, my voice cracking towards the end, I was so incredulous. "I'm dying and you call myself lucky?" My hands were shaking uncontrollably now. "My family... I have to find them. They'll be worried!" I jumped to my feet suddenly, overcome with a desperate need to see them. They were my family, I had a burning need to prove that they were my real family; to prove what she had said to me were all lies. "What time is it?" The man grasped my shoulders once more.
"You can't see your family." I could feel his gaze trying to catch my eye. "I can't let you." The tears started to swell and were soon dripping down the sides of my face.
"Why not?" I gasped between my sobs even though deep down inside I very well knew the answer. "Where are they?!"
"You'll only hurt them. The desire will come. You may not realize it now, but it will come soon enough and it will engulf you with a force you can't imagine. It will consume your every thought and for that I can not let you go."
"What desire! I'm not going to hurt my own family!" My voice had escalated to screams. To my surprise I suddenly found myself being flung to the ground. He'd let go of me... why? I didn't have time to ponder that, I scrambled to my feet and ran.
"Your blood lust... it'll come"