my take on a vampire young adult novella
|Chapter 1: Oakley
He was just two years old when his mother died. He couldn’t remember her voice or her smile or the smell of her hair. What he did remember was that she loved him a lot. Or maybe he didn’t really ‘remember’ as much as know that he was loved by his mother. Just as he knew his father loved him. This was what made sneaking out of the house so horrible. His dad was going to be mad… if he ever found out.
Not that Oakley was a bad kid. At 17 years old, he was dependable and reliable and aside from a few close friends that he hung out with, he never really did anything. He had gone on a few dates but had never had a steady girlfriend. He got good grades and was well on his way to getting a college scholarship.
So why take a chance of ruining his standing with his father? Well, it all started at the end of his junior year. The outgoing seniors think it is funny to dare the incoming seniors to do something crazy before school starts. Oakley really wanted his last year in high school to be special, so he decided that he was going to accept the challenge; against the advice of his best friend, Wade. The dare this year was to sneak into Principal Gillis’ yard on the last week of summer and cut a rose off of his prize winning bushes. One rose wouldn’t be noticed, but several roses later had Principal Gillis seething and watching for the teens causing problems. Unfortunately for Oakley, the last week of summer was nearly over and he still hadn’t managed to get the nerve to steal one of Mr. Gillis’ roses.
So, here he was thinking about how much his mother had loved him and how much his father trusted him as he straddled the sill of his bedroom window. Looking toward the house next door, he noticed a light come on in the bedroom directly across from his own and slid back inside his bedroom. Crouching down below the window frame he peered out wondering if he had been spotted by the new home owners. The family had only moved in last week and beyond knowing that there was a girl about his age and two parents, he didn’t know much about them. Of course, that didn’t mean that he wanted them to rat him out to his dad.
Still watching from his position on the floor, he saw the girl close her curtains against the breeze. Leaving her window open, she would be able to hear him if he tried the window again. Feeling defeated he slumped against the wall and leaned his head onto his knees. He didn’t want to be the class nerd. He wanted to change the way his classmates viewed him and this was his last opportunity before school started. From previous experience, he knew that once classes started; social jumping rarely happened. Especially among classmates that had been with him since kindergarten.
Accepting that he would not be stealing a rose tonight, Oakley got up from the floor, closed his window and prepared for bed, hours after he had told his dad good night. Within minutes of crawling into his full size bed, Oakley was asleep.
“Rise and shine, Oak, it is the first day of senior year.”
Grumbling and squinting in the early morning light, Oakley rubbed his tired eyes and stretched his long form. Relaxing slightly, and laying his arm across his brow, he thought of his failed attempt the night before. With a wry grin, he rolled over and turned is radio on as he swung his legs off the bed and ambled into the closet to grab clothes before his morning shower.
Thirty minutes later he was heading downstairs to grab some toast on his way to school. He could hear the news on in the family room as his dad sat reading the paper and sipping his coffee. Jim Matthews was an excellent multi-tasker, whereas his son; Oakley, was not. Oakley hollered out a good-bye and rushed out to his 1996 Chevy Cavalier. Even though the car was as old as he was, Oakley loved the flexibility that having his own car gave him. Throwing his bag across the seat, he folded his lanky body behind the wheel and started the engine. Looking to the left, he saw his new neighbor walk towards the bus stop. A gentleman would offer her a ride, but being a teenage boy, Oakley thought nothing of it as he drove past her toward the school.
Chapter 2: Louisa
She had seen him the night before. When he was trying to sneak out of his room, she had seen him. She had also seen his father step outside to take the trash out. So she turned her light on hoping to scare him back inside. It really wasn’t any of her business whether he got caught sneaking out or not, but after a week of watching the father and son that lived next door; Louisa felt like she owed the boy something for spying on him.
She hated being the new kid. Every few years, he parents felt the pressure to relocate and start over.
Louisa had been a teenager far longer than her age implied. She was a vampire. Yes, she knew all the myths, but none of them really came close to her reality. She wasn’t made, she was born to two parents that met and fell in love a couple of centuries before in Spain. Yes, vampires could have babies. Those babies aged normally until around 14 years old when the aging slowed down significantly. Vampires were not immortal, they just aged incredibly slowly. Her father who was born around 1614 was just now looking around 35, and her mother (who was much younger than her father) only looked about 28. Louisa herself had been born in 1977. She was an “accident” as her parents didn’t want any children.
She could move out on her own but she still only looked around 16 or 17 so the explanations would be hard to come up with. Better to remain with her parents until she could safely enter society on her own.
This move came more unexpectedly as her father was hunting for a rogue vampire. Jack Shephard (formerly known as Jacques) worked for the United States Council for Vampire Secrecy. The agents of USCVS monitor all vampires and work together to keep the knowledge of vampire existence under lock and key. Jack was on the hunt for a vampire that had broken the cardinal rule of vampirism: Do not kill your maker (whether born or “made” all vampires have a maker).
Vampires can die from several causes; murder (typically beheading or prolonged starvation), disease (yes, vampires are not immune to certain diseases and can die from them albeit it will take much longer for the death to happen), fire, drowning (this would take a very long time to happen, but it could happen), and old age (the oldest living vampire was 691 years old).
Louisa thought about all of this as she trudged to the bus stop. As part of the package of fitting in, her parents; who are disgustingly wealthy, choose to live as humbly as possible. The family didn’t flaunt their wealth, Jack worked as a building contractor (a good trade that can move easily) and Sophie (Louisa’s mom) was an online web designer. Living modestly also meant that Louisa could not have a car.
Looking up, Louisa noticed the bus pulling into the stop and raced to make it onto the big yellow germ factory. Sitting in the last row, Louisa pulled a deep breath of air into her lungs and leaned her head on the window.
Chapter 3: Oakley
“Dude, I don’t know why you even care what those stupid jocks think of you,” Wade said.
“I don’t know. I just… I feel like no one sees me.”
Oakley sat beside Wade in home room waiting on the bell to ring signaling the beginning of the school day. Oakley watched as familiar faces walked into the classroom, sometimes alone and some in pairs.
“You have me, bro. I mean; seriously, what more do you want?” This was coming from the boy currently wearing a “Finn the human” hat and a “Return of the Jedi” t-shirt.
Looking at Wade, Oakley rolled his eyes before glancing toward the door again. Just as the bell rang, a girl came rushing through the door and skidded to a stop as she looked around the room.
She was vaguely familiar to Oakley, although he couldn’t place where he might have seen her before. Watching the range of emotions cross her face as she battled nervousness and embarrassment, Oakley cleared his throat and shot his eyes to the empty desk in front of him. The girl caught on quickly and moved toward the empty seat. Setting the bag at her feet, she glanced quickly behind and whispered a quiet “thanks.”
As roll was called, Oakley listened to learn her name; Louisa Shephard. He mentally listed what he knew about this new girl: she sat in front of him, she smelled like strawberries, her hair was a dark brown with a slight curl at the ends that lay right past her shoulder blades and her name was Louisa.
Leaning back in his seat, he listened as the teacher rambled on about new changes to the school guidelines and rules. His brain struggled to recall where he might have seen her before when it suddenly hit him that she was his new neighbor.
Scribbling a short note to her, he wrote; “Welcome to Ridley High. I’m Oakley.” Tapping her lightly on the arm, she turned around in her seat and he handed her the note. He wished he was brave enough to throw out a flirty wink, but decided to leave that to his more experienced peers. She smiled softly, while giving him a questioning look with her eyes and turned back around.
A moment later, she tossed the note back on his desk.
“I am Louisa. Thanks for the assist with the desk. I hate being new and late!”
Grinning, Oakley leaned back and waited for the bell to ring for first period.
Chapter 4: Louisa
After her spectacular entrance this morning, Louisa found a peaceful rhythm to the school day. After being a high school student for the last 20 years, there wasn’t much that surprised her about a new school. As she entered her last class of the day, she was pleased to see that her new neighbor shared the class with her. Oakley, he said his name was. The class was set up with 12 tables with 2 chairs each. As she looked at Oakley, he nodded to the empty chair beside him and she quickly walked his way.
“Hi again,” she said.
“Hi yourself. How’s the first day going?”
“Well, I managed to only get lost once on the way to lunch. Unless you count this morning, but then you know how that turned out. Oh, and I never knew that the correct pronunciation of merci beaucoup was ‘marcy bo cups’.”
“Yeah, well wouldn’t you have been embarrassed upon going to France and saying wrong?” His eyes twinkled as he said this and Louisa found herself glad that she sat next to him. She laughed as the teacher entered the room and began the lecture.
Fifty minutes later, Louisa followed Oakley out of the classroom. Walking toward her locker, they talked about random things from class; Oakley entertained her with anecdotes about the other students.
“So, do you need a ride home?” Oakley was trying to look casual as he leaned on the locker next to hers.
“Um, I didn’t think you recognized me as your neighbor.”
“I didn’t at first; it took me a minute this morning to remember where I had seen you from. So, do you want a ride?”