“if you cut us, we will bleed” – Excerpt from Ch 32 Dark Sanctuary

Moonlight flickered across the icy landscape. It had felt like five minutes since I had spotted the vampire emerging from his woodland hideaway opposite my house and now standing here in my living room, with him just a few feet away, I still felt like someone watched from between the trees. Maybe it was the trees themselves, standing there silently immobile, waiting to strike. I imagined the ice cracking as they moved their branches, uprooting from the frozen ground and taking their first deadly steps towards my home. I shuddered involuntarily. The vampire asked if I wanted to light the fire, to which I said no. I was not cold.
He seemed slightly more relaxed than he had when he had admitted to dreaming of me. I guess that confession is good for the soul, although I was quite sure vampires did not possess a soul of their own. I, on the other hand, was still reeling from the night’s revelations. I felt jittery again. The vampire had spooked me indeed.
He sat in one of the armchairs across the room and when I glanced at him, I caught flashes of my mother’s killer, sitting quite comfortably in her armchair, with her broken and bloodied body lying at his side. I looked away quickly but was then forced to look at the hostile landscape beyond my window.
“You’re not like other vampires, are you?” I said, breaking the silence like a pick through the ice.
The vampire raised his eyebrows, surprised at my question.
“I saw you,” I explained “I saw how quickly you can move. You got in through the upstairs bedroom window. You either climbed or jumped to do that. And however you did it, you did it incredibly fast. I know I haven’t exactly met every vampire in existence, but I have been unfortunate enough to meet a few. And none of them could move as quickly as you can.”
The vampire leaned forward, elbows on his knees and hands clasped. He looked down at his feet for a few seconds before he looked back at me.
“No, Sarah, I am not like other vampires.”
I waited for a further explanation but none came. He had an annoying habit of only telling me so much until I had to drag the information from him. But I was tired of ranting, arguing, pleading, and crying. In fact, I was exhausted. I could feel it in my bones, they felt heavy and I was starting to feel sluggish and fatigued. Every inch of my body, heart and mind seemed beat.
“But you are a vampire?”
He nodded.
“So why are you different to the others?”
“The difference between me and the others is that I was not made a vampire. I was born a vampire.”
I felt my mouth drop open and my eyes grow wide. “How can you be born a vampire? I thought you said that vampires turn humans? That’s the way you become a vampire right?”
“Yes that is correct. But I was born a vampire. No one made me. No one turned me. I was born like this.”
“Your ….parents were vampires?”
“Yes.”
“Both fully fledged blood sucking vampires?”
“Yes. Bona-fide blood suckers,” he smiled “They had awards for it and everything. National champions.”
“Oh ha-ha very funny. You should have been a vampire comedian. No one would dare to heckle you either,” I sniped, dryly “so both your parents were vampires. Were they born vampires too?”
He shook his head. “No, they were turned, just as every other vampire is made.”
“And your mother was not already pregnant when she was turned?” I said, thinking back to my own entrance into this world.
“No. She became pregnant later. When she was a vampire.”
“I’m assuming that that isn’t normal, then?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
“It’s unheard of. No, in fact, it’s impossible.”
“Because a vampire is ….well dead…or un-dead….or whatever you want to call it?”
“Do I look dead to you?” he asked.
“Well no….but…your heart doesn’t beat?”
“Would you like to come closer and place your hand over my chest?” he said, grinning “or maybe lay your head on me and listen to the sound of my heart?”
I flushed and was more than a little horrified at the thought of getting that close to him.
“Um… no thank you, I will take your word for it,” I flustered.
Chuckling, the vampire sat back in the chair once again and placed his hands on the arms.
“Vampires aren’t dead, Sarah. Our blood still pumps through our veins. If you cut us, we will bleed.”
He motioned towards the wound in his stomach which had thankfully stopped seeping blood and was now carefully bandaged but no doubt still painful to him. I noticed how he winced every now and again and his movements were careful and at times, quite laboured.
“So what happens to a human when they are turned?”
“Think of it as a dull, ugly caterpillar turning into a beautiful radiant butterfly, except without the need for a cocoon.”
“I do hope you’re not comparing vampires to butterflies? There is nothing beautiful about vampires,” I snorted with laughter.
“You would say that. You’re a human,” he said, shrugging his shoulders.
“I see no beauty in killing. I see no beauty in slaughtering innocent people,” I said, taking a step away from the window, fists automatically clenching in anger.
The vampire rolled his eyes. “Sarah, do we have to have this argument again?”
I could feel myself getting irritated and on seeing the smirk rise on his face, I suppressed my annoyance and smiled falsely, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of seeing me so angered once again.
“Shame,” he said, grinning so wide I could clearly see the sharp points of his teeth “I quite enjoy a good argument with you. Gets the blood pumping through the veins, doesn’t it?”

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2010

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