I let the water that was coming from the shower-head wash me clean, ridding me from the blood on my body. It wasn’t my own blood. It belonged to some girl I had killed only a few minutes ago. My
tears trickled down my cheeks, anonymous between the other water drops that were falling from my face and onto my bathroom floor. My knees gave way and I let myself slip down the wall. When I saw
that this caused the wall to cover in blood, I quickly grabbed a towel and started rubbing it over the tiles. My lip quivered when it wouldn’t come off, and I burst into a fit of snivels and
hiccups. Duane came into the bathroom and saw me sputter and curse at my surroundings and myself. He forced me to let go of the towel and pressed me against him. I howled into his shirt as he
stroked my hair with one hand and cleaned the wall with the other.
“Sssh, it’s ok. There was nothing you could about it. It’s your nature now” he tried to reassure me. I bit my lip and repeatedly threw my fists into his chest, driving him backwards a tiny bit. He was much older than me and was not easily thrown back by anyone, but I was in dismay and so angry with myself and with this whole situation.
“It’s obviously not ok, don’t you see that?” I sniffed.
“I killed someone! Me. Oh, my God... I... I--” I couldn’t get myself to finish the sentence. Duane squeezed me tight. He wiped a trickle of blood from the corner of my mouth with his thumb. He lifted my chin with his hand, making me look him straight in the eye. He ran his fingers past my fangs and after a minute or two they retracted.
“It hurts” I cried.
“I know, I know” Duane repeated. He didn’t have to tell me that this was all part of the transition. He didn’t have to tell me that it would get better because I knew that already. I knew that when I first met Duane. I got to know him for what he was and I could accept that. I could accept that he murdered people without so much as blinking, but I just couldn’t imagine that I’d ever have to do that. I couldn’t bear it that I had become what he was: a vampire.
Chapter One – My struggles
Weeks went by as I learned how to handle the fact that I was a blood drinking monster that killed just for fun. I had to learn how to feed off someone without killing them. Without drawing too much attention. I had to fit in with the rest of the world without showing my true nature. It was horrible at first. Duane had to hold me back from my friends who were only trying to help me. Jackie, Emma, Yuuki and Patrick. Oh, Patrick. They were all there for me. They all knew about Duane. What he was. They all tried to help out as much as they could. And as much as I appreciated their hard work and efforts, I have to be truthful: they sometimes just made it worse. I had to look at their faces as they watched me drink blood, fight to defend myself or even lose control. Their blood was in the air. I could smell it everywhere. Duane told me it was part of the exercises, but it just made me snap. I had no control over my body. Emotions became this everlasting hunger that wouldn’t go away. It was like there were two people living in my body. One was me, the weird redheaded chick who sat at the loser table with her loser friends. Then there was this other person, someone who is hard to describe. It comes out whenever it wants and wrecks my life and hurts people I don’t want to hurt. The psychopath, that’s what it was. I had no idea when it would reappear next and I had no idea for how long it would stay. I called it ‘it’ because I have no idea if it’s a ‘she’ or a ‘he’, or neither or both.
I lay in my bed, thinking about my friends. They were all downstairs in my living room, together with Duane. I didn’t include Duane in my group of friends because I don’t really know what he is to me. I care for him, sure. I don’t want to see him get hurt. But he is a killer and he’s mean and can be a real pain in the ass. But he has his weak moments; one’s where I know he’s not pretending to be nice. I suppose I can’t hold it against him anymore that he’s a killer, because, to be fair, I am one too. I shivered as I thought about it. Me, a killer. I put my head back onto my pillow and take my mind off Duane. I think about my friends. Yuuki is a friend of the family. I think of her as my cousin. I am extremely jealous of her because she is good at anything she does. Dancing, painting, music, you name it. She had short, straight black hair and a fringe that covers her eyebrows but isn’t long enough to hang in front of her eyes. If you’d see her you’d probably call her hairstyle a bob line. I personally hate bob lines but I love Yuuki’s hair, it just doesn’t look weird on her the way it does on Americans. She’s Japanese and her name means ‘courage’. Isn’t that beautiful? And she’s as pretty as her name.
Now Jackie is a different story. She’s the typical American schoolgirl you could come across in all of the United States. She has dark blonde hair with a few streaks of highlights in it that are already starting to grow out. Her hair comes down to her bra strap, which is pretty low, if you know how big her breasts are (I’m talking D’s). She once was considered the most popular girl in our school, but once she started hanging out with us, she stooped down to join the losers. She didn’t give a damn about her reputation, and I love her to bits. Once she heard she needed glasses, she started wearing those owl glasses. You know, those really big ones that cover most of you face. They are incredibly nerdy but they suit her face, which is quite round; quite the opposite to Emma’s. She’s a tall, thin girl with shoulder length brown hair and a flat chest. She has no fringe, showing her large forehead and she wears no jewellery, ever. In fact, she and Patrick are the real reasons why we are called the losers.
Patrick isn’t a loser, not at all. At least, not on first sight. He’s really handsome (in his own way. I don’t actually mean handsome, I kind of mean cute. That term suits him better). He has ever so slightly sticky-out ears and he has short brown hair and a clean shaven face. His face leans more to the round side than to the long side, and he has the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. They’re light blue, but they have a sort of hazel-ish feel to them. I don’t really know how to explain. The best I can do is tell you that one moment his eyes look as blue as the morning sky, the next they look brown like the autumn leaves. The only thing that is considered ‘wrong’ with him is that he is a homosexual. Yep, Patrick is as gay as can be. And it’s ok, we all accept him, and his looks really don’t give you a gay impression, not at all. But he is, and it’s the way he is, and I love him for it. He is my best friend forever and we tell each other everything. I take him with me wherever I go and he always stays by my side to protect me. He really is the sweetest boy I have ever met. I really want a boyfriend like him. Only, minus the gay part. That would be a major kink in our relationship, wouldn’t it?
Downstairs they all think I’m asleep. Except Duane. He can hear by the sound of my breathing that I can’t even think about sleeping. I listen to the sounds he makes as he scratches his head or
yawns ever so slightly. It’s very strange, this new hearing thing business. I can hear everything so much clearer. I can hear my friends discussing the events of today and I can hear Emma open the
fridge and take out a carrot and chomp down on it. They all sound so peaceful... So... So alive. I gulped. Tears began to sting in my eyes and I clenched my teeth hard on top of each other to keep
them from falling. What is wrong with me? I’ve been so emotional since I turned. Sadness rushes up as soon as I so much as think about killing a fly. I can’t help but let out a little gasp of air
and I hear Duane sigh and sit himself down on the arm of my sofa.
“Patrick, your girl is crying. Why don’t you go up there and make yourself useful?” he says. I know exactly how he said it. It’s a rude comment and he spouts it out rude, too. But he does it with a smile and I have never seen anyone resist his charming smile. Patrick fusses but I hear him walk up the stairs. I know this time Duane had to show his pearly white teeth to get Patrick to go up, because to break Patrick you’ll need a lot more than just two mouth corners that are pulled up. In this case, I guess it’s the teeth. Although that’s not entirely true. The Patrick I know would snarl a nasty comment back at Duane (this is the only time ever when he’s not being sweet. It’s when Duane drives him ballistic), but this is for my sake and Patrick doesn’t want me to cry, so he comes up here for me, not because Duane told him to.
The door opened and Patrick walked in, his pale blue eyes twinkling in the moonlight that was streaming in through the crack in my curtains.
“Hey” he says with a sympathetic smile.
“Hey” I say back to him. I was sitting up straight in my bed. It was obvious I hadn’t closed an eye since they put me in my room and told me to go to sleep. I patted the sheets next to me and Patrick came over to the bed. I lifted the blanket and he crawled in underneath it and we huddled up together.
“Can I see your teeth?” Patrick said. I was glad he didn’t start with ‘how are you feeling?’ and ‘can I get you anything?’ I hate it when people act as if you’re sick and can’t do anything yourself. I’m not a child. In response to Patrick I opened my mouth wide, but my fangs weren’t there. They are triggered by anger, hunger, when I’m aroused or the smell of blood. And although I could smell blood, although I could smell Patrick’s blood pumping through his veins, I fought against everything I had not to let my fangs pop out. Because when I do, I know that there will be no stopping me and I might even suck Patrick dry until there is nothing left and he dies, and all that I am left with is sorrow, regret and dismay. He strokes my face with the back of his hand. I want him to tell me that it is all a dream. I want to wake up in his arms and him to say: ‘surprise! Happy birthday!’
But it was not a dream and he did not say ‘surprise, happy birthday’. It’s not even my birthday. I don’t know why I wanted him to say that. Instead he kissed me on my mouth and laid me down and stroked my hair until I fell asleep. It would be a good sleep, because I knew that Patrick was there to protect me.
My name is Danni. That is my full first name, it’s not a nickname. I am occasionally called Dan, but hardly ever. It’s just Danni. Danni Warner. I’m a 17 year old female and I have bright red, shoulder length hair. I have a weird fringe; it sort of comes in pieces. The middle bit falls over my nose but the parts above my eyes are shorter. Some think it is weird, others think it looks emo. It’s a very unnatural colour, sort of red with a slight brown tint, but mostly red. I am known for it. When I walk by people in streets, I can see they want to yell at me, to give me some nasty nickname. I can see their mouths forming the beginnings of the word ‘ginger’, but then they rethink, because although my hair is red, it is most definitely not ginger. People in school call me ‘Redhead’ or just ‘Red’. And I’m ok with it. Once there was someone who started a rumour, making everybody call me ‘the girl with the fiery hair’, which became ‘the girl with her hair on fire’. At first my friends and I laughed about it, but gradually it became a curse, so I beat them up. I beat up everybody who called me that, including the boys. It’s what made me quite strong. Don’t get me wrong, though, I did get a few punches back from the tougher boys, especially the ones on the football team. You don’t want to mess with them. I once came home with a cut lip and a black eye, and bruises spread all over my body. My guardian, Richard, had scolded me for picking a fight with the older boys. ‘We were just fooling around’ I had said. He didn’t believe a word of it and took me to a hospital. Typical grownup thing to do. They always have to make such a big deal out of everything.
My eyes are another thing that people notice about me. They are freakishly white. My iris is literally white. I like to call it grey, but people disagree. They are pale white. It creeps some people out, it turns others on. All I know is that I have a strong hold over them.
I woke up without Patrick and that startled me. Where was he? Had I accidentally eaten him? I sharpened my ears and listened. One, two, three, four... Thank God. I could hear five sets of
breathing. I rushed down the stairs, almost tripping over Duane who was coming up. No, wait, I’ll rephrase that. I did trip over him. If he hadn’t caught me I’d have fallen down the
stairs. My stairs were quite steep, so I was quite a bit higher when I fell over Duane’s shoulder. He caught onto my butt and with his other hand he held my waist tightly over his shoulder and
carried me right back up the stairs.
“Hey, wait” I prodded my finger in his back.
“I need to speak to Patrick” I said.
“He left a few minutes ago” Duane answered, continuing to walk up the stairs.
“What? He did? Then who is the fifth...”
“Richard came home” Duane said. I blinked. Of course. This is about the time Richard usually comes home from work. I relaxed, letting myself hang down Duane’s body. When I realized doing so made me come face to Duane’s butt, I pulled myself up and wrapped my legs around Duane’s waist. I slid down slightly and Duane kept one hand under my butt to keep me from falling, the other stayed on my back to keep me in place. I rested my elbow on Duane’s shoulder and rested my head on my elbow, seeming bored.
“Where are you taking me” I decided to ask, even though I knew I was going straight back to bed. Without answering, Duane entered my room and, as I expected, dropped me on the bed and sat down next to me. He pulled a blood bag from his pocket and immediately my eyes went red, my veins popped up under my eyes and my fangs came out. Why hadn’t I smelt the blood when Duane was carrying me? He put one hand on my shoulder, wiping the hair out of the way as he did so, and with the other he held the bag to my face. My eyes followed it. Duane started talking to me with his serious voice.
“Remember, I’m here to stop you if things get too... heated. Try and drink five gulps” he told me. I could hear what he said, but my mind was not in this world. All I wanted was that bag. Duane pressed it in my hands and I swiftly pulled the plastic ‘plug’ off it and I drank. Oh, yes, this was IT! I was immediately engulfed by the feeling of the blood on my tongue. I gulped. One, two, three... Duane was getting ready to receive the bag from me, but I didn’t give it to him. Six, seven...
“Danni, stop... That’s too much. Stop!” Duane pulled the bag away from me and I bared my teeth at him. He showed me his, and I piped down. He placed the bag on my desk, out of reach. I could still smell it. I was hungry. Duane was talking to me, but every now and then my eyes darted over to where the bag lay, waiting for me to have another taste. After ten minutes Duane left, taking the bag with him. He didn’t live in my house, but he had currently settled himself here to make sure I didn’t go round the bend. His new bedroom was opposite mine, and I was thankful for that. He was so close by, every minute I wanted I could go over and seek comfort. That sounded weird. Seek comfort from Duane? But, he was crazy! I don’t like him. I have to keep that in mind. I don’t like him, I don’t like him, I don’t like him. He’s a monster, a killer. He enjoys it. He’s only helping me be like him. I have to remember that.
He’s only helping me so I can be his drinking buddy.
© Copyright 2016 Darcy Foster. All rights reserved.
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