Fire and Rain

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Erin and Kyla are teenage vampires and they find out that starting school with humans is harder than it seems.....

Kyla waltzed down the street with the kind of swagger that only a few people could pull off successfully. My eyes wandered over her, from her long dark brown hair to her shiny black, heeled boots. She turned her head and grinned at me, her dark blue eyes sparkling. I returned her smile and brought my gaze back to the way I was heading but I didn’t see the street in front of me, I could only see Kyla’s dark blue eyes - the colour of lapis lazuli - her lily white skin, rosy lips and her glossy dark brown - almost black – wavy hair. The way she walked, tossing her hair behind her as she turned to grin at me, the centre of attention of every guy in the place. Kyla was, as always, absolutely stunning. She was always telling me that I was beautiful too, but when you grow up beside someone as gorgeous as Kyla, it can be difficult to believe.

My name is Erin Carter and I’m fourteen. I’m about medium height, with olive-green eyes, light brown hair and olive skin. My mum is Italian and my dad is a vampire. Yeah, a vampire. I live in a vampire community and have all my life, all the people I know are vamps, so better get over that surprise quickly, ‘cause this is no place for the weak.
We’re vegetarians, I guess, I mean we only drink animal blood. Drinking from a human is forbidden and if you do it more than once you can get kicked out of the community. Like I said, no place for the weak.
That immortal stuff you hear about vampires? Yeah that’s not true, neither is the allergic to daylight thing. I mean we prefer the dark, but the daylight doesn’t bother us. And garlic? Not true either. Now stakes……they do work, but only if dipped in iron. And fire, of course is deadly to us. Don’t go trying to kill me now I said that will you?
Most people here are half vamp and half human like me, I guess that’s another reason for not drinking human blood. As far as I know, Ky (and her parents) are the only ones who are fully vamp in our community. Well until Ky’s dad left last month that is, now it’s just Ky and her mum. Kyla’s over that now said she always knew that they would split up. I don’t think I could do that, if my dad left I would be crying non-stop from now until next year!

Anyway, enough of the gloom, Kyla is almost an adult now and starting school with humans next week, an event marked in every vampire’s life. I can’t wait to start myself, but it’s another nine months until my fifteenth birthday. Another lonely nine months while my best friend is out having fun, I’ll be at home with all the little kids. Sometimes I really wish that I wasn’t the youngest in our year.

Suddenly Kyla grabbed hold of my arm, “Hey, come on Erin, let’s go this way!” she cried and dragged me into a shop so dim that even with my vampire sight, it took me a moment to see anything. What I did see was rows and rows of dusty black dresses and suits. I wrinkled up my nose “Kyla, why do you want to come in here? Black isn’t really your colour.” She smiled and said “I know but I want to have something traditional for my ceremony,” Oh, of course, for a vampire to become an adult they have to be over fifteen and deemed responsible by more than five people. Then you have your ceremony and most vamps start at human school (that’s where the responsible bit comes in) and a vast majority live undetected in the human world for the rest of their lives. I can’t wait!
“What do you think Erin?” asked Kyla posing for me in a black dress that came down to her knees. “Erm, yeah, I guess it’s nice” I replied awkwardly. (Note to Self: never end up in another situation where someone needs fashion advice!) Kyla tilted her head and examined me “Is something wrong Erin?” “No, everything’s fine” I lied. How could I tell Ky that I wished she wasn’t going?? She wouldn’t understand, Kyla sees everything through rose-tinted glasses sometimes (okay, most of the time). “No something’s wrong Erin, wait a minute while I change out of this, and you can tell me” Kyla gave me a reassuring smile and dashed into the changing rooms again before emerging a minute later in her skinny jeans and tight, dark pink knitted jumper and black heeled boots again. “Come on Erin, you know you can tell me everything” Kyla wheedled but I refused to budge on the matter. “Oh Erin” complained Kyla “Have you got a secret boyfriend? Is that it?” she asked perking up again. “No!” I said shocked. “Just asking” Kyla smirked “don’t get all touchy”. Suddenly she lifted up her hand and waved seductively at Aaron, one of the guys across the street who were staring at her, not even trying to hide it.  “Do you have a secret boyfriend?” I said hoping to divert her attention. “Me? Oh no, of course not” replied Ky distractedly. “I think you have” I teased. Kyla put her hands on her hips and stood in front of me and said “I do not have a secret boyfriend, okay Erin? Now back to the problem at hand, what is wrong??”.”Nothing, okay? The other day, I heard Laura Bennett saying that she thinks Aaron likes you” I counted desperately. “Really?” asked Kyla eagerly. “That’s what she said” I replied, gaining confidence. But anyway, it worked as a distraction, Kyla was not interested in my problem anymore and had instead gone into total air-head mode and was chattering on about how cute Aaron was (i.e. not at all).
Just then I heard my mother calling me from the other end of the street and I turned to Kyla, but she’d already heard her “Off you go then Erin, see you later” I flashed her a smile and ran off down the street towards my mother, who despite living fifteen years in our community, was still nervous of the sheer volume of vampires surrounding her. “Yes Mum?” I asked, keeping an “interested” look on my face, because with my mother, you never know what she might want you to do. “The leaders want to talk to you!” she hissed “come and put some decent clothes on” “Okay” I moaned following her home. “Put this on” my mother said. “Mum!” I said “that’s hideous!” “It’s smart, and you’re wearing it!” A few minutes later I was wearing it. My mum may not be a vampire, but she can be very persuading.
I was the most nervous that I had ever been, what did the leaders want to see me for? The original vampyres are our leaders and are petrifying. There’s about fifty of them, not including their offspring. They are skeletal, with gaunt papery skin and empty eye sockets so that you never know if they are looking at you or not. They live in a building that has no windows, lights or spacious rooms. Their building is quite small but goes underground and is full of bats and mice and rickety staircases (if any!).  You also never know if a vampyre (or their offspring) is coming as they are silent and can move at an extraordinary pace.
I went up to the door of their lair “Who dares to disturb our most esteemed elders?” inquired the guard. “My name is Erin Leslie Carter” I said, swallowing nervously. “You are expected” answered the guard, opening the door for me. I stepped through cautiously and gingerly made my way down the stairs. When I arrived at the bottom unharmed I breathed a sigh of relief. Suddenly a face loomed in front of me, “Come this way” it said in a raspy voice that always reminded me of wasps. I followed, almost falling as my legs threatened to collapse under me. The corridor was dim and full of cobwebs. The ceiling had collapsed in places and the floor was incredibly uneven so I kept tripping and having to brush spiders off my face. All of a sudden a huge door materialised out of the darkness and I tried to steady by breathing as the vampyre with me approached it and knocked before disappearing inside, pausing only to beckon to me.
The room I walked into was huge, far bigger than any room I have ever seen before, and full with vampyres. There was the occasional vampire but mostly it was vampyres, way more than are in our community. There was an alter in one corner of the room which had a statue of a woman standing on two lions, and an owl on either side of her. Inscribed underneath her feet was “Mother of all vampyres, Lilith come to us”.
I was pushed forward, stumbling as I did so, and then I was in front of our head vampyre and two other, equally important looking, vampyres. “What is your name?” the one on the left inquired. “Erin Leslie Carter” I said quickly. “And how old are you?” the right-hand one asked. “Fourteen sir” I said, trembling. Finally our head vampyre spoke “When will you be fifteen?” “On May the fourteenth” I replied. They leant towards each other and started talking quietly in hushed tones. I stood there, feeling like someone was watching me. I scanned the crowd but eventually my rested on the statue of Lilith. I felt an impeding sense of doom and tried to move my gaze but my eyes were once again dragged to the statue. I squeezed my eyes shut so tight it hurt and struggled to steady my breathing. After what felt like a lifetime bit what was probably only a couple of minutes, the head vampyre stood up. “We have decided” he said, in that creepy voice “that despite being nine months too young, we will allow you to have your ceremony with the rest of your year. You will also be allowed to start human school, but will not be an adult until your fifteenth birthday.” Then he sat down again. I couldn’t speak for a few moments and I started breathing really quickly. I just stood there staring at the vampyres silently. Then I realised that I should reply and I gabbled “thank you so much, I will be so careful”. The vampyre that brought me there then escorted me back to the stairs, which I climbed, feeling numb.
Of course my mum wanted know why the vampyres required me but I just got changed and dashed off to talk to Kyla. I told her what had happened and she was impressed “As far as I know no one has ever been to human school under the age of fifteen!” “Ever!” she emphasised. I blushed and looked at the ground “Maybe they just felt sorry for me because there as such a big gap between us?” “Nah,” Kyla shrugged off my idea “I don’t think the vampyres are capable of feeling sorry for anyone, remember when Anna Bryce was left behind? They didn’t do anything about that, did they?” ”No, I guess not” I sighed.
The next day I went shopping with mum to get something for my upcoming ceremony. We went back into the dark, dismal shop that Kyla had dragged me into. This time there was an older woman in the shop who was very useful and soon we had chosen a traditional gown, but with a modern touch, for my ceremony.
When we arrived home Kyla was waiting for us and I dashed off with her because she wanted to show me something. “Look” Ky said, pointing to a spot of blood on the floor of the forest, at the edge of our community. “Yeah” I shrugged “so what? We all drink blood, someone probably just split it” ”No” Ky said, dragging me down “smell it, it’s not animal blood!” I sniffed the blood cautiously and then impulsively stuck my tongue out and licked it. Yep, definitely human blood. I stood up and tried to pull a face but the blood was the best thing that I had ever tasted. Seeing the look on my face Kyla leant down and licked the blood as well. She stood up and licked her red lips. Her eyes started to shine and I suddenly felt really worried “Ky” I warned “don’t do anything stupid” “Me?” she said acting hurt “I would never do anything stupid. I was just thinking that we could sneak into someone’s house and well, see if this blood is actually human” I am horrified that Ky could even imagine doing this as it is the most serious crime that anyone can commit in our community. If you are caught drinking from a human you are immediately kicked out of our village and sent to another village about a three hour drive from here called Upir that is more traditional  (i.e. pale skinned, dress in black, drink human blood, avoid garlic, sunlight, silver etc.) I shivered with the thought. I couldn’t bear living somewhere like there, even if I did have Ky by my side. It would be too embarrassing, too awkward to be the one person since the rules were made to have been kicked out of the village. “Ah, c’mon Erry” Kyla coaxed, using my childhood nickname that I had almost forgotten about, “it’ll be fun.”  “No it won’t.” I was firm. “Erry, I’m telling you, you won’t regret it, it will be the best thing you will ever do!” Kyla’s excitement was kinda infectious and I knew that if I didn’t go she would never leave me alone about this so I reluctantly agreed to meet her here at midnight.
Later that night I felt sick with nerves and nearly didn’t go to the woods, but to tell the truth, I was sort of looking forward to it- I’d always been a good girl, but this, right now, was one of the worst thing that anyone could do in our village ever. The only things worse were to either kill a human or to turn one. When I arrived Kyla was already there, waiting to drag me off.
We broke the back window of a house in the middle of the first street we came to. Inside on the window sill was a pile of letters addressed to a Mr & Mrs D. Riley. I felt unhappy thinking about the fact that this was an actually person, a person with a life, family, friends, dreams. I knew that we weren’t going to kill this Mr Riley but it felt like that to me. “I can’t do this Ky, we have to leave!” I was almost hysterical by now, not something a vampire can achieve easily. Ky took one look at me, scowled and climbed back out the window before starting home without me.
The next Saturday it was our ceremony and I was feeling guilty because here were all the people vouching for me, and I nearly went and drank from a human and broke their trust. It was quite a squeeze trying to fit in the 57 (now adult) vampires and their families, but somehow we managed it. Every year the photographer vampire says that he won’t take a photo next year, but he always does. We were all talking about the fact that we would be starting school tomorrow. Although we had a school, it was very relaxed and taught us things that vampires need to know as well as the essentials so that we were excited to be starting at a real school. I can bet that not many humans in the town outside of our village can speak various Slavic languages fluently. We can converse in over seven languages, only two of which I think we shall probably use.

The next day we all walked to the human school at the edge of town. I don’t know about any of the others but I was feeling increasingly nervous and was reciting “My name is Erin Carter, I’m fourteen years old. I live with my Mum and Dad at the edge of town” in Polish, then Bulgarian, then Russian and finally Czech. “What are you saying Erry?” asked Kyla curiously. “Oh nothing” I said blushing, and then chanting my description once again, in my head, in Swedish.
The school was nothing like I was expecting. It was a large, white building teeming with students and teachers. I gulped and faintly heard Kyla say “C’mon guys, lets rock ’n’ roll!” Suddenly I wished that I hadn’t been granted early admission and that I was at home with all the younger kids instead of in this place, where I didn’t belong. We all trooped up the steps and squashed into the office to enrol. The school was used to a very large group joining Third Year every September into as we had been here a long time. The poor secretary looked terrified so I gave her a comforting smile. The Head entered then and instructed us to get into an orderly line so that they could get our name, address and date of birth. The secretary looked a bit surprised when I said that I was only fourteen but quickly composed herself.
Luckily I was in the same form as Kyla, I don’t know what I would have done if I wasn’t. Unluckily, however, Laura Bennett was also in the same form as us. I could hear Kyla complaining about it from the other side of the room. It’s not until we join the human world that we realise what fast reflexes we have, how sharp our senses are. Well I’ve always be conscious of it because of my mother, but Kyla is completely vamp and so is less used to humans than I am.
That day was nothing like I had expected, and nothing like I had hoped either. Kyla was a big hit, as usual and I was, also as usual, left in her shadow. Some of the girls were nice, but everyone wanted to be either Kyla or Laura’s friend, not mine. I’d expected that but I was still downcast heading home that evening, only answering Kyla in monosyllables. “What’s wrong Erry?” Ky asked and I just shrugged.
During the next few weeks we settled down as well as a group of vamps can in a human school and one day when I walked into the classroom I saw Kyla sitting on a table surrounded by a group of girls, comparing things on their phones and Ky was singing along to a song that I had never heard before- “Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I'd see you again.” I stood and looked at her before turning and leaving the room without being noticed. I think Kyla detected that I was being distinctly icy but I don’t think that she knew why. “Hey, what’s wrong Erin?” she asked that evening as the big group of us trouped home. “Nothing Kyla” I sighed. “I’m just tired” “Are you sure” she said, concern on her face. “Yeah, I’m fine” I reassured her with a sad smile. I couldn’t believe that Ky could blend in so easily, even though I could have drunk their blood, some of those humans were scary.
One day, a couple of weeks later Kyla came up to me and said something that almost stopped my heart “Erin, we have to go into a human’s house, I’m going crazy, surrounded by all these humans but not allowed a single drop of blood!” Kyla’s whispered voice went high-pitched at the end of the sentence and I glanced round to make sure that no one had heard her, but the coast was clear. “Ky, you know we can’t, and I don’t think I have the stomach for it anyway” Ky looked at me, “Erin, you are a vampire. We are designed to drink human blood.” “I know but, I don’t think I can, there’s too much human in me” I finished off lamely. “Come on Erin” Kyla pleaded and I have never been able to resist those bright blue eyes so I gave in, but the lingering feeling of dread remained.
We snuck into the same house as before and I swallowed my apprehension. This time there was a message on the kitchen table
“Danny, just gone for my doctor’s appointment, see you later, love Robyn”
I gulped but continued after Kyla. She paused at the bottom of the stairs and listened for a moment before carrying on forward. I breathed a sigh of relief and followed Ky into what I suppose was the living room. There, slumped in an armchair and fast asleep, was a man. Danny Riley I thought, remembering the note. When I looked up, Kyla had already sunk her fangs into his neck. Although I didn’t want to drink from him, he smelt so good my mouth started watering and my fangs snapped out. Off balance and consumed by longing for this thing that smelt sooo good, I walked forward in a daze and sunk my fangs into his neck. By this time I was unaware of Kyla or anything else. I only came to my senses when the flow of blood lessened and I realised that between Kyla and I we had drained the poor man of all his blood. I gasped and took a step back. “Ky” I hissed “Look!” Ky did  look and gulped. “I never meant this to happen!” she exclaimed. “What should we do?” I whimpered. The vampyres had trusted me to begin at a human school, the only underage vampire they had ever allowed to do so, and I had failed them, failed my family and failed myself. I felt worse than I had ever felt before or would ever feel again. “I don’t know” Kyla answered, shaking her head as she did so.
We left the house and washed off in the river before going our separate ways- where two vampyres were waiting for us in the darkness. I tried in vain to steady my breathing but it made no difference. “Erin Leslie Carter and Kyla Laurel Ravenwood, our elder wishes to see you” the front vampyre said. I swallowed and replied “Of course, I shall go now” Kyla just stared at the ground and followed me, going after the vampyres in the night.
They knew what we had done and we were separated. I was sent to the other village in our community while Kyla was sent to Upir, the “bad” vampire village. I hugged her one last time before we left. I never saw her again.
The following week Kyla’s mum’s human boyfriend moved in and a month later they got married.
My mum stayed where she was but visited me at my foster family in the other village every weekend. Nine months later I repeated my ceremony and now – fourteen years later – I have still kept my promise not to drink human blood. The promise I made to myself the day Kyla left, to listen to Fire and Rain at least once every day.
I work with young vampires starting human school and help them to spread out so that all vamps aren’t going to the same school. That was how I met Cassa and Clare…….

“Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain.
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend,
but I always thought that I'd see you again”
by James Taylor and covered by Birdy James Taylor) Birdy)

Submitted: December 09, 2014

© Copyright 2021 MxB. All rights reserved.

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