This is curently a work in progress, so any feedback would be very helpful ^-^
Rhiannon looked up into the night sky, her dark brown hair blowing behind her in the moonlight. She hugged her jacket tighter around her small frame as she sighed into the wind. What a beautiful night it was, a few stars began emerging as the last of the sun’s rays slipped away. A soft lingering smell of car fumes touched her, carried on the wind from the city not far away. A city she hated, and loved at the same time.
Why, she thought, did it have to come to this? The chill in the air made her shiver, though she hardly felt it anymore. Night was here, and a change was taking place in her. She stared again at the stars in the sky, wishing where ever Nickolas was that he could see them too. But she knew better then to hope for that. The Eldest Vampire had Nickolas, and it was all her fault...
Feeling the last rays of day slip past the horizon, Rhiannon could now feel the difference in her own body as her senses sharpened to their peak. Her eyes became more focused and detail oriented, her sense of smell picked of the faintest lingering odors all around, she could hear the sounds from the city so near, though they were faint. The greatest, most noticeable change in her was the color of her eyes. Her brilliant green eyes turned the shiniest of silvers, the opposite of a Vampires yellow/gold.
She felt the tears fall from her face before she even realized she had been crying. When did it happen? The thought was there, and it lingered in her mind, when did I really fall in love with him? Nickolas was a Vampire, and an old one too. She must seem like a child to him; after all, he did raise her. Was that it? No, it was something more than that… she was sure.
Rhiannon sighed again wiping the tears from her face. As she crossed through a small graveyard on the hill, she stopped. The breeze flared up then died down once more. The scent of a vampire was getting closer.
Shifting uncomfortably, she saw a figure appear not more than fifty feet or so down the dirt road. She squinted; trying to get a better look at him as the wind blew again, causing her to shut her eyes. No sooner did she do so, he was right in front of her; his hand slowly reached up and ever so lightly tilted her chin up to look at him. His black eyes rimmed in yellow held her for a brief moment before he spoke.
“Now what is flower doing in this place where nothing grows?”
She pushed his hand away, roughly. “Save your sop story for later, Mikey. I have other things to do tonight and you’re not even on the top of my list.” Though she could smell the scent of the Eldest on him, she pushed the thought from her mind.
“Touchy! And to think, I was going to deliver you wonderful news. Ah, the irony of it all.” He flashed his teeth at her, a trademark of newly made vampires. When did the Eldest turn Mikey into a vampire? And why? This can’t be a good thing…
“Mikey…” she started, but he held up his hand to stop her.
“No Rhi, this wasn’t my choice. The Old guy really wants you dead, and that Nick guy is in a real bad way…” he looked away, his eyes narrowing, “Rhi, I can’t disobey an order once he’s given it to me. Please,” his voice strained, “please just follow me back, so I don’t have to hurt you.” He shut his eyes then, and she saw the confliction in his face.
Thirteen years earlier
It was dark and cold; a new layer of snow covered the wet streets of the city, at least as far as I could see from that small alley. Bruises covered my small, aching body from head to toe, and I couldn’t seem to remember much of anything.
The moon had just started to reach the tops of the buildings when a strange man all in black stopped at the edge of the alleyway. A little over 6 feet, he had short black hair and skin almost as pale as the moon itself. His eyes that looked like pools of black water rimmed with gold seemed to transfix me. I just sat there as he stared at me for a moment longer, and then he smiled.
“There you are my dear.” He looked down at my tattered clothing and frowned. “What has happened to you?” I shook my head. Who was this man and how did he know me? I started to shake, more from the cold then fear of a man I didn’t think I knew. He sighed and bent down next to me in the snow. His breath didn’t even fog up in that cold air as he scooped me into his arms and held me tight.
“It's all right,” He said soothingly. “Can you remember what happened to you my dear?” I didn’t even look up at him; I closed my eyes and thought hard. But nothing came. Not even a fragment of memory rose to the surface. I frowned, with my eyes still closed I told him,
“My name is Rhiannon…”
“Yes that’s right,” he said, and held me even tighter. “Is there anything else you can remember? Think hard.” But I just shook my head. Nothing else came to me that night, as I passed out in the arms of a man I didn’t know.
I awoke sometime before sunset the next day, and found myself in a rather nicely furnished bedroom. Oak and Maplewood furniture lined the room, and on the far wall was a full length mirror. I found as I climbed out of the canopy bed, that my clothes had been changed. I wore a lovely, (and what I thought expensive) blue silk nightshirt and matching pants. As I passed a full length mirror, I noticed the garment had a flower embroidered on the top right of the shirt. Reaching the bedroom door, I found it to be unlocked; I mean, who would lock up an unconscious child right? Peeking around the door, I found a small, empty hallway and crept along the wall. I made my way passed an open door that lead into a small bathroom decorated in various shades of blue, to the only other door in the hall and pressed my ear to it. There was no noise on the other side as far as I could tell, so slowly I opened it and peered in to the room.
Empty. Silently entering the room, I shut the door behind me. The living room was also nicely furnished. A plush couch of deep red lined the far wall, and a matching ottoman chair not far from the corner. A red cherry wood coffee table sat in front of the couch giving the room a homey feel to it. The soft plush of the carpet felt familiar to me, but I couldn’t quite place the thought when something on the table caught my attention. A small journal bound in black leather. Walking over I picked up the book and sat on the nearby couch.
It would be rather rude to read someone else’s diary, but somehow it didn’t seem to bother me. This journal seemed familiar to me, almost eerily so. I opened it to the first page and read,
My research is nearly completed. I have found a willing human female to participate in my experiment. She is in her early twenties and is of fair build. Dark brown hair, blue eyes, and no immediate family, she is the perfect specimen for testing. First I must find a suitable male for changing, but not until I’ve perfected my techniques.
I found a man in his mid twenties who seems perfect for my study. Just over 5’8’’, black hair, green eyes and average build. I meet him at the local pub; he was throwing back doubles and thoroughly wasted by the time I got there. I convinced him to come home with me to meet the lady, and he had no objections on that part.
When we arrived, she was waiting at the door. I told her that he was in need of our hospitality, and she nodded. I could tell she was attracted to his physical appearance, and this was perfect for my plan. It would make it that much easier for me when I would need them to bed each other.
The two are getting along very well here. You can see that are getting closer to each other, and this is fine. My research is nearly ready to go to the next phase, I just have to plan this carefully, and I’ve come too far to fail now. Later this month I will execute the plan and hope my calculations are correct.
It is time. I’ve sent the woman to bed early, so I can complete my work on the male. Sinking my fangs in to his flesh, I’ve drained him to near death. His heart beats faintly, and he is losing his awareness as I begin feeding him my own blood. He drinks it greedily as newlings always do. As I pull my arm away, his heart convulses and his body dies.
The body lies on the floor for a long moment, unmoving for near an hour. Finally, he rises and looks around. I cross the floor to him, and he backs up, in fear I suppose. I assure him he is fine, and after a pause he nods. Wonderful. I place a mental thought in his mind, as we are now connected by blood, to go to the woman and love her as though you will never see her again. Again he nods and soon disappears into the woman’s room.
You see, male humans who are turned over still retain their human functions and have the ability to produce children to human females before the end of their first night. Though, when the children are born they are no longer human, but a creature in between. A Dhampir. But because the humans have no idea how to care for the children, they die soon after birth. Only we, the changed, the Vampires, have the knowledge to care for these misfits of nature. And though we know how, all but me would leave them to die anyway. Why care for a creature who as the power to resist us and ultimately destroy us? I have my reasons…
Unexpectedly, the male has died. Apparently, because he used the last of his hearts energy in the conception of the woman, it broke his soul before the change process had a chance to complete itself. This is but a minor setback, but I find it difficult to deal with the grieving female…
The female is confirmed to be carrying child. She has already started craving more meat to satisfy the unborn child tastes. Other than her appetite changes, she remains physically the same.
I’ve started to feed her blood in her sleep to ease the child’s hunger and thirst for it. She has since been getting better and bigger around the middle. Not much longer to wait now, soon I shall see if I was in fact successful or not. If not, I shall unfortunately have to start from scratch…
I’m sure in just over a moons time the child will be born. I’ve had to place the woman under my mind control to continuously feed her blood multiple times a day. Soon, very soon my work will be completed.
The day has come at last! She has been in labor since earlier today, and thank goodness she hasn’t had the child yet. Though the child is a few weeks early, I’m sure this is normal. I’ve taken her down below the house to my lair, so as she may have the child in safety.
A long and painful process is completed. As soon as the child was born and feed from her mother’s breast, I slue her mother and she drank of her blood. Color immediately returned to her small checks and she began to cry, and so did I. I knew that the only way to insure the child’s survival was to have her feed on the dying blood of her own mother. And so, from her father’s name Richard, and her mother’s name Anna, I have decided to call the child Rhiannon…
This can’ be real, it’s not true. I read that last paragraph maybe six more times before it registered. This can’t really be about me, it’s too bizarre! I shook my head as if to forget what was laid out in front of me. Slowly, I returned the journal to its resting place on the table. What am I supposed to do now? I don’t know anything about myself and I have no idea where I am. I can’t just try to escape when I have no idea where I’m going.
Looking around the room again, to the left I spotted a door that looks like it goes out to the front yard. To the front, the door I came through, and a hallway leading elsewhere. Walking toward the hallway, I found that it opened into a small kitchen. Okay, maybe I’ll find something to eat and then figure out what to do later. I mean, when was the last time I ate anything? The refrigerator was found to be filled with all kinds of goodies. Making myself a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I sat on one of the bar stools lining the small kitchen island. Pots and pans hanging from the ceiling of the island made it feel like this was a well used room, but there were cobwebs hanging from every corner of the kitchen, as if no one used it in years...
Pondering this, I turned to go back to the living room with the food score when something caught my eye. There, next to the pantry door on the far wall, was there a gap in the wall? Placing the sandwich on the kitchen island, I slowly worked my way across the room to find that there was, in fact, a small opening. It went as tall as the pantry door itself, and it looked like another door was cracked open. Sticking my hand through the opening, I pulled and sure enough, a door swung open. Beyond the door, a stairway leading into darkness. Before there was chance to step beyond the boundary of the door, a hand fell softly on my shoulder.
“My my, a curious little thing aren’t you my dear?” I swung around to look once again into those dark eyes deep as ebony. How long had he been there watching me? Startled, I couldn’t even defend myself to his claim, and just stared.
Chuckling, he smiled. “It’s alright. I’m not angry, just surprised your awake. How are you feeling Rhiannon?”
“I…” Actually, I feel pretty good considering I’m still covered in bruises. “I’m doing ok I think…” I couldn’t bring myself to look at him as I said it, feeling uneasy in his presence. Was he the one who wrote the journal entries? I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t really want to find out either.
He reached out his hand to feel my forehead. “You look a little pale my dear, have you feed yet?”
Remembering the sandwich I had made earlier, I told him, “I made myself a sandwich, but didn’t eat it yet,” and nodded in the direction of the island, but he just shook his head and sighed.
“It’s after dark my dear, and that food won’t satisfy you. Do you still not remember anything?” He wore a concerned look on his face and I felt that he wanted to tell me something, but wouldn’t. Or couldn’t for that matter. I shook my head.
Staring down at the tiled kitchen floor, I decided to ask him, “That journal, on the living room table, is what’s written inside true?” I tilted my head to stare him in the face, and asked, “Am I really a… a…” but couldn’t seem to bring myself to utter the word. He dropped his gaze, and closed his eyes. I’d hurt him, and could feel it in my soul. A strange feeling that, once again, I couldn’t quite place.
“Yes Rhiannon, you are. I was hoping you would remember yourself, instead of finding out like this.” He stood and walked over to the refrigerator, opened the door and pulled out a bottle of what looked like red water. Following his footsteps, I forgot all about the hidden door that now lay behind me. Kneeling down, he hands me the bottle.
“This isn’t going to taste very good, but try to drink it. It will make you feel better.” Removing the lid and taking a whiff of the contents, I hold back the urge to be sick as a thick coppery smell hits me hard.
“What is it?” I didn’t want to know, but asked him just the same.
“Just drink. It will help suppress your unyielding hunger right now.” He gave me a soft smile, and I looked at him like he was nuts.
Slowly, VERY slowly, I tilted the bottle to my lips, and took a small sip. He was right, it tastes awful, but I did surprisingly begin to feel better. Again, I took another sip, and another, until half of what he offered in that small bottle was gone. Shaking my head vigorously, I returned the bottle to him and asked once more, “What is in that? It tasted horrible!”
“The reason it doesn’t taste good is because it’s not fresh. It’s been in here overnight. I had hoped to give it to you last night before you passed out but…” he placed the bottle back where he got it and proceeded to the living room, talking as he went. “Do you truly want to know where that drink came from?”
I shifted uncomfortably. Any normal person would probably be afraid at this point, so I’d better proceed carefully. “Aren’t you going to tell me anyway?” I followed him back into the living room. He started putting a long black cloak over his shoulders, and for the first time that night, I noticed what it was that he was wearing. A black t-shirt that hugged his upper body, beautifully accenting his chest and arms, and a pair of faded blue jeans that loosely gripped the curve of his hips and shaped perfectly around his ass and down his strong legs. He wasn’t what some might call “built”, but he wasn’t anywhere near scrawny either. If one were several years older, they might have called him gorgeous.
“Not if you don’t want me to. Excuse me my dear, I must be going. Don’t worry, I’ll be back shortly.” He turned to leave when I stopped him.
“Wait, you’re going out to feed aren’t you?” Looking up at him, my soft eyes started searching for something in his face. Reaching my small hands to grab his cloak, I pulled on it softly. “You are, aren’t you?”
He closed his eyes for a moment, and then knelt down to my level. “Yes, I am. Does that bother you Rhiannon?”
I shook my head. “No, but that stuff you made me drink,” pointing in the direction of the kitchen, I stuttered, “wasn’t it… wasn’t it… blood? Wasn’t it human blood?” and began to shake from the thought of it. Blood. He had me drinking blood like the monster that HE was.
“Yes… and no. The blood I gave you to drink was not human,” he began, and I could see the confliction on his face.
“Animal?? Was it animal???” Starting to cry, I couldn’t stop the shaking. He reached down and held me softly, and I began to relax just a little. Tears started rolling softly down my checks.
“No. I would never feed that to you.” Anger welled up inside me. Finally unable to contain the building fury, I pushed at him hard enough to break free of his grasp and couldn’t stop from shouting at him.
“Then what WAS IT?! Damn it Nickolas, tell me!” Tears were now flowing down my face in small continuous streams, and the man in front of me started to smile. He was really starting to piss me off, this guy. Still smiling, he shook his head and looked back into my eyes.
“You remembered my name Rhiannon,” he spoke softly, “Has any more of your memory returned to you?” Shocked by this sudden statement, I froze. How DID I known his name?[i] He hadn’t told it to me the other night...
Then my eyes grew wide. Remembering bits and pieces of living in this house for several years, Nickolas would tutor me in school studies, a few magic spells, and my Dhampir ways. Then it hit. The blood he gave me to drink, it wasn’t from a human. It was from a vampire…
“V…vampire’s blood…?” it came out of my mouth in little more than a whisper. Nickolas nodded, and I sank to the floor as whirlpool of thoughts swam in and out of my head. He pulled me close to him and sighed.
“You need time to think about this my dear. Lie down for a while, and I’ll return shortly after I’ve feed.” Doing little more than nod, I made my way over to the couch and lay down on its soft cushions. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I heard the front door close, and the darkness pulled me once again into sleep.
The night pulled itself over the city like a thick black blanket as a soft layer of snow still fell from above. Nickolas strode the cold streets in search of a quick meal, as he felt uneasy leaving the now frail and forgetful Rhiannon by herself.[i] How had this happened? This thought made him frown as this was an unsettling predicament that he found himself in. His mind wandered back to two nights prior, when Doctor Jared, the man responsible for Rhiannon’s very existence, came back to their country home in a panic.
“Nickolas, come at once!” he shouted as he burst through the front door looking like a raged mess. “They’ve got her! The Eldest has gone after Rhiannon!”
Nickolas rose quickly to his feet as fear spread through his being. “You mean he’s…”
“I’m not sure. But we’ve got to find her. She hasn’t even had a chance to feed yet this evening! If we don’t find her soon they’ll…” his voice trailed off, running his fingers through his now mused hair, trying to sooth his anger and rage.
Nickolas made his way past Jared to the door, grabbing his cloak as he went understanding exactly what the doctor had meant. “They won’t hesitate to kill her…”
Nickolas shook the memory from his head. He mustn’t think of such things. Though he knew that it was pure luck that he happened to find her before Dr. Jared did. He was more in tune with the child’s whereabouts then Nickolas had ever been. But how had she managed to escape the Eldest with only scratches and bruises? And why hadn’t Dr. Jared returned home later that night? So many unanswered questions, and not nearly enough answers to them made Nickolas frown at himself once again.
He turned around the corner of a building to find a woman in her mid twenties sitting on a bench awaiting a bus home. Checking his watch, Nickolas predicted it wouldn’t be here for another twenty minutes or so. Perfect, he thought to himself, and made his way over to the woman. She was shivering, as though she’d been sitting out for awhile. Even better, she’s frightened.
“It’s rather cold this evening isn’t it?” he smiled and sat down next to the now startled woman. She gave him a quick look over and settled once more.
“Yes it is. It wasn’t supposed to snow until later tonight wasn’t it?” She smiled back at him, trying hard to maintain the light conversation. She shivered again, and Nickolas smiled to himself. It had been a long time since he had a conversation with his prey, he would enjoy this one. It might be good practice for dealing with Rhiannon later in her life.
“Would you like my coat? It seems it will be awhile before the bus gets here, you look like you’re ready to freeze to death.”
“Oh no, that’s o…” She started to protest, but he was far too quick for her. His coat already lay over her shoulders, and she sighed. “Thank you sir, but you didn’t have to…”
He smiled at her. “It’s all right. You looked as though you needed it more than I did. How long have you been out here, Miss…?”
“Macane. Judy Macane.”
“A pleasure, I am Nicolas.” He took her hand and gave it a quick, soft kiss. “Might I ask, Miss Macane, why a lady such as yourself outside on a night like this alone?”
Tears welled up in her eyes, as if the thought that someone she didn’t even know cared about her well being. “I’m heading back home for awhile, to visit my mother. S-she’s not doing well and…”
“And you needed to leave the man who gave you that soft bruise on your check, in the fear that he might come after you. But you’re also afraid that this might be your own fault.” He closed his eyes and tilted his head up into the falling snow, “You’re afraid that you will forgive him, and that this will happen again,” then turning slowly to smile at the woman, “Am I correct?”
Her eyes widened. “Y-yes. But how…?”
“Did I know?” His eyes opened and to her horror, fangs emerged from his parted lips as he raised her head to look him square in the face. “Would you believe me if I told you I could read your mind? Or that I’m psychic?” A silent gasp fell from her lips as his smile faded he suppressed a laugh. “Because I’m not. But I am pretty good with memories.” With his irises fully dilated, he spoke so softly it’s a wonder she heard him at all.
“You will not remember this conversation, or meeting me. When you awaken, you will feel compelled to return to your mate and see to making things right. Feel free to tell him everything that you’ve wanted to, and know that if you wish to end the relationship that it is within your power to do so. Do you understand, Judy Macane?”
Her eyes relaxed at once, and became unfocused when she answered in a flat voice, “Yes, I understand.” Her eyes closed completely and her body grew limp as Nickolas’s fangs pierced her flesh.
“Is that the monster?”
“… use it for I wonder.”
“A half breed? How awful…”
A large group of murmurs and questioning gazes hit her from all sides. What is this place? How did I get here? Attempting to move her body, she realizes that she can’t. A small twinge of fear creeps over her like a blanket, when suddenly all the voices stop. Something (or perhaps someone?) moves to the shadows in front. When trying to catch a better look at the shadow, a voice from behind startled her.
“O great one, you request a meeting of me and I arrive to find that all the ancient ones have gathered? What, pray tell, is the meaning of all this?” A hand is placed on her shoulder. “I was said to come with the experimental child to have her abilities tested by your liking, was that not true?”
“Are you questioning my reasoning doctor?” A deep, ancient voice fills the room to all its corners. The figure stands, still cloaked in the shadows and reaches a hand out in front in a sweeping motion. “Everyone here has the same interest as myself; will you deny them the performance you promised me?”
With a gasp, Rhiannon’s mind is released from the nightmare. Dripping in sweat, I sat on the edge of the plush red couch on which I was sleeping. Was that, just a dream? It felt so real… Pressing my hands to my face, I call my breathing to its normal rhythm. From outside my mind, a sense of something familiar. As the tingling sensation gets stronger, I turn to the front door of the house. Getting off of the sofa and heading to the door I unlock it and open it wide. Standing on the small porch of the house is Nickolas, with a surprised look covering his face.
“Your abilities are slowly coming back to you. That’s good; I thought they might have all been taken away.” A puzzling look crosses my face, and Nickolas finds himself laughing. With his hand on my shoulder, we return to the warmth of the house.
Thirteen years later
“Hey Rhi! Do you have that file on the Conner’s murder case finished yet?” A voice pierces the once vivid and serene quiet of my small office space, cutting my concentration at once. A heavy, and over-exaggerated sigh releases from my lips as the most annoying (and almost impossible to be rid of) person in the history of unlikable co-workers enters my office.
“Mikey!” A large and very fake smile covering my gritting teeth, “back already? And it not even being, what, FIVE minutes since you asked me the last time? What, pray tell, do I owe the pleasure of your presences in my office so much today?” Stepping inside the boundary of my office door, he settles himself on one of the small chairs in front of my desk. Little taller than my 5’ 6” self, Mikey was a slender little man, his soft short and wavy light brown hair hangs in all directions, lightly built in the arms and chest, most of the other women in the office might call him a charmer if he could get past his cocky little attitude problem.
“Come on Rhi. You know the Chief has been on my hide all week for that report!” Mikey whines. “I was hoping to get it to him early ya know? What with the court hearing no more then, what, three days away and all…”
“Mikey,” I start as I rise from my seat and press my hands firmly on the opposite side of my desk, looking him square in the face, “Jack will get the damn report on his desk when I am good and done with it. I can’t finish it until Detective Bowsky returns with the police report and that might not be till the day before the hearing, GOT IT? If you want someone to bother about this, why not go ask him?” Releasing my desk, I return firmly to my comfy swivel chair. Turning back to my computer, I add, “If you don’t leave my office in the next three seconds, I’ll call one of the officers in to remove you on the grounds of repeated harassment.”
Sensing my very pronounced hostility, Mikey quickly bee-lines for the door. “Alright Rhi, alright, I’m going. But I’ll be back to check on that report later.”
“Mikey,” I said very slowly, hoping to reach through his thick head, “If you come in my office one more time today to check on that damn report, I will have you fired under penalty of repeated harassment, accusation, and failure to respect a higher ranking official. Now, get the hell out of my office.”
Quickly, and what I must assume to be some spark of intelligence on his part, Mikey realizes he is out matched, and leaves without another word.
Finally, I thought to myself, some quiet. Looking back to my computer screen, the murder file in front of me wasn’t anything like I had seen before. A young person around 16 was found dead, nothing but a husk remained of the body, but I couldn’t tell very much from the photos that were given me. If I could only see the body, I could tell which vampire killed this person. Of course though, I wasn’t personally (or legally for that matter) supposed to view the victim unless given the consent of the family or permission from the higher ups to continue the case in the off chance the detective in charge could not. That never happened, ever.
But something felt off about this case… there were only about two hundred Vampires livings in Rowans currently, and I knew each one of them. Moreover, I was in charge of them. I hadn’t had a problem of this magnitude since the last time some rookie vamp tried to make themselves a minion and it went berserk. That had been one of the hardest kills I had to make as Dhampir, because the new Vampire had been nothing more than a small boy…
Even so, this case was nothing like that one. Vampire kills are always grotesque, bloody, and sometimes leave the body is in pieces. Never in all the cases had I seen so far had the body been sucked dry like this. No blood anywhere, no puncture wounds visible, and the body looked like a raisin. What could have done this?
Grabbing my laptop and placing it in its bag, I head out to the front desk. I need to see Dan; maybe he knows something about the body from his analysis that’s not in the report. The elderly receptionist in her mid sixty catches me as I try to sneak by.
“Going to lunch dear?” the heavyset woman calls for behind the desk without looking up from her paper work. One of the few water Witches in the building, she had an uncanny way of sensing the feelings of others. Her short gray curls hung soft around her round face. From behind her thick glasses she finally looks up to me, smiling. “Try to be back on time today, deary. It’ll be my head if you don’t you know.”
“You got it Mildred.” And with that, I was off.
“I can’t let you though here Miss Rhiannon. Procedure and all that you know…” a mousey looking young man sitting on the opposite side of the counter replied. I took a deep calming breath, trying to pass it off as annoyance.
“Paul, I’m just seeing if Dan is on his lunch yet. I haven’t had a chance to see him in almost two months. It’s almost as if you’re trying to discourage us from being friends in the first place. You’re so mean Paul…” I began pouting in a fake child-like tantrum.
This time, he sighed. “Nah, he’s just about ready to head for lunch Rhi, no need to start in on the theatrics,” he manages to get out before a large middle aged black man steps out from behind a thick swinging door, wiping his glasses on his shirt as if to clean off some invisible speck of dirt before eying me suspiciously.
“Well, well, if it isn’t my favorite little investigator. So, to what do I owe the pleasure of your presence in our lowly little morgue?” He bellows a laugh in my direction and hangs up his thick (perhaps at some point white) coat. I begin giggling to myself, and he holds up a hand as if to stop me while running the other over his shiny smooth scalp. “Lunch I presume? Is that the reason for your little excursion today?”
“You caught me Dan,” I raised my hands in mock defeat. “I give up, you win. I’ll go quietly.” A smile crosses our faces at the same time and we burst out laughing together like a bunch of children. Paul isn’t amused by the little act and rolls his eyes, making us burst out in laughter anew. Dan finally manages to get in a few good breaths before telling me to stop stealing his lines, and I stifle another giggle and agree.
“So, shall we head to lunch before Mildred gets fired for lying for your extended absence again?”
“That’s an idea. Your turn to buy today Dan, I had to pay the last time remember?”
“Ah, yes, um… could I have an extension on that invite? I’m a little low this month Rhi…”
“You’re raking up quite a bill here Dan, that’s what like, the third time or forth that you delayed on your payment. If I were your landlady you’d be on the street by now.”
He laughs again as we head out of the morgue in time to hear Paul mutter something about waking the dead.
A large manila envelope sits askew in the middle of the café table between the remains of what was a small lunch.
“It’s the usual Rhi,” Dan sputtered as he sipped his after lunch coffee. “Blood sample of the victim, hair sample, bits of clothing from various places on the vic’s body, ect. I did my best to be sure not to physical touch anything with my bare hands, though that should go without saying for my line of work…” he takes another sip of coffee. “As far as I could tell, this looks like the worse case of a vamp attack in about, oh, three years.”
“I don’t know Dan; this one feels kind of… off. Like it’s not a vamp that did it…”
“Really Rhi, and just how do you figure that? I know that I’m no expert on the subject, but this seems like the work of a vampire to me.” He takes another sip of his coffee, “Frankly, if it isn’t a vamp, it sure could have fool me to thinkin it was.”
“I know. That’s what bothers me. I went to the scene after everything was cleaned up, but I couldn’t catch the scent of a vampire anywhere near the site. And unless there is a lingering odor on the samples you just gave me, I won’t know what to go on.”
“You didn’t pick up a scent?” he raises an eyebrow, “That’s fucked up Rhi.”
“Thanks Dan, that REALLY helps the ego over here.”
He shrugged his shoulders, “Sorry. Do you have anything else to go on?”
Taking a very long drink of my own coffee, I stare at the manila envelope on the table. Did I have anything else to go on? Well sure, but I couldn’t tell Dan that. Dan told me long ago that if it wasn’t on a need-to-know basis, he didn’t want anything to do with it. And boy, there was a lot he wasn’t supposed to know…
A few years back, Dan’s sister Maria was bitten by a rouge Vampire. She is now forever 23 human years old, and a personal friend of mine. Dan, who fears all Vampires, won’t even acknowledge her as his sister anymore. I hunted down and killed the mad vampire that changed Maria, freeing her mind from his, but the damage was already done. Dan tells himself that the Maria he once knew is dead and gone, and Maria just wants to be with her brother again. I force my mind back to the present, and the problem at hand.
Reaching for the envelope, I pick it up and hold it in my fingers, absently rubbing my thumb along the closed flap. “Yeah Dan, I have some other sources to check after I look this stuff over.” I give him an exhausted look from under my lashes. “I could ask the Witches Coven for some assistance… again.”
He holds up his hand. “Say no more, I hear ya loud and clear.” He pulls out a five dollar bill from his wallet and proceeds to get out of his chair, “This is all I got to give, sorry Rhi. Anything else you’d like to add before I head back?”
I think about his question for a moment, and decide to tell him, “Your sister Maria, she misses you ya know…” I whispered, staring at the table. When I didn’t hear him reply I look up, only to find that he is already gone. He wasn’t yet ready to cross that bridge.
The Witches Coven. A secret and secluded place in the city of Rowans disguised as a wealthy family estate, where witches train and hone themselves in the practice of their elemental magick. Each Witch is born into one of the four elements; Earth, Fire, Water, and Air and throughout their lives they learn to gain the power of control over that element in particular. Few will learn to control any element but their own, but those who do are rare, wise, and powerful.
Underneath the manor grounds is an elaborate system of man dug caverns, with which the witches live, learn, and practice their abilities without having to reveal themselves to the general public. There are a total of five floors under the basement level of the manor, one for each element, and the bottom most floor is reserved for rituals that involve the whole Coven, as well as a space for the masters of multiple elements to train.
Above ground, the house itself contains individual apartments, in which everyone and their families may sleep, as well as a large ballroom, a grand library, a cafeteria and kitchen, and an indoor greenhouse consisting of trees, plants, streams, and boulders that everyone has access to. The second floor houses offices, in which the witches of society may continue their work from home. Jack, a fire Witch and my superior, also has an office here. The third and top most floor belongs to the owner of the house and the head of the Coven of Witches, as well as my personal teacher, High Priestess Silence in Shadows. Every Witch may choose a second name within the Coven that represents their element, like Whisper in the Wind. My mother, Anna, choose that name to represent her element of Air, and I was told she was quite powerful as well.
That being said, no one knows the true human name of our high priestess, nor her age. Witches age much slower than normal humans; a Witch in their sixties looks no more than a human in their twenties. The oldest recorded Witch died when she was one hundred and twenty two years old, and yet our High priestess is said to be much older than even that, though she doesn’t look a day over forty.
As I enter the grounds through the front gate, a sense of safety engulfed me. A spell on the outer perimeter fence prevents all Vampires from entry; none have ever laid foot here… well, almost none.
“Are you sure it’s okay to bring me with you Rhiann? Aren’t you going to get in trouble… again?”
“Nah, it’ll be fine. Besides, you’re not the first special case Vampire to enter these grounds Maria. Nicolas has been here too if my memory is correct,” I turn to see Maria staring every which way, trying to memorize everything around her. A soft smile crosses over my lips, “It’s all right Maria, just don’t wander away from me and you’ll be just fine.”
As we make our way to the door of the mansion, I hear some gasps from some of the higher windows. Looking up, I spy more than a few unhappy and downright outraged looks staring back at me. Just ignore them I tell myself, and we make our way inside to see my teacher…
Pain surged across my face faster than I would have imagined possible. “And just WHAT did I do this time?” I yelled as I looked into the cold eyes of the high priestess while rubbing my aching face. It was odd, even though my vampire nature was in full force, she was the only one I knew who could hit me and still have it hurt like hell.
“How dare you bring that monster onto these sacred grounds?”
“And since when is EVERY vampire a monster?” I shot back, “Last I checked, you still let Nickolas onto the grounds! And since when have I ever befriended a monster? If that’s how you label my friends, you’d have no choice but to put yourself in the same category!” I didn’t care if the whole mansion heard me or not, I was pissed. And when she didn’t answer me right away I continued.
“That’s not the reason I came here tonight anyway, I came to get my....”
“And what would you do if I refused to supply you that medicine? You would turn your fangs on everything undead, including those you hold… dear,” she returned, looking straight at Maria. The thought turned me even colder inside. “You would be no better than the rest of those creatures, except I needn’t fear for you. You would, in time, destroy all the vampires for us and in the end we would destroy you,” her cold glare pinned me to my place.
“Um, I’m sorry,” Maria’s voice sounded from behind me and for the moment I was released from my mentors glare as I turned to face her. “This whole thing is because I’m here right? T-then shouldn’t it be me you’re talking to…?” Fear was apparent over Maria’s soft face. I was almost afraid to return my gaze to my teachers, until I heard her chuckling.
“Do not worry young vampire, I was only scolding my stupid apprentice.” The High Priestess turned her attention to a large wooden box on a table behind her. The sigh from my lips was so audible, Maria laughed at me. “Rhiannon comes by every so often to train and receive special supplements to reduce her Dhampir hunger. I expected to see you with Nickolas… what is the name of your new friend?”
“My name is Maria ma’am; I was the one who Rhiann saved three years ago from the mad Vampire who made me.”
“I see. That is the reason then,” She turned then and threw a small vile at me filled with green liquid and I caught it easily. As I went to open the bottle she stopped me. “Not yet my dear, you haven’t feed in years. This new potion will not take effect until you drink from a vampire.”
“WHAT?! Why? Why is this potion different from the others you’ve always given me?”
“Because you’re out of practice. If you don’t drink the blood of a vampire every so often, your body will begin to lose control. You need the blood of vampires to maintain your existence… just as they need to drink the blood of humans to survive…” when she turned to face the window then, I thought I caught the smallest glimpse of hopelessness on her face. The thought puzzled me.
She shook her head slightly at retuned to face us once more. “Go to the bottom most level of the basements. I will meet you there shortly to see what you have learned, and teach you what you must yet learn. Now go,” she smiled then, “And take your new friend, I’m sure she is curious as to how things are done here.”
Last edited by SilenceWhisper on July 25th, 2011, 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.