Vampire stories are definitely overdone, as are witches, werewolves and any other supernatural creature under the sun or moon. But, before you put the story down in a hurry, let me ask you to take the time and continue to read, I swear you’ll be surprised!
To begin with my mother’s a witch, my father’s a vampire, and me, well, I’m stuck somewhere in between. My father abandoned us shortly after my birth, and for a few months my mother searched for him, but as soon as there was a hint of her getting close, he would switch bodies.
Haven’t you ever wondered how vampires stay immortal? Taking their immortal souls, as their current bodies decay, and trading up, taking a nearly deceased vessel. They are the ultimate body snatchers. Oh I forgot to mention, most of the surprises in my story won’t be pleasant.
Ok, so my particular story started one normal night, my mother and I arguing, so I ran away from home, for like the hundredth time.
“Maree you need to practise, otherwise your powers will fade” and blah, blah, blah.
Just the usual maternal threats, that every eye rolling teenager gets, right? So I walked out the door, I wasn’t going to practise, I was sick of practise, I didn’t want this, I never asked for this, none of it. So I ran and as you would expect, when one defies a parental figure, it started to rain.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
I listened, as the water dropped, from a drain pipe nearby. I push away from the wall and stare up at the sky. I could smell my hair. I should have tied it up. It hung tousled, wet, and smelling of the disgusting filth around me. You wouldn’t have known it had rained, as harsh as it had, as there were no clouds. Actually, there was nothing to be seen, no stars, no moon, just a sheet of pitch black emptiness.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
The alley way stunk, a putrid rotting smell. Headlights flashed, from the passing cars, bouncing off of all the closed windows, that weren’t boarded up. I moved further into the dark passage way between buildings. Each footfall echoed so immensely I wanted to cover my ears, but it was too cold, so I kept my hands in their pockets. Looking down at the ground, I could see the source of the smell, rats, Dead rats! I registered in mental shock and realised, just a little too late, where I was and I froze. Silence.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
“Tut. Tut. Tut.”
The sound almost disappearing with the breeze, I looked towards the shadows. I could almost imagine him waving that finger at me; mocking me.
“You should have known better, witch,” it seethed out.
It was right. How could a witch, a vampire born one at that, walk onto a feeding ground? My hands retracted instantly for their pockets and, as desperately as I could, I wove the first incantations of a protective charm, but as before, a little too late.
As it sank its teeth into my neck I giggled. My mother had been right. Maybe I should have practised more. With that ironic thought in my mind, I surrendered my gaze to the night sky, and dove into its empty void.
Now, I’m only 15, I’ve never had a hangover, but I can imagine what it feels like and, my mother has definitely won the ‘not until you’re old enough’ speech. My pulse, along with the rest of the worlds population, throbbing deafeningly in my head. My stomach, been thrown in a cement mixer. My bed wanted to suffocate me. Then, as my feet touch the ground, the room lurching at impossible angles. This was all quickly followed by the quick evacuation from my stomach – everything I’d ever eaten – then comatose darkness.
When I opened my eyes my mother was there, a cool cloth on my head, and her hand in mine.
“Hi baby. How are you feeling?” How am I feeling? She too the cloth from my head and put it in a bowl beside the bed. Hang on. My mind was slow and my eyes began to close. How was I feeling?
“Cold and tired” I barely breathed out as I completely closed my eyes.
“I know baby, but just keep fighting,” came my mother’s voice before I was wrapped in the warmth of oblivion once again.
I finally woke to a dark room, my dark room, in my warm bed. I rolled over and cuddled in deeply happy contentment. It was just a dream.
I abruptly sat up.
“That wasn’t a dream” I grasped in shock.
Jumping up from bed, I ran to the door and, still in my pyjamas, I stormed downstairs to find my mother.
My feet landed solidly on the floor. I wondered if the house was shaking. I was shaking. I survived! No-one survives! I survived! My mother was in the kitchen. She is always in the kitchen. I could see the big oak door as I turn the corner, light creeping out from underneath, and I could hear voices. My uncle is here. I freeze.
“WHAT IS SHE!” he screamed.
“You know the answer,” my mother replied.
“But that’s impossible. How is it possible?”
That’s when I opened the door.
“What am I Mother?!”
She looked at me, and surprisingly, instantly replied “You, my love, are a healer*”
*A healer – A mythical figure in witch lore, that by all accounts, is centuries perished. A figure of legend which, has been said to posses the ability to tare the very souls from natural and, supernatural beings alike, and send them to their eternal death.
“Maree, listen to me!”
“Mother it is impossible! There are spells that have to be done, rituals to perform. I did none of those. I couldn’t even use a simple protective spell!” I wanted to explode. I needed to scream. I didn’t want to be a witch, and I never wanted to be a legend.
“Maree, when we found you, he was there, dead, soul ripped from his body.”
“I need time to think” I left the room, this time trembling in fear and not anger, tears falling down my face.
That night I was consumed by fear. The nightmares came pouring in. Static red stuttered through my mind, surrounded by flashing images, people running, people screaming. Each time it would change, a teenage couple, a young boy, an elderly woman. They all ran. They all screamed. They were all slaughtered through my veil of chaotic static red. My hands forever covered in blood, my feet stumbling through the streets, and the hunger. The hunger was the worst.
For weeks on end it continued, and even when I woke I felt drained and hungry. My mother couldn’t do anything. She even went searching for my father. 15 years later and she went looking for the ghost of abandonment. She searched vessel to vessel and couldn’t find his new body. For 15 yrs he wasn’t needed. I was just a witch and now I was dreaming of blood and hunger and he was no-where to be found.
When the nightmare came I started thrashing, scratching, and biting myself. Every day I would wake up with new marks on my body, visible reminders of my nights torment. The neighbours began to look at me differently, even scared, so I become solitary. My room became my confinement and my window the only view to the real world. My mother kept trying to teach me about the healers. She kept saying it was the reason I was having these nightmares, because I was scared of what I was, scared of what I could be.
Drip. Drip. Drip
The rain was trickling down outside the window pane. One by one, I watched each drop make its path down the glass. I could see my face reflected in its mirror like surface, blurring every detail. How do I feel? Cold. It was so cold. But I was not scared. Never scared. They were wrong, They had to be wrong. I hung my head. The rain continued to dribble down the window.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Through the stillness, like being carried on a breeze, the words ‘They’re right,’ whispered through my mind. I just sighed. I’ve heard stranger things recently. ‘You know they’re right,’ it insisted.
I replied out loud, with all the energy I could find “For my subconscious, your voice is the wrong sex!” And in a whisper I added, “Just leave me alone”.
The voice replied stronger than expected, not just a slither through my mind, I sat up straight. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him. He was there with me, reflected in my window, standing near me, in my room.
“Your subconscious?” it chuckled. “Now Maree, don’t be delusional!” But when I stood and turned to face him, he was gone. I fell back into my seat and looked back at the frosted glass.
“Too late” I replied and paused, searching the glass, but his reflection was gone. “I am delusional.”
That night the nightmares stopped completely and I was consumed by a peaceful dream. An average family dinner. A mother and her young family surrounding a table. They pass around a bowl of mashed potatoes and the gravy bowl. The little brother was flying his toy planes and the mother and daughter were laughing at his acting. Then their father came through the dining room door. I paused for a second, suddenly stunned back into my own conscious mind. I knew him, I thought. But, as quickly as it had happened, I was forced back into my dream self and was enjoying watching the dinner once again.
The next morning I felt better; no new marks, no black bags under my eyes, no hunger, but this was short lived. As soon as I stood up from my bed, my world slid sideways again, figuratively speaking. My feet touched the ground. So far normal. I got dressed. Still normal. Then I went to brush my hair. That’s when things went wrong.
The large mirror was standing across from me. I could see myself, from head to toe. My pristine white socks, my brand new jeans, my bright purple t-shirt, my dishevelled hair, my hair brush in my hand and the shocked look in my eyes. He was standing right behind me. The vampire, I supposedly killed, was standing right behind me. I did the first thing that came to mind; I screamed. He vanished and I ran out the door down to breakfast.
Can you imagine what they saw? Me, with my dishevelled hair, scared expression, running at full pace, straight into the kitchen while they’re all having breakfast.
The look on their faces made me freeze and then laugh. The whole room quickly relaxed.
“How are you feeling?” my mother asked
“Good.” It wasn’t a lie. I had felt good, for all of like two seconds, five minutes ago, I thought.
I went back to my bedroom, but didn’t want to have to face my mirror, so I began to unbolt it from the back of my bedroom door, making sure not to look into its surface. Silence.
As a bolt hit the ground.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
As another one fell.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
‘You know, that won’t change the fact that I’m actually here’
I froze. I didn’t want to raise my head, but slowly I looked up into the mirrors surface and, he wasn’t there.
‘See, you can hear me whether you can see me or not’
That’s when he appeared, like a ghost, or some fog. But nonetheless he was there. I sat back on my heals and sighed.
“I’ve lost it. I’ve totally lost it.” I continued to stare at him. His voice suddenly out loud.
“Oh calm down Maree. Don’t be so over-dramatic.”
“Over-dramatic?” I stood, turning quickly to face him. As I thought, he wasn’t there, so I returned to his reflection. I yelled, full force, directly at him. “You died trying to eat me! And now I’m talking to you in my mirror? I think I have a right to be over-dramatic!”
“Yeah, this wasn’t my intended plan, but it’s not so bad being trapped inside your body.” He waved his hand and suddenly I collapsed to my knees. “You know, you really should listen to your mother sometime”. He continued at a scream “I GOT STUCK IN HERE BECAUSE OF YOU!” A wave of dizziness threatened to make me fall.
The dizziness subsided slightly as he relaxed. He pointed his hand at me. “Don’t you know how to use your ‘special powers?” He spat the final words. He rotated his hand and with a click of his fingers, I completely collapsed into a deep sleep.
The door bell was ringing furiously, so the father, no, the vampire, got up from the table and went to answer it. The little boy put down his planes, their mother turned in her chair, and the daughter put down her fork. His hand reached for the handle, the door opened slowly and the look on the vampire’s face was that of the most extreme shock, as was the look on my own and I cried out.
I was shocked from my sleep, to wake up on the floor, right where I had fallen. I was shaking, covered in sweat, and angry. I was horrified. That was the worst nightmare, worse than any other I could have had. As quickly as could, I stood. Staring at him in the mirror, all the anger continued to build inside me. Quickly it began to rise and threatened to overflow.
“NO!” I screamed at him.
“Yes” he replied, with a callous grin upon his face. “I need you.”
The rage overflowed and I slammed my fist hard into the mirrors surface. Through the whirlpool of broken glass I could still make out its figure. My anger was quickly subsiding; tears were trickling down my face, and blood, dripping from my hand.
“Why?” I whispered.
“As I recently found out, a vampire-born child is the best vessel for a vampire.” He paused.
Suddenly the nightmares all made sense. I hadn’t been asleep. It had all happened; the blood, the hunger, the constant feeding, the fighting, the pleasure, and more hunger. I wanted to rip apart my body to get him out, to get it all out, but then the raging hunger struck, and it forced fangs from my gums.
The door opened, I watched shock register on the vampires face, and on the mothers face, as my mother, pregnant with me, stood in their doorway.
“No,” I cried, through the blood pooling in my mouth. I watched as its ghost-like form stepped from the mirrors surface and into my body. “Time to take a walk in the sun” it whispered, as my mind began being rapidly suppressed. I cried out one last time.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
I couldn’t move. I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t control my own body. I was still standing, facing my mirror, a couple of its bolts lying at my feet. I watched, through my eyes, as my hand rose to my mouth, my tongue licking blood from my fingers, and then a smirk registering in the mirrors reflective surface. Its cruel grin! Using my face! I scream, but my body doesn’t react.
Finally, it takes a step, and my foot moves, it places my hand on the door, turns the handle, and with my fanged mouth, it uttered “Time to get your Daddy some breakfast.”
The Australian Literature Review