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Sunburned

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Rose

Fog slowly crept across the stone graves, silently engulfing them in eerie white mist. To any normal person, this would creep them out and they would have their faces buried in their hands, but to for me, this was a typical morning.

Today is a special day me, Rose North. Today, I and the rest of my senior classmates would graduate to be unleashed into the night. I am the Royal Valedictorian and sadly, I have to give a short speech. Silently, I glided across the black marble stage, to a human’s eye: I probably would look as if I were floating. But I honestly wasn’t, that was just how stalkers of the night walked. I stopped at the podium and cleared my throat making a small growl rumble through the auditorium. No one dared to move and I contently began her speech.

“After life is about finishing unfinished business, and for us, the rare members of our clan, we must live our afterlife darkly. As the born vampires, we have the chance to show the universe what we can do, without pain and suffering toward the senseless humans.” This was more of a spirit upper than a speech, but I’m pretty sure that my classmates would rather listen to a spirit boost instead of a droning speech. I simply smiled, bowed my head and then glided off the stage to my seat in the isle labeled, ‘N.

After the ceremony was completed, my parents and I walked home. The sky was cloudy and full of thunder, it was so peaceful to me and before I even realized it, I was spinning around in a circle practically dancing. My black and green hair followed my body in a great circular motion, as I spun around. I was at such peace and my parents were so amused that none of us realized that the sun was slowly seeping out from the clouds and the deadly rays were headed straight for my porcelain skin.

I opened my eyes just as the heat from the sun reached my body, instantly screeching in pain. My skin melted off in little air bubbles, and the air became entangled with the smell of rotting flesh and clean rain. My parents drew back into the shadows, knowing they could not help because they were improperly dressed.

A strange, pure black figure mysteriously pulled me away from the sun and into the shade. My whole upper body was covered in open sores and disfigured, warped skin was surrounded by blood. My mother screamed and fainted by the sight of me, her unconscious daughter.

“In my 503 years of existence, I have never seen anything this brutal happen to a vampire.” my father, Chad, gasped. Shock swelled in his eyes as he watched the masked figure work to revive the unconscious me. Minutes passed by, my mother, Evelyn and father crept close to my quivering body, watching as this man finally woke my sunburned body.

“Ma? Daddy? Where are you?” I whispered.

“We are right here my little princess, right beside you.” Cried Evelyn. She went to reach for my hands but stopped herself, remembering that my hands were no longer graspable.

“Ma. My top half hurts extremely. Why?” I asked gasping as pain shot through my body.

“Honey? There is no easy way of saying this,” replied Chad, “You have been sunburned.”

I instantly went limp in shock; I slowly and forcefully opened my bloodshot eyes and looked at my parents. Tears formed in my eyes.

“No, I can’t be!” I whimpered, my tears spilling down my bloody, grotesque face, vampire venom stinging my face.

“Oh, darling! Look!” exclaimed Evelyn, pointing at my face. Skin was forming where a path of tears streaked my face.

“Look at what?” I questioned.

“Skin is forming on your face, where your acidic tears have streamed down.” Replied the masked man, they all jumped at the sound of his voice, for they forgot he was there. “The bad part is, your skin is now human and fragile. Once sunburned, you become human again and if turned back into a vampire, sunburn will turn you into instant dust and flames.”

“How do you know this? Wait…who are you?” demanded Rose, stunned by this news.

“I once was a vampire and became sunburned. My community disowned me and I remained human. My name is Derek.” Derek removed his ski cap and showed what he looked like. He had a tan face and neck, high cheekbones, hazel eyes and shaggy brown hair.

“How do I turn the rest of my skin back?” Rose asked curiously.

“Here, take this.” Derek handed her a medium sized bottle that had some sort of Gaelic writing on it.

“What is this?” asked Evelyn, examining the bottle.

“Vampire tears. But they are only tears from the child birthed vampires.” Derek explained.

“Take her home and have her shower or bath in this, either way, when she is finished, she will be human again.”

“Thank you, Derek.” Rose said, she looked into his hazel eyes and saw a scared little boy.

Derek knew powers of born vampires, and he broke the connection instantly, saying, “No problem. Here is my number if you need anything.” Derek handed Collin the card, said goodbye and started to walk away.

“Will I see him again?” wondered Rose.

Derek
I honestly am not use to being a human, I miss my fast speed, my balance and all my reflexes and seeing Rose’s face as she realized what was going to become of her, just broke my heart into pieces. Walking away from Rose was probably the most pain I have felt since my sunburn, an incident I never will forget for the rest of my human and possibly, if I choose, vampire life.

I had just turned 18 years old and like Rose, I had graduated from the academy in which I attended for 12 years of my existence. My experience is much like Rose’s herself but I find mine to be a little more embarrassing, for I have no family anymore. When my parents found me in an alley, late at night, they helped me heal then they disowned me when they realized that I had changed. I remember, as if it were yesterday, the excruciating pain streaming through my aching body. It was as if I had just been thrown into a pit of fire and left for dead. As my skin began to warp and melt, I could feel my ice cold tears flow down my face, and it made my pain slowly go away.

After years of studying and searching through science books, I came to find out that since I just happened to be a fertile vampire; my tears can heal skin and turn a sunburned vampire into a human again. Not many people understand the science of this, and truthfully, I don’t even understand this either but it works and that is all that I care about.

The community that I live in is based upon vampires that soon were burned and became human. Their vampire communities refused to take them back because they choose to remain human for a little while. Living as a human is much simpler than being a graduated vampire because humans have such mundane lives to live where as vampires have certain quotas to fill every year. I honestly wish that vampires could live at peace with humans because it would be so much easier for everyone, except for all the murder that might happen.

I unlock my apartment door and instantly feel a sense of protection and alarm. Someone is in my house, which should not be. As a human, I can’t just spring and attack so I grab the closet thing I can, a baseball bat. Slowly, I enter my house, keeping the bat held high until I realize who is in my house. The intruder has her back to me and as far as I can tell, she is human.

“Who are you?” I demanded. The intruder began to turn around.

“Oh, I forgot! You are human and can’t really tell if I’m human or not. I’m sorry Derek.” Rose said solemnly.

“How did you get in here?”

“My Dad helped me a little.”

“Okay…Why are you here?”

“I need your help to allow my community to keep me as a member.” She asked more than explained.

“Uhm…I can’t help you with that.”

“Why not?” she seemed to be in a great deal of trouble and really did need my help.

“Because when I became a human again, my community banished me and many people who live here today.” I motioned across the open window to the many houses outside.

“All these people have been banished?” Rose seemed to be quite curious with this fact.

“Yes. Allow me to explain.” We sat there for hours as I explained when and why my neighbors and I were banished from our communities. After, maybe, 9:30 Rose finally spoke up and said that she needed to go home to her parents before they become worried. We said our goodbyes and I watched Rose slowly walk away, wondering what would happen to her.

Rose
Walking out of Derek’s house must have been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I was so interested in what he knew and what he had experienced and I never wanted the information to stop. My mother and father were pacing back and forth as I walked into my house. “Where have you been?” my mother screeched. Her eyes were a blood red color instead of the usual purple “contacts”.

“At Derek’s, he was helping me understand what is going on and how I can cope easily. I’m sorry to worry you mom and dad.”
“Honey, Mom isn’t use to human blood so near. We’re going to call Derek and you’ll stay with him for a little while, okay?” Dad soothed. I didn’t realize how well compulsion worked on a human until it happened to me.

“Okay.” Was all I said. About 15 minutes after my father called Derek, he was at my front door. Derek seemed quite relaxed about me, a girl, staying at his place. Where I was trying not to look like a bashful school girl.


Derek
Rose is going to be living with me. Someone who needs my help and who personally needs me. So many questions and thoughts were running through my mind.

“Thank you for taking my in.” Rose said.

“No problem. It helps to have some, who knows what you’re going through, near.” I replied.

When we got to my house, I set up a make-shift bed in the living room for Rose and settled her and all her questions to bed for the night. She said ‘Thank You’ at least a hundred times and I replied ‘No Sweat’. For a Royal graduate, Rose is very polite. I turned in about ten minutes after Rose snuggled into my couch. Though every few moments, I would sneak into the living room to make sure she was okay. By 10:30, I finally decided she was safe and I went to bed.


Rose
Laying down on this couch is awkward but kind of comfortable, almost familiar. Derek, not so silently, sneaked in every few moments to check on me. I thought of saying something but then chose not to. His bedroom door shut around 10:30. I finally drifted off to sleep and into a dream.

I was in a town I didn’t know, my clothes were not my own. I turned around slowly, trying to figure out where I was. After about 3 full turns, I saw my parents. They looked very upset, toward me. My mother’s eyes were still red and her fangs were dangling awfully low. My father looked scared and weary.

“Ma? Dad?” I hollered. Within a second after I said Dad, my mother screeched out and attacked me. My own mother, then my father began to attack me as well. As I laid on the ground, bleeding to death, I saw Derek standing right above me.

“Hello Love.” He said, a grin creeping onto his shadowed face.

“Hello.” I managed to croak.
“I’m sorry.”
“For what?”
“This” and he bit my neck!
I woke in a startling shock, sweat pouring down my back and neck. Oh, it was just a dream. Thank goodness. I checked the clock and it said 2:22. Oh, why so early? I laid my head back on my pillow and tried to sleep again. Just as I was about to fall asleep, a hand violently clamped across my mouth. My eyes jolted open instantly, as I tried to scream but nothing came out.
“Shhh….” Soothed the masked man, but that just encouraged me to scream even more. I began to thrust my body, harshly, around the couch but cold, wrinkled hands pushed against my now fragile skin. They pulled my body up into the air and began to rush me out of the house as I muffled a scream, “Derek, where are you!?” but I honestly believe he never heard me. I even, delusionally tried to mentally contact him as I was hustled into a big black van going to only God knows where.


Derek
I woke around 2:30 to the sound of a car door slamming. I found this odd because my neighbors like to walk and do not own any type of vehicle, except for maybe a bike. Rose is probably just watching TV, I guessed.

Sleepily, I got up from bed and walked into the living room. I saw that the TV was turned off and Rose wasn’t on the couch.

“Rose?” I hollered. No answer, which was weird. I racked my mind for answers, can she be sleep walking? Nah, I decided and began to walk through my house in search of Rose. After, maybe 20 minutes, I stopped, dumbfounded, at the same place I started at. I unlocked my front door and began to search for Rose outside. Soon, all my neighbors had their porch lights on and helped me search. We looked everywhere until Alyce Greyback came to me and said, “Derek, my dear, there is no sign of her. Please, go to sleep and we will search for her again in the morning. Okay?”

“No, Alyce. You don’t understand. I feel…I feel like I can hear her…I don’t know how to explain in but I just know that she’s close but I feel like she’s getting farther away. Like I’m losing her.”

“Oh my!” she gasped.

“What?”

“I know this sign. Come with me.” She instructed and she began to walk away to her house; I followed her silently and quite confused like.

“Please tell me what you are talking about?” I asked once we arrived outside her garage.
“You’re simply in love, Dear.” She said calmly as she unlocked her garage door.
“No, I’m not. I’m scared for a friend.” I insisted.
“Then fine, if you’re not in love with her, you don’t need to use this.” She pointed to a rusted 1975 robin egg blue VW beetle bug sitting in her garage.

“Whoa…” I exclaimed.

“Not in love, eh?”

“So…” I hesitated, “I may have a small crush on her. She just understands me so well.”

“That, my dear, is what a human and vampire heart have in common.” Alyce smiled.

“Thank you.” and I sped to the car to rescue Rose and tell her how I feel.

Rose
It’s cold and dark and I want this to be a dream, I thought to myself. We were still in the black van and oh, how I wish I knew where we were going. Just as if they read my mind, the van abruptly stopped and the wrinkly and cold hands clamped, once more, on my body; lifting me into the air.

“Let me go!” I hollered.
“Shut up princess. You’re in good hands.” Replied a scraggily voice. I’m going to die! I’m going to die! I screamed in my head. The men carried me into what looked like an old abandoned warehouse. Thankfully they didn’t try to cover my mouth this time, so I decided to ask, “Where are we? Please allow me this much!”

“Well, Miss Royalty! Obviously you’re in a warehouse. See your community wants you back and won’t accept you unless you are a vampire. You need to be turned back.”

“No!” I gasped.

“Wow! So shocked, eh?” the leader said and I spit in his face with what saliva I had in my mouth. “Why you filthy little…”

“Enough!” shouted a man in the shadows. We all stopped bickering and the man came out of the shadows. It was Derek.

Derek
Rose began to scream for me but my cold stare stopped her fairly quickly. Now that I know where she is, I feel a little bit better but now I have to figure out how to get out of here.

“Boss? That you?” the man Rose spit at asked.

“Yes.” I steadily replied.

“No ‘fense but you are smaller than I ‘magined.”

Perfect, he’s ever seen his boss, “Sorry to disappoint.”

Rose began to squirm frantically in the kidnappers arms but, surprisingly, they held on.

“Where does this girl go?” asked the man holding her legs.

“In my office.” I guessed and they pushed her into the warehouse as I followed. “Sit her down, than leave.” I stated.

“Sure thing.” Winked one of the kidnappers.

After they placed her in the office, I closed the door and locked it just as Rose rushed into my arms.

“Derek! Thank God you found me!” She muffled as she nuzzled deeper into my neck.

“Of course.” I soothed, combing through her sweaty locks of brown curls, “I’ll always find you.”
Rose pulled back, “How did you find me?”

“I woke up because I thought I heard you call my name.” I confessed.

“Oh my gosh!” she gasped.

“What?”

“I mentally called out for you to help me but I figured it wouldn’t help any.”

“Alyce said that if two people love each other enough, then they can hear each other thoughts.”

“Ohhhh….wait, you heard me?” she questioned.

“Yes.” I stared at her as her eyes lit up as she realized what this meant.

“You love me?” She asked.

“Yes.” I replied as I held her chin and leaned down to kiss her.

Rose
For a moment, I completely about my kidnappers right outside the door because I was concentrating on everything Derek had just told me. Derek loves me! He loves me and he is kissing me! Sadly, just as I began to kiss back, he pulled away. “Let’s get out of here.” I just nodded, incapable of speech.

The kidnappers’ voices slowly began to fade away, making our escape just that much easier. Derek stuck his head out of the door and confirmed that the coast was clear.

“C’mon, this way.” He navigated.

Slowly, we crept through the many dim and foul smelling hallways until we found a small window.

Peering out of the grimy glass, I said, “You first.”

“No way Rose. Go, quickly and I’ll follow.” He insisted. Instead of arguing, I listened to him ad jumped out the window. Just after Derek jumped, we could hear voices over our heads. Derek picked up a rock and skimmed it across the tall trees with a one word description, “Distraction.”

“You let them escape!?” screamed one of the kidnappers.

“No, you must have. Unless boss…killed her.” Replied the second.

“I gotta call the Norths’, stay here.” Commanded the leader. I looked at Derek, horror and shock was plastered against my face.

“My parents will think I’m dead!” I whispered.

“Well, no offense, but as a human, you are dead to them.”

“Where will I go?” I questioned.

“We will find some place.” He said, squeezing my hand. We will find someplace, those words coiled, lovingly around my heart. I looked up at Derek and said, “I love you.” And gingerly kissed his sweat and dirt caked cheek.

Derek
My cheek instantly flushed pink as Rose grazed her chapped lips across my face.

“I love you too.” I replied, intently looking into her large seafoam green eyes. We remained quiet until we heard a loud crash of what we assumed were boxes or crates and a wide variety of glass.

“Crap! We better go.” Rose said, breaking our connection in order to get up on her feet.

“I agree.” And we ran until we couldn’t run anymore.

“There’s my car. Run just a bit more!”

“Car? When did you...get…a…a…car?” she puffed.

“Uhm…Alyce let me borrow it.” I confessed.

“Oh.” She murmured as she collapsed into the passenger side door of Alyce’s beetle bug.

I turned the key and pushed on the gas pedal as far as it would go. After a few minutes, I saw Roses shoulders start to relax.

“You’re okay. I promise.” I said, squeezing her hand as I navigated down the dimly light highway.

“I hope you’re right.” She said, squeezing my hand back.

“I am.” I assured her. “Everything will be alright.”

Rose
Everything will be alright. Those words echoed in my head continuously for hours. I started to come to terms with this statement until I realized, I have a decision to make. I have to figure out if I want to be a vampire again or stay human with Derek. I have to confront my parents.
“I have a problem.” I announced to Derek.
“What is it?” he asked with concern.
“Well…two problems actually.”
“And they are…?” he prompted.
“My parents and my decision with vampire or human life.”
“Oh.”
“Oh?”
“Yes. I guess.”
“I need you to confront my parents with me.” I stated.
“Why?” he asked, startled.
“Because…you’re the reason I wanna be human.” The car slowed to a stop.
“You want to stay human…because of me?” he looked completely baffled.
“Yes, but they won’t believe me unless they know about us.”
“Okay, I’ll do it.” He said, turning the car back onto the open road.

Derek
After about an hour of silence, we finally arrived at the North mansion. Immediately after we opened the car doors, fog engulfed the floor of the car.

“Creepy, right?” inquired Rose.

“Just…intimidating.” I laughed, trying to hide my all around nerves. Evelyn and Chad have never made me nervous but that was before I fell madly in love with their mortal daughter; whom they preferred immortal.

“Ready?” Rose asked as she held out her hand to me.

“No.” I said, clutching her hand. She began to lead the way to her parents’ house.

We entered through the main door and the Norths were already waiting for us.
“Darling.” Whimpered Evelyn, her fangs dropping at the sight of Rose and me.
“Ma…Daddy.” Rose nodded curtly, “Yeah, I’m still human. Sorry to disappoint.”
“Honey, we just want you to be happy.” Chad cooed.
“I am happy.” Rose said, still clutching my hand.
“Ha!” Laughed her mom, “As a human? You’re no daughter of mine then.”
“Now, Eve.” Warned Chad.
“No.” shouted Rose, “I am in love with Derek and I want to be with him. We are going to grow old together. Like it or not.” I and her parents looked at each other silently.

“You’re joking?” cried Evelyn.
“No, I’m not. Now goodbye…Evelyn…goodbye dad…I mean Chad.” Chocked Rose and she walked out of the house with me tagging along.

Rose
“Well, that was extremely odd.” I confessed.
“Just a little odd.” Derek added.
“Were to now?” I asked.
“Home. If you’ll share it with me?” asked Derek.
“I’d love too.” And with that, we drove home to live out the rest of our human lives.

When we returned home, the whole community gathered around to congratulate us and welcome me back.

Yawning, I said, “Golly, I’m tired!”
“Let’s go to sleep then.” Suggested Derek.
“I’m scared.” I confessed.
“I’ll be there right beside you, the whole night. I promise.” Derek swore.
“Okay.”
We walked into the house and that was the first time, I ever felt safe, in a very long time until we saw the note that said,
“This isn’t over my dear…”
To be continued…



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