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The Forbiden Fruit
The trees flashed by me. The cars sped by me. The wind from the open window blasted my face, causing my eyes to water. I was going to Grandma’s house. Something I hadn’t done in a while. Grandma lived in a place the native Virginia Beachians called “Pungo.” Grandma lived on a farm by herself. I was only going there because I was tired. I was tired of the city life. I was tired of my mother coming home drunk and not even taking care of me. I was tired of trying to be an adult, when I was only 15. I was tired of everything. I wanted to start over. FRESH.
The trees flew behind me at the speed of light. Cars couldn’t even see me. I was running, taking longer strides than any normal human being. I was running faster than any living being, I let my bear feet beat against the moist floor of the forest. I swiveled in between trees and pushed past pointy branches that cut into me. The cuts healed before I could even think about them. I was running as fast as I could, pumping my arms as fast as they would go. They hurt like hell. I was running, to my native land. A place I hadn’t been in years. I was running, away from the mess that I left behind in Florida. I was running, to Virginia Beach. I was running home. Home to my vampire family.
I pulled up to a large, white plantation home, one like the ones you see in those Civil War movies. The two story house had maybe twenty windows on the front with navy blue shutters. The screened in porch had what seemed like thousands of wind chimes and rocking chairs. Someone was sitting in those chairs, rocking back and forth in a rhythmic patter. The two acre yard had five trees in it with at least ten birdfeeders hanging on their branches. One tree, in the middle of the yard, had a large tire swing hanging form a thick branch.
The gravel driveway leading up to the garage was long and bumpy. I bounced around in my little BMW. Dust filled the air behind the car. I parked next to an old 1970’s orange Mustang. The person who was sitting on the porch had come out to meet me. Her long gray hair was straight and pulled back into a low ponytail that flowed along her long back. Her white plain tank top showed off her tan, wrinkly, freckled covered skin. Her tight blue jeans had grass stains on the knees and were tucked into her dirt covered cowboy boots. She was definitely a country girl. I stepped out of my tiny BMW. My designer dress blew in the slight breeze. My heels made this weird noise in the gravel.
“Grandmere!” I ran, nearly tipping, into her tan arms.
“Bonjour, my love, â€˜ow are you?” My grandmother, or Grandmere as I call her, was originally from Paris, France. She knew English, but she mostly spoke Franglish, French and English. Her accent is extremely heavy. She can’t pronounce her H’s at all.
“I’m okay,” I replied. “How are you?’
“Tres bien,” She smiled. “Let me look at you, my little fifteen year old.” She held me out at arms length. She eyed me, from my Prada four inch heels to my red Charlotte Rose headband. “Mon amie, you look very lovely, but you don’t seem prepared for the um . . . . . country life style.”
“I know, Grandmere,” I replied. “This is my â€˜Leaving Town’ outfit. I have all of my country clothes in my suitcase. I went on a huge shopping spree before I came here,” I smiled.
“Bon,” she said. She wrapped her arm around my shoulder and led me into my new home.
I stared through the thick trees, at the large house in the middle of the meadow in the forest. The house was a faded gray with moss covering little bits of the wood siding. The brown shutters hung, for their lives, on their last hinge. The roof on the second story was damaged and caving in a little bit. The screened in porch didn’t have a screen anymore. The steps up to the porch were missing. The chimney was missing a few bricks. The house was abandoned and old, but it only seemed abandoned. Smoke poured out of the missing brick chimney.
I sniffed the air. A honey death smell, mixed in with a smoke and pine smell. Honey and death was the smell of vampires. Vampires were in that abandoned old house. I started walking through the tick trees of the forest, and into the meadow. The honey death smell was getting stronger. I took a deep breath of the familiar smell. It was delectable. I jumped up, gracefully, on to the screen less porch. Even though I didn’t make a sound, the rotting gray door opened with a quite creak.
“I knew you’d come back.”
“I thought you would know. It would kind of suck if I came back and it wasn’t a surprise.” I hugged and kissed the woman in front of me.
“How are you William?”
“I’m fine, Mom.” She wasn’t really my mom. She was my adoptive mother. Her hair was short and black. It encircled her angelic face perfectly. Her skin was freckly, but pale. Her face, her arms, her body was pale, paler than snow. It was the color of clouds. Her leaf green eyes seemed popped out of her sockets. Her long black dress fit her perfect skinny body, perfectly, and only made her skin paler.
“Oh, my little Willykins has returned!” My mother shouted. She gave me another hug, squeezing me tight. She would have squeezed the breath out of me, if I had any. She than withdrew form me, and her angle face got serious. Her pale rose lips turned down at the corners. Not good.
“I know why you left Florida. I told you not to go and you went anyways…”
“I know but…”
“Then you kill nearly half the population of Jacksonville and leave you mess behind, like an immature newborn.”
“I know but…”
“There are no butts in your actions, except for your own. I hate to say I told you so…”
I cut her off. “Don’t Mom,” I put my hand up to stop her. “I know what I did was wrong. I know I shouldn’t have done those things to those innocent people. It was very childish, but I couldn’t control myself and I didn’t want them to find me. I was scared.” I lost contact with her eyes and looked down at the rotting floor boards.
She took my chin in her hands and reconnected our eyes. “William,” she said, “you shouldn’t be afraid. The Grimm Brothers will not hurt you.” The Grimm Brothers. I spit at their name. They aren’t the writers. They are the hunters. The Grimm Brothers, Marley and Jakob, are our enemies. They hunt us like prey. We are their lives. With out us they would be nothing. The Grimm Brothers have been hunting my coven for generations. Their “practice” is passed down and once one generation dies, another begins. I think they are on their second generation.
“I should be, though.” I said to her, looking down at the floor boards again.
“You don’t have to be,” she smiled at me. “With the protection of your family, you will be fine.”
The inside of Grandmere’s house was just like her, country, French, and old. Wildflowers, packed into vases, covered every possible inch of cherry wood furniture in the front room. All different colored flowers brightened up the room. French style paintings hung form the old wallpaper walls and French style drapes hung form the French style windows. Old black and white framed photos tried to share the space with the wildflowers on the cherry oak furniture. A dusty grand piano sat in the family room. A large overstuffed floral couch boxed in a glass coffee table and a forty inch plasma screen television (That seemed a little extreme for Grandmere. She must have bought it for me.). In the kitchen, four chairs were around a circular wooden table. The good china was in a huge cherry wood cabinet and the regular dishware was in the cracked white cabinets.
An old 1950’s refrigerator was in the corner, making as much noise as possible.
Grandmere lead me up a wooded stair case to the second floor. Above the walkway was something strange. It was a regular wooded cross. Just a Christian thing, but I didn’t the garlic. It was a necklace of garlic and it was placed around the wooden cross. It was extremely weird, but I guess it’s some kind of French custom. I just forgot about it and continued to follow my grandmother up the stairs. When we got to the top of the stairs, I started to freak out! I saw garlic and crosses everywhere! They were above every doorway. The bedrooms, the closets, and even the bathroom doorways were guarded by garlic and crosses. They were even below the window seal. It was like they were protection something, or trying to keep something out, or someone out.
“Um, Grandmere,” I said, after she showed me my master bedroom.
“Um, why are there garlic and crosses everywhere?” I looked around my new bedroom and saw a large wooden cross with a large necklace of garlic hanging down, was above my large four post bed, above my chipping closet, and above my dirty window. The pink wall paper, as I took a closer look, had light pink crosses running up and down the walls.
“Well mon amie, I guess you haven’t heard â€˜da legends â€˜ere. Virginia Beach is full od legends. Most of â€˜dem are not true, but â€˜dere is one that people, here, believe in. It’s called, â€˜Da Legend of â€˜da Beach Vampire.”
“Vampire.” Grandmere’s eyes were huge in her sockets. Vampires. Just a legend, a myth. Something found in movies and haunted houses. Apparently, Grandmere thought they were real. I didn’t want to seem rude, so I seemed interested.
“Tell me the story.”
“Legend,” she corrected. “Anyways, â€˜Da Legend of â€˜da Beach Vampire began â€˜undreds of years ago. Your ancestor, Mona, fell in love with a â€˜andsome garson, about 16. â€˜E was beautiful, like and angle. â€˜Is skin was the color of snow and â€˜is eyes were leaf green. â€˜Dey seemed to pop out of â€˜dere sockets. â€˜Dere aren’t really words to describe â€˜em except for he was â€˜da most beautiful thing you will ever see in your lifetime. â€˜E was a real gentleman, and Mona fell in love with â€˜em. â€˜Dey dated for years, and Mona wanted to marry â€˜da boy, but â€˜da boy didn’t want to, for reasons no one knows. â€˜Den after another two years, â€˜e decide to marry â€˜er. â€˜E took â€˜er to New Orleans and she came back a different
woman. â€˜Er skin was pale, like snow, like â€˜da boy’s skin. â€˜Er eyes went from piercing blue to leaf green, just like â€˜da boy’s. She seemed sharper in â€˜er â€˜earing and â€˜er sight. She was different and â€˜da townspeople knew it, once Mona drained â€˜er parents of all â€˜der blood and tore nearly â€˜alf â€˜da population to shreds. â€˜Da governor realized â€˜dat Mona was a danger to the town and its people, so â€˜e went in search for â€˜unters to kill â€˜da monster â€˜dat Mona â€˜ad become. â€˜Da governor, Louise McCain, found â€˜dese two brothers, Zepeda and Victor Grimm. â€˜Dey were good at â€˜der jobs. â€˜Dey knew what â€˜dey were doing. When â€˜dey arrived in our small town, â€˜dey immediately went to work. â€˜Dey checked all of â€˜da people â€˜dat Mona â€˜ad murder,” she took a long breath and walked over to the window. She stared off into the woods behind the house. “â€˜Dey re-killed â€˜dem, making sure â€˜dey didn’t â€˜Come back.’” She made air quotes with her fingers. “â€˜Den â€˜dey went to look for Mona. â€˜Dey searched everywhere for â€˜er. Looking and searching. â€˜Dey eventually found â€˜er. She was I â€˜dis big old abandoned â€˜ouse in â€˜da middle of â€˜da forest. It was â€˜er and â€˜dat garson of â€˜ers. â€˜Da garson got away. Mona did not. â€˜Da Grimm Brothers, â€˜dey killed â€˜er. â€˜Dey killed â€˜er until she was never going to come back ever again. â€˜Dat garcon, â€˜dat boy, is still out â€˜dere to â€˜dis day. â€˜E let poor Mona die, even when it was â€˜is fault â€˜dat Mona was killed…” She trailed off. I swear I saw a tear drop on the grimy window seal.
I gulped loudly. “Grandmere,” I questioned, “what was Mona?”
“Demetri!” my mom shouted, “William’s home!” There was a small gust of wind and then my adopted father stood in front of me.
“Your prediction was right Nancy, not that I would have doubted you,” he went over to my mom and pecked her lightly on the cheek. “Why have you returned?” My father was just like my mother. Deadly beautiful. His long blond hair, was almost white and he kept it pulled back into a low lying ponytail. His pale skin was perfect, not a crater or freckle in sight. His high cheek bones made dimples form in his white toothy smile. “I mean, why have you come to our home? I know why you have returned and brought your horrible issues along with you.” I should have figured my mom would have told him.
“I came here because…” I took a deep breath, “because this was the only place I could think of going. This is the only shelter I have. I didn’t know where else to go,” I sighed.
“Well,” my father said. “I’m glad you’ve returned.” He walked over to me and put his arm around my shoulder. “But, I just need to know one thing, before I let you stay here. Why did you kill all of those innocent people? I know I’ve taught you better. Why?” He turned me towards him, so I could look him in the leaf colored eyes.
I sighed. There was no reason to keep my secret from them any more. “There is something wrong with me,” I began. “I can’t… I can’t control my thirst. It’s like I’m a newborn all over again. No matter how hard I try, I can’t control my hunger. Even the slightest drop of blood will make me go crazy. I kill and kill and kill, until the fire in my throat is almost gone. I…I,” I stuttered, “just can’t control it.”
My father was deep in thought. “Hmmmmmm,” he said. “That’s complicated, my son.” He began to pace around the large, rotting living room. “I don’t know what to say about that. I guess if you just practice, you’ll get the hang of it. That’s all that I have. I’ll call my old friend in the morning, and see what he has to say about it.” He stopped pacing and looked at me. “William, you look like a zombie, and that’s insulting to all of us.” I looked down at myself. He was right. My blond hair was sticking out at weird angles. My Calvin Klein dress shirt was ripped to shreds exposing my granite chest and muscular arms. My jeans were smeared with dirt, and my feet looked like I dipped them in tar. I laughed at myself.
“You’re lucky your sister is home,” my mom smiled. “She’ll clean you up good. She’s upstairs in her room. Go ask her if she give you a pedicure, and God knows you need it.” She pushed me towards the spiraling stair case and I was up them in a millisecond. I could hear my younger sister humming in the room at the end of the hall way. I was at her door and it open in a quarter of a second. I looked around. I saw know one. I heard the creak of a femur grinding against a knee bone and turned around, just in time to see a streak of color fly at me. I jump out of the way. My sister was against the wall laughing.
“Damn it Will,” she laughed, “why can’t you just let me tackle you?” She flicked back her long curly red hair, and fixed her short skirt and tight tank top. She flipped her flip flops off and popped down onto the couch next to her. Liked the rest of my family, my sister, Daphne, was adopted. She had leaf green eyes and snow pale skin. She was beautiful, just like my mother, my father, and me.
“It wouldn’t be any fun if I just let you tackle me.” I laughed back at her.
She looked me up and down. She covered her mouth to stifle a laugh. “What the hell happened to you? It looks like you were jumped, raped, and thrown into a mulch maker.”
“I kind of had a little accident. I need you to clean my feet.” I lifted my left foot up in the air to show her.
“Ewww! Gross!” She backed away in disgusted. “I can attempt to help you, but it might take a while. Let me get my pedicure set.” She ran off.
Three times soaking my feet, thousands of q-tips, billions of scrubs and two layers of clear nail polish later, my feet were as good as new. They glistened in the light. “Terrific,” I said after admiring my sisters work. “Thanks a lot, Daphne.”
“No prob, Will.” She began to clean up the mess that we made. “You still look like crap though.”
“Again, no prob. You should change your close and go to sleep though, it will make you feel better.” She pointed at my rags.
“Yeah, I guess your right Daph. I’ll see you tomorrow.” I was out the door and in my room, before she could reply. That’s when I actually began to feel the fatigue. My closet was next to my wooden desk in the far corner of the room. I turned on the twenty-four inch plasma screen as I walked by it. I threw open the closet door and grabbed the first pair of clothes I saw, and tore off the dirt one, quickly putting the clean ones. I jumped from the closet to my bed, 20 feet way, nicely landing on the red comforter. I slipped underneath sleep, before I could get underneath the comforter.
That was the night I dreamt of her. This mystery girl that I feel in love with. It seemed like I knew the girl. She seemed familiar to me. We were at this white plantation home, like the ones you see in those Civil War movies. We were in this large tire swing, hanging from a huge tree. I dreamt of drinking her blood, of smelling her strawberry blond hair, of looking into her piercing blue eyes. I dreamt of turning her into one of my kind. I dreamt of turning this beautiful mystery girl into a vampire.
“It’s just a legend,” Grandmere said, “so don’t be afraid. Wow,” she checked her wrist watch, “it’s dinner time already. â€˜Ope you like Chicken Cordon Bleu.” She smiled at me and left me to my own business.
Once the door was closed, I let out a groan, and flopped down on to my new bed. The old springs creaked underneath my weight. The bed smelled old, and it wasn’t comfortable. I already hated it hear, but it was better than being with my mom. I got off the bed and went into the dark bathroom. I flicked on the lights, and they didn’t really help. The bathroom was large, but very old, like the rest of the house.
A old bathtub, sat underneath a opaque window. A small shower with a white curtain was next to the tub. A single rusty sink was under a dusty mirror. I looked in the mirror. My strawberry blond hair was a little frizzy, so I ran my fingers threw it, loosing up some of the knots in it. My eyeliner was a little smudged, underneath my piecing blue eyes. I turned on the water, and it came out with a loud glurp. It wet my finger and put a little underneath my eyes and rubbed it in, removing most of the black eyeliner. I wet my finger and put some water on my chapped lips. The water tasted and smelled nasty. I shook my hair out, straighten my dress, and turned off the bathroom light.
The aroma of chicken wrapped in ham flowed up to my closed door. YUMMY!! I guess I could put up with Grandmere’s cooking for the time that I’m here. I opened the door, and headed for eth stairs. I tried not to think about the garlic and crosses, as I passed them. I could hear pots clinking and plated being sat down on the table. I ran down the stairs and I passed this door that I didn’t see when I was going up the stairs earlier. There was a sign on it. It said, “Library. Keep Out.” I would have to check it out later. I ran into the kitchen, to see steaming hot chicken being placed on the table, along with green beans, peaches, and biscuits. I all look delicious. I sat down at the chair a crossed from Grandmere. She sat down in her chair.
“Let’s say grace.” I had never said grace before, and I didn’t know how to do it, so I just followed what Grandmere did. She bowed her head. I did the same. “Lord, bless this food. Merci for this lovely dinner, and merci for allowing Genevieve to come and stay with moi. Please let â€˜er enjoy â€˜er stay with moi and please let â€˜er make lots of new friends when she arrives at school. Amen,” she looked up.
“Amen, can we eat now?” I looked at the chicken that was getting cold.
“Oui,” she laughed. I picked up a crumbed
covered piece of chicken and a warm biscuit. I scooped up some bens and dropped them on my plate. A jugged of ice tea was now on the table and I filled my glass all the way to the top. Then I began to stuff my face.
Grandmere was laughing at me the whole time. “I’m going to â€˜ave to grow more food, if you eat like â€˜dis all of â€˜da time.”
I swallowed my huge bite of chicken. “I don’t eat like this usually,” I replied.
Grandmere tried to get as much as possible out of me, at dinner time. She asked me how my mother and father were, if I liked school, if I played any sports, and various other stuff. Most of the answers to her questions were no, yes, I don’t know and okay. I asked her some questions of my own too. I asked her about the country life and other things. I wanted to ask her about Mona again, but I bit my tongue.
Once my plate was cleared of everything, Grandmere took my plate and placed it in the dishwasher. I helped her clear off the table and wipe down the counters. She said I didn’t have to, but I wanted to help. Once we were done with the kitchen, Grandmere went into the living room and turned on the news. I told her I was off to bed. I climbed the dreaded stairs and went into my room. My suitcases were in a loveseat and couch next to my bed. A desk, with an old computer that looked like it was the first computer every made, had a lamp that was making enough light for me to unpack. I actually didn’t feel like unpacking. I just searched for pajama pants and a shirt, and my toothbrush and toothpaste. I brushed my teeth a put my hair up. I struggled to get underneath the thick, heavy comforter, and before my head hit the pillow, I was asleep.
I had a dream about Mona that night. I was Mona. I had an old 1600’s dress on, and it was dark outside. A guy was talking to me. He was gorgeous. Like an angle. His long brown hair was tied back, and he wore colonial times pants and puffy shirt. He had these stunning leaf green eyes that seemed to pop out of his sockets. His skin was pale, paler than snow. There weren’t any words to describe him. He was beautiful. When he talked his voice sounded like beautiful bells chiming against my ears. Every breath he took, I blushed. I loved him, and I didn’t even know it. He told me to seat down and I sat on a soft red couch. He sat next to me. He asked me a question and I answered, but in middle reply, he leaned in and kissed me. I kissed him back. He went from my lips, to my cheek, to my neck. Then I felt a pain. I gasp and he withdrew form my neck. Blood covered his lips and dripped down his chin. White glistening fangs, hung above his blood red lips. I gasped the words that were burning my tongue. “Vampire.”
TO BE CONTIUED………ï–ïšï‚œï»ï‚â™¥ï‚¯ï¢ï›