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Learning the Ways of the Dead
“Let go of me!” There was a sharp pain, it felt as if the blood flowed right out of my veins. Everything went black.
My eyes felt as if they weighed five pounds each, waking up had never been this hard before. I opened my eyes slowly, as I did everything was still black. There was something hard poking into my back. There was someone next to me! As I shook the lifeless body I yelled, “Who are you? Where are we? Why are we here?” He didn’t seem to hear me at first, so I tried again. “Who are you?”
“Shhh. Settle down!” he sleepily replied.
“Where are we?” I demanded one final time.
“We are in the Washington County Cemetery, in Rohde Island. In your grave, Mercy Brown. I am Thomas Levant.”
“Why are we here? If I’m in MY grave, shouldn’t I be dead? If I’m dead I shouldn’t be able to talk and feel things, correct?” I asked puzzled.
“You were in the hospital with an unknown disease, the same one your mother died from. Do you remember?” Thomas looked at me as if I was going crazy.
“I remember being in a hospital, I remember not being able to breathe. I also remember a sharp prick, almost like a needle but a lot bigger. Then it was almost as if something was drawing the blood out of my veins. But everything went black after that, and I don’t know what happened.”
“Well here’s what happened. You were in the hospital and you were on your death bed. Then I bit you, that was the sharp prick you felt. Then I sucked your blood. You then drank my blood, so you now have vampire blood in your body which has turned you into a vampire. Now I have to teach you the ways of our kind because I am your maker. You see, the person that bit you must teach you the ways of our people. The first step in this whole process is to be buried. You then will wake up on the first full moon. That means tonight is the full moon.” Thomas stated confidently.
“So if I’m a vampire, does that mean I have to drink people’s blood?” I hesitated to ask.
“No, no, no. There are many substances that replace human blood. They fill us up the same way the blood does, just, you know without the whole killing part. We aren’t the killing machines the movies and books make us out to be. There are different kinds of vampires, just like there are different kinds of humans. There are those that kill humans and there are those who try to live among the humans. They befriend them and drink the replacement substances. We are going to live among the humans.”
“Well, when can I go and see my dad and brothers again? I miss them, they’ll be thrilled to know that I’m still alive.”
“Here’s the thing, Mercy, you can’t. You will be to tempted to want to see them in these first months, but you can’t. You won’t grow old either, it makes it harder to live with humans because they grow old and slowly die as you remain the same age.”
“I want to see my family! I want to live my normal life; I don’t like this! I want to be human!”
“Life as a vampire isn’t all that bad. There are plus sides to having fangs, being able to smell almost everything, and having super human strength. You will grow wiser as time goes on, just as humans do, but you will also grow stronger.”
“What about sunlight? How do you hide the fangs? Are there other supernatural creatures?” I asked, thinking about all the books I had read.
“It’s true, we cannot go out in the sunlight, we become weak—very weak. The fangs will become second nature as time goes on. There are other supernatural creatures. There are werewolves, but you hardly meet them though—they mostly live along the West Coast. Shapeshifters are all around us, there are many forms. Some can turn into everyday animals, like pets. Others can become more dangerous—creatures you’ve never even heard of. Okay, now let’s get out of this grave, I need to stretch my legs.”
“We’re buried underground, in a coffin. How are we supposed to get out?”
“That’s easy, just lift up, and walk out.”
I pushed up on the ceiling of the coffin, it was a whole lot easier than I expected. It creaked open and I sat up. Just like Thomas said, I could just walk out.
“Are you ready for your first night as a vampire?” Thomas asked.
We climbed out of the grave, that was one thing that I never imagined doing in my life.
I felt the cool breeze of the fall air blow my hair off the back of my neck. For the first time I smelt as a vampire. It was the scent of leaves, but not the typical leaf smell. You know, the kind that humans smell. They only smell the bitter sugar running through the veins of the leaves. Now I could smell the dew drops on the leaf, the coldness of them, and the nasty smell of them rotting.
“The first thing that you’ll need to learn is how to keep your fangs inside your mouth. Now it’ll get easier as time goes on, but to start, if you don’t think about your fangs they will stay hidden. Now when you want your fangs, shake your head and open your mouth. Like this—here try it.”
I tried and didn’t get it the first time. It was as if I was learning to talk and walk all over again. I felt like a dog that just got out of the water after a swim, I was shaking so much. It took three or four more times to get it, but once I got it the first time it was as if I’d known how to do it my entire life.
“Very good, on to the next thing. Now there are different types of replacement substance, just like blood. Because we are the type of vampires that want to live among the humans, we drink this instead of blood. We can taste them to see what you like best, my preference is O-, let’s try that first. He handed me a glass bottle out of the refrigerator. “I prefer it heated, how would you like it?”
“Umm, heated?” I questioned.
“Be careful it’s a scorching 98.4 degrees.” Thomas grinned.
I couldn’t stand the taste. It tasted as if you had left milk out overnight and then mixed it with lemon juice, it smelt just as bad. I tried the O+ next. It was a little better, it only tasted as if you’d left the milk out for a night. I tried a couple mixtures of the types and finally found one I liked. Thomas said to remember the recipe because I would most likely be having that as my meal for the rest of my life.
“Now you have to learn how to use your strength. It’s not easy to control this, everyday tasks can be challenging. If you hold a glass to hard, it’ll bust into a thousand pieces. Hugging a human is extremely difficult, not only can you smell the sunlight and blood on them but you can kill them if you squeeze to hard.”
“How did you get through all of this? It seems as if you were born a vampire, you know everything.”
“Everything will become second nature to you as well, it takes time. Now it’s almost 4 o’clock, around here that’s bedtime. We have a few options; you can go back to your grave or you can come stay with me. I live in the floor boards in an old abandoned house.”
“I think I’ll stay in the coffin.” I felt as if I’d be more comfortable there.
“I’ll be back in the morning to get you. Don’t come out of your coffin if I’m not there. You could wake up and it might be light out, this whole sleep schedule gets a little getting used to. I’ll teach you more about hunting and how to stay undercover tomorrow night. Goodnight.”
I trudged back to the cemetery. The wind was still blowing my hair around, it was as if I was walking into a storm. I reached the tombstone that read “Mercy Brown,” this would be my new home now. It wasn’t the most welcoming sight, but it’ll do. I laid back down, shut the coffin top. Everything went black.