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Author's note: It's a vampire novel with a twist
It was a quiet walk home to number four Elliott Street. There was nobody to walk with, and I didn’t see anyone as I walked. When I got to the terrace house with the peeling paint and half a doorbell, I pulled my keys from my bag and selected thee right one. Nobody was home although it was to be expected at this time. I let myself in and found a note on the wobbly table.
I won’t be back tonight. There should be some food in the fridge. I should be back tomorrow morning. If not, go to school, don’t skive. And try and do your homework for once please
Ha. For once. I always handed my homework in on time. Well, usually. Like she cared anyway. I was used to Yasmin doing this. She was my sister, if you hadn’t guessed. My parents are killed in a car accident, my Grandmother dies... and lucky me, I get to live with my oh-so-fun big sister. Brilliant. At least I have somebody. There are plenty of people who have nobody. No roof over their heads, no food on the table. Talking of food, I went over to the fridge and opened it. Ah. It looked like I didn’t have food at the moment either. Oh well, I wasn’t hungry and even if I had been, I wouldn’t have minded. I wasn’t the type to stuff myself full of food. I preferred to stay slim, but not anorexic. No offence to anorexic people.
So. There I was with an empty fridge and an empty house. Feeling deflated, I went upstairs and put some music on whilst I did some homework to distract myself. It worked for about half an hour, and then I began to feel absolutely bored silly. I took a glance out the window. It wasn’t dark, but not middle-of-the-day sunny either and it was about half past six. Feeling a plan forming, I decided to take a walk. After all, what harm could it do me?
The road was calm, still and completely quiet except for the distant noises of the main city which you could always hear, no matter what time of the day or night it was. I pulled the hood up on my zip up hoody against the light autumn breeze which seemed to take everything with it. Wearing my black heeled ankle boots, skinny black jeans, hoody and plain black vest top I fitted in with anybody else, and after a few streets my feet seemed to sink into a steady rhythmic pattern. Da-dum-da-dum-da-dum-da-dum-da-dum..... My mind was completely blank.
After about fifteen minutes of utter blank mindedness, I came across a little park. It had a small roundabout, a see-saw and swings which swung in the breeze and made a squeaky sound. It was like a scene from a movie, or maybe the park in Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban? I was the only person there, and settled on a park bench at the end next to where children were sometimes playing football when I walked past during the day.
I don’t actually know how long I sat on that bench thinking things over. Maybe it was minutes or hours, but by the time I came out of my thoughts, I realised it was pitch black apart from the flickering street lamps. Not good. Whilst this was a relatively safe area of Bradford, you have no idea who or what could be lurking in the shadows. I stood up before I could scare myself to the point of terror. I was being stupid. I was seventeen, and all of a sudden I was afraid of the dark? Wow.
The wind had begun to get pretty bitter, and I pulled my hoody tighter around myself. The wind still seemed as though it got right into my bones, and I began to shiver quietly. I looked down at the road as I walked, fingering the cross that hung around my neck. It had been my Mum’s.
Suddenly, a shadow crossed my path. Or did it? Was I just imagining things? No, I definitely wasn’t. The shadow crossed mine again, and it was very fast. I thought I could just make out that it was the shape of a figure before it went again. “Hello?” I asked the darkness. Stupid. It was the bit in the movie where the baddie is waiting in the shadows and you’re screaming at the screen, telling the victim to run away and hide. But she doesn’t, and you sit on the edge of your seat, waiting for her to meet her death. Pure fear shot through my body and I was no longer cold, just terrified.
A figure stepped out of the shadows. There was no mistake this time. From what I could make of the silhouette, he was tall with broad shoulders but he was most definitely not fat. He stepped closer, and through the dim light from the street lamp I could see that he was also muscular with defined cheek bones. Wait. Shouldn’t I have been running? Yes, I should have been. So why wasn’t I? My feet immediately sprang into action, and I sprinted about five metres before hands caught me from behind. One hand around the waist and one around my mouth, stopping me from screaming. Yep, I was most definitely going to die.
“Don’t struggle and it will be a lot easier for you.” he whispered in my ear. I shivered with hatred and tried to kick him, then I managed to free one hand long enough to punch him square in the face. It hurt my hand more than it hurt him. He was just very annoyed.
“Ha. Well now it will be a lot harder for you.” he said, louder this time. “Now, I’m going to tie your hands up. Make any noise and I kill you. Don’t think I won’t do it; it’s not my loss.” His hand lifted from my mouth and I decided not to scream. I didn’t doubt what he had said. “Good.”
. After tying my hands up, he gagged me and hoisted me over his shoulder as if I was completely weightless. I screamed and protested through the gag, but It came out as muffled sounds and I knew it was no use trying. Kicking and punching didn’t do any good because he didn’t even flinch.
“Hold on.” He told me, and I muttered something unintelligible but explicit. I think he got the message. “Is that so?” he smirked, full of cockiness. I pouted and made a vow to stay silent, at least until I got to my destination. Wherever that was.
After about five minutes of me being carried on his shoulder, he put me down. We were in a place I had never been before. With another fresh wave of terror, I realised it was the very edge of a cliff. I wobbled as I gasped, and rocks crumbled off the edge and down into unknown blackness as I nearly fell off. To save myself, I grabbed on to the only stable object available: my kidnapper. He pulled me a little way away from the edge and even though it was pitch black I could almost see the smug expression on his face. “Careful,” he told me almost sarcastically, “You might fall.” So this was to be it then? I would die after being pushed off a cliff by a very cocky and sarcastic kidnapper.
My assumptions were proved wrong when he untied the gag. He pulled me down a small, rocky path along the cliff which was so narrow that if I took a step to my right I would fall off and plummet to my doom. Twice I nearly fell off, and twice I had to hold on to him to stop me from falling. Just great. So much for my tough act, then. It seemed like the longest journey of my life down the cliff and I stayed completely silent, even the third time I stumbled when I was much closer to falling off.
At the bottom of the cliff, parked in the shadows, was a car. I couldn’t make anything from it in the darkness, but it looked like that’s where I would be going whether I liked it or not. Sure enough, he opened the door for me and I had no choice but to get in if I wanted to avoid being shoved in.
As soon as he had closed the door, I immediately tried to open it with my tied hands but realised to my dismay it was locked. Great. I mean, where would I have run anyway? It was pitch black and I was at the bottom of some unknown cliff.
Resigning myself to my fate, I pulled my knees up to my chest and wrapped my arms tightly around them. Inside the car, it was pretty bare. The leather seats were worn and battered, there were scratches on the dashboard and the steering wheel had marks in it. My kidnapper got in the car next to me. He reached over and to my horror I saw he was holding a knife. I screamed briefly and shied away from it as far as I could go. He laughed- actually laughed!- and I thought it was a little less sinister than it should have been. There was a hint of gentleness in his voice. “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m just going to cut the tie.” I immediately lost my fear, or some of it.
“If we’re driving and anybody sees tied then I’m in a load of trouble from the boss.” He explained, and then looked as if he had said too much because he quickly cut the tie and then put the knife away, starting the car’s engine. He’s the bad guy I told myself. But there had definitely been a hint of gentleness, almost sympathy, in his voice.
I don’t know how long we were in the car for, passing countryside and cities and places I had never seen. He wasn’t making any effort to conceal where we were going to me. Maybe he thought that I wouldn’t find my way back, or maybe he thought I wasn’t going to leave. The thought pained me. As much as my sister and I fell out, I wouldn’t ever want to lose her. And maybe it would hurt her to lose me? Sometimes I thought it wouldn’t, but deep inside I knew it would. We were each other’s only family. A single tear rolled down my cheek and I quickly wiped it away, furious with myself fro letting it come. From the corner of my eye, I saw him glance at me but he wasn’t cocky this time. The expression on his face read ‘Guilty as hell’.
After a few hours, it began to get light and I started to take fleeting glances at him. His face was pale but not like deathly pale. His eyes were dark coffee brown and his hair was jet black, but it definitely wasn’t dyed. On one occasion, he met my glance, and his eyes seemed to wander over my face before they locked with mine. He held my gaze for about five seconds, and then he winked. Winked! The cheek of it. He kidnaps me, gags me, ties me, terrifies me, drags me down a cliff, piles me into a car, and drives me across the country. Whoever this ‘boss’ was, they hired an annoying skivvy. He was taking me right across the country and I was helpless to do anything about it.
It seemed like days before we arrived at our destination. It was about three o’clock in the afternoon. The house- it looked like a mansion- was on the edge of yet another cliff, but this time the cliff over-looked the sea. Seagulls swooped and cried in the skies above us, and the gardens around the house were perfectly kept. It was the kind of mansion you would find in Hollywood, except this was somewhere in England.
My kidnapper led me to the door, and then knocked thrice. After a little while, a man who looked about twenty-seven answered the door.
“Tristian.” He greeted my kidnapper.
“Aaoron.” It looked like Aaron and Tristian were not friends. Aaron’s face changed when he saw me. His eyes widened and his face paled. “You’d better get her up to one of the rooms.” He said, gulping. “The boss isn’t home. She left yesterday and said she wouldn’t be back for four days.” Tristian acknowledged this with a nod, and pulled me through the door. Inside, there was a vast lobby with a tiled floor and several potted plants lying about. On all sides of the walls, there were doors leading off to different places. Tristian led me through one of them and into a very long corridor with plush red carpets and oak panelled doors on each side. It was like a hotel, the way it was set out.
After the first turn, I lost track of where we had got to and just started to follow Tristian. I hoped he wasn’t going to hurt me. In fact, deep inside, I knew he wasn’t going to. He seemed almost reluctant to do his job, which was strange. Finally, after another of the identical never-ending corridors, Tristian came to a room that looked like any other and stopped suddenly, then opened the door and pushed me inside. He untied the gag, and I let out a torrent of swear words which would have gotten me expelled if I were at school. Tristian just raised one eyebrow, leaning against the door frame. “Are you done?” he asked when I had finished, “because whilst it might be nice to stay with you all day, I have a job to do.” I rolled my eyes at the double meaning to his words that he pretended wasn’t there.
“Yeah, I’m done. In fact, I’m more than happy to be done. Anything to get away from you.” it was the best comeback I had, because my supply had been drained after he had abducted me, leaving my usual sarcastic and witty personality absolutely exhausted. “The feeling is mutual babe.” he replied, making me want to punch him. Which is exactly what I did the second he released the handcuffs. “Wow. That was really not smart.” He commented, showing no sign of pain but a slight trace of amusement. Before I could get away, Tristian grabbed me around the waist and it was another struggle as I tried to free myself from his grasp of iron. “Let me go!” I yelled, which did as much good as a fly. The handcuff went back on my left wrist, but he fastened the one for my right onto the bed post. The key went back into his pocket, and I resigned myself to hitting out at him with my right hand. Twice I hit him in the face, but really it did nothing. He left without saying another word and I heard a lock click behind him.
From my position, I could sit on the four poster bed and I took advantage of this. It actually was very comfortable, but I couldn’t stretch far onto the bed anyway, so I leant against the bed post and thought about things, people mostly. I thought about Yasmin. What would she be doing right now? Would she have called the police? I thought about Aaron briefly. Why had he looked so worried when he had seen me? And why had he looked even more worried when he mentioned ‘the boss’? I thought about this boss person. Why was everybody so scared of her? And why had she requested I be brought to her, as it was apparent she had. Most of all I thought about Tristian. His cockiness, his sarcasm. The way he seemed so sure of himself. He was strong, brave and so much more, but it seemed he was a killer. NO. I told myself. Do not fall for him. Do not fall for him. Do not fall for him. But I had already. Ha. Great, just great.
I had been sat there for hours when I heard the key in the door. It had gotten dark and I hadn’t been able to turn the light on due to my handcuffed situation, so I was sitting there in the shadows. I expected Tristian at the door, but the figure was smaller. When I turned the light on, I saw it was a tiny woman wearing plain clothes. “I’m Bree, Miss. I’m the maid.” She said. She sounded kind and slightly scared, so I nodded in what I hoped was a reassuring manner. Bree wasn’t going to hurt me. “I’ve been instructed to unlock your cuffs, miss, and to tell you that there are clothes in all the wardrobes and drawers so help yourself.” She came over to me with the key.
I was in a steaming shower. If it weren’t for the fact that I was a prisoner and I had been kidnapped and all the rest, it would probably have been the best shower I’d ever had. Unlike the one at home, it didn’t creak and the water didn’t continuously spray you with ice cold bursts when you were least expecting it. I had been a little reluctant to use the enemy’s facilities, but then I thought why not take advantage of them?
As I knew, all good things had to come to an end at some point, and the shower was one of them. I reluctantly turned it off and stepped out, then dried myself and wrapped the towel around my body so it covered everything from my chest to my thighs. Opening the door to the room I was occupying until I could find a way out, I was surprised to find Tristian sitting on the bed, fiddling with the duvet as if he hadn’t a care in the world.
“Hi,” he said when I came out of the door.
“Um, excuse me?” I asked.
“Hi is a greeting said from person to person upon meeting. It is another form of-”
“I know what it means.” I cut him off sharply. “Why are you in here?”
“Well, I just happened to be going past and I thought I might pop in to say hi.” He said with a hint of sarcasm.
“Okay.” I replied. “Now you’ve said it, you can leave. And since when are we on speaking terms?” I asked, rolling my eyes.
“Well, I was thinking... and I have decided that you’re going to need one person on your side in this madhouse, don’t you think?” he relaxed a little and flopped onto the bed, resting his head on the pillow. I resisted the urge to throw something at him and went over to the dressing table where I quickly brushed my hair out. It was long and black, and with my pale skin and brown eyes I wasn’t unhappy with my appearance.
In the huge closet, I found rows and rows of clothes and shelves full of shoes. They all seemed to be in exactly the right size for me as well. It was like I was in a clothes store as I fingered through all the items. After about five minutes of browsing, I found a denim miniskirt, ankle boots with heels about five inches high and a black tank top. I put them all on in the closet and checked myself in the mirror. I was still tall and slim, and I looked pretty dangerous. It was then that a thought struck me: why wasn’t I hungry? It had been more than twenty-four hours since I’d eaten. I never snacked, usually ate three meals a day... wow. Weird much?
Tristian gave a low whistle as I came out of the closet. “Nice.” He commented, and then flopped his head back on the pillow with a ‘poof’. “Are you still here?” I asked sarcastically. Again, my remarks and comebacks were pretty low on the scale. Having nothing else to do, I stood over him with my hand on my hip. “Any chance you’re going to move in the next year or so?” I inquired sarcastically. “Nope.” Was the reply.
“Well, then you’re going to have to answer some of my questions, then.” I retorted. I think he was more than happy to play along. “If you answer some of mine.” He bargained.
“No. I bet you don’t even know my name, and I would like it to stay that way.” I informed him. “That’s where you’re wrong. As a matter of fact I know that your name is Natasha Mae Rennison, that you are seventeen years old, that you go to Hallowell College, that your sister is Yasmin Rennison, that you live on Elliott Street....” the list went on and on.
“Okay, STOP!” I exclaimed after a while. “It’s obvious you have been stalking me and that you are a complete psycho. Now, first question: why did you kidnap me?”
“To bring you to my employer.”
“Who is your employer?”
“I tell you and you die.”
“Why does your employer want me?”
“I tell you and you die.”
“Why can’t you tell me anything?”
“I tell you and you die. You know, we really aren’t getting anywhere here, are we?” he asked, raising one eyebrow. “Well I need to get somewhere; otherwise I’m going to be stuck here for the rest of my days. With you. And that is not good because you are a-” before I could finish my sentence, he kissed me. He actually kissed me. After everything that had happened, and the fact that I absolutely loathed him, or thought I did. At first it was gentle, and then it became rough and deep. His hand reached up and grasped my hair, and mine held the back of his neck. I realised what I was doing, and pulled away quickly before slapping him around the face.
“ “Wow. Feisty.” He said. Suddenly, I realised something. This was the enemy. I should have been trying to escape instead of making my situation more impossible. And why was I doing this? He had kidnapped me! I slapped him again, and I think he got the message.
“Okay, okay, I’m going.” He held his hands up in surrender.
“Then get gone.”
All through the next day I couldn’t stop thinking about Tristian. It was so ironic that I had fallen for the evil guy. The one who had threatened to kill me, and who had kidnapped me just because his boss had said so. I guess some people would do anything for money, but I thought it was something more there. Things were starting to seem suspicious.
The next day had almost passed without event. I was confined to the room and was more than happy to stay there. I slept once for about two hours somewhere around the middle of the day. My mind kept drifting back to my circumstances, and all the weird things that went with them like the fact that I hadn’t eaten in over two days but was still not hungry. I hoped that somebody would answer my questions soon; otherwise I would have to something drastic.
The one time I did poke my head around the door, I found Aaron standing next to it holding a glock. I swiftly stepped back inside and shut the door before he had a chance or a reason to use it.
It was about half past six in the evening when there came a knock at the door.
“Come in.” I called, and Bree entered.
“Good evening Miss.” She greeted me. “I have been instructed to tell you that the mistress is back and that you are to join her for dinner downstairs at nine o’clock.” I felt repulsed and angry. How dare she send her maid up here to invite me for dinner when she had kidnapped me?
“Thank you, Bree. Please tell the mistress that I will not be joining her.” Bree’s face paled, and she suddenly looked a little scared. I felt sorry for doing this to her, seeing as she was probably innocent. “Yes miss.” She said in barely a whisper, curtsied and left. I returned to the post I had resumed on the bed. Before I knew it, I was asleep. It was a weird dream I was having. I was chained up, unable to move. Bree, Aaron and Tristian were all stood around me with panicked looks on their faces.
“The mistress wants you downstairs!” Bree shouted over and over again.
“You’d better get her up to one of the rooms.” Aaron, too, kept repeating his line. It was only Tristian who said something sensible. “Tasha, you’ve got to get up! Tasha... Tasha...” hang on, that wasn’t a dream. I was immediately awake and back to reality. The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was Tristian’s panic stricken face. “Tasha! Thank God! She’s coming, Tasha. Here, take this.” He thrust a glock into my hand and I hid it in the waistband of the pair of black jeans I had picked out for the day. “Why? What’s happening?” I asked, really confused, but more scared.
“The boss is coming. She’s angry you didn’t come down at nine.” He explained, but I was still confused. I was, after all, the prisoner wasn’t I? I should have been chained up or hidden in a dungeon rather than being invited downstairs for cosy chit chats. Or maybe I was wanted for something else?... “I have to go. She can’t know I’ve helped you.” Tristian said hurriedly, and I nodded. “Ok. And Tristian? Thanks.” It was his turn to nod, and I felt the tiniest bit relieved that I at least had something to protect me from ‘the boss’. Whoever she was. I really needed a name for her. Tristian was good, really. I guess he had just got forced into the wrong decisions, or put on the wrong side. And he wanted to help, I could tell.
I rubbed my eyes, all traces of tiredness now gone and put a ‘couldn’t-care-less’ look on my face. It wasn’t like she was going to kill me, was it? Why keep me like she had been doing, with access to clothes, a bathroom, a bed, and possibly food if I had wanted or needed it. It had become obvious to me that she wanted me for something, but what I was not sure.
It was seconds later when the door flew open. Standing there was an ice queen in black. Her face- and I’m not exaggerating here- was as pale as a sheet, her lips had a deadly bluish tint to them, and her eyes seemed to have red rings around the edges. She was wearing a billowing black dress that flew out behind her and she had an evil look upon her face. “Natasha, is it? Briana kindly informed me that you would not be joining me downstairs, and so I came to pay a visit to you. Why would you not join me, dear?” her eyes had become sinister, and she made me even more angry. I jumped up from the bed and stood face to face with her, rising up so I was at her level and not two inches below.
“I would not join you because you are an evil, spineless, horrible, twisted woman. You kidnap innocent people; get your servants to bring them to some unknown place. Then you keep them locked in some random room and expect them to have dinner with you! And then you have the nerve to ask them why not?” I was beyond angry now, I was furious. But she just laughed.
“You will join me one day. You might not know it, but you will. You will become one of us, and rule the world by our side!” something told me that her tree didn’t reach all the way to the top branch. “Yeah, good luck on your slow descent to madness. I’m sorry I don’t have a ticket to Crazyville, bitch.” I replied neatly. She decided to take a different approach.
“Firstly, the name’s Cassandra, child. And you had better get used to it. Secondly, have you ever noticed anything strange about you? Like, for example, the way you never get hungry?” there was an evil glint in her eyes when she asked this. She knew I had noticed that.
“What’s it to you?” I shrugged, using the ‘couldn’t-care-less’ expression from before.
“You’re immortal, child.” She said simply, as if she were commenting on the state of the weather. I lost no time in replying.
“Firstly, the name’s Tasha, child. And you had better get used to it.” I used her own reply against her, “And secondly, there is no such thing as immortality.”
“You will see, child. You will see. Aaron! Come take this child to the dungeons! I want her chained up, and don’t let her get out! I’m going to gather the others together.”