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Tap, tap, tap. My eyes flew open.
The window opened, slowly, s l o w l y.
A face. I screamed. A hand flies to my mouth. I can’t make a sound. I can hardly even breathe.
I look at the face the hand is attached to.
It would be beautiful if it wasn’t marred by the evil look in his eyes. He grins at me. I glare my worst glare.
His head leans toward my neck, his teeth bared and gleaming in the pale moonlight coming from the still open window.
Vampire, is all I can think.
But how can that be? Was it a dream? I had been reading Dracula late into the night.
His teeth graze my neck.
Then, he bites.
Pain. That’s all I feel.
I writhe around in my bed.
He takes his hand away from my mouth.
I scream a blood-curdling scream.
It feels like there is fire in my veins.
I hear footsteps pounding up the stairs. I look back at the window.
I turn and see my mother’s face. She asks what’s wrong, though I can barely hear her through my loud wails.
“Someone came in… and cut me… hurts… feels like fire….” I managed to gasp out.
She might think I’m crazy if I told her I’d been bitten.
By a vampire.
My mom inspects my wound. She then turns and dashes back down the stairs. I just hope my dear brother, only a few months old, is safe in his crib.
An arm grabs me. I turn and see Him.
He picks me up.
And jumps out the window.
I see houses fly by as we race, super fast, down the street.
Then, everything goes black.
I hear a scream from up stairs. I run up as quickly as possible. My daughter, Lila, is writhing in her bed, screaming loudly. I rush to her side
“Honey, what’s wrong?” I ask. It’s hard to speak through her wails. Tears are streaming down our cheeks now.
“Someone came in… and cut me… hurts… feels like fire….” She manages to gasp out.
I inspect her wound. Two holes streaming blood down her neck. I gasp. A bite?
I dash down the stairs again, hoping Lila will be fine upstairs, and the baby’s asleep. Grabbing the phone, I dial 911 as fast as I can. The phone picks up almost immediately.
“Hello, 911 emergency departments, what is your emergency?” a practiced voice answers.
“My daughter,” I stress, panting slightly. “She’s been cut. Someone just broke into her room and cut her!” The tears start to stream down my face faster and faster.
“Alright ma’am, emergency care vehicles will be there shortly. Your address, please?” the lady asks in a calm voice.
I tell her the address but I’m barely paying attention. I hang up in a daze.
Suddenly the sound of my daughter’s screaming fades. I run back up the stairs, hoping she isn’t dead.
Pain. Unbearable, agonizing pain.
Small flashes of light and sound come to me through the pain, but I can’t focus. I wish I could just die. Anything to escape this endless pain.
Suddenly, the pain increases. My heart pumps faster, trying to stop whatever’s coming. I scream louder and louder, though my voice doesn’t get hoarse. Is this really death? Why should death hurt so much?
My heart shudders.
I lay where I am, breathing heavily. Am I dead?
The ground feels cold and hard, but not uncomfortable.
I sit up slowly. And open my eyes.
A face is looking at me. Him.
I jerk away. “You… you… what’s going on? Where am I? Who are you?” I look around. Trees surround the small clearing we’re in.
He smiles crookedly. “I am Lucas, my pet. I’ve been watching you for some time. Your talents should be extraordinary,” he starts to murmur, quieter and quieter, but I can still hear him. His voice is velvety smooth; I don’t trust it.
“What do you mean? What talents?” I ask, my voice shaking.
He smiles wider. “Your gift. You’re a vampire now.”
I look at him, waiting for him to say, “Just joking!” but he’s silent.
Minutes pass. Slowly, I get to my feet. I brush myself off. I freeze. My hands, so pale. I look down at myself. I’m as white as a sheet. Whiter.
Lucas chuckles. He hands me a mirror. I hold it up to glance at my face.
I freeze again, shocked. My face is white too. But that’s not the most shocking part.
Deep burgundy eyes look back at me. Like blood pooled in the middle of my eyes. I touch my face, making sure it’s mine. I pale hand touches the pale face in the mirror.
I look at Lucas. “I really am a vampire,” I say, shocked beyond belief.
He nods. “You must be thirsty. Don’t worry, I brought food.” He points to an unconscious girl sagging against a tree trunk, her hands tied behind her back.
“No.” I say, frightened. “No! I will not ever drink human blood, even if it kills me!” I yell at him.
He smiles an evil grin. “Ah, but you can’t die. So might as well make as much of unlife as possible.”
I feel a burning sensation in the back of my throat. It tears through my mouth, making me practically drool with thirst. If I could drool that is.
I shake my head and back away. Lucas smiles. He goes to the girl, a knife in his hand. He slits her throat and holds a plastic cup underneath the flow of blood. The cup quickly fills. The girl jerks awake, screaming.
I watch, terrified. This can’t be happening. The girl’s cries are soon lost in a gurgle of blood.
Lucas walks to me, holding the cup out in front of him. “Come on, just a little taste won’t hurt,” he says, wafting the scent of blood under my nose.
I can’t resist. The cup is drained in a few seconds. But I want more.
I start to lean into a feral crouch. I can’t stop. I pounce on the girl, sucking blood from her wound, spilling it down the front of my shirt. But I don’t care. The blood lust has taken me.
Lila sits in a tree and cries dry tears. Insolent girl. As if she could survive without taking the lives of the pathetic humans. This is boring. I want to see her gift.
“Lila! Get down here!” I yell at her.
She looks down at me, rubbing at the blood stains in her shirt. She makes no move to get up.
I leap up the tree in a few seconds, grabbing her by the wrist. She looks sadly down at my hand clenching hers. Idiot. No reason to get so worked up.
I pull her down to the ground with me. She doesn’t resist.
“Show me your gift,” I snarl at her. She looks at me, puzzled.
“Gift?” she asks.
I roll my eyes. “Yes, most vampires have extra abilities that other vampires don’t have. I, unfortunately, don’t have a gift. But there’s a reason I chose you. I have an idea about what you may be capable of.”
“Like what?” she asks, still confused.
“You may be able to imitate the shape of other beings. I don’t know the extent, but we can always experiment,” I say. I’m getting impatient, but I notice I’ve piqued her interest.
“Try concentrating on a specific animal,” I tell her, letting go of her wrist.
Her brow furrows. She closes her eyes, concentrating. I smile in anticipation.
Minutes pass. My smile fades. “What’s wrong? Why aren’t you changing?” I ask, annoyed. I better not have been wrong about her.
“I don’t know. I’m trying to concentrate on a cat, but it’s hard,” she says, opening her eyes.
I groan in frustration. “Fine. We’ll try again later. I’m thirsty.” Inspiration hits. I grab the chains I usually use on misbehaving vampires and tie them around her wrists and ankles.
“I’m going alone, but I’m not taking any chances. I’ll tie you to this tree until I come back. Don’t try breaking out though. This is a special chain used by vampire hunters. Virtually unbreakable by vampires,” I grin, glad I carried these around with me.
I wrap the chain around a tree and padlock it. I look at her. “Any comment?” I ask. She shakes her head.
I sigh. What a boring companion.
I run of towards town.
I lay my head on the damp ground. This Lucas guy was horrible. But not as horrible as me. I hated myself for killing that human. I shuddered, thinking of the horror.
I glance in the direction Lucas had gone. No sign of him now.
An idea strikes me. Maybe I could try that gift thing he was talking about; use it to escape.
I closed my eyes, concentrating as hard as I could on a mouse. I remembered a pet mouse I had when I was 8. How his light brown fur had felt, the way his beady eyes had looked at me.
A tingling sensation starts in the pit of my stomach. It spreads down my legs, up to my head. The chains clink to the ground. I open my eyes. Suddenly the world is a lot smaller.
I look down at myself. Brown fur. Tiny hands and feet. A tail. I was a mouse. An exact imitation of my old pet mouse. Maybe that was it. I just had to think of something I knew.
I laugh, though it comes out as a squeak. I’m free.