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Massacre of the Innocent
“As I’ve told you before, you are not like other girls, my love,” my mother told me as she was clearing the table from our meal.
“I don’t understand,” I told her, much confused as to what she was trying to say.
“What I mean is that we are not like the mortals of this world. We are the night stalkers, hunting endlessly. We can never grow old, much less die from any human illness. We are vampires, Edyline.”
I was five when she told me this. As I grew older, I began to see some of the traits of my kind: unmatchable speed, senses, and efficiency in hunting my prey. I’m seventeen now, an age of courting in our household. We stuck to the old ways, which were rules from around the 1880s, simply because we feared that change would remove our existence from this world forever. We never married humans, so as to keep our race alive. We never took blood from someone that didn’t give us permission to do so, so as to keep a noble reputation. We never killed, under any circumstances. These are the rules for the purebloods, nobles, and half-breeds alike, and we abided by them fervently. My version of hunting was simple: catch, feed, release. This was my way, even though I still had to ask permission from my victim to take their essence. Afterlife is not as golden and glorious as the human authors have made it to look. We are at odds with nature constantly, always fighting for survival. The sunlight burns us severely, crucifixes can kill, and holy water…well, let’s just say you really don’t want to get any of that on us. It’s bad. Anyway, the life I had led since the day my mother told me that we were vampires had been lonely and secretive, for I still had to go to a human high school. I had to disguise any trace of evidence when it came to feeding, and I still had to act human, for no one else knew about us. I have plenty of friends, but none that aren’t human. Apparently, vampires are pretty rare these days, compared to how it was in the late 1800s. Back then, this place would have been teeming with them, but not anymore. I am the only vampire that I can sense in this school and in this town.
I came home from my usual day at Carolyn High hungry, which was a first for me. Unlike the stories claim, we can eat human food; it’s just not as satisfying as blood is. My mother was the first to greet me, but something was wrong. I could sense it. “We’ve been found out,” she started, her voice shaking. “We have to move, or else they will kill us like they killed your father.”
My first impression was to grab her arm right then and take off, but she probably would not let me. I am very protective of her, though she believes that she doesn’t deserve it. When she said that we’d been found out, I knew in an instant what she meant by it. Vampire hunters had seen her on the streets. They were still around, yet very difficult to find because they were even rarer than the vampires themselves. We had killed them to an extent that they are now almost completely gone, and we didn’t mind it one bit. They used holy weapons and weapons that usually would only wound a human, but killed our race in one strike.
“Mother, don’t worry. We will be safe. I will protect you,” I reassured, but to no avail. She sobbed and fell to the floor, holding herself in her own arms. I looked down on her with pity and fear. What would become of her if I was killed trying to protect her? She would cease to exist with me. She would end her own life. She loved me with every drop of blood in her veins.
When I had calmed her down, I took her hand and we went down to the basement, locking the door behind us. We stayed there for a long time, listening and watching for any suspicious signs. Just as we thought we were safe, we heard loud banging noises upstairs.
“Open up, you unholy heathens!” a man cried. “Submit your sins to God or die!”
My mother held her breath, afraid that any sound would be heard by the hunters above us. I heard them break down the door and burst in to our home, destroying everything and anything around them.
“Stay here,” I told her in a loud whisper, and she nodded tearfully. She knew what I was going to do, but she wasn’t going to try to stop me, which was a wise decision on her part. I unlatched the door and exited the basement, only to find a Hunter’s gun pointed between my eyes.
“I found one, boss!” he shouted, then smirked at me. I snarled at him. Make them afraid, I thought. Make them pay for what they have done to us. I looked at the gun pointed at me, and laughed, as dark and cursed a sound as I could manage. I scared the idiot so bad he actually jumped! I grabbed the gun and crushed it in my hands, and stepped towards the cowering fool.
“You dare to try to hunt me?” I snarled. “It’s such a foolish mistake, on your part. I’ve got to give you kudos for your street groupies, though. I’m very impressed.”
They stammered silent words of fear to their comrades, and I smiled at them evilly. When a method of killing came to mind, I launched myself at them, slashing them all apart with my claws. They screamed like little girls, and dropped to the floor like dead flies. When all was over, I licked a little of the blood off of my nails and growled. It wasn’t over.
I heard the basement door being kicked down behind me, and a few men went inside. When they came out, they had my mother in their arms, snickering at me.
“What have you done?!” I screamed, for my mother had been beaten or mutilated; I couldn’t tell which. She was covered in her own blood, and she was not breathing. They just smiled. The fools just smiled at me. They threw her onto the floor and kicked her, and that was the last straw. I ran at them with all my might, baring my fangs and claws. They foolishly tried to shield themselves, to no avail of course. I tore them apart, screaming obscenities at them, demeaning them in every way. When my vengeance had been wrought, I ran toward my now dead mother. The limp body did not move. I cried for the first time in my life. I had destroyed the enemy, but could not save the one I loved. Distraught, I took a discarded sword from one of the bodies and ran myself through, crying my mother’s name as I did so. As I fell in death, visions of old memories passed my line of sight. I saw a young boy, quite handsome, walk toward me and pick me up from the ground. He pulled the sword out of my chest. Just as he called my name, everything went black.
I woke hours later, on a bed that was not familiar to me. I sat up quickly, causing my head to spin and make me dizzy. I held my head in my hands, trying to comprehend where I was and what I had done beforehand. A sudden wave of strong nausea overcame me, and I was thankful that there was a trash can nearby. I heard rapid footsteps, almost running, coming toward me, then felt a hand on my back.
“Are you alright? Hush now, it’s ok. I’m here,” an unfamiliar voice reassured me. I was still afraid, for I knew neither where I was nor who this was aiding me, comforting me. I was still incredibly ill when I pulled my face away from the trash can after a good five minutes of continuous sickness, and the man laid me back down in the bed, put a cold rag on my forehead and pulled up the covers.
“You’ll need your strength. Stay still and don’t try to move,” he told me, and I was too weak to try, so I obeyed. He left, but returned moments later with some broth, meant for me. I almost opened my mouth in protest, but resisted. It smelled too good to refuse. He put the bowl on the night side table beside my bed, and I reached for it. He stopped me.
“Don’t worry. I’ll feed you so you don’t have to move.”
I was bewildered. What in the world was this boy thinking, helping someone like me? It was then I recognized him. He was with the Hunters when my mother was killed. He was the one that removed the sword from my chest and called out my name. Just who was he? I still didn’t know. I didn’t want to ask right then, either. He was feeding me, and I was motionless. This boy was enchanting me with his uncanny chivalry. Why would a Hunter’s boy decide to help a pureblood enemy?
I spoke up finally, and asked his name.
“Hashiro,” he said. “Hashiro Knight.”
I still didn’t know, but I didn’t care. I knew who to thank for this unusual assistance.
“You need to rest now,” he spoke gently, as if to a child. “You are weak from the blade that you so foolishly ran yourself through with. Didn’t you know that was a Hunter’s blade? Were you trying to die painfully?”
It was as if he was lecturing me. I snorted in aggravation, and turned away from him, feigning sleep. He rested his hand on my shoulder and turned me to face him. His eyes were gentle yet sad, and they were staring right into mine.
“I’m sorry. I just don’t want you to die. Please, don’t ever do something like that again. I can’t bear to lose you,” he whispered. Those beautiful eyes were filled with tears now, almost overflowing.
“You don’t even know me,” I snapped. I was a little irritated at this boy. He was crying over me as though we’d known each other. He angered me with his compassion because I had hardened my heart against Hunters forever. They were the ones who had killed my father, and now my mother as well.
“That shouldn’t matter,” he whispered. “Look, Edyline…I was hoping you’d accept a Hunter helping you, but I can see you’ve hardened your heart. I was wrong about you.”
He turned to walk away, and I felt guilty for the first time in a long time. Here was this boy, aiding me in hopes of me softening my spirit towards the Hunters. What was his purpose? Did he plan to recruit me? Still, I could not accept this new emotion I felt towards him. I grabbed his hand before he could walk away from my bed. Please stay, I thought. Don’t leave me alone. Just as soon as I thought this, it was as if he read my mind because he stayed. He pulled up a chair beside me and sat, holding my hand and smiling gently through his strange tears. I wiped the tears from his eyes, trying to suppress my own.
“It’s okay to cry, Edyline,” he said softly. “It shows compassion, not weakness.” As soon as his words hit my eardrums I burst out crying. He held me in his arms, stroking my hair, calming me. I was showing my weaknesses, but I didn’t care. He made me feel safe at last, even though he was perceived to be the enemy that murdered my loved ones. Now I felt like he was becoming dear to me. When my tears were done, he laid me back down (for I was hanging onto him and half off of the bed) and pulled up the covers. I finally fell asleep.
I woke up to darkness again, this time not expecting it like vampires usually do. I mean darkness as in I couldn’t see anything. It was as if I was either in an abyss or dead (again). I started to try to move around, but soon realized that I was tied down to something. Someone tipped my face up and untied whatever it was around my eyes and removed it, which made me regain my sight. I was in some sort of a chamber, chained down before a court.
“You have done us well, Hashiro,” said one of the robed men.
“I didn’t mean her! This isn’t the one!” claimed a voice behind me, whom I recognized as Hashiro himself.
“Then was it the mother? She’s already dead,” another snapped.
“No…you can’t kill Edyline. She is dear to me.”
I heard Hashiro say this and I cried out his name. “What have you done to me? Where am I and why have you brought me here?”
Tears filled my eyes and overflowed. I was sobbing. It was not weakness. It was fear and compassion mixed together. I hung my head as another man spoke.
“You have been brought before the Hunters court on account of your sins,” he said. “Hashiro did not bring you to us. We found you and took you ourselves. He was too cowardly to bring you himself, so he must die with you.”
I gasped. “No!” I screamed, and struggled against the chains. “You don’t understand! He saved me from your heathens when they murdered my mother! I have not sinned against you!”
Instead of being fearful, I was angry again. No, it was not just anger. It was broiling rage. I broke one of the chains and growled with all my might. When the last one broke, I charged. As an executioner rushed toward me with sacred arrows I sliced his chest, leaving him bleeding badly as he screamed in agony. I ran in the other direction in search of Hashiro. I heard him call my name from afar, and I followed his voice straight to the dungeon, where he had been beaten apparently, for his face was bruised and bloody. I crashed through the dungeon door and kneeled beside him.
“Don’t trouble yourself with me, love,” he whispered, for he was too weak to talk. “I will not live. You will live on.”
“Don’t you dare talk like that, Hashiro,” I cried as my tears fell again. “You and I will live forever. I will make it so. You forget I’m a pureblood.”
He put his arms around my waist and took me down with him to the floor. “If what you say is true, then be with me, that way if I do die from my wounds, someone will live on in my legacy.”
I nodded, tears falling from my face. He wiped them away, and embraced me. I had not felt such pleasure in my life.
As we dressed ourselves, he spoke in a harsh whisper. “If we are to escape, we don’t have much time.”
“We will make it, love. I promise,” I told him. He rested his hand against my abdomen.
“If we don’t escape, you can live with our child,” he told me, and kissed me. Just as we were about to leave our hideous prison, the guards burst in, ripping him from my arms.
“No!” I screamed, “You can’t do this!”
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