Two hundred years ago we, the vampires, were the humans’ warriors, and we were good at it, the best if we hadn’t taken a liking for the bloodshed. World war three ended and we weren’t needed, some settled down in society, but some couldn’t put a rest to war. It was their purpose and began to have a strong lust for blood. The blood banks went into deficit, the attacks increased and people started to put the two together, realising it was their trusty warriors who were doing it. There was an uprising which lasted a few weeks, where many vampires and humans alike- died. But it becomes a problem when over half of the county’s force is made up of vampires, it meant there weren’t many to fight us off, but as if to fortify the end of a long world war, the human race united for their one common enemy-us.
A solution was created, an artificial substance that replaced the nutrients we needed from human blood. But they found that although it would stop us from starving, it missed something, a different sort of hunger. It was discovered that blood was addictive, not like cocaine to humans, in human terms there’s no way of describing it. Some (most) who refused to take the artificial blood, agreed to boundaries, and the sectors were created, the monsters, the vampires that they relied so heavily on during the war, had become their enemy; but they hadn’t forgot what we did for them, so we simply lived separately. However, humans’ lives are short, and their memories are even shorter, and there came a time where the value of the history between our races began to dwindle.
This is what I’ve been told anyway, I was born one hundred and eighty-three years after the war finished. Things are very different now, for one, there’s a vampire leader to keep everyone in check, and blood is imported in each day by a single electric train.
Still, some of the older vampires, who remembered what it was like, remain restless in this time of peace. Me? It suites me just fine, all the while I don’t have to fight, I’m happy.
It was an awkward relationship between the meaties and the veggies. The veggies were people who accepted change, and I’d like to think they’re moving towards the future, but there are some (a lot) who think it was betraying their own nature- they lived in the outer sectors. Their unofficial leader Quinn looks forward to the time where we can integrate ourselves back into human society and tries recruiting people on the outer city. some say he brainwashes them, but I don’t think so.
The meaties, live in the centre of the city, where the blood arrives each day, the richer you are, the closer the centre you are, and at the heart of the city is the castle where our leader lives, and where I live. You see, because our great blood thirsty leader- he’s my father.
My father remembers how it used to be and he doesn’t let us forget it, especially me. I’m not exceptionally strong or good at anything, and im not overly violent. Everything about me was average (apart from what I was below average at), and yet he wouldn’t just let me be my average self, he’d badger me with extra classes, or try and give me extra blood to make me stronger (which I’m sure does not work). He was obsessed with finding something special about me, and while there was, something quite extraordinary, I made sure he would never find out.
And after tonight, I won’t have to worry anymore. I packed light, two sets of clothes, a roll of money, and three flasks of blood. Only Jake, the younger boy I share a room with, knew where I was going. I know I would miss him, but there was just no possible way he could come. With my chosen method of travel, he would die.
I waited until light speckled on the horizon and most people were asleep or at least thinking about it, until we crept out of our room. The corridors were dark, with black blinds pulled over each of the windows just in case someone would need to move about during the day, but as always, it was light enough to see. With the bag slung over my shoulder, we crept down three flights of stairs to the bottom floor, and through the kitchen (which we had no real need of but had one anyway) which was always kept unlocked.
I pulled on the handle, and with a tough tug, it opened. The hinge had rusted and had almost fused shut, and it would have, if not for my occasional use of this escape route, one that I have used countless of times before. Light gathered in a little pool on the kitchen floor, before being pulled shut and submerged in darkest once again.
I had no fear that someone would see, because if someone did try and see they’d be in too much pain to notice a small figure moving in the streets below. And their skin would burn and boil if they tried to follow someone into daylight. Except me.
I couldn’t see Jake from behind the old worn door, but I could imagine him waving his goodbyes, and I turned and waved back though I knew he couldn’t possibly see. The streets were even more beautiful in day light, with little cobbled streets and flowers that grew up the sides of the buildings we couldn’t fully appreciate in the dark. The sun rise immersed the world in hues of oranges, I closed my eyes for a few seconds, letting the sun warm my skin. And then I began to walk through the empty streets, which are often streaming with people, around the bends of the ancient buildings which were built hundreds of years ago.
In time the city faded, the cobbled streets became dirt roads, and the large expanse of land between the meaties sector and the veggies stretched out in front of me. A waste land really, with land with no name or use to us- humans would have had crops grown there, but we have no need of that, so over the years we had let nature take its course. Grass had grown immensely high, almost drowning me in the weeds, and wildflowers ruled over the large expanse of green.
I’ve been here once before, the onetime my mother was allowed to see me, she took me here, the border of two worlds which restlessly coexist. She told me that one day I would have to choose, and there was no way of going back, but when the time came, I would know what choice to make.
That was the day my mother disappeared.
This is the day I make my choice.
But truth to be told I was tired of my father’s world, his violence and his strange obsessions. I think my mother was tired of it too, we weren’t like him and I won’t pretend to be, it wasn’t the only way of living. And thats were I was going-to a new life.
I flattened the weeds with my feet, leaving a small path behind me, setting out with the hope of living truly for the first time in my life.
The sun was hot, it was summer, but the nights I was used to were cooler than the days, and I tended not to go outside during the summer, because like humans, my skin would burn or tan. As a vampire, I was naturally pale and while sun cream wasn’t exactly on the vampire market, it would be obvious to anyone who cared to look close enough, and with a protective father like mine, he would surely tell. In no time I was drenched in sweat, and I could feel blazing heat on my skin like I’d never experienced before. I took frequent breaks, taking small sips of the blood I had in a travel flask, careful not to take too much, and kept to the shade as much as I could.
But there were entire expanses where nothing by dry dirt remained, an after effect of the chemical spilling that happened in the war, even after all this time, nothing could grow. The heat pressed down on my body, but I forced myself onwards, one step in front of the other, I walked miles in silence.
The scenery began to change. When things got greener, I could feel life brimming from the tiniest of things. I crossed a series of pine trees, and the centre of the little cluster was the tallest of them all, with a trunk that was twice as thick as me. I stopped to watch a line of ants carry parts of leaf and debris ten times their size over the roots and out the other side as I lost them on the forest floor. Then I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds, and I wondered, is this freedom?
I could hear small mice scurrying in the bracken, young birds chirping to their parents as they come to and for with insects and berries, squirrels scratching at the floor rummaging for nuts or seeds dropped down from trees.
But then I look up through the branches to the sun that was high in the sky and hurried on. If I wanted to make it to the first human village by nightfall and cover more ground than my father could flit in a night, I’d have to get going. That’s why it had to be summer; I could hike for over eighteen hours and cover more ground than my father could while using his speed in six hours, if I was quick. So, I set off again in a light jog, through the trees and out the other side, back into the sun.
Although I was set on leaving, the silence was nerve racking. With nothing to do but jog and think, I worried. I worried that I was making a horrible mistake, and once I got to the human world I’d do something wrong or get in trouble and everything would fall apart. I’ve always been one to worry a lot, I was often told that it wasn’t vampiric enough to have so much anxiety, but there was so many things about me that weren’t vampiric that it didn’t even make top of the list.
The sun was getting low, so I decided to flit the rest of the way, and I’d covered over ten miles in ten minutes. But in the sun, flitting was exhausting, so I could flit anywhere near full speed. But I could see a human town on the horizon, so I decided to walk to rest of the way.
The town was quiet when I got there, the buildings were small and made of wood, I walked down the centre street soaking up my new surroundings. I didn’t see anyone outside, and I wondered if this was in fact a ghost town, but there were a few signs of human activity, for one, the tyre traces made by bike, discarded outside one of the bigger buildings, there was music playing in the distance and-“Where’s your folks kid?” a shadow growels, and jump back in shock. I didn’t notice the man, sitting deadly still in a shadow of a sun porch off to my left. I’d walked right past him without realising he was there.
I swivel round to face him. “Folks?” oh, he means my parents. “They’re not here.” I answer.
“I can see that boy. But where are they?” I feel hostility rolling off him, and it scared me a little. Were all human like this? My entire body went hot, sweat suddenly pouring out of my glands and I froze. I didn’t give much thought to what I’d do once I got here.
“I... Er...” I stammered. I didn’t think I’d been questioned like this. Why did he have to notice me? I could have just passed through without anyone saying anything.
“Uncle!” I flinch as I hear a harsh human voice behind me. I turn to look and find myself facing an angry looking boy a little older than me. I brace myself for more probing, “Uncle, what have I told you about scaring potential customers away?”
“Customers?” I pondered to myself.
“The kids got that right, in a wash out of a town like this, who would have customers?” he grumbled.
“Sorry ‘bout that, lookin’ for a room?” he asked smiling in my direction, then seeing my blank expression, “you weren’t, were you?” he shoulders sag. “anyway, the names Jacob.” He held out his hand, and it took me a second to realise he meant for me to shake it. We hadn’t any customs that resembled hand shaking in vampire society, but I knew from stories and knowledge my mother told me when I was little. After a moment’s hesitation, I shook his hand. He flinched as our fingers touched, “wow! You’re cold?!” my heart skipped a beat. Damn, I’d forgotten about that.
“sure he’s not one of those damn vampires?” ‘uncle’ said, and I felt my shoulders stiffen once again.
“Uncle!” he shouted again, then turned to push him back inside. I watch the exchange, fascinated if not a little scared of my first encounter with humanity. He returns a minute later, where I’m still standing a little shocked where he left me. “just ignore him, he thinks every newcomer is a vampire.”
“And what if they were? Does he dislike vampires?” I asked.
He cocked his head for a second, then laughed. “You’re a funny guy. Where’d you come from?”
My mind went blank for a second, I had a strong impression I couldn’t tell the truth. To be honest I was a little disillusioned with my first encounter as humans, I hadn’t imagined them being so hostile. I beginning to formulate a lie, but I couldn’t think of one, “somewhere really far away.”
“Huh, mysterious. I did see someone coming in from the wastelands, was that you?”
“Nasty business that wasteland. Too nearer the vampire region for my liking. Did you have to go near it travelling here? I didn’t think there were any more villages further east than us.”
“I had to go round it, I come from beyond that.” I answered, pleased with my little lie.
“Wow, really? I thought that was the ocean.” He comments, and I feel my entire body go hot and my face flush red. Then he laughed, scratching the back of his head, “nah, don’t mind me, geography isn’t my strong suite. It’s hot out here, do you want to come inside?” he asked, and I could hear his uncle shout from inside “you idiot, don’t invite a vampire in your home!” and I was inclined to reply that it was a myth created by the veggie vampires after the first revolt so they could blend into society better, but I didn’t think it would go down so well.
“Thank you.” I answer, and I follow him through the door into a cool empty bar and let out a sigh of relief. He went around the other side of the bar, and I settled on one of the stools opposite him, gazing around the bar with a slight look of awe on my face. At the centre of the room where I was setting was the bar, a thick set long wooden side table with tall matching wooden stools tucked neatly underneath. The rest of the room was an array of mismatched chairs and tables which seemed to fit together in a chaotic order, and at the end of the room was Uncle sitting in a rocking chair that stood next to a cold fire place. The walls were lined with strange paintings and a large mirror on the centre wall, which made me chuckle. The old man probably believed in the myth that vampires had no reflection.
“What’s up, never been in a pub before?” he joked.
And while studying the array of bottles set on shelves and the glasses hanging from the ceiling above him, I let out a small “no.”
“You’ve got to be joking?!” he exploded at me, and I shrunk back away from him. “well theres only two pubs in this town ‘cause we’re pretty small and don’t get many visitors. You’re our first this year.”
I didn’t know what to say, so I replied with silence.
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