The church bell tolled mournfully as I walked behind the three caskets that held my entire family and world. Even the black horses were subdued, not to mention the mourners milling around and following the procession. As we drew nearer the church, big fat drops of rain began to fall and I looked to the heavens gratefully. This means they're all going to heaven. As soon as I thought that three flashes of thunder cracked across the sky and I smiled up at the clouded black sky. "Thank you," I whispered to God. I hoped he was listening. A flash of thunder means they are already in heaven. I was so happy that they arrived safely. They deserve peace. More peace than I can give.
The preacher was droning on about what an amazing man my father was, and I was staring at him blankly. I was just an eighteen year old girl. I had no idea of the world that grown-ups lived in, how was I to know what dangers lay before me.
"Miss, Miss Carson?" The preacher was asking something, looking concerned at me. "Are you ready?" He asked. I nodded slowly and as I stood, ready to lay a lily on each of their graves, I realized I was shaking uncontrollably. The preacher was instantly by my side, and took my arm to help me walk over to the black caskets, laid out on tables. They were all closed, as they were all burnt beyond recognition and there was no reason to scare anybody with the horrible monsters their bodies had become. He guided me up to the tables, and made it look like he was escorting me, but in reality he was holding me up and supporting all of my weight.
I placed the lily on mother's coffin, and thought of all the soothing words she said to me to get me through the days where everything was going wrong. All the things she taught me, and all the things she never would. Her perfect smile so much like my own, and her soft kind features that made her the most perfect wife and mother in south Carolina. The way she had the slaves entranced, willing to do anything for her because she was their mistress, and most importantly; their friend. The way my father loved her and looked at her.
I placed the lily on father's casket and thought about that special smile he saved just for me, and the way he'd hoist me onto his lap and read myths to me, from ancient worlds. The way he'd tell me to stay strong, because one day everything here would be mine and I'd be responsible for everyone and everything here. The way he would tuck me in every night and kiss my nose, telling me to be a good girl for him, and not to cry over anything. The way he'd look at me like I was his whole world, and there would never be anyone like me. The way he told me that I was special, and I would make a difference to this world that only I could do.
I placed the lily on Scarlett's white coffin and I almost broke down. White for purity. She was nine years old, and as innocent as a spring flower. I thought about the way she looked up at me as if I were the most important thing in her world, and the way she followed me around. Doing everything I did to perfection, so she could be like me when she grew up. The way she'd tell me her immature secrets, and gasp at mine. The way she's dressed like I'd dress, hoping to get the boys to stare at her the same way. She told me that she wanted to stay with me forever, and that I was her best friend. She knew I would never let her down, and I'd battle the devil for her. But she never knew that I left her in that burning house, and gave up. I gave up, and let her die...
I watched them bury my family, and shovel the dirt onto the black caskets that were buried in the same grave. 'Nicholas Carson and Penelope Carson. Lived together as man and wife, died in each other's arms. Loving parents, husband and wife.' It had their wedding date and death date etched onto the gray stone headpiece. As the last of the dirt was shoveled in, I placed a single lily on top of the damp earth. "Forever, mama and papa." I whispered, as I quickly moved on to the empty grave next to it.
The local men slowly lowered the white coffin into the small hole that was deep in the earth. Tears dropped frantically down my face and into the earth, accompanied by the large droplets of rain. As they started to shovel the earth onto the pristine coffin I started to shake and shiver, wishing there was someone here to hold me. But there was no one left. Not even a friendly hand to hold. The ground was flat again, and normality was restored, to everyone but me. Everyone could forget about them, but I couldn't. I looked at the white stone angel perched on top of a stone cube. "Scarlett Elodie Carson. Loving sister and daughter. 1843-1852. Our perfect angel." Nobody knew her like I did. I threw the lily down on the fresh grave and turned away from her, letting everything flow and crying my eyes out. Nothing could make this right again.
I woke up.
I opened my eyes angrily, why am I remembering this? This is in the past. It's been 154 years! Can't I get over this? I pressed my fists into my eyes until I couldn't see anything, but still my heart wouldn't settle. I sat up and breathed steadily for a few seconds, looking around my room. A four-poster red bed, a huge oak door, a huge oak dressing table and wardrobe, chock-a-block full of clothes I've only worn once. A large mirror I stare at every day, a circular carpet I sit on, worn out by the candles always in a circle, blazing away. Some burnt to a stub, and piles of spell books everywhere, piled in unsteady columns, ready to topple and crush me at any moment.
I lay back down in my bed and slowly snuggled back to sleep. Nightmares have gone now... just go back to sleep Lacey...
Walking home from the churchyard, I wiped a tear that fell down my cheek. My black lace gloves didn't keep the chill that was winter away, but the fur coat draped around my shoulders helped. I listened to the crunch of snow underneath my boots, and tried not to think about the tragic accident that occurred just days ago. My whole family, gone. The fire ravaged the family home, and killed my sister, and my parents. I miss them so much, and now I'm under the 'protection' of my father's brother. Michael Carson. Not the worst thing that could happen to me, but not the best.
I walked into the crossing. The dark was falling soon, and it would take at least 30 minutes to get home in the snow, or I could cut through this alley and it be 10 minutes. The dilemma. I didn't want to get on uncle Michael's bad side already. I started to walk trough the dark alley, quickening my pace. I watched the ground.
As I was walking, someone grabbed my arm, and pushed me against the wall, I slammed into it, and it knocked all the breath out of me. A woman, stood there, with her hand around my neck, tightening her grip. "Please!" I wheezed, trying to breathe, but failing. She laughed in my face, and her eyes glowed brightly, like a cat.
"What's your name, little one?" She asked me, her eyes glowing brighter than a hot furnace.
"Lacey Carson... Please let me go..." I pleaded, struggling to capture air into my lungs.
"What is your date of birth, little one?" She asked again, a twisted smile playing on her lips. Sharp ivory fangs came out of her mouth and dimpled her chin. Oh God, a vampire. They don't exist... no. They don't exist.
"The thirty-first of October, year of our Lord 1840." I tried desperately hard to breathe, but everything was becoming hazy, and the dull ache in my throat wouldn't go away...
"All Hallow's Eve? Interesting... and only eighteen... so young! Oh well, The fun has only just begun!" She laughed hysterically, lowered her head and bit me on the neck.
The pain was unbearable, and I screamed on impact. But the pain soon turned to pleasure, and I found myself moaning as she sucked away my blood. I felt myself getting weaker and weaker, and that was when she bit her own wrist, and made me drink from her wrist. I gobbled up greedily, suckling like a baby for milk. She smoothed my long black hair away from my face, and snapped my neck.
Everything was dark.
I woke up, sweating, and breathing heavily. Damn. I was remembering again. I took a deep breath to calm my racing heart and thought about all the ways I got over that terrible night. How it didn't scar me for life and that being a vampire isn't what makes me. I was me anyway. This just sped the process along a little. I rubbed my eyes, and ran my fingers through the sultry long black hair that I've been growing for the last one hundred and seventy-two years.
I walked gracefully over to the mirror planted on top of my dressing table which held numerous perfume jars. Not all of them held perfume, many held deadly poisons and spells only to be used in emergencies. Or when I feel like it! I inspected my skin carefully, looking for any imperfections that could have arisen overnight. My skin was pale white and blemish free, as per usual. I stripped down to my underwear, and studied myself in the full length mirror.
I was pale, but there isn't much I could do about that. Being one of the 'undead' and all. Small but perfectly formed; My friends say to me. Long legs that go on forever, and small hips, bubble butt, waist is tiny. I grew up in the Victorian era. Corsets all the way! Red lacy bra and matching set of panties were put on today, and a red corset dress custom-made for me.
It was short and barely reached mid-thigh but hell, who cares! I wore black fishnet garters, the sexy kind. Some might say I'm looking for trouble. But I say, "Baby, I'm the definition!" I kept my waist length hair flat, and curled the edges. It fell down my back, cascading in a rippling waterfall of dead cells. My eyeliner heavily drawn on, as well as mascara, although I know I don't need it. I fastened priceless Ruby earrings onto each ear, and I sat down on the floor. I was surrounded by unlit beeswax candles, all lined up in a circle. They were different sizes. Some were burnt down to a stump, whereas some were brand new.
I sat in the middle of the circle, cross-legged, and my eyes closed, I raised my palms to the ceiling. "Accendunt et committitur die novum." I said, in a low voice. Speaking clearly so my order is heard. The candles lit up suddenly, and burnt steadily. I'm a vampire witch. I use my powers solely for good, and by that, I mean my own good.
"Lacey!" I heard a knock at the door, and my eyes snapped open. "Aperire, vel quercus." I ordered, and the door flew open, revealing my best friend Allie, standing there, tapping her fingertips against the door frame. She cantered in, and sat down in the circle, in the same pose as me. We joined hands and sat in silence, the door now shut.
Allie was stunning. A vampire witch just like me, and the same age. We were both changed on the same day, but at slightly different times. We grew up together. We're just like sisters. We share everything. Spells, secrets, even clothes. Allie has dirty blonde hair, and blue eyes, verging on violet. Today, she was wearing a dress a similar length to mine, but white lace. She wore a pearl necklace and pearl earrings. White simple heels, while I wore my black Mary Janes. Now, don't get the wrong idea. I'm not goth or emo, and she's not preppy. We change our look everyday. Just like some people change their hairstyles.
In our house, there are three of us. Me, Allie, and Hanna. Us for girls run this show, and then there is Luna. She turned all of us. Allie and I first, then Hanna one hundred years later. She comes home once a year, to make sure we're all okay. She's our vampirical mother, and the closest we have to family, or a role model, or guidance. We have no idea what she gets up to when she's not here, we don't hear from her. No email, no text, no calls! It's like she's fallen off the face of the planet. But she always comes back. If only just for a little while. We don't work, we don't pay bills, it's the life really. We just go to school. We don't do lessons, unless we want to.
We all decided, all we want to do is art, and lunch... and more art. So that's what we do! We also hang out, flirt with boys. Everything we want to do and more. We have some vampires working for us, mainly living in, being servants. Twenty or so, we never see them, except in the morning, when we walk down the stairs and give them their tasks for the day. They cook, clean, drive. In exchange for a roof, and food. They can feed on whoever they want, as long as they erase their memories after. We don't want trouble.
Allie and I walked slowly down the stairs, feeling like models on catwalks. Hanna already stood at the bottom. Her short red hair was curled around her face, in a pixie style haircut. She had pale skin that goes typically with redheads, but she was a vampire as well. Her bright blue eyes never failed to unnerve people who she gave the 'death stare' and she always wore the same shade of bright red lipstick. She says that when she feeds, it turns her on to see the bright red lipstick mark she left behind, along with the fang marks. Today, she was wearing the same style dress as Allie and I, although hers was pink and lacy. Some could say it was almost the same shade as her skin, maybe a bit pinker. As soon as we reached the bottom, we hugged each other, and asked how her morning ritual went. She replied with a shrug of the shoulders and a tilt to the head. She didn't say much unless she was bitching about or to someone.
Hanna linked arms with me, and I linked arms with Allie on the other side. You could say I'm the ring leader. A natural leader, that's what they call me. I don't know what it is, but there has always been a deep drive within me to rule and to be respected by others. To be feared and obeyed no matter what.
I looked at them fondly, but it was a hollow feeling. Is it going to be like this forever? Living here as three teenage girls, draining blood from strangers? It seems so... mundane. Who wants to live like that? I want excitement, adventure! To lose, and win! To love and to have pain! I want to feel! I looked around at the blank faces that take orders, and then melt away into the shadows. They mean nothing to me. I have no idea what influences their lives. Where they came from. I have no idea who they are, what they feel. How my actions touch them. They are all strangers to me.
I needed to be happy again. Hanna and Allie realized this as they pulled me into a dark unused room. "Girl, what's up!" Hanna cried, searching my face for answers, while Allie searched my arms and legs for any wounds or bite marks. Or even a tattoo.
"Allie, I didn't get a tattoo. Don't worry. Would that even work on us?" I asked no one in particular. That is a good question. Would the ink just heal, or would it stay? Maybe, I'll try it out!
"No. You're not trying it out. No matter what I say you'll do it anyway, but I'm saying it now. No. Luna will kill you. I will kill you." Allie said, very sternly. She's the mother I once had and lost. She means everything to me. They both do.
"Oh, let her do what she wants! You worry too much. So, Lace. What's up? You don't seem yourself!" Hanna asked, serious now, which is a new one for her.
"I have no idea, Han. It's like I woke up this morning and I have no idea who I am, or what we're doing here. Everything we're doing has consequences. Usually bad consequences. I don't want to live like this anymore. Plus, it's so boring! Nothing ever happens here. Something needs to happen, or I'll die of boredom!" I groaned at them. But this wasn't fair on them. They didn't need to hear about my troubles.
"Oh, Lacey's got the dumps again! What did we do the last thirty times she went like this, Chocolate ice cream?" Allie asked, watching mine and Hanna's face light up at the mention of chocolate ice cream! Although we're dead inside, and you know. Vampires. We still get chocolate cravings just like any other teenage girls.
We ran into the freezer room which was as cold as a morgue, and slowly picked out a tub of ice cream each. Ben and Jerries all the way! Fossil fuel! Oh yeah, that's the stuff. Hanna choose some sort of raspberry concoction, and Allie had sensible vanilla. Hmm, it seems like I'm the only one in this house capable of having a wild side. Well, Hanna fancies a teacher, so there we go, at least someone shares my interests. Speaking of which, "Hanna, how is your crush on Mr. King going?" I asked conversationally, watching her with my bewitching blue eyes.
She swallowed a cold mouthful and grimaced in pain. "Fine, thanks for asking! I swear, he gets better looking every day!" She said, and winked slowly at me. I laughed, and so did she, but Allie looked coldly at us. "Oh, come on Al's! Lighten up! It's only a crush!" Hanna wheedled at her as she shoveled more ice cream in.
Allie swallowed pale white ice cream, and stared at me thoughtfully. She does this when she's trying to think what to say next. After living with her for one hundred and fifty odd years, it no longer unnerves me. "Do you think I'm destined to be alone?" She asked slowly, while gazing blankly into my face. The chocolate ice cream slowly melted in my pot, and it all looked disgusting to me now. I put it on the shelf I was leaning on, and looked at Hanna quickly. She had the same expression I had on. It was like someone had just told us we were eating frog spawn instead of ice cream.
"What do you mean?" I asked, trying to think what she could be meaning. Allie shouldn't be thinking like this. Allie is strong. She's always been strong. She's the responsible strong one. She chewed her lip, and carried on staring blankly, as if she was in a coma. There, but not really there.
"I mean, most people find their soulmate within their lives. Like our parents. But I've been here on this earth for at least two life times, and I haven't found mine yet. Maybe I don't have one? I'm just destined to be an old maid, and look after you guys." She looked down at the floor glumly, and let her hair fall over her face, hiding herself from us.
"Allie, listen to me. I promise, me and Hanna won't find out soulmates until you do. And besides, aren't me and you destined to be together? I thought we were soulmates!" I winked at her and hugged her tightly. I spoke for Hanna, and she didn't seem too happy about that. But I'm sure she'll get over it. This conversation was all about Allie. Just helping her get back on track, to the rock I need her to be.
"If we're done with this lesbian love session, I'm hungry, and I need my daily cup of blood." Hanna announced, tapping a high-heeled foot and staring at us in our tight embrace. We let each other go, and smoothed down our dresses and hair; making sure we looked as perfect as we did when we walked into the small cupboard like room. As soon as Hanna mentioned blood there was a deep burning hunger for it that radiated deep within my stomach and climbed outwards, making my whole body shake with every step we made towards the kitchen.
"Lace, you're okay?" Hanna asked, looking at me twitch slightly. I nodded brightly and smiled with emotion I didn't feel and carried on walking briskly with my peers to the kitchen.