Thursday, April 17, 2003

Thanks to snives.com for the link!
The triplets helped me unpack the next day. Adam left for work at dawn, and Aghaveagh disappeared into her room. We filled up garbage bag after garbage bag of junk for Goodwill, and once we were finished, with Euphasia and Ema oooohing and aaahing over my collection of silver jewelry (none of which I could wear), the triplets took their leave and left me to my thoughts.

My thoughts weren't exactly pleasant. Even though I had free rent for six months, I still had bills left over from my previous life, and I didn't want to default on anything just because I'd been turned into a vampire. So, for want of a better thing to do, I started writing out a list of everything I needed to change in the next few weeks. The phone calls I had to make. The lies I had to tell.

Lying would be the hard part. My mother and father would see through any lie I invented, just because they knew me so well. Telling the truth was not an option. They wouldn't believe me... and if they did, I had no idea how they would react to the news that their only daughter had been turned into a vampire.

After I plugged in my phone, I hooked up my computer to the internet (dial-up!) and put in a change of address at the post office, the bank, and all my credit cards. It took a little finagling to get my boss to believe I'd had a family emergency and had been called out of town for two weeks, but I had the vacation time coming to me, and he couldn't really say no. That done, I braced myself, logged off the internet, and tried to create a likely story that my parents would believe.

Perhaps I would tell them I'd found a new job in a different city, and had to move right away. Perhaps I would tell them that my car had broken down... my apartment had caught fire... or I had run away with the circus and married an acrobat. Any of those scenarios was more believable than what had really happened.

I tried to imagine the conversation in my mind.

"Hello, Mom? I have something very important to tell you."

"Do you need money? Did that good-for-nothing boyfriend of yours beat you up?"

"I don't need any money... not yet, at least."

"Then what's wrong? You're not pregnant, are you?"

"No, Mom, I'm not pregnant. I'm..."

"Thank God for that."

"I'm not sure God had anything to do with it."

"What did you say?"

"Nothing, Mom. I'm..."

"Then what did you want to tell me, Josie? Did you get a new job?"

"Mom... remember Robert?"

"That good-for-nothing boyfriend of yours? How could I forget him? He never once came to see us. Did you two break up?"

"In a way..."

"Good. I never liked him much anyway."

"You never met him!"

"Well, I wouldn't have liked him if I had met him."

"Mom..."

"Oh go ahead and tell me, Josie. If you're not pregnant... You're not getting married?!?!?!"

"No, Mom."

"Thank God."

"Mom, Robert... Robert lied to me. He... I... damn."

"Josie, watch your language."

"Sorry, Mom. Look. I'm trying to say something that's very difficult for me to say."

"Take your time, honey. It's your dime."

"I guess I should just stop beating around the bush and say it. Robert was a vampire, Mom."

"A what?"

"A vampire. Like Dracula? You know? Fangs, stakes, sunlight, and all of that?"

"But you said you weren't seeing him anymore!"

"I'm not. But he... he turned me into a vampire, Mom."

"He did?"

"Yeah. He... claims it was to save my life, but I..."

"Your insurance should cover it, right?"


It would be a nightmare.

In the end, I cheated and left a message on their answering machine. I didn't say much, just that I had moved and didn't have my new phone number yet. But I did say I'd be in touch as soon as possible, and that I loved them both very much.

By then, morning had changed into afternoon, and afternoon into early evening. I watched the sun set from my window and felt the pull of the lives around me as my new senses emerged from hiding now that it was dark. Adam had returned while I had been agonizing over the phone call to my parents, but I didn't feel like socializing tonight.

At least not that kind of socializing. I wanted to explore my new neighborhood, drop off the bags to Goodwill, and perhaps... just perhaps, grab a bite to eat.

I had to learn how sometime, after all, if I wanted to survive.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Just a note—I have yet to be able to get into my notify list to post a message, so if you join the list and don’t get anything when I update, this is the reason. Customer Support from Notifylist.com has yet to respond to my email as well. I’m going to give them another week, and then look for another provider. Does anyone have any suggestions?

And whoever thought up Daylight Savings Time was definitely not a vampire.

------------------

Even though I had a small apartment, it took us all night to cart everything away. I didn't gape when Adam and Aghaveagh's brother lifted my grandmother's china cabinet without any obvious effort and stowed it away in the back of his truck. We packed all my possessions in Aghaveagh's bag, and it never got any larger.

(I tried to remind myself to ask Aghaveagh where she got her bag when we had a moment alone, but I never got around to asking.)

Because of the fact that we were on a tight schedule, I opted to pack everything, including the dish towels. Adam didn’t protest, and Aghaveagh didn’t seem to mind. After all, I reasoned, I would have plenty of days to spend my spare time sorting through my stuff and throwing out the garbage.

I didn’t check the messages on my answering machine, even though the red light was blinking furiously.

In retrospect, I should have.

On the last run-through to make sure I hadn’t left anything hanging in a closet, I thought the shadows in the bedroom seemed a bit thicker than they had been before. As I walked across the carpet, I saw one of the shadows move.

My heart jumped in my chest. Of all the vampires, Robert was the only one who had been invited into my apartment. And I hadn’t thought to revoke the invitation.

He grabbed my arm and pushed me into the empty closet before I could shout for Adam or Aghaveagh. He covered my mouth with one hand, and twined the other through my arms, effectively pinning me against the wall.

“Do you think you’re better than the rest of us? Is that it?” His breath smelled like stale blood. “Do you?”

I froze at first, still unused to the strength of my new nature. But fear faded as soon as I realized I didn’t have to wilt under pressure anymore. I pushed him away.

He stumbled out of the closet, staring at me. His mouth worked for a moment, as if he wanted to spew his fury in my direction, but nothing passed his lips.

I folded my arms, finding courage somewhere deep inside my breast. “Robert, I never wanted to be a vampire.”

Robert straightened and swayed a little. I wondered if he was drunk. Could vampires even get drunk?

“You… That was the only way to save your life!” The anguish in his eyes chilled my soul. Goosebumps erupted on my bare arms.

And yet, I could not forgive him for what he had done to me. I had no idea how long it would take me to release the anger I held so close to my heart, but it burned brightly and warmed my flesh. “Invitations can be revoked, Robert.” I struggled to keep my voice strong, but I knew he could see how badly my hands were shaking.

His eyes narrowed. “You wouldn’t dare.”

I didn’t remember the phrase from the book, but I had my doubts it really mattered. I opened my mouth.

“I brought your car back, damn you!” Robert threw my keychain at me. I ducked reflexively. And when I straightened up, the keys in my fist, he was gone.

I walked downstairs in a daze, ignoring Adam’s puzzled query until he took me by the shoulders and stared into my eyes. “What’s wrong?”

I stared out at the shadows beyond the front door. My car sat innocently in the parking lot as if it had never left.

“Josie?” Aghaveagh moved into my line of vision. “What happened?”

I felt tears threaten to spill down my cheeks. I tried to blink them back. “Robert… Robert was here.”

Adam’s grip tightened on my shoulders. “Here?”

“Upstairs.” I tried to breath past the lump in my throat. “He… I threatened to revoke my invitation. He vanished.”

Adam glanced at Aghaveagh. She shook her head. “I didn’t sense a thing.”

“Did you revoke your invitation?” Aghaveagh asked.

I shook my head. I couldn’t seem to tear my gaze away from my car.

“I think it might be a good idea if you did,” Adam said. “He might come back and terrorize the next person who rents your apartment.”

I didn’t answer him for a long time. I think part of my numbness resulted from shock. I had yet to fully accept my new life, but I knew, deep down inside, that I had to accept it soon, or I would die.

“We’re ready whenever you are,” Aghaveagh said. Her brother waved from hood of his truck.

I thought I saw a pale smudge of a face on the other side of the street—Robert hiding in the shadows. I turned around and faced my former apartment.

“Robert, I revoke my invitation.”

I’m not sure if it worked, but Robert was gone when I turned back to face my car.

Irrationally, I hoped he would stay gone, but I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had not seen the last of him.

I didn’t know how right I was.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

So, since my car hadn't shown up yet, Aghaveagh, Adam, and I piled into his car and drove to my apartment. The iron in Adam's car seemed to have no affect on Aghaveagh, or maybe modern cars don't have much iron in them; I'm not sure.

I honestly didn't know what to expect when we pulled into my apartment complex. Half of me expected my place to be ransacked, but when Aghaveagh did her thing and let us in, I found everything in place. I stood and stared at the contents of my life for the longest time before I realized both Adam and Aghaveagh were waiting for me before they began packing things up.

"I... I don't have any boxes." It was a stupid excuse, I know, but packing up the contents of my apartment felt too much like going through a dead relative's possessions. In the space of a handful of days I had changed so drastically that I no longer recognized the person I once was.

Aghaveagh pulled a cloth bag from her pocket and unfolded it on the kitchen table. "Not a problem. One of my brothers will be here in about an hour to help with the furniture. Everything else should fit in this."

I wasn't so certain about that, but I didn't say anything. I was so new to this... supernatural stuff that I couldn't claim to disbelieve anything.

"If you don't mind me asking..." Adam held up a threadbare dish towel. "Do you really want all of this stuff?"

I tried to blink away the tears in my eyes, but blinking only made things worse. I sank down on a kitchen chair and buried my head in my arms. "I don't know what I want. I don't know what to do. I don't know..."

Aghaveagh said something to Adam, and I heard him leave.

"Do you want to talk about what happened to you?" Her voice was pure sympathy without an ounce of pity.

I probed the raw emotions that lurked just under the surface of my mind. "I'm not sure. I'd like to forget it ever happened, but I can't do that, can I?"

"No. You can just move on." Aghaveagh covered my hand with hers, and I felt some sort of energy pass between us. I glanced up at her. "If you dwell on negatives, you'll stagnate. You'll become a shadow of your former self. If you focus on the positives, you'll grow."

"But things are so different now!" I protested.

Aghaveagh smiled. "And yet you've survived this far."

I could not discount her words. I had survived. So far. But the road ahead looked just as difficult.

"Let's pack up your apartment," Aghaveagh suggested. "Get everything back to Carver House, and then go from there. I think you'll like living there. Change is good for a person, you know?"

"I know," I said. "But did there have to be so much change at once?"

Aghaveagh traced a symbol on the table. "Twenty-five years ago, I was exiled from Faerie for daring to stand up for something I believed in," she said. "I was expected to die, but I did not. Instead, I flourished." She flashed me a smile. "Two years ago, when they begged me to return, I refused. I had a home here. My previous life was as alien to me as your possessions are to you right now."

I took a deep breath. Her words helped, but I still felt that overwhelming panic struggling to break free of its bonds. Change is scary. "I think I'm ready now."

Although, in truth, I doubted I would ever be ready. Sometimes, change doesn't wait around for you to get used to the idea. It forces you to act, even if you don't want to.

I followed Aghaveagh out of the kitchen, and prepared to pack.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Okay, time to 'fess up.

I'm not really a vampire. Everything you've read in this blog is made up, by me. It's fiction, not fact. As far as I know, there's no such thing as vampires. I don't drink blood, I'm not violently allergic to sunlight, garlic, or certain types of wood...and I couldn't resist. Check the date.

April Fool's. :)

(I will post more thursday.)

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Yes, yes, I know I've been absent for a while, and I apologize for not updating regularly. Hopefully now that everything's settled down I will return to a regular schedule.

And on we go...

I spent the day in my new apartment using a borrowed sleeping bag and an embroidered pillow from one of the downstairs sofas. From what I remembered after reading that book, vampires didn't have to sleep during the day, but I was too exhausted from the night's events to try to stay up. I slept like the dead (pardon the pun) until midnight the next night.

When I awoke, I discovered that someone had been in the apartment while I slept. The spiderwebs were gone. A faded upholstered chair from the library stood under the window, which had been covered with a heavy shade.

I peeked out, relatively certain it was full dark. My window looked out onto the backyard, and I could see the little white house quite clearly. It still looked out of place.

A knock on the door summoned me into the living room again. I opened the door without thinking, and found a thin blond girl standing on the other side. She pursed her lips and looked me up and down.

"You're the vampire?"

"Evidently so." Was this Camilla? Or Aghaveagh the fairy? Or someone else entirely? "I'm Josie."

The girl smiled. Somehow, I didn't think she fit the bill of "wannabe vampire." Wannabe vampires probably wore black velvet, for all I knew, not a faded pair of jeans and a Brian Froud t-shirt. "I know. Adam told me. I'm Aghaveagh."

"Oh, the fairy," I blurted without thinking.

"Yes." Aghaveagh didn't look like a fairy. At least, not how I would expect a fairy to look. "You were expecting, perhaps, Tinkerbell?"

"Something like that," I admitted, embarrassed.

"Don't worry. Everyone does." She smiled again. "Sometimes it's better that way."

We stood at an impasse for a moment, while I tried to figure out what to say to a fairy without admitting my ignorance.

Aghaveagh finally held out her hand. We shook. "Welcome to Carver House. Kelly..." She rolled her eyes. "Now I sound like Harriet. Adam asked me if I'd help you move."

"Move?" Oh, right. My apartment. My things. That life seemed so distant now. "Oh, yeah."

"I've heard it takes a while to get used to all of the changes," Aghaveagh said. "Don't worry. You'll be fine."

I certainly hoped so.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

I'm sure you're all gone by now, but at least I have a good excuse. My computer went belly-up, and I just now had enough money to buy a new one. I haven't been on the internet in months! Hotmail even closed my email account in my absence.

But I'm back now. I have some things to clean up, and then I will continue the story...

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Okay. I'm back, and this time for good! (I will explain later, when I get to that part.) Look for an update over the weekend.
The library was everything a girl like me could dream of. Leather bound volumes shared space with modern paperbacks, and every bookcase sagged under the weight of books. I could have spent the rest of my life happily enscorled in one of the library chairs, reading to my heart's content.

Harriet sat in a faded velvet chair, her hands folded primly in her lap. A manila envelope sat on the table beside her chair, and the Art Nouveau lamp--a Huntress, I think, like Diana--cast a warm glow over the cozy corner of the room.

"Thank you, Kelly. You may go."

Adam cast me a disparaging glance as he left my side. I bit my cheek to keep from laughing.

"Sit down, child." Harriet opened the folder and took out a sheaf of papers. "We have much to discuss."

I can't go into detail about our conversation--one of the things tenants have to sign is a confidentiality agreement--but I can say that I was very impressed by Harriet's questions. She didn't pry, but the questions she asked probably garnered her more information than I would have thought to give.

Two hours passed in an instant. Although I'd should have been exhausted, I was wide awake. I didn't know it at the time, but one of the advantages of being a vampire (and there aren't really that many of them) is the fact that I just don't get very tired anymore. I sleep--we all do, I think--but only for a few hours every other night or so. But I digress.

After the interview, Harriet showed me the apartment. And I fell in love.

I had always been a practical sort of person. Robert was an anomaly--and what an anomaly!--in my life. I had always wanted to be cool and unique, but I settled for mundane practicality. I didn't have that option anymore.

Imagine, if you will, a tall, oak door, heavy enough to withstand the efforts of three vampires (yes, I know this for a fact.) The hallway outside is faded, with a genteel air of a bygone era. The sepia photographs on the walls only add to that feeling. The antiques that fill the house... well, some of them would put museums to shame, but others are the more useful antiques, those that are well-loved.

I opened that door and walked into a large living room with cream colored walls. The floors were hardwood and worn, but didn't creak as I walked across it. There was a fireplace with an ornate tiled mantel against one wall, and a chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

Harriet made a face at the spiderwebs on the chandelier. "Obviously we need to clean a bit before you move in, but..."

I didn't answer her. I was too entranced. I drifted through the living room and peeked into a bedroom that was twice the size of my bedroom in my apartment. The second bedroom was smaller, but still larger than the one I had now.

The bathroom had tile on the floor that matched the tile on the mantle, and a claw-footed tub that a person could drown in. The toliet was one of those old-fashioned kinds with the pull chain, and the sink looked like it belonged in a museum, with a delicately patterned mosaic made from vivid blues and greens. And the mirror over the sink complemented the royal blue tiles of the sink and showed my stunned reflection quite clearly.

There was no kitchen; the residents used the communal kitchen. And the apartment had only one window in the second bedroom. Even without natural light, it seemed airy and huge.

The question I didn't want to ask was on the tip of my tongue. I glanced at Harriet and cleared my throat. "How... how much is the rent here? I..."

Harriet glanced up from writing something on the packet of papers she had carried with her. "Didn't Kelly tell you?"

"N-no." Oh, I wanted that apartment so badly. It screamed me at the top of its lungs. I braced myself for disappointment.

"Oh, well, then. The first six months are free, in exchange for helping out around the house." Harriet pulled out a single piece of paper. "Little repairs and such, until you get on your feet." And then she named a price that was a hundred dollars less than what I currently paid. "There's parking out front; you saw that. Do you have a car?"

"I... I think so," I said, numb with shock. "I did, at least. I'm not sure where it is right now."

Harriet waved her hand. "Kelly can help you find it. In fact, it might be a good idea for him to help you move as well."

"He doesn't have to do that," I whispered. "Did you say... free?"

"All you have to do is sign on the bottom line," Harriet said, smiling at me. "I think you'll like it here."

In a daze, I signed my name, and for the first time in my life, didn't bother to read either the contract or the fine print.

That has been both a blessing and a curse, to be honest.