BY ANGELA HYLTON
I walked alone. As of late, I couldn't be around other people without thinking about him. I'm sure , you haven't a clue as to what I'm talking about. Let me explain. I'm a vampire. I was reborn , or should I say , I died in the late 1700's. The time was so different then. Women were thought of as property. Your husband owned you. My mother had died in child birth and I was just 15 when my father gave me to be married. The man he chose, was 30 years my senior, an awful old man. He owned property in our area and had money. My father thought that by allowing this, he was setting himself up to be included in my husbands good graces. He couldn't have been more wrong if he had tried. As soon as our marriage was made legal and public record, we left Rome. My father wasn't allowed to contact me, nor was I allowed to contact him. We settled in Paris. I wasn't allowed to leave our villa . For you see, my husband was a very jealous man. He didn't want anyone to look at me , for fear I would be taken away. My day consisted of cleaning and cooking and to be at my husbands beckon call. He was a mean soul. He would cover my mouth when he was on me, so I wouldn't be heard screaming . The pain was awful. As you see, my husband was a big man. Big in more ways than one. I would lie in the dark afterwards and cry. I had to be very quiet, or he would beat me for being weak. Several years after we left Rome, my husband took ill. I was left to take care of my abuser. He would lay and yell for me to help him use the chamber pot, turn him over in bed, rub his feet. I would have rather died myself than do any of those things, but , I was his wife. I was expected to do this. He lingered for about 3 weeks before his spirit finally left him.
I was alone . My father , I would find out, had pasted 2 years earlier. My husband ,I would find out later , had left a lot of debt. All of his money was gone , and the property sold to pay his many debts. I was alone and penniless. Left to the streets , I made money any way I could. I sold my body for money. I was very beautiful you see, or I had been told this by the many men that paid for my company. After what seemed like years, but was really only months, I was bought by what I thought was my savior. An older woman , who owned more than my dead husband.
She took me to her home. The biggest home I had ever seen. The front was bordered by wonderful gardens, glorious fountains, and statues of beautiful cherubs. I was given a grand room with a balcony . The room was a rainbow of deep jewel colors. Dark greens, blues and burgundy. I was in heaven. At least I thought it was heaven. Two weeks after I came to her home, the real truth of my existence was made known. Mother , as I was told to call her, had had many young girls living with her over the years. They all disappeared in time, like they didn't exist at all. Late at night , she would come into my room and sit. Just sit , and watch me sleep. Of course I wasn't asleep, just waiting to see what would happen next.
Then my worst fear came true. One night, after the house was dark, she came to my room. She stood at my bedside, watching, breathing, lusting. Only it wasn't my body she wanted. She wanted my blood. Not to drink, to bathe . She believed that the blood of the young could make her young. She told me she would give me the choice as to how it was done. I could do it willingly or she would take it by force. Terrified, I let her take it. She would cut my wrist , just deep enough to bleed me, not deep enough to kill me. Then she would rub the blood all over her naked body and laugh. I'm beating you , she would laugh. I'm not sure who she was talking to. I didn't care. I just wanted out. I would later find out that she too, had once been a very beautiful woman. Many years had creased her face so deeply, that they seemed no end to there depth.
I gradually became accustom to her strange ways and it became just a nightly chore. One night, as I waited for her to come to me, I fell asleep.
I awoke to bright sun warming my face. She hadn't come. Wandering out of my room, I heard nothing but an eerie silence throughout the house. Not having any idea where to begin to look for her, I just walked. Door after door ,I opened , and found beautiful rooms. Rooms with big beds like mine, rooms with bath tubs as big as pools, and a room with thousands of small cloth bags piled in the corner. Not wanting to be beaten, I left the room quickly. Then I found her. Sitting in a large chair in what I assumed was her bedroom. Her eyes were open, but they were cloudy. I called to her, "Mother ?" " It is I , Sarah ." There was no answer. She just sat and looked into nothingness. Touching her , I realized she was dead. What must I do ? I don't know anyone to tell . Then , I remembered cook. She must be here. Running down stairs and into the kitchen , I found cook. She looked up at me with a strange look on her face. " You have seen her ?" " Yes, what must we do ?" "I have already sent for the undertaker." This can't be happening again. I will be left alone and with no money . I will not go to the streets again, I screamed .
After what seemed like forever, the undertaker came. He wasn't alone though. With him was a tall , important looking man . I would quickly find out that he was a constable . He had a large black satchel under his arm. After her lifeless body was gone from the house , the man called me by name , " Could your name be Sarah ?" Frightened, I could only nod my head. "Please , sit with me . I need to speak with you." Reluctantly , I sat down on a small stool near the fire, trying to warm a cold that was to the bone. " How may I help you sir ?" "It is I that am going to help you my dear." " I have a legal paper stating you as her only living heir." An heir, I had no clue as to what that was. " I haven't done anything ! No one can say otherwise !" No, my dear, you do not understand. The mistress of this house has left all she owned, to you . Me , Why me !? I am not of her blood . The words left my mouth before I thought about it. To be sure , she had taken enough of my blood to count for some kind of relation . What do you mean ? " Looking at me with such pity, he answered. Why my dear , you are a very wealthy young lady . A lady. I had never been called as such in my life. "I don't know what to do, help me please." "Of course, my dear." " First , do you want to keep the hired help, or hire the people of your choosing ?" "You mean I can do that ?" Laughing , he assured me I could anything I wanted . " I will hire my own , please ." " Of course, I'll make all the appointments for you." " Only the best ,I assure you." " With that said , the reality of was happening sank in, I asked the only question I could think of. " All of this , looking around , is mine ?" " Yes, my dear. All of it , and more ." He hadn't been gone for very long before I started looking at my new , yet mostly old , things. The room with all the small cloth bags, was my last stop. Slowly , I walked toward the corner. Reaching down, I tried to pick up one of the bags. Gripping the top of the bag , I lifted. Or , I tried to lift the bag. It wouldn't budge. Quickly sitting down , I scooted as close as I could get to the bag. Fearing the worst, I slowly untied the bag. The scene before me was blinding. GOLD!!! The bag was full of gold pieces!! Reaching for another bag , it held the same. There was bag upon bag of gold coins. Instantly I felt like I was stealing . This couldn't be mine. Not hearing her enter the room, cook spoke and my heart stopped in my chest. " My lady, what is wrong ?" " Are you not happy with your good fortune ?" "My good fortune ?" "Yes , my lady." " Did you not hear the constable ? This is all yours now." Suddenly, my heart was beating in my throat. Mine , all mine . Thinking to myself , this must be a very bad dream. I quickly pinched my own arm . Pain , real , wide awake pain. "Cook , how long have you worked for the mistress ?" " Well, let me think. I guess , going on twenty years, I think." " In all your years here, were there any other young people living here?" " Well , of course there was," she said .
To my amazement , she said it like the mistress was a saint. " Where did they all go ?"I asked. "They left, my lady." "Left ? How, when ? " I'm not sure my lady. One day they were here , and the next , the mistress would be sad ,saying another one had left her." I think I knew what had happened to all those young people. Quickly, I pushed the terrible thought out of my mind. I had to much else to think about.
My life was changing so rapidly, I couldn't keep up. I had hired all my own staff , keeping cook of course. I learned much to no ones surprise , why the mistress had so much money. She didn't pay her hired help enough to live on. I changed that in short order. Cook thought I had lost my mind. I learned she was a married woman, and that she had two young daughters. I immediately had her move her family into the house. It was such a big house , that even with them here, it still was deathly quiet most of the time. I learned that cook's daughters were uneducated. At the ages of ten and twelve, they couldn't even write their own names. Hiring an educator for them was a must. I ,myself was self taught. All those lonely years with my husband , left plenty of time to learn. Of course , I still was as eager to get the teacher for them as well as for myself. There was so much more I wanted to learn .
Having no idea how to manage a staff of twelve , I asked cook's husband for his help . He assured me he would do the very best job he was capable of . Speaking of cook , it took me almost two months before I was brave enough to ask her given name. " My lady , you may call me cook if you wish ." " That is what you do , not who you are . Please , I consider you and your family, my friends. At that , she was speechless . " My given name is Mae. My husbands name is Joseph." " What of your daughters ?" " Elizabeth , is my oldest ones name and my youngest is Rebecca . We call them , Liz and Becky." " That is wonderful , thank you so much ." " My lady , what are you thanking me for ?" " Please , don't call me , My lady . Please call me Sarah ." " My lady , I couldn't possibly do that ." " Why ", I asked, almost hurt. " I am an servant . If it was known that I called my mistress by her given name , I could be jailed ." " I couldn't believe what she had told me . Well , you do what you must outside this house , but inside the house , you call me Sarah . Please ." " As you wish , My la. Sarah ." She was smiling now . That was a wonderful sight . A truly happy woman , with a bright future for her family lighting her eyes.
As spring of that year turned into summer then to fall , I grew lonely . Not for company mind you , but lonely for love . I had never really been in love of any kind before .I wasn't even sure I would know what it was if it landed in my lap .Which is exactly what had happened during an evening at the theater . I was watching a play by someone I had never heard of , in a language I didn't understand , just because someone with money was supposed to do just that . Just when I thought I could stand no more , a beautiful young man was trying to pass in front of me. When , with a miss step , flop , right into my lap .His embarrassment was easily seen on his beautiful face . He had the bluest eyes I had ever seen. So blue , that it was almost as though they had been painted that color . Hair as black as a ravens feathers , hanging down his back in a cascade of waves . A face like an angel, strong jaw line , and a nose that couldn't have been more perfect than if it had been sculpted that way. When our eyes met , there was a look of wisdom in his eyes . Like , he had lived a thousand years looking through those blue pools of ice. Only later would I learn how close I was to what I was thinking .He apologized over and over . Finally convinced I would live , he asked me to walk with him . Normally , the only men who wanted to walk with me , had other things on their minds and were willing to pay a lot of money for it . He was different . Kindness and gentleness surrounded him . Evening after evening , we walked . I tried to contact him during the late morning on the third week after our meeting . But , to my dismay , he was nowhere to be found . Finally , excepting that we were destined to be together during the evening and at night, I began to sleep longer in the mornings , so I could be awake longer at night to be with my new love . I had been so happy to be out and about , that I had been calling him ,sir ,this whole time . Realizing what I had been doing , the thought that I didn't even know his given name almost frightened me . I would find his name out before our relationship went any further . That evening , he came as expected . " Sir , I must know your given name if we are to be together any longer ." The mere sound of what I had just said , almost made me laugh . " My lady wants my name and she shall have it . My name is James Von Trought ." The sound of his name thundered in my head . "May I call you James ?" "I would have no less," he answered . " But only if I may call you Sarah," he said . My heart was pounding in my chest . Just the mention of my name on his lips was pure heaven .
Late one evening , we were walking through the park . I would have never have been out this late by myself . But with him , I felt as safe as if I were at home locked behind closed doors . Suddenly , out of nowhere , he came . A man of unreal strength and size . James threw himself between the man and myself , as though a wall between me and the coming danger . The man charged us , almost growling as he came . James was knocked to the ground and the man started beating him violently. I leapt up without thinking , and struck the fiend on the back . He paused and turned on me . Hitting me violently on the side of my face . As I fell , I could see the ground rushing up at me . What caught my attention the most was the large rock coming straight up at my face . The world went black. There was no pain , just darkness. I'm dying , was all I could think. Then that was gone too. When I awakened , I wasn't in the park anymore . I was in a beautiful room , surrounded with soft thick blankets . This isn't Heaven , and surely Hell wasn't this nice . Where was I ? My mind reeled . Where was James ? Is he hurt, Is he even alive ? And what of our attacker? Was I in the most beautiful room I had seen , or the most beautiful prison I had seen ? Thinking I had to find out where James was , now , filled my mind with fear . Stepping out onto the floor , I quickly came to find sharp , blinding pain struck me .I had to sit back down to gather myself before I tried to stand again . This time , I rose slowly , holding on to the bed for support. The pain was still present , but not as fierce this time. Looking down , I found I was in my petticoats . My clothing was gone . There was a robe lying at the end of the bed, so I put it on and began to look around the room . First , I must try to figure out where I was . Walking to the window and pulling back the thick drapes , shielding my eyes from the bright sun light . Morning , how long had I been asleep ? Suddenly , how long I had been asleep , seemed a small thing. Where was I ? Nothing I saw could tell me anything . There was no city to be seen . Only forest , and tall snow capped mountains . This was wrong. Opening the window , a burst of cold , very cold air took my breathe . Panic took me . I could only think , run ! Turning , crossing the room , opening the door, all within my ability , but my feet wouldn't move . I was frozen with fear . The knock on the door was a blessing at first . It brought me out of my state of frozen fear . Then , the thought of who or what was knocking on the door , frightening me almost more than before. The door opened and to my surprise , it was cook , Mae . " Where are we ?" " I'm not very sure , my lady ." This did nothing to ease my fear . "How did you get here ?" " I 'm not sure of that either." "Master Von Trought , can to the house , saying that you needed my assistance and to come quickly . Without a thought , I walked out of the house and the next thing I knew , I was down stairs . "That is very strange ." "As I agree , my lady ." "Master said to tend to you and your needs until he returns this evening ." "Do you have any idea where we might be ?" "No, my lady ." "Well then , lets look around and see if we can find any clues ." Walking arm in arm , we left the room . Immediately , we discovered we were in some sort of castle . I say castle because everything was stone . The walls , the floor , even the stairs .This is getting even more strange . " Are there any castles in Paris ?" "Not that I can say , my lady." "This is not possible Mae, we have left our home land and don't even remember how ." At that we decided to explore our surroundings . Starting on the first floor , we followed a long hall way to what looked like a study . There were many wonderful paintings on the walls . Some depicting seasons , some just dark night scenes. Then I noticed something familiar about each one , James was in them all . Not so obvious is some , but very obvious in others . One thing that stood out was the fact that many of the paintings were dated . Some were current ,but others were from long before my time . This couldn't be right, James wasn't much older than myself . He couldn't have been alive during most of the scenes I was looking at . Finally , after much thought , I convinced myself that with James' money , he could have paid someone to paint anything he wanted . Moving to a different room , I found more books than my mind could take in . Thousands of very old books lined all of the walls . "How could anyone read this many books in one lifetime ?" Mae was standing beside me looking very troubled . "What's wrong Mae ?" "My lady doesn't think this all a bit strange ?" " No , not really . James has a lot of money . He could easily pay for all this and not think twice about it ." "I suppose you are right my lady , but I have a very uneasy feeling about it all ." Getting hungry , we looked for a kitchen . Once there , Mae took over . She moved about the kitchen as if she knew where everything was. "This kitchen was put together by an experienced cook . Everything in it's perfect place . After a light meal , we started looking upstairs . Each room was beautiful . Only , each and every one was dust covered and unkept . There was obviously no maid or house servants . The rest of the day was spent wandering through room after room of the same dust and dank . Later in the evening , out of ,what seemed like nowhere , James appeared . He didn't have an overcoat , or gloves on . Come to think of it , sound carried so easily in this huge place , no outside doors were ever heard opening or closing . He must have been here all along, but where ? Mae and I thought we had looked in every room . We must have missed one , somewhere . "James, where are we and how did we get here ?" "Sarah , my sweet , do you not recall ? You were badly hurt last night , barely alive . I brought you here last night and then went to gather your house woman to tend you until I arrived ." "That all makes perfect sense , considering I remembered the attack last night, but do not remember coming here . Speaking of here , where exactly is here ?" "You are in my home , safe and sound ." "Fine , and that would be where ?" " Without answering my question , James lead us to main level of the castle . "Would you like something to eat ?" "Mae can fix us something , if you don't mind her being in your kitchen ." " No, you are my guests , I'll have my cook fix something wonderful for the both of you." He has a cook ? I never saw anyone else in the castle. Mae seemed as confused as myself. "You have a cook here ? I didn't hear her arrive." "Arrive? She lives here with the rest of my house servants." "Others ? We have been over every inch of this castle and haven't seem a single living soul ."James only laughed at this. It wasn't long before I found what he thought was so funny .
I wanted to go home . I missed my things , my home , Mae's children Becky and Liz . James hadn't mentioned anything about taking us back to my home , so I brought it up .He said he would be happy to take us back later that night , if that was alright . Of course , but why wait until later ? He looked at me and in a voice that almost frightened me , said that it was his choice as to when he would take us . At that he left the castle . Mae and I were sitting together in the room I had awakened in , when sleep took us both . It seemed strange that both of us became exhausted at the same time. Minutes before , we had been talking about Mae's daughters. Upon realizing something was wrong ,I raised up in the bed to find I was in my own room , in my own home . Not again , I thought . MAE!!! I yelled, where are you? In just a few short minutes , Mae was standing in my doorway , looking very frightened . "How is this possible ?" "We have traveled and not known it ? This can't be ." "I agree, this is all to strange ."Many things were going through our minds. Had we been drugged, knocked unconscious ,or something more that we couldn't understand . The more we talked about it , the more we didn't want to know .
Days went by without my seeing James . Had he been mad at me for wanting to go home ? He didn't seem mad at the time .I didn't know what to do, so I just waited . On the fifth day since our trip, I received a package. At first , I was afraid it was a good bye gift, but when I opened the package , I couldn't have been more wrong. Inside the small box was another small box .Inside that one , the most beautiful sapphire necklace I had ever seen . It was from James . He wasn't mad , just very busy ,as his note said . Mae took one look at the necklace and shook her head . " I just don't have a good feeling about that man ." "The feelings I have about him are very confused . I think I might love him ." It wasn't long until James and I were seeing each other on a nightly basis . Then on one of many nightly outings, James asked me to spend eternity with him . At first I thought he was asking to marry him , only he wanted much , much more .
James began by telling me what I thought was a story, I would soon learn it was just that, the story of his making .I sat and listened , without speaking . When he had finished , I couldn't speak, couldn't move , couldn't do anything .I just sat and stared into space . The story he had told me was one of death , rebirth , blood , and more death . The story had almost paralleled my own . With a few differences . He wanted me to become a part of his world. A world so strange and unreal . My mind was racing . This wasn't fair . My life had been so hard, now , James was asking me to make it harder .He tried to explain to me the change would not be so bad , only my mind couldn't grasp what he was telling me . That night , James left me with a question . Did I want to be with him forever ? He said for me to think about it for a night or so. When I was ready to give him an answer , to just think about him and he would come . I sat and talked to Mae for hours about my problem . She would just sit and listen , more I think out of obligation than anything .After thinking about my past, I decided it was time to start a new life. My life had been full of pain , death, loss and sadness . I had been given a second and a third chance to do something spectacular and so far had done nothing . I wanted more than to just live by myself with my money . I had helped Mae and her family , but that was all I had done . James needed me, wanted me and I needed him . I had made up my mind, I wanted to be with him now and forever. That quick , he was there . We just held each other for a long time . Then , it was time. I let James take me to his home , leaving Mae with the run of my house . When we arrived , it had only taken a few minutes and we were miles and miles away . I was afraid to ask how he did it , I would find out soon enough .He took me to one of his many bedrooms. Taking me in his arms , he was gentle as he told me what would happen . Fear began to take me . His soothing voice was all I could hear , my mind was empty except for him . He slowly kissed my neck , moving lower to the top of my breast. Then without warning he bit me. White hot pain quickly turned into unbelievable pleasure. Pleasure like I had never felt before. Then I began to feel weaker and weaker. I couldn't stand any longer. He held me to him, drinking from me. When he had almost drained me , he spoke to me. Very slowly he spoke , telling me what I needed to do. He ran his fingernail across the top of his chest, cutting himself easily. He said I was to put my mouth over the cut and drink. I started to struggle , not wanting to do something so vile. Then , a drop of his blood touched my lips, my body wanted it at once. It was like liquid fire on my lips. Opening my mouth to taste the blood as it dripped onto my lips, I was taken over by the need for it . I raised my mouth to his chest and drank. It was warm and as sweet as honey. My body immediately reacted with sheer pleasure , even more than before. I wanted this , needed this and couldn't drink fast enough . Then he stopped me , "Please , let me have more , I beg you !" "No , my sweet. You can not drink any more right now. You are going to change. I am sorry , but it will be painful , very painful . Your human body will begin to die ,and it will fight . When it was finished , I opened my eyes. Everything around me was so clear and colorful . I felt as though I could do anything . I felt strong and powerful . I looked at James , he was so beautiful to me .Then I heard a noise .Just a small noise but a noise none the less . "James, do you hear that ?" "Yes , my sweet. It is a mouse out in the garden. That is all it is. Panic overtook me . What had I done ? My senses were bombarding me . Everything was amplified 100 times . My sense of smell , sense of sight , hearing , my sense of touch. I could feel every sound vibrating in the air . God help me , what had I done . I needed to be home , now ! I didn't want to be here any longer . I turned to run , when James grabbed my arm . " My sweet, where are you going ?" " Away ! Away from here, away from you !" "I do not understand , you wanted this , as much as I ." "I was wrong , confused. You have condemned me to hell ." Pain filled his face . I had cut him to the bone . "Please, take me back to my home ." " As you wish My sweet ." In the blink of an eye , I was home , alone in my own room . "Mae !! I need you !" Minutes passed and Mae rushed into my room . " Sarah , what is wrong ?" Upon seeing me , she stopped in her tracks. "My lady, what has happened to you ?" " What do you mean?" "Your face, your eyes , your skin !" Slowly , I stepped towards the large mirror in the corner of my room. Looking at myself , I was slowly started to see what she was seeing . As I looked in the mirror , I saw that my skin look almost transparent . Then , it was as if I vanished . My image simply evaporated , right before my own eyes .Mae screamed , " where did you go ? I mean , your image ?" I slowly turned around to see Mae backing away from me. "Please , Mae , What is wrong ?" "You , you are one of them !" "One of who?" "My lady" , she said still backing away, "you are one of the undead ." "No, I am not !" "I am just as I have been for years, nothing is changed."
"Yes , my lady , it has." "I don't understand , this is not what I wanted ." Running out of the room , tears filled my eyes . When I lifted my hand to wipe my tears away, my hand was stained with blood. Tears of blood , I'm crying tears of blood ! What had James done to me ?
"James !! Come to me now !!"Within seconds , he was before me . "You fix this and fix it now ! "My sweet, I can not change what is destiny ." "This is not my destiny !" "Yes , my sweet , it is ."
Sitting on the edge of my bed , I mourned my life . I would never have children .I would never see another sun rise . My soul would burn in eternal hell fire . "My sweet, do not think of such things ." "How do you know what I am thinking ?" "We are connected now . I know what you want ,before you say it . I know what you think , before you say anything . We are as one ." "Can I do the same with you ?" " I am not sure . You are the first I have brought ."
"There is much you must learn. We should start now ." "Listen and remember all that I tell you . You can not allow the light of the sun to touch you . You will burn .You must find a safe place to sleep, one with no windows . A place that no one can get to you. This I can help you with. You are immortal now . You will not die . "Never , I will never die ?" "No , not by age not by illness . There are ways that you can be killed , listen closely. Fire , sun light, a wooden stake through your heart , and lastly , being beheaded . That is all that can kill you .
"How can you live like this?" "I have been a vampire for over 800 years, it's all I know how to be ." " You have an eternity to ask questions ,but right know , let me tell you how to survive . Don't trust anyone, ever .When you feed , never leave it alive." "What do you mean , when I feed ? Don't you mean when I eat ? And of course it won't be alive. What ever I eat has to be cooked , right?" "No , you will never eat cooked food again . When I say feed , I mean drink from your victim ." "You must never leave a victim alive . If you do , they will become living dead . They will only answer to you and can be a danger to you if you don't feed them when they crave you ." "I don't understand , I can't eat food ?" " no, you don't need it and your body will reject it ." after James had told me what I was to expect , I was more afraid than ever . "How can this be ? You seen so normal . And all this time ,you were a monster and now you have made me one too ." At hearing this , James left . He had been called a horrible thing by someone who he loved and thought loved him . It would be 3 long years before I saw James again . I just caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of my eye . When he saw me , he left in a hurry .
After a while , I became accustomed to my new life style . Months turned into years and years into centuries . It is now the year 2007 , and I am still as I was .Mae and her husband are of course long gone .But throughout the years , I have always kept in touch with one or more of her decedents . Mae helped me when no one else would . I loved her dearly . She filled the place of my mother when I didn't have one. Over the years , I have always made sure the children of her family have had an opportunity to go to school .I never had that chance and had to struggle to hard for my young years .
I have not seen , sensed or heard anything of James . I believe him to be gone .I often think of the nights we walked in the moonlight and talked for hours . I believe I had truly found the meaning of love when I found him . I still cry sometimes when I think of what I lost when he left that night so long ago . But that is a past forgotten.