Nervously, Fern stepped out of the mausoleum and into the night as a new-born vampire. All around she could see, hear and smell so much it was over welling. Holding tightly to Brook, she looked around and saw that the night was full of colour. The headstones were not just grey or white or black, but a whole range of different shades. The trees that were dotted around were a multi-colour of greens and browns. She could hear the wind rustling the leaves and branches as if she was standing right under the trees.
Beyond, she could hear the town singing with never sleeping noise. She listened harder and could hear voices and the sounds of cars. She felt a whole range of emotions and wasn’t sure what to do first. Looking at Brook for some sign, she noticed that he was distant again, but this time he seemed to be listening to something she couldn’t hear.
‘What is it?’ she asked.
‘Nothing, but we can’t hunt in that town tonight. It took me long enough before and the humans have become restless. I’ll take you somewhere else,’ he answered seriously.
Leading her away, Fern followed Brook through the cemetery and to the fence. On the way there she recalled how only the night before, Brook had wiggled loose some of the metal fence poles and guided her through. She had trailed after him, half stumbling in the dark and scared she’d loose him.
She thought about how she hadn’t been sure that he was going to do it. Maybe they were just going to have sex and he’d take a little of her blood, like he had been doing over the last five months. Or maybe, he was actually going to kill her? Fighting down her fear, she followed him to the mausoleum. After that her mind drew a blank.
Frowning over the lost section of her memory, she came back to the now and realised they had stopped before the fence. She watched Brook easily scale it and jumped down the other side. Worriedly, she eyed the metal spikes that topped the poles and wondered if she could make it.
‘I’ll give you a boost,’ Brook said and put his hands through the fence.
Trying not to think about it, Fern curled her fingers around two poles, put her right foot in Brook’s cupped hands and pulled herself up. The fence shook beneath and caused her to quickly scramble over. She tried to rebalance with her hands, but she tumbled over the other side.
Brook caught her in his arms and tipped her to the floor. Gasping, Fern grabbed him as she almost fell over. Brook laughed loudly. Fern shoved him away hard, anger flashing on her face. Brook slipped off the pavement, but kept his balance.
‘I guess I’ll have to teach you to climb too,’ he squeezed out in-between laughs.
‘Fuck you!’ Fern screamed and went to push him further away.
Brook caught her wrists as her hands pressed into his chest and stopped some of the force.
‘Calm down. You don’t get magical vampire powers straightway. You’ve got to grow them,’ he clarified.
Fern wiggled her wrists free, ‘You lied to me again. First it was the death thing, now this…’
Brook rolled his eyes and put his hands into his pockets. He turned and walked away from her. His boots scuffing along the road and he kicked a stone before him. He knew Fern was watching him, but he didn’t glance back.
She caught up with quickly and walked beside him. They turned away from the town and strolled along an empty dual carriage way, before heading up to a bridge. There Brook stopped and crossed his arms on top of the railing.
‘I don’t get you,’ Fern started, ‘It’s like there’s two sides to you.’
‘You’ll feel the same way soon enough,’ Brook counted back, ‘you’ll get torn between lust and guilt. You’ll want to hold on to your old personality, but the blood won’t let you.’
Fern brushed her hair back behind her ears and studied him.
‘I told you it wasn’t what you thought it was,’ he carried on, ‘you can’t blame me.’
‘What do we do now?’ Fern whispered after a few moments and the wind snatched her words away.
Brook shrugged his shoulders, ‘do you still want to go on?’
Fern twisted her hands together and squeezed her fingers. She nodded her head and looked at the ground thoughtfully. She felt Brook’s eyes on her and decided she had no choice but to keep trusting him, ‘I feel so mixed up,’ she blurted.
‘You’ll feel like that for a long while. But I’ll help you through it. You have plenty of time now.’
Fern moved towards him and linked her arm through his. She pressed her head to his shoulder and looked out across the seemly endless strip of road. She felt Brook kiss her head, then he was pulling her away.
‘Let’s go,’ he murmured.
They walked off and Fern couldn’t help her thoughts turning over what was going to soon happen. She wanted to voice some of those thoughts, but in the end she stayed quiet and let Brook take her to the edge of a seaside town. She thought she half-recognized the place, but so many towns on the English coastline looked the same.
Slowly, they drifted through the buildings and towards the beach. Fern got the impression Brook was looking for someone, she guessed she should be too, but for an odd reason all she could think about was seeing the sea. They arrived at a low brick wall and Fern looked over it at the tumbling waves. The tide was in and tapping against the wall. Dim lights shone out across the surface, but after that all Fern could see was darkness meeting darkness.
‘Someone’s coming,’ Brook hissed, ‘They’ll have to do.’
Fern swallowed her fear and went to grip the wall, but instead her finger nails scraped across it. She kept her eyes fixed out to sea, but only for a moment longer as she become aware that Brook had left her side and gone forward to meet the person coming towards them.
Gradually, she turned and watched Brook speaking to the person. They then hurried back to her and Fern wondered what was going on. Brook and the middle-aged man came to stand before her and it was then that Brook wrapped his hands around the man’s neck and smacked the side of his head against the wall.
Fern gasped and stepped backwards. She went to spin away and run, but the scent of blood yanked her back. Hands over her mouth and a sick filling feeling her stomach, she watched Brook biting into the man’s neck. Transfixed, she stood there, still caught at a cross roads.
A few moments later, Brook broke off and came over to her. Fern stumbled backwards, but he caught up with her and dragged her back. She tried to push him away, but felt like she was battling a large rock. Brook shoved her harshly on top of the slumped man and the scent of blood was too strong for her to turn against.
She felt her teeth tingling and before she fully realised what she was doing, she had her mouth to the man’s neck and was sucking at the wound Brook had made. She shut her eyes and felt lulled by the blood.
Brook’s right, she thought, I’m torn between lust and guilt.
Brook and Fern will be back.