Starting Over

Writing, Write, Person, Paperwork, Paper, Notebook

Minty opened her diary and looked at the first page. Her scrawly handwriting in glossy blue ink glared up off the lined paper at her. Eyes skimming the words, she turned the page and flipped through the thirty days of January. Letters blurred before her and she could only pick up a few words; ill, writing, work, night, sleep, mum. 

Reaching the next blank page which was labeled Sunday thirty-first January 2016, Minty took up her pen and began writing. She pressed the fine nip onto the line and created loopy letters. Sighing, she poured her mind onto the paper, not pausing once. The blank lines filled up before her until there was no room left to write.

Minty stabbed a full stop at the end and looked back over what she had written. Putting the lid back on the ink pen and setting it aside, she let the ink dry before closing the fake leather bound A4 book. She tapped the cover then turned to the first page again. She pinched the top edge next to the spine and made a little tear. She held her breath, pressed her lips together as slowly, she ripped the page out.

Holding the loose leaf in her hand, she looked at it then the jagged strip of paper left behind. A sense of doing wrong crept across her, but she shook it off. Setting the page aside, she repeated the pinch and tear on the next one and ripped that out too. Placing the second diary page on top of the first, Minty looked at the third page.

With more determination, she tore the page out and flung it away. The paper fluttered then landed like dying butterfly with only one wing. Quickly, other pages followed, creating a white and blue cover across the carpet. The loud ripping sound all that could be heard in the quiet apartment.

Minty reached January fifteen and paused. Her breathing came out in a rush, her heartbeat echoing in her ears. Trying to stop herself from reading the page, she turned it over and gathered the next four together. She ripped them out as one and sent them scattering behind her.

Another four followed. Falling like autumn leaves to the floor. Minty looked at the date she was now on; the twenty-fourth. The ink glowed across the page, a true record of her thoughts and feelings. She fingered the bottom of the page before sliding over to the other corner and tugging it away from the binding.

Minty ripped the page upwards and out. Setting it on top of page one and two, she gathered the next five together and started to pull them. She struggled against the combined strength of the paper and the tear threatened to jag across instead of up. She stopped, divided the paper with clenched teeth and removed three sheets together. Dumping them on top of the three beside her, Minty found the next two pages came out easily and cleaning.

Placing those down, she tore and yanked out the thirtieth. Letting that fall from her hand, Minty lingered over the page she had just wrote upon. The letters looked slightly smudged on the last few lines. She pressed her fingers underneath and re-read what she had written.

I wish I could start the year over again. Nothing has gone right since that first day. But I don’t know how to do it. How can you remove a whole month from your life without the use of some fancy un-invented science fiction mind device? I need a clean start. Perhaps, there is another way though…

Minty tore out the page and sent it fluttering amongst the others on the floor.

‘And now its done,’ Minty whispered.



Tent, Camping, Woods, Camping Tent, Travel, Vacation

Listening to the hailstone outside, he gave thanks for the tent. Looking up, he made out the shadows of the ice balls cast by the street lamps from the bridge above. The hailstones were falling either side of the road bridge, safely away from him.

Wiggling further down in the sleeping bag and feeling warm drifts of air coming up, he settled down again. Shutting his eyes, he thought about his distant family and their refusal to help. The memory weighed heavily on his mind, like his parents’ deaths.

A car horn blared into the night followed by shouting voices. He awoke, heart hammering and fear spiking through his stomach. He listened, but couldn’t work out what the distant, disembodied voices were saying. Once they had faded and the background noises of the city fell into place again, he took some deep breaths and calmed himself.

It took him ages to fall back to sleep and what little he got was restless. The sound of heavy rain yank him awake as well as his bladder. Sighing, he got out of the warm sleeping bag, put on his shoes and unzipped the tent. A gusty wind sent goosebumps up his skin and caused him to shake. He got out on his hands and knees then stood up and looked around.

The early morning light seemed to have forgotten the space under the bridge. In the gloom, heaps of rubbish, an abandoned metal bin, boxes and black bags with thrown along the sides. There was a strong smell of decay and dampness. He got up and went to the wall, casting quick looks around. There was nothing but raising hills of thinly grassed soil at either side.

Above, the bridge shook as a trunk went passed. He did what he had to do then hurried back to his little camp. He got back inside the tent, tugging off his shoes and wrapping himself in an old blanket to bring the warmth back. He looked at the only things he now possessed and with a heavy heart saw that it was time to move on again.


Moor, Swamp, Nature Conservation, Landscape, Nature

They say if you listen closely it’s not the wind that’s crying but the poor souls that have been lost upon the moor.

Snow Storm

House, Snow, Buried, Winter, December, January, Storm

The snow claimed everything like an anger cosmic god.

Harding, cracking and bending everything as it went.

Transfixing people with it’s beauty and making them forget how deadly it could be.

Trust (Part 42)

Candle, Meditation, Hand, Keep, Heat, Confidence, Rest

Fern didn’t remember how she got back up all those stairs and into the bed that had been given to her. Dimly, she was aware of Raphael stating how tried she must be and how she should rest. Putting her head on the pillow, her heavy eyes shut and she listened to the blood pumping through her.

The sweet taste of it still clung to her lips. She sucked absent-mindedly, feeling like a contented baby. Red colours spiralled before her and she thought she could fall forever downwards through them. Something at the back of her mind was tugging at her. A small voice telling her to stay awake and through everything, she thought she heard other voices.

The sleep was too heavy to fight off and she let go, disappearing into a maze of red. She was traveling, flying freely it felt like, over brown and green land. She passed dots of places and long snake roads. Then there was nothing but yellow and blue underneath her, the colours washed together like accidently mixed clothes. She thought she recognized the place spreading out below her. She drifted downwards and landed on a pier with the sea roaring around it.

Fern looked around and tried to remember where this memory had come from. The pier was empty, just a stretch of old wooden boards trying to survive the waves. She could see the beach, running like a ribbon on either side and above that a low rocky wall. Beyond that there seemed to be nothing.

She walked back along the pier, noticing how empty everything seemed and that the only sound was the ocean. The water was sloshing against the pier legs and rasping over the beach so loudly, that she convinced herself it was blocking all other sounds out. Fern got to the end and stopped at the wooden steps lending down and away.

She looked over the railing to her left and saw a shape coming out of the sand. She paused and watched the black figure coming towards her. Strangely, she knew there was no reason to be scared. She knew that person. Stepping off the pier, she went to meet him on the beach, feeling pulled like a kite on a string.

Fern came to a stop and took Dacian in. He looked just like the last time she’d seen him; tall, dark haired, worry etched onto his face. She ran to him and threw her arms around him. He held her as she broke down into tears. She felt him touch her cheeks and kiss her head. He smelt like the sea and the beach or maybe that just was the salty air?

I should tell him, Fern thought, but no words would come out of her mouth. She was left looking into his confused face and feeling the lingering touch of his fingers. Then the beach was tumbling away, a sandstorm whipping up around them and blowing them apart. Fern felt herself flung into the air, colours crazily flashing by.

Her eyes snapped open and her new room came sharply into focus. Sitting up slowly, she put a hand to the side of her head and looked around. She was alone, but in the distance where whispering voices and the sounds of the storm outside. Fern pulled the blanket away and slipped out of the bed. She crossed the bare floor and went to the door. Turning the handle, it opened.

She peered out then sidestepped to Ollie’s door and knocked gently on it. She listened to a soft growling sound and a book being set aside, before footsteps sounded. The door opened slightly then wider and Ollie stared at her.

‘I just had this weird dream,’ Fern whispered.

Ollie poked his head out and looked down the hallway to the stairs. He grabbed her hand and tugged her inside. Shutting the door again, he led her to his bed and they both sat down.

‘Keep your voice down,’ Ollie uttered, ‘everyone has good hearing here.’

Fern nodded.

‘I told you not to drink the blood. Having dreams and seeing things is a side effect of it.’

‘I couldn’t help it,’ Fern hissed back.

‘There’s something in it which is addictive. You mustn’t have any more or else…’

‘They’ll take over my mind?’

‘Or worse.’

Fern frowned and looked at him. They were still holding hands.

‘When I first arrived there was another new vampire here. I thought…well, I don’t know, that he was crazy and his lust of blood was just part of that. He was wild, like some kind of caged beast,’ Ollie explained, ‘a few months later, he just vanished. I asked and asked, but no one would tell me anything.’

‘What do you think happened?’ Fern questioned.

‘They killed him. They couldn’t tame the vampire within him and the controlling blood was making him worse.’

‘We won’t end up like that,’ Fern put in.

‘Who knows what we’ll end up like! We have to get out of here. It’s just bad to the core,’ Ollie snapped, ‘on the surface they try to play happy families, but underneath they fight for control and to impress the Princess. They’re all corrupt and this whole idea of being perfect vampires is just implausible.’

‘How do we get out then?’ Fern asked gently.

‘We’ll have to plan it just right, but leave that to me. Hush.’

Ollie squeezed her hand and they both listened to footsteps and voices going past the attic stairs. A door opened and closed, cutting off a rushed giggle.

‘Go back to your room,’ Ollie breathed into her ear, ‘we’ll take again soon enough.’

Trust (Part 41)

Candle, Meditation, Hand, Keep, Heat, Confidence, Rest

Fern stared into the large crystal goblet that Raphael had just handed her. The dark ruby liquid was speckled with tiny flicks of dark green. She sniffed gently and smelt warm blood mingled something herby. She weighted the goblet in her hand, noticing how heavy and thick it was. Feeling Raphael’s sharp eyes resting on her, she raised the drink and wet her lips with it.

‘You should find it very refreshing,’ Raphael purred.

Fern lowered the goblet and pressed her lips together. On the tip of her tongue she could taste the blood and something grew inside of her, beckoning for more. She looked at Raphael, who’s lips were twisted up in the corners in a strange smile as if he was hiding a secret. He was holding a small golden goblet loosely and seemed transfixed on watching her.

Then Fern’s eyes glanced at Ollie. He was standing still, a matching crystal goblet clutched in his hand, staring at her. His face was calm, but underneath, Fern could tell he was pleading with her. Finally, he glanced down and took a sip of the liquid. He swallowed and looked around the library.

‘What do you think?’ Raphael asked.

‘It’s nice,’ Fern replied carefully.

‘Beside we should sit down? Most of the others should be returning shortly and I’d like you to meet them.’

Fern glanced at the arrangement of furniture then walked over to a large deep sofa close by. She peached on the edge and took another pretend sip of her drink. Her lips and tongue tingled at the touch of silky warmth whilst her stomach let out a little growl. She avoided looking down into the swirling liquid and willed herself to be strong.

Perhaps, Ollie is wrong? the vampire voice whispered in the back of her mind.

She peeked at him as he came over and joined her, sitting on the opposite side of the sofa and leaving an empty space between them. He stole a look at her, before turning his head away and allowing his hair to fall over his face. He balanced his goblet on the arm of the sofa and fell silent.

Why would he lie to me though? Fern questioned, we’ve only just met, what’s he got to gain or lose?

Who knows. Drink the blood, the voice hissed back at her.

The sound of Raphael sitting down in an old Victorian broad leather arm chair opposite them drew her attention. Fern looked at him and watched him take a few sips from the golden goblet. She could smell it was different to what she and Ollie had in their glasses.

‘Why are you not drinking the same as us?’ she asked.

Raphael smiled over at her, ‘because every vampire has their favourite blood. You shall see in time.’

‘What’s in this?’

‘Hasn’t she got such an inquisitive mind?’ Raphael cried, looking at Ollie, who gave him a hard stare back. ‘It’s nothing to worry about. Just some dried herbs and honey. It makes the blood richer and helps to relax you.’

‘I thought we couldn’t…we can only have blood…’ Fern trailed off.

‘There are ways to do things and we are lucky to have a scientist in the family. He has perfected throughout the years combinations of ingredients that have been found to benefit us greatly. You shall get to meet him later, no doubt.’

‘Sounds interesting,’ Fern responded and took a sip of the blood.

Raphael nodded then turned to Ollie, ‘what are you brooding about?’

Ollie shook his head and took a drink, remaining silent.

‘You are no longer the baby now. You should be grateful,’ Raphael continued.

Fern looked up at Ollie shyly, biting back the words that were dancing on her tongue. She wrapped her fingers around her goblet and felt the tension rising in the room.

‘I am grateful,’ Ollie snapped as he stood up swiftly, ‘I don’t have time for this.’

He swept in-between them, crossing the library in a few steps and flinging open the door. Fern listened to his footfalls outside in the corridor then as they raced up two flights of stairs. A female voice seemed to call out his name in the distance before being sharply cut off by the slamming of a door.

‘And here’s me thinking you would get on…’ Raphael uttered.

‘Beside, he just needs sometime? It must be difficult having someone new show up,’ Fern spoke into her goblet.

Her eyes had fallen on the ruby blood and she couldn’t seem to focus on anything else. The scent was so over powering and she felt…so hungry.

‘Perhaps,’ Raphael whispered, ‘drink up.’

Fern nodded and brought the goblet to her lips. Opening her mouth she drank deeply.

To Be Continued…

Trust (Part 40)

Candle, Meditation, Hand, Keep, Heat, Confidence, Rest

Brook wiped blood from his lips and looked out at the rolling storm coming over the countryside. He nursed the green bottle in his hands and pressed the side of his face against his bedroom window. He shut his eyes, focusing on the sound of the rain and somewhere far in the distance the dimming signal of his blood mixed with Fern’s.

He concentrated and followed the red line that bonded them together. In his mind’s eye he flew over patchworks of farmland, stark trees, houses and other buildings. He realised, he was following the road back the way the taxi had first brought them. Then miles away, he spotted a half-hidden turn off and jutting out from the tops of the trees were roof tiles.

His eyes snapped open, his head banging gently against the window. She was there. Wherever that house was, she was there and with other vampires. Brook looked down at the bottle and took another sip from the dusty mouth. He winced, but swallowed anyway because he had no other choice then to drink the old blood.

He put the bottle between his legs and looked out again. He had pulled a chair to the window and only the flicking light of the black liquorice scented candled filled the room. He opened the window, latching it and allowing the wind to drive the rain inside. He smelt the air, but couldn’t catch any more of Fern’s scent. Instead came the smell of farm animals, wet earth and turning autumn trees.

‘I’m not going after her,’ he muttered to the wind, ‘she made her choice.’

Brook trailed his fingers up and down the neck of the bottle. The wind howled in response and splatted some rain on his clean jeans. He shook his head and took a mouthful of cold blood. It was her choice, he repeated.

Swallowing, he shut the window and the curtains. Getting up, he put the CD player on and looked through the stacked CDs. Nothing interested him, so he choice an old Iron Maiden album and stuck that on. As the soft notes cascaded upwards, he grabbed his cigs. Juggling the bottle and his lighter he lit up and sank into his bed.

Blowing the first mouthful of smoke out, he looked up at the ceiling. Once he remembered there’s been posters and photos up there. He shut his eyes and thought about the eighties rock bands he liked. Then the faces of family and friends, joining those bands and staring back at him.

He swirled the bottle and thought about all those nights when as a lonely teenage he’d get drunk. How many times had his parents and the staff caught him stealing or throwing up? He took a drink then other, talking himself into believing it was wine or whisky. He dragged on the cig and shut his eyes. He let himself drifted back and for a few moments he could hear the distant voices of his parents.

What where they saying? Was it about his behaviour again? About his going off with Rose the cleaner’s daughter? The rumour of this ‘lurking’ male friend of his?

He shook his head, toasted the dead and finished the bottle off. Blood gathered at the corners of his mouth and dripped down. He didn’t bother to wipe it away this time. He placed the bottle on the bedside table, feeling the sway of the blood and the music in his veins. He flicked ash and took two long breaths to finish the cig off.

‘Fuck you, Fern,’ he hissed.

He stubbed the cig out and flung himself across his bed.

‘I knew I couldn’t trust you. That Daican probably got you…yeah, he had eyes for you the second he saw you….why did I even bother?’ he muttered.

Rolling over, he looked at the blank wall next to his bed. Something had been scratched into the wall and he reached over and traced it with his finger. Seconds later, he completed the heart shape and moved to touch the two letters that had once been at the centre.

To Be Continued…

Trust (Part 39)

Candle, Meditation, Hand, Keep, Heat, Confidence, Rest

Fern tried not to hold her breath as she watched Raphael staring at her.

‘Where’s the red dress?’ he asked slowly.

‘It didn’t fit. Sorry,’ Fern replied in a soft voice.

‘Really?’ Raphael uttered.

Fern opened her mouth then recalled Ollie’s words and even though she felt herself wanting to resist, she went along with it.  She smiled and said, ‘I thought this looks better.’

Raphael nodded, but didn’t move out of the doorframe. His eyes roamed the room then came back to her, his face blank and unreadable.

‘It doesn’t matter anyway,’ he said, ‘the Princess is not coming back tonight.’

‘Oh?’ Fern cut in, ‘why not?’

‘She’s been delayed. I don’t know the details. I thought I’d show the house anyway.’

Fern nodded as she wrestled her mouth closed.

Raphael turned and walked out the door, waving at her to follow him.

Fern hurried out, closing the door behind her out of habit. They were in a narrow corridor with no windows and the bare wood of the attic showing. She walked past Ollie’s door and looked at the rough, unpainted surface. She counted two more doors then there was a flight of steps.

Raphael’s shoes and clothes made soft rustling sounds as they went down. Fern watched the back of his head and wondered what questions she could ask. Many had come to her mind, but she wasn’t sure the time was right to voice them. She stole a last look up the stairs and corridor as they reached the bottom.

‘You cannot really get lost in this house,’ Raphael stated as if he had noticed her lingering, ‘It has a square design. Every floor, beside from the attic makes a square within a square.’

Fern joined him by the railing and looked down. She counted three floors including the one they were now on and the ground floor. She saw what he meant straight away, as the staircase formed the inner square which led off to each floor. She felt the smooth banister under her fingers and looked around. There were maybe ten doors leading off the third floor square.

‘I get it,’ Fern said.

‘You are not allowed to enter any rooms on this floor or the next. They are private. On the ground floor are the common areas; the living room, kitchen, dining room, parlour, library and the conservatory. You can go into any of those any time you like,’ Raphael explained.

‘So, what’s in these rooms and the ones below then?’

‘Bedrooms, studies, bathrooms. Which reminds me. This is your bathroom.’

Raphael opened a door right next to the staircase and Fern peered in. There was a large white iron bathtub, a matching sink, a toilet, a towel rack and some cupboards.

‘You’ll be sharing it with Ollie. He has the room next to yours.’

Fern nodded.

‘I shall introduce you later. Now, downstairs.’

He began walking away, but Fern did not follow him. Her eyes were looking around at the other doors.

‘You will get use to it and you will like it. And in a few months, I can see that you get moved to one of those rooms, but only if you behave. I think you are going to be quite a challenge, Fur.’

Fern turned, mouth opening, ready to spit out words. She caught the soft hint of a smile on Raphael’s lips and changed her mind. She fisted her hands, grounding her anger into them.

Raphael hummed and turning back started to walk down the stairs again. Fern had no choice but to follow him. They crossed the first floor and went down to the ground. She listened as they walked, but heard nothing as if they were the only ones in the house.

The staircase led to a large open hallway with a glass double front door standing before them. Fern moved before it and looked at the rain tapping against the glass. Outside lights give some illumination and she could make out a driveway stretching away from them. Small trees stood either side of the door and more could be made out lining the road. Fern couldn’t see anything further and she wondered how far away she was from Brook.

‘You are not allowed outside without me. In time, I might give you permission to go with someone else, but for now you will have limited access. It’s for your own safety,’ Raphael tagged on.

‘And if I try to leave?’ Fern asked.

‘You’ll be punished, however I see fit or the Princess. That all depends on what you do and how you do it. I’m sure you do not want to go down that road, though. We have to make it fair for everyone,’ Raphael added.

Sweeping his hand first to the left of the door then the right, he pointed out the two rooms,

‘this is the parlour and the living room. Down here…’ he continued, walking along the hallway with the staircase to his left, ‘is the dining room, which we use for meetings,’ he indicated the next door on the right.

Fern looked around the halfway opened door and saw a long table laid out with twelve chairs around it. There was a large vase of dried flowers in the middle, a long cupboard against the back wall above which hung a painting of a young woman in a crushed purple silk seventeen hundreds style dress. The beautifully modelled white face framed by a waterfall of golden curls. Haunting blue eyes stared down at them and the lips though flicking in a smile, seemed to be mocking.

‘Who’s that?’ Fern asked.

Raphael looked at the painting, giving her a few moments to take in the painting fully, before replying, ‘the Princess.’

Fern swallowed and searched for the right words, though nothing seemed to be coming out.

‘She is quite something in person too. Here is the kitchen, though we do not use it for much. Then…’ Raphael trailed off and stepped over to the glass doors at the end that mirrored the front door.

Fern remembered the conservatory well enough and turned to look at the other door which was opposite the kitchen one.

He followed her eyes and instead, opened that door, ‘the library. There are many different books. Some you can take to your room, others you cannot.’

He stood aside and let her in. Fern stepped slowly in and looked at the floor to ceiling bookshelves. All four walls were covered by the heavy dark cases. Some had glass panels or wire mess locking the books of the top shelves away. A number of sofas, arm chairs, tables and chairs were gathered in the centre and lamps both small and tall were also dotted around. The carpet underneath was a deep plush red and the room smelt of old leather, inky pages, vanished wood and adventure.

Fern went to nearest bookcase and looked down. Someone had handwritten little labels indicating what books and authors were on the shelf. She pulled out a book at random and saw it was an old world atlas. The book was heavy in her hands. She slipped it back in and looked further down the line.

‘The Princess likes her books. I have no time for them. Though, you might need them, if you care for them.’

‘Why?’ Fern asked looking up.


‘No modern technology is allowed here. We have some music players and a few old radios. But there are no phones, TVs or computers.’

Fern’s fingers pressed down on the spine of a book she had been about to lift out.

Raphael give a gently shrug before answering the question on her face, ‘the Princess thinks it’s for the best.’

‘But how can you survive without knowing what’s happening in the world?’ Fern forced out.

‘Humans are nothing but food to us. We don’t care about their short useless lives,’ Raphael snarled.

Fern looked away, his fierce gaze burning into her. She took her fingers off the book, the top of the spine digging in too painfully for her to hold on. Footsteps on the stairs then the corridor drew her attention and she looked over at Raphael in the doorway as a young man came into view.

He was short and had soft waves of chestnut hair tied back. His face was too round and soft, his eyes large, steady and watchful. He was wearing a black shirt and old jeans with grey trainers. He shot Fern a smile then turned to address Raphael, who beat him to speaking by announcing him, ‘this is Ollie. Fern.’

She nodded, not trusting herself to speak.

‘I’m going to get drinks. Why don’t you get to know each other? You shall be working together soon enough,’ Raphael added then walked away.

‘Don’t say anything,’ Ollie hissed.

Fern pursed her lips and swayed slightly, unsure if to get closer to him or more away.

‘Don’t drink anything they give you from a glass or bottle,’ Ollie continued, ‘they put something in the blood. Herbs or something that affect your mind and body. Just pretend to drink it.’

‘How do you know?’ Fern muttered.

‘I found out. I overheard Zara and Ike talking about it.’

Fern eyed him and pulled a face, ‘how can I trust you?’

‘Because we are each other’s tickets to getting out of here,’ Ollie stated.


To Be Continued…

Trust (Part 38)

Candle, Meditation, Hand, Keep, Heat, Confidence, Rest

Fern ran her hands down the dark red velvet dress and decided she really didn’t like it. The heavy material dropped straight from her shoulders to the floor, giving no hint at the shape of her body underneath. She pulled back the sleeves, which sloped into an open triangle shape, covering her hands. They fell back straight away.

Glancing down, she had to pick the dress up to see the floor and the tips of the flat red shoes. They felt too small and were already pinching her toes. She took them off, balancing on one leg then the other. Dropping them to the bare white wood floor, she looked around for anything else she could wear.

The tiny room held a single bed fitted against the far wall with a black curtained window overlooking it. A large wardrobe was within an arm’s reach to her right. The door was behind her, closed and locked. Above her, hung a single candle bulb in a white shade, casting a dim light on the room. Fern made out a running network of old beams and slate tiles in the ceiling.

She went to the window and peered around the curtains. A single panel of glass, flashed the reflection of herself and the room, before showing her the empty land outside. She pressed her hand to the glass, feeling the damp coldness under her fingers.

Is my mind really mine again or is Raphael still controlling me? She thought.

Letting her hand slip from the glass and the thick curtain fall back, she went to the wardrobe and stared inside. A number of different coloured dresses, tops, skirts, pants hung together. On the top shelf the tips of many shoes poked out and in the two fitted draws in the bottom lay underwear, nightwear and a few other items. Reaching inside, she shuffled through the clothes then looked down at the dress. She had no memory of putting it on.

Taking it off and letting it fall to the floor. Fern choose some black cotton trousers and a blue silk blouse. She put them on, finding that they fitted better than the dress and that she looked more like she was going for an interview then to a vintage tea party. Searching through the shoes, she found some black ankle boots which were one size too big for her.

Shoving the dress and shoes back in, she grabbed another pair of socks then paused. Her ears twitched at the creaking of the attic stairs. Quietly, she got up, swung the wardrobe doors shut and went to the bed. Sitting just on the edge, she put the socks and boots on. The footsteps carried on, but stopped before they reached her door.

She listened as the room next to her’s was opened and someone walked in. A bed, probably just like the one she was sat on, she thought, let out a loud groan as someone lay on it. Voices drifted and she snatched a few meaningless words out before they faded again.

Fern breathed deeply and got up. She went to the door and tried turning the round handle. She tugged, but it didn’t open. She tried the other way, but felt the same resistance.

She wandered around the room, it only taking a few steps before she was back by the bed again. She picked up her wet clothes, folded them then stood on the bed. Looking up at the rafters above, she wondered if she could hide her clothes up there.

Why would I even need to do that? She thought, looking down at the clothes.

Getting off the bed, she took them and her shoes over to the wardrobe. Opening the bottom drawer, she put her stuff inside and looked at the other items. There were two black swimming costumes and a white bikini. Followed by; a neon green scarf, a long pair of black silk gloves, two pairs of winter woollen gloves, tights and stockings still in the packets. Fern pulled a suspend belt out then shoved it back in.

Closing the drawer then the doors, she stood up again and looked at the empty wall space on either side of the wardrobe. To the left of her, were the window was, the wall didn’t look as if it perfectly fitted and there was a slight gap between where the two walls meet. She went over and inspected the walls. She ran her fingers along the white cracked paint.

There was a soft knocking on the wall.

Fern froze.

‘Who’s there?’ a male voice whispered though the crack.

‘Who are you?’ Fern hissed back.

‘I’m Ollie. Hey, are you the newbie Raphael rescued?’

‘He didn’t rescue me,’ Fern scoffed, ‘he kidnapped me.’

She heard a soft sighing.

‘Did they take you too?’

‘They found me,’ Ollie said back, ‘Ike and Zara. They said my maker had left me for dead in a hotel room. But I know that’s not what happened. They killed her. I remember. Though, they keep trying to erase it from my mind.’

Fern pressed her hand to the wall, feeling flecks of paint under her nails.

‘You still there?’ Ollie asked.


‘What’s your name?’

‘Fern,’ she uttered.

‘You can’t let them into your head or they’ll take you over. Just pretend their mind control is working and do what they want you to do. It’s the best way to survive,’ Ollie explained.

‘And don’t trust any of them,’ Fern said under her breath.

The sound of footsteps on the stairs turned her head again.

‘We’ll try and talk more later. Remember what I said,’ Ollie’s disembodied voice came through the wall.

‘I will,’ Fern answered back.

She stepped away and into the centre of the room. A few moments later, she heard the lock opening in her door. Taking a deep breath and making her head blank, she watched the door slow open and Raphael appear in the frame.

To Be Continued….

Trust (Part 37)

Candle, Meditation, Hand, Keep, Heat, Confidence, Rest

Brook eyed the wall and growled under his breath. A voice pipped up at the back of his mind that he shouldn’t have let Fern out of his sight. He whacked the wall with his palms and felt stinging spiralling along his skin. Scrapping his nails down the bricks, he stood up tall and with one easy jump, landed on top of the wall.

Looking out over the countryside, he sniffed the air and caught Fern’s scent on the breeze. Jumping down the side, he landed in a patch of over grown grass that looked like it had already been flattened once that night. Tugging the collar of his jacket up, he walked along the edge of the road. His boots sink into the soft soil and a rain shower dripped down above him.

Brook grumped to himself and picked up the pace. There was no way she could have wandered off so far, but she had been gone two or three hours now. He jogged towards the neighbouring farm, feeling wetter every minute. He paused and sniffed the air as the rain was fast distributing Fern’s scent.

‘Fern!’ he called, ‘come back!’

He listened to the wind carry off his voice and retuning without her’s upon it. Shaking the water from his hair, he walked on, scanning the hedgerows and the empty grassy fields. The smell of wet soil and plants filled his nose. He tried to breathe through them and keep Fern’s scent in his lungs.

Picking up his pace, he went into a jog then into a run. The road slammed against his boots as he followed the twist and turns that divided the farmland. A feeling of dread sank into his stomach, but he fought it away. What could happen to her out here? There was no one and nothing around.

A few minutes later the signpost for the For Sale notice came up and he stood beside it. Looking around, he roamed the area for a few minutes but didn’t spot her. Sniffing around like a hunting dog gave him only a whiff of a scent. The rain was fast destroying the trail. He reached out and tried to pick up the scent of his blood with her. That got a better result and he stepped into a patch of hedgerow off to the side.

She had been here. He sniffed some of the spiky leaves then pushed his way through. Stepping against a wooden and wire fence, he looked over a ploughed up field. It didn’t look like Fern had gone that way. Back tracking, Brook thought she might have turned back around, heading home again. He paused and crouched down, she hadn’t been alone.

Growling, he scratched his fingers over the tarmac road the brought them to his nose. Breathing in, he smelt the fading scent of a male vampire. The image of Dacian flicked into his head, but as he took another sniff, Brook knew it didn’t belong him. No, this vampire was older. He rubbed his fingers together feeling dampness and grit against his skin.

Standing up, he began tracking again, but half way home, Fern’s and the mystery vampire’s scent seemed to disappear. He turned about and about again, desperately trying to pick up anything. The rain came down harder, bouncing off the road and splashing up. A trickle of water trailed down one side, escaping the boggy rise.

Brook swept his hair back, cast his eyes around for a last look then rushed home. Vanishing through both gates, he went to the front door and slipped inside. Taking off and abandoning all his wet clothes and shoes, he walked through the darkened house. Going into each room he turned on and off the lights, smelt the air and looked carefully around. Nothing was out of place, no one else had been here and Fern was still missing.



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