Super Blue Blood Moon

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The full moon rose above the Earth, twice the size it normally was and red sand coloured. Humans watched in wonder but I stared in horror. The prophesy the warlock hundred and fifty years ago had uttered with his dying breath was coming true!

I glanced at the gold, designer watch on my left wrist, the thin hands were almost at two AM. A long wolf howl rose from the almost silent night. I gripped the balcony railing and lend out. Below me stretched the ever green pine forest, lit by the glow of the super moon. Another howl from a different direction sounded and even though I couldn’t seen them, I knew the werewolf pack were gathering.

I stepped back into my manor house, closing and locking the balcony doors as if they alone could keep out the cursed prophesy. I went to my vast library, where an unseen servant had light the fire and the gas lamps I still loved so much. Pacing, I tried to think of anything that I could change to stop the full force of what was about to happen.

From one of the hidden drawers in my Victorian writing desk, I pulled out a small leather bound and yellow page book. I had to turn the electrical light on to read my tiny feather quill handwriting. The prophesy was written in full;

On the night when the full moon appears twice in the same month and is monstrous in size and blood red in colour, shall all the evil arise. The world will be consumed, mankind will be over thrown and a new age will begin. Darkness will rule over everything and there’ll be no stopping it. 

I closed the book and pressed it between both my palms. The words; no stopping the evil, spun in my head. I couldn’t sit back and watch this happen! It was partly my fault… I sat down heavily on the leather padded chair and slipped the book away. It’s dark secrets would be safely locked again but my own secrets would be harder to put away.

Leaving the comfort of the library, I thought through all the possibilities as I went to the front door. There was only one way to stop the prophesy and that was to gather all the good forces together to fight this evil. Snagging my cloak and whipping it around me, I stepped into the night and became nothing more then a shadow across the lawn.

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A Little Blood (Part 1)

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It was a week to go and the shops were packed with Halloween stuff. I breathed in deeply trying to keep my excitement down. This was my Heaven! I pushed the trolley over to the shelves, a small smile creeping on my face. I reached out for the first thing; a gold pot pumpkin then a little gasp stopped my hand.

I looked down at my five month old daughter, Grace, who was still in her car seat in the special holder on top of the trolley. She was asleep, bundled in a pink blanket with a unicorn at one corner. The lullaby of the drive here had caused her to doze off. I glanced to my right side and saw my five year old son, Harry, dashing away.

He went over to the children’s costumes a bit further down and came to a stop. He slowly reached upwards with both hands then turned to me. My love for Halloween and Gothic things was rubbing off on him.

‘Mummy! I want to be a vampire!’ he shouted.

‘A vampire?’ I muttered as I re-collected myself.

‘Yep! That one!’ he added.

I looked to where he was pointing at and saw a full vampire costume hung up opposite him. There was a pair of black trousers, a white shirt, a white ruffle tie, a dark red waist coat with brass buttons, a pointy cross medallion on bright red ribbon and a huge black cape lined the same dusky red as the waist coat.

Harry reached up for it but couldn’t get it down. I moved the trolley around him and pulled the costume down. I  checked the price tag; twenty pounds then looked at the clothes in detail as Harry jumped up and down.

‘Please, Mummy! I really want it!’ he gush.

‘This one won’t fit you. It’s too small,’ I pointed at the age on the hanger.

Though it said four to five year olds, Harry was tall for his age and filling out fast. He was easily a size or two up.

He pulled a face and made his hands into fists. He looked like he was about to throw a tantrum but he was just angry. He turned away, his longish, black hair swinging and looked at all the other costumes. His eyes moved from the zombie, skeleton and pirate to the girls selection; witches, female vampires and bat.

I slipped the vampire costume back and looked through the other sizes. I selected the seven to eight age and pulled it off, I showed it him, pressing it against me as if I was trying it on.

‘This one?’ I asked to get his attention.

He turned his head then his body and let out a happy cry, ‘yes! Mummy!’

‘Okay,’ I added with a smile and put it in the trolley, ‘now what can your sister be?’

Harry hurried to the baby and toddler section and began looking through the clothes. I joined him, avoiding a younger man and his trolley who was speeding past. There were less costumes to pick from and more actual baby clothes decorated with Halloween themes.

‘These are so cute,’ I spoke out.

I reached for a little grey t-shirt that had a imagine of a bat on it with and block letters that read Let’s hang out! I picked the right size for her and put it in the trolley. Next there was a white baby gro with a cream coloured ghost and the word Boo on the front. I put that one in too.

‘A pumpkin!’ Harry cried and pulled a bright orange body suit with a green leaf shape topped hat off the rack.

I pushed the trolley forward and out, giving us some more space. Harry raised the suit to me and I took it off him. There was a Jack O’ Lantern face on the front which looked more friendly then scary. I checked the size; six to eight months.

‘Yeah, this looks good. Nice choice!’ I praised him and put the outfit in the trolley.

We looked at the rest of the Halloween things and got Harry some glow in the dark fangs and a makeup kit to turn him into a full vampire. Some packets of sweets and a few decorative pieces then we carried on shopping.

 

To Be Continued…

Halloween

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Upon this night, the veil between this world and the next thins allowing the passage between two places. The dead in all forms comes back to walk the earth once more. Spirits visit family and friends, guided by the candle light inside pumpkins left at front doors. Whilst the scary Jack O’ Lantern faces keep evil away.

Ghosts drifted through the streets, their tethers to places broken for this single night. They moan through the trees, rattling the bare branches, haunting everything they can. The more powerful ghosts move heavy objects, scream against the wind and make their presences felt.

All the other supernatural beings move through the cities under the disguises of real people. They mingle with crowds of children and adults, dressed up in bright or dark clothes going door to door. The old chant of trick or treat rings out, filling the night along the laughter and small screams.

In the shadows, demons and witches wait to snatch any wandering child away, but they are out of luck tonight. What with everyone child safely protected by the costumes they wear. It’s hard to tell if that is a human child or a fairy laughing under a tree. Best to leave it alone and lay in wait once more.

Vampires move from their crypts, rising as they have time after time. They seek out the only thing that can keep them going, but there is too much choice tonight. They prowl about, killers hiding in the darkness.

Clouds pass the almost full moon that hangs down in a ink blot sky and the clocks begin counting down to the midnight hour. Soon it will be over and this one night will be gone for another year.

 

Halloween

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Upon this night, the veil between this world and the next thins allowing the passage between two places. The dead in all forms comes back to walk the earth once more. Spirits visit family and friends, guided by the candle light inside pumpkins left at front doors. Whilst the scary Jack O’ Lantern faces keep evil away.

Ghosts drifted through the streets, their tethers to places broken for this single night. They moan through the trees, rattling the bare branches, haunting everything they can. The more powerful ghosts move heavy objects, scream against the wind and make their presences felt.

All the other supernatural beings move through the cities under the disguises of real people. They mingle with crowds of children and adults, dressed up in bright or dark clothes going door to door. The old chant of trick or treat rings out, filling the night along the laughter and small screams.

In the shadows, demons and witches wait to snatch any wandering child away, but they are out of luck tonight. What with everyone child safely protected by the costumes they wear. It’s hard to tell if that is a human child or a fairy laughing under a tree. Best to leave it alone and lay in wait once more.

Vampires move from their crypts, rising as they have time after time. They seek out the only thing that can keep them going, but there is too much choice tonight. They prowl about, killers hiding in the darkness.

Clouds pass the almost full moon that hangs down in a ink blot sky and the clocks begin counting down to the midnight hour. Soon it will be over and this one night will be gone for another year.

Postcard #26

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Dear Ola,

I’ve not made it back to New Orleans. Though you probably guessed that. I got way laid by hunting down that… you know what. So I’m sorry you’ll be spending Halloween alone. But I know you’ll be okay. Did you get the charms I sent you from Africa? I’m sorry I can’t send a full letter or call you at this time. Being in the middle of the jungle has that draw back. I’m lucky to have found this post service who were willing to send this postcard on! I shall see you soon, hopefully before the end of the year!

Keep safe, Van.

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 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.

‘Yes.’

‘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 36)

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Fern opened her eyes and looked up at glass ceiling above her. Through the rain drops crowding the glass, she could see the dark cloud covered sky. Moving slowly, she sat up on the red plush sofa and looked around. She was in a conservatory, on one of four two seater sofas which were gathered around a long black table. Large green tropic plants were in the four corners.

Fern got up and went to what looked like a folding door. She peered outside and saw a lawn stretching before her and some potted plants. She tried the door handle and found it locked. Turning, she looked at the opposite door and walked over. The room beyond was dark and the door also locked. She pressed her ear against the glass and thought she heard laughter.

Going back to the sofa, she studied the room, but couldn’t see anything else or of use. She sat down and watched the rain falling outside. She thought about Brook and Dacian. What were they doing right now? Did they even know she was in trouble? Fern sighed and curled up on the sofa. She turned her thoughts and tried to plan how to escape.

The turning of a key and the door opening, had Fern snapping open her eyes. She sat up and saw Raphael walking in. He was wearing the same clothes from before and had a grin on his face.

‘What do you want?’ Fern demanded as she stood up.

‘Is that any way to talk to your rescuer?’ Raphael responded, walking towards her.

‘You didn’t rescue me!’

‘Come now, we both knew it’s the truth.’

Raphael smiled and sat down on the sofa opposite her’s. He folded his long arms and legs over and glanced at the rain.

‘It’s not,’ Fern hissed, ‘he locked me up for my own safety.’

Raphael shook his head and tutted, ‘let’s not talk any more about it.’

‘I want to leave. You can’t keep me here or…you’ll be just like my maker,’ Fern declared.

‘Sit down.’

‘No.’

‘Fine,’ Raphael muttered, ‘you can’t leave. You owe me for saving you,’ he said loudly.

‘But you didn’t save me!’ Fern shouted.

She threw her arms up and began walking around the room. Even though she was no longer looking at Raphael she could still see him. The image of him sat so smugly burned before her. Fern stopped at the sofa furthest away from him and lent over the back of it.

‘It’s really not so bad here,’ Raphael broke the silence, ‘you must have felt lonely sometimes or like there was no one else to speak to but him. You don’t have to worry about that here, there are lots of others to talk to.’

‘How many?’ Fern put in.

‘There’s ten of us, you make eleven.’

‘Are you the leader?’

‘No. She’s not here at the moment,’ Raphael explained, ‘but you’ll meet her soon enough. I already asked for her permission to rescue and bring you here. You are to become my fledging.’

‘What? No, I belong to Brook,’ Fern snapped, ‘just go and find someone and turn them.’

‘We can’t.’

Fern paused at the sadness in his tone and noted his downcast face.

‘We have strict rules here and you’ll learn them, quickly,’ Raphael continued, ‘one of the rules states we can’t turn humans unless the Princess says so and then she must decide who we pass our blood too.’

‘So, you steal other vampires’ fledglings to make up for it?’ Fern growled.

Raphael didn’t reply, but pulled a small face and began plucking at the arm of the sofa.

‘That’s really wrong,’ she added.

‘We give them a better life,’ Raphael came back, ‘we teach them how to use their abilities, how to hunt correctly, we look after them. Their makers don’t care.’

‘Well, mine does and I’d like to go back to him, so…’

Fern went to the door and turned the handle. It was locked. She turned to Raphael, who had his eyes fixed on the table. Her hands balled into fists and she felt a little shaky.

‘Did you hear me?’

‘Yes, but I can’t let you go. She won’t like it,’ Raphael pointed out.

‘I don’t care! Give me the key!’ Fern shouted.

Raphael snapped his head up and stared hard at her. Fern felt her legs began to shake harder and tiredness sinking into her limbs. She tried to fight it off, but the effort was too much.

‘You will stay here. Sit,’ Raphael commanded.

Fern obeyed. She sat down opposite him, hands on her knees and looking him straight in the eyes.

‘Now, repeat after me. You have no maker. I am your now guardian now.’

‘I have no maker,’ Fern said quietly, ‘you are my guardian now.’

‘Very good. Now, we must get you prepared to meet the Princess, come with me.’

Raphael stood and Fern followed him as he went to the door.

 

Trust will be back in the New Year, thanks for reading.