My eyes opened, and I found myself alone. I quickly sat up, looking around in paralyzed fear. I felt different – I knew I was different, but I wasn’t sure how. I analyzed the room I was in, there was dust, everywhere. But it was beautiful. Amazing, really. And, even though it was pitch black outside, I had never seen so clearly. I could see the intricate carvings in the wood surrounding us, and the jagged edges of the worn carpeting beneath me. The boxes to the side of me almost seemed to be breathing, because I could see the dust flowing off of them – the air, moving.
There’s a place that I know; it’s not pretty there and few have ever gone.
“I see the sleeping beauty has finally awoken,” a voice said, startling me. A figured moved out from the shadows, and he grinned at me, his fangs glimmering in the moonlight. I felt a shiver go through my spine; something was off.
“Who – who are you?” I stuttered.
“Pluto,” he said, in a crisp voice, that one word itself being too formal for this time era.
I nodded, and bit my lip, as was my nervous habit. “How long was I out?” I stammered.
He tapped his face, “Well, you’ve been out longer than the usual transformation takes. It’s usually one a week or so. You, on the other hand, are a different case. Probably because of your lack of, uh, fluid to move the venom around. Anways. You’ve been here for… Three weeks, two days, eleven hours, fifty two minutes, and – ”
I stopped him, growing afraid at his use of the word ‘transformation’, “I get it. You’ve got an excellent memory.”
He reached over, and turned on a light that was resting on another box. My eyes cringed for a moment, as I prepared myself for temporary blindness – but they adjusted, as if it were nothing. “Where, um,” I coughed, clearing my throat, to give me a moment to gain some confidence, “where am I?” I asked.
If I show it to you now… will it make you run away?
He glanced over at me again, his face showing annoyance, “Where does it look like you’re at?” He didn’t wait for me to give an answer before he replied, “You’re at a safe house. We have a lot of these in the city. This one just so happens to be my favorite, though.” He looked around, a wistful expression on his face, “I just love the smell of it, don’t you?”
Or will you stay, even if it hurts?
And I knew what he meant; it did smell lovely. Dust mixed with the scent of candle oil and tree bark, and faint lingering of freshly mowed grass. “Why am I here?” I whispered.
He laughed, and it filled the hollow room, but it didn’t seem to quite fill his face – his eyes lacked the true joyful expression, “Did you expect me to leave you to fend for yourself?”
Even if I try to push you out – will you return?
“…what do you mean?” I asked.
He came towards me, intentionally fast, “You’re not a human anymore, love.”
“I’m not?” I whispered.
His eyes lost what little spark they had, and his face grew grave. “No, you’re not,” he repeated.
“What am I, then?” I squeaked, trying to deny the truth that I already knew.
He gave me a sly grin, “Well, let’s see. You’ve got fangs, right?”
I used my tongue to feel around my teeth, and sure enough, it came upon two razor sharp pointed teeth poking it. “…yes.”
“Annndddd, your throat is burning.” He grinned wickedly, as he went into description, “Almost, as if you’ve been in the desert for days upon days with no water to drink. Only you know, you aren’t thirsty for water. You want a better, richer substance… a redder liquid…”
“Blood,” I murmured, and at the mere mention of the word, my throat lit itself on fire. I winced – this had to be hell, it had to be.
He studied me for a moment, “Yes, I can see you’re thirsty. We’ll go out, soon. No one is out yet, I’m afraid. Still a bit early on in the night, and it’s a weekday… we’ll go soon, though.”
“You never told me what I was,” I reminded him, quietly.
He shook his head, “Oh, yes. That. You’re a vampire.”
The way he said the word so calmly, so distinctively, took me by surprise. I expected to feel a jolt in my chest, but then I noticed, I felt NOTHING in my chest. But it clicked. I was a vampire; an undead – of course, I no longer had a heartbeat. It all hit me at once; I was dead. No more family, no more dancing, no more being bugged by Marley. I expected sadness and remorse, but all I felt was anger and hatred to the indigo man standing before me.
And remind me who I really am; please, remind me who I really am.
The vampire, Pluto – my creator – came towards me, “I don’t have any women’s clothing, but I do have some clothes that have shrunk over the years, in case you want to change…” His eyes crept downwards, and I folded my arms, causing him to shoot me a smirk.
I glared at him, and my instincts were taking over. I couldn’t think rationally – all I knew, is that my mouth was burning, filling with bitter acid tasting saliva. I shot him my fangs, “I don’t want your clothing.”
He shrugged, ignoring my outburst. I guess he figured he had taken me down once; he could just as easily do it again. “That dress is very becoming on you…”
I glanced down, and noticed I was still wearing the dress Marley had put me in. I grimaced, I had hated this dress, and now, it was all I had left. “Give me the fudging clothes,” I spat.
“In the top right drawer,” he tilted his head behind me, where a small, oak dresser was sitting. I walked over to it, looking inside, where a pair of worn jeans and a ratty indigo shirt was awaiting me. I sighed, pulling it out – this was how the rest of my life was going to be. Always living off of others. For food, for clothing, for shelter.
And already, I hated it.
I sat on the box, where I had been sitting for the past two days. I hated being a vampire. I hated the fact that I didn’t get to say goodbye, to the people who mattered most. I hated the fact that Dublin, of everyone I knew, was the last person I spoke to. I hated Pluto. And I also hated the fact that I hated him. I hated everything. All I felt was anger, frustration, and then more anger.
Everybody’s got a dark side.
Pluto finally moved – he, too, had been sitting quietly. We both were like two statues; one might have even thought we were, except for the fact that I kept shooting him glares every time he crossed my mind. Despite the fact that I was pretty sure I hated him, I also, every now and then, felt a surge of lust, which made me even more confused and upset then I already was.
“Ready to go get dinner, yet?” he asked, his voice a whisper in the wind.
My throat was alit with fire again, and I squeezed my eyes shut, forcing my mixture of venom and saliva to dull the ache, “I don’t want to go anywhere with you.”
Do you love me; can you love mine?
Pluto’s face hardened – apparently, even he had a limit to how much hate he could take from me.
He sighed, “You’re going to make this difficult, aren’t you?”
Nobody’s a picture perfect, but we’re worth it.
“As much as I possibly can,” I snapped back.
His eyes narrowed, “Fine. Since you ignore or fight all my requests, I’ll have to force you.”
“Yeah,” I scoffed, “Good luck with that.”
He smiled, a bit too confident for my likings. “As your creator,” he growled, and I felt my body tighten, in reaction to his words, “I command you to go on your first hunt with me.”
Instantly, as soon as the words left his mouth, my body reacted. My legs screamed at me to stand up, and I tightened my grip around my knees. My arms tore at my chest, begging to be pulled away, and I once more was fighting a battle, only to lose to Pluto, once again. I was standing, against my will, and my feet, which felt as if they were carrying thousands of pounds, followed him out the door.
“That’s not fair,” I yelled, even though he could’ve heard me perfectly fine if I had whispered it.
You know that we’re worth it; will you love me, even with my dark side?
His newly hardened eyes turned towards me, and suddenly, I wish I had done his requests – his anger was frightening me, even though I had plenty of it built up on my own. He gave me a smile, one of malice, and I childishly stuck my tongue out at him in reply.
“I hate you!” I screamed.
And my only reply came from the shadows of the darkness around me – a lonely and frustrated sigh.
Like a diamond, from black dust it’s hard to know what can, become if you give up, so please, don’t give up on me.
I glared at him, my anger having not diminished at all with time, watching his lanky figure stand still, his eyes skimming the surrounding darkness. “Do you hear that?” he asked. Once more, he was trying to teach me how to hunt. The first night was a total bust – I kept screaming so loudly, that anyone who might’ve came our way quickly turned in the opposite direction. Not that I blame them. The things that I yelled were not nice at all; in fact, I think I might’ve even called Pluto a ‘lying-son-of-a-berry-melon-fudger-stick-apple-hole’. They probably thought I was some already unstable woman having a mental breakdown after a terrible break up… which isn’t too far from the truth, in reality.
I kicked a can, and he cringed. “That? Yeah. I heard it.”
Everybody’s got a dark side.
Pluto’s fingers clamped into fists, and his eyes shut in anger. “MUST you set my temper off?”
“MUST you set my temper off?” I mimicked, wrapping my arms around each other, fighting off a cold I could no longer feel.
He was in front of me, a movement too fast for any mortal eyes to capture without it blurring. He spoke between his teeth, his voice a growl, “Do you want help, or not?”
I held my ground, not backing down from his anger. I ignored the ache in my throat, in my stomach – in my entire being. I held my head high, trying to make myself appear taller, even though he towered over me. “I do NOT WANT help. But I NEED it. And you know why I NEED help? Because YOU made me like this.” I pointed out, jabbing him with my finger.
He snorted, turning away from me, “This life is a blessing.”
Do you love me; can you love mine?
“So, then that’s why you treat it as a curse?” I spat.
His laughter stopped short, and his smile faded. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Oh, yeah,” I said, waving my hands in the air. “After all, it must be EVERY vampire’s dream to baby sit another one of their kind. It makes me wonder why you didn’t just finish me off. Didn’t have the balls to kill me, or what?”
His teeth ground together, his fists opening and closing, trying to restrain himself. “I have killed many in my life. Life means little to nothing to me. Do not think I am above ending yours.”
“Then why didn’t you do it when you had the chance?” I asked, my voice shrill and venomous.
Nobody’s a picture perfect, but we’re worth it – you know, that we’re worth it.
He froze, and for a brief moment, panic flashed across his eyes, as if he were trying to hide something. “I was full.”
Now it was my turn to snort, “You honestly expect me to believe that load of melon fudgery?”
“It’s the truth. But,” he came closer, his eyes gleeful, “you tasted wonderful. Just like apple pie, with an after taste of something similar to lemon bars. Positively delightful.”
“You’re disgusting,” I whispered.
His gaze was stern, his eyes unwavering. I stared at him back, not breaking eye contact. He might’ve been older, faster, and stronger than me – but I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of knowing I had doubt. “I could crush you, you know,” he said.
I rolled my eyes, “You talk the talk, but you obviously can’t walk the walk.”
“You better watch that tongue of yours.”
“I can’t, it’s in my mouth,” I snapped.
His lips puckered, as if he were about to give me a snarky reply, when his ears suddenly perked up. His body went still, losing any emotion of anger. “It’s close.”
“Who?” I questioned.
Will you love me, even with my dark side?
Pluto smiled, his eyes and grin gleaming with danger, “Dinner.”
Mine and Pluto’s… “Comradeship”, so to speak, was strained. It was forced friendliness, fueled by the burning desire of mine to not have to die… again. Which I had a hard time wrapping my head around – but you get what I mean.
“Are you going to eat, or not?” Pluto asked, discarding the woman next to him, setting her off into the black of the night, leaving her slightly dazed and confused, but otherwise alright.
Don’t run away, don’t run away.
I looked at the person in front of me, their face masking my own confusion and fear. I reached out to touch them, the strength of my hunger hard to resist. I could hear his heartbeat, filling my body, his pulse taking the place of my own dormant heart. His scent was intoxicating, like the smell of cookies on a Friday afternoon. “Please,” the man moaned. “Please don’t kill me.”
Just promise me you will stay – promise me, you will stay.
The word ‘kill’ snapped me out of my daze – it frightened me. I was dangerous; I was capable of striking that type of fear into a living, breathing person. I grabbed his face, looking into his eyes, where I only saw desperation staring back at me. “Run,” I commanded, hanging my head. “Run, and never tell a soul.”
Pluto’s eyes gleamed, only this time, with curiosity. “You deny your body what is deserves? Humans eat cows, pigs, chickens – why can we not eat them?’
I frowned, “That was different. That was NORMAL. Just because you made me like this doesn’t mean I will succumb myself to what you are.”
Everybody’s got a dark side – do you love me; can you love mine?
“You act like the word itself frightens you. Tell me, does the word vampire frighten you?” he asked, his tone taking on the tone of a bully taunting a helpless child.
I turned away from him, “It doesn’t frighten me. It disgusts me. I’m not even alive anymore, yet I still exist? This… this isn’t natural, and you and I, and however many else are like us or know about us, know that is true.”
“If we were not meant to exist, we wouldn’t,” he stated calmly.
I sighed, and anxiety started filling up my system in place of nutrition. “I just don’t know what to do. I never wanted this life. The only reason I’m is because you screwed up and drank too much,” I stated.
“That holds some truth,” he agreed, coming next to me, his voice turning into a purr. “But don’t you think that now, since you are turned, that you should enjoy it?”
His tone was seductive, and his face, gah – it was so hard to resist. I leaned forward, and his eyes were dancing.
I quickly pulled away, shaking my head, and disappointment filled his smile, pulling his lips downward. I wringed my hands together, “No. I want none of it. I had a life. I had a mother and father and a sibling who hated me while the other loved me, and a best friend…”
“All of who you will never see again,” he shrugged, his tone uncaring.
I rolled my eyes, letting out a harsh sigh. “Do you have no sympathy in you, at all?”
“I see no point in grieving over what we can no longer have,” he said shortly.
I snorted, “So I’m guessing that the answer there is no?”
He grinned coyly, “Suppose.”
I bit my lip, and dug my – or, actually, Pluto’s – converse into the dirt. “Can I ask you something?”
“You just did,” he replied.
“You know what I mean,” I snapped, annoyed with his attitude.
“Well, sure, then. I guess. Shoot.”
I turned to where I could fully see his face. My mother always told me, you can learn a lot from a person by what they say – but you can learn a lot about the person if you observe how they say it. “Why do you persist in drinking from humans? I thought stuff like that was forbidden. Or are you just enjoying my company SO much, you decided you needed another?”
He shrugged, “It doesn’t make much a difference. No one will believe those who live, and most do, unless you just so happen to go past a certain limit.”
“Like me?” I asked, a triumphant grin spreading across his face. I didn’t exactly remember my transformation, but he had let it slip that he had drank too much. That it was either become a vampire, like him, or die next to a dumpster. I guess I should be thankful he didn’t let me die lying next to trash; except in a way, I think that might’ve been the better outcome.
His eyes narrowed, his nostrils flaring, “That was a moment of weakness. I had gone months without nutrition.”
“Excuses,” I shot back, waving my hand in the air, but a teasing smile wormed its way on my lips. “Face it, I was just so special you decided that you would change me, and you were secretly hoping you’d get that happily ever after. Well, let me tell you something,” I said, my teasing tone disappearing as my past came rushing back to me, “happy ever after’s don’t exist. And as soon as you think you’ve got it, you find your prince charming sleeping with your own sister and let’s face it, that’s screwed up on so many levels that it’s off the charts.”
Nobody’s a picture perfect, but we’re worth it; you know that we’re worth it.
Pluto watched me as I talked, and when I was done, I noticed the softness in his eyes. The hardness that was always lurking in the shadows in the depths of his face, that only grew sharper with my hatred towards him, had crashed down. He looked just as helpless as I felt, and it occurred to me – just as I did, he had a past, too. And it could’ve been painful, who knows. The man has lived long enough to see just about every type of horror out there. He tore his gaze from me, and when he looked back, the frosted look at the corner of his eyes was only slightly melted, but the iciness was quick to take over – and his heart, eyes, and soul begged to never be melted again.
But he whispered, his voice rough and thick, “You’re so incredibly special, Fluorine. You’ve always been too blind to see your own true light.”
Will you love me, even with my dark side?
-Lyrics by Kelly Clarkson; “Dark Side”-