Chapter Eighty Six: La Luna Nueva


Throughout my childhood, I had grown up with a strong sense of faith. I was raised in a Christian family, and while my mother always told me that I may never know my real biological father, she assured me that I would always have our ‘heavenly father’, as well as my step-father. But what exactly is a ‘heavenly father’? He’s bogus, that’s what.

He is supposed to be some super being, and the creator of all. But, why, then, does He let children starve, or give a husband a wandering eye? Why does He give children to families who have one too many, yet leave another couple incapable of experiencing the joy even once? I’ve noticed that in the long run, He appears to give very little compared to what He wants in return.

Besides, how are we even supposed to have a connection with him? We’re supposed to talk to ourselves and bow our heads in servitude. It doesn’t make any sense. Why would a father want to instill fear into his child?

I wouldn’t, that much is for sure. If I ever had a child, I would want him or her to know that they’re perfect, in every way. And even if they point out every single flaw to me, I want to assure them being different than what society wants is okay. I would never abandon my child like my father did to me; I would smother them with love until my dying day.

Twenty years, it’s breaking you down now that you understand there’s no one around; take a breath, just take a seat – you’re falling apart, and tearing at the seams.

But maybe my dismissal of God comes from a personal hatred. I was born a Halfling; half vampire and half human. While this theory has never been confirmed by my mother, of whom I’m supposing I gained the human traits, she never denied it , either. And it’s not like my little sister, Scout, is complaining about an unquenchable thirst like I do. Therefore, the sun shuns me – it knows I don’t belong in it. But my human traits make the sun itch my skin rather than burn me to a crisp. The night is my safety shield; it’s a thick and dark cover that hides and protects me from the truth of what I am.

I rubbed the sole of my foot into a yellow flower beneath me, watching it crumble and smear beneath my weight. I swayed back and forth, trying to find a new comfortable position to sit in, to rid my body of the pressure points it was feeling from the rock beneath me. My fingers were closed in a fist, and my knuckles had started to cramp due to my tight grip, but I ignored the minor pain.

Heaven forbid you end up alone, you don’t know why; hold on tight, wait for tomorrow, you’ll be alright.


“Neptune?”

I hear my name float towards me in the wind; a high-pitch and melodic voice calls to me. I turned, noting the big bow atop a teal girl’s head, her hair knotted perfectly into a huge bun. She had stunning blue eyes, though, that were wide and innocent, like a doe and the color of the richest sapphire. Her lips puckered at the corner, a nervous habit that I had, too. On closer inspection, I realized I knew who she was – she was the preacher’s daughter, I always saw her at the Sunday service (she was always next to her mother, in the front pew). Her eyebrows were furrowed in worry, although I had never seen her with a calm expression. She always looked anxious, this Trinity girl. She stepped towards me timidly, as if she were apologizing to every budding flower that she stomped on, although she was beyond graceful in her walk.

It’s on your face, is it on your mind- would you care to build a house of your own? How much longer, how long can you wait?

She stopped behind me, looking down at me timidly. She bit her lip, her eyes gluing themselves to my form as she tried to read my body language. “Are you okay?” she asked. A tender smile spread across her face, although it was pinched at the corners, as if her face was unaccustomned to letting go of it’s worried expression. But that was all it took – that tiny little ghost of a smile, and it felt as if I had been punched in the stomach. She was beautiful.

It’s like you wanted to go, and give yourself away.

I wasn’t used to talking to people, and at a time like this, I didn’t trust my voice to stay stable. I shrugged, my shoulders slumping up and down. This was a comfortable type of answer; and answer I was accustomed to – this type of ‘I don’t know’ answer; it kept you from thinking too hard about what you really wanted to say.

Heaven forbid you end up alone, you don’t know why; hold on tight, wait for tomorrow, you’ll be alright.


“You don’t look okay,” she noted, stepping closer towards me.

I rolled my eyes, trying to make her go away. I hadn’t ever had a friend before, not even a person to greet in passing – it wasn’t safe for people to get too close to me, and I knew that. “Yeah, well, I am, thank you.”

I saw her shadow move, and I assumed she was shaking her head, although whether in agreement or doubt, I couldn’t tell. I felt her hand on my shoulder, and she moved it in a slow and comforting circle, caressing my back, but in a friendly way. “Neptune, I know you feel alone.”

It feels good, is that reason enough for you?

“No, I don’t,” I snapped, trying to make my voice seem harsh and venomous, although it sounded pitiful, even to me.

“Yes, you do. Because I’m lonely, too, and I have this knack for finding other lost souls,” she replied, her voice soft and gentle, almost as if she were speaking to a young child. Her lips formed a line, suppressing a frown. “You must think I’m a weirdo,” she said.

I raised an eyebrow – she must have this backwards, “No, not at all.”

She shrugged, and I realized maybe she had taken my rudeness the wrong way – I was trying to protect, not hurt her feelings, “I mean, it’s okay if you do. Everyone does.”

I noticed how her shoulders were slumped, and I wondered if maybe, she actually was just as lonely as I was. I know, it’s absurd to think that I could be lonely, or her for that matter, because we’re teenagers, and we’re meant to be happy. But that’s where you’re wrong; depression starts early in a person, it starts with that first tease in the playground and the first time you’re forced to eat dirt, just because the cool kids think you’re a little odd. “Do you think I’m weird?” I asked.

Heaven forbid you end up alone, you don’t know why; hold on tight, wait for tomorrow, you’ll be alright.


She pulled her hand away, and licked her lips, “Neptune, do you believe in God?”

I debated my answer for a moment; it was wonderful to have a friend, and I knew friendship could not be based upon lies, but I also knew it wasn’t safe for me to have one – I could destroy them in a second. But, she was the daughter of a preacher – doesn’t that make her super holy and what not? I sighed, and looked into her eyes, which were staring back at me with earnest, “No.”

I saw her face light up, as if this answer gave her relief. She let out a rush of air, her cheeks sinking in near the eyes just a little. “Then, no, I do not think you’re weird. I think you’re the only sane person I’ve met in this town.”

Out of this one – I don’t know how to get you out of this one.

-Lyrics by The Fray; “Heaven Forbid”-

 

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Introducing Neptune

Hello there, beautiful people! :] As you all know, I took a break from the internet for awhile, and in doing so, I put my rainbowcy on hold in the middle of a generation. While I am forever sorry about that, I do hope I can make it up to you. I’m doing much better, now, and I decided I was ready to come back – however, I do apologize, for one thing. I will not be picking up Fluorine’s generation where I left off; I left off when I was in a dark place, and I rather start with a new heir, in order to have a fresh start, of sorts.
I apologize greatly, because this means no heir vote, but the story line I’ve planned for this heir is one that I really love, and it seems very real and relatable, to me, at least. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do, and I will answer any questions left unanswered by Fluorine’s generation through this new one. I’ve got it all thought out. :]
Without further ado, let me introduce our new Drop heir.

– – – – –

Neptune Steel Drop

Generation Song: Losing My Religion by R.E.M.

As a young child, Neptune – who has been blessed with the pet name Nepty by those he allows himself close to – knew he was different. His skin, a very pale orange color that was on the verge of yellow, was extraordinarily sensitive to the sunlight. And, his teeth, which were always perfectly aligned razor sharp little pearls, always had a longing and a craving, although it took him years to figure out what for. The moment he drank from his first human, he questioned himself. And not just himself, but others, too. His mother, who had thought it was her duty to instill faith into this troubled young boy, had taught him from a young age that prayer would give him all his answers. But why would God care for him now? He was half vampire, half human – why had God, the supposed Father of mankind, allowed him to be born? Had God, from the moment Neptune was conceived, turned his back on him? Neptune labeled himself a mistake, and abomination, something that could only bring harm, pain, hurt, and sorrow to those he loved. He distanced himself from strangers and family, leaving him with no real friends, in return. Except for one turquoise colored girl; she was as sweet as he was angry, and her smile convinced Neptune that even if God did not exist, angels must, for she was a saint. But even she, the girl deemed holy and righteous from her first cry in the hospital, questioned the Almighty, successfully convincing herself that demons do exist, even if they are only there to drive her mad.

– – – – –

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Chapter Eighty Five: Time to Return


My feet shuffled forward; my knees had been locked for the past three miles, and my hands were caught in a tight grip. I was torn in two with feelings, and truth be told, I didn’t necessarily want to reach my destination. Reaching would only make everything so much more real – and I guess, I didn’t truly think I could go through with this. But, I knew in the deepest part of me, that it was the right thing to do. It had to be. This life was a curse, how had I ever tricked my mind into thinking otherwise? There was nothing good about this existence – the only beauty I had in it was Fluorine, but even she was taken by force from the daylight in which she belonged.


I noticed my hand was shaking, or more profoundly, that my entire arm was shaking. I tapped gently on the red oak door in front of me, and my ears picked up on movement inside. I took a deep gulp of air, trying to get my thoughts to settle, but it didn’t do any good.

There are things in this world, that I don’t understand; like: love, war, gravity, or the lay of the land.


A small face peeked out from behind the door, and soft but glowing features made up the beautiful carving of a face, with grey glowing eyes peeping at me.


I smiled, trying to force myself to be friendly. I knew she didn’t like me, but right now, I really needed her on my side. “Hello, Amber,” I whispered in greeting, my eyes sinking to the ground.


Her face crinkled; I didn’t often visit her, but it was for good reason. She was a vampire who lived in a coven, of sorts. Multiple vampires living in one contained space made for a crazy amount of energy. They’re exceptionally happy, all the time, but they’re also exceptionally dangerous. She pushed the door open, keeping it open with the heel of her foot, “Evening, Pluto.”

I heard feet scrambling, and then another vampire was cramming into the door way, Patricia. Unlike Amber, her face lit up at the sight of me.


“Pluto!” she yelled, jumping into my arms, her small frame crashing into mine. “It’s been so long since you visited last.”


“Yeah,” I replied, setting her back down on her feet as she led me indoors into a dimly lit room. “Been busy, I suppose.”


Amber stared at me warily, and her eyebrow was raised. “You smell different,” she accused

.
“I do?” I asked; although, I had expected as much. Because Fluorine had such a squeamish stomach, I had been feasting on ‘old’ blood, which gave me a scent of dirt – it wasn’t nearly as nutritious as blood fresh from the veins.


She shook her head stiffly, and her eyes narrowed at me as Salem entered the room. He glanced at me with an annoyed attitude, and he looked utterly bored with the lack of conversation filling the room.


Patricia looked around the room nervously, then let out a nervous giggle, “Sorry, Pluto, but what was it that you said you needed?”


I tore my eyes away from glaring at Salem, where they found Patricia’s kind face, her eyes wide with an innocence and friendliness that only she seemed to possess. My lips formed a tight line, “I haven’t said, yet.”

But all of these remain mysteries, but one thing is for sure, you are worth living for.


She giggled nervously as Amber came up beside her, and replied, “Oh, well, in the case, let me ask you. What do we owe this great pleasure of your visit to?”


Now was the moment – the moment of the truth. This would be one I would never forget; it would be the one trust test in my life on whether or not I could do the right thing, despite my natural inclination to be selfish and to prevent harm to myself, no matter the type. “I need help,” I whispered, my voice a mere shadow, the words dancing away in the darkness around me.

Sometimes, when I’m far away from you, I get a little lost, a little out of my element.


Patricia tip toed towards me, her hand extending towards me, “With?”


I glanced at them, and noticed all of them were leaning towards me, their eyes wide. I had never once asked for help before; I was one of the eldest of our kind, and had more power and strength lurking in my muscles than all three of them combined. I took a step back, pushing myself out of Patricia’s reach. “I need to know where I can find it,” I murmured, my lips refusing to say the word that needed to be said in order for them to understand.

I miss: the way your body burns, when we melt alone.


Salem rolled his eyes, and tucked his hands into his under arms, as he folded his arm across his chest, “And what are you trying to find, hmmm?”


I lowered my eyes, letting my hair cover my face. I hadn’t ever been emotional, but I could feel that burning. Not the burning of thirst, but the one of emotion. I could feel my throat go dry, and my nose felt like it had coals in it, because it was burning and starting to run all at once. My eyes clinched shut, forcing unshed tears back into my body. I swallowed, and my voice was husky, “I recently found a mate.”


“Tired of her already, then?” Amber asked, sarcasm thick in her voice.


I glared at her, “No. She became pregnant.”


Amber’s smirk got wiped off her face; we both knew about vampire children. No one knew how they came about, but in the beginning years before the age of maturity, they have both human and vampire qualities. While they are usually just like any other child, there are moments when the monster within them takes hold. The last one to come into the world had feasted upon its kindergarten class during recess. Simply put, they’re exceedingly dangerous, because they’ve got the human adrenaline and the vampire skills; they’re hard to control, and even harder to raise. There had been twenty children born into our vampire world, and out of those, only two still remained – most led themselves to their own destruction, and that of their creators, otherwise known as parents. “What are you going to do?” she whispered, her voice grave.

I took a deep breath, “I need you to help me get a hold of the Cure.”


Patricia’s eyes grew wider than they already were, “Pluto, we all know there’s only one copy of that. And you know it’s kept under strict security – no one is allowed to have it, until they figure out how to duplicate it.”


“But I can’t lose this child, too,” I whispered, feeling myself get physically smaller as I hunched over.


Amber walked up to me, all of her hostility gone, “Fine. We’re in.”

~~~~~~~~~~


“There’s only one copy of the Cure?” I squeaked, my eyes widening at the news. I looked at the small container he was holding, the so-called cure to vampirism – it seemed too mythical, to be true. Something to bring the dead back to life, perhaps it turned one into a zombie?


He dropped his head, “Yes. The Cure takes many years to complete, and it’s considered risky, even then.”

There are things in this world, that I don’t understand; like: love, war, gravity, or the lay of the land.


“…and how did you get it?”


“Blood was shed, if that is what you are asking,” he murmured, his eyes flickering closed, probably imagining all the lives he had to take in order to get it. I don’t know why I had even wondered. I could smell the blood on his lips, and it made my throat burn with longing.


I looked at the small vile of liquid. It didn’t look like much, to be honest. My hand traced my abdomen slowly, my fingers massaging my small but prominent bump. “Are you sure that’s it?”


“I do not make mistakes,” he snapped, his tone crisp, his eyes hardening with meaning.

But all of these remain mysteries, but one thing is for sure, you are worth living for.


I cringed – he had always implied that changing me had been a mistake he wished to take back. So did he simply say those words with lapse of judgment, or to hurt me? Maybe he wasn’t even referring to me, anymore, and to the unborn child growing in me. Did Pluto, by some chance, think that our child was a mistake? My voice grew low and harsh, demanding answers, “Then what are you waiting for? Recapture your humanity already.”

He froze, his mind considering the possibility; as if it was the first time he thought of it, “I do not wish to have it.”

“Then why did you bother getting the cure?” I asked, growing increasingly annoyed.


His eyes looked at me, searching my face, his smile showing he liked what he saw. “I know you miss them.”

Sometimes when I let my mind run free; it never fails, it goes right to you.


I sighed, not able to keep up with his train of thought, “Who?”


He smiled, spreading his hands open. “Your family, your friends,” his words held onto the sweetness of everything I once had. People who loved me, who would now run in the other direction from me with fear; his voice was solemn, making their faces paint across my eyes in vivid colors. He shrugged, “No matter what this life offers, I know it does not compare to what I took from you.”

And, a smile takes a hold of me.


I wanted to scream at him how wrong he was; how this was everything I could have wanted, and yet more than I ever thought I deserved. I had always been happy and content with life, but I had never bothered to put someone else’s needs and wants before my own – and now, Pluto and this baby were all I could ever think about. “And?”

He gestured towards the small bottle, which he said was the Cure, “This is my way of saying sorry. I’m giving you your life back.”

I miss the way your body burns, when we melt alone.


“…why?”

There are things in this world, that I don’t understand; like: love, war, gravity, or the lay of the land.


“Because, as much as it pains me to say it, I think I just might love you and our,” a flicker of a smile flashed across his lips, his eyes lighting up brighter than I ever saw them, “baby too much.”

“You have a funny way of showing it. Telling me you love me, then offering me the one thing you know will send me away from you.”


“I just want you to be happy,” he murmured, dropping his voice, “and for our baby to be safe.”


I ignored that last part. Our baby would be safe, as long as if it was with us. I began to muse out loud, “But, say I don’t want the cure? What would happen then, do you know?”

His eyes narrowed, “But, you must take the cure, Fluorine.”

“…But I don’t want to.”


“And why not?” He screeched, his tone showing his frustration, radiating with annoyance. He sighed, his anger subsiding for the moment as guilt kicked in. His voice was broken as he whispered, “I’ve taken so much in my life time, including your past. Please, just let me give you back your future. Go back to being human. Live – you deserve it.”


Pluto sighed, leaning his forehead onto mine, “And it would be safer for our child if you took the cure. You would turn human, again, and it would, too. The fetus would morph to fit its surroundings. Children who are born a vampire are dangerous, Fluorine.”


I bit my lip, thinking it over. To feel the sunshine again, to watch my little indigo skinned child dance in the dying light, seeing their eyes light up with the rise of the morning. And as intoxicating as those thoughts were, I couldn’t stand the thought of not raising him or her, and I hated the potential of them never knowing their true background, and never being able to be around their father. “We can do this, Pluto.”

“I’m not so sure,” he replied, his voice soft as he back out of my arms. His eyes were torn, as if every word he said was breaking his heart just a little more. “Please, Fluorine, just live again.”

“But… I can’t; if I become human again, I’ll have everything I’ve wanted,” I said the words slowly, hoping he’d catch on.


“EXACTLY,” he said, his mind catching on, emphasizing the word with his hands. “That’s the point!”

I bit my lip, and I looked at him – for being so old, so learned, he was quite dense, “…But I don’t want everything, anymore.”


His eyes grew soft as my words finally were understood, “Are you sure, love?”


I took his muscular hand in mine, intertwining my thin fingers around his. I lifted up our hands, and leaned into him, locking him in my grip. I looked up into his eyes, admiring the softness at the corners, allowing hope to burn in a place where the flame had long been extinguished. I gently kissed his cheekbone, “Positive.”

But all of these remain mysteries, but one thing is for sure, you are worth living for.

~~~~~~~~~~


I sat quietly in a kitchen chair, weighing the options I had – I only had two, bust so far, it was a war within me; between my head and heart. So far, while my heart had more strength, my head was winning my sheer force. I reached my hand into the pocket of my jeans, my fingers coming into contact with a cool cylinder. I made a firm grip around it, pulling it out, to analyze it. But something within me refused to look at it; my eyes wouldn’t dare focus on it. I had known of its existence for years; special privileges came with age in the vampire world. And although it had been made once, we had never been able to reproduce it, especially after the humans found out about out factory – we had to clear out with only minutes to spare.

I knew the consequences of stealing this; it wouldn’t take long before they came looking for it, following its scent straight to my door step. I had a week, perhaps, at most, before they checked on it. I had made sure to keep no one alive, so I didn’t have to worry about being turned in.


I reached back and placed it on the counter, not wanting to hold it any longer. I fell back into my previous position, wondering if I sat still long enough, if maybe I could just escape all of this. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that the small container was glowing, a soft pulsing radiating from the center of it. I had always thought this odd, but I guess the Cure would have to somewhat resemble that of what it was fixing.


Sighing, I stood up. I couldn’t put this off any longer. I had to do it now, or lose all my nerve. I grabbed some blood from the refrigerator, swirling it around in the small container. I watched as it splashed onto the ridges of the cup, a small hurricane forming, the eye sloppily moving around the glass. I poured the container of blood into the blender; it was the usual, type O.

The hospital had a surplus of that, and I figured if I was going to steal blood, I might as well leave the more valuable stuff behind, even though I was strongly tempted to grab some AB negative every now and then. I felt my fangs poke out, as they usually did when blood was on my mind. Flows of venom found its way onto my tongue, and I quickly swallowed it, cringing at the better taste of it.


I glanced at the blender, where the blood was trickling down the sides into a pool at the bottom. I had to act fast, before I lost nerve. If I didn’t think about it while I did it, then I couldn’t convince myself to not do it.

I dumped the Cure into it, as well, letting my head win out over my heart.

This was the right thing to do; if it wasn’t, it would hurt me so much.


Fluorine walked into the room, a bright smile on her face, her swollen belly reminding me why I was doing this in the first place. I forced myself to smile, shoving the pain into a small box and hiding the key until I could release it all. “What types are you mixing?” she asked, rubbing her belly. She grinned at me, “I’m starving. This little monster,” she was referring to the baby, jokingly, I knew, “sure does have a big appetite.”

“It’s type O,” I responded. I poured the mixture into a cup, noticing it had slight glow to it, still. I smiled, holding the drink out to her. “And AB negative,” I lied.

She took a gulp of it, her eyes widening in surprise, “I never thought it’d taste like this.”


I felt my heart rip; this was it. I had already begun to lose her, “Careful.” She was gulping it down fast, and I couldn’t stand to know that the two things in this world that meant anything to me, was slipping from my grasp with each mouthful one of them took. I heard my voice, which sounded broken despite my attempts to bottle up the heart ache, “It’s pretty powerful.”

There are things in this world, that I don’t understand; like: love, war, gravity, or the lay of the land – but all of these remain mysteries, but one thing is for sure, you are worth living for.

-Lyrics by The Spill Canvas; “One Thing Is For Sure”-


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Chaper Eighty Four: Silent Wiggle


After an entire year of being a vampire, I had pretty much forgotten what it ever felt like to be human. No matter how my memories you have – for me, twenty years – of being alive, they faded quicker than I ever would have imagined being possible. I no longer remembered how the warmth felt when standing outside on a sweltering summer day, or how the bitter cold of winter seemed to gnaw away at your lungs. Imagining a life where you’re awakening at dawn, rather than falling into a slumber, was mind boggling; and yet, it had been normal to me. What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that it’s amazing how fast a person can change – how quickly you adapt to fit the lifestyle given to you.


I still didn’t feed from humans; the one time I had even got close to a neck I had ended up fainting, and Pluto had to convince a very terrified human that I had only meant to say hello. So, the whole hunting thing was something Pluto had given up on, or, at least, he didn’t bother trying to take my along with him any longer. He still went out, occasionally, but most of the time, he would just drink the “donated” blood with me – in a way, I considered it a very sweet gesture on his behalf.


Speaking of adaptations, our living quarters have changed dramatically. Although Pluto had been rather fond of that ‘safe house’, I couldn’t stand the thought of actually living there for an extended amount of time. It was just too dull, too small, and I felt trapped living in a room so far from the ground with only one way out and in. So, Pluto and I went out and we found ourselves a nice little home, not too far from the city.


I’ll be the first to admit, it was a humble little place to call home, but it was home none-the-less. When Pluto and I had found it, it had been abandoned by the previous owner, and left in terrible condition. But, we fixed it up, and well, it was everything I had expected a home to feel like – it was cozy, and left with me with the sense of feeling relaxed and secure. Although, that may have been partially due to the fact that with the home, came the sense of a family.


Pluto was, without a doubt, the most sincere of all gentlemen’s out there. He was always so sweet to me. I guess, once I had managed to break through that brick wall he had, it never once got the chance to rebuild itself. We spent hours, just laying around, talking. He told me about his past – everything from his daughter, to his mother, to his grandfather’s dying wish for the family name to never die out [he found the irony in that situation hilarious, for some reason]. I told him about my family; how our name of Drop was relatively well known, since we had been around for generations, and how my father was the greatest man I ever knew.

“What was your father’s name?” Pluto asked, running his fingers through my hair, slowly.

I grinned, closing my eyes; I loved when he played with my hair. “Israel,” I replied.


His finger gently poked the top of my nose, “I wish I could meet him, you know.”

“Oh, really?” I giggled, peeking one eye open, as my laughter filled the room. “And what would you talk to him about, exactly? Apologize for kidnapping his firstborn? He’s a cop, you know. He might not take that news all too lightly.”


He pinched my nose, playfully. He didn’t like when I referred to my transformation as a kidnapping, but he had gotten use to my teasing. “No,” he said, rolling his eyes. “I would thank him, for bringing you into the world.”

“That’s a bit gushy, isn’t it?” I asked, teasing him, again.


He shrugged, glancing down at me, his eyes slanting downwards, causing me to catch my breath – he looked so handsome. “Perhaps,” he agreed. “But it’s the truth, too.”

~~~~~~~~~~


Two years. Twenty four months. One hundred and four weeks. Seven hundred and thirty days. Seventeen thousand, five hundred thirty-one hours.

That’s all it took for me to realize, understand, and accept: that Pluto, was my missing half.

I guess I had never really believed in such a powerful love. I mean, I knew I had loved Dublin – a part of me always will.


But with Pluto, it’s different. He knows exactly what to say when I’m angry about anything, how to leave me alone when I’m frustrated, how to make me giggle when I’m beyond tired – which isn’t all too hard, since I can’t ever manage to think straight when I’m tired, but still. I loved him so much, that I didn’t understand how my heart didn’t just combust from too much emotion. The way his eyes looked away from me when he laughed, only to sneak glances as more giggles erupted; the way his hair fell in his face – the way he saw life with such clarity, even if it was a bit rough around the edges at times.


I stood up, on the tips of toes, and leaned over the rail, my eyes gazing with wonder at the water below me.


It’s easy to get lost in thoughts, when your mind is so easily entranced with something so seemingly simple. But really, the water in that river is taken for granted. It’s filled with litter – do the humans not realize, that fresh water is a resource to be protected? Plants need clean water, animals need clean water, heck, and even humans need clean water. And yet, they treat it as if it were a dump.


Pluto came up behind me, his arms wrapping tightly around my torso, pulling me into him. The lights above us flickered, and my eyes shot up towards them, watching as the lights turned to embers and then shadows, just to go back to glowing. A breeze had picked up, and my hair swayed in the wind, blowing right into Pluto’s face.


He made a spluttering sound, spitting my hair out of his face, and I turned around, giggling. He grinned at me, his entire face lighting up as soon as our eyes found each other. He turned me around, and pulled me closer, “Fluorine?”


“Yes?” I asked, in a sing-song voice, raising the pitch on the ‘e’.

He rested his forehead on mine, and his eyes closed. “Do you love me?”

“So much that it hurts,” I replied, in a soft voice.


Pluto’s face was lit up – he seemed too happy, so content. His eyes were focusing on our intertwined hands, and his fingers slowly moved, making little wave motions. His voice was soft, so sweet, that it made my heart ache, knowing the amount of love each word was drenched with, “I love you, too.”


I giggled, raising my hand to cup his cheek; he leaned into my palm, and his hand closed on mine, holding it to his face, “I already knew that.”


“But it’s nice to be reminded, isn’t it?” he asked, grinning.

I gave him a quick peck, raising my eyebrow suggestively as I tugged on his shirt, “There are other ways to remind me, you know.”

I’ve come to tell you all the truth, though you always had the proof of it.

~~~~~~~~~~


I stood in front of the mirror, staring at the reflection in front of me. I traced my cheekbones, and the girl in the reflection did the same. The girl in that silver screen looked just like me; she had my tell-tale family eyes, and the shoulder length green hair that I inherited from my mother. She had freckles sprinkled across her cheeks, making her face seem smaller than it actually was. Her orange skin had considerably lightened from what it used to be, and it had a slight glow to it. The muscles in the arms and legs were still very much toned, even though it had been years since they had been used for dancing. Her lips puckered slightly, because the girl in the mirror was the only one who knew my secret.


My eyes dropped slowly; falling from my face until it found the torso in the mirror. My eyes closed the distance, going from the reflection to my actual body, and I stared at the clothing between my hands and stomach.

My arms will grow, chest expanding.


My hands traced my lower abdomen, rubbing slowly back and forth as my hair fell forward into my face. I felt my mouth slowly open, as reality was slowing starting to set into place. My eyes narrowed, clasping shut at the corners. My breathing became unsteady, and I was soon gulping in air, trying to fill my lungs which were refusing to take anything in.

I forced my eyes to shut, and I smoothed out the wrinkles in my face – I was over reacting; I had to be. This couldn’t be real. I couldn’t be… I mean, it wasn’t possible. My body didn’t work that way anymore; I may not have had much experience with this whole situation, but I knew you needed that monthly visitor in order to get into this type of mess. And it had been a very long time since that had happened for me; my body didn’t register time.

Of all the boys you could have landed, why’d it have to be me?


My eyes slowly opened, staring back at the girl in the mirror. She was perfect, the way she was. Her body would forever be stuck looking like a young girl, in her early twenties.

I felt a small smile spread across my face though, as the possibility of what this all meant sank into my thoughts. Already, I could feel my heart growing bigger, as more love was crammed into my body – I was already falling in love with something I didn’t have. And at the same time, I was more terrified than I ever thought could be capable.

You, can’t take my eyes off of you.


Pluto and I could do this; couldn’t we?

~~~~~~~~~~


Pluto glanced around our small living room, his eyes darting from the couch to the TV, and everywhere in-between. He tilted his head curiously, not looking at me, “Do you hear something?”


I grew quiet to listen to the world around me; other than the occasional cricket chirping outdoors, I didn’t hear anything out the ordinary. Unless, of course, you counted the faint heartbeat that I felt within me – that I heard; although, it was more of a feeling rather than a hearing thing. “Nope,” I replied, walking over to the couch where Pluto was sitting.


His eyes darkened, and I sat myself in his lap, holding his angular face in my hands. It never failed to amaze me how sharp of a chin he had, or the way the bridge of his nose simply radiated the fact that he was once born into the noble class. I leaned down, and my hair draped over him, as his hand grazed my thigh lightly. I gave him a quick peck on the lips, and I could feel him smiling. He let out a low moan, and I giggled, “Well, now I certainly hear something.”

He flashed me a toothy grin, and wrapped his arms tightly around me, crushing me into his chest. I sighed, content with how life was – while it was nothing like what I had expected, I can’t say it wasn’t going perfectly.


Pluto breathed in deeply, but froze in the middle of inhaling. “Pluto?” I asked, leaning away slightly to look at him. His eyes were trained on my midsection, and I quickly ripped myself out his arms, backing away into the wall behind me.


Pluto stayed seated, his face displaying only one emotion – shock. But shock quickly turned into fear, and his eyes darted up to mine, filled with panic. “Fluorine,” he said, his voice shaking with each letter he managed to get out. “What – is that noise – it’s inside you – what?”

Wisdom tells me to turn away, broken once, it’s all the same.


He was fumbling for words, just like I had for countless nights, wondering how this could possibly be. I had no true way of being able to conceive; I had no blood in circulation, and I hadn’t had my period for two years. Yet somehow, someway, this little creature burst forth into life. I knew from the moment I felt that first twinge, that life was within me. And at that same moment, I knew I loved it, with more love than I ever thought myself being able to produce.

I didn’t just want to hold the child growing in me; I wanted to see him or her take those first unsure steps, hear those words escape the rosy little lips and sound more like gurgle than an actual language. I wanted to kiss away the scrapes, and see the fascination in the pearly little eyes whenever they find something interesting. To hear the giggles, as well as the cries. To hold my child in my arms, and know that I was one person who would never betray them, but always protect. Already, I was in love – and it was amazing, truly.

To be so taken and to adore something so much.

Something you don’t even truly have yet.

My arms will grow, chest expanding.


Pluto, however, did not seem to take the news well. He dropped his head as soon as the words, “I’m pregnant”, had managed to escape my lips. It looked as if what little life he had was sucked out of him, he looked so lost.

Of all the boys you could have landed, why’d it have to be me?


I sat down on the couch again, putting myself directly in his lap. He sank down the couch, and he forced his eyes shut, to avoid looking at me. “Pluto,” I murmured, “Aren’t you… aren’t you happy, at all?”


His hand wove its way into mine, and our fingers intertwined, “Fluorine.” His voice was filled with such pain; I couldn’t help but cringe into the couch, wishing myself to be smaller than I could be. “I’ve lost one child, out of my own misguidance – what if… what if I’m not meant to be a father?”


I grabbed his hands, noticing how our body temperatures were exactly the same. “Pluto,” I whispered, standing up, placing his hands on the lower part of my stomach, where I last felt the baby wiggle. I held my hands over his, forcing him to stay still. “If you weren’t meant to be a father, why would we be given such a miracle?”


Pluto’s body shook, trying to hold back tears that were begging to fall. He kissed my stomach, his lips sending electric shocks through my body. “I’ll do everything to protect this little one,” he whispered, his mouth moving in soft motions on my stomach; as if he were talking to baby, instead of me.

“We can do this,” I murmured.


His face held all the sorrows of which I had thought disappeared. But maybe you can never really fix what pieces in you had been broken; maybe you just get better at hiding them. Maybe he was never really happy with me, to begin with. Maybe he knew something about the baby that I didn’t; or maybe, he was really afraid of messing up, again. Fear, desperation and indecision were in his eyes, and he portrayed a man on the verge of lost sanity. In a split second, it looked as if he had made up his mind on this entire situation – it looked as if he had already fought a battle of which he had lost. But, he quickly recovered, regaining his composure, and his eyes were so soft at the corners, “Together?”

You, can’t take my eyes off of you.


“Together,” I agreed, watching as he clinched his eyes shut, and wondering why he had made it sound like a question, when to me, it was only common sense.

-Lyrics by Cary Brothers; “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”-

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Chapter Eighty Three: Falling into Enchantment


“Pluto,” I asked, as he watched people pass by, his head dipping in a gentleman style to the ladies, and in a curt nod to the men who shot him rude glances. “Do you think, that maybe… I could go back?”

Settle down with me, cover me up, cuddle me in.


He glanced at me, curiosity causing him to tilt his head slightly, “What do you mean? Back where?”

I swallowed the lump that had rose in my throat, and pushed my hair back nervously, “You know, home. Back to my real life.”

Lie down with me and hold me, in your arms.


His eyes shut, and he ran his fingers through his hair – a habit that I noticed he always did when confessing to something he didn’t find too pleasant. “Fluorine, you can’t.”


“Why not?” I asked; that was the answer I was expecting, and I knew of plenty of reasons as to why I couldn’t go back, but I wanted to hear how he would defend his reply.

He left the bar, leaving a put out bartender to shoot me a glare of jealousy – she had been trying to attract his attention all night long. “Love, do you know what going back would do? You’d never step out during sunlight, you’d thirst for the blood of all you love – is that really want you want?”

“But my family,” I interrupted.


“Would run in fear,” he finished, his eyes growing hard.

I glanced down at the ground, “Is that – is that what happened to you?”

“With my wife, yes,” he said, his voice too calm to be natural; he was forcing this cool exterior. “The rest of my family, unfortunately, was bitten at the same time I was.”

“Wait – what?” I felt my eyes grow wide.

And your heart’s against my chest, your lips pressed in my neck.


He sighed, exhaling sorrows with one huge breathe. “I’ll spare you the entire story, Fluorine. Just know, that I’m old enough to know almost everything, simply because in most cases, I’ve lived through it.”


I walked up to him, my hand cupping his cheek bone, and his eyes bore into mine, “How old are you, exactly?”

“Six hundred, ninety-eight,” he murmured, and I could feel the vibrations of his vocal cords in my fingertips, which were resting on his lips.

I felt the ghost of a smile dance upon my lips, “So you all changed, huh?”

“Yes,” he mumbled, his eyes still intent upon mine. “The whole lot of us. My brothers and sisters have died over the years; my parents, however, are still very much alive.”

I’m falling for your eyes, but they don’t know me yet; and with a feeling I’ll forget, I’m in love now.


“Do you miss them?” I asked. I had never heard of his parents, and he had never once mentioned them around me. I had just assumed that they had passed away; I knew Pluto was too old to have parents of who were still alive.

He smiled, “I’ve grown tired of them, to be honest.”

I shook my head, and blurted out, “Do you think you’ll grow tired of me?”


Pluto took my hands within his, and stepped forward, diminishing any distance that had been between the two of us. I could feel the fabric of his jacket brush against my bare arms, and I felt my breathing increase, and my still heart begged to jump through my chest once more in excitement. “How could I ever grow bored,” he purred, resting his forehead on mine. He exhaled, and his lips brushed mine gently, “of someone who could never be dull?”

Kiss me like you wanna be loved, you wanna be loved, you wanna be loved.

~~~~~~~~~~


“Fluorine,” Pluto said, his voice quiet and timid, but with the spark of enthusiasm hiding beneath it.


I felt my eyes widen – he never initiated conversation; I always had to start it if I wanted the silence to be filled with voices. “Yes?” I replied.

He grinned, his feet moving giddily around the room. “Do you, possibly… want to watch the stars with me? There’s supposed to be a meteor shower tonight, and I thought it’d be nice.”

This feels like falling in love, falling in love.


I smiled, hooking my arm through his, resting my head on his shoulder. I felt him stiffen, ever so slightly, and smiled coyly, “Why, Pluto, I would love to.”

We’re falling in love.


We walked down three flights of stairs until we found ourselves in the great outdoors. The night was peaceful, for once. I know that’s odd coming from a vampire who lived in a city filled to the brim with people – but I was on the outskirts, and the lights from the inner part of it caused a slight permanent glow around the town at night, almost as if it were a halo. The air smelled like dirt and dew, but it had just rained, so that scent was to be expected, and was strong enough for humans to smell. “It’s a beautiful night,” I commented, to which Pluto agreed with a small nod of his head.

Settle down with me, and I’ll be your safety – you’ll be my lady.


We found a spot on the ground that was relatively dry, and we sat down. I stared at the stars, and turned to Pluto, grinning, “You know, my grandmother told me a story, once. She said it was a story that her own grandmother, Flutter, shared; a story to survive generations.”


“What was it?” he asked, scooting closer to me.

I was made to keep your body warm, but, I’m cold as the wind blows so hold me in your arms.


I grinned at him, “She said that once upon a time, long ago, the sun and moon were sisters, both of whom were goddesses. The moon was beautiful in a delicate sort of way, she always reminded me of a doll – porcelain skin, big doe eyes, long hair. The sun, too, was equally as stunning – she was always the center of attention, her smile incomparable. The two were inseparable; no one had a closer bond. With only one prince in the region, the two sisters ran away together, hoping to escape their duties. They weren’t too good at hiding though, and when they were found, their father punished them by banning them to an eternity apart. The sun blessed the daytime with her glowing smile; the moon drowned the night in her still beauty. Forever together, but always apart; the stars are what keep them together.”

And your heart’s against my chest, your lips pressed in my neck.


Pluto smiled, staring up at the sky that was a blanket for us, “I have heard that story, actually. It’s a very old tale, you know. Although I’ve never heard that star ending – someone in your family must’ve been fond of happy endings, because I’ve only ever heard it ending with misery and sadness.”


I giggled, “Yeah, probably. From what I’ve heard, Xy, the story teller’s husband, was a total sucker for those happy ending type stories.”

“And you?” Pluto asked, training his eyes at the sky, purposely avoiding my gaze.


I smiled, but bitterness tainted what little happiness I could fake through the pain, “I thought I told you? Happy endings are over rated.”

Pluto glanced at me, “What if you’re just looking for the wrong ending? Instead of a Prince Charming, maybe you just need a knight in shining armor.”

“Maybe,” I agreed, turning to where I could see him.

I’m falling for your eyes, but they don’t know me yet; and with a feeling I’ll forget, I’m in love now.


He stared at me for a moment, before turning away, and pointing at the sky, “Did you see that?!”

I tore my gaze from him, “Oh, oops. No, I don’t think I did.”

Pluto shrugged, “Well, that’s okay. We’ll see another.” He breathed in, “Fluorine, what did you love most about your life as a human?”

I paused for a moment – so many words rushed into my head: apples, Marley, Argon, Dublin, my parents, the way a hot bath felt after a hard day in the studio. But only one word stuck out, only one found its way to my mouth. “Dancing,” I replied.

“Why?”

Kiss me like you wanna be loved, you wanna be loved, you wanna be loved.


I closed my eyes, imaging a beautiful ballet unfold before my eyes. I turned to him, the thought mixing with memories, to create a beautiful image. I smiled, and answered in a soft voice, “It was a place where I could always escape. To dance – to truly dance, you have to shut your mind off. You can’t think. Sure, you’ve got to practice drills, but when it comes to the actual routine, you have to cut it all off. You have to clear your mind. Dancing isn’t about the effort behind it, it isn’t about the way your feet move in synchronization or not. It’s about whether or not you’re willing to let go of it all, to feel the music move through your body and allow yourself to move along with it.”

This feels like falling in love, falling in love.


Pluto listened patiently; his eyes trained on my lips to watch me talk. He didn’t once interrupt, but when I was done, a broad smile and genuinely happy expression was on his face, “I love seeing the ways your eyes sparkle when you talk about dancing.”


I dug my head into his shoulder, “It was my passion.”

A silence settled over us then, and I wondered if maybe I had said something wrong. I kept my head on Pluto’s shoulder, and I felt him lean down and kiss my hair, “I’m sorry I took it away, Fluorine.”


“Took what?”

He straightened up, pulling his arm away from me, his eyes not able to meet mine. “Everything, Fluorine,” he replied, his voice rough. “I’m sorry I took it all.”


I leaned forward, giving him a small kiss, my eyes closing as our lips touched. “You’re forgiven,” I murmured.

He held my face tenderly, staring into my eyes. A weight was lifted from his shoulders as soon as the words escaped my lips; the shadows the constantly plagued his eyes were gone. “Thank you, Fluorine,” he mumbled, as his lips crashed down on mine once more. “Thank you.”

We’re falling in love.

~~~~~~~~~~


I knotted my hands together, wrapping them tightly around my knees, tucking them tightly into my chest. I stared out over the water, watching the stars twinkle in the reflection of the small waves. While my eyes saw, my mind was a thousand miles away. I bit my lip, conflict fighting within me. I was falling for Pluto; it was a slow process, but I could feel my heart slowly start opening up to him. I felt it in the electricity of something as simple as him brushing past my arm, the way it grew hard to breathe when he said my name.

Yeah, I’ve been feeling everything: from hate to love, from love to lust, from lust to truth – I guess, that’s how I know you.


But not too long ago, I had been positive that I loved Dublin, with every ounce of adoration that I could manage.

But if I could manage to fall for someone else – does that mean that whatever Dublin and I had wasn’t real? Maybe the two of us, were never meant to be. Maybe that was why he had strayed to begin with; the universe was pulling us toward our proper fates. Destinies that didn’t involve each other.


I had thought he was my soul mate, and maybe he was. Soul mates come in all forms; a lover, a friend, a brother – someone who your soul was created to meet.

So I hold you close, to help you give it up.


I glanced over towards Pluto, who was laying in the sand not far from where I sat.

Maybe that was why he had lived so long; why he was cursed to stalk the night.


The two of us, we were always meant to be. He came onto this earth all too early, and me all too late – but still, we managed to find each other.

“Pluto?” I called out, my voice a whisper, the tide behind me adding an echo to the end of the word.

Kiss me like you wanna be loved, you wanna be loved, you wanna be loved.


He turned towards me, his eyes opening just a bit to see me. A smile spread across his face, and his hand reached up to push the hair out of his face, “Yes, darling?”

I bit my lip, nervously. “Your wife – you loved her, didn’t you?”


“More than I could ever try to put into words,” he replied, exaggerating as was usual Pluto style.


I smiled, walking over to him, dragging my feet in the sand. I pulled down on the edges of my dress – it was new, actually. Pluto had found some old curtains lying around the safe house we stayed at, and after years of repairing dance outfits and making Halloween costumes at home, I was a pro at sewing, and managed to turn into quite the nice little dress/vest ensemble.

This feels like falling in love, falling in love.


I plopped down in front of him, and he sat up slowly. Our limbs became tangled, and I rested my forehead against his, comforted by his solidity.


“If you love her as much as you said you do,” I whispered.

“And I did,” he interrupted, too distracted with analyzing my face to remember that interrupting me while I was speaking, was a big pet peeve of mine.

I sighed, “Then how could you possibly love anyone again?”

He shrugged, “I can’t just love anyone, Fluorine.”

I bit my lower lip, trying to keep the words from tumbling out of my mouth. But it did no good. “Could you love me, do you think?” I asked nervously, focusing my eyes on a speck of dirt some three yards away.


His lips found mine, kissing them gently, as lightly as a butterflies take off, leaving me wanting more. He held my chin, “She was the love of my life, Fluorine.” I tried to tug away – I knew rejection was coming at me; what could I have possibly been thinking? Him, love me? I was reading all the signs wrong, I knew it.

But, Pluto held my face tighter, forcing me to look into his eyes. “But you,” he continued, his breath tickling my face, “are the whole reason I exist in the first place.; you’re the love of my existence.”

We’re falling in love.

-Lyrics by Ed Sheeran; “Kiss Me”-


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Chapter Eighty Two: Behind the Blood


I held my head up in distaste, refusing to budge; I ignored his pleading look and rolled my eyes at his puckered lips. “I told you,” I said, an air of annoyance seeping into each word. “I’m not going to eat humans. It just isn’t happening.”

He sighed, “Yeah. I know. I’ve gathered that. Which is why I want us to go – ”


I felt my level of impatience rise, and my body reacted, as venom seeped out of my fangs, making my tongue taste the bitter acid my body now produced. “NO! I WILL NOT HUNT WITH YOU!” I screamed, on the verge of pulling out my hair in sheer frustration.


He came up to me, putting his hand over my mouth, “Sheesh. And people wonder why I’ve chosen to live alone all these years.” He smirked teasingly, and I narrowed my eyes at him. He continued, “I’m not saying you have to HUNT. I’m saying you can go LOCATE some blood. You know, blood that is already out of the body. It doesn’t taste as good, but you need to feed somehow.”

“Like… buy? Is that even legal?” I questioned, my eyebrow raising.

He shrugged, “Probably not. Then again, is anything truly legal?”


He loosened his grip on me, allowing me to wiggle out. “Yes, that’s why there are laws,” I stated. My dad was a police officer, and my mother a detective – abiding by the rules issued by the government ran in my blood. Even if you didn’t think something was right, you had to trust that their commands had your best interest at heart; at least, most of the time.


Pluto shrugged, indifferent to my ethics. He had lived too long to be afraid, had a confidence that few men ever had. He knew nothing could hurt him unless he allowed it too. “What defines something as ok – just because some people decide that should be a moral instilled into humanity? Rules are made to be tested. Laws are put in place to be broken. It’s what keeps life interesting.”


“Hmm… never would’ve pegged you as a rule breaker,” I said, my sarcasm clear.


He winked at me, his voice suddenly turning into a husky purr, “You’ve gotta make sure to live it up, Fluorine. Not every day you get a second chance to do what should’ve been done the first time around.”

~~~~~~~~~~


I lounged in the plush grey and black striped chair, sipping at my drink – an old soda can filled with blood that Pluto had taken from the hospital. I freaked out at the sight of it, so Pluto put it in a soda can, telling me to make believe that it’s just fruit punch. And when I seemed hesitant after that, he added in a straw. My eyes were glazed over, filled with the thoughts of the man before me. He had such a tough exterior, but really, he was just a softy with jagged edges.


At the sound of a crash and some cursing, I tore my gaze away, my eyes stopping short on Pluto’s bent over figure. Control yourself, my brain buzzed at me; I shook my head, clearing my thoughts. “What the heck was that?” I asked.

Pluto shoved some boxes out of the way, “We’re in the attic of a 200 year old building. Sometimes, when things get old, they break and crash for no reason.”

“Well, aren’t you worried?” I asked.


“About…?” he replied, shooting me a knowing smirk.

“That the ceiling or something will fall on us and then we’ll die?”


He started laughing, “Love, we’re vampires, not the wicked witch of the west. We don’t die that easily, darling.”

My heart fluttered at the word ‘darling’. It was the name he often called me – I mean, he often used ‘love’ when referring to me, or any of his many meals, or a bystander that just so happened to do something kind. But me – I was darling; a nickname I deemed much better than the dreaded ‘carrot’ that Dublin was so fond of calling me. “…how do we die?” I asked, my voice barely a whisper.


“Sunlight burns us. As does acid. And fire,” he shot me a quick glance, “you’re not a smoker, are you?”


I wrinkled my nose, even now, the smell of cigarette smoke bothered me. Not that I had a problem with people who DID smoke, I merely detested the scent, “Never.”


He winked, “Good. You would’ve become smoked barbeque from the inside out.” He turned back around, to go back to doing whatever it was he was busying himself with. “Oh,” he added, as if he was distracted, “and with time you, become more of, well, a fire hazard.”

“How so?”

He shrugged, “The older you get, the faster you burn.”


I felt my eyebrows crunch together; I had heard a lot of stories about vampires, but age had never been an important factor in any of them. “Why?”


“Because the humanity in you starts to wear off with time,” he said, clapping his hands together to brush off some dust.

“And what else?”


“Silver wound us, but we can heal. Wooden stakes – those are painful suckers. You have to get them out right away, but take one to the heart, and poof, you’re gone.”


“…poof,” I said, my eyes growing wide. “What about… crosses? And churches? Do those kill us?”


He laughed, “No. We are not harmed by that. It was just a myth.”

“How did that one start?” I asked, my nose crinkling.

He smiled, as if this were a topic of comedy, rather than a lifestyle of which I did not fully understand, “People used to be buried in the olden days, with a wooden cross there to mark their grave. People would see us, grab the cross, and stab us. They thought it was light of goodness healing our souls – but really, it was just the wood.”


I giggled, “Can we turn into bats?”

He raised an eyebrow, “Yes.”

“Really?” I asked, surprised at how excited I was.


“No,” he snapped, his good humor fading quickly. “We cannot change into bats, or any other animals. We are not shifters, we’re vampires.”


“Shifters?”

Pluto sighed, “Do you know nothing?”

“We aren’t exactly given a Freaks 101 course in school,” I explained.


Even though I was just joking, trying to get a laugh out of him, his face grew frosty. “And we, most certainly, are not freaks,” he said, his glare turning towards me, making me avert my eyes.

“Sorry, I was just joking,” I mumbled, upset with how weak I felt, and confused to the fact as to why I cared in the first place.


He sighed, “I know.” An awkward silence passed between us, as if he wished all the words he couldn’t say could just be spelt out in the dust around us. But escapes are never offered so quickly and subtly. Finally, he spoke up, “Do you have any more questions? Or are you ready to get put into your coffin?”

“Coffin?” I gulped.


His face grew somber, “Why, yes. Where do you think it is we sleep?”

I felt as if I had been kicked in the throat; the air around me was constricting. I glanced at him, desperately, to try and see if he was joking or not. “Please,” I begged, desperation saturating my words. “Please tell me you’re joking.”

He raised an eyebrow, “What’s wrong, princess. Afraid you’ll wake up to find yourself a zombie?”

I thought of the tight space the coffin would give. Hardly any room to move, shut in it. “I – I,” I was stuttering for words, my brain had gone into panic mode.


He was quickly by my side, and he was crushing me into his chest, when I realized that I was having a full on panic attack. “Breathe, Fluorine. Take a gulp of air,” he murmured into my air, his voice monotone and calming.


I grabbed onto his shoulders, “I can’t – I’m, I’m afraid of tight spaces.” It was hard to explain, but I had always suffered from claustrophobia. I loved the protection I felt when around and close to the people I trusted, but I hated feeling trapped.

“Sweet berry,” he groaned, more to himself than me. “I seem like such an apple hole now. I was just joking – honestly, I didn’t know you were so frightened…”


I quickly cut him off, and pulled myself awkwardly away from him. During a moment in anxiety, I managed to pretty much crawl onto him, and my legs and arms were wrapped around him. “Its fine,” I mumbled, grateful for the fact that I no longer blood moving through my body as to prevent the blush that undoubtedly would’ve found its way onto my cheeks.

“No, it’s not fine,” I said, his voice higher pitch than it usually was. His eyes found their way to look into mine, and I couldn’t tear my gaze away. He stood still, just for a moment, before he hung his head.

“Really,” I coaxed, reaching out to stroke his back comfortingly, “it’s no big deal. You didn’t know.”


He dug his face into his hands, ashamedly, “But I should have, Fluorine. I should know these things.”


“How? It’s not like we’ve actually held a conversation,” I murmured, wondering why he was beating himself over such a small thing. Sure, I had a hysterical moment – but surely that wasn’t enough to make him so worried? I didn’t even know he cared so much about me.


He grabbed my hand, his purply blue fingers intertwining with my pale orange ones, creating a soft glow similar to that of a hazy sunset. He stared at it, a soft and small smile making the corner of his lips reach towards the sky. “I wish I could tell you it all,” he whispered, his voice making close to no sound, the air eerily quiet and calm.


“Tell me all of what?” I whispered, watching him carefully.


He slowly pulled his hand away, his eyes managing to hold more sadness than I ever thought a single person would be able to handle. There was undeniable pain etched into his granite hard skin, pain that had fought its way through all his walls until it reached his very core of existence. He sighed heavily, letting out air that was filled with all the words he couldn’t manage to say. He shook his head slowly, “I can’t say, Fluorine. Not yet.”

~~~~~~~~~~
I’d suggest listening to THIS right about now.


The moonlight glimmered through the tree’s, falling upon the ground in silver beams of light, the shadows dancing to the sound of the wind. In the distance, a lone wolf howled. Honking from cars echoed from the streets below, and a bird let out a chirp that went unanswered. I shuddered. Not from cold… But something – something, that I could not quite put my finger on, did not seem right.


“Pluto?” I called out, wandering aimlessly. I could see and hear just fine, but my ears and eyes picked up on nothing. Earlier, I had drifted off to to sleep, and when I woke up, I was alone, with no note or any other indication as to why Pluto wasn’t there or where he had wondered off to.

“Pluto…” I called again, quickening my pace. Where the heck was the man? He better not have abandoned me – not after all he had put me through.


In the stillness of the night, my senses perked up, catching onto a sniffle and the scent of heartbroken sadness.

That’s when I saw him. “Pluto,” I breathed, in relief, running forward, only to stop in my tracks as I stood before him.


The strong man I had come to know him for was no longer there.

I feel like I’m drowning in ice water; my lips, have turned a shade of blue.


In his place, was a grown adult, acting like a child. His body and soul was so obviously broken that it frightened me. The closer I got, the louder the sobs became, each one ripping my heart apart. I had a strong and strange urge to comfort him, but I resisted – and that’s when I saw a true horror. I should’ve expected we couldn’t produce liquid, but it took me by shock. His face… was covered in blood. But he didn’t look like he had been harmed. No, it looked like tear and snot stains… just instead of tears and snot, it was the warm gooey substance he fed on.

I’m frozen with this fear that you may disappear, before I’ve given you the truth.


“A-ar-are you ok?” I whispered, bending down by him.

He coiled away from my touch, “Go away.”

“I… I just want to help,” I cooed, scooting closer.

“And I do not want it, nor do I ask for it,” he replied, ripping from my touch again.

“Why are you crying?” I asked, persistent, trying to get to the cause of such heart ache.

I bleed my heart out on this paper, for you – so you can see what I can’t say.


He stood up, hoping to put more distance between us, but his legs were too weak to hold him. He turned to me, blood smeared over his cheeks. He looked like an utter monster – anyone else would’ve run in fear. But right now, all I could think was that he had never looked more real. He was vulnerable, a child seeking the safety of a guardian, a duckling lost in a pond. “It’s the anniversary,” he whispered, his shoulders slumping.

I’m dying here, ’cause I can’t say what I want to.


“Of?” I asked gently, pulling him towards me comfortingly.

“Her death,” he moaned.

“Your… wife’s?” I asked, hesitantly, afraid to dig too far into his memory, fear warning me of what I might find. One that could cause such an outburst, such pain released from a man who usually had such tight control of himself, must be approached timidly.

I bleed my heart out, just for you.


He shook his head no, though. And he looked up at me, his defenses falling. He was no longer the strong vampire who gave me orders, or the vampire who had only my well-being and survival in mind. The wall, built carefully with bricks and cemented together, was cracking, ever so slowly. “My daughter’s.”

“Oh,” I whispered, the one word expressing all the emotion a thousand could say.

I’ve always dreamed about this moment; and now, it’s here and I’ve turned to stone.


His hand cradled his face, “She was eleven. I… I hadn’t meant to come so close.”

I ran my fingers through his hair, wiping away the red streaks of pain that flowed down his face.

I stand here petrified, as I look in your eyes – my head is ready to explode.


He continued, “I was so hungry, though.” His eyes grew distant, and they pinched at the corners. He crumbled in defeat, “I can still feel her frail body writhing against me, her voice crying for help, pleading with me to stop. And I… I IGNORED her screams.” He closed his eyes, and I watched as the horror played behind the lids, a deed in his past that he would never be able to forget or escape. “My beautiful, clever little girl, Nettuno; how could I do that? What kind of pathetic excuse am I as a father – as a man? I fed, from my own daughter.”

I bleed my heart out on this paper, for you – so you can see what I can’t say.


“You couldn’t control it…” I murmured, remembering the ache of the thirst, one that never truly went away, but always left a slight throbbing in the back of your throat. But I was not a mother myself; I had no child, and I could not even begin to empathize with Pluto. The pain of losing a child is great, but to know you were the sole cause that their existence was cut many years too short – how does one recover, from that?

I’m dying here, ’cause I can’t say what I want to.


He snorted in disgust, crumbling before me, “There’s a place reserved for people like me. A place where no sun or moon will ever bless my eyes.”

I bleed my heart out, just for you.


I held onto him as the tears fell, whispering words of comfort into his ear. “You messed up,” I whispered. “But you’re still a good person.”


He looked up at me, and he tried to smile, although it just came out as a grimace, the pain too much to cover for the moment. He had gone years carrying this sin with him; no matter how many lives he took, none of them mattered, because he had taken the one life of which he had loved more than his own. His hands tightened into fists, his fingers gripping onto each other for support. “Well, who would’ve guessed?” He sniffled, “Here I am, old as dirt, and I’m being comforted. Why are you being nice? You’re never nice.”

And it’s all here in black, and white, and red; for all the times those words were never said.


I shrugged, and smiled gently, “I’m nice, just usually, not to you. But, whether either one of us accept it, we’re in this together… for the long run.”

I bleed my heart out on this paper, for you – so you can see what I can’t say; I’m dying here, ‘cause I can’t say what I want to – I bleed my heart out, just for you.


His head dropped, as another tear fell, “A very long, long run, of course.”

-Lyrics by Hot Chelle Rae; “Bleed”-

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Chapter Eighty One: Manifesting Darkness



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”-

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