Okay, this is a new story thing I’ve been working on. I’m using a totally different set of mythical characters then I ever have before, and am a bit nervous about it. My sister Anna was shocked I would use this certain mythical creature, because we both despise them so much except for a few TV shows in which we liked them.
I am really looking for some feedback, positive and otherwise for this story beginning.
Untitled As Of Yet
I was taking a short cut home the day I met him. I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone, as I had been taking a little known and even less used shortcut through the local graveyard. I know people complain all the time about graveyards being creepy, and totally haunted at night, but I find them a bit… mystical and sad. I mean, this is where everyone ends up, right? It’s stupid to be afraid of what you’ll be a part of someday I think.
Anyway, I’d been glancing at the headstones, reading the names and the dates as I usually did when I walked this way, when my view of the names was blocked by something quite peculiar. A thin rather gangly set of legs. I followed the legs up to their owner, who so shocked me by his appearance that had I been in a person’s right mind (my mind is almost never what other people consider right) I would have bolted at once, and flown done the hill as fast as my own short legs could carry me. But as I already mentioned, I was not what people would say in a right mind, and so I simply stared at him. He was rather tall, though the way his legs were all twisted and folded up you could hardly tell how tall, and his face was quite lean and angular, with very sharp cheekbones. His eyes were quite astonishing, for they had all the clear sharpness of a crystal blue, and all the sinking of a dark black, so much so I could not tell which they were. His hair was rather long, but not so long that it was of a girlish style. He cocked his head, studying me as I did him.
“Hello,” he said, sounding quite cordial. The minute he opened his mouth, the blinding white teeth stood out in the growing darkness, proclaiming his species to the world. I, of all people, had stumbled upon a vampire.
I of course knew a good many stories about vampires. How they would attack helpless victims, and suck their blood to power their own eternal youth. How they feared light, and could turn into tiny ferocious bats at will. Oh, and that they hated garlic.
Up until that moment, all those stories had seemed foolish fairytales for people who like a good scare. Now, this encounter did not change my opinion, and I did not immediately pray to God for a clove of garlic to appear at my feet. Rather, I felt an odd sense of curiosity, for this vampire did not appear to fit into the dark and gloomy tales of which I’d heard.
“You are a vampire,” I said to him, quite unsure how to greet what was supposed to be a mythic creature. The vampire grinned, not the crazed I-will-feast-on-you grin, but a humored grin.
“And you are a human,’ he replied. “Now that that is out of the way, what is your name?”
“Karen,” I answered slowly,” and you are?”
“Benjamin,” he answered, hopping down from his tombstone perch. When he stood, he was a whole foot taller then me, and I immediately felt small and childish. This in turn made me irritable. I do not like being short.
“That’s a weird name for a vampire,” I said, arms crossed.
“And you are an expert on us then?” Benjamin asked, his eyes glinting as he teased. This was not going as I had expected.
“You are supposed to be mythical,” I replied.
“Am I?” Benjamin asked, looking confused. He quickly slapped himself and pinched his arms and legs. I continued staring at him. When he finished, he straightened and shrugged.
“Seem real enough to me,” Benjamin said, and he held out an arm. “Care to check for yourself?”
I took a step back, and Benjamin laughed at me.
“Aren’t you going to bite me and have me join your legion of the undead?” I asked, tiring of this conversation of which I was quickly losing control.
“Oh please, that is so stereotypical,” Benjamin complained, imitating a whinny-stereotypical cheerleader voice. He waved a hand through the air. “Lesson One. Vampires do not bite people.”
“Then…” I began, the very basis of the vampire myths shattering beneath me.
“Vampires are not monsters who go around biting people, no matter what those ridiculous writers say,” Benjamin explained. “Vampires are a race all our own. We’re like elves, only not, if that makes any sense. The elves are a bit more…”
“Gracious? Kind? Blessed?” I suggested.
“Stuck up,” Benjamin finished.
“The elves think they are oh so pretty with their gorgeous hair that can never be ruined, and pointy ears that make them look like something out of Star Trek,” Benjamin complained with an over exaggerated eye-roll. “Let me tell you, if you want adventure, vampires are the way to go.”
“What about werewolves?” I asked, finding myself perching on a stone across from Benjamin. I was going to be late home, but how often does one actually run into a vampire?
“Werewolves?!” Benjamin laughed. “Those mangy mutts? All they can do is chase their tails and howl at a piece of space rock!”
“Well then, what is so great about vampires?” I asked at last, leaning forward with my head perched on my hands. Benjamin’s eyes met mine for just a second, but it felt like a thousand. I almost gasped at the sincerity and age in his eyes. He stared, and I stared back. At last, my pride crumbled and I looked away. He then answered my question.
“Vampires are not bat-changing monsters that you see in books and movies like that stupid series Twilight,” Benjamin began. “They… We… are night runners. We thrive in the dark, that much is true, but not because sunlight turns us to dust. Night is when we connect to nature, when we feel at peace. It’s like when a bird learns to fly. When that little bird discovers it can soar and dive and fly on the breeze and they feel like they just become a part of something bigger then you could possibly imagine… only we are luckier then most. We get that feeling every night, when the sun sets and the bats come out, and we can’t help but join them.”
I could see the truth in his words and his tone.
“But… how.. if you don’t…” I struggled to find the right words that wouldn’t completely insult my new acquaintance.
“How do vampires become vampires without being bitten?” Benjamin finished for me, and I nodded. “We’re just like elves, I told you,” he answered. “It’s all in the family. My mother was a vampire, and my Dad was human.”
“So… you are only half vampire?” I asked. When he nodded, I opened my mouth to ask my next question, but I hesitated.
“Ask it,” Benjamin encouraged me, though his eyes looked tired.
“How old are you?” I asked at last.
“A week past 203,” he said slowly, sounding not at all happy about it.
“And… your parents…” I asked slowly.
“My mother was killed in the Civil War when I was just over 50, little more then a toddler, and my dad lived to the ripe old age of 93, when I was the vampire equivalent of a human 10 year old.”
It was all I could do not to topple off of my perch.
“Umm… and how long…”
“Theoretically, I could live into the next century. Vampires age much slower then humans. The older we grow, the slower we age, if that makes any sense.”
“Wow,” was all I could say.
We sat in silence for a while, my inner emotions in conflict. Here was this boy… if he could be called a boy… who had opened up to me in a way I should not have demanded. My own curiosity had again been my ruin.
Well? Good? Bad? Should never have been reveled to the public eye?