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The LeRue Review
Bored. A single word used to describe my current state of mind. Boring would be describing the atmosphere at Ocean Academy, a coed boarding school in South Carolina. It is here that my parents sent me because they couldn’t handle my teenagerdom anymore. I’m not a bad kid or anything; they just couldn’t deal with my ‘attitude’. I don’t believe that’s how it is. They just don’t like how I changed. Well, that and my mother isn’t known for her maternal instincts. So, they sent me away from them. They really have no idea, though, about how much I really did change, after I started dating Demetrio.
I was sent into exile at Ocean Academy, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. I was forced into a bogus uniform, and put into classes that I could pass in my sleep. At my old high school I was considered part of the ‘in crowd’. I wasn’t a cheerleader, I wasn’t one of those dumb jocks, and I didn’t have the best style. But I was, and still am, very pretty… or so I’ve been told. I don’t think I am all that beautiful, but others seem to think so. They don’t know the real me. Why I am so pretty and appealing to them. I have a deep secret that no one even knows. No one knows except Demetrio.
That was a probable cause for my instant popularity. Usually popular people make fun of smart, artsy, poets like me. But, from the first day of my junior year I had been ‘adopted’. I was part of a group who was bent on making others feel inferior, small, weak. I didn’t personally partake in the taunting, but, I still stood by and watched, doing nothing to stop it. You could call it timidity, but in the end, I didn’t want to cause a scene. Girls are like scorpions when they turn on you.
All my friends cried when I told them that I was going to a boarding school. We all hugged and they all promised to call me, but I made no promises. There was no point in lying to them; I knew they wouldn’t call, just as they knew that I didn’t care either way.
I was transferred to Ocean Academy not even a quarter of the way through my junior year. I am only a week into this dreaded school, and I already think of it as prison. Only my teachers have talked to me. Students are still trying to find out what planet I’m from. Either that, or they are probably trying to digest why I look inhumanly beautiful to them.
Today, like the four days previous, I’m completely alone at my lunch table in the junior dorm-house, eating a PB&J. Or, pretending to eat it, at least. Four classes have already come and gone: geometry, English, art, and history. I feel so free in art; free to express, to put my dreams on a canvas. English is the same with poetry, but, right now we aren’t working on poetry, and therefore the lecture is not worth listening to.
Usually I enjoy people watching while pulling the crusts off of my sandwich, but the scent from the sugar saturated jam is getting to my stomach today. I really can eat. It’s not like those other stories you hear, about others like me, who don’t eat, only “drink”. I do eat, and not as an act. Food, though it’s not blood, is still mildly satisfying. It helps sustain me better, for a couple more days. It was an old trick Demetrio taught me. Plus, even though they have yet to show me courtesy, I do not want to kill any of the humans. I will hold off the thirst as long as necessary, so that I see to it that I don’t kill anyone. It is very hard for me to do so, but I must, if I am to stay here. Demetrio taught me another trick. Eat raw meat. It helps, considerably, the fresh, raw meat of an animal, newly hunted.
The chatter of people all around me is always somewhat unsettling, and I know that they are trying to pretend they aren’t talking about me. Instead, they peer at me from beneath hooded eyes and around shades of hair. After they look, they whisper, and after they whisper, they gossip. A couple guys keep looking at me, but they do nothing to spark my interest. What would their love of beauty do for my tortured soul? I’m just what they think they need: honey-blonde hair, sapphire blue eyes, and a toned muscle structure hidden beneath plaid and cotton. They are nothing like me inside, and sometimes the idea that I will never be normal again bothers me. Though it’s not my fault that I am the way I am I can never quite bury my self-pity.
If anyone is to blame for all of this, it would be Demetrio. He changed me. He made me like him. A predator, evil inside, but alluringly beautiful on the outside.
The bell is an annoying sound overhead whenever it rings. It sounds more like an old-fashioned alarm clock than anything resembling a school bell. Joy. Time for Chemistry. I am good at it, but I just don’t want to deal with it. During the last class we got banned from doing any experiments for two weeks because several groups managed to blow apart a few glass tubes and a graduated cylinder or two. They just couldn’t stop staring at me.
Slowly I pick up my books and deposit my paper plate, loaded with an uneaten PB&J, into the trashcan at the end of my lonely table. I then proceed to push myself into the crowd heading out the door, and finally, make it to Chemistry. Thirty seconds late of course. If only that short blonde girl hadn’t gotten in my way. Naturally, everyone stares at me as I walked in through the giant wood door. Typical protocol straight from the ‘alienating new students’ handbook. Soon they would start playing tricks on me and making my life hell. Oh yeah, transferring was a great idea…
“Eve, what have you been doing with yourself?” my mother, Jean Ashbury, asked me the next night over the phone. Friday night and no plans. I can’t remember the last time I had a free Friday. The students are all still trying to figure out what I was. They are slow, even for shallow teenagers. But slow is always good. Hopefully, I could be like Demetrio and learn to blend into my environment without anyone being the wiser. Although, it didn’t help if everyone kept staring at you. But, humans are sort of dumb. Not even my mom had figured out why I had changed so much. Ignorant, they all were.
The transformation had been quick, too quick for it to be simply belated puberty, but none of them realized that. Within two weeks I was a full vampire, untamed and crazy for human blood. It had been nearly three months since then, and in that short time, Demetrio had taught me how to control myself.
“Nothing; homework, mostly.” I sigh. I never enjoyed talking to my mother anymore. As I changed, she grew snippier, meaner, stricter, and utterly detached from me. She had forbid Demetrio to come near me, thinking that he was the cause of the problems with my ‘attitude’. But he never stayed away. He always came and went as he pleased to my room. We would sit there and he would teach me tricks to being a vampire, always apologizing profusely for what he did to me. He said that he never meant to change me, it just happened.
It was a month and a half before school was supposed to start up again. All Demetrio wanted to do was kiss my neck, but he ended up biting me, pulling the blood painfully from my veins. I had giggled, and then screamed at the pain that was wrenching through my body. He realized immediately that he had made a mistake, and pulled his fangs from my throat. By then, his poisonous venom had spread gradually through my body, and, without warning, the next day I looked in the mirror and I was different. I even felt different: stronger, prettier, smarter, swifter, and less inconsequential. I didn’t feel human anymore, and the minute that realization had hit me, I knew why. But I didn’t care. I had always predicted that Demetrio wasn’t normal, and now I had the proof: two pea-sized punctures on my neck.
“Oh, well, sounds good. Keep up the good work.” Here, my mom paused. “Um, Eve? I, uh, I was just wondering if there was anything you wanted to tell me? Like, why have you seemed so different these last couple months.” I hear the shake in her voice, as if she’s scared of the answer I’m about to give.
“Mom, there is nothing wrong with me. You probably just wanted to find something in me, so you did.” I am lying through my teeth. But she has no way of knowing that.
“Okay, good. Well, I have to go. Talk to you later, honey.”
“Bye.” I hang up and close my cell phone. What to do now? Before my mind can even come up with a quick response, there’s a gentle knocking on my door. Interesting. One of the humans has finally decided to fraternize with me. I get up slowly and gracefully step up to the door. I open it suddenly, but it is no ordinary person standing there.
“Demetrio.” I gasp, happiness and bafflement flowing through me at his appearance. Tall and leonine, with curly black hair in a mess atop his head, sky blue eyes and a muscular physique, Demetrio Arsenault is standing in my doorway.
“Eve.” He pulls me close and wraps me in a hug that would break any human in half. He picks me up slightly and leans in to kiss me.
“What are you doing here?” I ask as he lets me go and I pull him into my room, closing my door.
“I miss you and want you to come home.” He smiles his beauteous smile and pulls me to him again, bending down to gently scrape his teeth against the scars on my neck.
“Ah….I really wish I could, my love, but I can’t.” I try to think clearly with the feel of his lips on my throat. “My parents won’t let me.” I sigh as he pulls away to look into my eyes. Although his eyes are pleading, there is something else there, something I can’t quite put my finger on.
“Run away with me. Come on, let’s go now. We can jump out the window and leave this place behind.” His look is all business as he says this.
“Demetrio, I just can’t. I want a semi-normal life, and this is it. I want to feel like I belong somewhere.” The words flow from me, and I regret them, knowing how touchy Demetrio has been about my transformation. He looks down at me with a strange expression in his eyes. Malice?
“I’m sorry, Eve. I just……I got out of control…there is no apology big enough for what I did. I changed your life forever, and now you will never be human again.” He sits down with a soft thump on my bed, and I sit next to him. I turn his head so he will look at me.
“I do not regret what you did. It changed me and gave me strength greater than I could ever imagine. I love being a vampire. Except I don’t like killing people to satiate my thirst. We need to find a better outlet to satisfy it with. Other than that, I am glad you did what you did.” I lean in and kiss him as he wraps his arms around my waist. But he seems hesitant, distant all of a sudden. The shift of his mood is almost a palpable scent and I can feel the anger licking at my skin.
“Okay. I’ll go. I just wanted to come see you.” he says.
“You came all the way here from New York just to see me for two minutes?” I ask, skepticism coloring my tone.
“Yep.” He answers too quickly, and I pick up the lie immediately.
“Liar.” I push him over and lay my body over his.
“Okay, so maybe that’s not why I came here.” He sighs and looks away, an odd expression coloring his features. I lightly touch his cheek with my long, pale fingers.
“What is it?” I question soothingly.
“Nothing good.” he sighs again.
“You can tell me, you know.” I roll off of him and lay with my head on his chest.
“I know. You just won’t be happy.”
“What is really making me not happy is that you keep beating around the bush. What is going on?” He doesn’t say anything, and my impatience gets the better of me. “Would you just tell me, please?” I snap.
“I actually came down here by way of invitation. There is a coven of vampires, out near the coast, and they have asked me to join them. I accepted.” He looks at me, deep into my eyes, trying to dissect any emotion. I am infuriated.
“You what? Do you know how dangerous they are? You can get killed!” A coven is a group of thirteen vampires that were trained and skilled in the ways of fighting. Two covens get together once every month and have a couple of their most promising members battle, using only their wits, fangs, and a select few weapons. It is a fight to the death; there are no rules, and the coven with the most victories develops a reputation around the world for the strongest coven, until they are knocked from their throne. Although vampires are prominently smarter than any human, they are still sometimes not as quick when dropped into a battle.
“I knew you would be angry.” In one lithe movement, Demetrio is on his feet, backing away from the bed, towards the door. “Which won’t make it any easier for me to say this,” here he pauses and looks at the floor. “I have to end it with you.” he practically whispers it, but I hear him, loud and clear.
“What?!” I shout, jumping off my bed and landing right in front of him in a single leap.
“I’m sorry—” he doesn’t look sorry at all—“Eve, but….I just have to. You know just as well as I the rules of a coven: the new members of a coven choose a mate when they join so that they can breed strong, new vampires, to replace the old.” He is looking at his feet again. “Plus, I don’t love you anymore; I don’t think that I ever did, to tell you the truth.” He smiles evilly at me and turns swiftly out the door. The words are like a slap in the face that roots me to the spot. As Demetrio walks away, all I can do os stand there and stare.
It has been three days, and Demetrio has not come back. I constantly feel rage and sorrow, thirst for blood, and the pains of denying what I am, all mixed into one. I want to get out—to run away for the night and do nothing but hunt. But I can’t. I promised myself I would not feed on anyone of the student populace. But I need to feed soon, or I will start losing control altogether. I will go hunting tonight. If I must, I will find an animal out in the woods, or maybe a fish out in the sea. Just something.
I am okay. I swear. My heart is not broken. I can deal with it. Demetrio was just some stupid, seductive, alluring, perfect, wonderful—no. He was a stupid boy, nothing more.
The lies I keep telling myself sound feeble even in my brain. I know I wanted him back so bad that it hurts, but I also have to accept the fact that he is gone. Though my opinion of him now is that he’s a stupid boy, he is a stupid boy that changed my life forever. And because of him, I will have to pay the consequences for eternity and beyond. Being an immortal is supposed to grant a certain amount of patience, but sometimes one just can’t help but stare at the clock every five minutes. The need to just run out of the classroom, away from all the faux-wood furniture and the droning, miserable lecture on health and humanities, is stabbing my brain in a constant assault.
Why can’t I just go wither up and die? Maybe then I can stop hurting. Come on, dumb bell, just ring. I need to go hunting, right after school. I start tapping my desk impatiently.
Three……two….one…. I hop out of my seat and am out the door within seconds. As usual, no one stops me, and I expect nothing less. I spring from the Art/Health building and am across the courtyard, past the Science building, around the back of the English building, and to the junior dorm house within a minute. I am tuned into my extra senses, and I cannot be distracted or stopped. I need the hunt. I fly up the stairs, down the hall, take a left turn, then a right turn, and then go down all the way to the end of a hall to my dorm.
I switch from my green and blue plaid skirt, dark blue collared shirt, clean-cut, blue tweed school jacket, and blue knee-highs into all black: black skinny jeans, a black turtleneck, and then my black leather jacket. If I didn’t know better, I could almost mistake myself for a shadow. I pull on my black converse and then open one of the two windows in the room. I sit myself on the window ledge and look down. It is about three stories up, a fall I can land perfectly without injuring myself; except there are witnesses. If I were to jump, someone would notice. But I need to exit this way….it is my only straight shot to the forest; I don’t want anything to stop me, I have a mission. Already I can feel my fangs growing behind my lips and the venom coating my tongue. Oh well. I launch myself from the window sill and about six seconds later land lithely on my feet on the ground below. I dart fast, barely visible, to the forest, not stopping. I run through the trees, picking up scents and things from different animals. I smell deer, rabbits, and then a fainter whiff of fish in the ocean not too far away.
I tear on, not realizing how close I am getting to the ocean until I burst through the trees at a run and onto a small beach. It is vacant, too cold for anyone to be enjoying the sun here. Plus, it is too far a walk for the boarding school kids. I had made it there, in a run, in just less than fifteen minutes, about a third of the time it would take any student to drive. Good. I have absolute certainty that I will remain alone. I walk steadily forward, only pausing a second as the cold ocean licks at my feet, soaking my shoes.
I have never caught a fish before, so I never realized how hard it could be. It takes me ten minutes to just catch one, and that was only after I swim through the chilling water out about two hundred yards from shore. The blood is, surprisingly, satisfying. I end up having to hunt and kill three more fish after my first to be completely stable and to the point where I won’t have to hunt for at least three weeks. I swim back to shore, exhausted, and collapse onto the sand for a few minutes, my chest rising and falling with my rapid breaths. Swimming is not a strong suit for a vampire, at all. I am fast, yes, but still, it requires just as much energy as it would if I were human.
I shiver involuntarily as the cold water, combined with the sea breeze chills me. Best get back. I turn toward the looming forest and walk straight to it, finally breaking into a run as soon as I step into the shelter of the trees. Tall bushes and shrubs flash past me, and, again, I catch the succulent aroma of venison. But it is retreating as I come closer to the school grounds again. I jog to a halt just before I hit the junior dorm’s back field, and take a deep breath. I am still soaked through to the bone from my swim, and I will definitely attract attention if I saunter through the front door. I slowly step out into the clearing, startling a few girls who had been mulling around the forest’s edge. They glare, I glare back.
“What?” I snap. I really hate when people stare at me. They immediately turn their heads back to each other, falling into hushed conversation. As I walk on towards the building my acute senses pick up bits of their chatter. “Probably off in the woods with a senior……..” is one snippet, “I know, she must have guys all over her…..” is another. Ah, so the jealousy starts.
I look up at the enormous building set before me, casting a menacing shadow in the evening sun. The distance from here to the side is only a hundred feet or so, and then my window is just three stories up. With quick, loping, and invisible strides, I run at it. With all the concentration I have, I dig my nails into the brick and mortar and claw my way up to the open window. I land with a soft thump next to the table between the two beds. With quick movements, my wet clothes are gone, tossed into an overflowing laundry basket in the corner, replaced with a fuzzy towel.
With a sigh, I look around the room. My side is immaculate and clean, save for the basket of clothes in the corner, the dark blue striped bed spread completely void of wrinkles. The chaos that is the pink and frilly bed of my roommate is in such a contrast with everything that I own that I feel lost in my own space. Would I ever fit in here?
It is his entire fault. Demetrio. That lying, two-faced, heart-breaking jerk. He promised me he would stay with me and help me become accustomed to the vampire ways. I had been ecstatic when he told me, wanting to be with him forever. But he lied. He broke his promise. And now, after only about three months, I am all alone. I have to learn to fend for myself without truly knowing much about my own mind. The confusion grips me tight and I have to sit down for a moment. How will I live here without slipping up? The natural instinct for a vampire is to kill and hunt humans. Will animal blood ever be enough? If I ever cave and kill, will I ever be able to forgive myself?
Demetrio had always been there in my mind—reachable and relatable. There was never a doubt that he couldn’t answer any question I asked. But now, within the space of a few minutes, he had gone, and my lifeline—the only tie to sanity I had left—is up in smoke.
I should have been able to sense it the minute he wrapped his arms around me. I should have felt the rigidity in his features, in the way he held me, and the hardness in his eyes. Now, weeks later, i can feel it: the subtle changes in his posture that hinted at malice, the completely lithe way he had been standing to suggest wariness wrapped around his mind, and the coldness in his voice when he even said hello.
Panic strikes me again, for not having picked up on those things when he was saying goodbye. If only I had, then maybe I could have changed my mind and said yes; maybe I could have talked him out of it. Would he have stayed for me? I don’t love you anymore, I don’t think I ever did…I play the words over in my mind. The answer is clear: no matter what I did, and no matter how hard I pleaded, our feelings were one sided. What I thought we had was just a fallacy, an intricately carved lie to mask a secret mishap. He never meant to change me, perhaps, but he never meant to stay either. If I even had the ability to cry, I would be. The realization stabs me like a knife, and my breathing begins to get shallow. He is gone, that is it.
The smell of sea-salt and algae that clings to me is so strong that it is enough to break me of my stupor and make my nose wrinkle in disgust. I grab my toiletry bag off of my night table, a clean pair of sweats and a simple camisole out of my dresser, stuff it all in a gym bag found tucked under my bed and walk out of the room. The girl’s shower room is completely empty. I go to the last shower stall, turn the water on high heat, undress and then step under the spray. The hot water opens all of my pores and wakes me up. The senses of my skin are ten times better than that of any human. The shivers push themselves out of my body, and I am no longer cold. I shampoo my hair, run conditioner through it, and then wash all the salty sea-water from my body.
The shower gives me leave to think and, surprisingly after the episode only a few moments ago, I find myself thinking that maybe I am better off without Demetrio. If he didn’t love me, then my kisses would only be wasted on the empty shell of false feeling. It seems that all my misgivings are slowly vanishing with each droplet of hot water. I am a young, fresh vampire, and I am doing well on my own thus far, there was no possible way that I could have a relapse if I could be strong enough to contain myself. If given the right training, my body can stop being tempted by human blood and learn to feed itself only on animals. Perhaps I can carry on.
I am right. By the end of the week I am mostly over Demetrio and am no longer wrenched with pain when thoughts of the past flash across my memory like lightning bolts. All I had needed was time. And to think of all the horrid things he had said to me.
Classes are even starting to get exciting. Teachers don’t call on me anymore when my hand isn’t up, I am passing math (for the first time in my life), and I am even getting all my assignments done and in on time. People are still wary towards me, but I can see that they’ve begun to realize that they have nothing to fear from the helpless new kid. Most of them won’t glare at me every time I walk past, just sometimes.
I step into my dorm room after History to drop my stuff off before lunch. It has been two weeks since my epiphany, and I can feel the dreaded routine that school has become crashing down on me.
I pull out my morning class’ books and such from my bag before replacing them with my afternoon things. Then, doing a last check for all my stuff, I go down to the dining room to see what type of food they’d force at me today for lunch. Lately I have taken to only pretending to eat the food, seeing as how, technically, I don’t need to. The food looks mildly appetizing today: macaroni and cheese. I grab a bowl, an orange, and lemonade, then go to sit at my accustomed lunch table, all by myself. Back to people watching, I reminisce about my first week here.
Lunch is always a nice, calming period of the day for me. My sharp, quick eyes can now take in a scene without anyone being the wiser, and people no longer stare and gossip around me as frequently as they had before. I have become aware of who people are, where they sit on the social scale, who is dating whom, which couples have broken up, etc. And all this by simply sitting at this same table, day after day, by myself, eating lunch. What I would do for people to just accept me completely so that I can become just a prop in their insignificant world. What is taking them so long?
Any possible reasoning behind this can be misinterpreted jealousy. I can see it in their shallow eyes that they want to be me. Look like me, walk as graceful as me, be as “perfect” as me; whatever I have, they want. If only they could figure out who I really am; a dark and ominous vampire that has been fighting the urge to suck the blood out of everyone in the room since day one. Then they won’t want to be like me. They’d rather die. I know these types; the people who think they know everything about the world and how it works, what kinds of people live in it, and all the “serious” problems going on. They honestly don’t know the half of it. They have no idea that demons like me roam among them, fight secretly around them, and hunt them and their wild. There are plenty like me and Demetrio, but I have yet to run into any here, at this school, which can be neither good, nor bad. I long for a companion of my own, just someone whom I could relate to even a little bit. I had had Demetrio, but then he is gone, and now I was stuck in this small hell with no one to share my pains, my self loathing and anguish for just wanting to be normal again. On the other hand, there is no one around to run up the risk of discovery. More than one of me would have been suspicious and the resemblances all too similar. Exposure is always a constant in my mind; there has to be someone out there smart enough to figure it out, someone that can put two and two together.
Stupid people. They think that they are envious of me, but they have no idea that it is me whom is envious of them. Their qualms and everyday ups and downs are nothing to the feelings that I will feel for the rest of eternity.
I quickly spear a bite of macaroni and stuff it in my mouth. It is delicious and tastes like homemade. Yum. I eat heartily, and, because of my momentary lapse into the field of delicious food, I don’t even care when the bell rings, signaling that it is time for me to go to the dreaded chemistry class.
It passes in a blur of labs, chemicals, and no mishap.
Although my thoughts are dark and depressing, all of my insides are
buzzing, trying to force the negativity away. Maybe this is a sign. That
I really can do this on my own, that I am finally learning how to
live. I am learning how to be me,
vampire and all.
Copyright, Karlyn Simone 2009-2013 All Rights Reserved Back to Inked In Order Page
CCopyright 2005-2009, LeRue Press, LLC