Disclaimer: Suicidal thoughts, one f-bomb, generally dark. I’m here to bring the cheer, me.
I’ve spent many years haunted by memories, the horrible things I’ve done. It seems I’ve finally escaped them. Because the only thing that keeps replaying in my mind over and over now is that moment when Cordelia showed up at the door, holding that weird llama statue. Funny how that works. She only said three words. Morgyn is dead.
I’m not sure how many days it’s been. Two? Three? It’s all been a hollow blur. I’ve only left the bed to shield from the light of day in my coffin. A part of me wishes I had the guts to just stay out in the sun, curtains open. Turns out I’m a coward.
I haven’t fed though. Might not have it in me to get scorched, but without blood, I won’t last long. Verena’s given me enough lectures on that over the years for me to know. So I wait.
The door opens. Damn it. I thought it was locked. I really have lost it, haven’t I? Cordelia enters with that sad face of hers. I feel the life pulsing through her veins.
“Get out!” I growl at her.
She’s looking at me, concerned. Not for herself, a very palatable human in the vicinity of a thirsty vampire, she’s concerned for me. I swear the girl has a death wish.
“They’ll be back.” She says weakly. “They said they would cheat death.”
She thinks that I was so in love with Morgyn, that that’s the reason for my state right now. It’s almost amusing, in a twisted, morbid way. Of course I don’t want Morgyn dead. But I didn’t want Carys dead either. And I cared for her much more than I ever did for Morgyn. It’s not really about Morgyn being gone, it’s about what they represented. The last sliver of hope to turn it all back again.
All of that just underlines what a monster I am. Not grieving my lost lover, grieving my own selfish hopes shattering. It’s pathetic. Cordelia had a vested interest of her own, but she doesn’t seem concerned about losing a way to address the sprites at all. Then again, she’s just in denial about the whole thing in general. Sure, Morgyn said they can supposedly bring the dead back from the living with their untamed magic. Pretty certain that would involve Morgyn actually being alive, though.
“Get out.” I repeat. But she doesn’t listen, coming closer to the bed instead. I cover my mouth with my hand as she sits down beside me, placing her wrist dangerously close to me.
“You look terrible.” She tells me. I don’t answer, I don’t want to set my fangs free. But I can’t help but stare at the veins in her pale neck. She notices.
“You’re hungry.” The way she’s looking at me is strange. Shy, but determined. And then she flicks her hair behind her shoulder. Damn her. I turn away from her, praying for her to leave.
“You need to feed, don’t you?” She leans in closer. “I… don’t mind. You can take some of my blood. I know you won’t hurt me.”
Definitely has a death wish. But her pulse is calling to me. I can almost taste the blood…
I turn towards her to tell her no. To tell her that I haven’t fed in days. That if I drank from her now, there is no way I would be able to stop. That she should get the hell out of my room if she knows what’s good for her.
But as soon as I remove the hand from my mouth, setting it free to speak, before any words even come out, my fangs already sink into her warm skin.
I see her as a little girl, with her mother. I see her mother dying, surrounded by sprites. But after that…Her mind is like a goddamn rainbow. Everything’s brighter than it should be in her head.
I see her in Sylvan Glade with her elf friend. She feels protective of him. Like a little brother. Like the family she lost. Not sure he’d be happy about that.
I see Morgyn through her eyes. Doesn’t seem quite like the same Morgyn I knew, not the way she saw them.
And I see… me. She should hate me, but she doesn’t. She only sees good in me, the good that isn’t there.
I’ve only seen myself in the thoughts of my prey once. Come to think of it, it didn’t feel all that different. She was sweet and trusting, when she really shouldn’t have been. Cordelia’s memories are replaced by my own.
Her face appears in front of me as clear as if it was yesterday. Her eyes, her confusion, her sweet voice.
“Micah? You’re ok! When they said you’ve gone missing, I thought…”
She’s relieved to see me. Relieved I am “alive.” She radiates warmth, affection, life…
Of course, what happens next is no surprise. She leaps into my arms before I can stop it, pulling me close to her as tightly as she can. If only she hadn’t done that… but that wouldn’t have been her.
It’s intoxicating. We become one in a way we never have until now. Except that we’ve done this before, haven’t we? And I know how it ends. I can’t lose her again… I use all of my willpower to force myself to stop drinking, as excruciatingly hard it is to let go.
“Carys!” I cry out.
But it’s not Carys in my arms, it’s Cordelia. She’s lightheaded, barely conscious.
“Who is Carys?” She whispers before drifting away, passing out.
I can’t drink any more from her. I already took too much. But my thirst is still strong. I need to get out of here.
I speed out of the room, and out of the house, into the night.
My first thought as I exit the house is Sylvan Glade. But the elf said he didn’t have any more of that fruit yet. I’m not sure if I can handle that place anyway. It’s all too… everything. A beautiful illusion. No absolution for me there. No absolution for me anywhere.
I need to hunt. The bar seems like a good bet.
A young man walks out just as I approach.
He seems tipsy, barely able to walk straight. Perfect.
I seize my prey swiftly.
It’s… not what I expected. What the hell? Has everybody in Glimmerbrook dated Morgyn?
A woman’s voice reaches me through the blood-drunken haze. “Tomax, you forgot your-“
The girl freezes mid-sentence. Fuck. She’s seen me.
Come to think of it, so has he. I was so bewildered by what went down earlier I forgot all about vampiric allure.
I let go of the man instantly, and propel myself as far as I can as quickly as I can. The girl is too shocked to pursue me. I hear her tending to her friend back in the distance.
I hide in the woods for a good while before venturing back out. I take my time with finding more prey. I feed on two more – this time, I make sure I actually use the vampiric allure. Goes smoothly. But I know that what happened in front of the pub will have consequences. Not much I can do now, though.
I’ve finally fed enough to return home to check on Cordelia. She’s still in my bed, but she’s awake again.
She props herself up on the bed when she sees me. “Where did you go?”
“Hunting.” I sit down beside her. To my relief, she seems to be ok, considering.
“You should have drunk more from me.” She frowns.
“If I drank any more from you, I would have killed you.” I tell her flatly. Clearly she’s not taking the hint.
“The girl I saw… she was the one in your painting.” She says out of nowhere.
For a moment, I just stare at her.
“You saw my memory?” I manage eventually. That’s impossible… then again, maybe not.
I’ve never had my own memories interrupt those of my prey during feeding. But in that moment, the hunter and the hunted are closer than anyone. The only real intimacy a vampire can hope for… still doesn’t explain how she saw her, though.
“She loved you, didn’t she?” Cordelia’s voice is quiet. “What happened to her?”
“I drank more.” I cut off the questions with the harsh truth.
She finally gets the message, her face freezing in shock. I get up to leave her on her own, let her process this.
At least she now knows what I really am. It will stop her from making stupid decisions like offering her neck to me on a silver platter, especially after I hadn’t had blood for ages. Not that there will be many opportunities for that. I can’t stay in Glimmerbrook now, not after I’d been seen feeding.
But maybe I can help Cordelia first. Maybe I can even help me. Now that I’ve fed, I can finally see clearly for the first time since she got back.
I turn back to her. “I don’t think Morgyn’s just coming back.” I inform her.
She doesn’t say anything. The way she looks at me now is different. Scared. The way she saw me when Verena first brought her to my room.
“But supposedly untamed magic can bring the dead back, if the spell is cast soon enough after their passing.” I continue. “Morgyn told me themself. Obviously Morgyn’s not here to cast any spells. But maybe someone in the magic realm can. One of the sages, maybe?”
“If the spell is cast soon enough?” Cordelia asks. She still looks very pale.
“Before the soul moves on to… wherever they go.” I repeat what I learned from Morgyn at the botanical gardens.
“Do you think Morgyn’s moved on?” She looks as if she’s about to cry. I think it’s only just hit her that they’re gone. And that she’s stuck living with a murderer.
“I don’t know.” I consider it. Morgyn definitely wasn’t somebody that was eager to welcome death. Heck, they were making sure they didn’t even age a single day. Would they move on to the afterlife swiftly? “No. I don’t think so.”
“Then let’s go to the magic realm.” She blurts out, completely disregarding her current condition.
“You’ve lost a lot of blood.” I remind her. “You need to rest. We’ll go tomorrow night.”
I stand back up again and head for the door, to finally get some time with my own thoughts, but she stops me.
“No.” She looks directly at me, filled with sudden resolve. Her fear seems to be gone, or shoved aside, more like. Maybe she really is crazy.
“You just said the spell needs to be cast quickly. We’ve already lost several days between Morgyn dying and now.” She goes on. “Maybe it doesn’t make a difference… but what if it does, and the moment to save them slips through our fingers? I don’t want to spend the rest of my life wondering what if. We need to go now.”
Of course, what she’s describing already is my life… Or rather, this miserable eternity that can’t really be called living. But let’s just say she’s made a pretty clear point. The last thing I want is to sentence her to anything remotely like my sorry existence.