My name is Alice White and I am a murderer. No, I wasn’t named after the wine. I was named after my great-great grandmother and White is the family name that has served my family well because my family is filled with white magicians. We do the kind of good magic that brings good fortunate, health and so on. There have been the few family members that have been blinded by their own greed, needs, and desires, but they were set on the straight and narrow. It was either conform to the good side or die. Most chose to conform. A few decided to do without the magic and have it stripped from their lives. I didn’t know you could strip one of magical powers either, but you can. It’s a long drawn out process that apparently is painful and makes you think you should have just chosen death.
So why am I murderer you ask? I’m a vampire as well. Sucks doesn’t it? No pun intended. I wasn’t born a vampire since vampires aren’t born, but created. I had the unfortunate chance of running into a nasty vampire with a mega attitude while working in New Orleans. I didn’t know she was a vampire when I bumped into her on the street. It’s not like she had her teeth exposed or was wearing a shirt that read, “Hey I’m a vampire. Watch out I bite!” I bumped into her, apologized, and went along my merry way. It was my first night in the Big Easy and I was on the search for some gumbo and jazz music. Several bowls of gumbo later, I was making my way back to my hotel when I was jumped from an alleyway. Thank goodness, the nasty bitch vampire didn’t bite me. I’d have stepped into the sunlight long ago if I had to call her my master or my creator. Lucky for me, the vampire that bit me was actually a nice vampire. Well, as nice as vampires can get. Really. He seemed like a beast in the beginning, but then again, I wasn’t a harmless kitten either because I had a great knack for bringing his bad side out. He’s actually not all that bad. Donovan was an up and coming vampire through the ranks of vampires. I’ll explain the hierarchy of vampires later. It could fill its own book and would bore anyone, including myself, to tears. He had over heard the bitch vampire talking about the human scum, me, that had bumped into her earlier that night and how she had planned on hunting me down and draining me slowly of my life. I had apparently run into the wrong vampire at the wrong time. Mental or menstrual, who knows which the bitch vampire was? Hell, she could have been both for all I knew! Whether or not she was big talking or actually going to kill me is and will still be up for debate for those that care. There aren’t many that do since she was my first kill. Which is what happened, no thanks to Donovan, who told me to me kill her because she was going to kill me. By the way, killing another vampire is a big no-no in the vampire world. I got the shit beat of me for four days straight, but it could have been an eternity to me. I was a newborn in the world of vampires and I didn’t quite like or understand my new surroundings or my role in the society. All I did know was for sure that I didn’t like Donovan. In fact, with each day of my beating, I loathed him more and more. After my beating lesson, all was forgiven and I was given back to my creator like nothing had every happened. Most vampires don’t hold a grudge for too long since they know that it would be with them for the rest of their existence and honestly we’ve got enough things to worry about than past grudges. I did end up having to “owe” the bitch vampire’s creator a favor, which he could use whenever he wanted. Luckily, it wasn’t my body he ended up wanting but my skills as a magician. Only two people knew about my skills and now one of them is dead, but I’m getting a head of myself. Let’s get back to Donovan.
After four weeks of fighting with my vampire creator, I gave up and gave in. My childhood vampire temper tantrum obviously wasn’t going to work with an old vampire pro like Donovan. He had the patience of ten thousand Buddhist monks and years of training to add to it. I found Donovan in his room as he usually was. I always expected him to have a harem of hypnotized females begging him to bed them, but he was always just sitting in the middle of his large round bed mediating by candlelight.
“If you’ve come to fight again, I refuse to be a part of it,” he said as I stood in the doorway.
His sense of knowing it was me without any statement on my part had always intrigued me. When I couldn’t sleep or grew bored, I tried my own skills at sensory which didn’t quite exist as I imagined they would have after being a vampire for four weeks. “I didn’t come to fight,” I answered truthfully.
Silence filled the room. “Then what have you come for?”
“For peace,” I answered. “May I enter?”
Donovan gave a slight nod. “A peace treaty?”
“No,” I answered and stepped into the room. I wished there had been another piece of furniture in the room, but there was nothing but the large round bed. I made my way to the bed and sat on the edge of it with my back towards Donovan. I just couldn’t face him for some reason. “Just peace for myself. I’m not going to fight you any more. I’m not going to lash out at you any more. You won’t have to keep locked up in here like some animal.” Though where I was currently being “kept” was a large three story house with enough rooms for a small army, I had felt like an animal because I couldn’t leave the house and on the rare occasion I did leave the house, Donovan’s hand held a cold death grip on the dead hand of mine. “I get it. I belong to you. I have to do what I’m told. I’m no longer the independent human I was. The life I had is gone. Is dead. Just like me.” I felt a tear slide down my face. Maybe my anger at Donovan had really been my lack of acceptance at being dead…had been a fear of knowing that I was never to be human again. “That’s it. That’s all.” Swallowing the lump in my throat down, I took a deep breath and sighed. “I thought you should know. I thought you would want to know.” I wanted to stand and leave, but my legs were weak. I felt a hand on my back and I froze.
“Do you know why I chose you?”
“I was possibly going to be someone’s dinner.”
I heard Donovan quietly laughing inward. “Besides that.”
“There’s something else than that?” I asked.
“Look at me Alice.”
I didn’t look at him. I couldn’t look at him.
“Alice, look at me,” Donovan said, his voice full of sincerity.
I turned towards him and slowly lifted my head. I’m sure it was in the handbook that if a vampire cried, it was a disgrace punishable by death. Donovan wiped my tears and stared at me.
“Do you know what your name means?” he asked.
I shook my head.
“It’s short for Adelaide. Adelaide means noble and kind.”
“So?” I asked.
“You were destined for me Alice. In a lifetime you cannot remember, you were a queen. You were murdered in your sleep and everything you had worked so hard for disappeared in a matter of moments.”
“Were you my king?”
“Is this some made up tale?”
I watched a smirk crawl across Donovan’s face. “Have I ever told you a lie?”
“I’ve only known you for four weeks. I’ll get back to you in a couple of years.” Any sadness I had felt had suddenly left my body. “I’ll let you get back to mediating,” I said and stood.
Donovan gripped my arm tightly, pulling me back to the bed without any effort. “Don’t you ever think about what your purpose in life is?”
“Was. And yes, when I was alive, I knew my purpose in life. I’m dead now. I have no purpose.”
“You have more of a purpose now than you ever did while you were alive. Being dead, has given you more power to do what you wanted to do. You didn’t have this kind of power alive. You just had passion. You can still have passion. You gave up on your life because you think that being dead means nothing. Being dead is freedom. Being dead is what you needed to accomplish your destiny.”
“If being dead is my destiny, then life or whatever it is, has dealt me one crappy hand. Being dead isn’t freedom. Being dead is being stuck in between dusk and dawn, and when I was alive, I was never stuck between the sun and the moon. I wasn’t trapped by either. Being alive, I could walk freely between both. That is freedom Donovan. Death is a handcuff to solitude and to the moon.”
Donovan pushed me back onto the bed and pinned me down by my shoulders. I never saw his fangs come out because I just closed my eyes and knew not to fight. It had been the one thing I learned in the past few weeks. He was stronger than me and no matter how hard I fought; it did nothing to him so I stopped fighting against him when I angered him. It would only hurt me in the long run. I can only be thankful that Donovan had never once touched me or harmed me sexually, but on the few nights where death seemed to loom, I would catch myself wishing for the alternative emotional scars. I swallowed hard and tried to prepare myself for his first bite, but it never came. I opened my eyes and saw Donovan’s face right in front of me.
“That’s the Alice I’ve missed most,” he said quietly. Pressing his lips hard against mine, I felt his body collapse onto me.
If we had heartbeats, they would have been in time with each other, but all I felt were a flood of memories rush into me. I finally saw my past he spoke of and I saw my life that I missed. That night I finally decided to be a grown up and a grown up vampire. That night I realized that maybe being a vampire wasn’t a curse after all, maybe it was a gift just like the white magic skills I had were a gift.
© 2013 Shelia Taylor
All rights reserved
Categories: Flash Fiction