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"Vampire's Promise" Subtitle: A vampire always keeps her promises.


“Immortality”, said the vampire.

The boy in the faded jeans clutched the sterling silver cross with both hands. He was teary-eyed and quavered nervously. A dried trickle of blood peaked out of a nostril. His jeans were ripped and stained, and his black concert t-shirt was torn almost in half, forming a jagged vertical line across his chest. The boy’s dirty hair fell over his face, partially covering his eyes. However, those locks weren’t long enough to conceal the black and blue marks that clearly denoted what had taken place only moments earlier. He looked like a beaten up cherub in need of love and comfort and, perhaps, eternal friendship from a special someone.

“Immortality”, repeated the vampire. “I am offering you immortality. You will never again feel pain nor fear. All of those who hurt you will fade away and die, but you won’t suffer their fate. You will outlive them, and outlive their children, and their children’s children. You will be young and beautiful forever. We will walk under the stars holding hands, watching the night sky unfold its beauty. We will sleep in the same coffin during the day, lovers embraced in each other’s arms. We’ll be boyfriend and girlfriend until the end of time. I will take care of you. I promise. What else do you want from me?”

The boy didn’t reply. His whole body ached, and he knew some of the bruises he suffered during the attack were severe. He needed to go to a hospital, but was afraid of what would happen once people found out about this latest incident. Probably they’d call the police, and the police would call his mother at work and tell her to come to the hospital immediately. She worked the nightshift and couldn’t afford to miss a day’s pay. They had too many bills. He was working after school to help out, but lately money was always short. His father stopped paying child support months earlier and moved out of his home, leaving no forwarding address. They heard he might have gone overseas with his latest girlfriend, but nobody knew for sure. So they packed their few belongings and leased a place in a cheaper part of town, where he enrolled in a new school. He was a good student and got mostly straight A’s, and he knew that was his only shot at getting a full college scholarship. Next semester he’d start taking advanced placement classes. Life was tough, but they both managed. The small cramped apartment wasn’t a problem. His new school wasn’t a problem, and neither were their full schedules nor the lack of the luxuries they once took for granted.

The street bullies were the problem.

He had the misfortune of getting on their leader’s bad side almost from the beginning. He didn’t know what he’d done to antagonize him so virulently, but quickly learned it was better not to waste time trying to figure out the reason and simply try to get out of his way. That was easier said than done, because they both lived on the same building. His gang of brutes roughed him up a few times in the past, but nothing too serious. When questioned by his mother he lied and said it happened during Physical Ed, and she always believed him. He’d never lied to her before. He suffered silently through their beatings, and their beatings became progressively more violent. Tonight, he wouldn’t be able to cover up their attack with a lie. This time they pounded him to a pulp.

“So, what do you say?” Asked the vampire. “You must make a decision soon, before this night is over.”

After the assault, he limped his way to a nearby alley and sat half hidden behind the dumpsters. He wanted to catch his breath before going home, but the longer he sat in the alley the harder it was for him to move. He slowly became aware that this time he’d been seriously injured. He couldn’t show up at home looking like that. He couldn’t bear letting his mother find out the truth. He waited, clenching his teeth with each new pang of pain, trying to figure out what to do next.

He heard a shuffling noise.

“Who is there?” He called in horror, expecting to see his tormentors coming back to finish the job for good.

A young girl dressed in an old-fashioned sleeping gown emerged from the shadows.

“I saw what happened,” she said in a sweet, concerned voice. “Those boys hurt you.”

‘Maybe‘, he hoped, ‘she can call an ambulance. I need medical attention now. Later I’ll think of something to say to mother, but now I must think about myself.’

“Do you have a cell phone?” He yelled.

“No, I don’t. Sorry.”

The young girl came a little bit closer. She was looking down, fidgeting with her slippers. Her skin was extremely pale. He wondered if she was sick, and what on Earth was she doing walking in her pajamas at night in an inner city back alley.

‘Perhaps she is a sleepwalker’, he thought. ‘If the color of her skin is any indication, she must be freezing.’ He tried to move, but a sharp stab on the side kept him in place. ’I think that was my rib.’

“Don’t move”, said the girl, “if it hurts you that much. Let me come to you.”

She took a few more steps in his direction.

Suddenly he raised his sterling silver cross in terror.

“Don’t move! Don’t come any closer to me! You are a vampire!”

She lifted her face, her red eyes filled with surprise. How did he guess? they seemed to ask. She was still too far away for him to have noticed anything unusual. That is, besides her skin tone, which could easily be explained by the weather. Then she realized what had been her mistake, and smiled. Such a silly thing. She’d be more careful in the future.

A full length mirror rested near one of the dumpsters. Its top section was shattered, but the bottom was intact. The mirror reflected the side of the alley where she was standing. It reflected the building wall, the trash bags left outside of the dumpsters, the recyclable items by the curbside, etc. It reflected everything on that side of the alley. Everything but her.

“Go away!” He screamed.

She grinned at him, flashing her long sharp fangs for an instant. She was a small vampire, unable to outrun most grown people. However, the boy was too weak to get up, least of all to run away from her.

She wasn’t going anywhere.

“I saw what they did to you. I want to help.”

“No!” His voice was a shrill shriek. “You want to kill me!”

She lowered her gaze once again.

“That is not true. I really want to help you. What those cowards did to you was despicable. I am a vampire and I need to kill so I can live, but those boys had no reason to beat you up like this. They did it because they are cruel and heartless. Heartlessness is something I cannot tolerate. Even a vampire has certain standards. There are some things we vampires won’t do.”

“How could you possibly help me?” Asked the boy.

“I can turn you into a vampire.”

The boy shuddered. ‘A vampire, she says. Now I will never go to college.’

Then, a happier thought crossed his mind. ’Night school.’

As if sensing his change of heart, the vampire continued.

“Think of all the things you could do as a vampire. You would live for a very long time, longer than most people ever dream possible. Perhaps you would even live forever. You could travel around the world and see all of its wonders. You’d have enough time to do it, because time would always be on your side. Always.” The vampire’s eyes burned with renewed intensity. “You could avenge what these boys did to you. You could go after each one of them and ensure they’ll never hurt anyone else. You could right this wrong, and many others.”

The boy felt another sharp pain, this time on his lower back. The tips of his fingers were turning a dark shade of blue, and he noticed he was shaking as much due to his fear as to the rapidly dropping temperature. ’If I don’t go to a hospital very soon, I don’t think I’ll make it through this night.’

“Well?” Asked the vampire. “Have you reached a decision? If you want, I can leave now and leave you here as you are, but that won’t do you any good. I can’t call anybody to come to your rescue, because as soon as they’ll see me they’ll run away from me. If you stay here alone you will die, and that‘s a fact. You‘ve been hurt badly. Let me help you the only way I can.”

The boy thought it over for a moment. The cold and the pain were taking their toll.

“Will you take care of me?”

“I promise.”

“Does it hurt to turn into a vampire?”

“Hardly. After the initial bite, you will feel as if you are in a dream, and when you wake up, the change will be complete. That’s how it was with me.”

“And I won’t feel any more pain?”

“I promise you will never feel pain again.”

Shivering strongly, the boy relented.

“Let’s do it.”

With a triumphant smile, the vampire resumed her slow approach towards the boy.

“First,” said the vampire, “you need to remove that silver crucifix from your neck. I can’t come close to you as long as you are wearing it. You must take it off and throw it as far away as you can.”

The boy unhooked the clasp of his necklace and tossed it behind the trash bags, on the other side of the alley. It hit the pavement with a clinking noise, and then disappeared completely from their view.

The vampire’s movements gained speed. In a flash, she was standing near the boy. She kneeled by his side, looking tenderly into his eyes.

“You are so young,” she said. “I don’t think you are much older than I was when I became a vampire.”

“I am older than I look…” he began, but she brought her index finger to her lips.

“Shhhh, don’t talk now. You are hurt, and I want to make it better.”

The vampire placed her hand behind the boy’s nape. She raised his head gingerly, and their eyes met at an even angle. The boy felt her cold breath upon him and shivered once more.

“Do you promise … that this won’t hurt?”

The vampire pulled his head closer to hers. With her free hand she fondled the boy’s hair and pushed back the locks that were over his eyes. She gently caressed his face with the back of her fingers, careful not to scratch him with her long nails.

“Do you promise?” The boy insisted.

The vampire opened her mouth widely. The last thing the boy saw, before losing consciousness, was that preternatural undead mouth closing on him.

“I promise I‘ll take care of you.” Answered the vampire. She sank her fangs on the boy’s neck, perforating the delicate skin and drinking swiftly from the aorta. The boy’s body quaked in a series of waves as the blood was drained from him. Gradually the waves decreased until all movement ceased, and the boy languished in the vampire’s embrace.

The vampire kissed the boy on the lips.

“I promise that you will never feel pain nor fear again. Ever.”

She lifted the boy’s limp body and cradled it in her arms. The vampire rose up.

“I promise that you will be forever young and beautiful, and you will never age.”

The vampire walked towards the dumpsters in the alley.

“I promise that nobody will ever hurt you again.”

The vampire lifted the cover of one of the dumpsters and delicately placed the boy’s body inside it. She took one last look before closing the cover. The boy laid serenely on top of the black garbage bags, his eyes wide opened. The two dainty punctures on his neck blended easily with all the other wounds that covered him.

“And I always keep my promises.”

The vampire closed the cover. Her hunger sated, she turned her back to the dumpster and its precious contents and retreated towards the shadows from which she had emerged. A skilled hunter, she left no traces behind.

Inside his makeshift tomb, the boy’s corpse laid undisturbed for the rest of the night.
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Registered: ‎06-17-2007
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Re: "Vampire's Promise" Subtitle: A vampire always keeps her promises.

wow, klavim.

as always, that was sooo good!!! the characters are so developed, the boy and the vampire, even though you only spend a short amount of time with them. keep it up!!!!!