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Preface to all interested in reading: This book is one intended for teenagers. Now, at least in my experience with the species and it’s reading habits I have found that books which the reader can relate to, as well as highly romanticized plotlines are a norm for popular fiction (Such as in Shattered Mirror and Demon in My View). I have also found that said fiction doesn’t really have to be very well written at all. In fact, if you slap a ‘Goth’ on the front of a book and teens will probably read it (like in the book Gingerbread). This book should, once finished and revised, appeal to the general population of teenagers. In the trend of modern day teenagers, this audience should be a large group of misunderstood, somewhat angry, issue ridden creatures with an intense desire to be unique and understood. This should relate to teenagers, even if they don’t have alcoholic mothers, best friends with anxiety disorders or photosensitivity merely for the emotion it will bring up, the desire to fit in, stand out and be yourself all at once. The dilemma we all face at this age.
Seeking an escape the monotony of teenage existence and a life falling apart at its seams Gwen Souixse enters into a dangerously exciting world of costumes, makeup, vampires and drama; a Haunted house circuit dubbed Bloodview. Falling in love with the atmosphere and amusing people, she immerses herself into an alter-ego, Banshee, a name given to her by a certain darkly attractive co-worker for her unusually pale features and extreme photosensitivity, or sun allergy. Living as a studious, shy high schooler by day and as an ethereal, charismatic wraith by night, it’s not long before Gwen’s charade begins to falter. Her lives begin intertwining as Gwen’s neglected reality begins to deteriorate into a dangerous mixture of crippling dilemma, dangerous allure, emotional bedlam and eventually total mental collapse. In disarray, Gwen must struggle with problems that dive far deeper than teenage angst.
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I flopped down, carelessly, upon my bed. School had been a painfully slow and mentally exhausting, as it was every day. Not for the challenge, of coarse, but for the direct lack of one. I swear, we study the civil war every year in Social Studies and never learn anything past it’s end. I haven’t the faintest idea what WWI is about, and I’m in 9th grade. Geezus, the frustration of learning the same thing over and over again, surrounded by half brained morons. Letting out a labored sigh of relief that the day was over I looked over where I lay upon my bed, sprawled languidly, a mirror above my head.
When I was little, okay; until 6th grade, I had a terrible fear of the night. Somehow, looking up at myself and where I was grounded me, made me less fearful, even now. Looking up at the strategically placed mirror on the ceiling was just what I needed to see everything was all right. Muscles aching slightly I studied my features carefully, not wishing to move, I did the routine inspection.
Same as always, terribly bored expression, lacking enthusiasm. My features were smooth, they flowed nicely, unmarred by even a freckle, tanned artificially through makeup now. When I was younger my relatives used to tell me I could be a model and I wouldn’t need any airbrushing, I was so pretty, such a cute, pale little thing. Pale; Oh so pale.
But there was reason to the perfection of my complexion, and it was through the crippling handicap of my skin, the inability of it to properly produce melanin and deal with the suns rays. Photosensitivity, my antagonist. I had always hated it, being pale, ghostly, for it had alienated me from peers at a very young age. No one would admit they thought it was freakish now, but in kindergarten they all had laughed at my purple sunscreen.
Every. Single. Day.
Eventually, being an impressionable kid, you get the fact that your different, that you’re a freak. And no amount of affirmations can change that, because it’s the truth, you are a freak. But luckily, I had found a loophole out of freakdom, and I clung to it with my life. Cover up.
It had started at Halloween, in 4th grade. My mother had put on dark terra-cotta colored makeup to make me look like a cute little Egyptian, as opposed to my detached, serious little self. I remember how her hands shook so terribly, dangerously. They would slip and the orange goop would get into my eye, it burned so bad, but I wouldn’t cry and run little rivers of tears through the unnatural toned costume makeup. I wouldn’t cry, because of the way she smiled so bright. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry Gwen.” she would coo, calming me down. I couldn’t cry, no, I couldn’t risk upsetting her when she had worked so hard. Sewing the cute gold dress and head piece, staying sober.
It had been a month since she had her last drink, the longest time since she was pregnant with me, my mother had told me, in different terms to protect my innocence. I remember asking about the shaking of her hands, I can still recall how violent it had been. She had explained in quiet tones it was the coffee she had been drinking. I guess she had changed her drug of choice to caffeine to compensate withdrawal. I had been so proud of her for doing it though, so happy. I couldn’t have understood it all, all I knew was that she had been around for once, to clean my scraped knees and tell me stories at night. This had meant the world to me, that she had stopped drinking and for once wasn’t an unresponsive lump on the couch a half hour after her shift ended at work. I suppose the month leading up to Halloween was the happiest month of my young life.
That night had been positively ghoulish. I stalked the city, filling up my little pumpkin bag with candy at neighbors houses. I had never ‘done’ Halloween before 4th grade, but with my moms sobering it had been possible. I remember going home that night and eating a good half of the candy I collected, falling sick and vomiting all over the carpet, laughing and laughing, positively chipper. I’d never been that happy before, and its been rare I’ve been that happy since that day. Somehow it seemed that everything was okay for that one night, I wasn’t a case of severe chronic photosensitivity in some doctors folder, my mom wasn’t an alcoholic on welfare. We were a normal family, doing a normal family thing.
I hadn’t let her take off my makeup that night. I can almost here my little kid voice demanding to keep it on just a while longer to prolong the fun. I remember her asking about my tears, falling down my severely anguished face as she removed it, carefully wiping the odd bronze-amber color from my face, bewildered at my sadness. My hopelessness. Of coarse, I hadn’t been crying about some makeup, really, it was much bigger than that.
Shaking my head slightly, coming back from my little meander down memory lane I flicked my eyes open to the mirror. I didn’t remember closing them, but I tended to have quite vivid dreamy abstractions
and close my eyes often, startling teachers and family members at holidays and in classes. My hair was fanned around me now, long, long blonde tresses framing my painted skin. The concealer reached all the way down my neck, on my hands even, no one would even notice the ashen freak within. I was good at hiding things when I choose to, very good. I consider it one of my finer talents, along with poetry and spitting. Maybe one day I‘d be a makeup artist. Ha, that was a funny thought.
Back to daily inspection, I though, staring up, bemused at the figure that looked back at me. I had always been detached to my appearance, as if looking at a odd picture in the mirror. I’d never much cared for it either, of coarse, because of past experience with torment. My locks weren’t even blonde, now that I took a good look. More of a platinum, near silver, not a nice golden straw color, but a pallid waxen sheen like that of a full moon, I mused. A livid ash blonde, I decided finally. The contrast with my overly dark skin gave me a sort of fake airbrushed look, like someone who had died their hair a color that didn’t match their skin tone. The lustrous voluminous quality of my tresses gave way to the fact that they had never been damaged with dye, though I owned nearly 10 boxes of different blacks in the bathroom, sable, raven, charcoal, pitch, onyx, obsidian, and many more. I’d never had the courage to dye it though, and doubted I ever would. I remember when my relatives would comment on how nice my hair looked, too. How fluffy and light and blonde it was. They never did anymore, though, because it looked fake attached to my face. I didn’t resent that, because when you got down to it, I was a big fake. At least I admit it.
At least my eyes matched me, I dreamed, gazing up. Well, sorta. I had in color contacts, I always had in color contacts, sometimes, I would forget what my eyes really looked like. As far as I was concerned, these contacts were my eyes. An odd shade of Mahogany, I bought them with Christmas money from an aunt who I’ve only met once. A one month prescription, I’d worn them for 4 years, and I wasn’t dead yet. Even with contacts my eyes bore forth an odd sort of sadness, I noticed it, and maybe someone else would if they looked. Most people didn’t though, I was just that girl. Like any other girl, a schoolie, a weirdo, a nameless smart might-be-prep-might-be-dork girl. Didn’t she used to be pale? Maybe? Nahh….she just dies her hair. Oh, yeah, you can tell. Idiots. Like they know anything about me. They know nothing.
A small sigh escaped my lips, painted a few shades darker than normal. Pouty, model lips, my mom had said once. She said all the boys would be after them, and then tickled me, red with embarrassment until I kicked and punched for freedom. Ahh the sober days. Long past, I was used to having a lump where a mother should be. It didn’t even phase me anymore, like people believed it should. Sometimes, it was hard for me to even believe myself when I thought about how little I cared.
Suddenly I was shaken from my dream world by the tinkling ring of my telephone. Oh, well, I wonder who that could be. Like I didn’t know. It was always the same person, because she was the only one with my number. I picked up the phone, a plain little tan thing with grease marks from cheetos, placing it to my ear.
“Gwen? Gwen are you there? Are you alone? Is this line safe?” I heard Cathy’s voice call out over the other end. It was upset, worried, panicked…..as if she had a gun to her back, and a man was making her read me her ransom. It was always like this, every time. Cathy had an anxiety disorder and a little problem with paranoia, so of coarse we, being freaks, found each other within the school and have been difficult to separate ever since. Plus, I was the only one that would put up with her, and she with me.
“It’s me, Gwen, I’m alone in my room on my telephone, which is direct and safe.” The customary response.
“Good, good. Hey, I was wondering, would you be interested in going to a Haunted House.” her voice seemed frantic as ever, I was sad, she could never really relax. Always worried, near to death sometimes. I considered the proposition, and based on my good mood, the one I always had around this time, Halloween time I agreed.
“It’s tonight, 9:00. The place is called Bloodview, and according to my research it is a safe thrill. They can’t touch you legally in Haunted Houses and they can’t put you in any possible danger or they can be sewed. Did you know that?” She stated, matter o’ factly. She had only told me every Halloween.
“Why no, Cat, I didn’t know that. Sounds good, so I’ll see you then?” I really hated talking on phones. I liked to look a person in the eye, eyes were important. You could easily tell what a person was thinking by looking in their eyes, and thusly, mine were fake.
“Sounds good, I’ll pick you up at eight, k?” Cathy said, her voice nasally. She was terrified of arriving anywhere late, an hour in advance to the houses opening was an accomplishment for her.
“Sounds good, bye.” I said, hanging up abruptly. I hated phones.
Rolling over on my bedspread I picked up the book I was reading, Tale of The Body Thief, By Anne Rice, little thoughts passing through my head absently about the Haunted House, about the book. I wished I could met Lestat. He rocked my socks.
350 Pages later the doorbell wrung. It seemed I had lost track of time, this happened often. I looked up from my book, giving it a kiss and tucking he bookmark into it. How I loved my books, my escape from reality. And how I loved The Vampire Chronicles, in particular. Sometimes I would be so enthralled within them I would believe I was there, if only for small periods of time, saddened when forced to put them down. That’s what a good book did. I wished it were real, too.
Shuffling my socked feet off of the bed I glanced in the mirror on my wall. A very, very short frame looked back at me, that same face, normal body structure wrapped within a shapeless tan sweatshirt and jeans. Nothing special, but then again neither was I, at least in my own mind. Shoving on my Chuck Taylors Converse I grabbed a handful of money off of my dresser and bolted for the door. My mom, passed out as usual on her favorite saggy chair moaned wordlessly, perhaps a goodbye.
“Love you too, no need to worry, I’ll make good decisions. Your so overprotective, geeze.” I said, satire heavy on my voice. Opening the rickety screen door of our too small house, Cathy greeted me. She was a tall, gangly sort of girl, a bit on the chubby side in the face. Her hair was the color of light brown sugar, terribly, overly curly and unmanageable. It was tied back, barely brushed into a pony hair at the back of her head. Her eyes were dark and scared upon her average features, always checking for danger, terrified of the conspiracy she was sure was being plotted against her at every moment. They reminded me of her old ferret Meko’s, the poor thing had suffered for a heart attack when the family cat leaped on top of it’s cage, from fear. It wouldn’t be beyond Cathy to die the same way, but maybe that was just my pessimism talking.
She was dressed in the usual, a “Go Panthers” sweatshirt and a pair of loose slightly tapered blue jeans. Nothing special, either, it looked like we belonged together. I gave a slight smile to her, my mellow smile, the only one I possessed. I wasn’t happy, really, all it said was ’I’m not upset right now’. In my mood scheme of sad, angry, upset, neutral and mellow, that was a good thing. Cathy gave me an odd look for a moment, when we reached her van, a purple thing that just screamed ’My mom’s a soccer mom’ at the top of it’s turbines. I opened with a struggle the door, sliding it back. Cathy made eye contact with her mother as she walked to the other side, just so her mother wouldn’t think she was already inside the car, press on the gas and run her over, she had told me once. Though it made sense, it wasn’t any less weird.
As Mrs. Brody, Cathy’s mom began to pull out of the driveway, Cathy turned to me (After of coarse, fastening her seat belt, then checking and checking and checking to make sure it was tight). “Gwen, your face looks like it’s melting.” she said, almost calmly, as I was struck with a little bit of panic. Melting? It didn’t feel hot inside this car! Her round face contorted into a look that said ’Eww’ as I pulled out my trusty compact mirror. I always carried it, it was my baby, but it was more of a hate-hate relationship. I hated it and it hated me, too. As my eyes gazed in and back at me, I could see what Cathy meant, it did look like my face was melting.
Needless to say, my face was certainly not melting. My makeup had smeared, leaving big streaks of snow white amongst the Mabeline mask I applied that morning. Frantic, I checked my jeans pockets, and finding nothing, went into a state of panic. Like a teenager with a pimple before prom, I felt as ugly and hopeless as could be. Of coarse, I new better than to show it to Cathy, who’s eyes were trained on my face, ready to have a spastic anxiety attack at the sign that something was wrong.
“Cathy, no worries.” I said, my voice was mellow and feminine, the usual. I pushed a strand of platinum from my eyes. “It’s just my makeup, you know, I think this has happened before. Do you have a tissue or something? I’ll just wipe it off.” I kept my voice even, even though I dreaded it. I guess tonight I’d be a ghost, which was fitting for a Haunted house. It’s not like we would see anyone we knew, but it was still awkward to just exist alone without my exo-skin.
Sitting back in my big gray leather seat with the armrests, I reached over the large gap between mine and Cathy’s seats, were another seat was folded down, (A seat which when put up would have made 7 seats in this kid mobile and thusly made it seat more than my entire house.) and took a feathery soft tissue from her hand, noticing how her fingers were bleeding just slightly from biting her nails too hard.
“There Hypoallergenic.” Cathy commented.
“Thanks.” I said, beginning to drag it over my face and take off the bronzer. Cathy watched, seemingly interested.
“That looks really weird.”
Sighing loudly, she turned her eyes away form me, sensing my annoyance. Watching my face disappear back into that of a ghost, I put the dark tissue down and looked absently out the window, noting how enormous this van was. Despite all the seats, it was also roomy, something a group of basketball players would buy, not a mother of five. I looked to Cathy now, a small smile on my face, my muscles were becoming tense, I could feel us grow closer.
“I’m nervous, how about you cat? This should be fun.” I wasn’t lying, I was quite nervous., of coarse, the Goosebumps on Cathy’s arms might have been from nervousness too, or from driving in a car, which always peaked her anxiety.
“You know they can’t touch you, or you can sue them” Cathy said, again.
“No, I didn’t know that Cat.” I said, as I had before, exasperated. I guess the anxiety took up the memory in her brain too.
“I’m not nervous, well, any more than usual. Because they can’t touch you, and it’s impossible for anything bad to happen you know. It’s impossible, unlike roller coasters.” She still wouldn’t leave that alone. Last year I brought her to a roller coaster park and she flipped out near the coaster, crying and screaming. I was really angry and I slapped her. She would never forget, and no amount of sorries could help. Sometimes I wished her long-term memory was affected by the anxiety, too.
I could feel the car take a slight turn and watched Cat’s eyes close tight, as they did on every turn. We pulled into a gravel driveway, arched with a sign across its entrance. The gray stones beneath the tires crunched and rumbled, though the ride was surprisingly smooth. Across the arch was the title of this place, and as my unnatural, brown eyes glanced upon it I couldn’t know how much it would mean to me.
I could feel an electric current through my very bones, and I noticed my body had slid tot eh edge of my seat. Excitement? How could the ever mellow, emotionless, totally calm Souixe be excited? Yet, even I in all of my argumentative power could not deny the little hair standing up on my arms. I looked to the front seat of the van and noticed Mrs. Brody lighting a unfiltered cigarette. So much for the perfect mother, but hey, if I had Cathy as a daughter I’d probably smoke too. As the stench reached my nose, I rolled down the window carefully and was taken aback by the atmosphere around me.
A cool autumn breeze rushed past my bare face and tossed the loose strings from my ponytail back, swirriling around my neck and over my skin, leaving the faint smell of a crisp just passed rain and newly fallen leaves to invigorate me. The sent of autumn, of Halloween, reminiscent of past joys of the season, mystery and general merriment. Yet I could sense something now that I hadn’t sensed before, and could not, in all of my articulate expressiveness, place into words. It was excitement, the fear of the unknown, it was terror and joy all mixed into one, and as the car came to a stop before the house, it was rapture.
We had parked far in the back of the lot, for now it seemed there were many people about the area, many cars. I was almost lost in the mere feeling of air upon my face before I noticed Cathy at my side, the vans door open and impatience across her features. I was almost angry that she ruined my moment of pre-terror excitement, in a primal sort of way, yet I knew it wasn’t her fault. This season didn’t have that same effect on her that it did on me, I could not blame her, for admittedly I had never met another soul so captivated by Halloween as myself.
Weaving myself in and out of various shades of cars across the dark, gravel parking lot, we finally came to a booth, small and wooden with a line going too it and from it so thick that it was hard to tell just what was behind it, if anything. Scrawled across the triangular peak in red, dripping letters was the Haunted Houses name once more Bloodview. The people in line were all nervous, I could see it, I could feel it radiating around me. It was as if we were all chickens waiting in line for the slaughterhouse alert and generally unknowing of our fates. As we approached the booth, I gazed up at the woman there, not scary in the least, she looked like your average person, a surprise to me. She quickly handed me a form before Cathy pushed me along and took one for herself and her mother. I gazed at it dumbly.
“What the heck?” I said, confused. It was an entire page of tiny black print with a little red line on it and an arrow telling me to sign it. Being an average 13 year old, with no patience for reading it I quickly began to scrawl my John Handcock, but before I was finished with the loop of my cursive S, the paper was rudely ripped from my hands, the red line of the pen I lifted from the booth running across the page. Where the page had once been I now saw Cathy’s angry face gazing up at me.
“Signing a RANDOM paper which you have obviously not even READ!.” She screamed at me, red flushing into her features. “You could have been signing your very LIFE away to a SLAVE labor camp, or given the them right to your kidneys!” she exclaimed, voice rushed and horrified, seething and frothing with rage. By now, most of the 50 some people in the general vicinity were staring awkwardly at us. My own face flushed, though not with anger, but with embarrassment at my friends volume of speech.
“Now Cathy…” I began, but it was futile. Her eyes were darting nervously about the page, reading quickly, until finally they bulged and she began to shout. “Do any of you know what your SIGNING!” she screeched at the top of her lungs, things grew a little bit quieter and more eyes gathered around. She tossed her arms up high above her head and it seemed that my normally meek little friend was trying to draw as much attention to herself as possible. She was like a radical drawing attention to political corruption: Determined, fervent, righteous and looking like a loon.
Where there was once a collective fright and excitement, the dark allure of impending terror there was now something much less romantic: Laughter.
And for just a moment, I felt something. To this day I don’t know exactly what it was. Like a deep bubbling loathing scathing my flesh, rage unlike any other I’d experienced, overwhelming and unreasonable for the situation. Startling, for though the cruel world had tossed many a circumstance that should have made me angry, my general response to the world had always been of cool nonchalance. All the times Cathy had embarrassed me, all the times she had made a scene I had been unphased. But not today. How dare she steal the romantic anxiety, the dark excitement? Reflecting for just a moment I Hated. I hated her, I hated the crowd, I hated myself, I hated everything all at once.
My ears drowned out Cathie’s further discouraging cries and my eyes caught the hulking form of a uniformed man coming towards us. The woman handing out the papers flinched when I turned to her, albeit from the evil, maniacal look in my eyes. She passed me another paper and pen in silent understanding and I quickly signed, thoughtlessly leaving Cathy behind. I couldn’t deal with it just then, I just didn’t have enough compassion. Call me a bad friend, call me selfish and uncaring, but I just couldn’t stay there another moment.
I placed my 3.50 down on the little wooden structure a little too hard and the woman inside flinched again as her little contract hut shook from the force. I was having trouble dealing with this odd bout of anger, yet was determined to go on. Nothing could ruin my Pre-Halloween fun now. Nothing. I was only faintly aware of the uniformed man escorting Cathy out of the area as I stepped through a small, rough wooden arch behind the black plastic on each side of the booth. To my surprise there was naught but a packed dirt path at my feet and a small sign to my left giving me instruction. “Haunted House” was scrawled upon it in dripping dark red letters and a gnarled ravens foot painted in black pointing along the expanse of path.
I began to walk, the looming trees casting shadows in the faint glimmer of the moonlight as it shone down from the heavens. Feeling a bit bulky and uncomfortable I slipped my sweatshirt skillfully over my head revealing the plain long sleeved black tee-shirt I wore underneath. I heard a faint rustling at my side and felt the frigid breeze caress my arm and send a tingling chill up my spine. My eyes glanced toward the rustling but I saw nothing, assuming of coarse that it was the breeze and adverting my eyes to the trees.
I’d never known trees to be so sinister, yet admittedly I’d never traversed through a sparse young forest at night. The gangly thin pires rose from the earth like poor souls bound to the earth, trying desperately to ascend into the moon. As my eyes gazed dreamily up at them my foot caught a protruding root and I felt that panic for a split second that one gets when they are about to fall. Feeling myself careening towards to earth I acted instinctively and tried to put out my arms to avoid major damage when I saw for a split second a dark figure leap out before me.
A mere 6 inches from the ground my eyes watched the roots and dirt for a tentative, fearful moment. It was as if every nerve ending on my arms and back came to attention for the first time to feel the smoothness of silk upon my bare arms and warmth of hands on my back. What seemed like a precious eternity to me must have been only seconds for before I could take a breath my body was pulled close to the other who had caught me in my clumsiness. I wished I would have taken a breath for as I gazed upon the visage of my savior I simply could not breath at all.
The arm that had grabbed me was clad in an old Victorian raven silk shirt with slightly draped sleeves coming into a neat cuff around the wrist with small silver cufflinks. A cape was draped upon his broad shoulders, a dark shade of ebony as well, in a circle around him reaching mid back and joined in the front by a large red jewel set in silver. Spikes of obsidian tress could be seen from underneath an elegant top hat set upon his head. A V of elegant white silk ruffles about his neck framed the most sensuous face I’ve ever seen to this day, smooth, perfect features. His eyes looked over my face as if absorbing every detail. They stood out upon his visage a piercing shade of emerald I had never seen before, lined in black and silver against the iris, framed by long, almost feminine livid lashes, lined heavily in charcoal and made evermore jewel like against the backdrop of the inky night sky. I might have been embarrassed, for I did not have my cover-up on as I normally would have. I feared that I must have been a frightening ghost of a girl to gaze upon, yet as I watched him this was not to case. For despite the otherworldly quality of his eyes it was his flesh which was his most shocking feature.
Ashen, like soft living porcelain. His pallid ivory complexion seemed as though it resonated it’s own internal light. Immaculate visage gazing back at my own, it was as if he was looking right past my color contacts into my very soul. I couldn’t help but realize how relaxed my muscles were when they should have been tense. Touch was certainly not something I was used to, my family had never been the type to hug (mother was the type to come home at midnight with alcohol upon her breath), and my love life was non-existent. Like a daisy to sunlight I was egar for the feeling and melted into his arms. His gently pouted and flush lips parted in a devious smirk, those soul ravaging eyes brimming with something totally sinister. I had a perfect view from my vantage point of the long pointed canines among his alabaster teeth, marred in their perfection by only the slightest resonance of deep crimson. As he spoke his dark seductive baritone of a voice was like black velvet against the crook of my neck. “Soigneux mon chéri.” I felt no fear as his lips moved slowly toward my neck.
I heard a loud noise suddenly and willed myself to look behind my embracer’s shoulders as his head shot up quickly. Leaping ferally from the trees and bushes of the forest came a feminine form, her features contorted with determination and rage in an animalistic half snarl. Her bodice was encased in a tight jet top with long belled sleeves slit in three places along the top of her arm and reaching 4 inches above her navel, muscular stomach exposed partially. A flowing ankle length raven skirt matched the top and bore several silver crosses in it’s stitching, flying with her as she pounced forward. Around her neck were 8 large jewel embedded crucifixes on long silver chains, a worn brown wooden cross in her outstretched hand and a stake in the other. Her short dark chocolate hair, sculpted close to her head revealed her ears, both bearing about 6 small silver crosses up the cartilage that shone in the moonlight.
As my supporting arms unfurled from under me, the electricity of human contact was gone. I was forced to regain my footing and stand as my vampire companion’s face contorted with agony, the cross and the girls hand pressed against his back, a small bit of smoke erupting from the contact point. The woman boomed forcefully in a low but feminine voice as she was roughly tossed to the ground, rage and vengeance replacing what would have for most been fear in her eyes.
“Run! Now! Save yourself!”
Stunned into obedience I did just that, my heart beat speeding well over three hundred beats per minute, ready to overload and push it’s shining red self through my chest. I ran, my feet carrying me toward the haunted house, brain numb with fear, excitement, adrenaline, and most prominently infatuation. My sweatshirt slipped off of my waist where it had been tied, I consciously left it in my wake. It was unimportant. I darted down the path within the shadows cast by the trees across my path, dappling me with moonlight with every other thud of my foot.
It didn’t even occur to me that I hadn’t almost been bitten by a vampire, that I hadn’t been kindly saved by a slayer. Everything seemed so real, yet still so distant. All I could think about was his skin, so white, so much like my own, so very different from anyone’s I had ever seen. And it was beautiful. Not ghastly or repulsively unnatural, just perfect. For once I had not been stared upon as a too tan or chalky freak, I had been gazed upon with curious affection. Soigneux mon chéri. Careful my darling. The words repeated in my head. All rage gone, I felt a small bit of emptiness inside of me, and wished foolishly the slayer had not arrived.
Finally as I reached the end of the winding path, breath coming quickly now, I turned on my heel, placing my hands on my knees to rest, head lifting slowly to almost longingly gaze at the path I had just tread. Empty, twisting into shadow beyond my eyes reach. I reminisced and thought fantastical thoughts of the vampire, a sucker of blood to take away all the imperfection coursing through my veins.
Broken from my train of thought I felt a hand upon my shoulder, yet the electricity was not the same. I spun around abruptly, heart rate soaring again.
I was face to face now with a horned hellion. His scarlet skin was smooth and glistening, bald scalp with two protruding metallic horns pushing from the skin appearing to be growths from the skull itself. The whites of his eyes were large in my view and surrounding two jet black preternatural pupils unlike any I had seen before. I glanced slowly as to survey him, body clad in a hip red zoot suit and green silk pocket square, from the 40’s, a long black cane within his crimson hands. Deep creased wrinkles marred his perfect, ageless, shiny red face at his nose and mouth as he spoke in a low, whispering tone. “Whacha doin missy.” he snickered, slowly, menacingly, leaning his face closer to mine so that our noses nearly touched. “You know what we do to wanders out here?” I leaned back slightly and he covered the space quickly, coming closer. I could see his shiny white teeth in contrast to the color of his face as he spoke in those slow venomous tones. “Well…do ya?” he spat, leaning closer as I leaned back from his face, back bending into a slight arch now, feet glued to the ground.
His vocals were a snarl now, as he stomped his cane forcefully upon the ground. “We crunch their bones between our teeth.” In unison he took a step forward and I a step back, as if entwined within the devils tango. “We grind their skulls to powder to sweeten our tea.” he continued, eyes flickering with a mischievous malice, leaning into my face once more, forcing me to arch back into a near bridge. I could feel the goosebumps upon my skin, the breath caught in my lungs in the presence of the devil before me.
Head tilting slowly, slightly, he leaned back a bit and I relaxed just a bit from my high tension state, fake brown eyes wide with fear. In one blink of a movement he snapped his teeth at my face, causing a short high scream in my throat as I tripped awkwardly, startled backwards, nearly falling before gaining my posture and catching myself upon my feet. I stood for only a moment and watched him toss his head back and laugh his demonic cackle before taking to my feet, running past him and through the black door of the stone building I knew to be the attraction I had come for, Bloodview.
I entered into a narrow passage, totally ensconced in darkness and much too startled to look behind me, even to see if I was being followed. Right away I felt my fear subside within the all encompassing shadow, cradled by the abyssal plane of darkness, hidden from the world, where I belonged. My eyes fought to adjust to the change in light dynamics, failing miserably and leaving me in a monochromatic world of black. I fumbled my hands out in front of me to feel for an exit or passageway, pale fingers hitting black painted wood walls close on all sides but the right, where my hands fumbled through empty air, my feet moving forward in an equally awkward and careful motion. It was as if my body was worried about falling into the void of the unknown lurking at the end of it’s step, glad each time it hit solid ground.
I could hear my breath in the enclosed space, surprised at how rapid it was. Onward I continued, my steps growing more and more sure each time they fell, arms outstretched to feel the walls around me in the twisting maze like catacombs. A part of me wanted to stop and stay there forever. To sit alone in those quiet passages, invisible to the world and it’s mocking eyes, with no thoughts of worry that I would come home and find my mother drowning in a sea of pungent alcohol vomit. I could take out my color contacts, for hue and tone have no place in the abyss. People would find me here, weeks later, pale and thin, but worry free and careless, aggravated to be pulled from my hiding place.
The thought of simply letting go and succumbing to the fear and joy associated with the darkness was romantic, but I knew impossible. It was only a matter of time before someone else caught up with me. They would probably mistake me for one of the Spooks with my pallor. So onward I continued, barely aware of forward from backward, from side to side through more dark passageways. Finally I could see a dim light opening up in front of me as I gradually, slowly approached. I could feel doom churdling in my stomach again and I walked through rows of black pvc strips to enter into a larger chamber.
At first I saw nothing terrifying, though my heart raced. On each side of me from floor to ceiling were wrought iron metal bars. My heart began to calm, my tension slacken when suddenly
I heard the distinct sound of a body being tossed against the bars, fear flooding me once more. My head spun around and I backed up instinctively against the other set of bars behind me, away from the noise. Behind the bars grasping desperately at the air in front of me stood a thin female form. Her eyes were wild, rabid, and made even the more sinister by the large smile twisted upon her purple painted lips and revealing an entire mouth full of long razor sharp teeth. The devil outside had given me a fair warning, for it did seem that this horror before me was hungry for flesh and had it not been for the bars could have easily ripped it from my bones.
Her figure was clad in an enormous white T-shirt that reached mid thigh and was riddled with gashes outlined in dark blood. Little parts of her abdomen were revealed through these holes under which I could easily see deep dark ruby gashes torn through her flesh, the skin peeled on each side of the injuries in a grotesque way, some of the ribcages bones revealed in flashes of livid white. Brighter crimson trails of red were slashed across her claves, thighs, arms, blood seeming to be trickling from every wound, most of which would have normally been mortal. Though it was obvious this was no mortal creature.
In the mere seconds I stood there I noticed in her hand a metallic long razor, illuminated by the faint light, the kind that was once used for shaving but now only had a place in horror movies. I could see the blade about a foot from my face, the stains of dark scarlet and fresh ruby blood. Her nails were long and painted the same violet as her lips, seeming to be just as sharp as her teeth, her hair the same violaceous hue, standing up in 6 inch spikes from the top of her head in a faux Mohawk. Even in my gut wrenching terror I couldn’t help but think how beautiful she was, how alive and intense. The hair on my neck stood on end as she let out a melodic, screeching cackle of a laugh, like that of a misbehaving little girl.
Her voice was entrancing and rich as she spoke, words laced with what I took to be desire for my demise, a horrific thought. “Come here m’dear.” she cackled, playfully. “Come and play with me.” Her giggling shrieks went straight to the marrow of my bones. Time seemed to go slowly, though it was only seconds since I’d entered the room. To my horror, From the darkness behind the bars appeared the forms of 6 others, approaching slowly, all bearing a similar disposition to the first girl. Ripped, white, uniform like clothes, bloody gashes scarring their bodies, mouths full of nightmarish incisors, and voracious optics keen on me alone, craving my mortality to satiate their hunger.
“Come closer m’dear, come play with us….I have something just for you. We shall have so much fun together!.” Her voice sounded like a chainsaw, metallic and foreboding, fueled by insanity. She gnashed her long teeth through the bars and I jumped, letting out a little scream. The room erupted with psychotic laughter off all different sorts, beginning to sound like The Devils Deranged Choir. As entrancing as their maniacal
melody was and as frozen by all those pairs of delirious eyes as I was my instinct right away was to run, run through the door at the opposite end of the room into the darkness once more. I began to turn to make a dash past all of those chortling psychos and their clutching hands when I felt a stiff arm suddenly pull me hard against the bars just behind my back.
My excellent self control was the only thing that kept me from screaming. At that moment my body, against my better judgment chose to reflexively fight. My hands shot to the arm in an attempt to pry it away from me when my eyes darted to the leering, cerulean tinted face to my left. Those same long, deadly teeth showed out from behind aqua tinted sneering lips, scalp ruffled with a short line of a blue Mohawk in dangerous looking spikes. His resemblance was similar to that of a drowned cadaver. Yet it was his eyes that made me stifle a scream once more.
The whites were defiant of their title, the same pale blue as his skin, the iris a striking shade of aqua and the pupil as pale as my face, as if a transverse mirror of the way a human eye was meant to appear, laced with that same daft insanity that seemed to be flickering in the eyes of everyone within the room. Ascending both his ear were 6 piercing, all filled with metal hoops lined with metal spikes. An industrial cadaver. The effect was both mesmerizing and heart halting. I felt my hands connect with the pale cold arm around me, sliding off, unable to grasp it. I glanced down unconsciously to see my hands now, long pallid fingers coated in a rich contrast of crimson, of blood. My eyes darting instantly to the unearthly appendage about my waist, my eyes bulged from their sockets. Carved in bloody, deep lines there was a message just for me.
The laughter around seemed to be getting louder, accentuated by the cadaver’s low snickering next to my ear. It became horrifically apparent that the laughter had grown louder on account of the 6 new mutilated psychiatric patients in the bars behind me. I heard a low mocking whisper utter words softly into my ear.
“Yes…go play!” and with that I was shoved gently from my restraing grasp, stumbling forward just beyond the reach of the arms in front of me before righting myself and scrambling a bit more skillfully from the room, out of the exit and through another set of pvc strips. All I heard as I left was a single high pitched cackle that stood out amongst the rest.
“See you later m’dear!” it playfully shrieked, and in the back of my mind I knew that I would.
Angelique ~ I write for you alone.