Author: RedRogue55 PM
"I'm the Head of a very special school. It's just Uncle Sam's way of dealing with creatures like us... I'll start over... Imogene, you were attacked by a vampire. You lived, so you are now one of them yourself. I'm here to help you."Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Supernatural - Chapters: 3 - Words: 7,218 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 01-31-12 - Published: 12-25-11 - id: 2982458
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It is a strange thing, to wake up one day in a strange place, around strange people, knowing that nothing you have ever known is true, and nothing will ever be the same in your life again.
I was once a normal girl, by normal standards. I lived on comic books and Doritos, wore my 'Team Jacob' shirts, and went to midnight showings of every premiere that involved superheroes or supernatural circumstances. Never once did I imagine I could live inside a teen thriller.
Knowing that this diary will never reach the light of day, I'll begin to confess to you my innermost thoughts and secrets until I am blue in the face. I can't tell anyone about what's happened to me. My mouth has to be kept shut, and that has never been one of my better qualities. It was suggested to me by one of my guidance counselors that I put my thoughts out on paper instead of in people's ears, for the sake of conserving the natural order of things.
Natural, ha! This place is anything but.
Anyway, I'll start from the beginning. I was normal, yes, we covered that. Nothing mystical about me besides my vast knowledge of useless facts like what the real name was of Rogue from the X-Men, or what Chewbacca's home planet was called. (Anna and Kashyyyk, consecutively, in case you wanted to know.)
Oh yeah, and my name is Imogene McGee. For the sake of literary liberty, let's say I'm a tall, busty redhead with sun-kissed skin, the grace of a dancer, and the style of a movie star.
Well, the redheaded part is true.
When everything happened, it was late July, maybe early August, when I met this guy. I had just graduated high school and was a couple weeks away from starting college, ready to start a life away from my parent's nest for the first time. I would regularly attend the on campus coffee shop, to eagerly pretend to be one of the hipster students I aspired to be like. Here I would do things like read a book, write, surf the internet and generally waste my summer doing nothing.
I've had boyfriends before. Even, as I'm not proud to admit, one-night-stands. I'd had my heart broken so many times that for a while I decided to be the one doing the heartbreaking. That didn't work out for me, seeing as I'm not outstandingly attractive, and I have a thing about not becoming a super-skank. So, for that short period after my latest boy trouble, I had just given up looking and began this crazy dream that something profoundly romantic would one day just happen to me.
I really should have been more careful what I wished for.
I think back on things, like, if I hadn't decided to go to the coffee shop that day, or simply made a different habit of getting coffee at the much more conveniently located Starbucks instead, or even if I had kept my visit a little shorter, then perhaps, just perhaps, my life would have never changed.
But on that particular day, it did. You can't beat Fate, I suppose.
I couldn't take my eyes off him as soon as he entered the shop. It was like a cloud of pheromones entered the door with him, this perfect specimen of style and manhood, a holy Adonis to grace my eyes as a righteous gift. He was a black-haired, bright-eyed beauty wearing a scarf, skinny gray jeans and beanie, and I remember he ordered a double expresso caramel macchiato, no whip. It's funny what your brain chooses to keep in the memory banks sometimes.
Yeah, he was very hot, and came and sat at the table next to mine, reading a very old, worn looking book. I pretended I wasn't outright staring, and tried to get back into my notebook musings, but the letters began to blur into a different language, and I couldn't concentrate. Even through the smell of rich coffee brewing, I couldn't help but catch a good whiff of his intoxicating cologne. For a moment, I let myself give up on the impossible quest of writing another letter down in my composition book, and stared. I couldn't keep my eyes away, even through my brain's protest.
After a moment, he probably couldn't help but feel my gaze boring into his forehead, and he lifted his chin to meet my line of sight. My own eyes widened at the fact that I had been outright caught, but he just smirked at me as if he knew a secret I hadn't caught onto yet.
"What is it you're writing there?" he spoke with an English accent, in a comforting, genteel voice that strangely reminded me boldly of Jude Law. "Anything about me?"
I blushed and bowed my head in embarrassment.
"No," I denied. "I'm sorry, I just spaced out—it had nothing to do with—I wasn't trying to stare at you. I'm sorry."
"Well, that is a pity," he lamented, diving back into his book. "If you had been staring, I might have invited you to sit with me."
I was instantly speechless, and like the bumbling fool I was, I just gawked at him. Once I gathered some semblance of consciousness, I gathered my purse and book and simply sat across from him without a word.
"I hope you don't mind me being so forward," he muttered sheepishly, pushing a marker into his book and sliding it aside. "I'm not usually."
"I could say the same about myself," I bowed my head coyly.
"Which part, about being forward or not usually forward?"
"Yes. Both." I stammered like an idiot.
It was a spell I was under, or should have been called one. My heart was racing, my palms wet, my neck felt like it was being choked from the inside out.
That's how I met him, but I can't really remember much about my time with him, and I can't even remember his name. I guess it doesn't really matter anyway. What matters, was that I liked him, I liked him a lot, and fast. Everything about him told me to like him, to believe everything he said, to trust him. I didn't assume the worst in people, and this man gave me nothing to put a red flag against that.
I just remember that the conversation in the shop that fateful afternoon ended with him saying:
"You know, it's a great day outside. Do you want to go for a walk with me?"
I, of course, agreed, already plotting in my head ways that I could reiterate this kismet story to my best friend. Yet, as I exited that shop, my head was in a whirl, and foggy, like my memories were fading even as I was making them. I knew I was behaving strangely, but something about him possessed me.
I remember the sound of the bell above the door ringing as we left the shop, the barista shouting a stoic goodbye from behind the bar, even the breeze of cold winter air on my face.
But I don't remember getting to the park. I don't remember walking there. I don't remember what path we took.
All I remember is waking up in the hospital four days later, without a clue as to how I got there. My mom started crying she was so relieved to see my eyes open, and she put her hand on my head to brush my bangs away from my face, tender at first, but more violent as she got more emotional.
"Hi, honey," she sobbed, smiling as wide as the Joker from Batman. She then turned to snap at my stepdad, her husband of five years. "Dale, get the detective."
I was too flabbergasted to form words, as I took in the bland pastel wallpaper around me, the pink plastic shower curtain hiding me from the patient next to me. An IV was attached to my forearm, and many machines surrounded me. I reached to my face to take off the breathing mask attached, feeling like it only aggravated my lightheadedness.
"How do you feel, baby?" my mom cooed at me, still attacking my hair with genteel vigor.
"A bit weak," I now realized, as it took a lot of strength to sit up and I abandoned that effort quickly. "What happened to me?"
"The cops found you in the woods," my mom explained with tears in her eyes. "Honey, you've been missing for three days."
I began to have faint flashes of myself being dragged through mud and leaves. Of dogs sniffing my face, barking, and faint shouts being called out in the distance.
"You were very hurt," my mom choked out more. "And you lost a drastic amount of blood from your neck, arms and legs."
As I instinctively put my hand to the bandage across my throat, more flashes of memory whizzed by my mind's eye. Of that boy, leaning to kiss me, drawing blood from the kiss, me wincing backward from him…
My mom started crying openly again, as her husband, my stepdad, Dale, stepped into the room with a lady in a gray pantsuit right behind him. The lady was African-American, short, and kept her lips pursed in an impatient way. I immediately didn't take a liking to her.
"They thought you were dead," my mom cried. "What were you doing out in that forest anyway?"
I shook my head, trying to get a grip on everything. What the hell had happened? I racked my brain in search of any images that might give me clues, but I was all so vague and blurry, like a fuzzy dream that dissipated the more you thought on it.
My mom hugged me tightly, and I hugged her back. Both of us were glad I survived.
The detective coughed before she spoke, trying to interrupt us smoothly.
"Imogene," the lady interrupted our Kodak moment without hesitation. "I hate to bombard you so quickly after you woke up, but I'd really like for you to answer your mother's question. How did you come to be in the park that day?"
There was a small, strange voice in my head that warned me not to answer truthfully. Something inside was not right about this situation, this woman, or these injuries, and I somehow knew it immediately. I had to stall until I could gather my bearings mentally.
"I can't remember anything. I was hanging out at the coffee shop in the college, and after that, nothing."
"Did anyone meet you at the shop? Do you remember going to the park? How about how you got hurt?"
I just shook my head and tried to appear overwhelmed as possible, hoping she would take a hint. She didn't. She leaned closer to my face instead.
"This is very important if we're going to catch who did this to you, Imogene. Time is critical in a case like this. Any information you have can be useful."
"I'll call you if I remember anything," I assured her. "Please, just… let me wake up."
She made a point of me seeing her put her card on the plastic tray attached to the hospital bed. A card I never looked at, never felt in my hands, never paid any mind to. I think she sensed it, even as the paper hit the table.
I'm going to skip ahead a little bit to that night, when I couldn't sleep, and my parents had long gone home. My wounds were itchy underneath all the bandages, not to mention I had four days worth of sleep to catch up to, and my mind a swirl of curious flashes of memories and questions.
Footsteps were normal with late night hallways in the hospital. I got used to it fast. Weird, short, creepy old guys standing in my doorway wasn't. He even coughed so I would turn over and notice him. The patient in the other bed was dead asleep. No nurse stopped walking by, not even noticing his presence.
"Can you hear me?" he asked in a voice that seemed louder than a foghorn in the nighttimes deafening quiet.
"Hi?" I replied nervously, my heart taking off rapidly in fear. I glanced over at the other bed in the room, but she didn't even stir.
"Don't worry, she can't hear us," the man explained. "No one can. Takes a special kind of blood to hear me. Which means only one thing- that you're one of us! Aha-" The man came straight over to my bedside table, and ripped up the card on it. "I see Trish beat me here…" He motioned with the shredded pieces of card in his hand, and proceeded to throw them in the trash. I sat up a bit higher in bed, thoroughly confused. I was still pretty unsure this guy was speaking English.
"I'm sorry, but who are you?"
"Pardon me, my name is Ludwig. I'm the principle of a very special school. We're very legitimate, government funded, nothing funny. It's just Uncle Sam's way of dealing with people like us. A way of sweeping an uncomfortable situation under the rug that the world is not yet ready for."
"Uncomfortable situation? I'm sorry sir, but I don't know what you're talking about."
"You don't know what happened to you? You don't feel it yet?"
"What am I supposed to feel?"
Now that he mentioned it, my mouth was very dry. But I passed it off quickly as dehydration.
"I'm so sorry, I thought you might have figured it out by now, but I suppose you probably had the misfortune of coming across a pro, and they sometimes have this memory wiping talent… it's very inconvenient. I'll start over. You were attacked by a vampire. You lived, so you are now one of them yourself."
I decided then that I was in a very lifelike dream…