Chapter V

I remember my sense of balance and co-ordination not reacting too keen to my well rested awakening. I had to lean on Renault's side before I fully regained my strength. He seemed to find amusement in my unfortunate condition, but I didn't care. I wanted the answers to the questions that nagged at my dozy mind.
The tall and sleek Spaniard took me outside the mansion, and onto the black streets of Toronto. It took time for my eyes to adjust to the brilliant lights of the lamp posts, and the few lights within the windows of homes and buildings.
I realised, during my walk that my sight seemed to be sharpened. More... clearer than before. I looked forward to see a young couple-they looked rich, I suppose. And I swear to you, they were a good ways away from Renault and I, but I could hear everything they were talking about, as if they were right in front of us.
Renault recognized my startled reaction, and laughed. "Don't look so surprised. Our senses are ten times as sensitive, compared to Mortals." He seemed to skip along, as if this were a game of sorts. "Your powers are yet to be discovered."
My stomach lurched. I longed for something to content my urges to feed. I walked over to an apple stand, and picked out the reddest, shiniest apple I had ever seen, and as I touched it, I could feel the curves and texture of the simple fruit deepen. I could make out small notches, and even the sprays. I could never feel these before.
Renault took hold of my slender shoulders, and peered beside my neck, almost nuzzling it as he stared at the apple. "No." He said in such a whisper that made my spine freeze. "That won't satisfy your hunger."
The Spaniard quickly spun me around to face him, and he skipped backward, beginning to sing some bright tune in a strange dialect which I supposed at the time, and still do, was the language of his native tongue.
He stopped abruptly, smacking the bottom of a young noblewoman who passed by. She yelped slightly, and her male companion looked back in utter disgust.
"Don't you smell it?" Renault asked me, sniffing the air like a greyhound.
"Smell what?" I asked, unamused by his immaturity for such an age.
"The souls! Don't you smell them? They are so distinct!" Renault explained to me. I looked at him quizzically.
Renault snorted, probably in irritation, and stepped forward, taking my head in both his hands, and jerking it upward to the sky. "Smell, Marcus. Smell the souls."
Now that he mentioned it, I did smell something-oh, the fragrant of the first batch of souls that I sniffed still arouses my nostrils to this day-The smell of the souls was a stray brick, hitting me with a strength that had my head jerk back slightly.
Renault grinned, seeing that I was adjusting to this newfound smell, and he could tell that I wanted more. He took me by the hand, and dragged me down the street, where the smells were getting stronger; the farther he led me, the deeper and more distinct this smell of people's souls would get!
The next thing I knew, we were standing in front of an orphanage, and Renault was leading me up the stone steps to the entrance. I snapped back to reality, realizing what he was doing.
"Renault!" I said sharply. Renault turned his head to face me, as if insulted that I had addressed him by his first name, but I continued. "What are we doing? This is an orphanage! We can't just walk right in. It's the middle of the night!"
Renault paused.
Then laughed.
"Stupid Fledgling." He said, shaking his index at me. "The Sangier need no invitation. We invite ourselves! Vampires, on the other hand..." And without finishing his sentence, the Spaniard kicked open the door so hard, it snapped off its hinges, and fell onto the wood flooring with a deafening thud.
Immediately, the electric lights were turned on, and children could be heard crying out. Four nurses came out of a room to see us, the intruders, standing at the entrance of the main hall, just waiting.
It occurred to me that we had just broken two laws, being trespassing, and breaking and entering. But also thinking from an experienced point of view now, back then it was the '20s, so it wouldn't have really mattered anyway.
"What are we doing here?" I demanded, edging back out the door, but Renault grabbed my arm and dragged me back in. "We're feeding, young one! The souls of women, and especially young children are most Devine!"
Renault suddenly threw his arm forward, grabbing hold of a nurse's neck, and lifted her into the air. I thought this man was insane, and I began to beat on his back, telling him to stop this, that we could not kill an innocent woman.
"So then go find yourself a murderer to feast on!" he snarled, and crushed the nurse's neck in his bare hand. I stumbled backwards, and fell down the entry stairs, landing on my rump. My stomach lurched once more, and as I looked up, I could see a small light from the woman.
Her mouth was wide open, and so was Renault's. An eerie, green mist escaped from the dead nurse's nostrils and mouth, and traveled between Renault's lips, and he began to swallow.
I could hear the other nurses scream repeatedly for help. Renault finished his drink, and threw the body to the side, as if she were a crumpled piece of trash. He wiped his lips with the back of his hand, and proceeded to walk forward into the orphanage, probably to feast upon the frightened souls of the residents.
I got up, gasping for air out of sheer terror. I wanted no part in this damned deed. I was sure this was all just a rancid nightmare, and I wanted to wake up. I wanted to wake up and go to the kitchen to see my mother making bread and oatmeal, and I wanted to see little Emily setting the table, her hair still tied up into a ponytail by that ruby red hair tie she wore, and still clothed in her cream pink nightgown.
I looked both ways, and just ran. I didn't care how far I had to go to get away from these people... or whatever in the name of the Devil they were. I wanted no part in their Satanic rituals. I wanted to just go home.
I don't remember how long it took me to get used to the new senses that had been forced upon me. Everywhere I stepped, it felt like I was going to fall. Every person who passed me by made me jump in fright, because from the largest of men to even the smallest of children to walk past me, I could feel and hear the winds that crashed together as our bodies bumped against one another in our haste in opposite directions.
Finally, I got to the bakery. I peered through the clouded windows to see black. Mother wasn't making any bread late tonight, which was surprising. She always liked to make sure we had fresh bread for early customers.
I went to the front, and patted my pockets, hoping that maybe, just maybe I had my keys with me, but alas, I did not. I even tried to open the door, but it was locked.
I looked around, seeing if there was any way that I could get up to the apartment. I looked up at the blackened windows, and tilted my head a bit, wondering if... No. it wouldn't be possible, would it?
I placed one hand onto the stone cold brick of the building, and then the other. I tried to pull my right hand away, thinking I was being an idiot, but something had urged me on to try. -Anyway, as I went to pull my hand back, it seemed to rip off the brick, as if my fingertips had little suction cups on them.
I looked at my hand, and then gently placed it back on the wall, and just ... began to climb. No one was around, so I wasn't worried about getting caught or anything. Actually, I didn't care if anyone had seen me-I wanted to see my family, and that was final.
Soon, I had climbed up to one of the bedroom windows. I took hold of the sill, and hoisted myself upward, to look inside. It was dark, but I had no problem seeing. I looked around the small room, and realised this was Emily's bedroom.
I slowly and silently lifted open the window, and carefully climbed inside.
I made my way over to little Emily's bed, to see her fast asleep. She was curled slightly, and by the slight stains on her fluffed pillow, I could tell she had been weeping. I knelt down at her bedside, and gazed over her paled, sleeping face. The smell of her soul aroused my nostrils, but I had no intention to do...what Renault had.
I smiled grimly, and stroked my Emily's long hair gently. I jerked my hand back as she made a slight noise, and turned onto her back, still quite asleep. I slowly stood up, and silently walked out of her room, into the main room of the apartment. I turned slightly, and opened Mother's door ajar, and peeked inside, to see her sleeping figure still as death under the covers. I sighed softly, and closed her door, content that all was well.
I walked around the apartment, looking outside the large windows in the living room area, which had a great view of the street below. I watched a carriage stroll down the street, and a Model-T (Obviously owned by one of the richer people in the area) pass by it, as if mocking the driver of the carriage with its slight speed. I sniffed the air, to smell smoke. I looked down the street, and saw that a few blocks away was alight with fire.
It must have been some foolish drunkard who accidentally set a bar aflame.
I turned around, and was struck with surprise to see Emily standing by the entrance of the apartment. She was staring at me with a glazed look. Her cream pink night gown was rumpled slightly, and her hair was a mess from laying down.
"They're coming to get you." She said drowsily.
I was dazed. "What?"
"They're coming to get you, big brother. They can smell your Fledgling blood. They know you're weak, and they will kill you."
I stepped forward, peering at my younger sister quizzically. "Who is 'they'?"
Emily giggled.
"The Vampires."
I shuddered. "How do you know this?" I questioned her young mind. She just tilted her head to one side, and I saw it: dried blood clinging to two small wounds on her neck.
Emily came forward with long, graceful strides. Her glazed, vacant eyes never left mine, and she smiled so sweetly at me. "The alleyway, remember big brother?" she said, as if knowing what I was to ask. "The man who killed Papa and the owner of the body house. --He did this to me."
I backed up slightly. I don't know why. Maria had said we are stronger than Vampires, for they are insects compared to us; but again, I was a mere Fledgling, and I knew not of what strength I had gained.
"Mother..." I had to force from my lips. "Mother... Does she know?..."
Emily giggled once more.
"Mother's dead. Has been for three days. People asked where she was when they came to console us about your death, and I just said she was too emotional to see people. Her blood tasted so sweet, though."
A rage had drawn over me. A rage I had never felt before. A rage for that damn Vampire who had done this wicked deed to my innocent little Emily. I glided forward, and took Emily's cold wrist tightly in my hand. She looked at my hand, then up at me, and pulled away. I jerked my hand forward once more, and grabbed her again, tightening my grip.
"Ow... Marcus, you're hurting me!" Emily complained. She ripped at my hand with her free fingers, and let out an unearthly hiss at me. I shoved her back, and before I knew it, the girl had lunged at me, and pinned me to the floor.
Her fangs were lowered, and she continued to hiss at me, biting at my hands, which were struggling to push her off me. I didn't want to hurt Emily, for she was my sister, and I obviously loved her.
Again, I could smell her soul. The smell of it was so strong, and I still hadn't anything to eat. Emily kept biting and scratching at me, and I found this inner strength, where I suddenly just grabbed her by the neck, and threw her off of me.
Emily was thrown into a china cupboard, smashing the glass on the doors. She snarled, and flew at me, but I was ready for her. I didn't know what had come over me. I was just... so overwhelmed with anger, and this urge to feed was driving me insane! I could remember my body boiling up, as if I were on fire, and I needed something cold to soothe it.
I thrust out my fist, and sank it into her breast, and out her back. Emily stopped short, and let out a mild whimper. I could feel her warm insides squishing, and squeezing around my arm, and I clenched my fist, feeling droplets of my sister's blood drip about from my fingers to the floor.
I stared hard into my Vampire-sister's eyes.
She stared into mine.
For the longest second of my life, I could feel a warming bond between us, connected by my arm. Emily whimpered, and her eyes began to well up. She bit her lower lip, and whispered to me before death, "I'm sorry, big brother. ... please forgive me." And thus she collapsed against me.
I came to the realization of what had just happened. I slid my arm from my sister's insides, and cradled her fragile little body against mine as I fell to my knees, sobbing. What have I done? I murdered my sister! My sister whom I loved with my full heart, and whom I hoped would grow a natural, full life!
I could hear a faint whisper. I was too upset to really understand what it was at first, but I lifted Emily's limp body up, and her eyes rolled back. The whispering seemed to be coming from her insides.
A light began to emit from her body, and the same greenish mist that the nurse had, escaped from my sister's nostrils and mouth. I stared at the mist, and it seemed attracted to only me. Was this what a soul was? A foggy mist of green?
I didn't want to devour this thing left from my Emily, but I knew I had to. I had to feed one time or another. If I didn't, I would surely die. I opened my mouth, and the mist jerked slightly, and traveled inward, down my throat, and filled my body with a coolness that seemed to soothe my rage.
I sighed softly, and lifted up Emily into my arms, carried her body to bed, and pulled her covers up to her chin, as if she were really asleep. I cringed, and looked out the window, seeing the flames and smoke growing nearer.
I would save the Vampires the trouble. I would go to them