Marie The Faithless

by Bex Drake

Summary: The innocent aren't always who they seem to be.

Authors Note: This is my first piece of original fiction that I have decided to write and stick up here, I'm not sure if this will be a one off or there will be more chapters it depends on a lot of things. This is based on a VERY short story I wrote down in my lj cause it was floating around my head.

Enjoy.

Bex

She looked like every other child walking the cold windswept streets of London, wrapped up in a warm coat. Her dark ringleted hair flowing freely behind her in the icy breeze, her chocolate eyes sparkling in her pale face. The dark cranberry of her coat contrasting with her dark locks and pale skin, bringing out the red highlights within her hair. "Good morning Monsieur." She said cheerfully to the old bookseller as she entered his shop a light spring in her steps.

"Good morning Marie." He replied equally as cheerful, glad that there was at least one child in this concrete wilderness that still enjoyed reading books. He watched as she headed to the ancient classics section of the store, never before had he seen a child so interested in the tales of Egypt and Rome. But then, there weren't many children any more- just a handful. The Final War had succeed where the previous four wars had failed- it had wiped out 85% of the people living on earth. The few that were left gathered in the old cities and huddled together in the ruined buildings.

The Earth's great joke. Humanity had thought it was beyond nature, and had discovered too late that it was not. For it wasn't the war that had basically annihilated the human race- oh no, that amazing feat wasn't conquered by mere men- it was the Earth herself who had finally fought back, tired of the abuse.

The surviving 15% no longer knew what to do, only that they must- at last- venture into space and explore what they had never dared to explore before. But that had been over a century ago and slowly but surely the human race was fighting back and expanding before it left the place it had once called home altogether. Mr Benedicts knew that in a matter of years Earth would, finally, be devoid off human occupants as they spread across the galaxy.

"Monsieur." Marie said in her charming french accent, her face alight with feverish excitement. "Ze book, I have found it." She exclaimed proudly placing a large red leather bound book on the counter ahead of him. "You told me it did not exist, but I knew it did." She smiled triumphantly. "Behold, Monsieur- 'Ze Carnival of Mankind' written by my ancestor Marie Longsnort. She wrote it when ze third World War was still being fought out between America and Europe, malheureusement she died before ze book could be completed and ze War ended." Mr Benedicts looked at Marie thoughtfully, she was a surprising fountain of knowledge for a fifteen year old- though she looked younger. "I thought you may like to read it- I think it may appeal to you Monsieur." He smiled, he had given up six months ago to try and to get Marie to call him Bill she had always refused him saying she felt that if she did she would be unable to give him the honour he deserved.

"Thank you, Marie." He said taking the book from her and beginning to examine it. Unnoticed she put the exact amount of money for the book on the table and walked to the door buttoning up her coat as she went.

"Goodbye Monsieur Benedicts." She said softly, he looked up startled hearing the note of finality in her voice. "Take care Bill, keep the book as a present. This is the last time our paths will cross." In the pale light given off from the candle's he noticed the glimmer of tears. She smiled at him one last time and turned to walk out the door.

"Marie." He called.

"Oui?" She replied turning to face him, pausing midstep.

"Are you sure you'll be okay?" He asked, noticing the dark night sky outside for the first time. She smiled at him, her chocolate eyes wide and innocent.

"Do not worry about me Monsieur, I will be okay." She licked her lips, her eyes softening for a second. "Au revoir mon cher ami[1]." Having said that she was gone, shutting the door softly and firmly behind her. He stood where he was for a couple of minutes watching her disappear into the shadows of the street outside before moving forward and locking the door and retiring to his room above the shop.

Marie walked down the alley way her dark hair glimmering softly in the luminous moonlight bouncing up and down with every step she took. Her coat was dark enough to allow her to blend into the shadows as far as any mortal eye could tell, but not to his. The darkness the coat created was just that bit too dark within the shadows allowing him to clearly see her outline as she moved silently up the alley. He followed her, forcing her to take the wrong turn and end up in a dead end. She glanced around frantic, her heart racing as fear coursed through her.

He stepped out of the shadows, his golden hair glowing in the moonlight and his dark cloak billowing about him like wings making him seem like a fallen angel as he stood silently watching her. Her chocolate eyes sought out his sapphire ones and stared at them directly, he could see no trace of fear within their depths."Bonjour Monsieur vampire." She said softly, her words travelling through the stillness that ensued like lead bullets moving through the air towards their target. "How may I help you?" She asked, like it was every day that she saw one of his kind. He gazed at her shocked, seeing her but not seeing her as he tried to fathom how she could possibly know.

"Êtes-vous petite fille effrayée[2]?" He taunted revealing his pearl fangs to her, in a gentlemanly snarl. The movement was infinitely delicate but it held a savagery to it that he knew she should never have seen before. But she stood before him, still, undaunted by him and his threats.

"Non." She replied softly, stopping him in his tracks as he advanced towards her determined to make her tonight's feast. "Should I be?" She asked, apparently generally curious as to if that was how she was supposed to act.

"What!" He snarled in disbelief not hearing her question, so incensed was he by her reply. With an act of will he clamped down his anger, determined to find out why she a mere child was not frightened. "Why?" She shook her head sadly.

"Because, unlike you Monsieur- you who wanted to live for ever- I do not fear death." She said firmly, making her bold opening statement and watching the fear and surprise travel across his face. "I know death will come for me eventually- as it does to all who are mortal; and are you not the embodiment of mortal death? Ze death that seduces us and leaves us lying on ze ground empty shells?" She mocked. "You who have walked these streets for millennia, hunting your victims- young or old, big or small- we are all the same to you, are we not? But unlike you, time was there friend. He walked with them on their journeys. But you, you who are ancient and timeless he has forsaken you. You who are cursed to remain cold and changeless as ze world changes around you. It is you who I pity, not myself or your previous victims but you." He snarled at her, the profound truth within her words rattled him.

"Run petite fille, run!" He commanded at last but she looked at him scorn marring her face. Slowly, in measured movements she undid her coat and drew back the veil of her hair revealing a pale luminous neck. "So you want to die then?" He mocked staring hungrily at her neck. She laughed bitterly, her eyes tired.

"No, Monsieur I do not want to die. As I said- I do not fear death- but Monsieur that does not mean I want to die." She licked her lips. "I do not run because I know I cannot out run you." He laughed, his cruel cold laugh chilling her to the bones but she stood there withstanding his brutality as he descended upon her delicate throat and gorged himself upon her blood. As he drank from her, he found himself wondering how a child so young could know all she knew and the thing that intrigued him the most was how, even at the point of death when she was hanging by a thread between life and death, her mind remained shielded from him.

~*~

Carefully he drew her up into his arms, his sweet Marie who had drunk his blood so willingly. He stroked the hair off of her face tenderly and hugged her to him like a mortal father might his child. He stepped out of the alley cradling her as she slept oblivious in his arms. He walked off into the night humming to himself. Tomorrow night she would answer his questions, but now dawn was on its way and there was only a little time left...

[1] au revoir mon cher ami- goodbye my dear friend

[2] Êtes-vous petite fille effrayée- are you frightened little girl?