Epilogue

Three Months Later...

I sat on the beach alone, my sandals off and my feet in the water. I shivered as the cold water lapped playfully at my toes. I was staring out at the endless blue of the ocean. The waves were crashing together violently because of the wind swirling above. The clouds were dark and there were microscopic drops of water falling from the sky, only slightly warmer than the water at my feet.

There was a faint sound of children running and playing further down the beach. It sounded to me like a distant echo; I didn't turn to look at them or the families I knew were with them. I had no energy left, not even enough to move farther up the beach because the tide was coming in. I just continued to stare out at the violent waves. It was almost as if the waves showed me a part of myself I wasn't aware of. The inner turmoil that I felt every day sinceā€¦

I plunged my hands into the sand beside me and cringed as the small grains of sand found their way under my nails. I squeezed my hands into fists and lifted them. Opening my fingers one by one, I saw the sand clumped together in the shape of my fist. I turned my hand upside down and let the sand and my hand fall to the ground. The water washed up and overtook the sand I had just dropped. When it receded the sand looked undisturbed. If only the water could wash over me and leave me like I had been before he had disrupted my life.

Surrendering to the rain and picking myself up off the ground, I sauntered back to my apartment. The rain started to pick up but it didn't quicken my pace. The wind was stronger now, blowing the rain straight into my face. It was summer, but the weather had been rainy and humid for weeks. I heard a small rustle in the trees beside me and peered through the branches. With a closer look it seemed the rustle was merely the wind.

I could see now that it was getting darker and I would be happy to be back inside where it was warm and dry so I could change. I was going to go out for supper tonight; I was starting to get peckish.

I got to the door and let myself in; the apartment was quiet as always and I sighed. I didn't bother to take off my shoes, not caring if the sand was tracked all through the place. I headed straight to my room and closed the door.

Looking into the mirror, barely seeing my reflection, I concentrated harder and saw the girl looking back at me. She was dirty blonde, with long stringy hair; it was damp from the walk home. Under my eyes were two dark purple bruises. Only, they weren't bruises. They reminded me of the poor sleep that I always got; I couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep. When I finally did fall asleep from exhaustion, I woke frequently.

The girl in the mirror also had pale skin, inhumanly waxy-looking. My normally rosy cheeks no longer held their color but were pale like the rest of my face. The clothes I wore hung off me like they were a size too big. I never noticed what I wore anymore; it all looked the same.

Even with all of this, none of it scared me more than my eyes. I remembered them blue and sparkling with life. Now they were dead and lifeless, holding none of their previous life. I ran my fingers through my hair in an attempt to make it less flat. I only ended up getting my fingers caught in the knots. I pulled them out of my hair and picked my brush up off the dresser. I forced it through my hair until it was smooth.

I held my hands over my face, exhausted, and decided I should get in the shower. I was cold; and a hot shower would make me stop shivering. I sighed and grabbed some clothes to bring with me into the bathroom.

The hot water pounded on my back, my hair. It ran down my body and I felt renewed. I saw rivers of soap making their own paths down the drain. Because the water was searing my skin, I didn't feel the warm tears running down my face. The only way I'd known I was crying was because my vision had blurred from the salty wetness.

I didn't bother drying my hair, there was no one to impress anymore. I didn't notice the clothes that I had put on and it didn't matter. I was going to hunt, no need to look decent for what I was about to kill.

I grabbed my keys and my phone and headed out the front door, into the crappy weather. The good news was people liked to be out in the rain at night, I especially the smokers.

*

It was still rainy outside so it was a good thing that I hadn't dried my hair. It made me look more like a wanderer and less like someone on the prowl. My stomach gave a loud growl and I tried to suppress the hunger but it was flowing out of me in waves. I needed a fresh kill now. Even though I had never hunted before tonight I knew that it wouldn't be hard for me to just go off instinct. I caught the smell of someone walking down a dark alleyway and although they were probably taking a shortcut it was my decision that they were not going to make it to their destination. I knew that I was probably acting insane but I didn't care. This was the way that it was going to be from now on.

I approached them and I could tell that my prey didn't notice my presence. At least not until I got close enough for them to see the shadows. There was a spike of fear and it just drove my hunger even more over the edge. When the poor, defenseless girl turned around and saw that it was another woman behind her I could tell she wasn't as worried. But I was scarier than a sexual predator.

As I closed in on her I could hear the blood pumping faster in her veins. It drove my hunger to the extreme and I couldn't help myself from pouncing as she turned to run away. I flashed my fangs momentarily to spike her blood with the heady taste of fear. I grew more and more intoxicated with every pull on her jugular. I felt her pulse grow weak and I could tell that she was almost on the brink of death.

As I pulled away I could hear someone clapping slowly. I looked up to see Maria standing on the top of the building and I could tell that she had seen the whole thing because her eyes were bright with inward joy.

"Why don't you come down and join me if you are comfortable with stalking me?" I yelled up to her. She jumped down like a feline and landed on her feet.

"I wasn't stalking you. I smelled blood and thought I'd come see what was going on. If that's alright with you," Maria said shrugging. "I can leave if I'm making you feel uncomfortable."

"It doesn't matter to me either way," I said turning to leave.

"Can I just ask you one question?" Maria said still standing where she was.

"Aside from that one? Shoot."

"Ian never approved of drinking from the living. Why did you?" She asked with pure curiosity in her voice.

"Because Ian's gone and he doesn't care about me anymore."

"Oh, I'm so sorry to hear," Maria said with sympathy dripping from her voice, "You must be so lonely all by yourself."

"It doesn't matter. It's not like I'm going to change someone just so that I'm not lonely anymore. I wouldn't bring this fate upon anyone."

"But you don't have to change someone to not be lonely anymore. There are a lot of us and we always welcome new members. Especially with a past like yours." Maria said with awe in her voice. "Ian changed you; a part of him is running in your veins."

"What do you mean? Join Morte?! Not a chance. Ian told me about you guys. Plus you tried to kill me."

"It was because of Ian that those things happened to you. Now that he is gone you can be free to be as you want. But I am finding that you are punishing yourself without him. Stop torturing your soul and come with me. I shall make you forget all about your past. You will be one with Morte and you will never want for anything else."

I paused wondering what to do. Ian was gone and I was going nuts in my small apartment without him. I would join them only on the condition that I wouldn't have to kill anyone unless it was to survive. "I... I think I'll take you up on your offer," this was a sure way to exact my revenge on Ian. I could still feel that he was in this world somewhere but I couldn't tell where. It was like his presence was blocked from my sight. I wondered also if I joined Morte they might be able to find a way to restore my visions. I wanted to find Ian and that wasn't going to happen anytime soon without my visions.

"Good the master will be glad to hear this. I will be back for you tomorrow to take you to the induction ceremony."

"Okay, I'll see you tomorrow then." I said walking away from her. I debated going back to the apartment but settled for the beach. It was going to be a cleansing. I no longer felt pain in losing Ian. Now my life's goal was to make him suffer as I suffered.

*

I had known love, in the strongest and purest sense of the word. In the, can't eat, can't sleep without him kind of way. To be loved was the single greatest thing in this world, was it not? We had been perfect, but now he was gone. I could remember his face of course, it was impossible to forget. He had the face of an angel. My angel. There was only him and no one else. Not ever, and never again.

I could still remember, with perfect clarity, the day I met him.

.

Don't worry this is not the end I'm currently working on the sequel. Stayed tuned more goodness to follow.