The Vampire at the Family Reunion

By, Carrington. J. Sinclair

Board. That's all I could really say I felt at this time. This was my first time at a family reunion and, in a truly ironic matter; I didn't know a single soul. Ever since I was small, I had always been shy around people I didn't know and being in a full room of strangers, (of whom half were drunk) didn't help matters at all. But alas, despite my urge to be sociable, to fully inherit the maturity that came with sixteen years of life, I still clung to my father's side like I had when I was but six and barely even a foot tall.

I gazed at the white walled, linoleum tiled room. My mother was chatting away by the portrait of the Queen with one of her many cousins, whose name may or may not have been Amanda. My older sister (whom had stuck to my mother originally but was apparently feeling adventures and wondered off) was in a corner, fiddling with her clunky, black, professional camera.

My father broke my revere to introduce me as 'the Boy' to someone who apparently knew me as an infant. I shook their hand lightly, flexed the muscles in my face forming an obviously nervous smile, forced myself to giggle and apparently replied incorrectly when they said that their grand nephew or something was in my class.

Frustrated and feeling exposed, I headed for the safe, quiet sanctuary of the restroom. That was my only defence mechanism in situations like this, run and hide! On my way to the restroom, I noticed a strange figure by the exit. He was tall, very tall compared to me at five-foot-eight. His hair was a waving blonde that just barely touched his extremely broad shoulders. He was clad interlay in black. His boots were an inky onyx with deep, blood red laces, his jeans a deep midnight with a few grains of white every here or there. And to cover himself, he wore a long, knee length trench coat. I guess he could feel someone starring at him because he turned and looked straight at me. Amethyst eyes burning into me.

What he looked like sent me reeling. His face was so well proportioned it was almost disturbing at how perfect it was. His broad shoulders made him look tall and menacing, and quite clearly through his trench coat I could tell that he was well muscled and could easily out fight m. Thus making him, in my eyes all the more threatening. But the biggest threat coming from him were his empty, piercing violet eyes that shot daggers threw me. Trust me, if looks could kill I'd be a bloody heap on the floor right know.

The strange man smirked, accenting just how pale he really was, his skin the colour and texture of marble. Abruptly, the man smashed the panic bar of the thick steel door. It's, metallic sound echoing through the two halls of the community center. Surprisingly though, not a single person turned their head at the sound or even registered the man's existence. He looked at me one more time before melting through the steel door like water through cupped hands.

I gasped. The man that had basically vanished before my very eyes had sent something threw me. As if he had sewn a long thread through my gut and was know pulling at it. I obeyed the quiet forces command. Without thinking I pushed the door open and into the pouring rain. Standing on the top of the splintered, wooden stairs, I surveyed the rural parking lot, my eyes scanning over every car, mud caked truck, electrical pole and empty space.

I finally spotted him near the woods. He smirked, his eyes seeing threw me. He turned and started to walk into the showy green of the woods. Despite the pouring Nova Scotian rain, I fallowed, pushing past the water logged undergrowth and knee high pine saplings that clung to my jeans. The rain water soaking through the denim of my pants down to the skin. But still I pursued him, like Sherlock Holmes after Moriarty I crawled through the forest floor. Going deeper and deeper into the woods until the only thing I could see around me were trees.

Before I knew it, I was lost.

I didn't know what direction lead me back to the way I came. In my panicked state I felt the 'force' pulling threw my stomach, leading me deeper into the dark, green forest. I obediently fallowed, heading into the dark, muggy depths of the trees.

I finally came upon a small, round clearing; the grass was about knees height in someplace. The rain drops sparkled like hundreds of shimmering emeralds, the bright green of the grass reflected by the weak light of the sun that could just barely strike through the thick grey storm clouds, giving the low mist a greenish hue.

It was then that I noticed him, an onyx clad figure as still as a black Roman statue standing tall and obvious among the green. He turned to me, his shimmering purple eyes held a faint glimmer of lust. His entire person giving of an aura of dominance. I whimpered and backed away.

"You're a brave one, son." The man said in a surprisingly deep voice that held in it a trace of an Italian accent.

I was stunned, shocked and terrified all at once. I didn't know what to do, I stood still as a deer in the headlights. I was frozen, locked solid in his gaze until I blurted out the first question that came to mind.

"I'm not related to you... Am I?" My eyes opened wide in shock of my randomness. Clasping my hand around my mouth from embarrassment as he laughed wickedly at me.

"No." He purred between chuckles. "I was feeding on the janitor when your family burst in; I thought I was cleared to go when I saw you staring at me.'

He then approached me, lifting his hand and stroking my cheek with an icy forefinger.

"There certainly is something interesting about you." He mused.

I shook my head to unstun myself. His eyes widened a bit, but his face soon softened into that of a knowing smile.

He cleared his throat.

'Allow me to introduce myself." He stated in a regal matter, his posture straitening like that of a dancer. In doing so I could really see how much he dwarfed me, towering well above six feet and it wasn't helping that his chest and abdomen were totally built.

He bowed to me shallowly, like they did in the old days. Back in the times when coarsest were fashionable, people drove horses and Leonardo di Vinci was still painting the Mona Lisa. When he rose, he flashed at me a dazzling white smile at me.

"Bangourno! I am Dante Mortalini, I was the bastard son of the Duke of Venice, born in 1481. Would you be so kind as to tell me your name?' He asked charmingly.

This didn't make sense he was claiming to be over seven hundred years old. No one could live that long.

"How can that be?" I whispered, my lips shaking from the cold.

His eyes grew dark and his whole body became sinister and frightening.

"Well my dear boy. In my twenty third year of life, I was given the dark kiss. The blessing of eternal night, I can live for forever through the blood of the mortal in other words..." He trailed off as he leaned in closer to me, his grin broadening enough for me to see that his canine teeth were actually pearly needle pointed fangs.

"I'm a vampire." His breathed into my ear.

He was a vampire. A true monster under the bed, an un-dead creature of the night (that would explain him 'feeding on a janitor'). And here he was in rural Nova Scotia, I felt as if I had been forcefully thrusted into Dracula.

To be honest, I was terrified out of my wits. The mere sight of this man made me shake all over, well actually that might have been the rain but the point is, he terrified me.

He backed away from me and held up his hand, jester ring for me to introduce myself. His dusty purple eyes piercing through me. Demanding I be polite. I didn't to tell him my name; you're not supposed to talk to strangers. I felt like Red Riding Hood being forced into a corner by the Big Bad Wolf, and had no chance of escape. Finally I gave.

"I'm Ollie, I was born and raised in and near Halifax."

'Oh, Oliver! I always did long to name my eldest son that." Dante gushed, but I had to correct him. My name wasn't Oliver.

"Oh, Olivier. Even better, it sounds more Italian."

'Olivier isn't my name either." I interrupted meekly.

His eyes narrowed at me. He was getting angry. With his eyes raged filled slits, he bellowed.

"Than what in the hell is your name!' He demanded, his presence overpowering me.

It was then that I admitted my name was Olympus. When he asked why my parents had settled me with that name, I once again I plunged into the familiar diatribe of how I was named after the tallest mountain in Greece. My mother is an archaeologist, one who specialises in Ancient Greece and my father is a professor at a local university in classical literature.

We continued to talk. Well actually it was more like he asked me questions and I answered. We continued this abusive game of interrogation for more than an hour until he looked at his watch. He frowned, making a pondering face. Tapping the glass he spoke.

"I give thirty more seconds until they find the body." His Cupid's bow mouth arching into a devious grin.

I couldn't take it any longer, I had to leave. I had to turn around and run, find a safe place and hide. When I turned half way from him, I heard the most horrible scream of panic echoing through the trees.

'Ha, I was right!' Dante exclaimed triumphantly.

I kept double taking between him and the trees. Frozen, it honestly felt like my feet were frozen to the forest floor and all I could do was look around in frustration and horror.

Dante however stood laughing. Nearly bent over in mirth, almost to the point where it looked overly dramatic and fake. He nearly made me jump out of my skin when he gasped theatrically. Turning to face him I squawked when I found my soft nose brushing against his own that was cold and hard like stone.

"I nearly forgot about you dear boy." He purred, circling around me. His knees, shoulders and chest brushing against my own a few times every orbit.

"W-what do you mean?" I stammered, my skin breaking into a cold sweat.

He licked his lips before whispering in my ear.

"You know of my existence. You know of what I am. No living thing can learn the truth of what goes bump in the night and survive."

I gulp, all blood leaving my face. My entire body trembling in fear.

"Listen to me son. You have three options. One I let you go, running off in a panicked state were you will remember this day longingly for the rest of your days."

I found that statement quite odd, what on earth could he have meant by me looking upon this day longingly for the rest of my days. Riddling through the annals of my mind I saw myself coming upon the verge of an answer. Felt the doors of my inner desire's flood gates creek open, demanding I submit to it but a small part of me kept bushing them shut. Forbidding them from bubbling up to the surface.

Another cry of my name shot out from the trees. The calls were getting closer.

Pandora's curiosity flowed through me. Silencing my inner self, I motioned with the only moveable part of my body, my head, for him to continue.

"Two, I kill you here and know and make a snack from your blood."

An audible gasp slithered from me. He stepped forwards, taking a sharp inhale through his nose. My heart beating in my chest wildly. Would he really kill me, rip open my throat and sink his pointed fangs into my still beating heart as he drank the gushing red liquid.

Silently, he bent his golden locked head down to my jugular. He inhaled, like he was sampling a new cologne. His chest rumbled with a deep predatorily growl.

"Ah, type O positive. Haven't had that in a while." He chuckled.

I wasn't quite sure at the time, but I think I made a quaking noise. I backed away from him, attempting to make a brake for it but I tripped over the tangled roots and branches that carpeted the ground and landed face fist in the muck and mire. I looked up, Dante hovering over me like a sinister gargoyle over the buttress of an unholy cathedral.

I tried to scream, but my voice was choked out of its misery before it could leave my throat. For someone as loud as I was, being silenced was terrifying as , like my one line of defence had fallen and I know open for the slaughter.

Dante smiled at me. Genuinely smiling, his tall frame shaking with laughter. Calming down some, he whipped away from his left eye delicately a tear of mirth. His mouth arching as he gave me my last option.

"Or three, you renounce your life in sunlight and go off into the night with me."

My mouth fell a gape. Here I was, laying in the mud and rain, in the middle of the woods talking to a vampire. A monster that was to exist only in the dark corners of human fantasy, and here was an actual creature of evil moonlight and blood offering me the possibility of taking the gift of ancient blood. Nocturnal immortality.

"Ollie!" Came a panicked cry from beyond the forest. I guess a family that stays together looks for a lost kid in the woods together.

"Hurry up and make your decision Olympus." He commanded, eyes narrowing into slits.

I was wedged. Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. In front of my lay Dante, the Devil. The Creature of the night that offered me such sweetly seductive prospects. To go on the adventure of several life times, to thrive in an eternal night. To achieve what every great man and woman has sought and searched for since time and memorial, immortality.

At my back lay the roaring sea. The familiar mundane existence, the world of mortal men and women. A world that I had been a part of since my first draw of breath. So many things that I could do with my mortal life so long as I was patient. If I could wait, the day would come when I would see everything I would want to see, do everything I wanted to do. But then again, dark secrets lay in the depths of the deep blue. And some possibilities, I knew I could not risk becoming true.

Another cry of my name range through the trees. My seekers were getting closer.

"I'm afraid Olympus; your pondering time is up. Choose how you wish this tale to end or I will kill you were you stand!"

The sea roaring. A ferocious beast of unknown outcomes, of terrifying possibilities, regrets and resentments. And the charming Devil. Calm and cool, becoming with the sweet taste of such seductive gifts.

"Going once!" Dante stated, counting the number of chances with his figures.

To I dare take the devil for his words, or do I hold in a deep breath and plunge head first into the roaring sea.

"Going twice!" His next finger poked out. One more and my decision had to be final.

When I looked at it, with this last minute effort to make a back breaking decision either way I ran into death. Do I live for another fifty some odd years before I pass, or do I die now? Unknowing what lay beyond the grave. Or do I embrace the vampiric death. Kiss the light of day and mortality goodbye and live forever in the night.

"And?!' His final command, time was up.

The black gates form my psyches were now pushed wide open. The waters that lay beyond them flooding through. As my inner desires washed through me, I felt my legs pick up from the sand. And I ran. Away from the lapping waves of the deep blue sea and into the waiting arms of the devil.

"Take me with you." I whimpered from the ground.

He stared at me like he hadn't heard me at all.

"What was that my dear?" He purred, purposefully coaxing me to admit my dark decision.

"I want to go with you. Take me wit you into the night, give me the gift of blood. Please take me from this place."

His lips arched in a lopsided grin.

"Good." He growled.

Just as I was about to say something my name was screamed out again, this time it couldn't have been more than eighty meters away. I looked over the tree root I was leaning on. Surely enough there was one of my alleged uncles and my Dad walking over the dell towards the clearing that I and Dante were staying in. When I turned back to face Dante, he had his hand held open for me to take.

"Quickly know, on my back." Dante ordered. I obeyed and he jumped high into the air, well above the tree tops.

From this high, with my face in Dante's golden hair. The icy, wet stormy winds swirling around me. I could hear the chores of my name being called. I knew that they would be out looking for me until nightfall. That they would never find me. A depression will sink in, and maybe all of Canada would be sent on a red alert to find me. The sea beneath me was taunting me, screaming out to me. Telling me of how selfish I was for thinking of myself, for abandoning everything I held dear. And although I did feel the guilty for leaving, at the same time I didn't really care.

The sea could scream all it wanted. Demand me to turn around and plunge back into its foamy waters. But I had made my decision; to take up a new life, dead to the rest of the world. To abandon the sun and join the children of the night. I was now locked in the arms of the devil. And the Devil was the irresistible vampire Dante.