Metis recounts his first meeting with a vampire, and how it changed his life.
Vampires are real. The entire nation of Amalthea was aware that in its shadows monsters lurked. I had never met a vampire before, but I knew the names of the infamous four most powerful vampires.
All the villagers in my home town of Lysithea had heard the four names: Ganymede, Calisto, Europa and Lo. Names that were spoken with great reverence and fear. I was an only child, for what reason I did not know.
All the other children had grown up with at least ten siblings. Lysithea was a farming village down by the south east part of Amalthea. Families here had lots of burdens so they relied on their children to work the crops and care for the animals.
Lysithea was a poor village, but the people were peaceful and contented. I had grown up surrounded by smooth green hills covered in long wispy grass. Beyond the region and the village lay the mysterious mountains.
They surrounded us in the distance. Cloaked in mist was Thebe's pass, the main passage to the fortified capital city of our great nation. Rivers also wound their way through the mountains from the Eastern Sea.
My father and mother were particularly poor. Having only one child they did not have the hands to help them cultivate great produce and wealth. All three of us worked hard, I started from an early age and found sleep and freedom to be precious things.
My name is Metis; I do not look like either of my parents. Being told I resembled my mother's late father, having inherited my soft green eyes from him, I had been sated from my childhood curiosity. My hair was brown unlike the darker shades of my parents'.
Mother's hair was wild and woolly, father had a shaggy mane of a beard to match. My hair was straight and silky, my body was lean and my skin was smooth and clear.
Although being praised for inheriting a beauty that neither of my parents possessed, the boys of the village would jest that I was like a girl. Pretty was much more often used to describe me than handsome. I didn't have a warrior's build that all of the young men desired.
The girls looked at my features with envy as opposed to adoration. For these reasons I began to hate my appearance despite the compliments I received from some. I often pondered why I was an only child, why had my parents not had more children after me?
Whenever I tried to bring it up the conversation was quickly shut down by my father or evaded by my mother. By the time I turned seventeen I had been dreaming for months. They were very vivid dreams.
Dreams of a vampire. More specifically, a woman with short silver hair. Her skin was pale and she wore a black cloak, the interior was a blood red. She told me her name was Adrastea, and that I was the son of a king.
Despite never seeing one in my life I knew immediately that this woman was a vampire. She had no fangs or claws. I didn't feel overwhelmed by fear when I saw her. The dreams were calm, but it was the vividness that frightened me.
My parents never showed me much attention, despite the fact I was their only son. Sometimes I scarcely felt wanted at all. I decided that the two were only very busy and that I shouldn't get in their way.
A few months after the dreams had started an event that shook my entire life took place.
My parents were murdered by a vampire. Although vampires were known all the way through Amalthea none were known to travel to isolated Lysithea. The vampire who snuck through the town to find my house seemed a cruel one indeed.
That night it seemed the bodies had not been drained of their blood. Only brutally splattered around the house. I had been to the well to retrieve water for the pigs, it was dark and I was focussing on not stumbling along the uneven dirt path.
The water in the two heavy buckets sloshed about and spilled as I tried to carry them quickly yet safely. The half-moon and the stars provided poor lighting for me. Several times I stopped to stretch my stiff and painful arms.
I passed the wooden fence borders of properties and saw houses in the distance lit inside by flickering candles and fireplaces. I dearly wanted to return to the warmth of my home. I continued onwards.
Unbeknownst to me my parents had already been killed as I trudged back up the path to the front door. The pigs had been given their water and I was looking forward to the warmth that indoors promised. I became disturbed when I saw the lights weren't there.
Racing uphill the door opened ahead of me and a tall figure stood under the lintel. I slowed, a short distance away from him. The killer blurred towards me impossibly fast.
All I registered was hair that seemed deep red. Looking back it could have only been my imagination or my own blood that I saw. After he flashed in my direction I became aware of an impossible pain from my neck to my chest.
Lots of blood came forth and I became quickly unconscious.
When I came to I felt incredibly weak, I sensed a burning sensation flowing throughout my entire body. I became aware that I was being carried in a pair of strong arms. For some reason I felt safe and secure in my rescuer's embrace.
My entire body was too weak for movement, but I managed to force one eye open. My eyelid trembled as I registered the nape of his neck, his jaw line and higher up not red but gold coloured hair. That had been enough to satisfy me.
My eye closed again and I fell back into silent oblivion.
Having been seemingly rescued from his attacker Metis must now confront his savior. Just who is he?