Sunday, 1 October 2006

Musing: A Much Better Story Part 3

Looking back, I wonder if I should have seen it coming. But no, there was no way. Gordon had never given any indication of liking me more than anyone else. I was shocked, flabbergasted.
“You what?” I said.
“I’m a vampire.”
“No, the other thing.”
“I love you?” Gordon smiled at me, giving me a patient look I sometimes saw teachers give small children.
“Um,” said Jonah. We turned to look at him. He was thinking hard, trying to find something to say that would make everything stop. But his mind was reeling and what came out was, “Does this mean you’re going to turn Janey into…into a vampire?”
“And you, too,” came the reply.
“But I don’t want to be a vampire,” I said, speaking for both of us.
“Fuck!” Gordon began pacing up and down the hall. “I knew this was a mistake. I should have just turned you. I should have just taken you. Shit!”

He rounded on us and we pressed ourselves against the wall. In an instant he was standing nearly on top of me, one hand on the wall between my brother and I. I was terrified of him and my sudden realization that I didn’t know the first thing about him only intensified my fear. So Gordon was a vampire. I thought I could handle a vampire. But seeing him all fired up, so angry when he was usually so calm, made me afraid.
“Gordon,” I breathed.
Jonah clapped a hand on Gordon’s arm. Gordon looked at him and lowered his arm. Jonah let go. And then Gordon pushed him. Jonah went skidding down the hall and came to rest at the foot of the priest. I moved to run after him, but Gordon held me against the wall. Jonah tried to get up but the priest stepped down on his chest, pinning him to the floor. Vampires were strong.

“Janey,” Gordon said. I looked at him. His expression softened and he looked again like the boy I was crushing on downstairs in the reading room. “I’m sorry. I lost my temper. I could never hurt you.”
I didn’t bother pointing out the contradiction. “I don’t know if I’ll still like you after this,” I said. It was a lame attempt at talking my way out of there. Of course I still kind of liked him. Even though he scared me and pushed my brother around. Love is, among other things, stupid.

Gordon smiled like he knew better. He took me in his arms, nuzzled and kissed my neck. Despite myself, I swooned just a little. “Now, are you ready to join me by my side as my bride of the night? Are you ready to be ravished, to be worshipped and praised by your first and true husband? Are you ready, Janey, to be with me?”
I scoffed. I couldn’t help it. “Where did you get that cra—”.
He bit my neck, cutting me off.

As he held me, as he drank my blood and my world grew dim, I looked to my brother. He was still on the floor, but the priest was bent over him, as if kneeling in supplication, and drinking from his neck. We locked eyes and together like this we died.


Jonah and I were physically and psychically stronger as vampires than we were as humans. But nothing else changed, really. We acted out being human for the remainder of high school and went through the motions of applying to university, slowly severing our ties to our family and friends. It was a horribly painful and drawn-out process as love persisted in some places. We moved overseas for a while to make it easier on our parents and ourselves, but we made sure they didn’t want for love from their children.

Eventually, inevitably, a day arrived when we were completely free from our past human lives. It was sad, sadder than I anticipated and the Andrews bravely, and, I thought, kindly, put up with two very morose vampires. The depression lasted for some time as we mourned our loss. And then we acted out, like petulant teenagers. Rebelling against the rules laid down by the Andrews, attacking people, breaking things. I turned on Gordon, who, true to his word, had never hurt me again either physically or emotionally. I taunted him, I blamed him, I threw everything in his stupid face. And then when I tired of that, I took to sulking. Jonah had moved on, accepted his new life, and tried very hard to reason with me. But I shut him out. I shut everyone out.

“Quit being such a drama queen.” It was Jonah. He found me in an attic.
“Piss off,” I said and moved some stuff around. The people downstairs thought they had a ghost. It was fun.
“Enough’s enough. Look, everyone’s been really patient with you, with us, but no one’s saying what needs to be said. You’ve turned into a huge pain in the ass. Gordon didn’t make you a vampire so you could sulk for eternity.”
Jonah threw a box against a wall. We heard the people downstairs muttering fearfully.
“This kind of fun,” he said. “But you’re a vampire, not a fucking ghost.”
Talk grew louder downstairs about excising the ghost. We heard footsteps in the hall below us.
Said Jonah, “I’m not leaving here without you.”
“What about Gordon?” I asked. I was afraid I’d gone too far, that I’d finally pushed him away.
Jonah motioned out the window. “He’s not leaving either.” Gordon was standing in the yard.
Below us someone grabbed hold of the trapdoor and started to pull. “I can hear talking,” a voice said. “I think there are people up there.”
“WHAT?” came the terrified reply. “Well, don’t go up!”
“Give ‘em a break, Janey.”
I could fight against Gordon and the Andrews all I wanted, but I couldn’t and didn’t want to fight my brother, too. It was like fighting against myself and fighting myself had landed me in a crowded attic pretending to be something I’m not. I kicked an old trunk and the trapdoor froze half open.
“I’m going in,” said the man at the door.
“Jesus, Leo.”
The door opened and Leo climbed up the stairs. He turned on the light but then Jonah and I smashed the bulbs. Leo turned on a flashlight. I had to hand it to him, he was prepared. The beam passed over the assorted junk and found us standing by the open window. We bared our fangs and hissed at him.
“Holy shit!” Leo cried.
“What? What is it? People?”
“Vampires,” Leo said. “Fucking vampires!”
Vampires, indeed.

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