I felt like my legs were going to drop out beneath me. It was the middle of the night, and I was still in the middle of nowhere. True, I was on a road, but what good is that? There are millions of roads where no civilization exists. I was tired, hungry, and ready to give up. If only-
Looking up, I finally saw what I desired most. As the cityscape appeared in front of me, I wanted to cry tears of joy. Finally, I’d made it. I was free from the oppression of my small room, and free to live my own life. That was, if I walked the rest of the way to the city. I groaned, and continued walking. So close, and yet so far.
It took until morning to get to the city. I was running of fake energy, so close to making it I could ignore the fatigue in my mind. I made it to city hall, where sims were bustling about. A blond male police officer crossed the threshold, and a young brunette politician sipped her coffee. I was overwhelmed, to say the least. I stood in awe, until I noticed people staring.
I looked odd, but… Okay, no buts. I looked odd. I avoided the gazes, searching for anything to help me. After what felt like eternity, I spotted a ‘FOR RENT’ board. I walked quickly, desperate to stop being noticed. As I looked at the board, no one was looking at me. The citizens had found something new to gawk at.
As I looked at the listings, I saw one in particular that caught my eye. A one bed one bath apartment was for rent. The address was 24 2nd Avenue, Bridgeport. So that’s what city I was in. I headed over to a pay phone to call the Landlord.
Ring, Ring, Ring… “Hello?” A man’s voice answered the phone.
“Hello. Is this Mr. Clavier?”
“Yes, to whom am I speaking?”
“Ms. Adaire. Sir, I was interested in renting one of your apartments. How soon could I meet you?”
“How about now?”
“Come to my house, 1757 Memorial Parkway. See you there!” Click.
I was slightly taken aback by his manner, but pleased none the less. I headed out of city hall, and noticed an ad. “NEW SUBWAY SYSTEM. IT’LL TAKE YOU ANYWHERE. COURTESY OF MAYOR SMITHFIELD” Well, that settled how to get there. Walking in to the subway I had just spotted, I descended down the stairs, looking for something near Memorial Parkway.
As I finally found my way out of the dreadfully confusing subway system, I found the large apartment building with the correct address. I walked in and punched a few buttons on the call box.
“Hello?” I heard Mr. Clavier say for the second time today.
“It’s Ms. Adaire here for the meeting. Can I co-”
“Yes, yes, come up. The elevator should let you.” And just like that I was on my way to the interview.
I walked in his apartment, and observed his furnishings. He must have owned more than the apartment I was seeking, because he certainly had a nice place. Noticing me, he came over and shook my hand.
“Ah, hello! You must be Ms. Adaire, do tell me about yourself.” I stood still. Such an obvious question, yet I was dumbfounded at how to answer it. I hesitated for a moment, before my quick wits kicked it.
“I’m… Saffron,” I said. Even though I was smarter than most, I was having a hard time coming up with words to describe my life up to this point.
“I just moved here. I want to rent your ‘Civil Suites’ apartment. I like the color green and…” I trailed off. Smooth. Mr. Clavier shook off my abrupt halt, and began to talk.
“Well, that’s great. I like the color spiceberry. It’s a kind of a pinkish purple, and completely amazing. You should see it. Anyways, I’m glad you like the apartment. What do you say we look at the furniture catalog? I’ll let you pick out all new furniture, as a housewarming gift. Within a budget, course.”
I shocked at his words of kindness. Nodding enthusiastically, he grabbed a furniture magazine off his shelf. I got to pick the furniture, as well as colors. Mr. Clavier was not able to convince me to have a spiceberry sofa.
After making a few calls (and if I heard him correctly, bribes), my furniture was on its way to my new apartment. I invited Mr. Clavier over to my apartment to play chess. He agreed, but insisted I ‘call him Ebby’.
He hailed the taxi, and we managed to get back to the apartment without a lot of difficulty. I walked in first, and stood still shocked.
All my furniture had been set up. As I gazed upon the beauty, Ebby walked in, chatting away.
“…and that’s how I was almost eaten by a tiger. Oh, look! Charlie’s out done himself! So, are we going to play chess?” I nodded, still amazed. Only after he sat down at the new table did I follow him, preparing to win.
I didn’t realize how long it had been since I played until Ebby was thoroughly kicking my butt. I could barely remember the rules, much less how to win. Slowly, he walked me through the process until I slowly remembered how to play. At the end of the long game, he thanked me for renting the apartment and inviting him over, and left.
Only then did it truly sink that I had my own apartment, in a brand new city. Letting loose a loud cheer, I turned on my stereo. My favorite song ‘Savior’ by Rise Against was on, and I started dancing. I wasn’t very good, but I was alone in my apartment. Who cared?
When I finally headed to bed that night, I was exhausted. After putting on some new pajamas I had found in my dresser (Thanks Ebby!), I was fast asleep. Tonight, I wasn’t expecting the dream.
It started differently this time. It was the same concept, but now I was in my new pajamas, in my apartment. The mysterious man was sitting in my chair, reading a book. He came over, and shook my shoulder, waking me. Barely awake, my dream self wandered over to him, where he bit my wrist. Dream me screamed, all traces of sleepiness gone. But something was different about tonight.
Tonight, as the violet-eyed man turned to leave, I merged with my dream self, and took control. Chasing after him, I started to scream.
“You monster!” I screamed, anger building as I began to let loose what I had been unable to say. “You filthy creature! Your jagged teeth come pierce my skin night after night, and you think you can just walk out? Why?!?” The man tensed, shocked I had responded.
“You stupid girl. You think my act is unjustified? Think again. Your mother has been messing with the super natural world far too long. She would mock and insult us to no end, waving her magic in front of us. We could do nothing to her, because of the infernal queen.
“So after she went too far, I cursed you. You weren’t even born yet, but already I could sense your power. And I was right. Only the most powerful sorceresses have colorful hair. Your eyes were only a mark or the curse. The blanking out, the sharpness of thought, and keenness to night? All attributed to me.
“So you see my dear darling, it is you who should feel guilty. For it is not my fault this has happened to you, but your own. Now leave me be. I have said my piece. Now bother me no longer.”
The man vanished, and I could feel myself leaving my dream world and returning to reality. When I felt connected to my body again, I bolted up. Magic? The Queen? Curses? Could this be what mother was always worrying about?
So much made sense now. And yet, so much didn’t. What had he meant about my hair and eyes? And surely my intelligence was due to my studying, not a curse. I shuddered. This was too much information to process.
I tried to lie down, but something happened. I felt as if someone was kicking me in the gut. The more I fought it, the harder it came, until I was forced to stand up, almost doubling over. Reaching for anything I could hold on to, I suddenly felt like my world was spinning. Faster and faster, I felt like I was about to puke.
As I regained my balance, I felt one last wave coming. It was almost like I was floating, then the most amazing sensation. I was suddenly two different people. One was graceful, beautiful, and strong. The other was smart, clumsy, and confused. I felt the two merging together, until at once it stopped and I came to a deadly realization.
I was a vampire.
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