The Midnight Window

He was watching them again. His face was pressed against the glass and he peered into the dark room, unconsciously counting the rising and falling breaths of each oblong shape. They had gotten bigger. They always seemed bigger each time he huddled against the side of the house, waiting for them to fall asleep. How many years had it been? He didn't know. It seemed absurd that he would even care.

He used to watch through the window on the other side of the house, gazing at the dark long lump with some unknown regret pounding at his frozen heart. That was, until the second lump joined the first. That night he realized that his position was no longer empty, and he lost all desire to venture beneath that window. Now he spent his time with the smaller ones, peering at them through the black air as a strangely bittersweet pang gripped his chest. Sometimes he would stay there all night, unable to tear himself away. Those two unconscious mounds contained the last living fragment of him, and only when he could see them did he feel calm.

The littlest one had woken up one night. She had seen him. When he noticed her head lifted up and pointed toward him, he had felt the urge to run but his legs had refused to move. She didn't scream. She didn't seem afraid. Slowly she placed her bare feet on the cold floor, and moving on her toes walked up to the window. He could see her face clearly. Her hair was long and blond, flowing down her back and caressing her shoulders as her familiar dull blue eyes met his. Hesitating, she reached up and put her hand against the glass, and he felt compelled to press his hand against the other side. Then she whispered a single word,

"Papa."

His body lost form then. It was the first time he remembered it happening to him. Something shot through his insides when he heard her speak, and the next thing he knew he was floating, feeling as if a breath of wind would break him apart and scatter him. He willed himself to become solid again, and he lost his balance, falling to the ground.

He didn't know how many nights it was until he went back. He had resolved to never go back, but the longing had become too much for him to deny. So, he was there, watching them sleep peacefully, unaware of his presence. There was a third shape too, much smaller than the others, on a tiny mattress that was lifted high above the ground and surrounded by railing. He knew what it was. He didn't care. It surprised him that he didn't care. The first new lump in the other bedroom had cut deeply, but he supposed that he was far too removed from his humanity now to experience that emotion again.

Tonight would be the last time that he would gaze at his children. They had embraced the change and moved forward in a life that he could never share, and it was time for him to do so too. He was a vampire now, after all. He was immortal. He was undead.

He was watching them, unable to let the moment go.