This is NoT a FanFiction, it has NOTHING to do with Bram Stoker. It's an original piece of work. Thank you, enjoy!
At some point during our life we learn that those close to us will be taken away from us forever. We like to believe that they go somewhere better, somewhere where they are at peace. We have a word for this inevitability - Death.
Some of us fear it; fear the unknown of what will happen to us once we have breathe do our last breath. Will we be judged for our sins in this life? Will we see our loved ones again? Others accept it, choosing not to spend their lives worrying about what they have no control over. A few minority embrace Death, wantingwhatever it is that lies beyond this life.
in the end it is all our fate; from the moment we are born, we are dying.
but some of us don't stay dead. Some come back to forever walk the Earth - without warmth, without breath. Without hope or spiritual inspiration, knowing they have no chance of redemption or salvation. They stalk our world without conscience.
There is also a word for these creatures - Vampires.
A whaling escaped the window of the small farm house, sat on top of the straw mattress was Margaret holding her newborn son, sweat dripping from her face. The midwife, after having cut the cord that tied mother to child, opened the door to let in her husband, Henry. His feet tapped against the wooden floors, as he sat beside her, a summers breeze gently brushing over from from the open window. The midwife busied herself, picking up solid sheets from the floor, emptying out bowls of dirty hot water, her equipment laid out on the table and the chest containing their clothes, the only furniture in the room.
"It's boy." Margaret informed him, as he peeked at the baby, swaddled in a blanket. "What shall we call him?"
"Thomas. We will call him Thomas." Henry said, brushing his finger against the boys rosy red cheek.
As the years went by, young Thomas helped his mum in the house and his dad on the farm when ever he could, it was hard word but the young boy enjoyed it. Every Thursday was market day, where they sold as much of their meat, eggs, milk and any animals they could spare. It was a hard life but at least there was a roof over his head, unlike so many others out on the street begging just to get by. His meals were simple cheese and bread for breakfast, then stew for dinner mostly vegetables but sometimes, on special occasions, they would eat any meat they had that they didn't need to sell.
Six years after Thomas was born the family was blessed with a second child, a girl, whom they called Catherine. Thomas loved his baby sister and did everything to look after her, as it was a small house the two children had to share a room, life wasn't any easier and money was getting harder to find. But somehow they made do, right up to 1603 ten years after Thomas was born things started turning bad, there was an illness going around London. It had killed a few people and more were getting ill everyday.
"Do you have to go?' Henry asked wrapped his arms around his wife's middle.
"You know I have to, Mary will be expecting me" she answered hugging him back. Mary was the bakers wife, she and Margaret had become friends after Margaret went to get a loaf of bread from there one time, now they often traded goods, a few loafs of bread for some eggs and milk. Picking up the basket Margaret walked out the door and followed the path towards the town of London putting the worry of this silly sickness out her mind and enjoyed the fresh sunny day.
The streets of London where cramped, dirty and invested with vermin both of the four and two legged kind. Beggers cried and pleaded with anyone and everyone that walked past, sometimes earning a slap or push from one of the city guards that walked around with their faces covered, in hopes that it'll protect them from the sickness. Margaret walked on though, trying to step over the puddles of filth that covered the cobbled streets. The bakery was a small shop on Pudding lane owned by Mary and her husband Frank Farriner along with their two children Joseph and Martha. Margaret opened the bakery door as the bell rang alerting Farriner to her entering. "Hello?" She called out putting the basket on the counter
"Margaret welcome." Mary beamed, as she came out of the back room with a big smile on her face. Walking around the counter she greeted her friend with a hug before holding her at arms length to get a good look at her. "You look very well today, I trust your family are doing well in these hard times?"
"We are all fine think you" Margaret smiled back knowing Mary was on about this illness going around. "And what of your family? I hear Martha was poorly last week" she asked concern showing in her face. Poor Martha was stuck in bed last time her husband came in to buy bread for the family, with a fever.
"She's well, thank you, the doctor thinks it was from the rain we had the past few days" Mary walked towards the basket to see what was inside.
"We added some cheese in there for you." Margaret informed
"That's very kind of you, thank you" Mary smiled as the bell rang again and a middle age man walked in.
"Good morning Harry" Mary greeted him as Harry walked over " the usual today?"
"Yes please, but can you add some extra rolls in, my master is wanting to hold a dinner party tonight'
"Of course, Harry, I will go pack them up now for you." She said picking up the basket and walked towards the back of the shop. A few minutes later of awkward silence she returned with three bags in hand and put them on the counter " thank you Harry, have a good day" she smiled taking his money
"And to you as well Mary" he replied picking up the bags and somehow opened the door to walk out.
"I best get going as well, my husband is worried sick with this illness going around" Margaret said looking over at her friend with an apologetic look
"I hear they think it's the plague that wiped out a small village just outside London" Mary informed a worried look in her eyes "please go careful"
"I will Mary, it's you who should be careful, you live within the city" Margaret said giving her friend a hug "I will be in same time next week" she smiled walking out the door.
Not far from the bakery she walked toward a drunk homeless man, not an uncommon sight in the city. As she past the man he stumbled into her, out of instinct Margaret put her arms out to catch him, his skin was sweaty and feverish with black spots and he coughed, coughing up blood that landed on her brown dress, before she could push him away he spluttered out more blood, landing on her face and neck. Pushing the him away she ran, it as only when she was a few blocks away she slowed to a fast walk and didn't stop for anyone as she went back home.
Henry was putting plates out in preparation for lunch, when the front door burst open and his wife hastily entered, blood still smeared on her face and dress. "What happened?" He asked, quickly walking around the table and resting a hand on her arm.
"A man coughed on me." She held back her sobs. "Mary said that this sickness..." She looked up at him, fear in her eyes. "She said it's the plague."
Henry dropped his hand, trying hard not to recoil from her, reminding himself to exhale the breath he'd been holding. "It'll all right, love. Why don't you go wash and change into some clean clothes." He smiled, weakly at her. She nodded and slowly walked to their bedroom where they had a large metal tub used for monthly bathing, both of them knowing that if she became infected there was no hope - for any of them.
It didn't take long for the symptoms to take hold, within the week Margaret had been sweating, vomiting, swollen lumps had appeared on her skin, she'd taken to her bed and stayed there, leaving Henry to look after the two children. It was late, Henry sat on his bed, unable to sleep due to his wife's coughing, his head in his hands, he didn't know what to do, how to help, he'd heard people say that death was drawn out over several days, if this was true, then Margaret was close to its door. He heard the village church bell strike midnight, deciding he couldn't take any more he grabbed his coat and climbed out of the bedroom window, in case a passerby happened to see him leave through his Red Cross stained front door.
He walked, he wasn't sure where he was going but a while later twigs were snapping under his boots and the sound of an owl filled the air; he stopped and looked around the woods, moonlight shone down through the tree branches, but it still seemed very dark. With the thought of his wife dying, that he could lose his children, Henrys emotions overcame him, his knees collapsed, he laid down on the damp grass, tears falling down his cheeks as he grieved for his family.
The air shifted, he could feel the presence of someone else, someone watching him, he sat up, resting on his knees, looking around. "Who's there?" There was a rustle from the bushes in front of him. "Show yourself! I know you're there!"
A pair of bright blue eyes shone through the greenery, slowing coming towards him, out stepped a woman, the most beautiful woman Henry had ever seen. She walked closer to him, a see through dress clung to her naked body, her feet bare, long red hair gently danced in the breeze. Henrys mouth opened at the sight before him. "Who are you? What do you want?"
"I'm here to help you." Her voice was soft, though it seemed to have an echo to it.
Henry glanced around, expecting to see others surrounding him, then he turned back to the woman. "Who are you? Help me how?"
She bent down to him, her piercing eyes never leaving his. "Your wife is dying is she not? I can help you save her."
"How?" Hope stirred inside him, he tried not to get excited, but if she could save Margaret then there was hope.
"I can give you the power to save her." She tilted her head, looking straight at him, Henry felt as though she was looking inside him, inside his mind. "What will you be willing to do, to save her?"
"Anything!" Henry answered eagerly. "I would do anything to have her back to health, to have her by my side again."
"Power comes with a high price, will you be willing to pay?"
"Yes, yes of course!"
There was a faint smile on her lips, when she informed him. "You'll be cursed, doomed to live on the blood of others, your wife will bear no more children."
"Yes, fine, how do I save my wife?" Henry wasn't sure what she was talking about, but to him it wasn't important, he just wanted to know how to stop this sickness killing Margaret.
"I don't think you're grasping how much the price is. It's forever, an eternity of feeding upon the innocent, turning them into what you will become. Are you sure you're willing to pay?" There was harsh tone to her words, her eyes narrowed slightly, enough to make Henry stop and think.
She talking about the undead, a myth, such topics were usually taboo, forbidden, could he really sacrifice everything they'd built up, everything they'd worked hard for, to live in the shadows, take the lives of others. Yes. Yes he could. "I understand, I am willing to pay."
"What I've told you so far is what you will become. Not the full price." The voice had gone back to being soft, void of any emotions. "Your wife is with child, the son she will bear will be like you. He will bear a son, and before his 18th birthday I will collect the debt. To save your family from death, this is the price that must be paid."
Henry sat for moment eyes and mouth wide open, replying the conversation back in his head, clearly she hadn't realised her mistake, if his wife couldn't have more children surely that would apply to his children as well? No wanting to point this out, he said. "I accept."
As she got closer to him, her smiled widen he could now see fangs protruding from her mouth. She lent in, her mouth against his neck, her fangs pierced his fangs, he grunted, but an unseen force was stopping him from screaming as fire raged through his body, pain screamed inside of him. Then it was over, he found himself lying on the floor, the women gone, the pain settling, he composed himself, not feeling any different then slowly made his way back home, wondering if he'd done the right thing.
The birds singing woke Henry as the sun started rising, in a sleepy daze he heard his sick wife moan and cough next to him. Siting up, he looked around, trying to recall last nights events, but it was a blur, the only thing he could remember were piercing blue eyes. And pain. Burning, searing pain. His head felt different and every muscle in his body ached, he also had a strange hunger he had never felt before. Walking over to the small table he picked up a piece of mirror that was given to him a few months back from a drinking friend, who had kept some to himself. Looking into the mirror Henry didn't recognise himself, there was a yellow tinge to his eyes, and though slightly paler, he looked younger. He placed the mirror back down, shock overtaking him, it had been real and it had worked, he slowly walked over to Margaret and looked down at her; he could smell everything from her, the sweat dripping down her face, the stench of stale breath, but there was also a sweet smell - her blood.
He could hear her heart, racing inside her chest, under that there was a slower faint heartbeat, their unborn child clinging to life. Though amazed at his new heightened senses, instinct over took Henry, he knew what he had to do, he moved her matted hair from her neck, and as though he'd been doing it all his life, bit into her soft flesh. He drank, only stopping when the baby's heartbeat was so slow he bought he'd killed it, Margaret's own heartbeat was now slow, pulling back he bit his wrist and pushed it up to her mouth, allowing his blood to flow down her throat, giving her his strength, his power - his curse.
After a few moments he removed his hand, watching his wife for any change, but there wasn't, she still laid in a near death state with her eyes closed, though both heartbeats had picked up slightly. Then the lady in forest words came back to him, this was forever, that meant their children would grow old and die. A sadness tightened his chest, he couldn't let that happen, he couldn't bear to watch his caring son and loving daughter die. He walked into their small room, knowing that they'd still be sleeping, though their mattresses up against opposite walls, there was just enough space for an adult to sit between them.
Looking down at his young son he smiled sadly, he had to give them their best chance and that wasn't living like this, he knew the likelihood of them even becoming adults was slim, though they did their best to feed them, they were starving and with disease and illness... no this wasn't the life for them. Henry knelt beside Thomas, repeating the actions he'd only done moments before on the boys mother, but when his son awoke, Henry had to pin him down, stopping him from escaping. When he'd finished and let the boy drink from him, thus cursing him for eternity, he moved across to four year old Catherine, tears started to fall, he didn't want to hurt his baby girl. Reminding himself the pain was temporary and it was for the best, he bit into the girls tiny neck, thankful that she was so small he didn't have to stay like that for very long. He stood, looking over them, both had bloody marks on their necks, but still slept soundly, with a sigh he walked back to his wife's side, tears running down his cheeks.
He could hear the children, shuffling and mumbling in their bedroom, even worse he could feel them, feel how scared and confused they were, but they didn't leave their room. He'd stayed up the rest of the night, sitting beside Margaret, praying that the horrific act he'd performed would resort her to health and save their baby, he was thankful when, after a few hours, her heart and began beating stronger, and that of the baby as well. Her eyes fluttered opened, with a groggy moan she awoke. "You're awake!"
"What... what happened? I'm better?" She slowly sat up, looking around the room, he could see she was sensing something different, adjusting to her heightened senses.
"I healed you!" Henry explained, he pulled her in for a hug, but she drew back, out of his reach.
"Henry, what have you done?" She wasn't angry, her voice was soft, but it gave away her concern.
"I saved you, I made you better." He started to feel emotional, he hadn't fully adjusted to being like this yet, everything was still overwhelming to him. "Why can't you be happy?"
Margaret stood, feeling slightly wobbly on her legs from having spent so long laid down, leaning against the wall she turned back to Henry. "What did you do? What have you done to our children?"
Henry stood as well, tears threatening to spill. "I couldn't bear to see them die, I did what I thought best. She gave me power, to save us all, I couldn't lose you, I couldn't let the kids die."
He watched as it all started to sink in, she'd guessed, mixed emotions ran across her face; shock, disgust, fear. "Vampires? You've made us creatures of the night!? How is us doomed to live in the shadows any better than us dying?"
The tears flowed freely now, as Henry sobbed. "I only did what I thought best. To save us."
Margaret crossed the room, standing by the door, still she did not look angry. "No Henry, you didn't save us. You've killed us." With that she opened the door, going to see her children.
Henry sank to the floor, her words stabbing him over and over.
The next few months were hard, the plague had gone and the family ventured out, claiming that Margaret had fever and someone had assumed it was the disease. Their thirst for blood grew, they fed on what animals they could spare, but it wasn't long until they agreed they had to have human blood if they wanted to survive. Together, Henry and Margaret killed homeless people, taking some of blood back home for the children.
Three months after that night, Margaret was laying in bed, pushing new life into this cruel world of theirs, fearing what this child might look like, Henry delivered his baby son, with overwhelming joy as new born cries filled the house. "It's a boy!" He wrapped his son in cloth, after making sure he looked healthy.
Margaret took him, holding him close to her, beaming she said. "Hello George."