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Vampires- an Excerpt from Discovering the Fairy World
I walked towards the stage, glaring at all those who looked at me, which was pretty much everyone, seeing as they had all turned out to see me. Wonderful. I watched as my best friends turned thier heads away, refusing to meet my glare, and then my family. Only Frederick, the stable boy, smiled encouragingly at me. I softened into a smile just for him, but immediately afterwards, continued my defiant march.
I could clearly remember the day, just a week ago, when I had been lying in the moonlit forest with Marcello, watching his skin sparkle. His eyes, cobalt blue that day, searched my face anxiously. "It's too dangerous for you to be with me. Someone could see you," he'd murmured, stroking my face.
Laughing quietly, I had scoffed at his concern. "I would die for you," I had declared, slightly more serious.
A darkly humorous smile played on my face now, as I considered the fact that my careless declaration would be tested, and although I had no doubt that I would die for him, I wasn't thinking about dying this way. Throwing myself in between him and danger, a moment's decision, quickly done, no time for regrets or contemplation. Not the week I had spent in a dark cold cell, crying at the loneliness and the pain of betrayal- by my own family. Frederick had risked coming every night, to offer me food that, I knew, would leave him hungry.Marcello had even come one night, to stroke my face through the bars and offer me freedom. Anguished, I had declined, because now I had to think of the greater good, and if I stayed, I might be able to do some good. If my plan worked.
All of this ran through my head as I marched, hands tied, bare footed, on the dry, cracked earth, the sun baking my prison-sensitive skin. Finally, we reached the stage, and I was roughly shoved up the steps.
The trial began. I listened with growing rage at their accusations, forgetting that I was condemned to die, remembering only that they were speaking of my beloved Marcello as a spy or animal! When they finally asked for me to speak, I looked carefully at each of the judges, and then at Frederick, my family and friends. And I told my whole story, glancing occasionally at the forest at the edge of the crowd, hoping to see something. I saw that some of them were confused, some were converted, and some, (and all the judges) were absolutely incensed.
"...You would use the word of God for blasphemy!" one enraged judge accused, and they all began to shout at the same time, their words running together like colours in a watercolour painting, indiscernible. My mind wandered, thinking of Marcello, as I was already sure of my failure to save myself or put an end to the vampire hunting parties. They would go out at night, finding the vampires by their sparkle, and shoot them mercilessly with special gold bullets at dawn, when the sun weakened them. Immobilized by the gold and the sun, they would lie on the grass for days, their strength fading, until they died. This cruelty horrified me, especially since I knew that about 98% of all vampires had sworn off human blood for a century now, as we are sentient beings. Of course, humans don't know about this and don't believe it even if they are told, as my little attempt at converting my village can attest to.
I was dragged back to the uncomfortable heat of the stage, the shouts finally slowing, when my parents were called up to speak. With disgust clear as day on their faces, they publicly denounced me, saying
"We cannot believe we raised such a child. We disown her," and made their way back to the crowd without a single expression of sorrow. Each word hit me like an arrow to my heart, and tears of pain welled up in my eyes, thought I stifled the sobs. I would have clutched my hands to my chest, had not they been tied behind my back, as it was, I almost fell to my knees in despair. Only the sight of Frederic's enraged face, as completely converted as he was, kept me on my feet. I licked my lips, and tasted the salt of my tears, which were still running like a river down my face. I barely heard when they sentenced me to death, barely noticed when the noose was fitted around my neck. It was the jeering of the crowd that brought me to awareness, and determined my last view would be a loved one, I stared at the forest. Therefore, I saw the white blur in the shadows as the floor disappeared from beneath my feet. Vaguely, I heard the screaming of the crowd as I writhed in pain, but I could not see anything, could not concentrate. I was almost unconcious when I felt cool, stone-hard arms cradling me gently, and that melodic voice whisper gently to me.
There was a cool hand on my forehead, and I could hear the whisper of wind in the trees. My eyelids were tinted green with filtered light. As I came back to myself, disbelief came. I had died, I remembered. I had been hung, so why was I in the forest? I did not think that this was heaven, as if it was, my neck would not be so sore, and the earth would not feel uncomfortable beneath me. However, as time passed, I found that I could remember more and more, such as my hallucination just as I died. For surely, he could not have been there. I longed to open my eyes, but my muscles had turned to liquid, and I couldn't find the brainpower to even begin to try, so I contented myself to listening. Birdsong filled the air like sunlight, interrupted only occasionally by the sound of rustling leaves or a low murmur that I couldn't quite catch, although it did confirm for me that my vampire family was here. I had only seen them all once, but they were firmly implanted in my brain. I could see Amara, her long silver-blond hair shimmering in the light, her face a little long, but still gorgeous as she would stand beside Khalid, his skin a midnight black, with the characteristically large features and joking demeanor. The bachelors, as I called them, would be hanging out close to Khalid, but apart, laughing and joking, so it surprised me that it was so peaceful. There were three of them, Eltarro, Jestor, and Morrin. Pranksters, the whole lot of them. Everything was a big joke to them, and they were always laughing and scheming. Vampire girls loved them, no surprise there because they were so good-looking. Only surprise was that they were still single. Last, but not least, there was my Marcello. A loner, he didn't fit in with the bachelors, nor was he paired up (well, with a vampire). However, he was friends with the lot of them, he had brought them together, and now they were almost inseparable. Lost in speculation as I was, I didn't notice the voice for some time.
" Lexine," it called gently. Marcello was speaking to me, I'd know that voice anywhere. "Lexi, are you alright?" he asked, worry choking his voice like malicious weeds. This gave me strength to moan softly and open my eyes, for I could not bear to have him in pain, even if he wasn't real.
Like the sun, shining before me, his face filled my vision. Perfection, even in his slightly too-large nose, in the sprinkling of minute freckles across his cheeks, his tousled midnight blue hair.
"Oh, Lexi," he sighed, holding me to him.
"Where am I?" I inquired weakly, as my throat was sore.
"The forest," he said simply.
" Am I dead?" I asked.
"No!" he exclaimed. "You're very alive. I saved you before they could hang you," he shuddered at the thought, grasping me tighter.
Connections were made in my brain, and I decided the white blur and the arms hadn't been a hallucination. I trusted Marcello with every fibre of my being.
"So I never have to leave?" I asked mischievously.
A smile tugged at his face as he finally released me and pulled me to my feet.
"Never," he laughed. I joined in, giddy from the sudden rush of info. Looking around, I saw the bachelors standing with a young, boyish vampire, and Vanessa and Khalid standing nearby. My family.