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Abby Carter: Vampire Nurse
I am Abby Carter, nurse and vampire. This is my story:
In my first battle as a Union nurse I aided a man with a superficial leg wound before taking him to a hospital.
“Nurse, is it bad? Will I lose my leg?” the soldier asked anxiously.
“No, it’s not that bad. You’ll be just fine,” I assured him.
A while later, I stood by the soldier’s side, holding his hand as he requested; we waited to hear what the doctor would say.
“This limb must be amputated,” determined the doctor.
“No!” I protested.
“Get out!” he shouted.
“No! I won’t let you do it! It isn’t necessary. You haven’t even tried to save his leg,” I exclaimed.
“Leave now, woman!” the physician spat.
“I’d leave if you’d at least try,” I told him defiantly.
“I don’t tell you how to do your job, so don’t tell me how to do mine,” he said.
I argued to no avail. I was shoved aside while he prepared to hack off the poor boy’s leg. Defeated, I ran off, sobbing. I ran paying no attention to where I was going or where I had been. I was lost in my fury. I felt terrible for telling the soldier he would be all right and, then, for leaving him. If nothing else, I should have stayed, I thought to myself. I stopped only when my legs refused to carry me any farther. I collapsed next to a tree, suddenly out of breath. After taking a moment to collect myself, I looked around and realized I was lost deep in a forest I had never been in before. I had no idea how to get home—or anywhere else, for that matter.
“I can help you” offered a disembodied voice.
“W-w-who said that?” I stammered, failing in my attempt to sound unafraid.
“It was I, Morgan,” the soft voice replied.
With that, a lanky young man with pale skin, jet-black hair and striking blue eyes appeared before me. He was somehow beautiful and frightening at the same time. Before I could say another word, he swiftly yanked me close and sunk his razor-sharp fangs into my neck. I passed out, feeling no pain. I woke in a small cabin and knew something was amiss.
I looked up to see him standing over me, watching me like a hawk.
“What did you do to me?” I demanded.
“I gave you the greatest gift I can offer,” Morgan said.
“What in the heck is that supposed to mean?”
“You should be grateful.”
“And just what am I supposed to be grateful for?”
“I gave you the gift of immortality,” he explained.
“Huh? I-I-I don’t understand,” I said, genuinely confused.
“Do you remember what happened when we first met?”
“No…” I started.
As I said that, it all came back to me. I couldn’t hide the horror I felt. I had heard myths about vampires before, but I never imagined they really existed. I wanted to believe that it could not possibly be true, that I had jumped to a gruesome conclusion, that Morgan was insane, that this was all a bad dream. Somehow, though, I just knew that I was a vampire.
“Why should I be grateful? You turned me into a monster. Why? Why did you do this to me?” I asked, fighting back tears.
“In time, you will thank me, Miss Carter.”
“How do you know my name?”
He disappeared without answering.
In the following months, Morgan taught me how to be a vampire—how to avoid being discovered, how to find and take a victim, etc.—until I was ready to kill, and then sent me off. At first, I resisted when he tried to teach me to kill people. He made me realize, however, that I would die without fresh blood. When Morgan felt I was ready for my first test run, as he called it, he took me to a secluded area in the dark of night and vanished. I had never been more nervous in my life. I still dreaded the thought of murdering anyone. I found an elderly victim and drained him with ease. The fact that I didn’t feel terrible after sucking that poor old man dry terrified me. Have I really turned into a complete monster so quickly? I wondered. I got rid of the body just as Morgan had instructed. Once I returned home, I told Morgan everything, including what I felt.
“Do not worry, Abigail. It is natural to be bothered by your emotions after your first kill. The rational part of you knows you had no choice. It was necessary for your survival. If one animal kills another in the wild for food, should it feel guilty?” he told me.
“Well, no, I guess not,” I replied.
“And neither should you. I promise you it will get easier.”
As much as I hate to admit it, he was right. The ease with which I took my victims bothered me less and less each time. Upon returning home one night, I found a note from Morgan:
You do not need me anymore, my dearest Abigail.
I never saw him again.
Over the years, I continued working as a nurse while trying to keep a low profile. It’s now 1955. One night, I was walking through a park, looking for my next victim. The kill seemed ordinary, but it made me deathly ill. At random times, I was struck with fits of severe dizziness, nausea, and chest pains. I had trouble breathing. Still, I was able to keep my disease in check until that night.
I was leaving the hospital and about to head home from work. I was in the parking lot when the disease hit me again, worse than ever. My instincts told me I needed blood. I lashed out at the nearest person, Luke, a resident. The wretched sickness threw off my equilibrium, so I missed. Luke grabbed me, dragged me to his car, shoved me in, took me to his apartment, and forced me onto his bed. I tried to fight him, but I had lost all my strength. He tied me down and injected something into my arm. I passed out almost instantly. Later, I awoke to Luke giving me a transfusion of his blood.
“Why?” I mumbled.
Luke said nothing
For the next several days, Luke nursed me back to health by feeding me his blood.
Countless times, I asked him why he was helping me, but he would never say a word. One day, however, he changed his mind.
“My father was a vampire, so I know your kind isn’t all bad,” he said.
“What are you talking about? We kill people and drink their blood,” I said incredulously.
“Not him. He was a doctor and got blood from his hospital.”
“Huh, I never thought of that.”
Luke described life as a vampire’s son. His mother perished during childbirth. She never knew what Luke’s father was. Luke and his father moved constantly to protect the elder’s secret. He told about how they had to frequently change their names and appearances. (He told me his name really is Luke.) Through 8th grade, the longest Luke ever spent at one school was a year. When it came time for him to enter high school, though, his father insisted they part ways. He wanted his son to receive the best possible education and fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor, and he knew that would not be possible if Luke had to keep moving and changing his identity. So, he left his son with his sister and asked her to take care of him.
“Until just recently, I hadn’t seen my father since that day,” Luke said distantly.
“You saw him? Where? How was he?” I inquired, truly curious.
For several moments, Luke sat silently, staring off into space.
Finally he spoke: “Do you recall attacking a man in the park near our hospital a few days ago?”
“Yes,” I answered.
“That was my father,” he told me. “He was on his way to visit me.”
“Oh my god, Luke, I am so sorry,” I said, tears streaming down my face. “I don’t understand why you helped me after I killed your father?”
“You didn’t kill him. I found him unconscious in here. I don’t know how he knew where I live or how he got in. He woke for a short while and told me what happened. Then, he passed out again. He still hasn’t woken, but he is still breathing.”
“Where is he?”
Luke gestured towards a closed door.
“Vampire blood is toxic to other vampires. It’s supposed to kill us. Why did your blood make me better?”
“I don’t know, but my dad told me once that if one vamp accidentally drank another’s blood, the only cure was the blood of a vampire’s son or daughter. He also told me the only way to save the vampire who had his blood drank was to give him the blood of his vampire attacker.”
“That’s why you saved me.”
“I would be glad to help save your father, but I can’t if I’m tied up in here and he’s comatose in there.”
“If you try anything you will regret it,” he warned me before cutting me loose.
He led me to the other room and unlocked the door. He pulled a syringe out of a bedside drawer. He plunged the needle directly into his father’s heart, jolting the man awake. Strangely, he barely looked older than his son. I was about to offer him my wrist so he could drink some of my blood when I saw the glint of the knife out of the corner of my eye. I spun around to see that Luke was holding it high above his head, pointing it right at me. He swung wildly at my throat but missed. I swung right back, my fist connecting with his jaw, putting Luke into a temporary daze.
“Why are you trying to kill me?” I demanded.
“I need all of your blood to survive, not just some of it,” Luke’s father said to me.
I felt like crying. I had quickly fallen in love with Luke. Now, I was positive he would never feel the same way about me, but knowing he wanted me dead made me sick to my stomach. I felt like I was frozen. Even as Luke moved in closer with the knife, I couldn’t move.
“Wait!” I cried out, just before he was going to do the deed.
The knife stopped, mere millimeters from my neck.
“Luke, please, don’t do this. Please. There has to be some other way,” I pleaded.
“There isn’t,” he said.
“Are you sure?” I asked them both. “Don’t say yes unless you are absolutely certain.”
“If there is any other way, I have never heard of it,” said Luke’s father.
I turned to Luke, “And this is what you really want?”
“Yes, of course. He’ll basically be in a coma for eternity without your blood.”
“But he’s awake now.”
“The medicine I gave him is temporary and dangerous if used too much. There is nothing else that can save him.”
“Killing me won’t be necessary.”
I kneeled beside Luke’s father and extended my arm. I began to sob uncontrollably when he sunk his fangs into my wrist.
“Stop,” Luke said, and his father did.
He turned to me and asked, “Why are you doing this?”
“Because I love you and this is what you want. And if it’s what you want, then it’s what I want.”
“You love me?”
“Yes, Luke, I am deeply in love with you. It pains me to know we cannot be together, but it is better this way. I know you could never love me, but even if you did, it can’t work between a vamp and a mortal. Besides, it’s my fault your father is in this state, and I am the only one who can save him.”
“I can’t believe you’re willing to sacrifice yourself like that.”
“I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love you so much.”
Luke just stared at me. I felt frozen again. When he finally looked away, I offered his father my arm once more. He didn’t take it, though.
“You love her, too, don’t you?” he asked his son.
After a lengthy silence, he responded: “I love you more, dad.”
“But you do love her?”
I was dumbfounded by that one little word.
“I certainly never expected to fall in love with you. In fact, I hated you for what you did. I can’t explain why exactly I fell for you, but I did. I wish there was some other way, too, but there just isn’t,” Luke said to me.
“But there is,” said his father. “Luke, bring me that knife I gave you for your tenth birthday.”
“Dad, no,” Luke protested.
“Luke, it’s okay, I’ve been alive for 500 years, and I’m tired of running and hiding. I don’t want to do it anymore. I found love with a mortal—your mother—so I know it can work, and I don’t want to get in the way of what you two might have.”
Luke reluctantly retrieved the knife and handed it over.
Our relationship presented a wide variety of problems, but we made it work because we loved each other so much. After we had been together for a year, I asked him the question we had both been dreading: “How long can our relationship really last when only one of us ages and can die?”
He answered with a question, “How old were you when you were turned?”
“I was thirty.”
“Well, then, on my thirtieth birthday, if we are still in love, you’ll turn me into a vampire. That gives three years to make sure that’s what we really want.”
It’s been fifty years, and us vamps are still together.