“Hey Layla, wanna come over this weekend? I’m having a sleepover,” said my old human buddy Brittany. “It’s starts at six O’clock on Friday and is over Saturday at 10 A.M.”
“I’d love to,” I began, “but my mom grounded me on Sunday for forgetting to feed the cats last weekend. She said I can’t go anywhere for two weeks.” I was lying and I knew it. Apparently so did Brittany.
“I thought you were allergic to cats? At least that’s what Kim told Sarah you told her,” she remarked bluntly, obviously not believing much of my story. “What are you backing out for? You used to always come to all my sleepovers. Why the sudden stop? Jack told Terri who told Lisa who told me said that you weren’t coming over because you were out eating people.” She stopped, looking like she was afraid to go on should something in her little mind be correct. “Tell me the rumors aren’t true,” she begged.
“Wh-what r-r-rumors?” I stuttered, trying to conceal my sudden terror. What had they started saying?, I thought helplessly. They couldn’t know that I was a Vampyre at the age of seven! Our old self-defense professor had Embraced me, or had mad me Vampyre, three years ago, but they didn’t know that.
Brittany continued, “Tons of kids are saying you’re a vampire. I mean, I know magic is real, look at our school, but lately a lot of people who’ve been on our ‘Evil List’ are waking up with bite marks on their necks. Everybody is saying it’s a vampire. Most of those bitten kids, like Marshall and Eva, may the Lady and Lord curse them both, are saying it’s you.” She paused nervously. “I don’t want to believe it, but I have to know. We’ve been best friends since first year, so please tell me the truth. Are you the vampire that’s been biting all those kids, Layla?” She stopped so I could answer, but all I could do was scream, turn, and run.
I let loose the inner worries I had been so desperately hiding, the things I had been trying to keep under wraps for two straight years, and ran at a hundred miles an hour. All I heard behind me was the screams of my terrified fellow witches and wizards. Brittany was yelling: “Oh, my gosh! She really is a… a…a vampire. Somebody call the Wizard‘s Office! Layla’s a Vampyre! She’s getting away! Somebody help!”
I made a wide turn at the end of our stadium-sized meadow and took off. I raced into the sky like a rocket into space, spreading my small black wings as wide as I could to gain more speed. I was flying low over the tops of my enemies, my friends, a few horrified professors, the beautiful black and red dueling grounds that sported our school emblem of a witch and wizard facing off.
Finally, I swooped over Brittany who screamed a shrill, high-pitched wail that would’ve deafened any nearby magical creatures. I grimaced as I tried to land near her.
I had planned to say, “I’m so sorry! I never meant to really hurt them, I just wanted to get back at them for tormenting me. All I had really meant was to give them the frights they always gave us,” but Brittany just ran and continued to scream. Her face started turning a reddish purple color. Just then, one of the school’s many unicorn riding trainers came at me with his wand drawn.
He threw a curse at me and yelled, “I knew there was something wrong with this one! She’s a demon come to kill us. Everybody inside! I’ll take care of this monster.” Just then, he threw another curse at me, with what appeared to be all his power, as I did a flip and began to fly with my wings outstretched as far as they could go, zooming off toward the big forest on the east side of the castle that served as our school.
I awoke with a start to the setting of the sun.
Ouch! Accursed streetlamp, I thought covering my head with my multitude of pitch black blankets. I sighed. It was only a dream. A dream of the night I had run away from a real-life “Hogwarts School of Magic” six-hundred-and-two years ago after being discovered by my fellow students.
I reached carefully out from under my covers to feel around my bedside table groggily for my extra-tint sunglasses. I need to put up a really thick black curtain or two, I reminded myself for the fifth time this week.
“Yea for me. I have to get up and go out in the light again this evening,” I muttered to myself.
I paused, attempting to see if there was anything specific I needed to do. My stomach rumbled at me and I felt the Hunger rise inside me, gnawing at my side.
Now I remember. I need to check out the local bars and see what the scene is like. Once that’s done, I can go find someone to chow down on.
I felt the Beast threatening to have me eat a neighbor or two.
Okay, maybe I could just go right now, pick an early-niter, and eat. Late-niters may taste better, but I was hungry now and needed food A.S.A.P. Having found my black, extra-tint sunglasses and shoving them on, I lazily slithered out of bed and headed for my closet.
“Okay,” I said to myself as I entered the master closet in my three bedroom, two bath apartment.
“What am I wearing tonight? This is Idaho, so I guess maybe I should stick with something attractive but casual. After a couple nights, I should know what works best for these people.”
I went to the back of my closet and took out a cute plain black tank-top that showed just enough to draw a guy’s attention, my dark blue, second-skin, flare jeans; my fishnet stockings, and a pair sexy black stilettos.
Perfect, I thought as I headed to my shower, my silky red night gown swirling about my ankles as I went.
My apartment isn’t that big. It has three main rooms, a custom master-bath, two extra rooms that are supposed to be used to house my guests, a kitchen that I never use, and a guest bathroom. The three main rooms were my living room, the first room you see when you enter my apartment; the kitchen, one of three rooms that break off from the living room, and the master bedroom.
To the left of the kitchen entryway, directly across from my front door, is my larger guest room, complete with elegant brown wood furniture and deep, succulent purple fabrics for theme colors. To the right of the kitchen entryway is the second smallest room in the place, my second guest room. My second guest room also is made up of dark wood furniture, but the theme fabric colors are deep reds instead of purple. The smallest room would be the guest bathroom.
In the kitchen you will find three doorways you can choose from. One of them is the one that leads back into the living room. Another one is the one that leads into the guest bathroom. The last one is the one that leads into my room, the master bedroom.
The master is a decently large room. It’s twenty feet long, eighteen feet wide, and thirteen feet tall. In it is a large king-size bed made of an exceedingly expensive selection of dark oak--all the wood used for the bed came from the same tree. The bed is draped in thick black sheets, a comforter of the same color, and simple, but chic blood red throw pillows.
Also in the bedroom are two matching bedside tables, one on each side of the bed, and there are four black candles with which I light my room. There is a candle in each corner of the room on two-foot-tall black stands that I only light when I need to read something or see if two items of black material match or are rather tacky-looking when worn together. The only other lighting for the moment is a window that I needed to find some nice, thick curtains for. Too much street light got in during the night for me to have my normal waking comforts in absolute darkness.
The window was to the right of my bathroom door. The only other items I have in my bedroom are my seven-by-eight-by-ten walk-in closet and my small dark oak desk. Yes, it’s from the same tree as my other furniture.
My closet is just to the right of my door, opposite the window. To one side of my bathroom doorway, I have a laptop I use for searching around for prime locations sitting atop my desk. Black, of course. One needs to be able to know which places to go for some select choices of late-niter blood, doesn’t she?
On the far wall of my bedroom, when you walk in, is the red-painted door to the master bath. My bathroom has no windows, a huge red tub, a tall and slender black shower, a black sink, a red-bordered picture of myself sixty-three years ago, no mirrors, and a black toilet. The toilet is tucked away in a walled off corner of the room, but only three-steps distance from the simple sink. Directly across from it, in the left-hand corner of the room, is the shower. It has a clear door that faces the toilet, and the tub is to the left of that door.
When you walk into my bathroom, my second closet is to the left of the door, and the tub is to the right. My bathroom, compared to my bedroom is puny, but I liked it that way. When I had first started moving in, I told the people redoing my bathroom I would need a second closet installed in here because the one in my bedroom couldn’t fit my dresses as well as all my other clothes. A slight downside to this otherwise beautiful apartment. It hadn’t bothered me much, and the cost of the installation was quite reasonable for someone with around sixty-nine years worth of cash acquiring to her name.
I quickly dressed my willowy self, then applied my make-up with equal speed and asked myself, “Should I head to Huck Finn’s, or should I go to the Four E Bar?”
I thought for a moment. Looking at a map of the local area, I decided on Huck Finn’s Tavern. It was closer and I wasn’t sure how long I could last without just going downstairs and eating one of my rather annoying neighbors.
Hurriedly, I scurried out my front door, down the flight of 82 stairs, and outside into the bright streetlamp light awaiting me. I grimaced at the intensity of it.
“Man, for a place out in the middle of nowhere, there sure are a lot of bright lights. This is worse than my home town at Christmas,” I muttered under my breath as a tall, blonde female, lathered in bright neon pink clothing, one of my fellow apartment owners, exited our building. Upon seeing her, I straightened up a little, smiled politely in her direction, turned sharply to the left, and began walking toward our little parking lot.
It isn’t hard to find my car in this place. It’s the only black truck with windows so tinted, that even if you pressed your face against the window, you couldn’t see into it. Humans, as pathetically simple as they are, just don’t seem to understand the simplicity of that which is one-way windows. And they invented it the last time I checked.
“Hello, baby,” I smiled at my shiny car. I had left it in the lot six days ago after looking around for a night, and hadn’t touched it since. Still not a speck of dust had landed on its gorgeously finished exterior. You know, I think the Vampyre who I bought this car from must have had a witch put some cleaning spell on it to keep it from getting dusty or dirty. I had once spilled a painted black water bottle of type A-positive blood while traveling on the seat and the stain had only lasted for two hours and then was gone as if it had never been there at all. It wasn’t the only time something like that happened, but that had been a whole bottle of it.
Driving to Huck Finn’s doesn’t take too long, but by the time I got there, I was starving for some nice warm blood, fresh Life, straight from the body of some stupid soul. I couldn’t wait to get inside, when I felt a twisting pain in my neck.
What the heck! I haven’t had this feeling since I moved here and drove around town that first day, I thought, now cautiously trying to decide whether or not to go inside. My stomach growled at me again as I felt the Hunger rising and, against my better judgment, I forced my legs to walk in the doors of the bar.
The moment I was through those doors, the pain got worse. I had to use a good deal of my inner strength not to let my face twist in pain. I smiled, hopefully convincingly, at a guy who was looking curiously in my direction. He started at my smile then looked away. I thought about walking over to him, then realized that upon seeing him, my neck had stopped hurting.
Holy crap! I screamed inside my head. He’s a Vampyre! Is that why my neck was twisting tonight? If so, then I should probably find out if he’s someone worth talking to about food preferences for this crazy, colorful state. Or if he’s from another House. That could be dangerous…
My stomach began growling obnoxiously at me.
“Food first,” I muttered to myself, blushing as I was greeted by several staring men. I smiled sheepishly, to let them think I wasn’t too sure of myself; easy prey for a pig like some of the men I was seeing in here. Suddenly, I felt a presence behind me. I turned around and instantly was face to face with the tallest man I had ever seen.
I stared in slight shock for a second before pulling myself together and smiling politely.
I asked, “Hello. Do I know you? I’m kind of new in town and I’ve only met a couple of people, but I‘m terrible with remembering names and such.” I paused waiting for a reply, but he just smiled at me like he knew something I didn’t. The idea annoyed me.
He didn’t answer so I just continued rather curiously, “Would you like something to eat? I’ll buy,” I offered. At this, the man’s smile softened with genuine curiosity.
“Hey. My name is Dayton Cabard,” he told me as he extended his hand to shake mine. “I would love to join you for something, but I’ll buy. What kind of jerk makes a lady pay for her food?”
Being the independent, self-reliant woman that I am, I answered him tactfully, “I’m Layla Madison. The answer to your question, sir, is one who doesn’t mind a woman who enjoys her independence.”
“Interesting answer, but that really doesn’t tell me much about you other than your name and the fact that you’re single.” His smile widened slightly.
What is this guy thinking? I asked myself. He seems…different. Not like gay or crazy different, just…different.
I can read minds. It’s a talent lots of other Vampyres I’ve met have so it’s nothing special, but I was uncannily good at it. I just don’t like to use it much. Besides, some humans take it badly and start screaming, so I couldn’t use it on this man in public. Limitations and precautions really suck sometimes.
I almost wanted to say “You know, you remind me of a little dog I had some hundred odd years ago.” But that would be rude and could cost me my waking meal, I reminded myself quickly.
So as not to keep him waiting, I answered, “Then why don’t we discuss that matter over some burgers and fries?” I tried to let him think about this for a moment, but my stomach growled at me again.
I blushed and said stupidly, “Sorry, I haven’t eaten at all today. I’m not anorexic or anything, I just got up really late and was too busy for food.” What in the world? I haven’t said something that stupid to a guy in almost a hundred and some odd years! Yet, this guy is a complete stranger and he’s already turning my mind to mush. This cannot be good. But he’s food, so I might as well ignore it. Besides, he’s hot.
“That’s alright,” He chuckled at my slight embarrassment, “I got up really early and couldn’t find anything worth eating in the kitchen, and since then I haven’t had time to eat either, so I’m starving too.” He grinned down at me in a way that almost could be labeled… I searched for the proper term in my mind. Toothily?
I smiled back up at him. “Great. So why don’t we go take a seat at the bar and order some chow?” I already knew what he was going to say, so I continued, “I’m still paying.” He chuckled at me again, but nodded his agreement.
“As long as I get to pay for the fries,” he countered. I agreed to the compromise, then paused to look around for the Vampyre I had seen earlier, but he was nowhere to be found in the place.
“Where’d he go?” I wondered aloud.
“Where’d who go?” Dayton asked, looking over his shoulder as he headed for his seat at the bar.
I looked at the booth I had seen him sitting at and noticed the drunk chick he had been sitting next to was gone as well.
Oh, I get it. You were just here picking up some dinner, too. Well, in that case, happy feeding.
“Oh, no one. I just thought I’d seen someone I knew, but they left. Now are we going to stand around here all day, or are we going to eat?”