Two Versions of a Vampire Story
This is another two-fer because, as I so often do, I’ve re-written the story. The newer version is technically better, but I’m curious what other people think, so here they are, for your amusement.
Of note, it probably has a name somewhere, but damned if I know what it is. I think it might be called Haunting Eyes somewhere. Titles are very fluid to me, which is a bad thing, I know. Oh well.
(vs 1- originally written August 2007)
The darkness gathered in the graveyard, wild shadows splayed upon the tombstone, cast by the silver moon hanging bloated in the velvet sky. The wind whistled through the tombstones, singing a lament for the dead and the forgotten.
She lay on the pale marble, white gown dripping from the stone in pools of frothy lace, her blue eyes closed against the darkness. He leaned over her, his dark hair falling over his shoulders and his eyes burning as they caressed her. The face that had haunted his dreams shimmered before him, lost in a cloud of pale hair that danced in the night’s whispering breeze. The time had come. With a final kiss she would belong to him forever.
He brought his mouth to her pale throat; lips curling back to reveal long silver fangs that glittered dangerously. Her blood was sweet as summer honey on his tongue and her pressed his mouth to hr tender skin, hungrily, greedily, consuming everything she was and ever had been, making her his own: his bride of darkness.
When it was done he stood back, wiping blood from his lips, thick and dark like black ink under the moon’s glow. He watched as she stirred beneath his touch, finger tracing fiery trails over her skin while a smile danced upon his lips.
Her eyes opened; as blue as the sky in the first rays of morning, pure as the untouched spring. They gazed around, filled with confusion, awash with uncertainty. And then her pale eyes met his, the blue of morning and the black of night clashing in an instant.
Her scream echoed in his ears and tore through his flesh, ripping at his very heart. She sat up, hands clawing at her face and mouth, tears streaming down her porcelain cheeks.
“What have you done to me?” she cried, shrieks of sorrow chasing the wind as they filled the night. “What have you done?”
He reached for her, but she pulled away, shuddering with her sobs, her blue eyes buried behind trembling hands. “What have you done to me?’ she asked again, her anger lost to hopeless misery as she already knew the answer.
“I won’t live like this,” she murmured at last, drawing away her hands to stare at him, he who had been her lover and was now the monster who had taken her life from her. Her eyes, dark and determined, showed her hatred for him now, the gentleness he’d known forever gone. “I won’t.”
A pale streak of dawn was forming to the east, the world holding it’s breath as morning approached. He took a step back from her, his soul pleading to her silently, his hand extended, but she slapped it away and lost herself to bitter tears once more.
The screams would haunt him forever, making his blood run ice in his veins at the memory. He’d left her in the graveyard, left her crying on the marble slab, left her to the mercy of the sun, her anger wounding him beyond reason. From the shade of his crypt he’d heard her cries, heard her scream his name in agony, but he’d turned from the golden light, sinking into cobwebbed shadows where he belonged. Embracing the darkness while he left her to her sunlight.
(vs 2 – rewritten Feb 2010)
Darkness gathered in the graveyard. The silver moon hung bloated in the sky and cast wild, twisted shadows while the wind whistled through the tall grass, singing a lament for the dead and the forgotten.
She lay motionless on the pale marble, lost in a land of deep sleep. Her long white gown dripped from the stone slab in pools of frothy lace and her soft face lay untroubled by her surroundings. Dark lashes curled against sweetly tinted cheeks and pink lips beckoned as her breath slipped gently in and out between them. She was beautiful; beautiful and inviting. A bride waiting for her groom.
He leaned over her slowly, savoring her scent. His dark hair fell past his slumped shoulders until it almost touched her but he hung back as though to memorize the moment. His black eyes burned as they silently caressed her and took in every detail, from her delicately naked feet to her face.
It was the face that had haunted his dreams for so long.
He had waded through trials of fire and patience, through years of waiting for her to reach her womanhood, all the while fighting to appease her father. Always pressing onwards, always looking to this moment when her father would make good on his promise and deliver her to his hands. Always longing for the moment when he would see her softly dreaming face shimmering before him, lost in a cloud of pale hair.
He watched the golden strands dancing in the night wind and delight consumed him. The time had finally come. With a final kiss she would belong to him forever. No longer would he have to skulk and hide in the shadows with only a chance meeting now and then to sustain him. No longer would she see him as a foreign gentleman or her father’s associate. No, she would look at him as a lover; the way she did in his dreams.
Without a breath to stir her slumber, he gently brought his mouth to her pale throat. Her scent was intoxicating and he could see the pulse of her life as it jumped beneath her skin; each movement symbolic of her beating mortal heart.
His lips curled back to reveal long, silver fangs that glittered dangerously. Like daggers, they pierced her tender flesh. So deep was her sleep that their penetration elicited not even a moan from her silent form.
Her blood was sweet as summer honey on his tongue. He pressed his mouth to her, hungrily, greedily, consuming everything she was and ever had been as he made her his own: his bride of darkness.
He drank until he could drink no more and then he cut through his own wrist. His blood was bright and fresh as it flowed from the new wound. Wordlessly, he pressed it to her mouth. Though still wrapped in enchanted slumber, she took the drink that was offered. Like one possessed, she swallowed obediently, unaware that she had been given an order and was following his silent command.
When it was done he stood back and wiped blood from his lips. Blood, thick and dark like black ink under the moon’s glow. He waited for her to wake to her new life, but the waiting was agony. Unable to restrain himself, he reached for her. His finger traced fiery trails over her skin while a smile danced on his lips.
She stirred beneath his touch and her eyes opened; the beautiful eyes that swam in his dreams, always haunting. They were blue; blue as the sky in the first rays of morning and pure as the untouched spring. The taint of immortality had not corrupted them, and in their innocence they gazed around, filled with confusion and awash with uncertainty. Then they met his. The blue of morning and the black of night clashed.
All her answers were reflected in the black depths. All his yearning, waiting and final fulfillment were echoed in perfect clarity for her to see.
Her scream echoed in his ears and ripped at his very heart.
She sat up violently. Her hands clawed uselessly at her throat and mouth, horrified at what they found there. “What have you done to me? What have you done?”
He reached for her, but she pulled away, shuddering with her sobs. She buried her blue eyes behind her trembling hands, hiding his view of summer beauty behind the pale veil of wintery skin. Desperately, he made some noise, a sound that was meant to be comforting, but still she cried.
“What have you done to me?” Her voice grew thin and lost. Her hopeless fingers grabbed her hair by handfuls and she shrieked, “What have you done to me? You’ve made me a monster!”
He drew away, shaken. Incomprehension trembled on his lips, but no words would form themselves. This was not what he had been promised. Her father had promised him that she held affection for him – love even. Had he not seen it himself when they’d spoken, though brief the encounters might have been? How could she now cry such things?
“I- I don’t understand.”
“I won’t live like this,” she murmured, then drew her hands away from her face. Instead of a sweet summer day her eyes had become dark thunderclouds waiting to unleash their fury.
She stared at him, a stranger she barely knew, now the monster who had taken her life from her. Her face hardened to reveal the depths of her hatred for him. The gentleness he’d known in her glance was forever gone, replaced by this new darkness.
Her voice was venom as she repeated, “I won’t.”
He glanced from her anger to the east where a pale streak of dawn slowly formed. The air was changing as the world collectively held its breath in anticipation of the dawn. He knew that there was no time now. He had waited as long as he could so that she might enjoy the last of her mortal dreams.
He looked back to her quickly. He extended his hand to her, and his soul pled silently for to accept and come, but she slapped him away.
“Don’t touch me, you foul creature!”
Her words, her anger, wounded him beyond all reason. Her eyes, no longer the sweet melody he knew but hard and angry, were the eyes of a stranger.
He left her in the graveyard. Left her sobbing on the marble slab. Left her to the mercy of the sun. From the shade of his crypt he heard her cries. He heard her scream his name in agony, but he turned from the golden light and slinked into cobwebbed shadows where he belonged; embracing the darkness while he left her to her sunlight.
The screams would haunt him forever.
So, which one did you like better? You may notice that the stories are a bit different. In the first one he is already her lover, and one would assume she knows what he is but doesn’t want to join him. I’d assume he knew that in advance, but did it anyway. In Version two he’s been duped, presumably by her father, no doubt in exchange for something, so it’s not his fault. I think version two is sadder because they’re both victims, while in version one he was just selfish…
Okay, outta here!