Introducing part 1 of a fantasy story I’m crafting. It is a slow burn, more romance than sex in the early parts, but I’d be very grateful if you’ll bear with me my Dark Darlings and read on because I’m breaking new ground. Those who know me better have wondered why it’s taken me so long to write a piece which features a vampire!
It sounds trite to say their love could not die, because die she did! Every time! As soon as she fell in love with him, once they’d shared kisses and promises, the moment she began to trust and feel a burning desire to give him her all, to surrender her maidenhead and become one body with him … she died. Tragically, inevitably leaving him alone and heartbroken, unable to forget and unwilling to replace her with another.
He did not die. No – he didn’t even age, and this was a problem which caused deep suspicion amongst his human companions, so he needed to disappear and reinvent himself every 20 years or so. He’d arrive in a new place, establish a home, perhaps set himself up in business. Nowadays he gravitated towards schools or colleges, that way he could scan the student body for her, because she always returned.
He used various methods to identify where she would reincarnate, runes were the most accurate. In the early days, before he learned how to cast them and interpret how the stones answered his questions, he’d had to consult with witches to find her. Ironic really, as a jealous, bitter wicken had created the curse which caused his beloved to die, but he no longer dwelt on that. He cast away emotions which did not serve him, he was even working on his arrogance, which had cost him dearly over the years.
That morning, sitting in his car with a cup of coffee, he watched the students make their way through the gates and was struck by how vastly the rules of dress had changed over his ‘lifespan’. No longer were girls modestly covered by swathes of fabric hiding their bodies from a high-necked dress collar down to floor skimming hem, with tightly buttoned ankle boots, with demure gloves and body morphing bustles or corsets in between. The young men too, had ditched the high collars, stocks, waistcoats and jackets with tails. He conceded modern trousers were far more practical than those from his victorian youth, except for that phase when guys started wearing their jeans low on their backsides, precariously hanging off their designer underwear!
In this decade jeans were the uniform, although with plenty of variety in how to wear it. Girls still wore dresses or could style themselves in a pretty or formal manner, but many chose to show lots of flesh or dress more androgynous than previous eras. He was fascinated by the way modern youth looked after their bodies too, although there were exceptions who ate junk food or spent hours on a computer/ games consul. He was entertained by the sports which had evolved over decades while he loved the discipline of the gym, the muscle definition and tone people worked towards there.
He didn’t drink coffee, but he enjoyed it’s strong, tangy aroma, while purchasing the hot beverage daily from the local cafe helped him blend with the people in this town. Going to the gym was another social convention which helped him fit in, although he had to act out his ‘exertion’ and take care not to be too closely observed, because he didn’t sweat!
He grabbed his cup, backpack and a paper bag from the cafe (packed with paper napkins to mimic sandwiches or salad for lunch), blipped the car locks and headed towards the college library, which housed his office at the back. Teenagers were still spilling off yellow buses and milling around on pavements and grass verges, calling to each other about homework, sports – the usual teenage banter. His gaze roamed over them, waiting for recognition, it was still early in the term so he hadn’t seen all the new kids yet. When he saw her he always felt “that spark”, despite the fact that she was within a new body and had an unfamiliar face. Her eyes gave her away: a soft olive green with starburst flecks of gold around the pupil and an expression which indicated compassion, empathy and unfathomable depths.
He ascended the steps up to the red brick building without seeing anyone who struck a chord, so he sighed and shouldered the door open, heading towards the privacy of his office. He enjoyed the unmistakable smell of old books and polish as he moved between the shelves of books filed alphabetically by genre. At this time of day the study areas were mostly empty and the table lamps switched off, in his peripheral vision however, he noticed a dark haired, broad shouldered boy gathering books into a canvas bag which hung at his hip, then checking his watch the lad hustled out of the silent library.
The Librarian treasured the peace before Delores and Hannah came in to oversee the front desk and catalogue the books, interrupting him regularly with offers of tea or coffee throughout the day. The caretaker, of course, unlocked the doors for early bird bibliophiles, so for another 20 minutes probably, he had the building to himself.
He switched on his computer and, while it warmed up and opened its programs, he allowed himself to daydream back to the ways in which they had met in the past. He had been introduced to her at evening soirees and dinner parties, their eyes meeting while his heart warmed instantly to recognise his beloved within each new girl’s body. They’d been introduced at church, at fundraisers, at picnics and in the park. She’d acted in shows with him or played music in recitals, but for every reincarnation he recognised the old soul of his beloved within the new body which hosted her. However he had to befriend and court her each time because his true love never remembered him.