When I was recuperating in Paris, Mike Firesmith sent me a vampire tale he had written (I don’t believe he ever published it). The story inspired me to write this tale. I just recently found it and decided to share it with you. Not confident it’s quality writing, but it was fun to write a piece of historical fiction in a genre I never usually dabble in – it’s too “bloody” overdone these days. So, here it goes:
It is so hard to find the perfect partner you want to share your life with. It’s even more difficult to find an eternal love. When humans start the mating/romance process, it is filled with smoke and mirrors. Both the man and woman try to put their best feet forward. They weave tangled webs which later, when both are captured and enraptured, wonder just how they got there.
So do not judge me that I didn’t tell him everything right away. All of you would do the same thing.
I am a relatively young vampire as my kind has been around since the dawn of humanity, perhaps before. But only very few are privy to the earliest history of vampirism. Francisco claims he doesn’t know and he is very old.
I grew up in the Castilla la Mancha of Spain. Stories of how my family had been held in high esteem of the Moors, of our rich lives as merchants, were shared every Sabbath. But I was born in 1479 and times were different – brutally so. We had to practice our Jewish faith silently, having been forced to convert to Catholism or die. You call it Crypto-Judaism. In fear we did not light candles on Friday nights, but on Thursday nights, knowing G-d would forgive us for the slight change. I still can remember my mother silently mouthing the blessing over the candles and her gentle swaying hand movements symbolizing the beginning of the Sabbath. She would seemingly pull the light towards her and internalize it’s holy warmth. Now I live in darkness, far away from holy light.
In 1497, when I was 18 years old, I met Gabriel, at a small gathering of friends, to secretly celebrate Passover. I assumed he was someone safe to talk to. And he was such a gentleman that evening, as well as extremely handsome. Every evening he would come to our home and ask my parents if he could have the pleasure of my company for an hour or so. We’d stroll the streets. With Gabriel I felt safe and alive: a rose in blossom. I never asked him what his occupation was or how he spent his days; for me, it was enough to see him every night and be the focus of his attention. He told me he had never seen a woman as beautiful as me or as intelligent.
Then the terrible news came; Gabriel was jailed and would be executed. Nothing could save him. I felt my life ending, as my dreams would end with Gabriel. I couldn’t believe our misfortune. I tore my dress in the traditional style of mourning and ran out into the streets, not caring about danger.
It was this night Francisco appeared, like mist rising from the ground. I was beyond the ability to be shocked, even if my name is Abila. I was so traumatized, numb and I only desired to die along with Gabriel.
“I can save Gabriel”, Francisco said. I looked at this man/being/creature and knew instinctively he wasn’t lying. “But you must agree to be my wife. Not only in this lifetime, dear Abila, but forever. If you refuse, Gabriel will die by the next sunrise. And then I will go for your family and make sure they’re arrested too.”
“Who, what, are you? Why me?”
“I am a vampire, my dear. You must come willingly or when I kill you, you will die. I chose you because I have waited and watched you since the day you were born. I knew you were to be mine and I waited for the right opportunity. The moment is now. The decision is yours, Abila.”
He reached out to touch me and I knew he desired me, wanted to taste my blood, bed me and make me his. I knew he set up Gabriel, to create this choice, a choice which really was no choice at all. He knew I would do anything, anything at all, to save Gabriel.
“I agree to come willingly.”
With tremendous force and speed he was upon me. I felt nothing and everything. Disconnected from my body and simultaneously, connected to every fiber. I woke to find myself in the same situation as I placed Jonathon. But I had to kill Gabriel, my parents and siblings until there was no onle left to tie me to the mortal world. Each one was brought into a prison cell where I waited for them. Of course Francisco didn’t tell me this while I was mortal, but once I became a vampire, it wasn’t a difficult decision to make. I barely thought upon the fact that Francisco had tricked me completely; it no longer mattered.
Strangely enough Francisco and I made a good pair and, finally, I had feelings for him, to put in terms you will understand. I felt a stirring, a passion in “heart”, so to say.
Francisco was much older and wiser than me and so he taught me many things, including how to turn to mist and also how to mingle, undetected, with humans. I learned how to kill and to enjoy my immortality. Time no longer mattered; years slipped into the next.
I developed a taste for male blood and particlarly enjoyed playing with them, like a cat with a mouse. I never turned anyone until I met Jonathon. There was something about him that made me want him. My feelings drifted from Francisco. I made excuses to be near Jonathon and strategize my plan. I could not explain to you, even now, why I became so obsessed with Jonathon. He was not particularly handsome, smart or cunning. I simply desired him, to possess him and make him mine.
Finally the night came – a game – I got his attention, naturally. I knew he didn’t trust me, but he thought I was a spy. Humans, including my beloved Jonathon, are so limited in their thinking.
I wanted him to trust me, crave me, be mine. Bedding him made me want him in a way I didn’t know was possible for me. And then he tried to kill me and I was greatly relieved. Now I could trust him since I knew his true intentions.
I didn’t know if Francisco would want him dead or if I would receive consent to turn Jonathon into one of us. I knew Francisco would be jealous and he was very powerful. I didn’t risk telling him because I couldn’t risk him killing Francisco, who I wanted now, more than ever. Jonathon ended up needing no convincing. He was very willing and explained to me he tried to kill me in hope that I would turn him, out of anger. I explained to him that it didn’t work that way. I didn’t explain everything- I left out the white space between the lines, as Francisco had done with me. I made the entire process, and existence, sound very attractive. Someone like Jonathon would find it too enticing to deny and I knew this.
He wanted eternity, he wanted the path I told him we could have. He wanted me as I wanted him. Now he is imprisoned with his brother. I must follow the rules, as must he. In order for him to be released into immortality he must relinquish his ties to the mortal world, as I did and all who are like me.
But danger is lurking as I sense Francisco is on the way. His minions must have told him what I have done. If Jonathon does not act swiftly (I cannot force him to – everything must be done willingly and freely) , I may have to make a choice too. I might have to decide who to save: Jonathon in the name of love (and for Gabriel) or myself, by giving Jonathon over to Francisco to destroy him.
For now, all I can do is wait. How ironic: time was never my adversary until now.