Authors: Kendall Pearce
Even the night previous, the only time Micah had come out of his room
, everyone welcomed him with opened arms. All of their heartbeats began to patter faster and their blood ran quicker through their veins when they saw him. Because of his condition, Micah felt every one of their pulses, happy to see him and spend time with him, but it drove him insane. Even in his second life, he could not escape the attraction people seemed to have towards him.
Secretly, Micah had wished that
when he had called everyone to meet him, they would have said no. He had wanted them to abandon him in his time of need, so that he could have a mortal reason to want to end his life. Alas, since not one of his former friends turned him down, the only constant reason he had for wanting to embrace the sun was his breakup from Constance, another akin to his specific kind of human. He no longer wanted to live because of what he had become and the end that had befallen the lovers.
Micah unwittingly replayed the last moments of their love in his mind
. Constance had been acting strangely for the past few nights. When she kissed him, it was not a kiss of passion; it was a kiss of necessity. When they made love, it seemed as though a chore to her, not a joining of body and soul, not a forever that they could be reminded of every time they held each other, not a fire and a passion that burned hotter and brighter than the sun, not as it used to be.
For Constance, perhaps their love was brief and shallow, considering a few months to a mortal human was nothing compared to an immortal human who had walked the earth for over a century.
She had promised him a thousand more centuries together, but only a few months after he became her kind of human, she began to pull away from him.
One night, after they had made yet another round of love which seemed almost
a job to complete, Micah confronted Constance. At first, she did not say anything. Instead, she simply rolled away from him. He caught her shoulder and asked again what she was thinking.
Constance breathed in deeply and asked if he loved her.
Without a thought, he answered that he did; how could she not know that he loved her? Perhaps Micah came across too forcefully, or perhaps their love was just over before the conversation had even started, but either way, Micah knew in his heart that it was over now.
“Are you saying that I should be able to help how I feel? Do you act as though you love me? Yes. Do you declare that you love me? Yes. But, do I feel that you love me…”
Constance thought for a moment and then shook her head.
“I guess I have been living in this state so long, thinking that I was human, that I have lost the sense of indecision that comes with being a human.”
“But you said, we are human,”
Micah replied, hearing all that she said, but only able to process that one part. He did not understand. He had never once been unfaithful to her and he loved her with everything that he had. She was the last thought he had before falling asleep in the daytime and the first thought he had when he arose in the night. Constance was his everything.
“See! Just now, I feel as though I am raising a child, not giving myself to a lover.”
Micah was now even more confused
“What are you talking about? You knew you would have to teach me and right now, that was the only thing that you said that I even had a response to! Constance, I love you! I gave up my days and my true life for you! How can you say that I am indecisive?”
Micah demanded, sitting up and staring down at her in disbelief.
Constance raised her body to be level with Micah’s
“I can feel it!”
she insisted, tears coming to her eyes.
“But I have never…I would never…”
Micah started, but he could not even bring himself to say the words.
Constance answered, putting her hand up to silence him.
“I just know. Maybe you don’t even know it yet, but I’ve been around a long time, Micah. I can pick up the vibes that the world gives off unwillingly a lot quicker than most humans, even faster than most of our kind. I know things that I should not know, maybe before I even have a right to know, but now that I know, I cannot ignore it. Eventually, you will know it too. I am just sorry that you cannot feel it yet.”
Constance stared at Micah, presumably awaiting a reply, but he had none to give, and for a long time they just stared at each other, Micah’s mind racing.
Finally, Micah managed to ask,
“So, what exactly are you saying, Constance?”
Constance swallowed hard and replied,
“Although I am old and perhaps even wise, I am not above mistakes. I am so sorry that you have to suffer because I was wrong.”
Micah’s heart, which now pumps
and flows with people’s blood, seemed to stop and plummet into his stomach which no longer needs proper human nutrients.
Micah suddenly felt as though he was going to be sick.
“So, changing me was a mistake? Infecting me with your disease—let’s call it what it is—so that I could be with you forever was your mistake?”
“Micah, I’m sorry, but not telling you would
have only prolonged the inevitable of what would ultimately be your own choice,”
Constance replied in a voice that was almost pleading.
Hearing her say his name made him feel even sicker
Micah said, getting out of the bed and beginning to put on his clothes, his back to her.
“You asked me, Micah, so you must have felt something too!”
Constance said, desperately trying to make amends and he supposed, partly as friends because there was no going back from her telling him that his sacrifice for her was ultimately her mistake!
“I felt the truth, Constance,”
Micah spat in reply.
That was the last thing he had ever said to her and she to him, but even now, as he stare
d at what would become his undoing, he still felt the need to wonder:
What really is the truth?
Micah knows the history behind what he is, but even as his heart aches from the loss of his eternal love, he feels that he can no longer trust a word that was said to him about what she had made him.
Constance had changed everything about him. She had changed his life, she had changed him as a person, and now to realize that not only was it all for the worst, but he could no longer trust what he thought was the truth, was so disheartening, he considered death an easy end. This realization was ironic in a tragic way, because part of the reason he had been so eager to become what he is and learn about its history was because of the lack of death it could potentially provide.
Micah took this all in as he neared the climax once again within himself. His excitement was
mounting; he could feel it once again coursing through his veins. He knew that he needed to act now, or risk losing it all once again if he were interrupted.
It had taken a lot longer than he had hoped to build up enough anger and excitement to commit to his decision once again, but now that he had, he once again relished in it. As he breathed in his last bit of air, the world seemed to stand still. All that he could see was that sunlight, warming the glass like a hot pan, ready to cook him alive and end this misery that he had allowed to enter
into and consume his life.
With that, Micah dove forward
, hitting the glass and hearing his body sizzle before he felt any pain. Although, when the pain arrived, it was worse than he could have ever anticipated. His whole body felt ablaze and for a long moment, he fought the urge to recoil.
Silently, Micah pleaded with anyone or anything that would listen to just take him from this world immediately. But, rather, he felt himself being slow-cooked. His body, although it felt as though it was going to explode at any moment, continued to function. His eyes continued to see the smoke that his burning and charred body was emitting, and his heart continued to pump what was left of other people’s blood through his system.
Then, suddenly, when Micah was too weak to fight his own survival
mode, his body used its last bit of energy to peel himself away from the window, and Micah fell into the safety of the shaded floor.
his dismay, the pain immediately started to recede, but he was too weak to finish the task. Nonetheless, Micah was still very much alive.
With his last bit of consciousness, Micah laughed
Well, I am a Vampire, after all.
As promised, Jeremy was back, banging away at Micah’s door as soon as night fell.
I’m supposed to be dead by now,
Micah thought with distain as he opened his eyes with some amount of difficulty. As his eyes peeled open, healing after becoming charred, the first thing Micah saw was now his enemy; that window, which was supposed to have sealed his fate, now only prolongs his misery. “What a failure. I can’t even kill myself right…” Micah mumbled to himself.
“Micah! I hear you in there! You promised you would come out and play!” Jeremy called playfully from behind the door, knocking once again.
“Yea, yea! I’m coming!” Micah called so that his truly human friend would not try to beat the door down in an effort to kidnap him from his own room and force him to have mortal fun with people Micah now saw as more delectable then his mortal love of T-bone steaks!
with the truly living now was very much like trying to have a conversation with a fully garnished dinner which you could not eat, though you were dying of starvation.
As Micah rose to his feet, he noticed something
: the lack of pain. Remembering all too well the pain he had endured only hours earlier, it should have left him just below medium rare and unable to move. Despite his clothes, which were burned off of him, Micah was completely healed. Micah looked down at his hands. There were no signs of burning at all.
miled to himself, finding comfort in the fact that he would not have to interact with what should be his dinner looking like a piece of burnt toast. That should at least tone down the questioning.
Taking a deep breath,
and trying tried to put on his truly human face, Micah smiled and opened the door for Jeremy.
“Finally! The fire is already going and there is someone who has been dying to see you…” Jeremy stopped short and peered closer at Micah’s face
. “Wow, you really don’t look good. Are you sure you’re okay?”
Micah nodded and tried to steer the conversation away from his face
. “So who has been…dying to see me, you said?”
forgetting about Micah’s physical disfigurement, Jeremy smiled, moving on to the pursuit of a much more interesting topic. “Samantha Bernhardt: she still has that crush on you. I can tell!” Jeremy’s eyes gleamed, as they did at the mention of any woman.
“High school is over. How could she still really want me so badly?” Micah asked.
After another once-over, Jeremy teased, “With that mug-shot, I don’t know, but she is definitely not here for me.”
Micah smiled, despite himself. Samantha ha
d always been a kind soul, with fiery, crimson red hair that smoothly waved down her back like a flowing river of blood. How beautiful the thought of her was to Micah at this moment. She had always seemed to follow him around in school, her hazel eyes always falling on him whenever he walked by. However, he had never appreciated her. Although always friendly and always nice, she had never lit a spark inside of him quite like the mention of her name did at this moment.
In fact, it was at the mention of her name that he
became excited at the thought of the bonfire. She wanted to see him. Perhaps her humanity, her good-heartedness would save him. Or better yet, maybe Samantha’s good nature would finally be the key to Micah’s undoing.
As the pair neared the fire, Micah could already smell the scent of the meal he would once again have to forgo, and the thirst in his throat screamed out with longing. Clearing his parched throat, he tried not to breathe, so that he could escape their aroma for just a few moments more. However, as his chest began to get tight, his ears began to pound to the unmistakable sound of human hearts, beating, pumping, and keeping his beloved, forbidden substance warm until the moment when he could feast upon it.
Micah felt like a cannibal. Granted, he had never been a very outwardly caring individual, but he could have never really hurt anyone on purpose. Therefore, even as a vampire, Micah preferred his victims be willing.
There was another, more monstrous reason, though, that could not be ignored. The taste of fearful blood is wretched. If the blood is given freely, then there is only a slight metallic taste due to the nerves of anyone being bitten and drained, instead of tasting as though you were sucking in a bullet.
As Micah predicted, as the two approached,
everyone turned to greet them. Smiles all around! Smiles, throbbing, healthy veins, and the most delicious assortment of forbidden wine imaginable!
rid the thoughts of draining these people from his mind, Micah smiled and entered the circle of people surrounding the fire. As he passed these people that he used to know, they smiled and greeted him warmly, handing him beer and cigarettes—anything he wanted except, of course, for the sole form of nourishment to sustain his kind.
Micah passed through the crowd and around the fire, trying to be as polite as possible to all who greeted him, but in his mind’s eye, he was only looking for one person. When he found her, he caught sight of the intoxicating aroma surrounding her aura before he saw her
, but when he finally was able to lay his eyes upon her, he swore he felt his chilled heart skip a beat. Samantha was talking to someone who used to be a mutual friend. Micah could tell that Samantha was still very comfortable around this person. Although it had been only a few months since he had last seen this person, Micah felt as he did with almost everyone from his previous life: that he had not seen them in an eternity. The man Micah was before graduation night is, quite literally, not the man that stands before any of them today.
As she spoke, Samantha engaged her whole body into the conversation, causing that beautiful hair to shimmy around her and her light-green eyes to sparkle, glistening against the flames of the fire. Samantha’s
skin was fair, but her aura was strong-willed and exciting. Like a bridled horse just waiting for the moment to be set free, Samantha had a wild beauty, masked with a pure and innocent allure.
When Micah approached them, Samantha recognized him immediately and her eyes lit up even brighter! “Micah! How are you?”
she asked, abandoning their old mutual friend to embrace him.
Before Micah could prepare, Samantha had wrapped her arms around him so tight that the tantalizing scent she emitted almost caused him to bite her. “Samantha,” Micah croaked, trying to ignore the ever-present pounding of his fangs, whaling to be inserted into flesh, “I’m well. How are you?” The sentence sounded off even as it traveled from his brain, past his lips. Micah stuttered, “I…I mean. Hey. Good. How…how…how…have you been?”
Samantha laughed, and the melody was like a song from Heaven. “You’re still pretty funny.”
“Me? No! I’m not funny. I’m…I don’
t know what I am,” Micah laughed nervously and looked down at the untouched beer he had acquired in his quest to find her. “Beer?” He had not had this serious of jitters since meeting Constance. Perhaps this was a good sign.
Samantha shook her head, “Thank you, though.”
Micah tossed it out and threw the cup into the fire, “No problem at all.” He suddenly felt the urge to walk away. Remembering Constance made Micah feel guilty, in a way. Micah had a short mental battle with himself as he entered into panic mode.
Is this the betrayal that Constance spoke of?
No! I have only said hi to her.
Then Constance’s voice rang loudly in his ears,
Eventually, you will know it too. I am just sorry that you cannot feel it yet.”
Micah’s stomach sank.
Yes, Samantha was pretty and she smelled really good, but she was not the one he had promised forever to; even though Constance had chosen to end their forever quite a bit earlier than they planned, that didn’t mean that Micah was a free man.
I will not give up on us, Constance.
With all of this in mind, Micah nodded to both Samantha and their former mutual friend and quickly slipped into the ring of people and out the other side.
Finally, the greetings had died down and had become sporadic, so that Micah could slip away unnoticed. Micah walked along the sand alone until a reached a piece of driftwood. Micah sat upon it and looked back at the crowd of teenagers.
The fire was burning brightly
, and everyone looked to be having fun. It was nice to see life at its best: true life with true meaning. The last bit of true life Micah had he gave to Constance, and she had poisoned it slowly until finally administering one final, lethal blow that has yet to finish him off. However, Micah can feel it.
The last time he had felt anything like what he felt with Samantha, he was with Constance. Granted, their breakup was only a few days ago, which seemed like a millennium to him
; yet, there weren’t very many women he came across during that time. Although it wasn’t an attraction that caused Micah to feel alarmed. He was a man; whether he was with Constance or not, he would still have an attraction to other women. Rather, it was the connection he made with Samantha, at least in his own mind, which separated her from everyone else on the planet.
Samantha had something about her that was paramount to either Micah’s survival or his demise
, and he wasn’t sure which one. Whichever one it was going to be, though, Micah already knew he would subject himself to it willingly, because of her. He did not yet know why, but for some reason, when they met today, a link in their lives forged. There was a bond that made their destinies entwined. A soul had found its other half. It was to be—Micah was sure of that—but he just did not know when, why, or for what purpose.
It did not take long for Samantha to catch up to Micah
, and knowing what he knew now, he was not sure if he should embrace the opportunity or run.
As Samantha approached, she smiled. “Hey, you! Where did you go?”
Thinking quickly, but thinking before he spoke so that he did not make himself look like a fool, Micah said, “It’s such a beautiful night. I just wanted to get away to enjoy it.”
Samantha looked up in order to admire the night
. “Yes, it is…” There was a long pause and then she added, “Hey, Fred was saying something about your girlfriend. You two broke up?”
“Are you okay?” Samantha asked genuinely, her sweet, generous heart shining through.
Micah nodded again, trying his best to brush
off the feelings of guilt and betrayal, because by now he knew for absolute certain that this would not be the last he would see of Samantha.
Constance did break up with me.
He thought. “Yea, I’m okay. It sucks. What can you do?” Micah smiled.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Samantha tilted her head to stare at him intensely
. “You look like you haven’t slept in ages.”
Micah’s chortle was just a little too telling, but he passed it off
. “Yea…Just thinking about stuff. You know.”
There was a long pause
. Samantha looked up at the sky and took in the salty sea air. “Let’s go for a walk,” she said to Micah.
Micah nodded and stood up.
As they moved away, Samantha slid her hand into Micah’s.
Micah felt a moment of panic. He wanted to feel her touch and liked that she was comfortable touching him, but all he wanted to do was bite her. However, after a moment of walking and keeping his mouth clamped tightly shut, the feeling started to subside and Micah felt more in control.
The couple walked this way for a long time in silence, just listening to the sounds of the night, their path lit only by the brightness of the moon.
Finally, Samantha said, “So, tell me about yourself, Micah. What have you been up to this summer?”
After the silence, it seemed even more difficult to formulate a response. So again, to avoid a fiasco like the last time he tried to speak with her, Micah thought about his answer very carefully and then simply replied, “Nothing much. Just doing my thing, you know?”
. “Same here. What are your plans for after the summer?”
Micah shrugged, getting the feeling that if he opened his mouth,
his fangs may attack her.
Why do you smell so good?
Micah thought. “How about you? I bet you’re going to college,” he replied, more snidely then he really meant it.
“Actually, you would lose that bet,” Samantha replied, “At least, not this semester.
I was accepted to the college I wanted, which was great, but I found I would rather take a semester off. I plan to backpack Europe,” Samantha smiled.
“Oh, okay, so you are choosing option two
of pretty, straight-A student. Backpack through Europe and learn more about the world around us,” Micah said theatrically.
. “It isn’t like that. I really want to see the world.”
“I’m sure you do,” Micah teased.
“Well, actually…” Samantha reddened as she smiled, almost embarrassed.
Micah smiled, liking the feel of their banter
. “Well what?”
“You promise you won’t laugh?” Samantha replied sheepishly.