Read The Newborn Vampire Online
Authors: Evenly Evans
The girl in white tiptoed forwards at a snail’s pace towards the centre of the ring. All the acrobats in black turned to her and raised their arms up into the air. In perfect synchronism the girl in white levitated up into the air and fell backwards so she was lying horizontal, several feet high with her long hair falling down towards the ground.
The acrobats drew their arms towards the table and as they did so, the girl began to glide in that direction. She stopped as soon as she was above it and hovered for a few moments. The illusion was so unique and the gasps from the crowds confirmed this.
Catherine carefully tried to spot ropes or bits of string somehow holding this girl up in the air, but she could see nothing. The girl moved her head from side to side and the look of nervousness she initially wore had now morphed into one of complete terror.
“What an outstanding actress,” whispered the crowd.
The tempo of the music sped up and became louder and louder. Red lights altered the ambience and added an eerie feeling which was further enhanced by a slow fog which began to rise from the floor, appearing to reach up like the resurrection of the dead. The acrobats circled faster and faster and began to chant. The girl started to scream, but the music and chants drowned out the noise. Then suddenly … she dropped. Like a flash of lightening she hit the table. Instantly the acrobats were on her. Not an inch of her flesh could be seen as they completely surrounded her, crouching over her body. The crowd could not ascertain if the intention was to harm or protect her, either way, they did not care, as this performance to them was pure genius. It was the height of entertainment.
The crowd held their breath as they waited to see what would happen next and they were not disappointed. A large puff of smoke blasted from the table and the acrobats in black fell to the floor with a thud, revealing an empty table. The girl had vanished.
The crowd erupted into a magnificent applause to which the acrobats stood up and took their bow before promptly leaving the ring.
The lights came on signalling the end of the show. Peopled stood up and applauded louder and louder. Catherine joined in, but Mary remained seated. However, for the first time since they arrived she had diverted her attention elsewhere. Instead of looking directly at the entrance of the circus ring, Mary was now hunched over and looking at the floor and appeared to be taking in deep breaths. Catherine assumed the excitement may have been a bit too much for her and was slightly worried. Her grandmother was a strong, quiet woman of few words and Catherine had never witnessed her being this affected by anything.
“What’s the matter, Grandma?” asked Catherine, placing her hand on Marys shoulder. Mary looked up and into Catherine’s face. Catherine gasped as she noticed her Grandmother’s eyes were filled with tears and she was looking at her like she would never see her again.
“Grandma, what on earth is the matter?” said Catherine, slumping to her knees to reach Mary’s eye level. “Are you ill? Please, what is the matter?”
“I am being silly dear, take no notice. I am just being sentimental and thinking of the last time I was here. Also, I was thinking how quickly you have grown up. Catherine felt a wave of relief, but also a wave of sadness. Her grandmother seemed to be getting so old lately and it scared her. She was all she had in the world. She stayed on her knees for a short while holding her grandmother’s hand, hoping she would feel better soon.
Around them the crowds had started to disperse, leaving the circus tent by climbing up the stairs and heading towards the exits. The noise from outside bellowed in as people had made their way to the numerous stalls and fairground rides, which the circus had put up outside. Catherine could hear loud music, screams and whoops of excitement and felt a wave of guilt as she wished she was out there joining them, rather than comforting her grandmother. Catherine decided that once outside in the fresh air her grandmother would begin to feel much better.
Catherine grabbed her belongings and attempted to stand up and took her grandmother’s hand, to lead her up the steps and out of the tent. However, as she tried to leave she felt some resistance and realised it was her grandmother pulling her back. Thinking she was confused, Catherine tried to walk off again, but Mary grabbed the sleeve of her overcoat and tugged her back really hard.
“No dear, this way, there is somebody I would like you to meet,” said Mary and she proceeded to lead Catherine down the steps and towards the ring, instead of up the steps like everybody else.
Catherine was confused, yet said nothing and followed her grandmother as she headed down the stairs and towards the ring of the circus.
“Who on Earth could Grandma possibly know here?” thought Catherine to herself, as her Grandmother barely left the house apart to go to the shops and frequently snubbed the neighbours as she considered them to be too nosey. If she spoke to very few people in the village, then how could she possibly know anyone here? These sorts of people too were a million worlds apart from the type of person Mary was.
Catherine was completely confused and bewildered as to what her grandmother was playing at.
Mary led Catherine around the circus ring and towards the entrance where all of the acts had come in and out of.
Then Mary halted suddenly, almost causing Catherine to bump into her. Mary stood still and clutched her handbag to her chest as if for protection and seemed to be holding her breath. In all of her years Catherine had never seen her grandmother so out of sorts. She was normally such a strong woman who held it together.
Thoughts flew through Catherine’s head as to why her grandmother was waiting here. Then a thought dawned on here. “Oh dear God, she’s going to complain about some of the more graphic acts” thought Catherine and felt shame wash over her. Catherine did not handle embarrassment well at all.
As Catherine turned to her Grandmother about to voice her concerns and what a bad idea it was to complain, she noticed a shadow on the entrance wall and the appearance of a man. As he drew closer, the man looked no older than 18, possibly 19 at the most but his face was serious and his eyes looked older than his years.
Catherine recognised him instantly as the man who was staring at her at the beginning of the show and once again as he walked towards them his eyes were directly on her, eyeing her up as if trying to work something out and penetrate her mind and thoughts. The man walked closer and closer, all the time staring, and to Catherine’s surprise when he drew to a halt, it was not her he addressed.
“Mary,” he said and finally turned his attention from Catherine to her grandmother.
“My dear, dear old friend, how long has it been? You haven’t changed a bit.”
“Liar!” shot back Mary with a tone of playfulness, “It is you that has not changed a bit, and it has been almost 17 years”.
Catherine was gobsmacked. It was impossible her Grandma had known this man 17 years ago, as he barely looked that age now, and if he did, well he would have been no more than a toddler and certainly not have had any recollection of Mary.
The man slowly began to walk towards Mary. As he got within touching distance of her he reached out his hands and took hold of hers, lifting them to his lips so he could slowly kiss them as he looked into her eyes. Mary’s face flushed and Catherine felt slightly repulsed at what she was seeing. Her grandmother was an old lady and this man was acting far too sexually explicit towards her for her liking. The two people held a lingering look and seemed to have a conversation with their eyes which only they could hear and understand.
“I told you I would come back didn’t I ? When the time was right.”
“You did Mathias, you did,” replied Mary with a smile.
Catherine began to feel like an outsider. The closeness between this mismatched couple really bothered Catherine as she could not make any sense of it. To Catherine she could not make out how two people so far apart in ages and from such different life styles appeared to be so close and familiar with one another.
“Did you ever find him?” Mary asked, her tone changing to a more serious level. Mathias’s expression changed just as quickly, from one of a charismatic persona to another of anger and passion.
“No, but rest assured Mary, I will. I made a promise and I will keep it if it is the last thing I do. I have all the time in the world, remember ?” said Mathias and threw Mary a knowing wink.
“I wanted to come back sooner,” continued Mathias “but it was too difficult. I miss Jane too much and coming back here makes it all the more difficult. Plus a certain someone else would have just made me want to stay, but I couldn’t. I had work to do, you understand Mary. Plus, I can’t stay in the one place for too long as you know.”
Mary raised an arm to Mathias’ side and touched him tenderly in an attempt to comfort him. She looked at him with sympathy.
Catherine knew Jane to be the name of her mother but he could not possibly be referring to her. Mathias only looked one year older than Catherine and her mother had died in childbirth. Mathias could not possibly have any memory or recollection of her mother. Catherine assumed he must be referring to another Jane. Either way she needed to know what was going on. Mary had said she wanted Catherine to meet someone, and this man was clearly that person and Catherine wanted to know who he was and why she needed to meet him.
“I am sorry to intrude here,” interrupted Catherine, looking at her grandmother for one second and then turning her attention to the handsome stranger the next, “But can I get some kind of introduction here please.” “I do apologise, dear,” said Mary, who sucked in yet again a deep reserve of breath and confidently blurted out “This my love, is your grandfather.”
Catherine stared vacantly at her grandmother initially and then began to laugh, thinking she had misheard her. Catherine hoped she had misheard her because if she had not then the old dear was clearly confused and possibly was beginning to lose her marbles.
“I’m sorry Grandma?” asked Catherine, “Who did you say this was?”
“Yes I know dear, you’re very confused. You should be, as it’s all very complicated.
But I won’t beat around the bush. It is better to say it how it is so you can absorb the information and slowly begin to make sense of it all. Plus, you are coming up to 17 now and changes will start to happen. It is time you knew everything, who you are and where you came from. I know you probably think I am mad right now but please, bear with me, it will all make sense soon. Mathias my love, do you have somewhere private we could possibly go, please?”
Mathias nodded and took Mary by the arm. He then turned to take Catherine’s arm but she flinched and took a step backwards. He looked at her patiently hoping to gain her trust and eventually she silently agreed and allowed him to take her by the arm and lead the way.
He led the two of them through all the hustle and bustle backstage of the circus. All the performers were changing out of their costumes and chatting, whilst some people were leading animals back to their cages ready to be fed and settled for the remainder of the night. As the three of them walked by, Catherine noticed one by one that all the people glanced in her direction and then turned to look to the person next to them with a knowing look like she had already seen once too often that evening. Catherine felt as if they were all talking about her and there was some big conspiracy involving her, yet she knew nothing about. They then would turn to Mary and smile at her as if she was an old acquaintance or nod their head in acknowledgement of her presence. In return Catherine noticed Mary smiling and nodding back. In a haze of confusion and bewilderment with regards to what she had just heard. Catherine continued to follow her grandmother and Mathias through the circus until they arrived at a long black trailer.
Mathias opened the door to allow Mary and Catherine to enter his home. Mary once again took the lead and Catherine hesitantly walked in after her. Much to Catherine’s surprise Mary seemed quite at home and walked straight to the seating area and sat down, as if she had already been here once before. She placed her bag on an oak coffee table and seated herself down on a large sofa, with a high back and was draped in a thick red velvet cover. Catherine, however, took her time and did a few turns so she could take in this new environment. Thick black curtains covered every window, blocking out the outside world. A black chandelier too large for its surroundings hung from the ceiling of the trailer. Catherine could see no electric lights, only great big thick candles lit sporadically around the room.
“A fire hazard waiting to happen,” thought Catherine, although the calming effect they had on her was appealing.