Authors: Evenly Evans
They were everywhere, upon the fireplace, on the side board, all over the table and in special holders. Goblets and gold plates filled an antique looking cabinet which seem far too extravagant and expensive to be owned by a travelling circus. Everything contained in this room looked Gothic somehow, but certainly from a different era. It was also quite clear that the belongings in this room where not that of your typical 18 year old. “Sit down dear, you’re making me very uncomfortable,” snapped Mary impatiently.
Catherine obeyed and took a place next to her grandmother. Her eyes however did not stop wondering around this peculiar room, eyeing up the vast amount of knick knacks and treasures.
Mathias glided across the room with the decadence and alignment of a professional ballerina and then slowly seated himself across from Mary and Catherine. Mary eyed him seriously, but full of admiration. Catherine struggled to make sense of this whole scenario and was not sure if she wanted to know the full details of what was coming her way. It was far too unusual. She sat, feeling nervous in a room with her grandmother whom she felt she did not know anymore and this young man with the mannerisms from a time long ago.
Mathias and Mary both looked at each now with a hesitance of who should start to speak and what exactly it was they should say. Mary, taking into account that she had been solely responsible for Catherine for the past 16 years, took it upon herself that the task should be up to her. She took a deep breath and began to explain the situation as best as she could.
“Catherine dear, as confusing as it may sound, this is your grandfather. He and I met many years ago and when I was 18 I gave birth to your mother. Unfortunately, I could not marry Mathis as his family were somewhat different from my own. I was not exactly the same as Mathias is I shall put it. We hoped we could be together, but things were not meant to be that way. However, he looked after me as well as he could under the circumstances. I set off alone and took to raising your mother as best as I could.
This was a difficult task as bringing a child up alone was frowned upon but I kept to myself and did what I could. Mathias would visit when he could, but could never stay for too long. Plus we had to keep his visits a secret. Your mother, as a child, found this very hard to understand, but accepted it for what it was. I knew exactly what I was getting into and as a consequence of my actions this was the hand life dealt me. In time I hoped to tell your mother about her father as I am about to tell you now, but unfortunately that time never came.”
Mary took a deep breath to help fight back the tears from thinking of her daughter and then continued with what she had to say to Catherine.
“Well, when your mother was born she was very special indeed. She was both mine and Mathias’ daughter, however, her “genetics” shall I say were predominantly the same as Mathias.’ As with all of Mathias’ family, this strong gene does not start to show itself until a person reaches the age of 17. A bit like puberty but different. Once you reach this stage, your physical being completely changes. You gain certain strengths and abilities, but your body still appears to be that of a human form.”
“What do you mean human form?” interrupted Catherine. “Are you trying to say that my mother and him are not human” Catherine screeched, being unable to believe the absolute absurdity she was hearing.
“Please Catherine,” pleaded Mary “I know this is difficult and incredibly confusing but I can’t get the full facts out unless you let me finish. This sounds so farfetched I know my love, but it is vital that you let me continue. There are things you have to know.”
Catherine nodded, but sat in complete shock. All Catherine could think about was this woman who raised her in such a simplistic and secure manner was really telling her all of this? Most importantly, was any of this actually true?
“As I was saying,” said Mary, “The body does not change until it is at least 17 if you are a member of Mathias family. Now as you may recall, Mathias and I spoke of the last time the circus came, which was 17 years ago. Your mother was 15, almost 16. She met a member of the circus and unbeknown to Mathias and myself, they began a love affair.
Mathias eventually discovered what was going on and forbade Samuel, the man involved, to have anything to do with our daughter. She was not of age you see and we were deeply worried he could harm her. In more than one way as you could imagine.
However Samuel was a very selfish man and had more pride than sense. He did not like being told what to do and ultimately he got your mother pregnant … with you.
Samuel knew of your mother’s heritage and had she been 17 then she would have physically coped with carrying a child of his. You see, children from Mathias people are much stronger than your average child. They grow bigger and faster and are very strong within the womb. Your mother was not 17, however, and had still had the body of a simple human. The end result was her death. Samuel knew that this would happen when he began the affair with your mother, but did not care enough for her to wait until she came of age. Had he waited, she would still be here with us today.”
Mary saw Catherine’s face fill with tears and it dawned on her that Catherine was blaming herself for her mother’s death.
“No dear, never think that. It was Samuel’s fault. He knew full well what he was doing. If he cared for your mother he would have waited until she was 17. He fled when she died, knowing her death was down to him. Had she been a mere human he would not have cared, as he … well we can discuss that later, but because if he had waited a few more months she would have been in the family, he knew his crime was serious. He had murdered one of his own and fled not through guilt, but because he knew that Mathias would wish to take revenge upon him for killing his daughter.
Mathias could not stay as he constantly has to move on, so he left you in my possession. To raise and care for as best as I could until he came back for you when you came of age. Mathias hunted for Samuel, but as of yet he has never found him.”
“I will,” said Mathias, “I will.”
“What about me?” asked Catherine, not sure if she actually wanted to know the answer to her question. “What am I?”
“You dear, are the same as your mother, but more pure as both of your parents are from the same blood line whilst your mother had only one strong blood line – Mathias.’
You remind me very much of your mother, yet you are now older than she was when she died, albeit by a few weeks”.
“When I turn 17, what will happen then?” quizzed Catherine, her heart racing.
“Then … you will change,” said Mathias now taking over the explanations. “Your whole body, your way of life, your thought process, ambitions, needs, requirements, the way you breathe and the way you eat; it will all change. That is why we are here.
To guide you. I came back for you to take over your upbringing. Your grandmother has done a fabulous job raising you, but there is only so much she can do in her position. You need assistance now from your own kind and also protection should
Samuel come back. He has a need for you now you that are almost one of us. You need to be with your own kind.”
“My own kind!” screamed Catherine, the insult ringing in her tone, “ And what exactly is my own kind?”
Mathias, in the blink of an eye was out of his seat and before Catherine on his knees on the floor, holding her hands to hopefully give her the strength she was going to need upon hearing the news.
“Catherine, my sweet sweet girl, you are a vampire.”
Catherine reeled back as she felt the vomit rise in her throat. She wondered why her grandmother would want to play this sick joke on her?
“Well, what about you?” pointed Catherine “Why didn’t you die when you had my mother? You’re not a vampire, you should have died too having a vampire baby shouldn’t you?”
Catherine had found fault in their story and hoped their argument would crumble and they would both start laughing and admit this was some kind of elaborate joke.
“No, she didn’t die. You’re right, Catherine,” said Mathias and gave Mary one of his knowing glances that Catherine was becoming sick of.
All this secretiveness was really getting to Catherine and her mind was churning with all of the information she was trying to process. Suddenly the urge to vomit became so overwhelming that she dived up and ran out of the caravan. Mary jumped up, but Mathias pulled her back down.
“Let her go, it’s a lot to take in. Perhaps we should have told her a bit at a time when she was younger. This way the shock wouldn’t have been so bad.”
“No,” said Mary, “We did what we could, there is no right way to tell a person they are a vampire if they have not been brought up in that world.”
The two of them remained seated on the sofa and looked at each other for a long time but with no further words being spoken.
Catherine ran out into the cold night air, staggering as she ran and dodging the beautiful people who she now knew to be killers. She ran through all the chaos hoping to find a quiet place to be alone and collect her thoughts. She ran past cages filled with animals, boxes of stores and equipment and numerous other trailers, but smaller than that which belonged to Mathias.
Eventually she ran to the bottom of the field the circus was situated on and began to retch and retch. She continued for what seemed like an eternity and her whole life source was draining from her. She had to grip a nearby wall to preventing her from falling. She leant against it half hunched over and stared at the contents of her stomach, which had just left her. Suddenly, she jumped back as for a split second it all looked red, as if it was blood. Catherine convinced herself it was a trick of the moonlight. She dragged herself away, not having the confidence to look again. She staggered a few feet until she found an empty cart and sat herself down on the end of it, feeling completely drained.
“I did the same when I found out, except I never managed to stay on my feet so you are doing slightly better than I did,” came a voice from behind Catherine.
Catherine whizzed round and gasped. The most beautiful man she had ever seen in her whole entire existence was stood before her and had just witnessed her vomiting repeatedly.
For the third time that night, a wave of embarrassment swept over Catherine, but this time is was more overpowering and contained a certain element of humiliation.
The handsome stranger seated himself down next to her and passed her a bottle of water.
“Thanks.” Catherine managed to mutter.
“It’s easier for most as they are raised in our community and see it happen on a daily basis so it is expected, looked forward to even and celebrated. Occasionally, however the odd one does slip through the net and is not raised in the community, so when they do find out it comes as a bit of a shock. At least you were told. There has been the odd poor one who has slipped the net, not being told and then experienced the complete transformation without a clue as to what the hell was going on.” explained the handsome stranger.
Catherine sat on the cart clutching her water and trembled. After all she had just heard that night, all she could worry about right now was how this perfect man had seen her in such a degrading state. Her whole body was tingling and all she could think about was this man’s arms and how she wished one of them was wrapped around her body right now. The minute she had laid eyes on him something inside her had clicked, which she had never experienced before. She felt completely consumed with him like he had her in a trance.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him reach over and do just as she wished, and wrapped an arm around her. He then gave her a reassuring smile. Unbeknown Catherine this handsome stranger was overcome with the strong feelings and emotions she herself was experiencing. He had been innocently walking past, but her very presence drew him to her and he could not control it. The minute he saw her he knew he felt something change inside him. She felt so right and so familiar, that he had to go over.
Catherine looked up and smiled at him, feeling much better already.
“Catherine.” she said offering her name.
“Tobias.” said the friendly stranger and smiled at her.
Catherine pondered at his very old traditional name and wondered how old this 17 year old looking person actually was and whether he was being so nice or if his real intention was to plunge his teeth right into her neck and suck out all of her blood.