Hello, traveler. You are fortunate I have found you. My maker would call you “trespasser,” and my brother would call you “supper.” I could feel your strong heartbeat as if it were my own. The sensation made me nauseous, and somehow rather nostalgic. You smell of dust and ink. Not a slayer here to hunt us like beasts, and not a lustful young thing come to end their life in euphoria. No. You are of the bookish sort, the same type I once was. I smell the leather of your notebook. If you say you are a poet, I shall keep you here to tell me pretty words and gorge myself on your heated blood.
A seeker of knowledge, you say. You wish to know of me? Of my creation? Yes, how did God let his lamb stray into the clawed hands of evil? Let me tell you of my maker, my lord and master. Be mindful in your notes, for once I am through, I shall not repeat my words.
I was baptized in his blood. It is he whom the wolves call Lord that has birthed me into this grim night full of malice. Ah! For my lips to be swollen with his love. For my eyes to turn milky with wonder when he strikes. The children of the night howl “Glory! Glory to our Lord! Glory to the night!” I used to hear such rejoices and despair, for I was still but a maiden of the morning’s holy embrace. My skin was warm like sunlight, my little teeth barely able to skin a rabbit. But now I, too, shout “Glory! Glory to my maker!” For it was he who chose me, who spilled my life’s blood onto the floor of the forest I called home. Oh! How silly I was to have fled in terror, for there be no terror in the eternal bliss of sanguine delight, of slumber spent in a grip of deathlessness. I have learned over these years that one cannot escape fate, no matter how bloody and agonizing. My death was decided the moment my foot slipped upon the muddy path. I tumbled into the still waters of the stream I once bathed in, grabbing wildly at the weeds and rocks as I fell. I was found as the sorrowful lover Shakespeare so doted on, and was thus born anew as Ophelia. What a name! I am fortunate to have received it.
And of my brother? He was not born from the same womb, nor made from the same man. No, he is but another my maker has chosen. Another pitiful young thing plucked from life before it turned him sour. He is quite the wordsmith, and fills my mind with eerie if not horrifying tales. For his fascination with weaving terror out of lovely words, he was born anew as Dante, a man whom even I pity for what he did see. He claims piety, but all who have held him close know the truth of his tainted and short-lived mortality. Forced to exchange his sculpted body for meager bits of coin from passing lustful nobles. He’s so lovely he won attention from all who beheld him, our Lord included. Ah, poor Dante, working hard for the final coin that would earn him a warm meal. He died drowning in euphoria and agony. He died with a silver cross between his teeth, biting down so desperately his teeth cracked. Ah, poor Dante. He gives so much love. I am fortunate to receive it.
Horrid was the transition from life to death. They nailed my coffin shut and drowned me in blood. I could feel only my sharp, ragged nails raking down my skin and the throbbing of my head as my body fought to die, fought to live. And died it did, and lived it did. Glory to my maker! For he held his promise as he held me; true and close to his dead, unbeating heart.
Do I cherish my maker? Do I see him as a father, a true savior? Ah, you ask the right questions, but you ask them too eagerly. You’ll have to die for the answers, you who ask them so freely and with such a strong, bleeding heart.
Many have sought me. Sought my brother. Our siblings who wail and kick when the moon rises. You pity us strange creatures of blood and ichor, those who have been taken from their bassinets and wrapped in sinful arrogance. But I am now free. We are now free. How I love it when Dante tells me his pretty tales as we feast upon a fat, foolish tanner who whipped his little ones until their skin was in shreds on the floor like that of a pig’s. How I delight in bringing anguish to those who cause it! How I adore my master’s proud, dead smile full of fangs and blood and maggots as he sings my praises like the wolves sing their kills! “What a good girl thou art, Ophelia! What a good killer thou art, vampire!”
See how my claws, so tender and cruel, swipe across my forearm— do not look away as blood bubbles from the cut. It is my first gift to you.
Take up your quill, dip it in my cold blood. Scribe the tale of the pretty walking corpse you met in the night. Write of this encounter like a coughing man writing his will. For it shall be the last you write. For we do seek the meek and sympathetic who also bare scars upon their hands. Master shall baptize you in his blood, shall make you my bloodlet sibling who will walk hunched over with the undeserved shame and weakness of humanity no longer.
Come, friend. You are fortunate I have found you. And so too is the eternal night, for she shall guide your curious eyes well, and swaddle you in her shadowy safety all us found children share. You will be fortunate to receive it. All you need to do is embrace it, and be born anew.
Victoria Wraight is a content writer from Buffalo, NY with a passion for the strange and unusual. Her work has been featured in Not Deer Magazine, Hearth & Coffin Literary Journal, and Miniskirt Magazine.