Monday, November 17, 2008

What Have I Done 1 - Incongruous

What Have I Done

Cold blood pounds through my veins, adrenaline causing my thoughts to blur as I force myself to stand on the swaying earth. There was never a chance to make a different choice and now I will have to live with the consequences forever.

Compelled into a decision I would have killed not to make, I look down at the dead body at my feet. My name is Jade Suon and I have just died. The body, laying so pale and alone in the darkness of an empty city park, is my own. Shadows obscure the familiar features, long dark hair curled around bloody shoulders. I have shed one form of living for another.

A pink edge to the horizon warns of the coming dawn and with tears in my eyes I step over the unmoving form and walk away, following a concrete path to the edge of the park where I hail a taxi cab. The driver in the yellow vehicle does not notice anything odd about me. How could he? I have not changed in any outer sense, my appearance still the same. I look like the Jade Suon that had so naively wandered into the danger of the park.

Cold raindrops begin to fall against the window as I look out at the lights, buildings and people that pass by in a slow flash of life.

My name is Jade Suon and I have just died.

My name is Jade Suon and I will now start living a new life.


Twenty minutes later I stumbled over the welcome mat inside my small, two room apartment. My first instinct is to call Terra Wright, my best friend, and tell her everything that had just transpired. I immediately dismiss the idea as I reach down to untie my blue sneakers. My fingers are shaking as they pull out the rough bow and loosen the laces.

Adrenaline is still keeping my heartbeat elevated as I enter the room, shedding my thick winter coat and shoulder bag. I want the nervousness to end, the anxiety to stop, but it does not. Outside my living room window the sky has turned a strawberry red, the clouds swirling in the pattern of sunrise. I see the edges of the sun poking over the buildings on the horizon and I shudder. I know what my new life means. No more sunshine on my bare skin.

I walk quickly across the room and pull the dark, thick drapes over the window to shield me from the haunting view. It is a painful reminder of a life that will never again be mine again. For once, I am glad for the unusual thickness of the material. When I bought them online and had them shipped to my apartment it had been a disappointment, now I count it as a miracle.

I enter my bedroom, the window blinds already closed from the night before, I collapse heavily on the end of the bed. I sit there, taking in the silence of my home, my body shaking from shock.

Outside I hear sirens down the street. Maybe they have finally found my body. A morbid fascination with that thought makes me wonder if I should claim it. Should I bury it? What will the police tell my family? How will I explain this mystery away? I shake my head and sigh.

The carpet is warm under my thin ankle socks and I pull them up onto the bed beside me, wrapping my arms around my knees I sit there and think about what I have done.

The choice had not been easy, but at the time I had been dying and the feeling of my life-force draining from my body still haunt my veins. I shivered and hug myself tighter. Yesterday my most pressing concern was getting to work on time. I would never go to work again.

Jade Suon had died in that park, under that bright, full moon. I am a shadow of my former self. A body and a mind with the absence of a soul. I feel a tear spill over my blackened, beautified lashes and I let it fall. The knowledge that I had been forever changed left me with a hole in my heart and a numb haze in my mind. This was a nightmare, but at least I was alive to endure it.

My family. My eyes search out the phone station on the table at the right side of my bed. I could never call them again. As far as they know, I am dead. I will always be dead. Now that I have made my choice.

My mother never knew the truth and my father refused to believe me when I told him. I had always known, from as far back as I can remember, that there was more to the world. Supernatural and paranormal experiences are not restricted to words on the pages of books. No, there were real mysteries and now I was one of them. The living ghost of a dead woman.

What would this new life be like for me. What strange path had I chosen, so desperately, to traverse. I wondered these questions as I let my tears speak of a pain I was still too numb to feel.

The phone rang.

I let it ring. My shoulders shook as a sob escaped and the thought hit me like a load of bricks that my mother could be on the other end. The lights were still off in my apartment and with all of the windows covered, only a small sliver of light could be seen below each frame, a bright line in an otherwise dismally gray home. Another realization came to the forefront of my mind at that moment. I could never call this place home again. After today there would be police and family members and I would have to leave it behind. Start over again somewhere else as someone else. My blue eyes widened.

I would be truly alone. I sniffed, wiping at the dampness on my cheeks with my shirtsleeve. I felt the rough material slide across my skin and for a moment I refused to believe that any of it was real.


A vampire had bitten me. The curse of their disease both killing and changing and saving me all at one time. A supernatural triad of actions that only a vampire could revel in. Days before my death I had felt the presence following me. I knew then that it must be something powerful, but had I known it was a vampire I would have tried harder to evade it.

Being a human in a world saturated by mythical, mysterious creatures I always made it my business to keep an eye out for any local additions to my neighborhood of a non-human nature. Polite and obscure as most of them were, they could be easily shadowed by those vicious few who held tight to their savage heritage. I knew that vampires were blood thirsty and immoral, but most of them had died off centuries ago. Very few lived - or haunted - the free land of America.

Not only were vampires extremely rare, they were also very adept at hiding their presence. Mainly due to their experience with humans. They had lived so long among their co-species that it was second nature for them to adopt an easily over-looked disguise. I had known this and as a result my attempts to guard my friends, family and myself had heightened over the years.

I had always know about the existence of strange supernatural creatures, but it was not until my eleventh birthday that I truly came to understand the impact they would have on my life.

On the night of my eleventh birthday I had been visited by the ghost of my Grandmother. She had explained to me that certain women in my family line were gifted with a sixth sense. The ability to perceive paranormal phenomenon in their true forms. Unlike most humans, who saw only what was meant to be seen instead of what was actually there, I was born with my eyes open to the strangeness most could never dream existed. It was a gift that I used to keep myself safe.

I never intentionally interacted with these other-worldly beings, it was not my place, but on occasion I was put into a position where I found myself needing to reveal my secret to help others. It was not something that I was particularly glad to do, no matter what the circumstance, but I could not let anyone else get hurt for my own safety.

My death had been the perfect example of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If it had been any other human that had walked through the park that night all that they would have seen was a man and young woman making out on a park bench, lit by a lone lamp. That is not what I saw under that naked light. My trained eyes saw a vampire feeding off a fellow human. I knew what it was from the pictures that my Grandmother had shown me during one of her ghostly visitations.

The woman being attacked had fled as soon as I gave her the chance. How I did that was simple enough. I screamed at the top of my lungs. Then I had called the vampire by his ancestral title. It had been over three minutes later. The woman saved, my dead body growing cold on the ground and the vampire on the loose in a city full of possible victims. A lot of good I had done anyone. Now I was a danger to them.

My heart had finally slowed its harsh beat and I lay back on the soft, queen-sized bed and relax. The phone rang three more times that hour, but I refused to move as my gaze remained glued to the colorless ceiling above me. I knew there was no way I would ever take another human life, but I also knew that I had been transformed by a single bite.

Blood was the key.

I would need to find a place to rebuild my life, to shape into a new form, but I would need to do it in a place where I could access non-human blood. I could not afford to take any chances. I refuse to be responsible for the death of an innocent.

My career background was very specific and I doubted it would be a handy starting point for any new job. I wrote columns for a local paper - at least, that is where I had been employed yesterday, but now Jade Suon no longer existed.

A change of name would be the first on my list of goals for the day. I had always wanted to change my name to Angelina Fontaine. I smiled softly, no wonder vampires chose such ridiculously florid, flamboyant names. When faced with the ability to call oneself anything it left the door wide open for possibilities. I decided to go with Angelina Fontaine and so now all I had to do was figure everything else out.

I would still need money. Society did not have a place for those whose species has changed overnight. No, I would have to forage until a job and a place to stay became available to me.

Twenty minutes later I pulled my traveling case out from under the bed, its white and blue flower print invisible to me in the darkness. Whatever special sight vampires must possess to see clearly in the shadows, I had not yet evolved it. Fumbling through my dresser and closet I packed from memory all of the things that I knew I would need to have with me.

“You should have known better.” A condescending, slightly shaken voice spoke from the corner of the room.

I glanced that way and saw the familiar, transparent form of my long-dead Grandmother, Violet Graham. I nodded a greeting and continued to dig through my sock drawer for the five hundred in cash I kept hidden in there. After a few moments my fingers closed around the thick, paper bundle.

“Being bitten by a vampire is a step backward, indeed.” The old woman’s voice continued accusingly. “Now look what you’ll have to endure. Years on the run until you are able to adjust to this life.”

“I don’t plan on running from anything.” I respond harshly.

“Well, you can’t very well stay here, now can you?” She asked knowingly.

“I mean from my new self, not from the physical geography. I thought you were being metaphorical.” I say in apology.

I hear her sigh, the sound almost hidden by the abrupt zipping noise as I close my luggage. I grab a coat from off of a closet hanger and shrug it over my shoulders, not bothering to put on the arms. Taking the suitcase under one arm, I hurry to the next room and slip into my shoes.

“Where will you go?” Violet voices my own concerned question.

I hesitate at the door, my hand on the brass handle. All that I know and all that I have grown to love is facing my back. When I open that door I will be walking away from it, never to return.

The daylight outside will be problematic, I suddenly think with relief. That means I must wait until nightfall at least before I leave.

The phone rings.

I cannot wait though, police will have to come to my apartment sometime. I feel sweat begin to bead on my forehead. Unsure of what action to pursue, I release the door handle and retreat to my tiny kitchen table.

I hear phantom footsteps follow me into the room and I look up at my Grandmother. She is wearing a too-large sweater of some non-descript gray color and because of its size the sweater hangs well below her waist, covering the awful striped pants worn below. She comes to a stop in front of the table, content to stand there and stare at me condescendingly. I hate it when she gets in one of her moods - usually after I have done something she personally disapproves.

“What?” I ask, my voice tight. “I should have left the girl to die?”


I gawk at her in disbelief. My Grandmother, Violet, has always been a kind woman in my experience. The harsh, monosyllabic response stuns me. She frowns and shakes her head.

“Don’t look so surprised, dear. Of course I would rather you saved yourself. Is that so wrong?”

“N-No.” I stutter out as I move past my shock. “I guess not.”

“I guess not.” She repeats my words with a nod of finality. “You are alive and safe from most harms, but new challenges will face you now.”

“Hm.” I mumble in agreement.

“I know you didn’t plan this, dear, but you do have to deal with the consequences and it isn’t going to get easier.”

I smile up at her. “Why do you always have to be so smart?”

She shrugged, her eyes twinkling behind transparent bi-focal lenses. I laugh softly. At least she will remain consistent in my suddenly changed world.

“Thanks, for not leaving me.” I tell her, meaning every word with all of my heart. “At least this way I am not truly alone.”

Her hand touches my hair, light as a feather. “I would never leave you, dear. You need me.”

“True.” I agree.

“You’ll see, we will get you through this.” She encourages me. “As much as I would rather have seen you save yourself and run, I admire what you did. That young woman will have a life now because of you.”

I know what she says should make me feel better, but it does not. I picture that young woman’s face in my mind trying to burn it into my memory. Because of that nameless someone, I am no longer human and no longer truly alive, yet un-dead. My life has taken a strange, unpredictable twist and I do not know how I will recover from it.

Still, I have Grandmother to help me. Together, we stay unmoving in the kitchen as the hours tick down to darkness. If the police come before then, I will just have to deal with it.


It is nightfall outside my apartment. The artificial lights seem to have no affect on me, but still I huddle deep in my coat, the collar turned up for maximum coverage. I do not want to get recognized by anyone I might have known in my past life.

The short walk to the corner goes smoothly and I enter a taxi, quickly rattling off the directions my Grandmother had supplied. When alive she had made many contacts in the supernatural underground. A necessity in the large city.

She is gone now, but she will be back. To help support and guide me.

The ride is long and silent as I refuse to enter into any kind of discourse with the driver. I just want to get on with my new life and forget all of the things that I used to know. A new world has been opened up to me and I plan to make the most of it.

“Here you are, miss.” The driver interrupts my thoughts hours later. Startled, I jump a little, my arms tightening around the suitcase I have carried on my lap. “Worrisome place by the looks of it.”

I look out the window at the man’s ominous words, expecting to see the worst. Instead, I find myself staring at the battered, weather beaten side of an old monastery. I blink. This cannot be the right address. Grandmother sent me to a house, a home for the supernaturally uneducated and unprotected. A fortress of sorts, at least, that was how she had described it in my apartment. I felt my hopes fade.

“Wait here, please.” I tell the driver as I open the door to the yellow cab. My hand tightens around the handle of the suitcase as I walk towards the decrepit building. Stones have crumbled, the walkway fractured and overgrown with weeds. I feel the splatter of tiny raindrops on my nose and look up into the drizzling sky. Adjusting my coat tighter around my body I make my way carefully to the large, double front door.

I can hear the car running behind me, the sound of a country radio station muffled by the foggy night air. I take a deep breath and push one side of the plain, wooden door open. It did not make the expected creak, it made no sound at all.

I looked inside to the darkness and almost immediately my eyes adjusted. It seemed my vampire gifts were exerting themselves. I take a step inside, set the suitcase down next to the door, and walk towards the nearest row of empty pews. The doors had taken me directly into a religious sanctuary.

My footsteps echo dully off the old, bare walls. I look up, the ceiling is high and dark, but I can clearly make out the painting there. My body is truly changed.

“Who are you?”

I freeze at the deep, unwelcoming bass. I scan the room and spot a robed form next to a small doorway at a far corner, by the broken podium stage.

“My name is … Angelina Fontaine.” I try my new name and like how it rolls easily off my tongue.

The robed figure walks slowly, methodically towards me. As the man leaves the shadows of the small doorway, I can see other faces peeking out. Three young, curious faces. I cannot tell if they are young women or men, but at this point that does not matter. They are wearing the same drab robes, but their hoods are pulled down. Unlike the man approaching me.

“Who are you, Angelina Fontaine?” The man asks in a monotone.

I frown. “I’m someone looking for help.”

“So, you are human?”

Suddenly it strikes me what exactly he has been asking. I swallow hard. “No. I’m a vampire.”

The hood is pulled back in one quick, graceful movement and the man’s features are revealed. I tense. He is no human. Red, glowing eyes are set into a fur covered face. Pointed ears poke out with tufts of long, dark hair attached. He is a werewolf. I have only met two of his kind before, but both times the creatures had been unbelievably kind and accommodating. I relax. My Grandmother had given me accurate information after all.

“A vampire, in this holy place?” The werewolf asked in a low, curios growl. “There are no easy meals here.”

I chuckle darkly.

“I am in search of safety and help.” I clarify.

He nods. “We are here to help those who need it, but if I find you are being less than truthful, I will act swiftly.”

I clench my jaw at the threat. A thrill of fear and relief mixing in my veins. He will help me.

“I was bitten last night. I died.”

“Your attacker did not claim you?” He asks me with stark shock.

I shake my head, rubbing my arms at the memory of those intrusive teeth biting through the soft skin of my neck. My hand reaches up involuntarily.

“I saved a young girl, he was going to turn her and I interrupted. The bite was defensive - to incapacitate me - and then he took off.”

“I see.”

He studies me with those glowing red eyes that I find impossible to read. After a long moment he nods his head once and steps closer to me, holding out his hand in invitation. I reach out hesitantly and shake it.

“My name is Seth.” He introduces himself.

“Seth.” I repeat back to him. “A pleasure.”

I hear a chattering from the far doorway and turn to stare at the slowly emerging group of youngsters. They seem encouraged by the handshake and I see three walk out cautiously. They are humans, blonde and if I had to guess, siblings.

Seth looked over his shoulder. “It is safe, children.” He turned back to face me and smiled, showing a row of sharp white teeth. “These are my children, Darien, Dorian and Dory-Ann.”

I smile at the children. “Hello.”

This is not the first inter-species family I have met, but no doubt it is the most unusual. I remember the taxi driver waiting for me outside.

“Can you help me?” I ask bluntly.

Seth bows his fur-covered head. “Yes. You may stay here with us and the others like you…Until we are able to find you a new life and identity.”

“The new identity is covered.” I reply with a wink. “Angelina Fontaine is all set for the new life.”

“Very well.”

“I have a cab waiting outside. Let me just send it away.”

He motions towards the door. “By all means, Ms. Fontaine.”


The harsh sounds of a city at night are all the more evident after those long minutes in the quiet of the church. I hurry across the empty street, pulling out the fare as I walk. The driver rolls down his window, his breath making a cloud of fog in the air outside the window.

“I’m going to be staying.” I inform him, handing over the cash.

He gives the monastery a critical glance before shrugging. “Take care, sweetheart.”

Then the car is pulling away and I am left standing alone on the lamp-lit street. Things will be different from now on, but I am confident that I will be alright. Everything will work out whether I want it to or not. I cannot die now. I am forced to deal with the consequences of my actions. With a heavy sigh I turn on my heel and return to the church.

“You made the right choice, no matter what I might have said.” My Grandmother is suddenly following me as I take the broken path up towards the large, open door that lead to my new home.

I smile. “I know.”

My name is Angelina Fontaine and last night I died.

My name is Angelina Fontaine and tonight I begin to live my new life.

As the cold air fold me in its arms, I am followed from one life to another, in a strange transition, by the only family left to me. The gray shadow of my Grandmother trailing behind as I enter the church. I look forward to what this new life can bring me, I am confident that I will allow only good to come out of this change.


TLC's said...

That was good. Thanks for posting it so soon so I could read it. TTYL

Ebbtide said...

Next section coming soon!! :D ;). No worries, glad that you liked it.

Have a great day!