Story by T.Charters copyright (C) 2017. firstname.lastname@example.org
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, Gods or Demons, living, dead or imaginary is purely coincidental.
"Here," Amanda said, "drink this, it will make you feel better."
"I'm not going to choke again. Am I?" Jane asked timidly. She trusted Amanda but she understandably sounded more than a little afraid.
"Not this time I promise," Amanda replied smiling.
"What is it?"
"Blood!" Jane repeated sounding somewhat repulsed. "Who drinks blood?"
"We do," Amanda explained. She cradled Jane's head in her hand and held the cup to her lips. "Now drink," she pleaded.
Jane took the tiniest of sips. She still seemed a little unsure. Her eyes widened with surprise and she breathed heavily. Her whole body shivered with something approaching excitement and her face cleared as though she'd just woken from a terrible dream. "Wow," she said, her voice crackling like a pubescent teenager, "that's pretty damn good!"
Jane grabbed the cup and began to gulp faster and faster.
Amanda struggled to pull the cup away. "Not so fast," she said, "or you will make yourself sick." Humans and vampires shared many of the same afflictions, they were descended from similar stock after all. Vomiting blood though never looked good no matter what species you were.
Jane lay back and exhaled. She ran her tongue around her mouth savouring the metallic taste. She abruptly frowned and quickly poked a finger between her lips.
"What's wrong?" Amanda asked.
Jane nervously opened her mouth revealing a delicate set of fangs. "Is that normal?" she mumbled, while prodding and poking at them with her finger. She both looked and sounded extremely worried.
"In vampires it is," Amanda explained.
"Is that what I am?" Jane asked.
Amanda nodded. She was happy and sad at the same moment. She had wanted to believe that Jane and herself were more alike. She had never met another familiar without a sire before.
"And you as well?"
"Almost," Amanda replied. "I'm a familiar." She explained the difference, how and where familiars came from but not their true purpose within the world of the Fey. She even revealed her encounter with Damian, the vampire who had forced himself upon her and turned Amanda into what she now was.
"So, someone like me did that to you?" Jane asked. She sounded disgusted. "I'm a monster," she said.
Amanda quickly shook her head. "No," she corrected. "Damian is the monster. You're a Fey. Just like me."
"It's what we call ourselves," Amanda explained. "All the elves, dwarves, gnomes, goblins, fairies, pixies as well as all the rest. We are one race made up of hundreds who have lived in peace with each other for over ten thousand years." She smiled though with a little sadness in her eyes. "I'm not that disappointed with how things turned out," she said. "You might be interested to know that vampires are considered noble and elegant. They are the rulers of the Fey."
"Vicious though," Jane suggested darkly.
Amanda nodded. "They can be," she agreed. "Jane was fortunate," she thought.
Most familiars existed on the fringe of the Fey world. Considered to be something less than whole creatures, slaves bound to their vampire masters, humans who couldn't make it in their own world and willingly gave up their freedom in the naive hope of becoming something more. Though tolerated they were pariah, social outcasts with the lowest possible standing. Amanda was lucky, without a sire to control her Bob had found her a place within The Watch. Few familiars had it so easy.
Of all the Fey only vampires and werewolves transfigured humans. With werewolves it occurred during a moment of uncontrollable rage, vampires though had the will to choose. Since the Fey council had declared it undesirable to transfigure humans without their consent familiars were offered little protection. They were seen to have chosen their fate and as such deserved the life they now had. Amanda was an aberration, an oddity, a familiar both without a sire and one who had been transfigured against her will. In the world of the Fey she was unique.
"My fangs are gone?" Jane said abruptly while still poking around in her mouth with a finger. She'd been worried when they'd appeared and now worried that they were gone. She felt worried about being worried about it and that worried her even more. She looked totally confused.
Amanda laughed at her adorably innocent expression. "They only drop when you feed," she explained.
Jane nodded though she still looked confused. "That makes sense, I suppose," she said, in a tone which suggested it still made very little sense to her at all. "I guess it'd be difficult to talk if they were there all the time," she attempted to joke.
Amanda smiled. She could sympathise. When she'd first been turned Bob had almost had to reteach her everything. She'd barely been able to function at all. "You should get some sleep," she said. "The blood should make you feel better and you'll heal quickly but it will still take some time."
This wasn't a movie. In the real world vampires didn't heal instantly the moment they'd fed. It was quick, far quicker than a humans, but not that quick.
"Will you stay with me?" Jane asked.
"What?" Amanda joked. "You think I'm going to abandon my only friend?"
"Friend?" Jane quickly asked in reply. She sounded both pleased and nervous at the same moment. "But you really know nothing about me," she said.
"I think I know enough," Amanda replied.
"But I could have been a monster like Damian."
"Maybe," Amanda agreed. "But you're not at the moment."
"You don't think those memories will come back?" Jane asked. She sounded afraid. It almost seemed like she never wanted to learn who she'd once been.
Amanda smiled trying to ease Jane's fears. "I think you should stop thinking about it," she explained a little seriously. "For the moment neither of us knows who you once were, and until, if your memories return then we'll both worry about it then, together." She smiled. "Besides," she added, "you seem so disgusted by it I doubt you were similar to Damian at all. It's not in your nature, I don't think regaining your memories would change that."
"You think?" Jane asked.
Amanda smiled once more. "Now sleep," she commanded. "We can talk more tomorrow." She turned up Jane's blanket then collapsed in a chair in the corner.
Jane watched her. "Did you have a family before?" she asked.
"Do you ever think about them?"
"Not as often as I should," Amanda replied a little sadly.
"Were you different then?"
Amanda chuckled. "I was naive," she explained. "I believed that everyone else was more important than me. Like most medical staff I never really looked after myself. After the change I couldn't do that anymore. I found it hard to trust anyone, especially myself. I needed to learn to live again. That's one of the reasons I ran away. Damian did that!"
"And now?" Jane asked.
Amanda smiled. "I'd say I'm getting turned around," she replied.
In the morning Amanda woke with a start and the not entirely unpleasant sensation of her mobile phone vibrating in her pocket. She quickly fished it out and glanced at the display.
"David," she said, yawning into the mouth piece. "What's up? Shouldn't you be going home?" Normally she'd be leaving the hospital herself about this time.
"Just leaving now," he replied. He paused for a moment. He didn't sound as happy as he could. "I have some news," he revealed.
"Okay," Amanda said frowning. "What?"
"Jane was transferred," David explained.
"Transferred?" Amanda replied, trying to sound surprised. "Really?" She was still sitting in the corner of the room and looked over at Jane who was for a change sleeping peacefully. "To where?" she asked.
"Somewhere closer to her family," David replied. "I'm not sure," he said. "It seems they found out who she is."
"Well, that's good isn't it?" Amanda suggested, trying to sound relieved.
"There's more," David said seriously and sounding far darker than he had previously. "She died!"
"Died? What do you mean?" Amanda asked. This time she didn't have to pretend to be surprised. "She's fine, I mean was fine."
"Apparently she started to haemorrhage in the ambulance," David explained. "There was nothing they could do. She was pronounced dead on arrival."
Amanda was stunned. Not by the knowledge that Jane was transferred or had apparently died but by knowing that there was more going on in the background than she was aware of. She didn't know what to say.
"Take a couple of days," David suggested. "I'll cover for you. I've never seen you bond with someone like that before. It was nice to see a more tender side of you."
"Yeah," Amanda said. "Tender." She hung up the phone then immediately dialled another number. "Who was the other girl?" she asked the moment the call was answered.
"So you know?" Bob said. He didn't sound surprised.
"Who was she?" Amanda repeated.
"A young familiar who took her own life," Bob explained.
"Took or had taken?" Amanda asked seriously.
"It was suicide," Bob confirmed unhappily. "The Watch distressed her body with the injuries you described. It seemed the best way to stop anyone from asking more questions."
Amanda nodded. She understood. "How old was she?" she asked.
"Don't do this little one," Bob suggested, trying to lighten the mood. "You'll end up crying on my shoulder again and your tears makes my fur all frizzy."
"How old?" Amanda repeated undeterred.
Amanda shook her head in disgust. "Such a waste," she thought.
The expected lifespan for a familiar was close to a thousand years. It was understandable that some humans would be tempted even without knowing the complete truth. Immune to mortal diseases and ageing at one-tenth of the speed they would live a healthy life until their bodies finally gave out. To be bound to a master often cruel and unfeeling was frequently too much to bear. Few ever made it comfortably to the end. Even vampires were sometimes known to take their own lives. Immortality could be seen as curse. But even this was no pleasurable release for the familiars under their care. Without a sire they were afforded no protection and would often starve or be cruelly hunted for sport. The Watch did what they could for some but the reality of it disgusted Amanda more than anything.
"How's your patient?" Bob asked, changing the subject.
"Doing a lot better," Amanda replied. "She's sleeping at the moment." She looked over at Jane and smiled. "She's not like me though," she revealed.
"How so?" Bob asked.
"Well, for starters she has the cutest set of fangs!"
The police car pulled to a halt in front of the small, country hospital. It was almost a two hours drive from the city and seemed very distant and remote. The sun was already high in the sky and the officer looked at the sunny surrounds with some considerable distaste. He threw up his collar, huddled into his jacket then quickly walked inside.
He flashed his badge and asked for the patient called Jane Doe who had been transferred during the night.
The nurse's face immediately fell. "I'm sorry," she said sounding a little upset. "But she died."
"Died," the officer repeated. He again neither sounded happy nor sad. "Show me the body," he instructed. A short while later he returned to the car. He punched the identical number into his phone and waited for it to connect.
"Well," the same woman snapped.
"She's dead," he related.
"Are you sure it's her?"
"The injuries are consistent," the officer calmly reported.
The woman paused for a moment. "Do you think she suffered?" she asked showing some uncharacteristic concern.
"It would seem likely," the man suggested.
"Good," the woman coldly replied.
"She's a vampire?" Bob inquired. He sounded surprised as well as a little alarmed.
"Yeah," Amanda confirmed. She still sounded a bit surprised herself though she didn't seem so concerned.
"Be carefully little one," Bob suggested. "If she remembers who she is she might kill you for not having a sire, or even just for the sake of it." It was clear that Bob didn't hold vampires in a particularly high regard. He respected them and understood their place within the Fey, but that didn't change his thoughts on some of their more vicious tendencies.
"I don't think she would," Amanda replied. "She's not like any vampire I've ever met before. She seems genuinely disgusted by them. She thinks she's a monster."
Bob immediately laughed. "So," he joked, chuckling in the back of his throat, "now we have a familiar who never wanted to be and a vampire who wishes to be something else. You're certainly suited for each other."
Amanda smirked. "Thank goodness for Yeti stability," she suggested.
"Damn straight," Bob agreed.
Around noon a coroner's van pulled to a halt behind the small, country hospital. The young woman's body was quickly loaded into the back then the van sped away. It never arrived at the coroner's office nor was ever seen again, it and the body simply vanished. In numerous offices throughout the city paper files on the case were mistakenly shredded and electronic records strangely lost. Even computer backups didn't contain any information which could be restored. By the end of the day it was almost as though Jane Doe had never existed. If anyone tried to find her they'd disappear into a maze of government bureaucracy from which they might never escape. The Watch had done their job well. They'd been hiding evidence of the Fey from the human world for hundreds if not thousands of years and they were extremely good at it. They had agents everywhere from the lowliest shop assistant to the most senior politician. There was nowhere beyond their reach.
Jane slept for most of the day. She finally woke when Amanda was checking on her once more.
"How are you feeling?" Amanda asked. She was still concerned but tried to not let it show.
Jane frowned. "Hollow," she replied.
"You need to feed," Amanda explained.
"More blood?" Jane suggested hopefully her tone brightening considerably.
Amanda smiled. "Well, aren't you delicious," she joked.
With Bob's help it had taken Amanda months to learn how to fully cope. She was pleased to be able to finally give some of that assistance back.
"We have pig, beef and chicken blood," she revealed, feeling a little like a waitress in a restaurant. It would be a strange restaurant she reasoned, one with a very specific clientele and one that exclusively opened at night with only a single item on the menu. "Which would you prefer?" she asked.
Jane shook her head.
"I'd go with the pig's blood," Amanda suggested. "Beefs a bit heavy and chicken just tastes like everything else anyway." She grinned ironically.
"What's your favourite?" Jane asked.
"Pig definitely," Amanda replied.
"That then," Jane confirmed.
They fed together then Amanda worked on checking and changing Jane's many dressings. Luckily vampires didn't suffer from infections so all the wounds were clean and healthy. They were healing extremely quickly but still hurt just the same and as much as anyone else.
Jane whimpered uncomfortably as Amanda removed some of the larger dressings. "Will there be scars?" she asked nervously. She already thought she was a monster. In her mind scars would only reenforce that belief.
Amanda quickly shook her head. She smiled. "You're a vampire," she explained reassuringly. In this case it really was something to be thankful for. "There won't be even the slightest mark."
"Is it the same for you?" Jane asked sounding more than relieved. "If you were to hurt yourself."
"Mostly," Amanda replied. "I heal much the same as you." She'd actually been a little nervous when she'd first started working at the hospital. It'd be difficult to explain how she could heal without a blemish if she were ever to hurt herself. "I have a few scars from when I was still human," she explained before becoming quite bitter, "as well as my origin marks."
"Origin marks?" Jane asked. She sounded confused. "What are those?"
Amanda lifted up her sleeve to reveal a set of puncture wounds on her upper left arm. They had never fully healed. "That's where Damian bit me," she advised.
"That's all it took to change you?" Jane prompted. She sounded surprised. It seemed a little too easy.
Amanda shook her head. "No," she explained. "There has to be an intent on the vampire's behalf. They have to want to turn the person. During the bite they inject a venom which causes the change."
"I have venom as well?" Jane said screwing up her nose. She sounded curious as well as a little horrified. "How do I use that?"
"I hope you never have to find out," Amanda replied trying to smile.
"What if Damian had only bitten you?" Jane pressed further. "If he didn't want to turn you." She sounded curious, like a student learning something interesting for the very first time.
"I would have probably died," Amanda explained. She honestly didn't know which she would have preferred. "Vampires carry diseases which most humans would never have been exposed to," she revealed. "They would have no immunity to them." She abruptly remembered what the lab tech had said about Jane's blood. Maybe Jane wasn't as young as she appeared. Amanda paused for a long moment. "There's more," she said becoming serious. "Something else you need to know."
"What?" Jane asked, frowning. Amanda's tone was starting to worry her.
"When a human is turned they lose their freewill," Amanda added further. "A psychic connection is formed between them and their sire. The sire can control the familiar with a simple thought. It's never good."
Jane stared. "Even you?" she asked.
"No," Amanda replied firmly, shaking her head. "I never wanted to be turned. That's a requirement! Damian has no control over me."
If you feel like donating to Trig to help fund her continued writing or to download her other books then. Visit Here.