Admit it. After reading about my less than good side (well, that’d be *your* perspective anyway) you can’t help yourself. You want more, you know you do. So I’m not going to pussyfoot around. You simply can’t have me. Nobody can. My webmaster thinks she’s got me pegged, but that Kristin doesn’t do anything by keep people afraid of me. That’s how I like it. And so do you. Forget this sexy smexy vampire business. Its not my fault you fool people find evil and pain alluring. Pale skin and dark clothes were popular long before Hot Topic, you know. But I don’t mind. Quite the contrary. Go ahead, get yourself hot. Get all bothered. Bring your blood to a boil. Just let me know when the kettle whistles.
Hmph, Kristin. What does she know?
Victoria and Theodore continued down the dark stone stairs. Theodore grew colder and shivered. He felt the smooth, stone, cold steps beneath his leather boots. Despite their swift descent, he felt the arid air in his very core. A chill tingled up his spine and remained there until they came to a square stone room.
“Where are we going?” Theodore’s whispers echoed in the stone room.
“You will see.” Her booming voice sounded unnatural, and it hurt Theodore’ s ears. He said a small prayer for his ears, and Victoria gave Theodore a dirty look.
She handed him the lantern, and Victoria pushed the wall to the left of the stairs. Her pale and bare arms flexed against the stone. At first, nothing happened, and then Theodore heard the faint rubbing of rock against rock Victoria gave one final push and the wall slid back.
Victoria squeezed through the opening, and Theodore followed. He looked back at the stone slab, but through some unknown power, it slid back into place. Theodore’s fear grew. Thoughts ran through his head like water. He was terrified, but a calming sensation ran through his mind. A voice in his head calmed his fears.
Don’t let fear stop you. Keep going.
Theodore knew these thoughts were not his own, yet they were in his head. He followed the thoughts, entranced. Theodore continued to follow Victoria as well.
Theodore held up the lantern. “Do you want this?”
“I do not need it.”
They walked for infinity it seemed. Theodore was cold and tired, but Victoria was unfazed They reached another door. Theodore saw the elaborate writings on it, and Victoria put her hand up to the center symbol. The door fluctuated and ripples appeared. The marble appearance dissolved away, and the door became clear.
Is Victoria a witch? A wizard?
Victoria made no comment and simply walked through the door. She turned and looked at Theodore. He could see Victoria on the other side, yet Theodore was afraid to cross to the mystical room beyond.
There is nothing to be afraid of, Theodore.
Victoria reached through the mysterious plane and offered her hand to Theodore.
She uses her mind to do these tricks. Fascinating!
“You can do these tricks, too,” Victoria spoke. “If you come with me.”
Theodore slowly put up his left hand, for he still held the lantern in his right. He lightly touched Victoria’s fingertips. They were cold. Not like the snow above, but like a corpse, and Theodore knew the feel of the dead. He withdrew his hand.
“No,” Theodore said aloud. “If God wanted to give me these gifts, he would have already done so. No.”
Victoria reached out farther and grabbed Theodore’ s arm. She yanked him through the watery door, and Theodore dropped the lantern. It burst on impact, setting the hall ablaze. Theodore looked back at the hot blaze, then turned to the room that now unwilling housed him.
The room had a soft red carpet, and it was quite warm compared to its stone entryways. A fireplace crackled on the other side of the room.
It was stupid of Theodore to look for a window, for he knew how far below the ground they were. However, he had hoped for some means of escape. Although there was no way he could push the stone rocks or the snow blocking his way to freedom. No, not as Victoria had done.
Theodore heard a whoosh behind him, and the transparent door was gone. Theodore stepped forward but landed on the soft plush rug.
“Only I know the way out.” Victoria stood by a table next to the fireplace and poured a glass of wine from the ancient and handcrafted bottle. Victoria drank the liquid in one gulp.
Theodore got up and approached the plush and pampered bed in the corner.
How did Victoria create this lair for her dark practices? When?
“Tell me, Theodore.” Victoria poured more of the wine. “Do you want to live forever?”
“It is unnatural. If God wanted man to live forever, he would have made our fragile bodies unbreakable.”
“Your fragile body. Not mine.” Victoria poured more of the wine to replenish the already gone last shot. “And didn’t your own Moses and Noah, Abraham and Adam, didn’t they live to be nine hundred and some? Wouldn’t you like to prolong your life as they did?”
“How long?” Theodore asked. All fools want to live a moment longer, especially when they feel they are near the time of death, as Theodore felt he was.
“However long you want.”
“No.” Theodore was a man. “Dying is a part of life. Why prolong the inevitable?”
Victoria drank every last drop from her glass and then smashed it in the fire. “You are absolutely right.”
Victoria leaped to Theodore’s side and plunged a piece of broken glass into Theodore’s chest. She held his neck and twisted and turned the glass until it was embedded terribly deep. Theodore gasped at the pain.
“I‘ve pierced your lung. Within the hour, you will die.” Victoria released Theodore, and he fell to the floor on his chest, further embedding the glass.
“How does it feel?” Victoria taunted. “T o know you are a fragile being? A being whose life can be taken at any moment! Your precious God will take you whenever he wants, and no one can change his mind. My God is not like that. He makes me powerful and strong. I can prevent your God from taking you away.”
Victoria picked up another hot shard of glass and slit the palm of her hand. Before she was done making the burning incision, it had healed. Theodore was awed.
“I can take the pain away, Theodore. I can make it so pain can never come to you again…if you let me.”
Victoria put out her hand as Theodore reached out and collapsed in her arms. Victoria grabbed the bottle from the table and ripped off Theodore’s jacket and shirt. She poured the wine onto his wound.
Theodore felt the liquid rush into his body. It was warm, yet cold. Foreign, yet his body could not fight it. The liquid shattered the glass, and Theodore could see all this happening when he closed his eyes, yet he did not know how. The foreign molecules attached themselves to his lung. The pinhole forged by the glass was closed.
“Now, Theodore, do you want this?” Victoria asked so sweetly.
Theodore spoke softly, “Yes.”
Victoria tilted his head back. Her long teeth extended farther, and her eyes turned into black slits surrounded by swarms of colors from brown to red to orange to yellow to green and back again. Victoria sunk her teeth into his neck. Theodore winced but made no effort to stop her.
Victoria took in his blood—young, sweet, salty. Images passed through Theodore’s mind. He was flying. He flew through the clouds and up to the stars and beyond. Theodore could feel his heart racing and knew his heart could not go much longer.
Victoria dug her teeth in farther, sucking in more of Theodore’s sweet juices.
I feel my life draining from me!Victoria sucked harder and harder, and Theodore’s heart pounded and pounded and then . . .