Back to the ‘Unpredicted’ series! So here’s this week’s picture it and write:
With years of perseverance and practice, a vampire was able to refrain from jumping at any human being and sucking all their blood. That was why I, Clare, was still alive, although a few moments earlier, Caleb, who I once thought was a very close friend but who turned out to be a bloodsucking vampire, had been draining a poor man, hidden in the fogs, on the bridge that separated the sophisticated city and the dark evergreen forest.
He looked worn out yet dangerous with all his face and front shirt covered with dried blood, but he stared at me as if I was the one who was the monster. I opened my mouth, questions banging all over my brain, but no sound came out. At last, Caleb sat down on the dirty concrete floor of the bridge. His head was bent down and he was cursing himself in whispers.
I hesitantly took a step forward.
I could not remember how we began to talk to each other, but the story that Caleb told me was unforgettable. He told me about how he became a vampire.
When he was young, he had said, he would often escape from the fires of his father’s bad temper and take refuge in the forest. Every day after school he would cross that bridge and enjoy these precious moments between Mother Nature and him. He danced with the leaves, slept under the trees, admired the funny game of the rays of the sun, tried to fly with the birds…
Time had no meaning.
It was only weeks later that he had realised that he was slowly being enchanted by the hidden powers of the forest. He was a strong and young boy and the fairies of the forest needed to regenerate their energy with such two qualities. Before he knew it, he was trapped. He could not escape from the heaven that had become a hell. The sun went down and still he was desperately running towards what he thought was the exit and the mouth of the bridge. But the forest kept on making him return to its once favourite spot.
He did not know what had been going on at that time. Night was falling. The trees elongated their shadows and darkened their colours. It seemed that the forest would not let light penetrate it any more. It felt scary, almost threatening.
He had stopped running as it resulted in nothing. It was then that he heard the voices.
At first, he thought that it was the blowing wind which kept on hitting the branches and dead leaves, but he soon realised that he was hearing whispers.
“Let’s take him.”
“Do you think he’s good enough?”
“So youthful… so robust…”
These were the voices of the wicked fairies of the forest. They could not wait to eat him. He did not understand anything at that moment and was paralysed with fear, even as a branch as thick as a human arm stretched towards him. Its little branches that hung at its very end started to moved in circles, like fingers that wanted to grab him. He stepped back in horror.
Yet the longest of the fingers was able to reach his chin. It tore his skin until a few droplets of blood fell on the muddy ground. He did not dare to move. The branch held him strongly.
“Look who has come to pay us a visit, like every other day,” the whispers started again. “Caleb, the young and lively lad.”
His tongue was burning to talk but the branch hurt his jaw.
“We are the fairies of this forest, the forest that you love so much. You love our forest, don’t you? You like it when it helps you find a home of yours, don’t you? Then you shall do us a favour.”
Gradually, branches started to sprout from the other trees… and even the roots from the soil.
“Yes… a favour… for our dear forest…”
He knew that he had no chance to survive. He was doomed. He closed his eyes…
…but it did not stop the pain from coming. He felt as if his skin was being ripped off and that he was losing all his blood. He felt his organs burning. It felt like hell.
Soon he lost consciousness.
But he did not die.
“So the forest transformed you into a vampire?” I asked in disbelief. It was her forest too. Her mother’s. They had been spending all their days together among its welcoming trees and birds and they had never witnessed anything of that sort.
Caleb shook his head. I was exasperated. His story had neither heads nor tails.
“The fairies would have killed me, but I was saved. By a witch. She had been the one who had changed me into a vampire because she pitied me. She did not want me to die, but becoming a vampire was the only road to life… or rebirth, I should say.”
“A witch?” Was I in a dream?
“Yeah. The Witch of the Forest. Don’t you know her?”
Uh… how would I ever know about witches? I only just discovered their existence. I shook my head as a reply.
Caleb arched an eyebrow. “It was your mother.”
An Evil Nymph.