There’s something you have to understand, Amanda. When They found out about us, it was all over for me. I tried to keep us a secret from Them, but nothing is held from Their sight for long.
Nathaniel, what are you talking about?
Please, let me speak. I called you over here, because what I have to say can’t be spoken of over the phone. I needed to see you in person. And since you’re here, I assume you’ve come to listen.
Very well, let me continue.
I am a vampire.
I can see in your eyes you don’t believe me. I didn’t expect you to, at first, but if you hear me out, hear my story, if you see the world through my perspective, you will believe in time.
As I said, I am a vampire. At least I was. If I had the powers of my past, these chains couldn’t hold me. My strength would be unparalleled, and my rage would be boundless, my thirst insatiable.
There is an order to our actions, based on very, very old systems of governments. We have always been above human law. Even today we practice the oldest of traditions. Our unlife can last thousands of years, so we rarely change our ways. We adapt very slowly. This was not a problem for us in the old days, in the dark ages as you call them. But times are changing , in our eyes with lightning speed, and this has caused a split among our kind. Some have reacted by trying to keep up with the changes, to hide amongst the humans, work their jobs, use their technology, but some have ignored the changes, hoping they will go away.
I was among the former. I worked in securities, as you know, so as to keep out of the daylight. Not that it instantly kills us, as most have come to believe, but it weakens us tremendously, making us more vulnerable than the average human. This, of course, causes us extreme discomfort. It would be like knowingly giving yourself a stomach flu.
Our society has strict rules, based on archaic hierarchy. Well, I should say, the rules are few, but the punishments are severe. Even those of the latest generation of vampires have extreme fear and respect for the laws set in place.
What are these rules?
Well, the first and most obvious one is never kill any of our own kind. We may be strong, but we are few, and any aggression ending in the death of a vampire, outside of court judgment, of course, is punishable by immediate execution.
A second rule is to never reveal our true nature to humans.
If we are so weak, what are you afraid of?
Not me, specifically. Vampires as a race. And fear is not the correct word. It is more of a concern. Humans are our most nourishing source of food, especially the fat ones, and anything compromising the availability of our food source is seen as a threat to our way of life.
I still don’t follow.
Alright, a good example of this is Roanoke, in the late 1500’s. There was a young and foolish vampire made in this time, that went by the name of Raleigh. He slaughtered the pilgrims who lived there, but did so hastily and without discretion. It didn’t take long for the villagers to catch on. With the church authoritarian in the lead, the village formed a mob, and burned down the house where Raleigh was sleeping, in an attempt to stop these demon killings. As with all vampire deaths, all that was left was a pile of ash.
The villagers were then armed with two things, a justifiable paranoia of anything or anyone suspicious, and the knowledge that these demons can be slain. One such vampire was killed during a routine feeding. This stirred the council to action.
How many of you were there living in this village?
There were only two that came over with the puritans, Raleigh and myself. The council, having come across the seas with the vikings, had been in the America’s for hundreds of years. Most were ruling as gods in South America and southern Mexico.
The council came to a decision to exterminate the entire village. They knew from my tale that more and more Europeans would be coming to establish villages, and they knew the fear could spread. So every man woman and child was killed, eliminating all food sources in the area. We were unable to feed for years as a result of Raleigh’s lack of discretion.
If he had survived the ordeal, he would have been unmade.
Turned human. His unlife would have been stripped from him.
Is this what happened to you?
I broke another rule with similar punishments. I fell in love with a human.
Who did you fall in love with?
Amanda, if you do not know the answer to that by now, you would not have come all this way.
Why is it so terrible to fall in love with a human?
I was getting to that. Humans are a source of food for the vampires. Nothing more. For us to fall in love with you is like you falling in love with a cow or a pig. It disgusts our kind. It is revolting, and any who engages in such act is immediately made to be a pariah.
The unmaking, my punishment, was almost more than I could bare. First, they remove your fangs.
The doctors said it was self inflicted.
Liars! All of them! What do you take me for? Some masochist? Do you think I indulge in that which is nothing but pain? I almost passed out on the spot, but they revived me.
They stripped me naked and bound me in chains, the touch of which burns our skin like hot iron. Then they stuck me in a coffin, made of fine metal grating, like a torture rack. It is seen as an insult. Coffins are our place of refuge, our source of healing. They sought to heal me while killing me. There was a cross shaped hole cut in the lid. When the coffin was bathed in light, the beam shone through the hole, burning this mark into my forehead.
I’ve been studying your mark. It looks like the scarring is layered, like it was done with a pocket lighter.
What are you saying?
Nothing. Just an observation. Please continue.
They kept me searing in agony for a solid week. I only know this because the informed me of each day they had me in this prison. After a week, when the sun went down for the seventh time, my true torture began. They submerged the coffin in water.
Were they trying to drown you?
No need, because we do not breathe. This process is harmless for vampires who are still children, but after a hundred years, water begins to burn our flesh. The older we get, the more painful the process. In fact, if I was maybe two hundred years older, it would definitely killed me. My flesh would have burned off until there was nothing left of my skin.
This extreme shock to our system works like a defibulator.
Right, that. The idea is that the light weakens our body, the pain weakens our mind, and softens our heart. Our flesh burns off, and is healed again in a constant loop. The final shock of the water starts the heart, and pumps it through the veins. That is all a vampire needs to be human again.
How long did the submersions continue?
They told me eight weeks, but I was human by the seventh. In fact, I almost drowned, because I was not used to breathing. The pain from the silver stopped, and the pain from the water stopped.
This process is different for each vampire. Depending on the strength and the will, a vampire can last for a week, he can last for years. You never know.
I did all of this for you. Don’t you see? They punished me for you.
Is that why you think you are in here?
What do you mean? Amanda, you aren’t making any-
I am not Amanda.
What? Don’t say things like that. What are you talking about?
The others may have been kind to you, but my job is to act objectionably. Amanda is dead. You killed her.
No! Take it back! I could never do such a thing!
I am Dr. Amelia Hawthorne. I was sent here by the court to be a third party psychologist, to analyze your mental condition. You are not a vampire. That is a complex you have created for yourself, to cope with this facility. The police had you in custody. The wounds were self inflicted. You were brought here under suspicion of dementia.
You have to believe me! Amanda, why are you saying these things. It’s not like you. Of people, I thought that you what understand what I am.
Oh, I understand what you are. I will be testifying such at your hearing in three weeks. Nathaniel, vampires don’t exist. They are just stories, for books and movies. Nothing else.
Now, I must go. If I feel it necessary, I will visit again in a week. If not, than I will not see you at the trial, so goodbye.
Wait don’t go! Please, get me out of here. We can run away together. Just you and me. I did all of this for you, don’t you see. This pain and torment, it was all for you, so we could finally be together.
Take care of yourself, Nathaniel. For your own sake.
No wait. Don’t go! Amanda, wait!
I love you…