But all too soon the urges come back, take over you and your original self is once again possessed, screaming for your body to stop. But you never stop. Vampires are evil demons, put on this world for no apparent reason but to cause havoc and unimaginable anguish wherever they go. They express no remorse, feel no love and relish in the pain of others. I should know, because I am one of them.

Issy lives with her family in a remote town in the English countryside. It was just like any other small town: boring and uneventful. Every day was the same: the same people, same routines, same surroundings. That is, of course, until the Vampires invaded, and everything turned upside down.


15. Help

I waited a good hour in that small little bathroom until I made a move to exit it. It took about 20 minutes for my fangs to go back in, and then I waited another 40 minutes until I was positive the coast was clear. I got up and stretched out my aching legs - turns out a toilet with the cover pushed down is not the most comfortable of seating options. 

I turned the lock on the door as quietly as was humanly- no, Vampirely possible and crept out. I darted into my bedroom, shut the door and grabbed my desk chair with one hand. I pushed it up against the door, hooking the top underneath the door handle. It wouldn't keep me from exiting the room, but maybe it would make me think twice before I did. I leapt onto my bed and pulled the covers up over me, making a little cocoon. I tucked my head under the sheets so that my entire body was wrapped up in the soft fabric. I didn't care enough to worry about the increasing heat inside my little cocoon and the decreasing oxygen as I breathed long, slow breaths to calm myself down. I fell asleep like that, uncomfortable and nauseous both from the lack of oxygen and the guilt.

* * *

The bell rang, piercing through the bored silence of the classroom and replacing it with the sounds of grating chair legs, heavy footsteps and excited chatter as everyone left for lunch. I got up from my chair, grabbing my books and shoving them in my bag. I took a deep breath. I had been waiting for this moment all day; ever since I walked into the school grounds this morning I knew that at lunch I had to go and see Mr Light to figure everything out. I walked out of the classroom and with each step my legs seemed heavier and heavier. I was so nervous.

I looked down at the floor and watched each of my feet step in front of the other as I made my way to my English classroom. Before I knew it I was at the door, and I looked up. I wasn't ready, but I knew if I didn't step in there now I never would. I knocked twice on the door and heard Mr Light's call of "Come in!" almost immediately. I tentatively opened the door and stepped inside, shutting it behind me. Mr Light was just finishing clearing up the papers from the previous lesson, and looked up as the door shut. He froze, his eyes growing wide.

"Mr Light, I am so sorry to bother you, bu-but I really need your help." I'm sure my intense stare made it fairly clear I wasn't talking about homework.

He stared at me for an agonisingly long time while he thought of his answer. I could practically see him running through each option in his head.

"Okay." He finally said, surprising me.

"R-really? Because you don't have to.. I don't want to make you do anyt-"

"No, I want to help you." He said carefully, as if he wasn't convinced he actually did yet. I felt such an immense amount of gratitude towards Mr Light just then.

"Thank you so much." I breathed. I didn't realise how alone I felt with everything until I suddenly wasn't any more. The silence in the room felt deafening as we stood metres away from each other.

"Okay, so I was just wondering if you would be able to help me with.. dealing with everything?" I said, feeling oddly embarrassed. I had the idea this morning during registration while I had zoned out of the conversation Johnny and Amy were having. He didn't say anything, so I continued. "So obviously you're an English teacher.. and I thought maybe you might have read some novels or something about Vampires?" It sounded so stupid once I said it out loud. "You know, forget that, don't-"

"I have. You think the information in them could help you?" He said.

"..Yeah." I said in a small voice.

"Okay. Come sit." He pulled up a chair to the other side of his desk and walked to the other side of the room to the bookcase. I walked tentatively to the chair and sat down, fiddling with my fingers in my lap. Thirty seconds later he was back holding a few books and sat down on his chair on the other side of the desk. The awkward silence in the room was unbearable. 

"Okay, let's start with Dracula, by Bram Stoker." He said, setting all the books but one down on the desk. "Stoker says that Vampires get very strong urges as soon as they see blood, as shown when one of the character's cuts himself shaving and Count Dracula lunges for him." I gulped, trying not to react. "He says that Vampires need to survive by drinking the blood of humans. Uh..." He flicked through several pages of the book. "Yep, Stoker says that garlic is used to keep Vampires away..." More flicking. "A wooden stake to the heart will kill one... If you get bitten by a Vampire you can turn into one yourself... That's about it." His eyes flickered from the page he was scanning to look at me, and quickly returned. "Next: Twilight." He said, swapping the book he was holding for Stephenie Meyer's novel. "Not as much of a classic but very popular nonetheless. Okay, so Meyer says that Vampires can be inhumanly fast and strong and so on... Apparently their strongest ability as a human is magnified as a Vampire, for example some can read minds, some can see the future... And, of course, the infamous 'twinkling'." He said with a smile. "But somehow," He said, looking at me, "I don't think that's true."

"Mr Light?" I said cautiously. 


"W-why are you helping me?"

He looked at me like it was obvious. "Well, because you asked."

"But- but the other day you were terrified of me - and I don't blame you. Why are you choosing to help me now?"

He let out a long sigh. "Because I can see that you are not like those other... monsters. You want to stay good, to control your urges and stay with your family." I nodded, surprised at how intuitive he was. "My... my daughter was Turned." He said slowly, closing his eyes but not before I saw the flash of pain in them. He opened them again. "It was too late before I found out - she was too far gone. I'd like to think that if she had this opportunity.. she wouldn't have ended up being killed by the Force." I sucked in a breath - I shouldn't have asked. "I want to help you like I should have helped her - you're a good person, Issy."

"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. I had no idea.." I said, trailing off. I suddenly felt very awkward - my being here must be bringing back so many horrible memories for him. "And- and just so you know: what happened was in no way your fault. There was no way you could have known to help her, or how. Once we're Turned we have this... natural instinct to be secretive and hide it from everyone." I said, feeling awkward about discussing my being Turned into a Vampire - it was something I had never really said aloud before.

He sighed again. "Thank you." We sat in a moment of awkward silence before he picked up a third book. "Okay, shall we?"

We spent the rest of the hour going through more Vampire novels and then analysed the little list we had made of information from each book. Mr Light read out each piece of information and I said whether it was definitely true, definitely not true, or could be true. Things on the "Definitely True" list included having strong urges when near blood and having increased strength and speed. The "Definitely Not True" list had things like not being able to go out in sunlight and being repelled by garlic. The "Could be True" list was the most frightening for me. It had things like having to drink human's blood to survive, increased emotions to the point where the individual becomes dangerously irrational, and the worst: that the human self gets taken over by this monstrous 'soul' until there is no trace of the original self. I fought tears when that one was brought up.

The school bell rang, signalling the end of lunch. We both stood up.

"Thank you so much, Mr Light. Really."

"You're very welcome, Issy." He gave a small smile.

"Um, I'm going to be late for Maths, so... bye." I said, feeling awkward.

"Bye, Issy." I left the room, feeling a weight lifted from my shoulders but replaced by another - should I have brought him into this?

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